“Pilegaarden” (Willow Farm)

Healthier, more productive pigs, more profit, and much less birth deformities; an important lesson for all farmers not to use GMO feed or glyphosate on their land.

I want to tell you what I have seen on my farm and about the on-farm and lab investigations carried out in collaboration with Professor Monika Krüger and other scientists.

My farm – ‘Pilegaarden’ – which translates as ‘Willow Farm’ – is an average Danish farm in the small village of Hvidsten. Our pigs are raised accordingly to United Kingdom regulations for pig housing, and exported to the UK for consumption.

Inside the pig farm is a straw-based system for the sows as well as a standard farrowing house.

I had read about the effects that GM feed has on rats in lab experiments (see [1] GM Soya Fed Rats: Stunted, Dead, or SterileSiS 33), so I decided to change the feed from GM to non-GM soy in April 2011 without telling the herdsman on the farm.

Instant benefits from non-GMO soy

Two days afterwards, he said to me: “You have changed the food.” He always notices whenever there is any problem with the feed and tells me. This time was different. Something very good was happening with the food as the pigs were not getting diarrhoea any more.

The farm was using two thirds less medicine, saving £7.88 per sow. Not just my farm but three other farms in Denmark that switched from GMO to non GMO feed have also seen the same.

Medication after the changeover in the weaners barn also went down dramatically by 66%. One type of antibiotic has not been used since.

The sows have higher milk production; we can tell because the sows are suckling one, two or three more piglets and have more live born pigs, on average 1.8 piglets more per sow. They wean 1,8 pigs more per litter, and have more live born pigs.

We have seen an aggressive form of diarrhoea disappear altogether from the farm. It affected young piglets in the first week of life, killing up to 30% of the animals. It has completely gone now for over three years.

Sows no longer suffer from bloating or ulcers and they have longer productive lives, only dropping in fertility after eight litters compared to 6 on GM soy.

So, a change to non-GM soy makes the herd easier to manage, improves the health of the herd, reduces medicine usage, increases production and is very profitable.

Glyphosate toxicity

Deformities in the pigs used to be very rare and I used to be proud to send Siamese twins to schools for classes because it was a ‘one in a million’ event. But then they became frequent.

So I read a lot on the subject and my suspicion fell on glyphosate. I read how glyphosate had been shown in scientific studies (see [2] Lab Study Establishes Glyphosate Link to Birth DefectsSiS 48, [3]) to cause deformities and noted it was the same type of deformities that I was seeing in my pigs.

I also observed deformities matching those found in anencephaly babies in Washington counties in US [4] that Don Huber talked about as well as the birth defects in Argentina [5, 6] (Argentinas Roundup Human Tragedy , SiS 48), as described by Dr Medardo Avila-Vasquez where high levels of glyphosate are used.

I had looked at studies showing that a 2-day exposure to 3.07 mg/l glyphosate herbicide caused only 10% mortality but caused malformations in 55% of test animals [7].

A toxicological study in 2003 led by Dr Dallegrave [8] found bone abnormalities, absence of bones or parts of bones, shortened and bent bones, asymmetry, fusions, and clefts in rats. So, after this I began to list all the deformities I saw in my pigs.

A catalogue of deformities in piglets

I decided to be on the safe side, by listing the clear deformities that cannot be missed, like a back that is totally kinked over (see Figure 1, above right). I have pictures of all the deformed piglets, which are born alive in most cases.

One had a 180° bend in one of its vertebra. There were also deformities in the soft tissue, and one without an anus. One had kidney problems; another had its stomach outside the body. One had a cranial deformity, with no eyes and its brain outside the head; this is very typical. One had no cranium at all.

Some are even messier. There was a piglet with only one eye, and one completely headless. There was a little nose, but it had no bones to grow on so it probably would have died just after birth. We also started counting deformities of the tail, which are never fatal but are actually spinal deformities.

I sent the deformed piglets to Germany to be analysed by Krüger at Leipzig University. She opened them up and took the organs including the lungs, liver, kidneys, muscles, nervous system, intestines and heart; and she found glyphosate in all of the organs (see Box). You can see some of them in the scientific paper I published with Krüger and other scientists [9].

Figure 1   List of documented deformities observed (with Chinese translations) in piglets born to sows fed a diet containing different amounts of glyphosate. Glyphosate is present in all animal feed (except organic) due to the indiscriminate use of Roundup pre-seeding, or as desiccant; manure has Roundup residues in it and is recycled in the feed.

Glyphosate detected in malformed piglets

A total of 38 deformed Danish one-day old piglets were euthanized and the tissues analysed for glyphosate using ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay).

All organs or tissues had glyphosate in different concentrations. The highest concentrations were seen in the lungs ((0.4-80mg/ml) and heart (0.15-80 mg/ml). The lowest were in muscles (4.4-6.4 mg/g).

Rate of malformation increased to one out of 260 born piglets if sow feeds contain 0.87-1.13 ppm glyphosate in the first 40 days of pregnancy. In case of 0.25 ppm glyphosate one out of 1,432 piglets was malformed.

These piglets showed different abnormalities as ear atrophy, spinal and cranial deformations, cranium hole in head and leg atrophy; in one piglet only a single large eye developed. Piglets without trunk, with elephant tongue, and female piglet with testes were also present.

One malformed piglet showed a swollen belly and fore gut and hind gut were not connected.

The researchers note: “Further investigations are urgently needed to prove or exclude glyphosate in malformations in piglets and other animals.”

Teratogenic dose a fraction of the regulatory allowed dose

In addition to these experiments, I had over 30,000 piglets born over two years and therefore have statistical data that are not easily available in the lab and this is where farmers have the ideal opportunity to do their own testing.

I tested the food, the foetuses, the urine and the grains that came into the farm. To do the tests, I would take representative samples from the batches of food, mix them, and take 100 grams in a plastic bag of each to be tested, or 100 ml of liquids.

When taking muck and urine for testing, you need patience. Blood tests can be done by a vet. Send it for analyses to a lab that has the facilities to test glyphosate down to about 0.1ppb = 0.1 milligram per tonne. If tests are only detecting at above 0.1ppm = 0.1 grams per ton, it cannot show you what is in urine and muck. It costs about £30-50 for one test. Tests in oils might not be possible; you need to ask beforehand.

The results of the tests showed that with 0.06 mg/kg of glyphosate residue in the feed – much lower than the allowed 20 mg/kg – I was getting cranial and spinal deformities after two months of feeding (see Figure 2, above right). At 0.1 mg/kg I was also getting deformities, but not many so that one pig could alter the numbers.

But, at 0.2 mg/kg the deformities start to go up. At the maximum dose used (but still under 12% of the maximum permitted dose) of 2.26 mg/kg the numbers start to get very high.

Figure 2   Rates of cranial and spinal deformities in pigs fed increasing levels of glyphosate in feed

Fewer piglets per litter

I also got help from Thomas Böhn from Norway who told me to look at longer intervals. We got numbers after six months to see an accumulative effect. The story is exactly the same. There is a very clear difference between low and high levels of glyphosate.

We also looked at the numbers of pigs born in each litter, which was significantly less after eating food with higher levels of glyphosate (see figure 3). We found a significant average difference of 0.95 fewer pigs born per sow when glyphosate was eaten in feed, between ‘low’ and ‘high’ intakes.

This was measured as accumulated intake of glyphosate over a 35 day period – the last five weeks of pregnancy. The ‘low’ intake was defined as under 3 mg/kg body weight, and the high intake was 3-9 mg/kg body weight.

So with glyphosate present in the feed, we have fewer births, as well as the odd ones that are deformed.

In short, a five-fold increase in glyphosate levels from 0.2 to 1 part per million (ppm) resulted in a five-fold increase in cranial and spinal deformities at birth, five times times more abortions, and 0.95 less piglets born per litter.

Glyphosate has known toxicities at extremely low concentrations

We can also relate the actual levels of glyphosate in feed to the level in the urine. So for 1,132 ppb (or 1.13 ppm), there is 44 ppb (~ 4%) in the urine and 246.33 ppb (~22%) in dung.

When I tested my own urine, I found that I had 2.58 ppb – and that is not from eating GM contaminated feed but from eating normal food from the Danish shops.

This is already at the level of higher rates of abortions and deformities and probably also fertility problems. Is this why in the Western world we have a very big problem with fertility (see [9] Glyphosate/Roundup and Human Male InfertilitySiS 62)?

And at 1,000 ppb, glyphosate is patented by Monsanto as an antibiotic, actually killing the beneficial microorganisms. At 0.1 ppb (less than 1/25 the level measured in my urine) Roundup caused tumours in 80% of rats compared to 20% in the controls [10], which only developed them at 700 days.

To have that high level of glyphosate in my urine, I must have consumed at the level of about 0.2ppm or 2,000 times more than the test rats. So what does that mean for the rates of cancer (see [11] Glyphosate and Cancer, SiS 62)?

Figure 3   Rates of liveborn per sow after consuming low and high levels of glyphosate in feed in last 5 weeks of pregnancy; the amount of glyphosate is the total summed over the last 5 weeks

I have a short film about how it is to be a farmer, I always feel very bad about my pigs getting ill so I leave the film for people to see. These same things must be happening in Chinese farms also, as they are using the same feed as I used to.

Even non-GM soya contains glyphosate and we as farmers need to demand that it is not sprayed down with glyphosate, because it can affect people as well as pigs.

To conclude

Any farmer who switches away from GMOs and Roundup will experience improved health in their herd and crops.

I know of the scientific studies on malformations due to the chemical Roundup. I know that one in 80 people in certain towns in Argentina have the same defects after being exposed to the chemical. And I know of 14 Danish people born with deformities of the same type.

Now what I have seen in my pigs makes me wonder what we are doing – not just to them but to ourselves. And it scares me.

A farmer’s task is to provide nutritious and healthy food for consumers, GMOs and Roundup provide neither. We can look back to DDT and how we thought that was healthy. That should remind us that we cannot ignore the warning signs for glyphosate.

Ib Borup Pederson is a Danish pig farmer serving the UK market, now also a scientific researcher and campaigner.

This article is based on a lecture at the 1st Forum of Development and Environmental Safety, under the theme ‘Food Safety and Sustainable Agriculture 2014′, 25 – 26 July 2014, Beijing. It was originally published by the Institute for Science and Society.

References

  1. Ho MW. GM soya fed rats: stunted, dead or sterile. Science in Society 33, 4-6, 2007.
  2. Ho MW. Lab study establishes glyphosate link to birth defects. Science in Society 48, 32-33, 2010.
  3. Antoniou M. Habib MEM, Howard CV, Jennings RC, Leifert C, Nodari RO, Robinson CJ and Fagan J. Teratogenic effects of glyphosate-based herbicides: divergence of regulatory decisions from scientific evidence. J Environ Anal Toxicol 2012, S4, 006, doi:10,4172/2161-0525.S4-006.http://omicsonline.org/teratogenic-effects-of-glyphosate-based-herbicides-divergence-of-regulatory-decisions-from-scientific-evidence-2161-0525.S4-006.php?aid=7453
  4. Anencephaly Investigation, Washington State Department of Health, accessed 5 September 2014, http://www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/IllnessandDisease/BirthDefects/AnencephalyInvestigation
  5. “Birth defects, cancer in Argentina linked to agrochemicals: AP investigation”, Michael Warren and Natacha Pisarenko, The associated Press, 20 October 2013,http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/birth-defects-cancer-in-argentina-linked-to-agrochemicals-ap-investigation-1.1505096
  6. Robinson C. Argentina’s Roundup human tragedy. Science in Society 48, 30-31, 2010.
  7. Lajmanovich RC, Sandoval MT, Peltzer PM. Induction of mortality and malformation inScinax nasicus tadpoles exposed to glyphosate formulations. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol2003, 70, 612-18.
  8. Dallegrave E, Mantese FD, Coelho RS, Pereira JD, Dalsenter PR, et al. The teratogenic potential of the herbicide glyphosate-Roundup in Wistar rats. Toxicol Lett 2003, 142, 45-52.
  9. Krüger M, Schrödl W, Pedersen I and Shehata AA. Detection of glyphosate in malformed piglets. J Eviron Anal Toxicol 2014, 4, 1000230, http://dx.doi.org/10.4172/2161-0525.1000230
  10. Ho MW. Glyphosate/Roundup & human male infertility. Science in Society 62, 14-17, 2014.
  11. Sôralini G-E. Clair E, Mesnage R, Gress S, Defarge N, Malatesta M, Hennequin D and de Vendômois JS. Republished study: long-term toxicity of a Rounup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Environmental Sciences Europe 2014, 26, 14, doi:10.1186/s12302-014-0014-5, http://www.enveurope.com/content/26/1/14
  12. Ho MW. Glyphosate and cancer. Science in Society 62, 12-14, 2014.

 

The Ebola Virus Pandemic: “A Weapon of Mass Destruction”?

September 20th, 2014 by Joachim Hagopian

First published by GR in August 2014

This year’s first outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever virus Ebola started in February in the West African nation of Guinea. It then began spreading to Liberia and, for the first time, to Sierra Leone and now Nigeria. With the possible spread to England in attempts to trace 30,000 people who might have been exposed, and now an American death in Nigeria and two more Americans afflicted with it here in the US, Ebola has rapidly grown into what could become a global epidemic with a potential capacity to wipe out millions.

According to recent statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) released just last week, at least 672 people have died out of a total of 1,201 cases so far this year in West Africa. However, seven days later the number of fatalities has jumped to 887, a spike of over 200 deaths in just the last few days. [early August]

Because the incubation period may last ten days while the infected victim may not even be aware of any illness, the virus is highly contagious. Then what begins like typical flu symptoms of fever, later vomiting as the virus spreads rapidly inside the body causing people to succumb often within days of its onset. Victims literally die from internal bleeding that in the final stages can flow out of every orifice. It has the trappings of a ghastly zombie science fiction nightmare come true.

There is no standard treatment (other than isolating the infected and quarantining those at risk). Nor is there yet an official vaccine, although Reuters just announced that as early as next month the US government will commence testing an experimental Ebola vaccine on humans after positive results were found on primates. It has been reported that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) infectious disease unit and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be running vaccine trials “as quickly as possible.”

The Department of Defense and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) classify the Ebola virus as a biowarfare agent. Reports of up to 90% of humans infected die within a very short time. Therefore, it is a very real, extremely potent potential weapon of mass destruction.

Every single day Ebola keeps cropping up in different places, eight cases spreading into Africa’s most populated nation Nigeria, several more now have surfaced beyond the African continent with suspected new cases in Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia. At least six others fresh off flights from West Africa are currently being quietly tested at locations here in the US in New York, Philadelphia and Ohio. With all the latest news of the spreading outbreak understandably giving rise to public fear and panic that it is just a plane ride away now, millions if not billions on this planet are pondering whether the African pandemic might be rapidly turning into a global epidemic spreading to every corner of the earth. Of course to reduce these concerns, the World Health Organization (WHO) and US government are busily downplaying the risks to citizens here in North America.

Is it coincidence that the first two Americans suffering from the deadly disease are now inside the US border? Is it coincidence that the most deadly outbreak of the disease in history has admittedly now killed nearly 900 West Africans already this year? Over 200 more than just a few days ago? Is it coincidence that President Obama has just signed an executive order to have the power to begin rounding up American citizens with respiratory diseases against their will? Is it coincidence that FEMA roundups are about to begin in Los Angeles, deceiving homeless people with the carrot stick of a meal to corral them into those FEMA concentration camps and Halliburton refurbished, soon to no longer be empty prisons we’ve been hearing about?

Throughout this last century the US government and military have a notorious track record for delving into the darkest, most sinister realms in its pathological, “cutting edge” pursuit of amassing the most powerful destructive forces on earth… from torturous mind control methods to unlawful, deceptive drug experimentation on unsuspecting soldiers acting as involuntary guinea pigs, to manipulating extreme weather events used as offensive weapons to create killer storms and droughts, to the use of potently lethal electromagnetic radio waves to alter and disturb the human mind and behavior that conceivably can even cause heart attacks.

For many decades the US military has been systematically carrying out numerous highly secretive black ops programs, from raining poisonous metals down on unsuspecting Americans as sprayed chemtrails to using poor inner city mostly African Americans in St Louis as guinea pigs directly firing radioactive volleys from urban rooftops just to see how humans react to high doses of radiation. Also throughout the 1950’s into the early 1960’s there was extensive atomic bomb testing in the Nevada-Utah desert sites as well as experimental weapons testing still being detonated to this day in the South Pacific, all done knowing that downwind are unsuspecting, unprotected human victims. For four decades right up until 1972, 400 poor black sharecroppers in Tuskegee, Alabama were purposely infected syphilis just to study the effects. As if that was not enough, US government scientists infected Guatemalans in the 1940’s also with syphilis just to experiment with penicillin. This ultra-covert, highly unethical and illegal, malevolent practice of customarily misusing science, often at top universities with unlimited taxpayer funding to harness brilliant yet twisted scientific minds to unleash Nazi Dr. Mengele-type nightmarish experimentation on innocent human populations is nothing new. For obvious reasons it has largely been kept secret and hidden from public view and awareness. But enough concrete evidence has been uncovered over the years to show how willingly diabolical the US military consistently is toward harming even its own citizens.

Less hidden but far more devastating evil acts have been perpetrated by American armed forces on civilians throughout the world. Senselessly destroying Hiroshima and Nagasaki as densely populated Japanese cities became the first intended targets and human guinea pigs of the atomic bomb. And President Truman ordered it even knowing Japan had all but surrendered already. But even prior to the Enola Gay dropping the atomic bomb, the US has used chemical warfare killing people all over the globe with Monsanto made napalm bombs that in one single attack wiped out 100,000 Japanese citizens. Hundreds of thousands of Southeastern Asians were napalmed to death during the Vietnam War. White phosphorus has been used to melt human flesh in Iraq and Israel has used it against Palestinians. Millions and millions of innocent humans have been murdered as a result of these most heinous international crimes against humanity decade after decade after decade with complete impunity at the hands of both the US and Israeli military.

So developing biological weapons from collecting monstrously lethal specimens of the Ebola virus should come as no surprise. Or when considering this already long and extensive US military history, repeatedly guilty of human slaughter on such mammoth, unprecedented scale, it should not be so shocking to realize the military purpose of Ebola as yet another highly destructive weapon in its vast lethal arsenal could be potentially used to eliminate an enormous segment of this planet’s readily expendable current human population.

This year’s first outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever virus Ebola started in February in the West African nation of Guinea. It then began spreading to Liberia and, for the first time, to Sierra Leone and now Nigeria. With the possible spread to England in attempts to trace 30,000 people who might have been exposed, and now an American death in Nigeria and two more Americans afflicted with it here in the US, Ebola has rapidly grown into what could become a global epidemic with a potential capacity to wipe out millions. According to recent statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) released just last week, at least 672 people have died out of a total of 1,201 cases so far this year in West Africa. However, seven days later the number of fatalities has jumped to 887, a spike of over 200 deaths in just the last few days.

Because the incubation period may last ten days while the infected victim may not even be aware of any illness, the virus is highly contagious. Then what begins like typical flu symptoms of fever, later vomiting as the virus spreads rapidly inside the body causing people to succumb often within days of its onset. Victims literally die from internal bleeding that in the final stages can flow out of every orifice. It has the trappings of a ghastly zombie science fiction nightmare come true.

In 1976 the Ebola outbreak first surfaced in Zaire (now the Republic of the Congo) and then concurrently in Sudan though with different strains, killing 280 people out of 318 diagnosed in Zaire (88% mortality rate) and 151 out of 284 in Sudan (at a killing rate of 53%). During the nearly four decades since those first outbreaks, little has been learned of the disease. The origin of the virus is believed to come from infected animals such as rats, monkeys and bats, all edible meat that are a main staple and part of many Africans’ diet. The so called bush meat can be a viral carrier. So humans remain at risk from animal to human transmission and of course now from human to human transmission, most often from exchange of bodily fluids.

There is no standard treatment (other than isolating the infected and quarantining those at risk). Nor is there yet an official vaccine, although Reuters just announced that as early as next month the US government will commence testing an experimental Ebola vaccine on humans after positive results were found on primates. It has been reported that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) infectious disease unit and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be running vaccine trials “as quickly as possible.”

This contagious, incurable, highly fatal disease along with the typical bleeding from the eyes has people around the world reacting in horror especially with this largest outbreak to date. Both the CDC and WHO have emphasized that there is no reason for panic as far more people die from the common flu every year than the less than 2000 people killed by Ebola since its African emergence nearly four decades ago. The total numbers show two out of three humans who have been diagnosed with the Ebola virus, die from it with 1,717 deaths recorded out of a total 2,586 cases thus far. In stark contrast, 500,000 people die annually from influenza and a total of nineteen million are believed to have succumbed from the flu.

That said, it is important to disseminate accurate information of what we have come to learn about Ebola. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada:

“ INFECTIOUS DOSE: 1 – 10 aerosolized organisms are sufficient to cause infection in humans.”

Canadian researchers separating pigs from monkeys by wired pens found that infected pigs transmitted the virus by air to the monkeys. Also the viral organism can survive outside the host for several days at normal room temperature, evidence that the virus can stay alive on door knobs and household surfaces and be contagious for a considerable length of time.

The increased near nonstop mainstream reporting about Ebola in recent weeks is undoubtedly in part government propaganda designed to frighten people as well as perhaps take some of the heat off its number one genocidal ally Israel. The security state typically exaggerates or fabricates crises after crises in order strengthen its control through fear tactics over the general population. It only solidifies the absolute authority and power of the police state. Add the media propensity to over sensationalize as a tool of state sponsored propaganda and sufficient excuse emerges to activate security forces to quell ensuing panic and disorder. That said, local citizens in all nations do need to stay informed of any real global danger if in fact an Ebola pandemic does break out in a neighborhood near you, whether by accident or by sinister government design.

Right in stride with the Ebola hype comes the signing of Obama’s latest executive order. “Revised List of Quarantinable Communicable Diseases” allows for the “apprehension, detention, or conditional release of individuals to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of suspected communicable diseases,” added to George Bush’s 2003 Executive Order 13295. This means that anyone with respiratory problems that might include bronchitis, COPD or pneumonia can potentially be rounded up at any time. This disinformation of protecting people under benign pretense is the deceptive bait by which the totalitarian police state closes in on its stranglehold of the American populace. Every week the government is ratcheting up conditions ripe for the next manufactured crisis on domestic soil that will ultimately pave the way for martial law and the FEMA roundups of American citizens. With these latest developments, we are one step closer.

Under CDC authority not just people with respiratory problems can be apprehended and detained against their will under the protocol of being quarantined. CDC asserts that any healthy American can be detained as well based on mere suspicion that he or she might have come into contact with an infected person. This loosening of the criteria for detaining individuals opens the floodgate for Big Brother to round up virtually anyone.

In other recent related news, along with people with respiratory problems, there is a current plan in place to soon be rounding up the homeless in Los Angeles and locking them up in FEMA concentration camps with implanted RFID chips. They will be baited with a promised meal. That famous poem by Martin Niemöller comes to mind about the passivity and denial of so many German citizens in response to the series of Nazi prewar mass roundups – “when they came for the homeless, I did not speak out because I was not homeless.” The Orwellian nightmare is officially underway.

In early August Dr. Kent Brantly, the American doctor who contracted Ebola while treating patients in West Africa, arrived in Atlanta and under police escort was rushed off to the home of the CDC Emory University Hospital. Today another American medical worker Nancy Writebol came in on a separate flight and was wheeled into Emory Hospital. Their arrival marks the first Ebola cases on US soil. Both were given an experimental drug in Liberia that apparently is improving their condition. Last Thursday before given the drug the doctor stated he felt he was dying but had already gained enough strength to walk into the hospital in Atlanta on his own. The new drug is called ZMapp and was developed by the San Diego biotech firm Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc. after showing promising signs treating monkeys infected with Ebola.

No doubt the US government is highly invested in Ebola for both potential Big Pharma profits developing a vaccine as well as for a potential “final solution” as a convenient biowarfare global population-killer. Speaking of profits, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals, a company working on an anti-Ebola drug, just received a $1.5 million cash advance from another killer corporation Monsanto. In the past Tekmira was also awarded $140 million contract from the Department of Defense (formerly known more appropriately as the Department of War). In 2010 the CDC actually did acquire a patent on the strain that erupted in Uganda in 2007 that killed 39 out of 116 infected patients. The CDC patent owning that particular strain of Ebola from Uganda known as “EboBun” has the patent number CA2741523A1 and can be viewed here.

By filing for a patent on a product, in this case a highly lethal infectious disease, the US government is acquiring a governmentally enforced monopoly to exclusively profit from the “invention.” In the summary section of the EboBun patent, it stipulates that the US government in its patent ownership has complete legal control and ownership over all other strains of Ebola virus that share 70% and higher similarity. Thus, this deadly West African strain of Ebola will soon become the US government’s latest prize possession in biowarfare.

In bringing the two Ebola infected Americans back from West Africa to the CDC, in addition to optimizing their survival chance, the other all too obvious explanation is to harvest their Ebola cells for extraction that will then be used to patent the most deadly strain ever known to man. Infectious disease specialist Dr. Bob Arnot who worked on the ground in Africa with patients infected with Ebola virus recently went on television maintaining that “there is no medical reason to bring them here.” To make an exclusive claim of ownership of such a highly infectious disease stolen from the afflicted seems in and of itself invasively and exploitatively sinister. Of course it raises such red flag warnings and suspicion of how the virus might actually be used or more apt misused. Typically the government is quick to explore its military application as potentially the most powerful deadly biological weapon in the entire world.

Sierra Leone recently kicked out all US Ebola researchers from Tulane University and the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), a known center for biowar research headquartered at Fort Detrick, Maryland. Just prior to that event two weeks ago after three nurses died from the viral hemorrhagic fever, Sierra Leone nurses working in heavily infested Kenema district actually went on strike accusing the government’s Ministry of Health and Sanitation of mishandling the pandemic that is rapidly spreading. They complained that the medical workers caring for the ill are not properly protected and are suspicious that the American biowarfare team may be responsible for the recent surge in deaths. The Sierra Leone government then ordered the US bioweapons lab at Kenema to be moved due to the mounting anger of the local population blaming the Americans for infecting their citizens through their Ebola testing. Posted on the health ministry’s Facebook page is the conclusion that the diagnostic kits the US researchers have been using are fake and producing false results. It legitimately asks, “Have Tulane researchers done something to endanger public health?” Meanwhile, more people are becoming infected and dying there in that Sierra Leone district hospital than any other place on the planet.

Compounding the mystery, US mainstream media reported that the Sierra Leone leading doctor died from Ebola but the Minister of Health denied that claim. WHO is believed to be taking advantage of the crisis in medical services with pressure to deploy UN security forces in order to launch a massive vaccination (and possible infection) and quarantine campaign. In response, 700 soldiers from the Sierra Leone army have been deployed setting up roadblocks to help quarantine citizens, permitting only health personnel into the hardest hit areas. Troops in Liberia have also been sent to help contain the outbreak there.

The Minister also stated that all new confirmed cases will be admitted and treated at Kailahun Hospital, not trusting what has been occurring with the presence of the US biowarfare researchers at Kenema where rates of confirmed diagnosis have soared recently. Finally the Sierra Leone government is also demanding that the CDC send the biowar lab results to the African government for analysis, implicating that the US research group may be under investigation.

A doctor employed by the French charity organization Doctors Without Borders even stated that the locals’ perception that they will be killed in the Kenema hospital where the Americans have been conducting their research is “understandable,” given that the hospital has become the pandemic’s epicenter. Both the WHO and CDC documents admit that historically most of the Ebola victims have died at the Kenema hospital because of the questionable activities of medical staff. That sounds like an admission of guilt that the military biowarfare team instead of accurately diagnosing patients may have in fact contaminated them with the Ebola virus, possibly using the local Sierra Leone population as mere guinea pigs for their experimentation.

Back in 2009 Tulane University Ebola researchers received more than a $7 million dollar grant from NIH to fund the detection kits allegedly used in Sierra Leone. A 2007 Tulane University release entitled “New Test Moves Forward to Detect Bioterrorism Threats” boasts of an earlier $3.8 million NIH grant that led to early test trial success of “diagnostic test kits that will aid in bioterrorism defense against a deadly viral disease.” This document indicates that the Ebola biowarfare research team has been experimenting with its kits on Sierra Leone’s people for at least seven years before they were ultimately banished recently.

In another astonishing development, a rogue doctor with extensive experience treating Ebola victims, anonymously released what he calls a simple treatment for Ebola – massive amounts of Vitamin C. Similar but far more extreme than scurvy, the Ebola virus essentially drains the body of all Vitamin C, thus depriving oxygenated blood that bursts capillaries and triggers internal hemorrhaging that in effect causes victims to bleed to death. This Ebola specialist maintains that there is no need for a vaccine and warns against them, adding his opinion that the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone was actually caused by that biowarfare research team. The doctor recommends a high dosage treatment of 500,000 mg of Vitamin C per day, emphasizing that it is not a cure but will boost the immune system giving it the strength to kill off the Ebola virus in the body.

What is most certain in all these developing stories is the rapid unfolding of global destabilizing events and developments, bogus accusations and boldface lies streaming forth everyday from the propaganda mills of mainstream media and the US government.

But a closer examination of what is far more probable the actual truth indicates that so many of these simultaneous incidents are intimately related, and a mere connecting of dots spells an evil agenda promoting tighter control by a desperate security state that is now declaring war on all people who seek and speak the truth.

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.

Ten years ago, the idea of the US government spying on its citizens, intercepting their emails or killing them with drones was unthinkable.

But now it’s business as usual, says John Kiriakou, a former CIA agent and torture whistleblower.

-

-
Kiriakou is now awaiting a summons to start a prison sentence. One of the first to confirm the existence of Washington’s waterboarding program, he was sentenced last week to two-and-a-half years in jail for revealing the name of an undercover agent. But even if he had another chance, he would have done the same thing again, Kiriakou told RT.

­RT: The judge, and your critics all seem to believe you got off lightly. Would you say you got off lightly?

JK: No, I would not say I got off lightly for a couple of very specific reasons. First of all, my case was not about leaking, my case was about torture. When I blew the whistle on torture in December 2007 the justice department here in the US began investigating me and never stopped investigating me until they were able to patch together a charge and force me into taking a plea agreement. And I’ll add another thing too, when I took the plea in October of last year, the judge said that she thought the plea was fair and appropriate. But once the courtroom was packed full of reporters last Friday she decided that it was not long enough and if she had had the ability to she would have given me ten years.

RT: And why did you, a decorated CIA officer, take such a strong stance against an agency policy? Did you not consider that there might be some come-back?

JK: I did. I took a strong stance and a very public one and that’s what got me into trouble. But honestly the only thing I would do differently is I would have hired an attorney before blowing the whistle. Otherwise I believe firmly even to this day I did the right thing.

RT: You have called it ironic that the first person to be convicted with regards to the torture program is the man who shed light on it. Do you believe the others, who put the program together, will ever face justice?

JK: I don’t actually. I think that president Obama just like president Bush has made a conscious decision to allow the torturers, to allow the people who conceived of the tortures and implemented the policy, to allow the people who destroyed the evidence of the torture and the attorneys who used specious legal analysis to approve of the torture to walk free. And I think that once this decision has been made – that’s the end of it and nobody will be prosecuted, except me.

RT: When you initially came out against torture, you said it was impractical and inefficient. Did you consider it immoral initially?

JK: I said in 2002 that it was immoral. When I returned from Pakistan to CIA headquarters early in the summer 2002, I was asked by a senior officer in the CIA’s counter-terrorist center if I wanted to be trained in the use of torture techniques, and I told him that I had a moral problem with these techniques. I believed that they were wrong and I didn’t want to have anything to do with the torture program.

RT: It’s no secret that Obama’s administration has been especially harsh on whistleblowers. But can the US afford leniency, in these security-sensitive times?

JK: I think this is exactly what the problem is. In this post 9/11 atmosphere that we find ourselves in we have been losing our civil liberties incrementally over the last decade to the point where we don’t even realize how much of a police state the United States has become.

Ten years ago the thought of the National Security Agency spying on American citizens and intercepting their emails would have been anathema to Americans and now it’s just a part of normal business.

The idea that our government would be using drone aircraft to assassinate American citizens who have never seen the inside of a courtroom, who have never been charged with a crime and have not had due process which is their constitutional right would have been unthinkable. And it is something now that happens every year, every so often, every few weeks, every few months and there is no public outrage. I think this is a very dangerous development.

RT: Obama’s tough stance, and harsh punishments for whistleblowers, has sent a message. Is he winning his fight against those who speak out?

JK: I don’t think he is winning this fight against whistleblowers, at least not over the long term, and I’ll tell you why.

President Obama has now charged seven people with violations of the Espionage Act. All previous presidents in American history combined only charged three people with violating the Espionage Act. And the Espionage Act is a WWI-era act that was meant to deter German saboteurs during that First World War. And now it is being used to silence critics of the government.

But so far all seven of these cases that have made their way into a courtroom have either collapsed of have been dismissed, including mine. All of the three espionage charges against me were dropped.

So, I think frankly the Obama administration is cheapening the Espionage Act. The Espionage Act should be used to prosecute spies and traitors, not to prosecute whistleblowers or people who are exercising their first amendment right to free speech.

RT: Do we still need whistleblowers? Are we going to see more of them coming out?

JK: I think we will see more whistleblowers and I think we need whistleblowers now more than ever before. Whether it’s in national security or whether it is in the banking industry, the American people have a right to know when there is evidence of waste, fraud, abuse, or illegality. If the Justice Department is not going to prosecute these cases, at the very least the American people need to know.

Donors Will Fail Gaza Again

September 19th, 2014 by Nicola Nasser

On 12 October, Cairo is due to host a conference, sponsored and chaired by Egypt and Norway, of international and Arab donors for the reconstruction of Gaza. This is their ostensible aim. But the reasons that the donors cited for not fulfilling earlier pledges, made in Paris in 2007 and Sharm El-Sheikh in 2009, still exist.

This means that the donors who attend the upcoming Cairo conference will probably make the same pledges they made at the two previous conferences and then once again fail to fulfil them.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian people under blockade in Gaza will remain in suspense, waiting for the next aggression to be unleashed on them by the Israeli occupation, purportedly in order to eliminate the causes that the donors cite for recycling their pledges for the reconstruction of Gaza that is unlikely to happen in the foreseeable future.

Fulfilment of the donors’ old/new pledges is still contingent politically on the imposition of the status quo in the West Bank on Gaza . This entails security coordination with the occupying power, the pursuit and elimination of all forms of resistance to the occupation, rendering all reconstruction activities subject to the approval of the Israeli security regime, and much more.

Even should these conditions be met, the donors’ fulfilment of their pledges will remain contingent on the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s (PLO) continued commitment to negotiations as its sole strategy, and to the agreements that led to the creation of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

All the evidence indicates that the PLO and the PA have spearheaded the battle to impose the donors’ conditions on their behalf. Beneath the rubric of “legitimacy”, “the national project” and “the single central authority” that “alone holds the powers to make decisions on war and peace,” the PLO and PA have demonstrated that they are ready to abide by the donors’ political conditions.

The irony is that Israel has never met the conditions it compelled the donors to impose, not just in order to proceed with the reconstruction of Gaza , but also on the PA in general.

Israel has never renounced violence. It repeatedly wages war and unleashes its instruments of state terrorism against the Palestinians under occupation. It has flagrantly and repeatedly violated every agreement signed with the PLO. It has not even reciprocated the PLO’s recognition of Israel , nor has it officially acknowledged the Palestinians’ right to establish a Palestinian state.

Currently, the occupation authorities are threatening to dissolve the Palestinian national reconciliation government if it does not assert its full authority over Gaza . The message was driven home by PA Deputy Prime Minister Mohammed Mustafa, who said that there would be no reconstruction unless his government can fully assert its control over Gaza .

However, all the evidence also indicates that the resistance is there to stay in Gaza and that its powers to resist the imposition of the donors’ conditions — on it and on Gaza — are increasing.

The only possible way to read all of the foregoing, and other facts, is that the reconstruction of Gaza under such conditions and circumstances will be deferred until further notice and that deferring reconstruction and linking it to a process of cloning the West Bank model in Gaza is actually a strategy that paves the way for yet another invasion of Gaza.

It is also a fact that reconstruction needs in Gaza are accumulating as a result of this strategy. Destruction in Gaza did not begin with the response to action against this strategy in 2007. The reconstruction of Gaza ’s airport and seaport, for example, has been pending since the occupation destroyed these facilities in 2002. Reconstruction dues from the destruction wrought by the Israeli assaults on Gaza in 2008-2009 and 2012 are also continuing to accumulate.

A recent report by the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction (PECDAR) estimates that it will cost around $8 billion to rebuild what was destroyed during the last Israeli attack on Gaza . The report says that this process would take five years if the occupation authority were to “fully” lift the embargo on Gaza , which is hardly likely to happen soon.

Clearly, the reconstruction of Gaza requires a new Palestinian strategy, one that draws a line between the grants donors offer and their political conditions, and that rejects once and for all any Palestinian commitment to those degrading conditions that, as the years since the so-called “peace process” began have proven, have brought more destruction than construction, and have served as the chief incubator of Palestinian divisions and not brought even a minimum degree of national benefit.

At the same time, any new government that emerges from a national partnership must embrace resistance against the occupation. The current national reconciliation government, with its six-month term and its principle tasks of preparing for presidential and legislative elections, is by definition an interim government and is not qualified to shoulder heavy and long-term burdens such as the reconstruction of Gaza and securing the end of the blockade.

Both of these tasks are humanitarian and national goals that are higher than any political or factional disputes. Yet the Palestinian presidency’s determination to toe the line with the donors’ conditions, which make no distinction between humanitarian needs and political ends, is a strategy that fails to discriminate between national needs and factional interests. It is a strategy that protracts the humanitarian disaster in Gaza.

Unfortunately, the need to separate politics — factional or otherwise — from the humanitarian issue does not appear to be on the agenda of either foreign and Arab donors, or of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in spite of the letter he sent to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on 30 July declaring Gaza a “disaster zone” in the grips of a “dangerous humanitarian crisis.”

This “dangerous humanitarian crisis” is the product of forms of collective punishment that were inflicted against the people of Gaza before the Palestinian rift and that grew worse afterwards. Any Palestinian assent to continuing to adhere to donors’ political conditions, which are responsible for perpetuating the collective punishment, is a form of Palestinian complicity in subjecting the people of Gaza to this punishment. The time has come for all Palestinian leaders to exonerate themselves from all charges of complicity in such punishment.

The collective punishments that have been and continue to be visited on Gaza are not acceptable, even on the pretext of punishing Hamas. Under the Geneva Conventions and before international criminal law they constitute a war crime inflicted on the civilian inhabitants of Gaza, who are protected by international humanitarian law, at least in theory.

To insist that Gaza’s reconstruction be linked to the reinstatement of the “full” authority of the Palestinian presidency and the PA over Gaza, and to the donors’ political conditions which, in fact, are the conditions of the occupying power, is merely another way to say that the reconstruction of Gaza should be linked to the imposition of Fatah’s factional agenda on Gaza.

It also means that civilians in Gaza are to be collectively punished for the factional disputes that Fatah has with Hamas, in which case it becomes very difficult to avoid pointing fingers of accusation at Palestinian complicity in the ongoing collective punishment of the people of Gaza, and more difficult yet to defend any possible Palestinian contribution to the perpetration of such a war crime.

As long as the current situation persists, reconstruction of Gaza will remain pending indefinitely, and the reconstruction burden will only grow. Eventually, the people of Gaza will have no alternative but to look for salvation through other means that they, alone, can control. The Palestinian presidency and its faction must decide to free themselves once and for all from their financial and political dependence on donors and the sterile “peace process” that has so far wrought only death, destruction and division.

It is not too late to opt for the national alternative, which is still available given good intentions, to save the people of Gaza , national unity, the resistance, and decision-making autonomy.

This alternative entails following through on implementation of the mechanisms for national reconciliation, activating the unified command framework for the PLO, agreeing on a new Palestinian strategy based on the principles of partnership and resistance, and creating a new national unity government committed to this strategy and qualified to shoulder such enormous tasks as the reconstruction of Gaza and lifting the blockade.

All of the foregoing requires no more than honest introspection, the prevalence of national conscience, and political free will.

Nicola Nasser is a veteran Arab journalist based in Birzeit, West Bank of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories ([email protected]).
 
This article was first published and translated from Arabic by Al-Ahram Weekly on September 19, 2014.

What has one of the most democratic countries of the Middle East, Syria, done to tick off some of its neighbors in the West, the fierce fighters for democracy? The irrationality and unscrupulousness of the approaches Western countries have taken to the Syrian crisis, when the same people who in Europe are considered terrorists are declared «freedom fighters» when it comes to Syria, becomes clearer in light of the economic dimension of the Syrian tragedy. There is every reason to think that by helping destroy its own cultural and historical roots in Syria, Europe is first and foremost fighting for energy resources. And a special role is played by natural gas, which is emerging as the main fuel of the 21st century. The geopolitical problems connected with its production, transportation and use are perhaps more than any other topic on the radar of Western strategists. 

In the apt expression of F. William Engdahl, «Natural gas is the flammable ingredient that is fueling this insane scramble for energy in the region.» A battle is raging over whether pipelines will go toward Europe from east to west, from Iran and Iraq to the Mediterranean coast of Syria, or take a more northbound route from Qatar and Saudi Arabia via Syria and Turkey. Having realized that the stalled Nabucco pipeline, and indeed the entire Southern Corridor, are backed up only by Azerbaijan’s reserves and can never equal Russian supplies to Europe or thwart the construction of the South Stream, the West is in a hurry to replace them with resources from the Persian Gulf. Syria ends up being a key link in this chain, and it leans in favor of Iran and Russia; thus it was decided in the Western capitals that its regime needs to change. The fight for «democracy» is a false flag thrown out to cover up totally different aims.

It is not difficult to notice that the rebellion in Syria began to grow two years ago, almost at the same time as the signing of a memorandum in Bushehr on June 25, 2011 regarding the construction of a new Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline… It is to stretch 1500 km from Asaluyeh on the largest gas field in the world, North Dome/South Pars (shared between Qatar and Iran) to Damascus. The length of pipeline on the territory of Iran will be 225 km, in Iraq 500 km, and in Syria 500-700 km. Later it may be extended along the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea to Greece. The possibility of supplying liquefied gas to Europe via Syria’s Mediterranean ports is also under consideration. Investments in this project equal 10 billion dollars. (1)

This pipeline, dubbed the «Islamic pipeline», was supposed to start operation in the period from 2014 to 2016. Its projected capacity is 110 million cubic meters of gas per day (40 billion cubic meters a year). Iraq, Syria and Lebanon have already declared their need for Iranian gas (25-30 million cubic meters per day for Iraq, 20-25 million cubic meters for Syria, and 5-7 million cubic meters until 2020 for Lebanon). Some of the gas will be supplied via the Arab gas transportation system to Jordan. Experts believe that this project could be an alternative to the Nabucco gas pipeline being promoted by the European Union (with a planned capacity of 30 billion cubic meters of gas per year), which doesn’t have sufficient reserves. It was planned to run the Nabucco pipeline from Iraq, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan through the territory of Turkey. At first Iran was also considered as a resource base, but later it was excluded from the project. After the signing of the memorandum on the Islamic Pipeline, the head of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC), Javad Oji, stated that South Pars, with recoverable reserves of 16 trillion cubic meters of gas, is a «reliable source of gas, which is a prerequisite for the building of a pipeline which Nabucco does not have».It is easy to observe that about 20 billion cubic meters per year will remain from this pipeline for Europe, which would be able to compete with Nabucco’s 30 billion, but not the 63 billion from the South Stream.

A gas pipeline from Iran would be highly profitable for Syria. Europe would gain from it as well, but clearly someone in the West didn’t like it. The West’s gas-supplying allies in the Persian Gulf weren’t happy with it either, nor was would-be no. 1 gas transporter Turkey, as it would then be out of the game. The new «unholy alliance» which formed between them shamelessly declared its goal to be «protecting democratic values» in the Middle East, although logically speaking the U.S. and its allies ought to begin this with their own partners in the coalition against Syria from among the monarchies of the Persian Gulf, which are questionable in this regard.

The Sunnite countries also see the Islamic Pipeline from the viewpoint of interconfessional contradictions, considering it a «Shiite pipeline from Shiite Iran through the territory of Iraq with its Shiite majority and into the territory of Shiite-friendly Alawite Asad». As renowned researcher on energy issues F. William Engdahl writes, this geopolitical drama is intensified by the fact that the South Pars field lies in the Persian Gulf directly on the border between Shiite Iran and Sunnite Qatar. But tiny Qatar, which is no match for Iran in power, makes active use of its connections with the military presence of the U.S. and NATO in the Persian Gulf. On the territory of Qatar are a command node of the Pentagon’s Central Command of the U.S. Armed Forces, the headquarters of the Head Command of the U.S. Air Force, the No. 83 Expeditionary Air Group of the British Air Force and the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing of the U.S. Air Force. Qatar, in Engdahl’s opinion, has other plans for its share in the South Pars gas field and is not eager to join efforts with Iran, Syria and Iraq. It is not at all interested in the success of an Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline, which would be completely independent of the transit routes of Qatar or Turkey leading to Europe. In fact, Qatar is doing all it can to thwart the construction of the pipeline, including arming the «opposition» fighters in Syria, many of whom come from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Libya. (2)

Qatar’s resolve is fed by the discovery by Syrian geological exploration companies in 2011 of Syria’s own large gas-producing area near the Lebanese border, not far from the Mediterranean port of Tartus which Russia leases, and the detection of a significant gas field near Homs. According to preliminary estimates, these discoveries should substantially increase the country’s gas reserves, which previously amounted to 284 billion cubic meters. The fact that the export of Syrian or Iranian gas to the European Union could take place through the port of Tartus, which has ties to Russia, is unsatisfactory to Qatar and its Western patrons as well. (3)

The Arabic newspaper Al-Akhbar cites information according to which there is a plan approved by the U.S. government to create a new pipeline for transporting gas from Qatar to Europe involving Turkey and Israel. The capacity of such a pipeline is not mentioned, but considering the resources of the Persian Gulf and Eastern Mediterranean region, it could exceed that of both the Islamic Pipeline and Nabucco, directly challenging Russia’s South Stream. The main developer of this project is Frederick Hoff, who is «in charge of gas issues in the Levant» and a member of the U.S. «Syrian Crisis Committee». This new pipeline is to begin in Qatar, cross Saudi territory and then the territory of Jordan, thus bypassing Shiite Iraq, and reach Syria. Near Homs the pipeline is to branch in three directions: to Latakia, Tripoli in northern Lebanon, and Turkey. Homs, where there are also hydrocarbon reserves, is the «project’s main crossroads», and it is not surprising that it is in the vicinity of this city and its «key», Al-Qusayr, that the fiercest fighting is taking place. Here the fate of Syria is being decided. The parts of Syrian territory where detachments of rebels are operating with the support of the U.S., Qatar and Turkey, that is, the north, Homs and the environs of Damascus, coincide with the route that the pipeline is to follow to Turkey and Tripoli, Lebanon. A comparison of a map of armed hostilities and a map of the Qatar pipeline route indicates a link between armed activities and the desire to control these Syrian territories. Qatar’s allies are trying to accomplish three goals: «to break Russia’s gas monopoly in Europe; to free Turkey from its dependence on Iranian gas; and to give Israel the chance to export its gas to Europe by land at less cost». (4) As Asia Times analyst Pepe Escobar indicated, the Emir of Qatar apparently made a deal with the «Muslim Brotherhood» according to which it will support their international expansion in exchange for a pact of peace within Qatar. A «Muslim Brotherhood» regime in Jordan and in Syria, supported by Qatar, would abruptly change the entire geopolitical world gas market – decidedly in favor of Qatar and to the detriment of Russia, Syria, Iran and Iraq. It would also be a crushing blow to China. (5)

The war against Syria is aimed at pushing this project through, as well as at the breakdown of the agreement between Tehran, Baghdad and Damascus. Its implementation has been halted several times due to military action, but in February 2013 Iraq declared its readiness to sign a framework agreement which would enable the construction of the pipeline. (6) It is worth noting that after this, more and more new groups of Iraqi Shiites have risen up in support of Asad; as The Washington Post admits, they have «no little battle experience» in confronting Americans in their country. Along with fighters from Lebanon’s Hezbollah, they make an ever more formidable force. (7) The stakes in the «elimination game» started in Syria by the West over the gas pipeline continue to grow. The end of the European Union’s embargo on supplying weapons to the Syrian opposition, which according to the BBC the majority of EU member countries were against (8) (democracy, where are you?), might not be able to help the rebels.

