The Killing Fields of Gaza

August 22nd, 2014 by Anthony Bellchambers

In the killing fields of Gaza where heavily-armed Israeli troops in Merkava tanks and US-supplied F16 strike aircraft, fire high-explosive missiles into a civilian population in acts of collective punishment – to date, over 2000 lives, the majority of which are unarmed civilians including hundreds of women and children, have been taken.

Meanwhile, in the skies above the 1.8 million souls who are crammed into the densely populated Gaza enclave, unmanned drones fly close overhead to the houses, schools and hospitals, 24/7, in an illegal act of terror to frighten and intimidate the civilian families who have been deliberately held by the Israelis at subsistence level for now over seven years by an illegitimate blockade of essential supplies.

In the hospitals, Palestinian doctors are denied the essential drugs and dressings to aid the hundreds of casualties that keep arriving by the hour. The dead are wrapped in sheets and buried as soon as possible as the families weep on the roadside by their destroyed houses. They cannot understand how the United Nations can be blind to such a gross violation of human rights, day after bloody day.

Meanwhile, in Tel Aviv, the pavement cafés and restaurants continue their busy trade as Israelis drink their lattes and eat pitta. Then, after an afternoon swim, many will again report for duty, as conscript soldiers, to destroy more lives and bulldoze more Palestinian homes – oblivious to the frightening parallels with the Germany of National Socialism, post 1933.

At night, after returning home to Bat Yam, or Herzlia, they will tuck their own children into bed; maybe make love to their wives before a last cigarette and then to sleep. They are too far away to hear the sobbing of the bereaved at the side of the road a few kilometres away, or smell the pungent odour of death from the mangled, decomposing bodies still within the remains of the building that their armoured tank shelled just yesterday. In the heavily populated Gaza City, hundreds of newly orphaned children now weep silently whilst hundreds of others lie injured.

The killing fields in Gaza await a level of civilian death and destruction not witnessed in such silence and mute acceptance, since WW2. And still the killing continues; the stealing and settlement of land likewise proceeds apace despite world condemnation – whilst the cafés in Tel Aviv still do a roaring trade confident in the sure knowledge that their cousins in Congress will continue to fund and support these acts of atrocity.

Meanwhile, the ever-active propaganda machine disseminates its message thru the Israeli foreign ministry offices, worldwide, to the effect that the thousands of civilian deaths were ‘unintentional collateral damage’ and that the Israeli army is the most caring in the world. And, notwithstanding the incontrovertible evidence to the contrary, many gullible souls still swallow the propaganda, as the Israeli government spokesman tells us, on BBC News, that his country is the real victim – as he struggles to keep a straight face.

However, obviously David Cameron believes him as he continues to sign the export licences that help equip the planes that fire the missiles that destroy the schools that kill the children and their parents.

Many of us were proud to be British and to have served in our armed forces to defend freedom and democracy – which included fiercely protecting the lives of innocent women and children in war zones and areas of conflict around the world.

Now, we are an accessory to these atrocities. May God forgive us.

The Police, the Military, and Ferguson

August 22nd, 2014 by Binoy Kampmark

The dominant visual aspect of the story, however, has been the sight of overpowering police forces confronting unarmed protesters who are seen waving signs or just their hands.” Walter Olson, Cato at Liberty, Aug 13, 2014

A terrible vision of what happens when authority goes wrong. This is Ferguson, Mo. in August 2014. Even if the person killed by police, a certain Michael Brown, was a black man; even given the automatic response by authorities that it was a case of justified armed violence, we are left with the same nasty taste: policing in the US has become a beast of terrifying burden, a dark promise of local brutality.

The old problem in US politics has always been reconciling the gibberish of exceptionalism with tensions of corroding imperfection in the political system. The United States may well have some of the best of what is good in political aspiration. (Hard to beat the Bill of Rights and the Madisonian flavour of the constitution.) It also has some of the most fearful responses to matters of security, be it the blight of the race divide, and its twin cousin, that of poverty. Every society struggles with containing its demagogues, and US authorities have managed to stumble badly when it comes to policing its black citizens. They are unruly, and they are unhappy.

The case of Ferguson, with its police forces resembling an armed force by a different name, has implications beyond policing a particular ethnic group. It suggests that protections on the home front are being frittered away in the name of an unruly policing manual, stacked to the brim with military kit. This is the formula of the Los Angeles SWAT team, one advocated by inspector Daryl Gates in the mid-1960s to combat the strife induced by such incidents as the 1965 Watts riots. When trouble arises, call the marines, or at the very least someone similar to them.

Ferguson, with 21,000 people, covers a mere 6.2 square miles. The police budget – coming in at $5.2 m, and boisterous presence, suggests something far more sinister. The Department of Homeland Security, that creature of feigned protectiveness, has been getting police authorities drunk with military grade hardware via “anti-terror grants”.1

Back in 1997, Peter Kraska and Victor Kappeler of Eastern Kentucky University were already noting that policing was moving into a military phase of operation in “Militarising American Police: The Rise and Normalisation of Paramilitary Units”. In such circumstances, threats are magnified and extended. The heavy response is justified in response to inflated threat. This has been a theme for Kraska, who reiterated the “blurring distinctions between the police and military institutions and between war and law enforcement” in 2007.2

Such conditions, simulating urban guerrilla warfare scenarios, localise and intensify conflict. The language of the paramilitary outfit is deployed. “Why armoured vehicles in a Midwestern inner suburb?” asks Walter Olson3 of the Cato Institute. “Why should cops wear camouflage gear against a terrain patterned by convenience stores and beauty parlours?” Then, the question of Ferguson itself: “Why are the authorities in Ferguson, Mo. So given to quasi-martial crowd control methods (such as bans on the street) and, per the reporting of Riverfront Times, the firing of tear gas at people in their own yards?”

In 2012, Olson found how St. Louis County got a Bearcat armoured vehicle, among other items. This, he argues, is often an instance of how military surplus is disposed of. Too much production, not enough use. Indigent local governments, an ever increasing phenomenon on the US landscape, are thrilled at the beefing up of their services with what the military don’t what.

There is no suggestion here of traditional policing in the name of protecting the public. The public is the problem. Individuals such as Matthew Dale Stewart of Ogden, Utah assume when a heavily armed police unit breaks down his door that he is being beset by criminals keen on his life and property. This is the classic rhetoric of war in action – the “war on drugs”, the “war on crime”, dangerous nonsensical terms that populate the language of law and order.

What this has led to is a significant undermining of the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act, which effectively smuggles military involvement via a rather big back door. The military and police find themselves in the same bed of comfort, inflicting the same terrors on a civilian population that should, ideally, be free the ones protected. That is manual no citizen wants.

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

Notes

1 http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2014/08/michael-brown-ferguson-and-united-states-police-soldiers

2 http://cjmasters.eku.edu/sites/cjmasters.eku.edu/files/21stmilitarization.pdf

3 http://www.cato.org/blog/police-militarization-ferguson-nationwide

First published by GR on June 19, 2013

A major transition in US counter-terrorism doctrine is unfolding.

While Barack Obama, following in the footsteps of  George W. Bush, remains firmly committed to waging a “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT), his administration is now openly supporting selected rebel units in Syria which are part of the Al Qaeda network.

Known and documented, Al Qaeda is a creation of the CIA, which has covertly supported the “Islamic Terror Network” since the heyday of the Soviet Afghan war.

While Al Qaeda is a US sponsored “intelligence asset”, a “New Normal” has been established.

An Al Qaeda affiliated organization, namely Syria’s Al Nusrah, is being supported “overtly” by the US President, rather than “covertly” by the CIA.

The support of Al Nusrah, an affiliate of al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), is no longer channeled in secrecy as part of a CIA-MI6 covert operation, it  is now being supported –in a semi-official fashion– as part of a US foreign policy agenda. The latter is also part of America’s diplomatic discourse, implemented in consultation with Britain, Canada, Germany and France. Although Al Nusrah was not mentioned explicitly, “support to the Syrian rebels” was the main topic of debate at the June 2013 G-8 meetings in Northern Ireland.

While intelligence covert ops continue to perform an important role, Washington’s support to Al Qaeda in Syria is now “out in the open”, within the public domain. It is no longer part of a secret undertaking. It is part of the mainstay of US foreign policy, carried out under the helm of Secretary of State John Kerry.

“Support to the rebels” is also debated in the US Congress. It is the object of a bill which has already been adopted by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  Senator Corker who co-sponsored the bill stated that:

“The future for Syria is uncertain, but the U.S. has a vested interest in trying to prevent an extremist takeover, which poses a very real risk for us and the region,” (emphasis added)

In a twisted logic, the bill purports to prevent “an extremist takeover” by supporting an Al Qaeda terrorist formation.

The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations voted 15-3 in favor of the proposed bill.

Ironically, the pro-Israeli lobby was also actively involved in lobbying in favor of aid to jihadist rebels.

Israel has supported Al Nusrah militarily in areas adjacent to the occupied territories of the Golan Heights.

Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky (left) voted against the bill, warning:

“You will be funding today the allies of al Qaeda” (quoted by RT)

Al Qaeda, Osama and “The Blowback”

Everybody knows that Al Qaeda is now directly supported by the US government.

The implications are far-reaching. Obama’s decision not only undermines the legitimacy of the “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT), it also casts doubt on the “blowback” thesis.

Moreover, it begs the embarrassing question: Why is the US president supporting Al Nusrah, which is on the US State Department list of terrorist organizations?

The CIA refers to the so-called “blowback” thesis whereby  an “intelligence asset”, (i.e. the Islamic jihad) is said to “have gone against its sponsors”; ”

The sophisticated methods taught to the Mujahideen, and the thousands of tons of arms supplied to them by the US – and Britain – are now tormenting the West in the phenomenon known as `blowback’, whereby a policy strategy rebounds on its own devisers. (The Guardian, London, September 15, 2001).

“What we’ve created blows back in our face.” The US government and the CIA are portrayed as the ill-fated victims. The CIA had been tricked by a deceitful Osama. It’s like “a son going against his father”.

While the CIA acknowledges that the late Osama bin Laden, leader of Al Qaeda, was an “intelligence asset” during the Cold War, the relationship is said to “go way back”. In the wake of 9/11, news reports would invariably dismiss these Osama-CIA links as part of the “bygone era” of the Soviet-Afghan war. They are invariably described as “irrelevant” to an understanding of the post-9/11 era:

“Bin Laden recruited 4,000 volunteers from his own country and developed close relations with the most radical mujahideen leaders. He also worked closely with the CIA, … Since September 11, [2001] CIA officials have been claiming they had no direct link to bin Laden.” (Phil Gasper, International Socialist Review, November-December 2001) 

Afghan Mujahideen Commanders meet with President Ronald Reagan

While the “blowback” thesis is an obvious fabrication, it has nonetheless served to provide legitimacy to the “Global War on Terrorism”. With “overt” support channeled by the US government to an Al Qaeda affiliated organization, the blowback thesis falls flat, it is no longer credible.

The evidence amply confirms that the CIA never severed its ties to the “Islamic Militant Network”. Historically, US covert support to terrorists was a safely guarded secret, unknown to the broader public. Moreover, the CIA would never channel its support directly. It would proceed through its intelligence counterparts in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Since the end of the Cold War, these covert intelligence links have not only been maintained, they have become increasingly sophisticated.

The broad political and media consensus in the wake of the 9/11 attacks was built around the blowback: Al Qaeda had attacked America.

The Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) against Al Qaeda and its affiliates had been launched. Yet the evidence amply confirms that US intelligence continues to harbor several terrorist organizations which are on the US State Department’s list.

Paradoxically, covert support to the terrorists by Western intelligence agencies (including the CIA, MI6, Germany’s BND) is an essential instrument of the “Global War on Terrorism”. Namely the war on terror to protect the Homeland is waged by using US-NATO sponsored terrorists and mercenaries as foot-soldiers of the Western military alliance.

The support provided covertly to “jihadist” terrorist organizations in a large number of countries (e.g. former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, Syria, Niger, Mali, Algeria, Egypt, etc.) has been used by the US-NATO alliance to destabilize sovereign states.

Obama and Al Nusrah. The “State Sponsors of Terrorism”

Al Qaeda was identified as the mastermind of the 911 attacks on the World Trade Center Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11 was immediately identified as a “state sponsor of terrorism” leading to the bombing and invasion of Afghanistan by US and NATO forces on October 7, 2001. In turn, a gamut of counterterrorism legislation and executive orders were put in place in the immediate wake of the 9/11 attacks.

Executive Order 13224, signed by President George W. Bush on September  23, 2001 “authorizes the seizure of assets of organizations or individuals designated by the Secretary of the Treasury to assist, sponsor, or provide material or financial support or who are otherwise associated with terrorists.” (Sept. 23, 2001).

The US Congress passed the USA PATRIOT Act 2001, signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001. The legislation was in response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, which allegedly had been perpetrated by Al Qaeda.

According to the 2001 Patriot Act, those “who pay for the bomb“, namely those who fund affiliates of Al Qaeda, are terrorists. In the words of George W. Bush on September 11, 2001,   “We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.”

The Act pertains to the harboring and financing of terrorist organizations. Al Qaeda and its affiliates are defined in the PATRIOT Act as a terror network. Persons and organizations which support or abet Al Qaeda are considered as terrorists.

The forbidden question: Does the substance of Executive order 13224 and the PATRIOT  legislation quoted above apply to a US president, a Secretary of State, a Member of the US Congress?

The Department of Justice “has prosecuted individuals and organizations for providing material support to the terrorist organization, while the Department of Treasury has frozen the assets of dozens of terrorist financiers and networks.” (See Council on Foreign Relations)

Similar measures, including the freezing of assets or organizations supportive of terrorism, were adopted in the European Union.  “Since 2007, Britain’s Ministry of Finance has frozen the assets (PDF) of hundreds of individuals and organizations connected to al-Qaeda via its Asset Freezing Unit.” (Ibid)

National governments which provide support to Al Qaeda are categorised as “State-sponsors of terrorism”.

The designation is determined by the US State Department. In fact, the Secretary of State, namely John Kerry has the authority “to determine that the government of such country has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism.”  (State Department List),  See also the Counterterrorism Bureau)

Barack Obama and John Kerry: Are They “Terror Suspects”?

Now let us examine in more detail the Al Nusrah Front, which constitutes the main rebel fighting force in Syria. Al Nusrah is affiliated to Al Qaeda. The leader of Al Nusra, Abu Mohammad al-Golani, has pledged his allegiance to Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who replaced Osama bin Laden after his death.

According to the State Department Bureau of Counter-terrorism, Jabhat al Nusrah, the main rebel force in Syria is a terrorist organization, an affiliate of Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).

The State Department has issued a “prohibition against knowingly providing, or attempting or conspiring to provide, material support or resources to, or engaging in transactions with, al-Nusrah Front, and the freezing of all property and interests in property of the organization that are in the United States, or come within the United States or the control of U.S. persons.” (emphasis added).

It is understood that US State Department Counter-terrorism policy also applies to “state sponsors of terrorism”.

Al Nusrah is financed by Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Israel in close consultation with NATO and the Pentagon.

The Obama administration has openly confirmed its support for the Syrian rebels with most of this aid channeled to Al Nusrah.

The PATRIOT Act “prohibits knowingly harboring persons who have committed or are about to commit a variety of terrorist offenses”.

Moreover, an entire gamut of executive orders as well as the 2001 Patriot legislation prohibit “the harboring of terrorists”.

According to the US Justice Department:

The Patriot Act imposed tough new penalties on those who commit and support terrorist operations, both at home and abroad.”  The terror threat emanates both from “the terrorist who pays for a bomb as by the one who pushes the button”.

According to the Patriot legislation, those “who pay for the bomb”, namely funding affiliates of Al Qaeda, constitutes a terrorist act.

In other words, the Obama administration and its allies are harboring a terror organization which is on the US State department list.

In this regard, President Obama and  Secretary of State John Kerry could be held responsible for “knowingly providing, or attempting or conspiring to provide, material support or resources to, or engaging in transactions with, al-Nusrah Front”: 

“The [PATRIOT] Act created a new offense that prohibits knowingly harboring persons who have committed or are about to commit a variety of terrorist offenses”, yet the Obama administration is openly supporting a terrorist entity, in violation of its own counter-terrorism legislation.

Media Complicity

According to CNN, quoting intelligence sources, Al Nusrah is “the best-equipped arm of the terror group” in Syria, with an estimated 10,000 forces. Where do they get their money and weapons? CNN does not provide any details as to Why Al Nusrah is the best equipped, in relation to the various so-called moderate rebels factions, which from a military standpoint are broadly inoperative.

How many of these Al Nusrah forces remain operative following the government’s counteroffensive remains to be established.

Ironically, this latest CNN report (June 18, 2013 suggests that the rebels rather than the government have chemical weapons in their possession:

“They [Al Nusrah] are making desperate attempts to get chemical weapons,” the analyst told CNN, noting that in the past few weeks, security services in Iraq and Turkey arrested [Al Nusrah] operatives who were “trying to get their hands on sarin.”

In relation to the later, Turkish Police confirmed that the arrested Al Nusrah operative was in possession of sarin gas.

CNN contradicts its own reports. The same CNN article which intimated that the rebels were “attempting to get” chemical weapons, makes the case for “arming the rebels”:

The Obama administration announced last week that it will start arming rebels because Syria crossed a “red line” by using chemical weapons — including sarin gas — against the opposition.

The development is likely to be at the center of the Group of Eight summit in Northern Ireland on Monday, setting a riveting backdrop to the meeting after Syria’s longtime ally Russia said the move supports “those who kill their enemies and eat their organs.”

…Obama has not detailed the increased military support, but Washington officials told CNN that the plan includes providing small arms, ammunition and possibly anti-tank weapons to the rebels.

The Broader Implications of Obama’s Support of Al Nusrah

The blowback thesis is now defunct. The US has never ceased to support Al Qaeda. These terrorist organizations were created by US intelligence and supported by Washington. The blowback thesis is refuted not only by Obama’s “overt support” of Al Nusrah but also with regard to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), an Al Qaeda affiliate, which was directly supported by NATO from the outset of the insurgency and Libya bombing campaign in 2011.

The “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT) has become an increasingly fragile concept. Waging a “War on Terrorism” with the active participation of  an Al Qaeda affiliated organization constitutes an obvious fallacy, a big lie, a non sequitur.

The propaganda and media disinformation campaign behind the “Global War on Terrorism” has also entered a dead alley. Going after the terrorists by supporting the terrorists?  Will the American public support a government which funnels billions of tax dollars to a terrorist organization as a means to “combating terrorism”?

The Pentagon’s post-911 military doctrine is predicated on the “Global War on Terrorism”. It is a consensus within US military. It is used in the recruitment, training and indoctrination of  US forces.

Will American servicemen and women accept to swallow the big lie and fight in what visibly constitutes a fake “war on terrorism”.

The Criminalisation of the US State

President Obama’s “overt” support to Syria’s Al Qaeda rebels “opens up a can of worms”.

How are we to categorize an American President who says he is committed to fighting Al Qaeda, while at the same time supporting Al Qaeda?

The entire Homeland Security doctrine tumbles like a deck of cards.

The US government is in blatant violation of its own counter-terrorism legislation.


Order Directly from Global Research

America’s “War on Terrorism”

Michel Chossudovsky

originalIn this new and expanded edition of Michel Chossudovsky’s 2002 best seller, the author blows away the smokescreen put up by the mainstream media, that 9/11 was an attack on America by “Islamic terrorists”.  Through meticulous research, the author uncovers a military-intelligence ploy behind the September 11 attacks, and the cover-up and complicity of key members of the Bush Administration.

 The expanded edition, which includes twelve new chapters focuses on the use of 9/11 as a pretext for the invasion and illegal occupation of Iraq, the militarisation of justice and law enforcement and the repeal of democracy.

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

 September 11, 2001 provides a justification for waging a war without borders. Washington’s agenda consists in extending the frontiers of the American Empire to facilitate complete U.S. corporate control, while installing within America the institutions of the Homeland Security State.  

Also available other formats

For PDF format, click here

For Kindle edition, click to visit Amazon.com

Special: America’s “War on Terrorism” + Globalization of Poverty (Buy 2 books for 1 price!)

July 2014 Report

The village of Kondrashovka in eastern Ukraine lies devastated after shelling by Kiev troops which killed seven people. Bodies torn to pieces are strewn across the settlement and those who survived are asking: why did Kiev kill their families?

Shells devastate entire streets in eastern Ukrainian town (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

At least five shells hit the settlement, destroying an entire street in the peaceful Lugansk region community, 25km from the city of Lugansk.

Dramatic RT footage shows the ravaged village, including a local resident’s backyard which was literally transformed into a grave.

“They killed my mother, and my father is injured. I took him to hospital,” Aleksandr Mironenko told RT’s Marina Finoshina, one of the few journalists to report from the scene.

Aleksandr was desperately going around the place, showing pieces of human flesh scattered all across the property. “Come here – can you see this? It’s a human body which has been torn to pieces. Let’s go and film some more, I’ll show you. Bodies everywhere, obviously all of them are terrorists!” he said sarcastically through tears. Just next door, Kondrashovka residents are telling a tragic story of their friend, who lost his 5-year-old son. “He celebrated his son’s fifth birthday yesterday, and today, the boy’s leg was cut off – I don’t know if he’s alive or not,” said Sergey, a neighbor. “No, no, he died, said another man. “He died? Yes. Then he died,” adds Sergey.  

The streets of Kondrashovka devastated by Kiev troops (Still from RT video)

Image: The streets of Kondrashovka devastated by Kiev troops (Still from RT video)

Few of the village residents were left unharmed by the shelling. One of ‘the lucky ones,’ Andrey, said his family was not home when the shelling started. However, his property was badly damaged. He showed RT the holes from the shells in the fence. “What do I think? ‘Thank you, Ukrainian Air Force’,” he said, adding that his family would have died had they been there when the attack hit. Stunned residents ask why the government is targeting their peaceful village. Kiev troops claimed they were killing ‘terrorists’, although here that term would include women, children and the elderly. “Why? There was nobody here – only peaceful civilians, poor people who worked from dawn till dusk,” says a local woman. “We are peaceful. We don’t mind Poroshenko being in office,” says Irina Stasyuk, a local resident, “But don’t kill us. There are 12 people here.”

Yury, a veteran military pilot, had his own opinion on why the troops targeted the village. He said the aircraft targeted a self-defense base, but either missed or intentionally fired on civilian dwellings.

“The first time the aircraft pilot got it right – there is a self-defense base 3km from here. He hit it,” said Yury. “But the second time, he pulled the trigger a few seconds late – either by mistake, or he received an order to target this village. I don’t know.”

The streets of Kondrashovka devastated by Kiev troops (Still from RT video)

Image: The streets of Kondrashovka devastated by Kiev troops (Still from RT video)

In the meantime, pro-Kiev Azov Battalion deputy commander admitted that the bombardment of Kondrashovka might have been the result of “pilot error.”

“I think there was both pilot error and shelling from outside,” Igor Mosyichuk told Ukraine’s 112 Channel, adding that Kondrashovka turned out to be “between a rock and a hard place” – people’s self-defense forces and Kiev troops.

Even after the attack, the rest of the village is not safe, as during the interviews the cannonade can be distinctly heard.

The village of Kondrashovka destroyed by Kiev troops (Still from RT video)

Image: The village of Kondrashovka destroyed by Kiev troops (Still from RT video)

RT crew visited the local hospital where there was no water and electricity since the local power station was hit in another air raid.

“We received 13 people – four of them are already dead, including a five-year-old, a boy,” Maksim Pavlov from the central hospital told RT.

Among the injured is Ivan Mironenko, a father of Aleksandr, a local resident who earlier spoke to RT.

After Ivan lost his wife in the attack, he doesn’t want to live anymore, saying he sees no point.

“Why was she killed? Why not me? Why is God punishing me like this?” exclaims Ivan, sobbing.

Russian authorities strongly condemned the attacks of eastern Ukrainian civilians by Kiev forces.

