U.S. Trained ISIS at Secret Jordan Base

June 18th, 2014 by Aaron Klein

JERUSALEM – Members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS, were trained in 2012 by U.S. instructors working at a secret base in Jordan, according to informed Jordanian officials.

The officials said dozens of ISIS members were trained at the time as part of covert aid to the insurgents targeting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. The officials said the training was not meant to be used for any future campaign in Iraq.

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

In February 2012, WND was first to report the U.S., Turkey and Jordan were running a training base for the Syrian rebels in the Jordanian town of Safawi in the country’s northern desert region.

That report has since been corroborated by numerous other media accounts.

Last March, the German weekly Der Spiegel reported Americans were training Syrian rebels in Jordan.

Quoting what it said were training participants and organizers, Der Spiegel reported it was not clear whether the Americans worked for private firms or were with the U.S. Army, but the magazine said some organizers wore uniforms. The training in Jordan reportedly focused on use of anti-tank weaponry.

The German magazine reported some 200 men received the training over the previous three months amid U.S. plans to train a total of 1,200 members of the Free Syrian Army in two camps in the south and the east of Jordan.

Britain’s Guardian newspaper also reported last March that U.S. trainers were aiding Syrian rebels in Jordan along with British and French instructors.

Reuters reported a spokesman for the U.S. Defense Department declined immediate comment on the German magazine’s report. The French foreign ministry and Britain’s foreign and defense ministries also would not comment to Reuters.

The Jordanian officials spoke to WND amid concern the sectarian violence in Iraq will spill over into their own country as well as into Syria.

ISIS previously posted a video on YouTube threatening to move on Jordan and “slaughter” King Abdullah, whom they view as an enemy of Islam.

WND reported last week that, according to Jordanian and Syrian regime sources, Saudi Arabia has been arming the ISIS and that the Saudis are a driving force in supporting the al-Qaida-linked group.

WND further reported that, according to a Shiite source in contact with a high official in the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the Obama administration has been aware for two months that the al-Qaida-inspired group that has taken over two Iraqi cities and now is threatening Baghdad also was training fighters in Turkey.

The source told WND that at least one of the training camps of the group Iraq of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Syria, the ISIS, is in the vicinity of Incirlik Air Base near Adana, Turkey, where American personnel and equipment are located.

He called Obama “an accomplice” in the attacks that are threatening the Maliki government the U.S. helped establish through the Iraq war.

The source said that after training in Turkey, thousands of ISIS fighters went to Iraq by way of Syria to join the effort to establish an Islamic caliphate subject to strict Islamic law, or Shariah.

Reacting to antagonized Palestinian snowballing protests to her government’s decision on June 5 to reverse a 47-year old bipartisan consensus on describing eastern Jerusalem as “occupied,” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on June 13 denied any “change in the Australian government’s position.”

On June 5, Australian Attorney-General George Brandis in a statement said: ”The description of East Jerusalem as ‘Occupied East Jerusalem’ is a term freighted with pejorative implications, which is neither appropriate nor useful.”

The new Australian terminology provoked Jordan, the third largest importer of Australian sheep in the Middle East, to summon Australia’s charge d’affaires, John Feakes, to convey its “concern” because “The Australian government’s decision violates international law and resolutions that consider east Jerusalem as an integral part of all Palestinian territories occupied in 1967.”

Similarly, the Australian Representative in Ramallah, Tom Wilson, was summoned by the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to convey “deep concern” because Brandis’ remarks “contradict all international resolutions.” They requested “official clarification.”

Bishop’s “no change” statement came in response. It was followed on June 14 by Prime Minister Tony Abbott who said, while on a trip to North America , that his government had made only a “terminological clarification.”

Australia still “strongly” supports the “two-state solution” and “there has been no change in policy – absolutely no change in policy,” Abbot said, but at the same time confirmed that, “We absolutely refuse to refer to occupied East Jerusalem .”

Abbot two days earlier stated that the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) are in “truth … disputed territories.”

Canberra is showing no signs of backing down. Australian ambassador to Israel , Dave Sharma, on June 11 said Brandis’ reasoning could lead his government to similar official linguistic change on the West Bank .

“I think we just call the West Bank, ‘the West Bank ,’ as a geographical entity without adding any adjectives to it, whether ‘occupied’ [the Palestinian position] or ‘disputed’ [the Israeli position]. We’ll just call it what it is, which is ‘the West Bank. ’,” he told the Tablet. However, this is not official yet, he said.

“There has been no change in the Australian government’s position on the legal status of the Palestinian Territories , including East Jerusalem,” Bishop “clarified” in her statement. She was not convincing. The credibility of Bishop’s and Abbot’s denial of “change” could hardly be plausible.

It is a “radical change in the Australian position on Palestine ,” Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said. The head of the Palestinian delegation to Canberra , Izzat Abdulhadi, said Australia ’s new stance is “very provocative.”

On June 12, Arab and Islamic ambassadors from 18 countries, including Saudi Arabia , Egypt and Indonesia , protested to Australia ‘s Department of Foreign Affairs in Canberra .

Jerusalem is the permanent headquarters of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The organization was founded in response to the burning of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site, by the Australian arsonist Michael Dennis Rohan in 1969.

The Australian on June 10 reported from Jerusalem that the 57-member OIC will hold a joint emergency meeting this month with the 22-member Arab League to decide their response to Australia ’s “terminology” declaration.

Secretary General of the Arab League, Nabil al-Arabi sent Bishop a “letter of protest” requesting “official clarification,” his deputy Ahmad bin Hilli said last Monday.

Palestinians are on record to invoke the multi-billion annual Australian agricultural exports to the member states in the discussions. Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss told reporters last Friday that “we will work very hard with them … to maintain the trade,” but so far his government has shown no signs to that effect.

Bishop’s and Abbot’s “no change” statements tried to imply that their country’s policy has not changed and that if there was a change it is a linguistic one only.

Either case the change in “terminology” serves neither Australian nor Palestinian interests. Coming ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu’s upcoming visit to Australia this summer, to be the first ever sitting Israeli premier to visit Canberra , it serves only as a free of charge welcoming present.

However, coming on the 47th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory in eastern Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza Strip and in 2014, which the United Nations proclaimed an International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the Australian “change of language” was “absolutely disgraceful and shocking,” according to the member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Hanan Ashrawi.

“Such inflammatory and irresponsible statements … are not only in blatant violation of international law and global consensus, but are also lethal in any pursuit of peace and toxic to any attempt at enacting a global rule of law,” Ashrawi was quoted as saying by the Times of Israel on June 6.

In fact, describing the Palestinian territories, eastern Jerusalem inclusive, as “occupied” is not only a Palestinian position.

The Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem has not been recognized by the international community and all 193 countries of the UN, including the U.S. , refuse to have their embassies in Jerusalem because it would imply their recognition of the city as Israel ’s capital.

Published by The Guardian on this June 11, Ben Saul wrote: “Calling east Jerusalem ‘occupied’ simply recognizes the near-universal legal status quo, namely that it is not sovereign Israeli territory.”

“Declaring that east Jerusalem will not be described as ‘occupied’ implies that Australia rejects the application of international humanitarian law … The term “occupation” is therefore not pejorative or judgmental.” Saul said, adding that “ Australia ’s new view … corrodes the international rule of law and violates Australia ’s international law obligations” in accordance with the Geneva conventions to which both Australia and Israel are signatories.

The UN Security Council Resolution 478 on August 20, 1980 censured “in the strongest terms the enactment by Israel of the ‘basic law’ on Jerusalem,” affirmed “that the enactment of the ‘basic law’ by Israel constitutes a violation of international law” and determined

“that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which have altered or purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and in particular the recent ‘basic law’ on Jerusalem, are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith.”

Ninety UNSC resolutions, let alone 40 others vetoed by the U.S. , rule accordingly. Now Australia is the only other nation that joins and supports Israel in its violation of all these resolutions. Aside from Israel , it is also the only nation to change its language on the Palestinian Occupied Territories .

Australian linguistics in context

The Palestinian people are not known for their short memory. They view the Australian government’s “terminological clarification” in the context of the country’s recent pro-Israel changes of policy as well as in Australia ’s historical anti-Palestinian policies.

Last month, Ambassador Sharma met in East Jerusalem with the Israeli Minister of Housing Uri Ariel, who is in charge of the illegal construction of the colonial settlements in the OPT.

In January this year, while on an official visit to Israel, Foreign Minister Bishop told the Times of Israel that she isn’t convinced that Israeli construction of illegal settlements in OPT is a violation of international law, and called international boycotts of these settlements “anti-Semitic” and “Hypocritical beyond belief.”

Last November, Australia failed to join 158 nations who supported a UN General Assembly resolution calling for an end to Israeli settlements or to join 160 countries which supported another resolution calling on Israel to “comply scrupulously” with the 1949 Geneva Conventions.

In November 2012, Australia abstained from supporting the UNGA recognition of Palestine as a “non-member observer state” by a vote of 138 to 9, rendering PM Abbot’s latest “clarification” that Australia still “strongly” supports the “two-state solution” a hollow statement.

Quoted by Emeritus Professor Peter Boyce AO, President of the Australia Institute of International Affairs in Tasmania, a 2010 study found that 78% of Australians were opposed to Israel ’s settlements policy and only 22% thought Jerusalem should be recognized as Israel ’s capital. More recently, at the time of the 2012 General Assembly vote on Palestinian non-member observer State status, 51% of Australians thought their country should vote “Yes” and only 15% “No.”

“Australia has had an important role in the establishment of the Israeli state” and it “stood alone among western governments in its uncritical alignment with Israel,” Professor Boyce wrote.

Certainly Boyce had history in mind. Australia in its capacity as the Chairman of the UN General Assembly‘s Ad Hoc Committee on Palestine helped to push through the UN Partition Plan on November 29, 1947. It was the first UN member state to vote in favor of Israeli statehood and the first to grant Israel de-jure recognition when the U.S. recognized it de-facto only. Israel was also the first Middle East country with which Australia established diplomatic relations in 1949.

Australia had defended all Israeli wars on Palestine , Egypt , Jordan , Lebanon and Syria as “in self defense,” especially the 1967 war in which it occupied more Palestinian territories and the lands of four Arab countries.

 

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

When a fire is raging, firefighters are called – not the arsonist who started it, especially if they return to the scene of the crime dragging a barrel of gasoline behind them. Yet, this is precisely what the US proposes – that they – the geopolitical arsonists – be allowed to return to Iraq to extinguish the threat of heavily armed sectarian militants streaming from NATO territory in Turkey and edging ever closer to Baghdad.

ISIS: Made in USA

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is a creation of the United States and its Persian Gulf allies, namely Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and recently added to the list, Kuwait. The Daily Beast in an article titled, “America’s Allies Are Funding ISIS,” states:

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), now threatening Baghdad, was funded for years by wealthy donors in Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, three U.S. allies that have dual agendas in the war on terror.

Despite the candor of the opening sentence, the article would unravel into a myriad of lies laid to obfuscate America’s role in the creation of ISIS. The article would claim:

The extremist group that is threatening the existence of the Iraqi state was built and grown for years with the help of elite donors from American supposed allies in the Persian Gulf region. There, the threat of Iran, Assad, and the Sunni-Shiite sectarian war trumps the U.S. goal of stability and moderation in the region.

However, the US goal in the region was never “stability” and surely not “moderation.” As early as 2007, sources within the Pentagon and across the US intelligence community revealed a conspiracy to drown the Middle East in sectarian war, and to do so by arming and funding extremist groups including the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda itself. Published in 2007 – a full 4 years before the 2011 “Arab Spring” would begin – Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh’s New Yorker article titled, “”The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” stated specifically (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.

The 9 page, extensive report has since been vindicated many times over with revelations of US, NATO, and Persian Gulf complicity in raising armies of extremists within Libya and along Syria’s borders. ISIS itself, which is claimed to occupy a region stretching from northeastern Syria and across northern and western Iraq, has operated all along Turkey’s border with Syria, “coincidentally” where the US CIA has conducted years of “monitoring” and arming of “moderate” groups.

In fact, the US admits it has armed, funded, and equipped “moderates” to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. In a March 2013 Telegraph article titled, “US and Europe in ‘major airlift of arms to Syrian rebels through Zagreb’,” it was reported that a single program included 3,000 tons of weapons sent in 75 planeloads paid for by Saudi Arabia at the bidding of the United States. The New York Times in its article, “Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With C.I.A. Aid,” admits that the CIA assisted Arab governments and Turkey with military aid to terrorists fighting in Syria constituting hundreds of airlifts landing in both Jordan and Turkey.

The vast scale of US, NATO, and Arab aid to terrorists fighting in Syria leaves no doubt that the conspiracy described by Hersh in 2007 was carried out in earnest, and that the reason Al Qaeda groups such as Al Nusra and ISIS displaced so-called “moderates,” was because such “moderates” never existed in any significant manner to begin with. While articles like the Daily Beast’s “America’s Allies Are Funding ISIS” now try to portray a divide between US and Persian Gulf foreign policy, from Hersh’s 2007 article and all throughout the past 3 years in Libya and Syria, the goal of raising an army in the name of Al Qaeda has been clearly shared and demonstrably pursued by both the US and its regional partners.

The plan, from the beginning, was to raise an extremist expeditionary force to trigger a regional sectarian bloodbath – a bloodbath now raging across multiple borders and set to expand further if decisive action is not taken.

Iran Must Avoid America’s “Touch of Death” and Sectarian War at All Costs

Despite an open conspiracy to drown the region in sectarian strife, the US now poses as a stakeholder in Iraq’s stability. Having armed, funded, and assisted ISIS into existence and into northern Iraq itself, the idea of America “intervening” to stop ISIS is comparable to an arsonist extinguishing his fire with more gasoline. Reviled across the region, any government – be it in Baghdad, Tehran, or Damascus – that allies itself with the US will be immediately tainted in the minds of forces forming along both sides of this artificially created but growing sectarian divide. Iran’s mere consideration of joint-operations with the US can strategically hobble any meaningful attempts on the ground to stop ISIS from establishing itself in Iraq and using Iraqi territory to launch attacks against both Tehran and Damascus.

Any Iranian assistance to Iraq should be given only under the condition that the US not intervene in any manner. Iran’s main concern should be portraying the true foreign-funded nature of ISIS, while uniting genuine Sunni and Shia’a groups together to purge what is a foreign invasion of Iraqi territory. Iran must also begin allaying fears among Iraq’s Sunni population that Tehran may try to use the current crisis to gain further influence over Baghdad.

While the US downplays the sectarian aspects of ISIS’ invasion of Iraq before global audiences, its propaganda machine across the Middle East, assisted by Doha and Riyadh, is stoking sectarian tensions. The ISIS has committed itself to a campaign of over-the-top sectarian vitriol and atrocities solely designed to trigger a wider Sunni-Shia’a conflict. That the US created ISIS and it is now in Iraq attempting to stoke a greater bloodbath with its already abhorrent invasion, is precisely why Tehran and Baghdad should take a cue from Damascus, and disassociate itself from the West, dealing with ISIS themselves.

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

Syria criticized Tuesday a report issued by the international Commission of Inquiry on the situations in Syria as politicized, biased report which relied on misguided information given by hostile sides against the Syrian people.

Representative of the Permanent mission of the Syrian Arab Republic at the UN in Geneva Mohammad Mohammad recited Syria statement during an interactive dialogue session at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, saying “the Commission has proved that it facilitated the implementation of political agendas presented by hostile countries against Syria,” adding such immoral role will lead to a dangerous relapse of international law principles, UN Charter, based on that, Syria rejects the unprofessional reports of the Commission.

Mohammad added Syria has affirmed that the Commission’s reliance on false testimonies for alleged victims and witnesses wanted for justice, and even terrorists, confirms again that the criterion of evidence on which the Commission has claimed that it was registered in its investigations was not available.

Syria representative pointed out to the Commission’s ignorance of the objective connections between the increasing number of terrorist crimes and the deteriorating situation in Syria where the crimes perpetrated by the Takfiri groups and targeting of infrastructure and service institutions increase.

Mohammad said the Syrian government is committed to offering the humanitarian needs to the Syrian people indiscriminately, in cooperation and coordination with the international relief agencies in spite of the coercive, unilateral and unfair procedures imposed by hostile states against Syria.

He added the crimes and atrocities perpetrated by terrorists push the Syrian State to practice its constitutional role in protecting its people and combating terrorism.

Mohammad affirmed Syria is also carrying on its duty to end the crisis through peaceful Means, settlements and reconciliations in different regions of the country, expressing regret over the Commission attempt through its report to put those reconciliations out of their logic context.

He was astonished at the report’s disregard of the Amnesty decree, issued by President Bashar al-Assad, which came to consolidate the State’s tolerance, adding “Any report which seeks objectivity can’t ignore the flow of millions of Syrian people inside and outside Syria to determine their democratic choices and elect their President.

What is the situation now in the city of Mosul?

QC: In terms of the security situation, there is no fighting or bombing. The roads are open, but there is a shortage of basic goods and services. For example there is no electricity or Internet, and water, as well as gas cylinders and fuel are in short supply. Food prices are high, too. While the hospitals are still functioning, other government institutions have shut down.

Is it possible for non-governmental organizations [NGOs] and human rights defenders [HRDs] to work in Mosul?

QC: No, it is not possible for NGOs and HRDs to work freely. Insurgents, especially extremists, do not accept civil society, and if I said I wanted to work in Mosul they would punish me. They call it “Had”; it is punishment according to Sharia law. Organizations must operate secretly in order to send reports about the situation. I also prefer to keep my name unknown for this interview. Civil society in our cities must work in alignment with the government, otherwise you will be accused of supporting the militants. But at the same time, the insurgents also reject any independent role for civil society.

What about the displaced — are there people displaced from Mosul? How large are the numbers?

QC: There are many families — as many as one hundred thousand — who fled to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq [KRG].  We are talking about perhaps five hundred thousand people, the majority of whom are children and the elderly. The KRG authorities did not allow most of them to enter  because they require that those who enter have a guarantor from the Kurdish region. Many of these now internally displaced persons [IDPs] are being kept in very basic camps. The crisis of the IDPs is immense and urgently requires the assistance of humanitarian organizations. The crisis is growing worse, especially after the battles in the city of Tal Afar, which created thousands of newly displaced civilians.

Who controls Mosul? Are there now sanctions or reprisals against civilians?

QC: The situation in Mosul has been very bad since militants seized control of the entire city. The city’s immediate future is not clear. People do not know whether there will be a military strike, or if we will remain under the rule of the gunmen who seized power (who are not themselves ruled by law), or if they will form a government in these areas. Until now there have been no acts of revenge or collective punishment of civilians. We heard that a new governor has been appointed, a former army officer named Hashim Aljmas.

Who are the gunmen who entered Mosul?

QC: There was a mixture of armed groups who entered Mosul:  some Islamic extremists (from ISIS) and other rebels (or nationalists) some of whom are former members of the army and some Ba’athists. In Mosul there are now different groups that are in control of each neighborhood. Generally, these groups do not discuss their future plans for the city, and they do not allow the media to operate in the city.

What do the people of Mosul feel about what has happened? Why do they think that the city fell?

QC: The main reason for the fall of the city of Mosul – the second largest city in Iraq – is that the Maliki government did not respond to the demands of the citizen protestors who demonstrated in Mosul, Anbar, Salahuddin, Diyala and Hawija over a year ago and so the citizens did not support the Iraqi army.

The policy of the Iraqi government headed by Nouri al-Maliki has been totally sectarian in the way it has operated in the Iraqi provinces. The government has almost totally excluded representatives of the Sunni population from the sovereign ministries, or left them with no real authority. Even the new Iraqi army was formed on this basis.

How is the Iraqi army viewed by the sons of the city of Mosul?

QC: The Iraqi army unfortunately does not support a doctrine of loyalty to the homeland (or an Iraq that is inclusive of all people); instead it is loyal to the Madhhab or Shia doctrine. It deals with citizens according to their religious sect. The armed forces have attacked people in the cities of Mosul, Anbar, Salahuddin, Diyala and Hawija. They have carried out arrests, torture and extortion. There have also been many cases of rape by members of the army, both outside and inside prisons.

But Mosul contributed to the recent elections, wasn’t that a sign of hope for change through peaceful means?

QC: The last election was frustrating. Most of the political blocs accused the Prime Minister of rigging the election for the purpose of securing a large number of seats (93) in the Iraqi parliament. This has raised a fear among many politicians and citizens that Nouri al-Maliki would return for a third term as prime minister of Iraq, which would essentially amount to the creation of a new dictatorship. Everyone is aware how he has attempted during his two terms in power to increase his control over all aspects of political life, especially the “independent” commissions including the Electoral Commission and the Human Rights Commission. He accused his opponents in Parliament of crimes and had many arrested and imprisoned. Now the state security institutions are largely dominated by one sect (Shia) and are constantly fed sectarian ideology.

I think the insurgents planned this current invasion of the provinces to coincide with the announcement of final election results, which was an excellent time for them to suggest to the citizens that their revolution would rid the Sunnis of the sectarian Maliki government, which is now trying to control the state for a third term. Maybe this is why rebels received a warm welcome from some citizens in the provinces where the insurgents took over. When the gunmen entered the city of Mosul, the military was very weak due to fear of reprisals from the community (since most of the community hates the army). This explains why military commanders fled, and why the army was unable to defeat what was only a small number of insurgents.

Do you want the army to “free” the city of Mosul?

QC: I think the solution must be a political one first. The Iraqi army, if it acts professionally and patriotically, and works in collaboration with the people of the city, is capable of freeing Mosul from the insurgents. But there must be a military plan that takes into account the population of the city and ensures the safety of Mosul’s civilians. There are a million civilians who may now be at risk. Aerial bombardment would be especially catastrophic for them.

What will help the civilians in Mosul? What is the role for the U.S. in the future of Mosul?

QC: I think we need to guarantee and strengthen the capacity and the activity of civil society, so that it becomes a link between the government and society, so that citizens are empowered to play a greater role in identifying and implementing solutions to problems in the future.

I think that recent events are the beginning of the division of Iraq into three regions (Sunni, Kurdish and Shiite). This is increasingly considered by many politicians to be the solution to political and armed conflict among the different groups in Iraq. The Kurdish authorities and the leaders of the insurgents seem to have agreed that this is what will happen. Iraqis were once unified, but the experience of the past eight years and the likely continuation of the current political situation makes it almost impossible for our cities to go on like this.

I think that America understands what is happening and that it will push for the division of Iraq. The US will not necessarily send its military to Mosul or Iraq, but it will clearly play a role in what will be agreed upon. People here want civilians to rule the city so we can solve our problems ourselves. We want the extremists to leave and we want the end of military activities and the presence of weapons. But at the same time we don’t want to return to sectarian rule in any way.

In the duration of the “revolutionary frenzy” that categorized western media coverage of the Libyan Civil War in 2011, public audiences were captivated with both tales of rebels aspiring for “democracy” and with complimenting stories of unabated brutality by Gaddafi forces.

Without any serious mainstream criticism, an imperialist mythology centered on the interventionist doctrine of the “Responsibility to Protect” was cemented in public consciousness with even usually non-mainstream and “anti-imperialist” figures such as Juan Cole deliberately misrepresenting the situation in Libya. In Cole’s perspective, no reference to armed militants from the start of the conflict or the role of extremism and western premeditation found its way into the narrative and he predicted a simplistic narrative where the overthrow of Gaddafi would lead the region into an era of unity, prosperity and freedom.

Libya Today

How is Libya today? If one denied the existence of hell, they need not look further than Libya to observe a case of hell on Earth. Libya as a functioning, cohesive state has virtually ceased to exist, having been replaced by a myriad of conflicting factions divided on tribal and religious lines. While mainstream media tends to obscure the identity of these factions and their connection to western imperialists, Eric Draitser in his analysis, “Benghazi, the CIA, and the War in Libya” shows the beyond the fractious infighting, both primary factions engaging in direct combat have been beneficiaries of the NATO imperialist powers in their systematic aggression against the Libyan state.

Battling over the strategic commercial area around Benghazi is the Islamist Ansar al-Sharia led by Ahmed Abu Khattala fighting against the former leader of the CIA-backed Libyan National Salvation Front and current renegade Libyan Army General Khalifa Hifter. The conflict is more complex than merely conflagration between these two main parties and is interspersed with competing militias and gangs. As noted by Draitser, the February 17th Marytrs Brigade, seen as one of the most capable militias in the region, has received training by western forces and is seen as a reliable security force, but is recognized by its own members as having anti-American sentiments.

The Islamist Ansar al-Sharia has been implicated in the September 11, 2012 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi with its leader Khattala admitting being present but denying leading the attack. With no end in sight for the war, it appears that the primary gainers in the conflict are the western corporate-financier interests who orchestrated the overthrow of Gaddafi because he was seen an impediment to accomplishing their geopolitical aims.

Now they Admit the Truth.

On April 24th, 2014, Washington’s Blog published a priceless and concise piece titled “Confirmed: U.S. Armed Al Qaeda to Topple Libya’s Gaddaffiwith a very astonishing admission by “top military officers, CIA insiders and think-tankers” confirming the obvious truth that “conspiracy theorists” have been saying since 2011. The US backed Al Qaeda in Libya and that the Benghazi attack was a byproduct of this. Washington’s Blog notes that in 2012, it documented that:

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.

What was once deemed conspiracy theory became confirmed reality when the Daily Mail reported as Washington’s Blog subsequently pointed out:

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 been helping 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.

While Wayne Simmons’ characterization of such actions by the globalist, imperialist establishment in the United States as “treason” is correct in the sense that it was a clear violation of not only the Constitution, but the public interest of America, there is a rather disingenuous factor involved when some people, especially on the Neo-Con right, attempt to play the “treason card.”

To perpetuate the false political theater of left-wing vs. right-wing designed to capitalize on myopic divisions, some Neo-Conservatives involved with the same corporate agenda as Obama have taken the time to jettison responsibility of U.S. financing of terrorism in Syria and Libya on “Obama the crypto-Muslim.” This charge is found among the likes of Frank Gaffney who would have you delve into partisan-driven Islamophobia blaming everything on the “liberals”, Obama’s “foreign policy”, and treasonous elements within the US government. This, of-course, is done without insight into how such figures are merely cogs within a bipartisan machine of globalist aggression.

Interestingly, while the Neo-Con right attempts to distance itself from the Libyan war, it was one of the most vocal factions, acting in concert with the Obama administration, in promoting greater US involvement in the war as Tony Cartalucci points out in this article. He notes that, “In an open letter to House Republicans, the Foreign Policy Initiative which consists of Gaffney’s fellow Neo-Conservatives, stated in regards to Libya (emphasis added)”:

We share the concerns of many in Congress about the way in which the Obama administration has conducted and justified this operation.  The problem is not that the President has done too much, however, but that he has done too little to achieve the goal of removing Qaddafi from power.  The United States should be leading in this effort, not trailing behind our allies.  We should be doing more to help the Libyan opposition, which deserves our support. We should not be allowing ourselves to be held hostage to U.N. Security Council resolutions and irresolute allies.

Clearly the Neo-Con agenda has been coming full circle since the first Gulf War in the 1990s. The US “gun-walking” to jihadis in Syria from Libya, noted by the Washington Times and New York Times (albeit with partisan spin and distortion), was actually planned under Bush in 2007 as noted by Seymour Hersh in “The Redirection.” It has continued under Obama, influenced by Council on Foreign Relations figures throughout both administrations from Dick Cheney to Hillary Clinton. Consider the following points from “The Redirection”:

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.

To dispel critics’ notions that this is passive, uncontrollable, and indirect support, consider:

[Saudi Arabia's] Bandar and other Saudis have assured the White House that “they will keep a very close eye on the religious fundamentalists. Their message to us was ‘We’ve created this movement, and we can control it.’ It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs; it’s who they throw them at—Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians, if they continue to work with Hezbollah and Iran.

Neo-Conservative writer Gary Gambill would ride on this wave of terrorist aggression and pen an article for the Neo-Con “Middle East Forum” titled “Two Cheers for Syrian Islamists.” As noted in the analysis of the piece by Tony Cartalucci titled “Globalist Rag Gives ‘Two Cheers’ for Terrorism”, one can see how terrorism is a useful piece of capital of globalist imperialism that is easy to hide in the sight of inattentive masses with easy ploys of political spin and plausible deniability.

The Syria Connection

Libyan terrorists are invading Syria. They have been doing so since the influx of jihadis began, enabled by outside powers. These are not simply rogue networks operating independently but rather include state-sponsorship, especially of NATO-member Turkey and NATO’s criminal proxy government in Tripoli, Libya. We are told by the media that the regime in Tripoli under the auspice of the National Transitional Council, and populated with puppets like Mustapha Abdul Jalil, is a moderate regime distinct from the “marginal Islamist forces.” However, even in mainstream accounts, one can note that these “official, moderate” groups are involved with funding terrorism themselves as many geopolitical analysts have noted.

Tony Cartalucci notes that, “In November 2011, the Telegraph in their article, “Leading Libyan Islamist met Free Syrian Army opposition group,” would report”:

Abdulhakim Belhadj, head of the Tripoli Military Council and the former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, “met with Free Syrian Army leaders in Istanbul and on the border with Turkey,” said a military official working with Mr Belhadj. “Mustafa Abdul Jalil (the interim Libyan president) sent him there.”

Another Telegraph article, “Libya’s new rulers offer weapons to Syrian rebels,” :

Syrian rebels held secret talks with Libya’s new authorities on Friday, aiming to secure weapons and money for their insurgency against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

At the meeting, which was held in Istanbul and included Turkish officials, the Syrians requested “assistance” from the Libyan representatives and were offered arms, and potentially volunteers.

“There is something being planned to send weapons and even Libyan fighters to Syria,” said a Libyan source, speaking on condition of anonymity. “There is a military intervention on the way. Within a few weeks you will see.”

Readers would be wise to note the heavy saturation of Al Qaeda terrorists in eastern Libya, particularly in Darna, and whose historical role has been documented by the US’s West Point Combating Terrorism Center. It is inconceivable that these forces would not have played a central role of the uprising. According to a October 2011 Christian Science Monitor, Mustapha Abdul Jalil has given a “nod to Islamist fighters” who fought against Gaddafi by courting Islamist interests and in permitting polygamy, formerly banned under Gaddafi. He was seen as catering to Islamists by establishing Sharia law as the foundation of Libya’s future government; under Gaddafi, Shariah had also played a role with limited, moderate interpretation and in context to Gaddafi’s own political ideology. There are fears are that Islamists, repressed under Gaddafi, would make a forceful resurgence, as they have. The article states:

Gadhafi saw militants as a threat to his authoritarian rule…Islamists are a small minority among Libya’s population of 6 million, but they were by far the largest and most powerful faction among the fighters who battled pro-Gadhafi forces in eight months of civil war. Abdul-Jalil, analysts said, was likely to have given his address an Islamic slant as a nod to those fighters who were united with other factions by the common goal of ousting Gadhafi but now are jockeying to fill the political vacuum left by his ouster.

Furthermore:

“It may not be quite be the country that NATO thought it was fighting for (when Sharia is implemented in Libya),” said David Hartwell, a British-based Libya expert. “But the huge amounts of oil and gas in Libya will make everyone learn how to reconcile themselves with the new Libya.”

And just for the record, I don’t equate every single Libyan fighter on the ground as Islamist extremists and I believe there were individuals who felt disenfranchised and had legitimate grievances. As in any society, you have an opposition and in the case of Libya, a Library of Congress page that concedes meddlesome US support for opposition groups, notes that the opposition is, “Divided ideologically into such groups as Baathists (see Glossary), socialists, monarchists, liberals, and Islamic fundamentalists…” Islamists, nonetheless, were one of the most critical driving forces of the conflict on the ground. Gaddafi also had popular support on the ground, especially in the west and among Black Libyans who Gaddafi had protected. One must not neglect the role of racist elements among the opposition fighters targeting blacks under false accusations of them being “mercenaries” as well as the accomplishment of the Gaddafi regime in bringing Libya from one of the poorest countries in the world to a nation that ranked as “high” in the UNDP’s Human Development Index

Full Circle of Destruction

The globalist agenda wanted Libya out of the equation for its role in opposing the global financial order envisioned by Wall Street, namely in challenging the petrodollar by proposing a “gold dinar” currency for Africa with which to sell oil. This is explained in “Are The Middle East Wars Really About Forcing the World Into Dollars and Private Central Banking?” which notes the role of banking interests in orchestrating global aggression. Not to be missed is the “Wolfowitz Doctrine” proposed in the 1990s upon which Libya was a nation slated for regime change.

In seeking to reorient the Middle East according to its interests, the western powers have, in essence, attempted to alter the very forces of nature and reaped undue consequences. Libya is now a failed-state and a terrorist safe-haven. Regardless of one’s opinion of Gaddafi and his short-comings, no one can seriously argue that Libya is better off today. Innocent people continue to die in order to fulfill the hegemonic ambitions of the western elite. This will continue unless we collectively rise up, boycott, and replace these interests. That is real revolution.

Sam Muhho is a student of history at Florida State College (FSCJ) and an advocate of anti-imperialism and anti-globalism. He can be reached at [email protected].

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, is the latest government effort to eliminate financial privacy from the international banking system. Already provisioned within the law are reporting requirements and penalties, so the intent of this regulation requisite, seems more intent on closing down foreign bank relations for American citizens.

  • FATCA targets tax non-compliance by U.S. taxpayers with foreign accounts
  • FATCA focuses on reporting
  • By U.S. taxpayers about certain foreign financial accounts and offshore assets
  • By foreign financial institutions about financial accounts held by U.S. taxpayers or foreign entities in which U.S. taxpayers hold a substantial ownership interest
  • The objective of FATCA is the reporting of foreign financial assets; withholding is the cost of not reporting

As FATCA Comes Online July 1, 2014, most foreign banks will be under the gun to make inquires of their customers.

  1. Were you born in the USA?
  2. Do or did you ever have a U.S. Passport?
  3. Do or did you ever have a U.S. Green Card (Permanent residency status)?
  4. Do or did you ever live in the United States and, if so, provide all dates of residing in the U.S.?
  5. Do or did you ever have a physical address in the U.S.?
  6. Do or did you ever have a U.S. mailing address in your name?
  7. Do or did you ever have a U.S. mailing address in care of your name?
  8. Do or did you ever have legal representation in the U.S.?

If you answer yes to any one of the above questions, some banks will immediately close your account and forwarded on the balance to you and other banks sent W-8BEN and/or W-9 IRS forms for completion and mailing back to the bank upon which a possible 30% U.S. tax withholding would be levied upon your accounts.

The underlying drive to discover the actual ownership of enterprises and their fiduciary principals are the focus in the article, FATCA’s crucial sidekick, the hunt for ‘beneficial owner’.

“Beneficial ownership as a policy issue is very multifaceted,” says Joshua Simmons, a Legal Fellow with advocacy group Global Financial Integrity. “It’s much larger than anti-money laundering. It also ties into corruption, fraud, sanctions and tax evasion issues. Now, a lot of the focus on it is being driven by international attention on tax evasion.”

Tax evasion has no greater case in point than the trade in drugs. Yet, efforts to curb money laundering have failed miserably. The account, The destructive effort to combat money laundering, tax evasion and terrorist financing, demonstrates that laws and regulations meant to prevent washing tainted gains, miss their mark.

“The most recent global waste of money and life is the “war” on the vague crime of “money-laundering.” The anti-money laundering zealots claim the war is needed to stop global tax evasion, drug dealing and terrorist finance. Despite, again, the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on the effort and the many lives lost, there is scant evidence that tax evasion, drug dealing, or terrorism have been significantly reduced, by anti-money laundering regulations.”

Take the historic grand daddy of banking houses, built upon the drug trade, the notorious Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank. The British firm behind the Chinese Drug trade, the bank that would become HBSC, perfected the Dope, Inc. model, which profited from the Opium Wars. Such experience along with government protection enabled HSBC’s stunning growth in international deposit relationships.

Wrapping your mind around the sums in the report, Drug Cartel Money Laundering Accounted for 85 Percent Of Global Economy For 2012, is not easy.

“According to legal documents for the case filed in 2012, HSBC admitted that it failed to apply legally required money laundering controls to $60 trillion in wire transfers alone, in only a three year period, $670 billion of which came from Mexico. $60 trillion-that is approximately 85 percent the entire world’s GDP in 2012. In a settlement to put an end to the probe into their money laundering activities in late 2012, HSBC agreed to pay a fine of $1.9 billion. While HSBC may have been associated with the largest money laundering operation in U.S. banking history, it is by no means alone.”

Paying large fines that are but mere drops in a bucket of nose candy consignments are just part of the cost of business. No wonder that author, Matt Taibbi says the Outrageous HSBC Settlement Proves the Drug War is a Joke. Reuters contributor, Brett Wolf in Less drug-money traffic at HSBC may mean more risk for other banks in U.S. cites the section of the law violated.

“HSBC was vulnerable because it failed to take the steps necessary to know its customers, and because monitoring of banknotes transactions was conducted manually by one or two compliance officers, according to the statement of facts, which is the product of a years-long probe by U.S. law enforcement officials. Furthermore, the bank’s U.S. unit did not appropriately gauge the risks associated with its Mexican counterpart.

The DPA states that HSBC’s compliance lapses violated two Bank Secrecy Act provisions — subsections of Title 31, US Code, Section 5318 — which address inadequate anti-money laundering programs and the failure to conduct proper due diligence in correspondent banking relationships.”

Now proponents of FATCA will claim that this new requirement will put a severe cramp in the automatic wash cycle. How silly, the notion that banksters will cease and desist their laundering machine, when government agencies like the DEA, CBP, ICE, DHS, ATF, and the sure standard bearers, FBI and CIA draw supplementary covert funding from their percentage in the business of trafficking from drug contraband.

If the State were truly serious about shutting down the drug trade, putting out of business the major international bank violators would be the test. Money laundering, not the canal, built the Panama City skyline. Do you think that Manuel Noriega might have to answer questions 4 & 5 of the FATCA query? Probably not, his bank accounts must have been seized by his partner, George H. Bush.

FATCA remains an instrument to force repatriation of law-abiding citizen funds, for domestic IRS taxation scrutiny, if they support the Tea Party. So goes, the phony war on money laundering!

More than 11 years ago, high ranking government leaders in the United States and Britain likely broke international law in planning and waging the Iraq War.

The great command of the Nuremberg Tribunal convened after the Second World War to punish the evil that had shaken Europe was to abolish the “supreme international crime” – the planning and waging of wars of aggression. “War is essentially an evil thing,” the Tribunal held as it passed judgment on German leaders. “Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world.”

Decades later, today, Iraqis experience the stark truth behind these words. Iraq descends into chaos; even after 11 years of war, there is seemingly no end to the innocents who are chased from their homes, shot at, maimed and killed as a direct result of decisions made by leaders thousands of miles away, in other time zones, speaking other languages, and without apparent concern for the consequences of their actions.

The world was supposed to have learned from the catastrophes of the 20th century. But it was only a few years into the 21st before that supreme crime was initiated yet again – this time, by the authors of that same law, forgetting that it was another American, Robert H. Jackson, who had placed his trust that law would put an end to aggression once and for all.

There is only a single antidote to the “civil war” that is now breaking Iraq apart – and that is a return to law and a convening of justice. The war launched by government leaders in 2003 against the people of Iraq was not a mistake: it was a crime. And those leaders should be held to account, under law, for their decisions.

Only law will save Iraq. And only law will save those Americans — a great many Americans, perhaps even the majority of Americans — who understand, deeply, that something truly wrong happened in 2003 that should not and cannot happen again. Iraqis have paid for this with blood; but Americans pay, too, in the loss of a national character that holds deep and abiding convictions regarding the good that America does in the world.

The fate of Iraqis is now tied indelibly to the fate of Americans. Americans may have been fooled into war and permitted it; but they can do much to help end it. They can return to a cherished tradition of legalism that sparked the Constitutional Convention and that Tribunal which sat in judgment at Nuremberg. There is a powerful, humbling and radiant American legal tradition that recognizes that even rulers are under the law.

Law is the bulwark that sustains civilization. Without law — as so many Iraqis now bear witness — there is only chaos, and anarchy, and the rule of the strong over the weak. If Americans permit their leaders to commit the supreme crime, what else can follow? Iraq may be a portent of things to come in that sense. But it also presents an opportunity for Americans, and Iraqis, and people of all nations, to reject militarism and aggression in favor of dignity and civilization.

Let us call the war in Iraq what it was: an illegal act of aggression. And let us remember the legal maxim that for every wrong, there is a remedy. Let us summon the courage to call for such a remedy, under law.

D. Inder Comar is legal director at Comar Law. Comar Law is currently litigating a lawsuit against members of the Bush Administration for allegedly committing aggression against Iraq (Saleh v. Bush, N.D. Cal. Mar. 13, 2013, 13-cv-1124 JST).

The Lethality of Nuclear War: Washington Is Beating The War Drums

June 18th, 2014 by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

I wish I had only good news to bring to readers, or even one item of good news.  Alas, goodness has ceased to be a feature of US policy and simply cannot be found in any words or deeds emanating from Washington or the capitals of its European vassal states.  The Western World has succumbed to evil.

In an article published by Op-Ed News, Eric Zuesse supports my reports of indications that Washington is preparing for a nuclear first strike against Russia.

US war doctrine has been changed.  US nuclear weapons are no longer restricted to a retaliatory force, but have been elevated to the role of preemptive nuclear attack.  Washington pulled out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia and is developing and deploying an ABM shield.  Washington is demonizing Russia and Russia’s President with shameless lies and propaganda, thus preparing the populations of the US and its client states for war with Russia. 

Washington has been convinced by neoconservatives that Russian strategic nuclear forces are in run down and unprepared condition and are sitting ducks for attack.  This false belief is based on out-of-date information, a decade old, such as the argument presented in “The Rise of U.S. Nuclear Primacy” by Keir A. Lieber and Daryl G. Press in the April 2006 issue of Foreign Affairs, a publication of the Council on Foreign Relations, an organization of American elites.