As for civilization and justice, when profit is at stake, sentiment doesn’t matter. The main thing is not to play the wrong card in this unfair game that smells of blood and gas.

Notes

by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)

The White House has given final approval for dramatically raising permissible radioactive levels in drinking water and soil following “radiological incidents,” such as nuclear power-plant accidents and dirty bombs. The final version, slated for Federal Register publication as soon as today, is a win for the nuclear industry which seeks what its proponents call a “new normal” for radiation exposure among the U.S population, according Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

Issued by the Environmental Protection Agency, the radiation guides (called Protective Action Guides or PAGs) allow cleanup many times more lax than anything EPA has ever before accepted. These guides govern evacuations, shelter-in-place orders, food restrictions and other actions following a wide range of “radiological emergencies.” The Obama administration blocked a version of these PAGs from going into effect during its first days in office. The version given approval late last Friday is substantially similar to those proposed under Bush but duck some of the most controversial aspects:

In soil, the PAGs allow long-term public exposure to radiation in amounts as high as 2,000 millirems. This would, in effect, increase a longstanding 1 in 10,000 person cancer rate to a rate of 1 in 23 persons exposed over a 30-year period;

  • In water, the PAGs punt on an exact new standard and EPA “continues to seek input on this.” But the thrust of the PAGs is to give on-site authorities much greater “flexibility” in setting aside established limits; and
  • Resolves an internal fight inside EPA between nuclear versus public health specialists in favor of the former. The PAGs are the product of Gina McCarthy, the assistant administrator for air and radiation whose nomination to serve as EPA Administrator is taken up this week by the Senate.
  • Despite the years-long internal fight, this is the first public official display of these guides. This takes place as Japan grapples with these same issues in the two years following its Fukushima nuclear disaster.

“This is a public health policy only Dr. Strangelove could embrace. If this typifies the environmental leadership we can expect from Ms. McCarthy, then EPA is in for a long, dirty slog,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, noting that the EPA package lacks a cogent rationale, is largely impenetrable and hinges on a series of euphemistic “weasel words.”

“No compelling justification is offered for increasing the cancer deaths of Americans innocently exposed to corporate miscalculations several hundred-fold.”

Reportedly, the PAGs had been approved last fall but their publication was held until after the presidential election. The rationale for timing their release right before McCarthy’s confirmation hearing is unclear.

Since the PAGs guide agency decision-making and do not formally set standards or repeal statutory requirements, such as the Safe Drinking Water Act and Superfund, they will go into full effect following a short public comment period. Nonetheless, the PAGs will likely determine what actions take place on the ground in the days, weeks, months and, in some cases, years following a radiological emergency.

Copyright Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) 2014

Europe 2020 – Community or Empire? Is the EU Exploding?

September 19th, 2014 by Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin (GEAB)

This title is inspired by Franck Biancheri first book (unpublished) written in 1992 and in which the author showed that the founding principles of the European project conceived at the end of the Second World War (a community of countries giving themselves the means to jointly build a lasting peace and a prosperous continent) could, if one were not careful, find themselves marginalised and the well-known reflexes of a Europe-empire (European colonisation, Napoleon, Hitler…) would get back on top. In this case Franck Biancheri believed that what would allow the European construction process to stay on the community track would be its democratisation.

A few years later, with the Maastricht Treaty which renamed the European Community the “European Union”Franck Biancheri, with his distrust of “unions” of all kinds, felt that this choice wasn’t very auspicious. 23 years later nothing has advanced on Europe’s democratisation front and the crisis provides a favourable context for the complete derailment of the community project. We will show which indicators enable us to say that this trend (which has always been there of course, but framed in a relatively efficient mechanism of safeguards) is in the process of re-emerging. But we refuse to put forward a final anticipation yet, preferring to focus on other indicators, as well, those which still enable us to believe that the trend will turn round (1).

If we speak of a“trend turnround” it’s that, after having spent almost a year watching Europe at the “Crossroads” (2) we consider that this summer’s end marks its commitment to the wrong path, that which leads towards the “tragic scenario” described by Franck Biancheri in his visionary work “The World Crisis: The Path to the World Afterwards“ (3) in which he put forward Europe’s considerable advantages in the face of the crisis and its potential to participate in the emergence of a “world afterwards” as desirable; but also the major risk for Europe and the Europeans that their rulling elite, undemocratic (in Brussels) or non-European (in the capitals), proves to be incapable of building on the crisis to complete this still unfinished positive European construction project (4).

As our loyal readers know, we analyze the Ukrainian crisis as an operation led by the US and implemented by a handful of well-placed cronies in European decision-making circles with the objective, to summarize, of sealing Europe’s destiny to the Western camp’s led by the US. This operation has been run as a blitzkrieg with a total lack of response on the European side which has suddenly found itself almost at war with Russia without knowing why. When the Europeans woke up from the first shock, another battle, quite difficult to follow, took place amongst the ruling classes, between European states and at the core of public opinion between the “anti-Russians” and “pro-Russians”, but in fact particularly between the Western ideologues and the defenders of the European continent’s independence.

In the last two GEAB issues we focused on the fact that the “conditions for a jolt” had been met, noting the indicators of a European regaining of control of affairs. But summer has gone by, with the loss of vigilance that characterizes this time of year. And with summer’s end we discover a rather sad landscape a priori, especially on three points: the new French government reshuffle, Juncker’s Commission project and NATO’s high Mass in Newport. We will try to make some sense of these three, events then we will review the season’s other important themes (Iraq, Brazil’s general elections, the government reshuffle in Japan) read in the light of major global geopolitical reconfiguration henceforth endeavouring to identify the indicators hastening the world’s bipolarisation – or those of progress in the emergence of a multipolar world. So we will see that it’s not only Europe which risks sliding towards the temptation of empire.
Europe is playing its role in this painful birth of tomorrow’s world, but it’s certain that the increased risk of global bipolarization feeds and is fed by an ideology of power (Europe-empire) at the core of its elite (5).

Our reasoning is that the EU’s explosion (6) can give rise to two kinds of reaction:

. be delighted and resume the European construction project where it was when it derailed (when the Wall fell), setting off again with a reduced and highly integrated core of member states (Euroland) to build the stage of political and democratic union which was blocked at the time (Europe-community);

. or be frightened and block the explosion process underway by strengthening all the founding resources of the second construction period (1989 – 2014): ultra-liberalism, indebtedness, enlargement, Westernism (Europe-empire)

In both cases we believe that the politician is in the process of returning to Europe. But whether it’s the first or second scenario which appears, this politician won’t have the same characteristics of course.

Both sides are currently facing off in the EU’s corridors of power, both at national and European level. We believe that the Europe-empire track is in the process of gaining the upper hand but have not yet despaired of seeing Europe-community win ultimately.

EU explosion: Scottish referendum, Eastern European countries’ failed integration

Yes, the EU is exploding. We have already amply described the challenging of numerous policies by the member states, in particular the free movement of goods and people in the Schengen zone (7); or further, the UK’s project to leave the EU, a structuring power of the EU since its birth in 1992.

Scottish referendum:

We must now add the likely breakup of the UK caused by the Scottish referendum to this list. Many months ago we took the risk of anticipating a victory for the “yes” vote. Now, we offer a further anticipation: whether the yes vote wins or not, in any case this referendum will transform the UK. London had hoped that a resounding victory for the no vote would reinforce the kingdom’s union but, with the certainty of a very tight result, Cameron has already had to make so many concessions to the Scots (8) that the other members of the union (Wales and Northern Ireland) are already on the starting blocks to get the same advances in autonomy (9).

That said, in line with the principle of political anticipation according to which major trends shouldn’t be blocked but exploited, we believe that the UK would benefit from a shift towards a federal structure. We have often said that centralized countries are no longer adapted to the challenges of the 21st century world.

Besides, the English are opportunists and know how to bounce back. By way of proof, the turning round of their financial centre towards Islamic bonds and the Yuan (10) which is saving the City. Federalization of the UK would give its elite a good opportunity to show how capable they are of taking advantage of such a twist of fate.

Anyway, federalization of the UK changes the game considerably for the EU.

Failed Eastern European countries’ integration:

The EU is equally in danger of splitting on its Eastern front.

Today, in effect, the EU in crisis seems less and less attractive to the Eastern countries and some, without questioning their European affiliation, are starting to pay attention to what’s happening with the previous invader, Russia. Victor Orban’s Hungary is the furthest down this path and we would do well to look at the ideas of this policy in more detail, which has nothing of a dictator about it, even if he has the air of a strongman about him, concerned for his country’s independence… But in Europe these last few years, looking towards the East has been considered high treason.

Others, in the light of the clear European political weakness particularly in terms of security and defence policy have, for example, set about discussing their own defence system amongst themselves. Thus the Visegrad Group (whose members include Hungary, but also Slovakia which recently said that it didn’t want foreign troops on its territory (11)), has been working for several years to put a defence and security system in place which, in a way, makes them autonomous (12).

We are at this point now clearly as a direct consequence of the EU’s incapacity to offer any sort of European defence project likely to reassure countries of Europe’s borders.

Bulgaria, now wants to cooperate with Russia in the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline which bypasses the Ukraine. But since the Ukrainian crisis Brussels has prohibited it from building its section (13). However, Bulgaria has two interests in its construction: first, it guarantees it an energy supply and second, it adds a not insignificant source of financing thanks to the collection of tolls on Russian gas.

Eastern European countries’ participation rate in the last European elections is a clear indication of the extent of the failure in integrating these countries. Integration took place too quickly on purely mercantile and not political considerations, these countries often mixing the objective of EU integration with that of NATO integration; as for economic union they have often experienced it, rightly, as an invasion of Western businesses that destroyed their local economy.

If the Ukrainian crisis perhaps provides an opportunity to establish a European defence in the remaining hope that it should be done in consultation with and not opposition to Russia, any failure on this point leads us to a view that certain countries will between now and 2020, which again would be a big failure for this EU which has continued to enlarge Europe in rejecting any project to increase integration, especially political and democratic.

Notes:

(1) Normally we choose a scenario, but in this case we haven’t. We have left our readers to make their own choice.

(2) A word which often appears in the GEAB; in 2013 especially.

(3) And which deserves re-publication halfway through the period covered (2010-2020), a re-publication which the editor, Anticipolis, has agreed to undertake. A re-reading of this book in the light of the dramatic events which dominate the news in 2014 does not encourage optimism.

(4) In fact, the European construction project ground almost completely to a halt after the Maastricht Treaty: with economic union achieved, the only future project which has emerged since is monetary union whose implementation necessitated a continuation of the work towards economic governance, tax and political union, and democratisation. But we stopped in midstream… and the flood is arriving.

(5) The historical parallels are many. Parallel with the Soviet Union: the Western powers that are no longer leading the global economic race and who, like the USSR in the 50s prefer to build a wall between them and judged this competition unfair; but also parallel with the rise in Nazism: a capitalist economic-political system whose excesses provoke strong rejection and gradually develops the ideology of power justifying the concentration of power and money characteristic of its functioning. Just as the Nazi ideology was in effect really shared in all the European corridors of power and not only in Germany, the ideology of power peddled by the US attracts many Europeans close to or within the corridors of power, in particular in Brussels (but not only). After all, this sort of ideology was European before being American and the people who supported it consider that the US is only an extension of Europe and that the two must unite indissolubly to defeat China’s emergence in particular, who frightens them most of all. Thus, one can suspect certain European technocrats of seeing the signing of the free trade treaty with the US as a natural enlargement of Europe to the US…from the Rockies of Europe to the Balkans!

(6) In many previous GEAB issues we anticipated this explosion of the EU, whilst showing that the EU wasn’t Europe, that it was a form of organization born of the Maastricht Treaty, which had failed, and that one could positively welcome the birth of Euroland in the end of the EU. This emergence of a European project alternative to the EU started with the management of the Euro crisis which has, in effect, accelerated the structuring of a Eurozone governance. But if a Euro crisis naturally reinforced the Eurozone, a geopolitical crisis like the one created by the Euro-Russian one, reinforces the EU… and all its faults.

(7) For example: Deutsche Welle, 22/10/2012

(8) Source : DailyAdvance, 14/09/2014

(9) Source : BBC, 09/09/2014

(10) Source : Forbes, 14/09/2014

(11) Source : Reuters, 04/06/2014

(12) Source : Polish Prime Minister, 14/10/2013

J-31 chino vs F-35 estadounidense

September 19th, 2014 by Valentin Vasilescu

China cuenta con 580 aviones para garantizar la supremacía aérea, con aviones de cuarta generación derivado del Su-27SK / Su-30 MKK (J-11, J-16) y J-10 .. Mientras  Corea del Sur y Japón tienen, entre ellos, 590 aviones, superior en términos de aviónica y armamento a China, sumado al contingente estadounidense con 260 aviones desplegados en los dos países oa bordo de uno o dos portaviones asignados a la flota séptima de los EE.UU. . Además, Corea del Sur y Japón ya han ordenado 40-50 Americana stealth F-35 aviones.

Por su parte, la industria de la aviación india está adqueriendo  la tecnología de la asimilación de la caza furtivo ruso, el Sukhoi T-50, que será producida bajo el nombre HAL FGFA (250-280 aviones). Por eso, en los últimos meses, una asistencia discreta fue proporcionada Rusia a China para transferir tecnología rusa para avanzar en la prueba e ir directamente a la producción en serie del avión stealth prototipo J-31. En los próximos años, al menos 500 aviones J-31 equipará a la fuerza aérea china.


Rusia es partidaria de fomentar la exportación de la aeronave china J-31, para que se convierta, con el avión deSu-50 T, un competidor de cara q los aviones estadounidenses F-35.

Para compensar el abrumador poder del monomotor F-35 (Pratt & Whitney F135 19.000 kgf.), El J-31 está equipado con dos motores WS-13 de 8700 kgf, una copia al ruso RD-93 MiG-29 K / MiG-35. Con el fin de competir con el F-35 en el mercado mundial, los chinos necesitan que  el ruso les permita construir bajo licencia, 117 motores S Saturno Su-35, mucho más potente, con un empuje de 15.800 kgf. El mega-contrato por valor de 400 mil millones firmado con Rusia a principios de mayo, mostró lo que era el lado de China a partir de ese momento de la imposición de sanciones por parte de Occidente a la parte rusa. Las dos superpotencias han acordado no competir en el mercado aeroespacial.
El J-31 es una alternativa más modesta en términos de aviónica, pero es un 60% del precio de un F-35. Ambos aviones llevan dos compartimentos en el casco para llevar dos misiles  de mediano alcance aire-aire  bombas . Ellos, ambos, tienen 6  pilons exteriores, con una capacidad de 8.6 toneladas.
La estrategia de China para la comercialización de los aviones J-31 también es interesante. Además de 500 aviones de la Fuerza Aérea de China, otros 120 J-31 son de tres compañías chinas. El portaaviones chino Liaoning, llamado Varyag originalmente cuenta actualmente con 30 aviones J-15 (similar al Su-33) y se utiliza como buque escuela para la formación de pilotos de portaaviones. Una copia modificada de Liaoning está en construcción avanzada en los astilleros de Dalian, mientras que el tercer portaaviones, mucho más grande, se está construyendo en los astilleros de Shanghai.

China se convertirá, a finales de este año, en la economía mundial que está dispuesto a invertir tanto dinero como los americanos en el proyecto de caza de sigiloy en la industria de la aviación, ya que está previsto que exporten se al menos 600 aviones J-31. El precio de un avión estadounidense F-35 es superior a 120 millones. A este precio, fuera de los Estados Unidos, sólo los países ricos entre los países de la OTAN, como Italia, Inglaterra, los Países Bajos, Noruega y Turquía pueden permitirse el lujo de comprarlo. España, Portugal y Grecia, frente a una profunda crisis financiera, no planean comprar F-35.

Los ex países comunistas que bordean Rusia, se convirtieron en miembros de la OTAN, ni pueden soñar con algo así, o conseguir el permiso de Estados Unidos para comprar aviones chinos similar. A partir del próximo año Rusia desarrollará su masivo ejército de aviones stealth Su T-50, equivalente,al F-22 estadounidense   se exportará  a los países de la CEI (Comunidad de Estados Independientes).  Ucrania , Georgia y Moldavia se han unido recientemente a la UE. Por lo tanto, en contra de los antiguos países comunistas, los países no alineados tienen libertad de elección y son un blanco para los chinos con este avión.

Pakistán, el socio más cercano de China, recientemente renunció a comprar 36-70 aviones J-10, para reorientase en el J-31. Como  Israel ya ha encargado 75 F-35 estadounidense, Irán también parece muy interesado en la compra del mismo número de aviones J-31. Los compradores potenciales podrían incluir el Africa del Sur (miembro de los BRICS como China) que ha retirado sueco JAS-39 Gripen . Angola, el estado con la mayor tasa de crecimiento de la economía mundial durante la última década (20% entre 2005-2007) con el  petróleo , gas y diamantes, tomó acciones en el Banco Portugués de ahorrar la antigua potencia colonial, Portugal, el fantasma de la bancarrota. Angola ha comenzado un plan para la compra de 12 aviones Su-30 MKI, Su-27 SM 7, 15  Su-25y ha destinado dinero para continuar con J-31. Con este plan de compra, el equilibrio de poder en  África del Sur y el Oeste está cambiando a expensas de las antiguas ciudades occidentales.
Egipto, a quien Estados Unidos ha cortado la ayuda militar anual que consistió en la entrega de aviones F-16, y Azerbaiyán, que tiene, en los últimos años, un superávit de las exportaciones de gas que  opera en la región del Mar Caspio, tiene estrechas relaciones con Pakistán y estaría interesado en este avión. Venezuela con Brasil (Estado de otros BRICS, constructor de varios tipos de aeronaves Embraer) no sólo quiere comprar, sino también producir la aeronave bajo licencia, tuvo que competir con los  militares con productos de mercado de Estados Unidos en América América Central y del Sur.

Valentin Vasilescu 

Traducido del rumano por Avic -  Red Internacional
Articulo em francés :

America Created Al-Qaeda and the ISIS Terror Group

September 19th, 2014 by Garikai Chengu

Much like Al Qaeda, the Islamic State (ISIS) is made-in-the-USA, an instrument of terror designed to divide and conquer the oil-rich Middle East and to counter Iran’s growing influence in the region.

The fact that the United States has a long and torrid history of backing terrorist groups will surprise only those who watch the news and ignore history.

The CIA first aligned itself with extremist Islam during the Cold War era. Back then, America saw the world in rather simple terms: on one side, the Soviet Union and Third World nationalism, which America regarded as a Soviet tool; on the other side, Western nations and militant political Islam, which America considered an ally in the struggle against the Soviet Union.

The director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan, General William Odom recently remarked, “by any measure the U.S. has long used terrorism. In 1978-79 the Senate was trying to pass a law against international terrorism – in every version they produced, the lawyers said the U.S. would be in violation.”

During the 1970′s the CIA used the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt as a barrier, both to thwart Soviet expansion and prevent the spread of Marxist ideology among the Arab masses. The United States also openly supported Sarekat Islam against Sukarno in Indonesia, and supported the Jamaat-e-Islami terror group against Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in Pakistan. Last but certainly not least, there is Al Qaeda.

Lest we forget, the CIA gave birth to Osama Bin Laden and breastfed his organization during the 1980′s. Former British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, told the House of Commons that Al Qaeda was unquestionably a product of Western intelligence agencies. Mr. Cook explained that Al Qaeda, which literally means an abbreviation of “the database” in Arabic, was originally the computer database of the thousands of Islamist extremists, who were trained by the CIA and funded by the Saudis, in order to defeat the Russians in Afghanistan.

America’s relationship with Al Qaeda has always been a love-hate affair. Depending on whether a particular Al Qaeda terrorist group in a given region furthers American interests or not, the U.S. State Department either funds or aggressively targets that terrorist group. Even as American foreign policy makers claim to oppose Muslim extremism, they knowingly foment it as a weapon of foreign policy.

The Islamic State is its latest weapon that, much like Al Qaeda, is certainly backfiring. ISIS recently rose to international prominence after its thugs began beheading American journalists. Now the terrorist group controls an area the size of the United Kingdom.

In order to understand why the Islamic State has grown and flourished so quickly, one has to take a look at the organization’s American-backed roots. The 2003 American invasion and occupation of Iraq created the pre-conditions for radical Sunni groups, like ISIS, to take root. America, rather unwisely, destroyed Saddam Hussein’s secular state machinery and replaced it with a predominantly Shiite administration. The U.S. occupation caused vast unemployment in Sunni areas, by rejecting socialism and closing down factories in the naive hope that the magical hand of the free market would create jobs. Under the new U.S.-backed Shiite regime, working class Sunni’s lost hundreds of thousands of jobs. Unlike the white Afrikaners in South Africa, who were allowed to keep their wealth after regime change, upper class Sunni’s were systematically dispossessed of their assets and lost their political influence. Rather than promoting religious integration and unity, American policy in Iraq exacerbated sectarian divisions and created a fertile breading ground for Sunni discontent, from which Al Qaeda in Iraq took root.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) used to have a different name: Al Qaeda in Iraq. After 2010 the group rebranded and refocused its efforts on Syria.

There are essentially three wars being waged in Syria: one between the government and the rebels, another between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and yet another between America and Russia. It is this third, neo-Cold War battle that made U.S. foreign policy makers decide to take the risk of arming Islamist rebels in Syria, because Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, is a key Russian ally. Rather embarrassingly, many of these Syrian rebels have now turned out to be ISIS thugs, who are openly brandishing American-made M16 Assault rifles.

America’s Middle East policy revolves around oil and Israel. The invasion of Iraq has partially satisfied Washington’s thirst for oil, but ongoing air strikes in Syria and economic sanctions on Iran have everything to do with Israel. The goal is to deprive Israel’s neighboring enemies, Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Palestine’s Hamas, of crucial Syrian and Iranian support.

ISIS is not merely an instrument of terror used by America to topple the Syrian government; it is also used to put pressure on Iran.

The last time Iran invaded another nation was in 1738. Since independence in 1776, the U.S. has been engaged in over 53 military invasions and expeditions. Despite what the Western media’s war cries would have you believe, Iran is clearly not the threat to regional security, Washington is. An Intelligence Report published in 2012, endorsed by all sixteen U.S. intelligence agencies, confirms that Iran ended its nuclear weapons program in 2003. Truth is, any Iranian nuclear ambition, real or imagined, is as a result of American hostility towards Iran, and not the other way around.

America is using ISIS in three ways: to attack its enemies in the Middle East, to serve as a pretext for U.S. military intervention abroad, and at home to foment a manufactured domestic threat, used to justify the unprecedented expansion of invasive domestic surveillance.

By rapidly increasing both government secrecy and surveillance, Mr. Obama’s government is increasing its power to watch its citizens, while diminishing its citizens’ power to watch their government. Terrorism is an excuse to justify mass surveillance, in preparation for mass revolt.

The so-called “War on Terror” should be seen for what it really is: a pretext for maintaining a dangerously oversized U.S. military. The two most powerful groups in the U.S. foreign policy establishment are the Israel lobby, which directs U.S. Middle East policy, and the Military-Industrial-Complex, which profits from the former group’s actions. Since George W. Bush declared the “War on Terror” in October 2001, it has cost the American taxpayer approximately 6.6 trillion dollars and thousands of fallen sons and daughters; but, the wars have also raked in billions of dollars for Washington’s military elite.

In fact, more than seventy American companies and individuals have won up to $27 billion in contracts for work in postwar Iraq and Afghanistan over the last three years, according to a recent study by the Center for Public Integrity. According to the study, nearly 75 per cent of these private companies had employees or board members, who either served in, or had close ties to, the executive branch of the Republican and Democratic administrations, members of Congress, or the highest levels of the military.

In 1997, a U.S. Department of Defense report stated, “the data show a strong correlation between U.S. involvement abroad and an increase in terrorist attacks against the U.S.” Truth is, the only way America can win the “War On Terror” is if it stops giving terrorists the motivation and the resources to attack America. Terrorism is the symptom; American imperialism in the Middle East is the cancer. Put simply, the War on Terror is terrorism; only, it is conducted on a much larger scale by people with jets and missiles.

Garikai Chengu is a research scholar at Harvard University. Contact him on [email protected]

The Hermes 900 was among the drones used to bomb Gaza this summer. (Tal Inbar)

Less than one month after killing more than 2,100 Palestinians in Gaza, including more than 500 children, Israel is hosting its annual drone conference.

Organized in partnership with the US embassy in Tel Aviv, “Israel Unmanned Systems 2014” offers Israeli military firms an opportunity to flaunt the performance of their products, many of which were tested on Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip this summer.

Palestine has long served as a laboratory for Israel’s ballooning “homeland security” industry to test and perfect weapons of domination and control, with disenfranchised and stateless Palestinians serving as their lab rats.

Speaking to the German magazine Der Spiegel last month, Avner Benzaken, head of the Israeli army’s “technology and logistics” division — a unit “comprised largely of academics who also happen to be officers” — explained the benefits of this occupation.

“If I develop a product and want to test it in the field, I only have to go five or ten kilometers from my base and I can look and see what is happening with the equipment,” said Benzaken. “I get feedback, so it makes the development process faster and much more efficient.”

Easy access to a captive population to experiment on allows Israeli weapons manufacturers to market their products as “combat-proven,” a coveted label that gives Israel a competitive edge in the international arms trade. Israel’s suppression technology is then exported to regimes that are similarly invested in subjugating the poor and marginalized.

This dystopian arrangement has paved the way for Israel, a country the size of New Jersey, to rank among the globe’s top five largest arms exporters and to become the world’s number one exporter of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones.

“Combat-proven”

One of the sponsors of this year’s drone conference is G-NIUS. Formed as a joint venture between two of Israel’s largest arms companies — Elbit Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) — G-NIUS develops unmanned ground vehicles for the Israeli army.

Thanks to the Gaza assault, G-NIUS can now add “combat-proven” to the resumé of its unmanned Armored Personnel Carrier (APC), which was deployed operationally in Gaza this summer, marking the first time a remote controlled and unmanned APC has ever “participated in combat,” according to Israel Defense.

Those attending the drone conference were scheduled to visit G-NIUS on Monday, 15 September to get a first-hand look at the machines used to assist in Gaza’s destruction.

They were also scheduled to visit Israel’s largest developer of military technology, Elbit Systems, which benefited enormously from the summertime offensive.

Elbit’s stock jumped to its highest level since 2010 during the Gaza slaughter, a phenomenon Bloomberg Businessweek attributed to investor speculation that the Haifa-based company would see increasing demand for its products from governments impressed by its blood-soaked performance.

One product likely to use the Gaza bloodshed as a selling point is Elbit’s Hermes 900, which was deployed operationally for the first time during Operation Protective Edge.

The Hermes 900 is a larger and more advanced version of the Hermes 450, an aerial attack and surveillance drone that was used by the Israeli army to deliberately target civilians in Gaza during Israel’s 2008-2009 onslaught, according to Human Rights Watch.

Elbit drones were also used to kill civilians in Israel’s war on Lebanon in 2006, including Red Cross workers, ambulance drivers and dozens of people fleeing their homes for refuge from relentless Israeli bombardment.

Even before it helped Israeli soldiers reduce Gaza to rubble, the Hermes 900 was winning lucrative contracts.

In July, the Swiss government purchased the Hermes 900 system for $280 million. And earlier this year, the Brazilian government purchased a fleet of Hermes drones, including the Hermes 900, to help crush the massive protests that erupted across Brazil against the World Cup.

After participating in Israel’s 51-days of terror on Gaza this summer, the Hermes 900 can join its predecessors in the “combat-proven” camp, which is sure to boost demand.

Also likely to profit from its role in turning Gaza into a graveyard is Elbit’s Skylark mini-UAV, a hand-launched surveillance drone. Though it has been used in Gaza in the past, Operation Protective Edge was the first time the Skylark was deployed in large numbers to assist the invading ground forces.

Roy Riftin, a general and chief artillery officer in the Israeli army, told Defense News that the Skylark was instrumental in “serving up targets of opportunity” for Israeli gunners.

Weapons testing

Drone makers were’t the only ones to profit from the Gaza massacre.

Mired by debt prior to the Gaza onslaught, Israel Military Industries (IMI) was on life support. The company’s slump was so severe, the Israeli government planned to privatize it by 2016 and was offering $370,000 severance packages to any employee willing to retire early.

But now things are looking up for IMI.

During Israel’s military assault on Gaza, IMI employees worked nonstop to ensure an endless flow of 5.56 mm bullets and Kalanit and Hatzav tank shells to Israeli forces, reported Haaretz.

The Kalanit and Hatzav tank shells detonate in midair, blanketing the people and structures below with deadly bomblets. The Kalanit, an Israeli army favorite, is so popular that it was awarded Israel’s esteemed “Defense Prize” in 2011. Though they have been used in the past, Operation Protective Edge marked the first time the Kalanit and Hatzav shells were deployed on a colossal scale.

IMI also tested several new weapons during the Gaza slaughter, including its MPR-500 multipurpose rigid bomb, a 500-pound precision-guided explosive so powerful it can penetrate a meter of reinforced concrete. After deploying the MPR-500 the first time in an operational capacity against the structures and bodies of the people of Gaza this summer, demand for the bomb skyrocketed, with 5.6 billion shekels ($1.5 billion) worth in back orders in early August.

Getting in on the action

Meanwhile, foreign military contractors are aiming to cash in on the next slaughter.

Doron Shalev, business development manager at BAE Systems Rokar, a subsidiary of the Anglo-American firm BAE Systems that specializes in developing GPS navigation for artillery, is already angling for new business opportunities from the Israeli war machine in the aftermath of the Gaza slaughter.

Writing in Israel Defense, Shalev notes that Israel’s use of indiscriminate artillery, most heavily in the Shujaiya and Rafah areas of Gaza, provoked the ire of the Obama administration. To avoid a similar “controversy” in a future attack on Lebanon, Shalev suggests Israel invest in the type of navigation systems that he happens to sell, understanding full well that Israel is itching to attack Hizballah.

“During the last operation, artillery fire was admittedly employed on a relatively large scale, but it is important to bear in mind that it was employed under relatively favorable conditions,” argues Shalev. “It is important to understand that the next conflict will be different and that the Gaza Strip theater is not in any way similar to Lebanon. For this reason, we must ensure that the right lessons are being drawn and that the artillery layout is being prepared effectively for the next challenge rather than for the previous challenge.”

Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest “defense” contractor, is also looking to get in on the action, having just formed a subsidiary inside Israel. “The move is part of a wider push by Lockheed Martin to seek overseas defense contracts amid a slowdown in US military spending,” reported The Wall Street Journal.

Meanwhile, the besieged and devastated Gaza Strip remains buried under four million tons of rubble as the death merchants responsible parade around Israel’s annual drone festival bragging about their successes in an effort to export their products.

War is a racket indeed.

As the stand-off between Russia and the West continues, one organisation seems to be completely off the radar, and yet has managed to make great strides in its development and growth. This organisation is the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), an intergovernmental group of Central Asian countries aiming to promote cooperation between its six member states:Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The SCO’s main goal has been to serve as a forum to ease tensions in the region. In the organisation’s 2002 charter “confidence-building measures” were set as the alliance’s first priority. A key aspect of this strategy is the fight against the so-called “three evils:” terrorism, extremism and separatism.

Western media rarely reports on this organisation, however, during its annual summit which took place between 11 to 12 September in Tajikistan, SCO suggested and enacted some note-worthy proposals. The two-day forum was attended by regional leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, and his Chinese and Iranian counterparts, Xi Jinping and Hassan Rouhani. In a major step forward in expanding its regional clout, the SCO finalised procedures for taking in new members, with India, Pakistan, and Iran first on the list. Indeed expanding the SCO is a major priority for the organisation. Teng Jianqun of the China Institute of International Studies said recently that“enlargement has become absolutely necessary” for the SCO.

SCO summit meeting in Dushanbe, September 11, 2014

SCO summit meeting in Dushanbe, September 11, 2014

The reasoning behind the need for expansion is obvious. If the SCO is to have real weight on the international arena and become a truly prestigious organisation that is able to rival NATO, it requires additional members. If India, Pakistan, Iran and Mongolia were all to become permanent members, which looks likely, the group would then control 20 percent of the world’s oil and half of all global gas reserves. On top of that, the bloc would represent about half of the world’s population. This would fortify SCO’s reputation as a dominant organisation, Additionally, Turkey could become a member as well. Its leadership has long been seeking to join and Turkish-speaking governments are likely to support their petition.

Though terrorism and regional security (especially in Afghanistan) remains top of SCO’s agenda, events occurring in Ukraine are certainly having an influence on the SCO members. The aggressive nature of Western actions towards Russia has certainly united the SCO members. What links them all – whether members or observers – is the rejection of Western-dominated institutions, such as the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund, which are all US-based. The SCO, like the BRICS with the establishment of their Development Bank, sees itself as a forum against the Western dominated global order.

Before the summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with President Vladimir Putin for bilateral talks. Putin stated that Russia “attaches importance to and appreciates China’s stances and proposals on the Ukraine issue.” He said that Russia was willing to continue to communicate with China over the situation in Ukraine. Putin also suggested that China and Russia should “enhance coordination on international and regional affairs.” Promoting the SCO fits China and Russia’s shared goal ofcreating an Asian security architecture independent of the United States and its allies.

While the main emphasis was on security concerns, the SCO summit also encouraged further economic cooperation among its members. Economic integration has become an increasingly large part of the SCO agenda, especially as China promotes its idea for a Silk Road Economic Belt that would include the SCO members and observer states. China has already confirmed that it will allocate $5 billion worth of credit for the SCO member countries to implement joint projects. The two dominant players of the group, China and Russia also put the final touches to a new energy partnership. Recently, Russia began constructing its section of the East Route of the China-Russia natural gas pipeline. Both leaders want the SCO to become a stronger organisation, able to guarantee the stability and development of all its members.

Russia will act as the SCO’s President until the next summit in 2015. The country has already outlined plans for this period to make broader use of national currencies in settlements. Prospects are good for launching large multilateral projects in transport, energy, innovative research and technology, agriculture, and the peaceful use of outer space. The SCO Business Council, Interbank Consortium, and Energy Club are at the forefront of expanding practical cooperation among member states. Steps will also be taken to establish relations with the Eurasian Economic Union, which currently consists of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, with Armenia and Tajikistan likely to join in the near future.

Overall, the future of the SCO looks promising. A combination of new members and a determination to make the organisation a genuine important and influential bloc is likely to ensure that the SCO will continue to develop and expand. The ambition to create a truly dominant organisation free of any Western influence may become a reality in the near future.

Alexander Clackson is the founder of Global Political Insight, a London-based think tank and a political media organisation.

In 1707 a shaky union was set up that made Scotland a part of the United Kingdom. Scottish parliamentarians were bribed with vast sums of money and lucrative pension schemes to move their seats to Westminster, London. 

It was a sell out of the Scottish electorate that would later prompt its country’s best-loved poet, Robert Burns, to claim about Scottish politicians:

“We’re bought and sold for English gold.

Such a parcel of rogues in a nation.”

It was colonial expansionism by other means than the barrel of a gun. Empires come and go, and now there is a real chance Scotland will regain its independence. Dennis Canavan, chairman of “Yes scotlande-e1410736627399Scotland,” is calling for a referendum on who should rule the country. On September 18, 2014, the voting electorate will decide whether they want to remain part of the union or manage their own economy. There is division now, as there was in 1707, but this time Scottish voters have a unique opportunity to express their wishes through the ballot box.

This does not mean that England has been lax regarding check book diplomacy. A lot of big money has been thrown behind a “Vote No Borders” and “Better Together” campaign. Scottish people must have sensed a strange irony when they learned that the company behind this campaign is London-based, especially since those in favor of independence know it to be Westminster that has kept Scotland a poor partner in the union. Until recently BBC reports were almost completely partial to the “No” campaign. This was coupled with a faux grass-roots promotion of its corporate line, which amply demonstrated the bigotry of the government’s main media mouthpiece and was exposed by Craig Murray.  Only when it became evident that this campaign had backfired did the BBC start to present more balanced reporting.

scotlandn-e1410736790910David Cameron added his voice to the “No” campaign, which gave clear and substantial kudos to the “Yes” movement. He promised to Scotland some pie in the sky for keeping the union intact, including greater ability to raise its own taxes and more devolution should voters say No, failing to note that, with a Yes vote, they would get whatever they want. A last-minute bribe, however, was hardly likely to win over a skeptical and aware public, which knows that British rule and government have had more than 300 years to make Scotland an equal partner in the union. Support for Conservatives north of the border has long been in decline, David Mundell being the only Tory Member of Parliament (MP) who currently represents a Scottish constituency in the UK.

While the Liberal Democrats are a spent force, as might be expected, Labor has acted no better than the Tories, with the Scottish-born former UK prime minister Gordon Brown speaking out enthusiastically on behalf of the No campaign. Brown, the man who presided over the banking crisis bailout at taxpayers’ expense, has also written a book called My Scotland, Our Britain, promoted in anarticle for The Guardian. He argues with a politician’s devotion to rhetoric rather than substance while calling to his aid 18th century Scottish economical philosophers, Adam Smith and David Hume. His thesis is that these two famous men laid the groundwork for what is now called “social capital”: a wishy-washy term that means so many different things to so many different people, it is worthless as a yardstick for anything.

Brown singularly fails to mention the former Scottish coal miner, Keir Hardie, the most famous pioneer of the Labor movement and first Labor MP. Hardie was a pacifist who had opposed both the Boer War and the First World War. He worked on behalf of the suffragettes, and his contribution to the labor and working-class movement was enormous. The mine owners, or as Brown might like to think of them, “social capitalists,” had blacklisted young Keir Hardie and his brothers as agitators. Even more shamefully, Brown helped Tony Blair to dismantle the last vestige of socialism in the party Keir Hardie had founded, and Brown voted enthusiastically for the War in Iraq. Between them, these two prime ministers turned Labor into another neo-conservative party.

Keir Hardie was a believer in Scottish independence and abolition of the monarchy. He famously caused uproar in the House with a speech that criticized the privileges and sycophancy which were about to be bestowed on the newly-born Edward (later Edward VIII) because parliament would not approve, at the same time as congratulating the prince, a message of condolence to the families of 251 coal miners killed at Pontypridd.

scotlandf-e1410736988130Should the Yes campaign succeed, Alex Salmond, the Leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) and Member of the Scottish Parliament, will almost certainly head the new government. Mr. Salmond appears to be quite an establishment figure. Like David Cameron and all prime ministers since the Lockerbie bombing, Salmond has opposed a public inquiry into a tragedy for which Abdelbaset al Megrahiwas blamed and imprisoned when it is widely believed today that Megrahi was in no way involved. Though Salmond will get his assured place in history with a Yes vote, he will not be head of parliament indefinitely, and one day the Scottish people might choose to elect another Kier Hardie to bring real justice to the impoverished.

If Scotland votes Yes and goes independent, the issue of Royal Palaces will almost certainly come under scrutiny. The Royal Family has holiday homes at Balmoral Castle, Aberdeenshire and Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh. Prince Charles and the Duke of Edinburgh are quite often seen in kilts, though lederhosen might be more appropriate apparel considering the ancestry of the Royals.

Another issue that will come to the fore with a Yes vote is Britain’s nuclear arsenal Trident, which is located at Faslane/Coulport, near to Glasgow but quite far from Westminster. It is of no real benefit to Scotland having the naval base there; in fact, this puts communities at risk in the event of enemy attack. The Thames estuary seems a much more favorable location for such dangerous weapons if our English parliament does not come to its senses with a unilateral dismantling of these gross threats to humanity.

Voting Yes to independence could also be good for England. Here in England, David Cameron is doing all he can to dismantle the National Health Service (NHS) and hive off the more lucrative parts to private enterprise, while students are leaving university with loan debts of some £30,000 and no realistic means of paying them off. By contrast, Scotland has a free (Yes, free!) university educational system. Pledges have been made to extend Scotland’s support, not only for education, but also for the NHS. If Scotland continues to set such a fine example, people in England will seriously consider moving north and those voters who remain will start asking their elected parliamentary representatives why we cannot manage our economy like the Scots.

Aired on Australia’s ABC TV in February 2014

NotInMyName!

Children as young as 12, taken from home at night, blindfolded, handcuffed and imprisoned. Berlin 1933? West Bank, Israel 2014

UNICEF estimates that over the past decade an average of 700 children a year have been arrested by ISRAELI forces in this manner.

The Israeli military is facing a backlash at home and abroad for its treatment of children in the West Bank, occupied territory.

Coming up, a joint investigation by Four Corners and an Australian newspaper reveals evidence that shows the army is targeting Palestinian boys for arrest and detention. Reporter John Lyons travels to the West Bank to hear the story of children who claim they have been taken into custody, ruthlessly questioned and then allegedly forced to sign confessions before being taken to court for sentencing.

He meets Australian lawyer Gerard Horton, who’s trying to help the boys who are arrested, and talks to senior Israeli officials to examine what’s driving the army’s strategy.

While many of us rely on grass-fed beef as a source of healthful, properly raised meat, that option of healthy eating may just move down a peg. Why? Not because cattle may have to switch to GM grain, but rather because cattle may be forced to indulge in genetically modified grass.

The Scotts ‘Miracle-Gro’ Company which created genetically modified RoundUp-Ready Kentucky Bluegrass has announced that it will conduct field trials at the homes of Scotts’ employees. What’s more, they can do so without any government oversight because there are no laws that prohibit or limit the planting of GMO grass.

We already know that RoundUp ready crops have been linked (retracted, but read more on that here) via independent peer reviewed studies to inflammatory, genotoxic, neurotoxic, carcinogenic, and endocrine disrupting diseases, as well as infertility. RoundUp also chelates important minerals from the body, robbing you of your good health.

Now, cattle will graze upon GMO Kentucky Bluegrass and people will ingest the RoundUp chemicals sprayed on the cow’s favorite meal.

You can guess who is behind this latest GMO development.

Scotts is Monsanto’s exclusive agent for the marketing and distribution of consumer RoundUp.

We are running out of time to try and get Scott’s from being able to market and sell this latest GMO product. You can sign this petition which will be sent to Hagedorn, along with the CEOs of Lowe’s and Home Depot who are expected to sell the GMO grass.

Read: The GMO Lawn Engineered to Eat Copious Amounts of Pesticides

“…GMO Roundup Ready grass will result in a further increase in the use of Roundup, which will contaminate our groundwater and drinking water. Imagine your children & pets frolicking around in a sea of herbicidal poison. Because of inevitable contamination, the grass is likely to be eaten by grass grazing animals. There has been no toxicity testing and the potential harm to animals eating this GMO grass is unknown. Will we be saying good-bye to pasture raised meat? Lastly, it is a scientific fact that weeds will evolve to develop resistance to Roundup, leading to ever increasing amounts being applied.”

Additionally, you can request that your grocery store only carry certified GMO-free grass-fed beef. The game is changing yet again as biotech tries to infiltrate every conceivable agricultural market on the planet.

While Jim Hagedorn, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, is likely doing a happy promenade, those who love their grass-fed beef and rely upon it as a healthier source of meat can kiss it goodbye.

Additional Sources:

Psrast

BusinessInsider

Web.MIT.edu

The US Central Intelligence Agency is frustrated for being asked to train the ISIL terrorist group and at the very same time to combat it, a former CIA contractor says.

Steven D. Kelley made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV from Anaheim, California, on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the US House approved President Barack Obama’s strategy to train and arm “moderate” militants in Syria to tackle the threat of ISIL. The Pentagon plans to train and arm 5,000 militants in Syria as part of the Obama administration’s long-term strategy to confront ISIL.

“[T]he CIA is being faced with their current task of continuing to arm and train the rebels, which they’ve admitted to doing – the so-called Free Syrian Army , and at the same time being asked to combat the group ISIL, which it is  getting harder and harder for them to mask that it’s essentially the same group,” Kelley said.

“The CIA, of course, are not stupid people. When they are asked to do this task they do it very well. They’ve said they have spent this time training these rebels in Jordan [and] they’re doing a very good job. And now they are being asked to combat these very same rebels and yet they are still being asked to continue with the training in Jordan. It’s almost like they know that if they were to try to attack ISIL, the best things to do is to probably to start with their bases in Jordan,” he added.

The ISIL terrorists, who were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, control large parts of Syria’s northern territory. ISIL sent its fighters into Iraq in June, quickly seizing large swaths of land straddling the border between the two countries.

“One thing that should be noted is that even within the CIA, and this is something that most people don’t take into consideration, there are multiple factions. There’s a faction that is more New World Order, and there is the one that is more pro-constitution.  So there’s always going to be that distinction,” he stated.

“But, I think, it’s a matter of logic. You’ve got people that are having a very hard time spinning the same kind of nonsense that the White House seems to be convincing them to produce every day and the CIA is not quite the same at lying quite so well as the White House is,” Kelley noted.

“They [the CIA] are very openly still supporting the very same group that they are trying to combat, and this is why they’re showing such exasperation for being asked to combat the group and at the very same time feeding it with the other hand,” he concluded.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the United States and its regional allies – especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey – are supporting the militants operating inside the country.

According to the United Nations, more than 190,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the turmoil that has gripped Syria for over three years.

The absence of America’s so-called “intelligence” regarding the downing of Malaysia Airlines MH17 over Ukraine in a 34 page Dutch Safety Board preliminary report raises serious questions about the credibility and legitimacy of both America’s political agenda, and all agencies, organizations, and political parties currently behind it.