Moscow demands that Ukrainian authorities stop shelling civilian objects in the country in order to save the lives of local people, said Russian FM Sergey Lavrov at a press conference with his Moroccan counterpart.

The Western countries should urge Kiev to follow the declaration approved in Berlin which calls for the formation of a special contact group aiming at establishing a truce in Ukraine,” he added.

A roadmap of measures that will point a way out of the Ukrainian crisis has been agreed during four-way talks between the foreign ministers of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine on July 2.

The regions of eastern Ukraine have been continuously targeted by Kiev troops in recent months. On Wednesday, Ukrainian authorities said that 279 people have died in the nearby Donetsk Region since the start of fighting this spring – 160 of them civilians. Figures for Lugansk Region have not been revealed.

Fearing a deepening of the crisis, scores of refugees have left the country. The number of Ukrainian refugees in Russia has reached 110,000 people, the UN’s refugee department stated on June 27.

View video here

Ferguson Unmasks the War on Black America

August 21st, 2014 by Glen Ford

Ferguson Unmasks the War on Black America A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford “The military character and mission of the police is more clear today than when the Black Panther Party and others sounded the alarm in the Sixties.”

The brave and besieged people of Ferguson, Missouri, have already caused serious complications for the U.S. National Security State. By virtue of simply standing their ground in their own small city, the demonstrators have forced the local, county and state police to show their true, thoroughly militarized colors. Ferguson’s righteous agitators and rebellious Black youth have succeeded in pinning down in one small space the armed forces of racist repression in full view of the corporate and the people’s media, so that the whole world can bear witness to the truth of what another generation proclaimed nearly half a century ago: that, in the Black community, the police are an army of occupation.

The military character and mission of the police is more clear today than when the Black Panther Party and others sounded the alarm in the Sixties. Back then, the first SWAT teams were staking out sniper positions on city streets and the federal Law Enforcement Assistance Administration had only just begun to funnel millions of dollars in surveillance technology, guns, body armor and all manner of lethal equipment to local and state police departments across the country. The term “mass Black incarceration” had not yet been coined, but it was only a matter of time before a permanent, militarized police offensive against rebellion-prone ghettos would cause unprecedented numbers of Black prisoners to flow into the greatest gulag in the history of the world.

A Force to Crush a People

White America perceived that it was at war with Black people, who no longer knew their place – and so, places of confinement were made for them; fortified dungeons to house millions. Since America tells itself and the rest of the world that it does not make war on its own citizens, and that there is a sharp and Constitutionally defined separation between the military and civilian functions of the State, the war against Black people had to be called something else – a War on Drugs, or simply a War on Crime. Therefore, it was not long before the words “crime” and “drugs” and “Black” came to mean the same thing since, really, there was only one war going on. And, it continues, still.

The young people of Ferguson, and greater St. Louis, and all of urban, suburban and rural Black America understand perfectly well that war is being waged against them. The powers-that-be every day of the year make it is crystal clear to Black people, especially Black men, that an overwhelming and lethal force is prepared to crush them – for any reason, or for no reason at all. This is the definition of a war of terror. It requires the aggressor to engage in constant and ever escalating displays of disciplined force – which is what militaries do. By refusing to disperse, the Black people of Ferguson have compelled the police to flaunt their military nature and mission before the eyes of the world. The American National Security State is embarrassed. But it will take a social transformation – that is, a revolution – to disarm the beast.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at [email protected].

Extensive war crimes in Donbass have been committed by Poroshenko and his army of murderers from July 27 to August 14, 2014. Kiev’s warmongers are involved in acts of genocide directed against the civilian population of Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.

Most of the footage and interviews you will see in this documentary film have never been shown on mainstream media of any country including Russia and Ukraine.

 

GR Editor’s Note There are certain statements and interpretations in this video which we do not share

See also:

Ukraine: This Time, West Sides With Nazis: http://www.globalresearch.ca/ukraine-…

http://www.osce.org/ukraine-smm/122607

http://www.thenation.com/article/1804…

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/world…

Moscow invites the Council of Europe mission to visit Russia’s camps for Ukrainian refugees, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

“We express our readiness to accept the Council of Europe mission for studying the situation in Ukrainian refugee camps on Russian territory,” the ministry said in a statement.

The flow of Ukrainian refugees has increased dramatically since June. According to the latest data from Russian authorities, more than 730,000 Ukrainian citizens have fled the country since the beginning of the conflict between Ukrainian national forces and independence supporters in the southeastern regions.

Russia’s Emergencies Ministry said earlier this week that providing help to Ukrainian refugees who came to Russia in an attempt to escape the conflict is its priority.

The ministry has established tent camps and temporary accommodation centers (TACs) in educational and cultural institutions, as well as rest houses, health camps and major sporting facilities, which house nearly 60,000 people, including more than 17,000 children.

Still from Ruptly video

Ukrainian army shelling has forever changed the life of a teenage girl near Donetsk. She is now lying in hospital with a shattered arm and shrapnel wounds. The teen saw several people, including children, being killed by falling bombs on the riverbank.

Kiev’s bloody eastern Ukraine campaign LIVE UPDATES

Government forces first bombed the village of Zugres in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine on August 14. Several shells hit a beach full of people relaxing by the river, with shrapnel killing 12 people, the Rossiya 24 TV channel reported. Several people were injured and taken to hospital.

Yana Fenenko was one of the lucky ones who survived that day.

“We were swimming in the river when lots of bombs started falling all at once. We left the water and I threw myself down on the ground. I was lying prone, but I was still hit by a bomb,” 15-year-old Yana told RT’s Ruptly agency from a hospital bed.

“I had never seen how people die before,” she said. “The beach was filled with kids… A man got his hand blown off by one of the bombs. I saw it, he was laying right next to me. Also, one of the kids’ heads was blown off… It was very scary.”

Yana has been in the hospital for about a week and still has another month to go before she can be released. Doctors say her recovery will be very long and painful because of all the shrapnel in her right hand and the right side of her body.

“She has a lot of shrapnel wounds in the right half of the body: the jaw area, all of her right hand, shoulder and forearm, right hip and right thigh,” one of her treating doctors told ANNA News.

A man reacts as he stands in front of a building damaged by, what locals say, was recent shelling by Ukrainian forces, in Donetsk, August 20, 2014. (Reuters/Maxim Shemetov)

“My life definitely changed for the worst [since Kiev’s military offensive began]. A lot of my friends and acquaintances have died,” the girl said.

Yana was planning to study to become a teacher. She had all the documents already submitted to a local college and was just waiting for the exams, but those have been continually postponed due to the Ukrainian army shelling of eastern Ukraine.

Since the initial shelling of Zugres, the girl’s parents have been forced to take cover in a bomb shelter. “They’ve been there for two or three nights already,” Yana said.

Yana’s grandmother is with her at the hospital. She said she is devastated by what is happening to her family and land.

“I can’t understand this government, or Mr. Poroshenko himself. Why should our kids, our mothers, or grandmothers suffer? There is so much pain inside, I can’t even express it,” the woman said.

The Ukrainian military is moving forward with their offensive, carrying out raids in Donetsk and Lugansk as well as the surrounding areas, according to Ukraine’s National Security Council spokesman Andrey Lysenko.

Reports from the ground indicate that the offensive continues to be accompanied by indiscriminate shelling of residential areas, causing daily civilian casualties.

Local residents walk near bloodstains on a damaged street after recent shelling in the settlement of Makeyevka, on the outskirts of Donetsk, August 19, 2014. (Reuters/Maxim Shemetov)

On Wednesday alone, 34 people died and 29 others were injured as Kiev shelled villages and towns in the Donetsk region, local health authorities reported.

Shells also hit a penal colony in the Donetsk region, killing two inmates, local authorities told RIA Novosti.

Another bomb hit the Yasinovskiy coke and chemical plant in the city of Makeyevka, causing fire with a billow of smoke. All of the workers have been evacuated and production at the plant has been halted.

Makeyevka has for days been the target of relentless shelling, with houses, kindergartens and a fuel station reportedly destroyed in several attacks. Six civilians were killed there as a result of Tuesday’s shelling.

Some of the towns targeted by Ukrainian troops’ shelling are left with no water or electricity. On Tuesday, a water purification plant was heavily damaged in the Donetsk Region, cutting water supplies to thousands of people, including those in Zugres. Meanwhile in the city of Donetsk, local maintenance crews have been working to restore the damaged water plant supplying water to a population of 436,000.

A local resident stands in front of an apartment block damaged by a recent shelling in the settlement of Makeyevka, on the outskirts of Donetsk, August 19, 2014. (Reuters/Maxim Shemetov)

Meanwhile, Ukrainian customs officials are refusing to inspect the first batch of Russian trucks carrying aid to eastern Ukraine, claiming that the paperwork is not ready.

The UN has estimated that around 2,000 people have lost their lives since the start of the riots in Kiev and the subsequent military campaign in the south-eastern regions of the country.

French Volunteers Join Donetsk People’s Army

August 21st, 2014 by Ria Novosti

The military conflict in southeastern Ukraine has been the focus of politicians, the military and journalists around the world for almost six months now. The world is divided between supporters of Kiev’s new government and those who support the self-defense forces in the southeast.

The Western countries unanimously support the Ukrainian government economically, politically, and via the flow of information. Moreover, there are regular reports of foreign recruits from the US, Italy, Georgia and some other countries fighting in the Ukrainian army and in its National Guard.

However, even among Western countries that have been caught in an information war against  southeastern Ukraine and Russia, there is support for the self-defense troops of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics. They are willing to lend moral support and even personally help the people of Novorossiya. Some are even eager to enlist.

Several days ago, several French volunteers contacted RIA Novosti. They’d just arrived in  southeastern Ukraine and already felt compelled to tell their first-hand stories about the civil war there to the people of France. What other reasons led them to fight for the besieged people’s republic? They told Sergei Safronov, Head of the Security Agencies Newsdesk, their reasons for taking up the fight.

First of all, please introduce yourself and tell us what brought you to Ukraine.

Guillaume: My name is Guillaume. There are four of us from France; the others are Michel, Victor and Nicolas. We are French volunteers and basically the first wave of an entire group of our fellow citizens, who are either preparing for a trip to Ukraine or are already on their way.

Are there any more French people in Donetsk?

Guillaume: No, but I hear there are some Spanish people. We haven’t seen them yet.

Did you bring a weapon? Are you from the military or are you civilians?

Guillaume: Of course we did not bring any weapons, but we received some from the militia. These are personal service firearms. We are not servicemen at all; we are civilians – basically political volunteers.

Guillaume, you still haven’t mentioned your reasons for going to Ukraine. Why are you here?

Guillaume: We support the geopolitical idea of European unity. We are both revolutionaries and traditionalists. We came to Donbas, where civilians are being killed by agents from Kiev. Those who are conducting this terrorist operation in Donbas are the henchmen of the international mafia oligarchs.
You should clearly understand it is the third world war going on. It started in Libya then moved to Syria and now to Donbas. We can see that Russia is one of a small number of countries that challenged and is almost single-handedly fighting international globalism. It is some kind of a Reconquista. We are here to help Russia in this fight.

Do you get paid?

Guillaume: No, we are not here to make money; no one pays us. Moreover, we paid quite a lot to get here.

How long do you plan to stay here?

Guillaume: For as long as it is necessary to inform the people of France about what is happening here.

Do your family and friends know where you are?

Guillaume: We told a small circle of friends. France doesn’t know we are here. France doesn’t even know that Donbas is at war. The Western media do not report anything. On the contrary, the Western media present Russia as an enemy, an aggressor, a terrorist country. They don’t say anything about the war in Ukraine.
Our presence here will allow the French to receive first-hand information.

Have you already taken part in military operations?

Guillaume: Not yet, but we are ready to take part. It is one of the reasons why we are here.

Where exactly are you?

Guillaume: We are in Donetsk, the Donetsk People’s Republic.

How do you communicate with the self-defense fighters? As far as I understand, you don’t speak Russian or Ukrainian. How do you communicate?

Guillaume: With sounds and gestures.

Good luck!

Guillaume: Merci.

By Cyberberkut

We continue to monitor the Ukrainian Armed Forces’s computer networks and provide the data we obtained to the public.

In order to protect our sources of information we have decided not to publish the documents obtained as a result of computer hacking of Ukrainian military officials, as we did before, and only disclose the facts from confidential correspondence.

Having access to classified information of Ukrainian security services, we are able to confirm that the fratricidal war led by the Kiev regime is from a military standpoint in an impasse. The Kiev forces have experienced significant losses.

From the new documents, we are able to confirm that from 8 to 15th of August, the Army of the Southeast has captured:

tanks T-64 – 18 units;

infantry fighting vehicles (BMP) – 24 units;

armored personnel carriers (BTR) – 11 units;

combat reconnaissance patrol vehicles (BRDM) – 2 units; airborne combat vehicles (BMD) – 9 units;

multiple artillery rocket systems (RSZO) BM27 “Uragan” – 2 units;

self-propelled guns (SAU) 2S4 “Tyulpan” – 2 units; self-propelled guns (SAU) 2S9 “Nona” – 2 units;

self-propelled guns (SAU) 2S1 “Gvozdika” – 10 units;  82 mm. caliber mortars – 6 units;

anti-aircraft mounts ZU-23-2 – 3 units; wheeled vehicles – 44 units.

In total, from June 20 to August 15 during the punitive action, according to the reports of the Ukrainian military, the militia forces captured:

tanks T-64 – 65 units; infantry fighting vehicles (BMP) – 69 units;

armored personnel carriers (BTR) – 39 units;

combat reconnaissance patrol vehicles (BRDM) – 2 units;

airborne combat vehicles (BMD) – 9 units;

multiple artillery rocket systems (RSZO)  BM27 Uragan – 2 units;

self-propelled guns (SAU) 2S4 “Tyulpan” – 2 units;

self-propelled guns (SAU) 2S9 “Nona” – 6 units;

self-propelled guns (SAU) 2S1 “Gvozdika” – 25 units;

howitzers D-30 – 10 units; 82 mm. caliber mortars – 32 units; anti-aircraft mounts ZU-23-2 – 18 units; wheeled vehicles – 124 units.

This “extravagance” of the Ukrainian armed forces is too costly for the country, which has imposed a war tax on its citizens.

How much more money is the pro-US Kiev regime ready to spend to kill civilians and destroy infrastructure in order to please its Western sponsors?!

All this is happening in time of continued economic recession, lack of money in the state budget and the hot Summer season, which Ukraine will meet with no energy resources.

We are CyberBerkut! We will not forget! We will not forgive!

Minor Editing by Global Research

Crocodile Tears for Iraq

August 21st, 2014 by Nick Alexandrov

“This is an act of ethnic cleansing, if you will, almost genocide,” a U.S. military official warned. He was referring to bombings that killed nearly800 members of the minority Yazidi sect in northern Iraq. “Among the wounded, one in five suffered serious injuries,” while “families of the wounded were so shaken by the attack that they insisted on taking their badly broken relatives back to their villages,” away from the hospitals treating them, the New York Times reported. U.S. officials attributedthis atrocity to al-Qaeda. Surely it called for a calibrated intervention—a series of airstrikes, perhaps, to prevent a potential slaughter.

But these bombings happened in August 2007, years after the U.S. invasion. In that phase of the occupation, Bush “doubled the U.S. presence in Iraq” by sending “150,000 to 170,000 private forces to support the mission there, all with little or no congressional or public knowledge—let alone consent,” as two U.S. academics described the type of democracy Washington prefers. And its preferred foreign policies—“invading, occupying, weakening and looting Iraq”—“brought al-Qaeda into the country,” Juan Cole writes, emphasizing that the Islamist organization had zero presence there before March 2003.

Iraq developed in line with Washington’s expectations, in other words. “Months before the invasion of Iraq, U.S. intelligence agencies predicted that it would be likely to spark violent sectarian divides and provide al-Qaeda with new opportunities in Iraq and Afghanistan,” the Washington Post disclosed in May 2007. These grim analyses were “widely circulated within the Bush administration before the war,” which proceeded anyway, with shattering effects.

“The most serious sectarian and ethnic tensions in Iraq’s modern history followed the 2003 US-led occupation,” Sami Ramadani noted in the Guardian. “The US had its own divide-and-rule policy, promoting Iraqi organizations founded on religion, ethnicity, nationality or sect rather than politics,” he continued, his observations reinforcing those Iraqi political analyst Firas Al-Atraqchi recently offered: “Since the fall of Baghdad in April 2003, the Christian community [has] found itself under attack and tens of thousands have since fled the country in fear of religious persecution.”

For example, “Mandeans, or Sabians, a sect of people who follow the teachings of John the Baptist and pre-date Christianity and Islam in Iraq, have since 2003 been forced to leave en masse because of a brutal campaign against them.” A 2008 Minority Rights Group International studyconcluded that “Mandaeans face extinction as a people.” And an Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization report from June 2013—well into the Obama era—determined that “[t]he human rights situation facing minorities in Iraq remains in dire straits on all levels: political, civic, and cultural. Iraq’s ethnic and religious minorities, along with other vulnerable populations, continue to face threats of violence, religious discrimination, exclusion, and denial of their property rights.”

U.S. policy outcomes thus indicate Washington’s contempt for Iraq’s religious minorities. On the other hand, Obama stressed on August 7 that humanitarian concerns drove him to commence airstrikes—and these words were enough to convince the press that the U.S. government cares about persecuted Iraqis. “There have been reports of scores of civilians being killed,” the New York Times wrote, so “it was not surprising to hear President Obama announce” his decision to intervene. “President Obama was right to order military action to prevent a potential genocide,” the Washington Post decided, while the Los Angeles Timeshad no “doubt that the president was moved by the suffering the Islamic State has inflicted on the Yazidis and other victims.” Coverage was even more credulous, if possible, on websites like Slate, where William Saletan simply transcribed Obama’s remarks. “We’re doing what only we can do” in Iraq, Saletan insisted on August 8. He knew this because “Obama said the U.S. should step in,” given its unparalleled “capabilities to help avert a massacre.” Confronted with an argument this powerful, even a skilled debater will wither in defeat.

True, the U.S. record in Iraq reveals capabilities different from those Saletan identified. After Operation Desert Storm, for instance, UN Under-Secretary-General Martti Ahtisaari led a mission to Baghdad. Its members were familiar with the literature on the bombings, he wrote in March 1991, “fully conversant with media reports regarding the situation in Iraq,” but realized immediately upon arrival “that nothing that we had seen or read had quite prepared us for the particular form of devastation”—“near-apocalyptic”—“which has now befallen the country,” condemning it “to a pre-industrial age” for the foreseeable future. This was the scale of ruin when the UN Security Council imposed sanctions—UN in name only, political philosopher Joy Gordon clarifies, since they “were at every turn shaped by the United States,” whose “consistent policy” was “to inflict the most extreme economic damage possible on Iraq.”

The policy was a ripping success in this respect. The UN estimated in 1995 that the sanctions had murdered over half a million children—“worth it,” in Madeleine Albright’s infamous 60 Minutes assessment—one factor prompting two successive UN Humanitarian Coordinators in Iraq, Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck, to resign. Halliday concludedthat the sanctions were “criminally flawed and genocidal;” von Sponeckconcurred, finding evidence of “conscious violation of human rights and humanitarian law on the part of governments represented in the Security Council, first and foremost those of the United States and the United Kingdom.”

But eliminating hundreds of thousands of starving children was merely the prequel to the occupation—“the biggest cultural disaster since the descendants of Genghis Khan destroyed Baghdad in 1258,” Fernando Báez wrote. Among its achievements were the assaults on Fallujah in April and November 2004: a UN Emergency Working Group estimated that “40% of buildings and homes” there were “significantly damaged” in the end, “while another 20% sustained ‘major damage,’” and “the remainder were ‘completely destroyed,’” political scientist Neta Crawford explains. Crawford, quoting Bing West’s No True Gloryrelates how a top U.S. general, arriving in Fallujah after the November 2004 onslaught, “looked up and down the streets, at the drooping telephone poles, gutted storefronts, heaps of concrete, twisted skeletons of burnt-out cars, demolished roofs, and sagging walls. ‘Holy shit,’ he said.”

U.S. efforts to “liberate” Fallujah’s residents—presumably from life’s mortal coil—entailed “a cascade of Geneva Convention violations,”according to scholars Elaine A. Hills and Dahlia S. Wasfi. Not least of these, U.S. Congressman Jim McDermott and Dr. Richard Rapport wrote, were “the targeting of medical facilities and denial of clean water [.]” The level of barbarism calls to mind what the UN described as Israel’s “unprecedented” destruction of Gaza. “Whole neighborhoods and villages have been wiped off the map,” Dr. Mona El-Farra reported from the Strip, where Beit Hanoun’s mayor, Mohammed al-Kafarna, told the Guardian his town had been pummeled to the point of being “unlivable.” Israel’s six-week bombing monsoon has killed over 2,000, with U.S. taxpayers funding the carnage.

Since World War II, “the United States has provided Israel $121 billion (current, or non-inflation-adjusted, dollars) in bilateral assistance,” the Congressional Research Service determined in April. “Almost all U.S. bilateral aid to Israel is in the form of military assistance,” and “President Obama pledged” in March 2013 “that the United States would continue to provide Israel with multi-year commitments of military aid,” or $3.1 billion annually in Foreign Military Financing. So we can, if we choose, take seriously the speeches Obama makes for the cameras. But Washington’s crucifixion of Iraq and support for Israeli sadism show us the real extent to which humanitarian aims propel U.S. policy.

Nick Alexandrov lives in Washington, D.C.

The only American known to have joined a volunteer unit within the Ukrainian military, fighting the anti-government forces in the country’s east, has been killed in action, authorities confirm.

The killed fighter is Mark Paslawsky, a New York-born 55-year-old investment banker and US army veteran who took Ukrainian citizenship just before joining the Donbas battalion – a volunteer unit fighting alongside Kiev troops – in April. He adopted codename ‘Franko’ there.

News of his death came in an August 20 Facebook post by Ukrainian Interior Ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko, who said four fighters of the Donbas battalion died in a battle near the town of Ilovaysk, 35km from Donetsk, eastern Ukraine.

Among those dead is a Ukrainian citizen of American origin, codename ‘Franko’,” Gerashchenko wrote.

The official says the military managed to take under their control half of Ilovaysk, which has seen some fierce fighting over the last two weeks.

Maksim Dondyuk, a Ukrainian photographer working with the Donbas battalion, witnessed Paslawsky’s last minutes.

He had three wounds in his back,” Dondyuk told VICE News. “He was saying that he was in pain and that he didn’t want to die. People were telling him he was going to be OK. I think it might have been possible to save him if we had medevac helicopters or ambulances, but all there was on hand were the battalion medics.”

Paslawsky’s family learnt of his death via the internet, according to his brother Nestor, who said that Mark had informed his relatives of his intention to volunteer for the Ukrainian military.

We were concerned about the situation he was going into, understanding what the theater of operations look like, of course,” Nestor Paslawsky told Radio Free Europe. “We were concerned about this, but I think we were also proud of his decision.

Franko was not the only pseudonym Paslawsky used. He was active on Twitter writing under the moniker ‘Bruce Springnote’. Many of his postings were highly critical of the way the military operation in east Ukraine, which Kiev calls Anti-Terrorist Operation or ATO, was organized.

 

Simon Ostrovsky of Vice News conducted a lengthy interview with Paslawsky two weeks before he died.

It appears Paslawsky was a 1981 graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point, and served in the US Army until the age of 32. He had lived in Kiev and Kharkov, Ukraine, and also in Moscow for many years, working in the financial sector. His latest job was one of independent investment advisor. He joined the Maidan protesters, rallying against then-President Viktor Yanukovich, and for integration with the EU, at the end of 2013.

Franko explained it was his Ukrainian background plus his dissatisfaction with the way the military operation was organized in eastern Ukraine which made him eventually volunteer for the Donbass battalion.

Given what I saw, the level of incompetence, the corruption, the lack of activity – I just decided that I needed to go and participate. If there was ever a time to help Ukraine this was the time to do it,” he told VICE News.