Regardless of the condition of Russian nuclear forces, the success of Washington’s first strike and degree of protection provided by Washington’s ABM shield against retaliation, the article I posted by Steven Starr, “The Lethality of Nuclear Weapons,” makes clear that nuclear war has no winners.  Everyone dies.

In an article published in the December 2008 issue of Physics Today, three atmospheric scientists point out that even the substantial reduction in nuclear arsenals that the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty hoped to achieve, from 70,000 warheads in 1986 to 1700-2200 warheads by the end of 2012, did not reduce the threat that nuclear war presents to life on earth. The authors conclude that in addition to the direct blast effects of hundreds of millions of human fatalities, “the indirect effects would likely eliminate the majority of the human population.” The stratospheric smoke from firestorms would cause nuclear winter and agricultural collapse. Those who did not perish from blast and radiation would starve to death. 

Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev understood this.  Unfortunately, no successor US government has. As far as Washington is concerned, death is what happens to others, not to “the exceptional people.”  (The SORT  agreement apparently failed. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the nine nuclear-armed states still possess a total of 16,300 nuclear weapons.

It is a fact that Washington has policymakers who think, incorrectly, that nuclear war is winnable and who regard nuclear war as a means of preventing the rise of Russia and China as checks on Washington’s hegemony over the world.  The US government, regardless of party in office, is a massive threat to life on earth.  European governments, which think of themselves as civilized, are not, because they enable Washington’s pursuit of hegemony.  It is this pursuit that threatens life with extinction.

The ideology that grants “exceptional, indispensable America” supremacy is an enormous threat to the world.

The destruction of seven countries in whole or in part by the West in the 21st century, with the support of “Western civilization” and the Western media, comprises powerful evidence that the leadership of the Western world is devoid of moral conscience and human compassion.  Now that Washington is armed with its false doctrine of “nuclear primacy,” the outlook for humanity is very bleak.

Washington has begun the run up to the Third World War, and Europeans seem to be on board.  As recently as November 2012 NATO Secretary General Rasmussen said that NATO does not regard Russia as an enemy.  Now that the White House Fool and his European vassals have convinced Russia that the West is an enemy, Rasmussen declared that “we must adapt to the fact that Russia now considers us its adversary” by beefing up Ukraine’s military along with those of Eastern and Central Europe.

Last month Alexander Vershbow, former US ambassador to Russia, currently NATO Deputy Secretary General, declared Russia to be the enemy and said that the American and European taxpayers need to fork over for the military modernization “not just of Ukraine, but also Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan.”

It is possible to see these calls for more military spending as just the normal functioning of agents for the US military/security complex.  Having lost “the war on terror” in Iraq and Afghanistan, Washington needs a replacement and has set about resurrecting the Cold War.  

This is probably how the armaments industry, its shills, and part of Washington sees it.

But the neoconservatives are more ambitious.  They are not pursuing merely more profits for the military/security complex.  Their goal is Washington’s hegemony over the world, which means reckless actions such as the strategic threat that the Obama regime, with the complicity of its European vassals, has brought to Russia in Ukraine.

Since last autumn the US government has been lying through its teeth about Ukraine, blaming Russia for the consequences of Washington’s actions, and demonizing Putin exactly as Washington demonized Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein, Assad, the Taliban, and Iran.  The presstitute media and the European capitals have seconded the lies and propaganda and repeat them endlessly. Consequently, the US public’s attitude toward Russia moved sharply negative.

How do you think Russia and China see this?  Russia has witnessed NATO brought to its borders, a violation of the Reagan-Gorbachev understandings. Russia has witnessed

the US pull out of the ABM treaty and develop a “star wars” shield. (Whether or not the shield would work is immaterial. The purpose of the shield is to convince the politicians and the public that Americans are safe.)  Russia has witnessed Washington change the role of nuclear weapons in its war doctrine from deterrent to preemptive first strike.  And now Russia listens to a daily stream of lies from the West and witnesses the slaughter by Washington’s vassal in Kiev of civilians in Russian Ukraine, branded “terrorists” by Washington, by such weapons as white phosphorus with not a peep of protest from the West.  

Massive attacks by artillery and air strikes on homes and apartments in Russian Ukraine were conducted on the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Square, while Washington and its puppets condemned China for an event that did not happen.  As we now know, there was no massacre in Tiananmen Square. It was just another Washington lie like Tonkin Gulf, Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, Assad’s use of chemical weapons, Iranian nukes, etc. It is an amazing fact that the world lives in a false reality created by Washington’s lies. 

The movie, The Matrix, is a true depiction of life in the West. The population lives in a false reality created for them by their rulers. A handful of humans have escaped the false existence and are committed to bringing humans back to reality. They rescue Neo, “The One,” who they believe correctly to have the power to free humans from the false reality in which they live. Morpheus, the leader of the rebels, explains to Neo:

“The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you’re inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system, and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.”

I experience this every time I write a column.  Protests from those determined not to be unplugged arrive in emails and on those websites that expose their writers to slander by government trolls in comment sections.  Don’t believe real reality, they insist, believe the false reality.  

The Matrix even encompasses part of the Russian and Chinese population, especially those educated in the West and those susceptible to Western propaganda, but on the whole those populations know the difference between lies and truth.  The problem for Washington is that the propaganda that prevails over the Western peoples does not prevail over the Russian and Chinese governments.

How do you think China reacts when Washington declares the South China Sea to be an area of US national interests, allocates 60 percent of its vast fleet to the Pacific, and constructs new US air and naval bases from the Philippines to Vietnam?

Suppose all Washington intends is to keep taxpayer funding alive for the military/security complex which launders some of the taxpayers’ money and returns it as political campaign contributions.  Can Russia and China take the risk of viewing Washington’s words and deeds in this limited way?

So far the Russians, and only the Russians (and Chinese), have remained sensible. Lavrov, the Foreign Minister said: “At this stage, we want to give our partners a chance to calm down. We’ll see what happens next. If absolutely baseless accusations against Russia continue, it there are attempts to pressure us with economic leverage, then we may reevaluate the situation.”

If the White House Fool, Washington’s media whores and European vassals convince Russia that war is in the cards, war will be in the cards.  As there is no prospect whatsoever of NATO being able to mount a conventional offensive threat against Russia anywhere near the size and power of the German invasion force in 1941 that met with destruction, the war will be nuclear, which will mean the end of all of us.

Keep that firmly in mind as Washington and its media whores continue to beat the drums for war.  Keep in mind also that a long history proves beyond all doubt that everything Washington and the presstitute media tells you is a lie serving an undeclared agenda. You cannot rectify the situation by voting Democrat instead of Republican or by voting Republican instead of Democrat.  

Thomas Jefferson told us his solution: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.”  

There are few patriots in Washington but many tyrants.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki on Tuesday sacked some senior security officers for their failing to halt the advance of Sunni insurgent groups, a statement issued by his office said.

“We have decided to punish a number of officers who failed in the performance of their professional and national duties,” Maliki said in the statement.

Maliki fired Lieutenant General Mehdi Sabih al-Gharawi, commander of Nineveh Operations Command, his deputy Major General Abdul Rahman Handhal, as well as Chief of Staff and Brigadier General Hassan Abdul Razak, and will take legal actions against them, according to the statement.

The prime minister also fired Brigadier General Hidayat Abdul Rahim, commander of the army’s 3rd infantry division. Rahim has been “referred to the military court for his trial in absentia for his escape from the battlefield to an unknown destination.”

The statement said that further instructions would be issued later to sack more military leaders and bring them to justice.

Maliki’s move came after thousands of Iraqi soldiers and officers fled their posts in Iraq’s northern province of Nineveh last Tuesday, which paved the way for Sunni militants, including those who are linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant, an al-Qaida offshoot, to seize the provincial city of Mosul and then large parts of provinces of Salahudin and Diyala.

Dr. Sheikh Mohammed Bashar al-Faidhi, spokesman of the Association of Muslim Scholars, said that what is happening in Iraq today is a popular revolution against the policy of oppression, marginalization and exclusion pursued by successive governments under the brutal occupation, including the current Maliki government.

Sheikh Bashar Al-Faidhi, Spokesperson of the Association of Muslim Scholars (right)

Dr. Sheikh Mohammed Bashar al-Faidhi, spokesman of the Association of Muslim Scholars, said that what is happening in Iraq today is a popular revolution against the policy of oppression, marginalization and exclusion pursued by successive governments under the brutal occupation, including the current Maliki government.
Sheikh al-Faidhi in an interview with the Saudi Al-Riyadh newspaper that the government exercised over the past years the harshest policies of oppression and corruption against all Iraqis, also pursued a policy of marginalization and exclusion against the Sunni population.
Al-Faidhi has drawn attention to the great victory achieved by the revolutionaries and successive collapse of Maliki’s military and security forces in Nineveh province, not an accident, but it was the result of ongoing armed actions by the revolutionaries which came after peaceful demonstrations been witnessed in 16 provinces in the twenty-fifth of February 2011. But al-Maliki has suppressed these widespread marches with violence. At the outset, this popular movement was moderate. It had no intention of targeting the current government, despite the intransigence of the al-Maliki government and its continued policy of murder and injustice.
And about the level of fighting and the size of the losses in the ranks of the revolutionaries, the spokesman said, “The main event of this battle that we can say there are no casualties; confrontations were scattered, and defeat appeared when the military and security forces and militias proceeded to wear civilian clothes”.
Regarding the Iranian interference in Iraq, al-Faidhi confirmed that Iran has lost a significant milestone, it is no longer able to use its influence in our country as a card within its international policies, including nuclear talks. it is expected that Tehran is going to undertake specific efforts in order to support the Maliki government with a a view to aborting the revolution, and keep Baghdad under government control, with the support of (Qassem Soleimani) Iranian Guards
On the official position of the Association of Muslim Scholars about what is happening now in Iraq, al-Faidhi said that the Association has recently issued a statement clarifying its stance on the popular uprising led by revolutionaries against an exclusionary and sectarian regime, and has confirmed that the popularization of the term ‘Islamic state in Iraq and the Levant’ on the security landscape in a number of Iraqi cities consitutes an open process designed to abort the revolution, and that the Iraqi protest are at the basis of the revolution.
minor editing by GR.

Compensation for the Victims of the Sandy Hill School Shooting

June 18th, 2014 by Prof. James F. Tracy

The Obama Administration is giving Newtown another $7.1 million in federal funds for those allegedly impacted by the December 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The grant comes from the U.S. Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime, and will pay for long-term mental health counseling for families, law enforcement and first responders.

Officials say some of the money will be set aside for school safety measures.

[Image Credit: Whitehouse.gov]

The funds are being sent to the Connecticut Office of Victim Services, which is part of Connecticut’s Judicial branch. From there the money will be distributed to the town of Newtown and other organizations designated to serve the community, including Newtown Youth and Family Services, St. Rose of Lima Church, the Newtown Resiliency Center, Wellmore and the United Way of Western Connecticut.

“This grant will provide much-needed relief and support for Newtown to help this brave community heal,” says Elizabeth Esty, US Representative for the 5th District of Connecticut that includes Newtown. Esty announced the news on the morning of June 17, 2014.[1]

In August 2013 the Obama Department of Justice doled out $2.5 million to law enforcement and first responder agencies involved in the December 14, 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. In May 2013 and January 2014 the US Department of Education directed a total $3.2 million to Newtown. Also in 2013, Newtown received a $1.5 million grant from the DOJ’s Office for Victims of Crime. Overall the federal government has now funneled a total $14.3 million to the Newtown region since the Sandy Hook event.

In October Governor Dannell Malloy designated $50 million for Newtown to build a new school in place of the Sandy Hook facility. Shortly thereafter the Sandy Hook school was slated for demolition.[3]

Over the past 18 months Newtown Youth and Family Services increased its staffing capacity and has seen the client population quadruple, NYFS Executive Director Candice Bohr says in a press release. She asserts the agency will likely see a continued need in mental health-related services and funding.

Richard Blumenthal, Democrat US Senator from Connecticut, says he will also continue to work with advocates and families of Sandy Hook Elementary School to change the nation’s “deeply flawed gun laws.”

“For those who lost loved ones, and for the students, educators and first responders who witnessed the unimaginable horror at Sandy Hook Elementary School, recovery may require continued services,” he declares in the release. “I will continue to advocate for the Newtown community to aid its full recovery.”[4]

“The community of Newtown has faced unimaginable tragedy with incredible strength and resiliency,” Representative Esty remarks. “Survivors, families, law enforcement, and first responders deserve sustained counseling services and enhanced school safety resources, and I’m grateful to the Department of Justice for responding with continued support,” says Esty, whose district includes Newtown. “The leadership shown by First Selectman Pat Llodra, town officials, the courageous families, and community activists inspire us and the nation.”[5]

Newtown Youth and Family Services has seen a rise in demand for mental health counseling in the aftermath of the shootings, said Executive Director Candice Bohr. “Since the tragedy, NYFS has increased its staffing capacity and has witness the client population quadruple in the last 18 months,” Bohr notes. “We anticipate seeing a continued need in services and funding related to mental health, and we are committed to providing the continued support the town, the school district, and the families of the community need.”[6]

US Senator from Connecticut Chris Murphy said the nation has a responsibility to help the people of Newtown recover. “But while this grant will go a long way to help the people of Newtown, they will continue to need our support in the coming months and years,” he says.[7]

The significant amount of funding being designated Newtown is unusual, especially give that the massacre event continues to defy adequate explanation by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies that together responded to the event. In November 203, the FBI released a heavily redacted report of the event to the Hartford Courant.[8]

As MHB reported in 2013, less than three weeks before the Sandy Hook massacre, on November 27, 2012, Attorney General Eric Holder appeared at a news conference in New Haven alongside Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy to announce Project Longevity, a joint venture by the Justice Department and State of Connecticut. The endeavor was described by one law enforcement officials as “a statewide approach that targets repeat criminals, creates alternatives for potential gang members and rallies neighborhoods against violence.”

On December 20 of that year Holder made an unannounced visit to Newtown to meet with state and local law enforcement and emergency responders shortly after a meeting in Washington with Vice President Joe Biden, presumably to discuss forthcoming attempts at gun control legislation.[9]

Notes

[1] Dave Altimari, “Newtown Receives Department of Justice Grant,” Hartford Courant Capitol Watch, June 17, 2014.

[2] James F. Tracy, “Obama DOJ in $2.5 Million Sandy Hook Payout,” Memory Hole Blog, September 3, 2013; “Obama DOE In $3.2 Million Sandy Hook Payout,” Memory Hole Blog, January 13, 2014.

[3] James F. Tracy, “Sandy Hook Slated For Demolition,” Memory Hole Blog, October 7, 2013.

[4] “Newtown Receives $7.1 Million Federal Grant to Support Sandy Hook Victims,” New Haven Register, June 17, 2014.

[5] Altimari, “Newtown Receives Department of Justice Grant.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] David Altimari, “Summary of Sandy Hook Report to Be Released November 25, Families Told,” Hartford Courant, November 16, 2013.

[9] Tracy, “Obama DOJ in $2.5 Million Sandy Hook Payout,”

On June 9th, ISIS, one of the most extreme Jihadist terrorist group seized control of Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq and home to the biblical Nineveh, the capital of ancient Assyria. This militant group has reportedly slaughtered over 1700 people during this attack in the past 3 days alone.

Just a few kilometers away from Mosul lies the Nineveh Plain, the last major enclave of native Assyrian Christians with little to no protection against the now very well armed and most financially capable terrorist group in the world.

Once again, the indigenous Assyrian Christians find themselves scrambling to find safety in neighboring regions and countries. Scrambling from a group that commonly uses its death squads to perform beheading, crucifixions, and atrocities against Christians or anyone who does not subscribe to their vision of a caliphate of a pure Islamic State. Since the US intervention in Iraq in 2003, the Assyrians have already suffered unprecedented ethnic and religious persecution unseen since the creation of Iraq resulting in an exodus of more than two thirds of their population to the West.

The Assyrian American Association of San Jose is deeply concerned about what the future holds for the vulnerable Assyrians of Nineveh. Without swift action by the Iraqi forces with the support of the US, this can potentially spell the end of Assyrian Christian Existence on their native land. We call upon all to join us in sharing this concern with your government officials to act swiftly before it is too late. We also ask all those that reside in the greater Bay area to join us for a public nationally coordinated demonstration on June 20th, at 12 noon in front of city hall.

The purpose of the demonstration is to denounce this terrorist group and call for action to eliminate it and to support the vulnerable indigenous Assyrian Christians.

Several governmental and non-governmental representatives are expected to join, including the director of a major Iraqi human rights organization and former minister, Mrs. Pascale Warda. More details will follow. For more information, contact [email protected]

Rhetoric coming out of Washington is constantly using and abusing the term “democracy” as a concept to be defended and cheered. But what we see in the US is a far-cry from any real and accountable system of democracy.

In fact, the United States of America couldn’t be farther from being “the land of milk and honey” as it once proclaimed itself to be; its promise of wealth and stability, the oft-referenced yet seldom seen “American dream”, is undeniably buried in the realm of wishful thinking — for the majority of people, that is.

Elections give the illusion of choice while maintaining a status quo that sees the rich get richer and the poor scrambling to redefine their definitions of “rock bottom”. (See Andy Kroll, “Billionaires Unchained: America is a Democracy of the Wealthy“).

The good news is, the majority can no longer afford (quite literally) to stay complacent in the face of rampant financial exploitation by a ruling minority that knows no bounds to its powerlust.

Global Research doesn’t shy away from exposing corporate exploitation and media manipulation; we confront it head on through in-depth and independent coverage of global events:

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Francis A. Boyle (click for list of articles)
Professor of International Law

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The US Media and the Debacle in Iraq

June 17th, 2014 by Bill Van Auken

A column written by Chelsea (Bradley) Manning from his cell in the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas has done more to illuminate the real sources of the present debacle for US imperialism in Iraq than all of the lying and self-serving pieces produced by the well-paid pundits of the New York Times, the Washington Post and the other major news outlets combined.

The column by the imprisoned US soldier, published in Sunday’s New York Times, is directed at exposing the role of government secrecy and control of the media in foisting onto the American public a war of aggression launched on the basis lies.

Manning insists that the sudden collapse of the US-trained and funded Iraqi army and the descent of the country toward a full-blown sectarian civil war only demonstrate that the concerns that motivated him to pass some 700,000 secret documents on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as well as US foreign policy skullduggery around the globe to WikiLeaks “have not been resolved.”

Breaking the wall of secrecy and misinformation maintained by the government and the media provoked the wrath of the US ruling establishment. The soldier and former intelligence analyst is now serving a 35-year prison term. In April, an army general rejected a motion for clemency.

Manning examines the US reaction to the 2010 election of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who had been installed by the US occupation four years earlier. The American press, the imprisoned soldier recalls, “was flooded with stories declaring the elections a success,” aimed at creating the image of the US war having “succeeded in creating a stable and democratic Iraq.”

During this same period, he writes, he and other military analysts in Baghdad were receiving continuous reports of “a brutal crackdown of political dissidents by Iraq’s Ministry of the Interior and federal police,” acting on behalf of Maliki. Opponents of the US-backed prime minister “were often tortured, or even killed,” he notes.

Manning exposes the direct complicity of the US military in these crimes, reporting that he informed the US officer in command of eastern Baghdad that 15 individuals arrested for publishing a critique of Maliki’s government “had absolutely no ties to terrorism.” The commander responded that “he didn’t need this information; instead, I should assist the federal police in locating more ‘anti-Iraqi’ print shops.”

“I was shocked by our military’s complicity in the corruption of that election. Yet these deeply troubling details flew under the American media’s radar,” he writes.

This account gives the lie to the US media chorus that the present debacle in Iraq is “all Maliki’s fault.”

Manning attributes the sharp divergence between the developments in Iraq and the media’s portrayal of them in part to the Pentagon’s censorship of coverage of the war through the system of “embedded” journalists. Reporters who had good relations with the military and provided favorable coverage got access, while those who exposed scandals, crimes and lies faced blacklisting, he writes.

There is no doubt that this system of military censorship played a major role in concealing from the American people the grisly and criminal character of a war that claimed the lives of upward of a million Iraqis, while killing nearly 4,500 US troops and leaving tens of thousands more wounded.

However, the process of “embedding” began well before Bush ordered “shock and awe” to be unleashed on Baghdad, and included not just war correspondents, but the top columnists, editors and publishers of the major newspapers and other media outlets.

People like Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. and Bill Keller, who in 2003 rose from senior writer and leading war advocate to Times executive editor, lent themselves and their newspapers unreservedly to a massive campaign to pressure the American public to support a war of aggression against Iraq. They decided to parrot the government’s lies about Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction” and ties between Baghdad and Al Qaeda—both non-existent—and to eschew any critical investigation of the Bush administration’s war propaganda. On the contrary, through the sinister efforts of the Times and its correspondent Judith Miller, they embellished upon this propaganda, piling on their own lies.

Now, as the full extent of the debacle created by the wanton destruction of Iraqi society is revealed, those who served as media propagandists for the war are circling the wagons, looking to protect their own backsides. Columnists like the Times’ Thomas Friedman—who more than a decade ago wrote that he had “no problem with a war for oil”—and Nicholas Kristof have published pieces insisting that Maliki is solely to blame for Iraq’s disintegration, and the US had nothing to do with it.

They were followed Monday by a particularly foul column by Times columnist Roger Cohen entitled “Take Mosul back,” calling for US intervention to “drive back the fanatics of the ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria).”

Cohen uses the column to ridicule those playing “the blame game,” a breathtakingly cynical denunciation of any attempt to assign responsibility for a war that killed over a million people and destroyed an entire society.

“The facts are plain enough,” he writes “The United States invaded Iraq in 2003 because of its weapons of mass destruction. However, Iraq did not have any weapons of mass destruction.” Plain enough indeed—the war was based upon a lie, which Cohen helped disseminate.

He goes on: “There was no Al Qaeda in Saddam’s Iraq. The United States birthed it through the invasion.” Thus, another lie was used to justify the war, whose catastrophic consequences include the strengthening of extreme Islamist and sectarian tendencies in Iraq and throughout the region.

In his piece, Cohen demands that the Obama administration unleash “targeted military force” against the “fanatics” of ISIS. But he enthusiastically supported Washington’s use of these same “fanatics” in wars for regime-change first in Libya and then Syria. He waves aside any questions about the logic of such policies: “A logical approach in the Middle East is seldom a feasible approach.” The only “logic” is the use of whatever instrument is at hand to assert US hegemony and plunder the region’s resources.

“The blame game misses the point,” Cohen repeats. Both Iraq and Syria were “ripe for dismemberment” before “America’s hapless intervention.”

Whom is he kidding? The US intervention was anything but “hapless,” employing all of the firepower at the Pentagon’s command in a campaign that saw some 1,700 bombing sorties—including 504 using cruise missiles—in the space of three days.

One might just as well describe 1939 Europe as “ripe for dismemberment” and Hitler’s blitzkrieg as “hapless,” or dismiss the Nuremberg tribunals as a futile exercise in “the blame game.”

The reality is that real apportioning of blame has yet to take place. That requires that those responsible for planning and executing the war of aggression against Iraq—from Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and Powell to the top military commanders—be placed on trial as war criminals.

At Nuremberg, it bears recalling, standing in the dock—and ultimately on the gallows—with the surviving leaders of the Third Reich was Julius Streicher, the editor of the vile, anti-Semitic weekly Der Stürmer and later the dailyFränkische Tageszeitung. While the tribunal found that Streicher had no direct part in formulating war policy, he nonetheless played a vital role in poisoning the consciousness of the German people. Without Streicher’s propaganda efforts, the prosecution argued, the German generals “would have had no one to follow orders.”

In any genuine accounting for the crimes of the Iraq War, Cohen, Friedman, Keller and those like them, who enthusiastically served the Pentagon’s propaganda machine, would have to similarly be tried for their criminal promotion of aggressive war.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that Washington was willing to talk to Iran about collaborating to beat back a Sunni insurgency led by the Al Qaeda offshoot Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. ISIS has already gained control of most of Iraq’s Sunni regions in northern and central Iraq and is threatening Baghdad.

In an interview with Yahoo!News, Kerry said he “wouldn’t rule out anything that would be constructive to providing real stability.” He added, “I think we are open to any constructive process here that could minimize the violence, hold Iraq together—the integrity of the country—and eliminate the presence of outside terrorist forces that are ripping it apart.”

Kerry gave the interview in Vienna, where he was holding talks with Iranian officials on that country’s nuclear program. His statement followed press reports of two “senior US officials” saying the Obama administration was exploring direct talks with Iran over the crisis in Iraq.

The Pentagon subsequently issued a statement denying that it was discussing joint military action with Iran in Iraq. “There are no plans to consult Iran on military actions inside Iraq. There is no plan to coordinate military activities,” said Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters.

Despite the Pentagon disclaimer, the fact that the United States is publicly asking for Iran’s help is a measure of the desperation of American policy makers as Washington’s decades-long policy in Iraq and the broader Middle East implodes under the weight of its own contradictions. Another sign was the official announcement over the weekend that the US is drawing down its staff at the mammoth US embassy fortress in Baghdad, the first time since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 that Washington has taken such a precaution.

For more than decade, Washington has carried out a steady drumbeat of threats and provocations against Iran, imposing brutal economic sanctions, waging cyberwar, conspiring to assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists, and repeatedly raising the possibility of military action against the country. During the eight-year US military occupation of Iraq—which killed a million Iraqis, incited sectarian warfare and destroyed the country’s infrastructure—the US government and media routinely blamed attacks on US troops on Iran.

The neo-con authors of the US invasion of Iraq, many of whom went on to occupy high positions in the George W. Bush administration, made clear in a statement published in September, 2000 that the ultimate target of the conquest of Iraq was Iran. Rebuilding Americas Defenses, published by the Project for the New American Century, declared that “the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein… Over the long term, Iran may well prove as large a threat to US interests in the Gulf as Iraq has.”

Now, however, ISIS, a Sunni jihadist force nurtured and armed by Washington and its Sunni Gulf allies (Saudi Arabia, Qatar) as a proxy force to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, is threatening to topple Washington’s Shia sectarian puppet regime, headed by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, in Iraq. In the face of a debacle without precedent since the defeat of US forces in Vietnam 34 years ago, the US is turning to yesterday’s “Axis of Evil” bogeyman, Shia-led Iran.

Any US accommodation with Iran for the purpose of defending US interests in Iraq can be no more than a temporary arrangement that will not preclude further American threats and attacks on Iran in the future.

The Obama administration is stepping up preparations for a direct US military intervention in Iraq. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday ordered the “quick reaction” USS Mesa Verde into the Persian Gulf with the stated aim of protecting US personnel in Baghdad. The Mesa Verde carries 500 Marines as well as MV-22 attack helicopters. Washington’s response to the catastrophe its military has produced in Iraq and the wider region will be to compound its crime with more military violence.

ISIS, with 4,000–5,000 fighters, leads an insurgency that includes Saddam-era officers and soldiers. It was in the immediate aftermath of the fall of the Turkmen-majority town of Tal Afar to ISIS, which already controls Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, as well as Fallujah, Ramadi, Tikrit and other cities, that the Obama administration said it was evacuating a part of its 5,000 embassy staff.

The Mesa Verde joins three other US naval ships, including the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier, named after the architect of the 1991 war against Iraq. It is equipped with Patriot missiles that can reach any part of Iraq. The administration has also broached the use of drone strikes, probably mounted from Turkey.

The response to the insurgency by Maliki has been desperate and brutal. There are widely-circulated reports of Iraqi Army air strikes on the northern town of Tikrit being “indiscriminate” and “continuous.” Many of the hundreds of thousands who are fleeing ISIS-overrun areas are seeking to escape government air strikes as well as ISIS reprisals.

It is difficult to imagine a more cynical display of realpolitik than the moves toward a US-Iran alliance in Iraq. This is true not only in relation to the US, but also Iran, whose bourgeois rulers want nothing more than an accommodation with the US.

US political figures, who only weeks ago were agitating for war against Iran, have queued up to call for a rapprochement with Tehran in order to bring the region back under US control. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told CNN, “The Iranians can provide some assets to make sure Baghdad doesn’t fall.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has made clear he is ready to collaborate with the US in a bloodbath. “Until today, no specific request for help has been demanded. But we are ready to help within international law,” he said.

More than 130 Iranian Revolutionary Guards are reportedly in Iraq to train Maliki’s forces. Their commander, Qasem Suleimani, was in Baghdad this weekend. An official in Tehran said more than 4,200 Iranians have volunteered to travel to Iraq to protect Shiite shrines.

As could be expected, there is a bitter dispute over whether the US should respond to the destabilisation of Iraq by pursuing its war aims in Syria more forcefully, or seeking an accommodation with Damascus alongside Tehran.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power spent the last week in Jordan and Turkey, where she discussed the war in Syria and developments in Iraq. Power, one of the chief advocates of “humanitarian” wars, while condemning the ISIS attacks in Iraq, said the US remained “in lockstep with Turkey on seeking an end to the Assad regime.”

Muhammad Nour al Khallouf, the acting defense minister for Syria’s opposition coalition, used the crisis to appeal for arms, stating, “For the first time, I feel there’s a kind of seriousness to support the [Free Syrian Army].”

In contrast, writing in USA Today, William Young of the RAND Corporation, proposed, “The answer may lie instead in a negotiated settlement, which includes negotiating with Syrian President Bashar Assad, perhaps brokered through the Russians and Iranians.”

The Syrian army, in coordination with the Maliki government in Iraq, this weekend launched mortar attacks on major bases of ISIS, including those in the northern province of Raqa and in Hasakeh in the northeast, bordering Iraq.

China has also made supportive noises regarding the Maliki regime, hoping to curry favour with Washington. The Foreign Ministry issued a statement that “For a long time, China has been giving Iraq a large amount of all sorts of aid and is willing to give whatever help it is able to.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov complained, “For internal political reasons, the US withdrew their forces when the Iraqi security forces had been far from being prepared to enforce law and order on the entire territory of the country.”

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, in the Welt am Sonntag, ruled out military involvement and called on Turkey, the Gulf States and Iran to help stabilise Iraq. “We have to prevent a proxy war of the regional powers breaking out on Iraqi soil,” he said.

Article first published by Who What Why 

The Bilderberg Group is so inherently bizarre that its yearly gatherings generate extreme reactions.

Those who openly profess the belief that the Bilderbergers essentially run the world pay it a whole lot of attention, usually trooping to the scene to stage colorful protests. The media, by and large, ignores it.

The Bilderberg name comes from the first such conclave, in 1954 at the Hotel de Bilderberg, in the Netherlands village of Oosterbeck. Typically, up to 150 of the most powerful people in the world get together at these conferences for an off-the-record chat. A lot of them are multinational execs and tycoons and political figures, but the invitees include journalists, academics and whoever else is considered worth talking to or listening to at the moment.

The Bilderberg Group explains on its website that

The Bilderberg conference is an annual three-day meeting designed to foster dialogue between Europe and North America. The pioneering meeting grew out of the concern expressed by leading citizens on both sides of the Atlantic that Western Europe and North America were not working together as closely as they should on issues of common interest…Through the years, the meetings have become a forum for discussion on a wide range of topics—from trade to jobs, from monetary policy to investment and from ecological challenges to the task of promoting international security. In the context of a globalized world, it is hard to think of any issue in either Europe or North America that could be tackled unilaterally.

The organization asserts that privacy is strictly for the purposes of ensuring candor, and nothing more:

Thanks to the private nature of the conference, the participants are not bound by the conventions of their office or by pre-agreed positions. As such, they can take time to listen, reflect and gather insights. There is no detailed agenda, no resolutions are proposed, no votes are taken, and no policy statements are issued.

Bilderberg is governed by a Steering Committee which designates a Chairman; members are elected for a term of four years and can be re-elected. There are no other members of the Bilderberg conference. The Chair’s main responsibilities are to chair the Steering Committee and to prepare with the Steering Committee the conference program and the selection of participants. He also makes suggestions to the Steering Committee regarding its composition.

The expenses of maintaining the small secretariat of the Bilderberg meetings are covered wholly by private subscription. The hospitality costs of the annual meeting are the responsibility of the Steering Committee member(s) of the host country.

Bilderberg is considered by more than a few vocal critics as a kind of steering committee for global domination by an elite, a bit like Yale’s secret society, Skull and Bones, perhaps sans the oaths and weird induction ceremonies. It is, at minimum, an exclusive club.

Bilderberg’s current chairman is Henri de Castries, a French aristocrat. Castries lives in Paris, spends his weekends in a castle, and one week a month in the United States. He served in the French treasury, and participated in the weaning of France from a mixed economy influenced by socialism to a more purely capitalist one. He is chairman and CEO of something called the AXA Group, a global conglomerate involved largely with investments, insurance and healthcare. Its subsidiaries are around the world. In the United States, those include Equitable Life and MONY. The largest ownership stake is held by Americans; the government of Qatar has a piece too.

Others on the steering committee are from familiar names like Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Alcoa, and the corporate law firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, as well as PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, the neocon former Bush official Richard Perle, along with an amalgam of public and private officials from a host of countries and entities, including a Dutch economics professor, the president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the CEO of the European aerospace giant Airbus, and a vice president of the conservative Hudson Institute.

Sitting all by himself, after the Steering Committee, under the heading, Member Advisory Group, is David Rockefeller.

A key question worth asking, of course, is how officials from companies that derive such a big share of their profits from war get along with those ostensibly concerned with advancing the cause of peace. Another is about what kinds of “public policy” think tanks find themselves in alignment with ruthlessly profit-oriented executives.

Years of being battered a bit by protesters has had an effect: although Bilderberg warns participants that the specifics uttered indoors are to remain secret, it has become slightly more open with time, with the website, and by publishing an official agenda. This year, not surprisingly, Ukraine was a major topic at the gathering, which took place recently at the Marriott Hotel in Copenhagen.

One news organization that has not dismissed Bilderberg is the UK’s Guardian. As noted by the Guardian’s Bilderberg correspondent—who has been hanging around outside the proceedings for years—the most interesting visible development this year was the arrival of the U.S. Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, General Philip Breedlove, followed by the head of NATO, to brief the assembled on the situation in Ukraine.

[M]ake no mistake. Bilderberg is part of their job….This was briefing papers, dress uniforms and military aides. Land Rovers packed with military bodyguards.

This is NATO business. U.S. military business. Government business.

…What’s obvious is that…this is an official international summit. The discussion about Ukraine isn’t chitchat over a cup of tea. It’s international diplomacy, which makes the mix of people at Bilderberg such an unsettling one.

Bad enough that you’ve got military chiefs briefing arms companies bosses—in private—about their hopes and dreams for Ukraine. But you’ve also got billionaire speculators and the heads of gigantic private equity funds listening in.

People who stand to make a killing out of knowing where and when the bombs are going to fall, how many and on whom.

People like David Petraeus, the former director of the CIA and now head of KKR’s Global Institute, the advisory wing of a multibillion dollar private equity company….

The KKR Global Institute prides itself on “knowing how to respond to emerging geopolitical and macro-economic trends”, which enables “smart investing, portfolio management, and risk mitigation”, in other words getting the inside tip. And once you’re inside Bilderberg, you’re hearing “emerging geopolitical and macro-economic trends” right from the secretary general of NATO’s mouth. Very profitable, I’m sure.

The Bilderberg conference is a five-star car crash of the public and private sectors. It’s full of scenes like this: the head of MI6, Sir John Sawers, having a cheery one-to-one with Carl-Henric Svanberg, the chairman of BP…..

The real story about Bilderberg is not that these people are colluding to secretly run the world. It’s that information is money—and being in the know and socializing with others who share your interests in power and money are good for business. And any consensus reached at these conclaves, however partial and temporary, can affect us all.

But perhaps the most potent take-away, as noted by the Guardian’s correspondent (who is also a comedy writer and therefore gets the laughable aspects of such purportedly high-minded get-togethers) is that the people ostensibly working for us—elected and military officials in particular—think it is part of their job to brief these Titans of the Universe. Why? Well, it seems, so they can maintain the kinds of advantages they have—and lord—over the rest of us.

The Truth About US Troops “Sent to Iraq”

June 17th, 2014 by Tony Cartalucci

Indeed, nearly 300 troops are being prepared to deploy to Iraq, as they would be to any nation on Earth where a US embassy is located, and may possibly require evacuation. It is in no way an “intervention” or a gesture of “assistance” to the government of a destabilized country. However, in Iraq, Western headlines would have readers think otherwise.

The Guardian’s article, “Barack Obama sends troops back to Iraq as Isis insurgency worsens,” in title alone leads the general population to believe the third “Iraq War” has begun. The article claims:

The US is urgently deploying several hundred armed troops in and around Iraq and considering sending an additional contingent of special forces soldiers as Baghdad struggles to repel a rampant insurgency.

Upon carefully reading the article, however, it is revealed that these troops are only to aid in the security of the US embassy in Baghdad. Buried 11 paragraphs down, amid suggestions, speculation, and conjecture, is the true nature of the latest deployment:

Obama said in his notification to Congress that the military personnel being sent to Iraq would provide support and security for the American embassy in Baghdad, but was “equipped for combat”.

All troops participating in such missions to protect and possibly evacuate US embassies anywhere on Earth are “equipped for combat.” This hyperbole at best is sensationalism, and at worst, intentional disinformation meant to further undermine the stability of Baghdad’s government, by implying that it both seeks and depends on US military forces for its continued survival.

Image: US troops aren’t going “to Iraq.” They are going to bolster security at the US Embassy in Baghdad. Attempts to portray the routine move as an “intervention” is a ploy to undermine the credibility and sovereignty of the Iraqi government.

It has been previously reported that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is a creation of the United States and its regional allies, with the CIA itself monitoring, arming, and funding the terrorist organization along the Turkish-Syrian border for the past 3 years. The ISIS’ incursion into northern Iraq was portended by their very public redeployment to eastern Syria in March 2014 where they then prepared for the invasion of Iraq.

Since invading, they have committed themselves to overt, sectarian bloodshed in an attempt to trigger reprisals across Iraq along sectarian lines and create a wider sectarian conflict. The relatively small ISIS force can and will be overwhelmed by Iraqi security forces if the psychological and strategic impact of its blitzkrieg-style tactics can be exposed and blunted. In the meantime, during this closing window of opportunity, the US in particular is struggling to undermine both the sociopolitical stability of Iraq itself, and the credibility of the government in Baghdad. Ironically, to do this, the US is posing as Baghdad’s ally.

America’s “Political Touch of Death”

Image: The US has used insidious propaganda to distance itself from its own proxies in places like Egypt, portraying ElBaradei and Mohammed Morsi as “anti-Western.” Policymakers have admitted the need to do so to prevent anti-American sentiment from undermining the chances of success for their proxies. Following this logic, overtly “supporting” those the West opposes would be an effective way to in fact, undermine them.

Readers should recall during the opening phases of the very much US-engineered, so-called “Arab Spring,” that both the US and Israel intentionally and very publicly offered “support” for the embattled government of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, despite training and funding the very mobs that were set to overthrow his government. The alleged support was a psychological operation (psyop) designed not to help the embattled government, but to undermine it further. Egyptians on all sides of the political divide viewed the United States and Israel with everything from suspicion to outright scorn. By posing as allies of the Mubarak government, the US and Israel were able to politically poison the leadership in Cairo and deny it any support that could counter the Western-sponsored mobs in the streets.

In retrospect, the orchestrated Western-backed nature of the Tunisian, Egyptian, and Libyan unrest is clear. However, as the events played out, especially in the early stages, the corporate-owned Western media committed itself to breathtaking propagandizing. In Egypt, crowds of 50,000 were translated into “crowds of 2 million” through boldfaced lies, tight camera angles and disingenuous propagandists like BBC’s Jon Leyne. In Libya, the initial armed nature of the “rebellion” was omitted and the unrest was portrayed as “peaceful unarmed protests.”

Perhaps most diabolical of all is the manner in which the mainstream media portrayed Egypt’s opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei. Indeed, ElBaradei was at the very center of the protests, having returned to Egypt a year earlier in February 2010 to assemble his “National Front for Change” with the help of Egypt’s “youth movements” led by the US State Department trained April 6 Movement and Google’s Wael Ghonim. But we were all told he “just flew in,” and that he was viewed with “suspicion” by the West. We were also told that Hosni Mubarak was still our “chosen man” and reports even went as far as claiming (unsubstantiated claims) that Mubarak was preparing to flee to Tel Aviv, Israel of all places, and that Israel was airlifting in weapons to bolster his faltering regime.

Obviously those “attempts” to save Mubarak’s regime failed, precisely because they were never designed to succeed in the first place. And on the eve of Mubarak’s fall, the US eventually turned a full 180 degrees around from defending him, to demanding he step down.

With amazing “foresight,” the Council on Foreign Relations’ magazine Foreign Affairs reported in March 2010, a year before the so-called “Arab Spring,” the following (emphasis added):

“Further, Egypt’s close relationship with the United States has become a critical and negative factor in Egyptian politics. The opposition has used these ties to delegitimize the regime, while the government has engaged in its own displays of anti-Americanism to insulate itself from such charges. If ElBaradei actually has a reasonable chance of fostering political reform in Egypt, then U.S. policymakers would best serve his cause by not acting strongly. Somewhat paradoxically, ElBaradei’s chilly relationship with the United States as IAEA chief only advances U.S. interests now. “

Fully realizing US or Israeli support for ElBaradei would destroy any chance for the “revolution’s” success, it appears that the cartoonish act of overtly, even oafishly supporting Mubarak in the early stages of the unrest was a deliberate attempt to shift the ire of the Egyptian people toward him, and their suspicions away from the West’s proxy ElBaradei. Similar attempts have since been made to bolster the legitimacy of the Muslim Brotherhood while undermining the military-led government now ruling in Cairo.

