Supporters of genetically modified or engineered foods want you to believe that the concept is no big deal and that humans have been cross-breeding and “modifying” food for centuries.

In reality, however, GMO seeds and foods created in a lab are far different than the traditional hybrid crop. In fact, the latter has only been in existence for a few decades.

If it weren’t for the intense lobbying of St. Louis-based biotech giant Monsanto, GMOs would likely never have been introduced at all in the United States.

AltHealthWorks reports that in 1986, four executives from Monsanto visited the White House to see then-Vice President George H. W. Bush with the objective of gaining a valuable ally in the most powerful government in the world.

Although President Ronald Reagan still had two years left in his second term, it was already widely believed at that time that Bush the Elder would run for the presidency in 1988.

Betting on a deregulation president

Reagan’s administration was known for many accomplishments: improving the economy, strengthening the military, and dealing decisively with a Soviet Union whose power and influence was waning. However, Reagan was also a deregulator; if there was red tape he could cut in Washington in order to benefit business, industry and the economy in general, he would gladly do it.

Enter Monsanto, a company that wanted to get in on the deregulation bandwagon of the era.

AltHealthWorks reported:

One year later, Bush took the bait and paid a visit to the company’s headquarters for a media event that included personal time with company scientists and reps.

Monsanto’s reps wanted Bush to help them get their dangerously untested GMOs to market, and pleaded with him…to help make it happen.

What Bush said in response gave rise to a culture of blissful ignorance and irresponsibility that allowed Monsanto’s controversial “frankencrops” to spread virtually unopposed ever since.

The company had tens of millions of dollars at stake and a number of regulatory hurdles to overcome as the Department of Agriculture painstakingly went through its regulatory approval process.

In 1987, Monsanto found itself in a difficult position. The company desperately wanted to begin testing their GMO crops in a live environment – a farm in Illinois – but they needed USDA approval in order to move forward.

Initially, Monsanto executives were ready to introduce GMOs slowly. However, the company grew increasingly frustrated by the approval process and instead opted to pursue a more aggressive policy of “eliminating what White House hardliners called ‘bureaucratic hurdles’ like health and environmental safety testing, which were Monsanto’s key problems,” according to narrator and director Marie-Monique Robin in the filmThe World According to Monsanto.

In a clip that appears in the film, Bush is seen meeting with Monsanto scientists and reps as cameras from the media flash and reporters scratch notes. One scientist proceeds to explain the basics of how GMO foods are created.

The seven words that changed it all

“…We take DNA, cut it apart, mix different pieces together and then rejoin them, splice them back together,” he says. “This tube contains DNA that was made from a bacterium…”

That leads Bush to respond with a question: “This will lead you have a stronger plant or a plant that will lead you to…?”

“In this case it resists the herbicide,” the Monsanto rep says. Another rep adds, “We have a fabulous herbicide.”

They were talking about Roundup, the glyphosate-containing product whose main ingredient was recently declared a likely human carcinogen by the World Health Organization.

This is followed by seven words that will eventually change the game in favor of Monsanto. The clip shows Bush laughing and saying of Monsanto’s pleas to hasten the regulatory process, “Call me…we’re in the dereg business.” Then he adds, “Maybe we can help.”

With that, the rise of the GMO industry in the U.S. began, and as many have demonstrated, it is growing at the expense of the U.S. consumer.

Towards the end of the clip, Bush’s vice president, Dan Quayle, makes an announcement that describes the real reason that GMOs were fast-tracked in the U.S. even though other countries are banning them.

See the film clip and view Bush’s seven infamous words here.

Sources include:

Black Lives Matter falsely linked with 9-11 anniversary 14 years later

Intelligence agencies and law-enforcement departments made announcements last week saying that the Black Lives Matter movement was under surveillance for possible “terrorist” activity coinciding with the 14th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks.

An article published by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on September 14 pointed out that “Conservative American politicians and television pundits have increased their attacks on the Black Lives Matter movement. In the aftermath of the killing of police officers, the movement’s name has been mentioned as a contributing factor.”

Bill O’Reilly of Fox News said he was going to put Black Lives Matter out of business because they were a hate group. The news segment featured a clip of a demonstration in Minnesota where participants chanted slogans that O’Reilly interrupted to his viewing audience as a call to shoot police officers.

However, the Black Lives Matter movement is not a centralized organization. There is an “official website” but many groups and demonstrations utilize the name which has a variety of meaning to different people. Many white activists have also joined Black Lives Matter demonstrations whereas some actions such as a recent national conference in Cleveland were restricted to African Americans.

This attempted criminalization of the youth-directed efforts aimed at seeking justice for victims of police and other forms of racist violence against African Americans is a legitimate and rational response to state terror which appears to be intensifying. The history of the African American people and other oppressed nations in North America and around world confirms the strategies aimed at national liberation by forging tactics which uphold the right to civil disobedience, mass rebellion and self-determination.

Since the death of Trayvon Martin in Florida at the hands of a vigilante George Zimmerman in 2012, the anti-racist movement has grown considerably. A burgeoning sensitivity and intolerance to police violence against African-Americans has swept cities and towns throughout the United States.

When Zimmerman was acquitted in 2013, demonstrations sprang up from New York City to the Bay Area in California. The Black Lives Matter movement began as a hashtag and slogan during this period gaining more credence with the police killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9, 2014.

The response of the people of Ferguson to the killing of Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson was swift and multi-dimensional. A rebellion erupted soon afterwards along with daily and nightly mass demonstrations demanding the arrest and prosecution of Wilson among other issues.

In solidarity with Ferguson, more protests were organized around the U.S. and Canada supported by solidarity actions in Britain. The events in Ferguson and the mass activity taking place nationally further exposed the U.S. as still being a racist state.

Despite the election of an African American president, the structures of racial capitalism served as the major impediment to the realization of justice. Even though the Department of Justice launched an investigation into the killing of Brown and the activities of the local police departments and courts in St. Louis County, prompting a scathing attack on the actions of these entities, no civil rights charges were filed against either Wilson or the key players in law-enforcement, municipal governance and the judicial system.

Linking So-Called “Islamic Extremism” and BLM

There is no connection between the burgeoning struggle against racism and police brutality and the targeted groups said to be responsible for the events of September 11, 2001. This would hold true of other such activities domestically and internationally that are conveniently labeled as “Islamic Extremist”.

These false allegations are taking place while elements within the corporate media are accusing the BLM of fueling unrest and prompting the killing of police officers in several regions of the country. These assertions are being rejected by anti-racist and progressive organizations nationwide.

Even the New York Times, which is a corporate publication, recently wrote an editorial defending BLM from such egregious accusations. These spurious claims are designed nonetheless as a means of creating an atmosphere where anti-racist activities can be criminalized and attacked politically.

The New York Times editorial read in part saying “They are not asserting that black lives are more precious than white lives. They are underlining an indisputable fact – that the lives of black citizens in this country historically have not mattered, and have been discounted and devalued.”

A History of Political Repression to Suppress Burgeoning Movements

The development of the U.S. as a political system and state was born in violence against the indigenous Native Americans who were forcefully removed from the land in North America and the enslavement of Africans brought from their continent to work in the sugar, tobacco and cotton fields of the slave masters. Africans were subjected to “legalized” bondage and exploitation between 1619 and 1865.

Even after the Civil War and the ostensible abolition of slavery, the failure of Reconstruction portended much for the future status of African people. Lynching, Jim Crow, forced penal labor, disenfranchisement and social segregation became the order of the U.S. system well into the 1960s.

It would take mass demonstrations, court challenges and urban rebellions to overturn U.S. apartheid which is once again raising its head across the country through the escalation of killings by law-enforcement and the failure of the legal system to hold police officers and racist vigilantes accountable. During the 1960s various African American organizations arose which advocated the taking up of arms to defend the community against the racist violence of the state and economic system.

The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) during its latter years and the outgrowth of the Black Panther Party sent shockwaves through the ruling class. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) under J. Edgar Hoover spent millions of dollars disrupting and neutralizing African American liberation organizations and fighters.

A similar scenario is developing today however under somewhat different circumstances. During the counter-intelligence operations (cointelpro) against the African American movement from the 1950s through the 1970s, there was a broader mass movement among the youth, workers and farmers which encompassed elements within the education, religious, industrial, agricultural and prison sectors of the population.

Other nationally oppressed groups inspired by the African American struggle developed their own organizations such as the Young Lords (Puerto Rico), Brown Berets (Chicano), the American Indian Movement (Native People), the LGBTQ communities, women, environmental, people with disabilities, students, seniors, etc.  These organizations would form alliances to fight for common objectives such as the struggle for self-determination and full equality.

In 1968, the Peace and Freedom Party formed an alliance with the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense running Eldridge Cleaver, then Minister of Information of the BPP, for president. The following year in July 1969, a National Conference for a United Front Against Fascism was convened in Oakland, California where a coalition against repression was further advanced.

1970 witnessed the May Day actions at Yale University in New Haven where the president of the elite university shutdown the campus saying it was impossible for Black revolutionaries to receive a fair trial in the U.S. BPP leaders Bobby Seale and Erica Huggins were on trial for murder and faced the possibility of being sentenced to the electric chair.

Later in 1970, the Panthers initiated the Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention (RPCC) designed to build a broad front of progressive and anti-capitalist forces to transform the racist system.

However, the role of the intelligence forces, local law-enforcement and the corporate press created the conditions for the targeting of the movement for criminalization and disruption. Scores of activist were killed, railroaded into prison, driven into exile and underground.

Such a fate could await the new upsurge in antiracist activism if people do not get organized and build strategic and tactical alliances. The U.S. and world capitalist system is more unstable and fragile than it ever was during the immediate decades of the post-World War II period and therefore a mass movement seeking fundamental change could shake the system at its foundations.

These recent emergent movements such as Immigrant Rights, Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter are a reflection of the failure of the world system to provide a stable future for the majority of people within the U.S. and internationally. This decayed system will do whatever it can to retain its capacity to exploit, oppress and repress the majority of people in this country and around the globe.

The Kurdish town of Cizre, a settlement with a population of approximately 150 thousand souls in Southeastern Turkey, is now under siege by the Turkish armed forces and the so-called “special operation force” of the police for a second time, after a previous one-week long siege was lifted for an interlude of two days. Around-the-clock curfew is accompanied by power cuts and the interruption of all means of communication including mobile telephones and the Internet. The evidence that came out when the first round of siege was lifted attests to a terrible human drama.

Over 30 civilians are dead, ranging from a 35-day old infant to a 75-year old man. Before the siege was lifted, government sources claimed that security forces had killed more than a dozen fighters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Kurdish guerrilla army, denying any civilian deaths. How the baby and the old man could have contributed to the fight of the PKK remains a mystery unexplored by government spokespeople after the facts have come to light.

The plight of Cizre is just the latest and most dramatic episode in a war that the Turkish state has been waging against its own citizens in the Kurdish regions of the country since late July. Basing itself on the excuse of the Suruç massacre on 20th July, in which 32 young Turkish leftists holding a press conference to express their solidarity with the people of Kobane, a city that is part of the Kurdish entity of Rojava within the frontiers of Syria, were killed by a suicide attack, in all probability the making of ISIL, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the Turkish government of the AKP, the party of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, started a war… not against ISIL, but against the PKK and the Kurdish people! It is true that the AKP government has made a concession to the U.S. by finally allowing it to use the Incirlik air base in Turkey to attack ISIL and, somewhat later, has also agreed to participate itself in those air raids. This was, however, simply a manoeuvre to consolidate its flank while embarking on a wholesale attack on the Kurdish movement, avoiding tension with the U.S. while engaging in a difficult military enterprise.

Erdogan’s selfie.

Turkey’s War against the PKK, and the Kurdish People

Turkey’s war is not only against the PKK, but the Kurdish people as a whole. It has taken at least three different forms. The first is the military conflict proper between the Turkish armed forces and the PKK. This has so far taken the form of bombardments by the Turkish air force of PKK camps in Northern Iraq, on the territory of the Kurdish Regional Government led by Barzani, a close American and Turkish ally. The PKK has reciprocated by killing Turkish soldiers and police officers by the day. However, the two most spectacular instances of such raids came within forty-eight hours in early September, when the PKK blew up 16 soldiers in the southeast of the country and subsequently 13 police officers in the northeast. The very long geographical distance between the locations of the two incidents, as well as the heavy losses suffered by the Turkish forces, were meant to show the country that the PKK is a formidable force.

The second form the war has taken is the effort on the part of the state to pacify the flashpoints in the cities and towns of Turkish Kurdistan. Since early 2013, a process of negotiations between the government and the PKK, called the “solution process” was going on. However, not all in the Kurdish movement are happy with this process. Abdullah Ocalan, the historic leader of the PKK, held in captivity since 1999, is the architect of the process. Yet there are other actors on the scene. The official ones are the PKK based in Northern Iraq and the HDP, the People’s Democratic Party, an avatar of the parliamentary Kurdish movement that has now joined forces with a host of Turkish socialist parties and movements. Among these three, Ocalan is the most flexible while the PKK projects a more intransigent image. However, there is a fourth actor on the scene, called the YDG-H, which is usually presented as the youth wing of the PKK, but really has lately acted as a quasi-independent force. It stands to the extreme left of the movement and despite swearing unswerving allegiance to Ocalan, is patently critical vis-a-vis the “solution process”. It is they who organise whole neighbourhoods in many Kurdish cities and towns and make these neighbourhoods inaccessible to Turkish security forces by digging ditches and trenches and defending these with arms in hand when needed. The population at large may not agree with their methods, but sides with them against governmental forces during periods of conflagration when push comes to shove.

Hence the attacks on a series of Kurdish towns as part of the ongoing war, towns such as Silopi, Varto, Yuksekova, Silvan, and now, most dramatically, Cizre, the most prominent stronghold of the YDG-H. (These and all other settlements in Turkish Kurdistan have original Kurdish names that were replaced forcibly by Turkish names in republican times, but citing these, important as that may be in the local context, would not mean much to an English-speaking audience.) In contradistinction to the first form that the war has taken, a conflict between two armed forces, this one is a war waged against the civilian population. Since almost the entire population stands with the youth, what seems to be an assault on a militia force is necessarily transformed into a war on the whole people. The author of these lines only weeks ago visited, for purposes of solidarity, Silvan, a town near Diyarbakir, immediately in the aftermath of a similar assault staged by security forces and witnessed with his own eyes the ravage wrought on the whole town as a result.

The third form is the potential threat of veritable civil war involving civilians from both sides. This threat is contained in the continuous harping on the nationalistic, even chauvinistic, emotions that exist within major sections of the Turkish population of the country, not only on the part of forces close to Erdogan and the AKP, but equally by what is known in the West as the “Grey Wolves” of the Nationalist Action Party, the more traditional fascist movement of Turkey, the third biggest party of the Turkish bourgeoisie (the second force being the Republican People’s Party, the party of Kemalist origin that now poses as social democratic). It was the “Grey Wolves” that descended on the streets on the night of 8th September in reaction to the two spectacular PKK attacks referred to above. More than 140 HDP locales were attacked, many set ablaze, ordinary Kurds were hunted on the streets of the cities and towns of the Turkish-dominated western parts of the country, intercity buses stopped and stoned, and Kurdish seasonal workers attacked collectively, their houses and cars burnt down, and they themselves driven away en masse. Now, although the Kurds are a minority in the cities of the west, they are quite a sizeable minority in many of these and, moreover, they are extremely politicised communities with considerable martial skills. If they did not respond in kind, this was out of self-restraint. This means that in future the situation may get out of hand and the war may degenerate into an ethnic civil war that may take extremely bloody forms.

The Dynamics behind the War

In order to stop this war, one needs to identify the dynamics that lies behind its eruption. Unfortunately, the Kurdish movement, long under the influence of the liberal intelligentsia, keeps repeating that what is needed is a return to the status quo ante, i.e. to the “solution process” at the stage where it was left off. This ignores the fact that there are very definite forces at play that have led to this war and these should be countered and defeated before peace or at least a cease-fire can be re-established. These forces are of different kinds, some deriving from the political conjuncture while others are more structural in nature.

The overbearing reason, eclipsing all others in importance, is that which derives from the political interests of Tayyip Erdogan. In an earlier article (“The strategic defeat of Recep Tayyip Erdogan”) published on this web site after the elections of 7th June in Turkey, we pointed out that the pitiful results obtained by Erdogan’s party, the AKP, which lost 10 percentage points of the popular vote, as well as its parliamentary majority for the first time since 2002, is simply a registration of the earlier strategic defeat of this politician at the hands of the masses, first in the popular revolt that was triggered by the Gezi Park incident in June 2013 and subsequently during the serhildan (intifada) in October 2014 staged by the Kurdish people in reaction to his callous attitude to the plight of Kobane when it was attacked by ISIL. The election results were a double catastrophe for Erdogan. On the one hand, he needs a two- thirds majority in parliament if he is to amend the constitution so as to convert the Turkish political system into a presidential one, giving him the powers to control the whole political process, powers that he now lacks under the current parliamentary setup in which the office of the president of the republic he now occupies is rather ceremonial in nature. On the other hand, the fact that the AKP has not even been able to hold on to its parliamentary majority may possibly open up the floodgates of investigation into the very serious and well-documented cases of corruption in which not only his ministers but he himself was involved. Most commentators dwell on his ambition regarding the acquisition of the mantle of executive president. We think that it is much more an urgent need of avoiding the opening up of the corruption files by a parliament in which the AKP now finds itself a minority. If the other parties could get their act together and open those files, Erdogan may find himself facing the precipice, with the outcome being his conviction (the legal details need not detain us here).

Since it was the success of the HDP of overcoming the extremely high electoral threshold of 10 per cent that directly led to the failure of the AKP to obtain a parliamentary majority, Erdogan and his cohort have placed their hopes in raising Turkish chauvinism and presenting the HDP not as a messenger of peace, but as a force that supports the “terrorism” of the PKK, thereby causing the party to fall below the critical 10 per cent threshold in early elections, to be held on 1st November. Hence, the war is, first and foremost, a war of survival for Erdogan. There have been imperialist wars in history and anti-colonialist ones. This is the first egoist war ever!

This is what we wrote immediately after the elections on this web site:

The erroneous policy of the left provided a breathing space for Erdogan that gave him the possibility of climbing to the presidency. Now the AKP cannot form a government on its own, but Erdogan will still be holding the reins of power. He will use every inch of the space he has thus conquered to cling on to power and may even resort to war against the Kurds or in the Middle East at large for that purpose. In politics every mistake has a price.

It need not even to be pointed that the prediction contained in that paragraph has unfortunately come true. As for the mistake we were talking about there, this referred to the fact of not having tried to bring down Erdogan when it was possible to do so. Here, the major blame lies with the Kurdish movement. Had they moved in tandem with the popular revolt triggered by Gezi in 2013, Erdogan would almost certainly have fallen from power, so strong is the capacity of the Kurdish movement to organise the masses especially in Diyarbakir. It is sad to note that the suffering of the Kurdish people at the hands of atrocious attacks by Turkish security forces is, at least partially, a product of the errors of the Kurdish movement.

There are, of course, more long-standing and structural factors that push Turkey to wage war on the Kurdish movement. One has already been touched upon. The radical wing of the Kurdish movement, embodied most visibly in the youth movement, is against the “solution process” unless Ocalan has been previously released from prison. (A striking slogan that the youth displayed during a mammoth demonstration in 2013 read: “A peace with the serok(Ocalan’s title in the movement) captive is muddle-headed”.) The youth have many supporters, albeit less fiery than they themselves, and almost the whole population tends toward that kind of intransigent position when things get rough, as they frequently do. The serhildan of October 2014 scared the ruling circles immensely and posed on the agenda the liquidation of these pockets of (armed) urban resistance, which, as opposed to the rural guerrilla, would pose an immediate threat in case a new serhildan erupted. So the present war may also be considered as an attempt on the part of the Turkish state to do away with these pockets of resistance.

The other major factor that leads to friction between the state and the PKK is, by the sheer objective fact of its existence, Rojava, the autonomous Kurdish entity south of the Turkish-Syrian border. Kurdish autonomy or, a fortiori, independence in other parts of Kurdistan, i.e. in Iraq, Iran or Syria, has always loomed as a threat to the Turkish ruling classes, if only because it could act as an example to Turkey’s Kurds. Within the first 15 years of the 21st century, first Iraqi Kurdistan, then Syrian Kurdistan have attained autonomy. At first deeply disturbed by the creation of Iraqi Kurdistan under Barzani as an autonomous region, Turkey finally came to terms with it and is now becoming the dominant power both economically and politically over the Kurdish Regional Government. The Turkish bourgeoisie is filled with expectations of benefits to flow from the oil of the Kirkouk region. Rojava, though, is a different matter. Barzani is a staunch ally, even a protégé, of the U.S. and lately of Turkey itself. Rojava has been set up under a leadership organically linked to the PKK! The AKP government has always made it clear that Turkey will not come to terms with a PKK-dominated political entity to its south. So Rojava has been, all throughout its three-year period of existence, a thorn on the side of the “solution process”.

Whither Turkey, Whither the Kurdish Question?

The last point about Rojava suggests that the future of the Kurdish question of Turkey and, indeed, of Turkey itself is intimately tied up with prospects for Syria. As most readers will be aware, Erdogan and his AKP are major actors in the ordeal that Syria has been going through since 2011. Erdogan, alongside Saudi Arabia and Qatar, has fanned the flames of hatred and war in Syria between the Sunni and the Alevi (the Alevi being a minority denomination in Islam, closer to the Shia than the Sunni.) This is part of a larger design, whereby Erdogan strives to assume the leadership of the Sunni masses of the Middle East and return to Turkey the glory of its Ottoman past. That is one reason why the AKP government supported ISIL until very recently and continues to support other Islamist groups fighting against the Assad regime.

The situation born of the deal between the U.S. and Turkey in late July, whereby Turkey opened the Incirlik base to U.S. air raids on ISIL in return for American license for its attacks on the PKK, bears a dialectical contradiction that may in time suck Turkey into a ground war in Syria. In its fight against ISIL, the U.S. relies, among others, on the armed forces of Rojava as ground troops. Turkey’s efforts, on the other hand, aim to keep these same forces of Rojava out of certain regions south of the Turkish-Syrian border, regions where Turkey wishes to establish so-called “secure zones”. However, the U.S. needs the forces of Rojava to fight ISIL on the ground. It seems the only way Turkey can talk the U.S. out of collaborating with Rojava militarily is to send ground troops itself to establish what it would consider secure zones.

This prospect deriving from the contradictions of the military alliance between the U.S. and Turkey is complemented by the infernal logic of Erdogan’s quest for survival: should the AKP fail to obtain a majority in parliament in the near future, Erdogan needs to suspend the normal functioning of the system, which would best be done by resorting to an extension of the war to Syria or even the Middle East at large. It is only the first half of our prediction that has materialised for the moment (“Erdogan” we were saying in the passage quoted above, “may even resort to war against the Kurds or in the Middle East at large for that purpose”). It would not be surprising to see the second half come true as well.

There are, of course, certain counteracting tendencies that may come to play their part. One is the possibility that one of the major actors, Ocalan, silent so far since the elections and the eruption of the war, speaks out to create a kind of thaw. The coming Eid al-Adha, the great religious festival of the Islamic world, may be an opportune moment for him to open a new chapter in the “solution process”. It should not be forgotten that despite the ferocity of the war, neither the AKP, nor Erdogan, nor yet the Kurdish side has totally thrown out the possibility of a new beginning. Erdogan himself has explicitly said that the “solution process” is in the deep freezer (and not dead, as the unfolding war may lead one to think). It is obvious that as soon as he finds himself on safer ground, he may willingly go back to the status quo ante. This would be the reactionary exit from the present impasse. Erdogan is a malediction for Turkey and the Middle East and the longer he remains at the helm of this country, the more trouble will be brewing for the peoples of the region.

The progressive exit would of course require the defeat of Erdogan, hopefully leading to his ouster from office and conviction for his crimes. The conditions for this are gathering. Already the succession of mass struggles in Turkey in the recent period, the Gezi popular revolt (2013), the Kobani serhildan (2014), and the metalworkers’ strike (2015), following upon each other’s heels within the space of a mere two years, demonstrates that this is a society full of social groups ready to vent their anger. On top of this, Erdogan has lost credibility, as we have been emphasizing since 2013, in the eyes of his erstwhile allies, the U.S. and the European Union, as well as the liberals of Turkey, the Gulen fraternity, and many sections of the capitalist class. Now he is losing more and more the support of large sections of his party. Former president of the republic Abdullah Gul, another founding leader of the AKP, is waiting in the wings to take over the party at the right moment. The party convention that is gathering these days will not yet bring to the surface the deep fractures that run through the AKP, but contradictions are maturing there as well.

If the positive outcome holds, it will of course make a great difference whether it is the bourgeois opposition headed by Gul and the two bourgeois parties, social democratic and fascist, or even the army, that removes Erdogan or whether it is the masses that do the job, headed hopefully by the working class, which now seems back in action after a long slumber. It is our hope and aim to make this latter solution prevail. •

Sungur Savran is based in Istanbul and is one of the editors of the newspaper Gercek (Truth) and the theoretical journal Devrimci Marksizm (Revolutionary Marxism), both published in Turkish, and of the web site RedMed.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) outlines the agreement between Iran and the countries of 5+1.  The 5+1 is dominated by the United States and its European allies (Britain, France, and Germany), which are Iran’s main adversaries.  As JCPOA is being reviewed for approval or rejection by the United States House and Senate, we the undersigned state and demand the following:  

Considering that sanctions were aimed to break the resistance of the Iranian people and bring regime change in Iran, the nuclear agreement that suspends and eventually lifts certain sanctions on Iran signals the defeat of sanction policy.  This in itself is an achievement for Iran, even with the sanctions lifted conditionally.  Such an achievement has been made possible thanks to the heroic resistance of the Iranian people.

In addition, there is another aspect in the agreement that should not be overlooked.  This aspect is contradictory to Iran’s gain; it concerns Iran’s formal acceptance through the agreement to give up certain legitimate rights to acquire and develop nuclear technology.  This means that there is a fundamental difference in the nature of concessions given and taken by the contending parties.  Iran is supposed to officially forgo certain legitimate rights; its adversaries make unreliable promises to recognize partially and conditionally the other rights of Iran that have been long denied by the same adversaries.  In other words, it is all about Iran’s rights, which were denied earlier. These same adversaries promise to recognize some of Iran’s rights now while the rejection of Iran’s other rights are being legitimized through the nuclear deal.

The rights that Iran shall forgo include its accepting restrictions on almost every aspect of the country’s nuclear technology program for long periods of 10 to 25 years and more.  Such restrictions which have been imposed on Iran through threats of war and coercive diplomacy would not only reduce the current capability of Iran to nationally enrich its own uranium supplies but would also prevent Iran from developing peaceful industrial nuclear technology. According to the rules and regulations of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), there is no legal basis for the restrictions that have been imposed on Iran through the JCPOA, and therefore they are totally illegitimate.

The agreement also entitles the inspectors of the IAEA – an organization highly influenced by the United States – to collect “information” that will essentially involve spying activities under the guise of extensive inspections.  This will not only take place in Iran’s nuclear sites but also in any site in the country, including the military bases that the US government and its allies may consider as places of “suspicious” activities.  Considering the previous experience of the IAEA inspections in Iraq which were used as a preparatory step to launch a war on Iraq and also considering the earlier dubious activities of such inspections in Iran itself prior to the killing a number of Iranian nuclear scientists, the right of excessive inspections granted to the IAEA through the nuclear deal is highly risky for Iran and would even endanger Iran’s sovereignty.

As warned by many activists of the resistance movement, both in Iran and abroad, the United States government intends to utilize the nuclear agreement as another tool to destabilize and suppress the Iranian Revolution. Such a drive is already manifested in the text of the UN Security Council’s Resolution 2231.  The resolution, which was passed right after the nuclear agreement, while adopting the same agreement, bans Iran from using and developing certain kind of conventional missiles.  Iran, as a country that is constantly threatened with military attack by the United States, an aggressive country which has previously killed thousands of innocent people by using the atomic bombs and which currently possesses hundreds of nuclear missiles, is being told that it has to limit its rights to self-defense. The US dares to dictate which weapons could and which could not be used by the country that it is targeting!

Although it is the legitimate right of Iran, as a sovereign nation, to reach agreements on issues of its interests with any country, including those governed by its adversaries, we, the undersigned who are committed to fight for peace and justice cannot keep silent about pressures by the US and its allies against Iran to force the government and people of that peaceful nation to forgo its legitimate rights.  That is why we say:

No to Illegitimate Restrictions on Iran!

We demand:

Lift All Sanctions on Iran Now, Unconditionally!

Initial Signers 

Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, former President of the United Nations General Assembly, former Foreign Minister of Nicaragua,

Ramsey Clarkformer U.S. Attorney General and internationally renowned human rights lawyer,

Denis Hallidayformer UN Assistant Secretary-General and former UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq,

Hans von Sponeck, former UN Assistant Secretary General and former UN humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq,

Mike Gravelformer US Senator (Democrat),

Giulietto Chiesaformer Member of the European Parliament for Italy and journalist,

Michel Chossudovsky, economist, author, professor, and recipient of the Human Rights Prize of the Society for the Protection of Civil Rights and Human Dignity,

James Petrassociologist, author, professor, and recipient of the Career of Distinguished Service Award from the American Sociological Association,

Mairead MaguireNobel Peace Prize Laureate,

Sara Flounders, Co-Director of the International Action Center -IAC,

Cindy Sheehan, anti-war activist and founder of Camp Casey,

Ismael Hossein-zadeh, economist, author, and professor,

Art Olivierformer mayor of Bellflower, California,

Matthew P. Hohformer US Foreign Service Officer and US Department of State Senior Civilian Representative to Afghanistan,

Farid Esackauthor, professor and former Gender Equality Commissionaire of South Africa,

Mahdi Darius Nazemroayasociologist, author, and geopolitical analyst,

Stephen Lendman, author and Progressive Radio Network host,

Paul Larudee, founder of the Free Gaza Movement and the Free Palestine Movement,

Denis Rancourt, physicists, former professor of physics, and author,

Nchamah Miller, political scientist and philosopher,

Ellie Omani, Co-Founder American Iranian Friendship Committee

Amir Tafreshi, Director of House of Latin America (HOLA),

Philip Giraldiformer counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer of CIA, Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest,

Abdolhamid Shahrabi, Co-founder and Coordinator of SI – Solidarity Iran,

David Swansonanti-war activist and author,

Michel Collon, author, journalist, and historian,

Eric Walbergeconomist, journalist, and author,

Manuel Ochsenreiterauthor and journalist,

Pepe Escobar, Asia Times columnist,

Silvia Cattori, journalist,

Joe Lombardo, Co-Coordinator of United National Antiwar Movement,

USAIDWashington Wants “Regime Change” in Ecuador: “What is the CIA Planning before Ecuador’s 2017 Elections?”

By Timothy Alexander Guzman, September 15, 2015

Washington wants Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa removed from power. Correa is a staunch ally of Latin America’s leftist governments of Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Argentina and Brazil who are critical of U.S. Foreign policy.

cia (1)Veteran Intelligence Professionals Challenge CIA’s “Rebuttal” on Torture

By Washington’s Blog, September 15, 2015


FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Veteran Intelligence Professionals Challenge CIA’s “Rebuttal” on Torture

yemen_bombingU.S.-backed Forces in Yemen Escalate Airstrikes

By Abayomi Azikiwe, September 15, 2015

A coalition of Washington-backed armies led by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has escalated their bombing raids on civilian areas in Yemen.

wall streetSeven Years Since the Wall Street Crash

By Nick Beams, September 15, 2015

The bankruptcy of the US investment bank Lehman Brothers seven years ago today signaled a breakdown of the global capitalist economy and financial system that continues to deepen.

Netanyahu (1)Netanyahu Escalates War on Palestine. Israel’s War on Self-Defence “Terrorism” and Stone Throwing

By Stephen Lendman, September 15, 2015

Israeli desecration of Islam’s third holiest site continued for a second day. Soldiers and police attacked Al Aqsa Mosque worshippers, terrorizing them – on the phony pretext of conducting a security operation, to let Zionist zealots enter where they don’t belong.

jeremy-corbyn2Britain: The End of New Labour’s Reign of Terror? Jeremy Corbyn, Quo Vadis?

By Dr. P. Wilkinson, September 15, 2015

Can the new leader of the British Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, overcome Fabianism in Labour’s class war of attrition?

“Osamagate”. The History of America’s “War on Terrorism”

September 15th, 2015 by Prof Michel Chossudovsky

This article was first published on October 9, 2001, two days after the onslaught of the US-NATO war on Afghanistan (October 7, 2001).

“Now the Taliban will pay a price” vowed President George W. Bush, as American and British fighter planes unleashed missile attacks against major cities in Afghanistan. The US Administration claims that Osama bin Laden is behind the tragic events of the 11th of September.

A major war supposedly “against international terrorism” has been launched, yet the evidence amply confirms that agencies of the US government have since the Cold War harbored the “Islamic Militant Network” as part of Washington’s foreign policy agenda. In a bitter irony, the US Air Force is targeting the training camps in Afghanistan established in the 1980s by the CIA.

The main justification for waging this war on Afghanistan has been totally fabricated. The American people have been deliberately and consciously misled by their government into supporting a major military adventure which affects our collective future.

Confronted with mounting evidence, the US Administration can no longer deny its links to Osama. While the CIA admits that Osama bin Laden was an “intelligence asset” during the Cold War, the relationship is said to “go way back”. Most news reports consider that these Osama-CIA links belong to the “bygone era” of the Soviet-Afghan war. They are invariably viewed as “irrelevant” to an understanding of present events. Lost in the barrage of recent history, the role of the CIA in supporting and developing international terrorist organisations during the Cold war and its aftermath is casually ignored or downplayed by the Western media.

Yes, We did support Him, but “He Went Against Us”

A blatant example of media distortion is the so-called “blowback” thesis: “intelligence assets” are said to “have gone against their sponsors”; “what we’ve created blows back in our face.”1 In a twisted logic, the US government and the CIA are portrayed as the ill-fated victims:

The sophisticated methods taught to the Mujahideen, and the thousands of tons of arms supplied to them by the US – and Britain – are now tormenting the West in the phenomenon known as `blowback’, whereby a policy strategy rebounds on its own devisers. 2

The US media, nonetheless, concedes that “the Taliban’s coming to power [in 1995] is partly the outcome of the U.S. support of the Mujahideen, the radical Islamic group, in the 1980s in the war against the Soviet Union”.3 But it also readily dismisses its own factual statements and concludes in chorus, that the CIA had been tricked by a deceitful Osama. It’s like “a son going against his father”.

The “blowback” thesis is a fabrication. The evidence amply confirms that the CIA never severed its ties to the “Islamic Militant Network”. Since the end of the Cold War, these covert intelligence links have not only been maintained, they have in become increasingly sophisticated.

New undercover initiatives financed by the Golden Crescent drug trade were set in motion in Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Balkans. Pakistan’s military and intelligence apparatus (controlled by the CIA) essentially “served as a catalyst for the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the emergence of six new Muslim republics in Central Asia.” 4

Replicating the Iran Contragate Pattern

Remember Ollie North and the Nicaraguan Contras under the Reagan Administration when weapons financed by the drug trade were channeled to “freedom fighters” in Washington’s covert war against the Sandinista government. The same pattern was used in the Balkans to arm and equip the Mujahideen fighting in the ranks of the Bosnian Muslim army against the Armed Forces of the Yugoslav Federation.

Throughout the 1990s, the Pakistan Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) was used by the CIA as a go-between — to channel weapons and Mujahideen mercenaries to the Bosnian Muslim Army in the civil war in Yugoslavia. According to a report of the London based International Media Corporation:

Reliable sources report that the United States is now [1994] actively participating in the arming and training of the Muslim forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina in direct contravention of the United Nations accords. US agencies have been providing weapons made in … China (PRC), North Korea (DPRK) and Iran. The sources indicated that … Iran, with the knowledge and agreement of the US Government, supplied the Bosnian forces with a large number of multiple rocket launchers and a large quantity of ammunition. These included 107mm and 122mm rockets from the PRC, and VBR-230 multiple rocket launchers … made in Iran. … It was [also] reported that 400 members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (Pasdaran) arrived in Bosnia with a large supply of arms and ammunition. It was alleged that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had full knowledge of the operation and that the CIA believed that some of the 400 had been detached for future terrorist operations in Western Europe.

During September and October [1994], there has been a stream of “Afghan” Mujahedin … covertly landed in Ploce, Croatia (South-West of Mostar) from where they have traveled with false papers … before deploying with the Bosnian Muslim forces in the Kupres, Zenica and Banja Luka areas. These forces have recently [late 1994] experienced a significant degree of military success. They have, according to sources in Sarajevo, been aided by the UNPROFOR Bangladesh battalion, which took over from a French battalion early in September [1994].

The Mujahedin landing at Ploce are reported to have been accompanied by US Special Forces equipped with high-tech communications equipment, … The sources said that the mission of the US troops was to establish a command, control, communications and intelligence network to coordinate and support Bosnian Muslim offensives — in concert with Mujahideen and Bosnian Croat forces — in Kupres, Zenica and Banja Luka. Some offensives have recently been conducted from within the UN-established safe-havens in the Zenica and Banja Luka regions.


The US Administration has not restricted its involvement to the clandestine contravention of the UN arms embargo on the region … It [also] committed three high-ranking delegations over the past two years [prior to 1994] in failed attempts to bring the Yugoslav Government into line with US policy. Yugoslavia is the only state in the region to have failed to acquiesce to US pressure.5

“From the Horse’s Mouth”

Ironically, the US Administration’s undercover military-intelligence operations in Bosnia have been fully documented by the Republican Party. A lengthy Congressional report by the Republican Party Committee (RPC) published in 1997, largely confirms the International Media Corporation report quoted above. The RPC Congressional report accuses the Clinton administration of having “helped turn Bosnia into a militant Islamic base” leading to the recruitment through the so-called “Militant Islamic Network,” of thousands of Mujahideen from the Muslim world:

Perhaps most threatening to the SFOR mission – and more importantly, to the safety of the American personnel serving in Bosnia – is the unwillingness of the Clinton Administration to come clean with the Congress and with the American people about its complicity in the delivery of weapons from Iran to the Muslim government in Sarajevo. That policy, personally approved by Bill Clinton in April 1994 at the urging of CIA Director-designate (and then-NSC chief) Anthony Lake and the U.S. ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith, has, according to the Los Angeles Times (citing classified intelligence community sources), “played a central role in the dramatic increase in Iranian influence in Bosnia.


Along with the weapons, Iranian Revolutionary Guards and VEVAK intelligence operatives entered Bosnia in large numbers, along with thousands of mujahedin (“holy warriors”) from across the Muslim world. Also engaged in the effort were several other Muslim countries (including Brunei, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Turkey) and a number of radical Muslim organizations. For example, the role of one Sudan-based “humanitarian organization,” called the Third World Relief Agency, has been well documented. The Clinton Administration’s “hands-on” involvement with the Islamic network’s arms pipeline included inspections of missiles from Iran by U.S. government officials… the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA), a Sudan-based, phoney humanitarian organization … has been a major link in the arms pipeline to Bosnia. … TWRA is believed to be connected with such fixtures of the Islamic terror network as Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman (the convicted mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing) and Osama Bin Laden, a wealthy Saudi émigré believed to bankroll numerous militant groups. [Washington Post, 9/22/96] 6

Complicity of the Clinton Administration

In other words, the Republican Party Committee report confirms unequivocally the complicity of the Clinton Administration with several Islamic fundamentalist organisations including Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda.

The Republicans wanted at the time to undermine the Clinton Administration. However, at a time when the entire country had its eyes riveted on the Monica Lewinsky scandal, the Republicans no doubt chose not to trigger an untimely “Iran-Bosniagate” affair, which might have unduly diverted public attention away from the Lewinsky scandal. The Republicans wanted to impeach Bill Clinton “for having lied to the American People” regarding his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. On the more substantive “foreign policy lies” regarding drug running and covert operations in the Balkans, Democrats and Republicans agreed in unison, no doubt pressured by the Pentagon and the CIA not to “spill the beans”.

From Bosnia to Kosovo

The “Bosnian pattern” described in the 1997 Congressional RPC report was replicated in Kosovo. With the complicity of NATO and the US State Department. Mujahideen mercenaries from the Middle East and Central Asia were recruited to fight in the ranks of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in 1998-99, largely supporting NATO’s war effort.

Confirmed by British military sources, the task of arming and training of the KLA had been entrusted in 1998 to the US Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) and Britain’s Secret Intelligence Services MI6, together with “former and serving members of 22 SAS [Britain's 22nd Special Air Services Regiment], as well as three British and American private security companies”.7

The US DIA approached MI6 to arrange a training programme for the KLA, said a senior British military source. `MI6 then sub-contracted the operation to two British security companies, who in turn approached a number of former members of the (22 SAS) regiment. Lists were then drawn up of weapons and equipment needed by the KLA.’ While these covert operations were continuing, serving members of 22 SAS Regiment, mostly from the unit’s D Squadron, were first deployed in Kosovo before the beginning of the bombing campaign in March. 8

While British SAS Special Forces in bases in Northern Albania were training the KLA, military instructors from Turkey and Afghanistan financed by the “Islamic jihad” were collaborating in training the KLA in guerilla and diversion tactics.9:

Bin Laden had visited Albania himself. He was one of several fundamentalist groups that had sent units to fight in Kosovo, … Bin Laden is believed to have established an operation in Albania in 1994 … Albanian sources say Sali Berisha, who was then president, had links with some groups that later proved to be extreme fundamentalists. 10

Congressional Testimonies on KLA-Osama links

According to Frank Ciluffo of the Globalized Organised Crime Program, in a testimony presented to the House of Representatives Judicial Committee:

What was largely hidden from public view was the fact that the KLA raise part of their funds from the sale of narcotics. Albania and Kosovo lie at the heart of the “Balkan Route” that links the “Golden Crescent” of Afghanistan and Pakistan to the drug markets of Europe. This route is worth an estimated $400 billion a year and handles 80 percent of heroin destined for Europe. 11

According to Ralf Mutschke of Interpol’s Criminal Intelligence division also in a testimony to the House Judicial Committee:

The U.S. State Department listed the KLA as a terrorist organization, indicating that it was financing its operations with money from the international heroin trade and loans from Islamic countries and individuals, among them allegedly Usama bin Laden” . Another link to bin Laden is the fact that the brother of a leader in an Egyptian Jihad organization and also a military commander of Usama bin Laden, was leading an elite KLA unit during the Kosovo conflict. 12

Madeleine Albright Covets the KLA

These KLA links to international terrorism and organised crime documented by the US Congress were totally ignored by the Clinton Administration. In fact, in the months preceding the bombing of Yugoslavia, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was busy building a “political legitimacy” for the KLA. The paramilitary army had –from one day to the next– been elevated to the status of a bona fide “democratic” force in Kosovo. In turn, Madeleine Albright has forced the pace of international diplomacy: the KLA had been spearheaded into playing a central role in the failed “peace negotiations” at Rambouiillet in early 1999.

Albright and KLA leader Hashim Thaci

The Senate and the House tacitly endorse State Terrorism

While the various Congressional reports confirmed that the US government had been working hand in glove with Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda, this did not prevent the Clinton and later the Bush Administration from arming and equipping the KLA. The Congressional documents also confirm that members of the Senate and the House knew the relationship of the Administration to international terrorism. To quote the statement of Rep. John Kasich of the House Armed Services Committee: “We connected ourselves [in 1998-99] with the KLA, which was the staging point for bin Laden…” 13

In the wake of the tragic events of September 11, Republicans and Democrats in unison have given their full support to the President to “wage war on Osama”.

In 1999, Senator Jo Lieberman had stated authoritatively that “Fighting for the KLA is fighting for human rights and American values.” In the hours following the October 7 missile attacks on Afghanistan, the same Jo Lieberman called for punitive air strikes against Iraq: “We’re in a war against terrorism… We can’t stop with bin Laden and the Taliban.” Yet Senator Jo Lieberman, as member of the Armed Services Committee of the Senate had access to all the Congressional documents pertaining to “KLA-Osama” links. In making this statement, he was fully aware that that agencies of the US government as well as NATO were supporting international terrorism.

The War in Macedonia

In the wake of the 1999 war in Yugoslavia, the terrorist activities of the KLA were extended into Southern Serbia and Macedonia. Meanwhile, the KLA –renamed the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC)– was elevated to United Nations status, implying the granting of “legitimate” sources of funding through United Nations as well as through bilateral channels, including direct US military aid.

And 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” in Southern Serbia and Macedonia:

Sources, who insist on anonymity, claim that the headquarters of the Kosovo protection brigades [i.e. 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. 14

According to the BBC, “Western special forces were still training the guerrillas” meaning that they were assisting the KLA in opening up “a sixth operation zone” in Southern Serbia and Macedonia. 15

“The Islamic Militant Network” and NATO join hands in Macedonia

Among the foreign mercenaries now fighting in Macedonia (October 2001) in the ranks of self-proclaimed National Liberation Army (NLA), are Mujahideen from the Middle East and the Central Asian republics of the former Soviet Union. Also within the KLA’s proxy force in Macedonia are senior US military advisers from a private mercenary outfit on contract to the Pentagon as well as “soldiers of fortune” from Britain, Holland and Germany. Some of these Western mercenaries had previously fought with the KLA and the Bosnian Muslim Army. 16

Extensively documented by the Macedonian press and statements of the Macedonian authorities, the US government and the “Islamic Militant Network” are working hand in glove in supporting and financing the self-proclaimed National Liberation Army (NLA), involved in the terrorist attacks in Macedonia. The NLA is a proxy of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). In turn the KLA and the UN sponsored Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC) are identical institutions with the same commanders and military personnel. KPC Commanders on UN salaries are fighting in the NLA together with the Mujahideen.

In a bitter twist, while supported and financed by Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda, the KLA-NLA is also supported by NATO and the United Nations mission to Kosovo (UNMIK). In fact, the “Islamic Militant Network” –also using Pakistan’s Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) as the CIA’s go-between– still constitutes an integral part of Washington’s covert military-intelligence operations in Macedonia and Southern Serbia.

The KLA-NLA terrorists are funded from US military aid, the United Nations peace-keeping budget as well as by several Islamic organisations including Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda. Drug money is also being used to finance the terrorists with the complicity of the US government. The recruitment of Mujahideen to fight in the ranks of the NLA in Macedonia is implemented through various Islamic groups.

US military advisers mingle with Mujahideen within the same paramilitary force, Western mercenaries from NATO countries fight alongside Mujahideen recruited in the Middle East and Central Asia. And the US media calls this a “blowback” where so-called “intelligence assets” have gone against their sponsors!

But this did not happen during the Cold war! It is happening right now in Macedonia. And it is confirmed by numerous press reports, eyewitness accounts, photographic evidence as well as official statements by the Macedonian Prime Minister, who has accused the Western military alliance of supporting the terrorists. Moreover, the official Macedonian New Agency (MIA) has pointed to the complicity between Washington’s envoy Ambassador James Pardew and the NLA terrorists. 17 In other words, the so-called “intelligence assets” are still serving the interests of their US sponsors.

Pardew’s background is revealing in this regard. He 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. At the time, these “air drops” were tagged as “civilian aid”. It later transpired –confirmed by the RPC Congressional report– that the US had violated the arms embargo. And James Pardew played an important role as part of the team of intelligence officials working closely with the Chairman of the National Security Council Anthony Lake.

Pardew was later involved in the Dayton negotiations (1995) on behalf of the US Defence Department. In 1999, prior to the bombing of Yugoslavia, he was appointed “Special Representative for Military Stabilisation and Kosovo Implementation” by President Clinton. One of his tasks was to channel support to the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which at the time was also being supported by Osama bin Laden. Pardew was in this regard instrumental in replicating the “Bosnian pattern” in Kosovo and subsequently in Macedonia…

Justification for Waging War

The Bush Administration has stated that it has proof that Osama bin Laden is behind the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon. In the words of British Prime Minister Tony Blair: “I have seen absolutely powerful and incontrovertible evidence of his [Osama] link to the events of the 11th of September.” 18 What Tony Blair fails to mention is that agencies of the US government including the CIA continue to “harbor” Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda.

A major war supposedly “against international terrorism” has been launched by a government which is harboring international terrorism as part of its foreign policy agenda. In other words, the main justification for waging war has been totally fabricated. The American people have been deliberately and consciously misled by their government into supporting a major military adventure which affects our collective future.

This decision to mislead the American people was taken barely a few hours after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre. Without supporting evidence, Osama had already been tagged as the “prime suspect.” Two days later on Thursday the 13th of September –while the FBI investigations had barely commenced– President Bush pledged to “lead the world to victory”. The Administration confirmed its intention to embark on “a sustained military campaign rather than a single dramatic action” directed against Osama bin Laden. 19 In addition to Afghanistan, a number of countries in the Middle East were mentioned as possible targets including Iraq, Iran, Libya and the Sudan. And several prominent US political figures and media pundits have demanded that the air strikes be extended to other countries “which harbour international terrorism.” According to intelligence sources, Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda has operations in some 50 to 60 countries providing ample pretext to intervene in several “rogue states” in the Middle East and Central Asia.

Moreover, the entire US Legislature –with only one honest and courageous dissenting voice in the House of Representatives– has tacitly endorsed the Administration’s decision to go war. Members of the House and the Senate have access through the various committees to official confidential reports and intelligence documents which prove beyond doubt that agencies of the US government have ties to international terrorism. They cannot say “we did not know”. In fact, most of this evidence is in the public domain.

Under the historical resolution of the US Congress adopted by both the House and the Senate on the 14th of September:

The president is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

Whereas there is no evidence that agencies of the US government “aided the terrorist attacks” on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, there is ample and detailed evidence that agencies of the US government as well as NATO, have since the end of the Cold War continued to “harbor such organizations”.

Patriotism cannot be based on a falsehood, particularly when it constitutes a pretext for waging war and killing innocent civilians.

Ironically, the text of the Congressional resolution also constitutes a “blowback” against the US sponsors of international terrorism. The resolution does not exclude the conduct of an “Osamagate” inquiry, as well as appropriate actions against agencies and/or individuals of the US government, who may have collaborated with Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda. And the evidence indelibly points directly to the Bush Administration.


  1. United Press International (UPI), 15 September 2001.
  2. The Guardian, London, 15 September 2001.
  3. UPI, op cit,
  4. For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, Who is Osama bin Laden, Centre for Research on Globalisation, 12 September 2001,
  5. International Media Corporation Defense and Strategy Policy, US Commits Forces, Weapons to Bosnia, London, 31 October 1994.
  6. Congressional Press Release, Republican Party Committee (RPC), US Congress, Clinton-Approved Iranian Arms Transfers Help Turn Bosnia into Militant Islamic Base, 16 January 1997, available on the website of the Centre of Research on Globalisation (CRG) at The original document is on the website of the US Senate Republican Party Committee (Senator Larry Craig), at
  7. The Scotsman, Glasgow, 29 August 1999.
  8. Ibid.
  9. Truth in Media, Kosovo in Crisis, Phoenix, Arizona, 2 April 1999
  10. Sunday Times, London, 29 November 1998.
  11. US Congress, Testimony of Frank J. Cilluffo , Deputy Director, Global Organized Crime, Program director to the House Judiciary Committee, 13 December 2000.
  12. US Congress, Testimony of Ralf Mutschke of Interpol’s Criminal Intelligence Division, to the House Judicial Committee, 13 December 2000.
  13. US Congress, Transcripts of the House Armed Services Committee, 5 October 1999,
  14. Macedonian Information Centre Newsletter, Skopje, 21 March 2000, published by BBC Summary of World Broadcast, 24 March 2000.
  15. BBC, 29 January 2001, at
  16. Scotland on Sunday, Glasgow, 15 June 2001 at, see also UPI, 9 July 2001. For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, Washington behind Terrorist Assaults in Macedonia, Centre for Research on Globalisation, August 2001, at
  17. Macedonian Information Agency (MIA), 26 September 2001, available at the Centre for Research on Globalisation at
  18. Quoted in The Daily Telegraph, London, 1 October 2001.
  19. Statement by official following the speech by President George Bush on 14 September 2001 quoted in the International Herald Tribune, Paris, 14 September 2001.

Israeli desecration of Islam’s third holiest site continued for a second day. Soldiers and police attacked Al Aqsa Mosque worshippers, terrorizing them – on the phony pretext of conducting a security operation, to let Zionist zealots enter where they don’t belong.

A longstanding agreement with the Islamic trust in charge of Al-Aqsa permits Jewish prayer only at the neighboring Western Wall, the Second Temple’s last remnant.

Israeli authorities systematically breach all agreements it makes. Heavily protected extremist settlers are escorted into Al-Aqsa’s compound regularly, ignoring Palestinian and overall Arab street anger.

Clashes, injuries and arrests follow every time. Al-Aqsa director Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani accused Israel of “impos(ing) sovereignty over it by the power of (brute) force.”

It decides who enters or leaves Islam’s third holiest site. Anyone challenging its authority is brutalized, including Islamic Endowment personnel in charge of administering and maintaining the compound.

Two days of clashes left scores of Palestinians injured, including 11 journalists covering the incident, nearly two dozen requiring hospitalization.

A Palestinian Journalists Syndicate statement denounced Israeli brutality, saying soldiers and police stormed Al-Aqsa, deliberately assaulting Palestinian worshipers and journalists.

Netanyahu issued a duplicitous statement, saying Israel will “maintain (Al-Aqsa compound) status quo and order. It is our responsibility and our power to act against rioters to allow freedom of worship at this holy place” – excluding Muslims when extremist Jews wish to enter where they don’t belong.

Zionist zealots want a new Jewish temple replacing Al-Aqsa. A Knesset measure proposed dividing the compound into Jewish and Islamic sectors. Muslims worldwide denounce both schemes.

Palestinians justifiably resist Israeli ruthlessness. Outrage is palpable. Children and youths throw stones – a symbolic act of resistance.

On Monday, Netanyahu said he’ll hold an emergency Tuesday evening meeting to discuss “the war on stone throwing and fire bombs in Jerusalem and its vicinity” – ignoring why Palestinian rage erupts, responding to longstanding Israeli state terror.

He “intends to fight the phenomenon with all means, including harsher penalties and enforcement,” his office said.

Israel calls legitimate Palestinian resistance and self-defense “terrorism,” including symbolic stone-throwing. Knesset legislation already mandates up to 10-year sentences for defendants not accused of intending to cause harm – otherwise, up to 20 years imprisonment.

Up to five years for anyone ‘interfer(ing) with the policeman’s performance of his duties or to prevent him from performing them.” How much stiffening of these draconian measures Netanyahu and his racist ministers have in mind remains to be seen.

On Monday, an Israeli driver died in a Jerusalem car crash. Two passengers were injured. Netanyahu is using the incident to enforce greater harshness than already on longtime persecuted Palestinians – citing a police report suggesting stone-throwing caused him to swerve, with no verifiable evidence proving it.

On average, Israel experiences near daily car accident fatalities. Blaming Palestinians for Sunday’s incident gives Netanyahu a convenient excuse to further brutalize millions of defenseless people.

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.”

Visit his blog site at

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

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

Seven Years Since the Wall Street Crash

September 15th, 2015 by Nick Beams

The bankruptcy of the US investment bank Lehman Brothers seven years ago today signalled a breakdown of the global capitalist economy and financial system that continues to deepen.

Within hours of Lehman’s demise, it became clear this was not simply the failure of an individual bank, but the expression of a crisis engulfing the entire US and global financial system. At that point, US financial authorities stepped in to bail out American International Group (AIG), a transnational insurance giant that threatened to go under and take the entire American and world financial system with it.

This was the start of a process that has since seen central banks around the world continually increase the supply of ultra-cheap money—the US Federal Reserve alone has pumped out more than $4 trillion—to finance the speculation and parasitism of the banks and finance houses. These measures have done nothing to alleviate the crisis. On the contrary, they have created the conditions for another disaster.

This is evidenced by the recent violent fluctuations on financial and currency markets, including the fall of the Chinese stock market and collapse of some emerging market currencies in South East Asia to their lowest point since the Asian crisis of 1997–98.

Issuing the latest quarterly review of the Bank for International Settlements at the weekend, the bank’s chief economist, Claudio Borio, noted that “debt levels are too high, productivity growth too weak and financial risks too threatening.” Referring to the most recent market turbulence, he warned: “We are not seeing isolated tremors, but the release of pressure that has gradually accumulated over years along major fault lines.”

Not only have none of the underlying contradictions that led to the crisis of 2008 been overcome, the very measures adopted over the past seven years have intensified them.

Parasitism—the accumulation of wealth through financial market speculation completely unrelated to productive activity, and, indeed, inimical to it—has grown to unprecedented heights, while the real economy has stagnated.

Economic output in Europe, one of the central components of the global economy, has still not returned to the levels it attained in 2007. And, as the International Monetary Fund and other major economic bodies have pointed out, investment levels in the major capitalist countries—the key driver of the real economy—are at least 25 percent below pre-crisis levels, with no prospect of revival.

At the same time, Chinese economic growth is falling while so-called emerging markets, once held out as a new basis for global capitalist expansion, are experiencing lower growth or outright contraction amid fears of a major financial crisis if interest rates in the US begin to rise.

One day after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the World Socialist Web Sitespelled out its implications in an analysis that has in the intervening period been fully confirmed:

“A sea change is unfolding in the US and world economy that portends a catastrophe of dimensions not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s … These events are signposts in the historic failure of American and world capitalism. For the working class, they mean a rapid growth of unemployment, poverty, homelessness and social misery.”

In the immediate aftermath of the collapse, the leaders of the major capitalist powers pledged cooperation and collaboration as they tackled the crisis. Those commitments have long gone by the board, replaced by intensifying conflicts over control of markets, competitive currency devaluations and divergent policy measures.

As in the Depression of the 1930s, the capitalist breakdown has fuelled the drive to war in every part of the world. American imperialism, under the Obama administration, has intensified the drive to bring the vast Eurasian landmass and its economic resources under its control, launching a series of provocations against Russia in the West and making preparations for war against China in the East under the so-called “pivot to Asia.”

German imperialism has initiated a campaign to reassert its position as a global power, while the Japanese government of Prime Minister Abe is moving to do away with restrictions on military activity imposed under the post-war constitution.

In every country, the term “austerity” has become a by-word for deepening attacks on the working class amid rising inequality and social misery. As the wealth of the upper layers increases, wages decline and health care, education and other basic social services are targeted for endless cuts.

The bogus “war on terror” has become the justification for the shredding of fundamental democratic rights and the development of ever more authoritarian forms of rule. This is one of the clearest indications that the ruling classes themselves know they have no solution to the economic breakdown and are preparing to meet the social struggles it must produce with mass repression.

The past seven years of economic breakdown, coupled with the threat of world war, growing repression and poverty, and the creation of the largest number of refugees since World War II, testify to the historic bankruptcy of the capitalist system. That understanding must form the basis for the development of a political struggle of the international working class against war and in defence of social and democratic rights against the financial elites and their governments.

At an ongoing Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) summit in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, Vladimir Putin affirmed Russia’s support for Syria “against terrorist aggression. We assist it and will keep rendering necessary military-technical assistance,” he said.

He urged the international community to cooperate with Moscow and Syria in combating terrorism, adding:

(W)ithout participation of the Syrian army…against the Islamic State, terrorists cannot be expelled from the country and the region as a whole. The…Syrian people cannot be protected against destruction, enslavement and barbarity.

Putin urged cooperative international community efforts with Assad’s government, Kurdish militias, and moderate internal opposition elements against a common terrorist enemy.

“Elementary common sense and responsibility for global and regional security require concerted efforts of the international community against this threat,” he stressed.

Syria’s ambassador to Russia was clear and unequivocal, saying “(a)ny talk about the presence of Russian troops in Syria is a lie propagated by Western countries and the United States.”

We think that a new conspiracy is being plotted against our country to penetrate into our territory under the pretext of Russian troops’ presence.

Weapons are being supplied under the agreements that were signed between our countries rather long ago. As for Russia’s position, it is based on international law, on our sovereignty and territorial integrity.

We have been cooperating with Russia in various spheres, including the defense sector, for 30-40 years. Yes, we do receive weapons and military hardware.

Since the very beginning of the current developments in 2011 and up till now, we have to face terrorist groups that are relying on the help and support from outside.” (Washington and its anti-Syrian allies) call actions taken by terrorist groups, including murders, destruction, executions, seizure of property, ousting civilian population as manifestations of freedom and democracy building.

But as a matter of fact, they only sought to achieve a vile political goal -to bend Syria to the United States and those countries that support it.

US-led Western countries “are fighting not against but by means of the Islamic State,” actively supporting its terrorism.

Ending Obama’s war on Syria depends on observing earlier agreed on “Moscow principles,” including respecting Syrian sovereignty, its territorial integrity, the right of its people alone to choose who’ll lead them with no outside interference, and a unified struggle against imported terrorism.

Instead, Washington insists Assad must go, State Department spokesman Admiral John Kirby repeating the demand Monday, saying he “cannot be part of the solution against ISIL” – blaming him for US-imported terrorists devastating the country with US air support, adding:

(T)here’s not going to be any solution against ISIL that would involved assisting, aiding, cooperating with, communicating with Bashar al-Assad. It’s not going to happen.

Previous articles explained Washington uses imported Islamic State and other takfiri terrorists as proxy foot soldiers against Assad – aiming for regime change to install a US-controlled stooge government, pursuing the same objective globally, waging endless wars on humanity for unchallenged dominance.

Washington floods the Middle East with heavy weapons for naked aggression. Moscow justifiably helps arm Syria for self-defense against foreign invaders. There’s nothing civil about ongoing conflict.

Irresponsible Russia bashing remains intense. Accusations about sending troops to aid Assad are malicious Big Lies. No evidence exists to prove what The New York Times recklessly calls “an escalating buildup that could give Moscow its most significant military foothold in the Middle East in decades.”

Its source: unnamed “American officials,” no fact-checking to verify their claims, accepting willful lies as facts, saying Moscow may use a Syrian airfield “as a staging area for airstrikes in support of Syrian government forces.”

Russia openly admits supplying Syria with contractually agreed on weapons and military supplies. Sergey Lavrov explained “(t)hey are inevitably accompanied by Russian specialists, who help adjust the equipment and train Syrian personnel” on how to use what’s provided.

All countries supplying weapons and technology do the same thing. Washington and supportive media want Syria rendered increasingly defenseless and isolated.

Neocon Washington Post deputy editorial page editor Jackson Diehl headlined “Putin shifts fronts in Syria and Ukraine,” repeating the long ago discredited Big Lie about “Russian forces in eastern Ukraine ke(eping) up a daily drumbeat of attacks on the Ukrainian army.”

Now Putin is “shifting fronts” to Syria, he blustered. On the one hand, claiming “9,000 (nonexistent) regular troops (and) more than 30,000 (undefined) irregulars” in Ukraine.

On the other, ludicrously saying “Putin’s use of force…induce(d) the West to accept his Ukraine demands – and he is trying to repeat his triumph in a second theater.”

A litany or more Big Lies followed. Cold, hard truths are polar opposite Diehl’s duplicitous invective, typical of WaPo editorial reporting.

Wall Street Journal editors operate the same way. On September 13, they headlined “Putin’s Syria Play,” irresponsibly accusing him of intervening militarily to aid Assad.

Saying he won’t defeat ISIS but might save him, “giving Moscow a new sphere of influence in the Middle East.”

Journal editors urge establishing no-fly and “no-drive” zones on the ground – illegal without Security Council authorization not forthcoming.

Mostly, they want a hawkish Republican succeeding Obama in 2017 – to wage greater war on Syria and elsewhere than already, especially confronting Russia and China more aggressively.

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.”

Visit his blog site at

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

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


WARNING: This report contains some images readers may find distressing.

French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has reportedly published its own controversial take on the refugee and migration crisis.

A cartoon attributed to the publication and circulating on social media featuresdrowned Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi lying face down on a beach with the words “So close to his goal…” written above him.

In the background a McDonald’s-style Happy Meal Board states: “Two children’s menus for the price of one.”

charlie hebdo

Three-year-old Aylan drowned along with his brother and mother when the boat they were travelling from the Greek island of Kos to the Turkish town of Bodrum capsized.

The family fled after Islamic State militants advanced upon their home town of Kobane.


A Turkish gendarmerie soldier moves the body of Aylan Kurdi

aylan and galip kurdi

Aylan (left) and his older brother Galip (right), who also perished in the sea

Aylan (left) and his older brother Galip (right), who also perished in the sea

Another cartoon said to be from the same edition of the magazine is entitled The Proof that Europe is Christian and features a man believed to be Jesus standing on the surface of the ocean while a child’s legs’s (presumably meant to be Aylan’s) protrude from the water.

It says: “Christians walk on water… Muslim kids sink.”

charlie hebdo

The cartoons have been met with a mixed response.

Turkish newspaper The Daily Sabah claimed the images mock the drowned toddler.

Morocco World News concurred, accusing the publication of “hiding behind the freedom of speech.”

Indian channel Scoop Whoop wrote: “This isn’t the Charlie Hebdo we identified and stood in solidarity with earlier this year. Je ne suis pas Charlie (I’m not Charlie).”

Barrister Peter Herbert, who is Chair of the Society of Black Lawyers and former vice chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority, tweeted: “Charlie Hebdo is a purely racist, xenophobic and ideologically bankrupt publication that represents the moral decay of France.

The Society of Black Lawyers will consider reporting this as incitement to hate crime and persecution before the International Criminal Court.

Complaints are being left on the magazine’s Facebook page and Twitter users have criticised the images, describing them as “tasteless” and “disgusting.”

But some commenters say the cartoons are not mocking the dead child and are instead using the tragedy to ridicule Europe for not doing enough to prevent it.

The core of Charlie Hebdo’s staff were murdered in January when a gunman stormed its offices, igniting three days of bloodshed around Paris that left 17 victims dead.

The attacks ended when security forces killed both Charlie Hebdo gunmen —brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi — and an accomplice — Amedy Coulibaly — who killed a policewoman and later four hostages at a kosher grocery.

After the massacre the slogan Je Suis Charlie was adopted by supporters of freedom of speech and freedom of the press and trended worldwide in a gesture of support for the magazine.

The weekly publication has a history of drawing outrage across the Muslim world with crude cartoons of Islam’s holiest figure, resulting in the firebombing of its offices in 2011.

A year later, the magazine published more Muhammad drawings amid an uproar over an anti-Muslim film. The cartoons depicted Muhammad naked and in demeaning or pornographic poses. As outrage grew, the French government defended free speech even as it rebuked Charlie Hebdo for fanning tensions.

The BBC’s Credibility Crisis is Terminal

September 15th, 2015 by Ulson Gunnar

The BBC is seeking to establish a Russian version of its World Service. It claims it must do so to counter the well-funded “propaganda” of Russia’s RT. The UK Independent’s article, “BBC to face down Vladimir Putin with plan for new World Service Russian TV channel,” claims:

The BBC is proposing to set up a new World Service satellite news channel for Russian speakers, in a direct challenge to Russia Today, the Kremlin-funded television service found guilty of impartiality breaches. 

The World Service would expand services in Russia, North Korea, the Middle East and other territories where state-sponsored broadcasters are denying audiences an impartial and independent source of news.

The problem for the BBC is, however, that it already has a larger budget than RT, plus a half-century head-start. The problem is not about a lack of funding, it is about a lack of credibility, something all the money on Wall Street and London cannot buy.

Credibility is the New Currency 

There is an old adage that goes something like this: “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” For the media houses of Wall Street and London their “good reputation” wasn’t even really built up upon good deeds. Their reputation was built up upon endemic ignorance throughout the general public, fancy suits, and million-dollar studios. Reputation was built upon marketing, something Wall Street and London understand very well.

Marketing a cheap, faulty product is very similar to marketing lies. A cheap, faulty product is sold, profits are made and all before the customer realizes they have been cheated. Within a monopoly, even when the customer realizes they have been cheated, they have little choice but to be victimized by these hustlers again and again. While the Western media sells obvious lies to the public over and over again, for the decades following the advent of TV and radio, they held a monopoly over information giving their audiences few alternatives.

For the longest time those in the West enjoyed a monopoly. Compared to the clunky state propaganda of the Soviet Union, China or any given nation the West sought to undermine, the slick presentations of the Western media were unparalleled. Their ability to make state and corporate-run propaganda look “independent” was perhaps the most important illusion they created. The amount of investment and time needed to build and perfect the marketing of lies through a media industrial complex was something only the West could have done.

But times are changing. Technology, ever the great equalizer between those that have and those that have not, has granted even the smallest players (even single individuals) in the media the ability to reach millions of readers, viewers, or listeners. And as the playing field levels out, money and slick marketing is no longer as much of an advantage as it once was. The real and only meaningful advantage now is credibility.

Do your reports stand up to the test of time? Does something you claim today turn out to be the truth tomorrow? Do your reports contain actual information instead of spin dressed up as such? Do your reports smack of obvious bias, so much so that people seeking the truth don’t even bother reading them?

In the modern world of media, where everyone now has fancy suits and well-equipped studios, the quality and veracity of one’s content serves as the only distinguishing factor separating one outlet from another. People need accurate information to make sound decisions about their future. Deciding something based on a lie or obvious propaganda, can be disastrous, even deadly. If the BBC truly wanted to compete with RT, it should invest in its credibility, not simply expanding the reach of its discredited lies.

Winning the Information War 

For now, the truth suits Russia. In Ukraine, there really are Neo-Nazis running the government and marching in the streets, just as RT has said all along. The BBC is perhaps one of the few networks still refusing to admit as much, even as mobs flying fascist flags clash with the police in Kiev where injuries and even deaths are now taking place. When something is transpiring in front of the eyes of the world, and yet the BBC still refuses to accurately report on it, people turn elsewhere to understand what they are seeing. RT, for now, names names and sends readers, viewers and listeners to where they can get more, and more importantly, relevant information.

That could always change for RT. But the BBC along with the rest of the Western media should serve as an example and a warning to RT, and other national broadcasters working to break the West’s monopoly over the flow of information. However tempting it might be in the short-term to bend the truth, in the long term credibility is far more valuable than gold, harder to find, and harder to protect. Wall Street and London have all the “gold” in the world, yet with it, they find it impossible to acquire the credibility they need to get people to listen to their side of the story.

And ironically, credibility doesn’t really require any money at all to acquire. While having studios, channels, and well promoted websites helps increase exposure (something money can buy) any credibility associated with that exposure is acquired simply through the merit of the writers and reporters involved. The human quality of those involved in the information war is directly proportional to the amount of credibility any given network acquires. RT and others across the South and East should keep this lesson above all others close to heart.

They are winning the information war, and this is precisely why. The Independent fails to mention that despite what they claim are large sums of money by Russia invested into RT, that the BBC alone is still funded more. Taking into account that the BBC is just one of several massive media networks maintained by the West, all of whom coordinate their narratives, Western spending on media dwarfs that of Russia many times over.

The annual budget of RT is estimated to be approximately 300 million USD.  Compare that with the BBC’s World Service who alone is funded some 370 million USD while the US State Department’s Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) who manages Voice of America, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, and many others, receives annually 752 million USD. CNN alone consumes some 750 million USD annually. Then there are local “independent” media operations around the world funded directly by the US State Department through Freedom House, the National Endowment for Democracy, the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute.

The planet is essentially swimming in the lies of the US and UK. Clearly money and exposure is not their problem. Credibility is. The problem the US and UK face is that their joint enterprise upon planet Earth is predicated upon lying, deceiving and exploiting humanity. Telling the truth is not an option for them unless the basic premise they labor under was somehow changed. And because of that simple fact, their winning of the information war is not a possibility so long as their opponents use credibility rather than chronic deceit as their daily currency.