The report titled, “Preliminary Report: Crash involving Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 flight MH17″ (.pdf), cites a wide variety of evidence in its attempt to determine the cause of flight MH17′s crash and to prevent similar accidents or incidents from occurring again in the future. Among this evidence includes the cockpit voice recorder (CVR), the flight data recorder (FDR), analysis of recorded air traffic control (ATC) surveillance data and radio communication, analysis of the meteorological circumstances, forensic examination of the wreckage (if recovered and possible foreign objects if found), results of the pathological investigation, and analysis of the in-flight break up sequence.

Satellite images are referenced in regards to analyzing the crash site after the disaster, however, no where in the report is mentioned any evidence whatsoever of satellite images of missile launchers, intelligence from the United States regarding missile launches, or any information or evidence at all in any regard suggesting a missile had destroyed MH17. In fact, the report concludes by stating:

This report is preliminary. The information must necessarily be regarded as tentative and subject to alternation or correction if additional evidence becomes available. Further work will at least include the following areas of interest to substantiate the factual information regarding:

  • detailed analyses of data, including CVR, FDR and other sources, recorded onboard the aircraft;
  • detailed analyses of recorded ATC surveillance data and radio communication;
  • detailed analyses of the meteorological circumstances;
  • forensic examination of wreckage if recovered and possible foreign objects, if found;
  • results of the pathological investigation;
  • analyses of the in-flight break up sequence;
  • assessment of the operator’s and State of Occurrence’s management of flight safety over a region of conflict or high security risk;
  • any other areas that are identified during the investigation.

With the black boxes in hand and a wealth of data from multiple sources both onboard the aircraft and from the ground in both Ukraine and Russia, the Dutch Safety Board was still hesitant to draw any conclusions and insisted that none be jumped to.

The report specifically mentions information collected from Russia, including air traffic control and radar data – both of which were publicly shared by Russia in the aftermath of the disaster. The report also cites data collected from Ukraine air traffic controllers. The United States however, apart from providing technical information about the aircraft itself considering it was manufactured in the US, provided absolutely no data in any regard according to the report.

Missing US Intel Points to Fabrications  

4534532Had the US actually possessed any credible information to substantiate its claims that MH17 was shot down by a missile, such evidence surely would have been submitted to and included in the Dutch Safety Board’s preliminary reporting. That it is predictably missing confirms what commentators, analysts, and politicians around the world had long since suspected – the West’s premature conclusions regarding MH17′s demise were driven by a political agenda, not a factually based search for the truth. The evidence that MH17 was shot down by a missile as the West insisted is missing because it never existed in the first place.

That the Dutch Safety Board possesses such a vast amount of information but is still unable to draw anything but the most tentative conclusions, exposes the alleged certainty of Western pundits and politicians in the hours and days after MH17′s loss as an utterly irresponsible, politically motivated, exploitation of tragedy at best, and at worst, exposing the West – NATO in particular – as possible suspects in a crime they clearly stood the most to benefit from.

Fabrications Establish Motive

In the wake of the MH17 tragedy, the West would rush through a series of sanctions against Russia as well as justify further military aid for the regime in Kiev, Ukraine and the literal Neo-Nazi militant battalions serving its pro-Western agenda amid a brutal civil war raging in the country’s eastern most provinces. With sanctions in hand, and the war raging on in earnest, the MH17 disaster dropped entirely out of Western narratives as if it never occurred. Surely if the West had solid evidence implicating eastern Ukrainian rebels and/or Russia, the world would never have heard the end of the MH17 disaster until the truth was fully aired before the public.

When Dutch investigators published their preliminary report, the West merely reiterated its original claims, simply imposing their contradictory nature upon the report – most likely believing the public would never actually read its 34 pages.

For example, Reuters in a report titled, “Malaysia: Dutch report suggests MH-17 shot down from ground,” would brazenly claim:

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 broke apart over Ukraine due to impact from a large number of fragments, the Dutch Safety Board said on Tuesday, in a report that Malaysia’s prime minister and several experts said suggested it was shot down from the ground.

The title of Reuters’ propaganda piece directly contradicts its first paragraph which reveals “experts,” not the actual Dutch Safety Board report, claimed it was “shot down from the ground,” while the report itself says nothing of the sort. The experts cited by Reuters in fact had no association whatsoever with the preliminary report and instead are the same mainstay of cherry picked commentators the West constantly defers to while building up and perpetuating utterly fabricated narratives to advance its agenda globally.

The lesson to be learned from the MH17 disaster is that real investigations and their subsequent conclusions take time – weeks or even months. Anyone drawing immediate conclusions within hours or days after an event like the MH17 disaster are exploiting tragedy at best, and at worst implicate themselves as suspects having created it in the first place to serve as impetus for further chaos, conflict, and confusion.

Those incapable of resisting the need to jump to conclusions are those who are least suitable to lead. The United States, United Kingdom, and the European Union have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are at best tasteless, irresponsible, politically motivated exploiters of human tragedy, and at worst, the prime suspects of a heinous act of mass murder aimed at perpetuating their agenda of war and carnage in Ukraine and beyond.

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

Ideology, Islam and Obama: Going to War on a Misunderstanding

September 19th, 2014 by Binoy Kampmark

“In conclusion, neither ISIS, nor John Kerry nor al-Azhar and certainly not the Saudi ruling dynasty speak on behalf of the ‘true Islam.”  - As’ad AbuKhalil, Sep 15, 2014

They are all rounding it up, but the criticism about the Obama administration’s specific understanding about its cavalry charge against the Islamic State has kept the political scene busy for the last few days.  What, exactly, are the confused members of the White House leadership and staff up to?

Obama’s own statement at issue is that “ISIL is not ‘Islamic’.”  The presumption here is that religions exclude violence, which is tantamount to saying that the religions of the Book were all, from the start, peace loving experiments of the human spirit.  “No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim.”  The logic, taken to its absurd end, implies that a state like Israel would not be Jewish even as it bombs Gaza to smithereens. This is bound to surprise even the less convinced members of the Knesset.

Obama’s statement on the Islamic State forces involves the usual tender jabs that one has come to expect from Presidential rhetoric, certainly of the weeding sort.  Be careful to delegitimise a political force, not a religion – after all, the Pew Research Centre suggests that Islam is gaining adherents at breakneck speed.

Be careful to highlight the nasty, the impudent and the vicious aspects of the pretenders – for the Obama administration, these people are merely head sawing murderers in fancy dress rather than ideologues with any genuine claim to religious credit.  He doesn’t even want to give them credit for actually being serious.  It is a policy that has currency with such individuals as Alan Noble, co-founder and managing editor of Christ and Pop Culture.  “They depend on ‘the feeling of Muslims that we belong to them’, but if these terrorists are seen as pariahs, heretics, they lose their appeal.”[1]

There is also another point Obama has stressed. He has shown a certain reluctance to use the term “Islamic state”.  “And ISIL is certainly not a state. It was formerly al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Iraq, and has taken strife of sectarian strife and Syria’s civil war to gain territory on both sides of the Iraq-Syrian border.”

Shades of the disastrous American involvement in Vietnam come to mind – one where the war makers in Washington proved deeply unclear about the most basic lexical constructions.  Could it be Viet Cong, Viet-Minh or a trendy nickname?  If one is engaged in a war, it might help to identify some correspondence between word and reality – a disjuncture between the two might excite a numb postructuralist junkie, but hardly a superpower bent on world policing.

Zack Beauchamp, writing in Vox, began a piece with the muddying suggestions of what name to use in this enemy Washington is eager to stop.  “The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria…. wait.  Stop.  I was going to start describing it, but I got hung up on the name. That’s because the question of what to call the militant group operating in Iraq and Syria is extremely controversial.”[2]

Beauchamp also gets excited by what exactly constitutes “al-Sham”, the linguistic limb that seems to be distorting the entire animal that is ISIS or ISIL.  Some in the traditional European orientation go for “the Levant”; Syrian journalist Hassan Hassan suggests that the common Arabic appellation here is narrower – one confined to Syria.

The boffins of the US press establishment have tended to shine in speculation and ignorance.  This is to be expected – if the President bungles, the press will duly follow.  Chuck Todd at Meet the Press thought he had indulged in something of a brainwave when suggesting that Obama prefers ISIL to ISIS for one obvious reason – the former ignores the Syrian sting in the organisation’s tail.[3]  When it came to Rwanda, the Clinton administration avoided the ‘g’ (genocide) word, fearing the pressures of the Genocide Convention. Now, Syria is being avoided like the rhetorical plague.

Harris Faulkner of Fox News offered a zany interpretation on Outnumbered running counter to the trimming version offered by Todd: “Levant is a bigger territory.  That’s why they want to embrace the name and it includes many, many more countries than just Syria.”[4] Sheer, geographically aware genius.

There are legitimate claims that Obama did not merely misstep, but fell flat on his face.

For former M-16 agent Alastair Crooke’s claim is that Obama has stumbled into an ideological morass by hoping to disentangle a type of Islam from, well, a type of Islam.  For one, there is no ‘true Islam’ within the confines of a religion that wears numerous “faces”.[5]

What Obama seems to have missed is that paradox, claims Crooke, of the Wahhabists – that they, in their dead certainties, claim to be the only true Islamists on a rather confused bloc.  The messy is rendered certain, maintained by assumptions of fanatical virtue.  But even more importantly, the protean variations of Islam are repudiated in favour of a clear message.  “Wahhabis claim,” argues As’ad AbuKhalil, “that they represent the ‘true Islam’ when the strength of Islam throughout the ages is that there is no such thing as ‘the true Islam’.”[6]

Such is the point – for AbuKhalil, it is the infantile idea enrapturing American pundits that Islam is easily captured by a spatial, geographical metaphor.  “For Western media, Islam is an office with fancy headquarters where bureaucrats issue fatwas around the clock.” It is no such thing, mind bending in its variability and disagreements, and whole heartedly at odds with notions of a supreme, illuminating truth.  That is not something the President wishes to engage in – after all, Washington is very much an item with those problematic Saudi Wahhabis.  They claim to know something we don’t.

Notes

If you read enough news and watch enough cable television about the threat of the Islamic State, the radical Sunni Muslim militia group better known simply as IS, you will inevitably encounter a parade of retired generals demanding an increased US military presence in the region. They will say that our government should deploy, as retired General Anthony Zinni demanded, up to 10,000 American boots on the ground to battle IS. Or as in retired General Jack Keane’s case, they will make more vague demands, such as for “offensive” air strikes and the deployment of more military advisers to the region.

But what you won’t learn from media coverage of IS is that many of these former Pentagon officials have skin in the game as paid directors and advisers to some of the largest military contractors in the world. Ramping up America’s military presence in Iraq and directly entering the war in Syria, along with greater military spending more broadly, is a debatable solution to a complex political and sectarian conflict. But those goals do unquestionably benefit one player in this saga: America’s defense industry.

Keane is a great example of this phenomenon. His think tank, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), which he oversees along with neoconservative partisans Liz Cheney and William Kristol, has provided the data on IS used for multiple stories by The New York Timesthe BBC and other leading outlets.

Jack Keane (Screenshot: Fox News)

Keane has appeared on Fox News at least nine times over the last two months to promote the idea that the best way to stop IS is through military action—in particular, through air strikes deep into IS-held territory. In one of the only congressional hearings about IS over the summer, Keane was there to testify and call for more American military engagement. On Wednesday evening, Keane declared President Obama’s speech on defeating IS insufficient, arguing that a bolder strategy is necessary. “I truly believe we need to put special operation forces in there,” he told host Megyn Kelly.

Left unsaid during his media appearances (and left unmentioned on his congressional witness disclosure form) are Keane’s other gigs: as special adviser to Academi, the contractor formerly known as Blackwater; as a board member to tank and aircraft manufacturer General Dynamics; a “venture partner” to SCP Partners, an investment firm that partners with defense contractors, including XVionics, an “operations management decision support system” company used in Air Force drone training; and as president of his own consulting firm, GSI LLC.

To portray Keane as simply a think tank leader and a former military official, as the media have done, obscures a fairly lucrative career in the contracting world. For the General Dynamics role alone, Keane has been paid a six-figure salary in cash and stock options since he joined the firm in 2004; last year, General Dynamics paid him $258,006.

Keane did not immediately return a call requesting comment for this article.

Disclosure would also help the public weigh Keane’s policy advocacy. For instance, in his August 24 opinion column for The Wall Street Journal, in which he was bylined only as a retired general and the chairman of ISW, Keane wrote that “the time has come to confront the government of Qatar, which funds and arms IS and other Islamist terrorist groups such as Hamas.” While media reports have linked fundraisers for IS with individuals operating in Qatar (though not the government), the same could be said about Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, where many of the major donors of IS reportedly reside. Why did Keane single out Qatar and ignore Saudi Arabia and Kuwait? Is it because his company, Academi, has been a major business partner to the United Arab Emirates, Qatar’s primary rival in the region?

Other examples abound.

Anthony Zinni (Screenshot: Charlie Rose)

In a Washington Post story about Obama’s decision not to deploy troops to combat IS, retired Marine General James Mattis was quoted as a skeptic. “The American people will once again see us in a war that doesn’t seem to be making progress,” Mattis told the paper. Left unmentioned was Mattis’s new role as Keane’s colleague on the General Dynamics corporate board, a role that afforded Mattis $88,479 in cash and stock options in 2013.

Retired General Anthony Zinni, perhaps the loudest advocate of a large deployment of American soliders into the region to fight IS, is a board member to BAE Systems’ US subsidiary, and also works for severalmilitary-focused private equity firms.

CNN pundit Frances Townsend, a former Bush administration official, has recently appeared on televisioncalling for more military engagement against IS. As the Public Accountability Initiative, a nonprofit that studies elite power structures, reported, Townsend “holds positions in two investment firms with defense company holdings, MacAndrews & Forbes and Monument Capital Group, and serves as an advisor to defense contractor Decision Sciences.”

Fran Townsend (Screenshot: CSPAN)

“Mainstream news outlets have a polite practice of identifying former generals and former congress members as simply ‘formers’—neglecting to inform the public of what these individuals are doing now, which is often quite pertinent information, like that they are corporate lobbyists or board members,” says Jeff Cohen, an associate professor of journalism at Ithaca College.

Media outlets might justify their omissions by reasoning that these pundits have merely advocated certain military strategies, not specific weapons systems, so disclosure of their financial stake in the policy need not be made. Yet the drumbeat for war has already spiraled into calls for increased military spending that lifts all boats—or non-operational jets for that matter.

When the Pentagon sent a recent $2 billion request for ramped-up operations in the Middle East, supposedly to confront the IS issue, budget details obtained by Bloomberg News revealed that officials asked for money for additional F-35 planes. The F-35 is not in operation and would not be used against IS. The plane is notoriously over budget and perpetually delayed—some experts call it the most expensive weapon system in human history—with a price tag now projected to be over $1 trillion. In July, an engine fire grounded the F-35 fleet and again delayed the planned debut of the plane. How it ended up in the Pentagon’s Middle East wish list is unclear.

“I think an inclination to use military action a lot is something the defense industry subscribes to because it helps to perpetuate an overall climate of permissiveness towards military spending,” says Ed Wasserman, dean of the UC Berkeley Graduate School for Journalism. Wasserman says that the media debate around IS has tilted towards more hawkish former military leaders, and that the public would be best served not only with better disclosure but also a more balanced set of opinions that would include how expanded air strikes could cause collateral civil casualties. “The past fifty years has a lot of evidence of the ineffectiveness of air power when it comes to dealing with a more nimble guerrilla-type adversary, and I’m not hearing this conversation,” he notes.

The pro-war punditry of retired generals has been the subject of controversy in the past. In a much-cited 2008 exposé, The New York Times revealed a network of retired generals on the payroll of defense contractors who carefully echoed the Bush administration’s Iraq war demands through appearances on cable television.

The paper’s coverage of the run-up to a renewed conflict in the region today has been notably measured, including many voices skeptical of calls for a more muscular military response to IS. Nonetheless, the Times has relied on research from a contractor-funded advocacy organization as part of its IS coverage. Reports produced by Keane’s ISW have been used to support six different infographics used for Times stories since June. The Times has not mentioned Keane’s potential conflict of interest or that ISW may have a vested stake in its policy positions. The Public Accountability Initiative notes that ISW’s corporate sponsors represent “a who’s who of the defense industry and includes Raytheon, SAIC, Palantir, General Dynamics, CACI, Northrop Grumman, DynCorp, and L-3 Communication.” As the business network CNBC reported this week, Raytheon in particular has much to gain from escalation in Iraq, as the company produces many of the missiles and radar equipment used in airstrikes.

In addition to providing reports and quotes for the media, ISW leaders have demanded a greater reaction to IS from the Obama administration. In The Weekly Standard this week, ISW president Kim Kagan wrote that President Obama’s call for a limited engagement against IS “has no chance of success.”

ISW’s willingness to push the envelope has gotten the organization into hot water before. In 2013, ISW suffered an embarrassing spectacle when one of its analysts, Elizabeth O’Bagy, was found to have inflated her academic credentials, touting a PhD from a Georgetown program that she had never entered.

But memories are short, and the media outlets now relying heavily on ISW research have done little to scrutinize the think tank’s policy goals. Over the last two years, ISW, including O’Bagy, were forcefully leading the push to equip Syrian rebels with advanced anti-tank and anti-aircraft weaponry to defeat Bashar al-Assad.

For Keane, providing arms to Syrian rebels, even anti-American groups, was a worthwhile gamble. In an interview with Fox Business Network in May of last year, Keane acknowledged that arming Syrian rebels might mean “weapons can fall into radical Islamists’ hands.” He continued,

“It is true the radical Islamists have gained in power and influence mainly because we haven’t been involved and that is a fact, but it’s still true we have vetted some of these moderate rebel groups with the CIA, and I’m convinced we can—it’s still acceptable to take that risk, and let’s get on with changing momentum in the war.”

That acceptable risk Keane outlined has come to fruition. Recent reports now indicate that US-made weapons sent from American allies in the region to Syrian rebels have fallen into the hands of IS.

Keane, and ISW, is undeterred. The group just put out a call for 25,000 ground troops in Iraq and Syria.

I’ve been rovin’ around Europe for a while and the star of the show is definitely The Caliph. Former Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has totally outstripped Vladimir Putin as Doctor Evil of the hour. Where’s a good ol’ Cold War 2.0 when you need it? Well, upstaged by the Pentagon’s “long war” – our familiar GWOT (Global War on Terror).

First Obama promised there would be no ground troops to fight The Caliph- as in a re-invasion of Iraq. Then General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that if the current gambit of Obama’s self-defined “Don’t do Stupid Stuff” foreign policy doctrine does not work – and it won’t – he’ll go for ground troops, embedded or otherwise.

Right on cue, The Caliph went to Hollywood, releasing the trailer of The Caliphate’s upcoming mega-production, Flames of War. It looks like it was directed by Michael Bay (Fall, 2014). Will that go straight to Netflix?

You just can’t beat the Marvel Comics school of geopolitics.

Confide in me, baby 

Meanwhile, in Paris, President General Francois Hollande is itching to deploy his Rafales and get into a new war – considering that’s about the only thing that could lift the mood of a wretched president, whose administration has barely survived a “confidence” vote; compare that “confidence” with the nasty epithets with which his team is showered by largely unemployed, taxed to death or swamped by red tape Parisians.

Obama has already sent 475 extra military “advisers” to Baghdad and Iraqi Kurdistan. There are at least 1,600 US military already on the ground in Iraq. That’s how Vietnam started. The CIA, supported by unmatched ground intel, swears there are exactly 31.785 jihadis fighting for The Caliph. Well, roughly. Two-thirds of these are supposed to be in Syria. So the new war, in fact, is all across “Syraq”. Or what The Caliph calls IS, Islamic State, his own private emirate.

The no less meticulous Dempsey, for his part, is sure it will take up to five months to train and weaponize a new bunch of “moderate” rebels to fight the Caliph. Wait a minute; foolish global public opinion was supposed to believe the previous “moderate” rebels – supported by Qatar – would one day fulfill the “Assad must go” Obama mandate. Well, they didn’t.

“Our” bastards at the petrodollar racket known as GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) have duly promised to help Obama’s new war, alongside Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq. Turkey will only get involved in the “humanitarian” front – while allowing smuggled oil sold by The Caliph’s goons into its territory.

The members of the wretched Arab League have solemnly promised to be “determined” in cutting off the flux of weapons and cash to The Caliph show. Yet they would never have the balls of the Kurdish peshmerga, who have just killed the Mosul chief of IS. This kind of ground intel, plus following the money, as in the oil smuggling routes, would finish off the Caliphate in no time. But that’s not what endless GWOT is all about.

Caliph, give us a hand 

With such an array of Hollywood thrills on show, who cares about Ukraine? Well, it may have been snuffed out of the news cycle after the latest nasty package of US/EU sanctions, but it’s back in the spotlight this Thursday, as Ukrainian oligarch turned president Petro Poroshenko visits The Caliph’s nemesis in Washington.

So expect a frantic rerun of Evil Empire rhetoric – plus ample indignation caused by the Russian “invasion” of Ukraine. That will last barely a day. “Don’t Do Stupid Stuff” changes its tune like surfing on iTunes. And the tune now is the “Syraq” offensive; yet another Obama “kinetic” operation, Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell remixed.

That leaves plenty of space for US Think Tankland to carp that Russia “aggression” will profit from the new tune to “advance” in Central and Eastern Europe, and the China “threat” will profit to “dominate” the Western Pacific. So what’s more crucial for the Empire of Chaos; Russia, China or “Syraq”? They don’t have a clue. They are just trying not to do “stupid stuff”.

For all that volcanic Beltway paranoia, the Big Picture in the long run spells out Moscow expanding its Pipelineistan nodes throughout Eastern Europe all the way to Western Europe, thus enlarging, commercially, its “soft” zone of influence. No “invasion” required.

On Ukraine, the Big Picture spells out the European Union mired in a horrendous crisis, under a third recession in five years, obviously without the cash, not to mention the will, to pay Ukraine’s humongous bills. Sooner – with negotiations starting this Saturday in Berlin – or later the EU will have to find an accommodation with Moscow to guarantee its precious gas supplies.

That leaves warmongering NATO – as in the EU under the Pentagon’s thumb. All rhetoric about that puny “rapid reaction force” aside, the fact is that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization won’t have the balls to confront Russia, via troops deployed in Ukraine. And there will be no Obama “Stupid Stuff” aerial bombing of federalists in Donbass – as if Russophones in Ukraine defending their land and their language against a form of slow motion ethnic cleansing could be compared to The Caliph’s multinational goons in “Syraq”. US public opinion very well knows – well, maybe not – that people in Donbass are not threatening to cross into El Paso tomorrow.

So much hard work to pivot from GWOT to the Big Boys in Eurasia. So little time – and competence. The Caliph’s goons have announced on the record they would go for beheading Putin. If only the Pentagon would subcontract the job.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

Ukrainian President Poroshenko in Washington

September 19th, 2014 by Stephen Lendman

previous article discussed his three-day North American tour. His illegitimacy doesn’t matter.

Nor his hardline anti-democratic fascist ideology, lawlessness or war without mercy against Ukrainian citizens.

He was treated like visiting royalty. Obama warmly greeted him at the White House. In late August, press secretary Josh Earnest issued a statement saying:

“President Obama will host President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine at the White House on Thursday, September 18.”

“The visit will highlight the United States’ firm commitment to stand with Ukraine as it pursues democracy, independence, and stability.”

“President Obama looks forward to discussing with President Poroshenko efforts to pursue a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in eastern Ukraine as well as our continued support for Ukraine’s struggle to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

On September 18, Earnest reaffirmed US support, saying:

“The United States is firmly committed to supporting Ukraine as it works to establish security and stability, respond to humanitarian and reconstruction needs, conduct democratic elections and carry out constitutional reforms, restore its economy, and combat corruption.”

“Along with our international partners, including the IMF, the United States is committed to supporting Ukraine’s reform agenda while also ensuring that Ukrainians are able to determine their future without intimidation or outside coercion.”

Obama gave Poroshenko new security guarantees. Poroshenko asked for them. Especially ones related to “defense.” He “received a positive answer,” he said.

Both countries partner against democratic freedoms. Ukraine’s fascist government excludes them.

It prohibits democracy. It’s verboten. Illegitimate hardline rule prevails.

Obama supports, encourages and demands anti-democratic governance.

He presides over America’s police state apparatus. He wants Ukraine governed the same way.

He wants its economy crippled under IMF debt bondage. The late Bob Chapman once said “(t)he idea is to bring on perpetual economic and financial crisis so that the IMF’s work is never completed.”

Crippled economies masquerade as stable ones. “The IMF (is) the New World Order’s Gestapo.”

It “sets up formerly sovereign states as supplicant members of (US-controlled) world government.”

Washington’s “goal is a world bank to control all nations monetarily and financially.”

“Every major event is planned as are many smaller ones.”

“Nothing is ever as it seems to be.” Reality is polar opposite proliferated myths. Monied interests run things.

America bears full responsibility for global wars, instability, insecurity and human misery. Its Western partners, Israel and other rogue allies share it.

It’s way too late for scattered reforms. Major change is needed. Ordinary people have power when they use it.

Nonviolent disruptive power works best. Electoral politics doesn’t work. Rare exceptions prove the rule.

The late Chicago community organizer Saul Alinsky (1909 – 1972) once said the best way to beat organized money is with organized people.

It’s always bottom up. It’s never top down. It’s verboten in Ukraine and America. Their political systems are too corrupted to fix.

They show how power corrupts and absolute power does so absolutely.

On September 18, Poroshenko addressed a joint session of Congress. He lied suggesting Ukraine is “on the forefront of the global fight for democracy.”

He ludicrously claimed “freedom…is at the core of (its) existence today.”

He called Washington’s coup elevating fascist putschists to power “the most heroic story of the last decade.”

It showed “sacrifice, dedication and the unbreakable will to live free,” he claimed.

“The defenders of freedom were willing to sacrifice their lives for the sake of a better future.”

He claimed they did it with “sticks and shields.” He ignored Western trained neo-Nazi Ukrainian snipers murdering dozens of Maidan police and ordinary people.

Over 100 died. They were killed in cold blood. Washington’s dirty hands orchestrated what happened.

Poroshenko referred to the “Heavenly Hundred.”

“We revere them as true national heroes,” he said. They’re not martyrs. They’re victims of fascist viciousness.

Poroshenko didn’t explain. Nor his US or other Western partners. MSM scoundrels regurgitate official Big Lies.

Poroshenko’s address repeated one after another. Truth was systematically buried.

Congress wholeheartedly approves. So does Obama and top administration officials.

Poroshenko turned truth on its head claiming Russia invaded Ukraine. It’s waging war, he said. It “brought (the country) to the brink of its survival.”

You can’t make this stuff up. Truth is polar opposite Poroshenko’s Big Lies. He gets marching orders from Washington.

He salutes and obeys. Ukraine is America’s newest colony. Poroshenko is a convenient stooge leader.

He serves at Washington’s discretion. He’ll continue doing so as long as he remembers who’s boss.

He asked Congress “not to let Ukraine stand alone in the face of (nonexistent Russian) aggression.”

America committed to “stand behind Ukraine’s territorial integrity.”

“Democracies must support each other,” he said. “They must show solidarity in the face of aggression and adversity.”

“The (nonexistent) aggression against Ukraine has become one of the worst setbacks for the cause of democracy in the world in years.”

“The outcome of today’s war will determine whether we will be forced to accept the reality of a dark, torn, and bitter Europe as part of a new world order.”

Young Ukrainian army recruits “are the only thing that now stands between the reality of peaceful coexistence and the nightmare of a full relapse into the previous century and a new cold war,” he claimed.

War they’re “fighting today is not only Ukraine’s war.”

“It is Europe’s, and it is America’s war, too. It is a war of the free world – and for a free world!”

Poroshenko shamelessly claimed “Russian aggression” threatens “global security everywhere.”

“If they are not stopped now, they will cross European borders and spread throughout the globe.”

It bears repeating. You can’t make this stuff up. Poroshenko’s Big Lies didn’t rise to the level of bad fiction.

He asked Congress for more military support. He met with John Kerry. He got pledges to supply it.

According to Ukraine’s National Radio Company, Washington will provide “$350 million worth of military (and) technical assistance in 2015.”

It includes “anti-tank weapons, counter-artillery radars, unmanned aerial vehicles, and communications equipment.”

“This is stated in a bill posted on the Web site of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, which was filed on September 17 by U.S. Senators Robert Menendez and Bob Corker.”

“The document is to be tabled by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday just hours after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko addresse(d) a joint meeting of Congress.”

He thanked Washington for aid supplied. “Ukraine has the right to defend her territory,” he said. He “urge(d) America to lead the way!”

He ludicrously claimed Ukraine “always had a special bond” with America. Today it’s Washington’s “natural and consequential” regional partner.

It’s not “circumstantial,” he said. We’re “in the same boat,” he added.

At a time of “existential crisis, Ukraine’s choice was the same as America’s: freedom, democracy, and the rule of law,” he claimed.

It bears repeating what other articles stressed. Ukraine is the epicenter of European fascist reemergence.

Its lawlessness, belligerent, anti-democratic and fascist. Its no-holds-barred barbarity matches some of the world’s worst.

Its egregious human rights record reveals its dark side. Police state ruthlessness is official policy. So is state terror. War on fundamental freedoms persist.

Ukrainian democracy is pure fantasy. Fascist thugs run things. They represent mob rule. Unchecked power defines them.

They’re ruthless. They tolerate no opposition. It’s systematically eliminated.

Rogue states operate this way. Putschist ones have no legitimacy. Ukraine is one of the worst.

Washington provides wholehearted support. It encourages Kiev’s high crimes. It funds them.

It wants democracy advocates entirely eliminated. Vicious state terror tactics target them ruthlessly.

Western propaganda suppresses reality. Illegitimate putschist power is called democracy.

Mass murder is called self-defense. Freedom-fighting democrats are called “terrorists.”

Poroshenko wants more military aid. Southeastern Ukrainian self-defense forces battered Kiev’s troops.

They’re in disarray. They’re regrouping. They’re preparing for more conflict.

Ukraine needs “a strong army,” Poroshenko claimed.

“I see it as my utmost duty to rectify the damage done to the Ukrainian military and to give Ukraine a strong, modern army that we can be proud of.”

To wage premeditated naked aggression. To brutalize Ukrainian citizens.

To commit more mass murder. To tolerate no opposition.

To crush democracy advocates once and for all. To institutionalize fascist rule.

To ally with Washington and rogue EU partners against Russia. To risk East/West confrontation in the process.

Poroshenko urged closer US/Ukrainian military ties. He wants “special security and defense status.”

Receiving it means the “highest level of interaction with a non-NATO ally.”

In November 2002, a NATO/Ukraine Action Plan was instituted.

In February 2005, Ukraine became the first post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) nation to join NATO’s Partnership for Peace initiative.

In April 2005, it joined NATO’s Intensified Dialogue program.

In March 2008, it sent an official Membership Action Plan (MAP) application letter to Brussels.

It’s the first step to joining NATO. Washington supports it later. Not now. So do other key NATO member states.

Russia categorically opposes incorporating Ukraine into the Alliance. Both nations share a nearly 1,500 mile land and sea border.

Moscow won’t tolerate US-controlled NATO bases on its borders. Or encroaching multiple nuclear armed long-range missiles targeting its heartland.

It calls Ukrainian NATO membership “a direct (national security) threat.” It does so for good reason.

After his 2010 reelection, then Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych called Kiev/NATO relations “well-defined.”

He saw no reason for Ukraine to join NATO. Membership might “emerge at some point,” he explained.

“(W)e will not see it in the immediate future,” he stressed. Ukraine would remain a “European non-aligned state,”

On June 3, 2010, Ukraine’s parliament excluded “integration into Euro-Atlantic security and NATO membership.”

It prohibited Ukrainian membership in any military bloc. It permitted cooperation alone with ones like NATO.

That was then. This is now. Poroshenko and Washington intend incorporating Ukraine into NATO.

Expect it at America’s discretion. Expect strong Russian opposition. It remains to be seen precisely how Moscow will react.

Ukraine is its red line. Putin won’t let it be crossed. He won’t compromise Russia’s security.

His strategy will be revealed in the fullness of time. It bears repeating what other articles stressed.

America’s quest for unchallenged global dominance threatens humanity.

Potential East/West confrontation looms. World peace hangs by a thread.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

Israeli Incremental Genocide

September 19th, 2014 by Jamal Kanj

It goes without saying that Gaza has taught the Israeli military a new lesson: the days of swift Israeli wars are over. While mostly one-sided, Israel has never before fought a war that lasted 50 days. The Palestinians (besieged by brothers and foes) were of no military match to Israel’s most sophisticated US technology. But as in 2006 Lebanon war, the human factor rendered the best technology obsolete.

There were many parallels between summer 2006 and current war. Regretfully, in both cases, Israeli wanton destruction was received with indifference from the official Arab regime system.

It is no secret that some Arab governments were more interested in seeing Hizbollah degraded in 2006 than protecting innocent Lebanese civilians. In the last two months, the official Arab regime too disliked Hamas more than they cared about Palestinian life.

This time in Gaza, and unlike the last two confrontations in 08/09 and November 2012 – Palestinians seemed united at the negotiation table and on the battlefield. Ultimately, forcing the Egyptian mediator to back off from imposing the Israeli conditions and address the core issue that caused this war: the years old Israeli military blockade on Gaza.

After reaching ceasefire, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took the airwaves proclaiming winning the war. On the other side, Palestinians took to the streets celebrating the end of Israeli aggression and their victory.

It is definitely debatable as to who won the war. If winning is to be measured by the number of civilians killed and the damage left behind, Israel is by far the winner. If winning or losing was measured by objectives, Israel was undoubtedly the bigger loser.

For Israeli attempts to weaken Hamas has failed. Hamas which saw decline in its popularity before the war gained impressive approbation in most recent polling. The organisation was persona non grata in Egypt, but now it appeared to have reconciled with the regime.

Just like the Israeli war against Lebanon in 2006 where instead of weakening Hizbollah, the war propelled the party to become a major power-broker in local politics and emerged as a regional force to contend with.

In Gaza, the well-pampered Israeli soldiers were not prepared for the new tactics and the intricate underground fortification systems. In the face-to-face combat and as technology becomes useless, the craven Israeli soldier was of no match to the more determined Palestinian fighter.

According to eye witness accounts reported in the online Daily Beast last week, one fighter codenamed Abu Muhammad described the underground war, “First we targeted the tanks and the jeeps with IEDs. Some of our people would come out of the ground, attack the soldiers and then disappear back into a tunnel and others surprised them from empty houses.”

Following heavy military losses, Netanyahu ordered his army to withdraw. He pulled his negotiation team from Cairo and insisted no ceasefire unless Israel’s conditions for the invasion were met: disarmament of Gaza, return the remains of the purportedly dead Israeli soldiers and destruction of underground fortifications.

After Netanyahu’s ceasefire terms were rejected, Israel intensified its air raids against civilians targeting homes of supposed Palestinian leaders and levelled large residential towers. Facing defiant Palestinians and his demoralised public, Netanyahu was forced eventually to accept a ceasefire including the easing of the military siege on Gaza.

It is delusional however to believe for a moment that Israel would honour its obligations under the ceasefire agreement. Losing in public polling, Netanyahu is predisposed to tighten, not ease the military blockade, in order to placate his right wing voters.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu lies to his people about winning a war without achieving one single objective and deceives the world with a ceasefire while maintaining a silent war of special “starvation diet” and carrying out “incremental genocide” against more than 1.7 million human beings.

Mr Kanj (www.jamalkanj.com) writes regular newspaper column and publishes on several websites on Arab world issues. He is the author of “Children of Catastrophe,” Journey from a Palestinian Refugee Camp to America. A version of this article was first published by the Gulf Daily News newspaper.

Wendy Sherman is Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. On September 16, she spoke at Georgetown University.

She claimed Washington “cares about the Middle East because of (its) economic, political, and security interests…”

“Its rich spiritual and ethnic traditions…” It’s Israel’s home and America’s Gulf partners.

It’s “where values we cherish are under intense strain.” Washington “is alarmed and moved to act by the upheaval” roiling the region.

America “must show the way.”

Fact check

America covets Middle East oil. It wants unchallenged regional control.

It wants independent governments toppled. It wants pro-Western vassal states replacing them.

It wants Israeli rivals removed. It wants democracy avoided at all costs.

America’s cherished values include wealth, power and privilege alone. It doesn’t give a damn about “rich spiritual and ethnic traditions.” It never did. For sure not now.

Sherman regurgitated Big Lies Obama repeated one after another in his September 10 address.

Great powers honor their commitments and principles, she said. We’ll “move forward…to end conflicts,” she claimed.

We’ll

“improve governance; increase economic opportunities; highlight the value of education; and enhance respect for democratic institutions, including freedom of the press, religious liberty, human rights, and the rule of law.”

“America’s policy is to assist those who believe, as we do, that people of different nationalities, ethnicities and creeds can live alongside one another constructively and in peace.”

Longstanding US regional and global policies are polar opposite Sherman’s Big Lies.

She repeated one after another. She sounds like her boss (John Kerry), Obama, and other top administration officials.

Permanent war is official US policy. Escalating it is planned. ISIS “fighting has just begun,” it says.

It’s gaining new recruits at a remarkable clip. They’re US shock troops against Assad.

Its proxy army. Its dagger against legitimate Syrian governance. Its regime change plan.

TheNational is an Abu Dhabi, UAE English languish daily broadsheet.

On September 17, it headlined “Rebels on Syria’s southern front ‘closer to the doorstep of Damascus,’ ” saying:

“Western and Arab military advisers based in Amman have quietly stepped up their role on Syria’s southern front, helping win recent advances for opposition factions.”

“After weeks of heavy fighting, rebel groups announced the seizure of 80 per cent of Qunietra province on Saturday, including areas along the border with Israel.”

Doing so can aid southern-based ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra, Al Qaeda and likeminded groups advance north to Damascus.

They could establish reliable supply routes. They’ll be able to aid other opposition groups on Damascus’ Southern and Western fronts.

Seizing Damascus is key to toppling Assad. Opposition commanders say increased Southern Syria international support they’re getting is crucial in aiding their latest advances.

According to one unnamed anti-Assad commander:

“Efforts to bring us together on the southern front have been inconsistent but all countries are moving in that direction.”

“They now want us united and those efforts have been reflected on the outcome of recent battles, including the latest in Qunietra.”

“We are now more organized and this is reflected in our work and the implementation of our plans.”

“There is a centralized command, which is giving better results. Things are more under control.”

Changes unfolded gradually since June. They’re coincidental with increasing ISIS, Jabhat al Nusra and Al Qaeda strength.

According to another opposition commander:

“There is increased cooperation (among) countries supporting Syria, and increased cooperation among rebel factions.”

“There are also promises of quality weapons, and of increased amounts or weaponry, although we have not seen deliveries yet.”

Opposition groups believe things in southern areas are shifting their way.

According to Deraa-based anti-Assad commander Col. Nijem Abu Al Majd:

“We see this as a turning point in our operations in the south. We have control over most of the key areas and have destroyed two important regime army brigades.”

So-called Syrian National Coalition (SNC) “moderates” called rebel progress a “strategic victory.”

They’re “closer to the doorsteps of Damascus,” they say.

Former Syrian Air Force Brig. General Assad Al Zaubi called captured Qunietra one of the most important victories since conflict began in the south.

“It helps the rebels in southern Syria create a direct line to the south-western countryside of Damascus,” he said.

“They now have made at least a partial connection to the outskirts of Damascus.”

They “now have more room for maneuver in southern Syria, while the regime’s presence and mobility has been seriously diminished,” he claims.

Moon of Alabama (MoA) reported the above information. It did so two days earlier.

It explained what should be widely reported. Jabhat al-Nusra and other anti-Syrian forces are trained and equipped at the Amman-based Arab/American Military Operations Command (MOC) center.

US special forces and CIA operatives are heavily involved. So is Israel in supporting extremist anti-Assad rebel groups.

Opposition groups moved into Quneitra governate. It’s in Southwest Syria. A partially executed spring 2013 plan began. It was later aborted.

“Quneitra governate is a strip next to the Israel occupied Golan heights with a southern border to Jordan and a north western border with Lebanon,” said MoA.

Anti-government forces cooperated against Assad. Seven rebel groups comprising the Islamic Front aided them.

Washington backed them. So did Saudi Arabia. Qatar supplied $20 million.

Combined forces infiltrated through Daara. They moved northwest along Israel’s border. The IDF supplied artillery support against Syrian units.

It’s providing medical treatment for injured opposition fighters. UN authorities evacuated peacekeepers from “the Syrian side of the Golan Heights demarcation line,” said MoA.

Rebels control the one Israeli/Syrian border crossing. They “control a 40 miles long, three miles wide strip…”

It runs “from Jordan along the Golan frontier up to Lebanon.” It may be used to launch attacks on Damascus from the south. It’s a short 40 miles away.

Syria won’t easily contest these anti-government forces. Israeli “anti-air and artillery fire” support them.

Obama intends bombing Syria. Doing so could open a route from Quneitra governate to Damascus. According to MoA:

“Recent truce agreements between the US supported Syrian Revolutionary Front and ISIS in the area south of Damascus may have been concluded with these attack plans in mind.”

Combined air and ground attacks could “seriously degrade” Syrian forces. Doing so could facilitate a “destructive push into Damascus.”

If Assad’s forces attack US warplanes entering Syrian airspace, it’ll be pretext for Obama to wage all-out war.

He’ll claim just cause to do it. He’ll get away with it because who’ll stop him.

He’ll ravage and destroy Syria more than already. He’ll go all-out to oust Assad. Israel partners with Washington to do it.

It attacked Syria sporadically for years. It’s doing it again now. It actively aids opposition fighters.

It protects them from Syrian government attacks. Its forces need to counterattack in Quneitra.

If southern approaches to Damascus aren’t secured, Israeli-protected opposition forces could advance toward Damascus.

Perhaps seize part of the city. Use it to launch more aggressive attacks.

Seizing surrounding areas would be catastrophic. Losing Damascus would be worst of all.

It would be game changing. It could turn Syrian victory into defeat. It could end up ousting Assad.

It would mean replacing him with pro-Western stooge governance. It would eliminate another Israeli rival.

It would isolate Iran. It would be disastrous for ordinary Syrians.

It would give America another regional colony. It would advance it closer to total Middle East control.

Hopefully it won’t happen. It’s vital to prevent it. The fullness of time alone will tell either way.

A Final Comment

On Wednesday, House Republicans and Democrats voted 273 – 156 to support anti-Assad groups. They did so without approving funding.

They authorized Obama to arm and train rebel fighters. To accept foreign financing. To wage war on Syria short of full authorization of force.

According to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D. CA):

Legislation enacted “is not to be confused with any authorization to go further. I will not vote for (US) combat troops to be engaged in war.”

She stopped short of expressing support for Obama’s planned bombing campaign. Failure to oppose it means backing what demands preventing.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D. CA) expressed thoughts few House or Senate members explain.

She called enacted legislation “more complex than just an up-or down vote on arming and training” anti-Assad forces.

“The consequences of this vote, whether it’s written in the amendment or not, will be a further expansion of a war currently taking place and” Washington’s involvement in it.

Congress moved one step closer toward approving Washington’s direct involvement in Obama’s three-and-a-half year proxy war.

They did it despite bipartisan misgivings about chances for success. They’re concerned about another war dragging on for years.

About one with no clear strategy to win. Or what happens when conflict ends. In a statement after the House vote, Obama said:

“There will be no US military personnel in Syria as part of this program.”

“We’ve learned over the last decade, and through our successful campaign to degrade al-Qaeda, that it is more effective to use America’s unique capabilities to take out terrorist targets in support of our partners’ efforts on the ground to secure their own future.”

Amendment legislation was part of a short-term spending bill. It lets Washington operate through mid-December.

On Thursday, Senate members are expected to approve similar legislation.

Obama declared war on Syria. The Islamic State is the pretext. Syria is the target. Regime change is the objective.

It’s replacing governance the vast majority of Syrians support. It’s replacing it with what they deplore.

What they won’t tolerate. What they’ll contest to control their own lives, welfare and futures.

They’re up for grabs. Obama’s war on humanity threatens them. They’re in the eye of the storm.

Their survival depends on confronting Obama’s aggression. Stopping it matters most of all.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

A Losing Bet

In 2011, the New York Times wrote:

“Money is pouring in” from investors even though shale gas is “inherently unprofitable,” an analyst from PNC Wealth Management, an investment company,  wrote to a contractor in a February e-mail. “Reminds you of dot-coms.”

“The word in the world of independents is that the shale plays are just giant Ponzi schemes and the economics just do not work,” an analyst from IHS Drilling Data, an energy research company,  wrote in an e-mail on Aug. 28, 2009.

***

“And now these corporate giants are having an Enron moment,” a retired geologist from a major oil and gas company  wrote in a February e-mail about other companies invested in shale gas.

***

Deborah Rogers, a member of the advisory committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, [and a]  former stockbroker with Merrill Lynch … showed that wells were petering out faster than expected.

“These wells are depleting so quickly that the operators are in an expensive game of ‘catch-up,’ ” Ms. Rogers wrote in an e-mail on Nov. 17, 2009, to a petroleum geologist in Houston, who wrote back that he agreed.

***

A review of more than 9,000 wells, using data from 2003 to 2009, shows that — based on widely used industry assumptions about the market price of gas and the cost of drilling and operating a well — less than 10 percent of the wells had recouped their estimated costs by the time they were seven years old.

***

“Looks like crap,” the Schlumberger official wrote about the well’s performance, according to the regulator, “but operator will flip it based on ‘potential’ and make some money on it.”

In 2012, the New York Times pointed out:

The gas rush has … been a money loser so far for many of the gas exploration companies and their tens of thousands of investors.

***

Although the bankers made a lot of money from the deal making and a handful of energy companies made fortunes by exiting at the market’s peak, most of the industry has been bloodied — forced to sell assets, take huge write-offs and shift as many drill rigs as possible from gas exploration to oil, whose price has held up much better.

***

Now the gas companies are committed to spending far more to produce gas than they can earn selling it. Their stock prices and debt ratings have been hammered.

Rolling Stone reported the same year:

Fracking, it turns out, is about producing cheap energy the same way the mortgage crisis was about helping realize the dreams of middle-class homeowners. For Chesapeake, the primary profit in fracking comes not from selling the gas itself, but from buying and flipping the land that contains the gas. The company is now the largest leaseholder in the United States, owning the drilling rights to some 15 million acres – an area more than twice the size of Maryland. McClendon [the CEO of fracking giant Chesapeake] has financed this land grab with junk bonds and complex partnerships and future production deals, creating a highly leveraged, deeply indebted company that has more in common with Enron than ExxonMobil. As McClendon put it in a conference call with Wall Street analysts a few years ago, “I can assure you that buying leases for x and selling them for 5x or 10x is a lot more profitable than trying to produce gas at $5 or $6 per million cubic feet.”