Beyond Egypt, such a campaign unfolded in Libya against Muammar Qaddafi, with rumors circulated that Israel was trying to save the embattled regime by hiring mercenaries, and even claims being made that Qaddafi was Jewish. Mirroring the cartoonish propaganda aimed at galvanizing Mubarak’s opposition, attempts to tarnish Qaddafi’s image in the eyes of America’s and Israel’s enemies by feigning support for him was attempted, but ultimately failed. Against Syria, a similar campaign by the US and Israel met with even less success.

Still, the “political touch of death” the US and its regional allies wield is extended out toward any and all in the hopes that it will help undermine and destabilize targeted nations. This most recent attempt to portray Baghdad as a benefactor of possible US assistance seeks to both grant the US plausible deniability in its role of raising ISIS legions in the first place, and undermine the Iran-leaning government of Iraq’s Nouri al-Maliki in the eyes of enemies and allies alike.


Mercury tests conducted on vaccines at the Natural News Forensic Food Lab have revealed a shockingly high level of toxic mercury in an influenza vaccine (flu shot) made by GlaxoSmithKline (lot #9H2GX). Tests conducted via ICP-MS document mercury in the Flulaval vaccine at a shocking 51 parts per million, or over 25,000 times higher than the maximum contaminant level of inorganic mercury in drinking water set by the EPA.(1)

The tests were conducted via ICP-MS using a 4-point mercury calibration curve for accuracy. Even then, the extremely high level of mercury found in this flu shot was higher than anything we’ve ever tested, including tuna and ocean fish which are known for high mercury contamination.

In fact, the concentration of mercury found in this GSK flu shot was 100 times higher than the highest level of mercury we’ve ever tested in contaminated fish. And yet vaccines are injected directly into the body, making them many times more toxic than anything ingested orally. As my previous research into foods has already documented, mercury consumed orally is easily blocked by eating common foods like strawberries or peanut butter, both of which bind with and capture about 90% of dietary mercury.

Here are the actual results of what we found in the influenza vaccine from GSK (lot #9H2GX):

Aluminum: 0.4 ppm
Arsenic: zero
Cadmium: zero
Lead: zero
Mercury: 51 ppm

All tests were conducted via calibrated, high-end ICP-MS instrumentation as shown in these lab videos.

Doctors, pharmacists and mainstream media continue to lie about mercury in vaccines

As you take in the scientifically-validated fact that mercury exists at very high concentrations in flu vaccines, keep in mind that most doctors, pharmacists and members of the mainstream media continue to stage an elaborate lie that claims mercury has “already been removed from vaccines.”

Never mind the fact that the use of mercury is admitted right on the package containing the vaccine vial. And now, Natural News has scientifically confirmed the mercury content of flu vaccines using high-end laboratory instrumentation. The existence of high mercury in flu shots is irrefutable.

Anyone who claims mercury has been removed from all vaccines is either wildly ignorant or willfully lying. And anyone who would knowingly allow themselves to be injected with mercury is probably already a victim of the kind of brain damage well known to be caused by mercury.

Insert admits “no controlled trials”

Shockingly, the package insert for this flu shot readily admits the vaccine has never been subjected to scientific clinical trials:

“There have been no controlled trials adequately demonstrating a decrease in influenza disease after vaccination with Flulaval,” the package insert claims in tiny text (that no one reads).

This is printed right on the insert, yet no one in the mainstream media will ever report this astonishing admission. This statement, all by itself, is a confession that flu shot marketing is a fraud.

Across the board, flu shots are heavily propagandized and promoted with the implication that they have zero risks while offering 100% protection. No one in the mainstream media ever questions this claim even though the package insert openly admits the claim is complete hokum and has never been subjected to scientific scrutiny.

No evidence of safety or effectiveness in pregnant women

But that’s not all the insert admits. It also says:

“Safety and effectiveness of Flulaval have not been established in pregnant women, nursing mothers or children.”

And yet everywhere you go in America, there’s a Walgreens, CVS or Wal-Mart pharmacy promoting flu shots for pregnant women. Never mind the fact that flu shot safety has never been established in pregnant women, and never mind the obvious fact that you should never inject a pregnant women with mercury in the first place!

Who needs scientific proof when you’ve got the full propaganda of the media and the government to back you up? Anyone who dares question the scientific validity of flu shot safety for pregnant women is immediately attacked as being an opponent of all vaccines.

Apparently, the only requirement to be accepted by the vaccine community is to believe in medical fairy tales while abandoning all critical thinking and scientific skepticism. In the vaccine industry, genuine science is simply not allowed. No wonder two former Merck virologists filed a False Claims Act with the federal government, accusing the company of knowingly fabricating its vaccine efficacy data to trick the FDA.

Never proven safe or effective in children, either

Flu shots are heavily promoted for children, right alongside mumps and measles vaccines. But it turns out flu shots are never scientifically tested for safety or efficacy in children.

Check out what the insert for this vaccine directly admits:

“Safety and effectiveness of Flulaval in pediatric patients have not been established.”

It’s right there in black and white… an open admission. Yet flu shots are aggressively marketed to parents and children as if they were Tic-Tacs. The real beauty of the entire vaccine industry scam is that no scientific evidence is required! You don’t have to have any proof, all you have to do is believe in vaccines as a matter of faith.

Never tested for cancer risk

Do flu shots cause cancer? The honest, scientific answer is that these shots are never tested for that. As the insert readily admits:

“Flulaval has not been evaluated for carcinogenic or mutagenic potential, or for impairment of fertility.”

Believe it or not, the Flulaval vaccine also warns that no one should be given this shot if they’ve already received another flu shot at some previous time:

“Do not administer Flulaval to anyone… following previous administration of any influenza vaccine.”

And yet, amazingly, people are encouraged to get flu shots year after year, even though the package insert directly warns against anyone taking a series of influenza vaccines.

Admission that flu shots contain formaldehyde and sodium deoxycholate

The same insert that admits this vaccine has never been proven safe in children or pregnant women also openly admits that it contains neurotoxic chemicals.

Per the insert, each dose of Flulaval contains up to 25 mcg of formaldehyde (a neurotoxin) and up to 50 mcg of sodium deoxycholate.

This is on top of the 25 mcg of mercury you’ll get in every dose. And remember, this is mercury that’s injected directly into your body, so you absorb 100% of this mercury (unlike mercury you eat, where most of it sticks to food fibers and is transported out of your body).

Total admission that flu shots cause seizures, convulsions and Guillian-Barre syndrome

Ever wonder what all these toxic chemicals and heavy metals cause in humans? Flu shots vaccines, it turns out, are already known to cause a huge number of devastating health effects.

Predictably, there is a massive disinfo campaign across the mainstream media, Wikipedia, medical journals and government propaganda agencies (CDC, FDA, etc.) to pretend that flu shots have no risks whatsoever. Yet the insert that comes with the vaccine openly admits the flu shot has been linked with a long, frightening list of serious adverse effects. As this Flulaval insert says (see photo below):

“In addition to reports in clinical trials, the following adverse events have been identified during postapproval use of Flulaval…

vomiting
chest pain
allergic edema of the mouth
anaphylaxis
laryngitis
cullulitis
muscle weakness
arthritis
dizziness
paresthesia
tremor
somnolence
Guillian-Barre syndrome
convulsions / seizures
facial or cranial nerve paralysis
encephalopathy
limb paralysis
insomnia
dyspnea
sweating”

Here’s a photo of this section of the package insert, complete with the GlaxoSmithKline toll-free phone number:

If you take flu shots, you are being poisoned by quacks

The upshot of all this is that flu shots utterly lack any scientific evidence of safety of efficacy. We don’t know if they work at all, in other words, and neither does the vaccine manufacturer. Neither do the doctors or medical staff who administer them. Flu vaccines are injected into people purely as a matter of blind faith in the very same companies that have already been convicted of felony crimes.

GlaxoSmithKline, for example, not only manufacturers this Flulaval vaccine… the company also committed multiple felony crimes and got caught bribing doctors, ultimately agreeing to pay a multi-billion-dollar criminal settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Trusting a flu shot made by a corporation of felons is a lot like trusting the purity of heroin you buy from a street dealer. Both flu shots and street heroin have at least one thing in common, by the way: neither has ever been tested for safety.

We also know that flu shots contain neurotoxic chemicals and heavy metals in alarming concentrations. This is irrefutable scientific fact. We also know that there is no “safe” form of mercury just like there is no safe form of heroin — all forms of mercury are highly toxic when injected into the body (ethyl, methyl, organic, inorganic).

The only people who argue with this are those who are already mercury poisoned and thus incapable of rational thought. Mercury damages brain function, you see, which is exactly what causes some people to be tricked into thinking vaccines are safe and effective.

Technically, you’d have to be stupid to believe such a thing, as the vaccine insert directly tells you precisely the opposite.

Share this story, spread the truth

Share this story with everyone who needs to know the truth about flu vaccines. This message needs to get out. Every fact stated in this article is 100% true and verified. The quotes from the Flulaval package insert are on-the-record statements from GlaxoSmithKline.

And for the record, I am not an opponent of the theory of vaccination. What I’m against is the continued use of toxic heavy metals and chemicals in vaccines. I’m also opposed to the wildly fraudulent marketing of vaccines. If any other product were marketed with the same lies and deceptions as vaccines, they would be immediately charged with fraud and misrepresentation by the FTC. But somehow when the vaccine industry commits routine fraud, everybody pretends it isn’t happening.

Even with all the marketing fraud taking place, if the vaccine manufacturers would stop poisoning the population with vaccine additives (by removing mercury, formaldehyde and other chemicals from their products), nearly all opposition to vaccines would rapidly disappear.

Sources for this story include:
(1) http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/basi…
(2) http://vaccines.naturalnews.com

This article was published January 4, 2014.

Colonel Muntadher al Samaree’s confession is about crimes that were committed by Interior Ministry Special Commandos in 2004-2005 and after that time. Paul Bremer  was the Civil Governor assigned by the American Occupation in Iraq during that period. In other words, these crimes were committed before the sectarian violence eruption after the  bombing the Shrines in Samara.

When Paul Bremer  dissolved the Iraqi National Security and Police Forces, he formed another one from mercenaries and sectarian militias who were backing and supporting the occupation. In reality, the nature of hideous crimes committed by these forces was the major motivation behind the sectarian violence killing of 2006-2007.

According to Geneva Convention Protocols, the occupation represented by Bremer, not only failed its duty to protect the population of the country under occupation, they officially formed militias and armed gangs to help them control the country.

Paul Bremer committed crimes against humanity and an act of cleansing and Genocide in Iraq by targeting thousands of innocent civilians through Interior Minister and Special Commandos Forces.

The Following is transcript of the Video interview (translation from Arabic)

Scene 1:

Iraqi Woman: (They took my son two months ago and we don’t know anything about him. He is in Jadiria Shelter. We go and ask about him, they chase us out with no answer).

Scene 2,

Ex Interior Minister Baker Jaber Solagh:

(Not acceptable, not acceptable, people lost their patience, and don’t accept any excuses).

Scene 3,

Colonel Muntadher al Samaraee,  (In charge of Interior Ministry Special Forces from 2004 to 2005) saying:

An order was initiated by the Minister of interior Baker Jabar Solagh, to stop and forbid the  movement of any military unit within the forces of interior ministry without the approval of the minister of interior, exclusively. In other words, there is no way when the curfew starts every night at 11 PM, a force of 35 armed and totally equipped vehicles move around and have an access and pass through all check points with people helping and coordinating for them, raiding areas and arresting people, and bringing them to unidentified places, unless they have higher authority to command this force.

After a while they surprise the families of the arrested detainees by throwing their bodies in the streets or in the Forensic Madison centers. The bodies are all mutated with sharp and electrical torture tools. One of the cases I will mention here, and the rest of the names I can reveal later on for the investigation committees, is Colonel Shukry Maarouf. He was working with us in the Interior Ministry, specifically in the Commandos Intelligence section. They came and took him by an official order stating that he was under investigation. The officers under his command and his family interfered for his release. Imagine, working in the interior ministry and someone with the special commandos force intelligence or investigation departments comes and tell you that you are under investigation. The General Commander of the force interfered for his release, and they promised him that he will be released the next day.  After one day, the officers and his family were shocked when they discovered hid body in the Forensic Madison center. Many of those detained in the interior commando’s unidentified prisons were found dead under different names. When you send a person dead body to Forensic Madison Center with different name, he becomes an unknown soldier.

It sounds unbelievable, torturing a person to death then threw his body in an unknown place. Just like what happened one week ago when people found 27 coffins of unidentified people at Badra Wa Jassan area. The bodies were totally torn apart and mutilated, only the bones were mostly in there.

People asked interior minister to investigate these crimes. Such as the Eskan area residents in Baghdad who found the bodies of their young men killed blind folded and thrown in the streets one week after the interior commandos arrested them.

Martyrs of al  Hurriah area, about 25 dead bodies found in Dolaee area.

Another one is the Refrigerator Bodies mass killing from (8-12) bodies, where they were locked  in a Refrigerator till they were frozen to death and threw their bodies.

In Adhamia area.  In Thawrah area. How many people they arrested and never came back home.

We ask people whose family members were taken by interior ministry commandos and never returned back to register their complains to religious centers like al Waqef Alssuni, Muslem scholars association, al Waqef Alsheaee, and the Sadrists . They are all asked to register their missing members who were taken by interior commandos’ forces.

The interior commandos with their costumes, artilleries, and advance gadgets get out raiding places, arresting people for investigation during late nights of curfews, torturing and killing them.  Who is responsible for these crimes???

Scene 4 :

Major general Mohammad Abdullah al Shahwani, Director of Iraqi Intelligent Agency 2005-2009: (Answering this question):  according to our information, those are related to Iranian Kudus Brigade. Iranian agents are all over Iraq, in the Parliament, in the government, in streets, in religious centers, everywhere.

Scene 5:

Iraqi women:  Security, what security?? If our police force is doing this to us!! No wonder what others do?

Scene 6:

Iraqi citizen: The Iraqi citizen is being taken from his house and nobody knows who is taking him, the Americans, the interior commandos, or Bader Brigade??

Scene 7:

Colonel Muntadher al Samaraee again:

We would like to ask about the results of the investigation committees of al A Ema Bridge event, where thousands of victims got hurt?  how many days have passed  and the people are waiting for  the results of these investigations. A press release of the interior ministry assured people that the ministry is innocent and that they will announce who is behind and responsible of this tragedy, but none of this happened. Isn’t this an obvious right of the Iraqi people?? To know the results of the interior ministry investigations and who is committing these crimes???

This article was published January 6, 2014.

The former United Nations humanitarian coordinator in Iraq says that recent crises in some Iraqi cities have resulted from the US occupation of the country.

“The recent fighting in Fallujah, Ramadi and other towns is a clear result of the American invasion and occupation of Iraq,” Denis Halliday told Press TV on Sunday.

Halliday said the United States has created sectarian divisions in Iraq since it invaded the country in 2003.

“During that period they encouraged division between Sunni and Shia in Iraq, which had not been the case generally speaking prior to the American invasion.”

He went on to say that “the tragedy now is that the strife between religious interests in Iraq as in other parts of the region has become dangerous and life-threatening calamitous to Iraq, to Syria, to Lebanon as well.”

“Americans can be blamed” Halliday said, but added that “only the people of the Middle East can resolve this.”

The cities of Fallujah and Ramadi have been the scene of deadly clashes between security forces and the al-Qaeda-affiliated militants over the past days. Security officials said the fighting left more than 100 people dead in the two flashpoint cities on Friday.

Iraqi forces reportedly lost control of Fallujah in Anbar to the militants on Saturday.

The violence broke out on December 30, 2013, when the army removed an anti-government protest camp in Ramadi. Authorities said the camp was used as “headquarters for the leadership of al-Qaeda.”

Iraqi security forces are preparing for a major attack on Fallujah. According to a security official, Special Forces conducted several operations in the city on Sunday.

Fallujah is the nearest town to Baghdad on the road between Baghdad and Anbar province.

Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday said the US would support the government of Iraq against al Qaeda-linked groups, but would not send troops, saying “this is a fight that belongs to the Iraqis.”

Flu Vaccine Contains Toxic Levels of Mercury

June 17th, 2014 by David Brownstein

My colleague Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, tested the flu vaccine for its mercury content.(1)  Using state-of-the-art  ICP-MS, Adams documented that mercury in the Flulaval vaccine was extremely high at 51 parts per million–25,000 times  higher than the maximum contaminant level of inorganic mercury in drinking water as set by the Environmental Protection Agency. (2)

Adams reported that the mercury levels in the flu vaccine were higher than anything he has ever tested, including tuna and other ocean fish.

Keep in mind that an injection of the flu vaccine guarantees that 100% of the mercury in it is absorbed since it bypasses the gastrointestinal tract.

Mercury is one of the most poisonous substances known to mankind.  For over twenty years, I have been testing nearly every patient seen in my office for heavy metal contamination. Unfortunately, mercury toxicity is alive and well in our modern world.  I have found that over 80% of my patients, both healthy and sick, have mercury toxicity.

The most common sources for mercury are from mercury fillings in the teeth and the ingestion of fish.  It is amazing to me that the U.S. Government can place limits on the amount of fish a pregnant woman can eat but still tell her to get a flu shot even though it is contaminated with high levels of mercury.

There are zero studies showing the flu shot is safe or effective for pregnant women.  Zero.  In fact, in the package insert of the Flulaval vaccine it states, “Safety and effectiveness of Flulaval have not been established in pregnant women, nursing mothers or children.”  And, of course, the flu vaccine is recommended for children even though there are no studies showing it is efficacious or safe in children.

Folks, over the years I have written to you about the inadequacy of the flu vaccine.  Not only does it fail to prevent the flu, it contains toxic substances such as mercury.  Toxic substances like mercury should never be injected in any living being.

My advice:  Just say “no” to the flu vaccine.

 

(1) http://www.naturalnews.com/045418_flu_shots_influenza_vaccines_mercury.html

(2) http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/#List

ISIL Opens Clandestine Branch in Jordan

June 17th, 2014 by Alalam

Sources said on Tuesday that the terror organization of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has opened a clandestine branch in Jordan to prepare for its expansion into the region.

Although military sources reported no “unusual movement” along the Iraq border, one source familiar with the situation stressed that border guards “remain on high alert” as ISIL continues to make gains in nearby western Iraq.

Despite having a low-profile presence in Jordan over the past six months, with over 800 Jordanian nationals reportedly serving under the ranks of ISIL, the movement has allegedly been reluctant to open an official branch in Jordan due to its ongoing rivalry with Al Qaeda, which retains larger popularity and support among extremists in the country.

According to some other news, the ISIL has launched its office in Jordan to get more supports from Jordanian administrative figures within government to continue their offensives in Iraq.

Senior members of Jordan’s hard-line Salafist movement, which keep strong ties with both Al Qaeda and the Baghdad-based ISIL terrorist group, had previously mediated “understandings” with the ISIL to forego expansion into the country in a bid to prevent ongoing war in Syria to spill over into the country.

In the wake of ISIL’s rapid gains in northern and western Iraq last week, Jordanian extremists sources fear that the previous pacts “are no longer being honored”.

However the Jordanian MPs filed this request during the Lower House’s session on Sunday, calling on Speaker Atef Tarawneh to schedule a “special” meeting with the government to discuss the ramifications of the ongoing fighting in Iraq on Jordan.

“The situation in Iraq and in particular on our eastern border with this country is a source of concern for everyone,” MP Bassam Manaseer said.

The following statement was released by the Palestinian Human Rights Organisations Council (PHROC) a coalition comprised of the Addameer Prisoners’ Support and Human Rights Association, Aldameer Association for Human Rights, Al Haq, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, Defence for Children International – Palestine Section, Ensan Center for Human Rights and Democracy, Hurryyat – Centre for Defense of Liberties and Civil Rights, Jerusalem Center for Legal Aid and Human Rights, Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies, Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling, The Palestinian Center for Human Rights.

The recent wave of arrests, attacks, killings and total closure of large parts of the West Bank following the disappearance of three Israeli settlers is a clear form of collective punishment against the Palestinian people. Since the disappearance of the three settlers on Thursday 12 June, Israeli forces in Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah, have killed a Palestinian man, Ahmad Sabarin, 20, and have arrested approximately 200 Palestinians across the West Bank. In total, eight members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) have been arrested since 12 June, including the head of the PLC. One PLC member has since been released. On 15 June three people were injured, including an eight-year old boy, when the Israeli military blew up the entrance of a house in Hebron during an arrest operation. In addition, on 16 June six Palestinians were injured at Qalandiya checkpoint near Ramallah, including Yazan Yacoub, 17, who was, according to reports, shot in the chest and abdomen with a live bullet, critically wounding him.

As the Occupying Power, Israel is obligated to carry out its search for the missing settlers in line with its obligations under international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law (IHRL). IHRL imposes an absolute obligation on Israel to respect the right to life of Palestinians by ensuring that the use of force and firearms by law enforcement officials is carried out in a manner that minimises damage and injury and respects and preserves human life. IHRL further prohibits arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy, family, home and correspondence and affords all persons the right to liberty and security of person, which demands a legal basis for each and every individual arrest. Furthermore, all persons that are arrested must be treated with humanity and respect for their inherent dignity.

Although some of the measures carried out by the Israeli forces in large parts of the West Bank may have a link to the investigation into the disappearances, the methods employed are indiscriminate in their nature and are undermining the fundamental rights of the persons concerned. Furthermore, these restrictive measures are being carried out based on mere speculation regarding both the identity of those responsible for the disappearances and their location. As such, these measures indicate Israel’s intention to impose punitive measures against large portions of the Palestinian population in violation of Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibiting reprisals against protected persons and their property, as well as collective punishment.

Furthermore, Israeli government threats to expel Hamas personnel from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip based on allegations that the organisation is responsible for the settlers’ disappearances not only amounts to indiscriminate collective punishment but also violates Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits forcible transfers and deportations of protected persons in occupied territory. The violation of this provision amounts to a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions and as such may constitute a war crime under Article 8(2)(a)(vii) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

The Palestinian Human Rights Organisations Council (PHROC) condemns Israel’s disregard for its obligations under international law and its use of reprisals against the Palestinian population in carrying out its investigations into the disappeared youths. PHROC calls upon High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to uphold their obligation to ensure respect for the Conventions as established under Common Article 1, by taking concrete measures to pressure Israel to halt its violations of international law.

PHROC further condemns the Israeli government-initiated law proposal to permit force-feeding of hunger strikers. Currently, over 125 Palestinian detainees and prisoners are on hunger strike in protest against Israel’s illegal practice of Administrative Detention. Force feeding is defined as torture by the World Medical Association and has been condemned by the United Nations (UN), including by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. As such, PHROC calls upon the international community to condemn the law publicly and to urge the Israeli government to withdraw it. Moreover, PHROC calls on Israel to heed to the demands of the hunger strikers by bringing its illegal practice of administrative detention to an immediate end.

Mosul and other cities in Iraq are experiencing dramatic, dangerous, and fateful changes.

The media, especially that which is allied with the Iraqi government and western states, has been focusing on the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant/Syria (ISIS) and its control over several Iraqi cities, provoking its audiences against the militant group. Indeed, ISIS terrorist groupings do exist among armed groups there and its influence in the recent events is clear. However, it is also true that Iraqis generally reject ISIS, whether in the central or southern regions of Iraq or in parts of the country that are no longer under government control: the so-called “Sunni” areas or the “Sunni Triangle”, a term that intelligence services, particularly the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), devised as part of a plan to engineer sectarianism in Iraq. At the same time, Iraqis generally reject Maliki’s regime and its policies, built as they are on an ethno-sectarian basis. This is especially the case in urban areas where sectarian discrimination is most concentrated, wherein the government treats ordinary people as political enemies.

The fall of several Iraqi cities in the hands of armed groups does not represent the dreams of the people who live there. Their demands to be rid of sectarianism are clear and direct. They expressed them through nonviolent sit-ins, but armed terrorist groups took advantage of this environment to take power. The people’s demands against discrimination and sectarianism are just and fair, whereas Maliki’s policies are reactionary and discriminatory, and are therefore rejected. In the meantime, ISIS’ control of cities and people poses a serious threat to everyday life and to society.

Popular demands have morphed into a tool for reactionary forces to divide up the political pie, from the terrorists of al-Qa’ida, the Baath Party, and tribal leaders to the Shi’a religious leadership that has called for open warfare and the Kurdish nationalist forces that have achieved military and political gains. This all comes at a moment when Iraq has clearly become divided according to the wills of dominant political forces, whereas the will of the Iraqi people remains ignored.

Regional forces that benefit from Iraq’s disintegration—especially Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey—operate in their own way to achieve political gains. All the while the US government—the prime cause of these problems to begin with—prepares to intervene however it chooses. President Obama has so far expressed his concern over Iraqi oil twice when talking about recent events. He has not shown any regard or concern for the fate of two million people now under the control of ISIS, or for the women who have started committing suicide in Mosul as a result of ISIS gangs. The working class in Iraq is the common force that exists across the county, from the north of Kurdistan to the furthest points south. It is this force whose very existence and survival depends on the eradication of discrimination and the unification of the Iraqi people. This is the only force that can end fragmentation and division.

We reject US intervention and protest President Obama’s inappropriate speech in which he expressed concern over oil and not over people. We also stand firmly against the brazen meddling of Iran.

We stand against the intervention of Gulf regimes and their funding of armed groups, especially Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

We reject Nouri al-Maliki’s sectarian and reactionary policies.

We also reject armed terrorist gangs and militias’ control of Mosul and other cities. We agree with and support the demands of people in these cities against discrimination and sectarianism.

Finally, we reject the interference of the religious institution and its call for indiscriminate warfare.

We aim to stand with those who represent the interests of the people and to empower them in the face of this dangerous and reactionary attack. We call for a clear international position to curb the deteriorating situation as well as regional interference, and to support the people of Iraq.

 

Falah Alwan of the Federation of Workers’ Councils and Unions in Iraq

This statement originally appeared on Jadaliyya in Arabic and Ali Issa translated it into English. Via – Jadaliyya

Europe Bans American Apples – Too Toxic to Eat

June 17th, 2014 by Christina Sarich

It’s sad when one of the biggest ‘super powers’ can’t even export a quintessentially American food to another country because it is too toxic to eat. But apples treated with diphenylamine (DPA), a substance which keeps them from turning brown for months at a time when they are kept in storage, is now a sore spot for importers of American apples.

DPA isn’t harmful all by itself, but it breaks down into carcinogogenic elements. It’s been used since 1962, but was banned in the European Union in 2012 since producers couldn’t answer inquiries about its safety. European food safety regulators wanted more information on it, but none could be summoned. The apple industry simply responded with one study “that detected three unknown chemicals on DPA-treated apples, but it could not determine if any of these chemicals, apparently formed when the DPA broke down, were nitrosamines.”

British scientists, John Barnes and Peter Magee, in 1956, reported that dimethylnitrosamine produced liver tumors in rats, and later went on to test other nitrosamines and N-nitroso compounds. They found that the compounds caused all kinds of problems, including liver cancer, lung cancer, and even botulism.

“Nitrosamines occur commonly because their chemical precursors–amines and nitrosating agents–occur commonly, and the chemical reaction for nitrosamine formation is quite facile. Research on the prevention or reduction of nitrosamine formation has been productive, and most of the items shown in the table contain considerably lower amounts of nitrosamines than they did a few decades ago.”

No wonder European officials were concerned. In 2012, they slashed the allowable levels of DPA on apples to 0.1 parts per million, but now they don’t want those gleaming, spot-free apples normally seen on super market shelves in the States, at all. DPA residues were found on over 80 samples taken from US imports, with an average reading of .42 parts per million, well above their ‘allowable’ level.

Funny then, how the U.S. EPA Office of Pesticides tasked with reviewing all pesticides and chemicals on our agricultural produce told the EWG that they had no idea their was a ban on DPA. The EPA then had the nerve to tell the EWG that they had no intention of reviewing DPA safety standards, in light of European’s refusal to eat our poisoned fruit.

Reminds you of the Snow White fairy tale, doesn’t it. Here, little lady, eat the fruit. The Europeans said no thanks, and the rest of us would be better off getting our apples from a bunch of cutely named dwarves.

 

Additional Sources:

EWG

US to Launch Another Invasion of Iraq

June 17th, 2014 by Nikolai Bobkin

A civil war is raging in Iraq and the United States is studying the possibility of going back there. The US-created state is bursting at the seams. So it’s deadlock again. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (alternatively translated as Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and abbreviated as ISIL or ISIS) is an unrecognized state and active Jihadist militant group in Iraq and Syria influenced by the Wahhabi movement. It is operating in Iraq and Syria. The US President is considering aid for militants in Syria. At the same time in Iraq he does not exclude any options against jihadists. So Washington sticks to its usual policy of double standards. 

It’s not excluded the thrust of ISIL to Baghdad is inspired by Americans to justify its would-be intervention. The strong presence of jihadists meets the US interests because it would divide Iraq into three parts controlled by Sunni, Shia and Kurds. The chaos will create a hotbed near the Iranian border, the Arab world will get another civil war and the US allies will be dragged into another war to support America. The United States will use the situation to its advantage. It will go back to Iraq and probably spread the expansion into Syria. The White House has started to discuss openly the possibility of bombing Syria after the election victory of Bashar Assad. Riyadh is not trying to hide its satisfaction with the plans. Saudi Arabia would like to see Bashar Assad overthrown in Syria and is ready to join any anti-Shia action initiated by the United States against Iran.

Tehran renders its support to Iraqi Shiites who are in power in Iraq. It is adamant in its stance. President Rouhani has already said that Iran is ready to support the government of al-Maliki in its fight against Islamists. According to him, Iran is intent to provide any support Iraq may ask for in order to fight terrorists back. At some time Iran even expressed readiness to act in unison with the United States to restore security in Iraq. Rouhani said so on the condition that Washington’s intent to struggle against terrorism is real. But in a few days Iran drastically changed its stance; by the time it had become clear the White House was afraid of Iranian involvement into the events even more than the overthrow of its protégé al-Maliki. Americans are already looking for someone to take his place. It’s not excluded the person to head Iraq will come from the Sunni community.

Patrick Cockburn of the Independent believes that the rule of Shiite government installed by the United States after the toppling of Saddam Hussein is nearing its end. Even if Iraq will restore the control over the major part of the country, it won’t get back the northern part populated by Sunni. Looks like Washington also sees the things this way. According to what it says, the US does not want the Sunni jihadists take a foothold in Iraq. But in reality the United States does not want to help the Iraqi Shiites who are friendly towards Iran. In his statement on Iraq US President Obama said,

“So any action that we may take to provide assistance to Iraqi security forces has to be joined by a serious and sincere effort by Iraq’s leaders to set aside sectarian differences, to promote stability, and account for the legitimate interests of all of Iraq’s communities, and to continue to build the capacity of an effective security force. We can’t do it for them. And in the absence of this type of political effort, short-term military action, including any assistance we might provide, won’t succeed. So this should be a wake-up call. Iraq’s leaders have to demonstrate a willingness to make hard decisions and compromises on behalf of the Iraqi people in order to bring the country together. In that effort, they will have the support of the United States and our friends and our allies.”

Obama is exasperated over the Iraqi security forces inability to carry out their missions. All the calls of al-Maliki for aid still waiting to be responded to.

Iranian military are already in Iraq. According to Western media, Iran has deployed Revolutionary Guard forces to fight al Qaeda-inspired militants that have overrun a string of Iraqi cities, and it has helped Iraqi troops win back control of most of Tikrit. The Guardian reports 15 hundred volunteers have come to Iraq from Iran as well as two battalions of the Quds Forces (500 men), the elite overseas branch of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps that have long operated in Iraq. They have come to the aid of the besieged, Shiite-dominated government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. An Iraqi official confirmed that 1,500 basiji forces had crossed the border into the town of Khanaqin, in Diyala province, in central Iraq on June 13, while another 500 had entered the Badra Jassan area in Wasat province overnight. The Guardian reported on June 13 that Major General Qassem Suleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds Force, had arrived in Baghdad to oversee the defence of the capital. There is growing evidence in Baghdad of Shia militias continuing to reorganize, with some heading to the central city of Samarra, 70 miles (110km) north of the capital, to defend two Shia shrines from Sunni jihadist groups surrounding them. According to the Wall Street Journal, one battalion of Iran’s special operations forces is already fighting the Islamists. On June 12 this unit helped the Iraqi army to liberate Tikrit. Two Guards’ units, dispatched from Iran’s western border provinces on June 11, were tasked with protecting Baghdad and the holy Shiite cities of Karbala and Najaf, these security sources said. The Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs flatly rejects the reports. “Until now we haven’t received any requests for help from Iraq. Iraq’s army is certainly capable in handling this”, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afgham said on June 11.

At that, the Iranian government is not going to leave the neighbor in trouble. It intends to send weapons and military advisors. Tehran is trying to make the best use of US aid to Iraq. After being asked if Iran was prepared to cooperate with America in Iraq, Rouhani said:

“All countries need to embark on joint effort regarding terrorism. At the moment, it’s the government of Iraq and the people of Iraq that are fighting terrorism. We have not seen the US do anything for now. Any time the Americans start to take action against terrorist groups, we can consider that.”

The border between the Shia Iran and Iraq is about 1500 km long, so naturally Iran is concerned over the situation in the neighboring state. It will hardly launch a direct intervention. It opposes any foreign interference anywhere.

Some in the West hold an opinion that the US may ask Iran to bring in troops. This supposition has no justification. In 2010 Obama formally ended the operation in Iraq saying the price was heavy and the US transferred the future of the country to its people. Washington never planned the following rapprochement between Iraq and Iran. Senator John McCain continued his blistering attack on President Barack Obama’s handling of Iraq on June 13, again calling for his entire national security team to be replaced and saying his decisions have been very costly. “The President wanted out and now we are paying a heavy price”, the Arizona Republican said on MSNBC. McCain said repeatedly that the U.S. “had the conflict won” after the 2007 troop surge, with Iraq maintaining a stable government and Al Qaeda extremists largely defeated. But the Obama administration’s decision not to leave behind a residual force, he said, has caused the situation to deteriorate. Now, the Senator said, “this has turned into one of the most serious threats to American security in recent history”. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on June 12 said President Obama should authorize airstrikes in Iraq to halt the progress of extremist groups. “There is no scenario where we can stop the bleeding in Iraq without American airpower”, he told reporters after leaving a classified Senate Armed Services Committee briefing. “If American airpower is not interjected into the equation, I don’t see how you stop these people”. He said that, if the President’s military advisers recommended air attacks, «I would support it”. He also said what he’d heard at the closed-door briefing “scared the hell out of me”. He said the extremist groups were moving toward Baghdad “very rapidly” and urged the withdrawal of all personnel from the U.S. Embassy in that city. U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.), who serves as a member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee and Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, issued the following statement today regarding the security situation in Iraq,

“Earlier today, Senators were informed of the instant collapse of four of the 17 Iraqi military divisions – without any apparent effort to push back. This is a desperate situation. It’s moving quickly. It appears to me that the chickens are coming home to roost for the president’s policy of not leaving anybody there to be a stabilizing force. Some Iraqi troops have gone to work with their uniforms on with civilian clothes under their uniforms. That’s a bad sign. In the short term, the U.S. must do everything we can to support the Kurdistan Regional Government’s requests for assistance to respond to the growing humanitarian crisis along Kurdistan’s border.”

Republican congressmen exert pressure on Obama to make him launch a ground operation in Iraq. The United States has more chances to oppose Iran than join it in fighting the same enemy shoulder to shoulder. It’s not an occasion that Tehran started to oppose any foreign meddling in Iraq. The recent statement of Iranian Foreign Ministry says that Iraqi authorities can do it alone. The US, Great Britain and France are getting ready for intervention. In this case Iran will have to step in. The situation may evolve into a full-blown religious war. The West may find itself fighting as one team with the Sunni terrorists. The specter of sectarian war and partition of Iraq grew on June 13 as the country’s top Shiite cleric implored his followers to take up arms against an insurgent army of marauding Sunni extremist militants who have captured broad stretches of northern territory this week in a sweep toward Baghdad. The exhortation by the cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani came as President Obama told the Iraqis they need to resolve the crisis themselves and vowed not to redeploy United States forces in Iraq, a country where nearly 4,500 American soldiers lost their lives and the United States spent more than $1 trillion in an eight-year war that Mr. Obama said was history when the last troops left in 2011. Heeding the call to arms by Ayatollah Sistani, Shiite volunteers rushed to the front lines, reinforcing defenses of the holy city of Samarra 70 miles north of Baghdad, and helping thwart attacks by Sunni fighters of the radical Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in some smaller cities to the east. The confrontations suggested that Shiites and Sunnis would once again engage in open conflict for control of Iraq, as they did during the height of the American-led occupation that ousted Saddam Hussein. The jihad launched against each other may explode Iraq and the whole Middle East. It had been reported before that the White House is not eyeing the possibility of having boots on the ground as Obama said he is weighing the options on delivering military aid to Iraq, not intervention. But the United States cannot be trusted. The signs of US preparation for another military adventure are visible. Americans who work and do military service in Iraq are leaving. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered an aircraft carrier — the Norfolk, Virginia-based USS George H.W. Bush — to move from the northern Arabian Sea to the Persian Gulf as President Barack Obama considers possible military options for Iraq. Hagel’s press secretary, Rear Adm. John Kirby, says the order will give the president added flexibility if military action is required to protect American lives, citizens and interests in Iraq. Accompanying the carrier will be the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea and the guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun. The ships were expected to complete their move into the Gulf on June 14. The ships carry Tomahawk missiles, which could reach Iraq. The Bush is carrying fighter jets that could also easily get to Iraq. The Secretary says the purpose of sending the ships is to defend and add flexibility. We all know what flexibility is meant so the only thing left is to define the scale of upcoming intervention.

Greece: The Dilemmas of Democratic Socialism

June 17th, 2014 by Prof. James Petras

Greece is experiencing a triple crisis which has a profound impact on the economy, society and political system. The economy has experienced a deep, prolonged depression lasting six years and continuing. Workers and employees have suffered a 40% loss in income and a commensurate decline in medical, pension, educational and welfare benefits. The political system has witnessed a precipitous decline in electoral support for previously dominant right and center left parties and the rapid rise of radical democratic-socialist and fascist parties.

The socio-economic effects of the crash of the economy have been exacerbated by the “austerity programs” imposed by the European Unions’ triumvirate. The economic cuts have undermined any economic recovery and accentuated the reductions in employment, social welfare and public investments.

The political consequences resulting from the extremely harsh policies of the EU and their forceful implementation by the right and center parties have been dramatic. A vast upheaval has shaken the entire political system. Previously dominant mainstream parties have been increasingly rejected, while formerly marginal democratic socialist and radical right wing parties have made major advances.

The political consequences of the demise of Greek capitalism require a closer look at the prospects for an electoral victory for the democratic socialists in the immediate future.

The Rise of Syriza

The rise of the democratic socialists, more specifically Syriza, has been rapid and substantial. Between October 2009 and 2014 it has grown by a multiple of five: In the elections of October 2009 Syriza got 4.6% of the vote (315,665); in May 2012 16.8% (1,061,928) and in the most recent elections for the Euro parliament 26.l6% (1,516,699). In contrast the two previously dominant parties, the rightwing New Democracy (ND) and the Panhellenic Socialist Party (PASOK) have experienced a precipitous decline. In October 2009, combined ,they got 77.4%, (5,308, 261); in May 2012, 32% (2,025,555); and in the recent Europarlimentary elections 30.7% (1,753,592).

The Greek Communist Party has also declined, despite the crises, and the militancy of its trade union sector. In the October 2009 elections, they got 8.4% (428,151); in the June 2012 elections 4.5% (277,227); and in the 2014 elections 6.1% (347,487).

In contrast the neo-fascist Golden Dawn has grown substantially over the same period. In the October 2009 elections Golden Dawn got .5% (23,566); in June 2012 7% (440,966); and in the Europarlimentary elections of 2014, 9.4% (536,442).

The demise of the neo-liberal right (New Democracy) is accompanied by the rise of the radical nationalist right. The collapse of the neo-liberal social democrats (PASOK) is accompanied by the rise of the radical left (Syriza) and a new self-styled “center-left”party calling itself “The River” (POTAMI).

The current electoral map of Greece is not defined by a dominant party or coalition. The bi-party break-down is accompanied by fragmentation and polarization. Moreover, the most intransigent opponents of the European Union’s austerity program and its executors in Greece are profoundly divided. The Communist Party and Golden Dawn are mortal enemies of Syriza, thus eliminating any possibility of an “anti-EU” coalition.

The same problem is evident on the Right. New Democracy and allied parties combine for only 27.4% of the electorate and are on a downward slope.

PASOK’s embrace of the neo-liberal agenda has led to the loss of nearly 85% of its voters (2.5 million) over the past 5 years. Many of their supporters among public sector employees have turned to Syriza.

The new ‘center-left’ party, “The River”, which gained 6.7% of the electorate has yet to decide which bloc to support, essentially bargaining to see with whom it can gain the most government posts.

Given the current dynamics of declining pro-EU support and increasing radicalization, what options does Syriza have, if it is to come to power?

Syriza: Perspectives and Options

Syriza is the only realistic political vehicle on the Left with mass support, trade union backing and the electoral machinery for forming a government. Its political trajectory has been in ascendance – up to point.