Ulson Gunnar, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

Where Is Our Jeremy Corbyn?

September 15th, 2015 by Chris Hedges

The politics of Jeremy Corbyn, elected by a landslide Saturday to lead Britain’s Labour Party after its defeat at the polls last May, are part of the global revolt against corporate tyranny. He had spent his long career as a pariah within his country’s political establishment. But because he held fast to the socialist ideals that defined the old Labour Party, he has risen untarnished out of the ash heap of neoliberalism. His integrity, as well as his fearlessness, offers a lesson to America’s self-identified left, which is long on rhetoric, preoccupied with accommodating the power elites—especially those in the Democratic Party—and very short on courage. 

I will not support a politician who sells out the Palestinians and panders to the Israel lobby any more than I will support a politician who refuses to confront the bloated military and arms industry or white supremacy and racial injustice. The Palestinian issue is not a tangential issue. It is an integral part of Americans’ efforts to dismantle our war machine, the neoliberal policies that see austerity and violence as the primary language for speaking to the rest of the world, and the corroding influence of money in the U.S. political system. Stand up to the masters of war and the Israel lobby and you will probably stand up to every other corporate and neoliberal force that is cannibalizing the United States. This is what leadership is about. It is about having a vision. And it is about fighting for that vision.

Corbyn, who supports negotiations with Hamas and Hezbollah and once invited members from those organizations to visit Parliament, has called for Israel’s leaders to be put on trial for war crimes against the Palestinians. He has expressed support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS) against Israel and the call for an arms embargo against that nation. He would scrap Britain’s Prevention of Terrorism Act, which, like the Patriot Act in the United States, has been used to target and harass Muslims. He wants the United Kingdom to withdraw from NATO. He cannot conceive of any situation, he has said, that would necessitate sending British troops abroad. He was a vocal opponent of the invasion and occupation of Iraq and a founder of the Stop the War Coalition. He denounced the United States for what he called its “assassination” of Osama bin Laden, saying the al-Qaida leader should have been captured and put on trial, and he assailed the British government for using militarized drones to kill two British jihadists in Syria in August. He advocates unilateral nuclear disarmament and has urged the elimination of Trident, his country’s nuclear weapons system. He opposes any British military intervention in Syria and wants to put pressure on “our supposed allies in the region”—read Saudi Arabia—that support Islamic State. He has called for talks with the leaders of warring factions in Iraq and Afghanistan to end the conflicts.

Jeremy Corbyn waves in London after he was elected the leader of the Labour Party on Saturday. (Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP)

“There is no solution to the killing and abuse of human rights [in the Middle East] that involves yet more Western military action,” Corbyn has written. “Ultimately there has to be a political solution in the region which bombing by NATO forces cannot bring about. The drama of the killings and advances by ISIS in the past few weeks is yet another result of the Bush-Blair war on terror since 2001. The victims of these wars are the refugees and those driven from their homes and the thousands of unknown civilians who have died and will continue to die in the region. The ‘winners’ are inevitably the arms manufacturers and those who gain from the natural resources of the region.”

Corbyn says he will back significantly increasing taxes on the wealthy and ending the unfair tax breaks of corporations. He is for imposing safeguards to protect those on welfare and instituting a “maximum wage” for corporate executives in order to fight “grotesque levels of inequality.” He would install widespread rent control to stop what he calls “social cleansing” caused by gentrification. He has called on the Bank of England to carry out what he terms a “People’s Quantitative Easing,” demanding it invest billions in housing, energy and other infrastructure projects. He supports the creation of a sanctuary in the Antarctic to prevent mining and oil drilling there. He opposes fracking. He calls for government investment to build renewable energy based on solar and wind, and “global regulation” to prevent the export of carbon products. And he would end the steps to privatize parts of his country’s universal health care system, known as the National Health Service.

As Labour veered to the right and became dominated by corporate money and neoliberalism under Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown—a process also carried out by the Democratic Party under Bill Clinton and Barack Obama—Corbyn became a rebel in his own party. Between 1997 and 2010, as a member of Parliament, where he has held a seat since 1983, he voted against bills or challenged positions championed by the “new” Labour Party leadership more than 500 times. Blair, who detests Corbyn, warned that if Labour backs Corbyn in the next election for prime minister (which is set for 2020 but can be held any time a no-confidence vote occurs in Parliament), it will face “annihilation” at the polls. Corbyn responded by suggesting that Blair should be prosecuted as a war criminal for his role in the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Corbyn, in the course of his roughly 40 years on the fringes of the British political establishment, has called for the abolition of the British monarchy and has described Karl Marx as “a fascinating figure who observed a great deal and from whom we can learn a great deal.” He wants to nationalize energy companies and renationalize the post office and the rail service. “Without exception, the majority electricity, gas, water and railway infrastructures of Britain were built through public investment since the end of WWII and were all privatised at knock-down prices for the benefit of greedy asset-strippers by the Thatcher and [John] Major-led Tory governments,” he wrote in a column for the Morning Star newspaper.

He has raised the possibility of the U.K. leaving the European Union, citing the EU’s draconian assault on the Greek people in the name of austerity. “Look at it another way,” Corbyn said. “If we allow unaccountable forces to destroy an economy like Greece, when all that bailout money isn’t going to the Greek people, it’s going to various banks all across Europe, then I think we need to think very, very carefully about what role they [the EU] are playing and what role we are playing in that.”

Corbyn has proposed a National Education Service that would, with increased taxes on corporations, provide free universal education starting with day care and going up through vocational schools, adult education programs and universities. He would abolish the British equivalent of charter schools and end the tax-exempt status of the elite private schools. He would bring back state funding for the arts. He issued a statement in August titled “The arts are for everyone not the few; there is creativity in all of us.” It is worth reading.

The arts community in the United States, like that in Britain, is in deep distress. Actors, dancers, musicians, sculptors, singers, painters, writers, poets and even journalists often cannot make a living. They have few spaces where they can perform or publish new work. And established theaters, desperate to make money to survive, produce tawdry spectacles or plays that are empty pieces of entertainment rather than art. The war on the arts has been one of the major contributions to the dumbing down of America. It shuts us off from our intellectual and artistic patrimony, contributing to our historical and cultural amnesia. The parallel removal of the arts from school curriculums, now dominated by vocational skills and standardized testing, has cemented into place a system in which Americans have been taught what to think, not how to think. Self-expression and creativity, disciplines that make possible self-awareness, transcendence and the capacity for reverence, are anathemas to the corporate state. The imposed dogma of neoliberalism must be unquestioned.

“Under the guise of a politically motivated austerity programme, this government has savaged arts funding with projects increasingly required to justify their artistic and social contributions in the narrow, ruthlessly instrumentalist approach of the Thatcher governments,” Corbyn wrote in the August statement. “During the 1980s, [then-Prime Minister Margaret] Thatcher sought to disempower the arts community, attempting to silence the provocative in favour of the populist. The current climate of Treasury value measurement methodologies (taken from practises used in the property market and elsewhere) to try to find mechanisms appropriate to calculating the value of visiting art galleries or the opera are a dangerous retreat into a callous commercialisation of every sphere of our lives. The result has been a devastating £82 million in cuts to the arts council budget over the last 5 years and the closure of the great majority of currently funded arts organisations, especially outside London.”

He went on:

Beyond the obvious economic and social benefits of the arts is the significant contribution to our communities, education, and democratic process they make. Studies have demonstrated the beneficial impact of drama studied at schools on the capacity of teenagers to communicate, learn, and to tolerate each other as well as on the likelihood that they will vote. The greater involvement of young people in the political process is something to be encouraged and celebrated. Further, the contribution and critique of our society and democracy which theatre has the capacity to offer must be protected. To quote David Lan, ‘dissent is necessary to democracy, and democratic governments should have an interest in preserving sites in which that dissent can be expressed.’

Corbyn says he would also reverse the government cuts that gutted the BBC. He understands that the destruction of public broadcasting, which is designed to give a platform to voices and artists not beholden to corporate money, means the rise of a corporate-dominated system of propaganda, one that now controls most of the U.S. airwaves.

“I firmly believe in the principle of public service broadcast and am fearful of following the path tread in the United States, where PBS has been hollowed out, unable to deliver the breadth of content to compete with the private broadcasters, and where Fox News has as a result been effectively allowed to dominate and set the news agenda,” he wrote. “I want to see the Labour Party at the heart of campaigns to protect the BBC and its license fee. When we [Labour] return to power we must fully fund public service broadcasting in all its forms, recognising the crucial role the BBC has played in establishing and supporting world class domestic arts, drama, and entertainment.”

Corbyn became a vegetarian at the age of 20 after working on a pig farm and witnessing the abuse, torture and slaughter of the animals. He champions animal rights. He does not own a car, bicycles almost everywhere and is notoriously frugal, usually filing the lowest expense of any member of Parliament. His favorite novelist is the late Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe, who wrote “Things Fall Apart,” an exploration of the destructive force of colonialism. Corbyn speaks fluent Spanish and comes from a left-wing family. (His parents met at a rally in support of the Republicans fighting Franco’s fascists during theSpanish Civil War.)

He is acutely aware of the problem of male violence against women. He would halt the government’s closure of domestic violence centers for women, fight discrimination against women in the workplace and bolster laws against sexual harassment and sexual assault. He says his Cabinet would be 50 percent women.

Corbyn’s ascent to the head of the Labour Party has already triggered a backlash against him by the forces of the neoliberal political order. These forces are determined to prevent him from becoming prime minister. The entrenched elites within his own party—a number of whom have already resigned from party leadership positions in protest of Corbyn’s election—will seek to do to him what the Democratic establishment did in 1972 to George McGovern after he won the party’s nomination. The rhetoric of fear has already begun. Prime Minister David Cameron on Sunday tweeted: “The Labour Party is now a threat to our national security, our economic security and your family’s security.” This battle will be ugly.

Corbyn, like Syriza in Greece and Podemos in Spain, is part of the new popular resistance that is rising up from the ruins of neoliberalism and globalization to fight the international banking system and American imperialism. We have yet to mount this battle effectively in the United States. But we, especially because we live in the heart of empire, have a special responsibility to defy the machine, held in place by the Democratic Party establishment, the war industry, Wall Street and groups such as the Israel lobby. We too must work to build a socialist nation. We may not win, but this fight is the only hope left to save ourselves from the predatory forces bent on the destruction of democracy and the ecosystem on which we depend for life. If the forces that oppose us triumph, we will have no future left.

Jeremy Corbyn, quo vadis?

Last week a new leader of the British Labour Party was chosen. Already the chimes can be heard from the belfries of thousands of Labour parishes, with coronation eulogies published in the journals of political dissent. The abdication of the Miliband dynasty would seem to herald the end of New Labour’s reign of terror begun when Thatcher acolyte, Anthony Charles Lynton Blair kissed hands in 1997.

One commentator has already ventured the fantasy of the “special relationship” led after 2016 by one Rt Hon J Corbyn and President Sanders.[1] Members of the Labour front bench, so-called shadow ministers as long as David Cameron’s royalists run the Treasury, have declared their refusal to serve under Jeremy Corbyn, now the elected leader of the party and MP for North Islington (a borough in Greater London).[2]

Jeremy Corbyn is the first member of the CND to lead the party since Michael Foot.[3] He has been a member of the Socialist Campaign Group, with which Tony Benn was also affiliated. Socialist Campaign Group broke from the Tribune group, which had been treated as the “extreme” Left of the party in the days of Harold Wilson’s government. He is widely identified as part of the traditional Left. His participation and membership in a wide range of organisations and movements goes back to his start as a union organiser in the 1970s.

Corbyn’s political consistency has been remarkable. Since the beginning of socialist and labour politics in Britain—as elsewhere—there has always been what outsiders would call a tendency to factionalism. The inherent authoritarianism of the Conservative Party (and its equivalents generally assures that differences of opinion are kept within the walls of the clubs their members frequent. Expulsions among the Establishment are usually for breach of decorum.[4] On the British Left, most expulsions have been based on the failure adequately to support imperialism or until 1989 any inclination to support communism—as defined by the ruling class. This led to divisions in the Labour Party (and the German Social Democratic Party) a century ago in the run up to the Great War.

Labour was again divided by the British elite’s policy toward Hitler and Stalin. After the defeat of the fascist Axis powers in 1945, the benchmark for Labour became unwavering loyalty to Washington.

A bankrupt British Empire had already mortgaged most of its defendable imperial interests (a euphemism for territories and markets under imperial control) to the US regime when Clement Atlee led the Labour Party to election victory in 1945 and again narrowly in 1950. While the US ruling class was planning the Cold War and jumpstarting its campaign to pre-empt the British and French in Asia, Atlee’s government soon came under pressure to submit to US domination.

This culminated in Atlee’s lightning visit to Washington to assure the US regime that Britain would mobilise the imperial reserve forces to support the US invasion of Korea.[5] The resulting arms build-up led to Aneurin Bevan’s resignation from the government.[6] As part of the US covert operations in post-war Britain, secret funding was provided to the group led by Hugh Gaitskell that soon became the dominant revisionist faction of the Labour Party.[7] Gaitskell loyalist Anthony Crosland’s The Future of Socialism became a bestseller and would form the bible of Labour’s ideological subordination to the US for decades.[8]

The “modernising” faction that followed Gaitskell brought Labour back to the “gradualist” form of socialism advocated by the Fabian Society and the position advocated by the German social democrats on the side of Eduard Bernstein.[9] The Fabian Society derived its name from that of Fabius Maximus, also known as Cunctator or “the delayer”. The legend is that he defended Rome against Hannibal by fighting a war of attrition, avoiding full force combat. Did the Fabians honour Fabius for defending Rome—so that it could become an empire? Did his tactics of meeting superior force with limited engagements impress them? Fabians and mainstream German Social Democrats both supported their respective country’s imperial politics, not least of which was the patriotic funding of the war machines. Fabianism substituted the means for the ends—precisely the error of which they accused full-blooded socialists, then and now.

Labour’s virtually unqualified commitment to the Atlantic Alliance was justified by the supposed changes in the social and political environment after the defeat of Axis fascism. Building upon the anti-Stalinism in the Labour Party that emerged after the defeat of the Spanish Republic and the Hitler-Stalin Pact, the anti-communist wing of the Labour Party was able to progressively isolate British socialists from the remainder of the international socialist movement. This condition was aggravated by Britain’s economic weakness (and indebtedness to US banks) after World War II. Bevan warned against the political consequences for Britain of following the US regime’s rearmament but the degree of British dependence on US benevolence was so great that only US protection would permit Britain to rebuild and avoid a return to massive pre-war levels of unemployment. The long process of relying upon the empire to supply Britain had led to enormous trade deficits and balance of payments problems that would culminate in the 1970s sterling crises and IMF intervention.

As long as the Soviet Union existed however, even the US regime grasped the necessity of accepting at least tamed socialism in Britain and Germany. The US regime could intervene more or less openly in Germany—as an occupying force—and was able to keep the Social Democrats out of government until 1969. In Britain another tactic was pursued since Labour was already in power when the war ended. When Labour lost in 1951, the Conservatives regained power under Churchill’s last government and remained until Labour recovered No. 10 in 1964. By that time virtually all of Britain’s empire had been dissolved.

Harold Wilson, who was originally aligned with the Bevan faction and had resigned from Atlee’s ministry at the same time, emerged from Oxford nonetheless in the technocratic model which had come to dominate Labour politics—as well as social democratic policy elsewhere. There was very little talk of nationalisation (Clause IV of the Labour Manifesto) or fundamental changes in the social and economic structure of the country.[10] Instead Wilson’s government worked within what could be called the Keynesian consensus that even the US regime had adopted as a means of funding its military-industrial expansion. Although Washington (and Britain’s SIS) treated Wilson as suspect, the Labour government successfully resisted agitation for nuclear disarmament or withdrawal from NATO. Wilson resisted demands that Britain contribute troops to the US war against Vietnam. However the capacity of Washington to influence politics in the Commonwealth was by no means dampened.[11]

Serious problems for the Wilson government had already begun with the 1973 “oil shock”. Putatively triggered by oil shortages and steep OPEC price hikes in the wake of the Yom Kippur War, the result of US Middle East policy was to create massive balance of payments problems throughout both its vassal states in Europe and the newly independent countries throughout the so-called Third World. This combined with the US regime’s unilateral abrogation of the Bretton Woods “gold” agreement was the first salvo in the global debt crisis that engulfed Britain too.[12] The collusion of the Seven Sisters forced the price of oil—denominated in US dollars—to record highs.[13] This had the (un)intended consequence of placing the US-dominated IMF and World Bank in the middle of global economic restructuring. It meant the end of most national development schemes in the former colonies and forced Britain to begin the process of de-socialising its economy that would culminate with the election of Margaret Thatcher in 1980.

Harold Wilson was succeeded by James Callaghan in 1976. Callaghan, who had been Wilson’s Chancellor of the Exchequer and Foreign Secretary, had to preside over the escalating destabilisation of the British economy. The manipulation of the oil market fuelled inflation while speculative attacks on sterling kept the government opposed to wage increases.[14] Descriptions of the “Winter of Discontent”, a repetition of the industrial action by organised labour that had helped bring down the Heath government in 1974, nearly all place the blame on the inability and unwillingness of the British labour force to adjust to “market forces”. However, the prevailing Keynesian economic policies of the time were all based on funding social infrastructure and wages in nationalised industries by debt sold to the private capital markets. The enforcement of IMF rules following the Yom Kippur War meant that even the modest proposals by Callaghan’s Energy and Industry Secretary Tony Benn for a more self-reliant economic policy were rejected.[15] Neither import controls nor restrictions on capital flows would have been accepted by the IMF from which the British government was trying to obtain a GBP 1 billion loan. While in the Third World this pressure was called “structural adjustment”, Washington relied upon Callaghan’s government to provide normal market rationale, while the strike waves were used to exhaust organised labour and antagonise Britain’s middle classes. This all prepared the way for Margaret Thatcher and outright war against British unions, nationalised industries and social services.

1980 brought the death knell to post-war social Keynesianism—which had always been military Keynesianism too. Margaret Thatcher became prime minister. Ronald Reagan was elected US president. Francois Mitterrand became French President in 1981 and in 1982 Helmut Kohl replaced Helmut Schmidt. In all the key Western states, governments were empowered to dismantle the employment-based policies that had preserved relatively high working class incomes and through increased access to education and social services had reduced the inequalities endemic to capitalism. Despite the apparent strengthening of the oil producers’ cartel OPEC, the actual impact of developments in the oil market had been to crush most of the Third World development programmes and the post-war commodity treaties that for the first time promised to give former colonies a stable and fair income for their exports.[16] The “oil crisis” became the soft power to defeat de-colonisation and labour movements throughout the world. It also should have highlighted the fundamental defect or deception of “modernised” socialism as propounded by the Labour Party.

But it didn’t. Instead the political warfare waged against the working classes, esp. non-whites, and emerging nations produced a generation of political leaders whose ideological roots lay in the corporate culture created and refined by the US regime. World War II turned the US not only into the richest imperial power but the primary educational and cultural venue, especially for exiled artists, academics, and other intellectuals. The war against the Soviet Union had made Russia an inhospitable place for all but the most committed socialists. Hence even European socialism was beholden to the US regime for its survival. The luxury of complete isolation from actual combat and the regime’s willingness to pamper exiles helped create cadres, who despite their reservations about US racism and its unhampered capitalism, returned home with new found faith, belief that the US was the beacon of progress. That also meant that European political movements came to be seen as obsolete, esp. given the apparent advantages of life in the US over that of a decimated Soviet Union ruled by Stalin.

The modernising or “gradualist” school of socialism had abandoned Marx. According to the post-war revisionists since capitalism had not collapsed, Marx must have been wrong. Since the Soviet Union had not been able to establish a classless society, Marxism-Leninism must be wrong. Since living conditions under capitalism had definitely improved for the working class in Europe and the US, socialism as a fundamental change in society was clearly unnecessary. Finally since even labour could elect representatives and form governments under capitalism, the theory of class struggle must be defective if not entirely false.

The establishment of what became known as the “welfare state” suggested that it was possible to resolve the contradictions between Capital and Labour that Marx had described. The US had created a state based on the ideology of individual liberty that appeared to be complementary to the true objectives of socialism. All of this too made traditional Left politics and Labour manifestos not only obsolete but embarrassing. When the 1973 oil shock threatened to bankrupt the “welfare state”, it was impossible for anyone to suggest that this had anything to do with capitalism.

A major reason for this conviction lay in the technocratic approach taken by the political leadership that introduced the post-war welfare state. Having reduced socialism to a branch of applied mathematics, Labour as well as other social democratic ideologues accepted two premises detrimental to the entire socialist project. The first was that economics is essentially a “natural science” governed by rational laws that merely have to be understood and applied. Already this conviction reveals a false understanding of Marx since Marx was arguing precisely against this idea, as is clear from the full title of his magnum opus: Capital “A Critique of Political Economy”. Marx objected strenuously to the assertion of classical “economic laws”. Capital is a refutation of those so-called laws that survive in what has come to be called the “neo-classical synthesis”.[17] The second premise is methodological individualism. Methodological individualism is basically a derivative of what has also been called “negative Romanticism”. Probably the best-known promoter of this ideology was Isaiah Berlin with his tract Two Concepts of Liberty (1958). Berlin, a privileged anti-Soviet aristocratic academic with an Oxford sinecure, preached endlessly that individual liberty was best seen as “negative”—the freedom not to do things. This was nothing more or less than a polemic against any kind of polity based upon empowerment. In the US the high priest of negative liberty was an obscure German scholar funded by the Rockefellers at their University of Chicago named Leo Strauss.[18] Strauss would only achieve notoriety with the public ascendancy of so-called neo-conservatives in the United States. However, the importance of Strauss and Berlin in the propagation of modern corporate psychological warfare doctrine cannot be overestimated.

By accepting economics as “natural science” even socialists became converted to a positivist theology antithetical not only to class struggle but also to an accurate critique of capitalism. By accepting the dogma of individualism, attacks on labour became endemic. The failure of the British economy was ascribed to inefficient labour not to capital structures and the power exercised by finance, i.e. international banking. The obvious limits to growth and consumption were defined as inevitable scientific processes. Labour was seen as a selfish obstacle to government or private sector adjustments. The obvious contradiction between a more productive labour force and increased unemployment was rationalised as worker or union inflexibility. The Labour Party had already begun the assault on unions before Margaret Thatcher reached No. 10. The corruption in union bureaucracies was certainly no greater than the licensed criminality of the City. However union corruption was equated with “collectivism” while City crimes were entrepreneurial.

Perhaps the extent of the problem can best be seen in the success of both Conservative and Labour governments at exploiting the legacy of British imperialism. In April 1982 Margaret Thatcher sent a fleet to the South Atlantic to wage war against Argentina and keep the Union Jack in the Falkland Islands. In March 2003, Tony Blair sent some 45,000 British troops to its former protectorate to help the US conquer Iraq. It took several years for the tears at the Cenotaph to dry and a weak consensus to emerge that Mr Blair’s deployment of British forces to Iraq make him a war criminal. Special relationships between Washington and London are maintained on both sides of the House. New Labour is simply the third generation of that incestuous combination between members of the Anglo-American elite and their pocket politicians. Years of sharing foreign policy—ultimately the policy of the City and Wall Street—have produced and maintain British subordination in domestic policy. While now there are more Labour voices willing to condemn the 2003 war, the campaign to protect opium production in Afghanistan receives less attention.

What does this mean for the new leader of the Parliamentary Labour Party? Mr Corbyn has been remarkably consistent in his opposition to Thatcherism—with or without a Labour-face—and to the central tenets of British post-war imperialism, e.g. the atomic arsenal and unprovoked aggression in terms of the UN Charter. He has won a leadership election with some 60% in a country that preserves multiple obstacles to democratic voting. There is certainly a noticeable euphoria after he won the contest against all odds. These are not aspects to be trivialised in an era where grassroots enthusiasm has been crushed by a combination of anti-democratic and narcotic forces.

However I am reminded of 1981. I sat with friends in Paris who were ecstatic. I had predicted that Giscard d’Estaing would defeat the PSF candidate Francoise Mitterrand—and I was wrong. It was not my lack of enthusiasm for socialism but my sense of sobriety in appraising electoral processes. Accustomed to the deep conservatism and corruption of the US electoral system, I was sure that the French would not be allowed to elect a socialist. Mitterrand was elected and everyone I knew thought a new day had dawned in France. One of the first measures the new government announced was abolition of the death penalty—long overdue and welcome. However, by the time of the first cohabitation in 1986, I had begun to wonder if the Socialists had really won the election.

One of the factors that contributed to the victory of New Labour—aside from the exhaustion of the Conservative Party in its last laps under John Major—was the importation of US public relations – electoral campaigning style. The same focus groups that placed Bill Clinton with saxophone in the White House—and were developed to sell every other product under the sun—were introduced to Tony Blair’s campaign. The British general election took another step toward Americanisation—the election of a prime minister with a brand instead of a party with a programme. This trend continues because it is the main marketing and propaganda strategy for Anglo-American corporations—who ultimately make what becomes government policy.

Jeremy Corbyn will have to face this monster, not only in the House of Commons but also in the mass media and the Internet. He will have to face the decades of Anglo-American political and economic incest, not that only manifested in the past century’s wedding of US plutocracy with British aristocracy. He will have to face the overarching military control over Europe exercised through the NATO command structure. Not least of which he will have to contend with the power of Finance Capital, entrenched in multi-national corporations and their “independent” agents, the central banks and multilateral banks—IMF, BIS, World Bank et al.

To do this it will be necessary to sandblast the layers of deception that make “markets” seem natural and rational while presenting human needs as irrational and even irrelevant. To do this will undoubtedly create conflict with Britain’s liege-lord, the US.

As the post-war era has proven, the British ruling class has no loyalty to ordinary Britons that it is not willing to sacrifice to international profitability. The irrational and ultimately unnatural political economy imposed by Britain’s rulers—against which the Germans Marx and Engels first systematically preached—is the religious fanaticism and terrorism that a revived Labour Party needs to oppose.


[1] Oliver Tickell, “Victory! Corbyn’s Political Earthquake Will Resound Long and Deep”, The Ecologist, 12 September 2015, “This raises the prospect of what would until today have looked impossible: a trans-Atlantic green and socialist alliance of Jeremy Corbyn and President Sanders.”

[2] Patrick Wintour, Nicholas Watt, “Labour Frontbenchers Rule Out Serving in Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet”, The Guardian, 12 Saturday 2015. Ed Miliband, Rachel Reeves, Emma Reynolds, Tristram Hunt, Liz Kendall, and Yvette Cooper all have stated they would not serve in Corbyn’s shadow cabinet.

[3] Michael Foot led the Labour party from 1980 – 1983. After he was elected the right-wing “Gaitskell” faction, the so-called “Gang of Four” including Roy Jenkins left the party to form the Social Democrats—merged in 1988 to form what is now called the Liberal Democratic Party, in coalition with David Cameron’s Conservatives.

[4] Edward Heath dismissed the Conservative and Unionist Party MP Enoch Powell from his shadow defence portfolio after Powell’s infamous 1968 “Rivers of Blood” speech on immigration. Needless to say his words were deemed inflammatory in Birmingham but not necessarily in the Carlton Club. The patron saint of 20th century (and Thatcherite) British imperialism, Winston Churchill routinely attacked non-whites in his private remarks.

[5] See inter alia, the film Korea: The Unknown War (1988) for discussion of Atlee’s decision.

[6] Rt Hon Aneurin Bevan, MP for Ebbw Vale (Wales) had been Minister of Health and then Minister of Labour and National Service under Atlee. He resigned in April 1951 in protest over the defence budget which Hugh Gaitskell tabled and would have funded Britain’s contribution to the war against Korea with some GBP 1 billion from the National Health system. Bevan is considered to be the founder of Britain’s National Health Service. See Bevan’s resignation speech of 23 April 1951.

[7] Richard Fletcher, “How CIA Money Took the Teeth Out of British Socialism” in Philip Agee and Louis Wolf, Dirty Work: The CIA in Western Europe (1978).

[8] C A R (Anthony) Crosland, The Future of Socialism (1956) For an interesting discussion of the implications of Crosland’s work on the Labour Party see: Asad Haider and Salar Mohandesi, “Is there a Future for Socialism”, in Jacobin (13 Sep 2015) and Patrick Seyd, review of 1980 edition and books by David Owen, Shirley Williams etc. Marxism Today (Nov 1981)

[9] Eduard Bernstein’s principal opponent was Rosa Luxemburg. The split between the two tendencies led to the formation of the Independent Social Democrats (USPD), which ultimately became the Communist Party in Germany.

[10] Clause IV of the Labour Manifesto (1918) included:

To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service.

Hugh Gaitskell tried unsuccessfully to have Clause IV removed by the party conference in 1959. Tony Blair persuaded a special party conference in 1995 to adopt a Clause IV in which any mention of nationalisation was omitted.

[11] In 1975 the CIA engineered the dismissal of Australian Labour Party prime minister Geoff Whitlam by HM Governor General Kerr in order to install a government more sympathetic to its imperial policies in the Asia-Pacific region.

[12] In 1971 Richard Nixon abrogated dollar – gold convertibility and the system of fixed exchange rates under the Bretton Woods agreements, this essentially exposed national currencies to free float and hence market speculation. This move by the US regime was intended to compensate for the inflation that had been created by its non-stop war economy since 1945. The introduction of floating exchange rates undermined virtually any type of government economic policy relying on exchange rate fixing. The decision stopped foreign claims on US gold reserves. However key commodities, especially crude oil, denominated in dollars, maintained the demand for the US currency, now no longer available at predictable rates.

[13] Seven Sisters, a term used inter alias by Anthony Sampson (The Seven Sisters, 1975) to refer to the then seven major global oil companies: British Petroleum, Royal Dutch Shell, Esso, Mobil, Texaco, Chevron, Gulf. Together these six corporations control the world oil market primarily through cartel arrangements that regulate the supply and price of oil at every stage of production from wellhead to filling station. Esso, Mobil and Chevron were all part of Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Trust. Meanwhile Esso and Mobil are combined as ExxonMobil. For a detailed history of the oil companies and the control of the oil market see John M. Blair, The Control of Oil, 1976. In particular Blair shows that there was in fact no oil shortage during the Yom Kippur War since the majors had already drawn very substantial volumes of oil from their Middle East sources prior to the war. In other words the supplies were withheld in the knowledge that the war would provide a pretext for massive price hikes. P. 266 et seq.

[14] Currency speculation has been a chronic disease since the abolition of fixed exchange rates and the concentration of all monetary policy in the hands of semi-private central banks. Even sterling, as one of the City’s privileged currencies has not been immune from rabid market manipulation for private profit. George Soros—naively admired for his Open Society projects—sucked a billion pounds in booty from his short selling of sterling in 1992. Black Wednesday (16 September 1992) was notorious because it forced Britain to withdraw from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism and induced the British Treasury to waste enormous amounts of money stabilising the exchange rate. The unwillingness or inability to restrain even such blatant plundering of national economies continues to oppress the working classes (including the unemployed) to this day. Goldman Sachs, together with its alumni scattered throughout the governing boards of Europe’s central banks, has been committing similar violence against the inhabitants of the Euro Zone.

[15] See e.g. Limited Circular Annex CM-76-35th Conclusions, 1 December 1976, Cabinet Office. This is one of several top secret Cabinet documents on the status of IMF negotiations, meanwhile declassified.

[16] In the course of de-colonisation, a number of international agreements were concluded under the auspices of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). These included the General System of Preferences, International Sugar Agreement etc. that were aimed at guaranteeing prices for producing countries and thus stable export incomes. US policy had been to undermine the effectiveness of these agreements, e.g. by obstructing UNCTAD work and focussing on GATT (now the US-controlled World Trade Organisation), which was more vulnerable to US influence.

[17] The term neo-classical synthesis is favoured by the cardinal-canon of Establishment economics, Paul Samuelson. Although Samuelson (Economics, 1948) is often presented as the opponent of monetarism as associated with Milton Friedman, both actually promoted complementary economic apologies for post-war capitalism. Key to the theories of both Friedman and Samuelson is the assumption of general equilibrium, the notion that the economy is a rational and natural system that if left untouched by human hands tends to produce price and employment stability. What both refer to as the “natural level of unemployment” is however simply the degree to which Capital dominates the labour supply.

[18] Leo Strauss (1899 – 1973), professor of political science at the University of Chicago for most of his career. A 1932 fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation saved him for neo-conservative/ liberal posterity. He was essentially the political science pendant to Milton Friedman in economics and drew the same kind of students.

Washington apoia e financia o EIIL. Moscovo apoia a Síria contra o EIIL

September 15th, 2015 by Prof Michel Chossudovsky

A PressTV questionou Michel Chossudovsky, do Centro de Estudos sobre a Globalização, para falar acerca da decisão da Rússia em abastecer Damasco com provisões militares e apoio humanitário.

Abaixo encontra-se a transcrição dessa entrevista.

A versão vídeo encontra-se aqui

PressTV – A Rússia fez um apelo ao mundo para que se unisse e auxiliasse o governo sírio no combate contra os terroristas do EIIL, apelo este que parece ter caído em orelhas moucas pelo menos em Washington. Em vez disso, temos o presidente dos EUA a afirmar que a estratégia de Moscovo na Síria está destinada a falhar. Colocam-se aqui duas questões: primeiro, a que estratégia russa tanto se opõe o Ocidente? E segundo: porque se preocupa tanto o Ocidente com aquilo que apoda ser uma escalada da presença russa na Síria?

Chossudovsky: Antes de mais há que distinguir:

- Por um lado entre os actos de agressão por parte dos EUA contra um Estado soberano ao abrigo de um “mandato humanitário” ou “de ir atrás” do EIIL, quando na realidade sabemos – e encontra-se amplamente documentado – que o EIIL é apoiado e financiado pelos Estados Unidos e pelos seus aliados;

- Por outro lado, aquilo que podemos descrever como sendo uma cooperação militar bilateral entre dois Estados soberanos, nomeadamente a Síria e a Federação da Rússia. Isso é algo que já vem a decorrer há muitos anos entre os dois países.

A Rússia tem uma base naval no Mediterrâneo e providenciou à Síria o seu sistema de defesa aérea, o S-300, e tem colaborado noutras áreas focando principalmente treinamento, sistemas de armas e por aí fora. Não creio que isso implique seja de que modo for o destacamento de tropas no terreno. Isso não irá acontecer. E não constitui qualquer novidade; tal faz parte da longa relação já existente entre estes dois governos.

No que diz respeito a Obama, trata-se de uma afirmação um tanto ou quando diabólica. Desde Setembro do ano passado – e celebramos agora o primeiro aniversário dos “bombardeamentos humanitários dos EUA contra o Iraque e a Síria” – que houve 53.000 incursões aéreas (de acordo com os dados oficiais) das quais só 6.700 foram “incursões de ataque”.

Eu suspeitaria que a maior parte dessas 53.000 incursões na realidade tiveram o objectivo de entregar armas e mantimentos ao EIIL (EIIS), a infantaria da aliança militar ocidental que combate as forças do governo sírio.

PressTV – Quão suspeito lhe parece o aumento do número de países que, subitamente, se demonstram ansiosos para se unirem aos raides aéreos dos EUA em solo sírio?

Chossudovsky: Já sabemos que os Estados Unidos sempre fizeram uso da estratégia da cooptação no que toca aos seus alegados aliados e, em alguns casos, aos seus Estados fiduciários para que desempenhem o trabalho sujo nos teatros de guerra e contam agora com o apoio da Arábia Saudita, Qatar; contam também com os seus aliados europeus e com o Canadá.

Creio que os líderes desses países, as ditas democracias ocidentais, têm que levantar esta questão: quem é que estamos a apoiar?

Estão a apoiar os terroristas, é claro e óbvio. As incursões de ataques aéreos dirigidas contra a Síria não têm por alvo o EIIL.

O EIIL é um instrumento do governo dos EUA, é uma entidade associada à al-Qaeda.

Costumavam utilizar o nome de al-Qaeda no Iraque e há muito que são uma tradição dos serviços secretos dos Estados Unidos. Os serviços secretos dos EUA apoiam os “jihadistas” e as organizações associadas à al-Qaeda. Muitos dos [membros do] EILL são na realidade ex-membros do Grupo de Combate Islâmico da Líbia (GCIL), mercenários que se juntaram agora ao EIIL e – como bem recordamos – esses mercenários também foram apoiados pelos Estados Unidos e pela OTAN.

Tradução :


FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Veteran Intelligence Professionals Challenge CIA’s “Rebuttal” on Torture

Former CIA leaders responsible for allowing torture to become part of the 21st Century legacy of the CIA are trying to rehabilitate their tarnished reputations with the release of a new book, Rebuttal: The CIA Responds to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Study of Its Detention and Interrogation Program. They are pushing the lie that the only allegations against them are from a partisan report issued by Democrats from the Senate Intelligence Committee.

President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney receive an Oval Office briefing from CIA Director George Tenet. Also present is Chief of Staff Andy Card (on right). (White House photo)

We recall the answer of General John Kimmons, the former Deputy Director of Operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who was asked if good intelligence could be obtained from abusive practices. He replied: “I am absolutely convinced the answer to your first question is no. No good intelligence is going to come from abusive practices. I think history tells us that. I think the empirical evidence of the last five years, hard years, tell us that.”

But the allegation that the CIA leaders were negligent and guilty was not the work of an isolated group of partisan Democrat Senators. The Senate Intelligence report on torture enjoyed bipartisan support. Senator John McCain, for example, whose own encounter with torture in North Vietnamese prisons scarred him physically and emotionally, embraced and endorsed the work of Senator Feinstein. It was only a small group of intransigent Republicans, led by Saxby Chambliss, who obstructed the work of the Senate Intel Committee.

Indeed, some of us witnessed firsthand during the administration of President George W. Bush that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence were virtually paralyzed from conducting any meaningful oversight of the CIA and the U.S. Intelligence Community by the Republican members of these committees. Instead, they pursued the clear objective of protecting the Bush administration from any criticism for engaging in torture during the “War on Terror.”

It is curious that our former colleagues stridently denounce the work of the Senate Intelligence Committee but are mute with respect to an equally damning report from the CIA’s own inspector general, John Helgerson, in 2004.

Helgerson’s report, “Counterterrorism Detention and Interrogation Activities (September 2001-October 2003),” was published on May 7, 2004, and classified Top Secret. That report alone is damning of the CIA leadership and it is important to remind all about the specifics of those conclusions. According to the CIA’s own inspector general:

–The Agency’s detention and interrogation of terrorists has provided intelligence that has enabled the identification and apprehension of other terrorists and warned of terrorist plots planned in the United States and around the world. . . . The effectiveness of particular interrogation techniques in eliciting information that might not otherwise have been obtained cannot be so easily measured however.

–In addition, some Agency officials are aware of interrogation activities that were outside or beyond the scope of the written DOJ opinion. Officers are concerned that future public revelation of the CTC Program is inevitable and will seriously damage Agency officers’ personal reputations, as well as the reputation and effectiveness of the Agency itself.

–By distinction the Agency-especially in the early months of the Program-failed to provide adequate staffing, guidance, and support to those involved with the detention and interrogation of detainees . . .

–The Agency failed to issue in a timely manner comprehensive written guidelines for detention and interrogation activities. . . .Such written guidance as does exist . . . is inadequate.

–During the interrogation of two detainees, the waterboard was used in a manner inconsistent with the written DOJ legal opinion of 1 August 2002.

–Agency officers report that reliance on analytical assessments that were unsupported by credible intelligence may have resulted in the application of EITs without justification.

The CIA’s Inspector General makes it very clear that there was a failure by the CIA leaders, who include Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet, Deputy Director of Central Intelligence John McLaughlin, Counter Terrorism Center Chief Cofer Black, Counter Terrorism Center Chief Jose Rodriguez and the Director Directorate of Operations James L. Pavitt. Lack of proper guidance and oversight created fertile soil for subsequent abuses and these men were guilty of failing to properly do their jobs.

We do not have to rely solely on the report of the CIA’s Inspector General. In addition, the Report by the Senate Armed Services Committee on Detainee Treatment reached the same conclusions about the origins, evils, harm to U.S. policy and intelligence collection of “enhanced interrogation,” a euphemism for “torture” first used by Nazi Germany during World War II.

Indeed, all independent analyses of the enhanced interrogation program have concluded it constituted torture, was ineffective, and contrary to all American laws, ideals, and intelligence practices. [Background herehere and here.]  We also have the testimony and record of Ali Soufan, an Arabic-speaking FBI Agent, who was involved with several interrogations before torture was used and who achieved substantive results without violating international law.

The sworn testimony of FBI Agent Ali Soufan, who is the only U.S. Government employee to testify under oath on these matters, completely contradicts the authors of Rebuttal:

In the middle of my interrogation of the high-ranking terrorist Abu Zubaydah at a black-site prison 12 years ago, my intelligence work wasn’t just cut short for so-called enhanced interrogation techniques to begin. After I left the black site, those who took over left, too – for 47 days. For personal time and to ‘confer with headquarters’.

For nearly the entire summer of 2002, Abu Zubaydah was kept in isolation. That was valuable lost time, and that doesn’t square with claims about the ‘ticking bomb scenarios’ that were the basis for America’s enhanced interrogation program, or with the commitment to getting life-saving, actionable intelligence from valuable detainees. The techniques were justified by those who said Zubaydah ‘stopped all cooperation’ around the time my fellow FBI agent and I left. If Zubaydah was in isolation the whole time, that’s not really a surprise.

One of the hardest things we struggled to make sense of, back then, was why U.S. officials were authorizing harsh techniques when our interrogations were working and their harsh techniques weren’t. The answer, as the long-awaited Senate Intelligence Committee Report now makes clear, is that the architects of the program were taking credit for our success, from the unmasking of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as the mastermind of 9/11 to the uncovering of the ‘dirty bomber’ Jose Padilla. The claims made by government officials for years about the efficacy of ‘enhanced interrogation’, in secret memos and in public, are false. ‘Enhanced interrogation’ doesn’t work.

The former CIA officers who have collaborated on this latest attempt to whitewash the historical record that they embraced and facilitated torture by Americans, are counting on the laziness of the press and the American public. As long as no one takes time to actually read the extensively footnoted and documented report by the Senate Intelligence Committee, then it is easy to buy into the fantasy that the CIA officers are simply victims of a political vendetta.

These officers are also counting on a segment of the American people – repeatedly identified in polling results – that continues to believe torture works. Such people have no proof that it works (because there is none that it works consistently and effectively), they simply believe it instinctively or because of people such as this book’s authors’ arguments to that effect.

That is why it is so important that the truth be told and this book and its arguments be debunked. Americans must learn the realities of torture – that it rarely if ever works, that it dehumanizes the torturer as well as the tortured, that it increases the numbers and hostility of our opponents while providing no benefit, and that it seriously diminishes America’s reputation in the world and thus its power.  Torture is wrong and the men who wrote this book are wrong.

The book, Rebuttal, is a new incarnation of the lie extolling the efficacy of torture. In the immediate aftermath of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, a time of perceived crisis and palpable fear, the leaders of the CIA decided to ignore international and domestic law. They chose to discard the moral foundations of our Republic and, using the same justifications that authoritarian regimes have employed for attacking enemies, and embarked willingly on a course of action that embraced practices that in earlier times the United States had condemned and punished as a violation of U.S. laws and fundamental human rights.

As former intelligence officers, we are compelled by conscience to denounce the actions and words of our former colleagues. In their minds they have found a way to rationalize and justify torture. We say there is no excuse; there is no justification. The heart of good intelligence work — whether collection or analysis — is based in the pursuit of truth, not the fabrication of a lie.

It is to this end that we reiterate that no threat, no matter how grave, should serve to justify inhuman behavior and immoral conduct or torture conducted by Americans.

For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

Fulton Armstrong, National Intelligence Officer for Latin America (ret.)

William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)

Tony Camerino, former Air Force and Air Force Reserves, a senior interrogator in Iraq and author ofHow to Break a Terrorist under pseudonym Matthew Alexander

Thomas Drake, former Senior Executive, NSA

Daniel Ellsberg, former State Department and Defense Department Official (VIPS Associate)

Philip Giraldi, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.)

Matthew Hoh, former Capt., USMC, Iraq & Foreign Service Officer, Afghanistan (associate VIPS)

Larry C Johnson, CIA & State Department (ret.)

Michael S. Kearns, Captain, USAF Intelligence Agency (Retired), ex Master SERE Instructor

John Kiriakou, Former CIA Counterterrorism Officer

Karen Kwiatkowski, Lt. Col., US Air Force (ret.)

Edward Loomis, NSA, Cryptologic Computer Scientist (ret.)

David MacMichael, National Intelligence Council (ret.)

James Marcinkowski, Attorney, former CIA Operations Officer

Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst (ret.)

Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East (ret.)

Todd Pierce, MAJ, US Army Judge Advocate (ret.)

Scott Ritter, former Maj., USMC, former UN Weapon Inspector, Iraq

Coleen Rowley, Division Counsel & Special Agent, FBI (ret.)

Ali Soufan, former FBI Special Agent

Peter Van Buren, U.S. Department of State, Foreign Service Officer (ret.) (associate VIPS)

Lawrence Wilkerson, Colonel (USA, ret.), Distinguished Visiting Professor, College of William and Mary

Valerie Plame Wilson, CIA Operations Officer (ret.)

Ann Wright, U.S. Army Reserve Colonel (ret) and former U.S. Diplomat

U.S.-backed Forces in Yemen Escalate Airstrikes

September 15th, 2015 by Abayomi Azikiwe

Western news reports begin to highlight genocidal war. 

A coalition of Washington-backed armies led by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has escalated their bombing raids on civilian areas in Yemen.

Neighborhoods, hospitals, mosques, factories, ports and other locations were hit during the last week. Dozens of people were killed in the airstrikes which are becoming more vicious in the aftermath of the deaths of over 50 troops operating on the ground from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Since the beginning of the Saudi-GCC air war against Yemen at least 4,000 people have been killed and tens of thousands injured. Four million Yemeni people have been forced to leave their homes while humanitarian assistance is almost impossible in light of the lack of security as well as the destruction of transport facilities and ports.

A leading news story in the New York Times on Sunday September 13 exposed a war that has been largely hidden from the public view in the United States. Also the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on September 11 featured a detailed report on the bombing of a bottled water factory which the U.S.-backed forces claimed was a munitions production facility.

Taking a camera crew to the destroyed plant located in an arid region of the country, Gabriel Gatehouse, a journalist for the BBC, reported that there was no indication that any capability for the manufacture of bombs existed at the location. British warplanes and bombs are being utilized in the air strikes along with those supplied by the U.S. defense industry.

This report brought to hundreds of millions in Europe and internationally the scale of the war being directed against the people of Yemen under the guise of fighting the Ansurallah Movement (Houthis), who the West claims is being supported by the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Ansurallah are a Shiite-led movement which has allied itself with the supporters of the former government of Abduallah Ali Saleh, who left office amid massive protest during the early months of 2011.

The New York Times article written by Kareem Fahim begins with a glimpse of the proprietor of the water bottling plant saying he was “Standing among the strewn bottles, smoldering boxes and pulverized machines a few days after the airstrike here, the owner, Ibrahim al-Razoom, searched in vain for any possible reason that warplanes from a Saudi-led military coalition would have attacked the place. Nothing in the ruins suggested the factory was used for making bombs, as a coalition spokesman had claimed. And it was far from any military facility that would explain the strike as a tragic mistake: For miles around, there was nothing but desert scrub. ’It never occurred to me that this would be hit,’ Mr. Razoom said.”

This same article went on to observe that the war “Rather than turning more Yemenis against the Houthis, though, the strikes are crystallizing anger in parts of the country against Saudi Arabia and its partners, including the United States. The Obama administration has provided military intelligence and logistical assistance to the coalition, and American weapons have been widely used in the air campaign. Human Rights Watch has found American-manufactured cluster munitions in the fields of Yemeni farmers. Near the site of airstrikes that killed 11 people in a mosque, researchers with Amnesty International saw an unexploded, 1,000-pound American bomb. The United States is finalizing a deal to provide more weapons to Saudi Arabia, including missiles for its F-15 fighter jets.”

Ansurallah fighters took control of the capital of the country of Saana a year ago and had extended its influence as far south as the port city of Aden. A relentless bombing operation since March 26 utilizing U.S. fighter jets, bombs, intelligence coordination and refueling technology has destroyed large swaths of Yemeni territory.

The intervention of ground forces from Saudi Arabia and the UAE and possibly other allied states has driven the Ansurallah out of Aden and other southern cities. Clashes in the central region of the country have caused a spike in casualties along with the bombing of residential areas in Saana, destroying areas surrounding the university campus as well as historic sites in the Old City.

Conservative British MP Threatens the BBC Over Yemen Report

Although the BBC is a state-owned media outlet its views often reflect those of the British ruling class and their allies in the imperialist countries. Typically the network’s coverage of developments in the Middle East, Africa and Asia provide a rationale for the rapacious policies of the U.S. in fostering militarism and consequent dislocation and social chaos.

With such a critical report airing over a television program which is seen across the world, it could awaken many within the industrialized states and the oppressed nations as to the actual character of the war in Yemen. Therefore it was not surprising that a leading member of parliament launched a frontal attack over the BBC decrying the report coming out of Yemen related to the bombing of the water bottling facility.

Conservative MP Daniel Kawczynski, who chairs the all-party parliamentary committee on Saudi Arabia was a featured guest over the BBC where he said “I fundamentally dispute your coverage of the entire situation in Yemen. You and Newsnight are trying to peddle a completely false prospectus to the British people of the situation on the ground,” he stressed.

Kawczynski went on to say of the network that “You have an agenda against the Gulf States coalition and you want to peddle a myth that only one side is responsible for atrocities. The BBC and Newsnight are acting in a completely disgraceful way.”

Such a statement made over the World Service can only be perceived as a threat against the network. Investigations and firings have taken place related to reporting on previous wars particularly the decision to intervene alongside the U.S. in Iraq during March 2003.

Such a tone by a Conservative Party official illustrates that the dominant group within the British government are not prepared to debate its foreign policy in Yemen and other states within the region. Defending the Gulf monarchies in a proxy war waged by the Pentagon and White House against the poorest country in the Middle East speaks volumes about the political character of the West’s posture towards the situation inside Yemen.

Inside the U.S. there is almost no information in the corporate media about the war against Yemen despite the central role being played by the Obama administration. The issue has not been raised at all during the course of the debates and statements made in association with the 2016 presidential campaign by either political party.

These issues must be raised by the antiwar and social justice movements in the U.S. and Western Europe. Imperialist foreign policy towards the Middle East has proven to be an unmitigated disaster with death and destruction reigning from the streets of Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Libya to the Mediterranean Sea, right into Southern and Eastern Europe.

Resources utilized to conduct these wars of regime-change and genocide against peoples internationally not only drain resources from the workers and oppressed in the imperialist states but also heightens the necessity of repressive measures inside these industrialized countries as the world has seen in Ferguson, Baltimore, New York and other cities where mass demonstrations against national oppression, racism and political repression have been met with police violence and mass incarceration.

At the same time, the ousted former President Hadi has stated that he is willing to declare a ceasefire if the Ansurallah (Houthis) withdraw from territory they have taken over the last year including the capital of Saana. On Friday the old city of Sanaa was bombed extensively killing women, children and seniors. Historic buildings were destroyed using warplanes and ordinances made and supplied by the Pentagon and NATO countries.

Divided continent imperils the future of millions from oppressed nations

Hungarian officials have again threatened migrants from the Middle East, Africa and Asia with imprisonment if they continue to cross their borders or refuse to abide by repressive treatment.

Budapest says that it completed a fence across its border with Serbia to halt the flow of migrants into the country. Hungarian officials also indicated that they would prevent migrants from entering on the trains.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that Budapest was shipping thousands of migrants and refugees to the border with Austria making it appear that they will no longer register them. Hungary spokesman for the UNHCR Regional Representation for Central Europe, Erno Simon, said, “Our information is that special trains are taking migrants from Roszke (train) station directly without stopping until the Austrian border.” (Telegraph, UK, September 14)

Migrants have been horded into makeshift detention areas where they face overcrowding and constant harassment and brutality from the police. These scenes illustrated the horrendous conditions under which tens of thousands are living in search of refuge in Southern, Eastern and Northern Europe over the last few weeks.

A British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) article noted that “Footage has emerged of migrants being thrown bags of food at a Hungarian camp near the border with Serbia. An Austrian woman who shot the video said the migrants were being treated like animals”. (September 11)

The New York based Human Rights Watch’s emergency director said people were being held like “cattle in pens”. Officials in Hungary responded by saying they are investigating the recorded incidents at the camp in Roszke.

“The detainees at Roszke are held in filthy, overcrowded conditions, hungry and lacking medical care,” noted Peter Bouckaert, HRW Emergencies Director. Bouckaert cited video footage and extensive interviews conducted with people who had journeyed through the camp or were still living there.

Nonetheless, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban lauded the police for responding with restraint against what he called “rebellious migrants” and threatened to take more repressive measures. His country has been one of the most outspoken in opposition to allowing migrants passage through EU countries which was ostensibly guaranteed in a treaty signed several years ago by member-states.

Orban told journalists “Considering that we are facing a rebellion by illegal migrants, police have done their job in a remarkable way, without using force.” The prime minister said this after conferring with Manfred Weber, who is the chairman of the European People’s Party in the EU Parliament. (, September 11)

He went on to say “They seized railway stations, rejected giving fingerprints, failed to cooperate and are unwilling to go to places where they would get food, water, accommodation and medical care …. They rebelled against Hungary’s legal order. From the 15th, Hungarian authorities cannot be forgiving of illegal border crossing.”

These developments were taking place while the European Union (EU) interior ministers were holding an emergency meeting in Brussels, Belgium in an effort to determine a coordinated policy of processing and integrating the migrants. In response to the influx of hundreds of thousands of people from the Middle East, Africa and Asia, various governments have imposed travel restriction including Austria, Slovakia and the Netherlands.

Even the German government of Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that it would put checks on its border with Austria. This tightening of the borders came following weeks of pronouncements from Germany which appeared to be welcoming migrants.

On September 13 officials in the city of Berlin said that if the flow of migrants was not stopped there would be no place for people to live and they would be sleeping in the streets.

Temporary housing for migrants is planned at a large transportation facility built during the Third Reich in the 1930s where the Telegraph said “Berlin’s famous Nazi-era Tempelhof airport is to become a refugee shelter. The airport, which has been disused since 2008, will house up to 1,200 refugees in two former hangars, the Berlin state government has announced.”

However, on September 14 German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said “The focus will initially lie on the border with Austria. The goal of this measure is to restrict the present inflow of migrants into Germany and return again to an orderly process upon entry.” (CNN)

The German government said it was stopping train transport to and from Austria for thirteen hours on September 13, according to a tweet sent out by the Austrian Federal Railways. Halting train traffic between the two countries extended from 5 p.m. Sunday (September 13) until 6 a.m. Monday.

Spokespersons for the Austrian police reported that 7,000 people had crossed the border from Hungary on September 14. On the day before some 14,000 entered the country.

Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann said military personnel were sent to the entry and gathering points to assist with humanitarian relief. The Vice-Chancellor Reinhold Mitterlehner said “If Germany carries out border controls Austria must put strengthened border controls in place.” (BBC, September 14)

EU and the U.S. Fail to Address Real Causes of the Crisis

Meanwhile, the political and security crisis in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Yemen, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Turkey and other states are creating the conditions for further dislocation. Rather than deal with the root causes of the crisis, the EU states along with their allies in the United States proceeded by debating over how many refugees to take into their countries.

Some EU leaders have rejected the concept of quotas as proposed by Germany and France creating logistical challenges in the transport of migrants to states which claim officially to be more favorable towards resettlement.

The administration of President Barack Obama issued a statement on September 11 saying that the U.S. would allow 10,000 Syrians to enter the country. Nonetheless, this is only a small fragment of those being forced to leave Syria and other states on two continents due to the foreign policies of Washington and Wall Street.

British Prime Minister David Cameron visited a refugee camp in Lebanon on September 13 saying that his government would open its borders to 20,000 displaced persons. Successive governments in London have supported U.S. military interventions in various states including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya, among others.

Unrest among migrants in Hungary is an indication that the EU is not prepared for the integration of hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of new residents. Hungary has said that they want to keep people out to preserve their European “Christian heritage.”

Meanwhile, wars initiated by Washington aimed at reshaping the political landscape of large regions of Africa, the Middle East and Asia are continuing. Bombing operations by the Pentagon in Iraq and Syria are displacing hundreds of thousands of people every month.

Other wars that are funded, coordinated and given diplomatic cover by the U.S. in Yemen, Libya, Egypt and other geo-political areas are worsening the plight of tens of millions. UN and other humanitarian agencies are incapable of meeting the needs of refugees and migrants under conditions of armed factional struggles and the total breakdown of state structures involving transportation, food distribution, fuel supplies, medical services and education.

The current situation involving the massive deaths in the Mediterranean of those seeking refuge in Europe and the social restrictions and racist repression they will be subjected to in the EU member-states warrants a response from the anti-war and social justice movements in both Western Europe and North America. With economic crisis still prevalent in several European countries the harsh situations of the migrants can provide a basis for an alliance between the workers and oppressed already in Europe and those who are streaming in as a direct result of the imperialist policies of the U.S. and NATO.

The United States does not lack institutions that continue to conspire, and that’s why I am using this gathering to announce that we have decided to expel USAID from Bolivia” Bolivian President Evo Morales

Washington wants Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa removed from power. Washington says it is concerned about the freedom of the press in Ecuador because their non-government organization ‘Fundamedios’ funded and supported by United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and Freedom House among others is in the process of being shut down by the Correa government. According to Telesur’s report on September 10th “Fundamedios engaged “partisan political activities” by sharing material on its social media accounts, publishing articles unrelated to its stated mission and inserting itself into political debates in the country”which according to the National Secretariat of Communication or ‘Secom’ is prohibited under Ecuadorian law. The White House released a press statement on the same day:

We are very concerned about the increasing restrictions on freedom of expression and freedom of association in Ecuador, particularly the Ecuadorian government’s September 8 decision to initiate legal steps intended to dissolve Fundamedios, a non-governmental organization that monitors and defends press freedom.

An active civil society and tolerance of dissenting views are vital components of any democracy. We share international concern over the Ecuadorian government’s efforts to silence critical voices and deny its citizens access to a diversity of information and ideas. Freedom House, Human Rights Watch, the Committee to Protect Journalists, among others, have all spoken out in opposition to the government’s latest action against Fundamedios.

According to TeleSur ‘Fundamedios’ is funded by the NED and USAID:

The work of the organization mostly consists of issuing “alerts” regarding alleged attacks against journalists in Ecuador.  The organization is funded in part through a US$84,000 grant from the U.S.-funded National Endowment for Democracy. U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador Adam Namm told El Telegrafo that Fundamedios received US$300,000 in 2012 from USAID, which is receives its funds from the U.S. government

USAID and NED are in the business of “Democracy Promotion” which uses public money (from U.S. taxpayers) for secretive operations with the intention to support pro-U.S. governments with the help of political and social movements abroad. The goal is regime change.

Why Washington wants Correa Removed from Power

Since 2009, the world has seen what the Obama administration has done to sovereign nations in the name of democracy. Libya, Honduras and the Ukraine are some of the recent examples of U.S. foreign policy that has only proved to be disastrous on many levels. Ecuador would be added to Obama’s list of countries ripe for regime change.

First, Correa is a staunch ally of Latin America’s leftist governments of Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Argentina and Brazil who are critical of U.S. Foreign policy. What makes matters worse for Washington was the closure of the Manta Air Force Base in 2009, a promise made by Correa in a 2006 campaign.

Washington wants a new government in Ecuador to reopen the Manta Air Force Base for surveillance and the so-called “War on Drugs”. In 2008, the New York Times reported that President Correa fired high ranking military officials who were loyal subjects of Washington:

Mr. Correa — who this month dismissed his defense minister, army chief of intelligence and commanders of the army, air force and joint chiefs — said that Ecuador’s intelligence systems were “totally infiltrated and subjugated to the C.I.A.” He accused senior military officials of sharing intelligence with Colombia, the Bush administration’s top ally in Latin America

The New York Times admitted that Correa’s administration is a challenge for U.S. policy makers regarding the “War on Drugs” and its presence in Latin America:

The gambit also poses a clear challenge to the United States. For nearly a decade, the base here in Manta has been the most prominent American military outpost in South America and an important facet of the United States’ drug-fighting efforts. Some 100 antinarcotics flights leave here each month to survey the Pacific in an elaborate cat-and-mouse game with drug traffickers bound for the United States.

But many Ecuadoreans have chafed at the American presence and the perceived challenge to the country’s sovereignty, and Mr. Correa promised during his campaign in 2006 to close the outpost

Reuters’ also reported in 2007 what Correa had said about the possibility of renewing the lease to the U.S. military“We’ll renew the base on one condition: that they let us put a base in Miami — an Ecuadorean base,” Correa said in an interview during a trip to Italy. “If there’s no problem having foreign soldiers on a country’s soil, surely they’ll let us have an Ecuadorean base in the United States.” Correa did make a good point.

Another reason Correa is on Washington’s “hit list” involves Wikileaks. Its founder Julian Assange was granted political asylum in an Ecuadorian embassy in London because he feared that if he ended up in U.S. custody over the secret files he released from Chelsea Manning to the world, could have him face an unfair trial in a U.S. courtroom. Ecuador granted Assange political asylum status where he still remains to this day. Neoconservative and former Presidential contender Sarah Palin said that Assange is an “anti-American operative with blood on his hands…Why was he not pursued with the same urgency we pursue al Qaeda and Taliban leaders?” Palin was saying that Julian Assange is in the same league as Al Qaeda so killing him is justified. Ecuador did take a stand to protect the life and liberty of Julian Assange, something Washington does not take lightly.

Ecuador’s Lawsuit against Big Oil

Litigation and various lawsuits against Chevron-Texaco has been going on for more than two decades which oil drilling operations which occurred between 1972 and 1990 in the Amazon as RT News reported in 2013:

Ecuador’s foreign ministry announced on Friday that the US has seemingly denied visas to a delegation that was set to travel to the UN General Assembly in New York to present their case regarding an ongoing dispute against Chevron-Texaco. According to the ministry’s official announcement, the visas for the five Ecuadorian nationals were returned by the US Embassy in Quito “without any explanation.”

That group was to present testimony during a special event at the UN regarding the ecological impact caused by Chevron-Texaco’s oil operations in the Amazon rainforest region of Ecuador – which contaminated two million hectares, according to the country’s government. At stake is a US$19 billion judgment awarded by an Ecuadorean court against Chevron for cleanup and ecological damage, which is currently being fought at The Hague.

Correa in Washington’s Crosshairs

From alliances with anti-Washington governments to the closure of the Manta Air Force Base, to protecting Julian Assange and a lawsuit against Chevron-Texaco for environmental damages to the Amazon, Correa is a target for regime change. Just remember back in history when the CIA orchestrated a coup against Ecuadorian President Carlos Julio Arosemena simply because he criticized the U.S. government and supported the Cuban revolution led by Fidel Castro. Correa has done a lot more to diminish U.S. power in Latin America than any other president in its current history.

Correa has accused the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) earlier this year of “being increasingly involved in the political opposition with the avowed aim of dragging the country into chaos” and weaken the Ecuadorian government by “a series of coordinated nationwide protests.” Something Correa should be familiar with, after all the CIA attempted a coup in 2010 under Obama’s watch. One of the key reasons of the attempted coup by the Ecuadorian police was the Public Service Organic Law signed in 2010. It was designed to place regulations on public service workers namely the police and military and create a standard base of compensation instead of receiving their bonuses from foreign sources (the U.S. government) under Ecuadorian law. The main problem before the law was passed was that the police of Ecuador was receiving bonuses from the US embassy to spy on Ecuadorian politicians and others who were considered opponents of Washington.

Interestingly, Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton was in Ecuador in June of that year to convince Correa to join the“Dark Side” but ultimately failed. U.S. Ambassador at the time was Heather Hodges who was assigned to disrupt and weaken the Correa government through USAID which contributed $40 million. The Ecuadorian police, military officials, USAID, NED, the CIA and a former president and a puppet of Washington during the Bush years, Lucio Gutiérrez who was ousted by the Ecuadorian people who demanded his resignation were all behind the coup plot.

Obama has 16 Months Left in Office

Will the Obama administration authorize another coup between now and 2016? It is Obama’s last 16 months in office since the first coup attempt. Correa knows he is on Washington’s “hit list” following his actions on Fundamedios who claim the freedom of speech is threatened as Washington threatens Julian Assange for exposing their crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq by killing of tens of thousands of civilians, which they tried to keep secret. Washington is consistent when it ignores the sovereignty of nations and bypasses international law on a regular basis.

Recently, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie) and various trade unions called for a nationwide strike against the government, but many indigenous organizations opposed it. Telesur reported that WikiLeaks published diplomatic cables from the U.S. embassy in Ecuador from 2005 and 2006 that suggest members of CONAIE were interested in talking to U. S. Representatives within their own ranks including Vice President Santiago de la Cruz and Congressman Jorge Guaman who according to one cable “expressed interest in open dialogue.”Members of CONAIE also “asked the U.S. government to intervene with the president to get Conaie representatives back in these government institutions.” De La Cruz is described as “very interested in the possibility of visiting the U.S. on an exchange program,” and that he “appeared eager to engage in dialogue” with the U.S.  Wikileaks also released documents on Auki Tituana, a member of Pachakutik who also seemed interested.

Although representatives in both organizations have shown an interest in meeting with U.S. officials, other members are not so keen on the idea including Luis Macas, head of CONAIE. This is a positive sign that members within these indigenous organizations do not want to meet with U.S. diplomats.  Macas “has advised his organization to avoid dialogue with the U.S. government.” According to the cables “There appears to be division within the ranks of Pachakutik and (Conaie) on the level of interaction they should have with the Embassy”.

In 2007, Correa was an anti-neoliberal advocate was voted into power and has brought Ecuador political and economic stability. One other issue Washington is concerned about is what Correa said about the “Dollarization” of the Ecuadorian economy; he said it was a “technical error” after pro-US president Jamil Mahuad adopted the U.S. dollar in 2000. Correa did acknowledge that it is a difficult process to move out of the U.S. dollar at this time, however, he does support a regional South American currency that would allow Ecuador to move out of the dollar which is something U.S. officials’ do not like to hear especially when the dollar is about to lose its reserve currency status.

What is the CIA planning before Ecuador’s elections in 2017?

It is important to note that if a presidential recall vote were to take place in Ecuador today at least 60% of the people would vote for Correa according to the main-stream media’s ‘CNN Spanish’ poll this past June. Correa proposed constitutional reforms including two bills that would increase inheritance and capital gains taxes on the ultra-wealthy. Anti-government protests followed, which later turned violent. That is something Washington wants to see more of right before Ecuador’s 2017 presidential elections.

From Washington to the western media, everyone has been talking about reports of potential Russian ‘intervention’ in Syria. On the one hand, the proliferation of this meme is a case study in the western propaganda system, as one report is then repeated ad nauseam from thousands of sources, then built upon by subsequent reports, thereby manufacturing the irrefutable truth from the perspective of media pundits and western mouthpieces. On the other hand, the new reports also raise some interesting questions about the motives of both the US and Russia, as well as the other interested parties to the conflict in Syria.

In examining this new chapter of the ongoing war in Syria, two critical and interrelated points seem to rise above all others in importance: Why is the western media hyping this narrative of Russian intervention? And why is direct Russian involvement, limited though it may be, seen as such a threat by the US?

Dissecting the Propaganda

An Israeli publication reported that Russian air power would be increasing in Syria with “Russian jets in Syrian skies,” as the headline read. While all the information came from unnamed “western diplomatic sources,” and was accompanied by little more than assertions of fact without any tangible evidence, the media outcry began almost immediately, with literally hundreds of news outlets reporting the same information. Within 24 hours however, a Russian military source denied the allegations, saying,“There has been no redeployment of Russian combat aircraft to the Syrian Arab Republic…The Russian Air Force is at its permanent bases and carrying out normal troop training and combat duty.”


Almost as if on cue, the next day The Daily Beast published a story claiming that there were Russian boots on the ground in Syria, as well as large shipments of military materiel en route to Syria, including trucks and BTR infantry fighting vehicles. The article cited Turkish navy photos showing a Russian ship purportedly carrying the cargo, quite openly it must be said (more on this later).

Naturally, the conversation in Washington instantly became about Russian intervention and the danger of Russia “destabilizing” the situation in Syria, an assertion that would be laughable if it weren’t so deeply cynical and hypocritical considering four and a half years of US-NATO-GCC-Israel intervention in Syria.

Official denials of escalation from Moscow did nothing to calm tensions on the issue as US Secretary of State Kerry calledRussian Foreign Minister Lavrov to voice concerns that Russian involvement could escalate the conflict. After the call, the State Department released a statement explaining that the US had:

...concerns about reports suggesting an imminent enhanced Russian buildup [in Syria]. The secretary made clear that if such reports were accurate, these actions could further escalate the conflict, lead to greater loss of innocent life, increase refugee flows and risk confrontation with the anti-ISIL coalition operating in Syria… The two agreed that discussions on the Syrian conflict would continue in New York later this month.

A careful reading of this short, but important, statement should raise one obvious question: what does the State Department mean by “reports”? Specifically, the initial Israeli report was allegedly based on intelligence from key Western (presumably US) sources that would obviously have access to classified information. Were that true, then surely the State Department would be alarmed by the intelligence, and not the reports.

In other words, the US military and government, with its vast surveillance and intelligence apparatus, knows perfectly well if a true Russian military buildup in Syria is really happening. Instead, the State Department focuses on the media reports, indicating that, rather than responding to intelligence, it is responding to a media story, one which is based entirely on information the US itself supplied.

So, the dramatic reaction to the reports is essentially a reaction to a story they themselves planted. Translation: Washington is hyping the story in order to further its political position, and to weaken Russia’s, by framing the debate as one of ‘Russian interventionism.’

And, in true western corporate propaganda fashion, the reports have been built upon since then. There are now allegations that Russia is building “a huge 1,000 personnel compound,” and even a report from the decidedly dubious DebkaFile – an outlet notoriously close to Israeli intelligence which has published as much disinformation as credible information – alleging that the Russians have deployed a submarine loaded with 20 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and 200 nuclear warheads to Syria. All of this is an attempt to further bolster the narrative that Russia is the aggressor, attempting to escalate the conflict in Syria for its own purposes.

Returning to the information on the trucks being supplied through the Bosphorous, as reported in international press, there is a painfully obvious question that must be asked; namely why Moscow would choose to initiate a covert military buildup but would transport the equipment openly, in plain sight of any naval intelligence or satellite imagery. Obviously, it is because Russia is not doing this covertly, but is merely continuing to supply the Syrian government as it has done since 2011.

And that is precisely the point that Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova made in a recent interview. She noted that, “We have always supplied equipment to them for their struggle against terrorists…We are supporting them, we were supporting them and we will be supporting them.” In other words, there is nothing secret about what Russia is providing to the Syrian government under its existing contracts.

This is also in keeping with comments from Russian President Putin who confirmed what all serious analysts following the conflict in Syria already knew, that Russian advisers have been providing training and logistical support to the Syrian military. Of course, based on the hype in western media, one could be forgiven for thinking that Russia’s military had moved in and taken command of the war effort in Syria. In reality, Russia’s participation from a logistical and advisory perspective has been rather limited.