According to Arthur Berman, a respected energy consultant in Texas who has spent years studying the industry, Chesapeake and its lesser competitors resemble a Ponzi scheme, overhyping the promise of shale gas in an effort to recoup their huge investments in leases and drilling. When the wells don’t pay off, the firms wind up scrambling to mask their financial troubles with convoluted off-book accounting methods. “This is an industry that is caught in the grip of magical thinking,” Berman says. “In fact, when you look at the level of debt some of these companies are carrying, and the questionable value of their gas reserves, there is a lot in common with the subprime mortgage market just before it melted down.

***

In February, Chesapeake announced that, because of low gas prices, its revenues will fall $3.5 billion short of its expenses this year.

Jim Quinn noted last year:

Royal Dutch Shell is one of the biggest corporations in the world, with financial resources greater than 99% of all the organizations on earth. Their CEO [Peter  Voser] probably knows a little bit more about oil exploration than the Wall Street systers and CNBC bimbos. His company has poured $24 billion into shale exploration in the U.S. It has been a huge failure. They have already written off $2.1 billion. They are trying to sell huge swaths of land in the Eagle Ford area. They are losing money in the shale oil and gas business. If Shell can’t make it profitable, who can?

Oil Price reported in March:

Shell’s new boss, Ben van Beurden, said bets on U.S. shale plays haven’t worked out for his company.

***

“Some of our exploration bets have simply not worked out,” Shell’s Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said. It was bad management policy to commit close to $80 billion in capital on its North American portfolio and still lose money. Now, he said, it’s time to cut the loss and slash exploration and production investments by 20 percent for 2014.

***

Shell’s problems say more about the difficulties of shale exploration than they do about the company itself.

The Wall Street Journal pointed out this April:

These newly public companies are spending more than they make ….

Bloomberg wrote in May:

Shale debt has almost doubled over the last four years while revenue has gained just 5.6 percent, according to a Bloomberg News analysis of 61 shale drillers. A dozen of those wildcatters are spending at least 10 percent of their sales on interest compared with Exxon Mobil Corp.’s 0.1 percent.

“The list of companies that are financially stressed is considerable,” said Benjamin Dell, managing partner of Kimmeridge Energy, a New York-based alternative asset manager focused on energy. “Not everyone is going to survive. We’ve seen it before.”

***

In a measure of the shale industry’s financial burden, debt hit $163.6 billion in the first quarter, according to company records compiled by Bloomberg on 61 exploration and production companies that target oil and natural gas trapped in deep underground layers of rock.

***

Drillers are caught in a bind. They must keep borrowing to pay for exploration needed to offset the steep production declines typical of shale wells. At the same time, investors have been pushing companies to cut back. Spending tumbled at 26 of the 61 firms examined. For companies that can’t afford to keep drilling, less oil coming out means less money coming in, accelerating the financial tailspin.

***

“Interest expenses are rising,” said Virendra Chauhan, an oil analyst with Energy Aspects in London. “The risk for shale producers is that because of the production decline rates, you constantly have elevated capital expenditures.”

And Tim Morgan – former global head of research at Tullett Prebon – explained last month at the Telegraph:

We now have more than enough data to know what has really happened in America.

***

If a huge number of wells come on stream in a short time, you get a lot of initial production. This is exactly what has happened in the US.

The key word here, though, is “initial”. The big snag with shale wells is that output falls away very quickly indeed after production begins. Compared with “normal” oil and gas wells, where output typically decreases by 7pc-10pc annually, rates of decline for shale wells are dramatically worse. It is by no means unusual for production from each well to fall by 60pc or more in the first 12 months of operations alone.

Faced with such rates of decline, the only way to keep production rates up (and to keep investors on side) is to drill yet more wells. This puts operators on a “drilling treadmill”, which should worry local residents just as much as investors. Net cash flow from US shale has been negative year after year, and some of the industry’s biggest names have already walked away.

The seemingly inevitable outcome for the US shale industry is that, once investors wise up, and once the drilling sweet spots have been used, production will slump, probably peaking in 2017-18 and falling precipitously after that. The US is already littered with wells that have been abandoned, often without the site being cleaned up.

Meanwhile, recoverable reserves estimates for the Monterey shale – supposedly the biggest shale liquids play in the US – have been revised downwards by 96pc. [Background and here; and see this.]  In Poland, drilling 30-40 wells has so far produced virtually no worthwhile production.

In the future, shale will be recognised as this decade’s version of the dotcom bubble. In the shorter term, it’s a counsel of despair as an energy supply squeeze draws ever nearer.

Vote Fraud in Scottish Referendum?

September 19th, 2014 by Global Research News

You will find below a series of articles from various media on the topic of vote fraud.

In Glasgow, “Police are investigating ten cases of electoral fraud.”

Voters turned up at polling stations to find that people had already voted using their names.

Police officers have removed the ballot papers concerned.

The papers were from 10 different boxes across Glasgow, and not concentrated in one area.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/

In Dundee, a fire alarm led to the evacuation of the building where the vote was being counted. http://www.mirror.co.uk

In Dundee, a strong YES area, the count was suspended twice due to fire alarms.

The turnout in the strong YES area of Dundee was 78.8%, which is lower than the 85% turnout in Scotland as a whole. In Dundee, ‘Yes’ ballot papers were spotted on a ‘No’ table.
-
..

A male vote counter “tampering with ballots by marking crosses on ballot papers in the Edinburgh polling station.“ Videos Claim Vote rigging.

The turnout in the strong YES area of Glasgow was 75%, which is lower than the 85% turnout in Scotland as a whole.

The county known as Clackmannanshire was expected to vote YES.

But it was announced that NO had got 54% of the vote in Clackmannanshire. Scottish independence: Yes County votes No. In Scotland as a whole, NO got more votes than the polls had predicted.

Margot MacDonald, former deputy leader of the Scottish National Party, wrote to the boss of MI5, Andrew Parker (left) asking for an assurance that MI5 spies would not interfere in the referendum on independence for Scotland.

MI5 spies told : stay out of referendum.

Margot MacDonald is now dead.

In Scotland “children as young as three have been registered to vote and received polling cards.”Scottish independence: Vote rigging fears.

According to Scotland on Sunday ”a formal complaint is to be made to the returning officer at East Ayrshire Council after activists discovered that at least four children in the area aged between three and 11 have received polling cards.”In the 1979 devolution referendum, some dead people were given the vote.

www.dailyrecord.co.uk.

Maureen Mackay told Scotland on Sunday:  ”The problem is that our voting system means that all you have to do is turn up and say where you live. There is no check to verify who you are so any votes registered with children could be used by adults.”

One in four Scots believes M15 is working with the UK Government to prevent independence, one  poll revealed.The poll found nearly as many thought the referendum vote would be rigged.

One in four Scots believe UK spies are working against independence. A reader of Scotland on Sunday comments: ”I know of an Edinburgh Tory councillor who on the night of the 1979 Devolution referendum was boasting that he had voted No six times.”

John Major, who won the 1992 election, was involved in the 1991 Gulf War.

In the 1992 general election, the exit polls suggested a Labour win, and yet the Conservatives under John Major were declared the winners.

Was the 1992 election rigged? With the current Scottish referendum there are no exit polls. “Informed sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, have told Press TV that absence of international observers to monitor the independence referendum and close competition between pro- and anti-independence camps are the main reasons that have strengthened suspicion of vote-rigging attempts…” A survey conducted by Britain-based ICM research foundation and released on Sunday, showed that the pro-independence campaign enjoyed 54-percent support compared to the 46 percent for anti-independence campaign.” Sources warn of vote rigging in Scotland’s independence

A posting on the “Independent Scot” Facebook page states, “Given the disparity between official poll results and the turnout at Yes meetings and unofficial polls, there has been a bit of a rumble that people are worried the real vote on 18th September will be nobbled.”

Margot MacDonald (above) was a former deputy leader of the Scottish National Party. She said, before she died, that there are MI5 agents operating inside the Scottish National Party. MI5 spies told: stay out of referendum

Willie McRae, former Vice Chairman of the Scottish National party, reportedly murdered by the spooks.

Allegedly, MI5 and its friends were involved in the assassinations of the following Scottish politicians:

1. Robin Cook, the former Foreign Secretary who told the UK parliament that al Qaeda worked for the CIA.

2. John Smith, the leader of the Labour Party whose death led to Tony Blair becoming prime Minister.

3. Willie McRae, former Vice Chairman of the Scottish National Party. SPIES IN POLITICS; MURDERS; BRAINWASHING

wingsoverscotland.com.

Allegedly, MI5 and its friends were involved in:

1. The downing of PanAm 103 over Lockerbie.

2. CIA torture flights using Scottish airports.

Very few people have turned out to support the NO campaign. Above we see Lord Robertson. The following is:

The British plan to steal Scotland’s independence referendum By Wayne Madsen, September 10 2014.

September 10-11, 2014 – The British plan to steal 

1. Informed British sources have revealed that the British government… has colluded with the British media to downplay in articles, news … and … opinion polls the actual strength of the pro-independence ‘Yes’ campaign in Scotland.

2. The hyped news reports, including “news” about a looming terrorist threat and a new royal baby, as well as skewed polling numbers, according to our sources, is to prepare the country for a razor-thin loss for the pro-independence “Yes” vote in…

3. Our sources report that the actual “Yes” for independence vote is leading the “No” vote by a full 11 percentage points…

www.dailymail.co.uk.

5. Knowledgeable British sources say that massive election manipulation, including tampering with the absentee postal votes, is what is in store for Scotland on referendum day… 

6. The vote will be immediately declared by the media and British government to be “conclusive” as the “will of the Scottish people.”

Of course, any suggestion that the vote was rigged will be immediately be discounted as an unfounded “conspiracy theory.” …

Copyright Angirfan 2014

Wealth of World’s Billionaires: $7.3 Trillion

September 19th, 2014 by Joseph Kishore

The wealth of the world’s billionaires now stands at $7.3 trillion, an increase of 12 percent from last year, according to a new report released yesterday by Wealth-X and UBS. There are a record 2,325 billionaires in the world, up from 2,170 in 2013 and 1,360 in 2009, the first year following the financial collapse.

Billionaires make up .000033 percent of the world’s population, or to put in another way, there are about three million people for every one billionaire. Yet this exceedingly small social layer possesses about 4.5 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the population, or 3.5 billion people.

Some other comparisons help put these figures in perspective. The combined Gross Domestic Product (the total value of all goods and services produced in a single year) for Sierra Leone and Liberia, presently wracked by an Ebola epidemic that could kill tens or even hundreds of thousands of people, is just under $7 billion—one one-thousandth of the wealth of 2,325 individuals.

The city of Detroit, Michigan, where workers are seeing their pensions slashed and their water service shutoff as part of bankruptcy proceedings, has a budget deficit of some $330 million, which could be covered twenty thousand times over by the world’s billionaires.

The stock market and finance capital are the driving forces behind the wealth of the world’s billionaires. The top industry for billionaires, according to Wealth-X, is “finance, banking and investment,” which accounts for close to 20 percent of the total billionaire population, followed by industrial conglomerates at 12 percent and real estate at 7 percent. More than one in six billionaires reside in the financial capitals of New York, Moscow, Hong Kong and London.

Behind these figures lies a social relationship essential to the functioning of the capitalist system. The corporate and financial aristocracy has benefited from a massive redistribution of wealth, aided and abetted by the major capitalist states and central banks. It is not just that enormous wealth stands side by side with enormous poverty, but the one is the direct product of the other.

American capitalism is at the center of both the world economic crisis and the social counter-revolution organized by the ruling class. Since 2008, under the direction of the Obama administration, the resources of both the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve have been opened up to Wall Street, which has engaged in an unprecedented orgy of speculation. Bank bailouts and “quantitative easing” in the US have been paralleled by similar measures internationally, particularly in Europe.

Six years later, stock markets continue to post record highs. On Thursday, both benchmark US indices—the Standard & Poor’s 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average—closed above previous highs. The latest surge came after the Federal Chairman Janet Yellen said the central bank would keep interest rates at nearly zero (i.e., provide banks with essentially free cash) for a “considerable time.”

As a result, American billionaires have seen their number grow by 57 over the past year. The country is home to the largest number of billionaires in the world (571), nearly 25 percent of the total global billionaire population and three times more than any other country.

At the same time, as the WSWS has previously documented, incomes for the majority of the population have continued to decline. Between 2010 and 2013, the period of Obama’s “recovery,” average income for the bottom fifth of the population fell 8 percent, while the income of the top tenth of the population has increased 10 percent, with the extremely wealthy reaping the bulk of these gains. The cash paid out to the banks is to be covered by the destruction of social programs and an historic reversal in the living conditions of the working class.

The response of the ruling class to the crisis has not only led to an explosive growth of social inequality, but has also created the conditions for an even more devastating economic catastrophe.

More perceptive media commentators have noted with concern the extraordinary disconnect between the surge in global stock markets and the state of the “real economy.” Writing in the Financial Times on Thursday, Jay Pelosky warned that, “the state of the global economy resembles nothing so much as a soufflé on the brink of implosion.” He cited a number of warning signs: “The US consumer remains quiescent, dramatic increases in Asian debt levels preclude a robust economic recovery there, while Europe stagnates. Global demand remains inadequate.”

As stock markets continue to rise, economic forecasts are being downgraded. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development this week cut its projection for economic growth in all major economies in 2014 and 2015.

Among the billionaires themselves, there is growing concern. Sam Zell, the chairman of Equity Group Investments (net worth $4.8 billion) noted earlier this month that “the stock market is at an all-time, but economic activity is not at an all-time.” Zell said that investors have “no place else to put their money, and the stock market is getting more than its share. It’s very likely that something has to give here.”

Not only are Wall Street investors simply buying up stocks, but corporations themselves are funneling record cash hoards back into the market, rather than increasing production. In the first half of this year, US companies bought back $338 billion in their own shares, more than any six-month period since 2007.

This is the real state of world capitalism: sustained by an unending stream of cash, run by a financial aristocracy addicted to speculation and a sustained assault on the working class, and headed toward another and even greater collapse.

The extremely precarious state of the economic situation, and the parasitism of the ruling class that presides over it, is the central factor in explaining both the drive to war and dictatorship. With no way out of the crisis of the profit system, the ruling class, led by the American financial aristocracy, turns increasingly to militarism abroad and domestic repression at home.

Such are the measures employed by a ruling class that has reached an historic impasse. The international working class must counter with its own solution to the crisis: socialist revolution.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko addressed a joint session of the United States Congress on Thursday morning, calling for increased military assistance from the United States to defeat the pro-Russian separatist movement in the east, and for closer trade relations with the West to limit the economic and political influence of Russia in the country.

Poroshenko, a billionaire oligarch dubbed the Chocolate King for his wealth derived from the confectionery business, spoke as the representative of a thin layer of Ukrainian society that has enriched itself in the wake of the restoration of capitalism amidst the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Poroshenko is seeking to build closer economic and military ties with the United States, the European Union, and the other Western imperialist powers to the benefit of this corrupt layer of oligarchs.

His address to the US Congress came just two days after the Ukrainian and European parliaments jointly adopted the controversial Association Agreement, and one day after he secured a $300 million loan guarantee from the Canadian government.

In his address Poroshenko pressed for increased military assistance from the United States in his government’s drive to put down the pro-Russian separatists in the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine. Despite a precarious ceasefire between the Kiev regime and the pro-Russian separatists, Poroshenko provocatively called for the United States to provide Ukraine with lethal military aid to complement the non-lethal aid that it has already provided. “Blankets, night vision goggles are also important, but one cannot win the war with blankets. Even more, we cannot keep the peace with a blanket,” he said.

He called on the United States to develop closer military ties with Ukraine by developing a “special security and defense status” with the former Soviet republic, which would allow for the “highest level of interaction with a non-Nato ally.”

Poroshenko insisted that the outcome of the war being fought in Ukraine between the regime and the separatists was of great strategic interest to the United States and the EU. “The only thing that now stands between the reality of peaceful coexistence and the nightmare of the full relapse into the previous century, into a new Cold War, are Ukrainian soldiers,” he said. He maintained that the conflict in Ukraine was a “war for the Free World.”

The Ukrainian president used the address as well to call on the US to enact further economic sanctions against Russia, which he declared to be the aggressor in the east. Just last week the United States and European Union endorsed an expanded set of economic sanctions against Russia’s oil and gas sector.

Finally, Poroshenko called for the development of closer economic ties between the United States and Ukraine. He called on Congress to establish a special fund to “support investment of American companies and Ukraine” and help the country “reform” its economy. He assured the Congress that aid provided by it would be used by “noncorrupt institutions,” and “distributed effectively.”

The last Ukrainian President to address a joint session of the US Congress was Viktor Yushchenko in April 2005, after being swept to power in the so-called Orange Revolution, which was heavily supported by the US State Department, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the National Endowment for Democracy, as well as a host of Western non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Poroshenko denounced what he called Russian “imperialism” on the same day that the US Senate, following in the wake of the House, voted overwhelmingly to support President Barack Obama’s plan for escalating intervention by American imperialism in Syria.

The same senators who hailed Poroshenko as a symbol of resistance to supposed aggression by Russia—whose warplanes have not dropped a single bomb on eastern Ukraine—voted overwhelmingly to support a military effort in which the United States will bomb Iraq, Syria and any other country in the region that it chooses.

Democratic Senator Carl Levin told reporters that the Poroshenko speech was a “real rousing call to us to be supportive of their dreams,” and called for the dispatch of ammunition, surface-to-air missiles and anti-tank weapons to the Ukrainian government. He said that Congress could take up a resolution in an upcoming session encouraging the President to increase military aid to Kiev.

Republican Senator Rob Portman called for Obama to “immediately” respond to Poroshenko’s requests. “I think most members of Congress on both sides of the aisle understand the stakes here and want to be more supportive,” he told reporters.

After his address Poroshenko met with Obama at the White House Thursday afternoon, where the two discussed the details of $53 million in new aid from the United States. While Obama did not immediately commit the US to providing lethal weaponry, the deal would provide non-lethal military equipment including body armor, binoculars, counter-mortar detection units, small boats and other gear for the Ukrainian armed forces and border guards.

After the meeting at the White House Poroshenko told reporters that he was satisfied with the new guarantees from Obama. He said, “I asked the president to increase the cooperation in the security and defense sector, and I received a positive answer.”

Meanwhile sporadic fighting between Kiev forces and pro-Russian separatists continued to strain the ceasefire which was signed by both sides nearly two weeks ago after peace talks in Minsk. Officials at the city hall in Donetsk reported that two civilians had been killed and another three wounded in fighting around the airport since Wednesday.

Andrei Purgin, the deputy prime minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic, told reporters on Wednesday that shelling by government-backed forces had effectively ended the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine. “In my opinion, there is no ceasefire already. Heavy weaponry is being intensely used,” he said. “Towns are bombed. Four neighborhoods of Donetsk are being bombed constantly. Not long ago a shell fell in a bus with people in it.”

Also on Wednesday Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk ordered Kiev’s military force to go into full battle alert against pro-Russian separatists. “Russia will not give us peace so I am asking the defense minister for full battle readiness,” he stated. According to Yatsenyuk, the peace plan worked out by Poroshenko did not mean “relaxing the work of the defense and interior ministries. Full readiness [is required],” he added. “We can’t believe anyone, especially the Russians.”

There is going to be a climate summit at the UN headquarters in New York on the 23st of September. In the US Barack Obama has again abandoned any attempts to go for a legally binding international climate deal at the climate summit next year. Nnimmo Bassey says that “governments cannot be depended upon to fight global warming (…) because governments are generally at the beg and call of big corporations”. “The spark of hope lies in the people. In the people who are not negotiating”. The “People’s Climate March” should demand that “the money for climate debts should be paid to the global South and call for a reduction of expenditure on military hardware and war. If it makes such demands then that may be useful”. People should also march to the “climate crime scenes”, for example to the oil fields in Nigeria and “saying Shell, Exxon Mobile, Chevron, you are climate crimes, enough, you have to put a stop to it. We don’t have to go far away”.

Guest:

Nnimmo Bassey, Nigerian climate activist, currently chair of the board of Environmental Rights Action. He works for the Oilwatch network. From 2008 to 2012 he was chair of Friends of the Earth International. He’s the author of “To Cook a Continent”. In 2010 he received the Right Livelihood Award, better known as the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize.


Source: www.kontext-tv.de

Transcript:

David Goessmann: Our next guest is Nnimmo Bassey. He’s currently chair of the board of Environmental Rights Action in Nigeria and works for the Oilwatch network. From 2008 to 2012 he was chair of Friends of the Earth International. He’s the author of “To Cook a Continent”. In 2010 he received the Right Livelihood Award, better known as the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize. Welcome again to Kontext TV, Nnimmo Bassey.

Nnimmo Bassey: Thank you.

David Goessmann: There is going to be a climate summit at the UN headquarters in New York on the 23st of September. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has already made clear that she will not attend. At the same time emissions are rising even in Germany, a country often seen as a role model for effectively cutting emissions. Germany is also likely to miss its target for 2020 by a margin of almost 10 per cent. In the US Obama has again abandoned attempts to go for a legally binding international climate deal at the climate summit next year. Your comments on that? Where do we stand and where are we heading?

Nnimmo Bassey: Well again there’s a direct link between degrowth and climate change. Because the level of consumption, the utilization and dependence on fossil fuels and dirty energy is certainly harming the climate and therefore harming the planet and the people. But it does appear to me that governments cannot be depended upon to fight global warming. They should be able to fight global warming but because governments are generally at the beg and call of big corporations, governments are not able to do things that people want. So they are doing things that corporations want. So if corporations keep on polluting to keep on amassing profit, governments acquiesce to this. This is very unfortunate. I think that any opportunity to meet is important. But if the meeting is going to produce no result like Copenhagen did, like Cancun did, like South Africa, like Warsaw, Doha, if that would be the outcome of the meeting, to talk and do nothing or to talk and go backwards on commitments or make no commitments, that of course is a whole lot of waste of time. I think the solution, the spark of hope lies in the people. In the people who are not negotiating but who have representatives in courts who negotiate on their behalf. We have to hold our governments accountable and responsible for the harm that we are suffering as people and other species are suffering on planet earth. We have to hold our governments accountable. And they just have to be forced to take into account the fact that as they themselves say, business as usual is not an option. They can’t just pretend that nothing is happening and keep on permitting the kind of destruction that is going on. It’s really very unfortunate that after it’s been very clear that the climate is getting to a tipping point, that we are going to have runaway global warming, the governments are not serious about taking real action. It’s very shocking that when the world was thinking that Germany has gone renewable, gone green then emissions should be rising again. This is why energy efficiency never really at the end of the day cuts down emissions because people get more efficient and then they use more. They consume more [… (53:24)…] That’s why again degrowth is important. The concept of degrowth especially for Europe is critical. And that would not be only to use statistics, to say well we’re degrowing, just like GDP is a mythical? set of statistics to fool people to think that their economies are growing. If governments resort to using statistics to prove they are degrowing without actually slowing down and cutting on consumption then that would not help us at all. We need real action.

David Goessmann: There will also be a People’s Climate March in New York City before the summit, which could mark the largest rally for climate action ever. Talk about the climate movement and what they are aiming for. And: Are you going to attend the march?

Nnimmo Bassey: To me, the most exciting possibility from the call for a global march would be marches in different cities and villages in the world. Not marching just in New York City. It’s OK to march in New York. But the real action must be where the people are. They have to identify the climate crime scenes and locations that we need to protest against. For example in Nigeria we should be marching to the oil fields and saying Shell, Exxon Mobile, Chevron, you are climate crimes, enough, you have to put a stop to it. We don’t have to go far away. If you go to New York and march there and you come back home then you would have marched of course. Perhaps the heads of state who are gathered in New York may hear the outcome of the march if they are tired of hearing themselves. Because they are going basically to hear themselves. Would they hear what is going on the streets. So I think symbolically that is good and if they push concepts and demands as captured in 2010 at the people’s summit on global warming that was held in Cochabamba in Bolivia, and look at the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth for example, the money for climate debts to be paid to the global South, and also for a reduction of expenditure on military hardware and war. If it makes such demands then that may be useful. And I think they should make those demands, those kinds of demands. Because those should be the key demands in the climate justice movement. Too much resources are being spent on destructive activities. Extraction itself is destructive and then the resources from extraction are being used to wage wars and violence around the world. And of course everybody finds it convenient to ignore the climate debts. But these are historical debts that cannot be ignored. It has to be paid.

Autism And Cancer Related To Human Fetal DNA In Vaccines. Study

September 19th, 2014 by Global Research News

Seattle – A new study published in the September 2014 volume of the Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology reveals a significant correlation between autism disorder (AD) and MMR, Varicella (chickenpox) and Hepatitis-A vaccines.

Using statistical analysis and data from the US Government, UK, Denmark and Western Australia, scientists at Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute (SCPI) found that increases in autistic disorder correspond with the introduction of vaccines using human fetal cell lines and retroviral contaminants.

Even more alarming, Dr Theresa Deisher, lead scientist and SCPI founder noted that, “Not only are the human fetal contaminated vaccines associated with autistic disorder throughout the world, but also with epidemic childhood leukemia and lymphomas.”

Their study comes on the heels of recent breaking news that the CDC deliberately withheld evidence of the significant increase in autism among African-American boys who were vaccinated prior to 36 months of age. (See: http://www.examiner.com/article/whistleblower-reveals-cdc-cover-up-linking-mmr-vaccine-to-autism).

So it should come as no surprise that the FDA has known for decades about the dangers of insertional mutagenesis by using the human fetal cell lines and yet, they chose to ignore it. Instead of conducting safety studies they regulated the amount of human DNA that could be present in a vaccine to no greater than 10ng. (www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/ac/05/slides/5-4188S1_4draft.ppt)

Unfortunately, Dr. Deisher’s team discovered that the fetal DNA levels ranged anywhere from 142ng – 2000ng per dose, way beyond the so-called “safe” level.

“There are a large number of publications about the presence of HERV (human endogenous retrovirus – the only re-activatable endogenous retrovirus) and its association with childhood lymphoma,” noted Dr Deisher. “The MMR II and chickenpox vaccines and indeed all vaccines that were propagated or manufactured using the fetal cell line WI-38 are contaminated with this retrovirus. And both parents and physicians have a right to know this!”

Certainly these discoveries by SCPI should generate an immediate investigation by FDA officials, if not an outright ban on the use of aborted fetal cell lines as substrates for vaccine production. There are numerous other non-human FDA-approved cell lines that can and should be used.

Dr Deisher’s study is available on the Academic Journals website at:

http://www.ms.academicjournals.org/article/article1409245960_Deisher%20et%20al.pdf

or on their website at www.soundchoice.org/scpiJournalPubHealthEpidem092014.pdf

Dr. Theresa Deisher is a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Physiology from Stanford University with over 20 years in commercial biotechnology, prior to founding AVM Biotechnology and Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute. As an inventor of 23 issued US patents she is world-renowned for her work in adult stem cell research and the first to discover adult cardiac derived stem cells. Dr. Deisher was a plaintiff in the US federal lawsuit to prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars for embryo destructive research, which resulted in steering science towards adult stem cell research and 14 US FDA approved adult stem cell products.

Despite a ten per cent margin of victory for the ‘No’ campaign in the Scottish referendum, some supporters of the ‘Yes’ camp are pointing to videos which they claim show evidence of vote rigging.

Scotland voted to stay in the United Kingdom after voters rejected independence by a margin of 55% to 45%. The pro-independence campaign claimed 1,617,989 votes but was defeated by the ‘Better Together’ campaign which obtained 2,001,926 votes. The turnout was 84.5%.

However, almost as soon as the vote count began last night, some were pointing to alleged examples of tampering.

In the first example, bundles of referendum papers are seen on top of a table designated for ‘No’ votes and yet when zoomed in, the top paper on two of the bundles clearly shows an X marked in the box for ‘Yes’.

The second clip shows a man at a desk in a polling station writing on a piece of paper. Some claim this proves he is filling in referendum cards, although he could just as easily be tallying up votes.

The third example is a little harder to explain. It shows a woman at a polling station counting votes. She takes one paper from the ‘No’ pile and places it in the ‘Yes’ pile before taking at least two cards from the ‘Yes’ pile and placing them in the ‘No’ pile.

Police in Glasgow are also investigating at least ten cases of vote fraud where people turned up to vote only to find that their names had already been crossed off the list, suggesting other people were voting multiple times.

“Last night police officers were present at the count to remove the ballot papers and keep them as evidence,”reports the Daily Mail. “The papers were from 10 different boxes across Glasgow, and not concentrated in one area.”

While these videos by no means offer concrete evidence of vote fraud, they do feed into the sentiment that the British establishment was so panicked by the prospect of a ‘Yes’ vote, a likelihood which grew which after polls narrowed earlier this month, that it would go to any lengths to prevent Scotland from gaining independence.

Paul Joseph Watson is the editor at large of Infowars.com and Prison Planet.com.

Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/paul.j.watson.71
FOLLOW Paul Joseph Watson @ https://twitter.com/PrisonPlanet

Крајњи циљ САД је да спрече било какву алтернативу, тј. евроазијске интеграције. Зато је уништење Русије стратешки циљ

Крајњи циљ САД и НАТО је да поделе (балканизују) и пацификују (финландизују) Руску Федерацију, највећу земљу на свету, чак и да успоставе темељ за вечиту нестабилност (сомализацију) широм Русије или барем једног дела остатка постсовјетског простора, како је учињено на Блиском Истоку и у Северној Африци.

Будућност Русије – или више Русија, које би уствари биле много слабих и подељених друштава – био би деинстријализовани, сиромашни простор, без икаквих одбрамбених капацитета и структуре за експлоатацију ресурса. Била би то земља коју Вашингтон и његови НАТО савезници виде у демографском паду.

ПЛАНОВИ ИМПЕРИЈЕ ЗА ХАОС У РУСИЈИ

Распад Совјетског савеза није био довољан за Америку и НАТО. Крајњи циљ САД је да спрече било какву алтернативу са европског и азијског простора, тј. да спрече евроазијске интеграције. Зато је уништење Русије један од њихових стратешких циљева.

Такви циљеви Вашингтона били у јеку током сукоба у Чеченији. Исти циљеви су били очигледно на сцени током Евромајдана у Кијеву. Заправо, први корак ка разводу Русије и Украјине је распад СССР и спречавање сваког покушаја да се поново уједини. Пољско-амерички интелектуалац Збигњев Бжежински – који је био саветник председника Картера за државну безбедност и који се бавио совјетском инвазијом на Авганистан – истицао се у залагању за дезинтеграцију и деволуцију Русије. Он је предвиђао да ће „децентрализована Русија бити мање имуна на империјалистичке тежње“. [1] Другим речима, ако би Америка поделила Русију, Москва не би била на нивоу тог изазова. У том контексту Бжежински такође каже: „Неуједињеној Русији, састављеној од европског дела Русије, Сибирске републике и Далекоисточне републике, било би лакше да развије привредне односе са Европом и новим државама Источне и Централне Азије, чиме би убрзали сопствени развој“. [2]

Ово мишљење не долази од неког просечног академика, који тек тако сеје своја размишљања. Ови ставови имају подршку владе и своје култивисане присталице. Одраз тога може се видети у наставку текста.

ДРЖАВНИ МЕДИЈИ САД И БАЛКАНИЗАЦИЈА РУСИЈЕ

Дмитриј Синченко је на тему поделе Русије 8. септембра објавио чланак под насловом Чекајући Трећи светски рат – како ће се свет променити. [3] Синченко је био укључен у Евромајдан и његову организацију, па и у „Свеукрајинску иницијативу“. Заговара етнички национализам, територијално ширење Украјине на рачун суседа, оживљавање ГУАМ (Организација за демократски и економски развој, проамеричка групација коју чине Молдавија, Грузија, Украјина и Азербејџан) и, за крај, придруживање Украјине НАТО и напад на Русију како би се унапред осујетили спољнополитички планови Москве. [4] Треба напоменути да ГУАМ нема никакве везе са демократијом чим је Азербејџан укључен у пројекат, већ служи као противтежа руској Заједници Независних Држава (ЗНД).

Синченко свој чланак почиње лекцијом из историје, наводећи да су САД своје непријатеље, како би их оцрнили, етикетирали као „осовину зла“. Подсећа како је Џорџ Буш тим изразом обухватио Ирак, Иран и Северну Кореју. Затим је Џон Болтон, бивши Бушов амбасадор у УН, списак проширио на Сирију, Либију и Ирак, да би одмах после њега Кондолиза Рајс, бивша Бушова шефица Стејт департмента, укључила и Белорусију, Зимбабве и Мјанмар (Бурму). На крају су предложили да том списку дода и Русија као центар свих одметничких држава. Синченко даље тврди да је Русија одговорна за све сукобе на Балкану, Кавказу, Блиском Истоку, Северној Африци, Украјини и Југоисточној Азији. Оптужује Русију да је планирала инвазију на балтичке земље, Кавказ, Пољску, Молдавију и, што је још смешније, на два њена најближа војна савезника Белорусију и Казахстан. Како се у наслову текста намерно имплицира, Русија отворено провоцира Трећи светски рат.

Ова фикција није представљена у свим америчким медијима, али јесте у државним. Ту прогнозу је такође објавила украјинска филијала радија Слободна Европа, који је америчко пропагандно средство у Европи и на Блиском Истоку, којим су се рушиле владе.

Језиво је што у тексту покушавају да се представе сценарији за Трећи светски рат. Одвратно игноришући сценарио употребе нуклеарног и оружја за масовно уништење, аутор само нежније осликава велики рат, који ће исправити политичку карту света. Аутор и радио Слободна Европа су народу Украјине поручили да је рат „добар за њих“ и да ће им се под ногама створити нека врста утопијског рата, чим букне рат у Русији.

Чланак се врло лепо уклапа у контуре прогноза Бжежинског за Русију, Украјину и евроазијско пространство. Прогнозе су да ће се Русија распасти, а Украјина постати део проширене Европске уније у коју ће ући Јерменија, Азербејџан, Либан, Израел, Белорусија и Гренланд као дански протекторат, а формираће се конфедерација држава на Кавказу и на Медитерану. Ово друго ће бити Медитеранска унија, која ће обухватити Турску, Сирију, Египат, Либију, Тунис, Алжир, Мароко, као и Западну Сахару, која је под мароканском окупацијом. Украјина је дакле представљена као део ЕУ. И Украјина ће тако постати део француско-немачко-пољско-украјинског коридора, који је Бжежински предлагао још 1997. како би се изазвали Русија и њена ЗНД. [5]

ПРЕКРАЈАЊЕ АЗИЈЕ И МАПА ПОДЕЉЕНЕ РУСИЈЕ

Поделом Руске Федерације би се, наглашава Радио Слободна Европа, свако супарништво Вашингтона и Москве заувек окончало. Најироничније је то што се наводи да ће се тек уништењем Русије створити мултиполарни свет, без обзира што ће Америка бити најјача сила, али, поред ЕУ, и видно ослабљена након рата са Русијом.

 

Текст прате и две мапе које оцртавају евроазијски простор и свет након уништења Русије. Штавише, ни аутор ни његове две мапе не показују промену граница на Криму, означавајучи га као украјинску земљу, а не руску. Од запада ка истоку, направљене су следеће промене у географији Русије:

– Руску област Калињинград ће анектирати Литванија, Пољска или Немачка. Како год да буде, она ће постати део проширене Европске уније;

– Источна (руска) Карелија, уз Санктпетербуршку и Лењинградску, затим Псковску, Новгородску и Мурманску област ће бити под утицајем Финске, или ће можда чак бити део Велике Финске. Иако је у писаној форми Архангелска област наведена као део те целине, на мапи се то не види, вероватно грешком;

– Јужни административни дистрикти Себешки, Пустошкински, Невељски и Усвјатски, као и западни административни дистрикти Демидовски, Десногорски, Духовчински, Кардимовски, Киславишки, као и цела Смоленска област и централни администравни дистрикт, биће укључени у Белорусију. Делови Смоленске области биће нова граница између Белорусије и покидане Русије;

– Кавкаску конфедерацију, која ће бити под утицајем ЕУ, чиниће Северни кавкаски федерални дистрикт, који ће сачињавати републике Дагестан, Чеченија, Северна Осетија – Аланија, Ставропољ – Крај, као и Каракај-Черкеска и Кабардино-Балкарска република;

– Целокупни Јужни федерални дистрикт Русије, дакле Волгоградска, Ростовска и Астраханска област, као и републике Калмикија, Едгеја и др., ће ући у састав Украјине. То значи да ће Украјина делити границу са Казахстаном и да ће Русији бити ускраћени ресурси Каспијског мора и граница са Ираном;

– Украјина ће такође преузети Белгород, Курск, Бријанск и Вороњеж, односно најнасељенији део Русије;

– Сибир и Далеки исток ће се такође отцепити од Русије. У тексту се даље наводи да ће Сибир и већи део Далеког истока потпасти под кинески утицај или ће, заједно са Монголијом, постати део НР Кине, све осим Сахалина;

– Русија губи и Сахалин (или Карафуто на јапанском) и Курилска острва, која се укључују у Сахалинску област. Тај део анектира Јапан.

На свом блогу је Синченко поставио текст пар дана пре него што га је РадиоСлободна Европа објавио. [6] Тамо је још једна слика која и није вредна погледа – Русија коју су растргли њени суседи. [7]

СВЕТ НАКОН ТРЕЋЕГ СВЕТСКОГ РАТА

Друга мапа осликава свет након Трећег светског рата, где се види неколико наднационалних држава. Јапан је једини изузетак. Друга мапа и наднационалне државе се могу овако описати:

– Као што је поменуто, ЕУ се проширила и има контролу на периферији, на Кавказу, у Југозападној Азији и Северној Африци. То се све догађа у склопу НАТО Партнерства за мир на терену Медитерана, као дијалог који се одвија на политичком и војном нивоу. То ће бити плод Источног и Евромедитеранског партнерства Европске уније, такође на војно-политичком нивоу;

– САД ће створити наднационални ентитет чија ће база бити Северна Америка. Ту се укључују Канада, Мексико, Гватемала, Белизе, Ел Салвадор, Хондурас, Панама, Никарагва, Костарика, Колумбија, Венецуела, Гвајана (Француска Гвајана, Суринам, Гвајана) и читави Кариби;

– Од земаља које не прогута Америка ће формирати своју државу у ужем делу Јужне Америке, где ће доминирати Бразил;

– Неку врсту ентитета у Југозападном Азијском блоку ће формирати Авганистан, Пакистан, Ирак, Иран, Јордан, Саудијска Арабија, Кувајт, Бахреин, УАЕ, Јемен и Оман;

– Исто то ће се десити у Јужној Азији, где ће се удружити Индија, Шри Ланка, Бангладеш, Мјанмар, Непал, Бутан и Тајланд;

– У региону Аустралије и Океаније ће се окупити Филипини, Малезија, Индонезија, Сингапур, Брунеј, Источни Тимор, Папуа Нова Гвинеја, Нови Зеланд, као и пацифичка острва. Државом ће доминирати Аустралија;

– Пошто ће Северна Африка бити под контролом ЕУ, остатак Африке ће се ујединити под вођством Јужне Африке;

– Суперентитет Источне Азије ће се састојати од делова Русије, Индокине, Кине, Корејског полуострва, Монголије и постсовјетске централне Азије. Ту ће превладати Кинези и владаће се из Пекинга.

Иако се чланак који је Слободна Европа објавила на први поглед може окарактерисати као неостварив, требало би прво поставити одређена питања. Прво, одакле аутору такве идеје? Да ли је тај план за будућност сковао неко из САД или ЕУ, директно или индиректно? Друго, одакле је аутор прикупио информације кад је створио овакву визију света после рата? Аутор се свакако ослонио на нацрт поделе Русије од Бжежинског. Текст укључује мапе на којима периферија ЕУ почива на просторима Северне Африке, Блиског Истока и Кавказа. И ти простори су обојени светло плавом, а не тамнијом нијансом, којом је обележена ЕУ. Иако се чланак Слободне Европе дефинитивно одбацује, не треба заборавити да Јапан и даље тражи Сахалинску област и да су САД, Турска и Саудијска Арабија подржавале сепаратистичке покрете у Јужном федералном и Северном кавкаском дистрикту.

УКРАЈИНИЗАМ

Радио Слободна Европа извештава у духу украјинизма, који и није вредан помена. Али Нације су изграђене тако што су их градили и одржавали колективи и појединци који су створени за тако нешто. Постоје махинације којима покушавају да се изграде или сруше нације и групе на постсовјетском простору и Блиском Истоку. То се може назвати „племенском манипулацијом“ у социолошком и антрополошком жаргону или, у политичком жаргону, испадање из Велике Игре. У том контексту, украјинизам су подржвали антируски елементи више од сто година, прво под окупацијом Аустријанаца и Немаца, затим Пољака и Британаца, а данас Америке и НАТО.

Украјинизам је идеологија, која захтева нови поглед на фалсификовану историју, у којој се на Украјинце гледа као на одвојену нацију. Украјинизам је политчки пројекат, у коме се тежи да се негира историјска јединственост источних Словена, као и географски корени и историјски контекст између Руса и Украјинаца. Другим речима, украјнизам тражи да се престане тражити разлика између Руса и Украјинаца зато што су та два народа различита већ сама по себи.

* * *

Русија је увек настојала да се дигне из пепела, о чему може да сведочи историја. Било како било, Русија ће се одржати. Док год разнличити народи Русије буду стајали под једном заставом за своју домовину, њима нико неће моћи ништа. Русија је преживела катастрофалне ратове и инвазије. И надживела је сваког непријатеља. Мапе и границе могу да се мењају, али Русија ће остати.

_________

Упутнице:

[1] Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives (NYC: Basic Books, 1997), p.202.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Дмитро Сінченко [Dmytro Sinchenko], В очікуванні Третьої світової війни. Як зміниться світ, [Waiting for World War III: How the World Will Change], Радіо Вільна Європа/Радіо Свобода [Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty], September 8, 2014.

[4] Всеукраїнської ініціативи Рух державотворців, [Ukrainian Initiative Statesmen Movement] Стратегія зовнішньої політики, [Foreign Policy Strategy] Рух Державотворців: втілимо мрії в життя [Statesman Movement: Chasing Dreams/Visions]. Accessed September 9, 2014.

[5] Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard, op. cit., pp.85-86

[6] Дмитро Сінченко [Dmytro Sinchenko], В очікуванні Третьої світової війни. Як зміниться світ, [Waiting for World War III: How the World Will Change], Дмитро Сінченко (Блоґ) [Dmytro Sinchenko {blog}], September 2, 2014.

[7] Ibid.

_________

Махди Даријус Наземроаја (Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya) је познати геополитички аналитичар

Превео: Андреј Цвијановић

Извор: „Нови Стандард“

11 септембар 2014

America’s “Coalition of the Guilty” is the Problem in Iraq and Syria

September 19th, 2014 by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

The US is creating an alliance to supposedly end the pandemonium in Iraq and Syria. What America has assembled is a “coalition of the guilty,” comprised of the very same players that have created the forces menacing Iraq and Syria, hiding America’s own role in creating the disorder.

On September 15, 2014, a conference took place in France about the violence in Iraq. The forthright aim of the Paris conference was to convene a broad coalition to tackle the crisis in Iraq. Just as important, because of the cross-border nature of the crisis, the fighting in Syria was also part of the discussions in Paris.

This whole coalition-building process is a disingenuous deception. Two of the major regional players, which are at the forefront of fighting the cross-border insurgencies in Syria and Iraq, did not even attend the gathering. Syria was not present at the conference, because it was not invited. The Iranians were not present in Paris either.

The best thing that the world can do is to prevent the governments in Washington, Paris, and London from get involved any further in the debacle.

Were the above governments not the very same authorities that helped form, train, arm, and finance the same groups inside Syria that they now say they want to fight there and in Iraq?

Were the head choppers, cannibals, rapists, and criminals that are trying to fragment Iraq and Syria—whatever you want to call them: Al-Qaeda/Al-Nusra/ISIL/ISIS/DAISH/IS/DI—not trained by the US and its allies in places like Jordan and Turkey?

Made by Uncle Sam and Company

For the most part, the whole world knows that the occupiers of Mosul and the ridiculous pseudo-caliphate that they have carved out with blood and bullets in northwestern Iraq and northeastern Syria are the same anti-government forces that are fighting inside both Syria and Iraq. These fighters are the same foreign-supported forces that the US, Britain, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Israel have been propping up against the Syrians since 2011 as part of their bid for regime change in Damascus.

But they say that the US and its cohorts are now at war with these same fighters in Iraq. Yet, they still support them in Syria!

How can you claim to fight them in Iraq, but support them in Syria? Which is it? Do you support them or oppose them?

 

Iraqi President Faud Masum (L) listens while French President Francois Hollande speaks during the International Conference on Peace and Security in Iraq at the Quai d’Orsay on September 15, 2014 in Paris, France. (AFP Photo / Brendan Smialowski) Iraqi President Faud Masum (L) listens while French President Francois Hollande speaks during the International Conference on Peace and Security in Iraq at the Quai d’Orsay on September 15, 2014 in Paris, France. (AFP Photo / Brendan Smialowski)

 

They point out that Washington and a “coalition of the willing” are mobilizing and preparing to bomb these fighters inside Syria. Is that so?

It is odd, but when these ISIL fighters announced the creation of their pseudo-caliphate in Mosul, the US took the opportunity to publicly announce that it was going to deliver half a billion US dollars worth of aid to the insurgency inside Syria. Who do you think the money was for?

The aid was for ISIL! Intended or not, whatever US “aid” is sent to Syria will end up in their hands.

It is no mere coincidence that the ISIL fighters have US and Israeli arms either.

Is the “Coalition of the Guilty” goal regime change?

The US and its “coalition of the willing” is a sick joke. It is comprised of lying and morally bankrupt politicians like French President François Hollande—a socialist who hates the poor in France, according to his former partner Valerie Trierweiler in her 2014 kiss-and-tell book—and the backwards, oppressive Arab petro-dictatorships of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Emirate of Qatar, and the Kingdom of Bahrain.

It is one big sick joke. While they torture, oppress, and kill their own people, the above petro-dictatorships also claim to espouse democratic values for the Syrian people.

Tehran has flatly refused to cooperate with the Pentagon and its anti-ISIL coalition, because the Iranian government knows full well that Washington has orchestrated the rise of the insurgencies inflicting Iraq and Syria.

Walid Al-Muallem, the deputy prime minister and longtime foreign minister of Syria, has even remarked that the US, Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, and their partners are not fighting terrorism, but using terrorism. According to Foreign Minister Al-Muallem, the countries that are really at the forefront of fighting terrorism are Syria, Iran, Iraq, and the Russian Federation.

Washington knew that Lebanon and Iraq would explode, if a US-led coalition attacked the Syrians. Instead America conducted its own controlled demolition in Iraq by unleashing ISIL across the border, using the crisis to exhaust the local Iraqi forces and to coerce regime change in Baghdad against Nouri Al-Malaki’s government, as an answer to Washington’s clear defeat in Syria after the historic Syrian presidential elections held on June 3, 2014.

What the US has assembled is a “coalition of the guilty” or what we can call the “coalition of guilt.” These are the same governments, tyrants, and countries that authored the fiascos in Iraq and Syria.