The fundamental problem is that after its spectacular rise between 2009 and 2012, it has stagnated. In the June 2012 elections it got 26.9% and in the May 2014 elections 26.6%. It appears that Syriza has hit an electoral barrier. Despite the fact that it is Greece’s leading electoral party; it appears to be unable to advance further and secure a parliamentary majority. This raises the question of alliances with political parties to the Left or Right. Moreover, the internal divisions within Syriza complicate any overtures to possible electoral partners. Syriza has drawn leaders, cadres and supporters from the former Maoist, Trotskyist and radical left. Numerous PASOK middle level leaders and electoral supporters have flocked to Syriza. Many defected as a result of PASOK’s responsibility for the crises and support for the “austerity” pact with the EU. In addition a number of ex-Communist trade unionists are now backing Syriza as the only realistic alternative to the Right; many have repudiated Communist Party sectarianism and hostility toward other leftist formations. The current leadership of Syriza has, so far, been able to maintain cohesion by balancing harsh critiques of the austerity pact, which satisfies the radical sectors, with a refusal to exit the EU, which accommodates the social-democratic wing of the Party.

At some point in the coming period Syriza will have to make some hard choices,if it is to form an alternative government. Each of the following options has advantages and disadvantages, costs and benefits.

The Radical Option

Syriza opts to ally with the Communist Party. This is a very difficult choice as the CP demands full compliance with its program, an equal sharing of key posts in a future government and recognition of its vanguard role. Given the fact that, electorally, the CP represents less than one-quarter of the voting strength of Syriza these are totally unacceptable terms to all sectors of the democratic left. The CP would have to accept that it will be a minority partner and that it would have to moderate some of its radical demands. The CP fears that Syriza is just another version of PASOK – a party that gives left signals and makes right turns. Its basic argument that Syriza’s refusal to exit the EU is a sign of its basic opportunism, has some merit. But it refuses to even consider tactical electoral alliances, or offer critical support in forming municipal governments.

In any case, even if the CP and other smaller radical left groups joined a Left coalition, it would only add 8.6% to the electoral total, resulting in a precarious parliamentary majority subject to defections from the social-democratic wing of Syriza and face constant threats of defections by Communist maximalists.

The Moderate Option

Syriza could form an alliance with the so-called center-left parties – PASOK and River parties – on the bases of a minimum program which would involve a commitment to remain in the EU based on renegotiating debt payments and the austerity programs, increasing public spending and ending the privatization of strategic economic sectors. This opening to the Right, would endanger the internal equilibrium of Syriza: it risks a split with the powerful radical sector, thus reducing its overall representation in Parliament.

Even if the Syriza left were to be pacified by offers of ministerial posts and promises of ‘hard negotiations’ with the EU, it is not likely to succeed in securing substantial concessions from the EU. Sectors of the latter are likely to welcome a Greek exit. Others will insist on full compliance with only slight modifications regarding the size of budget surpluses, increases in public spending and the terms of privatization. For the EU, the substance of the austerity program, the scope and depth of privatization, and the obligations to meet interest payments are non-negotiable. In other words to remain in the EU, Syriza would have to continue the basic policies of its rightwing predecessor. To remain in the EU Syriza would have to capitulate and become an updated version of PASOK – and lose its mass base in the next elections. Syriza leaders could procrastinate, with phony promises of a future break with the EU when ‘the time is more propitious’ or it could exit from the EU, losing its center-left allies, but hoping to recoup new supporters through alternative policies.

The ‘Middle Road’

Syriza could continue as an independent political movement, without radical left or center-left coalitions, working to accumulate forces from the stagnant Communists and the disintegrating right-center regime. It could use its leadership of local and regional governments to demonstrate its effectiveness and capacity to govern and ameliorate harsh national policies. It could transform its voting pluralities in Athens and Attica into majorities via community based councils, administrating social programs, food kitchens, public works, clinics and public security.

Conclusion: Perspectives

Syriza, in government and out of the EU, could re-allocate debt payments, based on a debt moratorium, to public investments. It could revert to a national currency and end the fiscal constraints of the EU strait-jacket on budgets, incomes and employment. Control over monetary policy would allow Syriza to devaluate, to raise the effective taxes on the kleptocratic millionaires. It could stimulate the economy and end the deflationary effects of the austerity programs. Protective tariffs, foreign exchange controls and revitalization of public sector enterprises could stimulate the local market. Flexible monetary policy could increase tourism. The cut-off of funding from the EU could be compensated by a 50% cut in military spending and an exit from NATO. The government could finance start-ups of high tech, small and medium size enterprises by the large numbers of educated Greeks currently overseas or unemployed. Greece could increase its ties with non EU countries across the globe. Greece would pay a price, especially from the financial markets. In the immediate period liquidity, external financing and capital flows would dry-up. Internal opposition from sectors tied to EU markets and imports would intensify.

No doubt sectors of the old right will turn to the neo-fascist Golden Dawn Party, as part of a sharper political polarization. Sectors of the police and army, with the support of NATO, will conspire to destabilize.

But with mass support in civil society and the civil bureaucracy, with a majority in the armed forces and police backing the constitutional government, a Syriza led recovery of sovereignty and a robust stimulus package could defeat a destabilization conspiracy.

The key to a successful Syriza government is unity and internal cohesion, and sound and equitable economic policies which balance economic growth and job creation with the gradual recovery of social benefits.

Above all Syriza should resist the populist-clientelistic policies which some of its followers will demand. It must not take the easy and disastrous road of expanding the public bureaucracy. There must be greater reliance on highly skilled professionals and entrepreneurial local innovators who produce useful goods for the market. Public firms must be reformed. The trade unions must understand that the first priority of the economic recovery is to create jobs for the 60% of unemployed youth.

Syriza is Greece’s last best hope . . . because waiting in the wings are the EU aligned oligarchs, fascists and disloyal NATO military officials eager to take advantage of any misstep in order to seize power and turn Greece into another Egypt, Thailand or Ukraine.

Long-suffering State Dept. spokesperson Jen Psaki endured another torrid press briefing as she was forced to defend some distinctly unsavory remarks by Ukrainian politicians and struggled with the differences between Iraq and Iran, as well as oil and gas.

As usual, AP’s Matt Lee served as Psaki’s chief tormentor, bringing up last week’s protests outside the Russian embassy in Kiev, in which Ukraine’s acting Foreign Minister Andrey Deshchitsa addressed the anti-Russian mob by telling them that “Putin is a f**ker.”

“These are officials you have supported, is this the kind of language you find acceptable?” Lee asked Psaki.

Psaki insisted that Deshchitsa’s words are not relevant. Rather, what truly matters is “what the FM was doing when he made those comments,” she said.

“He’s been encouraging calm, encouraging a peaceful resolution, and I would otherwise point you to the Ukrainians on the meaning of the language used, but I think the context here of what effort he was undergoing is an incredibly important part.”

Whether Deshchitsa truly succeeded in his aims of quelling the crowd is questionable – the video shows his words being immediately picked up and turned into a football chant by the delighted mob, as the somewhat mortified diplomat looks on.

And while the Russian embassy did not get torched, one international incident was replaced with another after an official press release from Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk, in which anti-Kiev militias in eastern Ukraine were described as “sub-human” separatists.

“I think the Prime Minister behavior and his leadership has been consistently in support of a peaceful resolution,” Psaki said, refusing to answer whether she felt okay with the Ukrainian official using the Nazi-like word “subhuman” to describe the Russians.

But, perhaps aware of the menacing overtones, Ukrainian officials have since replaced the word “subhuman” with an innovative description of the secessionists – “inhuman.” It is unclear if Yatsenyuk purposely used the word subhuman, and the fate of the translator of the term from Ukrainian – which could have fit either translation – has not been discovered.

Psaki also commented on Russian gas giant Gazprom’s move to switch Ukraine to a natural gas prepayment plan – but she struggled with the differences between oil and gas.

“The oil as I understand it – or gas, I should say, continues to flow to Europe, which of course goes through Ukraine,” she said, this time at least getting the direction of the flow right. She called on Russia to resume negotiations, failing to recognize that Ukraine was unwilling to accept any compromises.

Proceedings then descended into farce as a flustered Psaki repeatedly mixed up Iraq and Iran, until it was not clear to anyone in the room which country she was referring to.

As the whistleblowing NSA sysadmin Edward Snowden made his dramatic escape to Russia a year ago, a secret US government jet – previously employed in CIA “rendition” flights on which terror suspects disappeared into invisible “black” imprisonment – flew into Europe in a bid to spirit him back to America, the Register can reveal.

On the evening of 24 June 2013, as Snowden arrived in Moscow from Hong Kong intending to fly on to Cuba, an unmarked Gulfstream V business jet – tail number N977GA – took off from a quiet commercial airport 30 miles from Washington DC. Manassas Regional Airport discreetly offers its clients “the personal accommodations and amenities you can’t find at commercial airports”.

Early next morning, N977GA was detected heading east over Scotland at the unusually high altitude of 45,000 feet. It had not filed a flight plan, and was flying above the level at which air traffic control reporting is mandatory.

Mr Snowden, your ride is waiting. Click here for full size.

“The plane showed up on our system at 5:20 on 25 June,” according to our source, a member of an internet aircraft-tracking network run by enthusiasts in the UK. “We knew the reputation of this aircraft and what it had done in the past.”

N977GA was not reporting its progress to air-traffic controllers, and thus it would normally have been necessary to use a massive commercial or military radar installation to follow its path. But, even if pilots have turned off automated location data feeds, ordinary enthusiasts equipped with nothing more than suitable radio receivers connected to the internet can measure differences in the time at which an aircraft’s radar transponder signal reaches locations on the ground. Using the technique of multilateration, this information is sufficient to calculate the transponder’s position and so track the aircraft. (The ACMS/ACARS data feeds which automatically report an aircraft’s position are a separate system from the transponder which responds to air-traffic radar pulses. They too can be picked up by receivers on the ground beneath, if they are activated.)

Several such online tracking networks are active in the UK, using this and other sources of information: they include www.flightradar24.com, www.planefinder.net, Planeplotter (www.coaa.co.uk/planeplotter.htm) and www.radarvirtuel.com. UK-based Planeplotter is one of the more sophisticated of these global “virtual radar” systems. It boasts 2,000 members with receivers hooked up to the internet.

The online tracking information reveals that the Gulfstream did not make it all the way to Moscow, but set down and waited at Copenhagen Airport.

Snowden might have found himself sitting in the same seat as Abu Hamza

At the time, Washington was demanding that Moscow should hand over the fleeing Snowden into US custody.

“We expect the Russian government to look at all options available to expel Mr Snowden back to the US to face justice for the crimes with which he is charged,” a National Security Council spokeswoman told reporters. The US also urged countries in the “Western Hemisphere” not to let him in.

The black jet is actually white.

The Kremlin’s response, however, was a big “nyet”. Russia’s Interfax News quoted government sources as saying:

“Snowden has not committed any crimes on Russian territory … Russian law-enforcement agencies have received no instructions through Interpol to detain him. So we have no grounds.”

N977GA has a chequered history. It was originally ordered by the US Air Force for use as a general’s flying gin-palace. But then, shortly after 9/11, it lost its military livery and acquired civilian registration as N596GA. Under that designation it was employed in CIA “renditions” – or kidnappings. In 2011, the “black” jet switched roles again, transferring from the CIA’s contractor to use instead by the Department of Justice (DoJ).

With its new tail number N977GA the plane became part of the Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation Systems (JPATS), operated by US Marshals. On perhaps its best-known mission, the jet flew a team of marshals into the UK on 5 October 2012 to collect radical cleric Abu Hamza after the USA won an extradition order against him.

Only Vladimir Putin’s intransigence saved Snowden from a similar travel package, complete with free one-way ticket home and fitting for a stylish new orange outfit. Abu Hamza was last seen waving goodbye from a back window on N977GA.

According to Mr Snowden’s colleagues, if the Russians knew that an American team was on its way to bring him home, they did not warn him. In the event the “black” (actually white) Gulfstream and its posse of marshals got no further than Copenhagen as US negotiations with the Kremlin failed to prosper. But Snowden remains in Russia to this day – and potentially for the rest of his life.

The US Department of Justice did not respond to our requests for information regarding N977GA and its purpose in heading to Europe on 24 June last year.

The girl’s name is Polina Sladkaya, 6 years old. 

One among many children who died in Slavyansk.  June 8, at 13:15

The self proclaimed international community has blood on its hands.

Washington  is supporting a Neo-Nazi regime in Kiev.

“The western media are refraining from showing such pictures to the public.  In the meantime, the Ukrainian government, having promised President Obama “to mop  up” the Donbass area, is conducting an artillery fire against its own people.  The Ukrainian army spares no one and nothing – civilians, schools, churches, maternity homes.  It is likewise suffering losses – a military aircraft IL-76 carrying 49 air assault personnel was shot down.

This  carnage is being done at the orders of the Obama administration.  The new president in Ukraine is just an obedient stooge. 

Ukraine is dying, its people are being killed.  The Donbass area is being cleaned up of its citizens to become an area for extracting shale gas.”

 

Buses with Slavyansk children come under gunfire

Buses with Slavyansk children come under gunfire

Unknown people fired at two buses with children leaving Slavyansk. At least three passengers were injured, second commander of the city’s territorial army Fyodor Berezin told RIA Novosti.

“Two buses taking children out of Slavyansk were attacked near the village of Raygorodok 3 km east of the city. The buses were under white flags. One of the buses turned over, an elderly woman inside broke an arm. The children from that bus were put on the other one and taken back to Slavyansk,” Berezin said.He also said that two women from the second bus also sustained injuries.

Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_06_13/Buses-with-Slavyansk-children-come-under-gunfire-2887/

 

Media Lies and The Propaganda War about Ukraine

June 16th, 2014 by Eric Zuesse

Recently, Germany’s Der Spiegel featured a lengthy editorial damning Russia regarding Ukraine; it was titled “How Russia Is Winning the Propaganda War,” and it made many allegations, none with documentation, and not a single one with a link to assist the magazine’s online readers to reach easily the presumed (but unidentified) sources. It was the type of propaganda for which Fox “News” in the U.S. has become famous, though Spiegel is centrist (not “right wing”). 

The 2,500-word Spiegel article ignored Obama’s lies about Ukraine, and ignored the solid and voluminous evidence that the February 22nd overthrow of the democratically elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was engineered in Washington with assistance from rabidly anti-Russian Polish officials, and with the additional assistance of some fundamentalist far-Right Israeli-Ukrainian Jews who were willing to work with Ukrainian neo-Nazis to get this done. The May 2nd massacre in Odessa that started Ukraine’s civil war was masterminded by the person (Ihor Kolomoyski) who was appointed by the person (Yulia Timoshenko) whose ally (Arseni Yatsenyuk) was chosen by Obama’s agent (Victoria Nuland) to lead the post-coup government, as the interim Prime Minister.

(Yatsenyuk was quietly retained in office, as the permanent Prime Minister, not replaced, by the elected President, Petro Poroshenko, who continues Yatsenyuk’s policies now, under his title as Ukraine’s “President.” The regime-change was the coup itself, not after; the coup placed Washington in control, which is why Obama did it. And behind even that is the U.S. aristocracy’s need to continue the dollar as being the global exchange — or “reserve” — currency.)

The major media present a very different picture than you see documented in those damning and factual links. Voltairenet pointed out how blatantly the major media lie about what is happening in Ukraine. Headlining, “Kiev regime bombs civilians in eastern Ukraine,” they noted that those bombings were shown “only on Russian TV channels” even though “The OSCE mission in Ukraine has confirmed that the incident involving the administrative building in Lugansk was indeed an airstrike.” Moreover, “To this day, the Western media have ‘refrained’ from broadcasting the images of the civilian victims killed at the Lugansk administrative headquarters, despite their being available on Russian television and on the internet.”

The links in the article that you now are reading are mainly to videos, and to articles with links to videos and tapped phone-conversations, which document in remarkable depth a shocking “You Are There” impossible-to-deny reality, which is the exact opposite of the filth that Spiegel editorially dumped upon its readers, and that’s “reported” in the New York Times, TV “news,” etc. That political PR basically contradicts established facts, while providing no coherent — much less, credible — explanation of them, in order to promote the Obama-Nuland four-Party Ukrainian coalition, of two neo-Nazi parties and two merely fascist parties: the Ukrainian coalition that Obama placed into power there, and that was extended in the recent election, which was held between candidates of only those far-Right Parties. It’s as if an “election” in America had been held in which the only candidates were a regular Republican, a Tea Party Republican, a Militia activist, and a member of the Hitler-admiring Stormfront White supremacists. Should “democracy,” anywhere in the world, come down to a “choice” like that? If it does, then should the U.S. be threatening war against Russia to support this resulting fascism, in Russia’s own next-door – a security threat to Russia — a rabidly anti-Russian fascist Ukraine? Is this really the consequence of democracy in America? Or is it instead the result of democracy having ended in America?

America’s media, with very few exceptions (all of which have only small audiences) are refusing to publish the articles that I have been doing on Ukraine (including the ones I link to here), which expose the lies in America’s, and some foreign, “news” media. Something’s wrong.

War against Russia, initiated by the United States, is no mere game. It could kill virtually all of the public, even if the aristocracy might just fly off to one of the ten mansions they own elsewhere, and their financial paperwork at Cayman Island, Zurich, etc., will still remain in perfectly functioning order. The aristocracy who own and control those media are mentally robotizing the public via lies, in order for commoners to serve as pawns in their global chess-game.

The public in the West are being played for fools, and it’s now becoming so blatant, even worse than the lies that produced the scandalously vile invasion of Iraq (which our aristocratically controlled media also fooled the masses into supporting), so that the result will be either masses in “democratic” countries who really are fools, and who don’t at all hold the press to account for having raped their minds, or else it will be mass boycotts of the major “news” media, to protest it, and to change it — so as to restore democracy to America.

If boycotts of the press don’t soon start, democracy has already ended here, because, ever since we invaded Iraq in 2003, we’re already way past the time when there should be a mass boycott by Americans of their major “news” media — media that lie to them so brazenly, and so repeatedly, for so long.

We’re already dangerously close to being like Ukraine, where even fewer oligarchs control even more of the government and of the economy.

Ukraine isn’t becoming more like America. America is becoming more like Ukraine. Will the American public finally put their collective “foot” down? And, if not now, then when?

Though we don’t see such a movement developing, the public is responding to the lies by the government and by the aristocracy behind it. An excellent example of the general trend of this response is the video on youtube, “Why I’m burning my last bridge with Obama,” in which a former liberal and Obama-supporter lists Obama’s lies, declares him to be even worse than Bush because he used liberals (like her) to become George Bush II (who didn’t even pretend to be a liberal), and she then declares herself to be, essentially, a libertarian, which can only warm the cockles of the Koch brothers’ black hearts. She is now as anti-government, or as “Tea Party”ish, as the Kochs and their ilk want all of the public to be, which is great for the aristocracy, since everything then becomes privatized, and they own it directly, without even having to worry about regulation by the EPA, FDA, etc., or any possibility that they’ll need to pay fines, much less to be subject to imprisonment, as commoners would be who perpetrated the massive harms that they do (which they don’t).

A response like that, by the public, is worse than hopeless: it’s playing right into the aristocracy’s hands. If that’s to be the public’s response to the aristocracy, the game is already over, and they have won; the public has jumped right into the mental bondage that our fascist rulers want.

It’s 1984. Unless a better response is forthcoming.

The present news report is distributed to the news media throughout the United States and English-speaking world, including, but not limited to: New York Times, Washington Post, U.S. broadcast and cable-news networks, Huffington Post, Salon, Alternet, CommonDreams, MediaMatters, Fair, Foreign Policy, TIME, McClatchy Newspapers, Truthout, Rolling Stone, OpedNews, The Atlantic, Harpers, Mother Jones, National Review, Drudge, Washingtonsblog, Voltairenet, GlobalResearch, Washington Monthly, Bloomberg, The Guardian, BusinessInsider, Zerohedge, The Nation, Firedoglake, Progressive, NationalMemo, Dawn, New Yorker, Truthdig, DailyCaller, Counterpunch, and American Prospect. All of them have previously likewise received the articles to which I have linked, and so they are well aware of the information that is contained herein. At a few of them, their readers have likewise been made aware of this information, by means of publishing those news reports. The others, it seems, don’t want their readers to know, but now they have the opportunity to inform them, to bring them up-to-date.

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.

 

 Once again, the International Movement for a Just World (JUST) joins hands with the people of Cuba and justice-loving people in every nook and cranny of the planet, in demanding the immediate release of the three remaining prisoners from the Cuban Five who are still languishing in US jails, after 13 years.

Two were released after completing their prison terms — Rene Gonzales on the 7th of October 2011, and Fernando Gonzales on the 27th of February 2014. It is important to emphasize that they walked to freedom with their dignity intact. The three who are still in jail — Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero and Ramon Labanino — deserve our fullest support and solidarity. We should continue to campaign for them with all our heart and soul.

To reiterate, the imprisonment of all five is a travesty of justice. The Cuban Five were monitoring Cuban exile groups in the US in the nineties who had a proven record of committing terrorist acts against the Cuban people. They were gathering information about the terrorist missions that these groups were planning and had informed the US authorities about what they (the Cuban Five) were doing. And yet they were arrested and jailed after an unfair and unjust trial.

If the Cuban Five working under the direction of the Cuban government was determined to expose terrorist activities being carried out against their motherland from US soil, it was mainly because Cuba and its leadership had been victims of US sponsored terror and violence for decades. In 1976, a Cuban commercial plane with 73 passengers on board, a number of them school children, was bombed, killing everyone. The alleged mastermind of this terrorist act, Luis Posada Carriles, is still alive, protected by the US government.

There was also an unsuccessful invasion of Cuba by groups in the US in 1961, the infamous ‘Bay of Pigs’ fiasco. A series of terrorist attacks targeting hotels and tourists in the nineties sought to cripple the Cuban economy. And there have been innumerable attempts to assassinate the Leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, right through the 47 years that he was in power. Add to all this the crippling economic sanctions imposed upon Cuba by every US Administration since 1961 and we will get a complete picture of how a small nation of 11 million people has had to endure the terror unleashed against it by its superpower neighbor.

Why has Cuba been the target of terrorism in all its manifestations for so long? The reason is simple. The US elite will not accept in its neighborhood, a nation which is determined to choose its own path to the future without being dictated to, or dominated by, the US. It will not tolerate a people who are committed to defending their independence and sovereignty. To put it in another way, the US drive for hegemony does not permit another nation— especially a nation with a different worldview — to preserve and enhance its dignity.

This hegemonic attitude is borne out by the US’s treatment of other countries in Latin America. Whenever a nation steps out of line, the US line, it is clobbered. Sometimes through terror and violence. Look at Nicaragua, El Salvador, Panama, Uruguay, Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, at different times and in different circumstances. Even in West Asia, terror has been employed to both undermine governments which want to maintain a degree of independence from the US and the West and to create instability and chaos in society. This is the story of Somalia and Sudan, of Libya and Lebanon, of Iraq and Syria. In Southeast Asia too, the Vietnamese, the Cambodians and Laotians have all experienced US terror, just as the people of the Philippines had in the past. Weren’t the citizens of Hiroshima and Nagasaki also exposed to a US “rain of terror” in 1945?

Let’s be clear about this. Terrorism is a tool for dominance and control. Terrorism is a weapon of hegemony. The US — like some other states too—uses this weapon in both ways. It employs terror when it suits its interests. It also fights against terrorism when it serves its agenda. This is why for the US there are “good terrorists” and “bad terrorists.” It is quite happy to collude with the former and crush the latter.

This was obvious in Iraq following the Anglo-American occupation of the land in 2003. In the initial phase the occupier encouraged the Shia militias to fight the Sunni remnants of the Saddam Hussein regime. Once the Shias got into power through the democratic process and moved closer to Iran, the US became worried and backed Sunni militias fighting the Shia dominated government.  Now of course, Sunni-Shia clashes, compounded by various other forces, have assumed a life of their own.

In Syria, it is an open secret that the US and other Western and regional actors have been actively involved in supporting the armed rebels against the Bashar al-Assad government in Damascus. Some of the rebels are favored more than others by the US just as other rebels are linked to some of the other external players. The good terrorists from the US perspective receive a lot of assistance including weapons and funds through channels connected to US allies in the region. Are there bad terrorists in the Syrian conflict? While the US may not approve of the tactics used by some of the rebels, it has refrained from strong denunciation of them since it shares their overriding objective of eliminating Assad. So it is Assad who is the bad terrorist in the eyes of the US. Assad is bad because he has been consistent in his opposition to US-Israeli hegemony over West Asia.

There is parallel of sorts to the Cuban situation. All those individuals and groups opposed to the Cuban government, however violent they may be, are “good terrorists” and have been bestowed with all kinds of aid by US agencies through various conduits.  Fidel Castro, and his successor, Raul Castro, are the bad ones. Fidel in particular was demonized in the mainstream Western media as few other leaders had been. Needless to say, it was because of his principled position against US helmed hegemony, articulated with such depth and clarity, that a grossly negative image of the man was disseminated through the media.

But Fidel Castro and the Cuban Five have demonstrated that in the ultimate analysis truth will triumph. Today, Fidel commands a lot of respect and affection among ordinary men and women everywhere for what he has accomplished for his people and indeed for the people of Latin America and the Global South. Similarly, the cause of the Cuban Five has become one of the major rallying-points in the worldwide struggle for human freedom and human dignity because it symbolizes the struggle of the powerless against the powerful.    

Dr. Chandra Muzaffar is President of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST), an NGO based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Another conspiracy “theory” becomes conspiracy “fact” as The FT reports a cluster of central banking investors has become major players on world equity markets.” The report, to be published this week by the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF), confirms $29.1tn in market investments, held by 400 public sector institutions in 162 countries, which “could potentially contribute to overheated asset prices.”

China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange has become “the world’s largest public sector holder of equities”, according to officials, and we suspect the Fed is close behind (courtesy of more levered positions at Citadel), as the world’s banks try to diversify themselves and “counters the monopoly power of the dollar.” Which leaves us wondering where are the central bank 13Fs?

While most have assumed that this is likely, the recent exuberance in stocks has largely been laid at the foot of another irrational un-economic actor – the corporate buyback machine. However, as The FT reports, what we have speculated as fact for many years now (given the death cross of irrationality, plunging volumes, lack of engagement, and of course dwindling credibility of central planners)… is now fact…

Central banks around the world, including China’s, have shifted decisively into investing in equities as low interest rates have hit their revenues, according to a global study of 400 public sector institutions.

“A cluster of central banking investors has become major players on world equity markets,” says a report to be published this week by the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (Omfif), a central bank research and advisory group. The trend “could potentially contribute to overheated asset prices”, it warns.

The report, seen by the Financial Times, identifies $29.1tn in market investments, including gold, held by 400 public sector institutions in 162 countries.

China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange has become “the world’s largest public sector holder of equities”, as the report argues is “partly strategic” because it “counters the monopoly power of the dollar” and reflects Beijing’s global financial ambitions.

In Europe, the Swiss and Danish central banks are among those investing in equities. The Swiss National Bank has an equity quota of about 15 per cent. Omfif quotes Thomas Jordan, SNB’s chairman, as saying: “We are now invested in large, mid- and small-cap stocks in developed markets worldwide.” The Danish central bank’s equity portfolio was worth about $500m at the end of last year.

Read more here

So there it is… conspiracy fact – Central Banks around the world are buying stocks in increasing size.

To summarize, the global equity market is now one massive Ponzi scheme in which the dumb money are central banks themselves, the same banks who inject the liquidity to begin with.

That would explain this.

 

 

 

That said, good luck with “exiting” the unconventional monetary policy. You’ll need it.

U.S. plans to attack Iran with a mix of nuclear and conventional weapons have been in readiness since June, 2005, according to Michel Chossudovsky. a distinguished authority on international affairs.

“Confirmed by military documents as well as official statements, both the U.S. and Israel contemplate the use of nuclear weapons directed against Iran,” writes professor Michel Chossudovsky, Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization in Montreal.

The plans were formulated in 2004. The previous year, Congress gave the Pentagon the green light to use thermo-nuclear weapons in conventional war theaters in the Middle East and Central Asia, allocating $6 billion in 2004 alone to create the new generation of “defensive” tactical nuclear weapons or “mini-nukes”.

“In 2005, Vice President Dick Cheney ordered USSTRATCOM (Strategic Command) to draft a ‘contingency plan’ that included “a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons,” Chossudovsky writes. The plan went beyond the terms of reference outlined in the Pentagon’s 2001 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR),  which called for a ”preemptive” “first strike use” of nuclear weapons against Russia and China as well as Iran and North Korea.

The 2005 plan identified more than 450 strategic targets in Iran, including numerous alleged nuclear-weapons-program development sites. The plan, incredibly, was rationalized on a second 9/11 type attack on the US that Cheney believed Iran would allegedly support!

“President Obama has largely endorsed the doctrine of pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons formulated by the previous administration,” Chossudovsky writes in his new book, “Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War” (Global Research, 2012). His Administration “has also intimated it will use nukes in the event of an Iran response to an Israeli attack on Iran.”

Chossudovsky points out, “The new nuclear doctrine turns concepts and realities upside down. It not only denies the devastating impacts of nuclear weapons, it states, in no uncertain terms, that nuclear weapons are ‘safe’ and their use in the battlefield will ensure ‘minimal collateral damage and reduce the probability of escalation.’ The issue of radioactive fallout is not even acknowledged with regard to tactical nuclear weapons, neither is the issue of ‘Nuclear Winter’.”

“What is unfolding (in Iran) is the outright legitimization of war in the name of an illusive notion of global security. America’s mini-nukes, with an explosive capacity of up to six times a Hiroshima bomb, are upheld as a ‘humanitarian’ bomb, whereas Iran’s nonexistent nuclear weapons are branded as an indisputable threat to global security,” Chossudovsky writes.

He points out that a U.S.-Israeli strike against Iran would probably not be limited to Iran’s nuclear facilities but likely would be “an all-out air attack on both military and civilian infrastructure, transport systems, factories and public buildings.”

Employed would be “the entire gamut of new advanced weapons systems, including electro-metric weapons and environmental modification techniques (ENMOD),” Chossudovsky writes.

WWIII Scenario

He notes that the U.S. has stepped up its military shipments to Israel, its NATO allies, and to countries bordering Iran. Israel in 2004 took shipment of the first of 500 U.S.-made BLU 109 “bunker buster” bombs, and the U.S. has supplied thermonuclear bombs to Belgium, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Turkey, and Great Britain. Turkey alone, a partner in the U.S. anti-Iran coalition, has 90 thermonuclear B61 bombs at its Incirlik nuclear air base.

“It is not Iran and North Korea which are a threat to global security by the United States of America and Israel,” he adds. What’s more, Western European governments have joined the bandwagon and “have endorsed the U.S.-led military initiative against Iran.”

He goes on to say, “At no point since the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, has humanity been closer to the unthinkable — a nuclear holocaust which could potentially spread in terms of radioactive fallout over a large part of the Middle East.”

It may also be noted the U.S. currently has several, nuclear-armed carrier task forces in waters near Iran and has built more than 40 military bases in the countries surrounding Iran. The U.S. reportedly has 20,000 nuclear bombs available to use and Israel reportedly has another 200, whereas Iran is not known to have one. U.S. military spending of $700 billion a year, moreover, is 100 times the rate of Iran’s $7 billion annual military outlay.

For further information and/or interviews with Michel Chossudovsky, contact Sherwood Ross Associates, Public Relations Consultants, Miami, Florida, 305-205-8281
[email protected]

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Industrial action is in its fifth month causing negative growth in the economy

Spokespersons for the three major world producers of platinum announced on June 12 that firms had reached a tentative agreement to end a strike that has threatened the South African economy with a renewed recession.

Members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) have led 70,000 of their members in a protracted strike which is credited in the negative growth ratings during the first quarter inside the country.

South Africa contains approximately 80 percent of the world’s supply of platinum which is an essential mineral in the automotive and transport industries internationally. AMCU is demanding a minimum wage for miners of 12,500 Rand ($US1,163) per month. It appears that the tentative agreement with the mine owners will be substantially less than this amount demanded.

AMCU President Joseph Mathunjwa on June 12 traveled into the Rustenburg area which is the center of mining activity. He was there to discuss the possible agreement with union leaders and rank-and-file workers.

Mine bosses are eager to have the situation in Rustenburg in the North West Province to return to some semblance of normalcy after two years of divisive and violent labor struggles. In August 2012 the situation erupted with a wildcat (unprotected) strike at Lonmin.

During the course of the work stoppage initially at least 10 people were killed due to actions by security forces and the rivalry between the AMCU organizers and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) which is affiliated with the Congress of South African Trade Union (COSATU), the largest labor federation in the country. Over the last two years AMCU has won the membership of a majority of miners in the platinum sector in the North West and NUM is now a minority union.

Later on August 16, 2012, North West Provincial police opened fire on striking miners killing 34 and wounding many others. Dozens of other workers were taken into custody but were later released after a national outcry.

 Impact of the Strike on the National Economy

Reports from various economic publications indicate that the ongoing crisis within the platinum sector in South Africa has caused not only tremendous losses for the mining companies but also the economy overall which still relies heavily on the extractive industries for export. Owners of the platinum firms had threatened during 2013 to downsize the workforce by thousands in the upcoming period due to labor unrest and the purported decline in profits.

According to the London-based Financial Times, “The strike is the longest and costliest in more than 100 years in South Africa’s crucial mining sector. An end to the industrial action would bring huge relief to the industry, which was already struggling with rising costs and lower platinum prices.” (June 14)

The articles states that the ending of the strike “would also provide a much-needed boost to South Africa’s ailing economy, which contracted in the first three months of the year as mining output shrank by nearly 25 per cent – its worst performance in nearly 50 years.”

In recent months the West African state of Nigeria has been designated as the largest economy on the continent having ostensibly outperformed the Republic of South Africa, previously considered the powerhouse of the region. Nonetheless, both nations still suffer from large unemployment rates of 25 percent or more with stark class divisions that have prompted industrial actions and other forms of unrest.

The three leading firms Anglo American Platinum, Impala and Lonmin issued a joint statement saying that “in principle” agreements had been reached with the leadership of AMCU “in respect of wages and conditions of employment”. Although no details were released on the actual terms of a potential settlement, the South African government has been attempting to mediate an end to the strike.

Labor Relations and Post-Elections Politics

During the recent national elections on May 7 the ruling African National Congress (ANC) won an overall 62 percent majority of the vote maintaining its dominance in the post-apartheid government which came into being in 1994. The ANC, which led the national liberation movement against white minority settler-colonial rule since 1912 when it was founded, lost some support in the North West Provincial government.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) headed by former ousted ANC Youth League President Julius Malema became the main opposition party within the provincial government, although trailing far behind the ANC, in the North West. Malema immediately visited the Marikana area after the massacre in 2012.

When Malema was president of the ANCYL he openly advocated policies calling for the nationalization of the mining and agricultural industries in South Africa. In the recently-held elections campaign the EFF worked the province to obtain the votes of those who have become critical of the ANC government for not moving fast enough on the issues of nationalization and land redistribution.

Nonetheless, there are reports as well that most workers are ready to return to their jobs. Violence has escalated in the mining areas in the North West and workers are not able to carry out their family obligations.

Reuters reported that “Workers and shop-stewards from South Africa’s AMCU mining union begged leader Joseph Mathunjwa to sign a wage deal with three major platinum firms on Thursday (June 12) at a mass rally crowning five months of crippling protest. As the longest strike in the 130-year history of South Africa’s mines showed its first signs of breaking, thousands of stick-wielding miners cheered as a senior union official took the microphone to declare: “Sign, Mathunjwa, sign.”

It was also reported that another worker shouted out during a meeting with the labor leaders that “This union has worked. We want this money. We come from hardships. AMCU has worked. We can’t take kids to school. Sign, Mathunjwa.” (June 12)

Blair: Bombing Iraq Better. Again

June 16th, 2014 by David Cromwell

Over the weekend, the British media was awash with the blood-splattered Tony Blair’s self-serving attempts to justify the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003. The coverage was sparked by a new essay in which Blair claimed that the chaos in Iraq was the ‘predictable and malign effect’ of the West having ‘watched Syria descend into the abyss’ without bombing Assad. Blair advocated yet more Western violence, more bombing:

‘On the immediate challenge President Obama is right to put all options on the table in respect of Iraq, including military strikes on the extremists…’

Par for the course, the liberal wing of the corporate media, notably the Guardian and BBC News, led with Blair’s sophistry. (See image, courtesy of News Unspun).

Blair told Andrew Marr on BBC1 that:

‘washing our hands of the current problem would not make it go away’.

The choice of phrase is telling. The image of Blair attempting to wash away the blood of one million Iraqis is indelible.

The Guardian’s editors performed painful contortions to present an illusion of reasoned analysis, declaring that Blair’s essay was both ‘thoughtful’ and ‘wrong-headed’. Robert Fisk’s response to Blair was rather different:

‘How do they get away with these lies?’

In the Guardian editorial, titled ‘a case of blame and shame’, the key phrase was:

‘If there has to be a hierarchy of blame for Iraq, however, it must surely begin with Saddam.’

Of course, ‘surely’! But only if the Guardian’s editors feel compelled to keep selling one core ideological message to its audience. Namely, that, although mistakes do happen, such as ‘deficiencies’ in the West’s occupation of Iraq, US-UK foreign policy is basically well-intentioned. That, in a nutshell, is why the Guardian is part of the liberal establishment bedrock.

The Guardian forgot to mention that Saddam Hussein achieved power with the assistance of the CIA. They forgot to mention that the West supported him through his worst crimes, supplying the technology that allowed him to launch chemical weapons attacks during the Iran-Iraq war, protecting him in the United Nations and the press, and so on.

Like an addict unable to let go of just one more fix, the paper said:

‘The situation may not demand, but it certainly invites, intervention.’

The Independent, that other great white hope of British liberal journalism, was no better. An editorial asked: ‘Would intervention now work?’, adding that it ‘may become inevitable because of the threat to Israel and Turkey, a Nato ally.’ The paper bemoaned, outrageously, that it had come to this because ‘some sort of decisive Western action in Syria, famously defeated in the House of Commons, might have prevented Isis from gaining the strength it has.’ In fact, bombing Assad would have massively empowered Isis, one of his major enemies.

The editors complained that there was now:

‘no appetite for intervention anywhere, no matter how compelling the arguments.’

The pathetic hand-wringing continued:

‘Our failures in Iraq have inoculated Western electorates against any desire to repeat the experiment, no matter that an invasion of Iraq now could be more truthfully termed a “liberation” for the Iraqi people, and an act to save many more lives throughout the Middle East, than the one Mr Blair and Mr Bush presided over 11 years ago. Their failures do mean we cannot act now.’

Ah, this time it really will be a ‘liberation’, whereas last time, as even London mayor Boris Johnsonnotes:

‘It looks to me as though the Americans were motivated by a general strategic desire to control one of the biggest oil exporters in the world…’

Johnson, who voted for the war and describes it as merely a ‘tragic mistake’, is concerned not with the criminality and bloodshed but the ability to sell wars in future:

‘Blair is now undermining the very cause he advocates – the possibility of serious and effective intervention.’

Amol Rajan, the Independent’s editor, boasted of ‘our proud record on coverage of Iraq’.

We responded:

‘Sorry, we have analysed the Independent’s performance closely. Your record was and is shameful. Where to start?’

We could do worse than by reminding him of his own paper’s editorial at the war’s launch (when Simon Kelner was the editor):

‘The debate about…this war is over…the time has come “to support our troops”.’ (‘When democracies do battle with a despot, they must hold on to their moral superiority’, Independent, March 20, 2003)

The Eternally Open ‘Option’

BBC News reported Obama as saying that the US government was looking at ‘all options’, including military force, to ‘help fight Islamist militants’. The reality of the US empire, regardless of who sits in the president’s chair, is that the military ‘option’ is always ‘open’.

In Syria, the ‘Islamist militants’ are ‘rebels’ who are on ‘our’ side because they oppose the ‘tyrannical’ Assad. In Iraq, the ‘Islamist militants’ are ‘insurgents’ because they oppose the US-implanted and supported ‘democracy’ there. BBC News maintains the required warmongering narrative by askingloaded questions such as:

‘Iraq: How can US help combat insurgents?’

Frank Gardner, in his role as ”security’ correspondent, can be relied upon to explain how the US can ‘help’.

The corporate media find nothing strange in the idea that the blood-drenched perpetrators of the vast war crime of 2003 are preparing to return to the scene of their crime in 2014 to administer more of the same catastrophic ‘medicine’. That the US and the West, and their client state Israel, are the prime movers of chaos, violence and instability in the Middle East is not part of the back-story.

Sometimes BBC reporting becomes so extreme that the term ‘Orwellian’ isn’t sufficiently strong to describe the madness of a BBC journalist calling for military action. Consider that ‘diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus ‘reported’ that the Iraqi government ‘needs to bring rapid firepower to bear and quickly’ to reclaim territory ‘seized’ by ‘Isis-led fighters’.

When the corporate media descends to this depth, we are truly in the grip of societal madness.

‘A Curious Perspective’

Earlier, Marcus had written one of those ‘background’ pieces that the BBC publishes in times of crisis in order to present the required context and history. The article was titled ‘Six things that went wrong for Iraq’. It had at least one glaring omission which prompted us to email Marcus on June 12 as follows:

Hello Jonathan,

Your new article for the BBC News website is titled ‘Six things that went wrong for Iraq’. Not one of these six items is the appalling UN sanctions regime that, according to Unicef, resulted in the deaths of an estimated half a million children under five and likely well over one million people in total.

In 1998, Denis Halliday, the UN humanitarian coordinator in Iraq, resigned his post in protest at what he called ‘genocidal’ sanctions. These sanctions were maintained at the particular behest of Washington and London, and involved huge propaganda efforts to obscure the truth. Halliday’s successor, Hans von Sponeck, likewise resigned in 2000.

Imagine if a foreign journalist had written a piece about this country titled, ‘Six things that went wrong for the UK’. Imagine that this journalist had not mentioned that around two million British people [i.e. proportional in respect of the relative populations of the UK and Iraq] had died as a result of UN sanctions policy in the 1990s. You might well regard such a journalist as a propagandist.