Ostrovsky says ‘Franko’ was, however, worried of what the volunteer battalions could turn into after the military operation in the east was over. The American-Ukrainian fighter reportedly warned of the need to disband those units before they evolve into dangerous and uncontrollable force.

The Killer on the (Saudi) King’s Highway

August 21st, 2014 by Pepe Escobar

There’s danger on the edge of town 
Ride the king’s highway, baby 
Weird scenes inside the gold mine 
Ride the highway west, baby
The Doors, The End

The killer awoke before dawn. He put his American desert boots on. He took a knife from the ancient gallery. And he walked on down the hall – bathed in desert sunlight.

The killer spoke with a British accent (London’s East End?) Father (Saud), I want to kill you. Mother (Langley?) I want to…

yeeeaaahh, c’mon!

Then the sartorially composed Man in Black beheaded American photojournalist James Foley.

This is not the end, beautiful friend. It’s just a new beginning in the never-ending Global War on Terror. Now starring Papa Saud’s brand new bag – The Caliph and his goons. This is the way Shock and Awe morphs into “Assad must go” morphs into Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, morphs into The Caliph’s Black Britannia goon responding to “humanitarian” bombing. I’m my own baby now. Watch me work. Bring it on.

Choice scenery. Good sound and vision production values. Careful editing. No unnecessary gore. No blood splattering. No Allahu Akbar shrieks. “A Message to America”, indeed – but most of all a message to the Ummah. As in we’re the Men in Black badasses. We run The Caliphate. We’re no mere death cult; we’re winners. And we take no prisoners.

And why did Islamic State, formerly ISIS, become winners? Because the “West” regimented, schooled, trained, logistically helped and weaponized most of IS’s Takfiri goons with a mission at hand: to destroy Syria. The “West” lauded them as “Syrian rebels”. Freedom fighters.

Washington even promoted Jabhat al-Nusra (the official al-Qaeda franchise in Syria, and a “terrorist organization”, according to the State Department) as “good” jihadis, as well as the preferred Saudi combo, the Islamic Front.

No wonder after photojournalist James Foley was kidnapped in November 2012 the Washington-sanctioned version was that he was being kept by “Assad must go” forces in a prison near Damascus.

Slouching towards Mecca 

The House of Saud, directly and indirectly, and the proverbial wealthy Gulf Cooperation Council donors are the Mom and Dad of ISIS. All duly vetted/approved by the industrial-military-Orwellian-Panopticon complex.

And yet “Assad must go” had other ideas for Syria. He didn’t go. He and his army resisted and counter-attacked. So the original mission in Syria morphed across the (non-existent) desert border towards Iraq. ISIS kept expanding – via extortion, kidnapping, captured oil fields, tribal smuggling networks.

The killer spoke with a British accent. Yet he may not be just a well-paid mercenary (500 from Britain, 700 from France, 500 from Belgium… ). He’s most certainly a true believer in the wider IS medievalist ideology as well as its no-holds-barred sectarian methods.

How convenient that IS strategy is totally divide and rule. Totally balkanization of Iraq. Totally mum on Israel’s slow-motion ethnic cleansing of Gaza. Totally useful in wagging the (beheading) dog to make the world forget about Gaza.

Moroever, IS/ISIS strategy, stripped to the bone, is Pentagon manual; clear, hold and build – then expand (to an area larger than Great Britain). It’s even Pentagon manual redux – as in building “coalitions of the willing” (see the alliance with “remnants” – Rummy talk – of the Saddam regime propelling their northern Iraq summer offensive.)

How convenient that the mighty Orwellian/Panopticon complex satellite maze could not identify a long convoy of gleaming white Toyotas crossing the desert towards their summer conquests. And how convenient that a Briton beheading an American – what a “special relationship” plot twist! – fully sanctions the Return of Iraq Bombing (“for months”, in Obama’s words); more strikes; more drones; perhaps more boots on the ground; perhaps, in the near future, a Syria extension.

IS also took over Tikrit, the birthplace of Saddam, in their summer adventure. Now Baghdad’s military are trying to take it back. IS welcomed them with minefields, booby-trapped buildings, an array of snipers and hardcore mortar fire. How convenient that Obama’s “humanitarian” bombs are not involved in R2P (“responsibility to protect”) Saddam’s birthplace. What really matters is the US consulate in Erbil, scores of CIA operatives and vast Big Oil interests in Iraqi Kurdistan.

And then there’s this ultimate plot twist; a pearl by a dissident Saudi researcher (in Arabic). He argues, in detail, that IS is essentially a revival of “pure” Wahhabism; not only that IS comes from outside the House of Saud’s dominions – in Iraq and the Levant – but tries hard to shatter the monarchy’s legitimacy.

The House of Saud’s counterpunch to the Arab Spring was (and remains) all about destroying or at least isolating the Muslim Brotherhood as an alternative Islamic rule/role model. Yet now comes IS – brimming with religious justification (however warped); military know-how; and an army of true – and well paid – believers.

Ride the king’s highway, baby. No staged/not staged beheading could possibly top the ultimate blowback: the “West” nurturing the Beast who would slouch towards Mecca to finally behead the House of Saud. And those killers shall also speak with a British accent.

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).

He may be reached at [email protected].

The Historical Perspective of the 2014 Gaza Massacre

August 21st, 2014 by Illan Pappé

Israel’s ‘Operation Protective Edge’ against the occupied Gaza Strip.

People in Gaza and elsewhere in Palestine feel disappointed at the lack of any significant international reaction to the carnage and destruction the Israeli assault has so far left behind it in the Strip. The inability, or unwillingness, to act seems to be first and foremost an acceptance of the Israeli narrative and argumentation for the crisis in Gaza. Israel has developed a very clear narrative about the present carnage in Gaza.

It is a tragedy caused by an unprovoked Hamas missile attack on the Jewish State, to which Israel had to react in self-defence. While mainstream western media, academia and politicians may have reservations about the proportionality of the force used by Israel, they accept the gist of this argument. This Israeli narrative is totally rejected in the world of cyber activism and alternative media. There it seems the condemnation of the Israeli action as a war crime is widespread and consensual.

The main difference between the two analyses from above and from below is the willingness of activists to study deeper and in a more profound way the ideological and historical context of the present Israeli action in Gaza. This tendency should be enhanced even further and this piece is just a modest attempt to contribute towards this direction.

Ad Hoc Slaughter?

An historical evaluation and contextualization of the present Israeli assault on Gaza and that of the previous three ones since 2006 expose clearly the Israeli genocidal policy there. An incremental policy of massive killing that is less a product of a callous intention as it is the inevitable outcome of Israel’s overall strategy towards Palestine in general and the areas it occupied in 1967, in particular.

This context should be insisted upon, since the Israeli propaganda machine attempts again and again to narrate its policies as out of context and turns the pretext it found for every new wave of destruction into the main justification for another spree of indiscriminate slaughter in the killing fields of Palestine.

The Israeli strategy of branding its brutal policies as an ad hoc response to this or that Palestinian action is as old as the Zionist presence in Palestine itself. It was used repeatedly as a justification for implementing the Zionist vision of a future Palestine that has in it very few, if any, native Palestinians. The means for achieving this goal changed with the years, but the formula has remained the same: whatever the Zionist vision of a Jewish State might be, it can only materialize without any significant number of Palestinians in it. And nowadays the vision is of an Israel stretching over almost the whole of historic Palestine where millions of Palestinians still live.

refugee_nakba

Palestinian refugees, 1948.

This vision ran into trouble once territorial greed led Israel to try and keep the West Bank and the Gaza Strip within its rule and control ever since June 1967. Israel searched for a way to keep the territories it occupied that year without incorporating their population into its rights-bearing citizenry. All the while it participated in a ‘peace process’ charade to cover up or buy time for its unilateral colonization policies on the ground.

With the decades, Israel differentiated between areas it wished to control directly and those it would manage indirectly, with the aim in the long run of downsizing the Palestinian population to a minimum with, among other means, ethnic cleansing and economic and geographic strangulation. Thus the West Bank was in effect divided into a ‘Jewish’ and a ‘Palestinian’ zones – a reality most Israelis can live with provided the Palestinian Bantustans are content with their incarceration within these mega prisons. The geopolitical location of the West Bank creates the impression in Israel, at least, that it is possible to achieve this without anticipating a third uprising or too much international condemnation.

The Gaza Strip, due to its unique geopolitical location, did not lend itself that easily to such a strategy. Ever since 1994, and even more so when Ariel Sharon came to power as prime minister in the early 2000s, the strategy there was to ghettoize Gaza and somehow hope that the people there — 1.8 million as of today — would be dropped into eternal oblivion.

But the Ghetto proved to be rebellious and unwilling to live under conditions of strangulation, isolation, starvation and economic collapse. There was no way it would be annexed to Egypt, neither in 1948 nor in 2014. In 1948, Israel pushed into the Gaza area (before it became a strip) hundreds of thousands of refugees it expelled from the northern Naqab and southern coast who, so they hoped, would move even farther away from Palestine.

For a while after 1967, it wanted to keep as a township which provided unskilled labour but without any human and civil rights. When the occupied people resisted the continued oppression in two intifadas, the West Bank was bisected into small Bantustans encircled by Jewish colonies, but it did not work in the too small and too dense Gaza Strip. The Israelis were unable to ‘West Bank’ the Strip, so to speak. So they cordoned it as a Ghetto and when it resisted the army was allowed to use its most formidable and lethal weapons to crash it. The inevitable result of an accumulative reaction of this kind was genocidal.

Incremental Genocide 

The killing of three Israeli teenagers, two of them minors, abducted in the occupied West Bank in June, which was mainly a reprisal for killings of Palestinian children in May, provided the pretext first and foremost for destroying the delicate unity Hamas and Fatah have formed in that month. A unity that followed a decision by the Palestinian Authority to forsake the ‘peace process’ and appeal to international organizations to judge Israel according to a human and civil rights’ yardstick. Both developments were viewed as alarming in Israel.

The pretext determined the timing – but the viciousness of the assault was the outcome of Israel’s inability to formulate a clear policy towards the Strip it created in 1948. The only clear feature of that policy is the deep conviction that wiping out the Hamas from the Gaza Strip would domicile the Ghetto there.

Since 1994, even before the rise of Hamas to power in the Gaza Strip, the very particular geopolitical location of the Strip made it clear that any collective punitive action, such as the one inflicted now, could only be an operation of massive killings and destruction. In other words: an incremental genocide.

The-Allenby-bridge-007

The Allenby Bridge, 1967.

This recognition never inhibited the generals who give the orders to bomb the people from the air, the sea and the ground. Downsizing the number of Palestinians all over historic Palestine is still the Zionist vision; an ideal that requires the dehumanisation of the Palestinians. In Gaza, this attitude and vision takes its most inhuman form.

The particular timing of this wave is determined, as in the past, by additional considerations. The domestic social unrest of 2011 is still simmering and for a while there was a public demand to cut military expenditures and move money from the inflated ‘defence’ budget to social services. The army branded this possibility as suicidal. There is nothing like a military operation to stifle any voices calling on the government to cut its military expenses.

Typical hallmarks of the previous stages in this incremental genocide reappear in this wave as well. As in the first operation against Gaza, ‘First Rains’ in 2006, and those which followed in 2009, ‘Cast Lead’, and 2012, ‘Pillar of Smoke’, one can witness again consensual Israeli Jewish support for the massacre of civilians in the Gaza Strip, without one significant voice of dissent. The Academia, as always, becomes part of the machinery. Various universities offered the state its student bodies to help and battle for the Israeli narrative in the cyberspace and alternative media.

The Israeli media, as well, toed loyally the government’s line, showing no pictures of the human catastrophe Israel has wreaked and informing its public that this time, ‘the world understands us and is behind us’. That statement is valid to a point as the political elites in the West continue to provide the old immunity to the Jewish state. The recent appeal by Western governments to the prosecutor in the international court of Justice in The Hague not to look into Israel’s crimes in Gaza is a case in point. Wide sections of the Western media followed suit and justified by and large Israel’s actions.

This distorted coverage is also fed by a sense among Western journalist that what happens in Gaza pales in comparison to the atrocities in Iraq and Syria. Comparisons like this are usually provided without a wider historical perspective. A longer view on the history of the Palestinians would be a much more appropriate way to evaluate their suffering vis-à-vis the carnage elsewhere.

Conclusion: Confronting Double-Standards

But not only historical view is needed for a better understanding of the massacre in Gaza. A dialectical approach that identifies the connection between Israel’s immunity and the horrific developments elsewhere is required as well. The dehumanization in Iraq and Syria is widespread and terrifying, as it is in Gaza. But there is one crucial difference between these cases and the Israeli brutality: the former are condemned as barbarous and inhuman worldwide, while those committed by Israel are still publicly licensed and approved by the president of the United States, the leaders of the EU and Israel’s other friends in the world.

Israel Gaza Dead Children 03

Gazan child, 2014.

The only chance for a successful struggle against Zionism in Palestine is the one based on a human and civil rights agenda that does not differentiate between one violation and the other and yet identifies clearly the victim and the victimizers. Those who commit atrocities in the Arab world against oppressed minorities and helpless communities, as well as the Israelis who commit these crimes against the Palestinian people, should all be judged by the same moral and ethical standards. They are all war criminals, though in the case of Palestine they have been at work longer than anyone else. It does not really matter what the religious identity is of the people who commit the atrocities or in the name of which religion they purport to speak. Whether they call themselves jihadists, Judaists or Zionists, they should be treated in the same way.

A world that would stop employing double standards in its dealings with Israel is a world that could be far more effective in its response to war crimes elsewhere in the world. Cessation of the incremental genocide in Gaza and the restitution of the basic human and civil rights of Palestinians wherever they are, including the right of return, is the only way to open a new vista for a productive international intervention in the Middle East as a whole.

Ilan Pappé is an Israeli historian at the University of Exeter, UK. His books include The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (2007) and The Idea of Israel (2014).

Ferguson: No Justice in the American Police State

August 21st, 2014 by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

There are reports that American police kill 500 or more Americans every year. Few of these murdered Americans posed a threat to police. https://www.dojmedia.com/u-s-police-have-killed-over-5000-civilians-since-911/ Police murder Americans for totally implausible reasons. For example, a few days before Michael Brown was gunned down in Ferguson, John Crawford picked up a toy gun from a WalMart shelf in the toy department and was shot and killed on the spot by police goons.http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/family-man-killed-cops-walmart-demands-surveillance-video

It appears that the murder of Michael Brown did not satisfy the blood lust of the goon thug cop murderers. Less than four miles from Ferguson, goon thugs murdered another black man on August 19. The police claims of “threat” are disproved by the video of the murder.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/20/kajieme-powell-shooting_n_5696546.html

You can see the entire scene much better here. This is a clear case of outright murder of a man by our Nazi Gestapo police. http://thefreethoughtproject.com/cell-phone-video-emerges-refutes-st-louis-cops-version-shooting/ The police then handcuff their dead victim.

Clearly, the American police are an enormous danger to the public. It will be interesting to see what excuses the police shills will come up with to justify this murder. It is not American civilians with carry permits who murder 500 people a year. It is the goon thug police. Gun control should be applied to the police who lack sufficient intelligence and judgment to go around armed.

Five hundred is more than one killing by police per day. Yet the reports of the shootings seldom get beyond the local news. Why then has the Ferguson, Missouri, police killing of Michael Brown gone international?

Probably the answer is the large multi-day protests of the black community in Ferguson that led to the state police being sent to Ferguson and now the National Guard. Also, domestic police in full military combat gear with armored personnel carriers and tanks pointing numerous rifles in the faces of unarmed civilians and arresting and threatening journalists make good video copy. The “land of the free” looks like a Gestapo Nazi state. To much of the world, which has grown to hate American bullying, the bullying of Americans by their own police is poetic justice.

For those who have long protested racial profiling and police brutality toward racial minorities, the police murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson is just another in a history of racists murders.http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/08/20/racial-repression-and-the-murder-of-mike-brown/print Rob Urie is correct that blacks receive disproportionate punishment from the white criminal justice (sic) system. See, for example: http://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/08/william-norman-grigg/mother-faces-11-years-in-prison/

Myself, former US Representative Dennis Kucinich, and others see Michael Brown’s murder as reflective of the militarization of the police and police training that creates a hostile police attitude toward the public. The police are taught to view the public as threats against whom the use of violence is the safest course for the police officers.

This doesn’t mean that racism is not also involved. Polls show that a majority of white Americans are content with the police justification for the killing. Police apologists are flooding the Internet with arguments against those of the opposite persuasion. Only those who regard the police excuse as unconvincing are accused of jumping to conclusions before the jury’s verdict is in. Those who jump to conclusions favorable to the police are regarded as proper Americans.

What I address in this article is non-evidential considerations that determine a jury’s verdict and the incompetence of Ferguson’s government that caused the riots and looting.

Unless the US Department of Justice makes Michael Brown’s killing a federal case, the black community in Ferguson is powerless to prevent a cover-up.

What usually happens in these cases is that the police concoct a story protective of the police officer(s) and the prosecutor does not bring an indictment. As Obama and his Attorney General, Eric Holder, are partially black (in skin color alone), the black majority community in Ferguson, Missouri, might have hopes from Holder’s visit. However, nothing could be more clear than the fact that Obama and Holder, along with the rest of “black leadership,” have been co-opted by the white power structure. How else would Obama and Holder be in office? Do you think that the white power structure puts in office people who want justice for minorities or for anyone other than the mega-rich?

The 1960s were a time of black leadership, but that leadership was assassinated (Martin Luther King) or co-opted. Black leaders sold out for prestige appointments and corporate board memberships. Today black leadership is marginalized and exists only at local levels if at all.

If the cop who killed Brown is indicted and he is tried in Ferguson, the jury will contain whites who live in Ferguson. Unless there is a huge change in white sentiment about the killing, no white juror can vote to convict the white cop and continue to live in Ferguson. The hostility of the white community toward white jurors who took the side of a “black hoodlum who stole cigars” against the white police officer would make life for the jurors impossible in Ferguson.

The trouble with purely racial explanations of police using excessive force is that cops don’t limit their excesses to racial minorities. White people suffer them also. Remember the recent case of Cecily McMillan, an Occupy protester who was brutalized by a white good thug with a record of using excessive force. McMillan is a young white woman. Her breasts were seized from behind, and when she swung around her elbow reflexively and instinctively came up and hit the goon thug. She was arrested for assaulting a police officer and sentenced by a jury to a term in jail. The prosecutor and judge made certain that no evidence could be presented in her defense. Medical evidence of the bruises on her breast and the police officer’s record of police brutality were not allowed as evidence in her show trial, the purpose of which was to intimidate Occupy protesters.

In America white jurors are usually sheep who do whatever the prosecutor wants. As Cecily McMillan, a white woman, could not get justice, it is even less likely that the black family of Michael Brown will. Those who are awaiting a jury’s verdict to decide Michael Brown’s case are awaiting a cover-up and the complicity of the US criminal justice (sic) system in murder.

If there is a federal indictment of the police officer, and the trial is held in a distant jurisdiction, there is a better chance that a jury would consider the facts. But even these precautions would not eliminate the racist element in white jurors’ decisions.

The situation in Ferguson was so badly handled it almost seems like the police state, in responding to the shooting, intended to provoke violence so that the American public could become accustomed to military force being applied to unarmed civilian protests.

Ferguson brings to mind the Boston Marathon Bombing. Two brothers of foreign extraction allegedly set off a “pressure cooker bomb” left in a backback that killed and injured race participants or observers. The two brothers were deemed, without any evidence, to be so dangerous that the entirety of Boston and its suburbs were “locked down” while 10,000 heavily armed police and military patrolled the streets in military vehicles conducting door-to-door searches forcing residents from their homes at gun point, while the police ransacked homes where it was totally obvious the brothers were not hiding. Not a single family evicted from their residences at gunpoint said: “Thank God you are here. The bombers are hiding in our home.”

The excessive display of force and warrantless police home intrusions is the reason that aware and thoughtful Americans do not believe one word of the official account of the Boston Marathon Bombing. Thoughtful people wonder why every American does not see the bombing as an orchestrated state act of terror in order to accustom Americans to the lock-down of a city and police intrusion into their homes. Logistically, it is impossible to assemble 10,000 armed troops so quickly. The obvious indication is that the readiness of the troops indicates pre-planning.

In Ferguson all that was needed to prevent mass protests and looting was for the police chief, mayor or governor to immediately announce that there would be a full investigation by a civic committee independent of the police and that the black community should select the members it wished to serve on the investigative committee.

Instead, the name of the cop who killed Michael Brown was withheld for days, a video allegedly of Michael Brown taking cigars from a store was released as a justification for his murder by police. These responses and a variety of other stupid police and government responses convinced the black community, which already knew in its bones, that there would be a coverup.

It is entirely possible that the police chief, mayor, and governor lacked the intelligence and judgment to deal with the occasion. In other words, perhaps they are too stupid to be in public office. The incapacity of the American public to elect qualified representatives is world-renown. But it is also possible that Michael Brown’s killing provided another opportunity to accustom Americans to the need for military violence to be deployed against the civilian population in order to protect us from threats.

Occupy Wall Street was white, and these whites were overwhelmed by police violence.
This is why I conclude that more is involved in Ferguson than white racist attitudes toward blacks.

The founding fathers warned against allowing US military forces to be deployed against the American people, and the Posse Comitatus Act prevents the use of military forces against civilians. These restrictions designed to protect liberty have been subverted by the George W. Bush and Obama regimes.

Today Americans have no more protection against state violence than Germans had under National Socialism.

Far from being a “light unto the world,” America is descending into cold hard tyranny.

Who will liberate us?

More Violations of Oslo: Israeli Military Begins Deporting Palestinian Politicians in the West Bank

August 21st, 2014 by Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association

The Israeli Military Governor in the West Bank has signed a military order expelling Palestinian Legislative Council Member and Addameer board member Khalida Jarrar to Jericho for a period of six months, with immediate effect.

At 1.30 A.M on 20 August 2014 approximately 50 Israeli occupying soldiers surrounded Jarrar’s home in Ramallah. An Israeli captain then proceeded to hand Jarrar an order which states that Jarrar must not leave the district of Jericho for the next six months and can only leave with the express permission of the Israeli military commander in the West Bank. Accompanying the order was a map outlining the boundaries of Jericho district. The order states, based on secret information, that Jarrar is a threat to the security of the area. She was given 24 hours to leave Ramallah. Jarrar refused to sign the order.

Jarrar was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) in January 2006 and has continued to serve as an elected representative ever since. She is also the Palestinian representative on the Council of Europe and is head of the Prisoners Committee of the PLC.

Jarrar has been a prominent human rights activist for many years. She previously served as the director of Addameer from 1993 to 2005 and remains a board member. She has also previously worked with UNRWA and has been active working with Palestinian women.

Since 1998 Jarrar has been banned from travelling outside of the occupied Palestinian territory, expect for one occasion in 2010 when she travelled to Jordan for medical treatment. Jarrar is married with two children. She has a received her B.A and Masters in human right and democracy from Bir Zeit university.

The order is based on Israeli Military Order 1651 Article 297 (2009) and is based on the accusation that Jarrar is “dangerous to the general security of the area.” As is standard with Military Orders and the decisions of Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon, GOC Central Command, the order does not explain or clarify the danger that Jarrar poses.

Jarrar lives in Ramallah, which according to the Oslo Agreements between the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the occupation, is considered “Area A” and under complete Palestinian control. By allowing Israeli occupying forces to enter Ramallah means that in effect the so-called ‘security co-ordination’ between Palestinian Authority security forces and Israeli occupying forces allowed for the expulsion of an elected representative of the Palestinian people, an elected representative who has continuously called for an end to such ‘coordination’.

The order to expel Jarrar to Jericho violates Article (42) of Geneva Convention IV which is applied to the occupied Palestinian territory, and states “The internment or placing in assigned residence of protected persons may be ordered only if the security of the Detaining Power makes it absolutely necessary.”[1]

The decision of the Maj. General also violates Article (49), which prohibits forced collective or individual transfer of protected persons, or banning from them from the occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power, under any circumstance.