Anyway you look at it; it comes down to this key reality: the so-called Islamic State (IS) is the handiwork of Washington; it has been a tool for US interference and intervention in Syria and Iraq.

The “coalition of the guilty” will not be bombing the IS inside Syria, at least exclusively. The Pentagon will be going after the Syrian government and the national military of the Syrian Arab Republic. Make no mistake about it; US-led airstrikes inside Syria will be against international law and an attack on Syria. The US may bomb the IS fighters in Syria too, but the IS will not be the only target. Washington and its “coalition of the guilty” seek regime change in Damascus and will use the opportunity to change the balance of power inside Syria.

In the wings, Israel, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia are all waiting and salivating for the Pentagon to lead an attack.

 

An Islamic gunman walks past a pick up truck belonging to the "Raqa Regional Public Service" headed by the Islamic State (IS) group loaded with the wreckage of a Syrian government forces aircraft which was shot down by IS' militants over the Syrian town of Raqa (AFP Photo / Str) A gunman walks past a pick up truck belonging to the “Raqa Regional Public Service” headed by the Islamic State (IS) group loaded with the wreckage of a Syrian government forces aircraft which was shot down by IS’ militants over the Syrian town of Raqa (AFP Photo / Str)

 

Washington and company are part of the problem, not the solution

The US needs to be called out for fostering the IS or, more appropriately, the “un-Islamic State (uIS).” The vast majority of Muslims view Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the self-declared Caliph “lavish-wristwatch” Ibrahim, and his enterprise as an abomination formed by heretics and mercenaries that many argue cannot possibly be Muslims. Neither is there anything state-like about the “uIS.”

US-led airstrikes—which will absolutely need boots on the ground to select and monitor targets—are not needed. Have not the US and its allies done enough damage in Iraq and its region? Has not enough blood been spilt?

There is a much easier way to stop the “uIS” than what Washington is proposing.

If Washington, London, Paris, and all the usual suspects want to put a stop to the violence, the last thing they need to do is get involved any further in either Iraq or Syria. Their “coalition of the guilty” is a part of the problem and not a part of the solution; they want no actual solutions, aside from establishing a series of vassal states in Syria and Iraq.

Make no mistake about it, the US and this “coalition of the guilty” have blood on their hands and have been participating as belligerents in all the fighting from its inception.

For approximately a decade, Iraqi officials have been blaming the Saudi regime—the sword-wielding, head chopping oil barons of Najd that pretend to be pious Muslims by day and are cocaine snorting, prostitute loving, alcoholics by night—for exporting terrorists into Iraq. In March, just a few months ago, the Iraqi government told the semi-official France 24 network that the Saudi and Qatari regimes were at war with Iraq and using the insurgents in Syria to attack Iraq and using their media networks to support and justify the insurgencies. Nor is it a secret that Turkish security forces openly coordinate with these insurrectionary fighters and their commanders.

It has to be repeated again that there is a much easier way to put an end to this gory farce.

Instead of digging themselves deeper in Iraq and Syria, the US and company literally need to disengage as “belligerents.”

The self-proclaimed IS will fall apart once the US and its allies stop supplying the insurgents with weaponry and end their hostilities towards Damascus.

Moreover, the US and its comical “coalition of the guilty” must end the financing of terrorism by halting their not-so-covert robbery operations, which have involved the theft of oil and other materials by these fighters from Iraq and Syria via Turkey. Despite the claims by the New York Times in a September 13, 2014 article by David E. Sanger and Julie Hirschfeld Davis that Turkey is wheeling and dealing in the black market with the insurgents on its own, and that the US government has desperately tried to get Ankara to stop doing business with the insurgents, it is unlikely that the Turkish government could go on doing business with the insurgents without acquiescence from the US and the EU.

The uIS’s pseudo-caliphate has become a multi-billion dollar business enterprise, because Washington has allowed it to become one and facilitated its business transactions via Turkey. Who can believe that the US government and its EU partners that are so sanctions gung-ho and have exerted themselves in all types of ways to block the trade and financial transactions of their enemies and rivals, cannot do the same thing for the millions and billions of US dollars and euro worth of oil that have been stolen from both Syria and Iraq?

 

Opposition fighters advancing as they capture a Syrian government forces position in the village of Khan Arnabeh, near the eastern border crossing of Quneitra with Israel in the Golan Heights. (AFP Photo / HO / Ahrar Al-Sham)Opposition fighters advancing as they capture a Syrian government forces position in the village of Khan Arnabeh, near the eastern border crossing of Quneitra with Israel in the Golan Heights. (AFP Photo / HO / Ahrar Al-Sham)

 

At the minimum, the US government is looking the other way. It is not too hard to find who is buying such large amounts of oil. Jana Hybaskova, the European Union’s own representative to Iraq, has openly accused EU members of buying oil from the very same killers and rapists that Brussels has declared as perpetrators of crimes against humanity.

Hey, wait a minute the European Union exponents say. Do not blame the European Union for its shady dealings. That self-perceived apex of human civilization, the EU, needs new energy input or supplies—even if stolen and illegal—since it is sanctioning Iran and Russia, the hydrocarbon energy superpower next door, for what the European Commission, US government, and NATO incongruously declare was an invasion of East Ukraine that never even happened!

Arsonists don’t put out their own fires: Thanks, but no thanks!

America and its coalition should halt and desist. The same collective or corrupt governments that have unleashed the horrors in Iraq and Syria are now standing in the limelight and saying that they will come to the rescue. They can only make things worse, and they are in the process of making things worse by planting the seeds that will germinate into future regional crises.

Taking every opportunity to make the violence and crisis worse, the US and its “coalition of the guilty” are arming the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) instead of just sending arms to the Iraqi government in Baghdad for distribution inside Iraq. The motives behind this move are insidious. The US and its “coalition of the guilty” are sending weapons to the KRG with the insight that the same weapons that they are delivering to the Iraqi Kurds will eventually be pointed against the Iraqi federal government in Baghdad when the Kurdistan Regional Government makes its bid for independence, which will effectively partition Iraq.

No wonder Ankara has revived its vision for an Israeli-style security buffer zone inside northern Syria, and even (re)expanded it to include northern Iraq. The talk about Turkey controlling Syrian Kurdistan and Iraqi Kurdistan through a de facto or de jure confederation may not just be President Erdogan’s neo-Ottoman pipedreams.

When it comes down to it, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and his killers are just the foot soldiers. The real pyromaniacs who sit in their offices and palaces in Washington, London, Paris, Doha, Ankara, and Riyadh are the ones that need to be stopped. Arsonists cannot become firefighters sent to put out the fires that they themselves have started, because they usually have an interest in seeing their fires consume the places they have set ablaze. In this case the US and its allies are the arsonists that have an interest in seeing Iraq and Syria fragmented by the fire that the “coalition of the guilty” set alight to create a “New Middle East.”

America and its “coalition of the guilty” are pretending to fight terrorism in an elaborately staged performance for the public. When in reality, all along they have been the forces driving the butchery and terror inside Syria and Iraq. It has been Washington and its “coalition of the guilty” that have been waging a war against the Syrian and Iraqi people through the plethora of insurgent franchises that have carved niches for themselves in Syria and Iraq.

The Iraqi and Syrian militaries and peoples have been making headway against the foreign-backed insurgencies and their reign of terror. They can finish the job themselves without US-led airstrikes. What they really need is for the US and its guilty allies to show some honesty by genuinely ending their support for the insurgencies in Syria and Iraq and to stop fueling sectarian hatred between Arabs and Kurds, Muslims and Christians, and Shiites and Sunnis. Once America’s “coalition of the guilty” ends its own role as the real and main belligerents in the region the cross-border crisis in Iraq and Syria will be locally quarantined and defused with time.

This article was originally published by Russia Today (RT) on September 18, 2014.

The recent beheadings of three Westerners, Foley, Sotloff and Haines, at the hands of the Islamic State (ISIS) has sparked a wave of indignation and strong condemnation by Western heads of state.

For anyone aware of what has been truly going on in Syria from the outset of the war in March 2011, there is something unusual in these strong statements, which are now the object of a wave of “humanitarian bombings” under a counter-terrorism mandate directed against the Islamic State.

Lest we forget, from the outset of the war on Syria in March 2011, the US and its allies supported  so-called “Freedom fighters” largely composed of the Al Nusrah and ISIS brigades. Trained in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, these pro-democracy terrorists were routinely involved in atrocities including beheadings directed against Syrian civilians.

Double standards? In the course of the last three years, no Western leader made any statements in regards to these atrocities committed by “Muslim extremists”.  They passed virtually unnoticed. No concern was expressed by the international community in this regard.  With some exceptions, these beheadings were barely the object of media coverage.

Is it because the “freedom fighters” integrated by ISIS and Al Nusrah forces were beheading Syrian civilians rather than Westerners. Was it because the victims of these atrocities were opposed to the bloody “pro-democracy revolution” sponsored by US-NATO against the government of Bashar Al Assad?

Why are Western leaders only appalled now? Is it because now Westerners rather than Syrians are being decapitated?

These recent beheadings of American and British nationals, whether authentic or not, are obviously exploited to pave the way for a military intervention in Syria. This is a basic propaganda technique used time and time again to gather support for war and the mainstream media is there to convey this propaganda.

The mainstream media’s role is not to inform people but to appeal to their emotions and manipulate them into approving what they would otherwise refuse.

Westerners don’t want to go to war in the Middle East again? Show them one of their fellow countrymen getting his head cut off by a “Muslim” and they will change their mind. And you don’t even need to show anything, just say that people in high office have seen the horrific act and have their media mouthpieces repeat what they have said. It works every time.

This tactic can either be considered as an appeal to fear and/or an appeal to emotions:

An appeal to fear (also called argumentum ad metum or argumentum in terrorem) is a fallacy in which a person attempts to create support for an idea by using deception and propaganda in attempts to increase fear and prejudice toward a competitor. The appeal to fear is common in marketing and politics. (Wikipedia)

The appeal to emotions, or argumentum ad passiones is a logical fallacy which uses the manipulation of the recipient’s emotions, rather than valid logic, to win an argument.” (Wikipedia)

If this technique is used rather than valid arguments, it’s in part because it always works like a charm and this is what the mainstream media is for, but also because the “valid arguments” which could be used to intervene could only be lies and easily refuted, as this article will attempt to demonstrate.

Several independent media have questioned the authenticity of the beheading videos and some experts have clearly qualified them as “fake”, at least in the cases involving journalists Foley and Sotloff. The true identity of both men has also been questioned, especially Sotloff’s, who has known ties to the Israeli secret service (Mossad), and has been allegedly photographed behind a machine gun belonging to the Syrian rebel fighters.

As “Operation Mocking Bird” has documented, journalism is the best cover for an intelligence operative. Several former CIA officers have confirmed that it is used to plant stories that are picked up by news outlets as facts when they actually are propaganda pieces (see CIA Manipulation: The Painful Truths Told by Phil Agee and John Stockwell about false reports generated by the CIA). The DC based “producer” of the terror videos, SITE, with its close links to the Pentagon and the FBI, is also suspicious and tends to point to a major propaganda stunt originating in the US.

For the purpose of this article we will however examine the situation and the reaction of Western leaders from the point of view that these beheadings actually took place and that the videos are authentic.

Beheadings from Western-backed rebels: “business as usual”

Atrocities committed in Syria were reported from the outset of the unrest in 2011 by independent media. It took some time for the mainstream media to mention those atrocities, but since 2012, many reports have been published by the mainstream press, in spite of which the prevailing discourse on Syria remained essentially the same: the “tyrannical Assad regime” was brutally repressing a “pro-democracy rebellion” and the West was still expressing its unyielding support for the “pro-democracy fighters”.

The only difference was that at some point the U.S. authorities had to admit the presence of terrorist groups among the “moderate rebels” even though these so-called moderate rebels were never clearly identified. Even former CIA operative Bob Baer said in a CNN interview following Sotloff’s alleged beheading that “there are no moderate rebels in Syria”.

Here are only a few excerpts of various mainstream and independent articles and videos mentioning beheadings by rebels in Syria in 2012 and 2013, including reports from the UN and Human Rights Watch, which are usually used to support “humanitarian interventions” abroad.

The video you can find here was published on July 3, 2013 and shows a Christian priest and another Christian being decapitated. The host of the web site explains:

WARNING GRAPHIC: A priest and another Christian were beheaded before a cheering crowd by Syrian insurgents who say they aided and abetted the enemy, President Bashar Assad’s military, foreign media reported. An undated video that made the Internet rounds on Wednesday showed two unnamed men with tied hands surrounded by a cheering crowd of dozens, just moments before their heads were cut off with a small knife, Syria Report said. The attackers in the video then lifted the head for show, and placed it back on the body. The incident took place in the countryside of Idlib, the media report said. (RAW: Syrian Rebels Behead Christians, Military.com, July 3, 2013)

This Daily Mail article from December 2012 describes how another Christian was beheaded and his body fed to dogs in a town close to the Turkish border, where most rebel fighters are said to transit into Syrian territory:

Christian Andrei Arbashe, 38, was kidnapped and beheaded by rebel fighters in northern town of Ras Al-Ayn on the Turkish border.

News came as pro-government forces celebrated their victory against rebels near Aleppo Airport.

Syrian rebels beheaded a Christian man and fed his body to dogs, according to a nun who says the West is ignoring atrocities committed by Islamic extremists.

The nun said taxi driver Andrei Arbashe, 38, was kidnapped after his brother was heard complaining that fighters against the ruling regime behaved like bandits.

She said his headless corpse was found by the side of the road, surrounded by hungry dogs. He had recently married and was soon to be a father…

Sister Agnes-Mariam de la Croix said: ‘His only crime was his brother criticised the rebels, accused them of acting like bandits, which is what they are.’

There have been a growing number of accounts of atrocities carried out by rogue elements of the Syrian Free Army, which opposes dictator Bashar al-Assad and is recognised by Britain and the West as the legitimate leadership.

‘The free and democratic world is supporting extremists,’ Sister Agnes-Miriam said from her sanctuary in Lebanon. ‘They want to impose Sharia Law and create an Islamic state in Syria. (Nick Fagge, Syria rebels ‘beheaded a Christian and fed him to the dogs’ as fears grow over Islamist atrocities, Daily Mail, December 31, 2012)

The term “rogue elements” is used to create distance from and excuse the FSA, but the frequency of beheadings and other atrocities committed by rebel fighters prove the contrary.

The German magazine Der Spiegel published in March 2012 a story featuring an “executioner” part of a “burial brigade”, some sort of death squad “responsible for the arbitrary execution of 350-400 people” who expressed “their opposition to the rule of terror of the Free Syrian Army (FSA)”:

This single “burial brigade”, according  to the executioner’s testimony, was responsible for the arbitrary execution of 350-400 people including “prisoners” and “traitors”.  The “traitors” are Sunni civilians within the occupied urban and rural areas, who express their opposition to the rule of terror of the Free Syrian Army (FSA):

“Since last summer, we have executed slightly fewer than 150 men, which represents about 20 percent of our prisoners,” says Abu Rami. … But the executioners of Homs have been busier with traitors within their own ranks than with prisoners of war. “If we catch a Sunni spying, or if a citizen betrays the revolution, we make it quick,” says the fighter.According to Abu Rami, Hussein’s burial brigade has put between 200 and 250 traitors to death since the beginning of the uprising.” (Ulrike Putz, Syria: Atrocities Committed by US-NATO Sponsored “Opposition”. Executioner for Syria’s “Rebels” Tells His Story, Der Spiegel Online, March 30, 2012)

In this independent report from Human rights investigations, a child is shown using a machete to cut a man’s head off and mentions the involvement of the Free Syrian Army (if you wish to see the video, click on the link to the original article):

Extensive and horrifying footage of an incident in which two men are executed by beheading in which a child participates now comes from two different sources.

Footage posted to YouTube by Voice of America Arabic (Radio Sawa) anchor and journalist Zaid Benjamin, shows a child hacking a prisoner’s neck with a machete.

In fact, different footage of the same incident was previously shown on 26 November on Sama TV (A Syrian channel) as part of a segment which demonstrated the difference between Turkish propaganda on the Syrian conflict and the actual reality.

The footage shown by Sama was edited to remove the most graphic content, but shows more of the background to the incident. The Free Syrian Army (FSA) brigade involved is apparently the Khalid ibn al-Waleed brigade. (Syrian rebels use a child to behead a prisoner, Human rights investigations, December 10, 2012)

A United Nations report from June 2013 describes what appears to be the same scene:

Syrian opposition forces recruited a 14-year-old boy from Homs as a fighter and had a child take part in beheading two government soldiers, according to a United Nations report…

The report drew attention to video footage, submitted by the Russian mission to the UN in Geneva, showing the decapitation of two regime soldiers, with a child responsible for one beheading. “Following investigation, it is believed that the video is authentic and the men were soldiers, killed as depicted,” the UN panel said. (Flavia Krause-Jackson and Sangwon Yoon, Beheadings by Syrian Rebels Add to Atrocities, UN Says, Bloomberg, June 4, 2013)

Even the very conservative Economist reported in October 2013 about an “assault by rebels, led by al-Qaeda affiliates” against Alawites considered to be “heretics” by the jihadists.

This was day one of an assault by rebels, led by al-Qaeda affiliates, on Syria’s northwestern coastal region. Early in the morning bands of opposition fighters overran a government checkpoint and pushed into an area of ten villages, carrying out killings that Human Rights Watch, a New York-based pressure group, says may amount to crimes against humanity. Local residents reported indiscriminate gunfire and murder.

Home to Syrians of all creeds, the area is also the heartland of the Alawites, the esoteric Shia offshoot to which the ruling Assad family belongs and whose adherents the jihadists consider heretics. Over the course of the operation, Human Rights Watch says the fighters killed 190 civilians. Residents and hospital staff in Latakia, the nearest city, spoke of burned bodies, beheaded corpses and graves being dug in backyards. Two hundred people from the area remain hostage. (S.B., The war in Syria – Rebel atrocities, The Economist, October 13, 2013)

The BBC also commented on the same Human Rights Watch report:

The report names 190 civilians killed by the rebels, including at least 57 women, 18 children and 14 elderly men. The total number of dead is likely higher because many residents remained missing and bodies were buried in mass graves, it adds…

A doctor at a hospital in Latakia said several of the bodies had multiple gunshot wounds, stab wounds or had been decapitated. Some were burnt or had their feet bound, he added…

HRW says Islamist rebel groups – which include foreign fighters – are financed by individuals in Kuwait and the Gulf. It calls on the UN to impose an arms embargo on all groups credibly accused of war crimes. (Syria rebels executed civilians, says Human Rights Watch, BBC, October 11, 2013)

Like every Western mainstream news outlet, the BBC has been biased on the Syrian issue and has defended the Western-backed Free Syrian Army right from the beginning. Confronted with this evidence of atrocities by the ones they kept promoting as being pro-democracy freedom fighters, the public broadcaster attempted to whitewash the Free Syrian Army with a somewhat absurd and contradictory statement:

HRW says about 20 opposition groups took part in the offensive and that five were involved in the attacks on civilians – the al-Nusra Front, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), Jaysh al-Muhajirin wa al-Ansar, Ahrar al-Sham and Suqour al-Izz

None are affiliated to the Western-backed Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army, though SMC chief Gen Salim Idris did say at the time that fighters under his command participated in the assault… (Ibid.)

The phrasing is very insidious since it leads the reader to believe that if the groups which committed the assault are not linked to the Western-backed FSA, the latter did not participate in the assault. But the FSA DID participate in the assault since “fighters under [the FSA General’s] command participated in the assault.”

The US was Supporting ISIS via the Free Syria Army

Salim Idriss, who was replaced in February 2014 by Col Abd al-Ilah al-Bashir, even declared in November 2013, one month after the publication of the HRW report, that his relationship with ISIL (ISIS) was “good”:

“My relationship with the brothers in ISIL is good… I communicate almost daily with brothers in ISIL to settle these disputes and issues. The issues are being overinflated by the media.”(FSA General Declares Support for ISIS & Al-Nusra)

He also said in a previous interview in January 2013 that the terrorist group Jabhat al-Nusra constituted “about 10% of the FSA”, a statement which also contradicts the BBC analysis. He said he didn’t know why it is listed as a terrorist organization because all he saw was “good morals and brave and heroic fighting against the regime” and added: “They did not exhibit any abnormal behavior which is different from that of the FSA.” (Ibid.)

Should we conclude that “normal behavior” for the Western-backed FSA and ISIS includes beheading people?

The Human Rights Watch report from October 2013 explicitly states that the murders committed in “Operation to Save the Coast” in the Syrian region of Latakia were committed by 20 groups including ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra AND the FSA. It also clearly indicates that individuals from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, know to be Western allies, funded and planned the “Operation to Save the Coast” and that the foreign fighters entering Latakia at the time almost did so entirely from Turkey, a NATO member.

One “Western diplomat raised the concern to Human Rights Watch that in general the number of nationals from European countries going into Syria to fight was ‘greater than the number of those who went from Europe to fight in Afghanistan or Iraq.’”

The testimony from a doctor working in the National Hospital in Latakia said “they had received 205 corpses of civilians killed during the August 4-August 18 operation” with “decapitation observed in most bodies.”

So if we summarize, over 200 civilians were killed in this single operation, most of them were decapitated, most probably by Western-backed foreign fighters transiting through a NATO member state.

Where was the disgust, the horror and the outrage from Western leaders back then?

It is quite obvious that the decapitations of hundreds of Syrian civilians by Western-backed forces would completely destroy the propaganda and prove that Assad was telling the truth when he said he was fighting a foreign terrorist invasion. That’s why this report was not much talked about and the narrative stayed the same in the Western media.

But all other subsequent attempts to justify a military invasion in Syria failed and now we are faced with the most absurd scenario: the West pretends it must intervene against its own deadly creation: ISIS

The recent ISIS beheadings are just another pretext to intervene militarily in Syria. The hundreds of decapitations of Syrian nationals which have been committed by the Western proxy soldiers for years prove that this is just another PSYOP to gather support for another war in the Middle East.

Below you will find longer excerpts of the Human Rights Watch report mentioned above.


ANNEX 

“You Can Still See Their Blood” – Executions, Unlawful Killings, and Hostage Taking by Opposition Forces in Latakia Countryside Human Rights Watch, October 2013

Fourteen residents and first responders told Human Rights Watch that they witnessed executions or saw bodies that bore signs of execution… including in some cases corpses that were bound, and bodies that had been decapitated. A doctor working in the National Hospital in Latakia who was receiving the dead and wounded from Latakia countryside told Human Rights Watch that they had received 205 corpses of civilians killed during the August 4-August 18 operation. The doctor showed Human Rights Watch a medical report the hospital prepared on August 26 stating that the, “[c ]ause of death in several of them [the bodies] was multiple gunshot wounds all over the bodies, in addition to stab wounds made with a sharp instrument, given the decapitation observed in most bodies

IV. Opposition Groups Involved in August 4 Attacks

The operation launched by opposition fighters in Latakia countryside on August 4, termed the “Campaign of the Descendants of Aisha the Mother of Believers,”[138] the “Barouda Offensive,”[139] and the “Operation to Liberate the Coast,” or the “Operation to Save the Coast” (herein after Operation to Liberate the Coast) was a coordinated preplanned assault by armed opposition groups on Syrian military positions and unguarded Alawite villages that lasted from August 4-August 18. On the first day of the operation, opposition fighters killed civilians on numerous occasions. In many cases evidence gathered by Human Rights Watch suggests they killed them knowing them to be civilian and that they were playing no part in combat

Of the 20 or more groups that were involved in the “Operation to Liberate the Coast”five groups were among the principle planners, fundraisers, and executors of the offensive… These groups are:

-Ahrar al-Sham

-Islamic State of Iraq and Sham

-Jabhat al-Nusra

-Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar

-Suquor al-Izz

….

The Islamic State of Iraq and Sham

In 2006, the name of al-Qaeda in Iraq was changed to the Islamic State of Iraq.[156] This group is now operating in Syria under the name the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS).[157] Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is the group’s leader and he has sworn loyalty to the al-Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri.[158] According to the opposition activist who spoke to Human Rights Watch, Abu Ayman commanded the group during the August Latakia offensive.[159]Abu Jaafar from ISIS has also been identified as the first deputy commander of the operation.[160]

Multiple opposition sources identify ISIS as one of the leading groups involved in the “Operation to Liberate the Coast.”[161]Videos posted by opposition groups on YouTube also show ISIS’s involvement in the offensive on August 4.[162]On August 6 the opposition activist that spoke to Human Rights Watch also said that the ISIS played a key role in abducting and holding civilian hostages from the villages.[163] According to an opposition military leader from Latakia working on the hostage exchange, as of early September ISIS was holding 110 to 120 hostages.[164]

V. Other Groups Involved in the “Operation to Liberate the Coast”

Free Syrian Army under Salim Idriss’s Command

Notably, several statements from Salim Idriss, the Chief of Staff of the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army, reflect that fighters under his command participated in the operation. In a video posted on August 11 and apparently filmed in Latakia countryside, Idriss states:

I am here [in Latakia countryside] today to get a picture on the true achievements and the big successes that our fellow revolutionaries have achieved in the coastal campaign and to respond to the charges that claim incorrectly that we will end our operations here on the coastal frontlines. We are here today to assure everyone that our chief of staff is cooperating fully with the coastal military front command regarding their military activities. We are not going to withdraw as was falsely claimed but on the contrary, we are cooperating to a great extent in this operation.[211]

… [T]he participation of Idriss and fighters under his command in the “Operation to Liberate the Coast” appears clear ….

VI. Financial Support to Operation

Largely based on information posted by individuals in the groups who participated in the “Operation to Liberate the Coast” and their supporters on social media sites, Human Rights Watch has identified several individuals, principally from Gulf countries, who actively fundraised for the operation and for support to the groups involved. There is no evidence that the fundraisers and financiers knew at the time that they gave their support about the abuses that would or were taking place in Latakia countryside. However future support to the five groups principally involved in planning, fundraising, and executing the attack on the villages may make these individuals complicit in war crimes or crimes against humanity if these groups continue to commit abuses. …

On August 3 al-Suwan tweeted that he supports the Islamic brigades in Latakia countryside. [291] On August 5 and 7, al-Suwan tweeted a thank you to donors from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar …

VII. Access of Foreign Fighters to Syria

According to Syrian security officials, media reports, western diplomats, and direct observations by journalists and humanitarian workers who visited the area in the past, many foreign fighters operating in northern Syria gain access to Syria via Turkey, from which they also smuggle their weapons, obtain money and other supplies, and sometimes retreat to for medical treatment. [314]

According to a humanitarian worker in Turkey, based on his observations, foreign fighters entering Latakia governorate do so almost entirely from Turkey, even flying into Hatay airport where they are picked up by other foreign fighters and facilitators.[315]

A western diplomat told Human Rights Watch that diplomats from several EU member state missions in Ankara are very concerned about the transiting of nationals from European and other countries through Turkey to Syria.[316]Another Western diplomat raised the concern to Human Rights Watch that in general the number of nationals from European countries going into Syria to fight was “greater than the number of those who went from Europe to fight in Afghanistan or Iraq.” (emphasis added)

Petro Poroshenko is Washington’s man. He replaced ousted democratically elected President Victor Yanukovych. 

He’s an oligarch billionaire. He made his money the old-fashioned way.

He waged war without mercy on his own people. He murdered them in cold blood. He ravaged their Southeastern communities.

He caused unspeakable human misery. He knows who’s boss. He obeys marching orders from Washington.

Obama calls Ukraine’s fascist government “democratic.” John Kerry called Poroshenko’s election “historic.”

“The successful conduct of these elections reaffirms Ukraine’s commitment to the democratic process,” he said.

“The United States will continue to work with the people of Ukraine and the newly elected president to build on this victory for democracy.”

Poroshenko helped bankroll Ukraine’s 2004 Orange Revolution. Washington’s dirty hands bore full responsibility.

Color revolutions are a US specialty. At issue is replacing independent governments with pro-Western stooge ones.

From November 2013 through February’s coup, Poroshenko helped bankroll Kiev putschists.

On March 29, 2014, he announced his candidacy for president. On May 25, he was elected with a 54.4% majority.

He supports joining NATO. Not now. He favors later. Whenever Washington says it’s OK.

Expect Poroshenko to remain Ukraine’s president as long as he remembers who’s boss. Fascist regimes support each other.

On September 17, he addressed a joint session of Canada’s parliament.

The National Post called his comments “moving, historic.” It was delivered “(a)mid waves of thunderous applause from gathered MPs and senators,” it said.

Right-wing Prime Minister Stephen Harper welcomed Poroshenko. They strode together down Parliament Hill’s Hall of Honour.

They discussed ways to restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity. To prevent democracy. To keep blaming Russia for Kiev’s crimes.

Harper said “we’re greatly honored that you’re able to share this time with us on your visit to North America and to give us the opportunity to express our support for your government and for your country.”

He pledged Canada’s help to fight “Russian aggression.” He said “whether it takes five months or 50 years.”

He was the first Western leader to visit Poroshenko. He attended his June inauguration.

“This is not to us just a matter of international law or political principle,” he said.

“This is matter of kinship. This is matter of family. This is personal, and we will stand by you.”

Canadian media said both leaders exchanged warm greetings. They affirmed their mutual solidarity and support.

Harper gave Poroshenko a red-carpet welcome to Centre Block. It’s on Parliament Hill. It contains Canada’s House of Commons and Senate.

Its prominent ceremonial spaces include the Hall of Honour, Memorial Chamber and Confederation Hall.

Poroshenko called Canada one of Ukraine’s closest partners.

“We consider, following your words, that Canada is the most Ukrainian country outside Ukraine,” he said.

“In this very difficult time, we count on your solidarity with us.”

He thanked Canada for its “unwavering support.” Ukraine “crossed the Rubicon” to a Western future, he said.

It’s “bleeding for its independence and its territorial integrity.”

He blamed what he called Russian “terrorism.” He shamelessly called Kiev’s war without mercy “a war against terror.”

Ukraine is united with its Western allies, he said. It wants to end violence and restore peace, he claimed.

Poroshenko waged premeditated war against his own people. He did so to maintain fascist rule.

To enforce police state harshness. To crush democratic freedoms. To prevent Ukraine from becoming democratic at all costs.

On Thursday, Poroshenko arrives in Washington. He seeks pledges of more support.

He’ll meet with Obama at the White House. He’ll address a joint session of Congress.

Days earlier, US House Speaker John Boehner announced it, saying:

“Having President Poroshenko address Congress is another signal of our steadfast commitment to the aspirations of his people.”

“It will be an honor and a privilege to welcome him to the United States Capitol.”

Before embarking on a three-day North American tour, Kiev’s foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin said:

“There is a sense…in the Ukrainian public and Ukrainian society that both the US and the EU are not doing enough to support the Ukrainian case.”

He claimed Ukrainians “feel themselves on the front of a real fight for European values, for freedom.”

He’s hopeful for more aid. He wants weapons and advanced military technology. He wants more financial aid for Ukraine’s crippled economy.

He wants more IMF funding. It comes with strings no responsible government should accept.

It’s hugely exploitive. It’s the loan shark of last resort. It’s financial terrorism writ large. Its diktats demand:

  • privatizing state enterprises;
  • selling them at fire sale prices;
  • mass layoffs;
  • deep social spending cuts;
  • deregulation;
  • Western corporations given unrestricted market access;
  • corporate friendly tax cuts;
  • tax increases on ordinary citizens;
  • trade unionism marginalized or crushed; and
  • harsh crackdowns on resisters.

Democratic values don’t matter. Human needs go begging. Countries forfeit their material wealth and resources.

Fundamental freedoms vanish in plain sight. A race to the bottom follows.

Workers become serfs. Economies are financialized into debt bondage. Doing so transforms them into dystopian backwaters.

Debt service overrides national sovereignty. Poverty, unemployment and deprivation follow.

So do out-of-control corruption, cronyism, and government of, by and for the privileged few alone.

In recent weeks, various US lawmakers visited Ukraine. Senior Democrats and Republicans want Obama to authorize lethal aid.

US-led NATO trains Ukraine’s military for war. Arms and munitions are supplied. According to Ukraine’s defense minister Valery Heletey:

“I have no right to disclose any specific country we reached that agreement with.”

“(B)ut the fact is that those weapons are already on the way to us. To stop Putin we need weapons.”

Despite September’s ceasefire agreement, Donetsk region fighting continues.

It’s sporadic. It could resume full-blown any time. Expect it at Washington’s discretion.

Obama rejects democracy at home and abroad. He’s against limited Southeastern Ukrainian autonomy.

He wants fascist rule institutionalized nationwide. He wants fundamental freedoms crushed.

He wants unchallenged control over Washington’s newest colony.

Poroshenko’s North American tour was strategically timed. Parliamentary elections are five weeks away. They’ll be held on October 26.

Expect hardliners to retain control. They blame Russia for their own crimes.

Kiev’s Center for Social Relationships political analyst Evgeny Magda called Poroshenko’s Washington visit important.

“Ukrainians need to know they’re not alone,” he said.

White House officials called his visit a message to Russia about US support for its former republic.

According to Obama spokesman Josh Earnest:

“The picture of President Poroshenko sitting in the Oval Office will be worth at least a thousand words -  both in English and Russian.”

He’ll return home with marching orders. Expect more military aid.

Expect Southeastern Ukrainian conflict to resume at Washington’s discretion. Expect the region to remain on the boil.

Expect potential East/West confrontation. Perhaps the unthinkable will follow.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

Canada’s Government Silencing Dissent: Academics

September 18th, 2014 by Press TV

More than 400 Canadian academics have demanded a halt to a government audit of a think tank, critical of the government, saying Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s administration is trying to intimidate and silence dissidents.

The appeal was made by 421 academics in an open letter addressed to Revenue Minister Kerry-Lynne Findlay, released on Sunday.The group of academics said authorities seem to have targeted educational charity Canadian Center for Policy Alternative (CCPA) because it frequently criticizes the administration’s agenda. “The decision to audit the CCPA is politically motivated to intimidate and silence its criticisms of your (Findlay’s) government policies,” said the group.

The academics called for a moratorium on all audits of the think tanks until the revenue ministry imposes a neutral and fair selection process. “Instead of trying to muzzle and impede sound and legitimate research, it is now time for you to try to promote more effectively the public good in the form of sound critical research for which Canadian researchers are respected internationally,” said the group.

The revenue agency began an audit of CCPA last October, claiming its research and education material posted on the charity’s website appeared “biased” and “one-sided.”

However, the group of academics argued that the think tank conducts its research in a “fair and unbiased way,” and that its frequent criticism of Harper’s government policies does not make the charity a partisan organization. The educational charity is among the 52 organizations that are being audited by the agency under a CAD 13.4-million program launched in 2012 to determine if any charities are engaged in forbidden partisan activities. Initial audits targeted environmental groups, which have been critical of the conservative government’s energy and pipeline policies; however, the agency later widened its target area to poverty, international aid and human-rights groups, who are criticize the government’s policies.

The audit program has been dubbed “advocacy chill” as some groups self-censor its findings to avoid the possibility of being audited.

Reported US-Syrian Accord on Air Strikes

September 18th, 2014 by Robert Parry

The Obama administration, working through the Russian government, has secured an agreement from the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad to permit U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State targets in parts of Syria, according to a source briefed on the secret arrangements.

The reported agreement would clear away one of the chief obstacles to President Barack Obama’s plan to authorize U.S. warplanes to cross into Syria to attack Islamic State forces – the concern that entering Syrian territory might prompt anti-aircraft fire from the Syrian government’s missile batteries.

The usual protocol for the U.S. military – when operating in territory without a government’s permission – is to destroy the air defenses prior to conducting airstrikes so as to protect American pilots and aircraft, as was done with Libya in 2011. However, in other cases, U.S. intelligence agencies have arranged for secret permission from governments for such attacks, creating a public ambiguity usually for the benefit of the foreign leaders while gaining the necessary U.S. military assurances.

In essence, that appears to be what is happening behind the scenes in Syria despite the hostility between the Obama administration and the Assad government. Obama has called for the removal of Assad but the two leaders find themselves on the same side in the fight against the Islamic State terrorists who have battled Assad’s forces while also attacking the U.S.-supported Iraqi government and beheading two American journalists.

In a national address last week, Obama vowed to order U.S. air attacks across Syria’s border without any coordination with the Syrian government, a proposition that Damascus denounced as a violation of its sovereignty. So, in this case, Syria’s behind-the-scenes acquiescence also might provide some politically useful ambiguity for Obama as well as Assad.

President Barack Obama in his weekly address on Sept. 13, 2014, vowing to degrade and ultimately defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. (White House Photo)

Image: President Barack Obama in his weekly address on Sept. 13, 2014, vowing to degrade and ultimately defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. (White House Photo)

Yet, this secret collaboration may go even further and include Syrian government assistance in the targeting of the U.S. attacks, according to the source who spoke on condition of anonymity. That is another feature of U.S. military protocol in conducting air strikes – to have some on-the-ground help in pinpointing the attacks.

As part of its public pronouncements about the future Syrian attacks, the Obama administration sought $500 million to train “vetted” Syrian rebels to handle the targeting tasks inside Syria as well as to carry out military ground attacks. But that approach – while popular on Capitol Hill – could delay any U.S. airstrikes into Syria for months and could possibly negate Assad’s quiet acceptance of the U.S. attacks, since the U.S.-backed rebels share one key goal of the Islamic State, the overthrow of Assad’s relatively secular regime.

Just last month, Obama himself termed the strategy of arming supposedly “moderate” Syrian rebels “a fantasy.” He told the New York Times’ Thomas L. Friedman:

“This idea that we could provide some light arms or even more sophisticated arms to what was essentially an opposition made up of former doctors, farmers, pharmacists and so forth, and that they were going to be able to battle not only a well-armed state but also a well-armed state backed by Russia, backed by Iran, a battle-hardened Hezbollah, that was never in the cards.”

Obama’s point would seem to apply at least as much to having the “moderate” rebels face down the ruthless Islamic State jihadists who engage in suicide bombings and slaughter their captives without mercy. But this “fantasy” of the “moderate” rebels has a big following in Congress and on the major U.S. op-ed pages, so Obama has included the $500 million in his war plan despite the risk it poses to Assad’s acquiescence to American air attacks.

Neocon Wish List

Without Assad’s consent, the U.S. airstrikes might require a much wider U.S. bombing campaign to first target Syrian government defenses, a development long sought by Official Washington’s influential neoconservatives who have kept “regime change” in Syria near the top of their international wish list.

For the past several years, the Israeli government also has sought the overthrow of Assad, even at the risk of Islamic extremists gaining power. The Israeli thinking had been that Assad, as an ally of Iran, represented a greater threat to Israel because his government was at the center of the so-called Shiite crescent reaching from Tehran through Damascus to Beirut and southern Lebanon, the base for Hezbollah.

The thinking was that if Assad’s government could be pulled down, Iran and Hezbollah – two of Israel’s principal “enemies” – would be badly damaged. A year ago, then-Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren articulated this geopolitical position in an interview with the Jerusalem Post.

“The greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc,” Oren said. “We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.” He said this was the case even if the other “bad guys” were affiliated with al-Qaeda.

More recently, however, with the al-Qaeda-connected Nusra Front having seized Syrian territory adjacent to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights – forcing the withdrawal of UN peacekeepers – the balance of Israeli interests may be tipping in favor of preferring Assad to having Islamic extremists possibly penetrating directly into Israeli territory.

Direct attacks on Israel would be a temptation to al-Nusra Front, which is competing for the allegiance of young jihadists with the Islamic State. While the Islamic State, known by the acronyms ISIS or ISIL, has captured the imaginations of many youthful extremists by declaring the creation of a “caliphate” with the goal of driving Western interests from the Middle East, al-Nusra could trump that appeal by actually going on the offensive against one of the jihadists’ principal targets, Israel.

Yet, despite Israel’s apparent rethinking of its priorities, America’s neocons appear focused still on their long-held strategy of using violent “regime change” in the Middle East to eliminate governments that have been major supporters of Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Palestine’s Hamas, i.e. Syria and Iran.

One reason why Obama may have opted for a secretive overture to the Assad regime, using intelligence channels with the Russians as the middlemen, is that otherwise the U.S. neocons and their “liberal interventionist” allies would have howled in protest.

The Russian Hand

Besides the tactical significance of U.S. intelligence agencies arranging Assad’s tacit acceptance of U.S. airstrikes over Syrian territory, the reported arrangement is also significant because of the role of Russian intelligence serving as the intermediary.

That suggests that despite the U.S.-Russian estrangement over the Ukraine crisis, the cooperation between President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin has not been extinguished; it has instead just gone further underground.

Last year, this subterranean collaboration between Obama and Putin represented a potential tectonic geopolitical shift in the Middle East. In the short term, their teamwork produced agreements that averted a U.S. military strike against Syria last September (by getting Assad to surrender his chemical weapons arsenal) and struck a tentative deal with Iran to constrain but not eliminate its nuclear program.

In the longer term, by working together to create political solutions to various Mideast crises, the Obama-Putin cooperation threatened to destroy the neocons’ preferred strategy of escalating U.S. military involvement in the region. There was the prospect, too, that the U.S.-Russian tag team might strong-arm Israel into a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

So, starting last September – almost immediately after Putin helped avert a U.S. air war against Syria – key neocons began taking aim at Ukraine as a potential sore point for Putin. A leading neocon, Carl Gershman, president of the U.S.-government-funded National Endowment for Democracy, took to the op-ed pages of the neocon Washington Post to identify Ukraine as “the biggest prize” and explaining how its targeting could undermine Putin’s political standing inside Russia.

“Ukraine’s choice to join Europe will accelerate the demise of the ideology of Russian imperialism that Putin represents,” Gershman wrote. “Russians, too, face a choice, and Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself.” At the time, Gershman’s NED was funding scores of political and media projects inside Ukraine.

By early 2014, American neocons and their “liberal interventionist” pals were conspiring “to midwife” a coup to overthrow Ukraine’s elected President Viktor Yanukovych, according to a phrase used by U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt in an intercepted phone conversation with Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who was busy handpicking leaders to replace Yanukovych.

A neocon holdover from George W. Bush’s administration, Nuland had been a top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney and is married to prominent neocon Robert Kagan, a co-founder of the Project for a New American Century which prepared the blueprint for the neocon strategy of “regime change” starting with the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

The U.S.-backed coup ousted Yanukovych on Feb. 22 and sparked a bloody civil war, leaving thousands dead, mostly ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine. But the Gershman-Nuland strategy also drove a deep wedge between Obama and Putin, seeming to destroy the possibility that their peace-seeking collaboration would continue in the Middle East. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Neocons’ Ukraine-Syria-Iran Gambit.”]

New Hope for ‘Regime Change’

The surprise success of Islamic State terrorists in striking deep inside Iraq during the summer revived neocon hopes that their “regime change” strategy in Syria might also be resurrected. By baiting Obama to react with military force not only in Iraq but across the border in Syria, neocons like Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham put the ouster of Assad back in play.

In a New York Times op-ed on Aug. 29, McCain and Graham used vague language about resolving the Syrian civil war, but clearly implied that Assad must go. They wrote that thwarting ISIS

“requires an end to the [civil] conflict in Syria, and a political transition there, because the regime of President Bashar al-Assad will never be a reliable partner against ISIS; in fact, it has abetted the rise of ISIS, just as it facilitated the terrorism of ISIS’ predecessor, Al Qaeda in Iraq.”

Though the McCain-Graham depiction of Assad’s relationship to ISIS and al-Qaeda was a distortion at best – in fact, Assad’s army has been the most effective force in pushing back against the Sunni terrorist groups that have come to dominate the Western-backed rebel movement – the op-ed’s underlying point is obvious: a necessary step in the U.S. military operation against ISIS must be “regime change” in Damascus.

That would get the neocons back on their original track of forcing “regime change” in countries seen as hostile to Israel. The first target was Iraq with Syria and Iran always meant to follow. The idea was to deprive Israel’s close-in enemies, Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Palestine’s Hamas, of crucial support. But the neocon vision got knocked off track when Bush’s Iraq War derailed and the American people balked at extending the conflict to Syria and Iran.

Still, the neocons retained their vision even after Bush and Cheney departed. They remained influential by holding onto key positions inside Official Washington – at think tanks, within major news outlets and even inside the Obama administration. They also built a crucial alliance with “liberal interventionists” who had Obama’s ear. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Dangerous Neocon-R2P Alliance.”]

The neocons’ new hope arrived with the public outrage over ISIS’s atrocities. Yet, while pushing to get this new war going, the neocons have downplayed their “regime change” agenda, getting Obama to agree only to extend his anti-ISIS bombing campaign from Iraq into Syria. But it was hard to envision expanding the war into Syria without ousting Assad.

Now, however, if the source’s account is correct regarding Assad’s quiet assent to U.S. airstrikes, Obama may have devised a way around the need to bomb Assad’s military, a maneuver that might again frustrate the neocons’ beloved goal of “regime change.”

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com). For a limited time, you also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

Syria’s “Moderate Rebels” Seek Support of Israel

September 18th, 2014 by Jonathan Cook

Remember the SLA, or the South Lebanon Army? They were a largely Lebanese Christian militia backed and financed by Israel as part of its long-standing policy to keep Lebanon divided and weak – and to help Israel annex the southern parts of Lebanon, if the aims of early Israeli leaders like David Ben Gurion are to be credited.

The SLA’s heyday was during Israel’s near two-decade occupation of south Lebanon. The local response was the rapid growth of Hizbullah, those “Islamic extremists” who eventually liberated their country from both the Israeli army and the SLA.

If this Times of Israel story is to be believed, we’re seeing the emergence of a Syrian equivalent.

An unnamed commander of the so-called “moderate” rebels in Syria, the Free Syrian Army, wants to be best pals with Israel. The FSA would apparently like to see Israeli war-planes enforcing a no-fly zone over Syria and shooting down Syrian aircraft to help its own forces win the day against Assad.

The commander is reported saying:

Israel could down any plane above that area and no one would blame it. Refraining from doing this means collaborating with the Assad gang in our murder. We are at a historic crossroads. Israel has the opportunity to win the hearts of all Syrians, whom the entire world has forsaken. If you get rid of this gang, your border will be protected. No one will even think of attacking you.

None of this is too surprising. Israel appears to have been cultivating relations with the FSA for a while, including allowing their fighters access to its hospitals through the Golan crossing point.

Last year the New York Times reported that Israel was working with the Syrian opposition, offering “humanitarian aid” and “maintaining intense intelligence activity”. In an interview with the Argentinian media, the Syrian leader Bashar Assad accused Israel of having gone further, “directly supporting” opposition groups inside Syria with “logistical support”, intelligence on potential targets and plans for attacking them.

It seems the FSA feels either that Israel is not committed enough to assisting it or that Israel’s support is waning. Either way, one wonders what this FSA commander thinks Israel expects in return. Or maybe he thinks Israel just likes being charitable.

We are supposed to be cheering on the FSA as the true representatives of Syrian hopes for independence and freedom. They are reportedly the good guys, the ones the US and its allies want to arm so that Syria can be liberated from Assad and al-Qaeda / ISIS.