You must surely be aware of the facts, and yet you choose to airbrush them from Iraqi history. Why?

David Cromwell

The same day, Marcus sent a response of sorts:

Dear Mr Cromwell

I am sorry that you did not find anything useful in the piece.

As ever you choose to see things entirely from your own organisation’s curious perspective.

Thank you for troubling to write.

The BBC man’s haughty and evasive dismissal totally blanked the appalling tragedy of UN sanctions on Iraq. As the playwright Harold Pinter said in his acceptance speech for the 2005 Nobel Prize in Literature:

‘It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest.’

But in the mind of a senior BBC correspondent, to be challenged about journalistic silence on a major international crime committed by the West is a ‘curious perspective’.

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Netanyahu is pushing a new bill to allow the force-feeding of Palestinian hunger strikers. The prime minister is in good company.

American practices at the prison at Guantanamo Bay are giving Benjamin Netanyahu ideas.

Earlier this week, a draft bill authorizing the force-feeding of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners passed the first of three readings in the Knesset. Of the roughly 300 prisoners presently fasting in protest of Israeli administrative detention, at least 70 are hospitalized around the country, shackled to their beds. If the bill becomes law, dozens of them may be forced to undergo the procedure.

Illustrative photo of Palestinian prisoners in an Israeli military prison (By ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock.com)

Netanyahu is personally pressing for the law, prodded along by the Shin Bet security service. The Shabak is calling for a tough approach to the mass strike andrefusing to negotiate with the prisoners lest they see any benefit from their protest. The prime minister is in good company. He explicitly cited the United States as inspiration, reportedly telling Israel’s Channel 2 that “in Guantanamo, the Americans are using the method of force-feeding too.”

The echoes of the U.S. example don’t stop there. Like its American andinternational counterparts, the Israeli Medical Association, to its credit, won’t go along, citing “the sanctity of life and the duty to respect the autonomy of the patient.”

Read: ‘Administrative detainees must have done something wrong’

Force-feeding, by all accounts, is an excruciating procedure that causes immense pain and has been declared “cruel, inhuman, and degrading” by medical experts the world over. Watch this video of rapper Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) being force-fed under the Guantanamo procedure (warning: it’s hard to watch), or consider this description of a method used at the island prison, a variation of “the water cure,” which has roots in the Spanish Inquisition:

At Guantanamo Bay, military doctors and nurses have medicalized the water cure. They are now using excessively thick nasogastric feeding tubes to force as much as two-thirds of a gallon of fluid into hunger-striking detainees in as little as 20 minutes, twice each day, while they are tightly strapped to a specially-made restraint chair. If a detainee vomits during the process—which is common—it starts all over again. Adding humiliation to the ordeal, the doctors frequently give the detainee a laxative, which can cause him to defecate during the process—after which he may be held in the restraint chair for as long as two hours, sitting in his own filth. One detainee has even reported that often, when he is brought back to his cell, the guards lay him on his stomach and cause him to vomit by pressing forcefully on his back.

In 2012, Khader Adnan, a Palestinian held in Israel without charge or trial, agreedto stop his 66-day hunger strike in exchange for release from prison. Several other hunger strikes, including that of Palestinian footballer Mahmoud Sarsak, were called off under similar terms. The prisoners managed to mobilize their only vestiges of autonomy – their bodies – in protest of a manifestly unjust practice. Israel, faced with the fallout of their deaths, no longer found them too dangerous too free.

But the Shin Bet is clearly seeking to avoid a repetition of those earlier successes. “You can’t have a situation where prisoners who are in jail for a very good reason will use the threat of a hunger strike to receive a ‘get out of jail free’ card,” an Israeli official recently explained.

Palestinian youth protest in solidarity with soccer player Mahmoud Sarsak, who was held in administrative detention for three years. Nablus, 2012. (Photo by Ahmad al-Baz/Activestills.org)

But what’s the very good reason? Like at Guantanamo, those strikes and this one, which began in April, are a protest against the military use of administrative detention (“indefinite detention,” in American parlance), an oft-used tool in the occupation’s arsenal to detain Palestinians without charge or trial for indefinitely renewable periods. Over the years, thousands have come in and out of Israeli detention, many on a revolving basis. As of April, Israel was holding 191 administrative detainees, according to B’Tselem. They do not know why they are in jail or when they will be released.

“People go on a hunger strike for political reasons … and the consequence could be political damage to the state,” said Yoel Hadar, a government legal advisor. In the end, force-feeding isn’t about saving lives, it’s about neutralizing the long-term threat that the likes of Khader Adnan and Mahmoud Sarsak pose to the occupation: the exposure of a system whose raison d’être is repression and control, not security.

Guantanamo is 12 years old. Barack Obama continues to claim he wants to see it shuttered. But while Israel may now be borrowing from the U.S. playbook on force-feeding, the tactics of the 47-year-old occupation are clearly focused on the long game.

The late Saddam Hussein was certainly right when he predicted that America’s invasion of Iraq would become “the Mother of All Battles.” Eleven years later, it continues.

This week saw the collapse of two divisions of Iraq’s government army, a full 30,000 men running like chickens before the relentless advance of the fighters of ISIS – the Islamic State of Iraq and Shams (Syria). The same puppet army trained and equipped for a decade by the US at a cost of $14 billion. An evil portent of what awaits Afghanistan’s US-led army and police.

Remember when President George W. Bush boasted, “mission accomplished?” Was not the wicked Saddam Hussein lynched by US Shia allies? Wasn’t the dreaded al-Qaida defeated and its leader, Osama bin Laden, assassinated? Remember all that crowing from Washington about “draining the swamp” in Iraq?

As soon as the US knocks down one challenger to its domination of the Mideast – which I call the American Raj – another rises up. The latest: ISIS, a fierce jihadist force that now controls large parts of Syria and Iraq.

ISIS is a combination of Sunni jihadist groups fighting the Shia-backed Damascus government of Bashar Assad (a US enemy backed by Shia Iran), and resurgent units of Saddam’s old Ba’athist army, led by Izzat Ibrahin al-Douri, the last surviving member of Saddam’s inner circle, and a handful of al-Qaida in Iraq.

They are battling to overthrow the US-installed Shia regime in Baghdad of Nuri al-Maliki, an Iranian ally. There are suspicions ISIS may be secretly financed by Sunni Saudi Arabia, a US ally.

Wait a minute. My enemy’s enemy is my friend, as the old Mideast saying goes. The US is trying to overthrow Syria’s secular government to undermine its ally, Iran. The US has been using brutal jihadist groups against the Assad regime in Damascus. But now these jihadists in Syria have mostly fallen under the sway of ISIS – which is chewing up the US-backed regime in Baghdad. Confusing, is it not? My enemy’s enemy has become my friend’s enemy.

The 2003 invasion of Iraq, the stupidest war in US history, which was rousingly backed by Congress and the media, has produced a monumental mess of mind-numbing complexity as Washington trips over its own feet. The ladies advising President Barack Obama on his Mideast policy are hopelessly befuddled.

Washington, now in a major panic over ISIS, is moving towards air strikes against Iraq using warplanes based in Kuwait and the Gulf. The US also has two full mechanized combat brigades in Kuwait. Republicans are calling for US ground forces to re-enter Iraq to shore up the widely detested Maliki regime.

While Washington dithers, its little Kurdish protectorate in northern Iraq is threatening to send its combat-effective ‘pesh merga’ fighters to battle ISIS. But this is making both Turkey, which opposes any Kurdish state, and Iran, with its own Kurdish problem, very uneasy. Iraq used to be part of the Ottoman Empire. Its vast oil reserves are a constant enticement to energy-deprived Turkey.

This awful mess can be directly traced to neoconservative strategists in Washington clustered around Vice President Dick Cheney. In 2002, their primary goal, according to Cheney, was to wreck Iraq, the most industrially advanced and progressive Arab state, so removing a major foe of Israel, and then grabbing Iraq’s oil.

Following the time-tested Roman imperial formula of ‘divide et impera’ (divide and rule), Washington played Iraq’s long downtrodden Shia against its Sunni minority, igniting a wider Sunni-Shia conflict in the Arab world, notably in Syria.

In fact, Israel emerged as the sole strategic victor of the Bush/Cheney war against Iraq. That war, so far, has cost the US 4,500 soldiers killed, 35,700 wounded, 45,000 sick and over $1 trillion. Iraq lies in ruins, likely shattered beyond all attempts to put it back together. No senior American or British official has faced trial for this disastrous, trumped-up war.

Nuri Maliki has totally excluded Sunnis from power in Iraq, and uses brutal secret police and torture to repress them. Small wonder he faces a major uprising. Iraq’s oil-based economy remains in ruins. Many Iraqis believe their now wretched nation was far better off under Saddam Hussein, as brutal and clumsy as he was.

Interestingly, efforts by ISIS to forge an Islamic state in a merged Syria and Iraq is one of the first major challenges to the foul Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916 under which the British and French Empires secretly colluded to divide up the moribund Ottoman Empire’s Mideast domains. Today’s artificial Mideast borders were drawn by the Anglo-French imperialists to impose their rule on the region. Iraq and Syria were the most egregious examples.

ISIS appears set on erasing the British-French borders and re-creating the unified Ottoman province (Turkish: vilyat) of Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. In the West, the neocon-dominated commentariat calls ISIS terrorists. In the Mideast, many see them as anti-colonial fighters struggling to reunite the Arab world sundered and splintered by the western powers. The western powers are now preparing to strike back.

Columnist and author Eric Margolis is a veteran of many conflicts in the Middle East, Margolis recently was featured in a special appearance on Britain’s Sky News TV as “the man who got it right” in his predictions about the dangerous risks and entanglements the US would face in Iraq. His latest book is American Raj: Liberation or Domination?: Resolving the Conflict Between the West and the Muslim World.

Ukrainians have a sad date to commemorate in September 2014 – the concentration camps in Terezin and Talerhof were built to isolate the pro-Russian segment of population residing in Austria-Hungarian Galicia. Thousands of Rusyns lost their lives because they had sympathies for Russia and wanted to preserve their historic self-identification. They refused to call themselves Ukrainians as the authorities of Austria – Hungary wanted them to. So they went to the camps.

The conditions were horrible. The first barracks in Talerhof were built in 1915. The prisoners had no cover to give them shelter from rain. They slept under open sky. The condition for getting freedom was the refusal to say the person belonged to the Rusyn nationality. The wardens were the Galicians who agreed to call themselves the Ukrainians. They were the ones who exterminated the Rusyns. Their crimes are described in Talerhof Almanac published by the prisoners’ committee in the 1920s.

Ukrainian nationalists faithfully served Germans during the days of the country’s occupation. They hated everything Russian. They were willing to serve as chasteners and guards in numerous concentration camps. 700 thousand Red Army soldiers became prisoners after the Soviet troops were encircled near Kiev. Many of them were ethnic Ukrainians. There were two concentration camps near Brovary in the vicinity of Kiev. The prisoners were regularly shot near the village of Bykovnya. According to local dwellers, the executioners were Hitlerites as well as Ukrainian policemen. M. Skuratiuk, a member of local council, told Kievskij Vestnik there were 1200 Ukrainian policemen out of 1500 chasteners in Babi Yar, it means only 300 of them were Germans. Few remember that before the mass extermination of Jews the prisoners of Babi Yar were predominantly Ukrainians who were made go through the Syrets «filtration camp». They had fought German fascists along with Russians. In the February of 2014 the Nazi successors and admirers came to power. The US and Germany supported them. A row was sparked in the parliament of the German Republic as Sahra Wagenknecht, a German politician, graduated economist and publicist, took the podium and delivered a speech. She is a member of the Bundestag and a member of the National Committee of the Left Party. The MP accused Angela Merkel of deceiving people presenting the events in Ukraine in different light. She called for exerting pressure on Poroshenko to make him stop the war against his own people. Sahra Wagenknecht said four members of the Ukraine’s cabinet of ministers were involved in cultivating hatred towards Jews and Russians. She meant members of Svoboda political party led by Oleg Tyagnibok that had been called the Socialist-Nationalist Party till 2004. The Ukraine’s Justice Ministry refused to register it under this name. One of the persons she was talking about was Andriy Parubiy, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine appointed after the 2014 Ukrainian coup. Listing just four is not enough. There are cabinet members who hide their views and those who are proud of them. For instance, Sergei Kvit, the Minister of Education, President of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. He is the person who ordered to ban the use of Russian language inside the institution.

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine appointed Colonel-General of the State Border Service of Michael Koval as acting Defense Minister. He is the one to make others pale when it comes to the allegiance to Nazi ideals. After Petro Poroshenko was elected President, he went to the parliament to make it aware of the government plans. According to him, all the young people of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics, including women, will be held in «filtration camps» and then made go to different regions of Ukraine. According to him, people will get filtrated to check if they had not been connected to terrorists.

So it is the creation of concentration camps what the Ukrainian government has in its plans for future, the good old days of fascist Germany are back…The population of restive Donbass is around six and a half million people. Many of these people Almanach are going to lose homes and stay in the camps. Then the government will tell them where to live in case they manage to go through the process of filtration and prove they had nothing to do with the anti-Nazi resistance movement. Those who opposed the mass killings of population by Ukrainian regular forces will have to face trial; one can easily guess what it means.

The contemporary Europe has never known anything comparable – the mass relocation of people living in certain regions. Will the United States and the leading European politicians support the Ukrainian authorities no matter their actions envision responsibility according to article II (c) of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG) which was adopted by the United Nations Assembly on 9 December 1948 as General Assembly Resolution 260?

Terrorists from al-Shabaab, the Somali al-Qaeda affiliate, attacked the small Kenyan coastal town of Mpeketoni near the tourist center of Lamu on Sunday and killed 48 people, according to officials in the east African nation.

Men watching the World Cup at a hotel were systematically executed while women were forced to watch, according to Kenya police commander David Kimaiyo. The terrorists said the execution was in response to the activity of Kenyan troops in Somalia. Kenya has sent troops there to counter al-Shabaab kidnappings and attacks.

Like Nairobi’s Westgate Mall attack last year, the Mpeketoni attackers reportedly gave life-or-death religious tests.

It is said Shakir Wahiyib, described as an enforcer for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), has executed people who failed his “Quranic quiz” in Iraq. ISIS has captured large areas of northern Iraq in the past week and has posted videos of mass executions.

Christian Kenyans were specifically targeted for execution. “They came to our house at around 8 p.m. and asked us in Swahili whether we were Muslims. My husband told them we were Christians and they shot him in the head and chest,” a resident told CBC News.

The terrorist group joined al-Qaeda in 2012. It imposes an austere form of Sharia law on rural regions, engages in kidnapping and the murder of aid workers. It is suspected of aligning with al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Boko Haram, the Nigerian terror group reportedly responsible for the murder of an estimated 10,000 people and the kidnapping of school girls.

AQIM is takes inspiration from the religious teaching of Salafism in Saudi Arabia, which historically played a crucial role in the training of the CIA and Pakistan ISI organized and supported Mujahideen in Afghanistan.

Pakistani intelligence is directly involved in al-Shabaab terrorism. In July of 2010, after a bombing attributed to the group that killed 76 people watching the soccer World Cup final, a number ofPakistani nationals were arrested.

Abu Musa Mombasa, a Pakistani citizen, purportedly serves as al-Shabaab’s chief of security and training, according to a Long War Journal report posted in 2010.

In July of 201, the Christian Science Monitor reported “veteran insurgents from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan have relocated to the chaotic country of Somalia in large enough numbers to spark worry inside the international community, according to Kenya’s foreign minister.”

Pakistan’s ISI and the CIA have worked together since the early 1980s to create terrorist organizations and radical Muslims.

Fukushima’s Children are Dying

June 16th, 2014 by Harvey Wasserman

Some 39 months after the multiple explosions at Fukushima, thyroid cancer rates among nearby children have skyrocketed to more than forty times (40x) normal.

More than 48 percent of some 375,000 young people—nearly 200,000 kids—tested by the Fukushima Medical University near the smoldering reactors nowsuffer from pre-cancerous thyroid abnormalities, primarily nodules and cysts. The rate is accelerating.

More than 120 childhood cancers have been indicated where just three would be expected, says Joseph Mangano, executive director of the Radiation and Public Health Project.

The nuclear industry and its apologists continue to deny this public health tragedy. Some have actually asserted that “not one person” has been affected by Fukushima’s massive radiation releases, which for some isotopes exceed Hiroshima by a factor of nearly 30.

 

More than 48 percent of some 375,000 young people—nearly 200,000 kids—tested by the Fukushima Medical University near the smoldering reactors now suffer from pre-cancerous thyroid abnormalities, primarily nodules and cysts.
More than 48 percent of some 375,000 young people—nearly 200,000 kids—tested by the Fukushima Medical University near the smoldering reactors now suffer from pre-cancerous thyroid abnormalities, primarily nodules and cysts.

But the deadly epidemic at Fukushima is consistent with impacts suffered among children near the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island and the 1986 explosion at Chernobyl, as well as findings at other commercial reactors.

The likelihood that atomic power could cause such epidemics has been confirmed by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, which says that “an increase in the risk of childhood thyroid cancer” would accompany a reactor disaster.

In evaluating the prospects of new reactor construction in Canada, the Commission says the rate “would rise by 0.3 percent at a distance of 12 kilometers” from the accident. But that assumes the distribution of protective potassium iodide pills and a successful emergency evacuation, neither of which happened at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl or Fukushima.

The numbers have been analyzed by Mangano. He has studied the impacts of reactor-created radiation on human health since the 1980s, beginning his work with the legendary radiologist Dr. Ernest Sternglass and statistician Jay Gould.

Speaking on www.prn.fm’s Green Power & Wellness Show, Mangano also confirms that the general health among downwind human populations improves when atomic reactors are shut down, and goes into decline when they open or re-open.

Nearby children are not the only casualties at Fukushima. Plant operator Masao Yoshida has died at age 58 of esophogeal cancer. Masao heroically refused to abandon Fukushima at the worst of the crisis, probably saving millions of lives. Workers at the site who are employed by independent contractors—many dominated by organized crime—are often not being monitored for radiation exposure at all. Public anger is rising over government plans to force families—many with small children—back into the heavily contaminated region around the plant.

Following its 1979 accident, Three Mile Island’s owners denied the reactor had melted. But a robotic camera later confirmed otherwise.

The state of Pennsylvania mysteriously killed its tumor registry, then said there was “no evidence” that anyone had been killed.

But a wide range of independent studies confirm heightened infant death rates and excessive cancers among the general population. Excessive death, mutation and disease rates among local animals were confirmed by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and local journalists.

In the 1980s federal Judge Sylvia Rambo blocked a class action suit by some 2,400 central Pennsylvania downwinders, claiming not enough radiation had escaped to harm anyone. But after 35 years, no one knows how much radiation escaped or where it went. Three Mile Island’s owners have quietly paid millions to downwind victims in exchange for gag orders.

At Chernobyl, a compendium of more than 5,000 studies has yielded an estimated death toll of more than 1,000,000 people.

The radiation effects on youngsters in downwind Belarus and Ukraine have been horrific. According to Mangano, some 80 percent of the “Children of Chernobyl” born downwind since the accident have been harmed by a wide range of impacts ranging from birth defects and thyroid cancer to long-term heart, respiratory and mental illnesses. The findings mean that just one in five young downwinders can be termed healthy.

Physicians for Social Responsibility and the German chapter of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War have warned of parallel problems near Fukushima.

The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) has recently issued reports downplaying the disaster’s human impacts. UNSCEAR is interlocked with the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency, whose mandate is to promote atomic power. The IAEA has a long-term controlling gag order on UN findings about reactor health impacts. For decades UNSCEAR and the World Health Organization have run protective cover for the nuclear industry’s widespread health impacts. Fukushima has proven no exception.

In response, Physicians for Social Responsibility and the German International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War have issued a ten-point rebuttal, warning the public of the UN’s compromised credibility. The disaster is “ongoing” say the groups, and must be monitored for decades. “Things could have turned for the worse” if winds had been blowing toward Tokyo rather than out to sea (and towards America).

There is on-going risk from irradiated produce, and among site workers whose doses and health impacts are not being monitored. Current dose estimates among workers as well as downwinders are unreliable, and special notice must be taken of radiation’s severe impacts on the human embryo.

UNSCEAR’s studies on background radiation are also “misleading,” say the groups, and there must be further study of genetic radiation effects as well as “non-cancer diseases.” The UN assertion that “no discernible radiation-related health effects are expected among exposed members” is “cynical,” say the groups. They add that things were made worse by the official refusal to distribute potassium iodide, which might have protected the public from thyroid impacts from massive releases of radioactive I-131.

Overall, the horrific news from Fukushima can only get worse. Radiation from three lost cores is still being carried into the Pacific. Management of spent fuel rods in pools suspended in the air and scattered around the site remains fraught with danger.

The pro-nuclear Shinzo Abe regime wants to reopen Japan’s remaining 48 reactors. It has pushed hard for families who fled the disaster to re-occupy irradiated homes and villages.

But Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and the plague of death and disease now surfacing near Fukushima make it all too clear that the human cost of such decisions continues to escalate—with our children suffering first and worst.

Harvey Wasserman edits www.nukefree.org and wrote SOLARTOPIA! Our Green-Powered Earth. His Green Power & Wellness Show is at www.prn.fm.

Ukraine: Is There a Chance for De-escalation?

June 16th, 2014 by Tate McClellan

The situation in Ukraine is a high priority for U.S.-Russian relations on both sides of the Atlantic. At the same time, the election of Petro Poroshenko as the new president of Ukraine, who has publicly stated that he does not plan to cease the “anti-terrorist” operation in eastern Ukraine, does not give much hope that Ukraine will get out of the bloody situation on its own. Many experts have doubts that Poroshenko will make decisions on his own in the future due to the regular visits of American officials and advisors to Ukraine. For many observers, Washington seems to see only outside influence in Ukraine coming from the Kremlin, while its own involvement is more benign. In this sense, American officials seem to see the Kremlin as part of the problem, while Washington is part of the solution.

However, this is not the case.Who needs such a war in Europe and why? What does the U.S. pursue in Ukraine? What is the future of Ukraine as American officials see it? Why is the White House, with all its influence on the Ukrainian elite, closing its eyes to the killings of civilians in Ukraine? How many peaceful Ukrainian citizens have to die in eastern Ukraine before the U.S. and its NATO allies see that Kiev’s policy is the policy of genocide against its own citizens? Could Moscow and Washington prevent the worst case scenario and become the joint solution to resolving this crisis before it becomes a civil war throughout Ukraine?

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A joint Washington-Moscow video conference on June 10, 2014 examined this crisis to see if a way forward might be found. Participants included from Moscow, Mr. Yuri Rogulev, Director of the Roosevelt Center of Research of the United States of America at Moscow State University; Mr. Bogdan Bezpalko, Vice-President of the Ukrainian Center at Moscow State University; and from Washington, Mr. Daniel McAdams, Director of the Ron Paul Institute of Peace and Prosperity; and Mr. Patrick Basham, Director of the Democracy Institute and adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute.

MODERATOR: Washington, is there a chance for de-escalation of the conflict?

BASHAM: First of all, we need to calm down the situation, try diplomatic solutions and the over-all cooling off.

MCADAMS: The problem in the U.S. now is the information deficit. Actually, the mainstream media in the US treats Russia worse than it treated the USSR. Russia is demonized in American media. Moreover, the members of the U.S. Congress get their information from their staffers who in turn read the news in the Washington Post and The New York Times. American politicians cannot get the correct picture as they get the distorted facts presented to them in the first place.

MODERATOR: Moscow, what can you say?

ROGULEV: After the collapse of the USSR, many newly formed countries were in a fragile state, including Ukraine. Ukraine was a fragile state and did not have self-identification yet to be exposed to revolutions. When it comes to Ukraine, all the actions should have been very carefully thought out.

As for the mainstream media, I do agree that U.S. media is rather one-sided these days. Also, the White House uses information from the Ukrainians, namely the Ukrainian government about the situation in Ukraine, which cannot be objective.

MODERATOR: We are all aware of two cases in which Russian journalists were abducted in Ukraine. Your thoughts on media in Ukraine and the U.S.?

BASHAM: Once the conflict in Ukraine was pronounced on Capitol Hill, some were proclaimed good and some – bad. Americans immediately took sides: black hats vs. white hats. However, the situation is not black and white. In the future, we will have the opportunity to learn some lessons from this crisis.

MCADAMS: American media plays an important role as it forms opinion. First, it was all over the U.S. media that Saddam (Hussein) must go, then Gaddafi must go. Now, Putin must go. This kind of rhetoric is implanted in the heads of Americans. People are taking this garbage non-stop so it is not easy to change one’s opinion and it is not easy to de-escalate the situation.

Look what happened to Libya. After the U.S. eliminated Gaddafi and after continuous NATO bombing, the country turned into a third world hell.

MODERATOR: How do you see the consequences of the Ukrainian elections when more than 7 million of the country’s citizens (Lugansk and Donetsk regions) did not participate?

BESPALKO: I cannot call this election legitimate at all. First of all, the elections were led by the people who took power after the coup d’etat. Secondly, an election cannot be held when the country is under a civil war. It is a known fact that there were no representatives from eastern Ukraine so the whole choice of candidates is highly doubtful. Besides, how can democratic elections be held when there are murders and intimidations in Kiev on a regular basis?

Frankly, I do not see any difference between Poroshenko and Turchinov. For example, the Odessa massacre is not being investigated where between forty-plus and a hundred-plus people were killed only because they had another point of view! Poroshenko suggested “humanitarian corridor” but I consider it to be just demagogy. Do you know that the Ukrainian government uses not only “Grad” rockets on its citizens in eastern Ukraine but also the “Tyulpan” (Tulip) which is a 260 caliber weapon of mass destruction?! Just today two kids were killed and it is becoming quite a normal thing there.

Poroshenko states that he is planning to end the war, but he did not offer anything new. Basically, his offer of peace is the offer for eastern Ukrainians to surrender. The only reason Poroshenko is interested in ending the war is economic; he spends $3 million per day on this war.

Donbass. No matter what Kiev says, Donbass is vital for the Ukrainian economy and losing Donbass is losing 16% of GDP, according to the Wall Street Journal. Also, nobody offered Poroshenko any financial aid so somehow all this must be financed.

ROGULEV: Many politicians are engaged in demagogy. We witness that in Ukraine as the law is broken and elections cannot be viewed as legitimate. Still, it is better to have some sort of order and government than anarchy. Chaos will continue if there is no government unless, of course, the chaos itself was created by the government. The situation went too far and this may lead to a very serious conflict. When the U.S. and EU realize the seriousness of the whole situation, they might do something about it. I do have doubts that Poroshenko can handle the situation.

It has been six months since Maidan began and we see no results whatsoever. Maidan was supposedly against corruption, oligarchs, unemployment. Nothing has changed – Poroshenko is one of the oligarchs, there is still corruption, oligarchs are in power, poverty. Nothing has changed, so what was the point of this Maidan? Many Ukrainians are disappointed and I doubt that Poroshenko can take the country out of crisis.

MODERATOR: Washington, please give us your answers.

MCADAMS: John Kerry called the Syrian elections a “big zero” where most citizens voted while in Ukraine where many Ukrainians were not able to vote, he called the elections the “victory of democracy.” The elections are legitimate only when the U.S. supported candidate wins. U.S. hypocrisy is astonishing.

Poroshenko’s elections are an “iron fist in a velvet glove.”

Another point of U.S. hypocrisy. Just imagine if Yanukovich fired missiles on the Maidan protestors, but now it is done by the Kiev government against people in eastern Ukraine and the U.S. is okay with that! The psychological impact in Slavyansk is horrible. Basically, the U.S. is demonizing pro-Russian citizens of eastern Ukraine for being Russians.

To me the humanitarian corridor by Poroshenko sounds like back door ethnic cleansing. A similar situation happened in Kosovo. In a while you might see Eastern Ukraine completely emptied of those who do not agree with the Kiev regime.

BASHAM: How do we prevent the situation from getting worse? Both sides need to focus on the bigger picture. Neither country is a strategic enemy nor rival, so there is no strategic rivalry. For the U.S. and Russia it is important to look for new economic venues of cooperation instead.

MCADAMS: It seems that the U.S. assumed some sort of mission to interfere in every conflict and every country on the planet. Why? Who cares whether Crimea is in this or that camp? Who cares about Ukraine? The U.S. seems to care about everything everywhere.

Why not focus on economic issues and investments instead of sticking our noses in other counties affairs? The U.S. seems to be compelled to interfere in other countries’ affairs all the time.

ROGULEV: The U.S. should stop the sanctions, period. It only leads to animosity, not dialogue. Second, give up the practice of punishing countries right and left. Third, the U.S. needs to continue dialogue. The U.S. and Russia have mutual interests and it should be the focus instead. Besides, the U.S. and Russa as nuclear powers have enormous responsibility.

As for Ukraine, there are political clans, unemployment, oligarchs – these are problems in Ukraine but not “separatists” who will go to Russia and then “everything will be OK.”

Dialogue between Russia and the U.S. should be on a regular basis. For instance, Obama took a break way before Maidan started and he focused on such issues as the Magnitsky list and adoption issues. Russia is open for dialogue.

BESPALKO: We have to admit that Ukraine is a failed state and “united Ukraine” is simply not possible and needs to be divided. Why not? The Czech Republic broke into two parts very peacefully. Sudan broke into North and South Sudan. Yugoslavia disintegrated, though not as peacefully.

Crimea has left as a result of a referendum and the will of people. So, people should decide themselves. East Ukraine wants independence from Galicia, it is simply not possible to impose Galicia’s values on East Ukrainians. Perhaps, the U.S. and Russia should agree to divide spheres of interest in Ukraine.

MODERATOR: Thank you all for your participation.

US-backed Rightists Attack Russian Embassy in Kiev

June 16th, 2014 by Alex Lantier

Hundreds of right-wing demonstrators attacked the Russian embassy in Kiev on Saturday, hurling petrol bombs, eggs and paint, smashing windows, tearing down Russian flags and overturning cars attached to the embassy. Police stood by as the mob laid siege to the building.

Acting Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia joined the attack, telling the protesters: “I am for you protesting. I am ready to be here with you and say ‘Russia get out of Ukraine’… Putin is a khuilo [fucker].”

The violent provocation followed the shooting down by anti-regime protesters in eastern Ukraine of a Ukrainian military transport flying troops into Luhansk. All 40 soldiers and 9 crewmembers aboard the transport died.

The dispatch of the transport was part of an escalation of government violence, utilizing tanks and military planes, against protesters and pro-Russian militias hostile to the US- and German-orchestrated putsch, spearheaded by fascist forces, which installed the current pro-Western regime in Kiev.

The United States and its European allies issued perfunctory statements denouncing the attack on the embassy, a blatant violation of international law. However, they signaled their support for the anti-Russian provocation by blocking a resolution submitted by Moscow to the United Nations Security Council condemning the assault and the Kiev regime’s support for it.

US Secretary of State John Kerry called Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenuk Saturday not to reprimand him for the right-wing attack on the Russian embassy, but to express his condolences for the 49 Ukrainian forces lost in the shoot-down of the plane and reiterate “the commitment of the United States and G7 partners to raise the costs for Russia if it does not end the flow of weapons across the border and break with separatists.”

Kerry also called Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to voice his “concern” over the downing of the plane and demand that Russia end “the flow of weapons and support to separatists.”

The attack on the embassy was designed to inflame international tensions and move the Ukrainian crisis towards war between Russia and the major Western powers. By tacitly backing the attack, the NATO powers are essentially giving a blank check to the Kiev regime for action against Russia.

Russian officials have responded by warning that the Western powers risk dragging Russia, a nuclear-armed country, into a war.

Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov said the attackers included two groups of “well equipped” youth who were “ready to storm” the embassy. “They had baseball bats, metal rods, axes. Had they entered the territory of the embassy, I think we would not have avoided victims,” he said.

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov told journalists, “From our diplomats’ point of view, the aim of the attackers was to physically seize the embassy building. There are also grounds to believe that they wanted bloodshed.” Lavrov went on to say that the main forces involved in the attack were “fighters from Azov Battalion, created and financed by oligarch Igor Kolomoisky,” whom Kiev appointed as governor of Dnepropetrovsk in the south-central part of the country.

Two months ago, the leader of the fascist Right Sector, which supplied the bulk of the armed personnel who led the February 22 overthrow of the elected president, Victor Yanukovych, and installation of the anti-Russian coup regime, moved his headquarters to Dnepropetrovsk.

Russian legislator Aleksey Pushkov, the head of the Russian parliament’s foreign affairs committee, called on acting Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov to fire acting Foreign Minister Deshchytsia, saying, “I can’t really imagine how anyone, especially a Russian representative, can sit down at the negotiating table with him after such an outburst.”

In a post on Twitter, Pushkov wrote that Ukrainian officials in Kiev “are trying to pull us into a war.”

US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt provocatively responded by calling Deshchytsia “a skilled diplomat and credit to Ukraine.”

Over the weekend, NATO and Russia traded accusations that Russian and Ukrainian tanks were violating the Ukrainian-Russian border. While NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen accused Russian tanks of crossing the border in “a serious escalation of the crisis in eastern Ukraine,” Russian officials blamed Ukrainian tanks for invading Russia. The Russian Foreign Ministry warned that if Ukrainian incursions continued, Moscow would “take all necessary measures to suppress them.”

Meanwhile, the humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukrainian cities attacked or besieged by Kiev regime forces continues to mount. Tens of thousands of people are leaving the rebel-held city of Slavyansk, which Kiev regime forces have shelled almost daily. The city no longer has water, utilities or food.

Valentina Vasiliyevna, a pensioner in Slavyansk whose apartment was hit by a shell last week, compared the fighting in her city to that during World War II in an interview with the British Guardian. “I lived through the Great War, and now we’re living through another one,” she said.

The Sunni extremist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), supported by Sunni-based tribal militias, continued its offensive over the weekend to incorporate large areas of north-western Iraq into the territory it already controls in neighbouring Syria and Iraq’s western Anbar province.

The events of the past week have starkly exposed the ethnic and sectarian fracturing of Iraq that the US deliberately fomented during its occupation from 2003 to 2011 and which has been further exacerbated by the instigation of a sectarian civil war in Syria by the Obama administration and its regional allies.

Heavy fighting has been underway since Sunday in Tal Afar, a city located just 60 kilometres to the east of the Syrian border and 40 kilometres west of the major city of Mosul. In a massive blow to the Iraqi government, ISIS fighters, who moved into Iraq from their bases in Syria, captured the Sunni suburbs of Mosul last week.

Tal Afar has a majority ethnic Turkmen Sunni population. It was a centre of resistance to the US occupation after the 2003 invasion and was subjected to a brutal counter-insurgency operation by the US military and Shiite government troops in September 2005. Much of the city was destroyed and 90 percent of its 300,000 citizens forced to flee. It was later rebuilt but, like most ethnically and religiously mixed areas of Iraq, it has been wracked by continuous sectarian conflict since 2006, with the Sunni population accusing the government and the security forces of persecution.

There are no detailed reports of casualties from the weekend fighting. Reports indicate that government artillery and helicopters fired into residential areas, prompting the entry into the city by ISIS and Sunni militias. Thousands of civilians fled, joining the estimated 500,000 refugees who fled Mosul.

The predominantly Shiite Iraqi army units holding the city have reportedly mounted strong resistance, unlike the virtual disintegration of government forces when ISIS entered Mosul and advanced south to seize Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s home city, and towns as close as 80 kilometres to Baghdad. Towns in the eastern province of Diyala, which borders Iran, have also been taken. By some estimates, as many as 90,000 troops and police deserted their positions in the face of the ISIS-led offensive.

The humiliating collapse of the US-trained and equipped security forces in the north provoked a panicked reaction within the Shiite ruling elite represented by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government. The leading Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, issued an appeal last Friday for men capable of bearing arms to volunteer to fight.

Thousands of Shiite militiamen, linked with either the governing parties or the movement headed by cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, deployed from Baghdad to occupy Samarra. The city, 125 kilometres to the north of the capital, is the site of the one of the most important Shiite shrines, the Al-Askari Mosque.

The bombing of the mosque’s historic golden dome by Sunni extremists in 2006 triggered a frenzy of indiscriminate violence against Sunnis by Shiite militias. The US occupation forces tacitly supported the mass killings that took place, as a means of terrorising the Sunni-based resistance.

Iraqi army units, reinforced by the Shiite militias, have begun counter-attacks to push ISIS and Sunni forces back toward Mosul. In blood-curdling speeches, Maliki vowed to recapture all lost territory. Leading Sunni political figures, however, including former Vice President Tariq al Hashemi, who fled Iraq under threat of arrest by Maliki, hailed the defeats suffered by the Shiite government as a “revolution” against a tyrannical regime. Scenes of popular celebration were broadcast from Mosul and Tikrit.

ISIS-linked sources claimed over the weekend to have executed 1,700 Shiite soldiers, police and government officials captured in the Tikrit area. The claims were accompanied by images of terrified prisoners standing in front of shallow trenches and facing what appeared to be a firing squad of ISIS fighters. Other images show mounds of bodies tossed into trenches.

While still unconfirmed, Shiite extremists will use the claims of such criminal atrocities to inflame sectarian passions, creating the danger of a new wave of murderous pogroms against the Sunni civilian population in Baghdad and other areas.

Open warfare could also break out between Maliki’s government and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), which rules the majority Kurdish northern provinces as an autonomous zone. As Iraqi security forces collapsed in the north last week, Kurdish troops occupied the city of Kirkuk and Iraq’s northern oil fields. Kurdish forces are also massed in the eastern districts of Mosul and may seek to control areas of the city now held by ISIS.

The Kurdish move to establish a grip over Kirkuk follows an increasingly bitter standoff over the KRG’s efforts to independently export oil produced within its borders, with the assistance and support of Turkey. The KRG now has control over Iraq’s entire northern oil production, either to use as a bargaining chip to insist that Baghdad bow down to its demands, or to enhance the economic foundations of a separate Kurdish state.

Iraq’s descent into civil war and toward possible breakup also raises the prospect of open intervention by various regional powers.

Turkey, which has considerable economic interests in the stability of the Kurdish region and in the expansion of Kurdish control over oil resources, has threatened to send troops into northern Iraq to prevent attacks on Turkish citizens. On Sunday, it raised concerns over the fate of the Turkmen population of Tal Afar now living under ISIS rule.

Iran, which closely supports Maliki and the Iraqi Shiite parties, has already indicated it would deploy military forces into Iraq if Sunni extremists threatened Shiite religious sites. The Wall Street Journal, among other media outlets, has published unconfirmed claims that Iranian troops have crossed into Iraq to reinforce the Iraqi military.

The Sunni monarchies of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which are the main financiers and arms suppliers of the Sunni rebels in Syria, are making little secret of their sympathy for the escalation of the Syrian conflict into a so-called Sunni revolution in Iraq against another Iranian-backed Shiite government.

The Obama administration’s response to the catastrophic consequences of the US invasions and intrigues in the Middle East is to prepare to unleash more death and destruction. The aircraft carrier George HW Bush and support ships have deployed into the Persian Gulf to provide “additional flexibility should military options be required.”

By Elie Chalhoub

Baghdad is in a state of panic. The streets are empty. Gunmen are 20 kilometers (12.42 miles) away from the capital. Popular forces armed by the state are deployed around the city to protect its residents from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). All eyes are on Diyala, the gateway to the south by the Iranian borders. There is no army and no security forces except in the green zone, and their loyalty is now questionable after information was confirmed that senior officers turned against the government and handed their military areas to the newcomers.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki addressed his military officers on TV in light of security reports stating that the attackers are Baathists affiliated with Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri – who was vice president under Saddam – as well as officers from the former Iraqi army and Fedayeen Saddam. According to the reports, more than 40 officers who had served in Saddam Hussein’s army conspired with the attackers. There are tales of betrayal involving senior military leaders including General Abboud Qanbar, Lieutenant General Ali Ghaidan and General Mahdi al-Ghazzawi, all members of the former army.

Iraqi policemen are seen on patrol inside a military base in Baghdad, on June 11, 2014, after the declaration of a state of emergency by the government. (Photo: AFP-Ahmad al-Rubaye)

The only solution left is to organize a “popular army” and the enlistment campaign has already started, with the aim of forming a paramilitary organization similar to the National Defense Forces in Syria. It is a return to the notion of self-security which prevailed after the US invasion. It is also a recognition that there is no army, leading to questions like where did US $41 million – that was supposedly spent to strengthen the military over the last three years – go?

All of this to justify a story that sounds more like a fantasy; that within hours, 1,500 fighters from ISIS succeeded in occupying Mosul, where a military garrison consisting of 52,000 soldiers is stationed, before invading Salah al-Din and controlling many neighborhoods in Kirkuk. Everyone agrees that even Samarra has fallen militarily but it was not taken over by takfiris, not because they could not but because they chose not to. Iraqi military units are fleeing their positions whenever ISIS fighters advance and orders are issued to security forces to withdraw from neighbouring cities.In a situation like this, there is no room for politics, as military action has the last word. The position of the Kurds in this context is noteworthy. Appeals were made from more than one side for Peshmerga forces to take part in thwarting the invading forces. But they refused, arguing that they only defend Kurdish and ethnically mixed areas. It is said that US pressure was exerted on Erbil in this regard which led to an understanding between Maliki and Nijirfan al-Barazani stipulating that Peshmerga forces will take part in the battle to recapture Mosul in return for agreeing to secure exports of oil from Kurdistan.

The situation in the occupied areas does not seem as bad as it is portrayed in some media outlets. All the forces involved in the political process left the areas controlled by ISIS, including the governor of Nineveh Athil al-Nujaifi, the more influential brother of Osama al-Nujaifi. He moved to Erbil leaving behind business projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars in Mosul. It is true of course that tens of thousands of Iraqis left their homes for fear of what is happening and what is to come. No one, however, can deny that years of political, social and economic marginalization, in addition to undermining Sunni leaders, will guarantee ISIS – or any other faction that rises up against the political leadership in Baghdad – popular support among individuals and tribes, even if it is temporary.