It is becoming increasingly clear that Moscow is stepping up its aid and engagement in Syria, but it obviously has not fundamentally changed its policy. As one source confirmed to Reuters this week, “The Russians are no longer just advisors…The Russians have decided to join the war against terrorism.” Indeed, another of the sources noted that, “[The Russians] have started in small numbers, but the bigger force did not yet take part … Russians [are] taking part in Syria but they did not yet join the fight against terrorism strongly.”

These statements are particularly interesting if set against the media narrative being portrayed in the West, as well as the language employed by the State Department and White House which was quoted as saying “We would welcome constructive Russian contributions to the counter-ISIL effort, but we’ve been clear that it would be unconscionable for any party, including the Russians, to provide any support to the Assad regime.”

Analysts with knowledge of the situation seem convinced that Russian participation is geared towards helping the Syrian government in the fight against terror groups such as ISIS/ISIL and Al Qaeda’s al-Nusra Front, and that the increased presence is clear evidence of Moscow’s commitment to anti-terrorism. This presents a complex quandary for Washington which pays lip service to counter-terrorism while simultaneously describing as “unconscionable” any effective counter-terrorism aid in the war.

What is perhaps most interesting about the media coverage and comments from US officials about Russian moves being “destabilizing,” is the fact that since 2011 the western media has published literally thousands upon thousands of articles documenting openly the role of US military and intelligence, and its counterparts in NATO (including Turkey), Israel, and the Gulf monarchies, in arming and training fighters to wage war against the Syrian government (see hereherehereherehere, andhere for just a tiny sample). Somehow these actions are not considered “meddling” or “destabilizing” to the conflict in Syria, while Russia’s alleged involvement is cause for international outcry.

The Real Agenda

The obvious conclusion is that Russia’s aid to Syria has been critical in stymieing Washington’s regime change agenda, thereby necessitating an active propaganda assault to demonize Moscow’s moves both in regard to supplying and aiding Damascus, and its calls to form a coalition against the Islamic State and international terrorism. In effect, the media is working to caricature Russia as an aggressor in Syria in order to deflect attention from the fact that US efforts in Syria have failed, and that the US has no intention of effectively fighting the terrorism it continues to promote.

The US-NATO-GCC-Israel axis seeks to continue the war on Syria using any means necessary, including continued support for terrorist factions such as the so called “Army of Conquest,” al Qaeda linked groups like al Nusra Front, and ISIS/ISIL. The ultimate goal is the collapse of the Syrian state and the breaking of the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah alliance, which would mean the final and permanent ejection of Russian influence from the region.

Russia fully understands this strategic imperative for Washington, just as it knows that terrorism is the principal weapon being employed in the ongoing war. As such, Moscow has moved to bolster the Syrian government (Russia knows that the Syrian Arab Army is the most effective counter-terrorism fighting force) in order to provide it with the necessary aid to continue to destroy terrorist groups. Moreover, any additional Russian support in terms of advisers, increased shipments of materiel, and/or limited numbers of combat troops, provide Damascus with the physical resources necessary to wage the war.

At the largest level however, Moscow is moving to call Washington’s bluff regarding the fight against the Islamic State, and terrorism generally. Putin knows that the US does not want to destroy ISIS/ISIL, but rather to manage its development in an attempt to steer it toward US strategic objectives.

This strategy was outlined in the declassified 2012 US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) document obtained by Judicial Watch, which revealed that the US has knowingly promoted the spread of the Islamic State since at least 2012 in order to use it as a weapon against the Assad government. The document noted that, “…there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist Principality in eastern Syria…and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).”

So, by proposing an international coalition to defeat ISIS/ISIL, Putin is essentially forcing the US either to admit that it is not serious about destroying the terrorist network, or that it will only do so under its own aegis, thereby exposing Washington’s motives as entirely self-serving, and rooted in the US hegemonic agenda for the region.

But Washington will not simply allow Putin to outmaneuver it in terms of public relations. Instead, it reverts to the tried and true, and still remarkably effective, meme of Russian aggression. By portraying Russia as the villain bent on arming the “brutal dictator,” the US hopes to transform the discourse on Syria, moving from its own ghastly record of arming terrorists and seeking the destruction of the state, to Russia “meddling” in the conflict.

Keen political observers shouldn’t be fooled by this sort of sleight of hand propaganda. But don’t tell the corporate media. They’re busy working overtime, parroting US-NATO talking points, rather than asking questions and seeking answers.

Eric Draitser is an independent geopolitical analyst based in New York City, he is the founder of and OP-ed columnist for RT, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

(image) Professor James Tracy

Remarkable Coincidences in Developing Story, Recent News Article on Delta’s Active Shooter Exercises Deleted From Web

On Monday, September 14 Delta State University Professor Ethan Schmidt was allegedly shot by an unknown assailant who is Schmidtpresently on the loose. The story is being vigorously promoted by major news media vis-á-vis university and Mississippi state officials, and federal agencies including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Yet Delta State is also noted in the region for “active shooter exercises”–the most recent of which were held in late August of this year (see below news report). “We’ve had and hosted several active shooter trainings on campus,” notes Delta State Campus Police Chief Lynn Buford in a story appearing in the Bolivar Commercial that has since been deleted from its website.

Delta State’s police department works with the local sheriff’s office on such drills. When a drill scenario begins to play out campus police receive word of an alleged “active shooter” on campus. “Then we send out a text message that goes to Facebook and Twitter and email,” Buford explains. “Depending on the situation we’ll decide to either lockdown or evacuate.”

The campus community is kept apprised of such situations via “Okra Alert,” which uses social media to inform on the given incident. “It’s a text message system which includes text and email,” according to Buford. “We can also link it to our Facebook and Twitter pages.” About 4,100 people are Okra subscribers.

The story below on Delta State’s recent active shooter exercises has been deleted from the Bolivar Commercial’s website. It was located on the Internet Archive and saved via a screen capture.



There are also other curious facets to this developing story presented to the public via “social media postings.”

“Before Schmidt was identified as the victim,” Yahoo! News reports, “friends of the slain professor posted heartbreaking messages on his Facebook page inquiring about this wellbeing.” The story goes on to quote from Facebook:

“Watching CNN about events on your campus,” one wrote. “Please let us know when you can!”

“Yes, please let us know if you are ok,” wrote another. “Thoughts and prayers to you all at DSU.”

Further, Yahoo! News staff even claim to have known Professor Schmidt. This is indeed a remarkable coincidence! “Schmidt attended Emporia State University in Kansas with Yahoo News editor Everett Starling, and the two had remained friends,” notes Yahoo!

Starling said Schmidt as very involved at Emporia State, including serving as student body president.

“He’s somebody that I never knew to ever have a quibble with anyone,” Starling said. “He’s one of the best people you will ever know.”

Starling adding: “I’m stunned. He’s a great guy.”

Another unusual coincidence: Delta is scheduled to celebrate its 90th anniversary on September 15th–an occasion that will surely be used by corporate news media to exploit the event.

Here is Delta State’s official Testing of Emergency Procedure Policy concerning such readiness exercises.




Por trás dessas fotos de crianças

September 14th, 2015 by Manlio Dinucci

Quando as crianças chegavam aos acampamentos de verão numa região arborizada em torno da cidade de Kíev, recebiam uma camiseta amarela em que estavam impressas duas silhuetas de crianças armadas com fuzil, com o emblema do Batalhão Azov decalcado sobre o das SS do Reich, e tendo ao fundo o “Sol Negro” do misticismo nazista.

As crianças (incluindo as de 6 anos) e os adolescentes que frequentavam o acampamento em grupos de 30 a 40 – informa o jornal Kíev Post – “não brincaram de soldados, mas receberam um real treinamento militar por instrutores do Batalhão Azov”. Ou seja, pelos neonazistas que têm cometido atrocidades contra os civis ded nacionalidade russa na Ucrânia oriental.

Este e outros batalhões neonazistas fazem parte da Guarda Nacional ucraniana, que tem parceria com a Guarda Nacional da Califórnia e é treinada por instrutores estadunidenses e britânicos para conduzir “a operação antiterrorista” em Donbass. O acampamento de verão constitui a primeira etapa do recrutamento de soldados crianças, escreve Michel Chossudovsky em um artigo documentado ilustrado com fotos[1] (ver ). Além de atirar, ensina-se o ódio às crianças: “nós mataremos todos os russos”, jura um deles.

A foto de uma criança ucraniana cuja vida foi incendiada pelo “Sol Negro” nazista não é menos terrível que a da criança síria morta no Mediterrâneo.

Esta imagem, que segundo a fábula atualmente em curso, teria tocado o coração dos maiores representantes dos mesmos governos responsáveis por guerras e dos consecutivos terremotos sociais provocados nas últimas décadas pela estratégia dos Estados Unidos e da Otan. Guerras e embargos ao Iraque, à Iugoslávia, ao Afeganistão, à Palestina, à Líbia, à Síria e à Ucrânia provocaram a morte de milhões de crianças (meio milhão assassinadas por dez anos de embargo contra o Iraque). Suas fotos não foram divulgadas pelos grandes meios de comunicação.

E se acrescentam às pequenas vítimas as crianças educadas a odiar e a matar por movimentos como o Isis e os batalhões neonazistas ucranianos, para cuja formação contribuíram de maneira determinante os Estados Unidos e as potências europeias para desmontar por dentro Estados inteiros. Conta-se que o governo britânico decidiu acolher 15 mil refugiados porque ficou emocionado pela foto do pequeno menino sírio morto. Ao mesmo tempo, esse mesmo governo anunciou que pretende obter sinal verde do parlamento para realizar uma ação militar “contra o regime mau de Assad e contra o Isis”. E o ministro (italiano) das relações exteriores Gentiloni anunciou que, em face do drama dos refugiados, vai começar a segunda fase da missão EuNavForMed “contra os traficantes de seres humanos”, cujo objetivo final na realidade é a ocupação militar das zonas costeiras líbias estrategicamente e economicamente mais importantes.

O êxodo dos refugiados para a Europa provocado pelas guerras está, assim, sendo utilizado para fins estratégicos: por Washington para pôr sob pressão os países europeus reforçando a influência estadunidense na Europa utilizada como primeira linha de combate contra a Rússia e base de lançamento das operações militares dos Estados Unidos e da Otan no Oriente Médio e no Norte da África; pelas maiores capitais europeias para preparar a opinião pública para outras guerras vendidas como “operações humanitárias de paz”. Sem a consciência política das causas reais e das soluções possíveis desse êxodo, pode-se instrumentalizar até mesmo o apoio humanitário que numerosos cidadãos europeus dão aos refugiados e igualmente pode-se utilizar os próprios refugiados como massa de manobra e face dos países de onde provêm.

E outras crianças morrerão, quase todas sem foto.

Manlio Dinucci

1 -

Fonte: Il Manifesto, 7 de Setembro de 2015.

Traduzido do francês pelo Blog da Resistência.

Dietro quelle foto di bambini

September 14th, 2015 by Manlio Dinucci

Quando i bam­bini sono arri­vati al campo estivo, in una zona boscosa presso Kiev, hanno rice­vuto una bella T-shirt gialla su cui sono stam­pate due sagome di bam­bini armati di fucile, con l’emblema del bat­ta­glione Azov rical­cato da quello delle SS Das Reich, e sullo sfondo il «Sole Nero» del misti­ci­smo nazista.

I bam­bini (anche di 6 anni) e ragazzi che hanno fre­quen­tato il campo a gruppi di 30–40 – riporta il quo­ti­diano Kiev Post – «non hanno gio­cato ai sol­dati, ma hanno rice­vuto un reale adde­stra­mento mili­tare da istrut­tori del bat­ta­glione Azov». Ossia dai neo­na­zi­sti che hanno com­piuto atro­cità con­tro i civili di nazio­na­lità russa nell’Ucraina orientale.

Que­sto e altri bat­ta­glioni neo­na­zi­sti fanno parte della Guar­dia nazio­nale ucraina, legata da una part­ner­ship con la Guar­dia nazio­nale della Cali­for­nia e adde­strata da istrut­tori sta­tu­ni­tensi e bri­tan­nici per con­durre l’«operazione anti-terrorismo» nel Don­bass. Il campo estivo costi­tui­sce il primo sta­dio del reclu­ta­mento di bam­bini sol­dato, scrive Michel Chos­su­do­v­sky in un docu­men­tato arti­colo cor­re­dato da foto (v. Oltre che a spa­rare, ai bam­bini inse­gnano a odiare: «Ucci­de­remo tutti i russi», giura uno di loro.

La foto di un bam­bino ucraino la cui vita è bru­ciata dal «Sole Nero» nazi­sta non è meno tre­menda di quella del bam­bino siriano la cui vita si è spenta nel Medi­ter­ra­neo. Imma­gine, quest’ultima, che secondo la favola cor­rente avrebbe toc­cato il cuore dei mas­simi espo­nenti di quei governi respon­sa­bili delle guerre e dei con­se­guenti ter­re­moti sociali pro­vo­cati negli ultimi decenni dalla stra­te­gia Usa/Nato.

Guerre ed embar­ghi – dall’Iraq alla Jugo­sla­via, dall’Afghanistan alla Pale­stina, dalla Libia alla Siria e all’Ucraina – hanno pro­vo­cato la morte di milioni di bam­bini (mezzo milione solo quelli uccisi dai dieci anni di embargo con­tro l’Iraq). Le loro foto non sono state però dif­fuse dai grandi media. E alle pic­cole vit­time si aggiun­gono i bam­bini edu­cati a odiare e ucci­dere da movi­menti, come l’Isis e i bat­ta­glioni neo­na­zi­sti ucraini, alla cui for­ma­zione hanno con­tri­buito in modo deter­mi­nante gli Usa e le potenze euro­pee per scar­di­nare dall’interno interi Stati.

Si narra che il governo bri­tan­nico abbia deciso di acco­gliere 15mila pro­fu­ghi siriani per­ché com­mosso dalla foto del pic­colo siriano morto. Con­tem­po­ra­nea­mente, però, lo stesso governo ha annun­ciato di voler otte­nere il via libera dal par­la­mento per una azione mili­tare «con­tro il mal­va­gio regime di Assad e l’Isis». E il mini­stro degli esteri Gen­ti­loni ha annun­ciato che, di fronte al dramma dei pro­fu­ghi, sta per ini­ziare la seconda fase della mis­sione EuNa­v­For­Med  «con­tro i traf­fi­canti di essere umani», il cui obiet­tivo finale è in realtà l’occupazione mili­tare delle aree costiere libi­che stra­te­gi­ca­mete ed eco­no­mi­ca­mente più importanti.

L’esodo dei pro­fu­ghi verso l’Europa, pro­vo­cato dalle guerre, viene così usato a fini stra­te­gici: da Washing­ton per met­tere sotto pres­sione i paesi euro­pei raf­for­zando l’influenza sta­tu­ni­tense in Europa, usata come prima linea con­tro la Rus­sia e base di lan­cio delle ope­ra­zioni mili­tari Usa/Nato in Medio­riente e Nor­da­frica; dalle mag­giori capi­tali euro­pee per pre­pa­rare l’opinione pub­blica ad altre guerre spac­ciate per «mis­sioni uma­ni­ta­rie di pace».

Senza la con­sa­pe­vo­lezza poli­tica delle cause reali e pos­si­bili solu­zioni di tale esodo, può essere stru­men­ta­liz­zato anche il soste­gno uma­ni­ta­rio che molti cit­ta­dini euro­pei danno ai pro­fu­ghi, e pos­sono essere usati gli stessi pro­fu­ghi quale massa di mano­vra nei con­fronti dei paesi di pro­ve­nienza. E altri bam­bini mori­ranno, quasi tutti senza foto.

Manlio Dinucci

The Bashing of Jeremy Corbyn has Commenced

September 14th, 2015 by Stephen Lendman

British Prime Minister David Cameron called Corbyn a threat to national security. More on what he said below.

For the first time in decades, British politics got interesting. Whether Corbyn’s astonishing rise from longtime backbencher to near-overnight Labour party leadership makes a difference remains to be seen.

One man with perhaps a handful of party supporters trying to change an entrenched system run by powerful monied interests is a daunting task and then some.

Blairites, Thatcherites and the British media oppose him. Labour party supporters are tagged with the pejorative “Corbynista.” “Corbynism” is called isolationist and anti-British.

A hostile London Observer editorial denigrated him, claiming undefined “evidence to suggest voters will resoundingly reject Corbynism in its current form if he makes it to the next election.”

Observer editors claim “lacklustre campaigns of the other candidates” paved his way to victory. Blairism represented by Liz Kendall was resoundingly rejected – getting an embarrassing low 5% support.

Corbyn’s leadership represents “the greatest challenge the Labour party has ever faced,” claimed Observer editors. They’re right saying he’s yet to prove he can change anything – given entrenched monied interests running things unchallenged in all Western societies and most others at the expense of everyone else.

If Corbyn can shake things up a little, perhaps there’s eventual hope for driving a stake through the heart of Thatcherism and Blairism – for sure no time soon.

British Prime Minister David Cameron is an unindicted war criminal – complicit with Obama’s imperial agenda, threatening world peace.

Corbyn wants humanity saved from the scourge of endless wars. Who’s the real threat to British and global security? For sure not a peace and stability advocate, provided his actions as Labour party leader don’t stray from his high-minded rhetoric.

The whole civilized world hopes he’s the real thing. War-mongering criminals running Western countries and Israel deplore him. So far, no congratulatory phone call from Obama – or likeminded rogue leaders.

During his London visit last week, Netanyahu snubbed him – deploring his forthright support for Palestinian rights, including vocal opposition last summer to Israeli naked aggression on Gaza.

Cameron’s twitter comment was duplicitous and then some, saying “(t)he Labour party is now a threat to our national security, our economic security and your family’s security.”

Judge for yourself. Corbyn chairs Britain’s Stop the War Coalition. He’s for nuclear disarmament and against US-led NATO’s killing machine.

He wants force-fed austerity ended, harming ordinary Brits to enrich wealthy ones more than ever, as well as reversing welfare cuts to help people most in need.

He urges quantitative easing for ordinary people. Money injected responsibly into economies create growth and jobs. When consumers have money, they spend it. A virtuous circle of prosperity is possible. Western policies benefit monied interests exclusively.

Corbyn supports investing in vital infrastructure projects, public transportation and renewable energy – to end reliance on fossil fuels.

In an August Ecologist article, he said “(o)ur collective aspirations must lie with a greener vision of Britain. And we must reach out to those voters who care deeply about the environment if we are to build the electoral alliance we need.”

“Break up our energy cartels.” “(N)o TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) with the US.” Yes to “clean air to breathe.”

We are fighting for the same thing: for society to be run in our collective interest (as well as) protecting our planet.

Corbyn opposes fracking and other environmentally destructive practices. Whether he means what he says has yet to be tested.

Despite over three decades in parliament, he was always a powerless backbencher, never holding a ministerial position, let alone Labour leadership like now.

Britain’s Defense Secretary Michael Fallon repeated Cameron’s offensive remark calling Corbyn “a serious risk to our nation’s security, our economy’s security and your family’s security.”

“Whether it’s weakening our defences, raising taxes on jobs and earnings, racking up more debt and welfare or driving up the cost of living by printing money, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party will hurt working people,” Fallon blustered.

He ignored Britain’s participation in endless US wars as well as enormous harm to millions of ordinary people under Tory and previous post-Thatcher Labour governments, absurdly saying Conservatives will continue delivering “stability, security and opportunity.”

Brits lacked it since the 1970s. No matter how sincere, Corbyn alone can’t change things. A sustained groundswell of mass support is the only chance, a slim one at best.

Years, maybe decades, are needed to undo the enormous damage done. Most world governments follow the same destructive path as America and Britain.

If Corbyn’s sincere about working for real change, hopefully a strong grassroots majority of Brits will support him – the only chance for anything positive ahead.

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.”

Visit his blog site at

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 at1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

Party Politics, Refugee Crisis, Syria, Ukraine

September 14th, 2015 by Global Research News


By Andrew Korybko, September 14, 2015

Russia has taken the lead in supporting Syria this summer, actively initiating efforts to bring a diplomatic resolution to the country’s crisis and assemble an inclusive anti-ISIL coalition.

hillary-clintonClinton’s Charity Ties With Oligarchs Behind Ukrainian Coup Revealed

By Ekaterina Blinova, September 14, 2015

The Clinton Foundation contributed to the February coup in Ukraine, having longstanding ties to Ukrainian oligarchs who pushed the country to European integration.

syrian refugeesSocial Engineering 101, How to Make a Refugee Crisis: Destruction of All Prevailing Political Orders in the Middle East

By Tony Cartalucci, September 13, 2015

Starting in 2007, the US was already in the process of engineering the overthrow and destruction of all prevailing political orders across the Middle East and North African (MENA) region.

By Ben White, September 14, 2015

Israel won’t accept Syrian refugees because it was only by turning the majority of the Palestinians into refugees that a ‘Jewish state’ was created .

israeli subJeremy Corbyn is Not Wrong about Trident ­ in the Face of Israel’s Undeclared Nuclear Arsenal

By Anthony Bellchambers, September 13, 2015

Israel has an undeclared nuclear arsenal estimated by American scientists to contain up to 400 warheads. It is not in the EU nor subject to EU law, nor in NATO but it seeks to influence the foreign policy of the United States congress by means of a powerful lobby in Washington.

By Binoy Kampmark, September 14, 2015

“This will be a thoroughly Liberal government. It will be a thoroughly Liberal government committed to freedom, the individual and the market.” -Malcolm Turnbull, Australian Prime Minister, Sep 14, 2015.

One drowned toddler has shifted global politics. The picture demanded action in response to the largest migration crisis since World War II, itself caused by the longest series of wars since WWII. These wars have dragged on and new ones started– Libya and Syria — under the Nobel Prize winning U.S. President.  

Obama could end the refugee crisis by brokering peace in Syria, but instead he’s pushing hard and fast for war. Few U.S. media outlets are reporting about the critical war resolution that the Obama Administration is trying to push through Congress.

The BBC reports:

President Barack Obama has called on Congress to authorize US military action in Syria. The move has provoked sharp, multifaceted debate in the US Capitol as a resolution moves through the legislative process.

What’s in the Senate resolution demanded by Obama?

The Guardian reports:

…Barack Obama for the first time portrayed his plans for US military action [in Syria] as part of a broader strategy to topple [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad, as the White House’s campaign to win over skeptics in Congress gained momentum.

The resolution would allow a “a 90 day window” for U.S. military attack in Syria, where both ISIS and the Syrian government would be targeted; with regime change in Syria being the ultimate objective.

The U.S. public has virtually no knowledge of these new developments. A field of candidates campaigning for President haven’t mentioned the subject. The U.S. media’s silence on the issue is deafening.

War produces war refugees. The once-modern societies of Iraq, Libya and Syria were obliterated while the western world watched, seemingly emotionless. But the drowned toddler, named Aylan, unearthed these buried emotions.

The public demanded that “something must be done” about the refugee crisis. And now this feeling is being exploited by the Obama Administration, funneling the energy back into the war canal that birthed the problem.

The war march is happening fast, and in silence.  U.S. ally Australia already announced it would begin bombing in Syria, while the U.K media has also re-started the debate to join in.

While not mentioning Obama’s new Syrian war resolution, the U.S. media is re-playing the 2013 Syria war debates, when public pressure overcame Obama’s commitment to bomb the Syrian government. History is now dangerously repeating itself.  We’re back on the war track, with bombing targets imagined with each new press release.

For example, Roger Cohen of the New York Times is just one of several pundits making the absurd argument that Obama’s “lack of action” in Syria has helped lead to the catastrophe.  Cohen’s argument has been uttered in various forms in countless U.S. media outlets, pushing the public to accept an expanded U.S. war in Syria:

American interventionism can have terrible consequences, as the Iraq war has demonstrated. But American non-interventionism can be equally devastating, as Syria illustrates. Not doing something is no less of a decision than doing it.

Cohen doesn’t mention Obama’s war resolution. But his well-timed war propaganda hides behind the old arguments of ‘humanitarian intervention’, a term meant to put a smiley face on the carnage of war. Obama used ‘humanitarian intervention’ arguments to justify the destruction of Libya, whose war refugees continue to drown en masse in the Mediterranean.

The many hack journalists of Cohen’s ilk are repeating — in unison– the big lie that Obama’s “inaction” in Syria produced the war and refugee catastrophe. The exact opposite is the case. These pundits know very well that Obama has intervened heavily in Syria from the beginning, and remains the driving force of the war-driven refugee crisis.

Cohen’s own paper, the New York Times, reported in March 2013 that the Obama Administration was overseeing a weapons ‘pipeline’ to Syria, funneling tons of weapons via U.S. allies to help attack the Syrian government where Obama desired –and still desires — regime change.

This story should have laid the foundation for our understanding of the Syrian conflict, since it changed the course of the war and pushed jihadist groups into positions of power, while leaving others powerless.  But this narrative was ignored. The story was dropped even while the dynamic continued, intensifying the bloodbath that spilled into neighboring countries.

Who received Obama’s trafficked guns? The New York Times reported in October 2012 — before Obama’s role in the weapons pipeline was discovered– that the regional “flow” of weapons was going to jihadist groups in Syria.

And a recent U.S. Department of Defense report shows that the Obama Administration was fully aware that weapons were being shipped to Syrian groups such as al-Qaeda linked rebels and those that later joined ISIS.

As a result, these groups are the the only real players among the rebels attacking the Syrian government today. And these are the groups that will take power if the Syrian government falls, as Obama intends to achieve.

We also know that Obama’s weapon ‘pipeline’ was assisted by a flow of billions of dollars and foreign fighters from the U.S. allies that surround Syria, most notably Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey. This ‘perfect storm’ of Syrian destruction just didn’t happen by coincidence, as the puzzled media would have you believe. Close U.S. allies don’t intervene in regional politics without having U.S. permission and support.

In 2013 the Telegraph reported the existence of a U.S. ‘rebel’ training camp in Jordan to arm and train fighters attacking the Syrian government. This story was all but ignored in the U.S. media. These training camps have since been expanded to Saudi Arabia and Turkey, while the U.S. media buried the story.

The bloody fingerprints of the U.S. government are all over this conflict, while the U.S. media has the audacity to claim that “inaction” was Obama’s cardinal sin. These same journalists never asked hard questions about Obama’s weapons pipeline, or his rebel training camps, or the actions of his close allies directly fueling the bloodshed. Obama was invited to Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s shows where he received celebrity treatment. Real discussion on Syria was always “off the table”.

Baby Aylan’s death was an opportunity for peace, but Obama is intent to stay on his war track. We are at a critical moment. Russia has once again proposed renewed peace talks in Syria.

Similar deals have been offered by Russia and Syria for several years. But Obama’s peace-killing response has remained “Assad must go”. Obama continues to demand regime change: in practice this mean the war continues, and his new war resolution would expand it.

Meanwhile, Russia has made moves to bolster the Syrian government against ISIS and al-Qaeda linked rebels. In response, the Obama Administration issued a serious “warning’ to Russia” and pressured neighboring governments, like Bulgaria, to block Russia’s transportation of weapons to aid the Syrian government.

By attempting to block Russians weapons to the Syrian government Obama is empowering the groups attacking the government– al-Qaeda and ISIS.  If Obama follows through with his new war resolution and topples the Syrian President, these groups are the ones who will fill the power vacuum.

Thus, millions more refugees will sweep into neighboring countries and Europe, if they survive the onslaught.

To this day Obama has pushed zero peace initiatives in Syria. Diplomacy has been off the table. Regime change remains the official position of the Obama Administration, which his new resolution finally makes official. The war on ISIS was always a distraction to pursue regime change in Syria, and most media pundits took the bait.

The world demands peace in Syria. Obama must accept Russia’s peace offering, and sit down with Iran, Hezbollah, and the Syrian government to hammer out a peace initiative, while demanding that U.S. allies in the region “stand down” and pursue a policy of strangling the flow of guns, money, and fighters that bolster ISIS.

The U.S. must also open its borders to hundreds of thousands of refugees that are the direct victims of U.S. foreign policy.  Immediately agreeing to take 500,000 refugees would be a good start.

Drastic action is needed immediately to address the destruction of Syria, it’s true. But not the action demanded by the war-hungry U.S. President  Real humanitarian intervention cannot include missiles and tanks. The world demands peace.

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

On September 4th, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin restated, as he has many times before, that he seeks a U.S.- Russian alliance to overcome the global Islamic jihad movement, in Syria, Iraq, and everywhere.

Then, on Tuesday September 8th, Yahoo News bannered, “Austria joins growing voices that say Assad must be part of Syrian solution,” and reported that Austria’s Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said: “In my opinion the priority is the fight against terror. This will not be possible without powers such as Russia and Iran.” German Economic News noted then that, “Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo had already called on Monday for negotiations with Assad to end the war.”

However, the U.S. government is strongly opposed to accepting Putin’s offer of an alliance to overcome Islamic jihad.

Putin’s foreign-policy objectives are consistent; and his latest turn fits with all that has preceded, which has been his single-minded focus, ever since he first became Russia’s leader in 2000: to defeat the global threat of Islamic jihad, which has been the chief military concern for Russia itself, ever since the First Chechen War, during 1994-96, radicalized the predominantly Sunni (Saudi-based) Muslim Chechen Republic, to separate themselves from the predominantly Orthodox Catholic Russia. By the time of Putin’s contest for the Presidency in 2000, Putin’s hard line against religious separatism became a leading factor in his electoral victory.

On 11 February 2004, this is how the pro-Western Moscow Times, which wikipedia refers to as “the first Western daily to be published in Russia,” described “Putin and the Chechen War: Together Forever”:

In the summer of 1999, the ruling elite was at a loss. Boris Yeltsin was clearly not up to running the country, but no suitable successor could be found. The obvious candidates — Sergei Stepashin, Nikolai Bordyuzha and Sergei Kiriyenko — weren’t presidential material. But then Chechen separatists staged a raid into neighboring Dagestan. Putin directed the operation that drove the fighters from Dagestan, and after two apartment buildings were blown up in Moscow [which some accounts say was secretly planned by Putin himself], Putin launched an “anti-terrorist operation” in Chechnya. Suddenly Putin was the No. 1 politician in the country. …

The Chechen fighters were operating on the assumption that the Kremlin would not tolerate substantial losses on the eve of the election. This is why Chechen detachments flouted military logic and remained in Grozny after it was surrounded, continuing to offer fierce resistance.

Putin’s campaign managers also assumed that heavy Russian losses would hurt his chances at the polls. As the fighting in Grozny took its toll, they feared that by election day in June 2000 Putin’s support would have evaporated. This concern probably explains Yeltsin’s decision to step down early, bringing the election forward by several months.

As we now know, those fears were groundless. Heavy Russian losses had no impact on Putin’s poll numbers. The four years of Putin’s first term, during which the war raged on unabated, have made clear that Russian voters are prepared to endure endless lies from their leaders about the latest “phase” of the “operation” in Chechnya, as well as a staggering number of Russian dead.

[Alexander Golts] doubt that any Russian politician today would have the nerve to remind Putin of the promises he made back in 2000. He vowed “to crush the terrorist scum’.

However, Simon Shuster, who likewise is anti-Putin, had this to say about Chechnya, in the cover story of TIME, eleven years later, on 22 June 2015:

Chechnya has undergone a striking transformation. Its cities have been rebuilt with money from Moscow. All traces of its separatist rebellion have been suppressed. And most importantly, a new generation has been raised to respect—at times even to worship—the Russian leader and his local proxies. With no clear memories of the wars for independence, the young people of Chechnya are now the best guarantee that Russia’s hold over the region will persist.

Putin might not have “crushed the terrorist scum,” but he has held it at bay for long enough a time to reestablish relative peace in Chechnya, along with a previously unparallelled degree of prosperity.

The International Crisis Group, a pro-Western and anti-Russian NGO, and an affiliate of NATO’s Atlantic Council, vigorously criticizes the authoritarianism and cult of personality that Putin has imposed in Chechnya, even while reluctantly acknowledging that:

The number of Chechens in the insurgency has been steadily decreasing. With their centuries-long record of being ready to die for their independence, Chechens do not seem very susceptible to the suicidal ideology of a global jihad. Many who are have joined the conflict in Syria, which has significantly drained the human resources of the North Caucasus insurgency overall, but especially in Chechnya. A Chechen interior ministry source estimated in 2013 that 200-500 Chechens were fighting in Syria.

The Islamic jihadists are more comfortable in, and more accepted by the residents of, the anti-Assad, pro-Sunni, areas of Syria, doing war against Shiia Muslims, and against the Russian-supported secular Shiia President Assad, than they are back home in their native land (Chechnya in Russia). Even Putin’s enemies acknowledge Putin’s successes against the Saudi-based Sunni international Islamic jihad movement. Putin has become an experienced specialist in the war against Islamic terrorism.

Whereas the United States simply spreads Islamic jihad, even while bombing jihadists and creating more martyrs for “the cause” of jihad, Russia has found ways instead to push back effectively against the Saudi-originated movement of Islamic jihad, and to develop, during decades, a peaceful regional diversity, which can encompass even areas where (as in Chechnya) Islamic or sharia law is imposed, and do this even within a predominantly Christian-majority nation (such as Russia, but this also describes the United States).

The U.S. never had to deal with the challenge that Russia has, of containing within itself a majority-Muslim state, and especially not containing a state whose majority are Sunni Muslim, the variant of Islam that (unlike Shiia Islam) produces jihadists, people with suicide-belts etc., who seek to impose a global Caliphate, a worldwide regime that imposes strict Islamic law.

The ICG report on Chechnya criticizes today’s Chechnya, by saying that, “Much of the population lives off pensions and welfare payments,” and that corruption and clan-rule are the norm, but all that’s really new in this is actually the peace, and the pensions: corruption and clan-rule have been the rule in Chechnya for centuries, at the very least.

Simon Shuster’s video at TIME, about today’s Chechnya, opens:

The kids growing up in Chechnya these days are a lot luckier than their parents and their grandparents. At least the youngest ones have only known their homeland to be a peaceful and even quite beautiful place, full of enormous mosques, and skyscrapers, and shopping districts, and fast-food joints.

Shuster then refers to the civil war, but he says, “Today, Chechnya is a very different place,” and he acknowledges that the adults there, who remember the wars, are much happier now, that the jihadists are gone, or dead.

Al Jazeera television, which is controlled by gas-rich Qatar’s anti-Russian Sunni royal family, the Thanis, has criticized Putin for his placing in control of Chechnya the anti-jihadist Chechen Muslim, Ramzan Kadyrov. Thanis are also the chief financial backers for the Muslim Brotherhood, and, along with the Saud family (the main financial backers of Al Qaeda), are also among the main financial backers of the Syrian warriors who are fighting to replace the secular Shiite leader, Assad, by a sectarian Sunni Islamic regime in Syria.

The anti-Russian American newspaper, New York Times, headlined on 1 July 2004,“Qatar Court Convicts 2 Russians in Top Chechen’s Death,” and reported:

The trial has provided an international stage for both sides to air their grievances about Russia’s war in Chechnya and debate the question of whether the fight against terrorism justified such extreme measures. Among those in the courtroom on Wednesday was Akhmed Zakayev, a leader of Chechnya’s separatist movement, who has successfully challenged efforts by Russia to extradite him. Mr. Zakayev said in a telephone interview that the killing of Mr. Yandarbiyev showed that Russia under Mr. Putin had reverted to the darkest tactics of its Soviet past, when K.G.B. agents tracked down enemies of the state overseas. 

In U.S.-allied nations generally, anti-Russian jihadists have, to a large extent, been sympathetically received, and favorably reported (as in that cited NYT article).

So: Regardless of Putin’s success at dealing with Islamic jihadists, his invitation to the United States to work together to defeat the Sunni, and mainly Saudi and Thani-funded, international movement for Islamic jihad for a global Caliphate, will probably continue to meet only America’s cold shoulder. The United States opposes Islamic jihad, but it opposes Russia more.

Or, at least, the U.S. Government does. Obama primarily seeks to defeat Russia, not to ally with it — not even against Islamic jihad.

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

Getting Jeremy Corbyn: The Assault Begins

September 14th, 2015 by Binoy Kampmark

Barely has the dust settled, and the knives are out for the new leader of the British Labour Party. This is complicated by the fact that Jeremy Corbyn is effectively waging two battles: one within his own party, riddled with technocratic scepticism; and those from without, who see a form of capitalised calamity in the wings.

Papers are running updates about the attempts by Corbyn to appoint a shadow cabinet. Each statement from the next evacuee from the boat is given full coverage, suggesting a catastrophic outbreak of influenza. (At this writing, Chuka Umunna is noted inThe Telegraph as being “the highest-profile figure to quit the shadow cabinet” showing form in having quit the race for the leadership to begin with.)

Labour does have a good deal of bleeding to do, notably on the old Blairite issues that changed the party into a Thatcherite coven of pro-marketeers and evangelical war mongers. It is going to prove traumatic, as any ideological reconditioning tends to be.

There is the old ego set, lingering notions centred on national security, which have to be confronted. The nuclear deterrent Trident remains the enormous, erroneous phallus of the security establishment, an illusion of power from what is essentially an unquestioned extension of US power.

Tom Watson, the deputy leader, still clings to the Trident phallus with unquestioning conviction. It is becoming a sticking point between him and Corbyn – will it be renewed? Many of the union leaders think it should, and Watson is pressing Corbyn on the subject of getting reassurance. But Corbyn never had much time for the beast, and has made it part of his manifesto of change, suggesting that Trident be replaced by jobs that retain the skills of the workers.

Then come the meaty issues of continued membership of the European Union and NATO. Watson insists that the British role in the EU is unquestioned, though his reasons for doing so have little to do with the spirit of federalism so much as trade. Umunna’s own decision to quit the front bench was largely put down to Corbyn’s refusal to be “unambiguous” about continued British membership.

Umunna’s statement on the subject, after proclaiming an interest in building “a more equal, democratic, free and fair society” was to sink his boot into the very idea that a democratic outcome in a referendum on the EU should necessarily be abided by. “It is my view that we should support the UK remaining a member of the EU, notwithstanding the outcome of any renegotiation by the prime minister”.

This has been the continued theme of the evacuees: we all share a vision about the equal and democratic society, and acknowledge the mandate of Corbyn’s leadership win. That said, we will oppose him at every main juncture, at every point upon which that mandate was secured. And avoid, at all relevant points, discussing the anti-austerity, social welfare reforms that are on the table.

There have also been very blatant attempts at blackmail. Labour’s biggest private donor, John Mills, has made a public stance on the issue of funding MPs keen to sabotage Corbyn’s leadership while withdrawing all direct funding to the party proper. The fresh breeze is set to be stifled.

From without, the Prime Minister has not wasted any time. The Trade Union Bill on the table has one vital object: limiting the means the unions have for calling strikes. A four-month limit on ballots for industrial action is being proposed as part of the reforms. Such measures have been red rags to the bulls within the union movement.

The conservatives have, to that end, served to highlight the support for Corbyn from the unions as the very reason he should be opposed. Britain’s national security will be at stake before an army of left wing fanatics. The marketing team, not wanting to waste any time, released an attack video with the title “Labour: a threat to our national security.”

Leaving decency at the front door, the strategists deploy what theIndependent described as “sinister, unsettling music” featuring “clips of Mr Corbyn filtered in black and white – interspersed with clips of ISIS fighters.”[1] The list of Corbyn goodies include his anti-Trident stance and a remark describing the execution without trial of Osama Bin Laden as a “tragedy”. (The video naturally hints at sympathy for Bin Laden rather than the tragic circumstances of resorting to extrajudicial killing.)

The establishment press is similarly on board the theory of chaos that Corbyn is said to entail. It is also chortling at the party tensions, noting that such disagreements are “a sign that the new leadership may be unable to agree on key policy positions in the weeks ahead.”[2]

For all of that, these are early days. Corbyn as leader may bend a little on some of these stances in time. Debates are bound to be had within the party. But he risks undermining himself without inflicting a well targeted purge of the Blairite technocrats. Thus far, they are doing a good job of it themselves. The looming question remains how far Corbyn, with his seemingly vast broom, can go.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: [email protected]





Shares and stocks are tumbling around the world, with investors worried that the next global crisis has already begun. There is considerable uncertainty and nervousness amongst economists and trend forecasters. Government’s sooth jittery markets with misinformation in the hope that confidence does not evaporate and their legitimacy with it.

If another crisis gets underway – do you think that the money you have earned, paid tax on and put in a bank for a rainy day or for an unexpected bill is safe? Because if you do, you’re wrong.

Automated grand theft on an unprecedented scale has been agreed with unelected EU officials, the Bank of England and US authorities.


In a Joint paper issued by the US Federal Deposit Scheme and the Bank of England dated 10th December 2012 a statement included the words; “deposit schemes may have to contribute to the recapitalisation of a failed bank”.

The U.K. has also given consideration to the recapitalization process in a scenario in which Systemically Important Financial Institution (SIFI) liabilities do not include much debt issuance at the holding company or parent bank level but instead comprise insured retail deposits held in the operating subsidiaries. Under such a scenario, deposit guarantee schemes may be required to contribute to the recapitalization of the firm.

This 2012 paper puts in place procedures in the event of the failure of a systemically important bank. It clearly states that depositors are to be protected – that is, until options have ceased to exist. Next time, the state will be last in line, not first. Depositor bail-in schemes are now a reality.

The issue at hand is the scale of the bank failure. US and UK authorities have now admitted that all deposits are subject to potential ‘haircuts’ involving any major bank failure. This is an admission by the British government that the £85,000 deposit guarantee scheme is flawed and that the British depositors protection promise is simply a sound bite and not financially supported.

Paul Tucker, Bank of England Deputy Governor stated that ‘it is not enough to have just a Deposit Guarantee Scheme’ to save a major bank. He went on “if the losses are vast enough, then the haircuts imposed by the resolution authority can in principle permeate to any level of the creditor stack. In the case of insured deposits, that means Deposit Guarantee Schemes (DGS) suffering losses”.

Although Paul Tucker had given notice to retire the previous November, straight after this speech given to the Institute of International Finance on October 12th 2013, he retired and left the Bank of England, leaving that grim warning.

The G-20 met last year in Australia to make new banking rules for the next financial calamity. Financial reform advocate Ellen Brown says these new rules will allow banks to take money from depositors and pensioners globally.

Brown says –

They use words so that it’s not obvious to tell what they have done, but what they did was say, basically, that we, the governments, are no longer going to be responsible for bailing out the big banks. There are about 30 (systemically important) international banks. So, you are going to have to save yourselves, and the way you are going to have to do it is by bailing in the money of your creditors. The largest class of creditors of any bank is the depositors.

Around the same time the new EU Bail-In Agreement was signed 12th November 2013 giving notice to member countries to prepare.

The European Commission has just ordered 11 EU countries to enact the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) within two months or be hauled before the EU Court of Justice. Notably, rules include; Bail-in legislation aimed at removing state responsibility when banks collapse and Rules placing the burden on creditors – among whom depositors are counted

Austria abolished bank deposit guarantee in full in April with the full sanction of the EU and little fanfare.

The news was not covered in other media despite the important risks and ramifications for depositors and savers throughout the EU and indeed internationally. The countries were Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, France and Italy.

The rules, or BRRD ostensibly aim to shield taxpayers from the fall-out of another banking crisis. Should such a crisis erupt governments will not be obliged to prop up the banks. Most countries are far too deeply indebted to play such a role anyway.

Instead, the burden is being placed on the creditors. As Reuters put it “The rules seek to shield taxpayers from having to bail out troubled lenders, forcing creditors and shareholders to contribute to the rescue in a process known as “bail-in”.

Emergency legislation can be drawn up over-night – as was the case when Ireland was “bailed-out” or rather Ireland’s banks were bailed out and Ireland’s tax payers were bailed in. The developing bail-in regimes, means that soon individual and corporate depositors will see their savings and capital ‘bailed in’ in the event of a bank collapse.

In the ongoing meltdown of the European Union, perhaps the greatest single bump in the road, as far as banking is concerned, so far took place in Cyprus, although the EU has demonstrated an amazing skill set to change the rules at will depending on the scale of the disaster – AKA Greece.  This gave the world a glimpse of the future banking landscape of the EU.

In the immediate aftermath of the dramatic bank holiday and bail-in events of Cyprus, many in the financial media began asking whether Cyprus represents a template for future bail-ins across the European Union or elsewhere around the globe. The answer is emphatically YES. A 60% haircut lay in waiting for some in Cyprus.

Each country will enact its own version of the BRRD. How vulnerable savers are in specific countries is difficult to tell at this time. The drive towards a cashless economy which has accelerated in recent months makes deposit holders and savers ever more vulnerable.

Britain is particularly perilous as noted in the FT – The Bank of England’s stress tests of the banking sector have been attacked as “fatally flawed” saying they areutterly useless for setting hurdles that are too easy to clear and giving false comfort about the safety of the financial system.

The bail-in legislation which is being driven by the BIS through the Bank of England, ECB, Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) appears designed to protect banks by allowing them to confiscate deposits to prop them up rather than the noble stated objective – “to shield taxpayers”.

The new EU system will take effect from January 2016 but emergency resolutions can be brought forward in the event of banks failing in the interim period. The “bail-in” will require that shareholders, bondholders and importantly now depositors will all suffer ‘haircuts’ if a financial institution is in trouble.

The European parliament confirmed in a statement that depositors with more than 100,000 euros (£84,185/$137,000) would be bailed in after shareholders and bondholders. It is important to note that the 100,000 figure is an arbitrary figure and there is a possibility that this figure could be reduced by an insolvent government faced with an imploding banking system. Think Cyprus again.

The agreement was spun as a victory for taxpayers, however the risks and ramifications of bailing in savers including families with their life savings and the deposits of already struggling small and medium size enterprises has already been seen in Cyprus.

Gunnar Hoekmark, who steered the legislation through the European parliament, said: “We now have a strong bail-in system which sends a clear message that bank shareholders and creditors will be the ones to bear the losses on rainy days, not taxpayers.”

Gunnar forgets that savers are taxpayers too and have paid taxes – on their income, on goods and services, on capital gains etc – on their hard earned savings already. Indeed, many are already paying punitive deposit interest rates giving banks ever more.

There also appears to be a failure to realise that deposits – including family’s life savings, retirees pension incomes and businesses – are a vital part of the economy. You cannot have consumption without saving. You cannot have business growth and expansion and a consequent growth in much needed employment without capital.

The Bank of England recently extended the Financial Stability Board’s Key Attributes guidelines and added four practical steps to follow when bailing-in a financial firm.

These four steps are; Stabilisation, Valuation and Exchange, Relaunch, and Restructuring. Although the Bank of England’s four step bail-in approach is quite detailed, it does not address the capital controls that would be needed so as to prevent a bank run. This is where the Cyprus example becomes useful.

Capital controls were widely implemented in Cyprus during a theoretical two week long ‘Resolution Weekend’. Authorities knew that depositors would act rationally and attempt to close their accounts or transfer their funds abroad, thereby causing capital flight. To prevent this happening, draconian capital controls were imposed and banks were kept shut for two weeks.

This was the first time that capital controls had ever been imposed within the Eurozone. Greece followed. Many EU countries already have some controls over the movement of money.

When capital controls are imposed on economies, they usually remain in place for some time, for example, Icelandic capital controls imposed in 2008 have only just been lifted. Cypriot capital controls have only just started to be relaxed. Controls on international fund transfers are envisaged as being the final piece of the controls to be lifted.

The lessons from the Bank of England and EU plan and from Cyprus and Greece are essentially that depositors will not get any notice that their bank is about to be bailed in. The bail-in would probably happen during a weekend it would not re-open on the following Monday. Capital controls would be imposed on the country’s banks during the bail-in and for a lengthy follow-on period.

From January 1st 2015, Britain’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), that protects £85,000 per person per institution was reduced to £75,000, under the absurd pretence of the strength of the pound. So absurd was this move that it caused considerable suspicion as to its motives. The Bank of England has just reduced bank liabilities and integrated the depositor bail-in scheme at a reduced level. One has to ask – Why?

The Syrian Crisis: A War Waged on Russia by US-NATO

September 14th, 2015 by David Morgan

It seems clear now that the West wants to defeat Russia in Syria at all costs. This latest protracted confrontation in the Middle East can be understood as a proxy war of the US and NATO against Putin’s resurgent Russia. But Syria is just one zone of engagement in a much wider war against Russia that has been taking place since Putin started to stand up to the West. The same confrontation also occurs in Ukraine and formerly in Georgia, where Russia successfully halted, albeit temporarily, the Western advance. This amounts to a new Cold War or an undeclared war where East and West are once more in global confrontation.

To date the policy to unseat Assad has failed miserably despite the West’s imposition of punishing economic sanctions, its bombing of the country and the sponsoring, financing and training of what are little more than terrorist mercenaries. It is virtually impossible to distinguish the moderate rebels from the Islamist fanatics of ISIS (Islamic State).

In reality the root of the current refugee crisis in Syria lies in the strategy of “regime change” adopted by the West over many years. After its failure to effect regime change in Syria, the West now appears intent on ruthlessly exploiting the misery of the Syrian people that the West itself has contributed towards creating in the first place, using the human desperation as the latest leverage to weaken and inflict a final defeat on a country that has been outside its control for decades.

From this perspective the generous German ‘offer’ to take in 500 thousand Syrian refugees a year can be interpreted as a cynical strategic ploy to persuade the Syrian population to break their attachment to Russia’s last remaining ally in the Middle East; thus bribing a desperate people weakened by years of conflict. Such an enticement to escape from increasingly intolerable conditions will effectively decant Syria of the most able-bodied members of its population, who will be vital to help rebuild its economy in the future.

This new tactic seems to be working where sanctions and sponsoring terrorism have failed. Many of the refugees now fleeing the conflict are apparently former members of the Syrian armed forces who have simply become exhausted and had enough of the relentless fighting; this reduction in military personnel is seriously depleting Assad’s ability to resist ISIS.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry has threatened Russia for its alleged military ‘build up’ in Syria and NATO has inevitably echoed Kerry’s concerns. These accusations of an increased Russian military presence in the country conveniently ignores the longstanding cooperation between Moscow and Damascus and flagrantly dismisses the significant role that Russia is playing in assisting Syria to combat the advance of ISIS, which is supposedly the main rationale for the current US-led military operations in Syria.

Perhaps we must conclude that the West is not very serious about defeating ISIS or at least that it sees removing Assad as the top priority irrespective of the consequences. Washington does not even have a plausible puppet government-in-waiting to take the reins of power should Assad be toppled; the political vacuum is much more likely to be filled by ISIS.

Surely the West’s policy advisers understand this is the all too likely outcome.

Tightening the noose on Russia and Syria, EU states Bulgaria and SYRIZA-led Greece are now denying Russia the use of vital airspace to supply Syria, which is clearly a further calculation designed to weaken Damascus – although Iran has offered Russia an alternative flight route.

Furthermore, it needs to be stressed that, as has been widely reported, the so-called “moderate rebels” so assiduously promoted by the US are actually linked to Al-Qaeda, which makes for an unholy alliance if ever there was one. The end result of the conflict in Syria could be that ISIS will come to rule and it could even eventually head a pro-Western state. This outcome is not really so farfetched if one considers the repressive nature of some of the West’s other long-term allies in the region and around the world. Washington and the European powers have never really had a problem in dealing with dictators despite all their high-minded talk of human rights in this and in other contexts. Human rights discourse is simply another weapon in a strategic power game.

Another front in the war against Russia is Ukraine, which has been transformed into one of the most anti-Russian regimes in Europe and sees the extension of NATO right up to Russia’s border. NATO has been broadening its presence in Ukraine for some time but is making this new military relationship more formal with an official visit to Kiev by its Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg who was to take part in the Ukrainian Security Council. At the same time, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry indicated that the opening of the very first NATO office in Ukraine is planned. Furthermore, Mikhail Saakashvili, the virulently Russophobe former president of Georgia, who is already the governor of Odessa, is now even being touted to become a future Prime Minister of Ukraine; which can only be interpreted in Moscow as a gross provocation.

Elsewhere, NATO member Turkey seeks to smash the Kurds who are not only officially branded as terrorists by the EU and US, but are seen as suspiciously socialist and subversive of the existing neoliberal order.

Turkey has been allowed to launch bombing raids on PKK camps in Northern Iraq, which the UN Secretary General has defended on the basis of the country’s right to self-defence. It needs recalling that Turkey was supposed to be joining the US-led campaign against ISIS but instead it preferred to use the occasion in an opportunistic manner to attack the PKK which it sees as its main enemy, while it has been accused of aiding ISIS advances, particularly in the case of the Kurdish border city of Kobane which had come under sustained attack from ISIS.

Ironically, it speaks volumes that the US is remaining largely silent and uncritical in face of the mounting death toll arising from Erdogan’s decision to abandon his rapprochement with the Kurds in favour of what increasingly looks like escalating into an all-out civil war. The West seems none too bothered about this outcome. We hear only muted complaints, for instance, when independent journalists are picked up and deported by Turkey.

In marked contrast to the criminalisation of the Kurdish movement in Turkey, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) of Iraq, which has always been tenaciously pro-Western, was fulsomely praised in Parliament by PM David Cameron on 7 September during the debate on Britain’s policy shift on taking in Syrian refugees in the wake of the outcry at the death of the Kurdish boy washed up on the shores of Bodrum, in Turkey. This praise for the KRG is meant to teach the PKK and its affiliates in Syria a hard lesson: they are being warned, ‘embrace our ideology and you will prosper, defy us and Turkish aggression will be mercilessly unleashed and we won’t help you’. The social confrontation now raging across Turkey has seen violent attacks on Kurdish organisations such as the burning of offices of the HDP, which led one commentator from Turkish Daily News to describe it as an impending Turkish ‘Kristallnacht’.

The conflict now raging in Turkey was initiated by President Erdogan after his failure to achieve a much sought absolute majority for his AKP in the country’s June election. Frustrated by the election outcome, he has since sought to find a means to reverse the setback setting his sights on the HDP whose surprise 14 percent in the poll denied Erdogan the victory which he virtually believed was in his grasp as a destiny. Hence, his increasingly erratic, manic and messianic approach to politics. This has laid the basis for an unnecessary conflict that might easily have been averted given the potential to build on all the efforts that had been put into the peace process with the Kurds. Sadly, a magnanimous and more imaginative politician who was truly concerned for the entire nation’s welfare rather than narrow party interest might have achieved a historic breakthrough. Tragically wise counsel from Turkey’s allies seems not to have been made available or at least what had been attempted has proved to be ineffective in deterring Erdogan from his destructive trajectory.

There are fears that a deal had been struck between US President Obama and Erdogan to allow Turkey to sort out its Kurdish problem by force in exchange for permitting the US use of Incirlik airbase to bomb Syria.

If the assumption that this is what was agreed is correct, the responsibility for the renewed conflict would lie not with Ankara alone. Not only will this be another ‘great betrayal’ of the Kurds by the Western powers, it will amount to a huge miscalculation in that the Kurdish social movement cannot simply be eradicated by employing force, however brutal that might be. This bloody course of action will simply contribute towards the further destabilisation of an extremely unstable region. The social conflicts inside Turkey will not easily be healed, but, in fact, they may well last for generations, significantly weakening the country in the meantime.

Incidentally, it might also be mentioned that some of the Gulf States, who are ‎generally backing the “opposition” to Assad financially and diplomatically, are also seeking to gain an economic foothold into Ukraine by buying up tracks of fertile agricultural land, of which the country is plentiful, to obtain vital food resources to satisfy the needs of their own growing populations.

In addition, Qatar has recently played host to a conference of the so-called Iraqi opposition – with US support- one aim of which was to unite former Baathists and pro-ISIS groups in Iraq in a bid to change the government in Baghdad. This is yet one more zone of engagement in the wider confrontation.

The US has also found it impossible to renege on the Iran nuclear deal, but lobbied by its traditional allies in the region, Washington still seeks to contain any possible expansion of Tehran’s influence.

UK leaders demonstrate a similar negative attitude to Iran reflected in their reluctance to condone its involvement in any deal to resolve the conflict in Syria. Thus, replying in the Parliamentary debate to a call by Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn for an international conference on the Syrian crisis that would include Iran and Russia, Cameron was quick to remind MPs that Iran remains disqualified because of its alleged continued support for “terrorist” organisations such as Hezbollah in Lebanon.

This casual and routine repudiation of any proposals for peace talks to resolve the conflict only works to prolong the misery of the Syrian people whom the likes of Berlin and Brussels are currently proclaiming to offer a place of refuge. There is a certain contradiction here and the hypocrisy is quite nauseating.

Syria, Ukraine, Turkey, Iraq and Iran. These are seemingly separate conflicts with different causes and their own self-contained solutions, but underlying them there is a grand plan which is to exert control over a strategically vital region and by so doing gain possession of its rich resources. These conflicts are related zones of engagement within this overarching conflict. It amounts to an undeclared world war.

The roots of the current Syrian refugee crisis lie in the adoption of regime change as a key plank of US and NATO foreign policy. The suffering inflicted on the people of Syria by Assad is actually as nothing compared to the collateral damage that has been inflicted in the campaign to topple him and achieve strategic advantage against Moscow

Australia: The Fall of Tony Abbott

September 14th, 2015 by Binoy Kampmark

“This will be a thoroughly Liberal government. It will be a thoroughly Liberal government committed to freedom, the individual and the market.”

-Malcolm Turnbull, Australian Prime Minister, Sep 14, 2015.

You could hear the knives sharpening several continents away.  Malcolm Turnbull, former communications minister, and now Australian Prime Minister, engineered a successful ambush of Tony Abbott as the evening newsfeeds started getting busy.  When the vote came in, Turnbull had garnered 54 votes to Abbott’s 44.

The question was one of timing. The Coalition had been registering losses in poll after poll.  The Abbott style hardly improved after a spill was forced on the party.  Despite claiming that he would be ushering in a spring clean, he continued bypassing ministers and MPs.  Decisions on the environment and national security were made with a tyrant’s impulse.  Extraordinary policy suggestions were aired (a unilateral deployment of Australian forces to Iraq against Islamic State forces being one).  Even more conservative members of his party had to urge restraint.

What stood out in the Turnbull message was the care he took in emphasising the economic aspect of the assassination. It was economic management, the supposed preserve of conservative governments, that Abbott was failing in.  “We need to have in this country and we will have now, an economic vision, a leadership that explains the great challenges and opportunities that we face.”  Opportunities that might have been taken were not.  Leadership was lacking.

This then enabled Turnbull to strike out at his opposite number, the Australian Labor Party’s Bill Shorten. How dare he be questioning about a China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, or any other, for that matter?  In that sense, Turnbull is doing the old patch-up about free trade treaties that tend to lag in the free department.  Australia, inexplicably, tends to be the dogmatist on the diplomatic bloc on the issue of free trade. Never mind that the returns, typified by the Australian-US free trade pact, are poorer for it.

So much in politics rests and falls on the issue of communication.  In Turnbull, spit and polish will be employed to cover what essentially will be policies similar to Abbott.  Turnbull never truly gave up his advocacy credentials – indeed, as he explained to the press, advocacy, not slogans, was what was needed.  Despite such an observation, this has all the makings of a political facelift, a cosmetic reordering. “Good house,” claimed Catherine Deveny, “in a bad street.”[1]

And Turnbull was not averse to doing a bit of sloganeering himself, notably on the subject of organisational culture.  “There are few things more important in any organisation than its culture.  The culture of our leadership is going to be one that is thoroughly consultative, a traditional, thoroughly traditional cabinet government that ensures that we make decisions in a collaborative manner.”[2]

In other respects, the moderates, who tended to be the mummies of the Liberal set, will be relieved.  Some MPs will have a sense that their seats might be retained come the next election.  A Turnbull-led offensive from the centre always looked better for the polls than an Abbott kamikaze deployment from the margins.  Shorten, and the ALP’s focus-group driven strategists, will be disappointed.

Spare a thought for Abbott.  While he knows the nature of the Westminster system, with its inbuilt ability to exclude genuine democratic will regarding leaders, such outcomes do little to promote that model of politics with any confidence.  Given the polarising nature of Abbott’s reign, commentary on that subject is bound to be minimal.

Australia’s governing political parties continue to embrace the revolving door of leadership. This, more than anything, suggests how the spin doctor, rather than the citizen, holds sway in the corridors of Canberra. It is the reason why we have seen a profusion of prime ministers who are elected, not by citizens, but by party members and, by default, party pollsters.

Wordsmiths and critics will be similarly stunned by this turn of events. Abbott’s insularity had certain clownish proportions that always made good social media and press copy. His behaviour on behalf of Australia has been hysterically preposterous at stages, though one always had to admire his ideological steel in the face of vacuous opponents in search of an ideology.

At times, such conviction verged on the fanatical, impervious to correction.  Even as he was going into the party room for the vote, he remained convinced about victory.  But the issue of whether his light is out in this political match is another thing.  The pugilist may just be back, if only for a Waterloo.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: [email protected]

In the movie The Truman Show, the main character is locked into a world of image: he is the unknowing star of a “simulated/constructed reality” television show, whose life is tightly controlled by those seeking to project the TV images they want beamed to the world, showing the day-to-day events in Truman’s life. In the world of social media today, we are voluntarily becoming just like Truman: involved in a world of controlled images, and concerned with truth very late in the game, if at all.

This image-oriented way of viewing the world has significant consequences. For example, last year the Pew Research Center reported nearly a quarter of American adults had not read a single book in the past year. The number of non-book-readers has nearly tripled since 1978, when 13 percent responded that they had read more than 50 books in a year. Today, Pew finds that just 28 percent hit the 11 mark. Last year, the NEA found that 52 percent of 18-24 year-olds had not read a book outside of work or school. (The Atlantic, January, 2014).

There are two uses of media technology today that reinforce this trend, and both have to do with the actual production of images. The first use is the oft-discussed practice of government and media in crafting images of propaganda for public consumption. In this practice, both the word and the visual image are geared to get the public at large to believe in something and to react to that created—and often false, incomplete, or misleading—image.

The other use of media technology is less discussed, and that is the use of technology by individuals to create an image of reality, including an image of oneself, that is intended only for the sensory consumption of others, but is actually only an expression of our desired public—and often false, incomplete, or misleading—image how we would like people to see us. So whether the use of technology is by government or by individuals on social media, crafting and consuming primarily images instead of attempting to understand the reality behind the images seems to be the fate of Western culture, and the challenge to those attempting to change society for the better.

To be specific, by “images,” I mean the use of visualizations, sounds, words, and/or actions, done either in personal encounters or via modern technology, that are intended to produce a pre-ordained visceral effect in or to some other person or persons. The heavy reliance on image-creation, whether by government, media, or individuals, makes people quite vulnerable to manipulation, if they don’t ask questions, and if truth becomes just a function of the image-created.

On the level of institutional image-creation, this can be easily seen by each attempt the U.S. makes to paint an image of “the latest enemy” as “a threat to national security” or “a terrorist threat.” Thus, from the Taliban to Saddam Hussein to Isis and beyond, the image portrayed is not confirmed by the facts. Isis is not a threat to U.S. domestic security, only to U.S. Mideast interests. Such images can even become downright humorous when one actually takes time to analyze the image-creation attempted, such as when Benjamin Netanyahu went before the United Nations and presented a speech centered on a cartoonish drawing of an old-fashioned fuse bomb, whose fuse was lit and which would explode when the Palestinians were granted their human and political rights.

On the individual level, the sense of self that is created by the image is ironically entirely self-defeating because in the process of projecting a desired image of our self, our self then becomes who the other sees us to be; the sense we get of ourselves from the other who participates in our own technologically-created fantasy. This is postmodern ideology come home to roost: rejecting a sense of self that comes from introspection, from within, through self-reflective, self-conscious understanding, integrity, and digging for the truth, and embracing instead an externally-determined self as a function of one’s social and public persona. This is often summarized by the number of “Facebook Friends” one has. When we live for and in a world of images, both the world and our self are then false and hollow. Both are directly opposite the self-expression of an authentic self: a self that is based on an already present and abiding internal knowledge of one’s worth, dignity, integrity, and self-confidence.

So-called “smart phones” and corporate and government media propaganda are thus all contributing factors to “the age of the image:” they are propaganda mechanisms used to craft images, and lost is the recognition that truth and reality lag behind images, since they take longer to assimilate. This is because the rational mind—that dynamic of our cognition which seeks truths and sorts facts from fiction—requires reflection time in order to assimilate its contents. Using images requires no reflection and little time: knowledge is visceral; facts are in the present; reflection is “yesterday.”

The social consequences of practicing and living in an image-based hyper-reality are stark.

First, no holds are barred for the goal of producing the desired image. Truth is relative and slave to the image; knowledge is opinion; and no one counts as a distinctly human end in themselves. Rather, everyone is susceptible to being reduced to a means, a role-player in and of a world of images. In other words, if I’m concerned only or primarily with how you see me, I’m not concerned with you as a person. The ethical implication is this: I can’t have compassion for an image; I can only have compassion for a flesh-and-blood human being. In hyper-reality, there is no such depth. This happens on a personal and governmental level.

The clearest example of this on the governmental level is the way drone controllers in the U.S. operate the drones that fly half a world away in Pakistan and Afghanistan. As most people now know, the drones in Afghanistan and Pakistan are controlled from the state of Nevada. What most commentators do not comment on is how the image that the drone pilots watch controls their very mental processes. The images they see are not of humans, but of what they term “sightings.” The actions based on perceiving these images in this distinct way is entirely different. If one sees a human being, one is reluctant to kill them when they do not know what that human is doing. However, responding to the image as simply a “sighting,” the entire point of action in response to the “sighting” then becomes only to “target” the “sighting.” In fact, drone operators can’t even make out faces; only little pixels that look like video game targets. Thus, using images alone changes the way we take in the world, such that the military personnel who fire the drone missiles don’t even see a human. The image of “sightings” becomes the image of “targets,” and the “proper” action then becomes “click-and-kill.”

Even in media reporting of conflicts, it is the sensational image that makes the story, not the details of the story itself. The traditional media motto, “if it bleeds, it leads,” has become “if it titillates the vision, it doesn’t matter the precision.”

The second social consequence of living in a world of images is that our view of reality changes: nothing is substantively real; everything is a technological art, an electronic reality. In such a “cell phone society,” the authentic self, and its understanding of being completely immersed in the spatiotemporal world, the physical and temporal now, is substantially diminished. The real self includes the ability to examine the inner experience of being human, and discussing that with others, in person, all of which results in meaning, which requires self-reflection and thought about self and world and society, not just visceral impressions. Absorption in creating or responding to crafted personal and/or multi-media images directs us to sheer immediacy: one cannot be concerned with the truth when the idea of what is true goes no further than the image, be it given or created.

Third, there are issues concerning what a technologically-created image does (or doesn’t) do to the mind/brain. We have the clear potential to be rational thinkers. But when people reduce themselves to the production, combining, and manipulation of images and call it “thinking” or “understanding,” they remain at the lowest levels of human cognition, with very little authentic self-consciousness. More specifically, thinking is reduced to mental processing by and through images rather than through facts and concepts and their relation. The latter is more rational and fine-tuned than the former, and has for many centuries been held to be an integral part of human nature. Regular empirical studies are published that demonstrate the lethal combination of a high amount of technology use and reduced cognitive functioning (see, for one good example, the study published in mid-2014 by The Atlantic).

The implications of this change to the mind/brain are significant. One is that thinking through what counts as evidence to a given claim is gone in an image-based world; it just takes too long to do that, when the image says everything for someone who believes in it. The point here is not that images don’t or shouldn’t count as evidence. Rather, the point is that while use of images can be a good in itself (e.g. police abuse of African Americans in the U.S., etc.), when they are used as the first, foremost, and/or definitive assumption as to what counts as evidence in forensics and specifically in thinking about and discussing social issues, it reduces the ability of people to compile factual evidence and draw conclusions in a specifically rational-logical way. The image does the thinking for me. This is what the philosopher Jacques Ellul refers to when he coins the phrase “the triumph of the image.”

If this is all true, why don’t we or can’t we just put our cell phones down for a day and/or shut off the TV? The answer is that we are already fully immersed in an age in which we live our lives through and in the images created by and for us: we are psychological junkies for new and mesmerizing—and most of all, superficial—images, by which we experience our thrills, agonies, consolations, and even relaxation. Most of all, the images tell us our “reality,” and thus what to believe and how to “think,” so that we no longer have to do it for ourselves. Such is the age of the image, that we are so addicted to living in it, and creating our images for others, that shutting it all off would put us in a whole different world, and thus a whole different mindset, in which “reality” and “truth” would strike us right between the eyes: our comfort and the phony world of the image we have created and live in would be shattered, gone, and in its place would come discomfort, the unease of being alive in the world, the difficult process of thinking about events, of actively assimilating facts, issues, and evidence, and of forming and understanding our “self” before broadcasting a simple image to the world. Most of all, truth, or a concern for truth, would replace image. We would be more prone to look at the hard truths of climate change and global inequities; of the harshness of war, and the dysfunction of a society that values money, possessions, and ego over authentic human connections. We would have to face the fact that a “Facebook friend” is not a real friend, who shares our “real space.” We would have to experience our sorrows and find our joys in the consort with others, and in nature, and they would all engage us at a deeper, more human level than merely having images of persons, events, and issues, because they would require our full presence, not our half-presence/distracted presence, as technological images do. The latter take no effort, no concentration; the former do.

In The Truman Show, Truman chooses to leave the world of the image for a most uncertain and definitely less easy life. But he realizes that at least he would then be able to create the life he chose to live, with all its complexities, ambiguities, and uncertainties, instead of living in the predictable, tightly controlled and manipulated world of the image he was used to and eventually came to know as an image.

In real life, we face the same issue as Truman did, but most people who are immersed in the image-based tech world of social media don’t see it. This issue is this: will we continue to craft and live in the artificially-induced, unreal, untrue, and phony world of the image that government, media elites, and tech-friends all encourage for us, or will we regain that human authenticity that is thoughtful, reasonable, reasoning, and oriented toward truth and reality? The former road is the world of the automaton, the world of the faux human. The latter road is the human road. It’s a tougher road because it is real, and requires our focus, but it is also the most distinctly humanly-fulfilling world. Fascists rule by image; democracy requires face-to-face dialogue with others about what is true, right, and just. We are at a crossroads in our democracy: be Trumans or be Jeffersons? The choice is ours, individually and collectively.

Dr. Robert Abele holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Marquette University and M.A. degrees in Theology and Divinity. He is a professor of philosophy at Diablo Valley College, in California in the San Francisco Bay area. He is the author of four books, including A User’s Guide to the USA PATRIOT Act, and The Anatomy of a Deception: A Logical and Ethical Analysis of the Decision to Invade Iraq, along with numerous articles. His new book, Rationality and Justice, is forthcoming (2016).

Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s freshly-resigned Communications Minister, has toppled Tony Abbott in Liberal leadership ballot and is now the country’s prime minister-designate.

Turnbull, Abbott’s long-term rival, has won a secret party room vote by 54 to 44, announced by Liberal Party Whip Scott Buchholz.

Tonight there were two ballots conducted; one ballot for leader, one ballot for deputy leader,” Buchholz said. For the leadership, “Malcolm Turnbull was successful on 54, Tony Abbott on 44 and one was informal.”

Julie Bishop retained her role as deputy with a margin of 70-30 over challenger Kevin Andrews, having earlier declared her support for Turnbull as leader. Earlier on Monday, Turnbull, while resigning from the cabinet, asked Abbott to step down, declaring a challenge to Abbott for the Liberal party leadership, and therefore leadership of the country.

“A little while ago I met with the prime minister and advised him that I would be challenging him for the leadership of the Liberal party,” Turnbull told reporters before the vote. “This is not a decision that anyone could take lightly.”