But if the FSA is ready to cut a deal with an aggressive colonial neighbour like Israel, one has to wonder both how moderate they really are and quite how representative of the wider Syrian people.

 

by Ronan Manly

The U.S. financial position continues to deteriorate badly and in the last 12 months has increased by over $1 trillion dollars.

Nick Laird of Sharelynx has just reproduced his fascinating and timely chart showing the US debt limit, the actual US debt and the gold price all in one chart.

From 2000 until around the first quarter of 2013, there was a very strong and close correlation between the growth of the US national debt and the rise in the US dollar gold price.

 

After Q1 2013 this correlation broke down according to the chart, wherein the US national debt continued to skyrocket and the US dollar gold price fell significantly. The end of Q1 2013 coincides with the smash down of the gold price in April 2013, which actually created a huge increase in demand for physical gold all across the world.

Looking at the huge divergence in the graph after mid 2013 between the continued growth in the US national debt and the drop and subsequent tight trading range for gold between $1200 and $1400, one can only conclude that gold is somehow being prevented from its previous job of accurately reflecting an explosive US national debt picture.

Source: Brillig.com

An update on the future trend of US monetary policy is in the offing today as the US Federal Reserve’s latest two day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting concludes in Washington DC.

As usual, global financial markets will scrutinise the Committee’s press conference statement for any shift in Fed thinking on when the US central bank will begin to raise short term interest rates.

With the Fed’s QE3 asset purchase scheme coming to an end, markets are speculating on whether the Fed will, at this time, alter its recent interest rate guidance language that states that its federal funds rate would be maintained as is for a ‘considerable time’. Any tweaking of this phraseology will create more price volatility in the US dollar and so would also create volatility in bond, stock and commodity markets, including precious metals markets.

Markets are expecting some comment on the existing guidance but are also concerned that changing the guidance at this time may complicate the parallel track of winding down the QE program.

The voting members of the FOMC comprise the Fed’s five board of governors, the president of the NY Fed, and presidents of four other Fed Reserve banks who are selected on a rotating basis from the panel of the eleven other regional Fed banks. Although there are technically seven seats on the Fed board of governors, only five board seats are currently occupied.

This means that there are currently ten voting members on the FOMC – Yellen, Brainard, Fischer, Powell and Tarullo from the board of governors, Bill Dudley from the New York Fed, and Plosser (Philadelphia), Mester (Cleveland), Fisher (Dallas) and Kocherlakota (Minneapolis) representing the regional Fed banks.

As regards interest rate aggressiveness, Plosser, Mester and Fisher are considered the more hawkish by Wall Street watchers.

The ‘considerable time’ guidance that is currently subjecting the financial markets to pained deliberations was communicated to the financial markets in an FOMC press release on July 30, when the FOMC, in a 9-1 majority decision voted to release a statement that where they thought it:

“likely will be appropriate to maintain the current target range for the federal funds rate for a considerable time after the asset purchase program ends, especially if projected inflation continues to run below the Committee’s 2 percent longer-run goal, and provided that longer-term inflation expectations remain well anchored.”

The one dissenting vote in July came from Plosser of the Philadelphia Fed who thought that the ‘considerable time’ language was “time dependent and does not reflect the considerable economic progress that has been made toward the Committee’s goals.”

Yesterday Jon Hilsenrath, the Wall Street Journal’s chief economics correspondent, weighed in on the ‘considerable time’ speculations. Hilsenrath is perceived as being very close to the Federal Reserve powerbrokers in terms of access and information flow, so his opinion is taken seriously.

Hilsenrath said yesterday that he thinks that the FOMC will probably ‘qualify’ their ‘considerable time’ phrase in some shape or form, but that since the Fed wants to communicate additional information on the timeframe of the QE bond buying operations, that the Committee may think it’s too complicated for the financial markets to process all of this information at one time.

Given that the global financial markets are some of the most sophisticated processors of information in the world, Hilsenrath’s official view looks a little naïve. Since Hilsenrath is not naïve and appears to regularly know what the FOMC is thinking, this suggests that the Fed is most likely stalling for time in raising interest rates since it believes that the US economy is really weaker than it wants to admit.

The US national debt continues to spiral out of control, seemingly without any plan to ever reign it in.

Compared to this time last year, the national debt has grown by over $1 trillion. At the end of September 2013, the cumulative debt stood at $16.74 trillion. Now it is over $17.76 trillion.

Astoundingly, more than $7 trillion of additional US national debt will have been accumulated over the 8 year duration of Obama’s two presidencies, which is more than the accumulated US national debt of all previous US presidencies combined.

This is not to mention the more than $200 trillion of US government unfunded liabilities such as pensions.

When the total US government debt of over $17.76 trillion is added to all U.S. business and personal debt, it approaches an astronomical $60 trillion. This is more than 25 times the total outstanding debt that existed when the U.S. severed the link to the gold standard in August 1971.

Since that time the Federal Reserve has encouraged and facilitated this huge growth of outstanding debt and in various crises, when it would have been more prudent to deflate asset bubbles, the Fed has continually supported these bubbles while encouraging new ones.

The primary focus on the wording from the FOMC smells of an element of rearranging the chairs on the Titanic.

Fiscal lunacy is alive and well in Washington with ramifications for the dollar and for investors and savers globally.

by Ronan Manly , Edited by Mark O’Byrne

The dead were buried and the wounded are trying to heal while the rubble of the war on Gaza remains in place. Hundreds of thousands of tons worth of rubble, not to mention the environmental and health hazard they pose, remind the survivors of death every morning. Removing the rubble means finally beginning the process of reconstruction and a return to normal life.

Despite the end of the war in Gaza, wherever its residents or visitors look, they are surrounded by the sight of rubble and ruin. Hundreds of thousands of tons of debris – remnants of the Israeli war – still block entire streets, prompting people to invent new bypass roads. Work has begun in some areas with the available resources to remove this rubble. However, delays in actual plans to clear all of it threaten the environment and health conditions of people here. Besides, some residents still search every day through the ruins of their homes, hoping to find something, or any of their belongings, especially important papers and documents.

According to preliminary figures published by the Ministry of Public Works, it is estimated that buildings destroyed during the 51-day war were reduced to 2.5 million tons of rubble. This figure is four times larger than that of the 2008-2009 Israeli war [on Gaza].

Gazan families are impatiently waiting for the removal of the piles of debris as they view it as a sign of the actual beginning of reconstruction. Otherwise, all the promises made are nothing but a smokescreen. This is the sense you get in the neighborhoods of al-Shujayeh in eastern Gaza, Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza and Khuzaa area in southern Gaza. Statistics also reveal that about 10,000 houses were totally destroyed and 30,000 were partially destroyed, including 5,000 houses that are in dire need of rehabilitation. The result is that 11,000 families are without shelter in addition to losing their basic resources.

Rubble for infilling parts of the sea and crushing it for reconstruction

Al-Akhbar contacted the under-secretary of the Ministry of Housing in Gaza, Naji Serhan, to ask what they are planning to do with the debris. He said that the government, in cooperation with specialized agencies, devised an emergency plan for 100 days to deal with this problem. The emergency plan includes clearing part of the rubble in addition to providing rent and alternative apartments for people whose houses were destroyed. “Temporary caravans were provided to shelter the rest of the families,” he added.

As for long-term plans, it is believed that part of the rubble will be crushed for use in building and construction. The rest will be used in building small dirt roads in the sea and consolidating the fishing port in Gaza, in addition to coastal areas overlooking the sea such as the eroded al-Shati Camp (Beach Camp), according to the under-secretary.

Serhan went on: “We can use the rubble in more than one area, but the most important thing is to remove it. Reusing it requires huge amounts of money that we currently do not have. Besides, building a port requires Israel’s approval. He pointed out that they were directly threatened by Israel when they built one dirt road in the sea before the war.

Despite these ideas, there is an ongoing public concern especially in light of the negative impact of the rubble. Abu Ali Darduna was one of the people who lost their homes in the war in addition to a small shop that constituted his livelihood. He is embarrassed because the rubble of his home is blocking a street which forces the rest of the area’s residents to take another road to get to their homes. He says no one came to check the debris to see if it contains hazardous materials. At the same time, he is worried that clearing the rubble quickly might lead to losing whatever is left of his belongings beneath it. Yet, he is afraid to look through the rubble in case there are unexploded ordinances.

Mouin Rajab, an economist in Gaza, believes that we can deal creatively with the tons of remaining rubble and benefit from it, “but there are more obstacles.” He estimates that to load and transfer this amount of rubble requires at least 60,000 trucks. He told Al-Akhbar that workers are going to face huge problems in crushing the rubble that is still held together “because it requires heavy equipment, especially in the case of the high-rise towers such as Basha Tower, Zafer Tower and the Italian Complex.”

Attorney and human rights activist at the Independent Commission for Human Rights, Salah Abdel Atti, thinks that we should let some of the destroyed sites stand as a testimony of Israeli crimes. He talked about the Lebanese experience as an example. “When some of the remnants of Lebanon’s civil war were left in the early 1990s to bear witness to the events and were only rebuilt after a while.” He went on to say: “I mean leave some evidence in a way that does not affect the people and the reconstruction project, especially the big towers.”

Viking I landed on Mars, the Ramones released their first album, the Soweto Uprising began in South Africa, North and South Vietnam reunified to become the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, and Gerald Ford was in the White House. 1976: The same year scientists discovered that refrigerant chemicals, chlorofluorocarbons, better known as CFCs, were responsible for creating a hole in the ozone layer was also the last time when global average temperatures were below the 20th century norm.

Hence, the earth has now experienced 353 consecutive months – or an astonishing 38 years in a row – of above average temperatures. In terms of hot and cold spells, snowfall patterns and the number of extremely hot or cold days, there are millions of people alive today who have no direct experience of the kind of planet their parents grew up on.

World leaders are coming to New York City this week (September 19-21) for another United Nations-sponsored summit on climate change. This time, though, they’ll be greeted by the largest climate justice march in history.

For communities of small farmers and pastoralists – who number in the hundreds of millions around the world – dependent on seasonal bio-indicators for information on rainfall, planting, harvesting and herd movements, this becomes a life-and-death question. Knowledge from elders about the annual rhythms of springtime flowering; flocks of migratory birds; the emergence of butterflies, pests and other pollinating insects; trees and plants blooming; and when to expect rain is becoming dangerously unreliable, and even irrelevant.

Drought in California

Examining the situation in the U.S., one only has to look at the photography of drought-afflicted California, where 50 per cent of the fruit, nuts and vegetables for the whole United States are grown, to imagine what is going to happen to food production and the price of agricultural produce in a warming world.

The loss of water in the state – 240 gigatons of surface and groundwater, an amount equivalent to almost 10 cm (4 inches) of water spread over the entire West – is so great that the mountains are measurably rising, as the weight on them diminishes.

For exactly half of those 38 years since 1976, world leaders have been discussing at international climate talks what to do about the increase in global temperatures resulting from the burning of fossil fuels and land-use changes.

Such societal activities have increased the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the key global warming gas, from a pre-industrial level of 280 parts per million (ppm) to 400 ppm – having some time ago exceeded 350 ppm, the danger level calculated by scientists. Yet even as the science has become more definitive, and the direct impacts on our landscapes and climate ever more obvious, the political landscape has deteriorated faster than a California lake.

Indeed, world leaders and negotiators for the UN inter-governmental process on climate change, begun 19 years ago, have at this point essentially given up. The coming climate summit in Paris in December 2015 – billed as the meeting that would finally adopt an international plan for replacing the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 to deal with carbon dioxide emissions and deforestation – is already acknowledged by participants as completely inadequate and having “no chance,” more than a year before it is set to take place.

As a new report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, titled “Expectations for a New Climate Agreement,” says:

“We doubt there will be negotiation specifically on quantitative national emissions reduction targets, as under the Berlin Mandate [agreed to in 1995]. Furthermore, any legal provisions included in an agreement will not be of a form requiring ratification by national legislative bodies. Involvement by the United States is crucial to any future regime, and the U.S. Senate is an impassable barrier on the horizon of COP-21 negotiations.”

So more than a year ahead of negotiations that are supposed to map out and finalize a global deal on significant emissions reductions – which in any case were not due to come into effect until five years later – we already know the outcome: there will be no specific limits on emissions or targets for setting them; nothing will be enforceable and whatever happens will be merely voluntary; and the U.S., the biggest polluter in history, will be the major obstacle.

100 Senators

The “impassable barrier” of the U.S. Senate, more than half of whom are Democrats at the moment, means that 100 people – the majority of them millionaires, 80 of them male, 93 of them white, 85 identifying as Christian, with an average age of 62 and an average of more than 10 years in the same job – are holding hostage 7 billion people, millions of species and the climate stability of the entire planet.

Is it any wonder that a recent Princeton study, titled “Testing Theories of American Politics,” affirmed what many Americans already know: The United States of America is not a democracy in any meaningful sense. The report notes:

“In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule – at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes. When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the U.S. political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it.”

The study also reports: “The net alignments of the most influential, business oriented groups are negatively related to the average citizen’s wishes.” Which means that not only do ordinary people in the United States have virtually no influence on government policy, despite formal national elections which might suggest otherwise, but the policies that are enacted under the influence of a small economic and political elite are contrary to the expressed desires of the majority of the population.

Many examples related to issues like taxing the rich, public healthcare and education could be cited. On the environmental front, several polls show majorities in favor of stronger U.S. government action on climate change. And contrary to a popular myth, the polls show consistently higher support from people of color, due to the fact that they are most directly, immediately and worst affected by environmental problems.

System Change

In short, more and more people around the world are recognizing the need for “system change.”

They want to prevent not only climate change, but address a host of social issues generated by the continued operation of capitalism that are inextricably intertwined with our ecological problems: growing inequality, ossified class structures with rigid or only downward mobility, structural and institutional racism, massive and ongoing gender disparities, giant corporate conglomerations immune to democratic oversight or governance, restrictive and debt-laden higher education, the progressive erosion of civil liberties, state-directed warfare with no regard for the casualties. Now, we can add to that list the almost complete lack of real democracy in a country that is supposedly defined by that characteristic.

On a global scale, as I have written elsewhere, states organized competitively against one another are subject to two dynamics, which combine to prevent an internationally coordinated effort to reverse climate change and preclude any long-term ecological resolution within the confines of capitalist economics:

“The need for constant growth is endemic to capitalism and therefore makes it impossible to find a permanent solution to environmental degradation within a competitive, profit-driven system. Alongside that is a second fatal – and under-appreciated – anti-ecological contradiction of capitalism: the international competition between nation states over resources and political hegemony.”

In a rather surprising inclusion to the Princeton report on democracy in the U.S., the authors make note of essentially the same analysis:

“Marxist and neo-Marxist theories of the capitalist state hold that economic classes – and particularly the bourgeoisie, the owners of the means of production – dominate policy making and cause the state to serve their material interests. As the Communist Manifesto put it, ‘The bourgeoisie has…conquered for itself, in the modern representative State, exclusive political sway. The executive of the modern State is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie’.”

Hence, in order to solve the interlocked combination of social and ecological problems generated by an economic and political system driven solely by profit, one which serves the interests of only a tiny minority of the world’s population, we need to have a vision for an entirely different system of organizing production.

In order to achieve that vision, we will need to build a movement that harnesses the collective power of the 99 per cent of humanity who have a stake in overturning capitalism and replacing it with a more democratic, inclusive, cooperative and needs-based socio-ecological system for producing the things we need to stay alive.

Such a system requires rational and coordinated long-term planning, another feature inimical to the anarchy dictated by ‘market forces’. Thus, for example, the response to the drought in California is not to switch water supplies over to crops with less intensive water requirements, but to ones that offer higher economic value.

Deeper wells are required to reach groundwater, increasing unsustainable pumping rates by using larger and larger diesel-fueled pumps – so the system is simultaneously exacerbating local air pollution, saline intrusion and land subsidence. Because water flows underground, each farmer or corporation – many of which are using completely outdated water-saving technologies, based on 7,000-year-old technology, if they are using such methods at all – is in direct competition with surrounding farms to dig deeper wells, acquire larger pumps, and pump out groundwater before their neighbors.

Nonsensically, though 80 per cent of water in California is used for agricultural purposes, the onus has been on individual consumers to reduce their water use, not Big Ag – even though this makes no sense in terms of achieving radical reductions in water use. Indeed, the 3.9 million people of Los Angeles already use less water than other U.S. cities and less per capita than they did in 1980.

Such is the irrational, unplanned and frankly absurd nature of capitalism that the thriving new business in California is companies that paint lawns and grass green – using, of all things, water-based paints.

The process of financial accumulation for short-term profit at the expense of both people and the environment, was described in the fugitive slave narrative of Charles Bell, as he traveled north, in terms that are startlingly contemporary:

“They are attempting to perform impossibilities – to draw the means of supporting a life of idleness, luxury and splendor from a once generous, but long since worn-out and exhausted soil – a soil which, carefully used, would at this day have richly repaid the toils of a husbandman, by noble abundance of all the comforts of life; but which, tortured into barrenness by the double curse of slavery and tobacco, stands as…a monument to the poverty and punishment which Providence has decreed as the reward of idleness and tyranny.”

By contrast, a rational society based on cooperative, bottom-up democracy would use a combination of science, the best available technology, and local knowledge of weather patterns, soil, agriculture and food needs to decide where and what to plant and farm in any given location.

Those decisions would rest on a comprehensive analysis of the type of crop, based on agricultural, ecological, climatic, cultural and social factors, and how to embed those crops among other crops, animals and humans to create a sustainable and functional, integrated ecosystem – one that can, in combination and consultation with other agricultural regions, provide nutritious food and a balanced diet for a wider population.

Not only do ecosocialists see the problem of climate change as related to an entire social and economic system that needs to be confronted – because we are talking about requisitioning $10-trillion in wealth held by fossil fuel corporations alone – but our vision for that alternative also has to be holistic. It must make the connections between different struggles and unite the forces capable of making such a vision a reality.

Organizing for Change

How can we organize ourselves to carry out a social and ecological revolution on a planetary scale? As we approach the midpoint of the second decade of the 21st century, knowing the urgency of our project, its all-encompassing nature, the legacy of past defeats and disorganization among our own ranks, such a task appears daunting.

Nevertheless, clearly, the vast majority of us have an interest in doing so. Therefore, the question becomes one of motivation, potential and organization. Is the need to organize such a movement as powerful as the need that led to the rise of the abolitionists and the struggle against slavery? Indeed, that titanic struggle – which brought about a revolutionary change in production methods and turned millions of African-Americans from slaves into free men and women – offers lessons in who can effect profound social change.

It was the slaves themselves, responsible for cutting the cane, drying the tobacco and farming the cotton, who were the decisive social force in turning the Civil War between ruling-class factions into a revolutionary one that undermined production in the South and led to the non-compensated multibillion-dollar dispossession of the Southern slaveocracy.

While social movements throughout history have been and are powerful social actors, it is the collective power of people in factories, fields and offices to stop production of the things that the capitalists need to sell that is the crucial motive force and lever, capable of turning social revolt into social revolution. While this force may appear dormant, perhaps, to some – even extinguished within the U.S. – working people, and even more so working people of color and the part of the workforce who are women, are disproportionately affected by ecological issues and so not only have a direct interest in fighting for ecological sanity, but also the power to effectively do so.

Which is why working-class struggles have often featured an environmental component, around questions of housing, air and water pollution, transportation, sanitation, town planning, environmental and workplace toxins. Those struggles are often mis-categorized as purely social, and omitted from histories of environmental reforms and how they were won. They are, nevertheless, a necessary and essential component of success.

Union members in the U.S. are beginning to recognize the importance of fighting for improved sanitation infrastructure, public transit and a new energy grid, free of fossil fuels – even if this is sometimes in contrast to the attitudes of their union leaders. Such struggles will only succeed with a rebalancing of social power in working people’s favor, not simply as a transition to different forms of energy.

Huey P. Newton, a leader of the Black Panther Party of the 1960s, firmly believed – following Karl Marx – that environmental problems were an outgrowth of capitalist economics and, as such, had to be taken up as a central part of the Panthers’ program. Newton argued that revolutionaries needed to see “pollution for what it is – war against nature, war against people, against the race itself, against the unborn.”

Moving toward a holistic understanding of nature and humanity’s place on the planet, Newton stressed that the underlying philosophy of the Black Panther Party must reject the very idea of nation states and be “founded on the basic concept of the unity of nature underlying and transcending all arbitrary national and geographical divisions.”

Achieving such a vision of a borderless world, where humanity and nature are intimately connected and co-evolutionary, will be a giant task. But if we examine our history, it is not one without precedent. It will require building organizational strength, as the coalition System Change Not Climate Change is attempting to do, as well as international solidarity among the 99 per cent – among the people of the factories, forests and fields. We also need political clarity about the systemic nature of the fight, as will be debated and discussed at the Climate Convergence in New York City on September 19-20, with hundreds of activists from across the globe.

There is no time like the present to be part of that fight. •

Chris Williams is author of Ecology and Socialism: Solutions to Capitalist Ecological Crisis, and writes for Socialist Workers where this article first appeared.

Senator Orrin Hatch, Republican from Utah, is not the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. That post is held by Democrat Ron Wyden – whose party currently holds the majority of seats in the Senate. But this Tuesday, in a hearing that he was not even chairing, Senator Hatch appeared to be attempting to censor the speech of the witnesses before they testified by admonishing them not to use a list of specific words and phrases.

The hearing was convened to take testimony on the retirement crisis facing millions of Americans because of the disappearance of corporate funded pensions and the inability of most Americans to build up a sufficient nest egg on their own because of stagnant wages and 401(k) fees imposed by Wall Street eating up their savings.

Hatch, with a stern face, told the panelists: “What I hope to not hear today are poll-tested slogans like ‘Upside Down Tax Incentives,’ ‘Bang for the Buck,’ ‘Pension Stripping,’ or ‘The System is Rigged’ without substantiating data.  We need to hear facts and serious policy proposals, not political slogans.”

Adding to concerns that Senator Hatch had succeeded in censoring free speech in a Senate hearing was an empty chair at the witness table – which remained empty throughout the session. The written testimony of this witness never appeared along with other written witness testimony on the Senate web page for this hearing. (We called the Senate Finance committee to inquire what was behind this and were told that even if the witness submits the written testimony in advance, it isn’t posted if the witness does not appear. The Senate Banking committee typically posts written testimony the day before the hearing as do other Senate committees.)

The missing witness was Ellen Schultz, a former investigative reporter for the Wall Street Journal who has documented for more than a decade that the retirement system is actually rigged and that serious pension stripping is taking place. Schultz went on to write the seminal work on the subject in 2011: Retirement Heist: How Companies Plunder and Profit from the Nest Eggs of American Workers.

Click here to read complete article.

The UN has halted a measles vaccination campaign in northern Syria after at least 15 children died after receiving shots, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed in a joint statement.

“UNICEF and WHO have been shocked and saddened to learn of the deaths of at least 15 young children in Idlib, Syria,” the statement said. “The deaths of the children occurred in areas where a measles immunization campaign had been under way.”

The children were all under the age of two, Reuters reported, citing aid workers.

Around one hour after being given a second round of the measles vaccine in Idlib on Tuesday, the children demonstrated signs of “severe allergic shock,” said Abdullah Ajaj, a physician administering the vaccinations at a medical center in Jarjanaz, according to AP. The second round of vaccinations began in Idlib and Deir Ezzour on Monday.

Following the vaccine, some of the children’s bodies swelled and they suffocated to death.

“There was shouting and screaming, it was hard for the parents. You get your child vaccinated and then you find your child dying, it’s very hard,” Ajaj said.

Conflicting statements from the Syrian opposition and reports from rights groups have put the number of vaccine-related deaths between 34 and 50.

The WHO said it is sending a team of experts to investigate the incidents, adding that “establishing the precise cause of the children’s deaths is vital.”

The immunization campaign has been suspended in both Idlib and Deir Ezzour provinces. However, UNICEF and the WHO are hopeful that the campaign could resume “as soon as possible.”

While it is believed that measles outbreaks can effectively be contained by vaccinations, they can be very dangerous in undeveloped areas. The disease is transmitted through bodily fluids, coughing, and tears from the eyes.

UN agencies and other non-government organizations have been providing medical services in Syria since the uprising against President Bashar Assad began in March 2011.

The Syrian conflict has since turned into a full-scale civil war, with more than 190,000 people killed, according to UN.

On Tuesday, Assad said the fight against terrorism must begin by placing more pressure on countries which are supporting and financing insurgents in Syria and Iraq.

READ MORE: Assad calls to stop funding armed groups in Syria, Iraq

Meanwhile, the US announced that it has plans to take “targeted actions against ISIS (Islamic State/ISIL) safe havens in Syria,” including striking infrastructure. US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel unveiled a plan to boost Iraqi forces with 1,600 US “military advisers.”

The US will also train and equip 5,000 members of the Syrian opposition to fight militants from the Islamic State group.

Open Letter to Mrs. Michelle Obama From a Son of Haiti

September 18th, 2014 by Jafrikayiti

Dear First Lady Michelle Obama,

As I type these words, I envision bright smiles on seven faces, those of seven precious young ladies. One of them, I am certain, is happy and safe, enjoying a relaxing morning with her grandmother. Two of them are probably enjoying this blessed day with you and President Obama. Another two, much older today than pictured in the photograph below, are the daughters of our late beloved Rolihlahla Madiba Mandela and Mama Winnie Madikizela.

Unlike mine, yours and the Mandela girls, the sixth and seventh young ladies are neither happy nor safe this morning.  As had happened to Zenani and Zinzi Mandela, under Apartheid South-Africa,  in my native Haiti today, Michaelle and Marie-Christine Aristide are like prisoners in their own home,  worrying about politically and racially-motivated violence targeting them, their parents, Dr. Jean-Bertrand Aristide and Mrs. Mildred Trouillot-Aristide as well as other members or sympathizers of the Lavalas political party.

On September 16, 2014, U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters wrote to your Secretary of State: “Dear Secretary Kerry: I am deeply concerned that there is an effort to illegally arrest President Aristide”.

Indeed, recently, a man named Lamarre Belizaire issued an illegal arrest warrant against former President Aristide for allegedly ignoring equally-unlawful summons issued, shortly earlier by the same. Belizaire is considered by most Haitians to be an impostor, as he never met minimal legal qualifications to hold the title of “judge”. In fact, Belizaire has been disbarred by the “barreau de Port-au-Prince”, whereby he won’t be allowed to practice law in Haiti for up to 10 years.

Why do I address this letter to you?

Dear Mrs. Obama, I write this urgent letter to you because, for the past 10 years, the governance of Haiti has been effectively taken over by the Government of the United States, of which your husband, Barack Hussein Obama, is President. While neither legal nor accepted by the People of Haiti, this take-over of their country’s governance by the U.S. Government is real.

Since 2004, the U.S. has intervened to determine the outcome of several mocked elections in Haiti. During the latest such exercise, in 2011, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton personally selected Michel Martelly to be first runner-up, then President of Haiti, under circumstances that were so shameful, illegal, blunt and disrespectful that they were openly denounced even by the OAS diplomat Ricardo Seitenfus and by former Haitian President René Préval.

The international community had behaved in Haiti as if it were in conquered territory. It boldly put into practice, absent any legal, technical or moral basis, a white coup and a blatant electoral intervention. – Ricardo Seitenfus

One cannot disagree with René Préval when, faced with the ratification of the election of a candidate imposed by the United States through the international community, he asked himself: “In this case, why were elections held?
- Haiti’s Doctored Elections, Seen from the Inside: An Interview with Ricardo Seitenfus (By Dan Beeton and Georgianne Nienaber – February 24, 2014 )

Ten decades ago, under the 1915 U.S. Occupation of Haiti the great American scholar and NAACP leader James Weldon Johnson worked tireless to counter the racist arguments that an intellectually backward but politically and economically-powerful sector of U.S. society used to justify the occupation of Haiti.

Disturbingly, the current occupation, a desired and planned outcome, was also predicated on racist and flawed premises. I recall the shocking statement made by then Assistant Secretary General of the OAS, in front of myself as well as several other witnesses at Haiti’s Hotel Montana, on December 31, 2003:

“The real problem with Haiti” said Luigi Einaudi, “is that the ‘International Community’ is so screwed up & divided that they are actually letting Haitians run Haiti.”

Less than two months after Einaudi uttered these words, on February 28-29, 2004, in the dead of the night, U.S. Marines entered the residence of Haiti’s president, while Canadian RCMP soldiers secured the airport to facilitate a coup d’etat and the occupation of Haiti. Since that fateful night, Haitians are no longer running Haiti. However, the bloodbath the foreigners claim to have intervened to avoid reached unprecedented proportions, with full involvement of the UN forces.

The proper solution for the problem of Haiti is creation of an international trusteeship, one that will allow for the institutions of the Haitian state to be rebuilt and to be made effective, prior to transition, under international stewardship, to a fully self-directed democratic state with an effective market economy. However, it is acknowledged that the intervention/ trusteeship solution has been attempted before in Haiti, and it has failed. The long history and unique culture of this country have given the Haitian people a strong sense of independence and nationhood. This poses a considerable challenge to the international community – to develop and implement an approach that will be perceived as legitimate by the Haitian nation, and not one simply imposed by outside powers.

See: “The Case for International Trusteeship in Haiti” by Major Michael T. Ward http://www.journal.forces.gc.ca/vo7/no3/ward-eng.asp

After seven years in exile, and thanks to the exemplary courage of South-African presidents Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma, the Aristide family returned to Haiti in 2011. As I wrote on the eve of that momentous event, Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s return from exile represents a major blow to the face of white supremacist racism and a serious defeat of global banditry.

“As a priest, as an educator, when he was president, and now as he will return to education, [Aristide will] continue to be a person that always, always, always withstands.” – Mrs. Mildred Trouillot-Aristide (see: Amy Goodman’s coverage of the event on Democracy Now).

Given the self-assigned roles foreigners took in Haiti since the 2004 Coup, the current state of affairs in that country must be considered their collective accomplishment.

Socio-Economic Indicators:

Source: 2014 Human Development Report, UNDP

  • During the period of foreign occupation (2004 to present), the socio-economic situation of Haitian families has deteriorated, in many ways. Over the same period, Rwanda, a country recovering from horrendous socio-political trauma, significantly improved its human development performance, moving its HDI from several points below that of Haiti in 2004 and surpassing it since 2011.
  • Haiti has known multiple prison breaks, the most recent one involving several hundred criminals at a time and counting among the “escapees” close friends of the President.
  • One of the most disastrous consequences of the Coup and subsequent U.N. tutelage is that Haiti, a country with no known cases of cholera for the past 100 years, now has one of the worst cholera epidemics in the world. Over 10,000 Haitians have been killed and nearly a million sickened by cholera since October 2010, when U.N. troops contaminated of a major source of drinking water in the country with the deadly bacterium.

 Political indicators:

  • Enjoying full U.S. support and complicity, Michel Martelly has not organized legislative and local elections which are overdue, since he took office in 2011.
  • Several political opponents of the Martelly regime have been arrested (Enol and Josué Florestal, Jean Lamy Matulnes), while others are constantly harassed using the judicial system and the police force as tools for political repression.
  • The people of Haiti are currently ruled by a neo-Duvalierist regime, under which former dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier benefits the open support of powerful national and international allies. Duvalier has brazenly mocked his victims since his January 2011 return to U.N.-occupied Haiti. The dictator, enjoying full impunity, has been posing for glamour pictures with his protectors and friends Bill Clinton and Martelly (N.B.: Duvalier’s son, Nicolas François, is Martelly’s advisor).

President Barack Obama contributed to the current situation by abdicating too much of his role as Head of State, letting the Clintons do as they please with U.S. policy towards Haiti.

The disastrous results of the foreign occupation of Haiti continue to compel voices of reason worldwide, notably in Haiti and in the U.S., to demand an immediate end to this senseless experiment.

Dear Mrs. Obama:

Surely, you and your husband must know that, under the current neo-Duvalierist regime which is figuratively-led by President Michel Martelly, the erratic actions of Lamarre Bélizaire are symptomatic of widespread dysfunction in the Haitian judicial, police and prison systems. Are you aware, for instance,  that, a few weeks ago, over 329 prisoners were let loose in broad day light from a supposedly high-level security prison? Among the “escapees”, the Dominican Republic military captured and returned to Haiti alleged gang leader and kidnapper Clifford Brandt, who also happens to be a campaign financier and close friend of Mr. Martelly and Mr. Lamothe. At the end of 2003, another close friend of Mr. Martelly became entangled in a bizarre drug dealing case which seriously threatened to bring down the government. As of January 2014, Mr. Evinx Daniel vanished from the face of the earth. He simply disappeared!

No doubt, the ongoing persecution of Dr. Aristide has diverted attention from these troubling acts of disappearance performed by key Martelly-Lamothe associates.

Dear Mrs. Obama:

It is high time the United States of North-America abandons its antiquated foreign policy consisting of propping up semi-educated dictators in Latin America and the Caribbean who persecute intellectuals and break political dissent with violent and illegal means. We need real change in which we can all truly believe. You’ve witnessed first-hand how your husband’s ability to lead as President of the United States, has at times been undermined by a racist fringe of the U.S. population. Surely, you must empathize with the struggle of Haiti’s impoverished majority and their embattled leader Jean-Bertrand Arisitide as they continue to face numerously few, but economically well-endowed national and international ideologues who are stubbornly bent on denying black majority rule in Haiti, on account of old racist ideas. Haitians deserve your help in their struggle to recover their sovereign rights!

By this, I am NOT asking President Obama or the U.S. Government to interfere further in Haitian affairs. Unfortunately, this very week, several U.S. Congressmen took this ill-fated direction. On the contrary, I am asking all the foreign forces, including the U.S. Government, the Congress et al. to assume responsibility for the damage they have already caused, pay due reparations to Haitians and get out of Haiti’s business, without undue delay.

Haitians keep saying every which way they can that Einaudi’s assessment of “the real problem with Haiti” was and is wrong. The objective facts also prove the Haitians right. The 2004 foreign occupation of Haiti, conducted and maintained under racist premises, is a dismal and tragic failure.

In honor of millions of displaced, enslaved and tortured Africans, the heroes who fought and died all over the Americas in order to secure our right to freedom, Mrs. Obama, please encourage your husband and his government to finally commit to real, positive, change in U.S. Policy towards Haiti, today!

The FBI has foiled yet another entirely fabricated terror threat of its own creation, with missing mechanisms in two firearms provided to a potential terrorist being the only thing that prevented this latest case of entrapment from going “live.”

A Rochester man, Mufid A. Elfgeeh, is accused by the FBI of attempting to provide material support to ISIS (undercover FBI agents), attempting to kill US soldiers, and possession of firearms and silencers (provided to him by the FBI). The FBI’s own official press release stated (emphasis added):

According to court records, Elfgeeh attempted to provide material support to ISIS in the form of personnel, namely three individuals, two of whom were cooperating with the FBI. Elfgeeh attempted to assist all three individuals in traveling to Syria to join and fight on behalf of ISIS. Elfgeeh also plotted to shoot and kill members of the United States military who had returned from Iraq. As part of the plan to kill soldiers, Elfgeeh purchased two handguns equipped with firearm silencers and ammunition from a confidential source. The handguns were made inoperable by the FBI before the confidential source gave them to Elfgeeh.

What is perhaps more chilling are the details of Elfgeeh’s plans to kill US soldiers. The FBI’s press release stated (emphasis added):

Court documents also indicate that Elfgeeh first discussed the idea of shooting United States military members in December 2013 when he told CS-2 that he was thinking about getting a gun and ammunition, putting on a bulletproof vest, and “just go[ing] around and start shooting.” In February 2014, Elfgeeh told CS-2 that he needed a handgun and silencer. Elfgeeh later gave CS-2 $1,050 in cash to purchase two handguns equipped with silencers and ammunition. On May 31, 2014, CS-2 delivered the two handguns equipped with silencers and ammunition to Elfgeeh. After Elfgeeh took possession of the items, he was arrested by members of the Rochester Joint Terrorism Task Force. Elfgeeh is currently being held in custody.

Elfgeeh’s plans are also – coincidentally – verbatim, the dream scenario of Washington’s warmongers currently attempting to sell a war that will straddle both sides of the Syrian-Iraqi border, allow the US to provide terrorists operating in Syria with air support, and lead to punitive operations against the Syrian government for attacking US-backed terrorists with the final objective being long-sought after regime change in Damascus.

With serial beheadings failing to raise Western public support necessary for an expedient intervention in Syria, more insidious provocations appear to be in the works. Setting the stage, a CBS/Associated Press story titled, “Former Deputy CIA Director: ‘I Would Not Be Surprised’ If ISIS Member Shows Up To US Mall Tomorrow With AK-47,” would claim immediately after the initial James Foley execution video that:

“The short-term concern is the Americans that have gone to fight with ISIS and the west Europeans that have gone to fight with ISIS could be trained and directed by ISIS to come to the United States to conduct small-scale attacks,” Morell stated. “If an ISIS member showed up at a mall in the United States tomorrow with an AK-47 and killed a number of Americans, I would not be surprised.”

Morell warned that over the long-term the extremist group could be planning for a 9/11-style attack that killed thousands of Americans.

Elfgeeh’s entrapment is only the beginning. Staged “terror raids” in Australia are also ratcheting up hysteria ahead of an actual event of mass murder carried out on Western soil. The BBC would report in their article, “Australia raids over ‘Islamic State plot to behead’,” that:

Police have carried out anti-terror raids in Sydney sparked by intelligence reports that Islamic extremists were planning random killings in Australia.

PM Tony Abbott said a senior Australian Islamic State militant had called for “demonstration killings”, reportedly including a public beheading.

The raids, with at least 800 heavily-armed officers, led to 15 arrests.

Image: Australian security forces swept the city of Sydney arresting suspects of an alleged plot by ISIS to behead a random member of the public and then drape an ISIS flag upon their body in an attack that would only stand to serve Western ambitions to expand war on both sides of the Syrian-Iraqi border. The plot is cartoonish in nature, but Westerners should not underestimate what lengths special interests will go through to provoke war. 

 

The cartoonish nature of the plot – beheading a random member of the public before draping an ISIS flag over their body - is meant to provoke maximum fear and anger first, then maximum support for Australia’s continued involvement in Wall Street and London’s hegemonic ambitions in the Middle East. Likewise, the Rochester arrest made by the FBI amid their own terror plot, serves only to incite fear across the public and irrational support for intervention in Syria that will, in fact, lead to further support of extremists as well as the destruction of the only institution in the region truly fighting terrorism – the Syrian Arab Army.

A Functioning Firing Pin Away From a Staged Mass Shooting

The FBI has a long list of foiled terror plots of its own creation. More disturbingly are the plots they conceived but “accidentally” allowed to go “live.” One might recall the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. FBI agents, according to the New York Times, were indeed overseeing the bombers that detonated a device killing six and wounding many more at the World Trade Center.

In their article, “Tapes Depict Proposal to Thwart Bomb Used in Trade Center Blast,” NYT reported:

Law-enforcement officials were told that terrorists were building a bomb that was eventually used to blow up the World Trade Center, and they planned to thwart the plotters by secretly substituting harmless powder for the explosives, an informer said after the blast.

The informer was to have helped the plotters build the bomb and supply the fake powder, but the plan was called off by an F.B.I. supervisor who had other ideas about how the informer, Emad A. Salem, should be used, the informer said.

The account, which is given in the transcript of hundreds of hours of tape recordings Mr. Salem secretly made of his talks with law-enforcement agents, portrays the authorities as in a far better position than previously known to foil the Feb. 26 bombing of New York City’s tallest towers. The explosion left six people dead, more than 1,000 injured and damages in excess of half a billion dollars.

Considering the 1993 bombing and the fact that the FBI literally oversaw the construction and deployment of a deadly bomb that killed 6, it is clear that the FBI can at any time through design or disastrous incompetence, turn one of their contrived entrapment cases into a live terror attack. One can only guess at how many similar FBI operations are currently taking place within the United States involving ISIS sympathizers – any one of which could be turned into a live terror attack provided the weapons handed over to potential terrorists are functioning, just as the bomb was in 1993 when it was driven into the lower levels of the World Trade Center.

Image: The FBI has an impressive portfolio of intentionally created, then foiled terror plots. Its methods include allowing suspects to handle both real and inoperable weapons and explosives. These methods allow the FBI to switch entrapment cases “live” at any moment simply by switching out duds and arrests with real explosives and successful attacks. Because the FBI uses “informants,” when attacks go live, these confidential assets can be blamed, obfuscating the FBI’s involvement. 

 

Everything from a mass shooting to a bombing, and even an Operation Northwoods-style false flag attack involving aircraft could be employed to provide Wall Street and London with the support it needs to accelerate its long-stalled agenda of regime change and reordering in both Syria and across the Iranian arc of influence. Readers may recall Operation Northwoods, reported on in an ABC News article titled, “U.S. Military Wanted to Provoke War With Cuba,” which bluntly stated:

In the early 1960s, America’s top military leaders reportedly drafted plans to kill innocent people and commit acts of terrorism in U.S. cities to create public support for a war against Cuba.

Code named Operation Northwoods, the plans reportedly included the possible assassination of Cuban émigrés, sinking boats of Cuban refugees on the high seas, hijacking planes, blowing up a U.S. ship, and even orchestrating violent terrorism in U.S. cities.

That the FBI and Australian authorities are coordinating staged security operations in tandem on opposite ends of the globe to terrify their respective populations into line behind an impending war with Syria suggests a new “Operation Northwoods” of sorts is already being executed. Staged executions on cue by ISIS in the Middle East of US and British citizens at perfectly timed junctures of the West’s attempt to sell intervention both at home and abroad also reek of staged mayhem for the sole purpose of provoking war.Could grander and ultimately more tragic mayhem be in store? As ABC News’ article on Operation Northwoods suggests, there is no line Western special interests will hesitate to cross.

With the West attempting to claim ISIS now has a “global” reach, the US and its partners’ attempts to obfuscate the very obvious state-sponsorship it is receiving will become exponentially more difficult. That the FBI is admittedly stringing along easily manipulated, malevolent patsies who at any time could be handed real weapons and sent on shooting sprees and/or bombings, Americans, Europeans, and Australians would be foolish to conclude that their real enemy resides somewhere in Syria and not right beside them at home, upon the very seats of Western power.

The US-EU-Russia Sanctions Puzzle

September 18th, 2014 by Pepe Escobar

Whatever Russia does, doubt does not even enter the equation. The answer is sanctions. So here we go again. The US Treasury-EU latest sanction package targets Russian banking, the energy industry and the defense industry.

The sanctions are mean. The sanctions are nasty. And there’s no euphemism to describe them; they amount to a declaration of economic war.

Sberbank, Russia’s largest won’t be able to access Western capital for long-term funding, including every kind of borrowing over 30 days. And the current 90-day lending bans affecting six other large Russian banks – a previous sanctions package – will also be reduced to 30 days.

On the energy front, what the US-EU want is to shut down new Russian exploration projects in Siberia and the Arctic, barring Western Big Oil from selling equipment and technology to offshore, deepwater or shale gas projects.

This means Exxon and Shell, for instance, are frozen in their operations with five top Russian oil/gas/pipeline companies: Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Lukoil, Surgutneftegaz, and Rosneft.

No one ever lost money betting on the stupidity of the usual, unknown “senior US officials” – who are now spinning the latest sanction package is to force Moscow to “respect international law and state sovereignty.” A cursory examination of the historical record allows this paragraph to be accompanied by roaring laughter.

And then there’s the US Treasury’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, David Cohen, who insists the package will further “isolate” Russia from the global financial system.

Members of the European Parliament stand to applaud during a voting session on the EU-Ukraine Association agreement at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, September 16, 2014. (Reuters/Vincent Kessler)Members of the European Parliament stand to applaud during a voting session on the EU-Ukraine Association agreement at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, September 16, 2014. (Reuters/Vincent Kessler)

 

The package was also described by Western corporate media as capable of “unnerving already jittery financial markets.” Well, they were not exactly “unnerved.” In Russia, the stocks of companies on the sanctions list went up. In the US, energy stocks went down. Short translation; the “unnerved” markets interpreted the latest package as yet another own goal by Washington and Brussels.

Splitting up Eurasia

As for Russia’s “isolation”, companies are barred from, in Washington-Wall Street newspeak, “important dollar-denominated funding sources.” Or, euphemistically, “Western capital.” This means the US dollar and the euro. Anyone following superimposed moves towards a multipolar world knows Russia does not need more US dollars and euro.

Moscow might use both to cross-purchase goods and services in the US and the EU. Yet these goods and services may be bought elsewhere around the world. For that, you don’t need “Western capital” – as Moscow is fast advancing the use of national currencies with other trade partners. The Atlanticist gang assumes Moscow needs goods and services from the US and the EU much more than the other way around. That’s a fallacy.

Russia can sell its abundant energy resources in any currency apart from US dollars and euro. Russia can buy all the clothing it needs from Asia and South America. On the electronics and high-tech front, most of it is made in China anyway.

Crucially, on the energy front, it would be no less than thrilling to watch the EU – which still does not even have a common energy policy – trying to come up with alternative suppliers. Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Qatar, for a number of complex reasons – ranging from insufficient gas to be committed, to an absence of pipelines – are out of the picture.

The Obama administration, for its part, simply won’t allow the EU to start importing energy from Iran like, virtually, tomorrow. Even with a now quite wobbly nuclear deal reached before the end of 2014 – presumably opening the way to an end to sanctions.

The “irrational” markets see what’s really goin’ on; they are not “irrational” but moved by profit derived from realpolitik.

And all this while Moscow has not even counterpunched. And that could be quite lethal – targeting EU exporters to Russia and even energy supplies from Russia. Then the EU will retaliate. And Russia will counter-counterpunch. That’s exactly what Washington wants: a trade/economic war ravaging and splitting up Eurasia.

 

United States President Barack Obama (Reuters/Gary Cameron)United States President Barack Obama (Reuters/Gary Cameron)

About that $20 trillion…

On the political front, Ukraine and EU had initially agreed to “postpone the EU Association Agreement until the end of 2016.” You can’t make this stuff up; that’s exactly what Yanukovich did last November, as he knew Kiev could not allow itself to lose most of its certified trading with Russia in favor of a vague “free trade” with the EU. This agreement to “postpone” the agreement was in fact overseen by astonishing mediocrity and outgoing European Commission (EC) President Jose Manuel Barroso.

But then the European Parliament, during a plenary session in Strasbourg, hurried up to ratify Ukraine’sAssociation Agreement as President Petro Poroshenko simultaneously submitted it to the Ukrainian Parliament. This does not mean the agreement goes immediately into effect. Economic “integration”with the EU – a euphemism for a one-way invasion of Ukraine by EU products – will start only in January 2016. And there’s no way a crisis-hit EU will incorporate Ukraine anytime soon – or ever.

On Thursday, Poroshenko meets his master, US President Barack Obama, and addresses a joint session of the US Congress. Expect “evil empire” rhetoric to reach interstellar levels.

But it’s on Saturday in Berlin that the real thing starts unfolding; energy negotiations between Russia, the EU and Ukraine. Needless to say, Moscow holds all the key cards.