It was interesting that the Shia authority Bashir al-Nujaifi blamed the “incompetence and dereliction of duty towards their country by those fighting” for “what we have come to in Iraq.” He called for “speeding up the process of forming a foresighted salvation government imbued with loyalty and love of country.” This allusion was the first of its kind, regarding the political discord going on in Iraq since Mosul fell and the sound of bullets dominated the political arena in the country.

The reality on the ground poses more questions than it provides answers. What are the repercussions of the Shia authority’s appeal to unite in the face of the terrorists? How far will the enlistment campaign, opened to whoever wants to fight the takfiris and protect holy sites, go? To what extent has Saudi Arabia supported ISIS? In light of the kidnapping of the Turkish consul-general in Mosul, what is Turkey’s role in what is happening, as it was quick to summon an emergency meeting of NATO to discuss developments? What are the implications of ISIS’ victories in Iraq on the Syrian front given the financial and military spoils it gained from Iraq? And finally, will the dark days of the ill-fated sectarian war that ignited the whole region return to Iraq?

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

GR Editor’s Note

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is a terrorist organization supported covertly by the Western military alliance.  The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) claims to have executed 1,700 Iraqi soldiers. Those who trained and financed the ISIS rebels have blood on their hands.

GR Editor, M.Ch, June 16, 2014)

Horrific Mass Execution of Iraqis in the hand of ISIS

GRAPHIC: ISIS releases PHOTOS of Mass Executions

Mass execution photos of Iraqi soldiers/civilians by jihadi savages. Photos show hundreds of Iraqis (majority Shias & Alawites) being transported in trucks and executed by ISIS. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, were transported and met the same brutal fate. (It is thought/reported to be 1700)

A couple of days ago, ISIS declared that they had captured 4,500 Iraq soldiers in Tikrit.

These photos were released by ISIS — they are not doing this under cover of night or in hiding. They are proud of their slaughter in the cause of their -twisted and sick- Takfiri belief.

WARNING: Many of the images below are graphic. The intent of publishing these photographs is to document the war crimes committed by the ISIS.

The images are a selection of more than 60 published by the ISIS’ Salahaddin Division. You can view the all of the photographs here
..

No, Roth, no, of course, they are not “alienating” the local population.. No alienation. Just beheadings and total executions!!. ..

Related

ISIS photographs detail execution of Iraqi soldiers

By BILL ROGGIO   June 15, 2014

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham’s administrative division in Salahaddin proudly displayed photographs of the capture and execution of Iraqi soldiers after it took over a base in the province.The graphic photographs were released today on the Twitter account belonging to Wilayat Salahaddin, or Salahaddin Division. The ISIS has divided its “state” in Iraq and Syria into 16 administrative units, or wilayats.The stream of photographs begins by showing ISIS fighters in dirt-caked pickup trucks with machine guns mounted in the beds traveling to Tasfirat prison in the city of Tikrit, and then launching an assault with dismounted troops. Tikrit fell to the ISISearlier this week.After capturing the base, the ISIS takes photographs of dozens of US-supplied armored Humvees, Ford and Chevy pickup trucks, and various military transport and supply vehicles that were left behind.

ISIS fighters are then photographed posing over the bloodied and mutilated corpses of the slain soldiers. The ISIS photos show the capture, transport, and execution of scores of Iraqi soldiers. Most of the soldiers are in civilian clothes, but some are seen wearing civilian clothes over their uniforms.

Iraqi soldiers had reportedly shed their uniforms and deserted en masse as the ISIS blitzkrieg advanced from Mosul to Tikrit and on to the outskirts of Samarra in the course of one week. At least four Iraqi Army divisions are said to have melted away during the ISIS onslaught.

In the photos, the Iraqi soldiers are rounded up at gunpoint and placed on flatbed trucks, some of which appear to have been captured from the base. Some of the ISIS fighters are seen holding US-made M-16 assault rifles, which had been issued to the Iraqi Army and police forces.

The ISIS fighters then order the frightened soldiers to lie face down in shallow ditches, with their hands behind their backs. ISIS fighters then open fire on the unarmed prisoners of war.

The ISIS is said to have executed thousands of Iraqi soldiers during its southward advance to Baghdad. Several Iraqi military bases are believed to have been overrun. Forward Operating Base Speicher, which once was a major US military hub in Salahaddin province, was reportedly seized by the ISIS during its southward push.

Over the past week, the ISIS took control of Ninewa and most of Salahaddin province, as well as parts of Diyala province. Most of Anbar province fell under ISIS control in January.

Source

Related: ISIS/ISIL Atrocities in Syria

Video: Brutal mass execution of civilians by Syria rebels

On June 7-8 a conference of antiwar left forces from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus was held in Minsk. Its purpose was to strengthen the unity of internationalists of the three countries in the fight against the rampant violence, nationalist hysteria and repressions on both sides of the Ukrainian-Russian border. Below is text of the conference’s declaration. We invite others to sign it.

We, participants of the organizational meeting of left and Marxist organizations and groups from Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, consider it our primary task to end the civil war in Ukraine. This military conflict that followed the victory of neoliberal and nationalist forces in Kiev’s “Euromaidan” has claimed hundreds of lives and contributed to an unprecedented rise of chauvinism and xenophobia in Ukrainian and Russian societies.

This war allows the ruling class to consolidate Ukrainian society around its political regime, distracting workers of both the west and east of the country from the fight for their social and political rights and opposes them to each other in the interests of the “big bourgeoisie”. The governments of Russia, the European Union and the United States exploit the civil war in Ukraine for the same purpose – the people dying in Donbas are pawns in their competition with each other.

We express our solidarity to all participants of the Ukrainian left-wing movements who fight against war, nationalism and xenophobia, and we consider it necessary to provide them all possible informational, political and material support. We oppose the pressure and repression on the part of all parties to the conflict. We oppose the pogroms, torture and kidnappings whose victims have been Ukrainian leftists, anti-fascists and other Ukrainian citizens, regardless of their political views. We also oppose political persecution in Crimea.

To stop the war – that is the main task of all left democratic movements, regardless of differences on various issues of the political agenda. To this end, we believe it is necessary to coordinate the efforts of all the opponents of the war in Ukraine and to form a mass and influential anti-war movement.

Our demands are:

  • We demand from the government of Ukraine immediately to put an end to the “anti-terrorist operation,” to its troops from the territory of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions and to conclude a cease-fire with the militia and of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.
  • We demand of the parties to the conflict to sign a peace agreement for the complete cessation of hostilities, the release of all political prisoners and prisoners of war, the disbandment of armed groups.
  • We urge the Ukrainian government to release forcibly mobilized soldiers whose families are now organizing protests in different regions of Ukraine.
  • We demand from Russia, the EU and the U.S. completely to stop interfering in the Ukrainian conflict and to cease to support the participants.
  • We demand an end to the chauvinist campaigns conducted by the Ukrainian and Russian media, which, using the language of hatred, are one of the main instigators of the war.
  • We demand the adoption of a new constitution of Ukraine, new elections to the institutions of state power in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the genuine real right to self-determination and self-government for Donbass and all regions of Ukraine.

We believe that an important condition for the formation of the anti-war movement is the informational and organizational consolidation of the left groups in the former Soviet space. To this end, we will initiate the establishment of a joint initiatives, the “Red Cross,” to help left activists and conscientious objectors from military service who have suffered, as well as an information network of leftist and Marxist groups of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. •

Signed by:

  • Vladimir Ishchenko, journal of social criticism Spilne (The Commons), Ukraine
  • Andrew Manchuk, editor of LIVA.com.ua, association Borotba, Ukraine
  • Ivan Ovsyannikov, member of the Central Council of the Russian Socialist Movement, Russia
  • Taras Salamanyuk journal Spilne, Ukraine
  • Sergei Solovyov, scientific and educational journal Skepsis, Russia
  • Rustam Sadykov, Skepsis, Russia
  • Sergei Kozlovsky, a member of the Central Council of the Russian Socialist Movement, Russia
  • Dmitry Subbotin, journal Skepsis, Russia
  • George Komarov, Worker Platform, Russian Socialist Movement, Russia
  • Mikhail Piskunov, the Russian Socialist Movement, Russia
  • Artem Kirpichenok, MMT, Russia
  • Alexander Ivanov, the Russian Socialist Movement, Russia
  • Tatiana Chizhov, internet journal Prasvet, Belarus
  • Dmitry Isayonok, Prasvet, Belarus
  • Denis Denisov, Left Opposition, the Russian Socialist Movement, Ukraine-Russia
  • Lyudmila Barkov, Russia
  • Sergei Odarich, Journal LIVA.com.ua, Ukraine
  • Ilya Znamenskii, Russia
  • Elena Kuzmenok, Belarus
  • Catherine Ruskevich, Belarus
  • Alexander Markevich, RSD, Russia
  • Kirill Vasiliev – member of the Central Committee of the United Communist Party (CCP), Russia
  • Stanislav Khudzik, RSD, Russia
  • Dmitry Ryder, RSD, Russia
  • Bulat Gilmanov, RSD, Russia
  • Georgi Ivanov, RSD, Russia
  • Vlad Milevsky, RSD, Russia
  • Leonid Rodin, chairman of the Interregional Trade Union of Novoprof, member of the Central Committee of OKP
  • Eugene Valikov, OKP, Russia

Translated by David Mandel.

NATO is finally getting closer to their pretext for placing Ukraine under the West’s thumb. The Alliance’s Secretary General declared on Sunday that three tanks were shipped from Russia into Eastern Ukraine to abet the popular revolt against the West’s puppet regime in Kiev.

The accusation rests on a set of satellite images gathered from a commercial vendor based in Colorado and undated, anonymous YouTube videos that supposedly show tanks originating from a staging area in Southwest Russia rolling through the streets of Donetsk. The US State Department was quick to confirm the reports, and condemned the alleged actions as a grave escalation of the conflict.

However, although NATO has been waiting for months for an excuse to intervene in Ukraine and reignite the Cold War tensions that sustained the American military industrial complex for decades, the evidence of Moscow’s involvement is almost non-existent.

The first piece of evidence is a set of satellite images of a staging site in Russia from May 30and June 11. The site is largely inactive, but NATO officials claim that tanks moved into the area last Wednesday, before three were loaded onto a truck and left the area. By itself, this piece leaves independent observers begging for more.

First, the Russian army has been pulling back troops and supplies for weeks, so activity at a staging area is far from surprising. Second, NATO has a history of passing off old photographs as new evidence of Russian activity – look no further than the alliance’s attempt to pass off images from August 2013 as evidence that Putin was building up troops to invade East Ukraine last month

(see http://www.globalresearch.ca/nato-uses-old-images-taken-in-august-2013-to-claim-that-russian-troops-are-deployed-on-ukrainian-borders/5377530 ).

The second piece is even more laughable. There, officials scoured the Internet to find images of Russian tanks in city streets in a sorry attempt to make it seem as though the vehicles that left the staging site ended up in Ukraine. The unattributed YouTube videos and stills could easily have been doctored or filmed outside of Ukraine. Indeed, the world went crazy in April when the New York Times posted a photo of Russian soldiers who later appeared in Ukraine, only to retract it once the photographer admitted that the photo was taken in Russia

(see http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-propaganda-on-ukraine-new-york-times-retracts-russian-photo-scoop/5379111).

At every step, the evidence is wanting.

Much more likely, the tanks came from rebel raids of Ukrainian military arms depots in the East, like most of the weaponry used during the conflict. Alternately, Chechen militants have access to tanks, so they might have transported them from Chechnya along with the troves of fighters that have spilled into Ukraine to support the self-determination of the people in the East. These most recent accusations hearken back to the reports of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. NATO needs to stop searching for excuses to flex its military might. 

Alexander Flint is an energy security expert who has advised the US Congress on nuclear security issues. 

A Itália não abandonará o Afeganistão com o final do trabalho da ISAF, Força Internacional de Assistência e Segurança, mas irá continuar com os compromissos tomados : isso é o que assegura Federica Mogherini (Partido Democrático, ministra dos negócios exteriores do governo Renzi) para o il manifesto de 7 de junho [1].

As Forças Aéreas explicam a natureza desses compromissos : em seis anos os caças italianos de bombardeios efetuaram 3583 saídas, “esses objetivos nunca foram antes obtidos, ou teriam sido iguais, para os velozes aeroplanos italianos em suas operações fora das fronteiras nacionais da Itália, depois do fim da segunda guerra mundial”.

Em sua missão de 28 de maio, dois caças Amx de bombardeio destruiram o objetivo designado por um drone Predator, e pela força de ocupação e tarefas Victor – “Task Force Victor” (classificada como uma “unidade especial e semi-secreta” pela revista italiana de defesa, Rivista Italiana Difesa/ Revue Italienne Défense). No meio tempo os helicópteros Mangusta do exército, baseados em Herat, ultrapassaram o limiar das 10 mil horas de voo. Entretanto, os compromissos das forças armadas italianas no Afeganistão tem um nome, que Mongherini não quer pronunciar :- guerra. Essa não terminará com o fim da ISAF. “A Nossa Task Força Conjunta – comunica a aeronáutica – continuará a operar no Afeganistão com os aviões tácticos de transporte C-130J, e os aviões de guerra eletrônica EC-27 da 47ª- Brigada aérea de Pisa, e dos velozes aeroplanos a pilotagem de controle remoto do Predator B do 32º- Grupo de Amendola”. Em outras palavras, a guerra irá continuar de forma encoberta, com as unidades aéreas ad hoc, ou seja para esta finalidade, e com as unidades das forças especiais, que terão também a finalidade de treinar as forças da região. Tudo sempre abaixo do comando dos Estados Unidos. Depois de 13 anos essa guerra já custou mais do que 600 bilhões de dólares (nada entrando na despesa militar oficial). Entretanto, o controle do país ainda não conseguiu ser assegurado, e agora tentam isso o conseguir, através da nova estratégia acima delineada. Com esse objetivo o presidente Obama convocou o primeiro ministro italiano Renzi para lhe transmitir diretamente as suas ordens. A Itália continuará assim a participar de uma guerra que causará ainda mais vítimas e tragédias sociais, assim como uma maior perda de vidas.

O Afeganistão – situado na encruzilhada entre a Ásia central e do sul, ocidental e oriental – é de uma primeira importância geoestratégica em relação a Rússia, China, Irã e Paquistão, assim como em relação as reservas energéticas do Mar Cáspio, e do Golfo. O Afeganistão ganhou uma importância maior hoje, onde a estratégia USA/OTAN está a caminho de conduzir uma nova confrontação com a Rússia e, enfim, com a China também. Continuar no Afeganistão significa não só continuar a participar dessa guerra, mas estar ligado a uma estratégia que tem em vista uma presença militar ocidental cada vez maior na região Ásia/Pacífico. De acordo com a apresentação de Mogherini, o importante axel alinhado com os compromissos da Itália no Afeganistão seria “o apoio a sociedade civíl”, dentro do cenário do Acordo de Associação assinado em Roma, em 2012, por Monti e Karzai, e aprovado pela Câmara com uma esmagadora maioria, e pelo senado, em unanimidade. Esse acordo conta com a concessão de um crédito de 150 bilhões de euros para o governo afegão destinado a realização de uma “infraestructura estratégica” em Herat (enquanto Aquila e outras zonas em estado catastrofal não receberam nada para sua reconstrução) e para outros financiamentos, que irão se juntar aos outros cerca de 5 bilhões de euros despendidos até aqui nas operações militares. A ajuda econômica de 4 bilhões de dólares anuais que os “doadores” (entre eles a Itália) se comprometeram a fornecer a Kabul, acabará em grande parte nos bolsos exclusivos da elite dominante : como os da família Karzai, que se enriqueceu com os bilhões da OTAN, os negócios clandestinos, e o tráfico de drogas. Moguerini anuncia entretanto que o compromisso do governo irá “aumentar os recursos tornando os também mais estáveis”.

Uma parte do dinheiro irá servir para financiar as ONG, organizações não governamentais, NGOs na sigla inglesa, encaixadas no sistema, tais como enfermarias e hospitais da Cruz Vermelha, que cuidarão das lesões de guerra para lhes dar uma aparência mais “humanitária”.

 

Edição de 3ª-feira,10 de junho de 2014 de il manifesto

http://ilmanifesto.info/cio-che-mogherini-non-dice/

Traduzido por Anna Malm, artigospoliticos.wordpress.com, para Mondialisation.ca

 

[1] http://ilmanifesto.info/lettera-della-ministra-mogherini-in-risposta-ad-afgana/

La notizia che 5 soldati Usa sono stati uccisi da «fuoco amico» in Afghanistan è molto più significativa di quanto apparso sui media. Si è evitato infatti di dire che i cinque – non semplici soldati ma membri delle forze speciali (quelle che operano oggi nella guerra coperta in Afghanistan) – sono stati uccisi per errore da un bom-bardiere B-1 da loro stessi chiamato per distruggere una postazione nemica. Il B-1 Lancer, prodotto negli anni ’80 in cento esemplari,  è un bombardiere stealth da at-tacco nucleare, capace di volare senza rifornimento per oltre 12mila km. Con la fine della guerra fredda, 68 sono stati convertiti per tra-sportare anche armi non-nucleari, in particolare bombe a grappolo, bombe a guida Gps e missili cruise. Usato per bombardare l’Iraq nel 1998 e la Jugoslavia nel 1999, il B-1 è stato massicciamente impiegato in Af-ghanistan dal 2001 e in Iraq dal 2003. In un video su YouTube (B-1B Lancer Dropping Cluster Bombs, 8 nov. 2011), si può vedere mentre sgancia bombe a grappolo su un villaggio afghano.

Dato che i B-1B Lancer possono trasportare anche bombe e missili nucleari, il loro uso in una azione belli-ca reale permette di migliorarne l’efficienza anche per un eventuale impiego in un attacco nucleare. Lo stesso avviene con i bombardieri strategici Usa B-2 Spirit: con-cepiti per l’attacco nucleare, sono stati usati con armi non-nucleari nelle guerre contro la Jugoslavia, l’Iraq e la Libia. Due B-2 Spirit sono giunti domenica dagli Usa nella base inglese di Fairford, unendosi a tre fortezze volanti B-52. «Lo schieramento in Europa di bombardie-ri strategici Usa – ha dichiarato l’ammiraglio Haney, ca-po del Comando strategico – rafforzerà l’interoperabilità con i nostri alleati». Compresa l’Italia, diligente custode di bombe nucleari Usa.

Manlio Dinucci

The bombing of Slavyansk civilians in early June

“You kill women. You are killing children. You target civilians from the air with guided rockets.



The openly Nazi core of Kiev’s new army; WikiLeaked cables set Ukraine ‘nationalists’ in NATO ‘dirty wars’ abroad; and the ‘psychopaths’ who run CIA special operations.

Seek truth from facts with the world’s leading scholar on NATO’s Operation Gladio Dr. Daniele Ganser; Editor of new book Flashpoint in Ukraine – Dr. Stephen Lendman; Intelligence specialist William Engdahl; and victims of the Butcher of Lyon.

 

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

RT: NATO’s Operation Gladio has moved into Ukraine according to US intelligence reports. Coming up.

Announcer: The openly Nazi base of Kiev’s new army.

WikiLeaked cables by the US ambassador.

And the “psychopaths” of CIA special operations.

Barack Obama: Proved once again that the United States of America is and will remain the greatest force for freedom the world has ever known.

RT: Obama hit a new high this month claiming the US were the main liberators against the Nazis. NSNBC reports that in reality World War 2 never ended.

While publicly, the White House demanded “full denazification” to charge those responsible for the Holocaust. Privately, even as the war against fascism was still raging, the White House was creating what it called “ratlines” to America for tens of thousands of Nazis despite them being classed as a “menace” to US security.

Hotel Terminus documentary:

Interviewer: You are the man responsible for hiring Barbie?

Sgt. Robert Taylor: Yes

RT: The White House created new identities for Nazi mass murderers like Klaus Barbie and deleted the records of their crimes, such as waterboarding.

Lise Leserve, tortured and family murdered by Klaus Barbie: The torture chamber had manacles with the spikes facing in, dangling chains, weird harnesses. Soon Klaus Barbie arrived. They held my nose, choked me with water, I thought my lungs would burst. Then came the questions. When Barbie pulled the chain, I went all the way under. He’d hang up his big watch to keep it dry. This lasted two hours, then Barbie said: “Since you won’t talk, we’ll get your husband and son”. He tortured my 16-year-old. My husband and son never returned.

RT: Known as the Butcher of Lyon, Barbie was accused of executing 4,000 and shipping 7,000 Jews to concentration camps.

The US first hired him directly then sent him to create the “fiancés of death”, hit squads that taught torture to military juntas.

Hermann Becker-Freysing, Siegfried Ruff, Konrad Schaefer and Kurt Blome were all charged with “gruesome experiments” on Jews at concentration camps. All were admitted to the United States.

They’re just some of an estimated 30,000 Nazi war criminals brought to America.

Many more were activated in Europe. Decades of bombings that have kept Europe in a state of terror are actually the work of Nazis recruited by the White House, top-level officials in government and the CIA confirmed. Former CIA head Bill Colby calls Gladio, as the campaign is codenamed, a “major operation”.

Attacks like the Taksim Square massacre in Istanbul, where snipers from a hotel shot into the crowds. Former Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit notes it was a Gladio operation backed by the US.

The world’s leading scholar on Operation Gladio is Dr. Daniele Ganser. He joins us now, great to see you, what do you make of what’s happened in Ukraine?

Daniele Ganser, Author of Nato’s Secret Armies: Snipers shooting both demonstrators and policemen in Maidan and, you know it reminded me of Istanbul on the first of May – you had secret armies linked to NATO firing on people there on the square, and this then created chaos and you had a right-wing military coup. It all reminds me of the ‘strategy of tension’, and it means that you create chaos and emotional distress in a population. When you do that the structure, the political structure, falls apart. Today we really must try to understand the strategy of tension, because otherwise we don’t understand certain political events which are ongoing.

RT: This is President George HW Bush greeting Ukraine war criminal Yaroslav Stetsko. Stetsko personally oversaw, reports Salon, the murder of 7,000 Jews.

In 1941 he marched into Kiev with the SS and issued a proclamation praising “glory to the German leader Adolf Hitler”. President Reagan brought Stetsko to the White House and told him: “Your struggle is our struggle. Your dream is our dream”.

Stetsko led the Ukraine Nazi group OUN-B that formed the infamous Nachtigall Battalion. His group went from town to town liquidating entire Jewish, Polish as well as Ukrainian populations, in total murdering some half a million.

Stetsko’s notorious head of secret police Mykola Lebed, writes the book Hitler’s Shadow, was convicted of murdering Poland’s Interior Minister.

The group’s publications called for “ethno-genetically pure Ukrainian territory” in other words “purging Poles and Jews”.

CIA deputy Allen Dulles wrote this letter to the Immigration Commissioner demanding to “assure Mykola Lebed’s re-entry into the United States without investigation, which would attract undue attention to his activities”.

Foreign Policy In Focus notes Lebed and Stetsko were just two of around 10,000 East European Nazi accomplices brought to the US.

CIA documents reveal paying massive salaries to Nazi war criminals such as Lebed, and called them Ukraine’s “government in exile” waiting for the right time.

These groups’ time has arrived. Organizations liked Lebed’s OUN-B have merged under the party today called Svoboda. Ukrainian national politicians now flock to these Svoboda ceremonies with soldiers in Nazi uniforms honoring SS war criminals.

Elected Svoboda officials renamed a Western Ukraine street from Peace to Nachtigall, the battalion that massacred Jews in Ukraine and Belarus.

Svoboda is led by Mr. Tyagnibok. The Simon Wiesenthal Center in 2012 named him one of the world’s five worst anti-Semites, who calls for “purging” Ukraine of its last 400,000 Jews.

Tyagnibok’s endorsed by John McCain and assistant secretary of state Vic Nuland, who in a leaked conversation was caught nominating Ukraine’s post-coup leaders. Her reward for Svoboda’s violence in the coup d’état was six cabinet posts, the first Nazis in government since the Third Reich.

Professor Barry Lituchy, Vice President of New York’s Holocaust Memorial Committee, points out Nuland is of Jewish descent.

When asked why she helps one of the world’s most appalling anti-Semites, Lituchy replied that’s a question for a psychiatrist.

To mask psychotic behavior, mainstream media have received perhaps their toughest White House assignment to date – to convince the public “There are No Neo-Nazis in Ukraine”.

It comes as the country’s fascists now go “door to door” in Eastern Ukraine. “If anyone is in, they are beaten or shot”. The Holocaust Memorial Museum reports right after coming to power “Gestapo agents went from door to door. They arrested those who had spoken out against the Nazi party. Some were murdered”.

Author Stephen Lendman brought together leading experts in new book Flashpoint in Ukraine to explain some of the horrors taking place in the country.

Dr. Lendman joins us, great to speak to you, how bad’s the actual situation become?

Stephen Lendman, editor of Flashpoint in Ukraine: Rabbis are preparing in case something very serious breaks out, the idea of a possible pogrom against Jews. And one of the rabbis said in one community: “we have 70 buses fueled and ready to go”. The neo-Nazis, which is what they are, in Ukraine today are literally descendants of the Nazis of the early era. One of their leaders – Dmytro Yarosh – a cold-blooded killer, I’ve quoted him saying publicly he boasted about wanting to kill Jews till he dies. I’m Jewish. If I was in Ukraine, and what I know about Nazi history, I wouldn’t wait around for a bus to take me out, I’d be getting out right away.

RT: Fascists, notes Global Research News, have become the military enforcers for the new Ukraine government.

The US has financed a new Ukraine National Guard, reports author Michel Chossudovsky, called the Azov Battalion.

Its emblem is a combination of the Nazi Black Sun, and the SS Division Das Reich.

London’s Sunday Times found the battalion is responsible for bloodshed against civilians that has caused revulsion amongst the population.

NATO has begun Gladio false flag operations in Ukraine according to US intelligence sources quoted by author William Engdahl.

The operation is led by right-wing extremists UNA, politically part of Right Sektor one of Ukraine’s Big Two ultranationalist coalitions, but which has kept its military arm free.

Global Research reports the UNA provided the snipers who deliberately shot both their own supporters and the police to provoke violence during the protests in Kiev.

WikiLeaked cables from the US Embassy in Kiev show the UNA fights in wars from Chechnya to Georgia. Engdahl points out “always” on the US side. The UNA behaves not like Ukraine nationalists, notes 21st Century Wire, but as international paramilitaries for the US for so-called dirty wars, when terrorism is required against civilians.

William Engdahl joins us, really great to have you on, what do we know about special operations in Ukraine described to you as Gladio?

William Engdahl, intelligence author: The Ukrainian National Assembly that you mentioned is historically linked to Ukrainian Nazis, not neo-Nazis but Nazis, during the Second World War. They were smuggled in to North America, Canada and the US by the thousands after the war. In the United States today they’re extremely powerful in Washington – influence by one estimate over half of the US Senate are beholden to support from these extreme right-wing Ukrainian exiles.

Neo-Nazi is really I think a very unuseful term because it implies that it’s not really real that they’re just kind of doing make-believe fantasy plays of Hitler salutes and so forth. These are genuine, if you want to use the term Nazi as a descriptive term, these are genuine Nazis.

The UNA and its military arm have been used they’ve been trained by NATO to commit atrocities and then have that blamed on the Russians by the local populations in Chechnya and elsewhere. They’ve been used in the Georgia war with Russia in 2008.

RT: Wat do you make of consistent US use of the very worst extremists now also in Ukraine?

Engdahl: It’s a war, if you will, against humanity. The people at the CIA and I’ve met a few of these characters over the years, but the higher levels of the CIA they come from Harvard, they come from Yale, they come from Princeton, from the old families and that’s kind of their private domain as they see it. George Herbert Walker Bush – Skull and Bones, Yale University, James Lilley – Skull and Bones, Yale University, CIA Ambassador to Beijing during Tiananmen Square, where he by likely accounts orchestrated the Tiananmen uprising against the government.

They think that they’re very intelligent people, but in reality they’re extremely stupid people and I want to make a point about this for listeners. Why do I say stupid, they’re not uneducated they have degrees as I said from the so-called “elite” universities. They’re stupid in a human sense, that they think they can kill people in Odessa as an “op”, as an operation, they call it “ops”. This is extremely stupid in the long run because they block out the interconnectiveness of everything in the world, really. They’re incapable mentally because of their, literally, psychopathic personalities, where they have been trained and developed to block out any human emotions, they are incapable of seeing these connections. So what’s being done in Ukraine is going to have consequences for them, for their next of kin, for their friends, their ambience and so forth, of a very negative sort. What goes around comes around.

RT: The US created Al-Qaeda, RAND Corporation notes that terror network’s still expanding and will now take “decades” to stop.

American-backed jihadis from Syria are now committing atrocities against the West, the latest – the shooting of three at a Jewish museum.

US “harvesting of unreconstructed fascists” may be a dangerous game to play.

Seek truth from facts. This is the Truthseeker.

US President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott have announced a series of agreements that will open up more Australian bases for American forces and further integrate its military into the US preparations for war against China.

No details were provided after a brief meeting at the White House on Thursday, but there is no doubt that the agreements mark another escalation of the Australian government’s involvement in Washington’s military and strategic “pivot” to Asia to confront China.

Abbott underscored the total commitment of his government to US war plans. “I want to assure the president that Australia will be an utterly dependable ally of the United States,” he declared.

Within hours, Abbott offered to provide whatever the US needed for military intervention in Iraq to try to shore up the Baghdad regime after its defeats at the hands of Islamic fundamentalists. Abbott, who was a member of the Howard government that joined the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, made clear his government’s readiness to again assist Washington’s criminal operations.

Briefed by “defence sources,” the Australian Financial Review reported today: “Australia could send jet fighters, warships and transport aircraft to support US air and drone strikes.”

Obama said that alongside the expanding rotational deployments of US Marines to Darwin, in northern Australia—due to reach 2,500 by 2017—“we actually have arrived at additional agreements around force postures that will enhance the bilateral cooperation between our militaries and give us additional reach throughout this very important part of the world.”

The US president provided an ominous indication of the militarist agenda involved. “Aussies know how to fight and I like having them in a foxhole if we’re in trouble,” he told the media after the meeting with Abbott.

Arrangements under discussion behind closed doors since Obama formally declared the “pivot” on the floor of the Australian parliament in 2011, under the previous Gillard Labor government, have been finalised.

The US-Australia Force Posture Agreement reportedly provides an open-ended mechanism for wider US military operations in Australia. According to the Australian: “The legally-binding agreement, approved in principle but yet to be concluded by officials, sets out the responsibilities of each jurisdiction for the US personnel based on Australian soil.”

As indicated by recent Pentagon-funded reports, which identified Australia as a crucial platform for operations against China, these agreements are certain to include base upgrades to facilitate US air force operations from northern Australia, use by US fleets of the Stirling naval base near Perth in Western Australia, and the deployment of surveillance aircraft and drones on the Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean.

One such report, by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, said the Stirling base was critical for US nuclear submarine operations and nominated Australia as the US military’s “Gateway to the Indo-Pacific”—a launching pad for US naval and air strikes. (See: “US think tank report: Australia central to American war plans against China”).

The Australian today indicated that one option now being considered was to base more US Navy destroyers and other vessels at the Western Australian base, “giving the US the capacity to project force further into the region.”

No coverage in the Australian media mentioned another far-reaching commitment. A White House Fact Sheet on the Obama-Abbott meeting, spoke of “working together to identify potential Australian contributions to ballistic missile defense in the Asia-Pacific region.” The Pentagon’s ballistic missile shield program is designed to neutralise China’s capacity to respond to a US nuclear attack.

This collaboration was referred to in the Labor government’s 2013 Defence White Paper and last November’s AUSMIN communiqué issued in Washington. According to the Lowy Institute, a pro-US Australian think tank, this will accelerate under the Liberal-National government, involving the Australian Defence Force “mounting advanced missiles on its Aegis-equipped air warfare destroyers.”

The Wall Street Journal highlighted the significance of this initiative, under the headline “U.S. and Australia to Cooperate on Asian Missile-Defense Plans” and noted that it was directed against China. “Australia is building a new fleet of warships that could be equipped to shoot down hostile missiles, as part of an ambitious military buildup that includes investments in new stealth-fighter aircraft, cruise missiles, amphibious carriers and submarines. The revamp will cost close to $A90 billion ($US85 billion) over a decade,” it stated.

Obama specifically thanked Abbott for ramping up Australian military spending. The Lowy Institute said this indicated that Canberra had agreed to foot the bill for the new military facilities across northern Australia, an issue that had been outstanding since 2011.

Acutely conscious of public opposition to plans for war, the Abbott government has so far kept secret this issue, along with proposals for the hosting of US warships and amphibious groups in Perth, which have been discussed in detail during recent US congressional hearings. The Lowy Institute urged the government to find ways “to bring the public along with what officials have been privately discussing for years.”

Abbott and Obama avoided any explicit reference to China, but the White House Fact Sheet denounced “the use of intimidation, coercion, or force to advance maritime claims in the East and South China Seas.” Washington is actively instigating territorial conflicts with China by its regional allies, notably Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam, as a pretext for confronting China. While Abbott was in the US, his government also boosted its military ties with Japan.

Before meeting Obama, Abbott told the Sydney Daily Telegraph he would call on the president to deepen intelligence cooperation within the “five eyes” network—involving the US, Australia, the UK, Canada and New Zealand—in the wake of Edward Snowden’s damaging disclosures of the mass surveillance being conducted by the US and its partners. No reports of this discussion have appeared, however.

In Washington, Abbott extended the term of Australia’s ambassador, former defence minister and Labor leader Kim Beazley, a long-time defender of the US alliance. This highlights the bipartisan support in Canberra for US militarism.

During his trip, Abbott also sought to enhance already close economic ties with the US by including large corporate delegations in his travels, from companies such as BHP Billiton, Lend Lease and Macquarie Group. He rang the bell on the Wall Street stock exchange, told corporate audiences that Australia is “open for business” and stressed the half trillion dollar or so investment stakes that each country had in the other.

On his way back to Australia over the weekend, Abbott will stop off in Hawaii to visit the US Pacific Command, where senior Australian officers have been inserted, further underlining Canberra’s integration into the US war machine.

The internal report commissioned by General Motors into the recall of vehicles with a deadly ignition defect presents a devastating picture of corporate indifference to public health and safety.

Despite its transparent attempt to shield top officials from criminal charges, the report by attorney Anton Valukas shows the corporation routinely sacrificed safety to corporate profit. Its depiction of GM reinforces the perspective of the Socialist Equality Party: (1) production for private profit is incompatible with the common good, and (2) the auto industry should be publicly owned under the democratic control of the working class.

In the early 2000s General Motors authorized the production of the Saturn Ion, the Chevrolet Cobalt and several other vehicles targeted to younger drivers with an ignition switch whose torque did not meet GM’s own minimum specifications. As a result the switch could be easily jarred out of the “run” position, killing power to the engine and disabling power brakes, power steering and airbags. Despite being confronted with a flood of customer complaints, including unfavorable reviews in the press, GM denied that the ignition switch posed a safety risk.

GM engineers proposed a fix, but management rejected it for cost reasons. Later, GM quietly changed the design of the ignition switch to increase its torque, but did not assign a new part number, in violation of basic engineering principles. The change was a clear attempt at a cover-up and was one of the factors that delayed the public exposure of the defect for nearly a decade.

Later, several independent studies tied the ignition defect to fatal accidents in which airbags did not deploy. However, GM refused to order a recall. Instead it authorized a series of internal “investigations” that resulted in no concrete action.

Attorneys for accident victims eventually exposed the cover-up. They proved the link between the ignition defect and airbag non-deployment and documented that GM had changed the part without changing the part number. However, even at this point, GM moved slowly on a recall, delaying for additional months while deaths and injuries mounted. When it finally issued a recall in February 2014, the company only included a portion of the vehicles with faulty ignitions. Only after another exposure in the press did it recall all of the affected models. One month later it expanded the recall again to include additional model years that might potentially contain the defect.

All of this supposedly happened without the awareness or involvement of upper-level management, let alone the board of directors. They remained blissfully ignorant of the whole affair until the recall announcement.

After receiving the report GM fired 15 low- and middle-level managers from its engineering and legal staff and disciplined five others. It now considers the matter closed and plans no further action.

GM deliberately set up a structure designed to shield top management from any responsibility, as the report makes clear: “[D]etermining the identity of any actual decision-maker was impenetrable. No single person owned any decision. Indeed, it was often difficult to determine who sat on the committees or what they considered, as there are rarely minutes of meetings.”

While the report covers much that was already known, a number of points stand out. For example, when in December 2005 GM, in response to numerous customer complaints, issued a Technical Service Bulletin to dealers about the ignition defect, it merely advised drivers experiencing problems with the engine cutting off to remove extra items from their keychain. However, the bulletin did not describe the problem as a “stall.” The report noted that according to one GM employee, “The term ‘stall’ is a ‘hot’ word that GM generally does not use in bulletins because it raises concerns about vehicle safety, which suggests GM should recall the vehicle…” It went on to note that the employee “was reluctant to push hard on safety issues because of his perception that his predecessor had been pushed out of the job for doing just that.”

As a result the Technical Service Bulletin did not help with the problem. Even if a technician at the dealership diagnosed the ignition defect properly, he had to search GM’s database to identify the applicable bulletin without using the term “stall.” As the report notes, “The odds were not with the consumer.”

In a 2008 Powerpoint presentation to employees, GM warned against the use of certain words when writing about issues relating to safety. For example, in place of the word, “defect” the phrase “does not perform to design” was suggested. Instead of “problem”, employees were to use “issue”, “condition” or “matter.” Employees were also given examples of phrases not to use, including “dangerous … almost caused an accident” and “this is a safety and security issue.”

In response to criticism in the press of the Cobalt ignition switching off while driving, GM claimed that engine stalls were not safety issues since the driver could still maneuver the vehicle to the side of the road or restart the car in neutral. An article published June 26, 2005 in the Cleveland Plain Dealerrightly ridiculed the suggestion that engine stalls were not a safety problem. The author wrote, “So, if you’re whisking along at 65 mph or trying to pull across an intersection and the engine stops [you restart the engine by shifting to neutral]. Only a gutless ninny would worry about such a problem. Real men are not afraid of temporary reductions in forward momentum.”

Airbag non-deployment

The report accepts at face value the dubious claim that GM engineers working on the Cobalt ignition problem did not understand that GM had designed the car so that turning off the ignition disabled the airbags, describing this alleged oversight as an “error.” Based on this lack of understanding of the relation of ignition cutoff to airbag non-deployment GM rated the Cobalt ignition defect as a mere matter of “convenience,” not safety. GM therefore did not issue a recall and the defective cars stayed on the road for nearly 10 more years, taking their toll of deaths and injuries.

And what of the role of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that supposedly monitors vehicle safety? The report indicates that NHTSA hardly said a word during this whole period, despite the fact that the defect was so widely known that it was commented on in the press. The only documented involvement of NHTSA was at a March 2007 conference where NHTSA officials informally told GM engineers about a number of airbag non-deployment problems with the Ion and Cobalt. However, NHTSA made no formal request and did not ask GM to report back.

It should be pointed out that for a period of time while the cover-up was continuing GM was under the direct control of the US government. In the 2009 forced-bankruptcy and restructuring of GM, the federal government obtained a majority stake in the company, which it held until November 2010. At the time of the bankruptcy GM and the NHTSA were already aware of fatal crashes involving the Cobalt and other vehicles with defective ignition switches. Thus the government and its traffic safety enforcement agency had a direct monetary incentive to suppress the facts about the defective Cobalt ignition. Indeed, the Obama administration inserted a clause shielding the reorganized company from product liability lawsuits stemming from before July 2009.

Meanwhile, in 2007, two separate investigations of a fatal crash involving a Chevrolet Cobalt, one by the Wisconsin state police and one by Indiana University, both reached the conclusion that the movement of the ignition switch from “run” to “accessory” may have caused the airbags not to deploy. The Wisconsin state police investigation cited the GM technical service bulletin warning of the potential for a driver to accidentally turn off the ignition due to low cylinder torque.

The Valukas report notes that while the Wisconsin state police document “was in GM’s legal department files as of February 2007, GM lawyers and engineers working on the airbag non-deployment cases did not learn of its existence until a few months ago.”

Meanwhile, GM’s own attorneys were warning management that the ignition defect left the company open to severe legal sanctions. In January 2011, after GM settled the first airbag non-deployment case, GM lawyers requested a meeting to find out more about the Cobalt ignition switch issue. However, GM did not hold a meeting for six months. When the meeting was finally convened, witnesses reported that the senior manager of product investigations expressed reluctance to open an investigation because “the incident rate was not high.”

An engineer was finally assigned to the case, but he was not told to prioritize it or given any timetable. As a result, by early 2012 the investigation had not moved forward “one inch.”

Wrongful death lawsuits

GM faced more and more wrongful death lawsuits. In April 2012 an outside attorney submitted a case evaluation to GM regarding the crash of a 2005 Cobalt where airbags failed to deploy and the car’s sensors showed that the ignition was in the accessory position at the time of the crash. He wrote, “GM will be forced to explain that the airbags did not deploy in this crash because the Cobalt was in Accessory Mode … It will be difficult to explain why the ignition switch toggled to Accessory Mode simply from running off-road. GM will also be forced to contend with other incidents, some of which resulted in deaths, due to non-deployment of frontal airbags in the 2005 – 2007 Cobalt. Those other incidents put GM at risk for imposition of punitive damages.”