Turnbull said that Abbott“has not been capable of providing the economic leadership,”and he“has not been capable of providing the economic confidence that business needs.”

Turnbull is yet to be sworn as new Australian Prime Minister. The country will be getting its fifth PM in eight years.

Earlier in the day, Abbott dismissed speculation about his position as leader at a media event in South Australia.

“I just am not going to get caught up in Canberra gossip, I’m not going to play Canberra games,” Abbott said. ”I’m just not going to chase all of these rabbits down all of the burrows that you are inviting me to go down, I’m just not going to play the Canberra games.”

Turnbull, 60, led the Liberal Party until 2009, when he was defeated in a leadership vote by Abbott.

Abbott has called in his supporters for a meeting in a Liberal party room in the parliament building, Australian media reports.

Abbott’s Liberal Party-led coalition has a total oif 90 MPs in the 150-member House of Representatives, including 58 members of the Liberal Party. According to the Australian constitution, the next federal election for the House of Representatives, the main legislative chamber of parliament, must be held by January 14, 2017 at the latest.

Jeremy Corbyn has won the British Labour Party’s leadership election by a landslide. Corbyn comes from the left of the party, a party that over the past 30 years has shifted further to the right whereby it has become regarded as ‘Tory-light’ – a slightly watered down version of the Conservative Party. Labour has signed up to ‘austerity’, neoliberalism, US-led wars of imperialism and has ditched any commitment to public ownership of key sectors of the economy.

Tony Blair helped create ‘New Labour’, which fully embraced privatisation, deregulation and anti-trade union legislation: a toothless Labour Party that offered no real opposition to neoliberalism.

It would be naïve to think that Corbyn can reset British politics. Not all within the party support him, and the corporate media and British Establishment will set out to smear and ridicule him at every turn. Politics is often about compromise and, despite his admirable principles, we could see Corbyn ending up disappointing many of his supporters.

However, having set out this proviso, Jeremy Corbyn appears to have struck a nerve with large sections of the electorate. He stands on an anti-war and anti-austerity platform, is committed to investing in the public sector, wants to get rid of Britain’s nuclear weapons and says he wants to renationalise profiteering public sector utilities. He wants a fairer and more equal Britain. In reality. All this could amount to is a milder, gentler form of capitalism.

The right-wing establishment paints this as harebrained leftist radicalism. That such a relatively benign political platform would provoke this type of reaction shows how far to the right British politics have become. Neoliberal extremism has come to be regarded as being the centre ground of politics, certainly within the ranks of senior politicians and commentators belonging to the corporate media.

What Corbyn seeks is in many ways no different to many Labour leaders from previous generations. And what he seems to be advocating is not a type of full-blooded socialism that seeks to replace capitalism and take into public ownership the commanding heights of the economy. His aims are in some respects quite moderate.

After three decades of spiralling inequality, the financialisation of the economy, the destruction of manufacturing industry, the endless signing up to US-led wars and an overall attack on ordinary people’s standard of living, Corbyn has much to do even if some kind of shift away from the extremism of neoliberalism is to be achieved.

Since Thatcherism, all three main parties in Britain have been pro-big business and  aligned with the neoliberal economic agenda set by the financial cartel based in the City of London and on Wall Street and by the major transnational corporations.

During the last general election that took place earlier this year, the likes of Chatham House, Centre for Policy Studies, Foreign Policy Centre, Reform, Institute of Economic Affairs and the International Institute for Strategic Studies (most of which the British public have never heard of) had already helped determine the pro-corporate and generally pro-Washington policies that the parties would sell to the public. Pressure tactics at the top level of politics, massively funded lobbying groups and the revolving door between private corporations and the machinery of state also helped shape the policy agenda.

As if to underline this, in 2012 Labour MP Austin Mitchell described the UK’s big four accountancy firms as being “more powerful than government.” He said the companies’ financial success allows them privileged access to government policy makers. Of course, similar sentiments concerning ‘privileged access’ could also be forwarded about many other sectors, not least the arms industry and global agritech companies which have been working hand in glove with government to force GMOs into the UK despite most people who hold a view on the matter not wanting them.

The impact and power of think tanks, lobbying and cronyism meant that during the 2015 general election campaign the major parties merely provided the illusion of choice and democracy to a public sold to them by a toothless and supine corporate media. The upshot is that the main parties have to date all accepted economic neoliberalism and all that it has entailed: weak or non-existent trade unions, an ideological assault on the public sector, the offshoring of manufacturing, deregulation, privatisation and an economy dominated by financial services.

In Britain, long gone are most of the relatively well-paid manufacturing jobs that helped build and sustain the economy. The country has witnessed the imposition of a low taxation regime, underinvestment in the public sector, low-paid and insecure ‘service sector’ jobs (no-contract work, macjobs, call centre jobs – much of which soon went abroad), a real estate bubble, credit card debt and student debt, which all helped to keep the economy afloat and maintain demand during the so-called boom years under Tony Blair. Levels of public debt spiralled, personal debt became unsustainable and the deregulated financial sector demanded the public must write down its own gambling debts.

The economy is now based on (held to ransom by) a banking and finance-sector cartel that specialises in rigging markets, debt creation, money laundering  and salting away profits in various City of London satellite tax havens and beyond. The banking industry applies huge pressure on governments and has significant influence over policies to ensure things remain this way.

Absent from mainstream political discourse has been any talk about bringing the railway and energy and water facilities back into public ownership. Instead, privatisation is accepted as a given as massive profits continue to be raked in as the public forks out for private-sector subsidies and the increasingly costly ‘services’ provided. There is no talk of nationalising the major banks or even properly regulating or taxing them (and other large multinationals) to gain access to funds that could build decent infrastructure for the public benefit.

Nothing is ever mentioned about why or how the top one percent in the UK increased their wealth substantially in 2008 alone when the economic crisis hit. Little is said about why levels of inequality have sky rocketed over the past three decades.

When manufacturing industry was decimated (along with the union movement) and offshored, people were told that finance was to be the backbone of the ‘new’ economy. And to be sure it has become the backbone, a weak one based on bubbles, derivatives trading, speculation and all manner of dodgy transactions and practices. Margaret Thatcher in the eighties handed the economy to bankers and transnational corporations and they have never looked back. It was similar in the US.

Now Britain stands shoulder to shoulder with Washington’s militaristic agenda as the US desperately seeks to maintain global hegemony – not by rejecting the financialisation of its economy, rebuilding a manufacturing base with decent jobs and thus boosting consumer demand or ensuring the state takes responsibility for developing infrastructure to improve people’s quality of life – but by attacking Russia and China which are doing some of those very things and as a result are rising to challenge the US as the dominant global economic power.

The 2015 general election campaign not for a minute concerned itself with the tax-evading corporate dole-scrounging super rich, the neoliberal agenda they have forced on people and their pushing for policies that would guarantee further plunder, most notably the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

As an individual, Jeremy Corbyn has at least succeeded in opening up a debate about some of the issues outlined above, something that has for too long been absent within mainstream politics. Given the nature of those issues, however, and the deeply entrenched power of pro-Washington think tanks, global capital and the British Establishment, which despises anything or anyone with even a moderate leftist agenda, it would be very easy to get carried away with Corbyn’s victory and inflate what he could realistically be expected to achieve.

It could take a decade to have a tangible impact on rolling back the corrupt policies and their outcomes that took three decades to bring about. And, even then, this assumes we would be operating on a level playing field – left-leaning politicians in Britain have always faced hostility from the Establishment, not least the intelligence agencies.

Jeremy Corbyn seems to be a credible alternative to the current crop of mainstream politicians, not just because of what he says but because of the reactions he elicits from this bunch of discredited pro-austerity, pro-war, pro City of London/Wall Street, union-bashing, welfare cutting handmaidens to the rich that have ruined the economy and have helped to devastate countries across the globe with their penchant for militarism. If they are attacking Corbyn, he must be doing something right.

But these are the types of people who have been running Britain for 35 years. They tell the public that their policies are correct even when they have a devastating impact on ordinary people. And how do they sell this to the public? By used the tired mantra that ‘there is no alternative’. There is no alternative to illegal wars, selling jobs to the lowest bidder abroad, bowing to global capital, being held ransom to by rigged markets and accepting the corporate hijack of politics, ultimately through the TTIP. ‘There is no alternative’ – the last refuge of the looters, liars and war mongers who will try to make us believe that people like Corbyn will lead Britain towards disaster simply because he actually does offer at least some realistic alternative policies.

The people who run Britain are pushing ordinary folk into a race to the bottom. Reduced welfare, weak or no unions, poor wages, low-level jobs, increasing automation – they call this having a ‘flexible workforce’. What they really mean is that in order to stop jobs going to India or elsewhere, workers in Britain should be blackmailed to compete with for example Indian workers, many of whom earn little, work long hours often in poor conditions, have few benefits or rights and are as ‘flexible’ as they come. This is the free movement of capital or ‘globalisation’ they cherish so much and this is the type of ‘prosperity’ the neoliberal apologists offer ordinary people under the guise of ‘austerity’. Doublespeak reigns supreme.

Michael Gove, the justice secretary, and PM David Cameron have both issued warnings that Jeremy Corbyn poses a risk to national security and the economy. Along with Gove and Cameron, the defence secretary Michael Fallon epitomises the pro-neoliberal propaganda that people in the UK have become tired of. In response to Corbyn’s victory, he said:

Labour are now a serious risk to our nation’s security, our economy’s security and your family’s security. Whether it’s weakening our defences, raising taxes on jobs and earnings, racking up more debt and welfare or driving up the cost of living by printing money – Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party will hurt working people.

Here’s something for Gove, Cameron and Fallon to consider. When your policies have already jeopardized national security by inflicting terror on other countries; when you have already sold the economy to the lowest bidder and have attacked welfare, unions and livelihoods; when you have allowed massive levels of tax evasion/avoidance; when you and your neoliberal policies have allowed national and personal debt to spiral; when you have driven up the cost of living by handing over public assets to profiteering cartels; when you have flittered away taxpayers money to banks; when you allowed the richest 1,000 people in the UK to increase their wealth by 50% in 2009 alone while you impose ‘austerity’ on everyone else – then what else can you offer but to roll out a good old dose of fear mongering about Corbyn simply because you have no actual argument?

Corbyn does not wish to sign up to more US wars that have led to well over a million deaths. People like Fallon talk about protecting Britain and boosting national security by standing shoulder to shoulder with Washington’s bogus ‘war on terror’ and the destruction of sovereign states like Iraq, Syria and Libya. They do of course sell this to the public in terms of humanitarianism, rooting out terror or securing the safety of the nation. Fallon’s propaganda only works as long as folk remain ignorant and apathetic. It is plain for anyone to see the reasons for British militarism if they would only take the time to look up the Project for a New American Century or the ‘Wolfowitz Doctrine’ on the web. The blinkers soon become removed as the hoax of fighting terror or bombing people into oblivion is laid bare.

Fallon, Cameron et al are playing a dangerous game by hanging onto Washington’s coat tails. For instance, they will continue to try to fool the public about ‘Russian aggression’ because they have signed up to Washington’s plan to undermine and destroy Russia. They will never mention that the US instigated a coup on Russia’s doorstep in Ukraine. No, in the twisted world of doublespeak that comes easy to unprincipled politicians like Cameron, Fallon and others, we must focus on non-existent Russian aggression. A multi-polar world has no place in the US’s its agenda of unilateralism.

Fallon says Corbyn is a danger. What bigger danger can there be when the likes of Fallon is pushing the world towards major nuclear conflict by standing shoulder to shoulder with US foreign policy aimed at Russia in Syria and Ukraine?

The pro-Washington brigade of senior politicians in Britain are following the US into a dead end. The US economy is bankrupt. There is only jobless growth, if there is any growth at all. Stock market bubbles – like real estate bubbles, like creating money out of thin air, like rentier capitalism that produces nothing but only extracts royalties or interest, like treasury bond imperialism which has allowed the US to live beyond its means at the expense of other nations – is ultimately a dead end for US ‘capitalism’. It is unproductive and parasitic.

Demand is flat and will remain flat because consumers are in debt and their wages are stagnant or falling. The biggest contributor to US GDP is the military-industrial complex – the arms companies, the military, the surveillance agencies, the logistics corporations, etc. The US can keep on printing dollars and extracting dollars from other nations via offering its treasury bonds.

But the dollar is in decline. Less countries need it for trade and the less that it is required, the less it has a value, the less the US can continue to function as a viable economic entity. Its only response is a military one to prevent countries like Russia and China from moving off the dollar and encouraging others to do so, especially in the energy field where the petro-dollar system has been the backbone of US supremacy (the backdrop to the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere are partly about pipelines, control of oil and gas andretaining the dollar as the vehicle of energy trade).

Britain hangs onto Washington’s desperate attempt to enforce dollar supremacy. In the absence of vibrant, productive economies, militarism is all that remains in order to attack other countries and prevent them from rising (currency wars, sanctions or other means appear not to have had the desired outcome, as least as far as Russia is concerned). Imperialist wars, the anti-Russia/China propaganda we witness and the ‘refugee crisis’ are all connectedand can ultimately be traced back to the failing economies of the US and Britain whose rich have bankrupted them for personal gain. And Corbyn recognises this.

To avoid more war abroad and more austerity at home, Britain must reinvigorate its own economy and become a productive entity again. The British left fought against the financialisation of the economy in the eighties under Thatcherism. Coming from the left of the Labour Party, it might be easy to argue that Corbyn represents a leftover from a bygone era. With the breaking of much of the union movement in the eighties and Blair having helped to destroy Labour as a credible (potential) leftist party, he might be regarded as too little too late.

But at 66, Corbyn has tapped into deeply held sentiments that exist across all age groups: that something is fundamentally wrong in Britain and needs addressing. The fact he is appealing to young people suggests Corbyn might not be the final setting of the sun from a bygone era but hopefully the beginning of a dawn.


Relaciones Cuba-EEUU y libertad de prensa

September 14th, 2015 by Arnold August

Durante la ceremonia de izado de la bandera celebrada en La Habana el 14 de agosto de 2015, el secretario de Estado de Estados Unidos, John Kerry, expuso: “estamos convencidos de que el pueblo de Cuba sería servido mejor con una democracia genuina.” Esta promoción de la democracia para Cuba por parte de Estados Unidos se refiere, entre otros aspectos, explícita e implícitamente a la libertad de prensa. Con todo, el señor Kerry no centró sus comentarios sobre el tema de la democracia, sino que principalmente se expresó en torno a la política de su administración respecto de las relaciones EEUU-Cuba, en honor al gobierno de Cuba, al restablecimiento de las relaciones diplomáticas y a la reapertura de las embajadas, así como medio de avance posible para el acercamiento de dos pueblos que ya no son enemigos ni rivales, sino vecinos.

Pero veamos cómo la prensa estadounidense trató las palabras del secretario de Estado Kerry, así como su participación en otras actividades oficiales que tuvieron lugar en La Habana el mismo día. Tomemos el caso la cadena noticiosa estadounidense CNN en inglés. Para cubrir este suceso, la CNN envió a La Habana a uno de sus animadores vedet más importantes, Jake Tapper. ¿Y qué giro le dio él al discurso del secretario de Estado Kerry? El célebre animador declaró: “Pero no es instantáneo, no se improvisan de la noche a la mañana la democracia y la libertad de prensa.” El mismo día, pero en otro momento, luego reportó, “Este es un país que carece de libertad de prensa y de libertad de reunión y de una y otra cosa”, y aún más tarde añadió en otro spot televisivo:

 “Una sola bandera estadounidense no puede resolver todos los problemas ni soltar al pueblo de aquí de la garra de los hermanos Castro… y como bien dijera el Presidente Eisenhower– [al cual] cito – ‘Nuestras condolencias van dirigidas al pueblo de Cuba que hoy sufre bajo el yugo de un dictador.’ [a lo cual Tapper añade:] El dictador y su yugo ahora están siendo representados [por] su hermano Raúl.”

Por cuenta propia, Tapper se lanzó a buscar, entre otros, a disidentes cubanos para entrevistarlos. Aprovechó toda palabra pronunciada por estos respecto de su oposición al restablecimiento incondicional de las relaciones diplomáticas entre los dos países y resumió el alegato según el cual “sus detractores expresaron que esto solo concederá legitimidad a un dictador, hoy [14 de agosto], que no tiene interés alguno en un cambio verdadero”. Tapper fue más lejos al pasar el videoclip de un debate presidencial de julio de 2007 en el cual, según Tapper, el senador Barack Obama “justificaba los motivos por los cuales intervenía respecto de regímenes delincuentes (rogue regimes) como el de Cuba”. No obstante, según las transcripciones de la CNN, de julio de 2007, la cuestión giraba en torno a si se era partidario o no de que los candidatos presidenciales “participaran en encuentros separados sin formular condiciones previas, en Washington o en cualquier otro sitio, durante el primer año de su administración con los jefes de Estado de Irán, Siria, Venezuela, Cuba y Corea del Norte con el propósito de colmatar las brechas que dividen a nuestros países”. El término “regímenes delincuentes” no se emplea ni en la pregunta ni en la respuesta del señor Obama.

En suma, si bien la CNN transmitió integralmente la ceremonia de honores a la bandera y las palabras del señor Kerry, cuyo rasgo principal fue el de promover las relaciones diplomáticas de dos países vecinos, la CNN editó su propia versión. La red de difusión de la información por cable se precipitó sobre las observaciones del secretario de Estado Kerry acerca de sus conceptos de democracia para Cuba y una de sus correlaciones, la libertad de prensa, y, a lo largo del día y prácticamente en cada programa difundido tarde por la noche, bombardeó a los espectadores con los fragmentos sonoros “libertad de prensa”, “dictadura” y “régimen delincuente”.

Algo que también es significativo y que sirve de corolario al tratamiento de las observaciones del señor Kerry es lo que la CNN suprimió. Además de la ceremonia de honor a la bandera hubo otra actividad importante. El señor Kerry fue recibido por su homólogo, Bruno Rodríguez Padilla, ministro de Relaciones Exteriores de Cuba en la sede de la cancillería cubana. Esta reunión celebrada a puerta cerrada fue seguida por una conferencia de prensa conjunta en el Hotel Nacional donde, tras expresar sus impresiones los señores John Kerry y Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, tuvo lugar un periodo de preguntas y respuestas. Prácticamente toda la actividad fue censurada por la CNN. Es lamentable, porque el público estadounidense y el de habla inglesa a quien la CNN informa en otras partes del globo se perdió la oportunidad de escuchar lo que el lado cubano expresó respecto de la “democracia para Cuba”.

Durante el periodo de preguntas y respuestas, Andrea Rodríguez, periodista de la Associated Press, se dirigió al canciller Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla: “El secretario Kerry hoy mencionó el tema de que esperaba para Cuba una democracia genuina. Quisiera que me comentara usted qué opina al respecto”. La respuesta del ministro de Relaciones Exteriores nunca llegó a los oídos del público de Estados Unidos por el intermediario de la CNN. He aquí su respuesta:

“Yo siento que debemos trabajar activamente para construir confianza mutua, para desarrollar contactos en las áreas donde tenemos visiones cercanas o que pueden ser aproximadas, y al mismo tiempo conversar, discutir de manera respetuosa, sobre nuestras diferencias respectivas. En algunas áreas es cierto que las diferencias son profundas; sin embargo, puedo decir que algunos de estos temas son de intenso debate internacional. Por ejemplo, algunos modelos políticos electorales de países industrializados que parecía que podían ser un modelo único, han entrado en una gravísima crisis, incluso en Europa.

Los Estados tienen la necesidad de desarrollar sus vínculos en apego al derecho internacional con pueblos que han decidido, en ejercicio de su autodeterminación, su destino nacional, de acuerdo con su propia cultura, con su nivel de desarrollo.

Yo me siento muy cómodo con la democracia cubana que a su vez tiene cosas perfectibles, tal como trabajamos hoy activamente a partir de los procesos relacionados con la actualización de nuestro modelo económico y social socialista.

Puedo decir que es un tema en el que estamos dispuestos a conversar sobre bases absolutamente recíprocas y de igualdad so­berana, en el que nosotros también tenemos mucho que decir, preocupaciones que compartir; intentos de incrementar la cooperación internacional para resolver problemas relacionados con el ámbito de los derechos políticos y las libertades civiles que, en nuestra opinión, tienen que ser aseguradas de la misma manera que el derecho a la alimentación, el derecho a la igualdad de género, el derecho a la vida, el derecho a la educación y la salud.”

Los lectores sacarán sus propias conclusiones de los motivos por los cuales la CNN suprimió tales observaciones. Una de las maneras de verlo es que el ministro de Relaciones Exteriores de Cuba, tal como era de esperarse, expresó algunos puntos de vista que ponen en entredicho las palabras huecas la CNN. En lo concerniente a la cuestión de la democracia, el canciller cubano señaló una inquietud que muchas personas comparten en Estados Unidos y en otras partes de Occidente. Este malestar tiene que ver con la calidad de la democracia y del proceso electoral en estos países adelantados sobre el plan industrial. Esta puntualización inquieta a la CNN pues le arranca palabras a su narrativa respecto de la democracia. Si bien esta interpretación es desmerecedora para Cuba y sirve para dejar indemne a Estados Unidos o mismo para enaltecerle como modelo, a su vez denota cómo este último se posiciona respecto de su pensamiento único sobre la democracia.

Las observaciones del canciller cubano en defensa de la democracia cubana fueron calificadas con una salvedad importante: esta debe ser mejorada. Esta lógica de combinar decisiones soberanas con el reconocimiento de mejoras dentro de las tradiciones y valores cubanos también desafía el crédito de las palabras de los grandes medios de difusión de la información estadounidenses, tales como la CNN. Finalmente, el canciller cubano lanzó la bola de regreso a la cancha estadounidense en forma muy diplomática al indicar que Cuba otorga una gran importancia a los derechos políticos y las libertades civiles, de todos los países, tales como el derecho a la alimentación, el derecho a la igualdad de género, el derecho a la vida, el derecho a la educación y la salud. Los logros de Cuba en estos ámbitos son bien conocidos y reconocidos internacionalmente, mientras que la carencia de estos en Estados Unidos es cada vez más palpable dentro y fuera del país.

¿Cómo trató la prensa cubana el acontecimiento del 14 de agosto? ¿Practicó censuras, cortes y publicó informaciones falsas? No. Todo lo contrario, el día completo fue difundido en directo en la televisión y la radio cubanas. Esto arrancó con la llegada al aeropuerto de La Habana del señor Kerry y con una biografía informativa del secretario de Estado libre de toda declaración despectiva o salvedades. Igualmente, la ceremonia llevada a cabo en la embajada de Estados Unidos se transmitió por completo, así como todas las observaciones del secretario Kerry. Todo el contenido disponible a la prensa antes mencionado también fue televisado en Cuba. Al día siguiente, la prensa oficial cubana publicaba completas las transcripciones en español de la ceremonia en honor a la bandera y las versiones taquigráficas disponibles de la conferencia de prensa.

Esta aversión a la censura es parte de la tradición cubana cuando se trata de normalizar las relaciones con Estados Unidos. Por ejemplo, en 2002, el ex presidente Jimmy Carter fue a Cuba para visitar al presidente Fidel Castro. En dicha ocasión, se difundió en la radio y televisión cubanas el discurso integral del señor Carter, aun cuando contenía concepciones respecto de la democracia deseada para Cuba similares a las que pronunció el señor Kerry en agosto de 2015. En su informe de la visita, el ex presidente Carter escribió:

“Esa noche pronuncié un discurso en la Universidad de La Habana y luego respondí a las preguntas que, tal como había sido previsto, pasarían en directo sobre las ondas de la radio y televisión locales. Más tarde se retransmitieron y la transcripción integral del discurso fue publicada en los diarios cubanos. Posteriormente, no se podía encontrar en las calles o en los mercados a nadie que no lo hubiese escuchado”.

Los enfoques de la prensa cubana y los de la CNN que cubrían el suceso del 14 de agosto, particularmente opuestos indican que la CNN no dispone de elementos que permitan criticar a Cuba en relación con la libertad de prensa. De hecho, fue Cuba la que dio una lección a la CNN al no prestarse a censuras, cortes e informaciones falsas. Es interesante constatar cómo se invierten los papeles que desempeñan Cuba y Estados Unidos.

En Estados Unidos, “libertad de prensa” y “democracia” se presentan como razonamientos abstractos. Forman parte de los términos de moda que incitan a la gente en Estados Unidos y el extranjero a arrodillarse y rendir homenaje al país como modelo. La Primera Enmienda a la Constitución de los Estados Unidos, adoptada en 1791, prevé que “El Congreso no hará ley alguna por la que adopte una religión como oficial del Estado o se prohíba practicarla libremente, o que coarte la libertad de palabra o de imprenta, o el derecho del pueblo para reunirse pacíficamente y para pedir al gobierno la reparación de agravios”. La enmienda da la impresión de que no hay restricciones al abstraer la prensa del contexto socioeconómico en el cual se desenvuelve. De manera que, supuestamente, cualquier persona puede decir y escribir lo que desee.

En Cuba, por otra parte, según la lógica estadounidense hay restricciones. El Artículo 53o de la Constitución de Cuba establece que “Se reconoce a los ciudadanos libertad de palabra y prensa conforme a los fines de la sociedad socialista.” El marco del pensamiento único de Estados Unidos, según el cual en Cuba no hay verdadera libertad de prensa, debido a algunas restricciones, implica que en Estados Unidos supuestamente no hay condiciones.

¿Existe una forma pura de libertad de prensa en Estados Unidos? Tomemos el caso del reportaje de la CNN del 14 de agosto de 2015 como ejemplo pertinente. ¿Qué giro le dieron a su crónica y reportaje el animador Jake Tapper y los otros presentadores de la CNN? Posiblemente nadie les instruyó sobre la orientación que debían seguir; sin embargo, no era necesario ya que saben que para poder progresar en sus carreras, ellos deben promover algunos conceptos al tiempo que obviar o distorsionar otros. Todas estas contorsiones se retransmiten para hacer que sus reportajes coincidan con las nociones preconcebidas y los intereses de los círculos dominantes. Noam Chomsky esclareció el papel que desempeñan los medios de comunicación estadounidenses como parte del establecimiento político en su obra clásica Los guardianes de la libertad: propaganda, desinformación y consenso en los medios de comunicación de masas (Manufacturing Consent). Él y su coautor postulan que “la principal función de los medios de comunicación es la de estar al servicio de una determinada élite económica, aplicar su propaganda y suministrar la información filtrada por parte de la élite la cual los controla y financia”. Asimismo Chomsky puso al descubierto la complejidad de los mecanismos de este fenómeno al indicar que la restricción que el orden establecido ejerce sobre los medios de comunicación “normalmente no se logra a través de una injerencia bárbara, sino que recae en la selección de un personal con mente moldeable, así como en la colaboración de editores y periodistas profesionales que interiorizan las prioridades y definiciones del interés periodístico al coincidir con las políticas de la institución”.1 Aunque es sabido que la injerencia brutal también se practica.

Si tomamos en cuenta la percepción de Chomsky sobre los medios de comunicación estadounidenses en relación con la CNN y con Jake Tapper, podemos otorgar el beneficio de la duda a la cadena de difusión de la información controlada por cable de que no hubo “injerencia bárbara” en el sesgo que se le dio a la cobertura del restablecimiento de las relaciones entre Estados Unidos y Cuba. No obstante, según el postulado de Chomsky, Tapper fue seleccionado por la CNN en función de su carrera como persona dotada de “mente moldeable”. El 14 de agosto de 2015, él “interiorizó” o reprodujo el ángulo deseado por la CNN. En otras palabras, al encarnar la añeja opinión estadounidense sobre Cuba sostenida por determinadas élites, Tapper sabía perfectamente bien lo que estaba haciendo. Esto es algo que forma parte del desarrollo de una carrera con las recompensas pecuniarias que naturalmente acompañan el ascenso al éxito.

Tapper es un elemento prometedor para la CNN, por consiguiente se le eligió para ir a moderar el debate presidencial del partido Republicano el 16 de septiembre de 2015. Las cadenas rivales Fox News y CNN están llevando una lucha importante para captar más anuncios publicitarios con mayores precios e incrementar su clasificación de popularidad en los límites de los escenarios del debate presidencial republicano. La CNN está contando con la contribución de Tapper para lograr sus metas. El panorama de la “libertad de prensa” controlada por el poder de sociedades privadas en Estados Unidos es mucho más contrastado cuando se le compara al enfoque de Cuba. El Artículo 53º de la Constitución estipula que “los medios de difusión masiva son de propiedad estatal o social y no pueden ser objeto, en ningún caso, de propiedad privada”. Esta no es una restricción sino más bien un factor liberador, especialmente si uno compara al enfoque cubano, el enfoque de la prensa estadounidense controlada por el poder de las empresas.

No empero, según lo antes expuesto, Cuba, por su parte, posee una restricción explícita sobre la libertad de prensa: la prensa debe coincidir con los objetivos de la sociedad socialista. Ningún intento hipócrita trata de ocultarlo. Los objetivos de la sociedad socialista cubana y sus principios respecto de las relaciones Cuba-EEUU requieren que se haga todo lo posible para que la diplomacia aporte una contribución esencial a los cambios que se susciten en el modelo socialista cubano. Este esfuerzo diplomático cubano comprende la cobertura integral de la visita del secretario de Estado Kerry, independientemente de sus declaraciones. Para Cuba, tratar a sus invitados con tal deferencia, al igual que Fidel Castro lo hiciera con el presidente Carter, es una cuestión de principios.

Es de preguntarse si el reportaje realizado por la CNN de las actividades que tuvieron lugar en La Habana el 14 de agosto contradice la política oficial de Estados Unidos hacia Cuba. ¿Representa esta cobertura una sección de la élite dirigente que no está a favor del deshielo de las relaciones entre los dos vecinos y que se opone a otra facción del statu quo estadounidense inclinada esta por la opción normalizadora? La situación es compleja. Debemos guardar en mente cuando salió simultáneamente el asombroso anuncio de los presidentes Obama y Castro sobre la nueva política estadounidense el 17 de diciembre de 2014. En ese momento tanto la Casa Blanca como el Departamento de Estado aclararon un punto muy importante y siguen haciéndolo. Si bien el nuevo enfoque de Estados Unidos representa una modificación en la táctica, su objetivo primero no ha cambiado. Los funcionarios estadounidenses continúan promoviendo la versión de la democracia de Estados Unidos destinada a Cuba. Para lograr el objetivo final, redactado en un lenguaje más diplomático y por consiguiente menos burdo que el de la CNN, es menester continuar la propaganda de que Cuba no es democrática, de que en Cuba no hay libertad de prensa, etcétera. Pero todavía no sabemos por qué la CNN no contribuyó a la evolución de los esfuerzos diplomáticos desplegados por ambos países, algo que la prensa cubana hizo para su pueblo, y obvió informar profesionalmente al público estadounidense. El reportaje inculto de la CNN sirve como un recordatorio más de esta nueva situación dotada de perspectivas muy positivas para cubanos y estadounidenses por igual, al igual que del peligro que corre Cuba. Los cubanos están muy conscientes de esto. Su prensa y blogs periodísticos sirven de foro a un debate maduro y animado sobre el significado del nuevo encuadre de Estados Unidos. Este debate resulta de los intentos de los dirigentes y periodistas cubanos para mejorar la prensa cubana como parte de los cambios de gran envergadura que están aconteciendo en Cuba.

 Arnold August

Global Research, 13 de Septiembre de 2015

Arnold August, periodista y conferencista canadiense es el autor de Democracy in Cuba and the 1997–98 Elections y, más recientemente, Cuba y sus vecinos: Democracia en movimiento, disponible en Cuba. Los vecinos de Cuba son los Estados Unidos, Venezuela, Bolivia y Ecuador. Siga a Arnold en Twitter@Arnold_August.


Notas bibliográficas

1. Edward S. Herman y Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (New York: Pantheon Books, 2002), XI.

War and Peace: The Lost Principles of Science and Value

September 14th, 2015 by Prof. John McMurtry

In recent months we have seen one ‘peace activist’ organization after another framing global conflicts in US war-propaganda terms.

There is no criterion of peace, no evidence base, no life ground or compass governing judgement.

The official enemy is assumed as first premise, and slogans substitute for understanding. Avaaz, Amnesty International, and Physicians for Human Rights, for example, have all called for a version of ‘humanitarian bombing’ to ‘save lives’ in Syria. The war criminal attacks on Iraq and Libya under the same pretexts are erased from view.

In this way, blame-the-enemy justifications for mass murder run free with no grounding principle to tell peace from war, or of truth from propaganda. Even the legendary Science for Peace held a conference in March this year organized as if it was the US National Endowment on Democracy in Ukraine  Yet oppositions are skeptical of  any ‘moral compass’ because it is a concept typically invoked by the very people demanding wars. So we remain adrift in a world heading for cumulative catastrophe without any principled life-value bearings.

Again and again the same pattern unfolds with another designated enemy to justify another US-led aerial bombing of another poor society with resources for the US-led corporate-money maw  – already far advanced in Ukraine without press decoding. Accusing the enemy to justify war-criminal aggression is now normalized so pervasively that progressive organizations succumb too without any principled life-value compass. Organized amnesia allows it. Indoctrinated thinking governs it. Stupefied group-egoism motivates it.  Today the new propagandists of war are dressed in peace costumes as they assume the official narratives of war as their own.

Systemic Ignorance as the Medium of Mind Control  

But how could members of organizations which have stood for good causes go along with the big lies of a global war mechanism bringing eco-genocides to the deprived and profits to the few?  Systemic ignorance is the medium of mind control. In a world of totalizing diversions from our common life ground, one orchestrated war after another is reverse-projected onto a designated enemy to attack instead. A billion-dollar-a-day US-led weapons industry advances private corporatization across borders as prime time conflict entertainment and global panacea at once.  Wherever people do not mind being complicit in their own comfort zone, a growing global war against life organization itself advances in one despoiling invasion after another.

We know the symptoms in those who go along. Refusal to see, denial, diversion, and favors of the system collaborate to mask the deep war.  Once set into motion by the US-led war machine driving even barbaric ISIS, the recourse must be public exposure all the way down. People do not really prefer mass dispossession and death to life. Yet the comfort zone of collaboration has entered into the centers of the peace movement itself. I never fully realized how far until I met it inside an organization I have belonged to for 30 years. Science for Peace has long been  the most eminently led organization for peace in Canada, featuring such leading minds as C.B. MacPherson, John Polanyi, Ursula Franklin, Anatol Rapoport, Nancy Olivieri, and the list could go on across disciplines and fields of critical  inquiry.

How could such an organization become led into a propagandist framework of war in the name of “science” and “peace”? The story is a kind of allegory of our age. It shows how a dominant culture of denial, personal diversions, and forgetting can fatuate even an organization in scientific cause against war, propaganda and crimes against humanity. As so often elsewhere, it shows how a central administration can reverse constitutional goals by rubber-stamped steps of executive privilege which exactly fit to the surrounding public ignorance and indoctrination.

Just as our universities themselves have been hijacked by a collaborator class to serve business ideology and profits, so too can its public-affairs leadership and concepts of war and peace be hijacked the same way. Our deepest values of how to live as human can collapse into manipulating slogans and complicity unless we know what science, war and peace stand for in principle against push-button assumptions of surrounding propaganda fields.

The Background War of Higher Education:

Corporate Money and Propaganda vs. Standing for Life Value and Truth

The reframing of ‘science for peace’ into US-style blame-the-enemy propaganda occurred after the lead article of the  October 2014 Science for Peace Bulletin was published – “Corporate Globalization and Society Destruction: Joining the Dots of War and Peace in Ukraine” for (Vol. 34: No. 2).  Then even more then than now, Western media were reporting the causes of the civil war in Ukraine on the bases of sweeping falsehoods and accuse-Putin hysteria. Canadians were kept as ignorant as Americans with Harper and the corporate press out front and even the NDP foreign-affairs critic Paul Dewar repeating the official lies.

Yet not one counter fact or argument was communicated to the Bulletin lead article exposing the causal pattern and repressed facts. But then without notice and covertly, a major conference was unilaterally planned that silenced all the evidence against the official story. Acting president Metta Spencer, the long-time editor-proprietor of Peace Magazine, orchestrated a conference that erased the US-led war crimes in Ukraine and shifted all attention to the official enemy, Vladmir Putin. Many Science of Peace members went along not scrupling to notice that what had been erased that included the documented US orchestration of a war-criminal coup d’etat and the massive one-way bombing of civilians and life infrastructures in Eastern Ukraine and over a million refugees from the covered-up ethnic cleansing (now two million).

Put into the context of University of Toronto’s much more powerful Munk School for Global Affairs, this white-wash of the US-led Kiev overthrow of an elected government and continual mass murder of civilians in the Donbass region fitted very well. Global affairs has been taken over by pro-US/anti-Putin/Israel personnel and organization backed by big corporate money and providing media events. Why not Science for Peace too?

The Munk School was opposed by several active Science for Peace members, Professors of Chemistry and Physics John Valleau and Paul Hamel. They did their best to make the instant corporate propaganda arm accountable to academic disciplines and procedures. But kiss-money academic administrators with little serious research commitment imitate their richer corporate masters. At U of T, they kept negotiations secret until the academic coup was finalized to avoid any academic accountability. Then the announced $35 million received from notorious gold-baron Peter Munk was leveraged to get almost twice as much from Ontario and Canadian taxpayers with no independent academic appraisal, standards or accountability required. If all this could be engineered by a transnationally rapacious global mines owner whose operations kill and terrorize indigenous people in Tanzania and Papua against UN Convention – a man who effusively praised the mass-murderer Pinochet before receiving his doctorate from U of T – Science for Peace is hardly safe next door.

The Monk Institute is also accused of being an academic front for a pro-Israel lobby while being richly funded by a Saudi war merchant, Adnan Khashoggi, as well as by the Harper regime dependent on Israel lobby support. Harper gave $9 million of Canadian citizens money for transnational digital channels to conduct cyber uprising in Iran. When the academic surroundings have become so corrupted, Science for Peace hoping to keep an office on King’s Circle is perhaps only a gulp away. In such executive circles, critically informed scholarship and exposure of ongoing US-led international war crimes is not welcome, and Metta Spencer has already taken steps to silence it.

Fortunately, others in Science for Peace prefer factual truth and critical integrity in an organization worth saving. They can agree across differences and without past associations on the principles at stake of science, peace and war. And so they have against the corruption of these goals by blame-the enemy propaganda towards war in Ukraine and elsewhere. Yet the core modus operandi of the wider corporate state and media and collaborating organizations is not well understood: control of perception by total exclusion of internationally criminal facts and their US-led causation.  Behind slogans of ‘freedom’ and ‘peace’ any life reality that does not fit the ruling narrative is erased by being screened out of view.  To know the evidence or cause of things is effectively out of bounds.

Yet silencing the facts is not just a matter of memory-holing serial crimes against humanity and starting wars. The rationalizing justifications must reverse life reality itself to impose the master goal across domains – ever more money-sequence predation of human and planetary life supports with no limit or regulation by life standards. The system’s demands of profit and sale multiply exponentially and ever faster than world population. The destruction of societies’ very collective life capital bases is thus normalized in peace as well as war.

What Few See or Connect:

The Global War on Life Support Systems

No-one can reasonably deny the globally systemic rape and destruction of human and natural life and life support systems. But the private transnational money-sequence invasion is not spoken, and the common cause is off limits to expose. Yet we must name the deep war against life  to resist it. The air, soil and water are cumulatively poisoned, degraded and run down. The climates and oceans are polluted and destabilized to ever greater extremes. Species are made endangered and extinct at a spasm rate across continents. Waste cycles and volumes increase to endanger life systems at all levels. Public sectors and services are one-way defunded and abandoned as tax evasion by the rich increases. The global food system produces more and more disabling and contaminated junk without nutritional value. Non-contagious diseases multiply to the world’s biggest killer with only symptom cures. The vocational future of the next generations is driven to collapse across nations.

Behind all the degenerate trends is one system driver of all the others – the privatized, deregulated and self-maximizing global financial system which has ceased productive investment in life capital and goods to multiply itself. And what this borderless money-sequence system requires to go on invading and destroying societies is a global enforcement mechanism to override any barriers in its path posed by nations, peoples and their life conditions. This system cannot be imposed without force. The ruling function of the US-NATO military empire is to provide this enforcement – as, for example, in Libya which had the greatest water-security system in the world, universal healthcare, free higher education, a $50,000 grant for married couples, and a plan for public banking based on gold dinars and oil revenues. It was therefore destroyed by NATO bombing under the usual false pretexts with no corporate state or media ever reporting the facts or their causal mechanism.

This is why at the macro level lethal military production increases to more than the cost to prevent global social and ecological ruin to enforce the very system driving the life destruction at every level. In fact, a world war against human and natural life substance and supports is being waged by the life-blind macro mechanism. It is not driven by “humanity” as so often alleged, but by the opposite, a system disease. Yet conception of peace a feel-good state of self has substituted for recognition of the deadly disorder and its mechanically empowered war on the living world. The system’s eco-genocidal mechanism still remains taboo to investigate or name. Instead a mindless blame-the-enemy framing is reverted to as a first premise of discourse. This is the general mind-lock that results in, for example, the unscrupulous framing of the life-and-death crisis in Ukraine as a matter of ‘pro-Putin’ and ‘anti-Putin’ perspectives. In fact, this was the self-declared starting point of inquiry organized by the acting president of Science for Peace itself over many months from 2014 to 2015 without a stop, review or examination.

The life-blind propagandist structure at work was not questioned even after the production of a NATO-like propaganda conference – and so recognized by immediate NATO-journal publication. In this context “Is NATO as war criminal?” is unspeakable. Even as the US doctrine of “full-spectrum dominance” continued to expand into society-destroying wars now into central Europe, still the blame-the-enemy reversal of reality laundered out all US-NATO causal agency and mass-murderous force – all within the leading body of ‘Science for Peace’ itself. Most complicitly, the entire track record of millions of dead and suffering bodies of ruling US geo-strategic plan remain abstracted out as a ruling convention.

A striking concrete example tracked by Michel Chossudovsky and Global Research has been the complete black-out of the neo-Nazi core of Kiev’s military and security apparatus, even when the Harper regime is funding the training of the neo-Nazi National Guard perpetrating (with its fellow death-squad Azov battalion under its control) countless atrocities in Donbass with stylized swastikas on their official uniforms

The Science for Peace case is instructive of the more general malaise. When the memory-hole operation was completed at the early Spring conference after months of orchestration, no recognition of the cover-up was allowed within executive meeting even when tracked in formal reporting documents. At micro and macro levels of responsibility, the big lie and black-out of mass murder ruled on. At both levels, erasure operates at ground and second-order levels at once. Switching of issues is the method throughout. This is the way of the great sickness of the era which repels science and peace by its nature. The ultimately regulating pattern of transnational propaganda, war and life destruction remains executively assumed as normal.

The Ruling Laws of the System

“Let us again review the documented pattern of facts”, I have written to the Science for Peace membership in response to its collapse of mission. “Any disconfirming evidence is welcome, but none has been provided.  The memory-hole operations will prevail on macro and micro levels until the circles of erasure and omission are overcome.”

The regulating pattern of facts, what all science seeks to identify, long precedes the Ukraine crisis. The unseen general law is this:

Whenever any nation has an independent government with fossil fuel, financial, agricultural or strategic resources not yet subjugated to transnational corporate control, there is a US-led campaign to destroy it.

Where is there exception? There is none evident. Global Research provides continuous factual confirmation. Yet the master tactic of the system and its collaborators is to erase from view all such crimes of war that verified evidence points to, and to do so all the way down to people’s memories and bodies of the crimes. No-one can deny this underlying law at work by scientific disconfirmation. Apparent exceptions merely put the blame on others or lower ranks. This institutional disorder is built into the corporate globalization system.

With media-hypnosis and the many on board, the designated Enemy is ready made for moral wrath instead. Leaders and followers exude contempt and hate on cue – rather like a farce. But real life is blown apart, mutilated, deprived , malnourished in millions continually. Only wilful blindness can deny it, and deny it does in accordance with the italicized law. The complementary second law is: to divert all attention to the official enemy instead as the pretext for more war criminal aggressions.

Again, try to think of exception. Think of the Middle East – Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, Syria. All have been successively warred upon over decades dating from the overthrow of the social-democratic president Mossadegh of Iran in 1953 to Syria’s still mildly independent social state being destroyed to the roots today. Over 20 years in between, Iraq’s region-leading social state with universal health-care, free higher education, public water and electricity, local agricultural and food subsidies has been subjected to genocidal destruction and permanent civil war. In paradigmatic US war-criminal aggression which remains taboo to name in circles of collaboration, Iraq was attacked on contrived pretexts and the state was destroyed to control its fabulous resource riches “floating on a sea of oil’ (Paul Wolfowitz’s admission).

Always an Enemy is blamed to justify the eco-genocidal attacks. Once it was “communism”,. “despot” is a favorite, even someone elected by continual majorities by electorally undeniable majorities (eg. Venezuela’s Chavez, or Russia’s Putin). But always the real enemy is anyone or group not submitting to the ruling law and a society standing for its common life interest against the takeover. Try to think of any clear stop to this long history of false propaganda leading to crimes against peace that defines US foreign policy. Orchestrated destabilization, violent coup d’etat, civil war construction, and one-way bombing have been the common threads in East Ukraine.

In all cases, vast new profit opportunities,  resources, lands, price climbs, markets, agribusiness and – most of all – looting of public resources and finances by private foreign financiers and extractive corporations are opened up by the war. Once sovereign powers to regulate collective life capital bases are then stripped away, not only in the victim societies but at home.

The civil war method of long-term destruction of formerly independent societies to more freely exploit their resources has continued to the present day in a strategic arc of devastating US-fomented civil wars from Pakistan to Iraq to Muslim Africa to Europe itself in Ukraine after the Chechnya civil war in Russia was ended.  Civil wars render peoples helpless against foreign money control, and the pattern only deepens. Yet just keep blaming the enemy as the central issue as first premise, as in organization of the Ukraine conference by Metta Spencer of Peace Magazine and now Science for Peace, and the eco-genocidal pattern continues thus concealed.

Even as US-led terror-led death squads and bombing were in semi-truce in Ukraine, the US was supporting Saudi Arabia in projecting “terrorist” and sectarian “Shiite” labels on the popular uprising of the poor in Yemen against a corrupt US-Saudi puppet government. In more long-term historical trajectory, the pattern only deepens in criminal lawlessness abroad. Civil war has been US-supported and funded in Venezuela in the new century ever since its “socialism for the twenty-first century” was launched, briefly succeeding in violent coup d’etat until the people rose in the streets against it and loyal guards defeated the putschists who had already been diplomatically recognised by the US just as its proxy coup regime was in Ukraine later.

Today a main vector of destabilization of both Russia and Venezuela has been orchestrated oil-price halving aimed at it ruining their economies. Yet always “democratic” and “pluralist” pretexts lead continual attacks on independent societies. The Enemy is whatever seriously opposes the ruling law of expropriation. One object alone is achieved. Peoples and resources of the region are predated by transnational corporations. Without sovereign social defences or unity of collective life purpose, they fall apart. This is where they are planned to go – a myriad of controllable principates for US geo-strategic manipulation. As long as all evils can be blamed on an ever-shifting US Enemy, the life-devouring system marches on.

Knowing the Real War and the Real Enemy

US citizens themselves are bled dry.  Their common life bases and interests are stripped out by military and financial claws in dollar-trillions every year while public purses and resources too are plundered by the same causal mechanism. Yet the undeclared war against life and life support systems is blocked out a-priori. The master diversion across conflict situations is to blame an alien enemy that distracts from the actually invading system.

It is not only the designated enemy constructed by US propaganda. In civil society, it is endless spectacle games whose outcomes are irrelevant to the fatal disorder, but distract mass energies from standing up to it. In general, the survival resolve of peoples to overcome what attacks their lives is re-routed onto fabricated oppositions – in sport and political spectacles especially. The enemy is the other color. One way or another, the real enemy and terror is blocked out of view.

While there are myriad masks of and distractions from the actual invader, the real enemy can be defined very exactly.  It is what always attacks or demands more from collective life capital not under its control for external private gain. In the world-historical reality we live in, the ruling formula is: it always invades the evolved collective life capital bases of societies to multiply transnational corporate money sequences instead. This is the underlying ultimate law of the ruling disorder and its unseen deep war against social and ecological life bases to privatize for profit. It is only stopped by collective life-capital rule and regulation (as explained in depth in my Cancer Stage of Capitalism/From Crisis to Cure).

Twenty-five years after the dismantling of Yugoslavia into atavistic nationalisms steeped in the Nazi past by US-led destabilization (with Germany supporting the Croatia fascist party in nation ruin), the same has happened in Ukraine. The claimed US “war against aggression” is a reverse projection. It is targeted on what stands in the way of more corporate system expansion. Its violence and war crimes are then reverse-blamed on those who resist. “What about ISIS?”, it may be asked. ISIS has through all its mutations been funded, trained and armed by the US and allies, starting with the aim to control Shia Iraq and overthrow Syria’s social state. If its external funding were stopped, this Saddam-descended Sunni military formation would not last a week. It is US-bombed in some places to protect allies, and not bombed where it is advancing in destruction of Syrian society – for example, in ancient Palmyra near Damascus this Spring. None of this now documented fact is allowed into the ‘free’ media and corp-think tanks.

In the ‘war’ and ‘peace’ of this system, moral meaning is reversed at the same time as science. Socially organized development is everywhere reversed or destroyed for privately profitable transnational feeding on the collective financial, agricultural, natural and strategic resources of societies. This is called “development” and “peace”, while blocks to it are called “aggression”.

Western civilisation has, alas, gone radically bacwards since the international covenants of collective peace and welfare formed after 1945. All trade and financial agreements after 1988 have erased their every trace in a covert war against life security across domains.  It is called “the global free market”, but there is no such thing. Rather there is the opposite – unaccountable corporate-right treaty laws for the control of global supply and demand by the dominant transnational corporations. They in turn invade by finance and machines all that lives to convert it to lifeless commodities and profit.

In fact, an eco-genocidal program rules instead of international law. For example, when Palestine seeks the protection of codified international law, it is openly threatened and its taxes seized by Israel with US support. When Palestine joins UNESCO by invitation, the US defunds UNESCO. When it appeals to the International Criminal Court to judge the continuous war crimes and crimes against humanity oppressing it, Israel threatens it with more oppression and with tacit US support continues to extendits criminal occupation of Palestinian land.

Palestine is not an exception as assumed. It is a symbol of the system lawlessly destroying the lives and life conditions of non-corporate people across the world.  Yet who names the game? Normalized terror, life destruction and impunity rule. Even if more than three-quarters of wealthy societies’ populations are themselves without a secure livelihood, the deep war rules on at mounting extremes of cumulative ruin.

Knowing the systems laws of war and peace versus those of the life capital of all is the lost moral and scientific compass of the age and the species.

The Global Market God at War

Canada, long recognized as a life-grounded nation of peace at home and abroad, now systematically steers in the opposite direction. Under US “free trade” and NATO “partnership for peace”, CEO Harper’s dictatorial rule strips Canada of its life infrastructures, tax revenues and public information resources in the name of “future prosperity”. Yet always in fact he follows the deep-war code  – to  serve only private market powers to multiply and rule for profit with no limit. This is the underlying program driving all life-destructive trends today.

The God of this fanatic world religion is the global corporate market. It pursues a furious all-fronts war to convert everything to itself while pervading main-street, living rooms and academies with its indoctrination. The market God is omniscient, all-powerful and beneficent by definition. Just read the primary theorems of welfare economics and “the invisible hand” which remain the basis of the reigning pseudo-science styled ‘Economics’. Market magic rules through continuous commodity and system miracles eating the world alive. .

Always this God’s deeper meaning of freedom is spreading deregulated pillage across borders wherever more private money can be extracted from peoples, natural resources and public purses. It puts the hordes of Attila to shame in territory conquered and lives destroyed. Yet it ceases to have any historical life function once its circuits of production and distribution mutate to more private money demand to fewer as the ruling law of reproduction and growth: not more means of life for more people with less waste as true economic growth.

Yet this ultimate distinction itself of moral and scientific reason is completely unknown to the reigning theory and practice. Opposites are assumed as the same, with even fashionable philosophers joining in the absurdities of system worship as first premises of social thought.

Canada’s leadership may once have been capable of the distinction, but can no longer conceive it. It has become a militant servant of the Global Money God for total world rule.  Within its borders, it turns over all public resources and finances to maximally profit the money rich and free corporate extractors like Big Oil. Externally, it has been aerial bombing Arab lands from Libya to Syria and attacking Putin while training and equipping neo-Nazi Kiev in Ukraine – all funded by public money. The unseen war on life organization remains so silenced and suppressed from view that joining the dots of the real enemy across domains is too much to bear.

The Truth is What Sells, and the Enemy Sells the War

The underlying war on life and life support systems was explained in the October 2014 Science for Peace Bulletin in connection to Ukraine. But in line with the times, it all was erased by president-led conference in March 2015 – including the massive US-led criminal violations of international law and the violent overthrow of elected government and ethnic mass murders by neo-Nazi gangs and death squads still suppressed from view today.

This is how the global deep war can invade even a long research-leading anti-war organization with few noticing the hijack. Just keep erasing the facts, dressing up in peace and human rights while ignoring them, and focus on the US enemy as villain. What works on the world stage is thus enacted within the peace movement itself.

One master framework of lies rules beneath definition. Diverting to the Enemy is the decisive step for elimination of facts and causes inconsistent with the official story. A familiar hate-object of the audience is instead adopted as first premise. The corporate mass media and politicians do this as stock in trade because it runs deep into the group psyche. Once diverted to the hate-object of the group, people block out the disproving facts to remain acceptable themselves. This is the underlying thought-switch upon which system mass-murder and oppression depends. Not even academics may stand up to the accusation of “pro-Russia”, “9-11 conspiracy theorist”, “communist”, or whoever the designated foe may be.

This is why evidence, public statistics, knowledge of anything outside the official narrative is no longer safe in corporate states. Public knowledge is the enemy of the entire game. That which sees, documents, shares, certifies, distributes, or organizes to prove and act for the public good is blocked or sabotaged in omnibus ways. This is the secret behind, for example, the Harper agenda of information erasure – from defunding and de-listing progressive NGO’s, to gags on government ministries and scientists, to allowing only his personal photographer’s pictures into the mass media. The method of silencing facts by blocking them from view is not confined to Harper-rule, but expands by normalization into where we may least expect it.

The explicit US geostrategic plan and execution of “full spectrum dominance across the world” is thus reversed by blame-the-enemy diversion to the opposite – “the US protecting neighbouring states from Russia/China/Cuba’s aggression”. An ultimate issue thus emerges from contemporary world affairs to local choice space: whether, for example, an organization like Science for Peace collaborates with and abets this ruling order of propaganda and power, or stands for scientific standards of evidence and conclusion against proven falsehood and enemy blame justifying war preparations.

The standard approach of complicit organizations is to abolish any choice between real peace and military aggression by equating them in blame-the-enemy fabrications. No-one thinks to compare the US with military bases in over 150 foreign countries and Russia with none beyond adjacent borders. In accordance with the strategy of collaboration, one merely keeps blocking out the evidence with no reply as if it did not exist. If ignoring the evidence does not work, then one can simply lie and say it has already been fully answered, or say when caught out, no-one knows what the evidence is. All this has been done at the Science for Peace presidential level.

Saying it is so makes it so if enough people go along with it. The overall method is dominant in the wider world of starting wars while claiming to work for peace. Orwellian propaganda now totalizes through the academy itself by the purse-control level of central administrations which multiply themselves and their funding, privileges and salaries to the top while dispossessing teaching-research bases.  Wall Street lies and take go bureaucratic top across public sectors.

Reconnecting to the ruinous trends at the macro level and their enforcement by the world’s reigning military and financial embargo system, we might ask two direct questions.  Who connects the degenerate trends, as opposed to ignoring whatever does not fit the US-led public tale? Who looks for the common cause, as opposed to multiplying disconnected perspectives as democratic and free?  

At the most general level of global corporate press and information systems (including introductory textbooks in economics and sociology, over 90% so controlled in Canada), not one of these fatally degenerate trends is connected to any other or to any common cause producing them. This is testable by looking for any exception. Least of all is the depredatory system of vast military expenditures and operations behind the latest enemy they are used against examined as the real cause of the hostilities and uncontrolled global degradation. Never linked to this system costing over one billion dollars a day of US public money are the transnational corporate expansions into every area that the weapons, covert operations and nuclear threats enforce by their terror – always blamed on the resisting enemy instead.

Thus in Ukraine next to Russia, for example, private Wall Street and German banks are already in with the IMF as loan enforcer; big agribusiness including Monsanto is already operating to control the greatest farmlands of Europe and a breadbasket of the world; big US oil is already into licenses for the new gas-fracking zones being created now that a pro-Russia government – which prohibits fracking – has been overthrown by the violent US-led coup; and of course the world’s leading manufacturers of war armaments are already receiving orders for them via post-coup Ukraine and US war-party promises with Harper-Canada in tow. Meanwhile, US-led NATO military forces surround Russia with advanced attack forces on all possible sides including the Baltic and Black Seas “to stop Russia’s aggression”– reversing blame for all.

If you are part of the ruling propaganda and power apparatus, every one of these facts will be ignored. If you are an active agency of this system, then only the official enemy’s alleged motives for expansion will be proclaimed. At the basest, it will be assumed as the very framework of understanding the conflict (as occurred with the Metta Spencer-led conference on Ukraine.) Thus even though the civil war was undoubtedly orchestrated by the US with mass-murderous fascists as means, it was all blocked out a-priori before public inquiry started.

Thus responsibility for the US-constructed Ukraine civil war – not to mention Syria before and after – is reversed onto Russia. Thus even Science for Peace went ahead with this propagandist framework of Putin/Russia invading Ukraine although already demonstrated to be a big lie produced by reverse-blame first premise. Thus a renowned ‘peace activist’ is actively complicit in imposing a propaganda frame towards war, ethnic cleansing, dispossession of millions and mass murder as “science for peace” and “advocacy of universal standards of human rights”.

Without principled understanding of logic and life value – the only moral calculus that works – the most monstrous lies can run free. In the larger system of lies in which collaborators are embedded, the truth is what sells. In the Science for Peace case, endless activities of lectures, member round-ups, connections to like activities, pot-luck dinners, corporate-media chairs for conferences, and so on are all governed by an underlying value equation: the truth = what sells = democracy.  This is the morality of the global corporate religion. The substance, care and life concern for natural and social, ecological and historical life support systems in cumulative collapse by a global disorder cannot compute to it. It is all blocked out by a blame-the-enemy propagandist frame a-priori which none can question without being accused or insinuated as in league with the enemy.

The test of the big-lie system is simple. Try to find one case of an international conflict reported by the corporate press or state when this propagandist frame is not already presupposed before the reporting starts with the designated enemy assumed as evil through every step – as “despotic”, “the aggressor”, “dividing and weakening”, “exploiting minorities”, in “perpetual machinations of expansion”, “seizing at the point of a gun”. All these are stock phrases for endless accusations of the latest designated enemy with no sound evidence required. Orwell’s “two minutes hate” is reborn. The sad fact is that slander and lies have no consequences but reward if they sell the official story. The Enemy as hate object then steers the process of selection to fit the ruling narrative upon which continued favor and funding depend, and war criminal attacks then follow as justified by the charges even if no claimed fact is proved and all are false.

From then on, symbolic shows of ‘peace’ without political meaning fill in. The underlying religion of war is not suspected, and with understanding disconnected from the known greatest war machine in history, it invades where it pleases if the enemy evil is sold. Any deeper understanding of war and peace is ruled out as somehow suspect. Denial of the mass-homicidal effects is not the direct denial found in big-oil funding of deniers of climate destabilization. It is not quite Harper-rule defunding of all public and non-governmental research exposing system-wide facts. It is more subtle. It operates as in the following paradigm example of a peace conference on one of the great crises of our time.  The war God has many faces.

Beyond Amnesia: Paradigm Tracking of the Propaganda Framework of Aggression

What follows is a shortened version of a formal communication to the membership of Science for Peace in response to the spring conference on Ukraine. It is a kind of allegory of our time. It shows how the peace movement itself can be hijacked by the unexamined assumptions of the ruling corporate-market religion indoctrinated into the bones of collaborators conceived as ‘peace activists’.  What better cover could there be?  Not even the agent may be aware of it.

While Science for Peace leadership has trended with the commercial world to personal    opinions on issues over principled substance, fact and law, our mission by definition is understanding by scientific standards”, I wrote. “We must therefore commit in first principle to knowing facts versus ignoring facts, reasoning versus diversion to individuals and imputed perspectives, and seeking the underlying causal structures and principles of phenomena rather than competing perceptions as an end-in-itself.

A non-scientific commercial format has, however, prevailed through organisation of the conference on Ukraine and in comments of support of it since. Only more glaring repetitions of the propagandist framework have followed.  The story line of “war between Ukraine and Russia” was indeed still proclaimed by acting president Metta Spencer. in her solo press release after the conference – although the profoundly false claim in law and in fact had been demonstrated to her in published form. International law has been ignored from the start and throughout – the most revealing omission of all. Unaccountability to scientific or legal understanding of the driving forces of the civil war, their causal pattern, or the war crimes under law against millions of victims on the ground is in this way built in as first premise.

“This propagandist framework has long been endemic in dominant media and blame-the enemy political culture. Yet understanding of Science for Peace is only principled if it lives up to standards of science and reason in seeking the civil peace it advocates. This is what the organisation means – to be distinguished from ‘peace’ as conformity to imperial norms, or a criterionless neutrality standing for no life cause, or the peace of a genocidal outcome.

“The founders and strength of Science for Peace over decades has been to see through pervasive armed violence and threats against civilians dressed in myths of the designated Enemy to justify the destruction of one society after another. This is the ultimate issue at stake. Yet the Ukraine conference excluded these life-and-death issues from every discussion in exemplification of the ruling frame of mind that abets war crimes by blinkering them out.

No item of the agenda allowed the war-crime issue in. Armaments and nuclear weapons spending, build-ups, threats and wars already in motion have been what Science for Peace has long sought to empirically track, connect and understand in principle at the leading edge of research. But all these too were blocked out of view. Instead reduction to the official foreign enemy and demonization of its leader became the basis of the organization from then to now in the name of ‘Science for Peace’.

In such manner, home-side imperial and national slogans without definition, the dominant global market business of war, and heinous crimes under law causing over a million people fleeing in East Ukraine before September 2014 under US-supported neo-Nazi command were over months all simply erased. So too were NATO’s non-stop accusations without evidence to justify the heavy-arms NATO build-ups, war exercises, and aerial bombing preparations in every country on Russia’s East European borders in one-way threatening of world war.

International law, the only instituted common ground or regulator across the hostile and warring parties, was kept out of any topic, speaker knowledge, or conference discussion.  The Canadian government’s unprecedentedly fact-ignorant war mongering on Ukraine was abolished from consideration. All was totally ignored even when explicitly brought to the acting president’s attention with evidence.

Sound familiar? As in corporate media and state proclamations, the taboo zone is any line of inquiry or analysis that exposes the official story line, its concealments of central facts, and the mass murders and destruction of civilian homes, schools and infrastructures. As in Bosnia, so in Donbass. More criminally, the known US-installed coup government of Kiev was heavily subsidized and armed to wage its one-way bombing, starvation and clearance of Donbass citizens from their lands, homes, culture and codified laws.

Can the truce hold when US-assisted Kiev views it as a period to prepare for war? The life-and-death facts are not allowed into the ruling format. More disquietingly, they have been blocked out by every step of the organisation of the Ukraine conference. Seek to find exception. The method is more effective than a gag order because the silencing pattern is itself silent. The method has ample precedent within the acting president’s Peace Magazine, as reported by Science for Peace member, Edwin Daniel – but with no attention by the executive in allowing this conference to build over months. As Professor Daniel observed beforehand – as usual with no response –Peace Magazine will ‘publish claims that are untrue’ and refuse to correct them when pointed out.’

As we know, this is the very opposite of science and reason. Yet ‘when I have tried to point these out,’ Daniel continues, ‘I have been consistently ignored. I will mention just one recent example, the question of who was responsible for firing sarin containing rockets in Syria. The western media and governments immediately blamed the Assad regime, but later evidence showed that to be false. After Metta published the media claim and I sent her the refuting evidence, nothing happened. So I wrote a letter to the Editor of the Peace Magazine, explaining the nature of the refuting evidence. It never appeared. When I questioned Metta about it, she denied receiving the letter, which I then resent. It has never appeared.’(Edwin Daniel to sfpboard@listserv, March 14). [i]

The propagandist slanting the acting president has imposed not only assumes the official enemy designated by the US as evil without any evidence given. It  ignores all the evidence proving that the criminal facts alleged by the US are false (here led by the much-documented investigation of Seymour Hersh). In this case, it was the official enemy of Syria’s Assad. In the case of the conference on Ukraine, the issue was immediately mutated to the designated enemy, Russia and Vladmir Putin. All lock-stepped in accord with US-led demonization which became hysterical when US-NATO expansion to Russia was stopped after the US-orchestrated bloody coup in Ukraine. Science for Peace was enlisted into this propagandist framework without notice or Board response, a coup of its own kind.

The acting president claimed that she had been acting on the instructions of the resigned president Jim Turk [former executive director of CAUT] to arrange – in her words – “a conference on Ukraine and Russia”. Yet Turk has advised in his only letter on the topic that he in fact said that the conference was to be on “Ukraine”. Already we know from this shift to Russia as the target that the acting president had planned the conference around the very blame-the-enemy tactic governing the US against all the evidence given to her.

This propagandist structure has been the only constant at work. It was sustained for months through the conference and afterwards, even as ever more evidence became public that refuted it. Most alarmingly to a long-time researcher into the deep structure of war propaganda, this false allegation covered up all contrary facts in every step of operation. It was unilaterally planned as the organising idea of the conference so that Russia led by Putin (whom Metta Spencer hates, in her words, as ‘an immoral thug and the most successful thief in the history of the world’) is held responsible for a US-constructed criminal war by Science for Peace format. Most significantly, there is no reply or even denial of this war-propaganda framing to the present day. As with the ruling propaganda apparatus, so the creature of it assumes the right to big lies and impunity for them.

The pattern continued after the conference with still deeper distortion and reversal of facts. Prefacing her March 4 press report on the conference with the even more provocative lead asserting “the war between Ukraine and Russia”, Spencer abolished the historical facts that the civil war was prepared and orchestrated by the US Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland (as reported in the Bulletin and widely elsewhere, and nowhere denied by even the US State Department); and that the coup government under US direction moved quickly to one-way war-criminal aerial bombing of civilians in Eastern Ukraine and economic strangulation of the population (still going on in June after truce but all blamed on Russia). Far from ending with the conference, the ruling propagandist framework continued to govern afterwards in spite of all written exposure and protest, and became so extreme as to not take into account what even the stacked panelists and interviewees said to contradict it.

Even though numerous attempts were made by others to balance the program, to take into account excluded major facts, to achieve some modicum of scientific integrity, all evidence-based patterns of the documented causal sequence of the civil war and its major atrocities continued to be ignored and erased under executive direction. In accordance with the master propaganda machine, the ‘Science for Peace conference on Ukraine’ was immediately published by NATO’s publication, The Atlantic Council (March 5) with the title lead “Culpability – -”. This article described the conference as advising us that “Russia’s actions are best viewed as opportunistic and reactionary, rather than as part of a grand strategy to dismember Ukraine and destabilize the region” – both sides blaming Russia as the villain, and excluding all evidence to the contrary.

As many others prominent in the peace movement, Metta Spencer prides herself for having helped to convince Gorbachev towards the USSR’s peaceful collapse. This helps to explain why she and others here are so enraged at Putin and Russia who have reclaimed independence and now keep pro-US advocates out of the country.

The Ad Adversarium Fallacy: Behind the Wars Masked as Peace Seeking

Beneath the political bullying and repression, the very bases of reason and science are silently attacked at the roots beneath notice. I have written a lot in refereed journals and texts about the propagandist framing of issues – demonstrating that the underlying logical form is deranged, but not yet flagged in principle by received logic or science.

Whatever the issue or parties involved, reason is always diverted to the accepted enemy of the audience as a diversion from the facts of the dispute or issue. At the general level, this is known in the logic of natural language as an ‘ignoratio elenchi’ or informally ‘red herring’. Yet the specific fallacy involved of diverting to a culturally accepted enemy – away from the causes, facts and inner logic of the issue – is so common across tribes and times that it is still pervasively exploited in ruling propaganda fields into today. This is the ad adversarium fallacy which is the track-switch of the rest.

It silences all reason and inquiry that does not begin by isolating the official enemy as the issue. Who can I find that is “pro-Putin”? – the main question the acting president of Science for Peace posed on the Ukraine conference – is already a complete diversion away from the causation and horrors of the orchestrated war onto the official enemy as the issue. The very same structure of war propaganda frames virtually all of official society’s representations in war and peace. The frame of discourse always constructs an enemy to blame to divert from the war crimes being perpetrated by the US.

At the same time, there is no connective analysis towards underlying common cause. This is known as a fallacy of common cause in primary logic and science. But it is so built into the reigning ideology it goes unnamed. Although these fallacies are more lethal tin the end than the Black Death, they select towards ignorance and catastrophe almost wherever we look.

The common life interest that underlies all peace is also undefined in the fields of official meaning. The common life-ground disappears from the reigning discourses. Private money gains and losses alone preoccupy the value system. Human life need versus market demand is an unknown distinction. Diversions to spectacle, self opinions and the designated enemy are a ritual of ignorance across domains. Selling the story and keeping connective explanation out everywhere displace understanding.

This is the global dumbing down on which the life-blind system depends. Sometimes it reverses the very history of its host. I first came to know Science for Peace as host when its co-founding president and physicist Eric Fawcett invited me to give an evening lecture to Science for Peace on “Terrorism” in the midst of the Reagan era. From then on, I was led to believe that Science for Peace was a rigorously logical and factually grounded organisation at the most advanced level of public affairs understanding including some of the world’s greatest critical thinkers on war and peace. Yet out of this long founding tradition, a conference based in a propagandist frame led by official-enemy assumptions and omitting all contrary basic facts was bully-instituted at the executive level as if run by Victoria Nuland.

When I explained why the Ukraine conference framework was propagandist in principle to organizing president, saying “I can feel Eric Fawcett turn over in his grave”, the propagandist framework I defined was not denied or ever responded to. The issue was silenced by every means available. This is the crucial operation of the global propaganda machine in micro and macro form. As on the wider stage of the politics of power and war, an unseen syntax of mind repression rules (with Harper as Canada’s national enforcer):

  1. issues of fact and truth are erased from view,
  2.  focus is directed on the unsubstantiated Enemy standing the way of US
  3.  nasty insinuations or droning are launched at critics
  4.  lies build on lies as virtue and truth.

War is Peace and Ignorance is Strength: The Case of Ukraine

The Ukraine conference and aftermath unfolded as the directing propagandist frame had structured it. It crossed political parties, corporate media, collaborating activist organizations, and the occupied minds of citizens.

The central issues were all screened out – the US financing and directing of the destabilization of Ukraine over years into Nazi-led coup d’etat complete with swastikas and murderous overthrow of the governing federalist party elected by the vast majority of people; the NATO push since before 2000 into Ukraine against promises made to Gorbachev, and continuous NATO war-fever claims of Russia invasions; the known division of Ukraine into two in NATO-defense ministers map in 2000,  and hundreds of US-led tanks and border build-ups to “stop Russia invasion” without any evidence of it; and crippling embargoes on Russia on the basis of false claims of the violation of international law in Crimea’s vote for re-integration.