This is not the first instance the Occupation has forcibly transferred Palestinian Legislative Council members who have been democratically elected. In 2010, three PLC members, Mohammad Abu Teer, Ahmad ‘Atoun and Mohammad Totah, as well as Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Khalid Abu Arafeh were deported from their homes in Jerusalem to Ramallah. Shortly after, all four were arrested by the Occupation and placed under administrative detention, which is detention without charge or trial.

Note
[1] The internment or placing in assigned residence of protected persons may be ordered only if the security of the Detaining Power makes it absolutely necessary.
If any person, acting through the representatives of the Protecting Power, voluntarily demands internment and if his situation renders this step necessary, he shall be interned by the Power in whose hands he may be.

Outrage! On The Beheading of Our Media Brother James Foley

August 21st, 2014 by Danny Schechter

James Foley in Aleppo in November 2012.

New York, New York: Outrage has been the response to reports, still officially unconfirmed a day later, that the Islamic State-Isis maniacs in Iraq beheaded an American journalist. Unlike, American politicians who want us to be loved, in the media at least, these Islamic extremists only want to be feared. We had shock and awe; they have only shock.

The killing by decapitation of Global Post freelancer, James Foley, who had earlier endured a four month kidnapping ordeal, was deliberately horrific, prompting former CIA and NSA Director and now a for-profit, private industry securocrat, Michael Hayden, to explode on Fox News by pressing the self-righteous fear button and warning “they are coming for all of us.” (I am sure they wouldn’t turn him down!)

Now President Obama has weighed in, saying, “entire world is appalled” and that the killing “shocks the conscience of the entire world.” Its not sure how much shock there is to go around, after Gaza’s ongoing bloodbath about which he has said little and the crisis in Ferguson about which has so far done little. He has promised “justice” for Foley, not the other conflict zones.

Of course, this has happened to journalists before, most notably to American journalist Danny Pearl in Pakistan, an event that I helped report on for an HBO film, and so know, personally, the unspeakable anguish everyone felt then, especially his parents. That’s’ the anguish we feel today.

Foley’s news outlet Global Post reports, “Video of Foley purporting to show his beheading was uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday afternoon and later removed. The FBI is evaluating the video’s contents.

The video asserts that the alleged killing of Foley is in retaliation for recent airstrikes by the United States against IS militants in northern Iraq. In it, Foley, kneeling next to an apparent IS militant, makes comments against the US for its actions. The militant also claims to be holding journalist Steven Joel Sotloff, who went missing in Syria a year ago, and issues a direct challenge to President Barack Obama that Sotloff’s fate will depend on the president’s “next move.””

Obama is scheduled to speak on this, and it’s the type of high profile and viscerally disgusting incident that is likely to lead to an escalation of American bombing and more atrocities on the ground, nothing new in this summer of atrocities in Gaza, Syria, Iraq, and Ferguson Mo.

The appropriately named Daily Beast called the event “medieval,” with Christopher Dickey noting “the horrifying scene sickened the world, and that’s exactly what ISIS wants.”

Of course there is already indignant finger-pointing at the “uncivilized behavior.” They do their killing with the kind of “terrible swift sword” that we sing about in the Battle Hymn of The Republic, while we prefer no direct contact with our victims, relying on so-called “surgical” air strikes and drone attacks.

Despite the lack of verification in the aftermath of the You Tube posting of a grotesque video—since removed—most media outlets blasted away with reports that accepted ISIS’s claim without confirmation. The Global Post was more cautious, as was the AP, in part, because the family still had hope it wasn’t so.

His loved ones remembered him with pride, “We have never been prouder of our son and brother Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people. We implore the kidnappers to spare the lives of the remaining hostages. Like Jim, they are innocents. They have no control over American government policy in Iraq, Syria or anywhere in the world.”

Who does have “control” over this American government policy, and how is it guided? Is it all the President’s doing, or has he been “captured,” as many suspect, by the Military Industrial Complex? How much accountability is there? Willam Astore, a former Air Force Lieutenant writes on Tom Dispatch, that there is an “American cult” about bombing, and explains why:

“Obviously, there are staggering amounts of money to be made by feeding America’s fetish for bombers.  But the U.S. cult of air power and its wildly expensive persistence requires further explanation.  On one level, exotic and expensive attack planes like the F-35 or the future “long range strike bomber” (LRS-B in bloodless acronym-speak) are the military equivalent of sacred cows.  They are idols to be worshipped (and funded) without question.  But they are also symptoms of a larger disease — the engorgement of the Department of Defense.  In the post-9/11 world, this has become so pronounced that the military-industrial-congressional complex clearly believes it is entitled to a trough filled with money with virtually no accountability to the American taxpayer.

Now, to the issue of civilized behavior, versus uncivilized killing.

The Islamic world did not create beheading. It was Shakespeare or Alice In Wonderland that first gave us the phrase, “off with their heads.”

Anyone remember, Henry VI, Part III, where the King’s beloved Margaret has, according an interpretation on the website, Smoop (“We Speak Student”) racked up a lot of enemies.

“When she visits him in prison here, Margaret takes a hanky dipped in Rutland’s blood and waves it around in Richard’s father’s face. Um, yeah—not so nice. After some name-calling and papier-mâché crown making, York explodes, calling Margaret abnormal among other things.

Margaret’s classic response is simple: she kills him and put his head on the city gates for all to see.”

The French gave us the guillotine for more industrial scale beheading, but the history of this savagery goes way back and into the present, with Brits decapitating Indian resisters to their rule in the American colonies, and chopping of the heads of Royals out of favor in the mother land, and, then, more recently, when a Brazilian soccer coach killed a player in 2013, his head had to go.

He was not alone. Check out Wikipedia’s list of people who were beheaded in our country and others. Now, that’ frightening! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_who_were_beheaded

We, too, have been obsessed with the head, perhaps because so many of ours are empty.

In the parlance of the War on Terror, how many times have you heard about going for leaders like Bin Laden with the vain hope that once you have chopped off the “head of the snake” all will be well. It never happens. Yet, as we also know, brutality leads to more brutality and violence to more violence.

Also let us not forget, bin Laden was labeled “Geronomo” by the Navy Seals who went after his “scalp,” and executed him. Later, Steven Newcomb, a columnist for the weekly newspaper Indian Country Today, called the use of the freedom fighter’s name disrespectful. “Apparently, having an African-American president in the White House is not enough to overturn the more than 200-year American tradition of treating and thinking of Indians as enemies of the United States,” he said

Forget the lectures. Let’s get real. Hanging was officially favored as an execution strategy in the United States for many decades, until, its offshoot –unofficial lynching — became too graphic to bear.

We supported the hanging of Saddam Hussein in Iraq who at least had a semblance of a trial before going to the gallows with the dignity that his executioners and American cheerleaders lacked.

Bin laden was shot down, we are told in his bedroom at night and then disposed of, Mafia style, to “swim with fishes. Years earler, the Daily Mail reported, “In the midst of the confusion that came immediately after the attacks on September 11th, the CIA chief of counter-terrorism had one clear goal.

‘I want you to cut bin Laden’s head off, put it on dry ice, and send it back to me so I can show the president,’ said Gary Schroen, a CIA operative sent to Afghanistan weeks before the war officially started.”

Years ago, we bombed the so-called “HEADquarters” of the Viet Cong in the jungles of Cambodia, to no avail. Once again our “intelligence” was not.

Are there ever lessons learned, or are we doomed to watch the same bombs-away strategy, recycled by the Pentagon and our Israeli allies, who always speak of bombing as way of “decapitating” enemies?

Let us remember, and respect the commitment of journalists, like James Porter who take the risks most of us wouldn’t, to share unpleasant truths with us.

We also need to look in the mirror before climbing up on our own high horses so often riddled with hypocrisy that loves exploiting the shock of sensation.

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

Jake Tapper in unembedded mode. (Screen shot by http://noarmycanstopanidea.com/ )

Watching coverage of the unrest in Ferguson on CNN last night (8/18/14), I was struck at the actual journalism I was treated to byCNN‘s Jake Tapper.

It’s not every day corporate media is awestruck by the heavy-handedness of a militarized attack on civilians on US soil. But such was the case for Tapper, who was nearly hit by a tear gas canister fired by police.

Things escalated to the point where Tapper began to legitimately question the police’s actions. His assertion that the over-the-top show of force by Ferguson police ” doesn’t make any sense” was a reasonable assessment  for anyone watching the live coverage.

It didn’t last long.

CNN, whose headquarters in Atlanta were the site of protests related to the police killing of Michael Brown and the images the network uses of black victims, was ushered from the streets by police as they moved in on the remaining protesters later on through the night. Tapper, now joined by Don “Pull Your Pants Up” Lemon, did manage to speak to Captain Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol after an awkward on-air phone conversation, where they asked him to meet him “next to the tank.”

Lemon, one of media’s most vocal proponents of “responsibility politics” (Extra!11/13), asked Johnson what was “bothering” him–as the conversation moved from one of journalists questioning officials, to one with a markedly more personal and empathetic tone. Johnson proceeded to give the predictable police side of the story that is par for the course with protest coverage. He also admonished Tapper and Lemon for their…well, journalism. Johnson didn’t think Ferguson police were getting positive enough coverage, so he asked Tapper and Lemon to join him the next day and report alongside him.

They eagerly agreed.

In a matter of minutes, members of the media, who had been objectively and effectively reporting on a protest greeted with a  militarized crackdown worthy of a war-torn country, suddenly agreed to become embedded journalists–just like in a war-torn country. Embedded journalism, as FAIR has often written (e.g, Extra!9/03), is one of the worst practices of media if you want independent and accurate reporting.

The next day, in a much less tense environment, Johnson continued to make his case as he spoke with Lemon (CNN, 8/19/14) that police were “getting a bad rap” by the media.

I guess no one should be that surprised. These moments of actual journalism where the plight of communities of color is taken into account are the exception and not the rule with corporate media.

Crime Boss: Wall Street Has No Ethics

The Colombo crime family’s former boss – Michael Franzese – says even he doesn’t trust Wall Street.

Franzese – played by Joseph Bono in the 1990 Martin Scorsese movie “GoodFellas” – spent 10 years in prison after he was convicted on federal racketeering charges.

When he was 35, Franzese ranked No. 8 on Fortune Magazine’s list of the 50 most wealthy and powerful mafia bosses (44 of those on the list are now dead, and three are doing life in prison without parole). He reportedly raked in up to $8 million a week.  Franzese is the only surviving high-ranking member of a major crime family to publicly walk away and refuse protective custody.

Franzese told CNBC:

I did a lot of things at times with people on Wall Street….

***

A lot of [Wall Street] guys are shady and they did shady things with me and I don’t trust them. And I don’t like other people that I don’t know really well taking care of my money. I think that I can do it better.

***

No matter what, it’s [i.e. physical gold and silver] always going to have a value.

***

Unlike stocks, where in our country, you go to sleep, everyone tells you everything is wonderful, you wake up and everything is gone.

Other crooks – like Bernie Madoff – have confirmed that the big banks are crooked.

Wall Street learned some of its cons from the Mafia. And some Mafioso conquered Wall Street. But as some of the biggest organized crime kingpins have noted, Wall Street is the big time (mob boss Meyer Lansky – after hearing about Wall Street banking – reportedly said: “I’m in the wrong business”).

Wall Street is committing massive crimes on a systematic basis. And Wall Street banks are the biggest looters around.

Wall Street cons include charging “storage fees” to store gold bullion … without even buying or storing any goldraiding allocated gold accounts and pledging the same gold to numerous people.

Physical gold is different from paper gold.

Note: We are not investment advisers, and this does not constitute investment advice.

Remember all those allegations that Obamacare would be an unmitigated disaster for businesses, especially smaller companies? Well, now we have proof.

As the Philly Fed, which mysteriously soared at the headline level even as the vast majority of its components tumbled, reported moments ago, “in special questions this month, firms were asked qualitative questions about the effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and how, if at all, they are making changes to their employment and compensation, including benefits.”

What the survey found was very disturbing: not only did businesses report that as a result of Obamacare the number of workers they employ is lower than higher (18.2% vs 3.0%), that there has been an increase in part time jobs (18.2% higher vs 1.5% lower), leading to a big increase in outsourcing and most importantly, Obamacare costs are being largely passed on to customers (28.8% reporting higher vs 0.0% lower), the punchline was that while there is basically no change in the number of employees covered (17.6% higher vs 14.7% lower and 67.6% unchanged), there has been a big jump in Premiums, Deductibles, Out-of-pocket maximums, and Copays, which has been “matched” by a far greater reduction in the range of medical coverage and the size of the network.

In short a disaster.

And what’s worse, this sentiment will persist long after the current subprime auto loan-driven manufacturing renaissance is long forgotten.

President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, attends a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 12, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama entered office vowing to run a transparent government. But instead he has clamped down on leaks, prosecuted whistleblowers and threatened truth-telling journalists with jail if they don’t reveal sources.

Last week focused a lot of attention on New York Times reporter James Risen, who is facing the threat of jail time for refusing to testify in a leak case against former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling. The Supreme Court refused to hear Risen’s appeal of a subpoena to testify in June.

A week ago, a bunch of fellow Pulitzer Prize winners signed a statement supporting Risen. On Thursday, a coalition of press freedom groups submitted 100,000 signatures calling on DOJ to halt its pursuit of Risen’s testimony. In an interview with Maureen Dowd after a press conference on press freedom on Thursday, Risen called President Barack Obama, “the greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation.”

Meanwhile, even as Risen waits to find out whether the Department of Justice will send him to jail to attempt to force him to testify about his source, Sterling also waits, as he has since January 2011, when he was first arrested. The government has done nothing official in Sterling’s case since the Supreme Court refusal to take Risen’s appeal in June.

Sterling is accused of providing Risen classified information regarding Operation Merlin, a bungled CIA effort to deal Iran bad nuclear weapons information. The information appeared in Chapter 9 of Risen’s 2006 book, State of War, which exposed a number of the Bush Administration’s ill-considered intelligence programs.

Risen’s account revealed not just that CIA tried to thwart nuclear proliferation by dealing doctored nuclear blueprints to American adversaries, but that in this case, the Russian defector the U.S. charged with dealing the blueprints to Iran told them the blueprints were flawed. In other words, Risen’s story — for which Sterling is one alleged source  – demonstrated questionable judgment and dangerously incompetent execution by the CIA, all in an effort to thwart Iran’s purported nuclear weapons program.

Sterling’s story, then, makes an instructive contrast with that of retired General James Cartwright, who is alleged by the press, but not yet — publicly at least — by the government, to have served as the source for another story about the intelligence community’s questionable judgment and dangerously incompetent execution of counter-proliferation plots targeting Iran.

Over a year ago, NBC reported that General Cartwright had received a target letter informing him he was under investigation as the source for one of David Sanger’s stories on U.S.-Israeli efforts to stall Iran’s enrichment program with the StuxNet cyberattack:

“According to legal sources, Retired Marine Gen. James ‘Hoss’ Cartwright, the former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has received a target letter informing him that he’s under investigation for allegedly leaking information about a massive attack using a computer virus named Stuxnet on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Gen. Cartwright, 63, becomes the latest individual targeted over alleged leaks by the Obama administration, which has already prosecuted or charged eight individuals under the Espionage Act. …

“As soon as the Times report appeared, Congressional leaders demanded a criminal probe, and President Obama said he had ‘zero tolerance’ for ‘these kinds of leaks.’ Republicans charged that senior administration officials had leaked the details to bolster the president’s national security credentials during the 2012 campaign.

“But, said legal sources, while the probe that Attorney General Eric Holder ordered initially focused on whether the information came from inside the White House, by late last year FBI agents were zeroing in on Cartwright, who had served as one of the president’s ‘inner circle’ of national security advisors. Two sources said prosecutors were able to identify Cartwright as a suspected leaker without resorting to a secret subpoena of the phone records of New York Times reporters.

“One source familiar with the probe said the Justice Department has not made a final decision on whether to charge Cartwright.”

Subsequent reports revealed Cartwright was stripped of his security clearance sometime last year.

The story for which Cartwright allegedly served as a source did not expose StuxNet – cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab did that. Nor was it Sanger’s first story confirming U.S. and Israeli involvement; in 2011 he partnered with other New York Times journalists to provide details on U.S. and Israeli collaboration on the attacks.

Sanger’s 2012 story provided new details, including that Obama approved an escalation of the StuxNet attack even after it had escaped beyond its target at Iran’s Natanz centrifuge facility lab. Perhaps even more sensitive, Sanger’s story relayed claims from officials attending a presidential briefing suggesting that Israel had been responsible for the code escaping Natanz:

“An error in the code, they said, had led it to spread to an engineer’s computer when it was hooked up to the centrifuges. When the engineer left Natanz and connected the computer to the Internet, the American- and Israeli-made bug failed to recognize that its environment had changed. It began replicating itself all around the world. Suddenly, the code was exposed, though its intent would not be clear, at least to ordinary computer users.

“‘We think there was a modification done by the Israelis,’ one of the briefers told the president, ‘and we don’t know if we were part of that activity.’

“Mr. Obama, according to officials in the room, asked a series of questions, fearful that the code could do damage outside the plant. The answers came back in hedged terms. Mr. Biden fumed. ‘It’s got to be the Israelis,’ he said. ‘They went too far.’”

Sanger’s StuxNet story is, then, just like Risen’s account of Merlin, a story of the dangerous unintended consequences caused by covert U.S. efforts to combat Iran’s claimed nuclear program. Both are issues the American public deserves to debate. Should the U.S. risk further proliferation in its effort to counter proliferation? Should NSA launch offensive attacks against an adversary we’re not at war with? What kind of blowback do such operations invite?

Both stories have been critical to bringing necessary public attention to the bungling behind our Iran policy. Yet the alleged leakers in the two stories have thus far been treated differently. Sterling has been fighting prosecution for 3.5 years. Cartwright has lost his security clearance but, two years after the Sanger story, DOJ has not charged him or anyone else.

There may be any number of explanations for the apparently different treatment: DOJ may still be crafting a case against Cartwright — and we may all be defending Sanger’s right to protect his sources sometime in the future. Given the sensitivities of StuxNet, DOJ may be unable to prosecute the leak without exposing even more classified information.

Cartwright’s different treatment may reflect DOJ’s efforts — announced last year — to “explore ways in which the intelligence agencies themselves, in the first instance, can address information leaks internally, though administrative means, such as the withdrawal of security clearances.”

Then there’s the possibility that if you’re “Obama’s favorite general,” as Cartwright reportedly was, you don’t get prosecuted. Unlike Cartwright, Jeffrey Sterling didn’t sit in on White House briefings. On the contrary, the government claimed Sterling only leaked this information after losing an Equal Employment Opportunity suit against the CIA, in which he claimed he had not been given certain assignments because he is African-American. In fact, as Risen reported in a 2002 story on Sterling, CIA Director John Brennan — then the Agency’s deputy executive director — played a role in denying Sterling’s claim, after which the CIA subjected Sterling to an early security investigation.

Both Risen’s and Sanger’s stories provided citizens important information on America’s ham-handed efforts to combat Iran. Both leaks served to provide important information about the ill-considered covert actions done in our name. Thus far, the leaks have not been treated the same.

Hopefully, the inaction on Sterling’s case and against Cartwright — if he is, indeed, Sanger’s source — reflects reconsideration on the part of the Obama Administration of its counterproductive criminalization of whistleblowing. Hopefully, what we’re seeing is a belated recognition that attacking journalism doesn’t serve the country.

But for now, Jeffrey Sterling and James Risen remain under direct threat from DOJ for telling us just how problematic some of CIA’s programs against Iran are.

Investigative journalist Marcy Wheeler writes the “Right to Know” column for ExposeFacts. She is best known for providing in-depth analysis of legal documents related to “war on terrorism” programs and civil liberties. Wheeler blogs at emptywheel.net and publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salonand the Progressive. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit: How the Bush Administration Used the Media to Sell the Iraq War and Out a Spy. Wheeler won the 2009 Hillman Award for blog journalism.

US may attempt to arm and provide air cover for terrorists in Syria after claiming success in fighting ISIS in Iraq using Kurds.

As predicted, the “sudden” appearance of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS) in northern Iraq weeks ago, has created the rhetorical framework within which the United States and its regional partners will attempt to militarily intervene in both Iraq and Syria. Token US airstrikes have already been underway in Iraq, and it is now revealed that US special operation forces have been operating in Syria, under the guise of attempting to rescue abducted and now slain American journalist, James Wright Foley.
The New York Times in an article titled, “U.S. Tried to Take Foley and Other Hostages From ISIS,” claimed:

A secret nighttime military mission authorized by President Obama to rescue Americans held captive in Syria failed early this summer when a team of two dozen Delta Force commandos raided an oil refinery in the northern part of the country but found after a firefight with Islamic militants that there were no hostages to be saved, administration officials said Wednesday.

With one American journalist, TIME reporter Steven Sotloff, still missing and allegedly being held by ISIS terrorists, further US military incursions into Syrian territory may be attempted under a similar alleged pretense. To further justify expanding across the border and into Syria already ongoing US military operations in Iraq, the Western media has begun claiming that ISIS leadership, “fearing” US airstrikes, are fleeing to safety in neighboring Syria.
The Wall Street Journal in its article, “Iraqis Say Some Commanders of Insurgency in Iraq Retreat to Syria,” claimed:

According to the Iraqis, the commanders went to eastern Syria, where Islamic State has built an operational base amid the chaos of civil war over the past few years. The insurgents are able to dash across the border into Syria, where that base continues to offer the space to recruit and reorganize largely unchallenged.

“They’ve got much better cover in Syria than they do in Iraq,” said Will McCants, an expert on militant Islam at the Brookings Institution and a former State Department adviser. “When they have that kind of strategic depth, they’re just allowed to live another day.”

Image: Clearly, ISIS’ path into Iraq began not in Syria, but in NATO member Turkey’s territory. ISIS is nothing more than an extension of the US-backed terrorist forces assembled for the explicit purpose of overthrowing the Syrian government. 

Clearly, the answer, left for readers to arrive at on their own, is that these “successful” US airstrikes in Iraq must be carried over into Syria – where mission creep can do the rest, finally dislodging the Syrian government from power after an ongoing proxy war has failed to do so since 2011. After arming and aiding the Kurds in fighting ISIS in Iraq, the US will attempt to make a similar argument regarding the arming of terrorists in Syria and providing them direct US air support to defeat ISIS – and of course – Damascus.

It should be remembered that ISIS itself is a creation of the United States, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Qatar, and has been harbored and provided material assistance by NATO-member Turkey for years. Portrayed by various names by the Western media – ISIS, al-Nusra, the “Free Syrian Army” – in reality it is a conglomerate of Western-backed mercenary forces raised as early as 2007 to overthrow the government in Damascus  and confront Iranian influence across the entire region, including in Lebanon and in Iraq.

British police have warned the public that merely watching the James Foley beheading video may be a criminal offense under terrorism legislation, a draconian escalation that threatens to create an ominous pretext for the free flow of information on the Internet.

After the video emerged, which purports to show an ISIS militant with a British accent beheading American journalist James Foley, the Guardian reported that Scotland Yard had launched a full investigation.

“Scotland Yard warned the public that viewing, downloading or disseminating the video within the UK might constitute a criminal offence under terrorism legislation,” states the report.

“In other words….if you watch terrorism, you’re also a terrorist,” remarked Zero Hedge.

So not only could it be treated as a terrorist offense to post a link to the video on your Facebook page, but merely watching the clip could also get you in hot water, despite the fact that tens of thousands of Brits have probably seen the video since it emerged earlier this week.

In terms of brutality, the video pales in comparison to previous examples since it doesn’t actually show the full beheading during the clip.

If watching a YouTube or Live Leak video can be classified as a terrorist act, what’s next? Given that authorities in the U.S. consider libertarian beliefs to be “extremist” and have placed them in the same category as militant Islam, are seemingly mundane political videos going to receive the same treatment in future?

Of course, British authorities are not going to pursue everyone who watches or disseminates the video, but threats combined with selective enforcement create a pretext that governments can exploit to set the benchmark for declaring any content whatsoever on the Internet to be extremist in nature and therefore off limits to the general public.