Washington’s humongous debt is reaching almost $20 trillion – and counting. With a monster crisis approaching like a tsunami from hell, no wonder Washington had to resort to the perfect diversionary tactic; the return of the “evil empire.” It’s the Marvel Comics school of politics all over again.

Russia has a huge surplus of foreign capital – and is able to weather the storm. Germany – the EU’s top economy – on the other hand, is already suffering. Growth is already at a negative 0.2%. This is the way the hysterical sanction wind is blowing – further derailing EU economies. And no one is betting the EU will have the balls to stand up to Washington. Not in vassal-infested Brussels.

Israel’s Gaza Probe Aims to Stymie War Crimes Trials

September 18th, 2014 by Jonathan Cook

Image: Palestinian child used as human shield by the Israeli army a few years ago.

Experts fear army investigation will be a whitewash, designed to block Palestinian threat of going to International Criminal Court

For five days during Israel’s recent assault on Gaza, 16-year old Ahmad Abu-Raida says he was held by Israeli soldiers as a human shield. Repeatedly beaten by the unit that seized him, the youngster describes being forced at gunpoint to enter deserted homes, which could have been booby-trapped, to search for Hamas tunnels.

Ahmad, who was separated from his family by Israeli soldiers after they invaded the town of Khuza’a in the southern Gaza Strip on 23 July, testified that soldiers “were walking behind me, with their rifles pointed at me. ‘Get in and see if there are tunnels or not,’ [the captain] ordered me. … Whenever I told them there were no tunnels, they would take me out and search the room themselves.”

Ahmad’s account, taken by Defence for Children International, is one of five allegations of criminal conduct that the Israeli army announced last week it would be investigating. More than 99 incidents have so far been highlighted by Israel’s military attorney general.

Taking Ahmad as a hostage and using him as a human shield would constitute a grave violation of the Geneva Conventions, the rules of war intended to protect non-combatants.

It would also violate a 2005 decision by Israel’s highest court, outlawing what had until then appeared to be a routine practice, known as the “neighbour procedure,” used by the Israeli army.

Deaths made headlines

Ahmad’s experiences and several other suspected war crimes being investigated by the Israeli military made headlines in the international media during and immediately after the seven weeks of fighting. That has added to the pressure on Israel to be seen to be taking the allegations seriously.

The other cases under investigation are:

  • An Israeli air force missile strike on a beach on 18 July that killed four children playing football, an incident widely reported because it occurred in full view of journalists staying in a nearby hotel.
  • An Israeli strike on a United Nations-run school in Beit Hanoun on 24 July that killed 15 Palestinian civilians sheltering there and wounded scores more.
  • The shooting of a woman as she left her home after her exit from a conflict zone had been coordinated with the Israeli army.
  • The theft of money by a soldier from a home, reported by his commander.

These incidents cover only a fraction of the more than 2,100 Palestinians killed during 50 days of Israel’s operation in Gaza dubbed “Protective Edge.” Some three-quarters of the dead are reported to be civilians, including more than 500 children.

Another 11,000 were wounded, and more than 100,000 are estimated to be homeless.

The speed with which the army’s investigations have been launched reflects the new political and legal environment in which Israel finds itself.

Mahmoud Abbas hesitates

Unlike the situation following Israel’s earlier operation, Cast Lead, in winter 2008-09 – when more than 1,400 Palestinians were killed, again a majority of them civilians – the Palestinians now have a status similar to statehood at the United Nations.

That entitles the Palestinian leadership under Mahmoud Abbas to sign the Rome Statute, allowing it to refer Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague for war crimes investigations.

So far, the indications are that Abbas is actively avoiding such a step, apparently worried that it would lead to severe retaliation from Israel and the United States. Instead, he has sought to use the threat of an ICC application to leverage further peace talks from Israel.

However, Abbas is facing strong pressure from within his own Fatah party’s ranks, and has been isolated by Hamas’ announcement that it supports joining the ICC, even if it risks coming under scrutiny from the Hague body too.

At the weekend, a group of 15 leading Palestinian lawyers convened to prepare a dossier of Israeli war crimes in Gaza in what they billed as an effort to bring the allegations to the ICC.

Based on previous experience, warn critics, Israel’s own investigations are unlikely to be conducted in good faith. They accuse Israel of “going through the motions” to fend off efforts by outside bodies, especially the Hague court, to probe events in Gaza.

“There has to be more than a suspicion that Israel is carrying out these investigations simply to shield its military commanders from legal accountability,” Hala Khoury-Bisharat, an international law professor at Carmel Academic College, near Haifa, told Middle East Eye.

That is because the ICC would be ineligible to examine war crimes allegations unless it could be shown that Israel had failed to carry out credible investigations itself.

Rival investigations

Israel is facing rival inquiries on several fronts, all of which are likely to reach highly critical conclusions.

The most noted and high profile is a commission of inquiry established by the United Human Rights Council, and led by Canadian jurist William Schabas. Its findings are not likely to be made public for many months.

The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, may approve a separate inquiry into Israel’s attacks on three of its schools in Gaza, in which at least 45 people were killed. However, it would only begin its work after the Schabas committee reports.

In parallel, the two largest international human rights groups, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, are also investigating.

Last week, a day after the army announced its own inquiries, HRW published the findings of a probe into the strikes on the three UN-run schools, accusing the Israeli army of war crimes.

The report observed that the schools were well marked, the coordinates of their location had been passed to Israel, and the army knew hundreds of civilians were taking shelter in each.

Notably, Israel has tried to stifle the work of HRW and Amnesty by blocking their staff from entering Gaza to conduct research. Israel has also indicated it will not cooperate with the Schabas committee.

“The question has to be asked: why is Israel refusing to cooperate with independent investigations?” said Khoury-Bisharat. “It seems Israel is not willing to risk its soldiers being indicted for war crimes.”

Stealing a credit card

In addition, Israel has to contend with Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups, which are currently conducting fact-finding research. On this occasion, however, they are split over how to respond to the Israeli military’s investigations.

All are agreed that the army is incapable of investigating itself fairly, and that, based on past form, Israel will at best convict a few individuals for relatively minor offences.

After much delay following Israel’s 2009 attack on Gaza, Israel punished only four soldiers. The harshest sentence was seven months for stealing a credit card.

This was despite a UN fact-finding commission led by a respected South African jurist, Richard Goldstone, concluding that there were strong suspicions that the Israeli military and Hamas had committed war crimes.

In a statement last week, B’Tselem and Yesh Din, two of Israel’s best-known human rights organisations operating in the occupied Palestinian territories, said that for the first time they were refusing to provide information and testimonies to the military authorities.

Accusing the army of preparing a “whitewash,” B’Tselem called for “the establishment of an effective, transparent and impartial mechanism” to investigate Israel’s conduct.

B’Tselem and Yesh Din pointed out that the Israeli authorities had not even implemented the limited reforms to Israel’s investigation process recommended last year by a former Israeli supreme court judge, Jacob Turkel.

Israel’s human rights community is still bruised from its experiences after 2009’s Cast Lead, when groups close to the government launched a campaign vilifying not only Goldstone but human rights organisations like B’Tselem for assisting him.

In recent years, the government of Benjamin Netanyahu has also repeatedly pondered legislative initiatives to limit the funding of Israeli human rights groups, effectively bankrupting them.

Complaints dismissed

However, the Adalah legal centre for the Arab minority in Israel said it would continue referring allegations of war crimes to the Israeli military, if only to demonstrate that the investigations lacked credibility, transparency and effectiveness.

“These investigations are not independent and therefore not credible,” Sawsan Zaher, an Adalah lawyer, told MEE. “But still, we have to show that we have exhausted every legal remedy available to us locally so that the victims have the chance in the future to pursue actions in international forums.”

Adalah has sent letters of complaint concerning more than 20 major incidents in Gaza, including two that have already been dismissed by Israeli investigators.

These concern an air strike on the al-Kaware home in Khan Yunis on 8 July, the opening day of Israel’s attack, that killed eight members of the family, and a strike the next day on a vehicle that killed a Palestinian journalist.

“In the case of the Kaware family, the Israeli investigators argued that the missile could not be diverted in time, an explanation that is irrelevant to whether this attack constituted a war crime,” Zaher said.

A deeper problem with Israel’s approach, say critics in the human rights community, is that its investigations completely ignore the legality of the military operation’s aims and the army’s strategies, instead concentrating on the behaviour of a few soldiers.

Hagai El-Ad, director of B’Tselem, accused Israel of refusing “to investigate senior officials and examine honestly wide-ranging policy issues pertaining to Israel’s use of military force.”

Arik Ascherman, the head of Rabbis for Human Rights in Israel, agreed in a commentary for the Haaretz daily: “Investigations of specific incidents mostly target soldiers on the ground, but don’t examine policy and other larger questions.”

Changing the rules of war

Israel’s hostility to subjecting its wider military strategy to scrutiny should be understood in the context of its efforts over the past six years to win recognition from the US and Europe for its reinterpretations of the rules of war.

According to an investigation by the Haaretz newspaper in early 2009, military lawyers had approved even before the launch of Operation Cast Lead a redefinition of the key principles in international humanitarian law of “proportionality” and “distinction.”

“Proportionality” demands that the military benefit of any attack outweigh the threat posed to civilian life, while “distinction” requires that the parties to a conflict distinguish between “civilians” and “combatants.”

Israel’s opening attack in Cast Lead on a police passing out ceremony, which killed 89 recruits, was in flagrant breach of both principles, said Khoury-Bisharat.

Haaretz found Israeli lawyers had intensively debated how they could reclassify as combatants those who, like the policemen, were either not actively engaged in combat or not military targets at the time of the attack.

The twisting of international law in this case appears still to be creating waves in the military. When 43 reserve soldiers in Israel’s military intelligence unit 8200 announced last week their refusal to serve in the occupied territories, many noted that intelligence-gathering was being used against “innocent Palestinians.”

One cited in his testimony the air strike on the policemen, calling it “wrong” and observing that it took priority over attacks on suspected rocket and weapons caches.

Instead, Israel has developed a conceptual discourse that implicitly distinguishes between a “civilian” and a new category, broadly defined, of a “militant” or “terrorist.” Israel has thereby been able to classify all members of Hamas as potential military targets, including the political leadership.

This new distinction has also sought to legitimise strikes on the homes of Hamas leaders. On 20 August, Israel hit the home of Mohammed Deif, apparently when he was not there, killing his wife and seven-month-old son.

Critics point out that Israel’s interpretation, if accepted, would entitle groups like Hamas or Hezbollah in Lebanon to target the homes of Israeli reserve soldiers or soldiers off duty with their family.

Similarly, Israel used “massive fire” over a large area of Rafah on 1 August, reportedly killing more than 100 Palestinians, to try to foil Hamas capturing alive an Israeli soldier through one of its tunnels. The shelling was conducted under the “Hannibal procedure,” designed to prevent a soldier becoming a bargaining chip.

Khoury-Bisharat said, according to international humanitarian law, it was impossible to justify so many civilian deaths simply to prevent a soldier being taken prisoner.

Iron Dome a game-changer

However, Israel is facing a new and possibly unexpected problem in its investigations of Operation Protective Edge, one created by the effectiveness of its missile defence system known as Iron Dome.

The system is reported to have shot down most rockets fired from Gaza that threatened Israeli population centres, limiting the civilian death toll to five Israelis and one Thai worker.

According to a leading Israeli think-tank, the Democracy Institute, that could dramatically alter Israel’s legal justifications for using armed force if Palestinian civilians are likely to be hurt or killed.

Amichai Cohen, a research fellow at the Institute, has written: “Given the real, yet much smaller threat that rockets pose to Israeli civilian lives after the invention of Iron Dome, there is a real question of whether the IDF’s freedom of action has been curtailed.”

Khoury-Bisharat concurred: “If Iron Dome is protecting Israeli civilians, then the army can no longer claim a justification for endangering Palestinian civilians by striking instantly at military targets in Gaza. It is obligated to be much more careful than in the past because its own population is safer.”

That would kick one leg from under Israel’s claim that the high death toll of Palestinian civilians reflected a Hamas policy of hiding among the civilian population.

Khoury-Bisharat said she found that argument problematic.

“Israel controls the air, sea and land in Gaza. It determines the location of the battlefield and the freedom of civilians to leave the area through its blockade policy. The reality is that Palestinians had nowhere to escape to.”

House Passes Bill To Arm Syrian Rebels Despite Evidence of ISIS Ties

September 18th, 2014 by Global Research News

In a 273-156 vote on Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed a bill which approved of President Barrack Obama’s $500 million plan to arm and train Syrian rebel forces.

The bill is expected to pass the Senate when it arrives there on Thursday to solidify the President’s goal of dismantling the ISIS “threat.”

It must be assumed that Congress has their heads so far in the sand that they missed the extensive reporting that has documented the ties between ISIS and the so called “moderate” rebel forces that the Obama administration is so hell bent on arming.

As Paul Joseph Watson of Propaganda Matrix documents in his article titled “Obama Plans to ‘Fight ISIS’ by Arming ISIS“, there is ample evidence showing that the rebels in Syria have joined ISIS and supplied arms to the extremists.

The lunacy of such a policy is illustrated by the fact that Bassel Idriss, commander of an FSA-run rebel brigade, recently admitted that Washington-backed “moderate” rebels are still collaborating with ISIS.

“We are collaborating with the Islamic State and the Nusra Front by attacking the Syrian Army’s gatherings in … Qalamoun,” Idriss told Lebanon’s Daily Star. “Let’s face it: The Nusra Front is the biggest power present right now in Qalamoun and we as FSA would collaborate on any mission they launch as long as it coincides with our values.”

July report in Stars and Stripes also documented how the 1,000 strong Dawud Brigade, which had previously fought alongside the FSA against the Assad regime, defected in its entirety to join ISIS.

Also in July it emerged that “several factions within the FSA, including Ahl Al Athar, Ibin al-Qa’im” had “handed over its weapons to the Islamic State in large numbers” and pledged allegiance to ISIS.

Three leading Syrian rebel commanders also announced back in December that they had relinquished ties with the Free Syrian Army’s Supreme Military Council, the military wing of the western-backed Syrian National Coalition, in order to join ISIS.

It is safe to say, due to the evidence presented above in Watson’s article, that some of the $500 million spent on the rebels has a chance of aiding the same terror group that the Obama administration has declared war against.

Send this info to your Congressman or Congresswoman by going here.

Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin

NEW YORK – Sending American troops to combat Ebola in Liberia is “an absolute misuse of the U.S. military,” contends retired Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin.

“The health mission in Liberia would be better accomplished by private-sector NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations), including the French organization Médecins San Frontières, Doctors without Borders, among others, or by some other U.S. government agency such as the Department of Health and Human Services,” he stressed.

Boykin was the deputy under secretary of defense for intelligence under President George W. Bush from 2002 to 2007. His 36-year military career included 13 years in the Delta Force, with two years as its commander.

“I believe it is a total misuse of the U.S. military’s capabilities at a time when the U.S. military is taking drastic budget cuts, it is extraordinarily thin and it is being recommitted to conflict in Iraq. I object to this quite strongly,” he said.

Boykin grasped for reasons to explain why the Obama administration was planning to use the U.S. military in the international health care crisis.

“In the final analysis, the military has organization and leadership, the two key things the Obama administration is probably looking for here,” he speculated.

“The military has a capability to deal with a chemical or biological attack, and some of that may be dual-purposed for dealing with this kind of epidemic.”

But he noted that in his 36 years of military experience, “I never dealt with any thing like this that had to do with a pandemic.”

Boykin expressed concern about the health risk for U.S. troops.

“The U.S. military does not have specific training regarding how to handle a medical emergency like Ebola,” he said.

“It’s rather obvious there is a great risk the U.S. military going into Liberia to fight Ebola will end up getting infected themselves.”

He talked through the steps the U.S. military would have to take to protect troops from contracting the disease.

“One of the first things the U.S. military will have to do is to set up centers where the soldiers can be sterilized and cleaned, to try to reduce the risk to them. But, I think, the U.S. military going into Liberia are going to be clearly at risk of contracting Ebola.”

Even with precautions such as these, Boykin emphasized the risk, not only to the health of the U.S. military deployed to Liberia but also to civilians back in the United States.

“Then, let’s say two or three soldiers in a battalion get Ebola. What are you going to do with them?” he asked. “Obviously, you’re going to have to bring them back to the United States.”

Boykin emphasized the military overburdened.

“This is a terrible misuse of the U.S. military, and it comes at a terrible time when not only is the military really stretched thin, such that the U.S. military can not take on another mission, it comes at a time when we are reducing the military’s funding and the military’s numbers,” he said.

He also questioned why the first line of defense would not be the United Nations peacekeepers.

“If military are required to combat the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, then the first troops that should be involved are the 6,000 United Nations peacekeeping forces that are already in the country,” he said.

“It doesn’t make sense.”

Boykin now teaches at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia and serves as executive vice president at the Family Research Council.

Separately, WND reported the Ebola outbreak in Liberia has not been slowed by the peacekeeping forces in Liberia. They include 4,460 troops, 126 military observers and 1,434 police forces, with an approved budget from July 2014 through June 2015 of $427.3 million.

Last week, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Hervé Ladsous told reporters in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, that the U.N. mission there “is not a public health operation” and the peacekeepers stationed there are not trained to combat the Ebola epidemic.

Syria

Everyone knows that the U.S. and its allies have heavily backed Islamic terrorists in Syria in an attempt to implement regime change in that country.

But did you know that the U.S. previously carried out regime change in Syria?

The CIA backed a right-wing coup in Syria in 1949. Douglas Little, Professor, Department of Clark University History professor Douglas Little notes:

As early as 1949, this newly independent Arab republic was an important staging ground for the CIA’s earliest experiments in covert action.
The CIA secretly encouraged a right-wing military coup in 1949.

The reason the U.S. initiated the coup?  Little explains:

 In late 1945, the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO) announced plans to construct the Trans-Arabian Pipe Line (TAPLINE) from Saudi Arabia to the Mediterra- nean. With U.S. help, ARAMCO secured rights-of-way from Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.  The Syrian right-of-way was stalled in parliament.

In other words, Syria was the sole holdout for the lucrative oil pipeline.

(Indeed, the CIA has carried out this type of covert action right from the start.)

In 1957, the American president and British prime minister agreed to launch regime change again in Syria. Historian Little notes that the coup plot was discovered and stopped:

On August 12, 1957, the Syrian army surrounded the U.S. embassy in Damascus. Claiming to have aborted a CIA plot to overthrow neutralist President Shukri Quwatly and install a pro-Western regime, Syrian chief of counterintelligence Abdul Hamid Sarraj expelled three U.S. diplomats ….

Syrian counterintelligence chief Sarraj reacted swiftly on August 12, expelling Stone and other CIA agents, arresting their accomplices and placing the U.S. embassy under surveillance.

Neoconservatives planned regime change in Syria once again in 1991.

And as Nafeez Ahmed notes:

According to former French foreign minister Roland Dumas, Britain had planned covert action in Syria as early as 2009: “I was in England two years before the violence in Syria on other business,” he told French television: “I met with top British officials, who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria. This was in Britain not in America. Britain was preparing gunmen to invade Syria.”

Leaked emails from the private intelligence firm Stratfor, including notes from a meeting with Pentagon officials, confirmed that as of 2011, US and UK special forces training of Syrian opposition forces was well underway. The goal was to elicit the “collapse” of Assad’s regime “from within.”

Iraq

Everyone knows that the U.S. toppled Saddam Hussein during the Iraq War.

But did you know that the U.S. previously carried out regime change in Iraq?

Specifically, the CIA plotted to poison the Iraqi leader in 1960.  In 1963, the U.S. backed the coup which succeeded in killing the head of Iraq.

Recently, Iraq has started to break apart as a nation.   USA Today notes, “Iraq is already splitting into three states“. Many say that is by design … a form of regime change.

Iran

Everyone knows that regime change in Iran has been a long-term goal of the hawks in Washington.

But do you know that the U.S. already carried out regime change in Iran in 1953 … which led to radicalization of the country in the first place?

Specifically, the CIA admits that the U.S. overthrew the moderate, suit-and-tie-wearing, Democratically-elected prime minister of Iran in 1953. (He was overthrown because he had nationalized Iran’s oil, which had previously been controlled by BP and other Western oil companies). As part of that action, the CIA admits that it hired Iranians to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its prime minister.

If the U.S. hadn’t overthrown the moderate Iranian government, the fundamentalist Mullahs would have never taken over. Iran has been known for thousands of years for tolerating Christians and other religious minorities.

Hawks in the U.S. government been pushing for another round of regime change in Iran for decades.

Turkey

The CIA has acknowledged that it was behind the 1980 coup in Turkey.

Afghanistan

The U.S. obviously bombed the Taliban into submission during the Afghanistan war.

But Hillary Clinton and then-president Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser have both admitted on the record that the U.S. previously carried out regime change in Afghanistan in the 1970s by backing Bin Laden and the Mujahadin … the precursor to Al Qaeda.

Libya

Not only did the U.S. engage in direct military intervention against Gadafi, but also – as confirmed by a group of CIA officersarmed Al Qaeda so that they would help topple Gaddafi.

Indeed, the U.S. has carried out coups and destabilization campaigns all over the worldcreating chaos.

And see this.

Events last month in Ferguson, Missouri (read my detailed thoughts here) forced Americans to confront the frightening reality that many of of the nation’s police departments have been quietly, but consistently, militarizing over the past couple of decades. It’s one thing to intellectually understand that this has happened, it’s quite another to see cops deploy tanks and point sniper rifles at peacefully protesting U.S. citizens.

Just as disturbing as the scenes themselves, is the fact that this has been happening for so long under the 1033 transfer program with only muted criticism. The program was originated in the late 1990′s under the National Defense Authorization Act of 1997 (recall that the NDAA is also being used to allow for the indefinite detention of American citizens without trial), and it allows for the transfer of excess Department of Defense equipment to domestic police. In other words, it has been public policy for almost two decades to militarize the police.

With the issue squarely still in the public consciousness, it would behoove us to understand that this program is not only arming police with weapons of war. In fact, public schools are also receiving such items, including grenade launchers, M16s and MRAPs.

The Wall Street Journal reports that:

A federal program that has drawn criticism in recent weeks for supplying surplus military gear to local police has also provided high-powered rifles, armored vehicles and other equipment to police at public schools, some of whom were unprepared for what they were getting.

In the wake of school shootings in Newtown, Conn., and elsewhere, some school security departments developed SWAT teams, added weapons and called on the federal government to help supply gear. But now, the program is facing renewed scrutiny from both outside observers and schools using it.

The Los Angeles Unified School District stocked up on grenade launchers, M16 rifles and even a multi-ton armored vehicle from the program. But the district is getting rid of the grenade launchers, which it never intended to use to launch grenades or use in a school setting, said Steven Zipperman, chief of the Los Angeles Schools Police Department. The launchers, received in 2001, might have helped other police in the county disperse crowds by shooting rubber munitions, he said.

In July, the district received a massive MRAP armored vehicle. Mr. Zipperman said his department thought it could be useful for evacuations and to save lives in a “sustained incident.”

Just in case you aren’t aware, this is an MRAP:

Makes you wonder how schools survived in America for over two hundred years without tanks. More from the WSJ…

In Texas, near the Mexican border, the sprawling Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District has 34,700 students and operates its own SWAT team, thanks in part to military gear it received in recent years from the federal program. The gear included two Humvees and a cargo truck, as well as power generators, said district Police Chief Ricardo Perez. The district applied for weapons, too, but wasn’t given any, so instead purchased its own M4 and AR-15 assault-style rifles, he said.

The weapons are given to schools through the 1033 Program, created by Congress in the early 1990s to allow law-enforcement agencies to obtain excess Defense Department supplies, paying only for shipping. The program has transferred $5.1 billion in items, including $4.5 million worth in 2013.

Among recipients are more than a dozen school police departments, according to a spreadsheet from the Defense Logistics Agency, which runs the program. But for security reasons the list excludes districts that received only “tactical” gear such as weapons, as opposed to other types of supplies. That means the list likely understates the number of districts that participated.

California is one of few states that provides a list of participating school districts and what they received. Its state website shows that two school police departments received armored vehicles, others added M-16s and grenade launchers to their armories, while one district took in televisions, projectors and a podium but no weapons.

What I find most interesting about all of this, is where have all the “gun control” politicians and hysterics been on the dangers of the 1033 for all these years?

Indeed, while politicians in D.C. appear determined to invade half the countries on earth, while simultaneously arming the other half, from terrorist groups in the Middle East to police departments and school districts domestically, it appears the only group being singled out for disarmament is the citizenry itself. Makes you wonder doesn’t it…

Cease-fire and its reasons

The piping-hot stage of the Ukraine crisis was over with signing of Minsk cease-fire agreement. It is far from clear how long the cease-fire will last, and whether it will morph into stable peace; still this pause provides a chance to review policies and strategies of the sides. The first part of this essay dealt with the Ukrainian crisis up to the Boeing incident. I wrote there of lacklustre achievements of the rebels and concluded that “without direct Russian involvement, a separatist movement in Novorussia was doomed to fail.”

After the Boeing disaster, the Russians have made peace in Ukraine their priority. Paradoxically, this called for more Russian involvement. From the beginning, State Department claims notwithstanding, Putin did not want the war in the Ukraine, and still less he wanted a war with Ukraine. He would prefer the Ukraine remain neutral and friendly. This dish was not on the menu as the US intended to fight Russia by Ukrainian hands, or at least, to strengthen its hold over Europe by using Russian scarecrow. Still Putin procrastinated hoping things will sort out.

He miscalculated: he did not count on Poroshenko’s military ardour, on the new Kiev ruler’s readiness to inflict huge civilian casualties and to sacrifice his own army. This was unexpected development – after peaceful transition of Crimea, Putin could expect Kiev will honour Donbass desires. Putin could not leave Donbass in flames and forget about it. One million refugees from Ukraine already crossed into Russia; continuation of Kiev’s war in Donbass could dislodge up to five million refugees, too much for Russia to swallow.

Putin was ready to negotiate with Poroshenko and achieve a peaceful settlement; Poroshenko refused. The low-level support for Donbass rebels was not sufficient to change the rules of the game and force Poroshenko to negotiate. This called for a limited victory, at the price of some Russian involvement.

It appears that the “involvement” rapidly changed the situation. Facing defeat at seaport city of Mariupol, Kiev accepted Putin’s proposals. Did the involvement amount to invasion? I have no access to the secrets of state, but I’ll share with you what I have heard and seen and understood.

First, compare Russia to Vietnam of fifty years ago.

  • Vietnam was divided into North and South by the West, like the USSR was divided into Ukraine and Russia by the West.
  • North Vietnam became independent; Russia became independent;
  • South Vietnam remained under occupation, Ukraine remained under Western occupation.
  • People of South Vietnam rose against their US-installed government and North Vietnam certainly supported their struggle.
  • The US presented the war as “North Vietnamese aggression”, but North and South Vietnam weren’t two independent  states; this was one state artificially separated by the West.
  • Likewise, the US presents now the war in Ukraine as “Russian intervention”, but Russia and Ukraine aren’t two fully independent countries; they are rather two halves of one country, in the eyes of Russians and Ukrainians. In their view, people of the Ukraine rose against the US-installed government, and independent Russia had to support their struggle.

People of my generation remember as the US killed millions of Vietnamese people, bombed their cities and ruined their nature – under the banner of “resisting North Vietnamese aggression” but it ended by unification of Vietnam. Poroshenko is a Ngo Dinh Diem of the Ukraine, Putin is an unlikely Ho Chi Minh of Russia.

Actual Russian involvement took form of (1) providing equipment and training for the Novorussia forces, like the US trained the Syrian rebels in Jordan, and (2) allowing some Russian officers to take leave from their duties and join the rebel forces on the voluntary basis. The Russia-trained and equipped rebel units fortified by some Russian officers, weren’t quite up to scratch as regular army goes; their enthusiasm made up for the lack of skill. Kiev regime estimated the whole Russian military presence in the Ukraine at one thousand men; a negligible amount in comparison with 50,000 troops of Kiev regime and 30,000 of the main rebel forces, but it made the difference. Even more important was (3) strategic command and advice provided by retired planners of the Russian General Staff.

I’ve been told by people on the ground that the Novorussian military leader Colonel Strelkov (I described him in Part One) had no previous experience of commanding big-scale operations, and despite his personal courage he could not successfully lead a force of 30 thousand men. Apparently he was asked to leave the command to more experienced professionals. These first-class military planners rapidly improved the situation by stabilizing the link between Russia and the rebel-held enclave. The Kiev army has been pushed away from the cities of Donetsk and Lugansk.

An additional rebel force crossed the old Russian-Ukrainian border far to the south of Donetsk and closed on Mariupol, an important city and port on the Sea of Azov. The lightening speed of the Mariupol attack changed the equilibrium on the ground. Now the rebels could proceed for Melitopol, eventually heading for Kakhovka, a place of ferocious battles of the Civil war in 1919. If they were to take Kakhovka, they would be able to secure the whole of Novorussia or even retake Kiev. This development proved to Poroshenko that he needs a cease fire. He agreed to the Minsk formula and the armistice took place. The rebels were upset by the armistice as they felt their victory was stolen from them, but they were convinced by the Russians that it would be better to safeguard Donbass.

The sanctions

For the main antagonist of Russia, the US, the cease-fire was a minor setback. Washington would prefer the Russians of Russia and Ukraine to fight each other to death, but it had to consider the weakness of Kiev forces. In 1991, at the break-up of the USSR, the Ukraine has got a much better equipped and much stronger army than Russia had, but twenty years of embezzlement turned it into a feeble pushover. When the Kiev army will be beefed up by Western mercenaries and by NATO soldiers, the war is likely to renew, unless there will be a political settlement.

Meanwhile, the US applied various means of economic warfare against Russia. These means are called “sanctions”, though this word is misleading. “Sanctions” are acts of a legitimate authority towards its subjects; such are Security Council sanctions. The US and EU’s measures against Russia aren’t “sanctions” but acts of war on Russia by economic means.

Some “sanctions” were aimed against most powerful Russians in Putin’s inner circle. The idea was to cause these strongmen to plot and get rid of the popular president. This circle of sanctioned persons grew to include many parliamentarians and businessmen, while the ordinary Russians took the sanctions in their stride, or even enjoyed the discomfort they caused to the wealthy of the land. Putin joked that EU travel bans on top legislators would leave them more time to spend with their constituents. “The less time officials and business leaders spend overseas and the more time they spend dealing with current issues the better”, he said.

Other sanctions were aimed at Russian economy: banks, credits were hit; the US allies were forbidden to transfer advanced technology to Russia. Russians were used to this treatment: in the Soviet days, it was called CoCom (Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls), an embargo on advanced technology supplies to the socialist countries. It was a powerful obstacle to their development; if other countries could buy advanced technology from, say, Japan, the Russians and Chinese had to steal it or reinvent it. CoCom is one of the reasons for Soviets after WWII being rather behind-the-times, in comparison with 1930s, when the Soviets could and did buy the most advanced technology of its time. Apparently, Obama resurrected CoCom; and this is the most serious threat to Russia until now.

This will have a strong effect in many ways, not only on Russia’s profits but on Russia’s thinking as well. After 1991, Russia gave up many of its own industries, notably aircraft and switched to buy Boeing or Airbus. Now they have to build their own planes. Russia is fully integrated in Western banking and it has billions of US securities at its account. Russia used its oil profits to buy Dutch cheese, Polish apples, Italian wine, while neglecting its own food production. Under Western sanctions, the Russians are likely to back out of international cooperation and begin to develop or resurrect their own industries and agriculture. This will cost money; the social projects will suffer. The prosperity of the last ten years is likely to vanish.

Russia sparingly applied counter-sanctions. It discontinued importing foods from sanctioning countries, thus applying pressure on European farmers. This measure is likely to influence Europe. In France, for the first time ever, it can bring Mme Le Pen of the Front National into the Palais de l’Élysée, as both mainstream parties are equally beholden to the US. Finland, Slovakia, Greece will ponder leaving the EU altogether. In Russia, its pro-Western glittering and chattering class was quite upset with the disappearance of oysters and parmesan cheese; the food prices rose all over but slightly.

Sanctions after cease-fire

The Russians were bewildered by the Western response of applying more sanctions despite the cease fire in the Ukraine. Apparently, they thought and hoped to restore the ante-bellum friendly co-existence with the US by giving up on the bulk of Novorussia. The Russian ruling elites were ready to accept their heavy strategic losses in the Ukraine and to live with it. But they counted without the US, as Washington pushed for more sanctions.

Slowly, it transpires that for the US administration, the Ukraine crisis just supplied a plausible explanation and a trigger to attack Russia. To be on the safe side, Obama has opened the Second Front against Russia in the Middle East; ostensibly against the chimera of Caliphate, but it has another target.

ISIS (or ISIL, or IS, or Daish, or Caliphate) is a neo-colonisation project for Syria and Iraq. The technique is familiar: Anglo-Americans create a demon, nurture it to its fullness and then destroy and take over the land. They created Hitler, supported him, then demonised and destroyed him by Russian hands. Germany remains an occupied country to this very day. Al-Qaeda was created in 1980s to fight Russians in Afghanistan and later on it was used to create the casus belli in 2001. Afghanistan is still occupied. ISIS was created to fight Russians in Syria, and now it is being used to bomb Iraq and Syria. At the end, the US will occupy and control the whole Fertile Crescent, with Israel as its centrepiece. Some religiously inclined persons may see it as fulfilment of the prophesy of Greater Israel from the Nile to the Euphrates.

The Russians, like the Middle Easterners, do not believe in the official story of saving the world from the threat of ISIS. They remember that quite recently ISIS was supposed to be a moderate force fighting for democracy against the bloody tyrant. They think that the US uses its own toy monster to break up Iraq, to create “independent” Kurdistan, to bomb Syria, to remove Bashar al-Assad from power and lay a new gas pipeline from Qatar via Kurdistan and Syria to Turkey and Europe, thus pushing Russia out of European gas market altogether, to ensure Russia’s income dwindles and the dangerous liaisons of Europeans with Russia are terminated.

Russians do not care for Islamic takfiri extremists like everybody else, so they were surprised that in the US pundits’ minds, there is a connection between ISIS and Russia. Robert Whitcomb, the Wall Street Journal editor, says in an essay called Wishful thinking about Putin and the Islamic State that these two are somehow equal in their sheer wickedness. “We might make fun of those Renaissance paintings in which little devils skitter around. We don’t like to accept that there’s something like evil in the world. But you look at something like the Islamic State and the Putin regime and you realize that those people in 1500 were on to something.” (You won’t be surprised that Whitcomb hates Islam and loves Israel, would you?)

Anne-Marie Slaughter, an ex-State Department and a Professor at Princeton, called for intervention in Syria to teach Russians a lesson. “The solution to the crisis in Ukraine lies in part in Syria. Obama’s climb-down from his threatened missile strikes against Syria last August emboldened Russian President Vladimir Putin to annex Crimea. It is time to change Putin’s calculations, and Syria is the place to do it. A US strike against the Syrian government now would change the entire dynamic. After the strike, the US, France, and Britain should ask for the Security Council’s approval of the action taken, as they did after NATO’s intervention in Kosovo in 1999. Equally important, shots fired by the US in Syria will echo loudly in Russia.”

In Russia, there are some voices calling to support the US strikes in Syria. Important politicians and parliamentarians propose to repeat 2001, when Russians supported the US war on terror, despite its grim consequences. (Since 2001, Afghanistan has been occupied by the US, and the traffic of drugs to Russia and Europe increased twenty-fold). Actually, there are many pro-western politicians in power in Russia, and especially in Russian media. Once, the West had freedom of expression, while Soviet Russia spoke in one voice. Now the positions has been reversed: Russia enjoys pluralism of views and freedom of expression, while in the West, alternative views exist on the margins of the public discourse.

Why the US is so keen on subjugating Russia, provided that Russia is not punching above its weight and is generally accommodating to the US demands? The US is special, as this heir to the British Empire guided by Jewish spirit is the only country ever possessing the unique, expensive and uncomfortable desire to rule the whole of planet Earth. They view every independent force in the universe as a challenge they can’t tolerate. They think that Russia with its nuclear weapons and educated people can become too strong and disobedient. Russia is a bad example for Europe, Japan, China, India as these powers could strive for independence, as well. Russia with its oil and gas can attempt to undermine the dollar status as the world currency. Russian weapons could protect Iran and Syria from American anger.

For these reasons, a war between the US and its proxies and Russia seems very probable. Syria and Ukraine are two perspective battlefields where the battle of will precedes the battle of steel. The war may be conventional or nuclear, regional or world-embracing. The alternative is the US’s full spectrum global domination. Many Russians would prefer a war to this grim prospect.

Israel Shamir can be reached at [email protected]

On Tuesday, the parliaments in Kiev and Strasbourg adopted the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union. The refusal of President Viktor Yanukovych to sign this agreement last November triggered the protests on the Maidan in Kiev and the Western-backed coup against Yanukovych.

In the European Parliament, 535 deputies supported the agreement, 127 voted against and 35 abstained. In Kiev, all 355 deputies present voted in favor, while 95 did not attend the vote. The two sessions were connected by video transmission.

It was left to the Chairman of the European Parliament, the German Social Democrat Martin Schulz, to praise the adoption of the agreement as a “triumph for democracy”. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko spoke of a “historic moment” and pathetically declared: “We are treading the path towards victory.”

In fact, the Association Agreement will go down in history as a dirty deal struck between the imperialist powers of Europe and Ukrainian oligarchs at the expense of the working class and world peace.

At the heart of the Agreement are geopolitical interests. The main issue, theFrankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung noted, is “not trade or if the Ukraine can participate both in a customs union with the European Union and with Russia. It’s about spheres of influence.”

Poroshenko for his part declared in parliament that the ratification of the agreement meant that Ukraine had made its “geopolitical choice.”

The oligarchs who rule Ukraine are integrating the country into the spheres of influence of the EU and NATO, receiving in return guarantees protecting the wealth they illegitimately acquired during the dissolution of the USSR. The Kremlin can only perceive this as a geopolitical threat, after the world’s biggest military alliance has increasingly surrounded Russia militarily since the dissolution of the Soviet Union a quarter of a century ago. The threat of war, which could end in nuclear disaster, has grown accordingly.

Claims that the signing of the agreement was an act of national self-determination, or a step towards the rule of law and democracy, prove to be absurd when one examines more closely the content of the agreement. By committing itself to adopt EU law, Kiev is largely handing over legislative authority to the unelected EU bureaucracy in Brussels, even though it will not be an EU member. About 80 percent of all laws and regulations are subject to EU provisions.

The agreement subordinates Ukraine to the financial and budgetary dictates of the International Monetary Fund and the EU. The consequences will prove to be even more devastating for the desperately poor population of Ukraine than for the Greek people. There, average incomes have dropped by a third due to the financial dictates of the troika, social provisions and education have been eradicated, and broad swathes of the population have been condemned to abject poverty and unemployment.

The economic consequences of the Association Agreement are so devastating, that its centerpiece, the free trade agreement, is only due to come into force at the beginning of 2016. The delay was agreed by the EU Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, and Russian Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev last Friday in Minsk. Russia presented a long list of objections which it wants to negotiate beforehand.

Ukrainian nationalists have condemned the delay of the FTA as an inadmissible concession to Moscow. Fatherland Party chair Yulia Tymoshenko called it “a betrayal of the national interest,” while the chair of the Greens in the European Parliament, Rebecca Harms, ranted: “Mr. Putin has sabotaged the deal.”

In fact, the delay in implementing the free trade agreement is “a sudden and dramatic step to protect the Ukrainian economy,” as Die Zeit writes. The immediate abolition of customs duties on goods from the EU would not only flood Ukraine, but through Ukraine also Russia, with competitive imports from Europe that would threaten to undermine domestic industries.

Russia currently does not levy taxes on imports from Ukraine but has threatened to do so if the free trade agreement is implemented immediately.

Russia is, besides the EU, the main market for Ukrainian products, and the introduction of customs controls would have a devastating effect on the Ukrainian economy, which is already in free fall. The national currency, the hryvnia, has lost 36 percent of its value against the US dollar since the beginning of the year, the inflation rate is 25 percent, and economic output is expected to shrink by ten percent by the end of this year.

The Ukrainian regime also fears the withdrawal of Russian investment. The two economies are closely intertwined, and Ukraine depends on Russian capital. One seventh of the banking sector is in the hands of Russian financial institutions, and large parts of the country’s power system, telephone lines, mobile phone providers, steel mills and real estate are owned by Russian companies. Any sudden withdrawal of capital would lead to severe shocks.

The aim therefore of the free trade delay is primarily to buy time. The same purpose is served by two other laws agreed by the Ukrainian parliament shortly before the adoption of the Association Agreement. One law grants more autonomy to the embattled regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, allowing them have their own elections and set up their own militia. The second law grants an amnesty to separatists who have not committed serious crimes.

These laws have been rejected out of hand by the ultra-right nationalists, upon which the Kiev regime relies. Just 287 of the 450 deputies voted in favor of the amnesty law and 277 for the Autonomy.

There were tumultuous scenes in front of the parliament with at least one deputy assaulted and dumped into a trash can.

Nevertheless, President Poroshenko insisted on the adoption of the laws. The vote was held in secret because this was probably the only way to secure a majority. Poroshenko needs time to reorganise the Ukrainian army with the support of NATO. It has suffered significant setbacks in recent weeks and is presently incapable of defeating the separatists militarily.

For its part, NATO is currently carrying out military maneuvers in Ukraine and the Black Sea, thereby demonstrating that it will escalate its military pressure on Russia.

The US House of Representatives voted Wednesday afternoon to approve the Obama administration’s plan to build up Syrian “rebel” forces as part of a greater US military intervention in the Middle East. The bipartisan approval came by a margin of 273-156, with majorities of both Republicans (159-71) and Democrats (114-85) supporting the measure.

The nominal target is the Islamic fundamentalist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), which now controls much of eastern Syria and western Iraq. ISIS has carried out atrocities against religious minorities in Iraq and executed three Western hostages, two of them American journalists.

But the real purpose of the US intervention is to overthrow the government of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria and establish a pro-US regime in Damascus, just as the invasion and conquest of Iraq—also in the guise of fighting “terrorism”—produced an American puppet government in Baghdad.

The measure approving US training of Syrian opposition forces came in the form of an amendment to a bill known as a “continuing resolution,” which authorizes funding for all federal government operations from October 1, when the current fiscal year begins, through December 11.

Shortly after approving the amendment, the House passed the continuing resolution by a larger margin, 319-108. The bill goes to the Senate, which is expected to pass it easily Thursday, approving the Syria training program as part of the continuing resolution rather than taking a separate vote.

Those voting for the Syrian intervention included the entire leadership of the Republican and Democratic parties in the House: Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Majority Whip Steve Scalise, and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer.

A raft of prominent liberal Democrats voted “yes,” including Xavier Becerra of California, John Conyers of Michigan, Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

The seven congressmen who are candidates for US Senate seats in the November election all voted for the bill, demonstrating that support for military intervention overseas is a requirement for promotion to higher office within both corporate-controlled parties. These included five Republicans and two Democrats, Gary Peters of Michigan and Bruce Braley of Iowa.

A majority of those who voted against the bill, including most of the Republicans and many Democrats, wanted a more sweeping and aggressive approach to ISIS, authorizing direct US military strikes in Syria and even the use of ground troops. Only a few dozen representatives claimed to oppose any form of military escalation in Iraq and Syria.

Numerous comments in the House debate indicated that the congressmen were well aware that the measure could open the way to a US war against the Assad regime. Carolyn Maloney of New York said she opposed the measure because it “could turn into a war on three fronts: fighting ISIS in Iraq, fighting ISIS in Syria and potentially Assad in Syria.”

As for the nature of the “rebels” that the US government is now publicly committed to arming and training, Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, speaking at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing Wednesday, described meeting US-backed fighters who openly declared their willingness to use chemical weapons against the Syrian army.

While the subject was quickly swept under the rug by Secretary of State John Kerry, the principal administration official at the hearing, Gillibrand was raising a touchy issue: ISIS is itself a creation of previous US military interventions, not merely because it arose as a byproduct of the 2003 US invasion and occupation of Iraq, but because many ISIS fighters were trained and armed by the CIA or US allies Qatar and Saudi Arabia as part of their joint efforts to subvert and overthrow the Assad regime since 2011.

The Obama administration has already outlined one scenario in which the war it has launched against ISIS could be transformed into a war with Assad. The Associated Press reported Monday, citing “senior Obama administration officials,” that the US would attack Syrian air defenses if they fired on US warplanes bombing ISIS targets. The AP story elaborated on a report that first appeared Sunday in the New York Times, which suggested that such airstrikes could lead to the overthrow of Assad.

Asked Monday about these reports, White House spokesman Josh Earnest effectively confirmed them. He said the Pentagon had “rules of engagement that are related to any military orders the president directs,” adding, “It won’t surprise you to know that there are contingencies related to self-defense when it comes to these sorts of rules of engagement.”

Only hours before the House vote to authorize US intervention in the Syrian civil war, President Obama visited the US Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, which oversees all US military operations in the Middle East. He received a briefing on recent airstrikes in Iraq from Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, commander of Central Command, and other top military and intelligence officials.

Obama also addressed an audience of military personnel, giving a 15-minute speech on the war with ISIS, while claiming it would not develop into a full-scale ground war on the scale of Iraq and Afghanistan. The US role would be limited to airstrikes and advising Iraqi and Kurdish ground forces, he said.

More significant than this assurance, however, was Obama’s declaration, in the most sweeping terms since he entered the White House in 2009, of American world domination. “Our Armed Forces are unparalleled and unique,” he said. “I want you to know, as I stand here with you today, I’m as confident as I have ever been that this century, just like the last century, will be led by America. It will be and is an American century.”

Obama went on to insist that while “only 1 percent of Americans may wear the uniform and shoulder the weight of special responsibilities that you do… 100 percent of Americans need to support you and your families—100 percent.”

Obama’s remarks on the use of ground troops appeared to be an effort to rebut suggestions by his own military commanders that a wider ground war was in the offing. General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said as much in well-publicized testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday. Dempsey also revealed that General Austin had already sought to use US soldiers as ground spotters for air strikes around Mosul Dam in Iraq, although the Pentagon had denied permission.

Another top officer, Army Chief of Staff Raymond Odierno, told journalists Wednesday at a press briefing in Wiesbaden, Germany, that airstrikes had halted the advance of ISIS in Iraq but wouldn’t be an “end-all” to the conflict. “You’ve got to have ground forces that are capable of going after them and rooting them out,” he said, without specifying where those ground forces would come from.

Meanwhile, the well-connected Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, a frequent mouthpiece for high-level leaks from the military-intelligence apparatus, wrote a commentary Wednesday under the headline, “U.S. boots are already on the ground against the Islamic State.” He cited Title 50 of the US Code, regulating the activities of the CIA, which allows the president to send US Special Operations forces on military actions under CIA direction, as in the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

“Let’s be honest,” Ignatius wrote. “US boots are already on the ground, and more are coming. The question is whether Obama will decide to say so publicly, or remain in his preferred role as covert commander in chief.”