In the familiar pattern of the ‘free press’, all such deciding facts were ruled out by the blame-the-enemy structure of assumption. Executive operations of silencing were sustained without a blink. All war and aggression was inverted into Putin “invading the sacred territory of Ukraine”. The official big lie was propagated as first premise by the country’s once leading anti-war and peace organization. In short, whatever did not fit into the propagandist frame of Putin as the plotting villain of expansion and the US and NATO as heroic in collective defense was excluded by the framing. As elsewhere, re-framing the peace movement as war propaganda was the inner meaning. Those still standing for Science for Peace appealed to the executive to set matters straight, but all continued to be ignored by manifold means.

As in the larger world of US-led propaganda, the only executive response was to screen it all the evidence out as if it did not exist. A chair was appointed by the executive for the board of directors meeting who declared he would not read any of the evidence. Official silencing was procedurally prescribed before anything could be discussed at the responsible levels, with political constitutionalist Peter Russell applauding.

Again the unaccountable macro system of lies and war ruled. The meeting happened so debased of any bearings that Science for Peace’s most fully qualified scientist with both medical and chemistry/neuroscience doctorates, Jim Deutsch, took notes of how the procedures ruled out any knowledge of the issues. Ignorance is strength.

The executive-appointed chair of the meeting prescribed administrative privilege as follows: “I will not read messages” and “I do not think that we should be debating a conference that has already taken place”. In this way, exposure of what is silenced is silenced as well. As in the wider kingdom of lies and erasure of facts and no executive accountability to constitutional objectives, it all continues until publicly named beyond the reach of the corruption.

Re-Grounding in Life Reason against the Corporate Occupation

Propaganda framing for aggression masked as peace does not work easily when qualified voices publicly document the steps. Ignoring and ignorance have a limit. So in her long Easter/Passover message to members, the acting president wedged in her sole public response to the demonstrated dishonesty of her conference’s organizing assumption – Putin’s war on Ukraine. Here as well, outright lies, bluff, and intimidation are the omnibus method so well known at higher executive levels. The US war system masquerading as peacemaker has many faces.

Here the first step was another false claim as an executive order – namely, that “we should only cite evidence that we have personally witnessed. Do not quote another person’s criticisms”. This entails the silencing of any proved report in writing of falsehoods by eyewitnesses and experts to which no counter-evidence exists. Such an edict would put an end to most scholarly work and independent reporting. Again we can see the underlying pattern of repressing whatever evidence does not fit the propaganda story while asserting moral high-ground at the same time.

The second step here is also well known in the higher circles of aggression dressed in peace. The acting president declared she “has been attacked unfairly for the conference that I produced on Ukraine and Russia. I have answered every accusation fully”. I replied to this in open Bulletin publication as well:  “One is obliged to observe that the big lie, absolute denial and false victimhood are very well worn in the wider world of power and war. Is there any good reason for not concluding these devices at work here as well?” There has been no rebuttal or even disavowal of the big lies since they were named. As in the operations of the US-NATO system, high-handed executive dismissal of its lies rules on always pretending the status of being wronged.

Such operations work because of the conditioned perceptual readiness of those who do not think through them. They can be counted on as effective lies so long as they are not publicly outed. Ultimately mendacity and complicity with mass murder can only stand if there is no thinking through of what “peace” or “science” is, and is not.  As we have seen, organization and discourse in conformity to a ruling framework of propaganda is a meta program seldom laid bare. The systems understanding which any science for peace requires, and the high standards of reason and analysis it demands, have been ditched without the majority knowing it. It has happened to our universities of higher learning themselves. Understanding of war and peace at the most advanced level has become subjugated and corrupted with no life-value compass whatever, only public relations cover-ups.

Many questions arise which the rest of this analysis answers. How do we lay bare this cognitive and affective pathology that is normal in the corps-world of power, propaganda and war? How do we recover what is true and what is peace in principle? How do we sustain the very constitutional objectives of society’s evolved research and learning institutions against corporate money-sequence occupiers and producers of amnesiac events?  How do we counteract unseen rich funding for dissemination of blame-the-enemy narratives that infiltrate even organizations originally formed to expose them?

‘Science’ and ‘Peace’ Are Defined by What They Are Not

We begin by defining what science and peace are not to know what each is. This is an ancient principle of logic found in the universal Latin formula, determinatio est negatio. The truth is known by the negation of other false possibilities..

By this time, we know what science and peace are absolutely not. They are not governed by ultimate assumption of the official enemy as evil, or by erasure of US-led war crimes, or by organizing against basic evidence that does not fit the official story. Neither science nor peace can turn a blind eye to ever recurring US-led wars, civil wars and preparations for wars. No true peace activism can internalize propaganda that suppresses these facts to blame the enemy as the reason for bombing people thousands of miles from US borders.

These principles are not left or right so much as deep centre. They are not anti-US any more than anti-Russian. So we can substitute Russia or China for the US below to discover what is not science or peace at the most general level. The differences are revealing. Russia and China deploy aggressor operations against their own citizens. But they never do it thousands of miles away with long-distance killing machinery calling it “saving human lives” and “freedom”.

The ruling meta program of peace propaganda for war-criminal aggression is not conscious any more than a mental illness is. It is instituted into the dominant political field of meaning as ‘normal’, and it silences what exposes it by its locked-in nature. Amnesty International, Avaaz, Science for Peace and supposedly peaceful states and citizens may all be dupes in the Grand Game. Yet they are also pro-active agents of the deep war against life and life reason by collaboration with its murderous lies. This propagandist syntax towards war versus its real peace alternative form the repressed choice space none name. Yet they decide for or against every causal sequence towards the wars of our era.  Here as always, scientific reason and logic always seek disconfirming instances to test general claims, and so everyone is invited to find any such counter-evidence here.  

Principles of Science and Peace against War Propaganda

All of us have a foundational choice of whether we think though or not, and whether we stand for reason and peace or ignorance and war. The US permanent war against designated enemies does not fool anyone unless they allow it. It only succeeds at bottom so far as people have no principled understanding of war and peace.

But how can we tell them apart when even anti-nuclear and activist media like Peace Magazine do not name or track any US-caused civil war in sovereign countries – from Ukraine to Venezuela, Libya to Syria, Russia-Chechnya to the once unified Yugoslavia. The very concepts of peace and war, aggression and terror, despotic and democratic have been collapsed into mindless trigger slogans with no generic life bearings.

Consider since 2000 Iraq and the 9-11 Wars, the US-orchestrated war crimes in Ukraine as stopping aggression, the non-stop destabilization of Venezuela and overthrow of democracy for death squad dictatorship in Honduras and Haiti before and after that – where not that has a civil war? In every case it seems, the war and horror are orchestrated by the US covert and propaganda state, but always projected onto the Enemy shifting with the territory marked for takeover.

US ‘full spectrum dominance’ is admitted in public proclamation, but erased from the mind in understanding the world’s continuous wars behind which this objective is invariably evident.

The following principles go underneath the mass-murderous lies and reverse projections. They lay bare the choice between peace and war, between reason and propaganda which is always before us. They are self-evident once seen, but not yet defined to provide the life-value compass and ground. Together they provide an impartial and foolproof framework to out the war-party in any guise and (in italics below) what peace and truth always stand for instead. They define the missing lines of the ultimate war on the level of the mind itself:

  1. ultimate assumption of the official enemy as evil
    Any designation of Enemy is examined for justifications relevant to military war under international law
  2.  in erasure of US-led war crimes as an issue to consider;
    Historical record of war crimes and crimes against humanity by US (or other state as relevant to crisis) is taken into account, especially as the pattern is repeated.
  3. ignoring and overriding scientific standards and evidence wherever they conflict with or falsify the official story;
    Recognising that exclusion from account of any relevant basic fact is indicator of distortion/falsehood/lie in proportion to the flagrancy of omission (especially re. 1 and 2)
  4. eliminating critical questions by organizational blocks and insinuating smears,
    Recognize that any failure of (1) through (3) is likely to be carried on however much it violates the evidence and truth, and so re-apply the same standards at a second-order level of evaluation and action in refusal to submit to lies towards war.
  5. within a wider context of justifying US-led wars and preparations for wars
    Always keeping in mind the documented historical record of crimes against peace and war crimes under law as relevant to the present that repeats them, truthfully opposing rather than omitting or rationalizing them
  6. by internalized operations of US-led propaganda,
    Understanding that we live within pervasive communication fields of intense pressures to internalize global selling of lies for self-maximizing returns, especially in US foreign affairs where the declared objective is ‘full-spectrum dominance’ while pretending ‘peace
  7. whose master operation is reverse projection onto the designated Enemy
    Being able to spot the ‘blame-the-enemy’ operation – the ultimate ideological source of armaments build-ups and wars – by rigorous examination of edited-out issues and facts
  8. of what the dominant force is doing at far higher levels.
    Reverse projection is the most maliciously deceitful but successful form of war propaganda and aggression – blaming the designated Enemy for what the invading armed aggressor is itself doing as the reason for attacking the weaker society to death.

Professor John McMurtry is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. whose work is published and translated from Latin America to Japan. He is the author and editor of the three-volume Philosophy and World Problems published by UNESCO’s Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), and his most recent book is The Cancer Stage of Capitalism/ from Crisis to Cure.

Embora a esmagadora maioria dos americanos não estejam cientes disso, o governo dos EUA está a canalizar apoio financeiro, armas e treino para uma entidade neo-nazi – inserida na Guarda Nacional da Ucrânia – o Batalhão Azov (Батальйон Азов). O Canadá e a Grã-Bretanha já confirmaram que estão também a apoiar a Guarda Nacional.

O Batalhão Azov – que exibe “oficialmente” um emblema das SS nazis (em baixo, à esquerda) – é apresentado pelo regime de Kiev como sendo “um batalhão de defesa territorial constituído por voluntários”. Trata-se de um batalhão da Guarda Nacional sob a jurisdição do Ministério da Administração Interna, o equivalente à Segurança Interna na América.

Sedeado oficialmente em Berdyank, banhada pelo Mar de Azov, o Batalhão Azov foi constituído pelo regime para combater a insurgência da oposição na região de Donbass (no Leste e no Sul da Ucrânia).

Emblemas Nazis Ucranianos

Treinar crianças para combater os russos

O Batalhão Azov, apoiado por parcerias ocidentais, não se encontra envolvido só em operações paramilitares no Leste da Ucrânia. De acordo com vários relatos, inclusive do Kyiv Post (comunicação social de massas na Ucrânia), gere também um Campo de Verão com treino militar para crianças, parte integrante do seu programa mais amplo de treino e doutrinação.

De acordo com a RT:

“O campo foi criado para mostrar às crianças que existem mais coisas na vida para além da escola e dos telemóveis e ‘para lhes mostrarmos o nosso amor’, revelou Oleksii ao canal ucraniano ICTV, comandante de pelotão do Batalhão Azov e instrutor do campo. “É preciso ser forte; é preciso ser corajoso para defender a integridade territorial da nossa pátria”, acrescentou. (Relato da RT)

As fontes da comunicação social ocidental (citadas pelo Kyiv Post) confirmam que participam no Campo de Verão Azov, localizado no distrito de Vodytsya nos arredores de Kiev, crianças a partir dos seis anos (confirme-se nas imagens abaixo).


O texto da faixa indica: Iдея B Нації, сила В тобі. Traduzido livremente: A Ideia da Nação, O Poder Dentro de Ti.



As imagens anteriores confirmam que muitas das crianças não são ainda adolescentes.

Kyiv Post – que aponta o dedo à comunicação social ocidental pela sua cobertura tendenciosa – mesmo assim reconhece a natureza diabólica deste projecto de treinamento militar:

“(…) este campo em particular é gerido pelo Batalhão Azov e foi fundado pelo legislador Andriy Biletsky, o seu anterior comandante. Localizado na área do bosque do distrito Pushcha Vodytsya de Kiev, neste campo os miúdos não estão a brincar aos soldados – estão a receber treinamento militar a sério por parte de soldados que têm combatido na linha da frente na guerra que a Rússia leva a cabo contra a Ucrânia.

Apodado de Azovets, o campo tem sido alvo de cobertura noticiosa negativa por parte da comunicação social russa, de portais pró-russos e até do tabloide britânico The Daily Mail.

‘Campo de Verão neo-nazi: membros do Batalhão Azov ensinam crianças ucranianas a disparar AKs (FOTOS)’, prega a manchete da RT controlada pelo Kremlin na sua reportagem acerca do campo.

‘Fotografias chocantes do interior do campo militar neo-nazi revelam que recrutas com idades tão tenras como SEIS anos estão a aprender a disparar armas-de-fogo (apesar de estar em vigor um cessar-de-fogo)’, afirmava a manchete do artigo sensacionalista e inexacto do Daily Mail” (Kyiv Post, 29 de Agosto de 2015).

Embora o regime de Kiev negue que o Azov é uma organização neo-nazi, os logótipos tanto do Batalhão Azov como do Campo de Verão Azovets (que figura nas t-shirts do Campo de Verão) envergam o símbolo rúnico Wolfsangel das SS nazis com a imagem desbotada do “Sol Negro nazi” ao fundo.



O logótipo do Wolfsangel das t-shirts com o símbolo de uma das divisões das SS



Recrutamento das crianças soldado

O programa de treino do Campo de Verão constitui a primeira fase do recrutamento de crianças soldado em violação da lei internacional.

De modo invariável, o recrutamento de crianças soldado implica um programa de treino que familiarize os infantes com a utilização de armas automáticas ligeiras.

Os instrutores militares fazem parte dos paramilitares do Batalhão Azov destacados para o Campo (note-se a insígnia das SS nazis no uniforme abaixo):


O artigo do Kyiv Post descreve detalhadamente a natureza do “Campo de Verão neo-nazi”. Os relatos confirmam que uma entidade sob a jurisdição da Guarda Nacional ucraniana (financiada pelo Ministério da Administração Interna da Ucrânia) está a treinar e a doutrinar crianças pequenas na arte da guerra:


“O campo de Verão Azovets aceita filhos dos membros do Batalhão Azov, bem como crianças do distrito de Obolon nos arredores de Kiev e mais além. Abriu a 22 de Junho, leva a cabo programas semanais de actividades para grupos de 30 até 40 crianças. Oficialmente, é para crianças entre os nove e os 18, mas estão lá crianças a partir dos sete anos. Algumas delas têm lá estado durante semanas consecutivas.

O que torna o campo tão polémico é este ser gerido por combatentes do Azov, alguns dos quais têm sido apodados de apoiantes da extrema-direita e neo-nazis. Os críticos afirmam que o símbolo do batalhão é um Wolfsangel invertido que tem uma associação, oblíqua mas desconfortável, com o nazismo.

Em entrevistas levadas a cabo com a comunicação social ucraniana, Biletsky afirma que o simbolismo tem sido mal interpretado. A Letra “N” e a letra “I” compõem a insígnia do Azov, sigla que afirma significar “Ideia Nacional”.


Biletsky fundou na Ucrânia um grupo neo-nazi que dava pelo nome de Assembleia Social-Nacional e é certo que existem neo-nazis entre os integrantes do batalhão, alguns deles com tatuagens nazis. Alguma comunicação social tem relatado que cerca de 20% dos combatentes do Azov são neo-nazis, embora os oficiais de imprensa do batalhão penem sempre por enfatizar que o Azov, sendo uma formação militar, não compartilha da ideologia do seu fundador Biletsky, ou qualquer outra ideologia que não seja um patriotismo ardente.

Quando o Kyiv Post visitou o campo Azovets a 19 de Agosto, as crianças estavam atarefadas com uma série de actividades, incluindo desmontar e montar espingardas de assalto AK-47, tiro ao alvo (com armas de pressão de ar), cursos de combate de assalto e praticar poses de combate e de patrulha. Participam também em vários desportos e jogos, do rapel à escalada, e praticam actividades mais tradicionais do escutismo e do artesanato tais como atar nós.


‘Só estou aqui há três dias, mas já compreendi que não é um campo onde venhamos jogar jogos. Estamos a receber treino militar’, revelou ao Kyiv Post um dos miúdos do campo.

Na floresta nas proximidades do campo, um grupo de miúdos recebia algumas indicações de segurança dum instrutor do Azov.

‘Sabem o que ia acontecer caso mantivessem os dedos no gatilho? Se isto fosse uma arma verdadeira podiam matar os vossos camaradas. Portanto, não o façam!’ vocifera o instrutor.

‘Sim senhor!’, respondem os miúdos.


Depois, as crianças praticam uma evacuação médica de soldados feridos no campo de batalha.

A atmosfera militarista do campo, incluindo a disciplina rígida, impressionou claramente algumas das crianças.

‘Cortei o cabelo bem curto ontem’, diz-nos um rapaz. ‘Só porque quis. Agora estou mais parecido com um soldado’.

Dois rapazes mais velhos que, como muitas das crianças presentes no campo, assumiram nomes de guerra (Socorrista e Médico) em imitação dos soldados ucranianos verdadeiros, afirmam querer agora juntar-se ao Batalhão Azov.

‘Quero defender a minha pátria. Há camaradas que apoiam a minha ideia. Julgo que se for preciso, vou combater’, diz ao Kyiv Post o Médico de 17 anos.


As crianças do campo estão organizadas em quatro grupos, dependendo da sua idade, cada grupo é vistoriado por um instrutor e um auxiliar. Os dias no campo começam às 07:00 e acabam às 23:00 em ponto. As crianças dormem em tendas.

O acesso ao portal do Azov e aos portais que o apoiam foi vedado ao público em Setembro do ano passado quando o batalhão foi integrado na Guarda Nacional da Ucrânia, mas o campo tem uma página na rede social russa Vkontakte ( onde é promovido e onde as pessoas podem voluntariar-se ou contactar o campo para enviarem para lá os seus filhos.

‘A missão do Campo: Formar o ucraniano de uma nova era – um patriota que esteja pronto a participar activamente na construção e na defesa da Ucrânia’, pode ler-se na descrição da página. (…)

As canções militares patrióticas que as crianças cantam todos os dias como parte do programa do campo parecem ser das actividades mais populares. Avançada a noite, sentados em redor de uma fogueira, cantam as suas favoritas – canções patrióticas que datam das lutas prévias pela independência da Ucrânia dos primórdios até meados do século XX.

Kyiv Post ouviu as letras de uma das canções. Fala acerca dos soldados ucranianos derrotarem os seus inimigos.

Hoje esse inimigo é a Rússia. Um rapaz sentado num tronco sussurra: ‘quero que esta guerra acabe e que matemos os russos todos’. (Kyiv Post, 29 de Agosto, 2015)

(Para ler o relato completo pela jornalista do Kyiv Post, Faina Nakonechnaya, carregue aqui)

Apoio militar dos EUA

Esta empreitada diabólica, que incita crianças inocentes ao ódio contra russos étnicos bem como à oposição do regime de Kiev é amplamente apoiada pelo apoio militar dos EUA que é enviado à Guarda Nacional ucraniana por via do Ministério da Administração Interna. O MAI coordena as “operações anti-terrorismo” (OAT) em Donbass.

Embora o Congresso dos EUA tenha adoptado emendas na sua “Lei de 2015 de Apropriações do Departamento de Defesa” para evitar o treinamento dos neo-nazis do Batalhão Azov, na verdade o dinheiro ainda lhes chega.

Mais, para lá do apoio militar canalizado sob a jurisdição do Pentágono, a Guarda Nacional da Califórnia estabeleceu uma parceria com a Guarda Nacional da Ucrânia, o que inclui o Batalhão Azov:

“A missão do Programa de Parceria Estatal Califórnia-Ucrânia (PPE) [sob os auspícios da Guarna Nacional da Califórnia] tem por objectivo promover a democracia, as economias de livre mercado e a reforma militar, estabelecendo laços institucionais a longo prazo (…) a parceria Califórnia-Ucrânia apoia directamente os objectivos do embaixador dos EUA na Ucrânia e do Comandante do Comando Europeu dos EUA (…) (Gabinete de Cooperação da Defesa (GCD), Chefe: LTC Tracy D. Rueschhoff)”

Abaixo encontra mais algumas imagens selectas dos “defensores da liberdade” do Batalhão Azov.

São estas as pessoas que estão a treinar as crianças ucranianas para manusear Ak-47s no Campo de Verão neo-nazi. Tudo por uma boa causa: “o florescimento da democracia” nas palavras do New York Times.





 Michel Chossudovsky
Artigo original em inglês :
Tradução por  

The magnitude of Corbyn’s victory today represents an irreversible seismic shift in British politics, writes Oliver Tickell. Finally the Tories face serious, principled opposition that will reveal them as the far-right ideologues they truly are. The reverberations will echo far, wide, long and deep, including to the US where the socialist Bernie Sanders is well on his way to winning the Democratic nomination.

David Cameron has good reason to fear the coming of Corbyn. His Bullingdon Club arrogance and Oxford Union debating skills will cut little ice against Corbyn, who will provide the serious, penetrating, analytical, humane opposition we so desperately need.

Jeremy Corbyn’s win today marks a revolutionary, seismic change in British politics. But it is also so much more than that.

It’s not just the fact that he won, but that he won so decisively in the first round, with almost 60% of the vote, victorious in each of the three Labour Party ‘chapters’ – party members, affiliated supporters, and £3 registered supporters.

With so clear and strong a mandate from the Party, trades unions and cooperatives, and wider society including supposedly ‘disengaged’ young people, even his strongest detractors among Labour MPs have little choice but to go along with the euphoric tide that swept him to the leadership – no matter how little they share in that euphoria themselves.

And it is testament to Corbyn’s political integrity that his first act as Labour Leader and Leader of the Opposition was to take to the streets in today’s ‘Solidarity with Refugees’ march in London, which begins at Park Lane and ends, symbolically, at Downing Street.

Corbyn’s campaign and its resounding success have destroyed the New Labour project for good. Tony Blair and his entire legacy are reduced to rubble in an democratic earthquake of overwhelming power.

Blair himself is looking more likely than ever to end up in a court of law charged with the ultimate war crime – that of unprovoked military aggression against another nation. Others that colluded in the lies that took Britain to war in Iraq must also be fearing for the future.

But it’s the Tories who will really be quaking at the knees

But the deeper angst is on the Government side. David Cameron has good reason to fear the coming of Corbyn. His Bullingdon Club arrogance and Oxford Union debating skills will cut little ice against Corbyn, who will provide the serious, penetrating, analytical, humane opposition we so desperately need.

Any attempt by Cameron to stick with the old ‘yah boo’ style of Prime Minister’s Questions will look trivial, inept, condescending and utterly inappropriate.

For many years now he and his party have faced a Labour opposition that essentially shares their world view, so the debate has been focused on small but symbolic issues of detail. Both parties have colluded, for example, in

  • economic ‘austerity’ – the imposition of deep public sector spending cuts that overwhelmingly impact on the poor, while flooding banks with cheap money to maintain booms in asset values for the exclusive benefit of the rich;
  • the dismantling and privatization of the National Health Service and other essential public services;
  • the idea that unaccountable corporations acting in pursuit of profit are preferable to public service, cooperative, state and community provision;
  • the broad neoliberal agenda of supporting the power of international capital against people and the environment, as manifest in ‘free trade’, ‘investor protection’ and other provisions of TTIP, CETA and so on;
  • nuclear power – no matter how high the cost;
  • maintaining a ‘two track’ approach on climate change – giving diplomatic support to strong international agreements, while supporting fossil fuel industries with friendly policies and tax breaks;
  • the desire to maintain nuclear weapons, at enormous expense, whose exclusive purpose is the mass murder of millions of people;
  • membership of NATO, the world’s most powerful and aggressive military alliance;
  • Britain’s role as a lackey to US power, unfailingly lending military and diplomatic support to both covert and overt US aggression whether in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Ukraine or elsewhere;
  • unquestioning support for key military allies of the US, notably Israel and Saudi Arabia, no matter how egregious their crimes and disregard for international law including the Geneva Conventions.

The remarkable thing about Corbyn is that he is not merely luke-warm on some of these issues in the manner of his predecessor Ed Miliband, but that he rejects the entire package outright.

That 90% of ‘common ground’ that once existed between the two parties has now entirely evaporated. From now on Labour’s opposition will be real, serious, profound and principled.

This political earthquake still has a long way to run …

Corbyn’s opposition role will of course have huge environmental implications. Uniquely among the candidates for the Labour leadership, he advanced a powerful ‘green’ manifesto which set out a series of important policies on everything from fracking and nuclear power (against) to community energy and renewables (for) and conserving the integrity of our ecosystems on land and in sea.

And now he and his shadow ministers will be vigorously advancing those policies which promise – in line with opinion polls of renewable energy and other issues – to beoverwhelmingly popular.

He will also be vociferous in his opposition to the viciously anti-environmental policies of the Conservative government – for which they have so far escaped serious political consequences. No longer will Cameron, Rudd and others be allowed to get away with talking green while attacking the environment by every means available to them.

That opposition will, moreover, be reflected in the media. Often in the most unflattering terms of course – what else would you expect in the MailExpressSunTimesStar andTelegraph? But bit by bit, the truth will shine through.

Perhaps the biggest change will be reflected in the BBC, which is constitutionally required to maintain political ‘balance’ between government and opposition and which, moreover, is itself under attack from a Government determined to ‘cut it down to size’ by limiting its services and reducing its funding base.

We can therefore expect the entire ‘centre ground’ of British political thought to shift markedly to the left – in the process exposing the current government as the exteme right-wing ideologues they are.

A green and socialist alliance across the Atlantic?

But the repercussions will also be international. Corbyn’s success both reflects and will in turn inspire left wing, anti-austerity parties and movements like Podemos in Spain and Syriza in Greece.

And it will echo across the Atlantic where the polls show the avowedly socialist andenvironmentally committed Bernie Sanders looking ever more likely to defeat the neoconservative Hillary Clinton and become the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate.

The story of Clinton’s decline from well above 50% to below 40% has been almost precisely mirrored by Sanders’s rise, from below 10% to above 30% today – and in my book he’s the clear favourite for the nomination for all the same reasons that Corbyn won today.

If Sanders goes so far as to win the Presidency in November 2016 – an entirely credible proposition given the weakness of the Republican candidates and the likelihood of a Donald Trump split-off right-wing candidature – that raises the prospect of what would until today have looked impossible: a trans-Atlantic green and socialist alliance of Jeremy Corbyn and President Sanders.

And of course that would hugely boost Corbyn’s chances of winning the 2020 UK general election. Forget Obama’s increasingly hollow promise of “Yes we can!” - the cry will be“Yes we bloody well will!”

Not a moment too soon.

Oliver Tickell edits The Ecologist.

Russia has taken the lead in supporting Syria this summer, actively initiating efforts to bring a diplomatic resolution to the country’s crisis and assemble an inclusive anti-ISIL coalition. The rapid pace at which it’s working is due in large part to the looming specter of a joint American-Turkish invasion force which hangs ominously over the Mideast.

Disturbed at the success that Russia has had so far in reaching out to the US’ traditional Mideast allies, as well as that staying power of the Syrian Arab Army in holding firm against the latest onslaughts against it, the US commanded its media proxies to initiate an intense information war against Syria, hoping to both break the back of its resistance and complicate Russian efforts to assist it. This hybrid information war manipulates the three disparate but interconnected factors of the refugee crisis, Russian efforts to assist Syria, and the Balkan overflight zones in order to advance American foreign policy and concoct a package of media myths to deepen the destabilization of Syria.

Politicizing A Humanitarian Crisis

The refugee crisis was created in 2011 by the West’s regime change campaigns in Libya and Syria, but it wasn’t until this year that it really caught the attention of the Western mainstream media. Millions of Syrians had already been displaced by the tumult, with the lion’s share of them choosing to remain within the country, but a sizeable minority (also numbering in the millions, and tainted with an anti-government composition) opted to leave their homeland for abroad. Once there, many of these expatriates endeavored to eventually travel to the EU in order to receive its generous social benefits and have an opportunity to work for euros.

The trigger for the latest wave, according to Ghassan and Intibah Kadi, was Turkey’s decision to allow the Syrian refugees it was hosting to finally leave their camps and head out to Europe. This massive migration and the no-questions-asked policy of granting Syrian refugees asylum led many non-Syrians to fake their nationality and make the trip as well, further worsening the crisis and adding to its overwhelming numbers. The US has received certain strategic benefits by encouraging this process and guiding it along a premeditated geopolitical path, but no explicit politicization of the situation occurred until the viral photo of Aylan Kurdi began surfacing on the internet at the end of August.

The media vultures have since picked child’s corpse clean in order to feed their political narratives, which revolve largely around ludicrously blaming President Assad for the tragedy and using the public outcry over it to ‘justify’ the UK and France ’s “anti-ISIL” bombing operations in Syria (the latter of which will likely be announced soon). Furthermore, the anti-government affiliation of many of the refugees flooding into Europe makes for excellent “rebel” recruitment, especially since the US just announced that it will be “revamping” its regime change program in Syria. On top of all of this, the very fact that certain EU states are so accommodating of the refugees creates a strong pull factor that seeks to dismantle Syria demographically by provoking even more emigration among its most youthful and productive segment of the population (which, it must be reminded, could also help protect the country amidst this terrifying war being waged against it).

Inventing An Intervention

Seeing Through The Illusion:

The next major element of the information war against Syria was obscure Israeli information outlet Ynet’s article about a supposed Russian ground intervention being prepared against ISIL. The Twitter posting of Russian military aircraft by the terrorist Al Nusra Front added to the frenzy, which is absolutely ridiculous for two reasons: (1) Israeli – supported terrorists are never a reliable source of information; and (2) Russia has been openly providing military equipment to Syria for years and has never made any pretense to hide such a fact. Despite the obvious falseness of Ynet and Al Nusra’s ‘reporting’, the Western mainstream media went into a frenzy , and the sensationalism quickly skyrocketed to the Secretary of State’s attention when Kerry went out of his way to call Lavrov about it.

Addressing The Audiences:

This episode of information warfare wasn’t engineered just to waste time and create a week-long media distraction, since there are more important things that it was aiming for. The fake-intervention-turned-‘real’ by the Western mainstream media was simultaneously directed at the Saudi, Russian, and Syrian audiences. Speaking on the first, the US is apprehensive about thedeveloping relations between Russia and Saudi Arabia, specifically in the context of diplomatically bringing a close to the War on Syria, and it sought to throw a wrench in these efforts by crafting the false story that Russia unilaterally upped the ante and abandoned the secret negotiation framework. Thus, the fake report was also intended to distort the idea behind Russia’s anti-ISIL coalition, which isn’t to invite a Russian frontline component into the war, but to gather all existing military forces under a coordinated anti-terrorist umbrella .


Pertaining to the Russian audience, the US wanted to stoke divisions within the country’s political society that have developed since Moscow first pledged its full support to Damascus in its anti-terrorist struggle. There are some in Russia who disagree with this approach and think that it’s an unwarranted overextension of the national interest, and the purpose behind this ruse was to strengthen their opposition precisely at the point when Russia is doubling down on its commitment to Syria. While an emboldened “hyper-patriotic” opposition (of the same vein, and likely related to, some of those who agitate for a conventional intervention in Eastern Ukraine) would likely have no effect whatsoever on Russia’s relations with Syria, the point is to continue stirring up this new type of anti-government sentiment and testing its receptiveness among the Russian population. Another objective is also to monitor how the fake news spread among the Russian media and how quickly and in what manner the government chose to respond to it. As relates to Russia, the general goal was to attempt a test run of various factors that could provide the US with data that would aid it in perfecting more effective strategies against the country in the future, but as for the immediate impact, it was of course visibly negligible.


Finally, the main target of this hoax was Syria, and the ruse was designed specifically to crash the population’s hopes and make them resentful against the government. There are some in the country who feel that Russia could be doing more to assist the Syrian Arab Army, and to them, the news of a direct Russian intervention was welcome and in accordance with their wishes and expectations. Therefore, when it turned out to be a false rumor, it’s conceivable that they would have felt let down and perhaps even upset at Russia for not actually having done this, which could have the manipulated effect of damaging the integrity of the Russian-Syrian strategic partnership among the hearts and minds of the population. In a similar vein, artificially constructed anti-government sentiment could also be spread among the seditious elements of society that would want to spin such an intervention as a ‘Russian occupation’ or the arrival of ‘Russian death squads’.

Along the same token, according to the words of Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi, “All of this [was] to insinuate the Syrian state is weak and that the Syrian military has weakened to the point of resorting to the aid of friends in a direct manner.” It goes without saying that individuals who believe such a train of thought are also more likely to flee and perpetuate the demographic drain being inflicted on the country, which is itself a severe form of asymmetrical warfare. All in all, since it’s probable that the US and its allies predicted that the rumor would be dispelled in the eyes of its target audiences before too long, they were likely aiming for a panicked, knee-jerk reaction among the refugee-inclined segments of the population and those receptive to the anti-government rhetoric that would paint the phantom Russian intervention as a ‘death squad invasion’. Just like the case with Russia, this rumor alternatively achieved the goal of testing the reaction of the Syrian public and authorities in reacting to the false news, albeit with the intent of putting the finishing touches on a strategy that will likely be rolled out a lot sooner against Damascus than the one against Moscow.

Bringing In The Balkans


The last part of the West’s latest information warfare package related to Syria dealt with bringing the Balkans into this specific frame of New Cold War tension between the US and Russia. It emerged that the US had asked Greece to deny Russia the right to use its airspace for humanitarian aid shipments to Syria’s internal refugees, but somewhat unexpectedly, the caretaker Greek government refused to obey Washington. This is illustrative of two important facts: (1) the US felt confident enough of its ability to exploit Greece’s political confusion to push it towards an anti-Russian pivot; and (2) the Greek authorities, despite their temporary nature, understand the strategic national interest in retaining positive relations with Russia in order to build the Balkan Stream pipeline, up to the point that they would dangerously refuse the US’ orders. The geopolitical theme that defines this dictate-refusal interaction is the intense struggle between Balkan Stream and Eastring , with the US always ready to disrupt the former in order to advance the latter, while Greece is valiantly proving its ability to withstand Washington’s pressure and reaffirm its pipeline pledge to Russia.


Bulgaria is the polar opposite of Greece on this matter, since it decided (likely on its own andwithout being asked ) to ban Russian humanitarian aircraft from flying over its territory en route to Syria. It likely did so in order to spite Russia for calling its American-advised bluff and replacing South Stream with Turkish Stream, since Bulgaria is still fuming about how this act utterly destroyed any prospects it ever had of crawling out of its economic backwater status and becoming a semi-normal European economy. While it did backtrack a bit and said it would allow the flights in question to continue on the condition that their contents are inspected beforehand, Moscow dismissed Sofia’s humiliating ‘offer’ and insisted that it had other air routes available , with Iran stepping up to present a viable alternative.

The Black Sea state thus revealed a lot about the nature of its contemporary political elite through its obtrusive actions, confirming its leaders’ designation as America’s premier Slavic stooges in the Balkans. Furthermore, elaborating on the timing and the volunteering nature of Bulgaria’s decision, it’s likely that it behaved this way in order to curry additional favor with its American patron after Washington’s commands were courageously rejected by Athens. Bulgaria wanted to ‘thank’ the US for sending heavy equipment and Marines to the country professedly to ‘protect against Russian aggression’, but in reality, such a deployment serves only to facilitate Bulgarian aggression against neighboring Macedonia, which many in the country refuse to acknowledge as a separate ethnos, language, and state. Per the US’ strategic benefit, it allows NATO to have one of its ‘ rapid reaction ’ headquarters strategically abutting the Turkish, Greek, and Macedonian segments of Balkan Stream.

Geopolitical Significance:

Flying over the Balkans en route to Syria fulfilled a strategic purpose for Russia that more than compensated for the extra length required when compared to its Iranian-Iraqi replacement. It would of course be easiest if Russia could fly its aircraft above Turkish airspace and directly to Syria, but this route is obviously inoperable judging by Russia’s previous employment of the Balkans detour, and it’s probably because Ankara rejects any sort of Russian-originated aid going to the country. Be that as it may, the Balkans are many times more preferable than their eastern replacement primarily because they keep Russian planes out of the US-led “anti-ISIL” coalition’s area of operations.

This may not have been so important one year ago when it wasn’t in effect, but with American and other planes nowadays sporadically operating above the country when they so choose and not coordinating their “anti-terrorist” efforts whatsoever with Damascus, the threat remains that some sort of in-air ‘mix-up’ could occur that takes down one of the Russian planes and creates an international crisis. Such a scenario would be amplified if the Russian pilots were captured by ISIL and beheaded, as this would be sure to generate considerable backlash among the Russian public. Considering the risks thus involved, Russia’s insistence to continue providing Syria with humanitarian aid amid these arguably more difficult circumstances testifies to the solidarity of the Russian-Syrian strategic partnership and Moscow’s dedication to aiding Damascus in its anti-terrorist struggle.

Concluding Thoughts

Concurrent with Russia’s reinvigorated efforts to diplomatically resolve the War on Syria, the US has taken to launching a three-pronged hybrid information war against Syria in order to worsen its domestic situation. The refugee crisis has been politicized and transformed into a novel asymmetrical weapon of regime change against the country, creating a quandary which is impossible for Syria to resolve on its own and which places it in an ever-constant strategic vulnerability. The US and Israel’s hoax about a Russian ground intervention against ISIL was a second wave of soft destabilization designed to obstruct the assembling of Russia’s anti-ISIL coalition and also undermine faith in the Syrian Arab Army. The most recent ploy related to Syria saw the US trying to unsuccessfully pressure Greece to deny overflight rights to Russian humanitarian aircraft transiting to Syria, but out of nowhere, Bulgaria’s voluntary agreement to this scheme (motivated out of a dual desire to please its patron and thank it for the heavy equipment, Marines, and ‘rapid response’ base its received) has created an unnecessary inconvenience.

Washington’s heightened information warfare against Syria at this particular time can be read as a strong statement of how successful it feels Russia has lately been in attempting to resolve the country’s problems, as this level of soft destabilization is unprecedented since the crisis first erupted. The US never before tried using the refugee flows out of the country as a means to encourage its British and French allies to militarily involve themselves in the country, nor has it ever invented a Russian military intervention there (although it notably did so in Eastern Ukraine). Moreover, the US is clearly concerned about the humanitarian aid that Russia is giving to Syria (believing it to be a cover for covert military aid above what has been publicly declared), as it’s taken the dramatic step of asking one of the overflight states, Greece, to halt its cooperation with Moscow in order to inhibit it. All of these measures are demonstrable of the US’ fear that Russia’s physical and diplomatic assistance to Syria has finally moved it to the tipping point of reversing the terrorists’ dynamic and enacting a pivotal change in bringing the four-and-a-half-year war to a pro-government conclusion.

Israel Keeps Making, Not Taking, More Refugees

September 14th, 2015 by Ben White

Israel won’t accept Syrian refugees because it was only by turning the majority of the Palestinians into refugees that a ‘Jewish state’ was created 

Long before Syrian refugees found their way to Europe, the war-torn country’s neighbours have been hosting a staggering number of displaced persons – with one notable exception.

Syria has five neighbours: Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Israel (with the latter occupying the Golan Heights since 1967). According to recent figures, Turkey currently hosts 1.8 million Syrian refugees, Lebanon a further 1.17 million, Jordan around 630,000, and Iraq some 250,000.

A picture taken from the Israeli side of the border shows Syrian residents approaching the Syria-Israel boundary fence in the Israeli annexed Golan Heights near the southern Syrian village of Ar Rafide on May 7, 2013. (AFP)

Israel, however, with a GDP per capita almost double that of Turkey and five times as much as Jordan, has not accepted a single one.

This is unlikely to change any time soon. On 6 September, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the idea of accepting any Syrian refugees, stating: “Israel is a very small state. It has no geographic depth or demographic depth.”

The day before, former finance minister and Yesh Atid chair Yair Lapid expressed similar sentiments, arguing that Israel “cannot afford to get into the matter of the refugee crisis” since to do so, he added instructively, could “open a back door to discussing the right of return for Palestinians”.

Senior Palestinian officials, meanwhile, are urging Israel to permit Palestinian refugees from Syria to come to the Occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

An estimated 3,000 Palestinians have been killed in Syria since the start of the uprising. Around 80,000 of the 560,000 UNRWA-registered Palestinian refugees in Syria are no longer in the country. Yarmouk camp, once home to some 200,000, now has 5-8,000 civilians remaining. In the devastated camp, many still rely on food parcels, and over-stretched doctors are treating cases of typhoid.

On Monday, the PLO’s Hanan Ashrawi reiterated a call made by Mahmoud Abbas for “the international community, in particular the United Nations, to support our efforts to bring the Palestinian refugees to Palestine”.

Netanyahu’s comments at Sunday’s cabinet meeting were sparked by an intervention on Saturday by Zionist Camp head and Labor chair Isaac Herzog. Speaking on Channel 10 television, Israel’s opposition leader said it was “incumbent on Israel to take in refugees from the war”.

“Jews cannot be apathetic when hundreds of thousands of refugees are searching for safe haven,” Herzog added. Except, of course, if they are Palestinian refugees.

Herzog has been very direct about his desire to “keep a Jewish state with a Jewish majority.” Speaking at a conference in June, he stated: “I don’t want a Palestinian prime minister in Israel. I don’t want them to change my flag and my national anthem.”

Tzipi Livni, his Zionist Camp partner, sings a similar tune, defending the creation of a Palestinian “state” (read Bantustan) in order to “preserve the Jewishness of Israel’s Jewish and democratic state model” and “avoid the statistical demographic issue of Palestinians outnumbering Israelis”.

Many were recently appalled by Hungarian PM Victor Orban’s well-publicised remarks that the Syrian refugees “represent a radically different culture” and, purely because they are mainly Muslims, constitute a threat to “European Christianity”.

Few are aware, however, just how routine such rhetoric is in Israel, amongst cabinet ministers, lawmakers, academics, commentators and others. One Israeli journalist, explaining why “Israel can’t take in refugees,” put it like this:

The demographic threat is real, and the need to preserve the Jewish nation state’s character as a democracy doesn’t allow for large minorities. The current numbers of Muslims pose a complicated challenge even without additions.

For Israel’s Palestinian citizens, this discourse is par for the course, from newspapers discussing a “demographic intifada” to political leaders, like Netanyahu in 2010, declaring that a Negev “without a Jewish majority” would pose “a palpable threat”.

Israel’s settler-colonial anxiety goes largely unquestioned in the West. While The New York Times was scathing about Orban’s rhetoric, the paper uncritically noted the perception of “most Israeli Jews” that the Palestinian refugees’ return would be a “demographic death warrant”.

It is not just Palestinians. In 2012, after African refugees had entered Israel via the country’s border with Egypt, Netanyahu warned that “illegal infiltrators” could threaten the country’s existence “as a Jewish and democratic state”. Tel Aviv saw anti-African mob violence.

Even if, as some acknowledged, the new arrivals meant no harm, their continued migration had “the potential of destroying the State of Israel.” Israel, it was frankly explained, is “a country living in constant worry over its demographic balance, and determined to maintain its Jewish character”.

A “steel and barbed-wire fence on the Egyptian border” has since reduced the number of Africans entering Israel “from several thousand a year … to almost zero”. Meanwhile the 50,000 refugees who remain, mostly from Sudan and Eritrea, are targeted for removal.

Lapid’s comments point us in the right direction: Israel is unable to accept (non-Jewish) refugees because it was only through turning the majority of the indigenous Palestinian population into refugees that a “Jewish state” was established – and it is maintained by their continued exclusion.

Earlier this week, Netanyahu told European Council President Donald Tusk that Israel is the region’s “only vanguard of liberty,” adding: “We are the guardians of civilisation here in the heart of the Middle East against this new barbarism.”

This colonial ideology of exceptionalism, exemplified by the oft-repeated “only democracy in the Middle East” cliche, finds an uncomfortable echo in Israel’s refusal to accept Syrian refugees, even as its neighbours host them in their millions.

On Sunday, Netanyahu announced the start of construction of a 29-kilometre stretch of fence along Israel’s border with Jordan, just the latest barrier for a state of external and internal borders, segregated spaces and settlements.

Just as the Syrian refugees are the result of an international political failure, so too the Palestinian refugees’ exclusion from their homeland, an absence created and enforced by the barrel of a gun and a bureaucracy of apartheid, is the result of the failure to confront Israeli ethnocracy.

Ben White is the author of ‘Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide’ and ‘Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination and Democracy’. He is a writer for Middle East Monitor, and his articles have been published by Al Jazeera, al-Araby, Huffington Post, The Electronic Intifada, The Guardian’s Comment is free, and more.

The Clinton Foundation contributed to the February coup in Ukraine, having longstanding ties to Ukrainian oligarchs who pushed the country to European integration.

A sinister atmosphere surrounds the Clinton Foundation’s role in Ukrainian military coup of February 2014, experts point out.It has recently turned out that Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Pinchuk, a vocal proponent of Ukraine’s European integration, made huge contributions to the Clinton Foundation, while Hillary Clinton was the US Secretary of State. Although the foundation swore off donations from foreign governments while Mrs. Clinton was serving as a state official, it continued accepting money from private donors. Many of them had certain ties to their national governments like Viktor Pinchuk, a Ukrainian businessman and ex-parliamentarian.

Remarkably, among individual donors contributing to the Clinton Foundation in the period between 1999 and 2014, Ukrainian sponsors took first place in the list, providing the charity with almost $10 million and pushing England and Saudi Arabia to second and third places respectively.

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

It is worth mentioning that the Viktor Pinchuk Foundation alone transferred at least $8.6 million to the Clinton charity between 2009 and 2013. Pinchuk, who acquired his fortune from a pipe-making business, served twice as a parliamentarian in Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada and was married to the daughter of ex-president of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma.

Although the Clinton’s charity denies that the donations were somehow connected with political matters, experts doubt that international private sponsors received no political support in return. In 2008 Pinchuk pledged to make a five-year $29 million contribution to the Clinton Global Initiative in order to fund a program aimed at training future Ukrainian leaders and “modernizers.” Remarkably, several alumni of these courses are current members of Ukrainian parliament. Because of the global financial crisis, the Pinchuk Foundation sent only $1.8 million.

Experts note that during Mrs. Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, Viktor Pinchuk was introduced to some influential American lobbyists. Curiously enough, he tried to use his powerful “friends” to pressure Ukraine’s then-President Viktor Yanukovych to free Yulia Tymoshenko, who served a jail term.Viktor Pinchuk has always been one of the most vocal proponents of Ukraine’s European integration. In 2004 Pinchuk founded the Yalta European Strategy (YES) platform in Kiev. YES is led by the board including ex-president of Poland Aleksander Kwasniewski and former NATO Secretary General Javier Solana. According to the website of the platform, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Kofi Annan, Radoslaw Sikorski, Vitaliy Klitschko, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Petro Poroshenko and other prominent figures have participated in annual meetings of YES since 2004.

No one would argue that proponents of Ukraine’s pro-Western course played the main role in organizing the coup of February 2014 in Kiev. Furthermore, the exceptional role of the United States in ousting then-president Viktor Yanukovich has also been recognized by political analysts, participants of Euromaidan and even by Barack Obama, the US President.

Experts note that after the coup, the Ukrainian leadership has actually become Washington’s puppet government. Several foreign citizens, including American civilian Natalie Jaresko, Lithuanian investment banker Aivaras Abromavicius and Georgia-born Alexander Kvitashvili have assumed high posts in the Ukrainian government. It should be noted that Natalie Jaresko, Ukraine’s Financial Minister, have previously worked in the US State Department and has also been linked to oligarch Viktor Pinchuk.

So far, experts note, the recent “game of thrones” in Ukraine has been apparently instigated by a few powerful clans of the US and Ukraine, who are evidently benefitting from the ongoing turmoil. In this light the Clinton Foundation looks like something more than just a charity: in today’s world of fraudulent oligopoly we are facing with global cronyism, experts point out, warning against its devastating consequences.

Meet Jeremy Corbyn, Britain’s new Leader of the Opposition

September 14th, 2015 by Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Jeremy Corbyn has the Establishment on both sides of the Atlantic shaking in their boots. Representing a breath of fresh air, promising change and hope, the new leader of Britain’s Labour Party also represents a stand against austerity and a sensible economic policy which aims to stimulate the economy instead of stifling it.

The first act by Jeremy Corbyn after being elected on Saturday September 12 as Leader of Britain’s Labour Party (winning in the first round with almost 60 per cent of first-preference votes) was to send an e-mail to all Labour Party members and supporters promising to include them and their wishes in his policy-making process, asking them to forward questions to place to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, at Prime Minister’s Questions next Wednesday.

For Jeremy Corbyn, being Labour leader is about the opportunity to serve and to create viable public services. Indeed, his record presses all the right buttons for the socially leaning members of the public. And those who understand the first thing about economics.

Policy issues and some predictions

Let us take a look at the policies Jeremy Corbyn has supported and this will explain why he will cause concern and will be demonized by the media who will classify him as a dangerous radical who is unelectable and unstatesmanlike. The reason why, as we shall see, is that his policies go against the grain of government by proxy for the lobbies to which politicians today are connected and which place them in office or else close ranks around them when they are elected.

For a start, Jeremy Corbyn questions the pan-national weapons lobby called NATO, whose collective member states’ budget is a staggering one point two thousand billion USD each and every year – four times the amount it would cost to eradicate poverty, worldwide, forever. How Constitutional is it for any of the countries to have their foreign policy dictated by such a lobby? Predictably, the national security button will be pressed as enemies and dark forces are invented to justify NATO’s existence and new members are sought to bolster its budget and cater for the lobbies for which NATO is the cutting edge. Dictatorship of the Lobbies through the manipulation of fear.

Jeremy Corbyn opposed the war in Afghanistan (a foreign policy catastrophe in which the Taliban are paid not to attack), opposed the war in Iraq (another disaster which totally destabilized a sovereign state, murdered a million people and saw the creation of Islamic State), he opposed the war in Libya (another huge mistake) and opposes war in Syria. He is also Vice-Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and a member of Amnesty International.

He was a campaigner against apartheid, worked to free the Guildford Four and Birmingham Six, people wrongly convicted as IRA bombers. Needless to say, the media will have a heyday over this but then again, what is wrong with working to free people who have been wrongly convicted?

Jeremy Corbyn understands that austerity shrinks the economy, destroying jobs, taking away workers’ rights gained over the last century and favors an approach which combats tax evasion, bringing more money into the treasury. In fact, his policies would bring in an extra 100 billion pounds in the short term. He plans a public investment scheme to create housing and plans to take rail franchises back into the public sector and supports renationalizing the energy sector. Strongly opposed to tuition fees, Jeremy Corbyn wants to create a National Education Service. A service, not a business.

On foreign policy, he rightly saw that the Ukraine crisis was caused by NATO’s attempt to expand eastwards. As regards Israel, he realizes that no progress is going to be made until talks are held between Israel, Hamas and Hezbollah and he opposed sanctions against Iran.

Who is Jeremy Corbyn?

Born in 1949, he began his working career in the National Union of Public Employees, becoming an organizer for the Union. From here he went on to the National Union of Tailors and Garment Workers, was a member of a District Health Authority and was elected to Harringay Council, which he represented from 1974 to 1983 and was Secretary of the Islington Borough Labour Group.

He was elected as a Member of Parliament for Islington North in 1983 and has since been re-elected seven times. The Member of Parliament who claims the least expenses, he has served on the London Regional Select Committee, the Social Security Select Committee and the Justice Select Committee; he is Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Chagos Islands, on Mexico and Vice-Chair of the Group on Latin America and on Human Rights; he is member of the Groups on Bolivia, Britain-Palestine, Great Lakes and the International Parliamentary Union, among others. He is a vegetarian, an animal rights campaigner and supports the LGBT community.

For those who wish to see a health service run by a fascination with the bottom line, in which the haves get treated and the have-nots get second class treatment, for those who wish to see the education sector turned into a business in which you get a degree if you can pay and if you cannot, then you don’t get a chance, for those who wish to see train services cancelled, energy bills skyrocketing, for those who wish to be afraid to step outside the home after six o’clock, Jeremy Corbyn is a direct threat.

The question is, is Britain ready for Jeremy Corbyn?

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey has worked as a correspondent, journalist, deputy editor, editor, chief editor, director, project manager, executive director, partner and owner of printed and online daily, weekly, monthly and yearly publications, TV stations and media groups printed, aired and distributed in Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Portugal, Mozambique and São Tomé and Principe Isles; the Russian Foreign Ministry publication Dialog and the Cuban Foreign Ministry Official Publications. ([email protected])

On September 11, a publication called Russian Spring reported US unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attacks on Syrian military positions – “disguised as an airstrike on ISIS.”

Syrian journalists learned details of what’s happening. Numerous civilians were killed. According to Syrian military sources, covert US drone strikes against its forces and positions happened before, part of Washington’s phony war on ISIS.

On September 1, the Washington Post headlined “US launches secret drone campaign to hunt Islamic State leaders in Syria,” saying:

CIA and US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) operatives “are flying drones over Syria” – conducting targeted air strikes. WaPo lied claiming it’s against “senior Islamic State operatives,” citing official US sources.

Obama’s stepped up bombing complicit with Britain, France, Canada, Australia and Israel heads thing closer to full-scale naked aggression – to destroy Syrian sovereignty, eliminate an Israeli rival, and isolate Iran ahead of perhaps inventing a pretext to attack the Islamic Republic.

War plans were made years ago, updated as needed. The Iran nuclear deal did nothing to change longstanding US hostility toward Tehran.

Regime change remains official US policy – wanting Iranian sovereign independence destroyed like what’s ongoing in Syria. Maybe Washington has an Islamic State invasion in mind, perhaps aided by US air power.

America targets all independent government worldwide for regime change – wanting subservient US-controlled vassal states replacing them, a nightmarish scenario for endless conflicts, mass slaughter and destruction and possible nuclear war threatening everyone, everywhere if launched.

Previous articles explained Washington uses ISIS terrorists as US proxy foot soldiers. Obama’s Iraq and Syria bombing campaigns support them, targeting infrastructure, and apparently Syrian military positions.

In September 2014, Sergey Lavrov said if US and other Western forces bomb Syria, “(t)here are reasons to suspect (the campaign may attack) government troops…on the quiet to weaken the positions of Bashar Assad’s army.”

He commented shortly after Obama announced US plans to allegedly bomb ISIS in Syria – a ruse, part of Washington’s plan to oust Assad.

On September 13, on Russia’s Channel 1 Sunday Times program, Lavrov said “Russia has information that the US knows the position of the IS, but does not bomb them.”

Its actions don’t reflect its publicly stated objective. “Analyzing (them), one cannot but suspect…ulterior motives beyond the stated goal of fighting the Islamic State,” said Lavrov.

“Some our colleagues among the coalition members told us they sometimes knew where certain ISIL regiments were stationed but the coalition’s command – which is, obviously, the US – did not give them the permission for an airstrike.” Washington “conspired towards goals that were not declared ones.”

Its war on Syrian sovereignty continues despite Western nations saying “they clearly understand (ISIS) is the main threat in the Middle East and North Africa,” not Assad.

If everyone realizes that, but many whisper it, fearing to say it out loud, it is necessary to implement that in action.

Lavrov explained Russia will continue fulfilling its contractual obligations to Syria – supplying arms, munitions and training, as well as humanitarian aid. “These are no mysteries or secrets,” he explained. “Our military-technical cooperation seeks to” defeat ISIS.

Washington uses mercenary terrorists and its military might to advance its imperium – by crushing fundamental freedoms wherever they exist, including at home, complicit with rogue partners.

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.”

Visit his blog site at

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

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

China Declares Peace, NATO Prepares For War

September 14th, 2015 by Christopher Black

In Beijing, on September 3rd 2015, and on the occasion of the great Chinese victory parade commemorating the defeat of the forces of Japanese fascism and imperialism in 1945, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a speech in which he stated some heartfelt truths learned in the crucible of that war.

To an audience that included leaders from all over the world except the NATO war alliance, and with Russian President Putin nearby, he stated,

The experience of war makes people value peace all the more. The aim of our commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War is to bear history in mind, honour all those who laid down their lives, cherish peace and open up the future.

He continued,

War is like a mirror. Looking at it helps us better appreciate the value of peace. …. War is the Damocles sword that hangs over mankind. We must learn the lessons of history and dedicate ourselves to peace.


All countries should jointly uphold the international order and system underpinned by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, build a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation and advance the noble cause of global peace and development.

In the interest of peace China will remain committed to peaceful development. We Chinese love peace. No matter how strong it may become, China will never seek hegemony or expansion. It will never inflict its past suffering on any other nation. The Chinese people are resolved to pursue friendly relations with all other countries.


The People’s Liberation Army of China is the people’s army. All its officers and men and women must bear in mind their responsibility of serving the people whole-heartedly, faithfully fulfil their sacred duty of protecting the nation’s security and carry out the noble mission of upholding the world peace. Here, I announce that China will cut the number of its troops by 300,000.

He then joined his guests to review the military parade that showed the world that China was no one’s colony, not British, nor French, nor German nor Japanese and never would be again. The display of troops and military hardware was a declaration that China can well defend itself if attacked so that those who choose war over peace can bring only their own destruction. The announcement of a cut in the number of its troops by 13% was a declaration of confidence in its technical abilities, and at the same time a challenge to the NATO war alliance that calls continuously for the enlargement of its forces which have Russia and China as their primary strategic targets.

But the NATO governments, who in May insulted the Russians by refusing to attend the Moscow Victory Parade, also boycotted this one, aside from the Czech president who continues to show that he has not learned how to make his spine as flexible as the rest of that gang of mediocrities. Surprisingly, perhaps, even the president of South Korea attended though she faced pressure from the Americans not to but had the courage to ignore them.

The NATO leaders refused to attend because they regret and tremble at the resurgence of China, cry endless tears for their loss of control over it, cannot tolerate the success of the Communist Party in bringing the mass of the people of China to such a high level of development, independence and sovereignty and, ultimately, see it as an enemy.

As Chinese, Russian, Cuban, Belarusian, Serbian, Egyptian, Mexican, Pakistani and other military contingents marched in solidarity with the People’s Liberation Army to commemorate the victory over the fascists of World War II the NATO war alliance continued to encourage, support and arm its fascist allies and puppets in Ukraine. Xi Xinping described the Second World War as the World Anti-Fascist War, and, “a decisive battle between justice and evil, between light and darkness, and between progress and reaction.”

There were other contradictions to be noted. The Chinese call for support of the United Nations Charter was underlined by the attendance of Ban Ki Moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations, but simultaneously undermined by the insulting presence of Tony Blair and Gerhard Schroeder both of whom, as the leaders of Britain and Germany, ordered their national military forces to attack socialist Yugoslavia in 1999 in violation of international law and the United Nations Charter and ordered those forces to commit war crimes and so are themselves war criminals who should be in a criminal dock instead of in the audience of an anti-fascist military parade. But the modern world is made of such dark ironies.

The reactionary forces in the west immediately ignored the Chinese declaration of peace and twisted the parade into a threat of Chinese military power, as a China “flexing its muscles” and as an attempt to distract its people from economic problems and “rising social tensions” reasons never given for American displays of military power. The western news services made a point of mentioning the presence of Chinese ships in the Bering Sea, territorial disputes with Japan, and the size of the Chinese forces, all meant to portray China as an aggressor instead of a nation seeking to maintain the peace and trying to avoid the aggression of the imperialist powers from Japan in the 30’s and 40’s to the United States and its puppets since.

Meanwhile the largest naval drills ever conducted by NATO, code named Operation Sea Breeze, continued in the Black Sea, practicing air defence, anti-submarine, logistical and damage control tests along with landing craft exercises. These exercises began just after US airborne forces including the 82nd Airborne completed large scale airborne exercises in Operation Swift Response that were conducted in Germany, Italy, Romania and Bulgaria.

The exercises were claimed to be defensive in nature but the fact is that airborne troops are used only in offensive operations and surprise attacks. The two drills seen together would indicate that the fascist junta in Kiev and its NATO allies are planning a pincer operation involving a major land attack on the Donbas and Luhansk regions to try to reach the Russian border or cut the south of the region away from the rest to make it economically unviable. The airborne forces could be used for quick drops of large forces of men onto key positions behind the front lines and the naval units would land forces from the sea protected by the anti-submarine, anti-ship and antiaircraft ships they have been practicing with.

As the Chinese President calls for peace and as the Russian president calls for a return to international law and dialogue instead of the use of threats and force the United States prepares the ground of Europe for war and for a direct confrontation with Russia. Every one of the NATO governments and all the major political parties in their bankrupt political, social and economic system, which have absorbed the miasma of hypocrisy and amorality into their very lifeblood, support this conspiracy to commit aggression, and are complicit in creating the conditions that will produce a catastrophe.

But they only seem to care about their catastrophes when it damages their immediate interests as we see with the refugee crisis sweeping across southern and central Europe and the Mediterranean, a predicted result of their aggression against and destruction of Iraq, Libya and Syria, but a result they do not want nor know to respond to. They claimed to act for reasons of humanity or the greater good when they attacked those countries but all they did was to destroy everything that we can call civilization. Now the people they attacked seek desperate haven among those who wanted to destroy them, and who now express surprise that their victims beg them for deliverance.

I have no answer to these contradictions but President Xi Jinping said something that bears repeating. Some may think it naïve, since the leaders of NATO seem only to respect power and force, but I can’t see any other way forward. He said,

“In the interest of peace, we need to foster a keen sense of a global community of a shared future. Prejudice, discrimination, hatred and war can only cause disaster and suffering, while mutual respect, equality, peaceful development and common prosperity represent the right path to take.”

But let me conclude this with his final words since they can’t be bettered;

“Let us bear in mind the great truth of history:

“Justice will prevail!

“Peace will prevail!

“The people will prevail!”

To that I can only add a nod of the head, my raised fist and a

“Right on, brother.”


Known and documented, since the Soviet-Afghan war, recruiting Mujahideen (“holy warriors”) to fight covert wars on Washington’s behest has become an integral part of US foreign policy.

A 1997 Congressional document by the Republican Party Committee (RPC), while intent upon smearing President Bill Clinton, nonetheless sheds light on the Clinton administration’s insidious role in recruiting and training jihadist mercenaries with a view to transforming Bosnia into  a “Militant Islamic Base”.

In many regards, Bosnia and Kosovo (1998-1999) were “dress rehearsals” for the destabilization of the Middle East (Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen). 

With regard to Syria, the recruitment of jihadists (according to Israeli intelligence sources) was launched prior to 2011 under the auspices of NATO and the Turkish High command in liaison with the Pentagon. 

The RCP report reveals how the US administration – under advice from Clinton’s National Security Council headed by Anthony Lake –  “helped turn Bosnia into a militant Islamic base” leading to the recruitment through the so-called “Militant Islamic Network,” of thousands of Mujahideen from the Muslim world: 

Perhaps most threatening to the SFOR mission – and more importantly, to the safety of the American personnel serving in Bosnia – is the unwillingness of the Clinton Administration to come clean with the Congress and with the American people about its complicity in the delivery of weapons from Iran to the Muslim government in Sarajevo. That policy, personally approved by Bill Clinton in April 1994 at the urging of CIA Director-designate (and then-NSC chief) Anthony Lake and the U.S. ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith, has, according to the Los Angeles Times (citing classified intelligence community sources), “played a central role in the dramatic increase in Iranian influence in Bosnia.


Along with the weapons, Iranian Revolutionary Guards and VEVAK intelligence operatives entered Bosnia in large numbers, along with thousands of mujahedin (“holy warriors”) from across the Muslim world. Also engaged in the effort were several other Muslim countries (including Brunei, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Turkey) and a number of radical Muslim organizations.

For example, the role of one Sudan-based “humanitarian organization,” called the Third World Relief Agency, has been well documented. The Clinton Administration’s “hands-on” involvement with the Islamic network’s arms pipeline included inspections of missiles from Iran by U.S. government officials… the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA), a Sudan-based, phoney humanitarian organization … has been a major link in the arms pipeline to Bosnia. … TWRA is believed to be connected with such fixtures of the Islamic terror network as Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman (the convicted mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing) and Osama Bin Laden, a wealthy Saudi émigré believed to bankroll numerous militant groups. [Washington Post, 9/22/96] emphasis added

The Republican Party Committee report quoting official documents as well as US media sources confirms unequivocally the complicity of the Clinton Administration with several Islamic fundamentalist organisations including Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda.

What was the ultimate purpose of this report?

The Republicans wanted at the time to undermine the Clinton Administration. However, at a time when the entire country had its eyes riveted on the Monica Lewinsky scandal, the Republicans no doubt chose not to trigger an untimely “Iran-Bosniagate” affair, which might have unduly diverted public attention away from the Lewinsky scandal.

The Republicans wanted to impeach Bill Clinton “for having lied to the American People” regarding his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. On the more substantive “foreign policy lies” regarding covert operations involving the recruitment of “Jihadists” in the Balkans, Democrats and Republicans agreed in unison, no doubt pressured by the Pentagon and the CIA not to “spill the beans”. Clinton’s support of “jihadist” terrorist organizations in Bosnia and Kosovo was a continuation of the CIA sponsored recruitment of Mujahideen implemented throughout the 1980s in Afghanistan, under the helm of the CIA.

The “Bosnian pattern” described in the 1997 Congressional RPC report was then replicated in Kosovo. Among the foreign mercenaries fighting in Kosovo (and Macedonia in 2001) were Mujahideen 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.

Confirmed by British military sources, the task of arming and training of the KLA had been entrusted in 1998 to the US Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) and Britain’s Secret Intelligence Services MI6, together with “former and serving members of 22 SAS [Britain's 22nd Special Air Services Regiment], as well as three British and American private security companies”. (The Scotsman, Glasgow, 29 August 1999)

The US DIA approached MI6 to arrange a training programme for the KLA, said a senior British military source. `MI6 then sub-contracted the operation to two British security companies, who in turn approached a number of former members of the (22 SAS) regiment. Lists were then drawn up of weapons and equipment needed by the KLA.’ While these covert operations were continuing, serving members of 22 SAS Regiment, mostly from the unit’s D Squadron, were first deployed in Kosovo before the beginning of the bombing campaign in March. (ibid)

While British SAS Special Forces in bases in Northern Albania were training the KLA, military instructors from Turkey and Afghanistan financed by the “Islamic jihad” were collaborating in training the KLA in guerilla and diversion tactics. (Truth in Media, April 2, 1999)

Bin Laden had visited Albania himself. He was one of several fundamentalist groups that had sent units to fight in Kosovo, … Bin Laden is believed to have established an operation in Albania in 1994 … Albanian sources say Sali Berisha, who was then president, had links with some groups that later proved to be extreme fundamentalists. (Sunday Times, London, 29 November 1998, emphasis added).

Below is the complete text of the RPC congressional document, which confirms that the Clinton administration was collaborating with Al Qaeda. The actions taken by the Clinton administration were intended to create ethnic and factional divisions which eventually were conducive to the fracturing of the Yugoslav Federation.

In retrospect,  the Obama Administration’s covert support of the ISIS in Syria and Iraq bears a canny resemblance to the Clinton administration’s support of the Militant Islamic Base in Bosnia and Kosovo. What this suggests is that US intelligence rather than the White House and the State Department determine the main thrust of US foreign policy, which consists in supporting and financing “Jihadist” terrorist organizations with a view to destabilizing sovereign countries. 

Michel Chossudovsky, September 13, 2015

Note: the original Congressional document published by the office of Senator Larry Craig (ret) is no longer available

*      *      *

Help Turn Bosnia into Militant Islamic Base

Republican Party Committee, US Congress, September 1997

“‘There is no question that the policy of getting arms into Bosnia was of great assistance in allowing the Iranians to dig in and create good relations with the Bosnian government,’ a senior CIA officer told Congress in a classified deposition. ‘And it is a thing we will live to regret because when they blow up some Americans, as they no doubt will before this … thing is over, it will be in part because the Iranians were able to have the time and contacts to establish themselves well in Bosnia.”‘

“Iran Gave Bosnia Leader $ ["Iran Gave Bosnia Leader $ 500,000, CIA Alleges: Classified Report Says Izetbegovic Has Been 'Co-Opted,' Contradicting U.S. Public Assertion of Rift," Los Angeles Times, 12/31/96. Ellipses in original. Alija Izetbegovic is the Muslim president of Bosnia.] “‘If you read President Izetbegovk’s writings, as I have, there is no doubt that he is an Islamic fundamentalist,’ said a senior Western diplomat with long experience in the region. ‘He is a very nice fundamentalist, but he is still a fundamentalist. This has not changed. His goal is to establish a Muslim state in Bosnia, and the Serbs and Croats understand this better than the rest of us.”‘ ["Bosnian Leader Hails Islam at Election Rallies," New York Times, 9/2/96]

Introduction and Summary

In late 1995, President Bill Clinton dispatched some 20,000 U.S. troops to Bosnia-Hercegovina as part of a NATO-led “implementation force” (IFOR) to ensure that the warning Muslim, Serbian, and Croatian factions complied with provisions of the Dayton peace plan. [NOTE: This paper assumes the reader is acquainted with the basic facts of the Bosnian war leading to the IFOR deployment. For background, see RPC's "Clinton Administration Ready to Send U.S. Troops to Bosnia, "9/28/95," and Legislative Notice No. 60, "Senate to Consider Several Resolutions on Bosnia," 12/12/95] Through statements by Administration spokesmen, notably Defense Secretary Perry and Joint Chiefs Chairman General Shalikashvili, the president firmly assured Congress and the American people that U S. personnel would be out of Bosnia at the end of one year. Predictably, as soon as the November 1996 election was safely behind him, President Clinton announced that approximately 8,5 00 U.S. troops would be remaining for another 18 months as part of a restructured and scaled down contingent, the “stabilization force” (SFOR), officially established on December 20, 1996.

SFOR begins its mission in Bosnia under a serious cloud both as to the nature of its mission and the dangers it will face. While IFOR had successfully accomplished its basic military task – separating the factions’ armed forces – there has been very little progress toward other stated goals of the Dayton agreement, including political and economic reintegration of Bosnia, return of refugees to their homes, and apprehension and prosecution of accused war criminals. It is far from certain that the cease-fire that has held through the past year will continue for much longer, in light of such unresolved issues as the status of the cities of Brcko (claimed by Muslims but held by the Serbs) and Mostar (divided between nominal Muslim and Croat allies, both of which are currently being armed by the Clinton Administration). Moreover, at a strength approximately one-third that of its predecessor, SFOR may not be in as strong a position to deter attacks by one or another of the Bosnian factions or to avoid attempts to involve it in renewed fighting: “IFOR forces, despite having suffered few casualties, have been vulnerable to attacks from all of the contending sides over the year of the Dayton mandate. As a second mandate [Dayton mandate. As a second mandate [i.e., SFOR] evolves, presumably maintaining a smaller force on the ground, the deterrent effect which has existed may well become less compelling and vulnerabilities of the troops will increase.” ["Military Security in Bosnia-Herzegovina: Present and Future," Bulletin of the Atlantic Council of the United States, 12/18/96]

The Iranian Connection

Perhaps most threatening to the SFOR mission – and more importantly, to the safety of the American personnel serving in Bosnia – is the unwillingness of the Clinton Administration to come clean with the Congress and with the American people about its complicity in the delivery of weapons from Iran to the Muslim government in Sarajevo.

That policy, personally approved by Bill Clinton in April 1994 at the urging of CIA Director-designate (and then-NSC chief) Anthony Lake and the U.S. ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith, has, according to the Los Angeles Times (citing classified intelligence community sources), “played a central role in the dramatic increase in Iranian influence in Bosnia.”