As we previously reported, UK authorities have acted to censor YouTube clips in the past, most notably in 2011 when the British government ordered YouTube to remove footage of the British Constitution Group’s Lawful Rebellion protest, during which they attempted to civilly arrest Judge Michael Peake at Birkenhead county court.

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

Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/paul.j.watson.71
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Photo Credit: Asymmetric Solutions

The events in Ferguson, Missouri are a harbinger of things to come. In addition to the deployment of National Guard troops and the heavy militarization of local and federal law enforcement agents in the area, it looks like private special operations contractors with experience in Middle East war zones have been asked to help.

Their mission is not clear and no one in any official government capacity is saying anything. But according to a tweet from Asymmetric Solutions on Tuesday, private contractors have been requested in the Ferguson/St. Louis area. The company is a division of Applied Defense Technologies, which employs ex-special operations members like Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, and Delta Force operatives, often to high-risk theaters of war in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

The company quickly followed up their initial tweet to clarify their involvement after numerous users and alternative media outlets like the 1776 Channel voiced concerns over the use of private special operations contractors in a military role on U.S. soil.


 

According to a follow-up tweet that came about 12 hours later, the contractors had finished their job by 4:30PM on Wednesday and expressed their thoughts on media news coverage of the events taking place in Ferguson.

Though the company has not released any specific details about their role in Ferguson or who hired them, it looks like they were either facilitating the transport of supplies or providing security for a high-profile client. Whether the client was a private individual or a government entity remains a mystery.

Private security contracting firms operate throughout the United States on a daily basis. However, it’s no surprise that a top-tier contracting firm like Asymmetric Solutions being deployed in a riot-laden area like Ferguson, MO will raise eyebrows. This particular deployment may have been innocent enough, but it does raise the question of how far our government is prepared to go in the event of a widespread civil unrest scenario.

They have spent years planning for such events as economic collapsefood riots and other emergency scenarios. And because contracting firms such as Asymmetric Solutions have been deployed on countless tours to high-risk areas over the last decade, it stands to reason that these ex-military professionals would be utilized by the highest bidder in the event of a national emergency.

The real question then becomes, how far are the individuals and closely knit teams willing to go if called in for such duties on U.S. soil? In the case of Asymmetric Solutions, it looks as if the firm was genuinely concerned that they may be utilized as a sledgehammer by government officials.

Reference Sources: 1776 ChannelSteve QuayleGateway Pundit

You can read more from Mac Slavo on his site SHTFplan.com, where this first appeared.  

US Attorney General Eric Holder visited Ferguson, Missouri Wednesday, aiming to convince residents that the Obama administration was seeking a “fair and thorough” investigation of the August 9 police killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

In fact, the basic purpose of Holder’s visit was to underline the administration’s support for the police crackdown and imposition of de facto martial law, while mobilizing so-called “community leaders” allied to the Democratic Party to defuse ongoing protests and channel popular anger back behind the Democrats.

Holder arrived in the mainly working-class suburb of St. Louis following the eleventh night of protests. Police armed with assault weapons and backed by an arsenal of military vehicles as well as National Guard troops arrested 47 people Tuesday night and early Wednesday, during what Captain Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol called a relatively “peaceful” night.

The concerted attempt by the media and the political establishment, from the Obama White House down to state and local officials, to place the onus for violence on the protesters, singling out, in particular, so-called “criminal elements” and “outside agitators,” was belied by an Internet posting showing a police officer pointing an assault rifle at journalists’ faces and threatening to kill them.

The video shows the officer screaming “I will f***ing kill you… Get back! Get back!” at a group of reporters. When asked to identify himself, he tells the journalists to “go f*** yourself.” The St. Louis County Police Department said in a statement that the officer was subsequently disciplined.

Also on Wednesday, cell phone footage of Tuesday’s police shooting of Kajieme Powell in nearby North St. Louis was posted, contradicting police claims that the victim had a knife raised in an “overhand” position when he was shot. The video shows that officers continued shooting Powell as he lay motionless on the ground.

Residents had told the World Socialist Web Site that Powell was mentally handicapped and that his mother had died shortly before he was killed by the police.

Holder told the press Wednesday that he hoped his trip would have a “calming effect” on residents outraged by the police killing of Brown, who was unarmed when he was shot six times by Ferguson officer Darren Wilson, and the brutal police response to their protests. Hundreds have been arrested, most of them charged with failing to obey police orders to disperse.

The police have imposed a rule requiring residents to keep moving on public sidewalks. Anyone who stays in place for more than five seconds is subject to arrest.

In an article published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Holder wrote that he planned to “meet personally with community leaders, FBI investigators and federal prosecutors from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the US Attorney’s Office to receive detailed briefings on the status of this case.”

Turning reality on its head, he implied that people angered by the police murder of Brown were the aggressors in Ferguson, rather than the police. He wrote: “In order to begin the healing process, however, we must first see an end to the acts of violence in the streets of Ferguson. Although these acts have been committed by a very small minority—and, in many cases, by individuals from outside Ferguson—they seriously undermine, rather than advance, the cause of justice.”

While in Ferguson, Holder met with community college students and sought to cast himself as being sympathetic to residents’ concerns on the basis of his race. “I am also a black man,” he declared.

He met separately with local FBI officials, some 40 of whom are conducting interviews with residents. He posed for a photo op with Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, who is supervising the crackdown.

Holder pledged that the “full resources of the Department of Justice have been committed to the investigation into Michael Brown’s death.” He added that “the people of Ferguson can have confidence that the Justice Department intends to learn—in a fair and thorough manner—exactly what happened.”

Holder’s visit came as St. Louis County prosecutors began presenting evidence in the Brown shooting to a grand jury. St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch told a local radio station that his office may not finish its presentation until mid-October.

Meanwhile, Officer Wilson, who fired multiple rounds into Brown at close range, including two shots to his head, remains at large. He is on paid administrative leave from the police department. He has not been arrested and no charges have been laid against him.

Holder offered no criticism of the failure of local or state authorities to arrest the killer cop.

Holder’s attempt to present himself as a supporter of the First Amendment rights of free speech and assembly is fraudulent. He defended the Obama administration’s policy of drone missile assassinations, including of American citizens. He argued at the time that the constitutional guarantee of “due process” did not imply any guarantee of a right to “judicial process.” On that basis, he claimed that decisions to murder US citizens made unilaterally by the president and his military and intelligence advisers were constitutional.

In March of last year, he said the president could authorize a drone assassination within the US, writing in a letter to Senator Rand Paul that the chief executive could “authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States.”

In an action that can only be described as a terrorist murder, Israeli warplanes killed the wife and baby son of Hamas military commander Mohammed Deif, in a targeted air strike Tuesday night.

A Hamas spokesman confirmed the deaths of Widad Deif, 28 years old, and her baby son Ali, eight months, along with a third victim whose body was pulled from the rubble of the home in Gaza City. Palestinian sources told the media that the third victim was not Mohammed Deif, who has been the target of repeated Israeli assassination attempts over the past decade. Widad’s three other children by Deif were injured in the attack but reportedly survived.

Eyewitnesses to the Tuesday night attack said that Israeli F-16 warplanes, supplied by the United States, dropped five bombs, destroying a three-story building, also killing the wife and two teenage sons of the building’s owner, Raba al-Dalo.

The death toll from the relentless Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip has risen to 2,028, including at least 546 children. At least 20 were killed Tuesday night in the heaviest losses in nearly ten days.

Besides the six killed in the home used by Mohammed Deif, seven members of the al-Louh family were incinerated in Deir al-Balah, including a pregnant woman. A drone-fired missile killed a three-year-old in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City, while another drone-fired missile killed two men driving in their car.

Deif is the nominal leader of the Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, although his actual operational role is uncertain, since he was crippled in an Israeli strike in 2003, which cost him an eye and a serious spinal injury.

Hamas issued a public call to attend the funeral of Deif’s wife and child, and hundreds joined a procession Wednesday in the Jabaliya refugee camp. Israeli drones hovered overhead as Widad Deif’s father carried the body of his infant grandson wrapped in a white shroud.

Israeli officials hailed the “success” of the air strike on the Deif household. Yaakov Peri, science and technology minister and former head of Shin Beth, the internal security agency, said the attack “demonstrates intelligence capabilities.”

“It shows that even though much has been said in the past about our inability to reach the heads of Hamas, our intelligence is indeed capable,” he said in a radio interview. “I think that it is an important indicator of the fact that no military wing head or anyone who is a target for assassination is immune.”

Peri’s declaration of Israeli responsibility for the killing of Deif’s wife and baby amounts to an admission, even a boast, that Israel is guilty of war crimes in its attacks in Gaza. Yet there was not a hint of condemnation in the American and international media coverage, and no criticism of the action by European or American political leaders.

One can only imagine the media firestorm if Hamas announced that it was targeting the wife and children of Prime Minister Netanyahu or Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon for assassination, let alone if such murders were actually committed.

B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights organization, singled out the practice of targeting wives and children and other family members of Hamas leaders as a violation of international law. The homes of Hamas leaders are routinely described as “command and control centers” in Israeli propaganda, which is repeated uncritically in the Western press.

The leader of the Hamas delegation at talks in Cairo on a ceasefire denounced the murder of Deif’s wife and child as a political provocation. “This was a pretext to target a senior member of Hamas and to withdraw the delegation, and to end the cease-fire,” said Mousa Abu Marzook. He called the attack “a war crime.”

The chief negotiator for the PLO, Saeb Erekat, told Voice of Palestine radio, “I think that the worst is still to come. Netanyahu is sabotaging every effort as he did always.

Veteran international war journalist Ansgar Graw has reported in Georgia, the Gaza Strip, the Soviet Union, Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, China, and Cuba, but has never once been arrested.

Now, under the boot of the man who Pulitzer winning journalist James Risen calls “the greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation” – Barack “We Tortured Some Folks” Obama - Graw has been arrested for doing journalism.

Graw was in Ferguson reporting on Obama’s violent crackdown on freedom of speech, assembly, and dissent, the purpose of which is, in the words of another journalist who was arrested for reporting in Ferguson, “solely [to] intimidat[e] reporters in order to prevent them from working”.

Dozens of journalists and countless residents, including a state senator, have been arrested and/or gassed, and the state is blocking press aircraft from entering the area.

Graw here remarks on how his experience trying to do journalism in the USA has been an illusions-give-way-to-reality moment for him, shattering the make-believe, propaganda myth of “good” America, specifically the police, that he, like hundreds of millions of others, had been duped into believing:

to be handcuffed and snarled at aggressively by the police, and to see a prison from the inside, I had to travel to Ferguson, Missouri in the United States of America. My childlike trust of the US police, who I defended passionately against critics as friends and helpers, in spite of their often rough actions and lack of transparency, is gone.

We should all learn from Graw’s example and be honest enough with ourselves to accept that “childlike” is exactly what our propaganda-based notions about the United States are, and “childlike” is what the United States, and all authoritarian governments, would love for the people they control and leech off of to be.

Barry Grey sums up Obama’s vicious crackdown on dissent in Ferguson:

The state of Missouri, with the full backing of the Obama administration, has responded to continuing protests against the police murder of Michael Brown, an unarmed African American teenager, by imposing de facto martial law on the largely working class city of Ferguson.

Residents have been stripped of the constitutionally guaranteed right to assemble, reporters have been arrested or banished in violation of freedom of the press, police checkpoints have been set up at major intersections. A massive force of military vehicles, helicopters, sound cannon, flash grenades, tear gas, SWAT teams wielding assault weapons and local cops backed by National Guard troops has been deployed to intimidate, terrorize and crush social protest.

William Blum here points out one of the ways in which the myth of the USA’s moral superiority is implanted.

Obama illegally sent covert agents to Cuba to try to bring about the overthrow of the government.  His regime told the US agents:

“Although there is never total certainty, trust that the authorities will not try to harm you physically, only frighten you. Remember that the Cuban government prefers to avoid negative media reports abroad, so a beaten foreigner is not convenient for them.”

Blum observes:

It’s most ironic. The US government could not say as much about most of their allies [like Israel], who frequently make use of physical abuse. Indeed, the statement could not be made in regard to almost any American police force. But it’s this Cuba that doesn’t beat or torture detainees that is the enemy to be reformed and punished without mercy … 55 years and counting.

When countries the USA wants to destabilize, terrorize, and destroy, like Cuba, are caught engaging in non-violent governance, it is not because they are good.  They are really bad, they just want to look good.

However, when the USA engages in non-violent tactics, that is not because we are merely trying to lookgood, but because we actually are good.  See the difference?  It’s very scientific.

But there’s more, and this is crucial:

When the USA engages in ultra-violent tactics that surpass anything Cuba has ever done or will ever do – America is by far the most violent and war-like society on Earth – that is also because we are good.

See?

When we use non-violence, that’s because we are good, and when we use violence, that’s also because we are good.

Anything we do is good because we did it, and everything they do is bad because they did it.  Doesn’t matter what any of these “things” are.  Here’s all you have to know:

Us = Always good

Them = Always bad

Graw was never arrested in Gaza or by any other government on which he reported not because those groups are good.  They are bad.  They just didn’t want to both look bad and be bad.  They want to be bad but look good.  Bad guys are sneaky that way.

Not us, though.

We are good.  Therefore, everything we do looks good, which is why we arrested Graw.  Well… maybe that doesn’t look good, but it doesn’t matter.  Remember, since we are good, even if something we do doesn’t look good, it still is good.

Mass-arrests, violence, and intimidation against journalists and peaceful protesters (as documented byAmnesty International and others), is good, if we do it. 

No matter what point the government reaches in this country, just make sure you always take the side of the government.  That way, you know you’ll always be on the side of good.  You know, good.  Like in American movies.

If the FBI starts openly assassinating (on Hoover’s orders) people like Fred Hampton again, you know whose side to take: the FBI, because they are good.

When Obama protects torturers and aggressors and gives them high-ranking jobs in his regime, then tortures Bradley Manning and gives him 35 years in the world’s biggest dungeon system, you know whose side to take.  The good.  Not Manning.  Manning is bad, or, at best, was confused about what was good and what was bad.  (Hint: Exposing crimes was bad, because they were good crimes.  You know, like torturing folks to death and killing hundreds of thousands of civilians.)

Internationally, when Obama schemes up new ways to block the Chagossians from ever returning to their homeland, Diego Garcia, because Obama prefers to use it as a base for his killing machines and torture centers, you know which is the good side, and it ain’t the impoverished and dispossessed Chagossians, that’s for damn sure.

Sometimes this can seem counter-intuitive, but that’s when it becomes important to put your full on faith in the government that generously allows you a statistically insignificant amount of influence over the policies that dictate your life.

Don’t listen to this bad guy:

A lot of people still think this is some kind of game or signal or spin. They don’t want to believe that Obama wants to crack down on the press and whistleblowers. But he does.

- James Risen

Obama has persecuted more whistleblowers than all presidents combined.

Robert Barsocchini is an American investigative journalist and writer for the film industry.  Click here to join 5,100 people following him and his UK colleague, Dean Robinson, on Twitter.  

Local residents stand in front of an apartment block damaged by recent shelling in the settlement of Makiivka, on the outskirts of Donetsk, August 19, 2014 (Reuters / Maxim Shemetov)

There have been at least two countries in Europe in recent history that undertook ‘anti-terrorist’ military operations against ‘separatists’, but got two very different reactions from the Western elite.

The government of European country A launches what it calls an‘anti-terrorist’ military operation against ‘separatists’ in one part of the country. We see pictures on Western television of people’s homes being shelled and lots of people fleeing. The US and UK and other NATO powers fiercely condemn the actions of the government of country A and accuse it of carrying out ‘genocide’ and ’ethnic cleansing’ and say that there is an urgent ‘humanitarian crisis.’Western politicians and establishment journalists tell us that ‘something must be done.’ And something is done: NATO launches a ‘humanitarian’ military intervention to stop the government of country A. Country A is bombed for 78 days and nights. The country’s leader (who is labeled ‘The New Hitler’) is indicted for war crimes – and is later arrested and sent in an RAF plane to stand trial for war crimes at The Hague, where he dies, un-convicted, in his prison cell.

The government of European country B launches what it calls an ‘anti-terrorist’ military operation against ‘separatists’ in one part of the country. Western television doesn’t show pictures or at least not many) of people’s homes being shelled and people fleeing, although other television stations do. But here the US, UK and other NATO powers do not condemn the government, or accuse it of committing‘genocide’ or ‘ethnic cleansing.’ Western politicians and establishment journalists do not tell us that‘something must be done’ to stop the government of country B killing people. On the contrary, the same powers who supported action against country A, support the military offensive of the government in country B. The leader of country B is not indicted for war crimes, nor is he labeled ‘The New Hitler’despite the support the government has got from far-right, extreme nationalist groups, but in fact, receives generous amounts of aid.

Anyone defending the policies of the government in country A, or in any way challenging the dominant narrative in the West is labeled a “genocide denier” or an “apologist for mass murder.” But no such opprobrium awaits those defending the military offensive of the government in country B. It’s those who oppose its policies who are smeared.

What makes the double standards even worse, is that by any objective assessment, the behavior of the government in country B, has been far worse than that of country A and that more human suffering has been caused by their aggressive actions.

In case you haven’t guessed it yet – country A is Yugoslavia, country B is Ukraine.

Smoke loomes over Yugoslav capital of Belgrade from Pancevo’s chemical plant after NATO air strike on this April 18, 1999 file photo (Reuters)

Yugoslavia, a different case

In 1998/9 Yugoslavian authorities were faced with a campaign of violence against Yugoslav state officials by the pro-separatist and Western-backed Kosovan Liberation Army (KLA). The Yugoslav government responded by trying to defeat the KLA militarily, but their claims to be fighting against’terrorism’ were haughtily dismissed by Western leaders. As the British Defence Secretary George Robertson and Foreign Secretary Robin Cook acknowledged in the period from 1998 to January 1999, the KLA had been responsible for more deaths in Kosovo than the Yugoslav authorities had been.

In the lead-up to the NATO action and during it, lurid claims were made about the numbers of people who had been killed or ‘disappeared’ by the Yugoslav forces. “Hysterical NATO and KLA estimates of the missing and presumably slaughtered Kosovan Albanians at times ran upwards of one hundred thousand, reaching 500, 000 in one State Department release. German officials leaked ‘intelligence’ about an alleged Serb plan called Operation Horseshoe to depopulate the province of its ethnic Albanians, and to resettle it with Serbs, which turned out to be an intelligence fabrication,” Edward Herman and David Peterson noted in their book The Politics of Genocide.

“We must act to save thousands of innocent men, women and children from humanitarian catastrophe – from death, barbarism and ethnic cleansing from a brutal dictatorship,” a solemn-faced Prime Minister Tony Blair told the British Parliament – just four years before an equally sombre Tony Blair told the British Parliament that we must act over the ‘threat’ posed by Saddam Hussein’s WMDs.

Taking their cue from Tony Blair and Co., the media played their part in hyping up what was going on in Kosovo. Herman and Peterson found that newspapers used the word ‘genocide’ to describe Yugoslav actions in Kosovo 323 times compared to just 13 times for the invasion/occupation of Iraq despite the death toll in the latter surpassing that of Kosovo by 250 times.

In the same way we were expected to forget about the claims from Western politicians and their media marionettes about Iraq possessing WMDs in the lead-up to the 2003 invasion, we are now expected to forget about the outlandish claims made about Kosovo in 1999.

But as the award winning investigative journalist and broadcaster John Pilger wrote in his article Reminders of Kosovo in 2004, “Lies as great as those told by Bush and Blair were deployed by Clinton and Blair in grooming of public opinion for an illegal, unprovoked attack on a European country.”

The overall death toll of the Kosovo conflict is thought to be between 3,000 and 4,000, but that figure includes Yugoslav army casualties, and Serbs and Roma and Kosovan Albanians killed by the KLA. In 2013, the International Committee of the Red Cross listed the names of 1,754 people from all communities in Kosovo who were reported missing by their families.

The number of people killed by Yugoslav military at the time NATO launched its ‘humanitarian’ bombing campaign, which itself killed between 400-600 people, is thought to be around 500, a tragic death toll but hardly “genocide.”

“Like Iraq’s fabled weapons of mass destruction, the figures used by the US and British governments and echoed by journalists were inventions- along with Serbian ‘rape camps’ and Clinton and Blair’s claims that NATO never deliberately bombed civilians,” says Pilger.

No matter what happens in Ukraine…

In Ukraine by contrast, the number of people killed by government forces and those supporting them has been deliberately played down, despite UN figures highlighting the terrible human cost of the Ukrainian government’s ‘anti-terrorist’ operation.

Last week, the UN’s Human Rights Office said that the death toll in the conflict in eastern Ukraine had doubled in the previous fortnight. Saying that they were “very conservative estimates,” the UN stated that 2,086 people (from all sides) had been killed and 5,000 injured. Regarding refugees, the UN says that around 1,000 people have been leaving the combat zone every day and that over 100,000 people have fled the region. Yet despite these very high figures, there have been no calls from leading Western politicians for ‘urgent action’ to stop the Ukrainian government’s military offensive. Articles from faux-left ‘humanitarian interventionists’ saying that ‘something must be done’ to end what is a clearly a genuine humanitarian crisis, have been noticeable by their absence.

There is, it seems, no “responsibility to protect” civilians being killed by government forces in the east of Ukraine, as there was in Kosovo, even though the situation in Ukraine, from a humanitarian angle, is worse than that in Kosovo in March 1999.

To add insult to injury, efforts have been made to prevent a Russian humanitarian aid convoy from entering Ukraine.

The convoy we are told is ‘controversial’ and could be part of a sinister plot by Russia to invade. This from the same people who supported a NATO bombing campaign on a sovereign state for“humanitarian” reasons fifteen years ago!

For these Western ‘humanitarians’ who cheer on the actions of the Ukrainian government, the citizens of eastern Ukraine are “non-people”: not only are they unworthy of our support or compassion, or indeed aid convoys, they are also blamed for their own predicament.

There are, of course, other conflicts which also highlight Western double standards towards‘humanitarian intervention’. Israeli forces have killed over 2,000 Palestinians in their latest ruthless ‘anti-terrorist’ operation in Gaza, which is far more people than Yugoslav forces had killed in Kosovo by the time of the 1999 NATO ‘intervention’. But there are no calls at this time for a NATO bombing campaign against Israel.

In fact, neocons and faux-left Zionists who have defended and supported Israel’s “anti-terrorist”Operation Protective Edge, and Operation Cast Lead before it, were among the most enthusiastic supporters of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. Israel it seems is allowed to kill large numbers of people, including women and children, in its “anti-terrorist” campaigns, but Yugoslavia had no such“right” to fight an “anti-terrorist” campaign on its own soil.

In 2011, NATO went to war against Libya to prevent a “hypothetical” massacre in Benghazi, and to stop Gaddafi ‘killing his own people’; in 2014 Ukrainian government forces are killing their own people in large numbers, and there have been actual massacres like the appalling Odessa arson attack carried out by pro-government ‘radicals’, but the West hasn’t launched bombing raids on Kiev in response.

The very different approaches from the Western elite to ‘anti-terrorist’ operations in Kosovo and Ukraine (and indeed elsewhere) shows us that what matters most is not the numbers killed, or the amount of human suffering involved, but whether or not the government in question helps or hinders Western economic and military hegemonic aspirations.

In the eyes of the rapacious Western elites, the great ‘crime’ of the Yugoslav government in 1999 was that it was still operating, ten years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, an unreconstructed socialist economy, with very high levels of social ownership – as I highlighted here.

Yugoslavia under Milosevic was a country which maintained its financial and military independence. It had no wishes to join the EU or NATO, or surrender its sovereignty to anyone. For that refusal to play by the rules of the globalists and to show deference to the powerful Western financial elites, the country (and its leader) had to be destroyed. In the words of George Kenney, former Yugoslavia desk officer at the US State Department: “In post-cold war Europe no place remained for a large, independent-minded socialist state that resisted globalization.”