However, GM officials did not act on this warning. In early 2013 the company declared the investigation of the Cobalt ignition “stuck,” even though by this time its engineers had the Indiana University study in hand that correctly identified the problem. Further a GM engineer, by testing Cobalt ignition switches salvaged from a junkyard, had determined that the switch could be easily knocked out of the “run” position.

Even after a plaintiff’s expert in April 2013 showed that the Cobalt ignition switch had been redesigned in 2006 and that GM had covered it up, the company delayed another six months before considering a recall. When the committee that oversees recalls finally convened in October 2013, it continued to stall, not finally taking action until the following February.

Since that time both the Obama administration and GM have rushed to put the matter behind them. After a cursory investigation, NHTSA fined the automaker a token $35 million and declared the case closed.

While the Valukas report outlines what can be best described as corporate criminality, it attributes GM’s refusal to issue a recall to “errors” or a “failure to connect the dots.” This is an obvious whitewash. In reality the lives of scores if not hundreds of mostly young people were sacrificed on the altar of corporate profits.

This is not just the product of the willful actions of executives, though GM officials should be held to criminal account. It above all expresses the incompatibility of the capitalist mode of production based on production for private profit with basic social needs. Corporations driven by the demands of Wall Street for ever-higher returns on investment are bound to ignore safety for the sake of cutting costs.

The production of safe and reliable automobiles requires a high degree of conscious planning and foresight, including rigorous testing and public feedback. This requires the public ownership of auto manufacturing and other mass production industries under the democratic control of the working class.

In an incident that may be a first in diplomatic history, Kiev’s top diplomat publicly ‘effed’ the head of another state. Foreign Minister Andrey Deshchitsa chanted “Putin’s a f**ker” with a cheering crowd that earlier vandalized the Russian embassy.

Deshchitsa arrived at the scene of the heated protest – which involved overturning cars belonging to embassy staff, the desecration of a Russian flag and pelting the building with firecrackers and paint – in an apparent attempt to defuse the crowd.

He confronted some of the protesters – or rather sided with them. Footage of the encounter shows the minister saying he is all for the protest and its goals.

“I would stand up here with you can say, Russia, get out of Ukraine,” he said. “Putin’s a f**ker, right!”

This treasure of Kiev-style diplomatic language was met with a joyous cheer among the crowd, which erupted in a concerted chant. The profane phrase comes from a chant of Ukrainian radical football fans and is very popular among anti-Russian-minded Ukrainians at the moment.

The minister looks a bit astounded by the overwhelmingly welcoming response and even sings a bit along with the protesters.

Later on Sunday, the minister turned very elusive, when grilled about the scandalous episode. He justified his actions with a need to protect the Russian embassy.

“People were very angry and we had to stop those people, not to let them go further, not to allow an attack and siege of the embassy,” he told Echo of Moscow radio. “They wanted to burn the embassy down.”

Deshchitsa didn’t explain why he thought that profane chants were better at providing security than a police guard, which Kiev was obliged, but failed, to provide.

 

Demonstrators stand on an overturned car during a rally against the Russian president in front of the Russian embassy in Kiev on June 14, 2014. (AFP Photo / Sergei Supinsky)

Demonstrators stand on an overturned car during a rally against the Russian president in front of the Russian embassy in Kiev on June 14, 2014. (AFP Photo / Sergei Supinsky)

The Ukrainian government did not immediately comment on the spectacular work Deshchitsa demonstrated in building diplomatic bridges between Kiev and Moscow in front of the Russian embassy.

No comments followed from the Russian Foreign Ministry, which will probably not be able to find a proper response to such language in its guidebooks.

Cursing at Russian President Vladimir Putin however is not unheard of from the Ukrainian politicians. Oleg Lyashko, a Ukrainian MP who scored the third-best result in last month’s presidential election, chanted the same profane song at a rally amid the election campaign.

Deshchitsa was not the only Ukrainian politician to make controversial moves at the Russian embassy on Saturday to appease the crowd. MP Nikolay Rudkovsky was also at the scene and was practically forced to hurl a stone at the embassy by the protesters, video footage showed.

However, this didn’t convince everybody of the parliamentarian’s patriotism and loyalty to the people of Ukraine. As he was preparing to leave, a masked protester accused him of being a moneybag driving around in a posh car and sprayed his face with green paint, the same that was used on the walls of the embassy.

How Obama Lost Iraq and the War on Terror

June 15th, 2014 by Shamus Cooke

The fall of Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, to an al-Qaeda linked militia elicited a curiously muted response from the Obama administration. Yes, Obama “denounced” the terrorist invasion, but when the Iraqi government asked for U.S. airstrikes to repel perhaps the most powerful terrorist group in the world, Obama thus far refused, only hinting at some form of aid in the yet-to-be-determined future.

This is perhaps the first time Obama has initially refused such an offer from an allied government. Indeed, he’s suspected to have approved airstrikes in 8 other countries under the guise of fighting terrorism. So why the hesitation?

One might also ask why the Obama administration didn’t act earlier to prevent this invasion, since the Iraqi government has been asking for U.S. aid for over a year to combat the terrorist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has been building its strength on the borderlands between Iraq and Syria.

 One likely reason that Obama refused aid to his Iraqi ally is that he has other, much closer allies, who are funding the terrorist group invading Iraq. For example, since the war in Syria started, it’s been an open secret that Qatar, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia have been giving at least hundreds of millions of dollars to the Islamic extremist groups attacking the Syrian government.   

 This fact is occasionally mentioned in the mainstream media, but the full implications are never fleshed out, and now that the Syrian war is gushing over its borders the media would rather pretend that ISIS sprang from a desert oasis, rather than the pocket books of the U.S. allied Gulf States.   

The Obama administration has consistently looked the other way during this buildup of Islamic extremism, since its foreign policy priority —toppling the secular Syrian government — perfectly aligned with the goals of the terrorists. Thus the terror groups were allowed to grow exponentially, as their ranks were filled with Gulf State cash, foreign fighters from Saudi Arabia and illegal guns trafficked with the help of the CIA.   

The Obama administration hid the reality of this dynamic from view, calling the Syrian rebels “moderates” — yet what moderates existed were always a tiny, ineffectual minority. The big dogs in this fight are the Sunni Islamic jihadi groups who view Shia Muslims as heretics worthy of death and other religious and ethnic minorities as second-class citizens polluting their Islamic caliphate.   

 Middle East journalist Patrick Cockburn recently noted:

“ISIS now controls or can operate with impunity in a great stretch of territory in western Iraq and eastern Syria, making it militarily the most successful jihadi movement ever.”

  Now that ISIS has invaded Iraq, a U.S. ally, you’d think a different approach would be used. But Obama’s hesitation to support the Iraqi government against ISIS may be a reflection of the U.S. having yet more shared goals with the terrorist organization.

For example, the U.S. has never trusted the Iraqi government. Ever since the Iraqi elections brought a Shia-dominated government to power, the Bush and Obama administrations have looked at Iraq as an untrustworthy pawn of Iran. And there is some truth to this: the Shia dominated Iraqi government has many close religious and political ties with Iran.   

 Further upsetting Obama is that Iraq hasn’t prevented Shia fighters from traveling to Syria to fight on the side of Assad.  Many in Shia-majority Iraq were stunned by the Sunni extremist massacres against the Syrian Shia population, which consequently drew Iraqi and Hezbollah Shia fighters into the Syrian war.  Thus, Iraq was on the “wrong side” of the U.S. sponsored proxy war in Syria.  In fact, Iraq went so far as to refuse Obama’s ”request” that Iraq deny Iran use of Iraqi airspace to fly military weapons to Assad.  Iraq’s consistent refusal to bend to key U.S. demands has strained relations with the U.S., which demands obedience from its “allies”.

Most importantly, a strong independent Iraq is seen as a threat to U.S. “regional interests,” since Iraq is a potential ally to Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, the regional powers that the U.S. does not have influence over and consequently desires either their “regime change” or annihilation. 

 Thus, when the Iraqi president came to the U.S. to plead for aid in October to fight ISIS, he was largely given the runaround, as U.S. politicians shifted the focus away from ISIS toward the Iraqi president’s “authoritarian” government.  Of course, this criticism was pure hypocrisy; the U.S. never questions its Gulf State allies about their “authoritarianism,” even as these countries continue to be ruled by the most brutal dictatorships on earth.

 Some analysts have speculated that Obama will allow the Sunni terror groups to carve out a section of Iraq to help partition the country into smaller nations based on ethnic-religious regions, each represented by a Shia, Sunni, or Kurdish government. This would be the easiest way to ensure that Iraq remains weak and is not a threat to “U.S. interests.”  Mike Whitney describes the Iraqi partition idea:

“The plan was first proposed by Leslie Gelb, the former president of the Council on Foreign Relations, and then-senator Joe Biden. According to The New York Times the ‘so-called soft-partition plan ….calls for dividing Iraq into three semi-autonomous regions…There would be a loose Kurdistan, a loose Shiastan and a loose Sunnistan, all under a big, if weak, Iraq umbrella.’”

The events in Iraq and Syria further prove that the Bush-Obama “war on terror” is not only a complete failure, but a fraud. Bush and Obama have not waged a war against terrorists, but wars against independent nation-states.

The secular nations of Iraq, Libya, and Syria were virtually free of terrorism before U.S. military intervention, and now they’re infested. The war on terror has done nothing but destabilize the Middle East, create more terrorists, and drain the U.S. economy of billions of dollars it could have otherwise used towards jobs and social programs. 

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

Notes

 http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/12/world/middleeast/iraq-asked-us-for-airstrikes-on-militants-officials-say.html?hp

http://www.policymic.com/articles/23708/guess-which-8-countries-the-u-s-is-waging-secret-drone-campaigns-against

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/alqaida-the-second-act-is-saudi-arabia-regretting-its-support-for-terrorism-9198213.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/25/world/middleeast/arms-airlift-to-syrian-rebels-expands-with-cia-aid.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/06/10/the-battle-to-establish-an-islamic-state-across-iraq-and-syria/

http://www.counterpunch.org/014/06/12/black-flags-over-mosul/

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” Nazi Propagandist Joseph Goebbels

In this age of propaganda and disinformation when mainstream media outlets act as presstitutes for the corporatized federal government, there has been an overt movement in recent years to label dissenters, patriots, government critics and even returning US soldiers from the warfronts as potential homegrown terrorists. For decades the government and co-opted mainstream media’s onetime favorite tactic heavy-handedly used to customarily dismiss their critics was to simply label those exposing government deception as “conspiracy theorists.” However, with distrust mounting amongst Americans toward both their leaders (86% distrust government) and the media (over 60% little or no trust toward media), this strategy is no longer working because so many conspiracies have been proven to be real. With a fascist state worried that its authority is fast slipping away amongst its populace, today the stakes have never been higher. Slander, character assassination and guilt by association are increasingly utilized nowadays as favorite tools to systematically destroy, discredit and demonize those citizens courageous enough to speak the truth exposing government lies, deception, theft and destruction.

Raising the stakes from the relative benign label “conspiracy theorist” to “homegrown terrorist” reflects a parallel process the US government has historically employed in manufacturing convenient enemies as needed – Russia and China’s expanding Communism from the 1950’s cold war through the 1980’s, to al Qaeda’s expanding terrorism in the twenty-first century and now back to Russia and China’s expanding imperialism all over again. The vicious cycle locked by design in a forever do-loop as the same subversive strategy remains unchanged throughout the years, only the names and dates change as the government self-servingly sees fit. As long as there are enemy targets to conveniently blame designed to induce fear and elicit support from a dumbed down, brainwashed and powerless American public, war and the military security complex will continue to flourish on a perpetual permanency basis, of course at the expense of humanity both domestically and globally.

Evidence of this formula for laying waste to what the US government targets as its next enemy can be observed with the latest propaganda spin covering the recent Las Vegas shooting spree killing two policemen and a third armed bystander as victims of so called home grown terrorism. Last weekend’s shootout conveniently resurrects the Timothy McVeigh-Oklahoma City bombing and Unabomber from the 1990’s era right back into our nightly news living rooms peddling the same domestic brand of “homegrown” terrorism to once again fear. Be on the lookout that your neighbor is not some neo-Nazi (though in Ukraine the US makes them national heroes and leaders) hater of America and its government. Your more than 25 local or 50 state fusion centers along with Homeland Security are all there at your service to enthusiastically take your concerns very seriously as Americans turn against Americans ratting them out in mostly imagined, paranoid fear.

That said, no doubt there are a handful of violent extremists with warped political agendas bent on killing other Americans and these few individuals do need to be apprehended by law enforcement prior to committing murderous acts. But the operational keyword here is handful. Yet the fear tactics so zealously embraced and deployed by the government-media outlets purposely exaggerate the actual danger, preying on public fear that promotes a sense of mass and cultural paranoia in the population. Additionally, this is just another self-serving device of deception inherently used to justify and proliferate the ever expanding existence of the military security complex.

This latest mass shootingwas perpetrated by a disgruntled, hatemongering husband and wife team Jerad and Amanda Miller who were quickly referred to in the press as “homegrown terrorists” angry at their federal government for tyrannically overstepping its authority and control over the American people. After gunning down at point blank range the police officers sitting in a pizzeria, then planting a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag and a swastika on their lifeless bodies, the married couple walked away towards a nearby Walmart where outside in the parking lot they encountered a man carrying a not so concealed weapon. After the wife realized he was armed and trying to stop them, she killed the would-be fallen hero. The murdering couple proceeded inside the Walmart and moved to the back of the store prior to engaging in a shootout with the arriving SWAT team. A witness allegedly overheard the husband yell out, “the revolution is about to start!” Ultimately the wife reportedly shot her husband and then killed herself.

Right away the media began interviewing various “hate experts” from organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) referencing the spiked rise in anti-government militia groups as part of a growing backlash of angry Americans responding to what they believe has become a militarized police state. The SPLC maintain that since 2010 there have been 32 instances of terrorism by far-right groups. Though it may be a fact that homegrown terrorism is increasing, it sends a very broad stoke message that repeatedly reverberates off the media echo chamber walls and translates into countless headlines stating that the Vegas shooters were avid adherents to the so called “Patriot” movement, the name ascribed those Americans espousing their Second Amendment rights amidst growing calls for gun control.

As self-proclaimed “patriots” some are literally and others rhetorically calling for revolution as the means to take back their country from an invasive federal government that since 9/11 has usurped citizens’ constitutional rights and civil liberties. The gun toting motley crew that assembled a couple months ago to defend Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy “rights” would be considered card carrying members of the Patriot movement. Last weekend’s Las Vegas killers were allegedly in Nevada but rejected and ousted for being too radical by even Bundy’s militant mod squad.

Lumping anyone critical of the federal government in with so called homegrown terrorists is a transparent smear tactic currently being pumped out by both mainstream media outlets and individuals very high up in the federal government. For instance, Arie Perliger, a social science professor who is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the director of research at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, authored a report last year that purposely and brazenly spewed this very dangerous message to America’s future leaders.

Perliger categorizes fringe right wing extremist groups such as “patriotic” members of various paramilitary organizations not unlike last weekend’s Vegas couple and the Bundy camp as well as hardcore Christian fundamentalists, tea party fanatics, gun rights activists, survivalists and the home school crowd in with the progressive left that include libertarians, constitutionalists, civil rights and civil liberties activists and political activists like the Occupy movement. He is preaching hate and distrust to cadets and Americans alike when he generalizes all of these diverse groups from both the political right and left into one enemy camp because they all happen to be critical of the federal government.

Warning America to watch out for this dangerous and violent anti-government enemy lurking everywhere, in effect implicates and demonizes all these groups, lumping them all together as potential homegrown terrorists. Yet this is the political extremism heading the US Combating Terrorism Center at prestigious West Point. If such dangerous thinking comes from those holding such powerful positions in America, no wonder the government, military and police have turned Americans against Americans and our nation tragically into such a dangerously militarized police state.

But really there is nothing new in this perverse form of bigotry and hate. It is really just more of the same post-9/11 Bush neocon doctrine of overly simplistic black and white thinking expressed by the war criminal himself, “You’re either with us or against us.” This over-the-top ploy is aimed in one fell swoop to separate and pit Americans against each other into two very distinct opposing camps. Clearly an agenda that battle lines are currently being drawn could possibly end up as the rallying battle cry in America’s second civil war.

The “with us” camp are those Americans blindly obedient and loyal to the government who simply do what they’re told, coerced into joining the one in six Americans already employed in the sprawling, overarching military-homeland-security-prison complex that include both government and private contractors. The “against us” crowd are those Americans outside this fascist domain being vilified as potential homegrown terrorists because they openly oppose and criticize the government’s pervasive theft, violent destruction, ruthless tyranny, increasing oppression and web of relentless propaganda and deceit. Obviously the latter group are likely already on a growing government watch list slated for the FEMA roundups as soon as martial law is declared after the next major false flag is firmly planted with a bang on American soil.

In recent years Americans choosing to exercise their First Amendment right to peacefully assemble in public places as demonstrators to express dissenting views have been brutally attacked with tear gas, maced, beaten and forcibly arrested by terrorists in police uniform. The Occupy Wall Street movement from 2011 was effectively destroyed by a nationalized campaign out of Washington delivering marching orders to its militarized police force to literally and violently wage war on a defenseless, unarmed population. The overkill tactics to violently injure, arrest, imprison and aggressively persecute and prosecute US protestors have now become a shameful national policy toward dissent in America.

This oppressive strategy is designed to clearly send the message to American citizens that they can no longer exercise their constitutional rights because the courts are rigged by treasonous criminals wearing long dark robes who unlawfully no longer uphold the US Constitution that they swore under oath to protect. The same applies to all our elected members of the federal government who have betrayed both their Constitution and their constituents. Since the coup that was the inside job of 9/11, the fascists in power have instituted a systematic practice of totalitarianism with an out of control executive branch that under wartime powers gave rise overnight to dictatorship and a legislative branch characterized by a corrupt two party system bought and owned by the same oligarchic interests they now represent (since they clearly do not represent the citizens who elected them) that by polarized design is completely dysfunctional, broken and worthless. This is what happens when a supposed democracy morphs into oligarchy.

A predatory corporatized oligarchy bent on destroying America has decimated the middle class in two simultaneous decade long war defeats, eliminated a onetime thriving, vibrant manufacturing sector through greedy profit gouging and outsourcing, and allowed its cities and infrastructure to become crumbling urban war zones and disaster zones waiting to happen. Oligarchs plotted and devised this sinister New World Order scheme to take down America and make it just another Third World nation struggling desperately to survive in a global era of extreme austerity and impoverishment. Nearing full execution of the devastating pre-9/11 neocon regime change agenda to take down seven sovereign nations in five years, few of us ever realized until recently that the eighth would be America. But on 9/11 a coup took place whereby the Constitution was overthrown, no longer recognized or accepted as the rule of law.

Also by calculated design, US foreign policy has left nation after nation around the globe far worse off than before US interventions, permanently immersed in sectarian civil wars, be they by invasion, regime change, protracted occupation or prolonged siege of economic sanctions. After inventing, training, financing and arming al Qaeda, using it to pull off the most sinister false flag in human history with 9/11, wage war under false pretense and destroy so many lives and nations – Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan, the list goes on and on.

Now where no al Qaeda even existed before, al Qaeda terrorists in Iraq, the Middle East and Africa are stronger in territory and number than ever before. America propagated the al Qaeda myth and continues to hire al Qaeda mercenaries to fight its proxy wars in Syria and Libya and the Balkans  throughout the 1990’s.

Like Vietnam fell two years after the American military left, now in Iraq the same pattern is recurring. After capturing Iraq’s second largest city as well as Fellujah earlier this year, al Qaeda aligned forces are heading south to the Baghdad capital threatening to overthrow the US installed puppet Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Soon enough history will be once again repeating itself in Afghanistan when Americans are gone and the Taliban will likely overpower the weaker, corrupt, US puppet government there. This US pattern is a recurring global nightmare of unfathomable death, waste and destruction that has been operating nonstop decade after decade with no end in sight.

In a growing warmongering climate of extreme geopolitical polarization, militarization and feudal debtor-based privatization, the war drums are beating louder on every continent with wars already begun and others about to commence, with a looming World War III precariously hanging over the earth in the balance. This present world in utter turmoil is in fact the conspiracy the oligarchs have long been planning, using the old divide and conquer strategy that historically works like a demonic curse every time. Their plan is now well underway toward being fully executed.

This is why it becomes so importantly crucial for the US government as the oligarchic apparatus to ensure that Americans be propagandized into turning against each other. If Americans can be conned into accepting that dangerously destructive “us versus them” mindset, then an ever increasingly polarized America will successfully be drawn into two opposing enemy camps, those who are part of and favoring the tyranny of a US police state nation and those who refuse to react as intimidated, fearful sheeple sounding the needed alarm to oppose a cold blooded agenda of tyranny and oppression. Many of us who love our country are patriots not out to violently overthrow or destroy the US government. It is both equally grossly unfair and grossly untrue to conveniently lump those of us who love our nation and Constitution with terrorists. There are more homegrown terrorists working for the US government than any other terrorists. Those of us who truly love our country are willing to fight for our stolen lost rights and liberties through such nonviolent civil disobedience methods espoused by our modern day role models Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela.

America’s founding fathers achieved a remarkable feat eloquently defining America’s rule of law based on carefully crafted principles of checks and balances, civil liberties and freedom embedded in and protected by our Constitution. The vast majority of us Americans protesting the dismantling of our Constitution are neither terrorists nor violent. But we will not idly stand by and watch our rights be further trampled by an oppressive, morally bankrupt and thoroughly broken government determined to enslave, imprison and murder its own citizenry. The present government is using underhanded divisiveness to maliciously instill crippling fear and toxic hatred in people that can then be malevolently used as the diabolical driving force and incendiary fuel to both domestically and globally ignite massive conflict, war, death and destruction. Life ultimately is made of choice. And we as a nation, a people and a human race must choose life over death.

Joachim Hagopian is a West Point graduate and former US Army officer. He has written a manuscript based on his unique military experience entitled “Don’t Let The Bastards Getcha Down.” It examines and focuses on US international relations, leadership and national security issues. After the military, Joachim earned a masters degree in Clinical Psychology and worked as a licensed therapist in the mental health field for more than a quarter century. He now concentrates on his writing.

As a curtain of censorship falls over the UK internet, this special investigation uncovers the deception and elite players behind the murky system of corporate web filters, which block far more than pornography. Disturbingly, the trail points back to a notorious and controversial elite cabal – the ultra-secretive Bilderberg Group.

The UK’s sweeping internet censorship plans are ramping up, with the country’s main internet service providers (ISPs), who service 95% of UK households, rolling out ‘default’ web filters to meet the government’s call for an internet clampdown.

State-sanctioned internet filtering on this scale, often condemned when carried out by authoritarian regimes, is unparalleled in “free” western countries and sets a dangerous precedent. The way this policy has been introduced, sold and now implemented has been misleading and deceptive all along. Last year, Prime Minister David Cameron led the public to believe this is all about blocking pornography to stop the “corruption of childhood”, but it’s apparent the well-worn “think of the children” argument was just Trojan horse propaganda to create a moral pretext for introducing extensive censorship infrastructure.

While proponents point out people can still ask their ISPs to turn the filters off, the problem is the filters block more than people are led to believe and operate without transparency. They already target much more than pornography, and their reach will likely creep as time goes on. This is already happening. And who ultimately decides what these unaccountable, shadowy corporate web filters block is shrouded in mystery.

There was a long, well-orchestrated campaign to put these filters in place. A moral panic about online pornography was carefully manufactured to pave the way years before this occurred. I hope to unravel how this happened, and who is involved. A look at the players and history leading up to the policy announcement reveals the influence of various elite powerbrokers in government, media, international business, and religious lobby groups. Ultimately, the trail appears to point back to the ultra-secretive Bilderberg Group – a shadowy annual gathering of corporate, financial, international and government elites who meet on the sly away from the public eye, and discuss – and some would say set – global policy in complete secrecy.

I am concerned that behind these machinations is a hidden agenda that could see swathes of alternative websites blacked-out in a so-called free country, and that alternative spirituality is bound to be targeted. I am also concerned that the UK may just be the beginning. At this juncture it is important to reflect on how this policy arose, and where it is headed, to understand the serious ramifications for Britain and potentially the world. This article is a detailed investigation, so I’ve broken it up into 5 pages. I wanted to put all this information together in one post, and it turns out I dug up a lot more than I initially expected.

So to get a full picture of what is going on here, let’s take a look at how this censorship system works, then we’ll examine the elite powerbrokers pushing these plans, and the far-reaching implications of their agenda.

The Problem: Anti-Porn Catch-cry Just a Cover for a Sweeping Censorship Coup

David Cameron announcing the UK’s ISP web filter policy Source: PCmag

In July last year, UK Prime Minister David Cameron called for internet censorship in the UK under the guise of protecting children from accessing legal pornography (illegal child abuse material was already blocked). This happened after a moral panic about pornography had been running for some time, which I’ll explain further on.

After the announcement, digital rights advocate Open Rights Group warned that based on broad indications from ISPs, the filters would target multiple content categories in addition to pornography, including “esoteric material” and “web forums”. Many predicted the sweeping state-sanctioned web filters would wind up extending far beyond porn. And that’s exactly what happened. These are not merely “porn filters” despite being deceptively referred to as such.

Now operational, the filters do indeed block a murky medley of content categories. Swathes of non-pornographic websites have already been caught in the dragnet, including charities and women’s rights websites. Those who warned over-blocking would happen – either by design or by accident – have been proven right. And since the filters have been announced, the government has suggested it will now seek to block “extremist websites” and “unsavoury content” without providing any clear explanation of how these terms will be applied. The Government’s use of vague and slippery catch-all terms have many concerned the filters will inevitably be used to suppress dissent.

An Outsourced Censorship Regime

Unlike in countries like China, the UK has outsourced web censorship to the private sector, with the UK’s four main ISPs, Talk Talk, BT, Sky and Virgin all filtering their own networks.

The UK Government pressured and coerced the ISPs to install the filters and now, publicly at least, it is standing back and letting the corporations iron out the details. Could this be a shrewd attempt to introduce an unprecedented level of censorship at arm’s length while avoiding liability or accountability for its implementation and overreach?

Lack of Transparency and oversight

There is a major lack of transparency in this setup. Astonishingly, there seems to be no legal oversight or clear regulatory framework for this massive outsourced censorship system. There is no clear and unified definition of blocked content categories or explanations as to why they warrant blocking, and no easy way to find out which sites are blocked or why. There is also no clear way to discover if your website is blocked by one or more of the ISPs (especially if you’re outside the UK), nor is there a single avenue of appeal if you’re even able to find out, because each ISP operates its own inscrutable filter. This leaves the public in the dark as to what is really happening – and perhaps that’s just how the government wants it.

The opaque system is probably deliberate. Not only does it allow the Government to wash its hands and avoid being held accountable for the implementation of the creeping censorship it introduced, but it makes it possible for hidden players to influence things behind the scenes unseen, and for a range of content to be blocked without people even realising it. A system so unaccountable is ripe for misuse, abuse and overreach.

The government has faced some hiccups however. Over-blocking concerns were highlighted after charity websites were blocked. In response the Government announced that it was covertly setting up a whitelist to protect the sites deemed off-limits from the filters. But just think of the implications of this. A backroom gathering of officials has now taken upon itself, behind closed doors, to unilaterally pick out the sites out of the millions on the World Wide Web that they think should not be censored by their filtering system, which they also instated through backroom meetings. Does this mean that any sites that don’t make it on the whitelist are fair game? And if the government has taken upon itself to setup a whitelist, has it also setup a blacklist? If so, how do you find out if you are on it?

‘Active Choice’ or Censorship by Stealth?

Open Rights Group Screen Shot 2

General examples of blocked content categories revealed by Open Rights Group, which is running a campaign against UK filtering

Advocates are quick to point out people still have a choice and the filtering is not mandatory. The ISPs are pre-ticking their blocked content categories in the sign-up process for new customers. This means people can manually un-tick and “opt out” of any categories they don’t want blocked.

But given that people tend to trust default settings given by their providers, could it be people are being nudged into selecting censorship by stealth? And if people don’t know how the filters really work and what they actually block, can they really make an informed choice?

Proponents of the censorship also often completely ignore the rights of content creators in this system. People whose websites are arbitrarily blocked in the UK will have a hard time discovering it. What “active choice” do they have? How can private companies be given so much unaccountable power over what content is appropriate or not for the UK population?

How did this happen? How did this extensive and insidious stealth censorship infrastructure get rolled out while people were hoodwinked into thinking it was all about saving children from porn? To understand how, let’s take a look at the way these plans unfolded and examine the elite powerbrokers linked to these developments, including those with connections to the Bilderberg Group.

UK Censorship Policy Origins and the Bilderberg Meeting in 2006

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UK Chancellor George Osborne has attended Bilderberg a staggering 7 times. Source: Mirror/BBC/PA

It took years to prep the public for this state-sanctioned censorship scheme outsourced to corporations. To understand how, we have to turn back the clock to 2006.

It was a pivotal year. 2006 was the year George Osborne, a super-rich aristocrat, then in opposition as the UK Conservative Party’s shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, travelled to Canada for his first Bilderberg conference. He has been a regular attendee to Bilderberg meetings since, attending Bilderberg 2014 currently being held in Copenhagen, his seventh time at the elite secret assembly of global powerbrokers.

2006 was also the year ex-banker Claire Perry joined the Conservative Party.

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Claire Perry and George Osborne. Image: David Hartley Source: The Daily Mail

In 2007, she became George Osborne’s “political advisor” and has been described as his protégé. In November 2009, with backing from George Osborne, the Conservative party selected Claire Perry ahead of 184 other candidates to stand for election in the safe seat of Devizes in the upcoming UK election, virtually parachuting her into a political career.

2010: New government, old agendas

It was in 2010 when the push for web censorship began in earnest. But first the groundwork had to be laid.

In the lead up to the 2010 UK election, David Cameron pledged to clamp down on the ‘inappropriate sexualisation’ of children if elected. He published a piece in the Daily Mail claiming that: “Premature sexualisation is like pollution. It’s in the air that our children breathe. All the time. Every day”. And he vowed to “make Britain a more family-friendly place to live”.

In May 2010 the Conservative Party won Government in coalition with the Liberal Democrats. David Cameron became Prime Minister while his close friend George Osborn was given charge of the economy as Chancellor of the Exchequer – generally considered the second most powerful position in government. George Osborne’s “protégé” Claire Perry came to occupy a “surprisingly large” office in Whitehall for a junior MP, sharing an office with the Chancellor’s staff.

In late May the new administration released its program for government, which included vague pledges to tackle the undefined “sexualisation of childhood”.

Soon a few religious lobby groups joined the act. In August Mother’s Union launched a campaign to “challenge the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood” and “influence government to take action on the issue”. Then in October 2010 the religious pressure group Media March formally registered as the charity Safer Media with the specific objective to “minimise the availability of potentially harmful media content”.

Now all the pieces were in place, and the propaganda campaign began in earnest.

Claire Perry’s Blueprint to Block Porn with ISP Filters

In November 2010, Safer Media held a Parliamentary Conference titled “The Harm that Pornography Does; Its Effects on Adults and Children and the Need for Regulatory Reform”. The group’s co-founder Miranda Suit followed up with an article in the Daily Mail titled I know what internet porn does to children – and it terrifies me”.

Two days later Claire Perry called for internet censorship in a parliamentary debate. This is where the blueprint for the UK’s current network-level filtering scheme was first laid out by a member of the governing party.

Claire Perry’s calls were very specific. She made it clear ISPs should be responsible for controlling children’s access to the internet, not parents. She said ISPs should operate network-level adult content filters and that these should be switched on by default for all customers, who would have to make a conscious choice to switch them off.

“I am asking for a change in regulation that would require all UK-based internet service providers to restrict universal access to pornographic material…” Claire Perry in Parliament, 23 November 2010.

At the heart of her proposal was the view that parents are unable to take responsibility for raising their own children and are incapable of installing parental controls on their own computers, therefore state intervention was needed. She extolled TalkTalk’s plans to introduce a network filter in the new year, but chided them for making it a “voluntary system… with the onus on parents to sign up” instead of “default on” with the onus of users to turn it off.

However, Claire Perry, not being a Minister, was not stating official Government policy at the time, but just what she thought the Government’s policy should be. The Minister for Communications Ed Vaizey initially disagreed with her idea to shift responsibility from parents onto ISPs:

“I hear what my hon. Friend says about the need for ISPs to block this content, but I think it important for parents to take responsibility, and to use the filters and parental controls that are available in current technology to prevent their children from accessing harmful material.” Ed Vaizey, Minister of Communications

But he ended by saying:

“I firmly believe we can make progress, in co-operation with the ISPs, and that we can proceed on the basis of self-regulation. As I have said, I think it is important that we meet and sit around a table to exchange views, and I look forward to brokering such a meeting with my hon. Friend the Member for Devizes and a number of organisations she deems to be appropriate” [emphasis added].

Claire Perry must be very influential indeed. It’s quite interesting that within a few weeks’ time the man supposedly responsible for the UK’s communications policy would not only be toeing Claire Perry’s line after publicly disagreeing with her, but also peddling her views to the media.

Bailey Review Commissioned

Nine days after Claire Perry’s speech in parliament, Mothers’ Union CEO Reg Bailey (the first man to be appointed CEO of the organisation in its 120-year history) was appointed by Sarah Tether, Minister of State for Children and Families (and member of the Liberal Democrats), to chair an “independent review” of the “commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood”.

It was reported that some of David Cameron’s closest aides had been “determined to see a clampdown on childhood advertising” but the independent review was undertaken as a “compromise” with its coalition partners after the Conservative Party “faced opposition from some Liberal Democrats worried about censorship and freedom”.

Shock Premature Policy Announcement via Murdoch Media

Sunday Times Screen ShotThen something unexpected happened. Just two weeks after the announcement of an independent review that was yet to commence or make any recommendations, Communications Minister Ed Vaizey made a shock policy announcement via Rupert Murdoch’s paper, The Sunday Times, in an exclusive story announcing a new government plan to have ISPs “voluntarily” implement default network-level filtering to block porn to protect children – exactly what Claire Perry, protégé of Bilderberg frequenter George Osborne, had called for in parliament weeks earlier.

Vaizey threatened to introduce legislation to force ISPs to filter if they did not “get their acts together” and do so “voluntarily”. This was the man who less than a month ago said that parents needed to take responsibility for their children’s internet use, not ISPs.

The Sunday Times broke the exclusive report in a front page story titled “Internet porn will be blocked to protect all children (pay-walled) and apart from Ed Vaizey, the story also quoted Claire Perry and Safer Media co-founder Miranda Suit. The sudden policy announcement was then extensively re-reported in other media.

TalkTalk, whose plans for network-level filtering was praised by Claire Perry in parliament –  and who were caught secretly monitoring the web usage of their 4.2 million users 5 months prior – were also quoted saying: “’If other companies aren’t going to do it [install filters] of their own volition, then maybe they should be leant on.”

The Sunday Times magazine also featured the front page headline “Generation XXX – how internet porn is shaping teenagers’ sex lives”, and included an “eight-page investigation” with the feature article OMG: Porn in cyberspace (pay walled: full version here) which also reported on Ed Vaizey’s announcement and quoted Claire Perry.

The use of the Murdoch media to make the surprise policy announcement, and the pre-prepared editorial focus and support from the paper for the censorship policy, suggests a highly coordinated approach between politicians and media. It should also be noted that the media mogul Rupert Murdoch is a reputed Bilderberger and has a reputation for exerting strong editorial control over the major issues covered by his papers.

The UK Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA UK) initially rebuffed the Government’s Murdoch media-announced plan, stating: “ISPA firmly believes that controls on children’s access to the internet should be managed by parents and carers with the tools ISPs provide, rather than being imposed top-down,” which was basically the same view Ed Vaizey had expressed just a few weeks prior.

At this point in time the public was not yet ready to accept the censorship push. But a self-reinforcing feedback loop was built up between the government and lobbyists via the media pushing this agenda, increasing pressure on ISPs to implement censorship at the State’s behest. Over time the pressure increased.

Safer Media and Claire Perry unleash a censorship campaign

In December 2010 Safer Media had an open letter published in The Sunday Times expressing support for Ed Vaizey’s initiative. Claire Perry MP was one of the signatories.

Then in early 2011 Safer Media launched a campaign, headed by Claire Perry, to block online porn. Safer Media provided a template letter for people to write to their ISPs, stating: “I strongly support the initiative, suggested by Claire Perry MP, to switch the default setting for internet pornography into our homes to ‘OFF’…”

By February 2011, Ed Vaizey and Claire Perry were holding a backroom meeting with ISPs to discuss internet filtering, and according to Safer Media went in “armed with over 1000 emails of support from the public.” Initially these censorship moves were supported by parent advocacy group Mumsnet, but they promptly withdrew support after their members “reacted angrily” and “criticised Mumsnet for promoting censorship and shifting responsibility away from parents”.

But Claire Perry is not one to back down when she doesn’t get her way. In March 2011, she famously stormed into the parliamentary tearoom and vented her frustration at not being given the chance to speak in the preceding parliamentary debate. “What have I got to do to be called by the Speaker? Give him a b*** j**?” she fumed. This was not the only occasion the woman who’s been dubbed Britain’s ‘new breed’ or ‘iron lady’ has shown a propensity for a potty mouth. She famously rebuffed claims internet filtering would cause over-blocking as a “load of c**k”. It’s quite ironic that the person most responsible for pushing through the UK’s censorship scheme to “protect the children”, has such little regard for the children in her choice of words as a parliamentarian and role model.

TalkTalk Launch Chinese-linked Web filter

The momentum for Perry’s censorship scheme really gained ground in May 2011 when TalkTalk launched its network-level filter Homesafe, making it the first of the UK’s four major ISPs to fall in line with Perry’s plans.

Much later it was revealed that Homesafe is operated by the Chinese firm Huawei, which is suspected of spying for the Chinese government, and that all of TalkTalk’s web traffic is routed through the company’s filter whether customers have the filters on or off. Disturbingly, the software driving Homesafe is also based on Chinese software initially developed to suppress religious minorities and political dissidents in China. More on that later.

When TalkTalk launched its filter, which was at that stage voluntary (now it is “default on”) Claire Perry welcomed the move as proof her censorship plans were technically feasible. A TalkTalk spokesperson was quoted saying Ed Vaizey and Claire Perry were “very pleased” with the filter, and claimed, “now that one ISP has come out with a solution, I’m sure others will do so too”.

Around the same time, Safer Media and Mediawatch UK ramped up their campaign to get other ISPs to follow in TalkTalk’s government-endorsed footsteps. They held a rally, with Claire Perry in attendance, and erected a “block porn” message in block letters outside British Telecom (BT) offices, one of the UK’s main internet providers.

Bailey Review Published – does not call for ISP filters

In June 2011 the Bailey Review was published. This review reinforced the government’s view of the sexualisation of childhood and was accused of positing a circular argument about this problem that was not backed by research. Nevertheless, the review was notably far more restrained in its recommendations compared to the authoritarian measures Claire Perry and Safer Media wanted.

Bailey called for ISPs to develop and provide parental controls for customers, but did not insist or recommend they be operated at the network-level by the ISPs themselves. In other words, this web control software could be supplied to parents to install and operate on their own computers if they wished to, something many ISPs already did.

Furthermore, the review did not recommend that parental control filters should be “default on”, but instead recommended parents should be given an “active choice”, where they are asked to decide whether they wanted to switch filters on or not. It also suggested these measures should be implemented voluntarily, and that the government should only consider new legislation if voluntary regulation fails. The report warned against overstating the effectiveness of filters, calling them “not completely effective”, and pointing out the need for parents to be “actively responsible” for the safety of their children on the internet.

David Cameron sent a letter to Reg Bailey supporting his report as “consistent with this government’s overall approach and my long held belief that the leading force for progress should be social responsibility, not state control.” The industry response to the review was generally positive, because it did not recommend legislation. The Internet Services Providers Association (ISPA UK) welcomed the report’s “balanced approach” and emphasis on parental responsibility alongside technological solutions, and pointed out most ISPs already offered parental control software which parents could install if they wished.

But the government’s stance would soon harden. As we’ll see, the government would soon be using authoritarian rhetoric, and winning praise from China in the process.

George Osborne Attends Bilderberg 2011 and Government Censorship Calls Harden

There was a notable hardening in the government’s rhetoric after George Osborne attended the 2011 Bilderberg Conference in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

In August 2011, ostensibly in response to the 2011 UK riots, David Cameron made a speech in parliament stating the government was working with police, intelligence services and industry to see if they could “stop people from communicating” via websites and social media when they “know” people are “plotting violence, disorder and criminality”. Concerns were raised about how the government planned to “know” what everyone was doing on the internet.

The views were warmly welcomed in China. Chinese state media praised the Prime Minister’s speech, indicating it vindicated China’s authoritarian approach to web control. China’s Global Times wrote:

“…the open discussion of containment of the Internet in Britain has given rise to a new opportunity for the whole world. Media in the US and Britain used to criticize developing countries for curbing freedom of speech. Britain’s new attitude will help appease the quarrels between East and West over the future management of the Internet.”

Claire Perry Launches her own Lobbyist-backed quasi-parliamentary Inquiry

Two weeks later, Claire Perry MP announced her own “independent parliamentary inquiry” into online child protection. The Perry Review sought to “establish the arguments for and against network level filtering” and would “recommend to Government the possible form of regulation required if ISPs fail to meet Recommendation no.5 from the Bailey Review” (Note that recommendation 5 called for active choice, not default-on network-level filtering).

You can clearly see that Claire Perry had an agenda to push. When the previous Bailey Review did not recommend what she really wanted – network-level filtering—she just launched and chaired her own lobbyist-backed quasi-parliamentary inquiry with a predetermined outcome.

The inquiry was not actually independent, as it is was sponsored by Safer Media and Premier Christian Radio, the same two groups behind the Safetynet petition demanding a default porn block which Claire Perry was backing.