Further, according to the Times, in September 1995 National Security Agency analysts contradicted Clinton Administration claims of declining Iranian influence, insisting instead that “Iranian Revolutionary Guard personnel remain active throughout Bosnia.” Likewise, “CIA analysts noted that the Iranian presence was expanding last fall,” with some ostensible cultural and humanitarian activities “known to be fronts” for the Revolutionary Guard and Iran’s intelligence service, known as VEVAK, the Islamic revolutionary successor to the Shah’s SAVAK. [[LAT, 12/31/96] At a time when there is evidence of increased willingness by pro-Iranian Islamic militants to target American assets abroad – as illustrated by the June 1996 car-bombing at the Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, that killed 19 American airmen, in which the Iranian government or pro-Iranian terrorist organizations are suspected ["U.S. Focuses Bomb Probe on Iran, Saudi Dissident," Chicago Tribune, 11/4/96] – it is irresponsible in the extreme for the Clinton Administration to gloss over the extent to which its policies have put American personnel in an increasingly vulnerable position while performing an increasingly questionable mission.

Three Key Issues for Examination

This paper will examine the Clinton policy of giving the green light to Iranian arms shipments to the Bosnian Muslims, with serious implications for the safety of U.S. troops deployed there. (In addition, RPC will release a general analysis of the SFOR mission and the Clinton Administration’s request for supplemental appropriations to fund it in the near future.) Specifically, the balance of this paper will examine in detail the three issues summarized below:

  1. The Clinton Green Light to Iranian Arms Shipments (page 3): In April 1995, President Clinton gave the government of Croatia what has been described by Congressional committees as a “green light” for shipments of weapons from Iran and other Muslim countries to the Muslim-led government of Bosnia. The policy was approved at the urging of NSC chief Anthony Lake and the U.S. ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith. The CIA and the Departments of State and Defense were kept in the dark until after the decision was made.
  2. The Militant Islamic Network (page 5): Along with the weapons, Iranian Revolutionary Guards and VEVAK intelligence operatives entered Bosnia in large numbers, along with thousands of mujahedin (“holy warriors”) from across the Muslim world. Also engaged in the effort were several other Muslim countries (including Brunei, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Turkey) and a number of radical Muslim organizations. For example, the role of one Sudan-based “humanitarian organization,” called the Third World Relief Agency, has been well documented. The Clinton Administration’s “hands-on” involvement with the Islamic network’s arms pipeline included inspections of missiles from Iran by U.S. government officials.
  3. The Radical Islamic Character of the Sarajevo Regime (page 8): Underlying the Clinton Administration’s misguided green light policy is a complete misreading of its main beneficiary, the Bosnian Muslim government of Alija Izetbegovic. Rather than being the tolerant, multiethnic democratic government it pretends to be, there is clear evidence that the ruling circle of Izetbegovic’s party, the Party of Democratic Action (SDA), has long been guided by the principles of radical Islam. This Islamist orientation is illustrated by profiles of three important officials, including President Izetbegovic himself; the progressive Islamization of the Bosnian army, including creation of native Bosnian mujahedin units; credible claims that major atrocities against civilians in Sarajevo were staged for propaganda purposes by operatives of the Izetbegovic government; and suppression of enemies, both non-Muslim and Muslim.

The Clinton Green Light to Iranian Arms Shipments

Both the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Select Subcommittee to Investigate the United States Role in Iranian Arms Transfers to Croatia and Bosnia issued reports late last year. (The Senate report, dated November 1996, is unclassified. The House report is classified, with the exception of the final section of conclusions, which was released on October 8, 1996; a declassified version of the full report is expected to be released soon.) The reports, consistent with numerous press accounts, confirm that on April 27, 1994, President Clinton directed Ambassador Galbraith to inform the government of Croatia that he had “no instructions” regarding Croatia’s decision whether or not to permit weapons, primarily from Iran, to be transshipped to Bosnia through Croatia. (The purpose was to facilitate the acquisition of arms by the Muslim-led government in Sarajevo despite the arms embargo imposed on Yugoslavia by the U.N. Security Council.) Clinton Administration officials took that course despite their awareness of the source of the weapons and despite the fact that the Croats (who were themselves divided on whether to permit arms deliveries to the Muslims) would take anything short of a U.S. statement that they should not facilitate the flow of Iranian arms to Bosnia as a “green light.”

The green light policy was decided upon and implemented with unusual secrecy, with the CIA and the Departments of State and Defense only informed after the fact. ["U.S. Had Options to Let Bosnia Get Arms, Avoid Iran," Los Angeles Times, 7/14/96] Among the key conclusions of the House Subcommittee were the following (taken from the unclassified section released on October 8):

  • “The President and the American people were poorly served by the Administration officials who rushed the green light decision without due deliberation. full information and an adequate consideration of the consequences.” (page 202)
  • “The Administration’s efforts to keep even senior US officials from seeing its ‘fingerprints’ on the green light policy led to confusion and disarray within the government.” (page 203)
  • “The Administration repeatedly deceived the American people about its Iranian green light policy.” (page 204)

Clinton, Lake, and Galbraith Responsible

Who is ultimately accountable for the results of his decision – two Clinton Administration officials bear particular responsibility: Ambassador Galbraith and then-NSC Director Anthony Lake, against both of whom the House of Representatives has referred criminal charges to the Justice Department. Mr. Lake, who personally presented the proposal to Bill Clinton for approval, played a central role in preventing the responsible congressional committees from knowing about the Administration’s fateful decision to acquiesce in radical Islamic Iran’s effort to penetrate the European continent through arms shipments and military cooperation with the Bosnian government.” ["'In Lake We Trust'? Confirmation Make-Over Exacerbates Senate Concerns About D.C.I.-Desipate's Candor, Reliability," Center for Security Policy, Washington, D.C., 1/8/97]

His responsibility for the operation is certain to be a major hurdle in his effort to be confirmed as CIA Director: “The fact that Lake was one of the authors of the duplicitous policy in Bosnia, which is very controversial and which has probably helped strengthen the hand of the Iranians, doesn’t play well,” stated Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Shelby. ["Lake to be asked about donation," Washington Times, 1/2/97]

For his part, Ambassador Galbraith was the key person both in conceiving the policy and in serving as the link between the Clinton Administration and the Croatian government; he also met with Imam Sevko Omerbasic, the top Muslim cleric in Croatia, “who the CIA says was an intermediary for Iran.” ["Fingerprints: Arms to Bosnia, the real story," The New Republic, 10/28/96; see also LAT 12/23/96] As the House Subcommittee concluded (page 206): “There is evidence that Ambassador Galbraith may have engaged in activities that could be characterized as unauthorized covert action.” The Senate Committee (pages 19 and 20 of the report) was unable to agree on the specific legal issue of whether Galbraith’s actions constituted a “covert action” within the definition of section 503(e) of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. Sec. 413(e)), as amended, defined as “an activity or activities … to influence political, economic, or military conditions abroad, where it is intended that the role of the United States Government will not be apparent or acknowledged publicly.”

The Militant Islamic Network

The House Subcommittee report also concluded (page 2):

“The Administration’s Iranian green light policy gave Iran an unprecedented foothold in Europe and has recklessly endangered American lives and US strategic interests.” Further – ” … The Iranian presence and influence [" ... The Iranian presence and influence [in Bosnia] jumped radically in the months following the green light. Iranian elements infiltrated the Bosnian government and established close ties with the current leadership in Bosnia and the next generation of leaders. Iranian Revolutionary Guards accompanied Iranian weapons into Bosnia and soon were integrated in the Bosnian military structure from top to bottom as well as operating in independent units throughout Bosnia. The Iranian intelligence service [intelligence service [VEVAK] ran wild through the area developing intelligence networks, setting up terrorist support systems, recruiting terrorist ‘sleeper’ agents and agents of influence, and insinuating itself with the Bosnian political leadership to a remarkable degree. The Iranians effectively annexed large portions of the Bosnian security apparatus [known as the Agency for Information and Documentation (AID)] to act as their intelligence and terrorist surrogates. This extended to the point of jointly planning terrorist activities. The Iranian embassy became the largest in Bosnia and its officers were given unparalleled privileges and access at every level of the Bosnian government.” (page 201)

Not Just the Iranians

To understand how the Clinton green light would lead to this degree of Iranian influence, it is necessary to remember that the policy was adopted in the context of extensive and growing radical Islamic activity in Bosnia. That is, the Iranians and other Muslim militants had long been active in Bosnia; the American green light was an important political signal to both Sarajevo and the militants that the United States was unable or unwilling to present an obstacle to those activities – and, to a certain extent, was willing to cooperate with them. In short, the Clinton Administration’s policy of facilitating the delivery of arms to the Bosnian Muslims made it the de facto partner of an ongoing international network of governments and organizations pursuing their own agenda in Bosnia: the promotion of Islamic revolution in Europe. That network involves not only Iran but Brunei, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan (a key ally of Iran), and Turkey, together with front groups supposedly pursuing humanitarian and cultural activities.

For example, one such group about which details have come to light is the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA), a Sudan-based, phoney humanitarian organization which has been a major link in the arms pipeline to Bosnia. ["How Bosnia's Muslims Dodged Arms Embargo: Relief Agency Brokered Aid From Nations, Radical Groups," Washington Post, 9/22/96; see also "Saudis Funded Weapons For Bosnia, Official Says: $ 300 Million Program Had U.S. 'Stealth Cooperation'," Washington Post, 2/2/96] TWA is believed to be connected with such fixtures of the Islamic terror network as Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman (the convicted mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing) and Osama Binladen, a wealthy Saudi emigre believed to bankroll numerous militant groups. [WP, 9/22/96] (Sheik Rahman, a native of Egypt, is currently in prison in the United States; letter bombs addressed to targets in Washington and London, apparently from Alexandria, Egypt, are believed connected with his case. Binladen was a resident in Khartoum, Sudan, until last year; he is now believed to be in Afghanistan, “where he has issued statements calling for attacks on U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf.” [on U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf." [WP, 9/22/96])

The Clinton Administration ‘s “Hands-On ” Help

The extent to which Clinton Administration officials, notably Ambassador Galbraith, knowingly or negligently, cooperated with the efforts of such front organizations is unclear. For example, according to one intelligence account seen by an unnamed U.S. official in the Balkans, “Galbraith ‘talked with representatives of Muslim countries on payment for arms that would be sent to Bosnia,’ … [would be sent to Bosnia,' ... [T]he dollar amount mentioned in the report was $ 500 million-$ 800 million. The U.S. official said he also saw subsequent ‘operational reports’ in 1995 on almost weekly arms shipments of automatic weapons, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, anti-armor rockets and TOW missiles.” [TNR, 10/28/96] The United States played a disturbingly “hands-on” role, with, according to the Senate report (page 19), U.S. government personnel twice conducting inspections in Croatia of missiles en route to Bosnia. Further –

“The U.S. decision to send personnel to Croatia to inspect rockets bound for Bosnia is … subject to varying interpretations. It may have been simply a straightforward effort to determine whether chemical weapons were being shipped into Bosnia. It was certainly, at least in part, an opportunity to examine a rocket in which the United States had some interest. But it may also have been designed to ensure that Croatia would not shut down the pipeline.” (page 21)

The account in The New Republic points sharply to the latter explanation: “Enraged at Iran’s apparent attempt to slip super weapons past Croat monitors, the Croatian defense minister nonetheless sent the missiles on to Bosnia ‘just as Peter [i.e., Ambassador Galbraith] told us to do,’ sources familiar with the episode said.” [episode said." [TNR, 10/28/96] In short, the Clinton Administration’s connection with the various players that made up the arms network seems to have been direct and intimate.

The Mujahedin Threat

In addition to (and working closely with) the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and VEVAK intelligence are members of numerous radical groups known for their anti-Western orientation, along with thousands of volunteer mujahedin (“holy warriors”) from across the Islamic world. From the beginning of the NATO- led deployment, the Clinton Administration has given insufficient weight to military concerns regarding the mujahedin presence in Bosnia as well as the danger they pose to American personnel. Many of the fighters are concentrated in the so-called “green triangle” (the color green symbolizes Islam) centered on the town of Zenica in the American IFOR/SFOR zone but are also found throughout the country.

The Clinton Administration has been willing to accept Sarajevo’s transparently false assurances of the departure of the foreign fighters based on the contention that they have married Bosnian women and have acquired Bosnian citizenship — and thus are no longer “foreign”! or, having left overt military units to join “humanitarian,” “cultural,” or “charitable” organizations, are no longer “fighters.” [See "Foreign Muslims Fighting in Bosnia Considered 'Threat' to U.S. Troops," Washington Post, 11/30/95; "Outsiders Bring Islamic Fervor To the Balkans," New York Times, 9/23/96; "Islamic Alien Fighters Settle in Bosnia," Pittsburgh PostGazette, 9/23/96; "Mujahideen rule Bosnian villages: Threaten NATO forces, non-Muslims," Washington Times, 9/23/96; and Yossef Bodansky, Offensive in the Balkans (November 1995) and Some Call It Peace (August 1996), International Media Corporation, Ltd., London. Bodansky, an analyst with the House Republican Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, is an internationally recognized authority on Islamic terrorism.] The methods employed to qualify for Bosnian citizenship are themselves problematic: “Islamic militants from Iran and other foreign countries are employing techniques such as forced marriages, kidnappings and the occupation of apartments and houses to remain in Bosnia in violation of the Dayton peace accord and may be a threat to U.S. forces.” ["Mujaheddin Remaining in Bosnia: Islamic Militants Strongarm Civilians, Defy Dayton Plan," Washington Post, 7/8/96]

The threat presented by the mujahedin to IFOR (and now, to SFOR) – contingent only upon the precise time their commanders in Tehran or Sarajevo should choose to activate them has been evident from the beginning of the NATO-led deployment. For example, in February 1996 NATO forces raided a terrorist training camp near the town of Fojnica, taking into custody 11 men (8 Bosnian citizens – two of whom may have been naturalized foreign mujahedin and three Iranian instructors); also seized were explosives “built into small children’s plastic toys, including a car, a helicopter and an ice cream cone,” plus other weapons such as handguns, sniper rifles, grenade launchers, etc. The Sarajevo government denounced the raid, claiming the facility was an “intelligence service school”; the detainees were released promptly after NATO turned them over to local authorities. ["NATO Captures Terrorist Training Camp, Claims Iranian Involvement," Associated Press, 2/16/96; "Bosnian government denies camp was for terrorists," Reuters, 2/16/96; Bodansky Some Call It Peace, page 56] In May 1996, a previously unknown group called “Bosnian Islamic Jihad” (Jihad means “holy war”,) threatened attacks on NATO troops by suicide bombers, similar to those that had recently been launched in Israel. ["Jihad Threat in Bosnia Alarms NATO," The European, 5/9/96]

Stepping-Stone to Europe

The intended targets of the mujahedin network in Bosnia are not limited to that country but extend to Western Europe. For example, in August 1995, the conservative Paris daily Le Figaro reported that French security services believe that ,Islamic fundamentalists from Algeria have set up a security network across Europe with fighters trained in Afghan gerrilla camps and [[in] southern France while some have been tested in Bosnia.” [[(London) Daily Telegraph, 8/17/95]

Also, in April 1996, Belgian security arrested a number of Islamic militants, including two native Bosnians, smuggling weapons to Algerian guerrillas active in France. [in France. [Intelligence Newsletter, Paris, 5/9/96 (No. 287)] Finally, also in April 1996, a meeting of radicals aligned with HizbAllah (“Party of God”), a pro-Iran group based in Lebanon, set plans for stepping up attacks on U.S. assets on all continents; among those participating was an Egyptian, Ayman al- Zawahiri, who “runs the Islamist terrorist operations in Bosnia- Herzegovina from a special headquarters in Sofa, Bulgaria. His forces are already deployed throughout Bosnia, ready to attack US and other I-FOR (NATO Implementation Force) targets.” ["States- Sponsored Terrorism and The Rise of the HizbAllah International," Defense and Foreign Affairs and Strategic Policy, London, 8/31/96 Finally, in December 1996, French and Belgain security arrested several would-be terrorists trained at Iranian-run camps in Bosnia.["Terrorism: The Bosnian Connection," (Paris) L'Express, 12/26/96]

The Radical Islamic Character of the Sarajevo Regime

Underlying the Clinton Administration’s misguided policy toward Iranian influence in Bosnia is a fundamental misreading of the true nature of the Muslim regime that benefited from the Iran/Bosnia arms policy.

“The most dubious of all Bosniac [i.e., Bosnian Muslim] claims pertains to the self-serving commercial that the government hopes to eventually establish a multiethnic liberal democratic society. Such ideals may appeal to a few members of Bosnia’s ruling circles as well as to a generally secular populace, but President Izethbegovic and his cabal appear to harbor much different private intentions and goals.” ["Selling the Bosnia Myth to America: Buyer Beware," Lieutenant Colonel John E. Sray, USA, U.S. Army Foreign Military Studies Office, Fort Leavenworth, KS, October 1995]

The evidence that the leadership of the ruling Party of Democratic Action (SDA), and consequently, the Sarajevo-based government, has long been motivated by the principles of radical Islam is inescapable. The following three profiles are instructive:

Alija Izetbegovic: Alija Izetbegovic, current Bosnian president and head of the SDA, in 1970 authored the radical “Islamic Declaration,” which calls for “the Islamic movement” to start to take power as soon as it can Overturn “the existing non- Muslim government…[Muslim government...[and] build up a new Islamic one,” to destroy non-Islamic institutions (“There can be neither peace nor coexistence between the Islamic religion and non-Islamic social institutions’), and to create an international federation of Islamic states. [The Islamic Declaration: A Programme for the Islamization of Muslims and the Muslim Peoples, Sarajevo, in English, 19901 Izetbegovic's radical pro-Iran associations go back decades:

"At the center of the Iranian system in Europe is Bosnia-Hercegovina." President, Alija Izetbegovic, . . . who is committed to the establishment Of an Islamic Republic in Bosnia- Hercegovina." ["Iran's European Springboard?", House Republican Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, 9/1/92

The Task Force report further describes Izetbegovic's contacts with Iran and Libya in 1991, before the Bosnian war began; he is also noted as a "fundamentalist Muslim" and a member of the "Fedayeen of Islam" organization, an Iran-based radical group dating to the 1930s and which by the late 1960s had recognized the leadership of the Ayatollah Khomeini (then in exile from the Shah). Following Khomeini's accession to power in 1979, Izetbegovic stepped-up his efforts to establish Islamic power in Bosnia and was jailed by the communists in 1983. Today, he is open and unapologetic about his links to Iran:

"Perhaps the most telling detail of the [detail of the [SDA's September 1, 1996] campaign rally … was the presence of the Iranian Ambassador and his Bosnian and Iranian bodyguards, who sat in the shadow of the huge birchwood platform…. As the only foreign diplomat [platform.... As the only foreign diplomat [present], indeed the only foreigner traveling in the President’s [only foreigner traveling in the President's [i.e., Izetbegovic's] heavily guarded motorcade of bulky four-wheel drive jeeps, he lent a silent Islamic imprimatur to the event, one that many American and European supporters of the Bosnian Government are trying hard to ignore or dismiss.” [trying hard to ignore or dismiss." [NYT, 9/2/96]

During the summer 1996 election campaign, the Iranians delivered to him, in two suitcases, $ 500,000 in cash; Izetbegovic “is now ‘literally on their [on their [i.e., the Iranians'] payroll,’ according to a classified report based on the CIA’s analysis of the issue.” LAT, 12/31/96. See also “Iran Contributed $ [LAT, 12/31/96. See also "Iran Contributed $ 500,000 to Bosnian President's Election Effort, U.S. Says," New York Times, 1/l/97, and Washington Times, 1/2/97] Adil Zulfikarpasic, a Muslim co- founder of the SDA, broke with Izetbegovic in late 1990 due to the increasingly overt fundamentalist and pro-Iranian direction of the party. [See Milovan Djilas, Bosnjak: Adil Zulfikarpasic, Zurich, 1994]

Hassan (or Hasan) Cengic: Until recently, deputy defense minister (and now cosmetically reassigned to a potentially even more dangerous job in refugee resettlement at the behest of the Clinton Administration), Cengic, a member of a powerful clan headed by his father, Halid Cengic, is an Islamic cleric who has traveled frequently to Tehran and is deeply involved in the arms pipeline. ["Bosnian Officials Involved in Arms Trade Tied to Radical States," Washington Post, 9/22/96] Cengic was identified by Austrian police as a member of TWRA’s supervisory board,

“a fact confirmed by its Sudanese director, Elfatih Hassanein, in a 1994 interview with (lazi Husrev Beg, an Islamic affairs magazine. Cengic later became the key Bosnian official involved in setting up a weapons pipeline from Iran…. Cengic … is a longtime associate of Izetbegovic’s. He was one of the co- defendants in Izetbegovic’s 1983 trial for fomenting Muslim nationalism in what was then Yugoslavia. Cengic was given a 10- year prison term, most of which he did not serve. In trial testimony Cengic was said to have been traveling to Iran since 1983. Cengic lived in Tehran and Istanbul during much of the war, arranging for weapons to be smuggled into Bosnia.” [WP, 9/22/961

According to a Bosnian Croat radio profile:

"Hasan's father, Halid Cengic ... is the main logistic expert in the Muslim army. All petrodollar donations from the Islamic world and the procurement of arms and military technology for Muslim units went through him. He made so much money out of this business that he is one of the richest Muslims today. Halid Cengic and his two sons, of whom Hasan has been more in the public spotlight, also control the Islamic wing of the intelligence agency AID [Agency for Information and Documentation]. Well informed sources in Sarajevo claim that only Hasan addresses Izetbegovic with ‘ti’ [second person singular, used as an informal form of address] while all the others address him as ‘Mr. President,”‘ a sign of his extraordinary degree of intimacy with the president.

[BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 10/28/96, "Radio elaborates on Iranian connection of Bosnian deputy defense minister," from Croat Radio Herceg-Bosna, Mostar, in Serbo-Croatian, 10/25/96, bracketed text in original] In late 1996, at the insistence of the Clinton Administration, Hassan Cengic was reassigned to refugee affairs. However, in his new capacity he may present an even greater hazard to NATO forces in Bosnia, in light of past incidents such as the one that took place near the village of Celic in November 1996. At that time, in what NATO officers called part of a pattern of “military operations in disguise,” American and Russian IFOR troops were caught between Muslims and Serbs as the Muslims, some of them armed, attempted to encroach on the cease-fire line established by Dayton; commented a NATO spokesman: “We believe this to be a deliberate, orchestrated and provocative move to circumvent established procedures for the return of refugees.” ["Gunfire Erupts as Muslims Return Home," Washington Post, 11/13/96]

Dzemal Merdan:

“The office of Brig. Gen. Dzemal Merdan is an ornate affair, equipped with an elaborately carved wooden gazebo ringed with red velvet couches and slippers for his guests. A sheepskin prayer mat lies in the comer, pointing toward Mecca. The most striking thing in the chamber is a large flag. It is not the flag of Bosnia, but of Iran. Pinned with a button of the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iran’s late Islamic leader, the flag occupies pride of place in Merdan’s digs — displayed in the middle of the gazebo for every visitor to see. Next to it hangs another pennant that of the Democratic Action Party, the increasingly nationalist Islamic organization of President Alija Izetbegovic that dominates Bosnia’s Muslim region…. Merdan’s position highlights the American dilemma. As head of the office of training and development of the Bosnian army, he is a key liaison figure in the U.S. [liaison figure in the U.S. [arm and train] program…. But Merdan, Western sources say, also has another job — as liaison with foreign Islamic fighters here since 1992 and promoter of the Islamic faith among Bosnia’s recruits. Sources identified Merdan as being instrumental in the creation of a brigade of Bosnian soldiers, called the 7th Muslim Brigade, that is heavily influenced by Islam and trained by fighters from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. He has also launched a program, these sources say, to build mosques on military training grounds to teach Islam to Bosnian recruits. In addition, he helped establish training camps in Bosnia where Revolutionary Guards carried out their work.” ["Arming the Bosnians: U.S. Program Would Aid Force Increasingly Linked to Iran," Washington Post, 1/26/96, emphasis added]

General Merdan is a close associate of both Izetbegovic and Cengic; the central region around Zenica, which was “completely militarized in the first two years of the war” under the control of Merdan’s mujahedin, is “under total control of the Cengic family.” ["Who Rules Bosnia and Which Way," (Sarajevo) Slobodna Bosna, 11/17/96, FBIS translation; Slobodna Bosna is one of the few publications in Muslim-held areas that dares to criticize the policies and personal corruption of the ruling SDA clique.] Merdan’s mujahedin were accused by their erstwhile Croat allies of massacring more than 100 Croats near Zenica in late 1993. ["Bosnian Croats vow to probe war crimes by Moslems," Agence France Presse, 5/12/95]

The Islamization of the Bosnian Army

In cooperation with the foreign Islamic presence, the Izetbegovic regime has revamped its security and military apparatus to reflect its Islamic revolutionary outlook, including the creation of mujahedin units throughout the army; some members of these units have assumed the guise of a shaheed (a “martyr,” the Arabic term commonly used to describe suicide bombers), marked by their white garb, representing a shroud. While these units include foreign fighters naturalized in Bosnia, most of the personnel are now Bosnian Muslims trained and indoctrinated by Iranian and other foreign militants – which also makes it easier for the Clinton Administration to minimize the mujahedin threat, because few of them are “foreigners.”

Prior to 1996, there were three principal mujahedin units in the Bosnian army, the first two of which are headquartered in the American IFOR/SFOR zone: (1) the 7th Muslim Liberation Brigade of the 3rd Corps, headquartered in Zenica; (2) the 9th Muslim Liberation Brigade of the 2nd Corps, headquartered in Travnik (the 2nd Corps is based in Tuzla); and (3) the 4th Muslim Liberation Brigade of the 4th Corps, headquartered in Konjic (in the French zone). [Bodansky, Some Call It Peace, page 401 Particularly ominous, many members of these units have donned the guise of martyrs, indicating their willingness to sacrifice themselves in the cause of Islam. Commenting on an appearance of soldiers from the 7th Liberation Brigade, in Zenica in December 1995, Bodansky writes: "Many of the fighters ... were dressed in white coveralls over their uniforms. Officially, these were 'white winter camouflage,' but the green headbands [bearing Koranic verses] these warriors were wearing left no doubt that these were actually Shaheeds’ shrouds.” [Some Call It Peace, page 12] The same demonstration was staged before the admiring Iranian ambassador and President Izethbegovic in September 1996, when white winter garb could only be symbolic, not functional. [[NYT, 9/2/96] By June 1996, ten more mujahedin brigades had been established, along with numerous smaller “special units’ dedicated to covert and terrorist operations; while foreigners are present in all of these units, most of the soldiers are now native Bosnian Muslims. [native Bosnian Muslims. [Some Call It Peace, pages 42-46]

In addition to these units, there exists another group known as the Handzar (“dagger” or 94 scimitar”) Division, described by Bodansky as a “praetorian guard” for President Izetbegovic. “Up to 6000-strong, the Handzar division glories in a fascist culture. They see themselves as the heirs of the SS Handzar division, formed by Bosnian Muslims in 1943 to fight for the Nazis. Their spiritual model was Mohammed Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem who sided with Hitler. According to LJN officers, surprisingly few of those in charge of the Handzars … seem to speak good Serbo-Croatian. ‘Many of them are Albanian, whether from Kosovo [the Serb province where Albanians are the majority] or from Albania itself.’ They are trained and led by veterans from Afghanistan and Pakistan, say LTN sources.” ["Albanians and Afghans fight for the heirs to Bosnia's SS past," (London) Daily Telegraph, 12/29/93, bracketed text in original]

Self-Inflicted Atrocities

Almost since the beginning of the Bosnian war in the spring of 1992, there have been persistent reports — readily found in the European media but little reported in the United States — that civilian deaths in Muslim-held Sarajevo attributed to the Bosnian Serb Army were in some cases actually inflicted by operatives of the Izetbegovic regime in an (ultimately successful) effort to secure American intervention on Sarajevo’s behalf. These allegations include instances of sniping at civilians as well as three major explosions, attributed to Serbian mortar fire, that claimed the lives of dozens of people and, in each case, resulted in the international community’s taking measures against the Muslims’ Serb enemies. (The three explosions were: (1) the May 27, 1992, “breadline massacre.” which was reported to have killed 16 people and which resulted in economic sanctions on the Bosnian Serbs and rump Yugoslavia; (2) the February 5, 1994, Markale “market massacre,” killing 68 and resulting in selective NATO air strikes and an ultimatum to the Serbs to withdraw their heavy weapons from the area near Sarajevo; and (3) the August 28, 1995 “second market massacre,” killing 37 and resulting in large-scale NATO air strikes, eventually leading to the Dayton agreement and the deployment of IFOR.) When she was asked about such allegations (with respect to the February 1994 explosion) then-U.N. Ambassador and current Secretary of State-designate Madeleine Albright, in a stunning non sequitur, said: “It’s very hard to believe any country would do this to their own people, and therefore, although we do not exactly know what the facts are, it would seem to us that the Serbs are the ones that probably have a great deal of responsibility.” ["Senior official admits to secret U.N. report on Sarajevo massacre," Deutsch Presse-Agentur, 6/6/96, emphasis added]

The fact that such a contention is difficult to believe does not mean it is not true. Not only did the incidents lead to the result desired by Sarajevo (Western action against the Bosnian Serbs), their staging by the Muslims would be entirely in keeping with the moral outlook of Islamic radicalism, which has long accepted the deaths of innocent (including Muslim) bystanders killed in terrorist actions. According to a noted analyst: “The dictum that the end justifies the means is adopted by all fundamentalist organizations in their strategies for achieving political power and imposing on society their own view of Islam. What is important in every action is its niy ‘yah, its motive. No means need be spared in the service of Islam as long as one takes action with a pure niy’ Yah.” [Amir Taheri, Holy Terror, Bethesda, MD, 1987] With the evidence that the Sarajevo leadership does in fact have a fundamentalist outlook, it is unwarranted to dismiss cavaliery the possibility of Muslim responsibility. Among some of the reports:


“French peacekeeping troops in the United Nations unit trying to curtail Bosnian Serb sniping at civilians in Sarajevo have concluded that until mid-June some gunfire also came from Government soldiers deliberately shooting at their own civilians. After what it called a ‘definitive’ investigation, a French marine unit that patrols against snipers said it traced sniper fire to a building normally occupied by Bosnian [i.e., Muslim] soldiers and other security forces. A senior French officer said, ‘We find it almost impossible to believe, but we are sure that it is true.”‘ ["Investigation Concludes Bosnian Government Snipers Shot at Civilians," New York Times, 8/l/951

The 1992 "Breadline Massacre":

"United Nations officials and senior Western military officers believe some of the worst killings in Sarajevo, including the massacre of at least 16 people in a bread queue, were carried out by the city's mainly Muslim defenders -- not Serb besiegers -- as a propaganda ploy to win world sympathy and military intervention.... Classified reports to the UN force commander, General Satish Nambiar, concluded ... that Bosnian forces loyal to President Alija Izetbegovic may have detonated a bomb. 'We believe it was a command-detonated explosion, probably in a can,' a UN official said then. 'The large impact which is there now is not necessarily similar or anywhere near as large as we came to expect with a mortar round landing on a paved surface." ["Muslims 'slaughter their own people'," (London) The Independent, 8/22/92]

“Our people tell us there were a number of things that didn’t fit. The street had been blocked off just before the incident. Once the crowd was let in and had lined up, the media appeared but kept their distance. The attack took place, and the media were immediately on the scene.” [Major General Lewis MacKenzie, Peacekeeper: The Road to Sarajevo, Vancouver, BC, 1993, pages 193-4; Gen. MacKenzie, a Canadian, had been commander of the U.N. peacekeeping force in Sarajevo.]

The 1994 Markale “Market Massacre”:

“French television reported last night that the United Nations investigation into the market-place bombing in Sarajevo two weeks ago had established beyond doubt that the mortar shell that killed 68 people was fired from inside Bosnian [Muslim lines." [people was fired from inside Bosnian [Muslim] lines.” ["UN tracks source of fatal shell," (London) The Times, 2/19/94]

“For the first time, a senior U.N. official has admitted the existence of a secret U.N. report that blames the Bosnian Moslems for the February 1994 massacre of Moslems at a Sarajevo market…. After studying the crater left by the mortar shell and the distribution of shrapnel, the report concluded that the shell was fired from behind Moslem lines.”

The report, however, was kept secret; the context of the wire story implies that U.S. Ambasador Albright may have been involved in its suppression. [DPA, 6/6/961 For a fuller discussion of the conflicting claims, see "Anatomy of a massacre," Foreign Policy, 12/22/94, by David Binder; Binder, a veteran New York Times reporter in Yugoslavia, had access to the suppressed report. Bodansky categorically states that the bomb

"was actually a special charge designed and built with help from HizbAllah ["Party of God," a Beirut-based pro-Iranian terror group] experts and then most likely dropped from a nearby rooftop onto the crowd of shoppers. Video cameras at the ready recorded this expertly-staged spectacle of gore, while dozens of corpses of Bosnian Muslim troops killed in action (exchanged the day before in a ‘body swap’ with the Serbs) were paraded in front of cameras to raise the casualty counts.” [Offensive in the Balkans, page 62]

The 1995 “Second Market Massacre”:

“British ammunition experts serving with the United Nations in Sarajevo have challenged key ‘evidence’ of the Serbian atrocity that triggered the devastating Nato bombing campaign which turned the tide of the Bosnian war.” The Britons’ analysis was confirmed by French analysts but their findings were “dismissed” by “a senior American officer” at U.N. headquarters in Sarajevo. ["Serbs 'not guilty' of massacre: Experts warned US that mortar was Bosnian," (London) The Times, 10/i/95 A "crucial U.N. report [(London) The Times, 10/i/95]

A “crucial U.N. report [stating Serb responsibility for] the market massacre is a classified secret, but four specialists – a Russian, a Canadian and two Americans – have raised serious doubts about its conclusion, suggesting instead that the mortar was fired not by the Serbs but by Bosnian government forces.” A Canadian officer “added that he and fellow Canadian officers in Bosnia were ‘convinced that the Muslim government dropped both the February 5, 1994, and the August 28, 1995, mortar shells on the Sarajevo markets.”‘

An unidentified U.S. official “contends that the available evidence suggests either ‘the shell was fired at a very low trajectory, which means a range of a few hundred yards – therefore under [a range of a few hundred yards - therefore under [Sarajevo] government control,’ or ‘a mortar shell converted into a bomb was dropped from a nearby roof into the crowd.”‘ ["Bosnia's bombers," The Nation, 10/2/95 ]. At least some high-ranking French and perhaps other Western officials believed the Muslims responsible; after having received that account from government ministers and two generals, French magazine editor Jean Daniel put the question directly to Prime Minister Edouard Balladur: “‘They [i.e., the Muslims] have committed this carnage on their own people?’ I exclaimed in consternation. ‘Yes,’ confirmed the Prime Minister without hesitation, ‘but at least they have forced NATO to intervene. “‘ ["No more lies about Bosnia," Le Nouvel Observateur, 8/31/95, translated in Chronicles - A Magazine of American Culture, January 1997]

Suppression of Enemies

As might be expected, one manifestation of the radical Islamic orientation of the Izetbegovic government is increasing curtailment of the freedoms of the remaining non-Muslims (Croats and Serbs) in the Muslim-held zone. While there are similar pressures on minorities in the Serb- and Croat-held parts of Bosnia, in the Muslim zone they have a distinct Islamic flavor. For example, during the 1996-1997 Christmas and New Year holiday season, Muslim militants attempted to intimidate not only Muslims but Christians from engaging in what had become common holiday practices, such as gift-giving, putting up Christmas or New Year’s trees, and playing the local Santa Claus figure, Grandfather Frost (Deda Mraz). ["The Holiday, All Wrapped Up; Bosnian Muslims Take Sides Over Santa," Washington Post, 12/26/96] hi general:

“Even in Sarajevo itself, always portrayed as the most prominent multi-national community in Bosnia, pressure, both psychological and real, is impelling non-Bosniaks [i.e., non- Muslims] to leave. Some measures are indirect, such as attempts to ban the sale of pork and the growing predominance of [to ban the sale of pork and the growing predominance of [Bosniak] street names. Other measures are deliberate efforts to apply pressure. Examples include various means to make nonBosniaks leave the city. Similar pressures, often with more violent expression and occasionally with overt official participation, are being used throughout Bosnia.” ["Bosnia's Security and U.S. Policy in the Next Phase A Policy Paper, International Research and Exchanges Board, November 1996]

In addition, President Izetbegovic’s party, the SDA, has launched politically-motivated attacks on moderate Muslims both within the SDA and in rival parties. For example, in the summer of 1996 former Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic. (a Muslim, and son of the former imam at the main Sarajevo mosque) was set upon and beaten by SDA militants. Silajdzic claimed Izetbegovic himself was behind the attacks. [was behind the attacks. [NYT, 9/2/96] h-fan Mustafic, a Muslim who cofounded the SDA, is a member of the Bosnian parliament and was president of the SDA’s executive council in Srebrenica when it fell to Bosnian Serb forces; he was taken prisoner but later released. Because of several policy disagreements with Izetbegovic and his close associates, Mustafic was shot and seriously wounded in Srebrenica by Izetbegovic loyalists. [[(Sarajevo) Slobodna Bosna, 7/14/96]

Finally, one incident sums up both the ruthlessness of the Sarajevo establishment in dealing with their enemies as well as their international radical links:

“A special Bosnian army unit headed by Bakir Izetbegovic, the Bosnian president’s son, murdered a Bosnian general found shot to death in Belgium last week, a Croatian newspaper reported … citing well-informed sources. The Vjesnik newspaper, controlled by the government, said the assassination of Yusuf Prazina was carried out by five members of a commando unit called ‘Delta’ and headed by Ismet Bajramovic also known as Celo. The paper said that three members of the Syrian-backed Palestinian movement Saika had Prazina under surveillance for three weeks before one of them, acting as an arms dealer, lured him into a trap in a car park along the main highway between Liege in eastern Belgium and the German border town of Aachen. Prazina, 30, nicknamed Yuka, went missing early last month. He was found Saturday with two bullet holes to the head. ‘The necessary logistical means to carry out the operation were provided by Bakir Izetbegovic, son of Alija Izetbegovic,, who left Sarajevo more than six months ago,’ Vjesnik said. It added that Bakir Izetbegovic ‘often travels between Brussels, Paris, Frankfurt, Baghdad, Tehran and Ankara, by using Iraqi and Pakistani passports,’ and was in Belgium at the time of the assassination. Hasan Cengic, head of logistics for the army in Bosnia- Hercegovina, was ‘personally involved in the assassination of Yuka Prazina,’ the paper said.” [Yuka Prazina,' the paper said." [Agence France Presse, 1/5/94]


The Clinton Administration’s blunder in giving the green light to the Iranian arms pipeline was based, among other errors, on a gross misreading of the true nature and goals of the Izetbegovic regime in Sarajevo. It calls to mind the similar mistake of the Carter Administration, which in 1979 began lavish aid to the new Sandinista government in Nicaragua in the hopes that (if the United States were friendly enough) the nine comandantes would turn out to be democrats, not communists, despite abundant evidence to the contrary. By the time the Reagan Administration finally cut off the dollar spigot in 198 1, the comandantes — or the “nine little Castros,” as they were known locally — had fully entrenched themselves in power.

To state that the Clinton Administration erred in facilitating the penetration of the Iranians and other radical elements into Europe would be a breathtaking understatement. A thorough reexamination of U.S. policy and goals in the region is essential. In particular, addressing the immediate threat to U.S. troops in Bosnia, exacerbated by the extention of the IFOR/SFOR mission, should be a major priority of the of the 105th Congress.

RPC staff contact: Jim Jatras, 224-2946

Copyright Republican Party Committee of the US Congress,  1997

(Please read Part I before this article in order to acquire the proper background context as pertaining to the forums and summits)

The Southern Shift

This is the future economic phase which Russia is currently preparing for, and it’s essentially the full activation of the multipolar network-centric policy that’s been steadily advanced through the Eurasian Union supranational mechanism. The general idea is for Russia to shift its economic focus southwards after successfully balancing its Eastern and Western partnerships, and all told, this involves three specific economic spaces: the Mideast, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Real-sector economic connectivity with them necessitates the creation of three separate longitudinal trade corridors perpendicular to (and at key points, intersecting with) the Silk Road’s latitudinal routes. Russia’s initiatives don’t have the depth of historical legacy that China’s do, but nonetheless, they’re just as every bit strategically innovative and geopolitically impactful:

Levantine Line:

The Western-most of Russia’s three Southern-directed trade routes is anticipated to run along the length of the Eastern Mediterranean, specifically connecting to the Turkish, Syrian, and Egyptian economies. These three governments are all Russian partners, albeit to differing degrees and in varying spheres, with Syria representing the epitome of full-spectrum strategic relations. The backbone of this corridor lies in Russia’s Black Sea-based merchant trading fleet, which is expected to experience a patriotic revival after the Crimean reunification. Accordingly, they’ll serve as the key interconnectors facilitating real-sector trade with each of these three states, with the resultant economic spillover likely leading to enhanced economic relations with Lebanon and Israel as well.

Given the three Levantine states’ coastal positioning (Syria, Lebanon, Israel), they could also act as multidirectional economic gateways for trade into the Arabian interior, specifically with close-to-landlocked Jordan and Iraq. This aforementioned concept as regards the latter state was the key idea behind the Iran-Iraq-Syria Friendship Pipeline that was supposed to ship gas from the Persian Gulf to the EU marketplace, but was tragically upended by the jealous Gulf States and their American patrons through the ongoing War on Syria. Appertaining to the Arabian hegemon, Saudi Arabia, which Russia has been rapidly moving closer to, trade could be facilitated via the two Suez Canals in Egypt, thus making the North African state and its leader the literal middleman in Russian-Saudi relations.

North_South_Transport_Corridor_(NSTC)North-South Corridor:

The aptly named North-South Corridor is a major transit pathway already under development between Russia, Iran, and India. The general idea is to link India’s port cities with Iran’s Bandar Abbas and thenceforth overland to the Caspian and on to Russia’s Astrakhan. While that’s the official route currently being spearheaded, there are two other alternatives that could be unveiled as well. One of them is the creation of a rail route through Azerbaijanand directly into Russia, which would eliminate the roundabout Caspian vector, thereby saving not only in terms of distance, but also in the time and resources that would have to be expended in onloading and offloading products before and after their Caspian voyage.

The second possibility is for Bandar Abbas-imported goods to link with the trans-Caspian railroadrecently inaugurated between Iran, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan. This would in turn connect directly with Russia, although it, too, is somewhat of a roundabout way of sending Indian goods to Russia. However, all three of these proposals are mutually compatible and can exist independently of or alongside one another, meaning that in all likelihood, at least one of these three spokes will eventually be up and running, if not all of them with time. Also, the creation of Russian logistics networks through Iran could also open up the opportunity for trade with the Persian Gulf countries (the Saudi satellites). It must be underscored, however, that all of this is dependent on the continuation of political goodwill between Russia and Iran, which despite having much going for it, could also be drastically derailed as a result of American geopolitical intrigue.

Asian Sea Arc:

The final avenue of North-South trade that Russia is eager to initiate involves linking Vladivostok with the ASEAN trade bloc, leveraging Vietnam and the country’s free trade agreement with the Eurasian Union as its entry anchor to the region. This route earns its name because it arcs across the Sea of Japan, the East China Sea, and the South China Sea, and its viability is directly dependent on the success of Russia’s Pivot to Asia and the fulfillment of its Far East development plans. As was mentioned, Vietnam is the anchor country connecting Russia to ASEAN, but it is by no means the Eurasian state’s only partner in the region. Russia can utilize its relationship with Vietnam to enable accelerated trade and investment with Laos, keenly taking advantage of a legal economic loophole to gain de-facto free trade privileges with it until the signing of a formal agreement. This small but mineral-rich country is also important from a strategic standpoint, as it directly abuts all the other mainland ASEAN states and can thus act as a logistics hub for managing trade with all of them (and between Russian companies within them and China via the planned high-speed railroad through the country).

The India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) trilateral highway, which entails linking India to Myanmar and then further to Southeast Asia, has been taken up as priority by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) trilateral highway, which entails linking India to Myanmar and then further to Southeast Asia, has been taken up as priority by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Other than Vietnam, Russia also has another direct partner within the Asian Sea Arc that functions somewhat similarly to Vietnam, and this state is Thailand. Russia earlier indicated that it expects Thailand to apply for a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Union by year’s end, and if implemented, then this would give an added boost to Moscow’s Pivot to Asia and help lay the framework for a pan-ASEAN free trade agreement sometime in the future (or at least a precursor one with its mainland members). Concerning Thailand’s regional connectivity opportunities, the country is the end destination of India’s planned ASEAN highway that’s supposed to open up in November. Provided that Myanmar doesn’t degenerate back into all-out civil war, then this corridor would be instrumental in transporting its natural riches and cheap labor-produced goods to Thailand, where they could then be shipped straight to Vladivostok and onwards via the Trans-Siberian Railroad to the rest of Russia. The reader should be reminded ofjust how close Russia plans to become with Myanmar, since not only did the two sides sign an agreement on nuclear energy at SPIEF, but the Southeast Asian state’s vice-president was a keynote plenary speaker alongside President Putin himself at the event.

In terms of the larger picture, Russia is thus trying to accelerate its economic ties with the mainland members of ASEAN, hoping to then use them as a springboard for entering the much larger Indonesian market. Likewise, this policy is also applicable to the other insular states of Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines as well, where Russia barely has any economic ties. This could obviously change, however, if Russian companies based in Vietnam and Thailand, for example, take the initiative in conducting various forms of economic outreach with the aforementioned island states, which would then lay the foundation for a more robust relationship sometime in the future. In order to reach the institutional apex of Russian-ASEAN trade, a free trade agreement must be enacted between them, and the odds of this occurring greatly increase with the state-to-state free trade agreements that Russian signs (right now with Vietnam, and perhaps in the future with Thailand, Laos, and even Myanmar). One strategy could be to clinch such deals with all of the mainland members first, and then have them lobby their island counterparts so that the whole of them could enter into a free trade deal with the Eurasian Union a unified ASEAN banner.

Beyond Eurasia

Russia’s economic plans are indeed global, and they thus entail an African and Latin American component, although neither of these is obviously equal in priority or immediate potential like the southern Eurasian routes are. Nonetheless, they present some interesting possibilities to ponder over and provide some indication as to what observers can monitor in gauging future progress in these exciting directions.


Russia presently has three opportunities for facilitating non-resource-related trade with Africa, with the first one being an expansion of the Levantine Line through the Suez Canals and directed towards the west coast of the Red Sea, namely Djibouti (and tangentially, Ethiopia). It is here where Russia holds the greatest potential to commence real-sector trading with the continent, as it’s not only geographically convenient, but in political terms, China’s close relations with both Djibouti andEthiopia (the latter a former Soviet ally and the third-fastest growing economy in the world) are also useful. Logistically speaking, it also helps that China has just built a railroad between the port of Djibouti and the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, meaning that Russia could obviously utilize this ‘African Silk Road’ to enhance its own economic relations with the region and add strategic depth to its non-Western economic diversification project.

p010jn4nThe second possibility that exists for Russia is to capitalize off of its energy relationship (both conventional andnuclear) with Nigeria in order to penetrate the real-sector economy, and if successful, utilize the Atlantic-Mediterranean-Black Sea shipping route to transit goods back and forth. It would be much more efficient to send them over the Sahara and straight to the Mediterranean coast, however, and in three years’ time, the Trans-Saharan road that will do just that after it’s completed. Along the same train of thought, there’s also the possibility of an N’djamena (the Chadian capital)-Tripoli highway (part of the larger Tripoli-Windhoek highway), but two major impediments prevent Nigeria from utilizing this route – Boko Haram and the chaos in Libya. Similarly, the planned highway from N’djamena to Djibouti still has to be built, but even when completed, Boko Haram and a possible recurrence of the Darfur Secessionist War could render this route useless for Nigeria in the near future.

The third proposed route deals with connecting the West African economies in general to Russia via the Northern Sea Route, whereby it’s envisioned that East Asian-destined vessels could make stops along Russia’s Arctic coast to drop off goods. While this is certainly possible in theory, the route itself still has to get up and running, and afterwards, Russia needs to have the appropriate port facilities in the north and workable southern-destined logistic networks to accommodate such a plan. Thus, it’s for this economic reasoning and others that Russia has declared the development of the northern part of the country to be a priority focus akin to its efforts in the Far East. Therefore, it’s not a dependable trade route in the short-term, but it could certainly revolutionize Russian-West African economic relations in the future, provided that it’s adequately utilized by both parties and awareness of its existence and the will to conduct business is there.

Latin America:

The prospects for an acceleration of Russian-Latin American trade ties are very strong, but they’re dependent on the completion of grand infrastructure projects such as Nicaragua’s Trans-Oceanic Canal. This Chinese-financed project will open up a non-American-influenced route between the Caribbean and the Pacific, which would in turn more easily enable the flow of Latin American-Chinese and Latin American-Russian trade (to speak nothing of its military consequences vis-à-vis a regionalChinese and Russian presence). If Brazilian and other nations’ exports go along this route on their way to Russia, they’d obviously be calling port at Vladivostok, which once more emphasizes the geostrategic importance of this city and its development in Russian grand thinking.

Another opportunity exists as well, which would be for Russia to employ the South American Silk Road through Brazil and Peru to gain Pacific access to that continent’s largest market. This plan is only just beginning to materialize and will take some time to enter into effect, provided of course that it’s not offset by any of the scenarios discussed in the above-cited link. While Russia doesn’t have direct control over whether or not these two major projects are completed, it most certainly has a significant economic stake in their success, as not only would they give it a trans-hemispheric (and hence, global) economic presence, but they’d also complement the anticipated strategic function of Vladivostok in becoming one of Russia’s main non-Western trading hubs.

Concluding Thoughts

Russia’s economic reach is beginning to catch up with its political one, in that the country is rapidly returning to a pan-Eurasian approach with subsequent global (African and Latin American) ambitions. The basis for this was built over the past decade, but it became evident through the spree of summits and forums that the country just hosted – namely the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum, the BRICS Summit, the SCO Summit, and the Eastern Economic Forum – which offer concrete proof of Russia’s plans to integrate its economy alongside its North Eurasian counterparts (the EU, Central Asia, and East Asia). This is but the first half of its supercontinental strategy, however, which eventually envisions a forthcoming southern shift towards the Mideast, South Asian, and ASEAN economies.

The Eurasian Economic Union is the primary mechanism for actualizing this latter goal, and it would be greatly facilitated through the formalization of a wide array of free trade agreements with select states in these strategic regions. Finally, although not a priority focus at the moment, Russia does have the possibility of building strong economic partnerships with African and Latin American states, although the accomplishment of such would likely take place after the first two phases (North Eurasian integration and the southern shift) reach economic maturity. When one looks at the overall picture of the combined processes that are currently underway in Russia’s geo-economic strategy, it’s plain to see that the country is anything but isolated, and that it now has the best chances in its history to integrate with the rest of the world.

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

This article first published by GR in the immediate wake of 9/11 describes US war preparations.  As we recall, the Bush Administration with the support of NATO had declared war on Afghanistan on September 11.

The operation in Afghanistan has the following objective: to make the region closer to the zone of USA’s vital interests. To begin with, the American army intends to gain control of the airports and other areas on Turkmenistan’s territory (including the former Soviet republic in Termez). It is interesting that America is interested in the former Soviet base Bagram, which is on the territory of Afghanistan. This base is currently under the control of the Northern Alliance. In addition, the USA is going to bring its influence back into the northern Alliance: the tragic and very “timely” Ahmad Shah Masood’s death (Afghan opposition leader, killed 2 days before 9/11).

The war on Afghanistan was launched on October 7.  2001

Complete 2001 article by Anatoli Baranov below

*      *      *

The world is waiting for the war. There are so many different messages appearing on this subject, it is hard to read them all. It is also hard to say how many people on the planet try to guess what will happen in the nearest future.

The sources in the Russian special services are not standing aside in this respect.

According to the estimations from a very respectable organization, the USA’s incursion into Afghanistan will be carried out taking into consideration the British and Russian experiences. Missiles and bombardment will be used under the old scenario and special military forces will be used as well – nothing new.

However, the ruling Republican Party is going to correct America’s domestic and foreign policies due to the grand terrorist attack. The Democrats’ remnants are going to be completely removed from the military and reconnaissance structures and the control over the private and public life of the American people is going to be toughened, including the business sphere. The U.S. will shift its emphasis from hi-tech constituents over to the raw materials companies – the ones which deal with oil and gas fuel first and foremost. The weight of the military and industrial complex in GNP will be raised and the national ABM program will certainly be launched. Bush and other figures of the American Republican administration are absolutely interested in this scenario – it is an open secret for everyone.

The USA will use those priority procedures when fortifying the armed forces in the Persian Gulf area, modernizing the bases there, and delivering additional arms and defense technology. The USA’s military presence in the region, which is of strategic importance for the whole of the West, will be raised to the limit when total control over events happening will be moved to Washington.

America will increase its military presence along the entire 40th parallel, which is what we can see now in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Macedonia; soon we will also see it in the republics of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenia, and Uzbekistan.

The Injirlik military base, which is deployed in Turkey, will surely be modernized, and this base will become one of the key points of the American presence. The establishment of reserve points on the territory of several countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States will be performed under different forms. However, the mid-Caspian area and Turkmenia’s deposits will be taken under the control of the United States. It should be mentioned that the authorities of Azerbaijan and Georgia republics are in willing contact with NATO and the United States. The republics of Middle Asia are more reserved in their aspiration to change their orientation from Russia to the USA, because these republics are situated far away from the American bases and Russia’s military presence is there.

The operation in Afghanistan has the following objective: to make the region closer to the zone of USA’s vital interests. To begin with, the American army intends to gain control of the airports and other areas on Turkmenistan’s territory (including the former Soviet republic in Termez). It is interesting that America is interested in the former Soviet base Bagram, which is on the territory of Afghanistan. This base is currently under the control of the Northern Alliance. In addition, the USA is going to bring its influence back into the northern Alliance: the tragic and very “timely” Ahmad Shah Masood’s death (Afghan opposition leader).

Therefore, Russia’s control over the region of Central Asia is going to fade away. The same thing will happen with its control over the Caucasus. The USA will make the republics of Middle Asia to reconsider the Collective Security Treaty of the CIS and Russian troops will be called back to Russian territory. The United States will gain total control over Central Asia, over the Indian ocean, and the country will be able to efficiently control the processes in Indo-China and Indonesia. This will actually bring about the total control of the United States of America over the Islamic world, since the moves of Iran, Pakistan, and Iraq will depend upon the military presence of the United States.

This scenario raises a lot of doubts regarding the versions of the acts of terrorism in New York and Washington, for there is only one country that is gaining absolute and long-term profit out of these acts. However there are doubts about the lack of information of the other members of the western intelligence community regarding the preparation for the terrorist attack. Most likely, such information was available, but all of the special services were blocking it for some reason. In this case, it is absolutely not important who gave the freedom of action to the suicidal terrorists.

Israel has an undeclared nuclear arsenal estimated by American scientists to contain up to 400 warheads. It is not in the EU nor subject to EU law, nor in NATO but it seeks to influence the foreign policy of the United States congress by means of a powerful lobby in Washington.

The Israeli government’s illegal settlement activity continues to cause anger with its land grabs in the West Bank and its building on Palestinian land in violation of international law. Notwithstanding this, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, made the inexplicable decision to increase to six the supply of AIP Dolphin Class submarines developed and constructed by Howaldtswerke­Deutsche Werft AG., to the Israeli Navy.

Israel has reportedly modified those war vessels already delivered, each now being armed with long­range, (SLCM) cruise missiles equipped with nuclear warheads, plus a maximum of 16 torpedoes: a naval task­force capable of destroying most of the Middle East and Europe. Crucially, it means that the Israelis have an offshore, second strike, nuclear capability.

Germany, itself, has no such offensive nuclear armament, neither has either France or Britain of such capability, for Israel is estimated to be now the most powerful nuclear weapons state outside of the US and Russia! The rationale for Merkel’s strategic error in altering the balance of power not only in the Middle East but also in Europe, with consequences yet to be determined, is unknown.

It is too late, of course, to reverse her extraordinary decision to deliver this fleet of nuclear­armed, undersea naval vessels to the government that controls the most contentious piece of land on earth. The damage has been done and the repercussions will ensure dangerous instability – or worse – for decades after Chancellor Merkel has left office.

It is a frightening fact that an undeclared, nuclear-armed Israel, outside the inspection of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency, is a specific threat both to the region and to global peace, including that of the UK a threat that cannot be met by an outdated Trident nuclear deterrent.

Far from being armed to the teeth by America, Israel and its undeclared nuclear arsenal should be completely disarmed under pressure from the European Union, failing which, all bilateral trade should be discontinued.

In the meantime, Trident is outdated and ineffective against a submarine-launched, nuclear missile attack that could destroy Britain in an instant. Better, by far, to dismantle and neutralise Israel’s secret nuclear arsenal and prevail upon the United States to co­operate in the establishment of a Nuclear Free Middle East to include both Israel and Iran, in the interests of future global peace.

Jeremy Corbyn is not wrong. Replacing Trident would be a completely pointless waste of £100 billion over the next ten years.

There’s a bigger story hidden inside the New York Times report that “a special intelligence review of two emails that Hillary Rodham Clinton received as secretary of state on her personal account — including one about North Korea’s nuclear weapons program —  . . .  contained highly classified information when Mrs. Clinton received them, senior intelligence officials said.” The review was undertaken by the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which presumably originated the material. They concluded that the material had originally been given the U.S. government’s highest secrecy classification. Even if one of Clinton’s aides stripped the markings (a felony), Secretary Clinton surely knew satellite intelligence and North Korean nuclear deployments are the U.S. government’s most highly classified information.

The media correctly saw the news as political trouble for Hillary, but they missed two other crucial elements of the story. Somebody high up in the intelligence community leaked that story. And Hillary faces far more than political trouble. She’s being fitted for an orange jumpsuit.

The NYT story came from anonymous sources. For Camp Clinton, the most ominous words are “senior intelligence officials said.” They signal just how furious the intelligence community is at the gross mishandling of their crown jewels. Since the intelligence agencies must now sort through everything Hillary has given to the State Department, plus whatever the FBI can scrape from the server, you can expect the leaks to keep on coming. Worse yet for her, the spy agencies must conduct a full-scale damage assessment, based on the high likelihood her server was hacked by foreign governments (and perhaps some 17-year-old in his parents’ basement in Belgrade).

The intelligence services remember how seriously the Department of Justice dealt with former CIA directors John Deutsch and David Petraeus, who mishandled documents. They will demand equal treatment here. They will keep the heat on by leaking to the press. The Times story shows the faucet is already open.

Hillary’s legal problems stem from the “gross mishandling” of security information, which is a serious crime. It doesn’t matter whether the materials are stamped or not. It doesn’t matter whether you intended to violate the law or not. It is a violation simply to put them anywhere that lacks adequate safeguards. Like a private server. Nobody stamped Gen. Petraeus’ personal calendar, which he kept in an unlocked drawer at home. John Deutsch was just trying to catch up on work by taking his CIA laptop home. Those mistakes are trivial compared with what Clinton is already known to have stored on her private server in Chappaqua.

It’s just hand waving to keep saying the documents were not stamped. Satellite intelligence is always classified. So are private diplomatic discussions with foreign officials. They are born that way. Secretary Clinton is expected to know that, and she has said she was well aware of the classification rules. The straightforward conclusion is that she repeatedly violated laws for handling of national security materials.

As the investigation proceeds, Secretary Clinton should also be wondering how loyal her aides are. So far, they have marched in a solid phalanx with her. But whoever removed the classification markings on incoming satellite data faces years in jail. The FBI will be in a strong position to encourage them to speak “fully and frankly,” as they say in the State Department.

Valuable as the New York Times story is, it also misses a third crucial element. Although it highlights Hillary’s private email, it glosses over her private server. Reluctantly, she has begun to answer questions about the email account and even issued a limp apology. But she never mentions the server. When Fox’s Ed Henry asked her if she knew of any other government officials who had one, she refused to answer.

Why would a public official go to the time, trouble and expense of setting up a private server and paying her own IT people to run it?  Simple: to keep the contents under her control even if the email account was discovered. She managed to keep the email account secret throughout her tenure at the State Department and for two years after that, avoiding legitimate Freedom of Information Act requests. When she was finally caught, she took full advantage of the extra layer of insulation her server provided. She reviewed her own records, turned over what she wanted, deleted everything else, and hunkered down. If her account had been at Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail, the federal judges overseeing the FOIA lawsuits would have ordered the Internet companies to turn over everything. The FBI could sort it out, and Hillary would have no way to delete the records. On the bright side, with a private server, she didn’t get a lot of pop-up ads for North Korean vacations.

The State Department is still doing its best to protect her, stonewalling and slow-walking requests for materials. To supervise the document releases, they hired Catherine Duval, who moved over from the IRS. Anybody who cannot find Lois Lerner’s emails has the right kind of experience for John Kerry. On Tuesday, Kerry announced he was beefing up his department’s FOIA office by naming Ambassador Janice Jacobs as “transparency coordinator.” Now, it looks like Jacobs just donated $2,700 to Hillary’s campaign. Was the State Department too dumb to even ask her about possible conflicts of interest?

The stonewalling won’t help. The reluctant apologies won’t help. The FBI investigation will keep grinding on, and the intelligence agencies will keep passing out any nuggets they find. If Hillary’s political troubles keep piling up, she won’t make it to the general election. If her legal troubles keep piling up, she’s going to wish the next president was Gerald Ford.

Starting in 2007, the US was already in the process of engineering the overthrow and destruction of all prevailing political orders across the Middle East and North African (MENA) region.

It would be in Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh’s 2007 New Yorker article, “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” that it was explicitly stated (emphasis added):

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

Hersh would also reveal that at the time, the US – then under the administration of President George Bush and through intermediaries including US-ally Saudi Arabia – had already begun channeling funding and support to the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood who would in 2011 play a crucial role in the opening phases of the destructive war now raging across the Levant.


In 2008, from Libya to Syria and beyond, activists were drawn by the US State Department from across MENA to learn the finer points of Washington and Wall Street’s “color revolution” industry. They were being prepared for an unprecedented, coordinated US-engineered MENA-wide campaign of political destabilization that would in 2011 be called the “Arab Spring.”

Through the US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and US State Department’s, agitators were literally flown on several occasions to both New York and Washington D.C. as well as other locations around the globe to receive training, equipment and funding before returning to their home countries and attempting to overthrow their respective governments.

In an April 2011 article published by the New York Times titled, “U.S. Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings,” it was admitted:

A number of the groups and individuals directly involved in the revolts and reforms sweeping the region, including the April 6 Youth Movement in Egypt, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and grass-roots activists like Entsar Qadhi, a youth leader in Yemen, received training and financing from groups like the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute and Freedom House, a nonprofit human rights organization based in Washington.

The article would also add, regarding the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED):

The Republican and Democratic institutes are loosely affiliated with the Republican and Democratic Parties. They were created by Congress and are financed through the National Endowment for Democracy, which was set up in 1983 to channel grants for promoting democracy in developing nations. The National Endowment receives about $100 million annually from Congress. Freedom House also gets the bulk of its money from the American government, mainly from the State Department. 

It is clear that the political cover – the Arab Spring – and the premeditated support of terrorist groups including Al Qaeda brought in afterward, were planned years before the Arab Spring actually unfolded in 2011. The goal was admittedly the overthrow of governments obstructing Washington and Wall Street’s hegemonic ambitions and part of a much wider agenda of isolating, encircling, and containing Russia and China.

The destruction of the MENA region was intentional, premeditated, and continues on to this very day.

As the Wave of Regime Change Crashes 

Since 2011, each and every one of the West’s “color revolutions” has predictably devolved into armies of US-backed terrorists attempting to divide and destroy each nation. In Libya, this goal has already long-since been accomplished. In Egypt and Syria, with varying degrees of failure, this agenda has been stalled.

Egypt through sheer virtue of its size and the capabilities of its military, has prevented nationwide warfare. In Syria, facing invasion primarily from both Turkey and Jordan, violence has been far more dramatic and enduring.

But despite initial euphoria across the West that their insidious conspiracy had indeed upended the MENA region entirely, Syria’s ability to resist the West’s proxy forces, and now, more direct intervention, has entirely disrupted this wave of regime change.

US Senator John McCain (Republican – Arizona) who literally posed for pictures with terrorist leaders in both Libya and Syria, including the now head of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) in Libya, Abdul Hakim Belhaj, at the height of the Arab Spring prematurely taunted Moscow and Beijing with threats to bring similarly US-orchestrated chaos in their direction.  Suffice to say, Moscow and Beijing were not only ready for this destabilization, they were prepared to foil it before it so much as reached their borders.

And as momentum stalled, the US and its regional collaborators attempted to justify direct military intervention in Syria first as they did in Libya – by claiming they would be averting a humanitarian disaster and assisting “freedom fighters.”  However with the crimes the US and NATO perpetrated in Libya still fresh in the global public’s minds, this narrative was entirely untenable.

Staged chemical weapon attacks were perpetrated on the outskirts of Damascus, under the nose of UN inspectors in a bid to frame the government of Damascus and again justify direct US military intervention against Syria. Again, the global public, recalling similar fabrications peddled by the West ahead of its ten year invasion and occupation of Iraq along with expert diplomacy by Moscow, averted war.

And while it is increasingly obvious that Al Qaeda and ISIS’ presence in Syria and Iraq is the direct, premeditated result of US-NATO and their regional allies’ sponsorship of both groups, the West has attempted to use them as a pretext for direct military intervention not only in Syria, but again, against the government of Damascus itself.

Cue the Refugees

As this last attempt to justify a final push toward regime change in Syria falters, and as European powers begin deciding whether or not to intervene further in Syria alongside the US, a sudden and convenient deluge of refugees has flooded Europe, almost as if on cue. Scenes like that out of a movie showed hordes of tattered refugees herded along various borders as they apparently appeared out of what the Western media has portrayed as a puff of smoke at Europe’s gates.

In reality, they did not appear out of a puff of smoke. They appeared in Turkey, a NATO member since the 1950’s and one of America’s closest regional allies. Turkey is currently hosting the US military, including special forces and the CIA who have, together with Turkish military and intelligence agencies, been conducting a proxy war on neighboring Syria since 2011.

Turkey has suspiciously maintained a very enthusiastic “open door” policy for refugees, spending inexplicable sums of money and political capital in accommodating them. The Brookings Institution – one of the chief policy think tanks helping engineer the proxy war with Syria – reported in its July 2015 “Order out of Chaos” article, “What Turkey’s open-door policy means for Syrian refugees,” that:

Turkey is now the world’s largest recipient of refugees. Since October 2013, the number of Syrian refugees has increased more than threefold and now numbers almost two million registered refugees.

Brookings also reports that:

The cost has been high to Turkey. Government officials are quick to point out that they have spent over $6 billion on the refugees and complain about the lack of international support.

Brooking details the vast efforts Turkey is undertaking in coordination with Western NGOs to manage the refugees. There is little way that these refugees could suddenly “disappear” and end up in Europe without the Turkish government and more importantly, European governments either knowing about it or being directly involved.

Pawns of War  

Clearly Turkey lacks any altruistic motivation behind its refugee policy. Turkey is one of the chief facilitators of terrorists operating in Syria, and a primary collaborator in NATO’s proxy war against its neighbor. Turkey has allowed literally hundreds of supply trucks a day to cross its borders uninhibited and destined for ISIS territory. Turkey has also been tasked throughout various US policy papers with establishing a “buffer zone” or “safe haven” to move these refugees into, as well as for establishing a Syrian-based stronghold for NATO’s terrorist proxies to launch military operations from. Likely, the refugees were to serve as the initial population of whatever proxy state NATO planned to create with territory it seized and established no-fly-zones over in northern Syria.

Now it appears many of these refugees are instead being rerouted to Europe.
However, not all of the refugees flooding into Europe from Turkey are even from the Syrian conflict. Many are being trafficked first to Turkey from other theaters of NATO operations, including Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as Iraq. It appears that Turkey is serving as a central transit point, not just for terrorists it is feeding into the Syrian conflict, but also for collecting refugees from across MENA and Central Asia, before allowing them to proceed in vast numbers to Europe.

Some reports even indicate that the refugees are receiving direct assistance from the Turkish government itself. The International New York Times’ Greek Kathimerini paper, in an article titled, “Refugee flow linked to Turkish policy shift,” claims (emphasis added):

A sharp increase in the influx of migrants and refugees, mostly from Syria, into Greece is due in part to a shift in Turkey’s geopolitical tactics, according to diplomatic sources. These officials link the wave of migrants into the eastern Aegean to political pressures in neighboring Turkey, which is bracing for snap elections in November, and to a recent decision by Ankara to join the US in bombing Islamic State targets in Syria. The analyses of several officials indicate that the influx from neighboring Turkey is taking place as Turkish officials look the other way or actively promote the exodus.

Catastrophes that are meant to look “sudden” and “unexpected” as well as “unstoppable” but are in fact, allowed to unfold within an operational theater completely controlled by the US and NATO constitutes instead a conspiracy – pitting desperate and/or exploited refugees intentionally sent out of Turkey and into Europe, against a manipulated, fearful, and ill-informed Western public.

Also brought into sharp focus, are the string of staged attacks allowed to unfold across Europe – allegedly the work of “ISIS.” In every case without exception, the perpetrators had been well-known to Western intelligence agencies, including the shooters involved in the Paris “Charlie Hebo massacre.” In that incident, all members involved were tracked by French security agencies for nearly 10 years. At least one member was even imprisoned, had traveled afterward to collude with Al Qaeda abroad, and returned to Europe, all while under surveillance. “Coincidentally,” for the 6 months needed to plan and carry out their final act, French security agencies stopped monitoring the group, claiming a lack of resources to do so.

Those familiar with NATO’s Cold War Gladio program can see clearly that the attacks were staged to play into a strategy of tension used to produce fear domestically and build up support for wars abroad.

The recent refugee crisis is being used for precisely this same purpose. In fact, while a false debate is being managed by the Western media and Western political figures to either unconditionally accept the refugees or unconditionally reject them, the only singular narrative both sides are being made to agree on is that instability across MENA is to blame and more bombing is the answer.

Debates over increased, direct military intervention in Syria are now almost entirely predicated not on supporting “freedom fighters,” stopping “WMDs,” or fighting “ISIS,” but instead on how military intervention can help solve the “refugee crisis.”

The main narratives undulating media headlines dismiss both the West’s role in devastating the MENA region, as well as acknowledging the fact that the “refugee crisis” is emanating primarily from within NATO’s borders, not from beyond them. The refugees are pawns, intentionally moved across the game board to illicit a predictable reaction from their hopelessly unskilled opponents – the public. While the social engineers are engaged in a game of three-dimensional chess, the Western public appears to be infantilely eating their checkers.

Considering this unfortunate reality, whatever justifications the West is able to predicate upon the refugee crisis will have to be confronted again by Syria and its allies alone – with the Western public hopelessly defenseless against a conspiracy they have been made accomplices of.

Social Engineering vs. the Inevitable Rot of Empire 

A refugee crisis was inevitable, regardless of the timing and magnitude of any given deluge that may have been created or manipulated by the West. Destroying the planet in pursuit of empire, pillaging nations and hauling away the wealth of the world, inevitably leads to endless streams of victims following their stolen wealth back to the thieves’ den. As an empire expands and the list of its victims expands with it, the number of those an empire is able to fully assimilate versus those who will inevitable overwhelm it eventually tips the balance against the empire’s favor.