By contrast, the government of Ukraine, has been put in power by the West precisely in order to further its economic and military hegemonic aspirations. Poroshenko, unlike the much- demonized Milosevic, is an oligarch acting in the interests of Wall Street, the big banks and the Western military-industrial complex. He’s there to tie up Ukraine to IMF austerity programs, to hand over his country to Western capital and to lock Ukraine into ‘Euro-Atlantic’ structures- in other words to transform it into an EU/IMF/NATO colony- right on Russia’s doorstep.

This explains why an ‘anti-terrorist’ campaign waged by the Yugoslav government against ‘separatists’in 1999 is ‘rewarded’ with fierce condemnation, a 78-day bombing campaign, and the indictment of its leader for war crimes, while a government waging an ‘anti-terrorist’ campaign against ‘separatists’ in Ukraine in 2014, is given carte blanche to carry on killing. In the end, it’s not about how many innocent people you kill, or how reprehensible your actions are, but about whose interests you serve.

Neil Clark is a journalist, writer and broadcaster. His award winning blog can be found atwww.neilclark66.blogspot.com. Follow him on Twitter

Staged Provocations Ahead. Possible US-Syrian War

August 20th, 2014 by Tony Cartalucci

With the alleged brutal murder of American journalist James Wright Foley, a wave of anger and aggression across Western audiences has been generated. Upon that wave rides two objectives. One is to create plausible deniability for the West which created the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS), the other is to create a further pretext to justify a resurgence of direct US military intervention across the region.

While the focus has been on ISIS in Iraq, there is still another war -linked directly to Iraq’s current conflict – being waged across the border in Syria. Syrian forces have continued making gains across the country, routing NATO-backed terrorist forces and restoring order in cities and towns that have been ravaged by war for years. ISIS strongholds in the eastern Syrian city of  Raqqa, have until now long escaped the focus of Syrian forces occupied by more urgent campaigns around Hama, Homs, Damascus, Daraa, Idlib, and Aleppo. Now, the Syrian Army is shifting forces east.

While the West feigns an adversarial position regarding ISIS, it was the West itself that created it, specifically to confront the Iranian arc of influence stretching from Tehran, through Baghdad, Damascus and along the Mediterranean in Lebanon. The elimination of ISIS and other terrorist organizations fighting under or alongside its banner without first achieving regime change in Damascus would effectively mean defeat for the United States and its collaborators in the Middle East.

To intervene before the deathblow is delivered to NATO-backed terrorists in Syria and before the tide is turned against them in Iraq, the West may attempt to provoke, stage, or otherwise create a pretext to militarily intervene in Syria, and expand its operations in Iraq.

More Dead Journalists, Another Downed Airliner… 

The alleged death of James Wright Foley has created significant outrage amongst public opinion. It has created the illusion of confrontation between ISIS and the United States, and has served to further vilify ISIS itself. The Western media is still struggling to maintain the illusion that ISIS stands apart from other terrorists operating in Syria, and with that narrative, the West is simultaneously bolstering ISIS in Syria under the guise of arming and aiding “moderates,” while it conducts token airstrikes on ISIS in Iraq.

At the end of the video production featuring Foley’s death, it was revealed that ISIS was also holding missing TIME reporter Steven Sotloff. He was last seen in Aleppo and is believed to have been held in the now besieged Syrian city of Raqqa. The Epoch Times reported in an article titled, “Steven Sotloff: Missing TIME Journalist Steven Joel Sotloff Has been Threatened by ISIS, Report Says,”stated:

According to The Wire, he went missing near Aleppo, Syria, on Aug. 4, and his family said they were aware of the situation but did not want to publicize the information. He was being held in Raqqa.

Another dead American reporter could perhaps tip the scales in terms of public support for a possible US military intervention in Syria at a critical juncture in the near future. Within the same report, an AP update indicated that (emphasis added):

Warnings from an international research group and the Federal Aviation Administration underscore the rising threat to commercial aircraft posed by hundreds of anti-aircraft weapons that are now in the arsenals of armed groups in Syria and could easily be diverted to extremist factions.

Armed groups opposing the Assad regime in Syria have already amassed an estimated several hundred portable anti-aircraft missiles that are highly mobile, difficult to track and accurate enough to destroy low-flying passenger planes, according to a new report by Small Arms Survey, a respected Switzerland-based research organization that analyzes the global flow of weapons.

Of course, while AP attempts to continue differentiating between armed groups and “extremist factions,” the fact that “extremist faction” ISIS had captured Sotloff in Aleppo where these alleged “armed groups” are supposedly operating, indicates that it has been “extremists” fighting Damascus all along and that it is “extremists” who now possess a large number of anti-aircraft weapons, thanks to the US, Europe, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar.

Warnings that these weapons might be “diverted to extremist factions” when they have been in their hands for years, portends a possible gambit involving the downing of yet another civilian airliner to serve as a pretext to further advance the West’s agenda. The tragic MH17 disaster in Ukraine has long been buried and forgotten by the Western media after baseless accusations against Russia allowed the West to push forward further sanctions against Moscow and further military aid for the regime in Kiev.

The potential downing of a civilian aircraft in the Middle East – or anywhere in the world – attributed to “extremists” operating in Syria and Iraq would give the West a pretext to possibly intervene with direct military force in either country.

The West has proven that it will stop at nothing to advance its agenda in even the most incremental ways. The loss of human life is of no more of consequence to them and their hegemonic designs than the loss of a pawn is in a chess game. That their staged provocations still manipulate large segments of the population and still effectively manipulate public perception is precisely why these tragedies continue on in earnest. Exposing them and disarming global hegemons of this weapon is essential in preventing more tragedies like MH17 and the senseless death of Foley, and thousands of Syrians and Iraqis who have died like him, in the near future.

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

While many states around the U.S. havereleased information to the public about the frequency and routes of trains carrying oil obtained from hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in North Dakota’sBakken Shale basin, holdouts still remain.

Why the delay? Homeland security concerns, claim some companies.

In an ongoing Maryland court case over the issue of transparency for in-state oil-by-rail routes, a July 23 affidavit from Carl E. Carbaugh — director of infrastructure security for Norfolk Southern — goes into extensive detail about the supposed risk presented by terrorism attacks on “Bomb Trains.”

In so doing, Carbaugh mentions Al-Qaeda.

“The most recent edition of Inspire magazine, March 2014, the online, English-language propaganda publication of [Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula], presents a full-page collage depicting varied images…in order to construct an explosive device,” reads Carbaugh’s affidavit.

“Among these images are a derailed passenger train and a partly covered note paper listing cities in the [U.S.] as well as the terms ‘Dakota’ and ‘Train crude oil.’”

Carbaugh also cited Osama bin Laden, the late Al-Qaeda international ring-leader, in his affidavit.

“Among the materials seized in the May 1, 2011, raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, were notes indicating interest in ‘tipping’ or ‘toppling’ trains — that is causing their derailment,” Carbaugh wrote.

Osama Bin Laden Compound Diagram; Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Jay Apperson, director of communications for the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), told DeSmogBlog that no hearing date has been set yet for Norfolk Southern’s legal complaint nor the companion complaint filed by CSXCorporation.

In its lawsuit filed against the Maryland environment department, CSX deployed similar arguments.

Apperson says both lawsuits were redundant because “we reiterated [to both companies] that we would not release the documents under state open records law until the court challenge is resolved.”

MDE filed a response arguing such in July 25 legal motions issued to CSX andNorfolk Southern.

CSX, according to its website, does not even have any oil-by-rail lines running through Maryland.

Like Old Dominion, Like Garden State

Big Rail has used a similar approach in New Jersey, another state that has not yet publicly-disclosed oil-by-rail route information.

Lee Moore, a New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety spokesman, explained why to The Record.

“Releasing all of the records, which include the rail lines on which Bakken crude oil is being transported, would pose a homeland security risk,” said Moore.

“Clocks and Windows”

William Larkin Jr., a Republican member of the New York Senate, believes the argument put forward in both Maryland and New Jersey is flawed on its face.

Photo Credit: Office of NY Sen. William J. Larkin, Jr. (R)

“I feel that both the U.S. Department of Transportation and a number of critics seemed to have missed the point, at least the larger point,” Larkin Jr. told the Poughkeepsie Journal on July 20. “[People] already know which rail lines oil companies are utilizing. Clocks and windows provide this information.”

As reported on DeSmogBlog, Big Rail has historically shored up exemptions from “right to know” laws and they have pushed hard to keep it that way.

Security Concerns: Holes in the Story

If the rail companies have serious concerns about terrorism threats to Bakken oil trains, their recent actions call such concerns into question.

Prior to the release of the new proposed oil-by-rail regulations, Big Rail lobbied against any regulations requiring the trains to be attended at all times. And they were successful, as this is not included in the proposed regulations.

Further, Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) — owned by Warren Buffet, amajor campaign contributor to President Barack Obama — is currently in the midst of a stand-off against organized labor. The battle centers around BNSF’spush for single person train operation, trains driven by a one-man ‘crew’ rather than the traditional two member crews.

Warren Buffet (L), President Barack Obama (R); Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Other ways experts have suggested to reduce risks of oil trains include lowering speed limits and stripping volatility of the oil prior to shipping via a process called stabilization.

However, prior to the release of the new proposed DOT regulations, theAmerican Association of Railroads and the American Petroleum Institute both said two things should be off the table: train speeds and mandatory stabilization.

“Citizens for Rail Security”

Despite holes in its narrative about national security risks associated with disclosure of oil-by-rail routes, one measure some companies have taken is to create citizen volunteer security groups.

They appear to be modeled after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s “If you see something, say something” program.

Norfolk Southern has a website called “Protect the Line,” in which they ask citizens to “Join the Force.” And BNSF has “Citizens for Rail Security,” which declares, “Communities play a key role in ensuring America’s rail network remains safe from terrorism and criminal activity.”

Photo Credit: “Citizens for Rail Security” Website Screenshot 

The contradiction is readily apparent: communities can volunteer to keep the railroads safe, but they are not allowed to get information from the railroads about what they are keeping their communities safe from in the first place.

TSA: Asleep at the Wheel

The Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) oversees and implements rail safety as it pertains to preventing terrorist threats and attacks.

However, records obtained via a recent Freedom of Information request by EnergyWire reveal TSA is asleep at the wheel in this sphere. Worse, it has been for years.

“[A] Freedom of Information Act request from EnergyWire revealed that the agency never followed through with regulations despite an August 2008 deadline,” explains the story. “That means TSA neither keeps railroads’ security plans on file nor reviews them in any standardized fashion.”

It all comes down to priorities. According to EnergyWire’s investigation, a major funding gap exists between security for surface transportation (like rail) and aviation security.

“TSA’s budget for fiscal 2012 set aside $5.25 billion for aviation security, while devoting $135 million to surface transportation security across all modes,”wrote EnergyWire.

When looked at on the whole, a sober reality arises.

That is, while Big Rail trumpets terrorism threat risks in the legal arena to skirt transparency, the industry has concurrently done little to halt the very terrorism threats it claims a desire to stop.

Members of a group of international experts inspect wreckage at the site where the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed, near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo) in Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine (Reuters / Sergey Karpukhin)

Nearly one month has passed since Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down over the skies of eastern Ukraine, taking the lives of 298 people.

An international investigation is now underway, led by the Netherlands, with members from Ukraine, Malaysia, the United States, Russia and others.

Though the team of investigators examining the crash site have yet to publish their findings and assign culpability to the responsible party, prominent media outlets have obediently toed the line of several Western capitals with reports that all but categorically blame Russia for the aircraft’s demise.

Journalistic and analytical speculation cannot be avoided in such a tragic and geopolitically-charged situation. Media outlets have a responsibility to provide both critical commentary and impartial reporting to their readers, but in the case of MH17, the lack of balance is breathtaking.

Those parties who unreservedly pointed fingers at Moscow in the hours immediately following the disaster have yet to make public any forensic evidence that definitively implicates Russia with providing anti-Kiev militias with the training or hardware needed to take down a commercial airliner.

On the other hand, Russia’s Defense Ministry has made available compelling satellite images and military data that calls the Ukrainian government’s official narrative of events into question. Moscow’s findings have either been laxly underreported or dismissed as propaganda by the West.

US officials, such as Secretary of State John Kerry, made numerous media appearances that were used to argue the Obama administration’s position on MH17, that Moscow had directly trained and equipped rebels in eastern Ukraine who carried out the attack.

To date, the White House has made available several satellite images that support their version of the story. Moscow responded by pointing out that the images released by Washington carried altered time-stamps that indicate the images were taken in the days after the disaster.

Russia’s Defense Ministry also claimed that the weather and lighting conditions in the US satellite images did not correspond to the actual climate conditions at the time they were allegedly recorded. US officials also declined to provide further evidence over concerns that doing so would compromise Washington’s intelligence-gathering capabilities.

US intelligence officials who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity in the days following the tragedy flatly stated they did not possess evidence to substantiate Russia’s involvement; they also conceded that they did not know the identities or even the nationalities of the culprits.

 

A member of a group of international experts inspects wreckage at the site where the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed, near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo) in Donetsk region (Reuters / Sergey Karpukhin)

There is a clear contradiction between the statements offered by US intelligence officials and the narrative endorsed by the White House. Washington continues to rely heavily on unverified and poorly sourced social media content to validate its claims of Russian involvement.

Western media outlets have hardly deviated from Washington’s narrative, while their coverage has strongly assumed Russia’s culpability, despite the wholly circumstantial nature of the evidence disclosed by the West. It is farcical that the country known for overseeing the world’s most sophisticated and far-reaching surveillance capabilities has sunk to citing grainy YouTube videos to justify its policy decisions.

An investigative report recently published by Robert Parry, the former Associated Press best known for his coverage of the Iran-Contra scandal, cites American intelligence analysts who suspect that Ukrainian armed forces were behind the attack.

Parry’s intelligence sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, claimed that the US intelligence community lacks any satellite imagery supporting the White House’s allegations of Russian involvement, and that the only surface-to-air missile system in that part of Ukraine appeared to be under the control of the Ukrainian military.

Neither Washington or Kiev have released images of a Buk missile system being transferred by Russia to rebel-controlled areas of Ukraine, where several high-level Ukrainian officials allege it was fired from before being taken back into Russia.

The claims made by Parry’s US intelligence sources have been corroborated by military monitoring data made available by Russia’s Defense Ministry, which detected radiation from Kiev-controlled missile batteries at the time of the MH17 downing.

Moscow has made available satellite images that purport to show Ukrainian air defense units deployed in the southeastern parts of the country near rebel-held territory during the time of the crash. Kiev’s concentration of multiple missile batteries in the region is highly suspect because the rebels they are fighting do not possess aircraft.

Russia has also claimed that it tracked a Ukrainian Su-25 fighter jet flying in close proximity to the aircraft prior to it disappearing from radar. Parry’s article claims that US intelligence analysts believe that the Ukrainian military missile battery system and the government’s fighter jets may have been operated in collusion to bring down the aircraft.

A report published last week in the New Straits Times, Malaysia’s flagship English-language newspaper, cited forensic experts who believed that the blast fragmentation patterns on the aircraft’s fuselage were consistent with that of cannon rounds from an air-to-air assault.

The Malaysian report included testimony from Michael Bociurkiw, a Ukrainian-Canadian monitor from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), who claimed that the fuselage had been pockmarked with machinegun fire. Retired Lufthansa pilot Peter Haisenko was also cited in the report, remarking that a surface-fired missile alone could not have created entry points on both the port and starboard sides of the aircraft.

Olga Ivshina, a correspondent with BBC’s Russian language service, interviewed local eyewitnesses who told her that they saw military aircraft in the sky flying beneath MH17 before the incident, only intensifying suspicions of Ukrainian involvement. Ivshina’s video dispatch was hastily removed from BBC’s website, which claimed her report didn’t meet editorial standards.

The coverage presented to audiences by Western media outlets has been framed in lockstep with official positions of Western governments, and there is conspicuous and unmistakable effort by these media giants to keep ‘unwanted’ facts and testimony out of the discussion.

In light of the evidence brought forward by the Russian side – as well as the questions raised by credible journalists and investigators – the Dutch-led international investigation team should request that Kiev produce raw military radar data and missile battery logs recorded at the time of the disaster.

Recordings of Ukrainian air-traffic control’s correspondence with the doomed aircraft should also be made available for public scrutiny. If the international investigation is truly concerned with impartiality, it must objectively scrutinize the evidence on offer and pressure intelligence agencies and governments to substantiate their allegations and disclose the facts.

Nile Bowie is a political analyst and photographer currently residing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He can be reached on Twitter or at [email protected]

As the violence in east Ukraine continues to spiral out of control, it is readily apparent that US diplomatic efforts to bring peace to the region are non existent – except to stir opposition against a 280 vehicle humanitarian convoy stalled at the border and to reiterate a cycle of uncorroborated fictions against Russia.

With intensified fighting in Ukraine, new allegations that a column of 23 Russian armored personnel carriers had crossed the border and beendestroyed by Ukraine artillery in rebel-held territory have proven to be totally unfounded – and yet an acquiescent media continues to repeat the unsubstantiated charges as if factual.

At the same time, as the massacre of a civilian population in Gaza revealed the gross inhumanity of the Obama Administration, the currentblocking of urgently needed humanitarian and medical aid from Russia to east Ukraine is the latest provocation by the US-supported Kiev government.

Since earlier incitements failed in its desired effect to lure Russian troops across the border and the downing of MH 17 failed to prove that Putin was to blame, the US has moved on to the strategy of using the Ukraine’s civilian population, an estimated 1,200 of which are abandoned orphans, as bait to achieve the hoped-for result of encouraging a Russian military intervention.

Not that there is not already a wealth of evidence from Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen and elsewhere that a defenseless civilian population is always an expendable commodity in the larger aim of US global dominance.  The president and other US officials continue to do their best to undermine the urgency of the convoy as well as spreading panic that Russia is imminently planning an unprovoked invasion.

Despite  newly elected President Poroshenko’s approval for the humanitarian fleet (which is carrying 2,000 tons of food, water, blankets, sleeping bags, condensed milk and other necessities) with the support of the International Red Cross, the Russian convoy remains stuck 30 kms from the Ukraine border.   In spite of Proshenko’s agreement to allow access, the convey is still being denied entry by border guards into Ukraine.

Caught in the diplomatic cross-hairs of the Kiev government’s efforts to derail the convoy, the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) formally petitioned the government to allow humanitarian aid to travel through east Ukraine as an ICRC team arrived to negotiate the stalemate with Ukraine border guards.  Six hours later, the convoy received official designation as humanitarian aid and a tentative green light only to be stalled again.  Agreed-upon conditions include inspection of the 280 trucks by Red Cross personnel with a Red Cross employee required to accompany each truck into Ukraine.   While a random inspection has begun, it is uncertain how long inspections might take with the expectation that it will be at least another week before the convoy is allowed to roll again.

Even as the UN conservatively estimates over 2,000 citizen fatalities to date, what has not been agreed-upon is a ceasefire without which the convoy will be traversing through an exceedingly dangerous war-torn territory.  With a ceasefire nowhere in sight, Ukraine security forces have intensified their offensive shelling of residential neighborhoods in six Donetsk cities as the Kiev government is also fighting for control of the Yuzivska shale gas field.  Located near Slavyansk on the Kharkov Donetsk border, residents had organized protests against the Yuzivska  development including a planned ballot referendum.  Today, as the conflict spreads creating more casualties, the humanitarian convoy waits at the border.

With fighting in the beleaguered Luhansk, a city of over 400,000 without water and electricity for at least the last two weeks and desperately awaiting arrival of the convoy,  the alarming report of planned road attacks by one of the several neo-Nazi militias in the area continues to fan the fears of more violence.   If and when the unarmed convoy, its drivers unequipped with helmets or defensive gear crosses into Ukraine and heads for the Donbas, confronts a hostile military presence, Putin may be forced to act in a way he has so far resisted – that is, to order the Russian army into Ukraine to protect the convoy and its Russian citizens.

While NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, a rabid Russophobe, suggested that “a Russian incursion” had occurred “through a gap in a barbed wire fence that demarcates the border.” Seriously – 23 APC’s ‘through a gap in a barbed wire fence’?  The Russian Defense ministry has denied the claim as ‘fantasy’ and ‘fabrications’ and that “such statements should not be subject for a serious discussion by top officials of any country.”

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has further testified that no Russian ammunition or military has crossed the border at the two most populated checkpoints.   It is not as if the Kiev and US governments have not, in the past, provided speculative assertions of wrongdoing on the part of the ‘rebels,’ this latest narrative is more transparent than their other constructed fiction.

It is no more possible to imagine that a column of 23 Russian tanks had moved quietly across the border (through a gap of barbed wire) and into Ukraine without any detection and been so devastatingly annihilated as described without any photos of the wreckage, satellite images or other evidence on display than it would be if President Obama had missed the opportunity to provide irrefutable evidence of a Russian ‘invasion’ of Ukraine on primetime tv.   Is it reasonable to believe that the movement of that large a force of APC’s would not have immediately brought down the full wrath of the US military and NATO in an immediate apocalyptic armed response?  And yet all the major players remain strangely silent, not one word of outrage and no presidential announcement to the nation that Russia had invaded Ukraine.

As if the aforementioned crises were not enough to heighten the already fraught tensions that threaten to expand the battlefield beyond its current boundaries, the upcoming annual NATO Heads of State Summit in early September, a gesture to the dying dinosaur,  promises to add more fuel to the fire.

While it appears that the promised approval of NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine may remain on the backburner for the short term, every NATO member fully understands that the depth of Russia’s antagonism in an already volatile environment is rooted in a vehement opposition to a missile presence on its borders.

Rasmussen, who rivals US Secretary of State John Kerry’s indiscreet hyperbole offered that the summit will be a ‘turning point’ for the Alliance and that “We are at a crucial point in history: our peace and security are once again being tested …by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.”   If that was not enough to sound like a prelude to military action, then

“We will adopt an action plan to boost our readiness….  We are looking closely at the forces we need, where they should be deployed, how fast they should be able to respond and how to reinforce them”  depth of today’s Russian antagonism in an already volatile environment.

In contrast to US and NATO blathering officials who only know how to bully, cajole and speak in a coercive, threatening manner is Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.   A career diplomat, reliably erudite, poised and focused, Lavrov’s recent comments accurately nailed the Ukraine crisis as NATO’s pretext for existing:

“Previously Afghanistan helped NATO justify its being,” and “NATO is looking for a new reason to exist.”

“…when the West said that Assad can’t be a partner anymore, while we still adhered to the principle that you can’t just overthrow regimes, negotiations [are] needed”

“NATO’s policy is based on the desire to assert their will at any price.”

“And for those who do not agree, they apply sanctions… take revenge, I know no other way to call it, but avenge for independence and for the unwillingness to follow the one-sided, unipolar world.”

Renee Parsons was a staffer in the U.S. House of Representatives and a lobbyist on nuclear energy issues with Friends of the Earth.  in 2005, she was elected to the Durango City Council and served as Councilor and Mayor.  Currently, she is a member of the Treasure Coast ACLU Board.