Meanwhile, within Iraq, US military operations intensified with the first bombing raids around Baghdad. US warplanes hit targets in Sunni towns southwest of the capital city Monday and Tuesday. The attacks were coordinated with an Iraqi Army offensive that began at dawn Wednesday, with ground forces striking westward in Anbar province, including artillery and mortar barrages of its capital Ramadi and the cities of Fallujah and Haditha.

What do Iraq, Libya, Syria, Iran and Russia have in common? They have all been a victim of American aggression in one form or another – either a military attack or economic sanctions. Washington uses ethical pretexts, such as “protecting civilians” or “promoting democracy”, to act belligerently towards these nations, but due to its hypocritical nature of supporting dictators throughout the world and its disregard for human rights, this excuse is a fabrication.

The real reason for singling out these countries is the petrodollar system, a scheme that enables America to stay afloat despite being more than $17 trillion in debt. The existence of petrodollars is one of the pillars of America’s economic might, because it creates a significant external demand for the American currency, allowing the U.S. to accumulate enormous debts without defaulting.

The beginning of the petrodollar

What makes the dollar unique is the fact that since the early 1970s it has been, with a few notable exceptions, the only currency used to buy and sell oil on the global market. This began when in 1973 the Richard Nixon administration began negotiations with the government of Saudi Arabia to establish what came to be referred to as the petrodollar recycling system. Under the arrangement, the Saudis would only sell their oil in U.S. dollars, and would invest the majority of their excess oil profits into U.S. banks and Capital markets. The IMF would then use this money to facilitate loans to oil importers who were having difficulties covering the increase in oil prices. The payments and interest on these loans would of course be denominated in U.S. dollars. 

This agreement was formalised in the “The U.S.-Saudi Arabian Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation” put together by Nixon’s Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 1974. The system was expanded to include the rest of OPEC by 1975. This was a major economic success for the U.S. As long as the world needs oil, and as long as oil is only sold in U.S. dollars, there will be a demand for dollars, and that demand is what gives the dollar its value.

How victims of American invasion wanted to stop trading in dollars

This petrodollar system stood unchallenged until September of 2000 when former Iraqi Persistent Saddam Hussein announced his decision to switch Iraq’s oil sales off of the dollar to Euros. This was a direct attack on the dollar. To protect the supremacy of the dollar, the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003. Once Iraqi oil fields were under U.S. control after the invasion, oil sales were immediately switched back to the dollar.

In February of 2009, former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was named Chairman of the African Union. He immediately proposed the formation of a unified state with a single currency. It was the nature of that proposed currency that got him killed.

In March of 2009 the African Union released a document entitled “Towards a Single African Currency”. Pages 106 and 107 of that document specifically discuss the benefits and technicalities of running the African Central bank under a gold standard. On page 94 it explicitly states that the key to the success of the African Monetary Union would be the “eventual linking of a single African currency to the most monetary of all commodities – gold.” In 2011 the CIA moved into Libya and began backing militant groups in their campaign to topple Gaddafi and the U.S. and NATO pushed through and stretched a U.N. no-fly zone resolution to tip the balance with airstrikes. The presence of Al-Qaeda extremists among these rebel fighters was swept under the rug. 

In February of 2014, Russia became the new target for the U.S. Russia is the world’s second largest oil exporter, and not only have they been a thorn in Washington’s side diplomatically, but they also opened an energy bourse in 2008, with sales denominated in Russian currency (roubles) and gold. This project had been in the works since 2006. They have also been working with China to pull off of the dollar in all of their bilateral trade. Russia has also been in the process of organizing a Eurasian Economic Union which includes plans to adopt common currency unit, and which is scheduled to have its own independent energy market.

Leading up to the crisis in Ukraine had been presented with a choice: either join the E.U. under an association agreement or join the Eurasian Union. The E.U. insisted that this was an either or proposition. Ukraine couldn’t join both. Russia on the other hand, asserted that joining both posed no issue. President Yanukovich decided to go with Russia. In response the U.S. national security apparatus did what it does best: they toppled Yanukovich and installed a puppet government.

Having a puppet in place however hasn’t turned out to be enough to give Washington the upper hand in this crisis. They therfore decided to impose sanctions and demonize Russia in hope that Moscow would lose its international friends. However Russia is not Iraq or Libya. It is a dominant power an going up against was unlikely to work out in America’s favour. In fact it has already backfired. The sanctions have merely pushed Russia and China into closer cooperation and accelerated Russia’s de-dollarization agenda. And in spite of the rhetoric, this has not led to Russia being isolated.

End of petrodollar would bring an end to the U.S. hegemony

The petrodollar is the only life support machine left for the U.S. and this is precisely why Washington goes after any country that tries to destroy it. This is not deterring Russia and China from going ahead with their plans. Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov announced after talks in Beijing recently that Russia and China are currently discussing the creation of a system of inter-bank transactions, which would be an analogue to the international system of bank transfers – SWIFT. The Russian authorities intended to reduce the dependence of the financial market on SWIFT after the first wave of US sanctions, when international payment systems Visa and MasterCard refused to work with a number of Russian banks. According to Shuvalov, Russia also discussed the creation of an independent rating agency with China. Specific proposals are to be made by the end of 2014.

All this indicates that the Eurasian Economic Union will gradually abandon the dollar. As soon as Russia and China show that it is really possible to abandon the dollar, especially given the fact that the United States is pushing for this, other countries will follow their example. This could become the beginning of an end of the American global dominance.

Alexander Clackson is the founder of Global Political Insight, a political media and research organisation. He has a Master’s degree in International Relations. Alexander works as a political consultant and frequently contributes to think-tanks and media outlets.

I wrote Monday ”how” and on Tuesday ”why” precious metals (and all markets for that matter) are manipulated, today I will tell you “what” will remedy and the results.

First, the manipulation in U.S. markets has become so blatant and so obvious that foreigners are taking note and altering their future plans.  All you have to do is look around to see nation after nation, friend or foe, making plans to live and trade in a world without using dollars.

China is at the center of these plans but the list is very long of nations who plan to trade in their own (or Chinese) currency.  Off the top of my head, we have seen announcements from Argentina, Brazil, India, South Africa, Britain, France, Germany, Venezuela, Australia and of course let’s not forget about Iran and Russia. This is not all inclusive but the point is …the thought process and preparation is far and wide.

Oddly, the CME group who “oversees” COMEX has made several announcements over the last couple of weeks.  It seems they would like to be seen as putting their foot down on “disruptive” (manipulative) trading practices.  Even more odd was a story which came out last week that showed “central banks” as a category of CME customers.  This “category” it seems has been given financial “incentives” to trade.  Very curious indeed, why would central banks have any need to trade in the S+P futures?

Why would they be given financial rebates from CME to transact trades?  I see it as some sort of joke so to speak because if a central bank needs “more” money, they would just print it up right?  So why the rebates?  More importantly, why would CME allow central banks in as their clients?  Doesn’t this look or “smell” bad in our supposed free and fair markets society?  Then of course you get the skeptics out there who might wonder what gets said over a few drinks after the markets close?  Nothing too important I would imagine except for where the S+P, Treasuries, oil, natural gas , silver and gold will close at TOMORROW?  Ya’ think?

I wrote yesterday that gold and little cousin silver were at “the core” of it all, gold (and silver) could not be let loose to fly far above the scene shining a spotlight on the fraud.  This is “why” they have been locked down …creating and opening an Asian physical exchange is the “what”.  “The what” as in what is being done about it.  The Chinese it seems are in the process of going live with an exchange for gold and silver which will settle physically.  “Physically” as in real gold or real silver will be required and “cash” settlement will not be allowed.  In fact, it will be illegal to cash settle.  I can only say, this is like the dog taking his body back and refusing to let his tail wag him anymore!

Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore are all now in the process of creating live physical exchanges.  Shanghai plans to go live on September 26th Shanghai Gold Exchange Said to Plan FTZ Contract for Sept so COMEX will have more competition as of then.  Currently Shanghai operates a “futures” exchange, this as I understand will be a spot or cash exchange.  Koos Jansen  reports the futures exchange in Shanghai to now only have 92.5 tons remaining of silver, down from 1,200 tons a year back.  Koos Jansen: China again buys the dip in gold and silver gets scarcer | Gold and Precious Metals  He also reports that silver is trading in backwardation, this should NEVER be the case unless investors are in fear of not receiving their silver (or gold) at a future date.  I do want to also point out what is happening in London, they will no longer publish these “forward rates” (GOFO) so we will no longer see any backwardation when it occurs.  Interesting isn’t it… the West becoming more secretive while the East becomes more transparent!

“What” I think is happening is the “two tier” market beginning to take shape that I’ve spoken of for so long.  COMEX and LBMA are making changes, the “fixes” have been changed, CME no longer allowing “disruptive trading practices” (yeah right!), forward rates no longer being published amongst others.  The East on the other hand is becoming more transparent and “real” so to speak.  Why do you think these events are both happening at the same time? Cause and effect or action creates reaction maybe?  The East is clearly positioning itself to “price” both silver and gold.  If (when) there are 2 different “prices” for one ounce of silver or one ounce of gold …which one will be the real one?  Which one will designate the price for a real ounce to change hands somewhere (anywhere) in the world?

Do you see ”what” is happening? China and the East are in the process of taking away the pricing mechanism from New York and London …and there is absolutely NOTHING the West can do about it!  If and this “if” is a very big one, the West had vaults overflowing with silver and gold they could then thwart China by making delivery of metal.  But, this “was” 10 years ago!  We have already crossed this bridge and delivered out whatever metal we could get our hands on and retained the ability to “price”.  We have in my opinion already thrown or “used” this card as inventories and available metal is drying up at the same time international demand remains voracious. China has plans to “guard the dog” so to speak and disallow the Western tail to wag it. Derivatives will no longer hold sway as the overriding pricing mechanism, the real deal physical is in the process of taking over and is being sponsored by the East, who’d of ever thunk it years ago? This, is “what” is happening!

Bill Holter, Miles Franklin associate writer.

In the spirit of dialogue and in the search for common ground to find solutions for the conflict in Ukraine, sixteen prominent business leaders with equal representation from Ukraine, the Russian Federation, Europe, and the United States gathered privately on the invitation of Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, on Sunday September 14th in Geneva. 

While acknowledging the complexity of the situation and the different viewpoints, the participants succesfully agreed on a common approach. The ten points summarized below are considered by all to help resolve the conflict.

All participants recognize that the implementation of these proposals in the present context is challenging given the many complexities. They trust the political leaders involved and their ongoing dialogue, and hope that these proposals can support their initiatives for resolving the Ukraine conflict. The participants also hope that the political leaders can meet soon to bring an end to the conflict, and they pledge their full support for such a political process. 

1. Build on the 12 point ceasefire plan elaborated under the OSCE. Ensure a sustained truce, supporting the immediate end of violence and further loss of life. Acknowledge the primacy of the value of human life.

2. Refrain from using provocative and belligerent language, recognizing that it is only through dialogue conducted in an honest and collaborative spirit that progress, security and sustainable peace can be achieved.

3. Intensify the process of comprehensive dialogue on a national Ukrainian level, between Ukraine and the Russian Federation and between Europe, the Russian Federation, Ukraine and the United States with the commitment to establish shared objectives and identify key milestones for the solutions to the present challenges.

4. Maintain a security framework in Ukraine’s eastern region under the oversight of the OSCE, to last until the territorial security is guaranteed.

5. Initiate an inclusive political process towards the decentralisation of power in Ukraine, where additional rights are delegated from the central government to the regions, while also supporting guarantees for minority and language rights.

6. Guarantee the security and sovereignty of Ukraine by the international community. Recognize the supremacy of international law above national interests. Recognize the right of self-determination but encourage to consider a policy of military non-alignment for Ukraine, comparable to the status of other European countries (i.e. Finland, Sweden, Switzerland).

7. Identify how sanctions and counter-sanctions can be avoided and rolled-back in accordance with key milestones achieved in the process of reconciliation, as part of a process of re-establishing normal business dialogue and relations.

8. Put in place an economic recovery plan which addresses the devastation created by the conflict, the need for humanitarian assistance and the rehabilitation of infrastructure required. Establish for this a multistakeholder process and encourage all actors, particularly business, to jointly invest.

9. Coordinate and establish special association and trade agreements for Ukraine as well with the European Union as with the Russian Federation, and later possibly with the Eurasian Economic Community, to stabilize Ukraine’s economy, allowing Ukrainian companies to boost job creation, to improve long-term growth prospects and to reach international levels of competitiveness.

10. Organize a summit for the top political leaders from Europe and European countries involved, the Russian Federation, Ukraine and the United States in Geneva within a short timeframe to advance the reconciliation process.  –  emphasis, m.z.  –

URL: http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GenevaUkraineInitiative_CommonPrinciples_2014.pdf

(1)  Participants of the Meeting:  Joe KAESER (CEO Siemens; G),  Kurt BOCK (CEO BASF; G), Indra NOOYI (CEO Pepsi; U.S.), German GREF (CEO Sberbank; RU), Andrj KOSTIN (CEO VTB; RU), Ukrainian Oligarchs Wiktor PINTSCHUK,  Serhij TARUTA  et.al. 

The Hidden History of the Korean War

September 18th, 2014 by Dr. T. P. Wilkinson

Former heavyweight boxing champion Mohammed Ali (born Cassius M. Clay) is probably the most famous draft resister in US history. When refusing to accept the draft in 1967, during the American war against Vietnam he told the Press:

“No, I am not going 10,000 miles to help murder, kill and burn other people to simply help continue the domination of white slavemasters over dark people the world over. This is the day and age when such evil injustice must come to an end… Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go ten thousand miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam, while so-called Negro people in Louisville[1] are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights.”

The only war in the official history of the United State that was lost, was also the first war in which Jim Crow, the apartheid regime created in the US after the Civil War and Reconstruction, was not the policy of the US military. How African-Americans came again to challenge the imperialist war machine in the 1960s cannot be understood without uncovering the decades of silence and deception that have covered the first war the US regime truly lost—although it has never officially ended.

Bruce Cumings, certainly the most authoritative if not the sole US expert on this mysterious conflict, wrote,

Americans know the Korean War as a “forgotten war”, which is another way of saying that generally they do not know it. A war that killed upwards of four million people, 35,000 of them Americans, is remembered mainly as an odd conflict sandwiched between the good war (World War II) and the bad war (Vietnam).”

This reflects what might be called an especially American form of Manichaeism—for Americans there is only the “good” and the “bad”. The ability to judge either their own individual behaviour or that of their government is limited by this narrow dualism, a recurrent pattern in the way they perceive both domestic and foreign affairs. It is what made Jim Crow a most stringent and insidious form of social engineering: white and black, good and bad, sin and salvation, communism (without understanding it) and democracy (without having it). Bipolar disorder predates the pharmaceutical and confessional waves of the last two decades. In fact this disorder, going back to the country’s founding myth, has been a fundamental obstacle to comprehending the vicious invasion of a fiercely independent Asian country, under the pretext of preserving these supposedly clear moral categories. US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, staunch Presbyterian and corporate mercenary, declared the necessity of a “Christian war” in Asia.[2]

I.F. Stone, a unique American journalist, tried to breach the insipid and seemingly impenetrable barrier in the consciousness of Americans when he first published his Hidden History of the Korean War in 1952—in the midst of brutal fighting in Korea and political purging in his own land. Stone wrote:

“Writing in an atmosphere much like that of full war, I realised that I could be persuasive only if I utilised material which could not be challenged by those who accept the official government point of view. I have relied exclusively, therefore, on United States and United Nations documents, and respected American and British newspaper sources.”[3]

Stone’s history is damning although he deliberately used only published sources and not the disclosure of classified documents. His hidden history is a case study in how the control of the narrative—to use a modern term—successfully prevented and prevents obvious criminal conduct by the government and military from being recognised for what it is.

Hence Professor Cumings asserted that Stone’s non-conformist history “is a textbook on how to read… People with a built-in indifference to history are ill accustomed to retrospective digging, to lifting up rugs, to searching for subterranean forces and tendencies. Exploring the labyrinth of history is alien to the American soul, perhaps because an optimistic people find knowledge of the past too burdensome in the present”[4]

But just maybe even more problematic are the basic lies upon which the US founding myth was based and had to be enforced upon every new wave of cheap immigrant labour imported to dilute the poison of Negro slavery and Native American annihilation from which the hypocritical optimism was born. The US war against Korea was only possible because the US regime had emerged from the “good war” with the only industrial economy intact and capable of fulfilling its founder’s “manifest destiny” to replace the empires of their European forebears. This manifest destiny replaced Britain’s “white man’s burden” with the war against communism and nationalism. This optimism, born from decimation of a continent filled with virtually defenceless indigenous, driven by uprooted and exploited labour, was only possible with a culture of forgetting, forgetting the mass murder, the slavery, the poverty and oppression to which immigrants had been subjected in Europe before they came to North America. Two world wars had taught Germans and Japanese their tenuous place in this white man’s republic, racially divisible under god.

I.F. Stone explains the way the war was fabricated by a man William Manchester called an “American Caesar”.[5] He shows that this nominally United Nations war was a process of transforming the continental warrior state into a full-fledged global war machine for whom the very scent of peace was deemed revolting, esp. for dividends. Repeatedly Stone refers to the threat of “peace”. Chapter 15 is called, “Peace alarms”. Chapter 28 is called “Anti-peace offensive”. Chapter 33, “Hiding the Lull” describes how MacArthur’s headquarters worked to conceal the actual decline in combat activity—except US bombing. Chapter 41 is called “Postponing Peace Again”. In fact Stone shows on numerous occasions that the worst fear of those US warlords in Asia and Washington was that “peace might break out”.[6] Even MacArthur’s field commanders lied beyond the distortions for which William Westmoreland would be grated years later. Stone writes:

“Eighth Army Headquarters claimed to have killed or wounded 69,500 of the enemy from January 25 to midnight February 9, an average of about 4,600—or as Headquarters put it, “almost” a “full division” a day. Comparisons with the peak battles of World Wars I and II will indicate what a feat this was… If the figures given out that day at Lieutenant General Matthew Ridgway’s Headquarters were correct, then the push through the no man’s land south of Seoul must rank with the Battle of Stalingrad, the climax of World War II…”[7]

This was somehow plausible—and even acceptable– to Americans since they were repeatedly told how their clean-cut American soldiers were confronting endless “hordes” of Asians. Even the British press could not swallow the official reporting. The Daily Mirror published a story headlined: “Fairy Tales from Korea”.[8]

Aside from the exhaustion of the belligerents during the US Civil War—from 1860 – 1865—after the horrific violence waged by the industrialised armies of the mercantile North against the feudal armies of the Southern latifundista, there has been little serious bloodshed in the history of US conquest—at least as far as whites have been concerned. Hence the optimism that prevails among the warmongering classes seems to have arisen from the exceedingly modest waste of white lives in the two hundred years of the republic’s continental and colonial expansion.

Stone repeatedly demonstrates that Douglas MacArthur always lived up to the reputation he enjoyed among his fellow general officers—as a man who knew how to stage a show. MacArthur’s wilful deceit and manipulation of the US media assigned to his headquarters in Tokyo was every bit as contrived as the embedded reporting and isolated journalist pools of the Grenada invasion (1983) and the endless Gulf Wars starting in 1991. It should be no surprise however that a third generation colonial slaughterer should follow his return to the Philippines (where his father had also been military governor) to pursue the conquest of the rest of Asia, absorbing on the way the colonies and dependencies of Europe’s bankrupt empires.

However Stone rightly distinguishes between MacArthur’s limitless egotism and the genteel ambitions of the Northeastern establishment personified in Dean Acheson, whom the British antecedents thought “was their picture of what a foreign secretary should be: cultivated, personable and superbly tailored.”[9] Where Stone becomes problematic is precisely in this aspect of his analysis. If MacArthur and the rest of the military establishment in Washington were bent on presenting the war in terms of the controlling narrative: good v. bad, communist v. democracy, Christianity v. atheism, and ultimately whites v. non-whites, who were the real targets of the propaganda—the psychological operations at the core of the war against Korea. What made the war against Korea, essentially a civil war to reunify a peninsula that had been colonised by Japan with US brokerage and then partitioned against both Allied promises and the will of the Korean inhabitants, necessary?[10]

It could not have been the general population, including the Black Americans still targets of Jim Crow and white terrorism at home. It could not have been the socialists who emerged in the US as a potent force in the labour movement, abetted by the grudging US alliance with the Soviet Union in World War II. Nor could it have been the average working class man or woman whose claims to a peace dividend were to be foiled by America’s corporate elite. Stone was not privy to NSC 68—promulgated just before 1950 and only declassified in the 1970s. Nonetheless Stone was well aware of the corporate forces prepared to fight against social expenditure but perfectly willing to adopt military Keynesianism if it meant windfall weapons profits.[11]

Stone’s Hidden History leaves us with the facts of war: the total destruction of Korea, esp. north of the 38th parallel. He documents endlessly, from reports in the New York Times and other newspapers of record, that despite the lack of an enemy in the field that had no interest in demolishing its homeland, the Supreme Commander exercised carte blanche (pun intended) to saturate the entire peninsula with high explosives and napalm. The logical conclusion of Stone’s story is that the US regime destroyed non-white Korea—like so many Vietnamese villages thereafter—to save it. But for whom? Stone only hints at the answer.

Today the territory of the Palestinian nation has been virtually obliterated by a US client state. However the debate in the US persists in the same way it did between 1950 and 1953. Perhaps what Stone missed—or was simply unable to say in public—is that same issue which conceals the war against Palestine: Namely the entrenched power of an elite US ruling class.

This imperial consensus however is not uniform in its particular objectives or interests. It only coalesces when there is active warfare. It has only recently been acceptable in albeit limited public venues to discuss the “Israel lobby”. In 1950, it was impossible for anyone to discuss the “China lobby”. Stone tells us that powerful factions in the US elite could not agree whether the dictates of empire meant that US power should be focussed on Europe and the threat posed by the Soviet Union to the expansion of US corporations into European markets or—as the faction to which John Foster Dulles and his brother Allen in CIA belonged felt—directed toward the endless wealth to be plundered in Asia. The evacuation of Britain, France and the Netherlands from their plantation and mining possessions—not least of which the CIA-favoured opium trade, controlled from Shanghai until 1949—promised huge opportunities.

MacArthur’s role ought to be seen in this light. The decision to attempt “rollback” in Asia, rather than “containment” was made possible by the US atomic arsenal. This fearsomely obscene weapon had already been deployed against “non-white hordes” in Japan and appeared no doubt the weapon of choice for US re-conquest of China. Sheer numbers would have made an invasion and occupation of China impossible. The victory of Mao Tse-Tung and the Chinese Communist Party resulted in the expulsion of the last of China’s great warlord drug dealers from the mainland. Not only Chiang Kai-Shek but also his banking and pirate backers in the US, Japan and Britain would have profited immensely from a restoration of the status quo ante.[12] To pursue this goal MacArthur cut the Korean War out of whole cloth and deliberately created conditions which would replicate the rationale used to defend the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

The mystery with which Stone left his readers in 1952 was why did the US regime ultimately stop its campaign to conquer China? Was it the repeated refusal of the Chinese and Russians to intervene far enough to provide objective justification for MacArthur’s fake war against communism? Was it the realisation in Washington that having destroyed all of Korea they could not have fought a two front, perhaps even nuclear war? Perhaps it was precisely the outbreak of a precursor to what has been erroneously called “Vietnam syndrome”, the puncturing of pride within the ruling elite and the choice in Washington and New York to make more money at home and in Europe?

According to Gerald Horne, the Korean War was a major catalyst for Truman’s half-hearted attempts to abolish the US apartheid system of Jim Crow.[13] While the war in Korea served well to establish the post-war military-industrial complex, against which Eisenhower belatedly warned, it did not produce the desired domestic harmony. The Korean War was waged at home against every dissident group that had survived the New Deal and the US victory over the Axis. However, by attacking a fiercely nationalist, non-white country while attempting to preserve all the vestiges of centuries of white privilege at home, the elite was forced for a brief moment to choose. Could it crush nationalism (anti-colonialism) abroad and equality at home? Could it win an absolute ideological victory in Europe while terrorising Blacks in America? Could it arm and train segregated military units and construct the national police force which today keeps the largest prison population in the world under lock and key?

Stone does not ask any of those questions. But then these issues were not yet part of the official and respected narrative.

In 1954, the US regime was compelled to use federal authority to suppress the most atrocious practices of its racist system. It could be confronted with this domestic crime all the way through to the finish of its only “bad war”. Mohammed Ali was only born in 1942, less than ten years before the war against Korea started. However he was only the most famous of those Blacks who refused to join in the annihilation of non-whites throughout the world to support liberties never respected at home. Refusing to go to Vietnam—where both the death squads and saturation bombing deployed by the US Armed Forces in Korea were enhanced and modernised–Ali put it quite bluntly. “My enemy is the white people not the Vietcong.” Sometimes the US ruling elite is forced to recognise the potential hazard of such honesty in the face of their own egregious deceit.

Notes

[1] Louisville, Kentucky, where Mohammed Ali was born.

[2] Stone, p. 25, “He helped draft a manifesto by the Federal Council of Churches that year (1947) calling for a world-wide ‘moral offensive’ by the United States to spread the doctrine of freedom as opposed to Soviet doctrine…” As Stone put it, “the man who in 1943 had been pleading for a ‘Christian peace’ with the Axis no seemed to be advocating a “Christian war” against the USSR.”

[3] Author’s preface

[4] Bruce Cumings, Preface to the 1988 edition.

[5] William Manchester, American Caesar, Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964

[6] Stone, p. 153.

[7] Stone, p. 245.

[8] Stone, p. 242.

[9] Stone, p. 203

[10] Stone, p. 302, Not only the Yalta agreement was violated but the Cairo agreement to restore Korean sovereignty. See here esp. Bruce Cumings, Origins of the Korean War.

[11] Stone, p. 106

[12] Stone, p. 122.

[13] see Gerald Horne, Race to Revolution, New York, 2014. Although Truman issued Executive Order 9981 to end racial discrimination in the US military, it was only in 1952 that the armed forces began forming integrated units—although the allocation of command positions remained race-based well into the early 60s.

Image Credits: forum.omsk.com

A new bill introduced in the U.S. Senate yesterday would authorize the Obama administration to send $350 million dollars worth of sophisticated weapons technology to Ukraine despite the fact that neo-nazi militants are openly fighting alongside Kiev forces.

The bipartisan Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014, introduced by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Bob Corker (R-TN), is set to be discussed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee later today.

Despite attempts to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine after a shaky cease fire was called, the legislation would intensify sanctions against Russia, forcing Moscow to “pay an increasingly heavy price” for its “aggression” in the region. The bill would also authorize President Obama to provide military assistance to Ukraine to the tune of $350 million dollars.

From the bill;

Providing defense articles, defense services, and training to the Government of Ukraine for the purpose of countering offensive weapons and reestablishing the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, including anti-tank and anti-armor weapons; crew weapons and ammunition; counter-artillery radars to identify and target artillery batteries; fire control, range finder, and optical and guidance and control equipment; tactical troop-operated surveillance drones, and secure command and communications equipment. It authorizes $350 million in fiscal year 2015 to carry out these activities.

The notion that such weapons are not “offensive” and can only be used for defensive purposes is clearly a misnomer. Anti-tank weapons include rocket-propelled grenade launchers and bazookas which can be used to target aircraft as well as fortifications and buildings.

With the administration already facing criticism for its decision to arm so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels despite clear evidence that FSA militants have sold weapons to ISIS, the likelihood of powerful weaponry ending up in the hands of neo-nazi militants who are openly aligned with and have fought alongside Kiev forces is extremely troubling.

As the Telegraph reported last month, Kiev is now deliberately working with armed neo-nazi paramilitaries on the front lines of the battle with pro-Russian rebels, men who proudly display SS tattoos on their necks in honor of the feared Waffen SS – the armed wing of Hitler’s Nazi party.

When the Ukrainian government was asked about their policy of supporting and using neo-nazis in battle, Kiev’s Anton Gerashchenko was unrepentant, commenting, “The most important thing is their spirit and their desire to make Ukraine free and independent.”

The Senate bill risks seeing weapons transferred into the hands of what Foreign Policy magazine calls the “fascist defenders of freedom,” including the Azov Battalion, an “openly neo-Nazi unit has suddenly found itself defending the city against what Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called a Russian invasion.”

Earlier this month, German television broadcast video which showed Azov militants proudly wearing Nazi SS symbols on their helmets.

The Azov Battalion has also recently been converted into a regiment, making it a de facto part of the Ukrainian Army. The paramilitary group forms “the backbone of the forces fighting against the local self-defense militia advocating independence from Ukraine.”

“Azov fighters do more than wave a Swastika-like flag,” writes Robert Parry, “they favor the Wolfsangel flag of Hitler’s SS divisions, much as some of Ukraine’s neo-Nazis still honor Hitler’s Ukrainian SS auxiliary, the Galician SS. A Ukrainian hero hailed during the Maidan protests was Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera whose paramilitary forces helped exterminate Jews and Poles.”

The prospect of using American tax dollars to arm fascists is unlikely to sit well with millions of Americans whose family members fought to defeat Hitler and Japanese imperialism during World War II.

Following last year’s coup d’état, Kiev also handed key positions within the newly formed government to members of the neo-nazi Svoboda Party, despite the fact that one if its top members, Yuriy Mykhalchyshyn, founded a think tank named the Joseph Goebbels Political Research Centre as an homage to the Nazi propaganda minister.

Despite their clear neo-nazi connections, Senator John McCain and others have repeatedly called on the Obama administration to arm pro-Kiev militants.

Plans to further bolster Kiev forces also arrive in the aftermath of numerous incidents involving Ukrainian air strikes on villages which have killed scores of civilians, primarily in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.

The one hour video below exhaustively documents how neo-nazi militants were involved in both the overthrow of the elected Ukrainian government as well as fighting on the front lines alongside post-coup Kiev forces.

Paul Joseph Watson is the editor at large of Infowars.com and Prison Planet.com.

Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/paul.j.watson.71
FOLLOW Paul Joseph Watson @ https://twitter.com/PrisonPlanet

“It is my firm belief that 9/11 skeptics—and true skeptics of any paradigm-shifting and taboo subject—who publicly expose lies and naked emperors are heroes who have come out of waiting, for we have suffered the ridicule and wrath of those emperors, their minions, and the just plain frightened.

“To survive as babies and young children, we automatically look to our parents (thought-leaders, TV anchormen, politicians, military generals and other parent figures) for confirmation of safety or danger(whether manufactured or otherwise).

“Thus, the need for a leader, an authority, appears to be genetically hardwired. If we have been reared in an authoritarian family and school system, then this tendency to rely on authority figures for confirmation of reality is likely reinforced.

Conversely, if we are (gently) reared in a family, school system, and cultural context that rewards critical thinking and respects our feelings and needs, then the tendency to rely on authority figures would likely be weakened.

“In our American society, many of our officials routinely lie to and abuse us, but nonetheless, many citizens continue to look to them for truth and safety—especially when fear is heightened. This strong tendency to believe and obey authority is another obstacle with which skeptics of the official 9/11 account must contend.

“By unquestioningly believing and obeying authority, we develop and perpetuate faulty identities and faulty beliefs, and to top it off, we make very bad decisions, which often negatively affect others. This can be equally true for the four human proclivities studied by social psychologists: doublethink, cognitive dissonance, conformity, and groupthink.” – Psychologist Frances Shure, M. A., L. P. C. Excerpted from Part 3 of her 9 part series on “Why Do Good People Remain Silent – or Worse – about 9/11?” AEAtruth.org

Over the past 13 years since 9/11/01, the title question has plagued the tens of thousands of organized and committed groups of truth-seeking scientists, physicists, architects, engineers, pilots, ex-intelligence agents, firefighters, demolition experts, psychologists, medical professionals, etc, who have absolute proof that the official story about what happened on that date was a “Big Lie”, too easily perpetrated on a fearful public that was anxious about their future and was all too willing to suspend their freedom and their critical thinking skills and to throw their trust onto authority figures that would tell them what had happened and what to do next. Unfortunately, those authority figures had a long history of being serial liars; and they had hidden ulterior motives.

Millions of clear-headed people all over the world have paid close attention to the evidence that disproves the Big Lie, and thus they have seen through the propaganda that launched and then quagmired and bankrupted the US into two illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are naturally wondering what is going on, and why have they been black-listed?

Hundreds of millions of aware citizens around the world have witnessed the consequences of the destabilization of the oil-rich Mideast that was targeted because of the Big Lie, and they have seen the descent into perpetual war all over the planet.

Billions have seen the suffering, despair and slaughter of innocent Muslim women, children and old men that have been driven from their homes by US soldiers and their high tech lethal weaponry. Observers with open eyes and hearts have seen the rape, plunder, pillage, deaths and decapitations (by un-filmed drone strikes and mortar attacks, it needs to be mentioned) of families, tribes, cultures, societies, religious sects and infrastructure, predictably provoking violent reprisals, including beheadings, from justifiably angry, right-wing extremists bent on revenge and retaliation against American “christian” invaders and occupiers who drew “first blood” during the Crusades..

Qui Bono (Who Benefitted)?

Many observers know the names of the military, economic, corporate and political entities that have benefitted so much from the post-9/11 wars, wars that lavishly enriched them all – at the expense of us taxpayers and the doomed, deceived and dying boots on the ground that did the dirty work for them.

Many of us know the names of the war profiteering oil cartels, weapons manufacturers, gun runners, the rent-a-mercenary-soldier corporations and all the other multinational and American corporations that enjoyed huge stock market gains and profitability – not just from the wars but also from the rumors of war – again at the expense of the soldiers and those of us in the lower 99 %.

The American Empire, the Pentagon,  Full Spectrum Domination, “The New  Pearl Harbor” and “Corporate Personhood”

A few observers also saw the connections between the right-wing pro-corporate think tanks of the past few decades that include this short list of recognizable ones: Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, American Conservative Union, Americans for Tax Reform, American Legislative Exchange Council, American Family Association, Christian Coalition of America, Club for Growth, Eagle Forum, Family Research Council, National Taxpayers Union, among about 800 others. These think tanks seem to be peopled largely by draft-dodging ChickenHawk insiders from the Cheney/Bush administration – that are consistently pushing for American military and economic hegemony abroad. They call it “full spectrum domination”, which seems to be the operating principle that every Pentagon subsidiary endorses and which is pushed by every talking head mercenary general on CNN and Fox TV that has undeclared financial ties to the weapons industry.

Many of the Cheney-Bush insiders that gained tremendous political power after the 2000 stolen election were members or had close connections to the nefarious Project for the New American Century – PNAC – that published in its manifesto “Creating Tomorrow’s Dominant Force”  (exactly one year prior to 9/11/01) the following indicting sentence: 

“the process of transformation (i.e., achieving full spectrum planetary dominance by the US military), even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event––like a new Pearl Harbor.” 

It doesn’t take a genius to decide what group should be at the top of the list when the international war crimes tribunal starts to subpoena people.

Interested in knowing who are the folks from PNAC? Immediately below, Pilots for 911 Truth has provided us with a list of the operatives that deserve to have their day in court to clear their names .They will have some pretty tough explaining to do. Check out http://pilotsfor911truth.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=223 for much more.Here is the short list:

Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, John Bolton, Scooter Libby, Richard Armitage, Richard Perle, Dov Zakheim, Gary Bauer, William Kristol, William Bennett, Norman Podhoretz, Jeanne Kirkpatrick, James Woolsey, Robert Bork’s daughter Ellen, Charles Krauthammer, Jeb Bush, Steve Forbes, Rudy Boschwitz and Vin Weber. No progressives were members of this NeoConservative think tank. (You can see the rest of the list of Republican members at: http://911review.com/motive/pnac.html).

Fair-minded readers will agree that it is extremely important that Americans keep in mind during the upcoming elections that the members of PNAC are still aiming to achieve full spectrum domination in the Senate and the White House, in addition to maintaining the dominance that they already have in the House of Representatives and the Supreme Court. Most of PNAC’s blind supporters happen to be climate change deniers, have no concern for polluting corporations and are therefore quite willing to risk the survival of the planet – thus ignoring the potential suffering of the all of earth’s creatures who they think will be left behind after the “Rapture”).

It doesn’t look good for democracy if punitive, compassionless politicians and their cunning psychopathic paymaster corporations are to gain total power in what is shaping up to be a rolling, right-wing, fascist coup d’etat. (Recall that corporations have been newly deemed by the Supreme Court to be “persons” [albeit with vicious, untreatable and incurable sociopathic/criminal traits]).

9/11 Truth-seekers and Many Eye-Witnesses are Willing and Eager to Testify Before an International Criminal Court

Many of the members of the 911 Truth-seeking groups listed in paragraph one above are articulate, highly intelligent, scientifically astute, very professional, are not seeking to enrich themselves and are very concerned about the future of America. They want a truly independent commission with subpoena power to get to the bottom about what really happened on 9/11/01.

A multitude of experts are ready to be subpoenaed and to testify about the science of controlled demolition, nanothermite, the impossibility of fires or plane impacts to bring down steel-reinforced skyscrapers and the impossibility of amateur Cessna pilots flying commercial jets, much less guiding them into buildings at high speed.

Hundreds of eye-witnesses are ready to testify about the multiple explosions that they heard both prior to the plane’s impact into the two twin towers and also prior to the freefall collapse of each of the three skyscrapers, 1, 2 and 7.

Thousands of professional architects and engineers for 911 Truth are willing to testify about the robust construction of the over-engineered WTC towers that were pulverized into fine dust, each of which had been designed to withstand jet airliner impacts and office fires. These professionals are ready to testify about the impossibility of the absurd “pancake theory” and the fact that the ONLY WAY to bring down steel-reinforced skyscrapers is by controlled demolition by a highly trained team of demolition experts.

Professionals with various areas of expertise are ready to testify to the impossibility of a 100,000 pound aluminum commercial jet that had a 124 foot wing-span and 44 foot high tail section disappearing into the Pentagon through a 16 foot diameter hole in its outer wall, leaving no debris. They are especially eager to question the total disappearance of the two virtually indestructible titanium engines that left no holes and broke no windows in the Pentagon outer ring. And they will question why the 80+ videocameras all around the Pentagon were confiscated immediately by the FBI and still have not been released to the public. The obvious conclusion: no 757 hit the Pentagon; a military missile likely did the damage.

Experienced pilots and on-the-ground eyewitnesses are ready to testify about the impossibility of a commercial jet disappearing into a 15 foot wide smoking slit at Shanksville, PA, with no plane parts, no debris, no luggage, no body parts, and no frantic search and rescue at the site, proving that no crash had occurred there, contrary to what was portrayed in the fictitious Hollywood movie, Flight 93. The Shanksville site now has a national monument that is obviously designed to perpetuate the Big Lie

Scientists and communication experts are ready to testify to the fact that the cell phone calls from flight 93 were hoaxes, only partly because it was impossible to have made calls from a 2001 cell phone from a jet traveling at 30,000 feet at 500 mph.

Patriotic, albeit dissident truth-tellers – typically unfairly painted as being unpatriotic – have been marginalized as “conspiracy theorists” by truth-obscurers in order to discredit and demean them and their unwelcome message.

Being ”Good Germans” Means Believing in the Validity of “My Country, Right or Wrong” Patriotism

The ethically invalid belief in “my country, right or wrong” patriotism – a common American trait – was also fervently believed by most patriotic “Good Germans” during Hitler’s 12 year-long “Thousand-year Reich”. Not wanting to come face-to-face with unpleasant truths about the criminality of police state fascism, most Good German Christians, contrary to what Jesus would have wanted them to do, i.e., resist tyranny by nonviolent means. Unfortunately, most Good Germans preferred to maintain their silence (and ignorance) about what the Nazis were doing in their name.

Most Good Germans did not want to know about the atrocities that their soldier sons were committing in the invaded and occupied territories during WWII, and they felt threatened by the whistle-blowers who were asking questions. Thus most Germans stayed in denial about the Jewish Holocaust and the death camps, despite the cattle car caravans that always came back empty of their human cargo and the over-powering stench of burning flesh that was so prominent in the smoke that was coming out of the camp stacks.

Those who questioned Hitler’s white supremacist henchmen about the “theories” of mass exterminations of “useless eaters” such as Jews, Slavs, homosexuals, foreigners, starving and physically depleted slaves and assorted other minorities might have been labeled as conspiracy theorists if the Gestapo had ever thought of such a cunning concept.

 Part two of this essay will appear in next week’s Duluth Reader, beginning with a section titled “The CIA’s Invention of the “Conspiracy Theorist” Smear Campaign to Discredit Dissenters.”

The entire 4,000 word column is being published in a variety of websites world-wide and it should be archived soon at http://duluthreader.com/articles/categories/200_Duty_to_Warn.
Dr Kohls writes regularly about a variety of issues that includes corporatism, militarism, economic oppression, racism and fascism. He is a member of Medical Professionals for 911 Truth. 

Addendum: 

Over the past few years, I have provided to readers many internet links to some of the sources that reveal the truth about the 9/11 conspiracy and cover-up, any of which effectively debunk the official conspiracy theories that have so successfully brain-washed the average US citizen. Some of this video evidence that proves that 911 was an inside job is widely available on the internet. Start your exploration and edification by going to YouTube and typing in “9/11 Truth” and then following the many links. Some of the best videos are currently being screened on PACT-TV here in the Duluth area, including the newest documentary film “Anatomy of a Great Deception” as well as “The New American Century” and “Plunder”. If you are in the Duluth, MN area, check out PACT-TV’s cable channels 189, 188 or 180 for show times.  

Theodore Roosevelt and American Racism

September 18th, 2014 by Margaret Kimberley

“I don’t go so far as to think that the only good Indian is the dead Indian, but I believe nine out of every ten are, and I shouldn’t like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth. The most vicious cowboy has more moral principle than the average Indian.”
– Theodore Roosevelt

It is true today and was true in the past. The most celebrated political figures in this country, including those called blue blooded, elite or patrician, were mostly criminals. The descendants of the Mayflower ought to be ashamed of their heritage instead of bragging about their ancestors who began the genocide of indigenous people. The earliest American presidents Washington, Jefferson and Madison, earned their wealth through slave holding. Their successors in the office of the presidency either acquiesced to the slave holding interests or actively protected them until a bloody civil war put an end to their dirty work.

The Roosevelt family was no exception to this pattern of gaining wealth through thievery and then parlaying it into positions of influence for themselves. These are simple facts but the American desire to believe in cherished myths is not easily ended. This dynamic is obvious in a new PBS documentary series, The Roosevelts: an Intimate History, which chronicles the lives of Theodore Roosevelt, his niece Eleanor and her husband and distant cousin Franklin.

Every American has grown up with tales of the rough riders, teddy bears and walking softly but carrying a big stick. These well worn stories, like George Washington’s cherry tree, serve the purpose of spreading propaganda about the nation’s history and covering up the information we ought to know.

Theodore Roosevelt began his life as the child of a criminal class. His mother came from a slave holding Georgia family. In fact her father sold some of his human property in order to pay for her elaborate wedding to Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. Mrs. Roosevelt actively campaigned against her husband’s plan to enlist in the union army while also smuggling aid to confederate soldier relatives. Her son said that she remained an “unreconstructed” confederate her entire life.

As the title of James Loewen’s book indicates, the American history we are taught is nothing but Lies My Teacher Told Me. The men with their face on the currency, the pantheon of presidents and others deemed “great” are rarely people who should be admired and Theodore Roosevelt is no exception.

He played a major role in every act of American aggression that took place in the late 19th and early 20th century. The Spanish American war was an effort to steal the remnants of Spain’s empire, keeping Cuba a vassal of the United States and forcing the Philippines and Puerto Rico to become American territories. Panama was a Colombian territory until president Roosevelt encouraged a “revolt” which led to a newly independent nation and a better deal for the construction of the canal.

In the Philippines from 1901 – 1911, the United States killed more than 250,000 people in order to end their struggle for independence. First as Assistant Secretary of the Navy in 1898 and then as vice president and president, Roosevelt made clear that he lusted for death on a mass scale. “I should welcome almost any war, for I think this country needs one,” Roosevelt opined. He said that war stimulated “spiritual renewal” and [emphasis mine] “the clear instinct for racial selfishness.” He defended the imperial project in the Philippines by declaring Filipinos “Chinese half-breeds” and surmised that the bloodshed was “the most glorious war in our nation’s history.”

Roosevelt also urged white people to make babies in order to conquer the colored masses of the world. In a lengthy discourse that has come to be known as the “race suicide letter” he stated that anyone who didn’t reproduce was “in effect a criminal against the race.”

It isn’t shocking that a man born in the 19th century to wealth and privilege who was raised by a slave holder would turn out to be so loathsome. It should be shocking that in the 21st century there is still such an inclination to sweep this easily accessible information under the rug.

George Washington did not have wooden teeth. He took teeth from other human beings, his slaves, who endured this and other excruciating experiences under bondage. When the United States capital was briefly located in Philadelphia, Washington had to shuttle his slaves back to Virginia for periods of time, lest they be able to appeal for their freedom under Pennsylvania law. The southern planter class settled this inconvenient matter once and for all by creating a new capital city located safely between two slave states.

It is high time for Americans to grow up and that means eschewing tales of teddy bears in favor of telling the unvarnished and ugly truth. Those who feel the need for hero worship shouldn’t look towards Mount Rushmore or the dead presidents on currency. These people are invariably disreputable and should be remembered only as cautionary tales of how human beings should not behave. Theodore Roosevelt is definitely in that category.

Margaret Kimberley‘s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com.Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.

David Cameron and the British media have been freaking out about the potential Scottish independence.

They’ve blathered on about “history”, “common defense” and other red herrings.

But it’s really all about oil …

Specifically, if Scotland becomes independent, it gets to keep 90% of the revenues from its huge oil reserves.

The New York Times reports:

Scottish nationalists have long argued that being governed from London has deprived their country of its fair share of the wealth from Britain’s oil and natural gas fields, which mostly lie in North Sea waters off their shores.

“It’s Scotland’s oil” was the rallying cry in the 1970s that helped raise the profile of the Scottish Nationalist Party, which now leads the country and is pushing for a vote to secede in the referendum on Thursday. Alex Salmond, the politician leading the separatist movement, has pointed to North Sea energy as the treasure that would help finance an independent Scotland — ensuring that the country could continue the generous public spending, including free university tuition, that he is promising voters.

Al Jazeera notes:

Massive oil reserves in the North Sea are at the heart of the Scottish independence debate. Many are questioning whether the reserves are just for Scotland or if the rest of the United Kingodm should continue to benefit from their profits.

NBC writes:

The ‘Yes’ campaign … says Scots should have total control of their own affairs and that revenue from Scotland’s offshore oil fields would sustain the country’s economy

In addition, as Max Keiser explained:

(1) The UK can now borrow cheaply using the giant Scottish oil reserves as collateral

(2) If Scotland leaves, the collateral (oil reserves) is no longer available

(3) So the cost of borrowing money for Britain skyrockets

Scotland’s North Sea oil reserves are slowing running out, and so oil won’t be such a valuable resource forever.

But for now, it is still invaluable (especially as collateral for British borrowing) … and the key to Britain’s panic over potential Scottish independence.