Such was the fate of the Roman Empire, which over the course of its decline, had its institutions overwhelmed by peoples it had conquered faster than it could assimilate them.

For the West, it has chosen confrontation rather than cooperation. It has closed economic ties with Russia, alienated China, and wages ceaseless war across the MENA region and Central Asia. It pursues a now exposed campaign of divide and conquer across Southeast Asia augmented with terrorism and political subversion all while neglecting every virtue that ever made it a respected global power to begin with.

How much of the most recent refugee crisis is social engineering versus simply the inevitable rot of empire is difficult to tell – though the fact that social engineers would be tempted to use a vast number of refugees created by their own foreign policy indicates that their ploy in and of itself is indicative of immense, irreversible geopolitical rot.

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

Greece – The Day when Democracy Died in Europe

September 13th, 2015 by Peter Koenig

The Day Greece ‘capitulated’ – Monday, 13 July 2015 – “Greece is finished”. 

In German, Montag, 13 Juli 2015 – Griechenland hängt am Galgen, Der Stern Magazine

The picture depicts the malicious joy of the power trio of the European Commission:

Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s Finance Minister, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Dutch Minister of Finance and President of the Eurogroup, and Sven Sester, Finance Minister of Estonia.

It is self-explanatory.

The Day Greece ‘capitulated’ – Monday, 13 July 2015 – “Greece is finished, hanging on the gallows”.  Der Stern 


The interview with Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s former Minister of Finance, is in German – For Stern Magazine, with German Journalist, Arno Luik. Here is the link to it–griechenlands-ex-finanzminister-ueber-wolfgang-schaeuble–schmutzige-tricks-und-das-ende-der-demokratie-6368972.html

It is a lengthy interview over three days, in the apartment of the Varoufakis, in restaurants and cafés, at different times of day and night, including past midnight, many times interrupted by urgent phone calls, doorbell rings on Mr. Varoufakis to run to emergency meetings, conferences or to Parliament. His Syriza colleagues asked him to comment on hastily drafted lengthy (hundreds of pages) legislation in English (no Greek translation) by the unelected preposterous Eurogroup (see also that the Greek Parliament was requested, not recommended but ordered, to approve within 24 hours. They were not given a choice.

The dialogue was interspersed by conversations between Arno Luik and Varoufakis’ wife, Danae Stratou, an artist. She told the reporter about the tranquil life they had in Texas, where her husband was teaching at the University of Austin, until returning in January this year to Greece, when Yanis became suddenly Minister of Finance – and life changed drastically. She was happy that her husband resigned, but also knows that he will stay in politics.

Arno Luik showed Varoufakis the photo (above) that was taken immediately “after Prime Minister Tsipras accepted the rescue package.” – Varoufakis exclaimed  – “This is not a rescue package! It is a dictate. Show me the photo. My God! That I haven’t seen before. I have to take a picture of it. It is unbelievable, how they are happy! – It is Monday, 13 July. Greece hangs on the gallows.”

With a series of provocative questions, even aggressive at times, reporter Luik essentially wanted to know what actually happened, why Tsipras didn’t respect the overwhelming OXI (NO) vote of the people on 5 July 2015, why there was no ‘Plan B’. Yanis Varoufakis had all kinds of explanations, the enormous pressure of the troika, the blackmailing, the European Central Bank (sic) would turn off the cash flow to Greek banks if Greece didn’t follow their dictate; they had an obligation to the poor pensioners to continue paying their pensions (30% reduced from previous austerity programs) – and this despite the repeated call finally also from the IMF for debt restructuring and even debt relief.

In the end, Varoufakis never gave a clear and plausible answer to the question; in none of the many interviews I have heard, seen or read by him. There would have been alternatives, and there still are. – Fear? – According to a knowledgeable Greek source, who wants to remain nameless, there may have been death threats. John Perkins’ “The Economic Hit Man” comes to mind.

New elections are just a week away. Without a drastic – and fearless – change in political and economic thinking, Greece and for that matter the rest of Europe may just have reached the end of the rope.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik News, TeleSur, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance

In the end it was a crushing victory, with Jeremy Corbyn scooping up almost 60% of the vote.

For all the months of talk about £3 ‘entryists’ stealing the election, Corbyn won massively among full members. And for all the apocalyptic warnings from Tony Blair, Corbyn achieved a bigger win than even he managed in 1994.

The scale of Corbyn’s victory was the final insult to the man whose repeated interventions in this race did more to secure Corbyn’s win than anything the man himself did in recent months.

And that scale should not be underestimated. It was the biggest win for the Labour left in its history. Even Ken Livingstone’s defeat of Frank Dobson in 2000 pales in comparison. And it was all done in the face of massive opposition from the Labour establishment and almost every newspaper in the country.

It will be Jeremy Corbyn who now performs a 'heart transplant' on the Labour party

Image: It will be Jeremy Corbyn who now performs a ‘heart transplant’ on the Labour party

As a result the Labour party is now irrevocably changed. It is no exaggeration to describe today’s outcome as a revolution. The era of Blair and Brown and their followers is now well and truly over. New Labour is not just dead, but cremated and blown before the wind.


In the coming days, weeks and months, Corbyn will cement his power within the party, bringing in loyal allies both in front and behind the scenes. Party structures will be altered and policy-setting procedures changed in order to fundamentally reshape Labour in his vision. For all the talk of ‘bringing the party together’ this is unlikely to be a gradual change of heart. This will – to paraphrase Blair – be full-scale heart surgery.

There are many dangers to such radical change. Further resignations of shadow Cabinet members are certain and defections are also possible. The attacks on Corbyn and his party both from inside and outside the party are likely to be brutal and relentless. No former Labour leader will have ever faced a more difficult task than Corbyn faces now.

Is he up to it? We should find out very soon. Within just one week, he will have to form a new shadow Cabinet, carry his party through a number of difficult votes and face David Cameron at prime minister’s questions. Every slip-up he makes will be magnified and pored over. Every word he utters will be analysed and denounced.

Ed Miliband was often praised for his resilience as Labour leader during the general election campaign. His successor will need to be at least twice as resilient just to make it to polling day. There are lots of reasons to doubt that he can do it and perhaps just a few reasons to suspect that he might.

But whatever happens, Corbyn has fundamentally changed the Labour party, for good or for ill. The coming weeks and months are set to be among the most fascinating in British political history.

Pizza Danish, Franglais and Policing Language

September 13th, 2015 by Binoy Kampmark

The late Singaporean leader Lee Kuan Yew was always adamant that his countrymen speak proper English. It was his formal training, and somewhat idiosyncratic readings of culture and race that suggested as such. To be successful, Singapore had to retain Asian values while speaking in Received Pronunciation. With Lee’s voice in the background, Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong launched the Speak Good English Movement on April 29, 2000.

Such policing never worked when locals banded together and lapsed into the famous lingo of “Singlish”, a language perforated with expressive “lahs” and a singsong defiance of formal authority. As with any instruction manual that comes from above, from a ministry, or from the executive, defiance assumes form in language.

Ministries of Language have their work cut out in terms of policing the language of their brief. The French continue to fight a losing war against the little invasions mounted by English, the inroads made by that insidious form Max Rat in 1959 termed “franglais”. Being an affaire d’état, an otherwise organically, rebellious evolution is kept in cryogenic storage, only to thaw by state decree and a linguist’s judgment. Such efforts are impressively manic as they are old – the Académie française’s battle against the encroachments of Italian in 1635 still stand out.

A national crisis occasionally erupts on the subject, such as the cocky attempt in May 2013 of Libération to rile its readers with an entire front page in English. “Let’s do it,” went the banner headline. The subject, fittingly, was a new bill that would amend the 1994 Toubon law and allow some university courses in France to be taught in English. Hardly that stunning, unless it is an admission that the language policing isn’t going too well.

The paper editorialised that their compatriots should give up the shield of pure language and embrace the reality of change. Stop, went a striking line, “behaving like the last representatives of a besieged Gaulish village.”

Even more strikingly, the battle being waged is against the incursions of American English, rather than more neighbourly intrusions from across the Channel. As Andrew Gallix notes, “American expressions are often adopted with far more enthusiasm in France than across the Channel.”[1] The enemy continues to lodge within.

Which brings us to the latest round of language scuffling, this time in Denmark.

The headline getting Alex Ahrendtsen of the Dansk Folkeparti (Danish People’s Party) made it to the Washington Times with his speculations on the subject of “pizza-Dansk” or “pizza-Danish”.

The beef of his comments on the Danish broadcaster DR in August were immigrants in pizzerias who use a profusion of terms, some of them non-Danish, to communicate. This might be more appropriately termed speckled Danish, but Ahrendtsen is somewhat humourless on this subject. “It’s just because they can not figure out how to properly talk Danish.”

The Dansk Folkeparti has more anxieties than a hypochondriac, but rattled the establishment sufficiently in recent elections to make a more enduring mark on Danish politics. On the issue of language, it is fighting the unwinnable war. For Ahrendtsen, language is not merely identity, but possession. Like other possessions, it can be prized away, squirreled away into dark and undermining pizzerias. “Without the Danish language we are no longer Danes.”[2]

The Danish minister of culture, Bertel Haarder, has his eye on the subject, and rolling in the money to give teeth to the guard dogs of the Danish language. Being of the centre-right Venstre Party (yes, it is a political oxymoron), Haarder already made himself conspicuous in 2002 as Refugee, Immigration and Integration Minister. “Foreigners today represent a net burden on society. They cost more than they give back. This must be changed.”[3]

For Haarder, in writing an enthusiastic defence of the Christian nationalist Søren Krarup in 2001, it was, and is inconceivable that young Muslims in Danish political parties could ever actually be Danish, however disposed they were. Far better to rely on the solid “people of southern Jutland, who invested themselves so much in defending the homeland of the Danes.” (For many Danes, the Danish spoken in Jutland poses a formidable, anti-establishment challenge that would irritate any language Academy.)

The illusions thrown up around language can be touching. But they remain distinctly that. While some parliamentarians fear the ruthless ravishing being inflicted on the body of Danish by the pizza-Danes (or “New Danes), the language is undergoing its own transformation on the streets.

In Copenhagen’s Amager, hashish pipe smoking takes place a few doors down from the traditional Café 5-øren pub, filled with rosy-cheeked regulars and their Tuborg or Carlsberg companions. The Danish differs in its colloquialisms, depending on whether you are taking the pipe with the Syrians, or knocking back a few Tuborg Classics with the locals. Contrary to popular wisdom, one can become less fluent, rather than more, after a heavy session of either. Grammarians would cry.

If it was just kept to the issue of coffee-table chat about language forms, it might be a more civil affair. But linguistic anxiety can also translate into patriotic insensibility. Denmark is becoming a foot soldier of reaction in the refugee debate.  Even as refugees are streaming into Sweden, their seemingly inexorable flow is being stemmed in Denmark. Train lines are being closed. Dissuading statements are being issued. All the more reason to ease Danish out of the traditionalist’s study.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: [email protected]






Can Jeremy Corbyn Redeem the Labour Party?

September 13th, 2015 by Leo Panitch

“Of political parties claiming socialism to be their aim, the Labour Party has always been one of the most dogmatic – not about socialism, but about the parliamentary system.” That’s how Ralph Miliband opened his classic 1961 textParliamentary Socialism, a critical analysis of the party that most of the British left wanted to capture.

Miliband was skeptical of that plan, as was his later collaborator Leo Panitch. But during the great upsurges of the early 1980s – which saw the growth of a radical Labour left represented by Tony Benn and others, as well as the miners’ strike of 1984–85 – both thinkers resisted the “new revisionism” of intellectuals like Eric Hobsbawm and Stuart Hall who viewed the “Bennites” and Trotskyist entryists rather than a staid leadership as the source of Labour’s problems.

However, that supposed realism would win the day, eventually ushering in New Labour and the further rightward drift of the party – the backdrop for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour leadership campaign.

With the results of the leadership election set to come in September 12Jacobin‘s Bhaskar Sunkara spoke with Panitch, a York University professor and Socialist Register co-editor. They discussed the legacy of Tony Benn, how Ed Miliband’s reforms to the Labour Party inadvertently laid the ground for Corbyn’s insurgency, and whether Labour could be transformed into something it never was – socialist. This interview was first published by Jacobin magazine.

Bhaskar Sunkara (BS): Jeremy Corbyn’s success has reminded people of Tony Benn and his struggle to win control of the Labour Party a few decades ago. Politically, where does he stand in relation to Benn, who had a structural critique of capitalism and wanted to transform the Labour Party into a real agent for socialism? Is he in the same tradition?

Leo Panitch (LP): Well, I certainly wish that Tony Benn were around to see this. Certainly, in talking to him in his last years, he wasn’t expecting something like this to happen, and he was a bit depressed about the prospects for the Labour left. But it does go to show you that the kind of democratic socialist struggle that we are embarked on is a marathon, not a sprint.

Jeremy Corbyn exactly fits in the Bennite tradition and indeed was part of the attempt – of which Tony Benn was the prominent voice – to change the Labour Party into a vehicle for mobilization for socialist change in Britain. This effort goes back to the effects of the 1960s New Left, the anti-Vietnam activism, the beginning of the women’s movement, the general thrust for participatory democracy.

There was an upsurge in the Labour Party in the early 1970s and through the early 1980s, until it was defeated by an alliance of the Labour right – which eventually turned itself into New Labour under Tony Blair – and the “old left” in the Labour Party, the Michael Foot wing of the party, represented by parliamentarians and left-wing policy types and linked to the trade union bosses.

What Benn represented instead was a strong force inside the party saying that if you couldn’t change and democratize the Labour Party, you couldn’t change and democratize the British state. That was the central theme of the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy. It’s very significant that the brilliant young organizer of that campaign, Jon Lansman, is now a central figure in the Corbyn camp.

All these developments were reflected in the attempt to break the control of parliamentarians and career politicians over the Labour Party, an attempt to allow for constituency parties to reselect their MPs, an attempt to make sure that party congress resolutions would be taken seriously by the party leadership.

And this was also an attempt to allow for a mobilization at a local level. This was especially important for Corbyn who was part of the municipal radicalization in the 1970s which culminated with their great successes at the Greater London Council, under Ken Livingston.

Corbyn represents all of this. He also harkens back all the way to the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament at the height of the Cold War, he’s the vice chair of the remnants of that organization and opposes the renewal of the Trident submarine, the British “nuclear deterrent.”

In all these respects, Corbyn is very much carrying forward what was isolated, marginalized, and eventually defeated in the Labour Party – and in other social-democratic parties in Europe. And out of all those parties, this left insurgency only seems to have reappeared in the Labour Party and only in the last few months.

BS: Let’s talk about those pushes from within social-democratic parties in the 1970s, this process was also seen in places like Germany and Sweden . . .

LP: Well, in Germany in the 1970s many Young Socialists in the SPD were expelled, while in the case of Sweden the attempt was made through the labour movement, giving rise to the wage-earner fund proposal, the Meidner Plan. You can find traces of this radical democratization thrust through the decade in every social-democratic party in the 1970s, but in every case it was defeated.

It was very difficult, even impossible, to transform these parties. Given that social democracy accommodated itself so long ago to a compromise with conventional parliamentarism as defining a “democratic capitalism” they were content to manage, the leadership of those parties had every right to claim that the party was “theirs” and what their tradition represented.

The attempt to change the Labour Party always harkened back to the idea that “we were going to make the party socialist again.” And the Right were always somewhat correct in saying that the Labour Party was never really socialist, at least in the way the reformers meant.

BS: We’re seeing this left-wing energy return within the Labour Party, and not outside it. How much of this is due to the particularities of the English political system, with first-past-the-post voting and so on? Or are there deeper roots?

LP: I think that’s partially it, but I think it also has to do with the extremity of Blairism, the way in which Blair and New Labour embraced Thatcherism.

Thatcher said, with good reason, that her greatest success was Tony Blair. It has to do with the way the Murdoch press in Britain, including that portion of the press that workers read, papers like the Sun, which used to be the Labour Party newspaper, the Herald . . .

BS: Until the 1950s, right?

LP: Yes, that became the Sun and Blair did a deal with Murdoch to make sure the press was behind him.

As an aside, it’s worth remembering that the Guardian played a tremendous role in defeating the Bennites, often featuring Eric Hobsbawm arguing that given the threat of Thatcher, a “popular front” position had to be turned to and there needed to be a unity of forces of everyone to the left of Thatcher. That’s one of the things that influenced young people like the Milibands and where they went politically. But it went so far under Blair and New Labour that the party actually embraced the financialization of capital under the City of London.

New Labour explicitly tried to distance themselves from the unions in a way that denied in any sense the class basis of the party. They couldn’t completely abandon the labour unions, because so much of the party’s resources and votes came from there, but they came as close as they could.

And, of course, there was also the Iraq War. One of the reasons why Ed Miliband won the last leadership election, over his brother David, was a combination of people within the party disgusted by that venture and the union bloc vote. He picked up on this discontent with the party, even though in a sense he was still triangulating between this content and the fact that whole parliamentary elite of the party was still Blairite.

But in the wake of Ed Miliband, the remarkable development is that things have swung not all the way back to the New Labourites, but rather to the left.

BS: Certainly helped by transformations in the leadership election process itself . . .

LP: Yes, this mode of undertaking elections is new, introduced by Ed Miliband just a couple years ago.

One of the victories of the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy after a decade of struggle was that instead of the leader always being selected just by members of parliament – something that showed just how parliamentarist the party was – an electoral college was constructed. It consisted of one-third MPs, one-third constituency party members, and one-third trade unions.

From those reforms a few decades ago until this election, that’s how it operated.

BS: Miliband got rid of the “bloc vote,” in favor of a “one member, one vote” system, right?

LP: Ed Miliband was elected largely due to his winning the third of the vote granted to the unions. And he was always under pressure from the Labour right who said that he was too beholden to those unions (though he, of course, was not). When there was tremendous pressure from this right over a kerfuffle over a candidate selection process in Falkirk, he responded by saying that they were going to break with the way that unions affiliated with the Labour Party. He said that he would rather have 300,000 active trade unionists in the party than 3 million paper trade unionists affiliated to the party. Because he was “moving away” from the trade union bosses, he was able to win over the parliamentarians, to convince them to drop their privileges, as well, and have a one-person, one-vote system.

Of course, the Labour right think that people like you and I, or even Corbyn, are a tiny minority of Neanderthals. They thought that if you had an American primary style election, it would ensure that they would always win. They were dead wrong.

In May, when the election was held, there were only 200,000 Labour Party members – down from a million in the heyday of the party. But in the past few months, 178,000 trade unionists have joined as individual members. Another almost 200,000 have paid 3 pounds to sign up as Labour Party supporters to vote. Even more significantly, 80,000 new members joined after the election, some of them the day after the election.

BS: What happened to the Michael Foot-types? Did they oppose Miliband’s reforms?

LP: So overwhelming was the Blairite sweep of the party, those currents weren’t really a factor anymore. People, of course, always thought Gordon Brown was closer to that tradition, but that wasn’t really true.

BS: That was more his rhetoric and affect, he was less of an outsider to the labour movement than Blair but had virtually the same politics.

LP: I think I can now quote Ed Miliband well over a decade ago, before he was an MP and when he was still working in Brown’s Treasury office, telling me privately that you couldn’t put a piece of litmus paper between Blair and Brown.

BS: But basically we’re saying that this reform by Miliband that might have seemed like a move to the right at the time in fact laid the groundwork for a lot of the activists and young people streaming into the party. What does it mean for the class nature of the party going forward, with labour having less of an institutional role?

LP: I think it does. We have to be careful talking about the changing class nature of the Labour Party given the extent to which the composition of the working class itself has changed. So it isn’t the old class basis of the Labour Party, with the exception of a few areas, it’s a much more diverse group of workers coming into the Labour Party. More significantly, when Miliband said that I’d rather have 300,000 active trade unionists than 3 million paper members, I remember saying to him that he’s absolutely right, but to make them active would require fundamentally changing the Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) into centers of working-class life at the local level.

The challenge for Corbyn is to take advantage of how his campaign has enlivened the CLPs and turn them into continuing centers of political activity and really enliven them in terms of longer-term education and mobilization. There have always been socialists in the Labour Party. There have always been socialists in every social-democratic party. But for them to be effective, the very nature of the party at the local level, not only at the national level, needs to change.

That’ll be an enormous challenge. It’s not just a matter of saying that the party congress will have more control over policy or that the constituency parties will play a more important role than the national executive community. Much more important is that they be involved in daily social life and begin to create a vision and an image and a capacity where they live for different modes of production and consumption.

I think that Corbyn would be the first person to admit that most constituency parties at the local level aren’t close to that, though many people around him would like that transformation to happen. But that’s an enormous challenge. It requires someone at the top who is oriented in that direction and tries to turn party and trade union resources to it. But that’s what this is going to require, if the developments are really going to go anywhere other than a mere shift in policy, or even just rhetoric. It’ll certainly just do that much, but if it’s going to go further than that in a socialist direction then it needs to lay this kind of base.

BS: What do think the response of the Labour right would be to a Corbyn victory tomorrow? Would they split and link up with the liberals like the Social Democratic Party (UK) did in the early 1980s? Or are they going to stay and fight?

LP: I must say that I initially thought when I started to get notes from friends saying “do you see how well Corbyn is doing?” that there was no way that he could win, because the center-right parliamentarian wing of the party would leave the party or at least signal that they would break and this would be all over the press. And there has been that kind of noise. But as the writing is on the wall for a Corbyn victory – by virtue of this vast expansion of the Labour Party membership and his support among many of the old party members – these people are looking back at the history of the early 1980s, when key figures in the party created the SDP.

Roy Jenkins, David Owen, Bill Rodgers, Shirley Williams . . . all of them destroyed their political careers and ended up in the House of Lords with very little political influence. The mainstream politicians in Labour likely don’t want to go down that same path. That may be because the Liberal Democrats are in trouble, as well, and any alliance with them would not offer electoral prospects. It may also be because they think Corbyn will burn out and they’re encouraged in this by the Guardian, which once again, is not playing a good role in this battle.

BS: There’s a great headline from a couple months ago which seems to capture the mood among the center-left media: “Jeremy Corbyn to ‘bring back Clause IV’: Contender pledges to bury New Labour with commitment to public ownership of industry.”

LP: Of course, if he were to do so it would be a good thing. He is committed, however, to renationalizing certain key industries, including the railways – and there’s over 70 per cent public support for this in the opinion polls.

These guys think these policies are all old-hat, but it’s becoming ever more relevant in the twenty-first century. The only means of coping with the long-term stagnation of capitalist economies and the crisis of climate change is with some form of democratic economic planning.

The policy foundation of the strategies that Corbyn and a lot of people like him is the Alternative Economic Strategy, the economic program of left-Labour during the 1970s and early 1980s was something that Benn took up and kind of democratized. He added to what was policy proposals, real ideas about education and mobilization . . . this is exactly the tradition that Corbyn comes from.

BS: There’s been fear that if Corbyn wins there would be some sort of recourse from the right-wing of the party, contesting the validity of new member votes.

LP: I don’t think that you’re going to see much of that. Corbyn’s support is too overwhelming. They’ll try to change the way the Shadow Cabinet is selected and do other procedural things to make his life miserable, but the main thing they’ll do is what E. P. Thompson once called “leaking into the public urinal.”

They will cause untold headaches by going to the press, they will constantly be revealing that can’t live with a party inquiry into whether one should do away with the Trident system (also the position of the Scottish National Party). They will do everything they can to make it look like a coalition with the SNP, Plaid Cymru, and the Greens is on the horizon, with proportional representation as its goal and that this will “undermine the unity of the United Kingdom.”

Their hope is that this will bring him down in a couple of years and there will be a turn to the Blairites. I think they’re wrong about the mood of the party. I think these guys have had their day.

BS: Practically, for socialists in Britain, for people who don’t think that the Labour Party is in the long-run a vehicle for socialism but in the short-term certainly support Corbyn, are there any lessons from the past about how socialists could be both good allies to the Labour left but also critical when necessary.

LP: It’s also been my view, as Ralph Miliband put it in the mid-1970s, that the greatest illusion of the British left was the idea that the Labour Party could beturned into a socialist party. Although I was enormously sympathetic to the Greater London Council and the Bennite push for a different sort of Labour Party, I always thought it would be defeated because the Labourite center-right and even center-left always showed their loyalty to the party unity and they would band together against the Left were it showing a capacity to take over the party. That proved largely right.

That said, I’ve also always been of the view that one does need a party outside of the Labour left, outside of social democracy, looking to reground the movement for socialism in a non-Leninist but also non-social-democratic way.

It seemed to me most likely that that would be successful if a portion of social democracy and a portion of the Communist movement and other radicals would break off and join that attempt. That’s to some extent what’s happened with the left parties in Europe now.

If this can happen from the top, however, in the case of the Labour Party, that’s fine too. If the party splits, as I think could happen if the constituency Labour Party is transformed and New Labour either leaves or is kicked out, the realignment might happen from the break of these elements or even the center-left from the Labour Party, rather than from the Left leaving the party. At least that seems to me a possibility now. •

Swedish Foreign Aid to Allies of Al Qaeda

September 13th, 2015 by Patrik Paulov

Wednesday 2 September begun as an ordinary day in Latakia in the war-torn Syria. The city is located on the Mediterranean coast in the province with the same name. The past years conflict has passed the city with relative calm. The killings, the destruction and the terrorism have here in so far been absent.

The province Latakia has become a refuge for millions of Syrians who have been forced to leave their homes for the safety of the government controlled area.

But on mid-day 2 September the peace was shattered by a bloody attack. A car bomb detonated outside a school in the northern part of the city, leaving ten dead and forty injured, according to media reports. How many of the inhabitants of Latakia have since fled or how many have considered fleeing is not known.

Khaled Khoja, Syrian coalition's president, admitted in April 2015 that his organization has a tactical alliance with Al Qaeda. The coalition's former president, Ahmad Jarba, was Chairman of the Assistance Fund that received 40 million SEK. In April 1, 2014, he visited the "liberated" the town of Kassab, from where 2.000 Christians were displaced.

Khaled Khoja, Syrian coalition’s president, admitted in April 2015 that his organization has a tactical alliance with Al Qaeda. The coalition’s former president, Ahmad Jarba, was Chairman of the Assistance Fund that received 40 million SEK. In April 1, 2014, he visited the “liberated” the town of Kassab, from where 2.000 Christians were displaced.

It is well established that the peace in Latakia is currently threatened by the alliance of armed rebel groups that control the neighbouring province of Idleb. The alliance includes Al Qaeda terrorists as well as so called ’moderate’ opposition groups that have received 40 million SEK in aid from the Swedish government.

That these forces collaborate in the on-going offensive in northwest Syria is no secret.


Fakta och bakgrund

Where does the Swedish aid to Syria go?

  • Sweden has during the conflict donated large sums in foreign aid. The government has vowed 350 million SEK during 2015.
    Most of the money goes to UN organisations such as UNHCR and Unicef, and other international aid organisations.
  • But Sweden has also invested large sums that are said to promote democracy, the creation of a just rule, and to the defence of human rights. Behind the beautiful words, tens of millions SEK have gone to forces that have done the exact opposite.

Syrian Recovery Trust Fund

  • One of the main commitments to strengthen the west supported Syrian coalition is the support to the political aid organisation SRTF. Sweden has donated 40 million SEK and shares a position in the board of the SRTF with the other nordic countries.
  • The initiator to the fund was the Syrian opposition coalition together with USA, Germany and UAE. Turkey plays a central role as the basis of the trust’s operation is based in Gaziantep, Turkey, near the Syrian border.
  • The SRTF is thus led by some of the forces that are most responsible for the devastating war through both weapons deliveries and monetary support to the rebels.

Unity from the conservatives to the left

  • In the Swedish parliament there is a consensus regarding the Syria policy.
    In July 2013 foreign minister Carl Bildt (conservative) stated that he and the Left party’s representative Hans Linde agreed in the Syria question. Hans Linde said that the question of Syria was not a question for domestic bickering.

Terrorist groups according to the UN

  • Jabhat Al-Nusra that fight along side opposition groups supported by Sweden, is according to the UN security council a terrorist group. Jabhat Al-Nusra has together with IS and other groups been pointed out in several UNSC resolutions as groups with connections to Al Qaeda.

Most refugees in Syria

  • According to statistics from the UN refugee organisation UNHCR there is in Syria 7.6 million internal refugees, who in most cases have fled from areas of conflict into areas controlled by the Syrian government. A small fraction stay in tent camps, while most of the refugees stay with family, friends or have found new accommodation.
  • Over 4 million refugees have fled the country, most to neighbouring countries.

This was confirmed at a press conference at the UN headquarter in New York on 29 April this year by the president of the Syrian opposition coalition, Khaled Khoja, who said that the armed branch of the opposition, ’The free Syrian Army’, had entered into a tactical alliance with Jabhat Al-Nusra, Al Qaeda’s official organisation in Syria.

The existence of the alliance is also confirmed by the Swedish ministry for Foreign Affairs special envoy for the crisis in Syria, the ambassador Niklas Kebbon, who we reach via phone:

– It is evident that the opposition coalition is in contact with Jabhat Al-Nusra.

Let us see what Sweden does for Syria:

The official line is that Sweden promotes a political solution to the conflict and invests large sums in humanitarian aid in Syria and its neighbouring countries.

But that is not the whole truth. There is a separate, less widely discussed Swedish support.

Sweden has for years backed Syrian opposition figures who have repeatedly called for more weapons to the opposition and more foreign intervention in Syria, while simultaneously collaborating with Al Qaeda-inspired extremists that have been complicit in mass murder, pillaging and mass expulsions.

This same opposition has most certainly contributed to the dire situation in todays Syria, and the mass exodus from the country that is its consequence.

Ahmad Jarba is one of those who in Sweden and other western countries have been given prominence as a leader of the future ’democratic’ Syria. Jarba was from July 2013 until July 2014 the president of the Syrian National Coalitions for the Forces of Revolution and the Resistance, a group that is often referred to as the Syrian Coalition, or the National Coalition. During his tenure he was welcomed at the UN head quarter as well as by several western heads of state.

On 1 April 2014, Jarba uploaded photographs of himself from the city of Kassab, then recently taken by the rebels. Kassab is a small city in northwestern Syria with a predominantly christian Armenian population, located by the border to Turkey.

The pictures of the Syrian opposition leader Jarba in Kassab was widely publicised by western media. His silence regarding the event that preceded the visit left many questions unanswered. The Swedish national broadcasting company (SVT) pointed out that the Syrian opposition president failed to mention that the invading rebels had forced the expulsion of the city’s 2000 inhabitants.

In fact, the situation was even worse than that.

– When Ahmad Jarba visited Kassab he literally stepped in the blood from the killed Armenians, says ’Sara’.

The Proletaren comes in contact with Sara through the Nobel peace prize laureate Mairead Maguire, who we have previously interviewed. Due to security concerns, Sara does not want us to print her real name.

Sara was born in a western country but has for the past 20 years resided in Latakia. Until the summer of 2014 she often visited Kassab, where her family owned a summer house. Today the house is demolished. Before the rebels were forced out of Kassab in June 2014, they pillaged and vandalised homes, official buildings and churches, Sara’s family’s house included.

Sara has met many of the inhabitants that were forced to leave Kassab. Many fled to Latakia and some of them stayed during the first few months in the Armenian church. Today many of Kassab’s former citizens have left Syrian and made their way to Europe, the United States and Armenia.

The stories from the witnesses of what happened on 21 March 2014 and the subsequent weeks are clear and consistent. The armed men, many of them not from Syria, came from the Turkish side of the border. Jabhat Al-Nusra and other extremist islamist groups fought along side their supposedly moderate rebel allies from the Syrian opposition coalition.

Most civilians managed to escape the onslaught, but not all. Thirteen were decapitated by the invading extremists. According to what has been gathered from witness reports, at least 80 people were killed. Around 20 senior citizens were at the same time kidnapped in Turkey and released first after three months of imprisonment.

This is the background to Ahmad Jarbas visit to the ’liberated’ city of Kabbas.

So what does this have to do with Swedish foreign aid?

The answer is that Sweden has supported the Syrian opposition coalition that Ahmad Jarba presided in several ways. The support was initiated by the conservative-liberal coalition government under foreign minister Carl Bildt, and has continued under the ministry of Margot Wallström and the labour-green party government coalition.

To get a picture of the support to the opposition, we have requested official documents from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Swedish aid organisation Sida. Some documents have been provided to us in full, others have been partly classified.

The single most important Swedish donation to the Syrian opposition took place two years ago.

The Swedish government under Prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt decided on 26 July 2013 to donate 40 million SEK to the Syrian Recovery Trust Fund (SRTF) with the purpose to act in so called liberated areas of Syria.

– It’s a political foundation. Part of its goals are to strengthen the Syrian opposition coalition as an alternative to more extreme groups by providing public services in areas outside government control, says the Swedish envoy to Syria Niklas Kebbon when we speak to him regarding the Swedish foreign aid to Syria.

The background to the founding of the SRTF is described in a report to the foreign affairs ministry written by Jan Thesleff, formerly the Swedish envoy to the Syrian opposition.

On 28 January 2013, representatives from 55 countries convened in Paris to discuss the future of Syria together with the Syrian opposition coalition. According to the Thesleff report, the French foreign affairs minister then remarked that the opposition is suffering from a ’problem of legitimacy’ on the ground in Syria. A central question of the Paris meeting was therefore to assess what the rest of the world could do to strengthen the support of the opposition in the ’liberated areas’.

The solution to this question took the form of the Syrian Recovery Trust Fund, with the purpose of offering public services in the name of the opposition and with the goal of increasing the coalitions popular support.

Sweden vowed to contribute to its funding, as did several other countries. The German development bank became the administrator of the fund, and Turkey its basis of operations.

They Syrian opposition was promoted to chair the board of SRTF. At the official inauguration of the fund on 2 September 2013, its contract was signed by the foremost spokesperson of the opposition, the war-criminal-to-be Ahmad Jarba. In October the same year, Sweden payed 40 million SEK to the fund, as promised.

Sweden is not the biggest villain in the Syrian conflict. Much worse are the countries that have pumped in money and weapons directly to the armed extremist groups, such as the NATO member Turkey, the royal dictatorships of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and the USA that has played a leading role in creating the conflict.

But Sweden is complicit.

Swedish tax money has ever since Carl Bildt’s meeting with the Syrian opposition at the mansion of Hasselby slott, Stockholm, in August 2012 supported forces that are complicit in crimes at least as serious as those the Swedish government accuse the Syrian government of.

On 25 March 2014, at the same time as armed rebels invaded Kassab, Ahmad Jarba took part in the summit of the League of Arab States in Kuwait City. There Jarba denied the request of the UN negotiator Lakhdar Brahimi to stop the import of weapons to Syria, a suggestion proposed to aid the attempts to reach a political solution to the conflict.

The message from the by Sweden supported opposition leader was quite the opposite: we want more weapons and heavier weapons, he stated to the present media.

Not even the mass expulsion from Kassab made the world change its opinion of Jarba and the opposition coalition. Six weeks after walking on Kassab’s bloody streets, Jarba shook hands with Barack Obama in the White House.

How can Sweden support an opposition that commits crimes and is in alliance with Jabhat Al-Nusra, which according to the UN security council are terrorists in the same category as the Islamic State (Isil)?

We bring these questions up with the foreign affairs representative, the envoy to Syria Niklas Kebbon.

• The Syrian opposition coalition collaborates with forces that Sweden hardly wants any connections with. The coalition president Khaled Khoja admitted on 29 April this year that they and their armed forces FSA are in tactical alliance with the terrorists in Jabhat Al-Nusra. What are your discussions regarding this? 
– The premise of the fund is that obviously there should be no collaboration with groups that have been branded as terrorists by the UN Security council. Our position has been to work for a solution that in no way gives support to to Jabhat Al-Nusra, IS, or other suspicious organisations, says Niklas Kebbon.

– But there are more countries represented in the board of directors, and there are different opinions on how restrictive one should be. Our starting point has been that the purpose of the fund is to deliver public services to the population in these areas, but of course this should not be done in a way that benefits terrorist branded organisations.

• But is it possible to tell these groups apart? I have in mind when Ahmad Jarba entered Kassab during the spring of 2014 after ’moderate’ rebels together with Al Qaeda forced the expulsion of 2000 inhabitants. 
– Yes, you are pointing to an example where the opposition coalition had some sort of dealings with such organisations. The purpose of the fund is in part that the interim government of the coalition should become an alternative to the extremist organisations. We have all, no I mean, we don’t all have contact with Jabhat Al-Nusra, but the opposition coalition does. I don’t believe they have very close contact, but of course such contacts exist.

From Latakia Sara sends us an email saying that the Syrians that have fled to the city don’t want to leave Syria, don’t want to go the refugee camps in the neighbouring countries and don’t want to go the Europe or the USA.

But their safety concerns are mounting. And their worries don’t come from the Assad government or the Syrian army, but rather from the alliance of Al Qaeda extremists and the by Sweden supported opposition. The front is just an hour’s drive from Latakia.

– The city is facing the impending threat of a major attack. While the defence of the Syrian army is strong, the viability of defending Latakia depends on the number of terrorists attacking. We are in a terrible situation.

Press TV has interviewed Michel Chossudovsky, with the Center for Research on Globalization in Montreal, to discuss Russia’s decision to provide Damascus with military supplies and humanitarian aid.

What follows is a rough transcription of the interview.

Video version here

Press TV: Russia’s call for the world to join and help the Syrian government in fighting ISIL terrorists, seems to have fallen on deaf ears at least in Washington. Instead, we have the US president saying that Moscow’s strategy in Syria is doomed to failure. Two questions here: First of all, what is Russia’s strategy that the West is so opposed to? And second: Why is the West so worried about what it calls an alleged Russian build-up in Syria?

Chossudovsky: Well first of all we have to distinguish:

-On the one hand between acts of aggression by the US against a sovereign state under the “humanitarian mandate” of “‘going after” ISIL, when in fact we know –and it is amply-documented– that the ISIL is supported and financed by the United States and its allies;

-And on the other hand, what we might describe as bilateral military cooperation between two sovereign states, namely Syria and the Russian Federation. And that is something which has been ongoing for many years between the two countries.

Russia has a naval base in the Mediterranean and it is also providing Syria with its air defense system, the S-300, as well as other areas of cooperation particularly focusing on training and weapons systems and so on. I do not think that implies in any way that they would be deploying ground forces. That will not happen. And this is not something new; it is part of a longstanding relationship between the two governments.

Now with regard to Obama, it is somewhat of a diabolical statement. Since September of last year  -and we now are commemorating one year of “US humanitarian bombings directed against Iraq and Syria–, there have been 53,000 air sorties during that period (official figures) of which 6,700 have been what they call “strike sorties”.

Now I would suspect that a large number of the 53,000 sorties are in fact geared towards delivering weapons and supplies to the ISIS (ISIL) which are the foot soldiers of the Western military alliance fighting Syrian government forces.

Press TV: How suspicious do you see the recent increase in the number of countries suddenly eager to join the US airstrikes on Syrian soil?

Chossudovsky: Well you know the United States has always used the strategy of co-opting its so-called allies and, in some cases, its proxy states in doing its dirty work in the war theater and they have the support of Saudi Arabia, Qatar; they also have their European allies, they have Canada.

I think that the leaders of these countries, the so-called Western democracies, have to beg the question: Who are we supporting?

They are supporting the terrorists, it is clear and obvious. The strike sorties directed against Syria do not target the ISIL.

The ISIL is an instrument of the US administration, it’s an al-Qaeda-affiliated entity.

They used to be called al-Qaeda in Iraq and there has been a longstanding intelligence tradition in the United States. US intelligence supports “Jihadists” and al-Qaeda-affiliated organizations. Many of the ISIS [members] are in fact former Libya’s Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) mercenaries who have now joined the ISIL and –as we recall– those mercenaries were supported also by the United States and NATO.

Minor editing by GR

Author’s Note and Update

In the light of recent developments and accusations directed against the Syrian government, it is important once more to set the record straight: the US supported rebels possess chemical weapons.  

The following article first published in December 2012 [scroll down] documents how the Pentagon  not only provided chemical weapons to Al Nusra, an affiliated Al Qaeda terrorist organization, but also provided  training to the rebels in the use of these weapons.

While Washington  continues to point its finger at president Bashar al Assad, a United Nations independent commission of inquiry confirmed in May 2013 that the rebels rather than the government have chemical weapons in their possession and were using sarin nerve against the civilian population:

U.N. human rights investigators have gathered testimony from casualties of Syria’s civil war and medical staff indicating that rebel forces have used the nerve agent sarin, one of the lead investigators said on Sunday.

The United Nations independent commission of inquiry on Syria has not yet seen evidence of government forces having used chemical weapons, which are banned under international law, said commission member Carla Del Ponte.

The Geneva-based inquiry into war crimes and other human rights violations is separate from an investigation of the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria instigated by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, which has since stalled [discredited]. See “U.N. has testimony that Syrian rebels used sarin gas: investigator,” Chicago Tribune, May, 5  2013, emphasis added)

Ironically, when the chemical weapons pretext was first launched by the Pentagon in August 2012, the accusations were not directed against President Bashar al Assad to the effect that he was underhandedly conniving to use WMD against Syrian civilians. Quite the opposite. According to the Pentagon, the operation was to ensure that Syria’s WMDs, which allegedly had been “left unguarded” in military bunkers around the country would not fall in the hands of opposition jihadist rebels who are fighting government forces:

Pentagon planners are more focused on protecting or destroying any Syrian stockpiles that are left unguarded and at risk [of] falling into the hands of rebel fighters or militias aligned with Al Qaeda, Hezbollah or other militant groups. ( U.S. has plans in place to secure Syria chemical arms –, August 22, 2012

What the Pentagon was saying in August 2012, is that these WMD could fall in the hands of  the “pro-democracy” Al Qaeda rebels recruited and financed by several of America’s close allies including Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, in liaison with Washington and NATO headquarters in Brussels.

In a twisted logic,  the Pentagon was to ensure that the rebels aligned with Al Qaeda would not acquire WMD, by actually training them in the use of chemical weapons:

The training [in chemical weapons], which is taking place in Jordan and Turkey, involves how to monitor and secure stockpiles and handle weapons sites and materials, according to the sources. Some of the contractors are on the ground in Syria working with the rebels to monitor some of the sites, according to one of the officials.

The nationality of the trainers was not disclosed, though the officials cautioned against assuming all are American. (CNN, December 09, 2012, emphasis added

And once these Al Qaeda rebels had been supplied and trained in the use of WMDs by military contractors hired by the Pentagon,  the Syrian government would then be held responsible for using the WMD against the Syrian people.

This in turn would provide a justification for a humanitarian R2P intervention to “protect” and come to the rescue of the Syrian people.

Believe it or not: that is the justification for waging a “humanitarian war” on Syria.

Michel Chossudovsky, May 7, 2013, minor updates and edits, September 12, 2015

The Syria Chemical Weapons Saga: The Staging of a US-NATO Sponsored Humanitarian Disaster?

by Michel Chossudovsky

December 12, 2012

Modeled on the Saddam Hussein WMD narrative, the propaganda ploy concerning the alleged threat of Syria’s chemical weapons has been building up over several months.

The Western media suggests –in chorus and without evidence– that  a “frustrated” and “desperate” president Bashar al Assad is planning to use deadly chemical weapons against his own people. Last week, U.S. officials revealed to NBC News that “Syria’s military has loaded nerve-gas chemicals into bombs and are awaiting final orders from al-Assad”.

Western governments are now accusing Syria of planning a diabolical scheme on the orders of the Syrian head of State. Meanwhile, the media hype has gone into full gear. Fake reports on Syria’s WMD are funneled into the news chain, reminiscent of the months leading up to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq.

The evolving media consensus is that  “the regime of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad appears to be entering its twilight”  and that the “international community” has a responsibility to come to the rescue of the Syrian people to prevent the occurrence of a humanitarian disaster.

“…Fears are growing in the West that Syria will unleash chemical weapons in a last-ditch act of desperation”

Recent reports that the embattled government of Syria has begun preparations for the use of chemical weapons [against the Syrian people] . After two years of civil war and more than 40,000 deaths, events in Syria may be heading to a bloody crescendo.  (WBUR, December 11, 2012)

Accused: George Bush and Tony Blair who said today that Archbishop Tutu was wrong about the Iraq war

Syria versus Iraq

Antiwar critics have largely underscored the similarities with the Iraq WMD ploy, which consisted in accusing the government of Saddam Hussein of possessing Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). The alleged WMD threat was then used as a justification to invade Iraq in March 2003.

The WMD Iraq ploy was subsequently acknowledged in the wake of the invasion as an outright fabrication, with president George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair actually recognizing that it was a “big mistake”. In a recent statement Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu called  for ‘lying’ Blair and Bush to face trial in the Hague`s International Criminal Court

The Syria WMD saga is in marked contrast to that of Iraq. The objective is not to” justify” an all out humanitarian war on Syria, using chemical weapons as a pretext.

An examination of  allied military planning as well as the nature of US-NATO support to the opposition forces suggests a different course of action to that adopted in relation to Iraq (2003) and Libya (2011).

The purpose is indeed to demonize Bashar Al Assad but the objective at this stage is not the conduct of an all out “shock and awe” war on Syria, involving a full fledged air campaign. Such an action would, under present conditions, be a highly risky undertaking. Syria has advanced air defense capabilities, equipped with Russian Iskander missiles (see image) as well as significant ground forces. A Western military operation could also lead to a response from Russia, which has a naval base at the port city of Tartus in Southern Syria.

Moreover, Iranian forces from its revolutionary guards corps (IRGC) are present on the ground in Syria; Russian military advisers are involved in the training of the Syrian military.

In recent developments, Syria took delivery of the more advanced Russian Iskander missile system, the Mach 6-7,  in response to the deployment of US Made Patriot missiles in Turkey.  Syria already possesses the less advanced E-Series Iskander.  Syria is also equipped with the Russian ground to air defense missile system Pechora-2M.  (see video below)

Iskander Mach 6-7

Pechora-2M S-125 SA-3 surface-to-air defense missile system technical data sheet specifications information description pictures photos images video intelligence identification intelligence Russia Russian army defence industry military technology

The Pechora-2M is a surface-to-air anti-aircraft short-range missile system designed for destruction of aircraft, cruise missiles, assault helicopters and other air targets at ground, low and medium altitudes.

Ground to air defense Russian Pechora 2M deployed to Syria

Non-Conventional Warfare

At this juncture, despite US-NATO military superiority, an all out military operation, for the reasons mentioned above, is not contemplated.

Non-conventional warfare remains the chosen avenue. Reports confirm that NATO-led military operations would be largely in support of rebel forces, its command structure, communications systems, recruitment, training, the transfer to rebel forces of more advanced weapons. Part of this undertaking including the training of rebels is being carried by private mercenary companies.

A limited and selective air campaign in support of the rebels, using Syria’s chemical weapons bunker stockpiles as a pretext could be contemplated, but even this would be a risky undertaking given Syria’s air defense capabilities.

What was on the drawing board of a recent “Semi-Secret” Meeting in London, hosted by General Sir David Julian Richards, head of Britain’s Defense Staff  is a coordinated military agenda characterised by “air and naval support, plus military training for the opposition”.

The meeting in London included the participation of  the military chiefs of France, Turkey, Jordan, Qatar, the UAE and the US. No further details were made public (See Felicity Arbuthnot,  Secret Meetings in London Plotting to Wage War on Syria without UN Authorization, Global Research, December 11, 2012

The thrust of this London gathering behind closed doors (reported on December 10, 2012) was to support a unified military command structure of opposition forces designed to “unify insurgent ranks” fighting government forces. In practice, this will require a renewed influx of mercenaries under the supervision of Western special forces which are already on the ground inside Syria.

Staging a Humanitarian Disaster?

The training component of  US-NATO action is of crucial importance. How does it relate to the Syria ‘chemical weapons’ issue?

The Western military alliance does not contemplate at this stage an all out war in response to Syria’s possession of chemical weapons. What is contemplated is the need to train the opposition rebels in the handling of chemical weapons.

This specialized training program which was confirmed is already ongoing, implemented with the support of specialized private mercenary and security companies on contract to the Pentagon:

The United States and some European allies are using defense contractors to train Syrian rebels on how to secure chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria, a senior U.S. official and several senior diplomats told CNN Sunday. ( CNN Report, December 9, 2012)

What is unfolding is a diabolical scenario –which is an integral part of military planning– namely a situation where opposition terrorists advised by Western defense contractors are actually in possession of chemical weapons.

This is not a rebel training exercise in non-proliferation. While president Obama states that “you will be held accountable” if “you” (meaning the Syrian government) use chemical weapons, what is contemplated as part of this covert operation is the possession of chemical weapons by the US-NATO sponsored terrorists, namely “by our” Al Qaeda affiliated operatives,  including the Al Nusra Front (see image on right), which constitutes the most effective Western financed and trained fighting group, largely integrated by foreign mercenaries. In a bitter twist, Jabhat al-Nusra, a US sponsored “intelligence asset”, was recently put on the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations.

The West claims that it is coming to the rescue of the Syrian people, whose lives are allegedly threatened by Bashar Al Assad.  The truth of the matter is that the Western military alliance is not only supporting the terrorists, including the Al Nusra Front, it is also making chemical weapons available to its proxy “opposition” rebel forces.

The next phase of this diabolical scenario is that the chemical weapons could be used by the US-NATO recruited “opposition” terrorists against civilians, which could potentially lead an entire nation into a humanitarian disaster.

The broader issue is: who is a threat to the Syrian people? The Syrian government of Bashar al Assad or the US-NATO-Israel military alliance which is recruting and training “opposition” terrorist forces.

The Syria Chemical Weapons Pretext: Background

The Syria Chemical Weapons Saga was launched last Summer. In  early August, the Pentagon announced that it would send “small teams of special operations troops” into Syria with a view to destroying Syria’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). These teams would in turn be supported by “precision air strikes”, namely air raids. An all out aerial attack was not contemplated. According to the Pentagon, the precision strikes were intended to “destroy the chemical weapons without dispersing them in the air”, a highly risky undertaking…

Ironically, at the outset of this diabolical plan, the US special forces incursion and air operation were not to be directed against the Syrian regime. In fact quite the opposite. The stated intent of the operation was to protect civilians against “opposition” rebels, rather than government forces.

No accusations were directed against President Bashar al Assad to the effect that he was underhandedly conniving to use WMD against Syrian civilians. According to the Pentagon, the operation was to ensure that Syria’s WMDs, which allegedly “are left unguarded” in military bunkers around the country do not fall in the hands of opposition jihadist rebels who are fighting government forces:

Pentagon planners are more focused on protecting or destroying any Syrian stockpiles that are left unguarded and at risk [of] falling into the hands of rebel fighters or militias aligned with Al Qaeda, Hezbollah or other militant groups. ( U.S. has plans in place to secure Syria chemical arms –, August 22, 2012

What the Pentagon was saying in August, was that these WMD could fall in the hands of  the “pro-democracy” freedom fighters recruited and financed by several of America’s close allies including Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, in liaison with Washington and NATO headquarters in Brussels.

In essence, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was refuting his own lies. In August he acknowledged the terrorist threat, now he is accusing Bashar Al Assad. Tacitly acknowledged by Washington, the majority of the Syrian freedom fighters are not only foreign mercenaries, they also belong to extremist Islamist groups, which are on the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations.

Israel is a partner in the Syria chemical weapons operation in liaison with NATO and the Pentagon.

Training Terrorists in the Use of Chemical Weapons

If the Obama administration were genuinely concerned in preventing these chemical weapons from falling “in the wrong hands” (as suggested by the Pentagon in August), why then are they now training “opposition rebels” –largely composed of Salafist and Al Qaeda affiliated fighters– to gain control over government stockpiles of chemical weapons?

The training [in chemical weapons], which is taking place in Jordan and Turkey, involves how to monitor and secure stockpiles and handle weapons sites and materials, according to the sources. Some of the contractors are on the ground in Syria working with the rebels to monitor some of the sites, according to one of the officials.

The nationality of the trainers was not disclosed, though the officials cautioned against assuming all are American. (CNN, December 09, 2012)

While the news report does not confirm the identity of the defense contractors, the official statements suggest a close contractual relationship to the Pentagon:

The US decision to hire unaccountable defense contractors to train Syrian rebels to handle stockpiles of chemical weapons seems dangerously irresponsible in the extreme, especially considering how inept Washington has so far been at making sure only trustworthy, secular rebels – to the extent they exist – receive their aid and the weapons that allies in the Gulf Arab states have been providing.

It also feeds accusations that the Syrian Foreign Ministry recently made that the US is working to frame the Syrian regime as having used or prepared for chemical warfare.

“What raises concerns about this news circulated by the media is our serious fear that some of the countries backing terrorism and terrorists might provide the armed terrorist groups with chemical weapons and claim that it was the Syrian government that used the weapons,” the letters said.”( John Glaser, Us Defense Contractors Training Syrian Rebels,, December 10, 2012, See also CNN Report, December 9, 2012)

The central question is: what is the nature of this gruesome covert operation? Is the purpose of the US-NATO led operation to “prevent” or “encourage” the use of chemical weapons by the Free Syrian Army (FSA)?

The above report confirms that the US and NATO are training terrorists in the use of chemical weapons. Does this type of specialized training require the actual handling of toxic chemicals? In other words, is the Western military alliance, through its appointed defense contractors, making chemical weapons available to terrorists for training purposes?

Knowing that the Syrian insurgency is in large part made up of jihadists and Al Qaeda affiliated formations, this is hardly a means to “preventing” the actual use of chemical weapons against civilians. Moreover, amply documented, many of the “opposition” rebels who are receiving training in chemical weapons, have committed countless atrocities directed against Syrian civilians, including the massacres in Houla:

“Terrorist groups may resort to using chemical weapons against the Syrian people… after having gained control of a toxic chlorine factory [in Aleppo],” the foreign ministry said Saturday.” (Press TV, December 8, 2012)

It should be noted that the use of chemical weapons by opposition forces does not require that the rebels actually secure control over government stockpiles. Chemical weapons could easily be made available –from Western stockpiles– to the defense contractors involved in the specialized chemical weapons training programs.

Needless to say, the chemical weapons training and the involvement of private mercenary outfits on contract to NATO and the Pentagon, increase the risk; they create conditions which favor the use of chemical weapons by opposition forces, thereby potentially triggering a nationwide humanitarian disaster.

The US-NATO coalition has clarified at its “semi-secret” meeting in London (reported on December 10), however, that it does not contemplate “boots on the ground”. The special forces will be working with the opposition insurgency against government forces.

In the absence of an all out US-NATO military operation, the focus is on non-conventional warfare. In this context, one of  several diabolical “options on the table” would be to create conditions whereby chemical weapons “fall in the hands” of the terrorists thereby potentially triggering a nationwide humanitarian disaster.

While this option, were it to be carried out, would not require a US-NATO military intervention, the humanitarian catastrophe would set the stage for the collapse of the Syrian government, namely the long sought objective of “regime change”.

The Libya or Iraq model is not an option. The strategic choice of the Western military alliance points towards the possible staging of a humanitarian catastrophe?

In the logic of war propaganda and media disinformation, the deaths of civilians resulting from the use of chemical weapons would be blamed on President Bashar Al Assad, with a view to enforcing subsequent actions by the US-NATO military alliance.

We are not suggesting that this option will inevitably be carried out. What we are saying is that the option of chemical weapons in the hands of the rebels which could potentially trigger a humanitarian disaster is on the US-NATO drawing board.

How can we ensure that this gruesome and diabolical option be thwarted and definitively shelved?

The issue must be brought into the open. Public opinion must be mobilized against the US-NATO-Israel led war.

Denounce the Déjà Vu WMD lies.

Challenge the mainstream media consensus.

Reveal and refute the lies and fabrications concerning Syria’s chemical weapons program.

Spread the word, far and wide,

Bring the issue to the forefront of public debate, Confront the war criminals in high office.

Jeremy Corbyn Elected Britain’s New Labour Party Leader

September 12th, 2015 by Stephen Lendman

Longtime British Labour party MP since 1983, Corbyn was considered a 100 – 1 shot for its leadership after declaring his candidacy in June, on an anti-war, anti-austerity platform, saying:

“This decision to stand is in response to an overwhelming call by Labour party members who want to see a broader range of candidates and a thorough debate about the future of the party. I am standing to give Labour party members a voice in this debate.” 

He promised a “different economic strategy, particularly opposing austerity” – calling other Labour leadership candidates cardboard cutouts of each other – failing to offer “a clear enough alternative on the economic strategy and austerity, and our attitude to welfare expenditure.”

London’s Guardian called him one of Labour’s “most rebellious” MPs, defying its former leadership 238 times. According to the Financial Times, it was over 500 times.

As new Labour leader will he make a difference, or is he Britain’s Bernie Sanders and Greece’s Alexis Tsipras – a real or phony populist? Will he run ahead for prime minister on a progressive, anti-war platform?

Will he stand forthrightly and unequivocally against business as usual – or simply support cosmetic changes too insignificant to matter?

He’s a member of the Socialist Campaign Group, the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, Amnesty International, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and chairs Britain’s Stop the War Coalition.

He calls himself a democratic socialist, advocating renationalizing Britain’s utilities and railways, making business pay its fair share in taxes, ending austerity, reversing public welfare cuts, abolishing higher education tuition fees, nuclear disarmament, and quantitative easing for ordinary people, vital infrastructure and renewable energy projects.

He said “(w)e need to strongly challenge NATO supremacy and oppose its exercise in Ukraine.” He opposes Britain’s membership in the US-dominated Alliance.

His web site says “(o)ur timeless task in the Labour Party is to stand up against injustice wherever we find it. That notion has driven me throughout my political life – and it’s what drove me to stand for Parliament in the first place.”

In mid-August, he said “(s)urely it is high time that we had a serious debate about Britain’s overall defense and foreign policy. More than 60 years of Nato membership has brought us enormous levels of military expenditure and by our close relationship with the US through NATO and the Mutual Defence Agreement involved us in countless conflicts.”

“In a world beset by conflict, often around the grab for natural resources and fueled by the greed of arms and defence manufacturers, surely it’s time to reassess our priorities for a foreign policy based on human values, peaceful development and not exacerbating military aggression.”

In late August, Britain’s Stop the War coalition discussed “10 reasons” UK neocons oppose Corbyn for Labour party leadership.

1. He opposed US/UK et al war on Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. He wants individuals responsible for illegal wars held accountable.

2. He’s a “dangerous leftist” – supporting policies benefitting ordinary Brits for the first time since pre-Margaret Thatcher’s anti-populism.

3. He’s critical of US and Israeli policies – supports long denied justice for Palestinians.

4. He has undefined “extremist links.”

5. His policies make him “unelectable.”

6. He wants 1970s policies reinstituted – when the gap between Britain’s rich and poor was the lowest in UK history.

7. His anti-militarism agenda “would leave Britain defenseless and open to invasion.”

8. Earlier, he praised one of John Pilger’s articles – condemning the devastating human cost of US-led NATO’s rape of Yugoslavia.

9. He “opposes austerity.”

10. He enjoys increasing popularity. He says things people want to hear as well as voting on the right side of important issues.

It’s one thing supporting populist interests as a powerless backbencher, quite another as party leader. He’ll face enormous pressure to bend, perhaps too much to withstand, maybe enough to make a possible transformational leader into a largely business as usual compliant one.

As Labour leader, it’s up to him to stand forthright for principles he rhetorically supports and against Britain’s devastating domestic and foreign policy agenda – using his bully pulpit to rally Brits against an overwhelming right-wing parliament.

He won a smashing victory with around 60% support – compared to 19% for his nearest rival (Andy Burnham), 17% for Yvette Cooper, and 4% for Blairite Liz Kendall.

Newly elected deputy leader Tom Watson called for party unity, saying he “promised to back the new leader 100% and I plan to do exactly that.”

The Financial Times said he “filled (Labour) with division and dismay.” He’s “an unlikely figure to try impose discipline upon the ranks…”

The New York Times said he ‘promis(es) radical approaches to longstanding problems.” The Washington Post called him “a left-wing rebel…a grassroots phenomenon.”

The Wall Street Journal said his leadership “could herald a realignment of British politics. (His) anti-austerity, anti-war and egalitarian message has resonated with supporters…”

He faces a daunting task against majority right-wing pro-business, pro-war, anti-populist Labourites masquerading as democrats – besides sure to come enormous bipartisan business as usual pressure from Washington.

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.”

Visit his blog site at

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.

UK: Jeremy Corbyn Wins the Labour Leadership

September 12th, 2015 by Binoy Kampmark

Jeremy Corbyn has done it. The agitation of the Left in a deflated, and to a large extent ruined British Labour Party, raised Corbyn from the status of the rank outsider to that of leader with a mighty 59.5 percent of the vote.  The Times deemed him a “veteran backroom operative” who became prominent while working for “Red” Ken Livingstone over the course of 12 years, eight of which he did so as chief of staff.  

Shocked out of their nonchalance, various contenders, and former leader Ed Milliband, immediately made it clear that they would be reluctant to serve in a Corbyn ministry, shadow or otherwise.  Andy Burnham, who netted a mere 19 percent of the vote, had only one tweet of any interest: “Fuck.” Yvette Cooper, another deemed “front runner” limped over the line with 17 percent.

The campaign against Corbyn has been, in certain quarters, venal. The Mail on Sunday predicted crippling, spell binding catastrophe, with a “Prime Minister Corbyn” whose 1000 days would lay waste to Britain.  “£3 trillion debt.  National riots.  A UN airlift from No 10.”

The Tory tacticians were already gathering around the notion of Left wing “risk” and are eyeing the declining union base of the Labour Party.  Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, GCHQ’s finest errand boy and rank apologist, chose to congratulate Corbyn with a statement that “Labour are now a serious risk to our nation’s security, our economy’s security and your family’s security.”

The richest comment to stem from Fallon comes from what Corbyn will supposedly do to Britain’s working class.  Workers, he argues, will suffer under a Corbyn government, “racking up more debt and welfare or driving up the cost of living by printing money”.

Corbyn’s victory casts light on dramatic changes in party structure and policy. One involves the makeup of the Labour Party, which occasionally makes Corbyn sound like Podemos of Spain.  “I don’t think we can go on having policy made by the leader, shadow cabinet, or parliamentary Labour party. It’s got to go much wider. Party members need to be more enfranchised.”

The effect of Corbyn’s campaign has been dramatic at the town hall level. He has spoken to packed halls across the country.  Community activists have crammed in to listen in anticipation of a progressive coming.  Labour membership has boomed.  The so-called £3 registered voters have effectively become a new political feature of the party.

Corbyn has done something no British politician has managed in years, with the exception perhaps, of Nicola Sturgeon.  “Thanks to Corbynmania,” writes Ellie Mae O’Hagan, “we now know people up and down the country will give up their evenings and weekends for politics” (The Independent, Sep 12).

The other feature this Corbynmania drive is the policy shift it represents within a party long bruised and emptied by the Blair modernisation program.  Under Blair, the budget and the market became sacred trees in the grove.  Call it market realism, or, as it might better be termed, market irrationalism.

Such a philosophy invariably prided the third way sound bite and the evangelical worship of focus groups.  Blair the Witch (or Warlock) tended to linger malodorously, waiting for a Corbyn to fumigate it with conviction.

What Corbyn represents is the mainstreaming of opposition to public sector cuts. It is the reaffirmation that if a government collects taxes, it should spend it as part of its social undertaking to the electorate.

The Cameron government has been waging a remorseless battle against services in an effort to balance the books, and opposition at the public level has been noisy.  Labour under Ed Miliband exhibited no such opposition, accepting the Tory line that slashing budgets was the more acceptable of economic wisdoms.  A plethora of grassroots organisations took root in an effort to fill the void.

The Peoples’ Assembly and UK Uncut will have much to cheer, as will economists such as Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman who have long argued that scorched earth policies against public spending tends to be a suicidal way of reducing deficits.  Austerity, by its very nature, shrinks all before it.

While hope tends to often be a counterfeit currency, Corbyn’s victory has at least given Britain’s political establishment a jolt.  His tasks will be huge – regaining Labour’s lost foothold in Scotland, and beating off detractors in his own party who are forming an exodus of retreaters.  He also faces the diminishing influence of union membership in a party that always prided itself on those links.  Critics will be trying to make sure Corbynmania doesn’t assume the form of a reforming avalanche.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: [email protected]

If You Don’t Think Americans Have Lost Our Freedoms, READ THIS

September 12th, 2015 by Washington's Blog

The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave  The Land of the Fleeced and the Home of the Slave

This post explains the liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights – the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution – and provides a scorecard on the extent of the loss of each right.

First Amendment

The 1st Amendment protects speech, religion, assembly and the press:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The Supreme Court has also interpreted the First Amendment as protecting freedom of association.

However, the government is arresting those speaking out … and violently crushing peaceful assemblies which attempt to petition the government for redress.

A federal judge found that the law allowing indefinite detention of Americans without due process has a“chilling effect” on free speech. And see this and this.

There are also enacted laws allowing the secret service to arrest anyone protesting near the president or other designated folks (that might explain incidents like this).

Mass spying by the NSA violates our freedom of association.

The threat of being labeled a terrorist for exercising our First Amendment rights certainly violates the First Amendment. The government is using laws to crush dissent, and it’s gotten so bad that even U.S. Supreme Court justices are saying that we are descending into tyranny. (And the U.S. is doing the same things that tyrannical governments have done for 5,000 years to crush dissent.)

For example, the following actions may get an American citizen living on U.S. soil labeled as a “suspected terrorist” today:

And holding the following beliefs may also be considered grounds for suspected terrorism:

And see this. (Of course, Muslims are more or less subject to a separate system of justice in America.)

And 1st Amendment rights are especially chilled when power has become so concentrated that the same agency which spies on all Americans also decides who should be assassinated.


Despite the clear protections found in the First Amendment, the freedoms described therein are under constant assault. Increasingly, Americans are being arrested and charged with bogus “contempt of cop” charges such as “disrupting the peace” or “resisting arrest” for daring to film police officers engaged in harassment or abusive practices. Journalists are being prosecuted for reporting on whistleblowers. States are passing legislation to muzzle reporting on cruel and abusive corporate practices. Religious ministries are being fined for attempting to feed and house the homeless. Protesters are being tear-gassed, beaten, arrested and forced into “free speech zones.” And under the guise of “government speech,” the courts have reasoned that the government can discriminate freely against any First Amendment activity that takes place within a government forum.

Second Amendment

The 2nd Amendment states:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Gun control and gun rights advocates obviously have very different views about whether guns are a force for violence or for good.

But even a top liberal Constitutional law expert reluctantly admits that the right to own a gun is as important a Constitutional right as freedom of speech or religion:

Like many academics, I was happy to blissfully ignore the Second Amendment. It did not fit neatly into my socially liberal agenda.


It is hard to read the Second Amendment and not honestly conclude that the Framers intended gun ownership to be an individual right. It is true that the amendment begins with a reference to militias: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Accordingly, it is argued, this amendment protects the right of the militia to bear arms, not the individual.

Yet, if true, the Second Amendment would be effectively declared a defunct provision. The National Guard is not a true militia in the sense of the Second Amendment and, since the District and others believe governments can ban guns entirely, the Second Amendment would be read out of existence.


More important, the mere reference to a purpose of the Second Amendment does not alter the fact that an individual right is created. The right of the people to keep and bear arms is stated in the same way as the right to free speech or free press. The statement of a purpose was intended to reaffirm the power of the states and the people against the central government. At the time, many feared the federal government and its national army. Gun ownership was viewed as a deterrent against abuse by the government, which would be less likely to mess with a well-armed populace.

Considering the Framers and their own traditions of hunting and self-defense, it is clear that they would have viewed such ownership as an individual right — consistent with the plain meaning of the amendment.

None of this is easy for someone raised to believe that the Second Amendment was the dividing line between the enlightenment and the dark ages of American culture. Yet, it is time to honestly reconsider this amendment and admit that … here’s the really hard part … the NRA may have been right. This does not mean that Charlton Heston is the new Rosa Parks or that no restrictions can be placed on gun ownership. But it does appear that gun ownership was made a protected right by the Framers and, while we might not celebrate it, it is time that we recognize it.

The gun control debate – including which weapons and magazines are banned – is still in flux …


Americans remain powerless to defend themselves against SWAT team raids and government agents armed to the teeth with military weapons better suited for the battlefield than for a country founded on freedom. Police shootings of unarmed citizenscontinue to outrage communities, while little is really being done to demilitarize law enforcement agencies. Indeed, just recently, North Dakota became the first state to legalize law enforcement use of drones armed with weapons such as tear gas, rubber bullets, beanbags, pepper spray and Tasers.

Third Amendment

The 3rd Amendment prohibits the government forcing people to house soldiers:

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

A recent lawsuit by a Nevada family – covered by (Mother JonesFox News and Courthouse News – alleges violation of the Third Amendment.

Moreover, the military is arguably quartering “digital” troops within our homes.


With the police increasingly training like the military, acting like the military, and posing as military forces—complete with military weapons, assault vehicles, etc.—it is clear that we now have what the founders feared most—a standing army on American soil. Moreover, as a result of SWAT team raids (more than 80,000 a year) where police invade homes, often without warrants, and injure and even kill unarmed citizens, the barrier between public and private property has been done away with, leaving us with armed government agents who act as if they own our property.

 In America, Journalists Are Considered Terrorists
Image: Painting by Anthony Freda:

Fourth Amendment

The 4th Amendment prevents unlawful search and seizure:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

But the government is spying on everything we do … without any real benefit or justification.

Indeed, experts say that the type of spying being carried out by the NSA and other agencies is exactly the kind of thing which King George imposed on the American colonists … which led to the Revolutionary War.

And many Constitutional experts – such as Jonathan Turley – think that the police went too far in Boston with lockdowns and involuntary door-to-door searches.

In reality:

The Fourth Amendment has suffered the greatest damage in recent years and been all but eviscerated by an unwarranted expansion of police powers that include strip searches and even anal and vaginal searches of citizens, surveillance and intrusions justified in the name of fighting terrorism, as well as the outsourcing of otherwise illegal activities toprivate contractors. Case in point: Texas police forced a 21-year-old woman to undergo awarrantless vaginal search by the side of the road after she allegedly “rolled” through a stop sign.

The use of civil asset forfeiture schemes to swell the coffers of police forces has also continued to grow in popularity among cash-strapped states. The federal government continues to strong-arm corporations into providing it with access to Americans’ private affairs, from emails and online transactions to banking and web surfing. Coming in the wake of massive leaks about the inner workings of the NSA and the massive secretive surveillance state, it was revealed that the government threatened to fine Yahoo $250,000 every day for failing to comply with the NSA’s mass data collection program known as PRISM. Meanwhile, AT&T has enjoyed a profitable and “extraordinary, decades-long” relationship with the NSA.

The technological future appears to pose even greater threats to what’s left of our Fourth Amendment rights, with advances in biometric identification and microchip implants on the horizon making it that much easier for the government to track not only our movements and cyber activities but our very cellular beings. Barclays has already begun using a finger-scanner as a form of two-step authentication to give select customers access to their accounts. Similarly, Motorola has been developing thin “digital tattoos” that will ensure that a phone’s owner is the only person who may unlock it. Not to be overlooked are the aerial spies—surveillance drones—about to take to the skies in coming years, as well as the Drive Smart programs that will spy on you (your speed, movements, passengers, etc.) while you travel the nation’s highways and byways.

Image: Paintings by Anthony Freda:

Fifth Amendment

The 5th Amendment addresses due process of law, eminent domain, double jeopardy and grand jury:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

But the American government has shredded the 5th Amendment by subjecting us to indefinite detentionand taking away our due process rights.