Israeli Aggression against Palestinian in Gaza Strip

From 06-07-2014

Date of report: 17/08/2014
The total number of victims: 12,209 (2016 Martyrs, 19101 Injured)
1.  Martyrs 2. Injured
Total Number of martyrs 2016 (1552 M , 464 F) Total Number of Injured 19101 ( 5016 M , 1563 F)
Date

Number

Com. Number Date

Number

Com. Number
To 22/07

66

624

22/07

489

3993

23/07

59

683

23/07

526

4519

24/07

701

790

24/07

955

9775

25/07

60

850

25-07

676

5794

26/07

170

1020

26/07

382

6176

27/07

12

1032

27/07

57

6233

28/07

17

1093

85/01

350

6583

85/01

775

1211

85/07

313

6896

30/07

147

1358

01/00

1131

8027

31/07

60

1418

31/07

238

8265

07-08/05

891

1674

07-08/05

570

5015

03/08

129

1803

03/08

246

9324

04/08

18

7519

04/08

425

9749

05-06/08

21

1886

05-06/08

57

9806

07-08-09/08

25

1911

07-08-09/08

55

9861

70/05

78Martyrs plus 12 Not

1935

70/05

25

9886

register Before (24)

11-12/08

71 (died as a result of wounds

1951

11-12/08

307 not register

10193

, Pulled out , Not registered

before

 

13-17/08

65

2016

13-17/08

Total

2,016

Total

10,193

541

3084

500

3000

400

2500

1970

300

250

2000

200

95

1500

100

1000

368

0

500

0

Child

Women from 18 to

elderly

60

Child

Women from 18 to

elderly

60

 

Distribution of Martyrs by Age group

Distribution of Injured by Age group

  • ·
Elderly 95 ( 57 Males , 38 Females)
  • ·Elderly 368 ( 173 Males , 195 Females)
  • ·
% of children, women and Elderly 41.0%, 58.2% from
  • ·% of children, women and Elderly 54.0%
the male Adult Killed in their homes
  • ·150 injured in in UNRWA School in Bait hanoun
  • ·
13 Martyrs in UNRWA School in Bait hanoun
  • ·100 injured in in UNRWA School in Jabalia Camp
  • ·
15 Martyrs in UNRWA school in Jabalia Camp
  • ·30 Injured in UURWA School in Rafah
  • ·
10 Martyrs in UNRWA school in Rafah
Distribution of Martyrs by Governorates Distribution of Injured by Governorates
Governorate Number

%

Governorate

Number

%

 

North

343

17.0

North

3851

31.0

Gaza

455

22.6

Gaza

5185

27.5

Midzone

247

12.3

Midzone

8558

8565

Khanyounis

576

28.6

Khanyounis

8561

16.0

5

Rafah

395

19.6

Rafah

*235

263

Total

2016

100.0

Total

19101

19909

Note:  – The number of Martyrs in this report for the Martyrs which registered in Ministry of Health Hospitals.

-           There are places still under attack that the medical teams cannot reach to retrieve the dead bodies.

-           The number of injured in Rafah are not yet all registered.

 

Ukraine Crisis Continues

August 20th, 2014 by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Having served Washington’s propaganda purposes, the downed Malaysian airliner and the alleged Russian armored column that entered Ukraine and was allegedly destroyed have dropped out of the news even though both stories remain completely and totally unresolved.

Washington’s stooge government in Ukraine has not released the records of communications between Ukrainian air traffic control and Malaysian flight 17, and Washington has not released the photos from its satellite which was directly overhead at the time of the airliner’s demise.

We can safely and conclusively conclude from this purposeful withholding of evidence that the evidence does not support Washington’s and Kiev’s propaganda.

We can also safely and conclusively conclude that the Western media’s sudden disinterest in the unresolved story and failure to demand the evidence kept secret by Washington and Kiev is in keeping with the Western media’s role as a Ministry of Propaganda.

In other words, Washington and its presstitutes are protecting the lie that Washington and its media vassals successfully spread around the world and have used as the basis for further sanctions that escalate the conflict with Russia. Washington could not possibly make it clearer that Washington intends to escalate, not defuse, the conflict that Washington alone orchestrated.

Ditto for the alleged Russian armored column. The Russian government has labeled the story a fantasy, which it clearly is, but nevertheless Washington and its media vassals have left the story in place.

As English is the world language and as the European press follows the lead of the American presstitutes, the propaganda war is stacked against Russia (and China). Russian and Chinese are not world languages. Indeed, these languages are difficult for others to learn and are not well known outside the countries themselves. The Western media follows Washington’s lead, not Moscow’s or Beijing’s.

As facts are not relevant to the outcome, Moscow and Beijing are in a losing situation in the propaganda war.

The same holds for diplomacy. Washington does not engage in diplomacy. The exceptional country uses bribes, threats, and coercion. The Russian government’s diplomatic efforts come to naught. As Russian President Putin has complained, “Washington doesn’t listen, the West doesn’t hear us.”

And yet the Russian government continues to try to deal with the Ukrainian situation with facts and diplomacy. This approach is proving to be very costly to the residents of the former Russian territories in eastern and southern Ukraine. These people are being killed by air and artillery strikes against their homes and infrastructure. Large numbers of these people have been displaced by the Ukrainian attacks and are refugees in Russia. The Western media does not report the violence that Washington’s stooge government in Kiev is inflicting on these people. The Western media speaks only with Washington’s voice: “It is all Russia’s fault.”

The crisis would have been prevented if the Russian government had accepted the provinces request to be reunited with Russia as in the case of Crimea. However, the Russian government decided to avoid any decision that Washington could misrepresent as “invasion and annexation,” thinking that Europe would see Russia’s unprovocative behavior as reassuring and resist Washington’s pressure to enter into conflict with Russia.

In my opinion the Russian government over-estimated the power of diplomacy in the West. Washington is interested in fomenting crises, not in resolving them.

In the 23 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union, many Russians have been of the opinion that Washington, not the Soviet government, was the party to be trusted in the Cold War. What the Russian government has learned recently is that Washington cannot be trusted and that the Soviet government’s suspicions of the West were very well founded.

Kiev’s military assault on eastern and southern Ukraine is not going to stop because Europeans finally see the light and object. Europeans not only stood aside for 13 years while Washington bombed civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Pakistan, Yemen, and organized outside forces to attack Syrians, while isolating Iran for military attack, but also actively participated in the attacks. Europe has stood aside while Israel has massacred Palestinians on numerous occasions. For Russia to rely on Europe’s moral conscience is to rely on something that does not exist.

The continued slaughter and destruction of the Russian populations in eastern and southern Ukraine will eventually demoralize the Russian people and undermine their support of Putin’s government for failing to halt it. The Russian government’s acceptance of the slaughter makes Russia look weak and encourages more aggression against Russia.

If the Russian government intends to resolve its problems in Ukraine and to forestall
Washington’s ability to further erode Russia’s political and economic relationships with Europe with more sanctions, the Russian government will have to turn to more forceful measures.

In Ukraine the Russian government has two alternatives. One is to announce that the ongoing slaughter and the unresponsiveness of Kiev and its Western backers to Russia’s efforts to end the killing with a diplomatic settlement has caused Russia to reconsider the provinces’ requests to be reunited with Russia and that any further attacks on these territories will be regarded as attacks on Russia and be met with a devastating military response.

The other alternative is for Putin to meet privately with Washington’s stooge and convey to the corrupt oligarch that enough is enough and that if the attacks continue Russia will accept the requests for reunification and protect the provinces. Putin would explain to Washington’s stooge that if he wants to retain the former Russian territories as part of Ukraine, he will have to work out satisfactory arrangements with the provinces. In other words, Putin would deliver an ultimatum, one that required an immediate answer so that the stooge couldn’t run to Washington and Washington would not have time to create a new propaganda.

Karl Marx regarded morality as a rationale for class interests. As each class created a morality to justify its interests, there was no basis for good will between people. With reform impossible, violence becomes the only effective method of change. Washington has its own version of Marx’s doctrine. As the exceptional country, history has chosen the US to prevail over other countries’ interests. Prevailing rules out diplomacy which requires compromise. Therefore, Washington, like Marx, relies on violence.

The Russian government cannot rely on diplomacy and good will if the West is relying on violence.

Perhaps s solution could be found by President Putin meeting separately with Merkel and Hollande and explaining that Russia cannot indefinitely accept sanctions based on lies and propaganda without taking more determined steps than Russian sanctions against European agricultural products. Putin could make it clear that if Europe continues to accommodate Washington’s assault on Russia, the flow of energy could be restricted or be turned off.

Additionally, President Putin might explain to the European leaders that the dynamics of Washington’s campaign to demonize Russia can escape control and result in war that would devastate Europe. Putin could tell Europeans that by disassociating from Washington’s foreign policy and adopting foreign policies that serve their own interests instead of Washington’s, Europeans have nothing to lose but their chains of vassalage.

Putin could explain to Europeans that Russia is prepared to guarantee Europe’s security and, therefore, that Europe does not need Washington’s guarantee against a nonexistent Russian threat.

If this very reasonable and diplomatic approach to Europe fails, then Russia and China know that they must prepare for war.

The Discovery Channel has been doing a yeoman’s service in visually capturing day-to-day activities of dangerous animals and rare birds in forests untouched by human footfalls, animals living in depths of oceans and animals facing extinction threat.It has been winning laurels for reconstructing the life of tribals and the tribals living in dwellings built on trees, piercing into the areas unknown to the world and untouched by the sunny rays.

(By the way, we can set aside the criticism made by certain media that the channel is stage-managing such rare scenes in their studios and sets.)

However, the magnificence of such rare depictions of animals and tribals cannot camouflage the channel’s failure to speak about animal rights and analyse the reasons for the miseries of the tribals, political factors behind their woes and about the tribal rights.

Recently, I was stunned by its show “Future Weapons” which looked like a precursor to the future war. The programme just unfolded warfare technologies, a massive line-up of new weapons and a wonderful demonstration of their range and power of throwing humanity in a tailspin. Moreover, it beamed attractive talks by the hero who introduced the weapons and by the experts of the new weapon technology. All set in Tamil, the phantasmagoria cast a spell and stirred a psychological lure towards weapons.

Just hear the eloquent talk given by former Navy SEAL (United States Navy, Sea, Air and Land Forces) Mr.Mack Machowicz.

“Now begins the next phase of warfare. A deadly array of new weapons is coming towards you. There is no place for hiding. The deadly weapons ranging from revolving guns to the supersonic jet fighters are surging ahead, leaving you no place at all to hide. More gripping is the fact that you cannot anticipate from where the enemies attack you. If you think you can be safe either in bunkers or behind shielding metal sheets or behind walls, you will have to reconsider your complacency for you are falling straight under the eyes of the targeting Panzer Howitzer.

“Do you know how more ingenious and more lethal the weapons of tomorrow will be? There are highly skilled and dangerous warfare technologies that have started dominating the warfare of the 21st century. And there are missiles which could find and attack their targets on their own’’.  (Discovery.com/Future Weapons).

For whom are all these? I was left confused.

“These future weapons have an unimaginable range, power and precision. They would spy on the enemy’s hide-outs with an alacrity and spotting them in a flash, smash them beyond recognition. The weapons would remain undefeatable in any war ‘’

Thus flow the glories of the new warfare technology.

Who is the so-called enemy?

While it is obvious that anybody can buy these sublime weapons, it goes without saying that only those who cannot afford such weapons are the enemies. Hence, it boils down to the fact that the Discovery Channel has set up a weapons’ market.

Feeling restive, I began searching for more details about these weapons in the Discovery Channel Website called Future Weapons. There a gigantic mine of weaponry kept staring in my very face.

In the website http://dsc.discovery.com/tv/future-weapons/weapons/zone2/, the technological expertise and advancement of the ‘Future Weapons” are shown in greater detail with the help of a special software of the Discovery Channel. And, with the help of a virtual screen designed by X-Ray-like accessories, the in-and-outs of weapons and missiles are shown and the data of the specific computer technology used in the making of the ‘future weapons’ , their finesse and intricacies are all being laid bare on the small screen. The length, breadth, width, height, weight and appearance of these weapons and missiles from different angles and in different postures are all colourfully and meticulously displayed.

The dissolving scenes in quick succession teach the viewers the ways and means of handling the weapons and instill in us a sense of satisfaction as if we have learnt it very well and have become experts in weaponry. When we see with our own eyes the heroic, fabulous deeds of the ‘future weapons’ we are given the choice of selecting a suitable site(!) for us – the Land or Water or Space – and there the actions of the future weapons would take place ‘so magnificently’ right in front of your eyes.

These are no shadow fights or the likes of video games or computer games. They represent the real wars that are taking place around us. It is a psychological fantasy whereby your soul is fixed in the ‘warfare’ and the battle-zones become our own and not of someone else; they happen not somewhere else, but in our very midst.

Let the Internet allow anything to happen. We have no qualms. But, television is something which has become part and parcel of ordinary people’s lives and hence screening such deadly programmes on the small screen is highly condemnable.

From that day on, I was gripped by the frenzy of a thirst for rare matters.

Everyone must have his or her own childhood driven crazy by frenetic ideas about gun. So, quite naturally, I too was driven by zeal to watch and read the programme on the Discovery Channel every week. It is very evident that this programme has been designed in such a way that it attracts the viewers’ attention at once and also stirs the minds of those who have just elementary and  superficial knowledge of war.

The show gives a detailed account of advantages and benefits of the technical expertise of these deadly weapons and they also highlight at length the differences and similarities between the weapons of the present and the weapons of the future.

To drive home the destructive power of a particular weapon, its capability of withstanding destructive onslaughts and its power of causing colossal damage, scenes of targets lying in a shambles are shown. Instead of offering mere numbers and data, the host and makers of future weapons present life-like demonstrations and explain at length the physics of attacking strategies or withstanding capacities of the weapons.

The host’s attractive speech casts a spell on viewers.

Modern warfare is about creeping up on your target unseen. To be invincible, it’s good to be invisible. The notorious predator, the silent aerial assassin, has taken possession of the skies.

You just watch what happens when the formidable Barrett M107 rifle, loaded with new military-grade munitions, outsnipes the sniper from a distance of nearly two miles.

In a breathtaking display of firepower, this episode of ‘Future Weapons’ reveals the most powerful conventional weapons yet devised. Capable of unleashing a million rounds a minute, Metal Storm is the most destructive automatic gun ever created. The Thermobaric bomb is designed to use a lethal combination of flame, pressure and suffocation. This state-of-the-art bomb reaches deep into caves, creating an enormous bone-crushing blast, which is quickly followed by a firestorm that leaves nothing but charred landscape in its wake. The Multiple Rocket Launch System fires off a barrage of missiles against its target with such ferocity and speed that it guarantees total destruction. At the place where stood an army before, only shadows stay now.

As former chief of Navy, Mr.Mack Machowiczis quite familiar with the seamy side of the sneaky technology. He dwells at length on the weapons to be used in the wars to come. More sinister and subtle than anything that’s been seen before, these weapons can destroy entire cities in the blink of an eye. The EMP bomb paralyzes a city with an invisible electromagnetic pulse, sending civilization back into the dark ages.

The LRAD weapon strikes down human targets with low frequency noise and powerful lasers take the place of bombs and bullets, when a laser mounted in a plane incinerates other planes and ground targets at the speed of light. The future has set in! (Discovery.com/Future Weapons)

Is the future so gruesome and horrible? Ninetynine per cent of those who view the Discovery Channel programmes are children and teenagers.

People like Ms.RadhikaKoomarasami, the Special Representative of U.N. Assembly, who have been constantly raising their voices against the practice of turning children into militants and engaging them in warfare, should spell out their views on this programme.

A debate is raging in international courts and research forums on criminal laws about how and under what circumstances individuals can be allowed to use weapons. Internet is flooded with articles about practical laws and norms on the use of deadly weapons like gun. International scholars are analyzing the practical differences between those using guns and those not using them.

Martin Killas, J. Vankestern and M. Rindlisbacher of the U.S. have traveled in 21 countries and collected evidences and published a long research (‘’Guns, violence, crime and suicide in 21 countries’’).  The origin of gun-related violence, murders and suicide lies in those wielding guns, says their research in a condemnatory tone.

Every country, in order to safeguard its sovereignty, uses guns as a fundamental right to suppress any attempt to interfere in its governance, any civil strife and any resurrectionist warfare. However, it so happens sometimes that in times of political turmoil, the nations are forced to forego this fundamental right.

Countries which violate the international rules on arms and those defeated in wars are subjected to severe arms embargo. However, branding such controls and punitive actions as invalid, those countries keep sticking to their guns, saying that they operate within the limits of their sovereignty.

There are several civil rights movements in America which propagate the idea that possession of arms like gun is their civil right. But outfits like National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) support laws on control of arms. Furthermore, the NAACP filed a suit against gun manufacturers in 2003.

Their case is that the manufacturing organisations put on sale hand-guns and thereby disturb public peace and have an ulterior motive of instigating violence in black-dominated belts. Moreover, ‘special guns’ are put up for sale on Saturdays with attractive offers and ads as if they were consumer goods; the motive behind it is cruel, says the then chief of NAACP, Mr.Kweisi Mfume.

By targeting black-dominated areas for sales, these arms manufactures and salesmen instil in the minds of the downtrodden people an image of sleeper cell. A person who turns into a sleeper cell must have been affected by the society which has been moulded by government and its power. In his psyche there must be raging an anger at the society and at the government. Cashing in on the burning ire and turning him into an agent, these arms merchants carry on their business with finesse.

“By allowing people to buy arms as they wish and use them as per their whims and fancies, we have created an environment of violence and hatred’’, said critically the Blacks’ leader Martin Luther King.

But Buddhist leader Dalai Lama said, “when a person advances towards you, wielding a gun, you had better shoot back with your gun’’. (In May, 2001, when he was in Portland on a three-day visit, interacting with the students of a high school, he made the observation. However, he qualified his statement, saying that you should shoot back, aiming at just legs and hands and other limbs in such a way that life is not harmed. But most of the media did not heed this part of his statement.http://www.snopes.com/politics/guns/We can find the host of the programme, “Future Weapons’’, Mr.Mack Machowicz’s identification of himself as a heroic representative of Zen.

I don’t know how this programme will be useful to ordinary people. Must it not have targeted the audience consisting of rulers of countries, war lieutenants and war consultants? The organisers of the programme may justify it, saying that it is aimed at creating an awareness of weapons. But actually what it does is to strike fear and anxiety about future among viewers.It is not a sci-fi film, just to be watched and forgotten; rather a long celluloid document unfolding arms in blood and flesh so realistically drawn up that it sinks into the psyche of the audience.

Moreover, by explaining the relevance of that technology to the day-to-day circumstances, they pave the way for the audience to use the weapons and their other instruments in their day-to-day life. The audience have a feeling that they have gained an exclusive entry into the arms labs conducted by the Government and the private sector. They get to know even the names of the makers of the future arms technology of the U.S.

A lady, who was one of the designers of such future weapons, says, “I am a Vietnamese refugee and I came out after having experienced the cruelties of war.’’  She adds with a note of pride that she has designed the weapon as part of her long-term goal in life.

World arts and literature and life documents usually say that those who put behind themselves the memories of war do progress towards peace. But this lady’s statement sounds contrary. Hers is a voice that does not sound like that of  someone who has come out of the wheels of war weapons, but that of a diplomatic sales representative of war arms.

Yamaguchi, who survived the Hiroshima nuclear bombing, has actively functioned as a protester of the lethal politics of nuclear science to the end. In an interview, he said, “Had bombs been flung at Hiroshima once in 20 minutes till now, how many bombs would have been thrown? Now, the world has that mind-boggling number of bombs. What does it mean? They are operating, with government support, in the world of destructive science through nuclear reactors, radiation agriculture etc. We have to construct a science for peace. I have witnessed nuclear bombing twice in my life, living as a remnant of the disasters. Now, there should not be a third such catastrophe; it is my fervent appeal’’

The Discovery Channel show is only a technique of pushing human rights groups carrying on a moral fight, scattered all over the world,to the next stage.

That only big nations can wage a war slows down the weapon trade. Moreover, there are other obstacles such as the United Nations, Amnesty International, human rights conventions against war, Nuremberg trials, Geneva conference model laws, international criminal courts etc. So, they are of no use. In order to expand the trade business, Third World countries’ small groups should be targeted.

In the Discovery Channel show, one can find the image of Vietnamese refugee deliberately manipulated as an undercurrent. One should mull over the subtle political dimensions inbuilt here. Anti-Americanism is an omnipresent image all over the world. Hence, they deftly load a metaphor of weaponry on the exploding skill of an affected person.

Not only that, they also present a demonstration of how to target the terrorists hiding in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan. That shows not only a mercantile attitude oriented towards sales, but also the cruel face of the imperialism, which always describes the terrorists as Mulsims.

Thus this programme has to be seen from several perspectives.

Just watch the way the weapon named MOAB is introduced.

“The MOAB, mother of atom bombs, weighs 18,000 kg. If we have it in our possession, that itself will be a threat to the enemies. Before the Iraq war, it was tested. At the mere trial explosion, Iraq suffered a setback and Saddam Qussein declined’’.

In fact, this is not the voice of the programme host, but that of the American imperialism.

Piecing together all the chapters of this serial programme, still more issues may come to the fore.

The following are the 13 chapters:

1.No Place To Hide 2.Stealth 3.Maximum Impact 4.Future Shock 5.Smart Weapons 6.The Power of Fear . The Second Series had thirteen episodes – 1. Search and Destroy 2. The Protectors 3. No Escape 4. Mission Invisible 5.Front Line 6.First Strike 7.Predators 8.Top Guns 9.Smart Destroyers 10. Close Quarter Combat 11. Immediate Action 12.Future Combat 13.Massive Attack.

The programme unfolds not in the usual matter-of-fact or documentary style. It creates a life-like appearance in order to sensationalize the multi-faceted dimensions of the future arms trade. By showing battlefields at every available opportunity, it puts forward a rare vision, providing an answer to the riddles about war hidden in man’s mind and to his search for arms. The compere explains which of the everyday happenings in man’s life becomes precious and costly.

It is a serial telecast every week. Each episode throws lights on a variety of weapons in all their dimensions, bringing into focus the defensive and offensive technologies. The scenes delving deep into the qualities of weapons unfold before us, loaded with well-chosen poetic wordsand with a language bubbling with emotions and intuitions, grabbing the viewers’ riveting attention.

The scene that shows the charred landscape in the bone-shattering and cave-piercing destruction wrought by the deadly weapon called Thermobaric which mixes in right  proportions flames, pressure and gasping…..

“Superb’’

“Excellent’’

“Marvellous’’

“The precise bouncing of a hunting animal on its prey’’

“The unmatched friend of this century’’

The show “Future Weapons’’ thus shines with this kind of attractive language used in the encomiums showered on it.

This smashes to the smithereens the dream of world citizens about a warless world and generation.

Browsing the Internet with an eye for the global media’s perspective of this programme, I found most of the journals have projected the programmehost as a superman. A few journals have elevated him to the status of a Zen philosopher with a modern outlook.

“An extremist-like quality is seen in this man who insists on being called Mack (Mecovis), that is, a Zen master. However, he does hardly match the image of an usual Zen priest. He says such a customary general image of Zen is per se wrong. He narrates the story of Rinzai, one of the best Zen masters, who always wields a stick in order to jolt his students out of their reverie ‘’ writes the Police journal.

Man Institute has conducted an elaborate research in this regard. It says: “We have to realize on several occasions that as human beings, we smash something and destroy it. The activities such as smashing something, exploding something, and setting fire to it have been resorted to by macho men from time immemorial. Burning of ants through microscope, playing the game of accident through car toys and hammer and smashing a building and adopting an aerial technology…. In all  these things, man has been exhibiting an exciting destructive urge.

However, this should not be misconstrued as a theory that we are all murderers. We should not be tempted to think that we are all incendiary beings or having such destructive qualities.

Have you known Mack who, pointing out to certain targets, reveals the action-oriented power of some new weapons and arsenals which are still in an experimental stage?

I believe that reading of Mack will stir the essence of libidinal urges. If everyman is bubbling with masculinity like Mack, the world would have been far more elevated.

Supermen like Richard Machowicz are essential to provide equilibrium to life or the world.  Congrats, Mack!’’  (Tim: Man Institute. Com)

“The Discovery Channel show, ‘Future Weapons’, puts on display the future technology’’, says M. Clauper in his elaborate article in the Web magazine Associatedcontent.com.

It is not clear whether any other media have raised a voice of protest against the  show. My web search has not brought to my notice anything on the count.

It is mysterious why forward thinkers, media theorists, crusaders against war, peace activists, human rights champions and art and literary personalities have been turning a Nelson’s eye to the subtle politics running as an undercurrent of this show. Probably, do country cousins like me miss the superb quality of this show?