Claire Perry’s independent inquiry was sponsored by two pro-censorship lobby groups

In September 2011 Perry chaired the first public evidence session at which “witnesses” gave testimony. Meanwhile the government continued with its “active choice” policy per the Bailey Review and announced that ISPs would soon be required to have all customers make an active decision about blocking “offensive content”, as distinct from unlawful content, with parental controls.

Major ISPs Announce New Code of Practice

On 11 October 2011, the UK’s major ISPs announced a new code of practice in line with the Bailey Review, giving parents an “active choice” to install and operate parental controls. The ISPs made clear the policy did not involve automatic blocking or require them to offer network-level filtering, and actively sought to dispel rumours about this. BT, Sky and Virgin Media already offered PC-based parental control software on the network installation CD for new customers. The code simply required them to give customers an unavoidable choice about whether they wanted to install that filtering software during their setup process. Only TalkTalk was choosing to offer optional network-level filtering at this time.

In a media statement, Claire Perry called the initiative “a good first step” but said more needed to be done and the only way to “fully protect our children” was with a default filtering system. She also called on the other ISPs to offer “one-click protection” like TalkTalk.

Murdoch Media Slams the Code

Sunday Time Sham ScreenshotOn 16 October 2011 Rupert Murdoch’s The Sunday Times slammed the new code of practice with the story, “Scheme to block web porn ‘a sham’” which claimed “a leaked copy of the code” revealed the ISPs would only “offer new customers the option of installing software to control their children’s access”. However, this was no revelation – the ISPs made clear that was exactly what they were doing, and this is also exactly what the Bailey Review had called for.

Eleanor Mills wrote a column in The Sunday Times calling the new measures “A false promise over web porn that betrays our children”. She had been heavily involved in The Sunday Times’ exclusive announcement of government plans for a default network-level porn block in December 2010 – before the Bailey Review made less stringent recommendations which the ISPs were now fulfilling.

Block Porn Campaign Ramps Up

On 18 October 2011, Claire Perry chaired the second public evidence session of her “parliamentary inquiry” into online child protection. Following the session, Claire Perry stated that a report was being drafted and would be delivered to the Prime Minister. No one could have anticipated just how significant her report would be for the future of the UK internet.

On 28 October 2011, the ISP code of practice was published in full and supported in a government media statement.

Also around this time there was a public outcry over the murderer Vincent Tabak, who was sentenced to life in prison for strangling a woman who was his neighbour. It was revealed that he possessed violent sex videos of women being strangled and subscribed to hard-core internet porn (evidence for which was deemed inadmissible in court). It was suggested in the media that Mr Tabak’s pornography habits motivated the killing, but this was never proven.

Nevertheless, it reignited calls for ISPs to block legal pornography. In late October 2011 The Daily Mail reported the Church of England was considering withdrawing the millions it had invested in ISPs unless they took action to stop “the seemingly unstoppable flood of hard-core and violent pornography”. The Bishop of Bristol also called for ISPs to block content of the kind viewed by murderer Vincent Tabak and encouraged shareholders in the internet companies to pressure the ISPs to take action.

Then on 7 February 2012, Safer Media, in conjunction with Premier Christian Media, launched the SafetyNet website running the “Protecting Innocence Online” campaign, providing an online petition calling for default internet filtering. That very same day, the government released new industry guidelines and suggested it would push further than what ISPs already had agreed to in their code of practice. The statement claimed “Many parents often feel bewildered and confused about how to protect their children from the potential risks online”.

Later that month the government hosted talks with ISPs “to discuss giving parents more choice in how the internet in their home is filtered.” In a statement, Communications Minister Ed Vaizey claimed “more needs to be done”. It seems that at this point, the government was gearing up to follow Claire Perry’s line that self-installed parental controls are too difficult for parents, as a justification for intervention by the State.

Perry Publishes Lobbyist-backed Report

On 17 April 2012, Claire Perry’s parliamentary inquiry into child protection sponsored by Safer Media and Premier Christian Radio was published on her website. It called for ISPs to provide network-level filtering within 12 months and for the government to initiate a formal consultation into implementing this policy.

With some help from the media, eventually that’s exactly what happened, against the wishes of parents in the UK.

The Daily Mail wages campaign to Block Porn

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The Daily Mail’s campaign slogan

On 17 April 2012, The Daily Mail promoted Claire Perry’s report with the story, “MPs call for automatic block on all online porn to stop the surge in children watching adult material”. Following this, The Daily Mail began its “block online porn” campaign, publishing a column by Claire Perry, and a deluge of articles supporting porn blocking measures, or calling for more action while sometimes citing questionable statistics. A barrage of articles calling for a porn block would follow. A list of more than 80 articles published by the paper on this subject between April 2012 and February 2013 is available here.

The Sunday Times also continued the censorship push, publishing an open letter by Safer Media and “many Parliamentarians, academics, charities and experts” supporting Claire Perry’s recommendations. It also published pro-authoritarian columns like, “If freedom means seeing our kids defiled by porn, I opt out”.

On 26 April 2012 The Daily Mail reported that the Labour Party (the British Opposition) had thrown its support behind The Daily Mail’s campaign to block porn. The pressure to filter the internet was mounting. Claire Perry continued to keep the pressure up, and sponsored a seminar in the House of Commons where Dr William Struthers told MPs that children “are scarred for life by porn on internet.”

Government Consultations Announced – The Daily Mail Declares Victory

Claire Perry and the media soon made an impact. On 28 June 2012, the government announced public consultations where parents and businesses would be asked whether “automatic online blocks should be introduced to protect children from adult and harmful websites”. The Daily Mail was given advanced notice of this and announced the plan the day before the government did, proclaiming, “The move is a victory for the Daily Mail’s Block Online Porn campaign” and showcasing previous campaign headlines:

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The Daily Mail highlighting how it “led the way” for content filtering

The trouble for Claire Perry and The Daily Mail was that the majority of parents consulted did not end up supporting default web filtering. Before the consultations were completed, the paper seemed to catch wind of this before the consultations closed. In September they reported that Ministers ‘have been sabotaging’ the battle to block porn on internet and posited the absurd premise that the consultation process was “confusing and complicated, deterring many from taking part” because it required people to follow the complicated steps of downloading a word document questionnaire, filling it out, and then re-uploading it.

On 6 September 2012 the public consultations on default porn blocking come to a close, and Claire Perry said she would change her stance on default blocking if it was “not what consumers wanted”. (But when the consultation results were later released and did not support her views, this didn’t happen.)

That very same day, Claire Perry delivered the “Safety Net: Protecting Innocence Online” petition to 10 Downing Street with over 115,000 signatures. The statistics used in the petition were highly dubious, particularly the claim that “1 in 3 10 year olds have seen pornography online” which was taken from an informal anecdotal survey done at a single high school.

David Cameron Does a Deal with Huawei

That same month, David Cameron met Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei at Downing Street, who headed the company operating TalkTalk’s network-level filter. Just few months earlier, TalkTalk had made its Huawei-operated web filter default on for all new users.

After a cosy meeting between David Cameron and Ren Zhengfei, Huawei announced plans to invest $2 billion in the UK economy and David Cameron declared the UK was “open for business” despite ongoing security concerns and warnings by a former security official he was “dealing with the devil”.

A few weeks after that, The Daily Mail reported David Cameron had new proposals to “toughen up controls on internet pornography” which “go much further than a blueprint drawn up by Reg Bailey” and were “a significant step forward for the Daily Mail’s Block Online Porn campaign.”

Consultation Released: UK Parents Resoundingly Reject Default Porn Blocks

However, the parental consultations painted a different picture – a picture the government perhaps didn’t want. On 15 December 2012, the Government quietly slipped out its report responding to the consultation on parental internet controls without even issuing a press release. The report rejected automatic porn filters after finding that parents did not want it:

“There was no great appetite among parents for the introduction of default filtering of the internet by their ISP: only 35% of the parents who responded favoured that approach”.

The Daily Mail attacks “Controversial Report”

The Daily Mail blasted the government and its “controversial report” releasing a string of critical articles from 14-16 December 2012:

The Sunday Times also joined the criticism, calling the government’s decision “incomprehensible” and made strident calls for big government authoritarian interventionism to “prevent harm”.

After just a few days of this manufactured outrage running counter to people’s wishes, it was reported that the government would ask companies providing adult content to block adult content.

Then on 19 December 2012 The Daily Mail declared victory with the story, “Victory for the Mail! Children WILL be protected from online porn after Cameron orders automatic block on sites”. The story revealed David Cameron had submitted an article to the paper (published the following day) clarifying that he had ordered a default porn block, and also reporting that he had appointed Claire Perry as his adviser on reversing the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood. His article, Nothing matters more than keeping our children safe, praised Claire Perry and outlined what her role as an advisor would be:

“Claire is a passionate campaigner for internet safety and mother of three. Her job will be to see this through, to get internet companies on board, to do what it takes to protect children and young people online”.

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The Daily Mail declares victory after the government ignores the wishes of parents

Whatever happened to Claire Perry’s claims that she would change her position on default blocking by ISPs if people showed they did not want it – which is exactly what the consultations did show? David Cameron was criticised for doing a U-turn “after receiving a mauling in the Daily Mail” and ignoring the wishes of parents who, in the government’s own consultation, clearly showed they did not want default blocking.

And so the relentless censorship campaign continued, and a series of backroom discussions with ISPs ensued, as the government sought to get them fully on board with implementing their plan.

Later in May 2013, the government announced plans to make public WiFi more family-friendly and also released the Bailey Review Progress Report. Interestingly, the report showed that Bailey’s recommendations had been met, but until network-level filters were installed by all main ISPs, those pushing for it would not be satisfied.

But those seeking network-level censorship soon had their way after the Bilderberg  meeting was held in the UK in 2013.

Bilderberg 2013 and the UK Web Censorship Announcement

From 6-9 June 2013 the Bilderberg Conference was held in Hertfordshire in the UK. Both David Cameron and George Osborne attended, as did the Labour Party’s Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, and UK taxpayers had to foot the security bill for the secret discussions they weren’t allowed to know about. David Cameron had no qualms about attending the ultra-secretive proceedings and footing the security bill with taxpayers money, despite previously promising the same taxpayers he would lead “the most open and transparent government ever“.

After this clandestine gathering, everything changed. Within a matter of weeks, an ISP filtering policy was formally announced in the UK, with backing from both major parties.

Murdoch Media Censorship Symposium at Bilderberg-linked Think-tank

Just two days after the Bilderberg conference finished, The Sunday Times held a symposium titled, “Generation XXX: Saving our children from the dangers of online pornography” chaired by the paper’s associate editor Eleanor Mills, and attended by Claire Perry MP. Was it just a coincidence the event was held at Policy Exchange, an influential Bilderberg-linked think-tank?

Claire_Perry at Policy Exchange

Claire Perry at the “Generation XXX: Saving our children from the dangers of online pornography” symposium organised by Rupert Murdoch’s The Sunday Times and held at Policy Exchange

Policy Exchange’s links to the Bilderberg Group are no secret. A year earlier, Nick Boles MP, a founder and former director of Policy Exchange, attended the 2012 Bilderberg Conference in Virginia. According to a report by The Examiner, Nick Boles “is a member of the influential Notting Hill Set of MPs of which George Osborne is a member. He is a founder of the Policy Exchange think tank which is an important part of the Cameron government… He is a member of the Henry Jackson Society which advocates force to spread democracy.”

During the event, when critics pointed out that filters caused over-blocking due to false positives, Claire Perry rebuffed that such problems were “a load of c**k”.

Labour Party Jumps on the Bandwagon

The next day after the symposium, The Labour Party tried to pass a motion in parliament that conflated child abuse images with legal adult pornography, and claimed that 1.5 million people had viewed child abuse material (this figure has been debunked). They criticised the government for allegedly failing to meet the recommendations of the Bailey Review (though it was actually going way beyond what he recommended), and called on the government to bring forward legislation.

Two days later, Claire Perry announced that default porn filters would be rolled out by 2014 in the UK. Interestingly though, the government was yet to announce this formally. So who was really running the government’s policy?

Murdoch Media Launches “Generation Porn” Censorship Campaign

STGenXXX

The infographic with dubious statistics used in The Sunday Times’ “Generation Porn” campaign

Two days after that, the The Sunday Times launched its “Generation Porn” campaign and published the leader “Protect Children from the Power of Porn” and the feature article “Generation Porn” by Eleanor Mills, who had chaired the symposium at Policy Exchange. People were invited to sign-up to “Join the Sunday Times campaign to safeguard children from online pornography”.

The campaign used a striking infographic claiming: ’36% of the internet is pornography’ ‘1 in 4 search queries is about porn’ ‘A third of all downloads are porn’ ‘Online porn makes $3,000 a second’ ‘…and your child has access to it all”. All of these statistics have been shown to be highly questionable.

July 2013: UK Web Filtering Officially Announced

The next month, the government announced its now infamous web filter policy. On 21 July 2013, The Daily Mail published the article “Net porn block on EVERY home: Victory for the Mail as PM pledges ‘opt in’ rule for all web users” which announced David Cameron’s plans to have porn blocked by default to every householder in the UK unless they asked to receive it. The story quoted David Cameron saying: “The Daily Mail has campaigned hard to make internet search engine filters ‘default on’. Today they can declare that campaign a success”. The original story announced David Cameron’s policies before he had actually publicly announced them, showing a high level of coordination between Mr Cameron and the paper.

The next day David Cameron officially announced his censorship plans in a speech. In his speech, he conflated legal pornography material with illegal child abuse material (already blocked) which created the emotive impression that not supporting censorship meant supporting paedophiles. This same emotive conflation ran rife through the media’s coverage too. And the government kept pushing the line that they had to get ISPs to filter the internet because home-installed parental control software was just too baffling for most parents — when in reality, the government knew that only 7% of parents did not understand how to use such software.

The fact that illegal child abuse material was already blocked by ISPs, and the new filtering was going way beyond legal adult material was drowned out in cries to ‘protect the children’. Following the announcement, few mainstream media outlets, with some exceptions, even reported that the “porn filters” would target a swathe of material apart from porn.

From looking at the history leading up to this policy announcement, the interconnected web of elite interests becomes visible. Clearly the ex-banker Claire Perry – who came from nowhere to become the protégé of 7-time Bilderberger George Osborne and a hugely influential politician — was the main agent pushing the agenda, driving through what would become official UK policy with the support of religious charity Safer Media.

But the agenda would not have gotten very far without support from two key quarters: The media, in particular The Daily Mail, and industry, in particular Huawei who operated the first network-level filter in the UK, and proved it was technically feasible.

Next up, we’ll take a closer look at the roles they played in this scheme.

The Daily Mail – Key Player in Censorship Push

The British tabloid The Daily Mail played a crucial role in prepping the public for censorship with sensational stories pushing for default internet filters. Their influence is obvious in the way the Prime Minister chose to announce his censorship plans in the paper, and also told them to declare victory.

The Daily Mail is the second most popular newspaper in the UK, and runs the most popular online news site in the world. What you might not know is that The Daily Mail has a shadowy past steeped in fascism.

It is quite ironic that The Daily Mail ran a strident media campaign to ban online pornography because it is hardly a pillar of decorum: it provides a notoriously gratuitous display of scantily-clad celebrity pictures on the right sidebar of its website, also known as the “sidebar of shame,” and publishes highly sexualised imagery and even nude pictures itself. It has run stories about teens in skimpy bikinis and has been accused of sexualising underage girls. Its highly sexualised content is probably the reason it toppled the New York Times as the most visited newspaper site in the world.

Thus the crusade against porn is coming from a newspaper that has been accused of peddling ‘almost porn’. Yet The Daily Mail declared ‘victory’ when David Cameron made his filtering announcement. In the self-congratulatory article, the paper boasts it “led the charge” to introduce default internet filtering. The Prime Minister also acknowledges this, and is quoted saying. “‘The Daily Mail has campaigned hard to make internet search engine filters “default on”. Today they can declare that campaign a success.”

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The Daily Mail’s original headline. Note the ‘sidebar of shame’ in full swing.

The caption under a picture of David Cameron reads: “Victory for the Mail: Prime Minister David Cameron, pictured today, today announced new rules requiring every internet connection to have porn blocked unless subscribers ‘opt in’ to obscene content”.

In fact, the original headline for the story was, “Net porn block on EVERY home: Victory for the Mail as PM pledges ‘opt in’ rule for all web users”. However, numerous comments on the article called out The Daily Mail’s hypocrisy due its own blatant use of sexual content. That could be why the headline was later changed to its current title, “Porn depicting rape to be BANNED in crackdown on ‘poisonous’ websites as Cameron unveils protection for every home”.

Perhaps they were trying to differentiate their own “obscene content” from the kind they were condemning, but the edited headline is very misleading because the filters block far more than porn depicting rape.

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A screen shot of an image used in The Daily Mail’s July 2013 article announcing David Cameron’s censorship policy

Throughout its “campaign” the paper, like the government, frequently conflated illegal obscene material with legal pornography, and used the two interchangeably, which implies that opposing their campaign means you support the proliferation of the most horrendous material. And there was no mention that the filters would target much more than “obscene content” and that legal pornography is just one of many categories that will be censored by the filters. And while the paper has campaigned for censorship of legal pornography, it has shamelessly continued to proliferate voyeuristic content ogling and commenting on women’s body parts on its popular news site, and the hypocrisy of its position hasn’t escaped attention.

Double Standards

Soon after his announcement, the Prime Minister confirmed he will not back calls for Britain’s most widely read newspaper The Sun, owned by global media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, to stop featuring topless women on page 3 (the object of a current petition with over 190,000 signatures).

So what’s going on here? David Cameron works hand in glove with the media to block legal pornography online, but has no qualms if the mainstream media publish nudity on unrestricted websites and newspapers easily viewed by children. Whose interests is David Cameron serving? And does anyone seriously believe that a salacious paper like The Daily Mail that comments daily on women’s body parts is really concerned about smut? For that matter is the government genuinely concerned? A Freedom of Information request revealed that the UK’s Government Computers were Used To Access Porn More Than 300,000 Times between May 2012 and July 2013, the month David Cameron made his announcement. Then in March 2014 a close aide of David Cameron directly involved in developing the porn filter policy, resigned after being arrested over child pornography allegations.

Unsurprisingly, The Daily Mail has also been campaigning to scrap the human rights act. Given what happened in Nazi Germany in the 1930s and the paper’s previous support for Hitler and fascism, this is rather alarming. Ironically, a major driver behind the establishment of the European Convention of Human Rights was the desire to prevent something like World War II happening in Europe again. Rupert Murdoch’s The Sun has also long been pushing to scrap the Human Rights Act. This means the two most popular papers in Britain are pushing this agenda.

The Chinese Connection: David Cameron’s Cosy Ties with Censorship Innovator Huawei

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Source: The Hacker News

Chinese ICT giant Huawei, founded by ex-Chinese army officer Ren Zhengfei, has also played a pivotal role in these developments. This company long accused of spying for China, led the way by operating the first network-level filter in the UK, proving it was technically possible to do and giving impetus to the government’s plans. When announcing internet censorship for the UK, David Cameron praised TalkTalk for showing “great leadership” by having Huawei filter its network. When Ed Vaizey first touted a network-level filtering policy for the UK via The Sunday Times in 2010, a TalkTalk spokesperson was quoted saying, “If other companies aren’t going to do it [install filters] of their own volition, then maybe they should be leant on.”

It is not surprising that Huawei should be ahead of the game in censoring the internet, because China’s internet censorship system is regarded as the most sophisticated in the world, and it exports its technology to other authoritarian regimes.

TalkTalk, which has previously been accused of secretly monitoring its customers, began offering Huawei’s filter “Homesafe” in 2011. All of TalkTalk’s UK web traffic is routed through Homesafe and monitored by the Chinese company whether people have the filter switched on or not.

Huawei also have a close relationship with BT, another major ISP and telecommunications provider. In 2013 a Parliamentary Committee rebuked BT’s use of Huawei to build UK telecoms infrastructure as a security risk.

Both the USA and Australia have prevented Huawei from bidding for government projects due to national security fears, because the firm is considered far too close to the Chinese government. But in December 2013 the Chinese firm was granted permission (a decision David Cameron defended) to build significant portions of the UK telecoms system, despite warnings from the former Head of Cybersecurity at the UK’s Ministry of Defence, who claimed the government was “dealing with the devil”.

David Cameron has cultivated a close relationship with Huawei. The Prime Minister welcomed Ren Zhengfei to Downing Street in September 2012, when Huawei pledged to throw $2 billion at the UK. David Cameron became very cosy with Huawei from then on, and declared the UK was “open for business”.

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David Cameron and Ren Zhengfei at Downing Street. Source: CNET

Is it any coincidence that, within a year of that cosy meeting, David Cameron called for the UK to adopt a censorship system that bears similarity to China’s and held up Huawei’s technology as an example to follow? Is it also a coincidence that in December 2013, the UK government granted Huawei permission to build significant portions of UK telecoms infrastructure, even though, just the year prior, the Australian Government banned Huawei from bidding for its National Broadband Network roll-out due to security concerns?

Coincidence or not, it is quite fitting that David Cameron should cosy up to Huawei while pushing Chinese-style internet censorship in the UK. One of the things they like to suppress in China is freedom of religious expression. China has only five state-sanctioned religious organisations – everything else is technically illegal and the regime disparagingly labels them “sects” or “cults”, and practitioners face harassment, imprisonment and even torture. Alternative spiritual groups targeted include underground Christian churches, Tibetan Buddhists, and the Falun Gong movement. Groups like these could easily be termed “esoteric” in the UK too.

Disturbingly, Homesafe is based on Huawei’s GREENnet filter, which was partly designed to prevent access to “unhealthy websites” in China which apparently includes those of “malicious religious groups”– according to an archive of Huawei’s GREENnet promotional literature, taken from a previous page they have since taken down.

Does David Cameron want to sneak through a clandestine Chinese-style clampdown on spirituality and political dissent in the UK? Whatever the case, it is highly alarming that David Cameron holds up technology designed to suppress dissent and religious minorities in an authoritarian country as a blue print for the UK to follow.

The situation is even more alarming when you consider the insidious ways alternative spirituality is already being targeted by other means in the UK. A look at further machinations underway reveals a stark situation.

Online Inquisition: Alternative Spirituality and Beliefs Already Targeted on Mobile Phone Networks and WiFi

A look at the levels of internet censorship already enforced by mobile phone and public WiFi providers suggests a worrying trend, with “alternative beliefs” and “esoteric” content in the firing line.

Mobile phone operator Orange Phones in the UK has already blocked websites of so-called “universally acknowledged sects” that promote “esoteric practices”. The “universal” source classifying “sects” or “esoteric practices” is not specified, nor is their justification for even blocking such content in the first place. Like many things about censorship in the UK, the rationale and agents driving these moves are shrouded in mystery. (Although it should be noted that Orange is French company, and France has particularly draconian laws against free religious expression, which might have something to do with it.)

The government has also been in close consultations with the UK’s main public WiFi providers (Arqiva, BT, Nomad, Sky, Virgin and O2) to make their filters “family friendly”. Similar to the case with ISP filters, the government talks about blocking pornography, but the filters block a whole lot more.

People have been denied access to websites labelled “alternative belief/spirituality” in public WiFi hotspots in the UK. A petition organiser against the UK’s ISP censorship policy reported having his reiki website blocked in a public café for instance.

This was not an isolated incident. A recent report by Adaptive mobile revealed that the blocking of spiritually-themed websites is widespread on UK WiFi – a staggering 44% of UK WiFi hotspots block religious sites.

Whether you call it religious, spiritual, esoteric or alternative beliefs, clearly there is an effort to target this kind of information. The esoteric label could be applied to anything providing alternative information that doesn’t fit with the secretive and powerful elite who don’t want people thinking too much outside the square – or challenging them. And those blacklisted face the double-whammy of appearing “guilty by association” by being filtered alongside dangerous, offensive and illegal content, along with being blocked into oblivion.

Might this filtering be part a wider agenda to steadily and surreptitiously erode the free expression of alternative spirituality?

A Multi-pronged Plan to Silence Dissent?

There seems to be another prong to this attack. While implementing censorship, the government is also flagging changes to laws that will disempower those likely to be targeted by their sweeping censorship.

Considering there have already been reports of internet filters blocking charities, it is rather concerning that the government has been pushing the charity-targeting “gagging bill”, which it finally passed in January 2014. The gagging bill restricts free speech and protest by preventing protest groups or charities from challenging the government policy in the lead up to elections by clamping spending caps on organised forms of dissent. Now that this law is passed, the government can limit any organised protest against the censorship system it implemented, when David Cameron and his government seek re-election in 2015. And this is significant when you consider what else is at stake in the next UK general election.

The government has also announced that, should it be re-elected, it will scrap the Human Rights Act, a bill which gives further legal effect to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), a civil liberties charter signed by Britain and other European countries in the aftermath of World War II.

Under the UK Human Rights Act (the Act), the UK Government is broadly prohibited from violating the civil liberties of its people defined in the ECHR, and citizens can seek legal recourse within UK courts if their individual rights are violated by the government. This means that civil rights enshrined in the ECHR have legal enforcement in the UK, giving it much more strength than a mere Declaration of Human Rights.

One of the civil liberties protected by the Act includes the freedom of conscience and belief, which includes the “freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs”. That freedom includes not just the right to practice one’s beliefs privately, but to express it openly – something censorship would obstruct. So for example, an employee of British Airways was able to go the ECHR when the company tried to ban her from wearing a crucifix, and her religious freedom was upheld.

Freedom of expression in general is also protected, as is the right to privacy, which may be in conflict with the government’s mass surveillance, which is the subject of current legal action. So in principle, the Act gives people a way to challenge the government if their rights are being limited by government-mandated internet filters.

For the time being, the government’s strategy to avoid such a legal challenge has been to muddy the waters by pressuring private companies to introduce censorship “voluntarily”, rather than requiring them to do it through legislation, making it ambiguous as to what extent the government holds responsibility. Ultimately, however, the government plans to scrap the human rights act altogether and has also hinted at withdrawing from the ECHR completely, which would remove all possibility of a legal challenge by this avenue.

Although there has been talk of replacing the ECHR with a British Bill of Rights, this may be the carrot that leads the donkey. Any Bill the UK creates to replace the ECHR charter with is likely to be watered down or more restrictive with the effect of providing people less rights, not more. Otherwise, why even bother with the replacement?

Another strategy the government has is to conflate the ECHR with the EU, when the two are not connected. There is significant resentment to the EU in Britain. The EU is often criticised for making decisions that suit the elite but not the ordinary people, but the government is fully committed to staying part of it. So its strategy is to redirect that resentment toward ECHR and use it a scapegoat, so it can remain in the elite-centric EU while attacking a separate body more geared towards giving ordinary people a means to appeal decisions made by the elite in governments and corporations.

By scrapping the Human Rights Act, the UK government will be able to curb their own courts from upholding human rights. Severing ties with the ECHR will then cut off UK citizens’ last line of appeal. So if a company tries to ban you from wearing a crucifix to work or blocks your spiritual website, who will you appeal to?

False Flag Fanaticism: MI5 Terror Asset used to Justify Clampdown on Human Rights

Just as the UK’s sweeping censorship uses a false premise of “protecting the children” to justify trampling on the rights of everyone, the attack on human rights in the UK is supposedly being done on the premise of making it easier for the government to deport alleged terrorists. The government wants the public to believe it is necessary to remove everyone’s human rights, because it faced delays in deporting certain individuals linked to terrorism that it could have prosecuted instead under British criminal law – but chose not to for political reasons.

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MI5 Asset Abu Qatada. Source: UK Home Office

The long drawn-out and expensive delays in deporting Abu Qatada have been used by the government and certain media outlets to stoke public antagonism towards the Human Rights Act, such that people have come to see human rights as a threat to their security, rather than something that protects everyone. This has generated support for government plans to not only scrap the act but withdraw from the ECHR.

The government would have known it would face delays under its human rights obligations by attempting to deport an untried and unconvicted individual to a country where he may be tortured. If the government really considered Abu Qatada to be a dangerous criminal, why not just put him on trial in the UK instead of going through the lengthy expensive deportation route?

The real reason might be that Abu Qatada was an MI5 double agent. When he was wanted by the UK’s allies early last decade, Time Magazine reported he was being kept, “tucked away in a safe house in the north of England… fed and clothed by British intelligence services,” while the UK authorities apparently pretended they did not know where he was. In all probability, the real reason he was not put on trial was that it would put his relationship to security services under the microscope. MI5 probably did not want a court scrutinising their close connections with an individual who the government claimed to be a threat to national security.

Has this whole situation been engineered as a PR exercise to push public sentiment in favour of scrapping human rights by stoking terrorism fears, using MI5 asset Abu Qatada as a scapegoat? Whatever the case, it looks fishy, and the government’s plans to gag debate prior to the next election and remove legal avenues to challenge censorship once re-elected should ring alarm bells.

Persecution of Alternative Spirituality and Esoteric Knowledge

As we try to fathom the UK’s insidious push to target alternative spirituality by a range of means, it is worth remembering there is a historical context to this. The suppression of “esoteric” information is nothing new.

Throughout time there have been attempts to suppress the free flow of esoteric knowledge, which has the potential to empower the individual. Sometimes this has been done by dominant religious institutions, as with the brutal oppression of the Inquisition for example, or by irreligious forces opposed to spirituality, as in the religious purges of the Soviet Union. Esoteric knowledge is powerful as it allows people to wake up and question their reality, and such people cannot easily be manipulated by the powers that be. As in the past, today there are those who wish to suppress esoteric knowledge – the hidden mystical side of spirituality – as well as erode the place of public religious teachings of mainstream religion. Today these efforts are more subtle and clandestine. Slipping esoteric material categories into internet filters is a way to suppress information covertly, without people realising what they are not seeing.

This is what makes ISP level default filtering of the internet in the UK so alarming, because these filters will reach the majority of UK households and will be centralised and controlled by a few corporations behind a veil of unaccountable obscurity. The categories they block are broad, and no one really knows who is ultimately responsible for what they target. Since most people stick with default internet settings, their reach and effects could be insidious.

This situation has very serious ramifications for the free flow of alternative viewpoints, whether spiritual, political, or otherwise, which could fall into vague categories like “esoteric material” or even recently touted “extremist websites”.

An Unfolding Agenda

It is obvious that the moral cause of protecting children has been hijacked as a Trojan horse cover story to ram through a sweeping censorship regime that will ultimately restrict the internet for the majority of the UK population.

Censorship has been foisted on the UK under a diversionary pretext, led by Claire Perry, the protégé of a 7-time Bilderberg attendee, George Osborne, a close friend to Prime Minister David Cameron. Now, it seems the government is clamping down organised dissent and is seeking to entrench its censorship agenda by stoking terrorism fears to legitimise removing legal avenues to challenge these policies after the next election in 2015.

George Osborne at Bilderberg 2014

George Osborne quietly receives an intense briefing at Bilderberg 2014 from Bilderberg upper echelon Sir John Kerr. Picture: Hannah Borno. Source: The Guardian

Both major parties in the UK have close ties to the Bilderberg group. Could that be why these authoritarian censorship machinations have bipartisan support? Is the UK just the first western country where these murky censorship clampdown measures will be rolled out? Is it just a coincidence that UK-style measures have since been broached in other Western nations such as Australia and Canada?

When you look at the interconnected web of elite interests involved in this scheme – encompassing the Bilderberg group, the UK government, major political parties, religious lobbyists, a firm linked to the Chinese government extending influence into the UK telecoms sector, the touting of technology developed to suppress dissent and alternative beliefs as a blueprint for the UK – and when you factor in the stealthy and deceptive way alternative beliefs are targeted under the banner of making the internet “family friendly,” the situation appears grim.

Most people would agree children should be protected from internet pornography and violent material. I don’t want to gloss over the damaging effects pornography can have and the benefits of shielding children from mass exposure to it. But that can be done with through proper supervision in conjunction with transparently operated filters installed in the home, chosen and operated by parents and carers, rather than shadowy, creeping centralised censorship systems operated by corporations without scrutiny. Parenting is the responsibility of parents and carers, not of the State or corporations.

The internet has the unique capacity to empower individuals and society to access and share important information the mass media does not cover. It sets a dangerous precedent if the internet in “free” countries is hijacked via censorship to be rigged in favour of corporations, government and dominant institutions, while those offering an alternative voice are blocked out. There are sinister forces who would like to suppress the knowledge about how to free our consciousness from manipulation. If alternative news and analysis,  “esoteric” and “alternative belief” websites are blocked, then anything that questions, challenges or provides an alternative view of the dominant power structures of society could be targeted and marginalised.

As the Bilderberg group wind up their meeting behind a cloak of secrecy in Copenhagen, and with the UK’s next election looming in 2015, we need to watch this space. The politicians must know that the public is alert to this agenda and sees through the deception. Those who care for truth and freedom should remain vigilant and ensure that people’s rights and freedoms are not silently stripped away.

“After years of talking about it, we are finally poised to control our own energy future.” Obama in 2013 State of The Union address.

The myth of American energy independence from fracking has been dealt a huge blow by the downgrade of recoverable oil from the Monterey shale formation. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has slashed its estimate of oil reserves from the Monterey shale formation by a massive 96%.

In 2011 the EIA released a report that reviewed US shale oil and gas reserves. It stated that the largest shale oil formation in America was the Monterey play in Southern California. The report estimated that the Monterey shale formation held 15.5 billion barrels of oil or 64% of total U.S. shale oil reserves.

California’s vast shale deposits were labelled ”black gold” due to this forecast. On the basis of this rosy review the University of California produced a report forecasting millions of new jobs and billions in extra tax revenues.

Such academic reports have played a part in encouraging the media frenzy that has tried desperately to promote fracking to the American people as a clean, safe industry that will create jobs, foster a renaissance in manufacturing industry, increase tax revenues and help America be independent of supplies from its geopolitical enemies.

Washington is using these inflated claims for its energy reserves to advance its geopolitical interests. The Obama administration are using the crisis in Ukraine to put pressure on their puppet allies in the EU to wean themselves off Russian gas and buy American fracking gas in the future.

At a press briefing before Obama’s June trip to Poland, Belgium and France Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhode said:

”Frankly, the Ukraine crisis has brought into sharp relief Europe’s energy dependence on Russia, so we are going to work closely with our European allies on the importance of both short- and long-term efforts to diversify their energy sources, to modernize their infrastructure, and to limit Russia’s ability to use energy as a tool of political leverage.”

The big gas companies are drooling at the prospect of selling fracking gas abroad. There are two bills before Congress that hope to fast track exports of liquefied gas: Senate Bill 2274 and House Bill 6. Obviously, the gas corporations don’t care two figs for the energy supplies of Europe but they do want to sell fracking gas abroad. They can get a much higher price in Europe than they can get domestically. This means a huge increase in profits.

The 96% downgrade of recoverable oil reserves from the Monterey shale formation which were supposed to represent two thirds of America’s shale oil reserves is big news. However, this news was overshadowed by the giant mega gas deal between Russia and China that came out the same day.

Industry Response

You will not find any corporate politician or mainstream media outlet that will discuss the significance of the Monterey shale oil downgrade. The oil industry itself tries to brush off the significance of this downgrade by the EIA.

Industry spokespeople claim that big oil has far from given up on the prospect of extracting tight oil in California through multi-stage horizontal fracking. They have vowed to continue to find ways to extract tight oil in California. In a recent statement Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association said:

”We have a great deal of confidence that the skill, experience and innovative spirit possessed by the men and women of the petroleum industry will ultimately solve this puzzle and improve production rates from the Monterey Shale.”

Reality Check

If we put industry propaganda to one side, the reality is that this downgrade represents a huge blow to the fracking industry. Not only them, but also to the capitalist politicians in Congress, who put such great hopes on oil and gas from fracking.

California state Senator Holly Mitchell, sponsor of anti-fracking legislation, told ABC News in May:

“The cost-benefit analysis of fracking in California has just changed drastically.” Referring to the 96 percent reduction, she asks, “Why put so many at risk for so little? We now know that the projected economic benefits are only a small fraction of what the oil industry has been touting. There is no ocean of black gold that fracking is going to release tomorrow, leaving California awash in profits and jobs.”

Ashley Miller, Executive Director of the Post Carbon Institute, commented:

”The downgrade of the Monterey should raise questions about the veracity of the EIA’s other estimates, especially considering their past track record with other plays (notably the Marcellus). It should put the so-called “shale revolution” into perspective, particularly because the typical life cycle of a shale play appears to be very short.”

Statistical Fantasy

Tom Whipple, a highly respected peak oil analyst, has cast doubt on the new revised figure of 600 million barrels,”which in itself may be high.”

J.David Hughes, geologist, has extensively studied the Monterey shale formation. He produced a study in 2013 which showed the EIA’s 2011 forecast was vastly overstated. “The oil had always been a statistical fantasy. Left out of all the hoopla was the fact that the EIA’s estimate was little more than a back-of-the-envelope calculation.”

In 2013 Hughes produced the most comprehensive analysis to date of prospects for shale gas and tight oil in the United States. His landmark Drill Baby Drill report seriously undermines the media myth that the United States is on the verge of becoming an energy superpower that will rival Saudia Arabia and Russia. Hughes has noted the significance of the massive downgrade in recoverable oil reserves in California.

Monterey was a huge field wiped out with a stroke of a pen: That’s like two Bakkens off the table in one fell swoop,” Hughes said. “You’re going to have a whole slew of poorly producing wells in a decade or so. The good news is that supply grows short term, but the bad news is that we may have a very serious supply issue 10-15 years out.”

The economics of fracking just does not add up

The American people need to be made aware that the oil and gas fracking industry will not deliver on its promises of a jobs boom that will foster a manufacturing renaissance and deliver higher tax receipts. The economics of fracking just does not add up.

The much touted Bakken shale formation in North Dakota is a good example of the wishful thinking behind the myths used to hoodwink people. According to the Interntional Energy Agency it will take 2,500 new wells a year just to sustain the Bakken shale plays output of 1 million barrels per day. To break even U.S. shale oil needs oil priced at $80 barrel. Meanwhile, Iraq can produce the same amount of oil from just 60 conventional oil wells at a cost of $20 per barrel.

To compound matters American shale oil producers need to spend vast amounts just to stay even. Financial analyst Stacy Herbert has commented on this major problem facing the U.S. fracking industry:

”The U.S. Oil industry is also due to spend $2.8 trillion by 2035 just to stay even whereas the Middle East, for example, will spend a third less, produce three times more in the same time. So it can only be done with zero per cent interest rates and free money.”

Bloomberg reported in February of this year that independent producers will spend $1.50 for every dollar they get back. The only way they can stay in business is by accumulating large amounts of debt. According to Ryan Oatman, an energy analyst with SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Inc., an investment bank in Houston, oil prices have stayed high enough for investors to remain interested in the fracking industry. However, Oatman has pointed out:

”There is a point at which investors become worried about debt levels and how that spending is going to be financed. How do you accelerate and drill without making investors worried about the balance sheet? That’s the key tension in this industry.”

Ashley Miller, Executive Director of the Post Carbon Institute, has noted that the Monterey Shale downgrade should make:

”investors more circumspect. The shale revolution is in many ways a story of cheap credit fuelling uneconomic drilling. Industry has hyped claims and relentlessly drilled (even when they were losing money) in order to keep low-interest loans and investments coming. If investors become more circumspect, it could put a dent in drilling rates which would put an end to the “shale revolution” in short order.”

Oil and gas drilling resembles a ponzi scheme of vast proportions. The shale drillers have to keep up the frantic pace of drilling due to the 2-3 year life span of most wells. This massive drilling programme is based upon huge amounts of cheap debt thanks to the Fed’s policy of zero percent interest rates.

This borrow drill repeat strategy is living on borrowed time. Any increase in interest rates would blow this ponzi scheme industry apart.

Tim Gramatovich, who helps manage more than $800 million as chief investment officer of Santa Barbara, California-based Peritus Asset Management LLC, has observed that,”It’s a perfect set-up for investors to lose a lot of money, …The model is unsustainable.”

Pressure to support a moratorium

The Monterey shale downgrade has been described as a bombshell by Dr. Kassie Siegel Director of the Centre for Biological Diversity in California. She points out that this bombshell will hopefully put California Governor Jerry Brown under increasing pressure to support a moratorium on fracking in the golden state.

Governor Brown has endorsed an expansion of fracking across California. This has led to an increase in air pollution and permission to dump 9 billion gallons of toxic fracking waste water into the ocean. This has led to growing public opposition from residents suffering a growing list of health problems, climate scientists and farmers. Californian farmers are concerned that fracking will consume a lot of water in a state plagued by the worst drought.

A recent poll commissioned by the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defence Council, found that 68 percent of Californians support a moratorium on fracking in their state.

The massive downgrade in the Monterey shale formation may well lend momentum to this opposition from ordinary people.

Across the United States there is a growing movement of opposition to fracking which makes it harder and more expensive for the oil and gas companies to continue extracting oil and gas. Take for example the recent vote by the city of Canandaigua, New York which has voted to ban the exploration, storage and treatment of waste water within city limits.

Canandaigua joins a growing list of cities, towns and villages across New York that have adopted bans and moratoriums upon fracking. According to the latest summary by John Hoff, who has tracked fracking votes for several years, 213 New York state communities have voted for bans or moratorium upon fracking operations. Meanwhile, another 90 are considering action against fracking operations in their areas.

The massive downgrade of the Monterey shale formation confirms the analysis of geologist David Hughes that oil and gas fracking in America will not provide for the American people’s long term energy needs.

It deals a huge blow to the geopolitical ambitions of American imperialism. Most E.U. countries realize they are dependent on Russian gas over the longer term.

The American ruling class is addicted to short term solutions to its energy needs. Left in the hands of corrupted politicians the American people face a nightmare future of massive pollution from oil and gas fracking.