The government claims the right to assassinate or indefinitely detain any American citizen on U.S. citizen without any due process. And see this.

For example, American citizens are being detained in Guantanamo-like conditions in Chicago … including:

  • Brutality
  • Being held in secret
  • Not even telling a suspect’s lawyer whether his client is being held?

And see thisthis and this.

As such, the government is certainly depriving people of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.

There are additional corruptions of 5th Amendment rights – such as property being taken for privatepurposes. And the right to remain silent is gone.

The percentage of prosecutions in which a defendant is denied a grand jury is difficult to gauge, as there is so much secrecy surrounding many terrorism trials.

HUNG LIBERTY (NYSE)Image by William Banzai

Sixth Amendment

The 6th Amendment guarantees the right to a speedy ad public trial, by an impartial jury in the location where the crime allegedly occurred, to hear the criminal charges levied against us and to be able to confront the witnesses who have testified against us, as well as speedy criminal trials, and a public defender for those who cannot hire an attorney:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Subjecting people to indefinite detention or assassination obviously violates the 6th Amendment right to a speedy and public jury trial. In both cases, the defendants is “disposed of” without ever receiving anytrial at all … let alone a speedy or public one.    In neither case do they get a jury, a defense lawyer, or the right to call their own witnesses.  And they often never even hear the charges against them.

Indefinite detentions usually don’t occur where the alleged crime occurred, but at a black site.

More and more commonly, the government prosecutes cases based upon “secret evidence” that they don’t show to the defendant … or sometimes even the judge hearing the case.

The government uses “secret evidence” to spy on Americans, prosecute leaking or terrorism charges (even against U.S. soldiers) and even assassinate people. And see this and this.

Secret witnesses are being used in some cases. And sometimes lawyers are not even allowed to read their own briefs.

Indeed, even the laws themselves are now starting to be kept secret. And it’s about to get a lot worse.

Moreover, government is “laundering” information gained through mass surveillance through other agencies, with an agreement that the agencies will “recreate” the evidence in a “parallel construction” … so they don’t have to admit that the evidence came from unconstitutional spying. A former top NSA official says that this is the opposite of following the Fourth Amendment, but is a “totalitarian process” which shows that we’re in a “police state”.

And there are two systems of justice in America … one for the big banks and other fatcats, and one for everyone else. The government made it official policy not to prosecute fraud, even though fraud is themain business model adopted by Wall Street. Indeed, the biggest financial crime in world history, thelargest insider trading scandal of all time, illegal raiding of customer accounts and blatant financing of drug cartels and terrorists have all been committed recently without any real criminal prosecution or jail time.

On the other hand, government prosecutors are using the legal system to crush dissent and to silence whistleblowers.

And some of the nation’s most powerful judges have lost their independence … and are in bed with the powers-that-be.

Constitutional lawyer John Whitehead explains:

The Fifth Amendment and the Sixth Amendment work in tandem. These amendments supposedly ensure that you are innocent until proven guilty, and government authorities cannot deprive you of your life, your liberty or your property without the right to an attorney and a fair trial before a civilian judge. However, in the new suspect society in which we live, where surveillance is the norm, these fundamental principles have been upended. Certainly, if the government can arbitrarily freeze, seize or lay claim to your property (money, land or possessions) under government asset forfeiture schemes, you have no true rights. That’s the crux of a case before the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the government’s use of asset forfeiture to strip American citizens of the funds needed to hire a defense attorney of their choosing.

Seventh Amendment

The 7th Amendment guarantees trial by jury in federal court for civil cases:

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

But there are two systems of justice in America … one for the big banks and other fatcats, and one for everyone else. So good luck going after the powers-that-be.

And the World Justice Project – a bipartisan, independent group with honorary chairs including numerous current and former Supreme Court Justices – released a report saying that Americans have less access to justice than most wealthy countries … and many developing nations. The report finds that Americans have less access to justice than Botswanans, and that only the wealthy have the resources to protect rights using the court system:

For example, Germans sue equally whether they are rich or poor … but in America, only the wealthy have the resources to protect rights using the court system:

(And the austerity caused by the highest levels of inequality in world history – which are in turn is caused by socialist actions by our government, which have destroyed the Founding Fathers’ vision of prosperity – is causing severe budget cuts to the courts, resulting in the wheels of justice slowing down considerably.)

Federal judges have also recently decided that they can pre-judge cases before the plaintiff even has the chance to conduct discovery … and throw cases out if they don’t like plaintiff’s case.


The populace has no idea of what’s in the Constitution—civic education has virtually disappeared from most school curriculums—that inevitably translates to an ignorant jury incapable of distinguishing justice and the law from their own preconceived notions and fears. However, as a growing number of citizens are coming to realize, the power of the jury to nullify the government’s actions—and thereby help balance the scales of justice—is not to be underestimated. Jury nullification reminds the government that it’s “we the people” who can and should be determining what laws are just, what activities are criminal and who can be jailed for what crimes.

Image: Painting by Anthony Freda:

Eighth Amendment

The 8th Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment:

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Indefinite detention and assassination are obviously cruel and unusual punishment.

The widespread system of torture carried out in the last 10 years – with the help of other countries –violates the 8th Amendment. Many want to bring it back … or at least justify its past use.

While Justice Scalia disingenuously argues that torture does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment because it is meant to produce information – not punish – he’s wrong. It’s not only cruel and unusual … it is technically a form of terrorism.

And government whistleblowers are being cruelly and unusually punished with unduly harsh sentences meant to intimidate anyone else from speaking out.


A California appeals court is being asked to consider “whether years of unpredictable delays from conviction to execution” constitute cruel and unusual punishment. For instance, although 900 individuals have been sentenced to death in California since 1978, only 13 have been executed. As CBS News reports, “More prisoners have died of natural causes on death row than have perished in the death chamber.”

Ninth Amendment

The 9th Amendment provides that people have other rights, even if they aren’t specifically listed in the Constitution:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

We can debate what our inherent rights as human beings are. I believe they include the right to a level playing field, and access to non-toxic food and water. You may disagree.

But everyone agrees that the government should not actively encourage fraud and manipulation. However, the government – through its malignant, symbiotic relation with big corporations – is interfering with our aspirations for economic freedomsafe food and water (instead of arsenic-laden, genetically engineered junk), freedom from undue health hazards such as irradiation due to government support of archaic nuclear power designs, and a level playing field (as opposed to our crony capitalist system in which the little guy has no shot due to redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the super-elite, and government support of white collar criminals).

By working hand-in-glove with giant corporations to defraud us into paying for a lower quality of life, the government is trampling our basic rights as human beings.

Tenth Amendment

The 10th Amendment provides that powers not specifically given to the Federal government are reserved to the states or individual:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Two of the central principles of America’s Founding Fathers are:

(1) The government is created and empowered with the consent of the people


(2) Separation of powers

Today, most Americans believe that the government is threatening – rather than protecting – freedom. We’ve become more afraid of our government than of terrorists, and believe that the government is no longer acting with the “consent of the governed“.

And the federal government is trampling the separation of powers by stepping on the toes of the states and the people. For example, former head S&L prosecutor Bill Black – now a professor of law and economics – notes:

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the resident examiners and regional staff of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency [both] competed to weaken federal regulation and aggressively used the preemption doctrine to try to prevent state investigations of and actions against fraudulent mortgage lenders.

Indeed, the federal government is doing everything it can to stick its nose into every aspect of our lives … and act like Big Brother.

Conclusion: While a few of the liberties enshrined in the Bill of Rights still exist, the vast majority are under heavy assault.

Other Constitutional Provisions … and The Declaration of Independence

In addition to the trampling of the Bill of Rights, the government has also trashed the separation of powers enshrined in the main body of the Constitution.

The government is also engaging in activities which the Founding Fathers fought against, such as taxation without representation (here and here), cronyismdeference to central banks, etc.

As the preamble to the Declaration of Independence shows, the American government is still carrying out many of the acts the Founding Fathers found most offensive:

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures. [Background here and here]

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power. [Background herehereherehere and here]


He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation: [Background]


For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences [Background]


He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation. [Background]


He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us. [Background herehere and here]

Where did ISIS come from? How was it able to gain land, arms and money so quickly?

This book will answer those questions … and unmask ISIS.

Part 1 shows that the U.S. – through bad policies and stupid choices – is largely responsible for the rise of ISIS.

Part 2 reveals the strange history of the leaders of ISIS … Including one who never really existed, and another who – if you read mainstream media drivel – was killed … then arrested … and then killedagain.

Part 3 delves into the little-known, secret history of Iraq and Syria … and discusses the real motivations behind our current policies towards those countries.

And Part 4 reveals the shocking truth about who is really supporting  ISIS.

So grab a cup of coffee, and prepare to learn the real story.

Asshole Terrorist - DAP


President Barack Obama noted in an interview in March 2015:

ISIL [also known as ISIS] is a direct outgrowth of Al-Qaeda in Iraq that grew out of our invasion. Which is an example of unintended consequences. Which is why we should generally aim before we shoot.

He’s correct.  After all:

ISIS is run by a council of former Iraqi generals …. Many are members of Saddam Hussein’s secular Baath Party who converted to radical Islam in American prisons.

Bush: One of the major theaters against al Qaeda turns out to have been Iraq. This is where al Qaeda said they were going to take their stand. This is where al Qaeda was hoping to take …

ABC News Interviewer: But not until after the U.S. invaded.

Bush: Yeah, that’s right. So what?

In addition, the entire American policy of arming “moderate” Syrian rebels has backfired.

Lebanon’s Daily Star reports that so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels support ISIS terrorists:

We are collaborating with the Islamic State and the Nusra Front [another extremist and hard-line Islamic terrorist group] by attacking the Syrian Army’s gatherings in … Qalamoun,” said Bassel Idriss, the commander of an FSA-aligned rebel brigade.


A very large number of FSA members [in Arsal] have joined ISIS and Nusra,”Abu Fidaa [a retired Colonel in the Syrian army who is now the head of theRevolutionary Council in Qalamoun] said.

The so-called “moderate” Free Syrian Army has also signed a non-aggression pact with ISIS.

The New York Times writes:

President Obama’s determination to train Syrian rebels to serve as ground troops against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria leaves the United States dependent on a diverse group riven by infighting, with no shared leadership and with hard-line Islamists as its most effective fighters.

After more than three years of civil war, there are hundreds of militias fighting President Bashar al-Assad — and one another. Among them, even the more secular forces have turned to Islamists for support and weapons over the years, and the remaining moderate rebels often fight alongside extremists like the Nusra Front, Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria.


Analysts who track the rebel movement say that the concept of the Free Syrian Army as a unified force with an effective command structure is a myth.


The Syrian rebels are a scattered archipelago of mostly local forces with ideologies that range from nationalist to jihadist. Their rank-and-file fighters are largely from the rural underclass, with few having clear political visions beyond a general interest ingreater rights or the dream of an Islamic state.


Some European allies remain skeptical about the efficacy of arming the Syrian rebels. Germany, for instance, has been arming and training Kurdish pesh merga forces in Iraq, but has resisted doing the same for any groups in Syria — partly out of fear that the weapons could end up in the hands of ISIS or other radical groups.

We can’t really control the final destination of these arms,” said Peter Wittig, the German ambassador to the United States.


The fluidity of battlefield alliances in Syria means that even mainline rebels often end up fighting alongside the Nusra Front, whose suicide bombers are relied on by other groups to soften up government targets.

Even the groups that the U.S. has trained tend to show up in the same trenches as the Nusra Front eventually, because they need them and they are fighting the same battles,” Mr. Lund said.


Current and former American officials acknowledge the government’s lack of deep knowledge about the rebels. “We need to do everything we can to figure out who the non-ISIS opposition is,” said Ryan C. Crocker, a former United States ambassador to Iraq and Syria. “Frankly, we don’t have a clue.”

And yet, as the Wall Street Journal,  PBSCNNNew York TimesMediumPulitzer prize-winning reporter Seymour Hersh and others note, the U.S. and its allies have poured huge amounts of weapons and support to the Syrian Islamic “rebels”. This is in spite of the CIA warning President Obama that arming rebels rarely works.

Washington wants regime change in Syria, so it’s making up a myth of the “moderate Syrian rebel” who hates Assad and ISIS.   But they “don’t have a clue” as to whether such a mythical unicorn actually exists (spoiler alert: it doesn’t).

The New York Times reported in 2013 that virtually all of the rebel fighters in Syria are hardline Islamic terrorists.  Things have gotten much worse since then … as the few remaining moderates have been lured away by ISIS’ arms, cash and influence.

Michael Shank – Adjunct Faculty and Board Member at George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, and director of foreign policy at the Friends Committee on National Legislation – warned a year ago:

The Senate and House Intelligence committees’ about-face decision last week to arm the rebels in Syria is dangerous and disconcerting. The weapons will assuredly end up in the wrong hands and will only escalate the slaughter in Syria. Regardless of the vetting procedures in place, the sheer factionalized nature of the opposition guarantees that the arms will end up in some unsavory hands. The same militant fighters who have committed gross atrocities are among the best-positioned of the rebel groups to seize the weapons that the United States sends to Syria.


Arming one side of Syria’s multi-sided and bloody civil war will come back to haunt us. Past decisions by the U.S. to arm insurgencies in Libya, Angola, Central America and Afghanistan helped sustain brutal conflicts in those regions for decades. In the case of Afghanistan, arming the mujahideen in the 1980s created the instability that emboldened extreme militant groups and gave rise to the Taliban, which ultimately created an environment for al Qaeda to thrive.


Arming the enemies of our enemies hasn’t made the U.S. more friends; it has made the U.S. more enemies.


Some armed opposition factions, including powerful Islamist coalitions, reject negotiation altogether. Yet these are the same groups that will likely seize control of U.S.-supplied weapons, just as they’ve already seized control of the bulk of the rebels’ weaponry.


When you lift the curtain on the armed groups with the most formidable military presence on the ground in Syria, you find the Al Nusra Front and Al Farough Brigades. Both groups are closely aligned with Al Qaeda and have directly perpetrated barbaric atrocities. The Al Nusra Front has been charged with beheadings of civilians, while a commander from the Al Farough Brigades reportedly ate the heart of a pro-Assad soldier.

Shank’s warning was ignored, and his worst fears came to pass.  And since the Obama administration is doubling-down on the same moronic policy, it will happen again …

And it’s not as if we only started supporting the rebels after the Syrian civil war started. Rather, the U.S. started funding the Syrian opposition 5 years before the civil war started … and started arming them 4 years beforehand.

And a leaked 2006 U.S. State Department Cable from the U.S. Ambassador to Syria discussed plans to overthrow the Syrian government.

So it’s not as if our intervention in Syria is for humanitarian reasons.

We summarized the state of affairs in 2014:

The Syrian rebels are mainly Al Qaeda, and the U.S. has been supporting these terroristsfor years. Indeed, as reported in the Wall Street Journalthe National and other sources, Al Qaeda’s power within the Syrian rebel forces is only growing stronger.

Rank-and-file Syrian rebels have:

In fact, one of the heads of the Syrian rebels is also the global boss of Al Qaeda … and he is calling for fresh terrorist attacks on America. CBS News reports:

Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahri called has called on Muslims to continue attacking Americans on their own soil in order to “bleed” the U.S. economy.


“To keep up the hemorrhage in America’s security and military spending, we need to keep the Unites States on a constant state of alert about where and when the next strike will blow,” Zawahiri said.

Let’s recap … Most of the Syrian “rebels” are Al Qaeda. The U.S. government hasdesignated these guys as terrorists.

Things are getting worse, not better: Al Qaeda is gaining more and more power among the rebels….

Indeed, we’ve long known that most of the weapons we’re shipping to Syria are ending up in the hands of Al Qaeda. And they apparently have chemical weapons.

Summary: We’re arming the same guys who are threatening to blow us up.

Indeed, ISIS has tripled the size of its territory in Syria and greatly expanded its territory in Iraq even after the U.S. started its bombing campaign against ISIS. (Update: ISIS now has captured even more of Syria.)

Is something deeper going on behind the scene?


There is a question about whether the heads of ISIS are who we’ve been told.

For example, the New York Times reported in 2007:

For more than a year, the leader of one the most notorious insurgent groups in Iraq was said to be a mysterious Iraqi named Abdullah Rashid al-Baghdadi.

As the titular head of the Islamic State in Iraq, an organization publicly backed by Al Qaeda, Baghdadi issued a steady stream of incendiary pronouncements. Despite claims by Iraqi officials that he had been killed in May, Baghdadi appeared to have persevered unscathed.

On Wednesday, a senior American military spokesman provided a new explanation for Baghdadi’s ability to escape attack: He never existed.

Brigadier General Kevin Bergner, the chief American military spokesman, said the elusive Baghdadi was actually a fictional character whose audio-taped declarations were provided by an elderly actor named Abu Adullah al-Naima.

The ruse, Bergner said, was devised by Abu Ayub al-Masri, the Egyptian-born leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, who was trying to mask the dominant role that foreigners play in that insurgent organization.

The ploy was to invent Baghdadi, a figure whose very name establishes his Iraqi pedigree, install him as the head of a front organization called the Islamic State of Iraq and then arrange for Masri to swear allegiance to him. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s deputy, sought to reinforce the deception by referring to Baghdadi in his video and Internet statements.


Bruce Riedel, a former CIA official and a Middle East expert, said that experts had long wondered whether Baghdadi actually existed. “There has been a question mark about this,” he said.


American military spokesmen insist they have gotten to the truth on Baghdadi. Mashadani, they say, provided his account because he resented the role of foreign leaders in Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.

The unmasking of the terror leader as being an actor’s fictitious persona came after al-Baghdadi was – according to mainstream media reports – arrested in 2007killed in 2007arrested again in 2009, and then killed again in 2010.

The story of ISIS’ previous leader – Abu Musab al-Zarqawi – was odd as well. He was declared dead in 2004. Then he was said to be arrested … several different times. Then he was supposedly killed again in 2006.

The Independent – in an article on “black propaganda” (i.e. intentional disinformation) by the U.S. government – cites the forging by the U.S. government of a letter which it pretended was written by al Zarqawi, which was then unquestioningly parroted by the media as an authentic by Zarqawi letter. The Washington Post reported:

One internal briefing, produced by the U.S. military headquarters in Iraq, said that Kimmitt [Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, the U.S. military’s chief spokesman in 2004, and subsequently the senior planner on the staff of the Central Command that directs operations in Iraq and the rest of the Middle East] had concluded that, “The Zarqawi PSYOP program is the most successful information campaign to date.”

And CNN reported that ISIS’ current leader – Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – was “respected” very much by the U.S. Army and allowed to communicate freely with other prisoners in the prison in which ISIS was hatched (see Part 1) and to travel without restriction at that prison:


To understand the deeper story behind ISIS, we have to go back more than half a century to look at U.S. history in the Middle East.

Target: Iraq

Between 1932 and 1948, the roots for the current wars in Iraq were planted.  As Wikipedia explains:

File:Mosul-Haifa oil pipeline.svg

The Mosul–Haifa oil pipeline (also known as Mediterranean pipeline) was a crude oil pipeline from the oil fields in Kirkuk, located in north Iraq, through Jordan to Haifa (now on the territory of Israel). The pipeline was operational in 1935–1948. Its length was about 942 kilometres (585 mi), with a diameter of 12 inches (300 mm) (reducing to 10 and 8 inches (250 and 200 mm) in parts), and it took about 10 days for crude oil to travel the full length of the line. The oil arriving in Haifa was distilled in the Haifa refineries, stored in tanks, and then put in tankers for shipment to Europe.

The pipeline was built by the Iraq Petroleum Company between 1932 and 1935, during which period most of the area through which the pipeline passed was under a British mandate approved by the League of Nations. The pipeline was one of two pipelines carrying oil from the Kirkuk oilfield to the Mediterranean coast. The main pipeline split at Haditha with a second line carrying oil to Tripoli, Lebanon, which was then under a French mandate. This line was built primarily to satisfy the demands of the French partner in IPC, Compagnie Française des Pétroles, for a separate line to be built across French mandated territory.

The pipeline and the Haifa refineries were considered strategically important by the British Government, and indeed provided much of the fuel needs of the British and American forces in the Mediterranean during the Second World War.

The pipeline was a target of attacks by Arab gangs during the Great Arab Revolt, and as a result one of the main objectives of a joint British-Jewish Special Night Squads commanded by Captain Orde Wingate was to protect the pipeline against such attacks. Later on, the pipeline was the target of attacks by the Irgun. [Background.]

In 1948, with the outbreak of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, the official operation of the pipeline ended when the Iraqi Government refused to pump any more oil through it.

Why is this relevant today?   Haaretz reported soon after the Iraq war started in 2003:

The United States has asked Israel to check the possibility of pumping oil from Iraq to the oil refineries in Haifa. The request came in a telegram last week from a senior Pentagon official to a top Foreign Ministry official in Jerusalem.

The Prime Minister’s Office, which views the pipeline to Haifa as a “bonus” the U.S. could give to Israel in return for its unequivocal support for the American-led campaign in Iraq, had asked the Americans for the official telegram.

The new pipeline would take oil from the Kirkuk area, where some 40 percent of Iraqi oil is produced, and transport it via Mosul, and then across Jordan to Israel. The U.S. telegram included a request for a cost estimate for repairing the Mosul-Haifa pipeline that was in use prior to 1948.  During the War of Independence [what Jews call the 1948 war to form the state of Israel], the Iraqis stopped the flow of oil to Haifa and the pipeline fell into disrepair over the years.


National Infrastructure Minister Yosef Paritzky said yesterday that the port of Haifa is an attractive destination for Iraqi oil and that he plans to discuss this matter with the U.S. secretary of energy during his planned visit to Washington next month.


In response to rumors about the possible Kirkuk-Mosul-Haifa pipeline, Turkey has warned Israel that it would regard this development as a serious blow to Turkish-Israeli relations.

So the fighting over Iraq can be traced back to events occurring in 1948 and before.

But let’s fast-forward to subsequent little-known events in Iraq.

The CIA plotted to poison the Iraqi leader in 1960.

In 1963, the U.S. backed the coup which succeeded in killing the head of Iraq.

And everyone knows that the U.S. also toppled Saddam Hussein during the Iraq war.  But most don’t know that neoconservatives planned regime change in Iraq once again in 1991.

4-Star General Wesley Clark – former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO – said:

It came back to me … a 1991 meeting I had with Paul Wolfowitz.


In 1991, he was the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy – the number 3 position at the Pentagon. And I had gone to see him when I was a 1-Star General commanding the National Training Center.


And I said, “Mr. Secretary, you must be pretty happy with the performance of the troops in Desert Storm.” And he said: “Yeah, but not really, because the truth is we should have gotten rid of Saddam Hussein, and we didn’t … But one thing we did learn [from the Persian Gulf War] is that we can use our military in the region – in the Middle East – and the Soviets won’t stop us. And we’ve got about 5 or 10 years to clean up those old Soviet client regimes – Syria, Iran, IRAQ – before the next great superpower comes on to challenge us.”

And many people don’t know that the architects of the Iraq War themselves admitted the war was about oil. For example, former U.S. Secretary of Defense – and former 12-year Republican Senator – Chuck Hagel said of the Iraq war in 2007:

People say we’re not fighting for oil. Of course we are. They talk about America’s national interest. What the hell do you think they’re talking about? We’re not there for figs.

4 Star General John Abizaid – the former commander of CENTCOM with responsibility for Iraq – said:

Of course it’s about oil, it’s very much about oil, and we can’t really deny that.

Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan said in 2007:

I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil

President George W. Bush said in 2005 that keeping Iraqi oil away from the bad guys was a key motivefor the Iraq war:

‘If Zarqawi and [Osama] bin Laden gain control of Iraq, they would create a new training ground for future terrorist attacks,” Bush said. ”They’d seize oil fields to fund their ambitions.”

John McCain said in 2008:

My friends, I will have an energy policy that we will be talking about, which will eliminate our dependence on oil from the Middle East that will — that will then prevent us — that will prevent us from having ever to send our young men and women into conflict again in the Middle East.

Sarah Palin said in 2008:

Better to start that drilling [for oil within the U.S.] today than wait and continue relying on foreign sources of energy. We are a nation at war and in many [ways] the reasons for war are fights over energy sources, which is nonsensical when you consider that domestically we have the supplies ready to go.

Former Bush speechwriter David Frum – author of the infamous “Axis of Evil” claim in Bush’s 2002 State of the Union address – writes in Newsweek this week:

In 2002, Chalabi [the Iraqi politician and oil minister who the Bush Administration favored to lead Iraq after the war] joined the annual summer retreat of the American Enterprise Institute near Vail, Colorado. He and Cheney spent long hours together, contemplating the possibilities of a Western-oriented Iraq: an additional source of oil, an alternative to U.S. dependency on an unstable-looking Saudi Arabia.

Key war architect – and Under Secretary of State – John Bolton said:

The critical oil and natural gas producing region that we fought so many wars to try and protectour economy from the adverse impact of losing that supply or having it available only at very high prices.

General Wesley Clark said that the Iraq war – like all modern U.S. wars – were about oil:

A high-level National Security Council officer strongly implied that Cheney and the U.S. oil chiefs planned the Iraq war before 9/11 in order to get control of its oil.

The Sunday Herald reported:

It is a document that fundamentally questions the motives behind the Bush administration’s desire to take out Saddam Hussein and go to war with Iraq.

Strategic Energy Policy Challenges For The 21st Century describes how America is facing the biggest energy crisis in its history. It targets Saddam as a threat to American interests because of his control of Iraqi oilfields and recommends the use of ‘military intervention’ as a means to fix the US energy crisis.

The report is linked to a veritable who’s who of US hawks, oilmen and corporate bigwigs. It was commissioned by James Baker, the former US Secretary of State under George Bush Snr, and submitted to Vice-President Dick Cheney in April 2001 — a full five months before September 11. Yet it advocates a policy of using military force against an enemy such as Iraq to secure US access to, and control of, Middle Eastern oil fields.

One of the most telling passages in the document reads: ‘Iraq remains a destabilising influence to … the flow of oil to international markets from the Middle East. Saddam Hussein has also demonstrated a willingness to threaten to use the oil weapon and to use his own export programme to manipulate oil markets.

‘This would display his personal power, enhance his image as a pan-Arab leader … and pressure others for a lifting of economic sanctions against his regime. The United States should conduct an immediate policy review toward Iraq including military, energy, economic and political/diplomatic assessments.


‘Military intervention’ is supported …


The document also points out that ‘the United States remains a prisoner of its energy dilemma’, and that one of the ‘consequences’ of this is a ‘need for military intervention’.

At the heart of the decision to target Iraq over oil lies dire mismanagement of the US energy policy over decades by consecutive administrations. The report refers to the huge power cuts that have affected California in recent years and warns of ‘more Californias’ ahead.

It says the ‘central dilemma’ for the US administration is that ‘the American people continue to demand plentiful and cheap energy without sacrifice or inconvenience’. With the ‘energy sector in critical condition, a crisis could erupt at any time [which] could have potentially enormous impact on the US … and would affect US national security and foreign policy in dramatic ways.”


The response is to put oil at the heart of the administration — ‘a reassessment of the role of energy in American foreign policy’.


Iraq is described as the world’s ‘key swing producer … turning its taps on and off when it has felt such action was in its strategic interest”. The report also says there is a ‘possibility that Saddam may remove Iraqi oil from the market for an extended period of time’, creating a volatile market.


Halliburton is one of the firms thought by analysts to be in line to make a killing in any clean-up operation after another US-led war on Iraq.

All five permanent members of the UN Security Council — the UK, France, China, Russia and the US — have international oil companies that would benefit from huge windfalls in the event of regime change in Baghdad. The best chance for US firms to make billions would come if Bush installed a pro-US Iraqi opposition member as the head of a new government.

Representatives of foreign oil firms have already met with leaders of the Iraqi opposition. Ahmed Chalabi, the London-based leader of the Iraqi National Congress, said: ‘American companies will have a big shot at Iraqi oil.’

The Independent reported in 2011:

Plans to exploit Iraq’s oil reserves were discussed by government ministers and the world’s largest oil companies the year before Britain took a leading role in invading Iraq, government documents show.


The minutes of a series of meetings between ministers and senior oil executives are at odds with the public denials of self-interest from oil companies and Western governments at the time.


Minutes of a meeting with BP, Shell and BG (formerly British Gas) on 31 October 2002 read: “Baroness Symons agreed that it would be difficult to justify British companies losing out in Iraq in that way if the UK had itself been a conspicuous supporter of the US government throughout the crisis.”

The minister then promised to “report back to the companies before Christmas” on her lobbying efforts.

The Foreign Office invited BP in on 6 November 2002 to talk about opportunities in Iraq “post regime change”. Its minutes state: “Iraq is the big oil prospect. BP is desperate to get in there and anxious that political deals should not deny them the opportunity.”

After another meeting, this one in October 2002, the Foreign Office’s Middle East director at the time, Edward Chaplin, noted: “Shell and BP could not afford not to have a stake in [Iraq] for the sake of their long-term future… We were determined to get a fair slice of the action for UK companies in a post-Saddam Iraq.”

Whereas BP was insisting in public that it had “no strategic interest” in Iraq, in private it told the Foreign Office that Iraq was “more important than anything we’ve seen for a long time”.

BP was concerned that if Washington allowed TotalFinaElf’s existing contact with Saddam Hussein to stand after the invasion it would make the French conglomerate the world’s leading oil company. BP told the Government it was willing to take “big risks” to get a share of the Iraqi reserves, the second largest in the world.

Over 1,000 documents were obtained under Freedom of Information over five years by the oil campaigner Greg Muttitt. They reveal that at least five meetings were held between civil servants, ministers and BP and Shell in late 2002.

The 20-year contracts signed in the wake of the invasion were the largest in the history of the oil industry. They covered half of Iraq’s reserves – 60 billion barrels of oil …

[Note:  The 1990 Gulf war – while not a regime change – was also about oil.   Specifically, Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait caused oil prices to skyrocket. The U.S. invaded Iraq in order to calm oil markets. In its August 20, 1990 issue, Time Magazine quoted an anonymous U.S. Official as saying:

Even a dolt understands the principle.  We need the oil. It’s nice to talk about standing up for freedom, but Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are not exactly democracies, and if their principal export were oranges, a mid-level State Department official would have issued a statement and we would have closed Washington down for August.]

Target: Syria

The history of western intervention in Syria is similar to our meddling in Iraq.

The CIA backed a right-wing coup in Syria in 1949. Douglas Little, Professor, Department of Clark University History professor Douglas Little notes:

As early as 1949, this newly independent Arab republic was an important staging ground for the CIA’s earliest experiments in covert action. The CIA secretly encouraged a right-wing military coup in 1949.

The reason the U.S. initiated the coup?  Little explains:

In late 1945, the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO) announced plans to construct the Trans-Arabian Pipe Line (TAPLINE) from Saudi Arabia to the Mediterra- nean. With U.S. help, ARAMCO secured rights-of-way from Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.  The Syrian right-of-way was stalled in parliament.

In other words, Syria was the sole holdout for the lucrative oil pipeline.

The BBC reports that –  in 1957 – the British and American leaders seriously considered attacking the Syrian government using Muslim extremists in Syria as a form of “false flag” attack:

In 1957 Harold Macmillan [then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom] and President Dwight Eisenhower approved a CIA-MI6 plan to stage fake border incidents as an excuse for an invasion by Syria’s pro-western neighbours, and then to “eliminate” the most influential triumvirate in Damascus…. More importantly, Syria also had control of one of the main oil arteries of the Middle East, the pipeline which connected pro-western Iraq’s oilfields to Turkey.


The report said that once the necessary degree of fear had been created, frontier incidents and border clashes would be staged to provide a pretext for Iraqi and Jordanian military intervention. Syria had to be “made to appear as the sponsor of plots, sabotage and violence directed against neighbouring governments,” the report says. “CIA and SIS should use their capabilities in both the psychological and action fields to augment tension.” That meant operations in Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon, taking the form of “sabotage, national conspiracies and various strong-arm activities” to be blamed on Damascus. The plan called for funding of a “Free Syria Committee” [hmmm … soundsvaguely familiar], and the arming of “political factions with paramilitary or other actionist capabilities” within Syria. The CIA and MI6 would instigate internal uprisings, for instance by the Druze [a Shia Muslim sect] in the south, help to free political prisoners held in the Mezze prison, and stir up the Muslim Brotherhood in Damascus.

Neoconservatives planned regime change in Syria once again in 1991 (as noted above in the quote from 4-Star General Wesley Clark).

And as the Guardian reported in 2013:

According to former French foreign minister Roland Dumas, Britain had planned covert action in Syria as early as 2009:

“I was in England two years before the violence in Syria on other business,” he told French television: “I met with top British officials, who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria. This was in Britain not in America. Britain was preparing gunmen to invade Syria.”


Leaked emails from the private intelligence firm Stratfor, including notes from a meeting with Pentagon officials, confirmed that as of 2011, US and UK special forces training of Syrian opposition forces was well underway. The goal was to elicit the “collapse” of Assad’s regime “from within.”


In 2009 – the same year former French foreign minister Dumas alleges the British began planning operations in Syria – Assad refused to sign a proposed agreement with Qatar that would run a pipeline from the latter’s North field, contiguous with Iran’s South Pars field, through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and on to Turkey, with a view to supply European markets – albeit crucially bypassing Russia. Assad’s rationale was “to protect the interests of [his] Russian ally, which is Europe’s top supplier of natural gas.”

Instead, the following year, Assad pursued negotiations for an alternative $10 billion pipeline plan with Iran, across Iraq to Syria, that would also potentially allow Iran to supply gas to Europe from its South Pars field shared with Qatar. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the project was signed in July 2012 – just as Syria’s civil war was spreading to Damascus and Aleppo – and earlier this year Iraq signed a framework agreement for construction of the gas pipelines.

The Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline plan was a “direct slap in the face” to Qatar’s plans. No wonder Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, in a failed attempt to bribe Russia to switch sides, told President Vladmir Putin that “whatever regime comes after” Assad, it will be“completely” in Saudi Arabia’s hands and will “not sign any agreement allowing any Gulf country to transport its gas across Syria to Europe and compete with Russian gas exports”, according to diplomatic sources. When Putin refused, the Prince vowed military action.

It would seem that contradictory self-serving Saudi and Qatari oil interests are pulling the strings of an equally self-serving oil-focused US policy in Syria, if not the wider region. It is this – the problem of establishing a pliable opposition which the US and its oil allies feel confident will play ball, pipeline-style, in a post-Assad Syria – that will determine the nature of any prospective intervention: not concern for Syrian life.

[Footnote: The U.S. and its allies have toppled many other governments, as well.]

The war in Syria – like Iraq – is largely about oil and gas.   International Business Times noted in 2013:

[Syria] controls one of the largest conventional hydrocarbon resources in the eastern Mediterranean.

Syria possessed 2.5 billion barrels of crude oil as of January 2013, which makes it the largest proved reserve of crude oil in the eastern Mediterranean according to the Oil & Gas Journal estimate.


Syria also has oil shale resources with estimated reserves that range as high as 50 billion tons, according to a Syrian government source in 2010.

Moreover, Syria is a key chess piece in the pipeline wars.  Syria is an integral part of the proposed 1,200km Arab Gas Pipeline:

Here are some additional graphics courtesy of Adam Curry:

A picture named arabGasPipeline.jpgA picture named syria-turkey.jpgA picture named levantprovince2.jpg

Syria’s central role in the Arab gas pipeline is also a key to why it is now being targeted.

Just as the Taliban was scheduled for removal after they demanded too much in return for the Unocal pipeline, Syria’s Assad is being targeted because he is not a reliable “player”.

Specifically, Turkey, Israel and their ally the U.S. want an assured flow of gas through Syria, and don’t want a Syrian regime which is not unquestionably loyal to those 3 countries to stand in the way of the pipeline … or which demands too big a cut of the profits.

A deal has also been inked to run a natural gas pipeline from Iran’s giant South Pars field through Iraq and Syria (with a possible extension to Lebanon). And a deal to run petroleum from Iraq’s Kirkuk oil field to the Syrian port of Banias has also been approved:

Turkey and Israel would be cut out of these competing pipelines.

Gail Tverberg- an expert on financial aspects of the oil industry – writes:

One of the limits in ramping up Iraqi oil extraction is the limited amount of infrastructure available for exporting oil from Iraq. If pipelines through Syria could be added, this might alleviate part of the problem in getting oil to international markets.

The Plan to Break Up Iraq and Syria?

In September 2015, Pentagon intelligence chief Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart said that he has “a tough time” seeing either Iraq or Syria really coming back together as sovereign nations.  This may sound like a reaction to ISIS and the civil war raging in Syria. But – in reality – the hawks in the U.S. and Israeldecided long ago to break up Iraq and Syria into small fragments.

The Guardian noted in 2003:

President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt predicted devastating consequences for the Middle East if Iraq is attacked. “We fear a state of disorder and chaos may prevail in the region,” he said.


They are probably still splitting their sides with laughter in the Pentagon. But Mr Mubarak and the [Pentagon] hawks do agree on one thing: war with Iraq could spell disaster for several regimes in the Middle East. Mr Mubarak believes that would be bad.The hawks, though, believe it would be good.

For the hawks, disorder and chaos sweeping through the region would not be an unfortunate side-effect of war with Iraq, but a sign that everything is going according to plan.


The “skittles theory” of the Middle East – that one ball aimed at Iraq can knock down several regimes – has been around for some time on the wilder fringes of politics but has come to the fore in the United States on the back of the “war against terrorism”.

Its roots can be traced, at least in part, to a paper published in 1996 by an Israeli thinktank, the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies. Entitled “A clean break: a new strategy for securing the realm”, it was intended as a political blueprint for the incoming government of Binyamin Netanyahu. As the title indicates, it advised the right-wing Mr Netanyahu to make a complete break with the past by adopting a strategy “based on an entirely new intellectual foundation, one that restores strategic initiative and provides the nation the room to engage every possible energy on rebuilding Zionism …”


The paper set out a plan by which Israel would “shape its strategic environment”, beginning with the removal of Saddam Hussein and the installation of a Hashemite monarchy in Baghdad.

With Saddam out of the way and Iraq thus brought under Jordanian Hashemite influence, Jordan and Turkey would form an axis along with Israel to weaken and “roll back” Syria. Jordan, it suggested, could also sort out Lebanon by “weaning” the Shia Muslim population away from Syria and Iran, and re-establishing their former ties with the Shia in the new Hashemite kingdom of Iraq. “Israel will not only contain its foes; it will transcend them”, the paper concluded.


The leader of the “prominent opinion makers” who wrote it was Richard Perle – now chairman of the Defence Policy Board at the Pentagon.

Also among the eight-person team was Douglas Feith, a neo-conservative lawyer, who now holds one of the top four posts at the Pentagon as under-secretary of policy.


Two other opinion-makers in the team were David Wurmser and his wife, Meyrav(see US thinktanks give lessons in foreign policy, August 19). Mrs Wurmser was co-founder of Memri, a Washington-based charity that distributes articles translated from Arabic newspapers portraying Arabs in a bad light. After working with Mr Perle at the American Enterprise Institute, David Wurmser is now at the State Department, as a special assistant to John Bolton, the under-secretary for arms control and international security.

A fifth member of the team was James Colbert, of the Washington-based Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (Jinsa) – a bastion of neo-conservative hawkery whose advisory board was previously graced by Dick Cheney (now US vice-president), John Bolton and Douglas Feith.


With several of the “Clean Break” paper’s authors now holding key positions in Washington, the plan for Israel to “transcend” its foes by reshaping the Middle East looks a good deal more achievable today than it did in 1996. Americans may even be persuaded to give up their lives to achieve it.

(Before assuming prominent roles in the Bush administration, many of the same people – includingRichard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney, John Bolton and others – advocated their imperial views during the Clinton administration via their American think tank, the “Project for a New American Century”.)

Thomas Harrington – professor of Iberian Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut – writes:

[While there are some good articles on the chaos in Iraq, none of them] consider whetherthe chaos now enveloping the region might, in fact, be the desired aim of policy planners in Washington and Tel Aviv.


One of the prime goals of every empire is to foment ongoing internecine conflict in the territories whose resources and/or strategic outposts they covet.


The most efficient way of sparking such open-ended internecine conflict is to brutally smash the target country’s social matrix and physical infrastructure.


Ongoing unrest has the additional perk of justifying the maintenance and expansion of the military machine that feeds the financial and political fortunes of the metropolitan elite.

In short … divide and rule is about as close as it gets to a universal recourse the imperial game and that it is, therefore, as important to bear it in mind today as it was in the times of Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, the Spanish Conquistadors and the British Raj.

To those—and I suspect there are still many out there—for whom all this seems too neat or too conspiratorial, I would suggest a careful side-by side reading of:

a) the “Clean Break” manifesto generated by the Jerusalem-based Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS) in 1996


b) the “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” paper generated by The Project for a New American Century (PNAC) in 2000, a US group with deep personal and institutional links to the aforementioned Israeli think tank, and with the ascension of  George Bush Junior to the White House, to the most exclusive  sanctums of the US foreign policy apparatus.

To read the cold-blooded imperial reasoning in both of these documents—which speak, in the first case, quite openly of the need to destabilize the region so as to reshape Israel’s “strategic environment” and, in the second of the need to dramatically increase the number of US “forward bases” in the region ….

To do so now, after the US’s systematic destruction of Iraq and Libya—two notably oil-rich countries whose delicate ethnic and religious balances were well known to anyone in or out of government with more than passing interest in history—, and after the its carefully calibrated efforts to generate and maintain murderous and civilization-destroying stalemates in Syria and Egypt (something that is easily substantiated despite our media’s deafening silence on the subject), is downright blood-curdling.

And yet, it seems that for even very well-informed analysts, it is beyond the pale to raise the possibility that foreign policy elites in the US and Israel, like all virtually all the ambitious hegemons before them on the world stage, might have quite coldly and consciously fomented open-ended chaos in order to achieve their overlapping strategic objectives in this part of the world.

Antiwar’s Justin Raimondo notes:

Iraq’s fate was sealed from the moment we invaded: it has no future as a unitary state. As I pointed out again and again in the early days of the conflict, Iraq is fated to split apart into at least three separate states: the Shi’ite areas around Baghdad and to the south, the Sunni regions to the northwest, and the Kurdish enclave which was itching for independence since well before the US invasion. This was the War Party’s real if unexpressed goal from the very beginning: the atomization of Iraq, and indeed the entire Middle East. Their goal, in short, was chaos – and that is precisely what we are seeing today.


As I put it years ago:

[T]he actual purpose was to blow the country to smithereens: to atomize it, and crush it, so that it would never rise again.

When we invaded and occupied Iraq, we didn’t just militarily defeat Iraq’s armed forces – we dismantled their army, and their police force, along with all the other institutions that held the country together. The educational system was destroyed, and not reconstituted. The infrastructure was pulverized, and never restored. Even the physical hallmarks of a civilized society – roadsbridgeselectrical plantswater facilitiesmuseumsschools – were bombed out of existence or else left to fall into disrepair. Along with that, the spiritual and psychological infrastructure that enables a society to function – the bonds of trust, allegiance, and custom – was dissolved, leaving Iraqis to fend for themselves in a war of all against all.

… What we are witnessing in post-Saddam Iraq is the erasure of an entire country. We can say, with confidence: We came, we saw, we atomized.

Why? This is the question that inevitably arises in the wake of such an analysis: why deliberately destroy an entire country whose people were civilized while our European ancestors were living in trees?

The people who planned, agitated for, and executed this war are the very same people who have advanced Israeli interests – at America’s expense – at every opportunity. In “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” a 1996 document prepared by a gaggle of neocons – Perle, Douglas Feith, James Colbert, Charles Fairbanks, Jr., Robert Loewenberg, David Wurmser, and Meyrav Wurmser – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was urged to “break out” of Israel’s alleged stagnation and undertake a campaign of “regime change” across the Middle East, targeting Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Iraq, and eventually Iran. With the exception of Iran – and that one’s still cooking on the back burner – this is precisely what has occurred. In 2003, in the immediate wake of our Pyrrhic “victory” in Iraq, then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declared to a visiting delegation of American members of Congress that these “rogue states” – Iran, Libya, and Syria – would have to be next on the War Party’s target list.


And Michel Chossudovsky points out:

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 andthe 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).

Although the map does not officially reflect Pentagon doctrine, it has been used in a training program at NATO’s Defense College for senior military officers”. (See Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a “New Middle East” By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Global Research, November 2006)

Similarly, Neooconservatives in the U.S. and Israel have long advocated for the balkanization of Syria into smaller regions based on ethnicity and religion. The goal was to break up the country, and to do away with the sovereignty of Syria as a separate nation.

In 1982, a prominent Israeli journalist formerly attached to the Israeli Foreign Ministry allegedly wrotea book expressly calling for the break up of Syria:

All the Arab states should be broken down, by Israel, into small units …. Dissolution of Syria and Iraq later on into ethnically or religiously unique areas such as in Lebanon, is Israel’s primary target on the Eastern front in the long run.

In any event, it is well-documented that – in 1996 – U.S. and Israeli Neocons advocated:

Weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria ….

As Michel Chossudovsky points out:

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.

Indeed, in May 2015, one of the key architects of the Iraq war – John Bolton – said:

The Arabs divided between Sunnis and Shias – I think the Sunni Arabs are never going to agree to be in a state where the Shia outnumber them 3-1. That’s what ISIS has been able to take advantage of.

I think our objective should be a new Sunni state out of the western part of Iraq, the eastern part of Syria run by moderates or at least authoritarians who are not radical Islamists. What’s left of the state of Iraq, as of right now, is simply a satellite of the ayatollahs in Tehran. It’s not anything we should try to aid.

U.S. and Allied Support for Extremists

There’s one more historical fact which is key background to understanding ISIS: U.S. and allied support for extremists.

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

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

Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski admitted on CNN that the U.S. organized and supported Bin Laden and the other originators of “Al Qaeda” in the 1970s to fight the Soviets.We Created Al Qaeda to Fight the Soviets in Afghanistan

Brzezinski told Al Qaeda’s forefathers – the Mujahadin:

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

CIA director and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates confirmed in his memoir that the U.S. backed the Mujahadin in the 1970s.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton agrees:

MSNBC reported in 1998:

As his unclassified CIA biography states, bin Laden left Saudi Arabia to fight the Soviet army in Afghanistan after Moscow’s invasion in 1979. By 1984, he was running a front organization known as Maktab al-Khidamar – the MAK – which funneled money, arms and fighters from the outside world into the Afghan war.

What the CIA bio conveniently fails to specify (in its unclassified form, at least) is that the MAK was nurtured by Pakistan’s state security services, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI, the CIA’s primary conduit for conducting the covert war against Moscow’s occupation.


The CIA, concerned about the factionalism of Afghanistan … found that Arab zealots who flocked to aid the Afghans were easier to “read” than the rivalry-ridden natives. While the Arab volunteers might well prove troublesome later, the agency reasoned, they at least were one-dimensionally anti-Soviet for now. So bin Laden, along with a small group of Islamic militants from Egypt, Pakistan, Lebanon, Syria and Palestinian refugee camps all over the Middle East, became the “reliable” partners of the CIA in its war against Moscow.


To this day, those involved in the decision to give the Afghan rebels access to a fortune in covert funding and top-level combat weaponry continue to defend that move in the context of the Cold War. Sen. Orrin Hatch, a senior Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee making those decisions, told my colleague Robert Windrem that he would make the same call again today even knowing what bin Laden would do subsequently. “It was worth it,” he said.

“Those were very important, pivotal matters that played an important role in the downfall of the Soviet Union,” he said.

Indeed, the U.S. started backing Al Qaeda’s forefathers even before the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. As Brzezinski told Le Nouvel Observateur in a 1998 interview:

Question: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs [“From the Shadows”], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.


Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

B: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

The Washington Post reported in 2002:

The United States spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings ….

The primers, which were filled with talk of jihad and featured drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines, have served since then as the Afghan school system’s core curriculum. Even the Taliban used the American-produced books ….

The Council on Foreign Relations notes:

The 9/11 Commission report (PDF) released in 2004 said some of Pakistan’s religious schools or madrassas served as “incubators for violent extremism.” Since then, there has been much debate over madrassas and their connection to militancy.


New madrassas sprouted, funded and supported by Saudi Arabia and U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, where students were encouraged to join the Afghan resistance.

And see this. Veteran journalist Robert Dreyfuss writes:

For half a century the United States and many of its allies saw what I call the “Islamic right” as convenient partners in the Cold War.


In the decades before 9/11, hard-core activists and organizations among Muslim fundamentalists on the far right were often viewed as allies for two reasons, because they were seen a fierce anti-communists and because the opposed secular nationalists such as Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser, Iran’s Mohammed Mossadegh.


By the end of the 1950s, rather than allying itself with the secular forces of progress in the Middle East and the Arab world, the United States found itself in league with Saudi Arabia’s Islamist legions. Choosing Saudi Arabia over Nasser’s Egypt was probably the single biggest mistake the United States has ever made in the Middle East.

A second big mistake … occurred in the 1970s, when, at the height of the Cold War and the struggle for control of the Middle East, the United States either supported or acquiesced in the rapid growth of Islamic right in countries from Egypt to Afghanistan. In Egypt, Anwar Sadat brought the Muslim Brotherhood back to Egypt. In Syria, the United States, Israel, and Jordan supported the Muslim Brotherhood in a civil war against Syria. And … Israel quietly backed Ahmed Yassin and the Muslim Brotherhood in the West Bank and Gaza, leading to the establishment of Hamas.

Still another major mistake was the fantasy that Islam would penetrate the USSR and unravel the Soviet Union in Asia. It led to America’s support for the jihadists in Afghanistan. But … America’s alliance with the Afghan Islamists long predated the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and had its roots in CIA activity in Afghanistan in the 1960s and in the early and mid-1970s. The Afghan jihad spawned civil war in Afghanistan in the late 1980s, gave rise to the Taliban, and got Osama bin Laden started on building Al Qaeda.

Would the Islamic right have existed without U.S. support? Of course. This is not a book for the conspiracy-minded. But there is no question that the virulence of the movement that we now confront—and which confronts many of the countries in the region, too, from Algeria to India and beyond—would have been significantly less had the United States made other choices during the Cold War.

In other words, if the U.S. and our allies hadn’t backed the radical violent Muslims instead of more stable, peaceful groups in the Middle East, radical Islam wouldn’t have grown so large.

Pakistani nuclear scientist and peace activist Perez Hoodbhoy writes:

Every religion, including Islam, has its crazed fanatics. Few in numbers and small in strength, they can properly be assigned to the “loony” section. This was true for Islam as well until 1979, the year of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Indeed, there may well have been no 911 but for this game-changer.


Officials like Richard Perle, Assistant Secretary of Defense, immediately saw Afghanistan not as the locale of a harsh and dangerous conflict to be ended but as a place to teach the Russians a lesson. Such “bleeders” became the most influential people in Washington . *** The task of creating such solidarity fell upon Saudi Arabia, together with other conservative Arab monarchies. This duty was accepted readily and they quickly made the Afghan Jihad their central cause…. But still more importantly, to go heart and soul for jihad was crucial at a time when Saudi legitimacy as the guardians of Islam was under strong challenge by Iran, which pointed to the continued occupation of Palestine by America’s partner, Israel. An increasing number of Saudis were becoming disaffected by the House of Saud – its corruption, self-indulgence, repression, and closeness to the US. Therefore, the Jihad in Afghanistan provided an excellent outlet for the growing number of militant Sunni activists in Saudi Arabia, and a way to deal with the daily taunts of the Iranian clergy.


The bleeders soon organized and armed the Great Global Jihad, funded by Saudi Arabia, and executed by Pakistan. A powerful magnet for militant Sunni activists was created by the US. The most hardened and ideologically dedicated men were sought on the logic that they would be the best fighters. Advertisements, paid for from CIA funds, were placed in newspapers and newsletters around the world offering inducements and motivations to join the Jihad.

American universities produced books for Afghan children that extolled the virtues of jihad and of killing communists. Readers browsing through book bazaars in Rawalpindi and Peshawar can, even today, sometimes find textbooks produced as part of the series underwritten by a USAID $50 million grant to the University of Nebraska in the 1980’s . These textbooks sought to counterbalance Marxism through creating enthusiasm in Islamic militancy. They exhorted Afghan children to “pluck out the eyes of the Soviet enemy and cut off his legs”. Years after the books were first printed they were approved by the Taliban for use in madrassas – a stamp of their ideological correctness and they are still widely available in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

At the international level, Radical Islam went into overdrive as its superpower ally, the United States, funneled support to the mujahideen. Ronald Reagan feted jihadist leaders on the White House lawn, and the U.S. press lionized them.

And the chief of the visa section at the U.S. consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (J. Michael Springmann, who is now an attorney in private practice) says that the CIA insisted that visas be issued to Afghanis so they could travel to the U.S. to be trained in terrorism in the United States, and then sent back to Afghanistan to fight the Soviets.

1993 World Trade Center Bombing

New York District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau believed that the intelligence services could and should have stopped the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, but they were preoccupied with other issues cover.

As well-known investigative journalist Robert I. Friedman wrote in New York Magazine in 1995:

Shiekh Omar Abdel Rahman commands an almost deified adoration and respect in certain Islamic circles. It was his 1980 fatwa – religious decree – condemning Anwar Sadat for making peace with Israel that is widely believed to be responsible for Sadat’s assassination a year later. (Rahman was subsequently tried but acquitted.)


The CIA paid to send Abdel Rahman to Peshawar ‘to preach to the Afghans about the necessity of unity to overthrow the Kabul regime,’ according to Professor Rubin. By all accounts, Rahman was brilliant at inspiring the faithful.

As a reward for his services, the CIA gave the sheikh a one-year visa to the United States in May, 1990 – even though he was on a State Department terrorism watch list that should have barred him from the country.

After a public outcry in the wake of the World Trade Centre bombing, a State Department representative discovered that Rahman had, in fact, received four United States visas dating back to December 15, 1986. All were given to him by CIA agents acting as consular officers at American embassies in Khartoum and Cairo. The CIA officers claimed they didn’t know the sheikh was one of the most notorious political figures in the Middle East and a militant on the State Department’s list of undesirables. The agent in Khartoum said that when the sheikh walked in the computers were down and the Sudanese clerk didn’t bother to check the microfiche file.

Says one top New York investigator: ‘Left with the choice between pleading stupidity or else admitting deceit, the CIA went with stupidity.’


The sheikh arrived in Brooklyn at a fortuitous time for the CIA. In the wake of the Soviet Union’s retreat from Afghanistan, Congress had slashed the amount of covert aid going to the mujaheddin. The international network of Arab-financed support groups became even more vital to the CIA, including the string of jihad offices that had been set up across America with the help of Saudi and American intelligence. To drum up support, the agency paved the way for veterans of the Afghan conflict to visit the centres and tell their inspirational war stories; in return, the centres collected millions of dollars for the rebels at a time when they needed it most.

There were jihad offices in Jersey City, Atlanta and Dallas, but the most important was the one in Brooklyn, called Alkifah – Arabic for ‘the struggle.’ That storefront became the de facto headquarters of the sheikh.


On November 5, 1990, Rabbi Meir Kahane, an ultra-right-wing Zionist militant, was shot in the throat with a .357 magnum in a Manhattan hotel; El-Sayyid Nosair was gunned down by an off-duty postal inspector outside the hotel, and the murder weapon was found a few feet from his hand.

A subsequent search of Nosair’s Cliffside Park, New Jersey home turned up forty boxes of evidence – evidence that, had the D.A.’s office and the FBI looked at it more carefully, would have revealed an active terrorist conspiracy about to boil over in New York.


In addition to discovering thousands of rounds of ammunition and hit lists with the names of New York judges and prosecutors, investigators found amongst the Nosair evidence classified U.S. military-training manuals.


Also found amongst Nosair’s effects were several documents, letters and notebooks in Arabic, which when eventually translated would point to e terror conspiracy against the United States. The D.A.’s office shipped these, along with the other evidence, to the FBI’s office at 26 Federal Plaza. ‘We gave all this stuff to the bureau, thinking that they were well equipped,’ says one source close to the D.A.’s office. ‘After the World Trade Centre, we discovered they never translated the material.’

According to other sources familiar with the case, the FBI told District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau that Nosair was a lone gunman, not part of a broader conspiracy; the prosecution took this position at trial and lost, only convicting Nosair of gun charges. Morgenthau speculated the CIA may have encouraged the FBI not to pursue any other leads, these sources say. ‘The FBI lied to me,’ Morgenthau has told colleagues. ‘They’re supposed to untangle terrorist connections, but they can’t be trusted to do the job.’

Three years later, on the day the FBI arrested four Arabs for the World Trade Centre bombing, saying it had all of the suspects, Morgenthau’s ears pricked up. He didn’t believe the four were ‘self-starters,’ and speculated that there was probably a larger network as well as a foreign sponsor. He also had a hunch that the suspects would lead back to Sheikh Abdel Rahman. But he worried that the dots might not be connected because the U.S. government was protecting the sheikh for his help in Afghanistan.


Nevertheless, some in the D.A.’s office believe that until the Ryder van exploded underneath New York’s tallest building, the sheikh and his men were being protected by the CIA. Morgenthau reportedly believes the CIA brought the sheikh to Brooklyn in the first place….

As far as can be determined, no American agency is investigating leads suggesting foreign-government involvement in the New York terror conspiracy. For example, Saudi intelligence has contributed to Sheikh Rahman’s legal-defence fund, according to Mohammed al-Khilewi, the former first secretary to the Saudi mission at the U.N.

Friedman notes that intelligence agents had possession of notes which should have linked all of these terrorists, but failed to connect the dots prior to 1993.

CNN ran a special report in 1994 called “Terror Nation? U.S. Creation?“, which noted – as summarized by Congressman Peter Deutsch:

Some Afghan groups that have had close affiliation with Pakistani Intelligence are believed to have been involved in the [1993] New York World Trade Center bombings.


Pro-Western afghan officials … officially warned the U.S. government about Hekmatyar no fewer than four times. The last warning delivered just days before the [1993] Trade Center attack.” Speaking to former CIA Director Robert Gates, about Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Peter Arnett reports, “The Pakistanis showered Gulbuddin Hekmatyar with U.S. provided weapons and sang his praises to the CIA. They had close ties with Hakmatyar going back to the mid-1970’s.”

This is interesting because it is widely-acknowledged that Gulbuddin Hekmatyar was enthusiastically backed by the U.S. For example, U.S. News and World Report says:

[He was] once among America’s most valued allies. In the 1980s, the CIA funneled hundreds of millions of dollars in weapons and ammunition to help them battle the Soviet Army during its occupation of Afghanistan. Hekmatyar, then widely considered by Washington to be a reliable anti-Soviet rebel, was even flown to the United States by the CIA in 1985.

As the New York TimesCBS News and others reported, an FBI informant involved in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center begged the FBI to substitute fake bomb power for real explosives, but his FBI handler somehow let real explosives be used.


As professor of strategy at the Naval War College and former National Security Agency intelligence analyst and counterintelligence officer John R. Schindler documents, the U.S. supported Bin Laden and other Al Qaeda terrorists in Bosnia.


We reported in 2012 that the U.S. supported Al Qaeda in Libya in its effort to topple Gadaffi:

The U.S. supported opposition which overthrew Libya’s Gadaffi was largely comprised of Al Qaeda terrorists. According to a 2007 report by West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center’s center, the Libyan city of Benghazi was one of Al Qaeda’s main headquarters – and bases for sending Al Qaeda fighters into Iraq – prior to the overthrow of Gaddafi:

The Hindustan Times reported last year:

“There is no question that al Qaeda’s Libyan franchise, Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, is a part of the opposition,” Bruce Riedel, former CIA officer and a leading expert on terrorism, told Hindustan Times.

It has always been Qaddafi’s biggest enemy and its stronghold is Benghazi.

Al Qaeda is now largely in control of Libya.  Indeed, Al Qaeda flags were flown over the Benghazi courthouse once Gaddafi was toppled.

(Incidentally, Gaddafi was on the verge of invading Benghazi in 2011, 4 years after the West Point report cited Benghazi as a hotbed of Al Qaeda terrorists. Gaddafi claimed – rightly it turns out – that Benghazi was an Al Qaeda stronghold and a main source of the Libyan rebellion.  But NATO planes stopped him, and protected Benghazi.)

Former top military and CIA officers said that the U.S intentionally armed Al Qaeda in Libya. The Daily Mail reported in 2014:

A self-selected group of former top military officers, CIA insiders and think-tankers, declared Tuesday in Washington that a seven-month review of the deadly 2012 terrorist attack has determined that it could have been prevented – if the U.S. hadn’t beenhelping to arm al-Qaeda militias throughout Libya a year earlier.

‘The United States switched sides in the war on terror with what we did in Libya, knowingly facilitating the provision of weapons to known al-Qaeda militias and figures,’ Clare Lopez, a member of the commission and a former CIA officer, told MailOnline.

She blamed the Obama administration for failing to stop half of a $1 billion United Arab Emirates arms shipment from reaching al-Qaeda-linked militants.

‘Remember, these weapons that came into Benghazi were permitted to enter by our armed forces who were blockading the approaches from air and sea,’ Lopez claimed. ‘They were permitted to come in. … [They] knew these weapons were coming in, and that was allowed..

‘The intelligence community was part of that, the Department of State was part of that, and certainly that means that the top leadership of the United States, our national security leadership, and potentially Congress – if they were briefed on this – also knew about this.’

‘The White House and senior Congressional members,’ the group wrote in an interim report released Tuesday, ‘deliberately and knowingly pursued a policy that provided material support to terrorist organizations in order to topple a ruler [Muammar Gaddafi] who had been working closely with the West actively to suppress al-Qaeda.’
‘Some look at it as treason,’ said Wayne Simmons, a former CIA officer who participated in the commission’s research.

Pulitzer-prize winning investigative reporter Seymour Hersh – who broke the stories of the Mai Lai massacre in Vietnam and the Iraq prison torture scandals, which rightfully disgraced the Nixon and Bush administrations’ war-fighting tactics – also reported in 2014:

A highly classified annex to the report, not made public, described a secret agreement reached in early 2012 between the Obama and Erdoğan administrations. It pertained to the rat line. By the terms of the agreement, funding came from Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the CIA, with the support of MI6, was responsible for getting arms from Gaddafi’s arsenals into Syria. A number of front companies were set up in Libya, some under the cover of Australian entities. Retired American soldiers, who didn’t always know who was really employing them, were hired to manage procurement and shipping. The operation was run by David Petraeus, the CIA director who would soon resign when it became known he was having an affair with his biographer. (A spokesperson for Petraeus denied the operation ever took place.)

The operation had not been disclosed at the time it was set up to the congressional intelligence committees and the congressional leadership, as required by law since the 1970s. The involvement of MI6 enabled the CIA to evade the law by classifying the mission as a liaison operation. The former intelligence official explained that for years there has been a recognised exception in the law that permits the CIA not to report liaison activity to Congress, which would otherwise be owed a finding. (All proposed CIA covert operations must be described in a written document, known as a ‘finding’, submitted to the senior leadership of Congress for approval.) Distribution of the annex was limited to the staff aides who wrote the report and to the eight ranking members of Congress – the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate, and the Democratic and Republicans leaders on the House and Senate intelligence committees. This hardly constituted a genuine attempt at oversight: the eight leaders are not known to gather together to raise questions or discuss the secret information they receive.

The annex didn’t tell the whole story of what happened in Benghazi before the attack, nor did it explain why the American consulate was attacked. ‘The consulate’s only mission was to provide cover for the moving of arms,’ the former intelligence official, who has read the annex, said. ‘It had no real political role.’

Secret intelligence reports from 2011, written before and during the illegal US-led attack on Libya and recently obtained by the Washington Times, state:

There is a close link between al Qaeda, Jihadi organizations, and the opposition in Libya…

Indeed, the Libyan rebel commander admitted at the time that his fighters had links to Al Qaeda.  Andsee this.


As noted by Seymour Hersh and others, the U.S. supports terrorists within Iran.

Widespread Support for Terror

The director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan – Lt. General William Odom said:

By any measure the US has long used terrorism. In ‘78-79 the Senate was trying to pass a law against international terrorism – in every version they produced, the lawyers said the US would be in violation.

(audio here).

The Washington Post reported in 2010:

The United States has long been an exporter of terrorismaccording to a secret CIA analysis released Wednesday by the Web site WikiLeaks.

Wikipedia notes:

Chomsky and Herman observed that terror was concentrated in the U.S. sphere of influence in the Third World, and documented terror carried out by U.S. client states in Latin America. They observed that of ten Latin American countries that had death squads, all were U.S. client states.


They concluded that the global rise in state terror was a result of U.S. foreign policy.


In 1991, a book edited by Alexander L. George [the Graham H. Stuart Professor of Political Science Emeritus at Stanford University] also argued that other Western powers sponsored terror in Third World countries. It concluded that the U.S. and its allies were the main supporters of terrorism throughout the world.

Indeed, the U.S. has created death squads in Latin America, Iraq and Syria.

Some in the American military have intentionally tried to “out-terrorize the terrorists”. As Truthoutnotes:

Both [specialists Ethan McCord and Josh Stieber] say they saw their mission as a plan to “out-terrorize the terrorists,” in order to make the general populace more afraid of the Americans than they were of insurgent groups. In the interview with [Scott] Horton, Horton pressed Stieber:

“… a fellow veteran of yours from the same battalion has said that you guys had a standard operating procedure, SOP, that said – and I guess this is a reaction to some EFP attacks on y’all’s Humvees and stuff that killed some guys – that from now on if a roadside bomb goes off, IED goes off, everyone who survives the attack get out and fire in all directions at anybody who happens to be nearby … that this was actually an order from above. Is that correct? Can you, you know, verify that?

Stieber answered:

“Yeah, it was an order that came from Kauzlarich himself, and it had the philosophy that, you know, as Finkel does describe in the book, that we were under pretty constant threat, and what he leaves out is the response to that threat. But the philosophy was that if each time one of these roadside bombs went off where you don’t know who set it … the way we were told to respond was to open fire on anyone in the area, with the philosophy that that would intimidate them, to be proactive in stopping people from making these bombs …”

Terrorism is defined as:

The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.

So McCord and Stieber are correct: this constitutes terrorism by American forces in Iraq.

False Flags

The U.S. and other “civilized” countries not only back terrorists, but sometimes carry out terrorist attacks themselves … and falsely blame them on others.

Specifically, governments from around the world admit they’ve used the bully’s trick … attack first, and then blame the victim:

  • Japanese troops set off a small explosion on a train track in 1931, and falsely blamed it on China in order to justify an invasion of Manchuria. This is known as the “Mukden Incident” or the “Manchurian Incident”. The Tokyo International Military Tribunal found: “Several of the participators in the plan, including Hashimoto [a high-ranking Japanese army officer], have on various occasions admitted their part in the plot and have stated that the object of the ‘Incident’ was to afford an excuse for the occupation of Manchuria by the Kwantung Army ….” And see this
  • A major with the Nazi SS admitted at the Nuremberg trials that – under orders from the chief of the Gestapo – he and some other Nazi operatives faked attacks on their own people and resources which they blamed on the Poles, to justify the invasion of Poland. Nazi general Franz Halder also testified at the Nuremberg trials that Nazi leader Hermann Goering admitted to setting fire to the German parliament building in 1933, and then falsely blaming the communists for the arson
  • Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev admitted in writing that the Soviet Union’s Red Army shelled the Russian village of Mainila in 1939 – while blaming the attack on Finland – as a basis for launching the “Winter War” against Finland. Russian president Boris Yeltsin agreed that Russia had been the aggressor in the Winter War
  • The Russian Parliament admits that Soviet leader Joseph Stalin ordered his secret police to execute 22,000 Polish army officers and civilians in 1940, and then blamed it on the Nazis.  Current Russian president Putin and former Soviet leader Gorbachev have also admitted that the Soviets were responsible for the massacre
  • Israel admits that an Israeli terrorist cell operating in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including U.S. diplomatic facilities, then left behind “evidence” implicating the Arabs as the culprits (one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to identify the bombers, and several of the Israelis later confessed) (and see this and this)
  • The CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950′s to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister
  • The Turkish Prime Minister admitted that the Turkish government carried out the 1955 bombing on a Turkish consulate in Greece – also damaging the nearby birthplace of the founder of modern Turkey – and blamed it on Greece, for the purpose of inciting and justifying anti-Greek violence
  • The British Prime Minister admitted to his defense secretary that he and American president Dwight Eisenhower approved a plan in 1957 to carry out attacks in Syria and blame it on the Syrian government as a way to effect regime change
  • In 1960, American Senator George Smathers suggested that the U.S. launch “a false attack made on Guantanamo Bay which would give us the excuse of actually fomenting a fight which would then give us the excuse to go in and [overthrow Castro]“.
  • Official State Department documents show that, in 1961, the head of the Joint Chiefs and other high-level officials discussed blowing up a consulate in the Dominican Republic in order to justify an invasion of that country. The plans were not carried out, but they were all discussed as serious proposals
  • As admitted by the U.S. government, recently declassified documents show that in 1962, the American Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan to blow up AMERICAN airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes), and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil, and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. See the following ABC news reportthe official documents; and watch this interview with the former Washington Investigative Producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.
  • In 1963, the U.S. Department of Defense wrote a paper promoting attacks on nations within the Organization of American States – such as Trinidad-Tobago or Jamaica – and then falsely blaming them on Cuba
  • The U.S. Department of Defense even suggested covertly paying a person in the Castro government to attack the United States: “The only area remaining for consideration then would be to bribe one of Castro’s subordinate commanders to initiate an attack on Guantanamo.”
  • The NSA admits that it lied about what really happened in the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964 … manipulating data to make it look like North Vietnamese boats fired on a U.S. ship so as to create a false justification for the Vietnam war
  • A U.S. Congressional committee admitted that – as part of its “Cointelpro” campaign – the FBI had used many provocateurs in the 1950s through 1970s to carry out violent acts and falsely blame them on political activists
  • top Turkish general admitted that Turkish forces burned down a mosque on Cyprus in the 1970s and blamed it on their enemy. He explained: “In Special War, certain acts of sabotage are staged and blamed on the enemy to increase public resistance. We did this on Cyprus; we even burnt down a mosque.” In response to the surprised correspondent’s incredulous look the general said, “I am giving an example”
  • The German government admitted (and see this) that, in 1978, the German secret service detonated a bomb in the outer wall of a prison and planted “escape tools” on a prisoner – a member of the Red Army Faction – which the secret service wished to frame the bombing on
  • A Mossad agent says that, in 1984, Mossad planted a radio transmitter in Gaddaffi’s compound in Tripoli, Libya which broadcast fake terrorist trasmissions recorded by Mossad, in order to frame Gaddaffi as a terrorist supporter. Ronald Reagan bombed Libya immediately thereafter
  • The South African Truth and Reconciliation Council found that, in 1989, the Civil Cooperation Bureau (a covert branch of the South African Defense Force) approached an explosives expert and asked him “to participate in an operation aimed at discrediting the ANC [the African National Congress] by bombing the police vehicle of the investigating officer into the murder incident”, thus framing the ANC for the bombing
  • An Algerian diplomat and several officers in the Algerian army admit that, in the 1990s, the Algerian army frequently massacred Algerian civilians and then blamed Islamic militants for the killings (and see this video; and Agence France-Presse, 9/27/2002, French Court Dismisses Algerian Defamation Suit Against Author)
  • Senior Russian Senior military and intelligence officers admit that the KGB blew up Russian apartment buildings in 1999 and falsely blamed it on Chechens, in order to justify an invasion of Chechnya (and see this report and this discussion)
  • According to the Washington Post, Indonesian police admit that the Indone