Gouthama Siddarthan is a noted columnist, short-story writer, essayist and a micro-political critic in Tamil, who is a reputed name in the Tamil neo-literary circle. He can be reached at [email protected]

Translated by: Maharathi

Web links used as resources for this article:
http://dsc.discovery.com/tv/future-weapons
http://ManInstitute.com
http://Associatedcontent.com
http://policemag.com

http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/other-shows/videos/other-shows-future-weapons-videos.htm ]

When award winning journalist Jeremy Scahill landed at Mogadishu’s International Airport in the summer of 2011 Somalia was in the midst of its worst drought and famine in 60 years. Yet when Mr. Scahill reported on his visit he seemed blissfully unaware of the hundreds of Somalis that were starving to death every day not very many miles from the hotel where he was staying.

He also didn’t write about the food and medical aid blockade being imposed on Somalis next door in the Ogaden by the western supported Ethiopian regime, something the International Federation of Jurists (IFJ) has called “a genocide” and demanded the ICC prosecute.

The UN has admitted that at least 250,000 Somalis in Somalia proper starved to death during the famine Jeremy Scahill landed in the midst of, something I had predicted when I exposed that the UN, knowing full well the extent of the drought, had budgeted less then 10 cents a day for food to feed the starving.

The Great Horn of Africa Famine started at the beginning of 2011 and lasted about 2 years. 250,000 dead in Somalia from starvation equals 10,000 dying a month, 300 or more dying a day on average. And this just in Somalia where there was aid being distributed. Next door in the Ogaden, with a population of almost as many as in Somalia the same famine was raging and no aid what so ever was being allowed.

“Genocide or drones, what’s more important?”

Even Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and the Red Cross (ICRC) had been expelled from the Ogaden by the Ethiopian Regime, the Prime Minister of which was later eulogized at his funeral by none other than Susan Rice, presently National Security Advisor to Barack Obama.

If Jeremy Scahill didn’t know about the hundreds that were dying from starvation every day all around him when he was carrying out his “investigative journalism” in Mogadishu in the summer of 2011 than the question has to be asked “Why not?”

If he knew about this enormous crime against humanity and instead chose to write about “secret CIA prisons” and the murder of several hundred via the USA’s drone assassination program in the Horn of Africa, a much “sexier” topic, shouldn’t other investigative journalists be questioning his priorities? Genocide or drones, what’s more important?

Today Mr. Scahill picks up a paycheck signed by Pierre Omidyar who persists in trying to rape the lush tropical hillside overlooking Hanalei Bay on Kauai, Hawaii by developing multimillion dollar estates for his fellow 1%.

The real dirty wars in Africa remain unknown to the world’s peoples, thanks in part to a smokescreen, how ever blissfully ignorant or well intended, about drones and high tech murders that diverted attention from the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Africans, whose “expiration by starvation” was sanctioned by the highest levels of the Obama White House.

Thomas C. Mountain is a life long revolutionary activist and educator who has been living and writing from Eritrea since 2006. He can be reached at thomascmountain at g mail dot com.

Is Hamas that Stupid … Or Are They Being Framed?

The West looks at Hamas as the aggressor in Gaza, because of the numerous rockets fired into Israel.

But undercover Israeli soldiers admitted in 2005 to throwing stones at other Israeli soldiers so they could blame it on Palestinians, as an excuse to crack down on peaceful protests by the Palestinians.

And Israel blamed Hamas for the kidnapping and murder of 3 Israeli boys, but later admitted that Hamas wasn’t responsible.

In addition, Israel admits that an Israeli terrorist cell operating in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including U.S. diplomatic facilities, then left behind “evidence” implicating the Arabs as the culprits (one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to identify the bombers, and several of the Israelis later confessed) (and see this and this).

Indeed, countries from around the world have admitted to carrying out “false flag” attacks by killing their own people, and framing their enemies for the attacks.

Hamas has repeatedly denied launching rockets against Israel violating brokered ceasefires. For example, Hamas denied firing rockets:

Hamas has certainly admitted to firing rockets in the past.  And some Gazans have made statements to reporters showing that they are completely out of touch with reality. For example, one Gazan said that – by firing rockets – the world would have more empathy with the Palestinian position.

But the question is whether Hamas is stupid enough to do so in the face of brokered ceasefires … or whether at least some of the rocket attacks are false flags in order to discredit the Palestinians.

Postscript:   In any event, the Washington DC based non-profit group The Jerusalem Fund has documented that Israel breaks far more ceasefires than Palestine.

There is always context – the larger gestalt of any given time. The sixties are symbolized by Birmingham, Selma, Little Rock. Both racial divides and historic photographs are frozen in black and white of menacing police, German shepherds, water hoses. Whether we add Ferguson, Missouri, to this lexicon of moments defining African-America—and America—will depend largely on whether or not the courage on display in Ferguson is isolated or is conveyed through progressive action to the wider population.

The persistence of the Ferguson uprising has the signature of something larger and deeper, with hundreds of citizens giving new meaning to the universal sign of surrender, by lifting their arms—not in capitulation—but in refusing surrender. Chanting, “Don’t shoot!” protesters invoke the last words of police-murdered-teenager Michael Brown, executed by a white police officer who hit him with at least six shots—Brown’s unarmed hands raised in the air.

This time the images come in hi-definition and real time. Sharp against the police officer’s pant legs straddling it we can see the almost green cast to the German shepherd’s fur and muscled, gloved white arms holding the leash. This time there is little discernible difference between the occupying military equipment we have seen deployed in Middle East occupied war zones and the bullet-proof, cammo vests marked “POLICE” in bold letters on the back, with tanks, personnel carries and snipers training tripod-steadied, high-powered rifles on the protesters.

The acquittal of George Zimmerman in the 2012 murder of 17 year-old Trayvon Martin is as good a place as any to look for the underpinnings of this uprising. That decision sent an undeniable message that the Supreme Court’s 1857 Dred Scott v. Sanfohttps://medium.com/message/ferguson-is-also-a-net-neutrality-issue-6d2f3db51eb0rd decision remains solidly in place. Chief Justice Roger Taney issued the court’s opinion:

“[African Americans] had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit. He was bought and sold, and treated as an ordinary article of merchandise and traffic, whenever a profit could be made by it.”

Black people summarized as “it.”

Not surprisingly, after Dred Scott 3,500 African-Americans were lynched from 1882 to 1920. The country transitioned through one historic epoch to another: Reconstruction, Jim Crow, segregation, the Civil Rights movement and now into our so-called current “post-racial” period where one black man is killed by police or vigilantes every 28 hours. Dred Scott’s core values—the very DNA of racism—remain largely the same. African-Americans have no rights that white men or white women are bound to respect.

Predictable outgrowths of the Brown murder are the arrests and injuries that have occurred as a result of the popular resistance by both the citizens of Missouri and people who have traveled there to stand in solidarity with the embattled community. Mya Aaten-White, for example, a graduate of Howard University, was shot in the head by St. Louis police while she peacefully protested Brown’s murder. The police initially tried to blame that attempted murder on a drive by shooter.

From Palestine to Nigeria the Brown case has captivated the global community for two striking reasons: its exposing escalation in police violence targeting the public; and its revealing African-Americans communities as occupied territories. The illusion that white supremacy is dead and African-Americans integrated into US society is only sustained during periods of détente. Quiet for quiet as the saying goes. During periods of the citizenry rebelling against violence, repression and racism, the state exercises the full range of its fine-adjusting tools, including tanks, armored vehicles and swat/assassination teams armed with precision weaponry.

Such is the history of previous up-risings. In July 1964 Harlem and Rochester, New York, erupted a week apart; Watts went up in 1965; Detroit, in 1967; Washington, DC, in 1968, Los Angeles, in 1992. Patterns emerged where black overseers in the form of police officials and political talking heads get dutifully deployed—in hope of quashing the insurrection while scrambling for the crumbs that may fall from their master’s table once the tear gas dissipates and the carnage is hosed away. The usual suspects converge again in Ferguson.

Brown’s is the latest in an alarming series of murders and public humiliations inflicted over a short period of time on the African American community. On August 5, four days before the police execution of Michael Brown, John Crawford III, a 22 year-old Ohio man was murdered by police while shopping in Walmart. He reportedly picked up a toy rifle within the store while talking on his cell phone. Shoppers in the store were alarmed by seeing Crawford with the toy gun. Police were called and opened fired. John Crawford died at a local hospital, his death ruled a homicide by the coroner’s office. Predictably, Crawford officials refuse to release the surveillance tape to his family.

Eric Garner was murdered during an arrest by New York City police on July 22, 2014. The Staten Island man and father of six was placed in an illegal chokehold which triggered an asthma attack. Video shows Garner struggling to tell the police that he could not breathe. Nevertheless, the police continued to choke him until he was unresponsive. His death has been ruled a homicide by the New York Medical Examiner’s Office. Garner’s alleged “crime” was that he was selling untaxed individual cigarettes. When police approached him he simply asked why he was being harassed. His life was the answer to that reasonable question.

An Arizona professor, Ersula Ore was walking down the street after teaching her English class at Arizona State University. In order to avoid a construction zone, she walked around the site in the street. A campus police officer stopped her and when she questioned him as to why she was being charged, the officer threw her on the ground and handcuffed her. During an interview on CNN’s New Day, Ore was asked about the incident.

“I think I did what I was supposed to do. I was respectful. I asked for clarification. I asked to be treated with respect, and that was it.”

Ore faces charges of assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, failing to provide ID and obstructing a public thoroughfare. Arizona State University has sided with the campus police over its faculty, a situation that might be considered bazaar were it not a case of a black woman being attacked by a white man. Michael Brown was executed for the same “offense” of walking down the street.

Renisha McBride, 19, was murdered on November 2, 2013 outside her hometown of Detroit, Michigan. The brutality of Renisha’s murder has shocked even veteran urban dwellers. The accused murderer, Theodore Wafer, 54, literally shot Renisha’s head off with a 12-gauge shotgun through his locked screened door.

As in the Brown case, the police department rushed to criminalize the victim. Instead of investigating what role racism played in this tragedy, media reporting Renisha’s death have focused on autopsy results that indicate elevated alcohol levels and a trace of cannabis. McBride’s attorney responded: “I don’t think the fact that she was intoxicated changes anything,” he said. “The bottom line is, he should’ve called 911 when he heard a disturbance, and we know for a fact that the police would’ve been there in two minutes. Instead, he did the reverse. He took his shotgun, went on the porch, blew her head off and then called 911.”

Wafer was recently convicted of second degree murder and manslaughter—little consolation for her loved ones. Still, one must wonder if a zero-tolerance for racism may have spared Renisha’s life had her murderer been ingrained with the belief that in America it is not okay to kill black people.

And finally, the country witnessed another case of gruesome police brutality. In broad daylight a California Highway Patrolman without fear of punishment viciously beat a homeless black woman. Onlookers drove past in cars and pedestrians watched. In this case, the victim was pummeled lying face up on the ground on the side of a Los Angeles freeway. Not surprisingly, the Highway Patrol refused to answer questions about the incident. It was only after a pedestrian’s video of the incident went viral that the police parroted a statement about conducting an investigation. The list of crimes against African-Americans goes on and on even as the arsenals arrayed against them escalates beyond control.

Ferguson experienced that arsenal in the aftermahttps://medium.com/message/ferguson-is-also-a-net-neutrality-issue-6d2f3db51eb0th of Brown’s summary execution when the police brought SWAT teams and heavy military equipment into that suburban American neighborhood. When the police realized the optics of their operation were all wrong they brought in, predictably, Officer Friendly—Highway Patrol Captain, Ron Johnson—to mollify the mobs. At first, Capt. Johnson found warm receptivity with the residents as he walked along Ferguson’s streets with them on Saturday listening to their pain. This came on the heels of calls for restraint from the Brown family, the president, religious and other cultural leaders after the heavy-handed military deployment failed.

By Sunday night Officer Friendly had abandoned his conciliatory overtures in favor of branding the uprising on Sunday night, “shootings, vandalism and other acts of violence that clearly appear not to have been spontaneous but premeditated criminal acts…The catalyst was not civil disobedience, but pre-planned agitation.”

What a difference a day makes. Gone was Officer Friendly, replaced by statements one would sooner expect form Lester Maddox.

There are in Ferguson’s symbolism motifs from other epic struggles: the lone protester who stopped a file of tanks in Tianamen Square. Tahrir Square’s fruit vendor. The people of Gaza standing defiantly in the rubble from Operation Protective Edge in opposition to vastly superior force, refusing the demand of “quiet for quiet.” Instead, after a week of unrest, the people who have taken to the streets remain determined—even to death—in their pursuit of justice.

Ferguson has already waged a good fight. Without the well-deserved support of a broad left/right coalition that can see this as a moment when the powerless outstrip the powerful, Michael Brown’s name can be added to the anonymous statistics and meaningless deaths of African-Americans at the mercy of a merciless system. Ferguson throws itself against the iron gate of that system. It is up to the rest of us to see that gate gets flown wide open.

Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo is the author of No FEAR: A Whistleblowers Triumph over Corruption and Retaliation at the EPA is available through amazon.com and the National Whistleblower Center. Dr. Coleman-Adebayo worked at the EPA for 18 years and blew the whistle on a US multinational corporation that endangered vanadium mine workers. Marsha’s successful lawsuit lead to the introduction and passage of the first civil rights and whistleblower law of the 21st century: the Notification of Federal Employees Anti-discrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 (No FEAR Act). She is Director of Transparency and Accountability for the Green Shadow Cabinet. www.marshacoleman-adebayo.com.

Kevin Berends is Director of Communication, No FEAR Institute, co-founder of Lake Affect Magazine and producer of the independent television program streetlevel.

According to D. Inder Comar, attorney in the case,

“In the latest round of court papers in Saleh v. Bush, Case No. 3:13-cv-1124 JST (N.D. Cal. Mar. 13, 2013), the United States has argued that the holdings from the Nuremberg Tribunal have ‘neither estoppel nor preclusive effect’ and are ‘irrelevant’ to the question of whether US officials are immune from suit based on allegations of aggression.

“The United States continues to maintain that former Bush Administration officials are subject to dismissal based on a domestic law, the Westfall Act, that shields government officials from civil lawsuits for activities undertaken during the scope of an official’s employment.

“Saleh argues that defendants Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rice, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz acted outside the scope of their authority in planning and waging the Iraq War, which she contents was done in violation of US and international law. Specifically, she contends that the defendants committed aggression against Iraq, which was outlawed by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, Germany, over 60 years ago.

“The Court has also reset the hearing date from September 11, 2014, to November 13, 2014 in the Northern District of California.”

See this brief from the United States government (PDF).

An alleged provocateur was caught throwing bricks at Ferguson, Mo., riot cops while hiding behind peaceful demonstrators who were being assaulted by the police.

At the time, the cops were forcibly removing protestors from public areas and one heavily-armed officer even threatened to kill a journalist at one point.

Police officials use provocateurs, who are often employed by the government, as justification for erecting a police state in which law-abiding citizens suffer the most.

On 5 August, The New York Times published an article by its Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren headlined “Civilian or Not? New Fight in Tallying the Dead From the Gaza Conflict.”

In discussing the statistics of casualties, Rudoren brings into question the data produced by Al Mezan Center for Human Rights’ work and undermines our credibility through errors of fact and misrepresentations.

Al Mezan is an internationally recognized human rights organization that monitored attacks on the Palestinian population of Gaza during Israel’s latest military operation. Distorting our credibility undermines our work with possible repercussions for the thousands of victims that we represent. Rudoren’s conjectures serve to perpetuate the public relations message by Israel that there is no proof as to direct and disproportionate attacks on Palestinian civilians by Israeli forces. Our work shows that there is.

Uncorrected claim

The first error lies in a statement that we were correcting previous news releases at the time of the Times’ interview, which implies that we issue false information and then update it later. The Times issued a correction to this false claim.

Secondly, and left uncorrected, is the claim that included in the list of Palestinian fatalities by Israeli forces are deaths from natural causes and domestic violence. The point was not directly attributed to Al Mezan in the article but to human rights groups. As the most quoted source and the only one in the relevant context, the connection to Al Mezan is assumed. The link is not at all tenuous in Rudoren’s tweets, where she directly named Al Mezan as the source.

The eastern Gaza City neighborhood of Shujaiya, destroyed by Israeli bombing and shelling, photographed on 16 August. (Ashraf Amra / APA images)

Rudoren insisted that Mr. Samir Zaqout, Al Mezan’s monitoring director, made this statement and she refused to correct the error in the article or on her Twitter account. Only when a Times colleague, who was present in the interview, confirmed that Zaqout did not make the statement did she agree to correct her tweet, five days after the error was made. Rudoren and The New York Times have refused to correct it in the article.

Severe distortion

Thirdly, and viewed as both a misguided perspective and a factual error, is Rudoren’s conjecture that some combatants have been mislabelled as civilians. The article provides inaccurate definitions of combatant and civilian, which severely distorts for readers the rights of those killed and the responsibilities of the government of Israel.

She categorized hundreds of victims aged between 15 and 17 as adults, in contravention with one of the most established international standards in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states that persons under the age of 18 are children. Such reckless statements are not evidenced and endanger the legal standing of civilian victims.

The documentation of violations reported by Al Mezan is up to internationally recognized legal standards. Fatalities caused by Israeli forces would only be categorized as such after Al Mezan’s trained field workers visited the site of the attack and collected evidence and testimonies. Further, Al Mezan has a standard procedure for dealing with suspicious cases, involving a thorough site assessment and cross checking of information. No suspicious cases are added to the list until the suspicion has been removed to the satisfaction of our rules.

Rudoren deemed “impressive” the work of an Israeli group that gathered its information indirectly and without interviewing any witnesses. The group also analyzed only 152 of the then-1,800 victims.

Reality

When Al Mezan contacted Rudoren, she refused to correct the second factual error in the article, which was one of a number of errors and misinterpretations on the situation in Gaza that will lead to misunderstandings for any reader without a window into the reality of the situation on the ground.

Serious journalists would bridge the gap between events on the ground and concerned citizens around the world. Rudoren completely failed to do so. Given the limited coverage of Israel’s then one-month-long attack on the Gaza Strip by the Times and the many unsubstantiated claims relayed by Israeli and international media, we consider the interview between Rudoren and Zaqout to be a lost opportunity.

Working in Gaza, Al Mezan and other distinguished human rights organizations are at the receiving end of Israeli attacks. On the ground, and following thorough investigations, evidence had been collected that Israel violated the basic rules of international law in hundreds of armed attacks.

In particular, the failure to distinguish between military and civilian targets is exemplified in over 850 attacks on houses, many of which were populated, and other attacks on well-marked hospitals, ambulances and water and power facilities. Other crimes were committed when the Israeli army failed in hundreds of cases to launch proportionate attacks on alleged military targets. The onus is on Israel, not on the victims, to prove that its attacks were both on military targets and proportionate.

Israel’s latest operation is one in a series of severe violations of international law, which amount to war crimes. Israel’s repeat violations are driven by a lack of accountability. Our work aims to hold perpetrators to account and achieve justice and reparations for victims as per international law. Undermining our work will strengthen the culture of impunity and encourage a lack of accountability, creating an atmosphere supportive of the next war, not peace.

For more information about Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, visit mezan.org.

Listen to audio from the whistleblower HERE.  Below is an unofficial transcript from the audio.

CDC Whistleblower

“Oh my God. I cannot believe we did what we did, but we did.”

Dr. Andrew Wakefield: “This is a real story of a real fraud. …Deliberate. High-level deception of the American people with disastrous consequences for its children’s health. …

(Dr. Wakefield then described the inhumane treatment of black American man during the Tuskegee syphilis experiment that was conducted from 1932 to 1972.)

“Thirty years later the CDC was to do something arguably far worse. Over a decade ago, Dr. Scott Montgomery and I put forward a hypothesis for MMR vaccine and autism: the age you receive the vaccine influences the risk. …We shared this hypothesis with vaccine officials, members of the Centers for Disease Control, at meetings in Washington, D.C. and Cold Spring Harbor. A group of senior vaccine safety people at the CDC studied it. It panned out. We were right–at least partly.

“By Nov 9, 2001, nearly thirteen years ago, senior CDC scientists knew that the younger age exposure to MMR was associated with an increased risk of autism. In 2004 they published, but they hid the results. …

“MMR was declared safe.”

Dr. Coleen Boyle was shown testifying for the CDC in a Congressional hearing in 2013 denying a link between vaccines and autism.

Wakefield: “What Dr. Coleen Boyle…did not tell Congress is that she and her colleagues had deliberately concealed the autism-vaccine link from the Institute of Medicine and the public. Ironically, they even received an award from the Secretary of Health and Human Services for this work.

“So troubling was this fraud that one of CDC researchers broke ranks. Eventually he made contact with Dr. Brian Hooker, father of a vaccine-injured child with autism and a vaccine researcher. …

Dr. Hooker and the muffled voice of the CDC scientist was included next. Hooker said that a great of information showing “fraud and malfeasance” on the part of the CDC was revealed to him by the whistleblower.

Wakefield: “From their own data sheets dated 2001, Dr. Hooker analyzed that CDC’s results and he found the same risk for autism that the CDC scientists had themselves identified. …

“This week, August 10, 2014, Dr. Hooker published the real findings. A 340 percent increased risk of autism in boys receiving the MMR on time compared with those receiving it later.

“Thirteen years and tens of thousands of children later.

“As I’ve said, Dr. Montgomery and I were only partly right. The risk of autism from early MMR vaccination was seen in black children, black boys. Those boys, for some reason are at very high risk.

“Consistent with the CDC’s own findings, the rate of autistic regression in black children is reported to be twice that in white children. …

“Scientist Dr. David Lewis, an international expert in whistleblowing and the detection of scientific fraud, reviewed the original CDC documents and the paper they published in 2004.”

Dr. David Lewis: “Probably this is the clearest case and the easiest case in which to answer, is it fraud or is it an accident? Is it just an artifact of the study that we’re dealing with here? Clearly it’s fraud.”

Dr. Hooker talking about the CDC whistleblower: “He knows that he’s culpable for damage. He knows that he’s culpable for permanent damage of a large significant portion of the population of the United States.”

Muffled voice of the whistleblower: “The higher-ups wanted to do certain things and I went along with it.”

Dr. Wakefield: “Dr. Frank DeStefano, Dr. Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsop, Dr. Coleen Boyle–they knew. They let it happpn and they could have stopped it.

“Michigan lawyer Allison Folmar, an award-winning advocate for children and parental rights, gave her reaction.”

Allison Folmar: “I feel first and foremost, as a human being, betrayed. When you lose your faith and trust in humanity, how do you repair it? I really don’t know what to say, to be honest.”

Dr. Hooker: “He’s very regretful about his involvement.”

Whistleblower: “It was the lowest point in my career that I went along with that paper. I’m not going to lie. I basically have stopped lying.

Dr. Wakefield: “You see, vile as the crimes of Stalin, Pol Pot and Hitler were, these men were not hypocrites…. These men were not entrusted with the welfare of their victims. Their mottos did not include the words, ‘To save lives and protect.’ They were not running a mandatory program disguised as caring.

“How many children? How many went to the wall in that decade of silence? How many Presidents, Mr. Obama?”

WATCHUNG, NJ –  A top research scientist working for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) played a key role in helping Dr. Brian Hooker of the Focus Autism Foundation uncover data manipulation by the CDC that obscured a higher incidence of autism in African-American boys. The whistleblower came to the attention of Hooker, a PhD in biochemical engineering, after he had made a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for original data on theDeStefano et al MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and autism study.

Dr. Hooker’s study, published August 8 in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Translational Neurodegeneration, shows that African-American boys receiving their first MMR vaccine before 36 months of age are 3.4 times more likely to develop autism vs. after 36 months.

According to Dr. Hooker, the CDC whistleblower informant — who wishes to remain anonymous — guided him to evidence that a statistically significant relationship between the age the MMR vaccine was first given and autism incidence in African-American boys was hidden by CDC researchers. After data were gathered on 2,583 children living in Atlanta, Georgia who were born between 1986 and 1993, CDC researchers excluded children that did not have a valid State of Georgia birth certificate — reducing the sample size being studied by 41%. Hooker explains that by introducing this arbitrary criteria into the analysis, the cohort size was sharply reduced, eliminating the statistical power of the findings and negating the strong MMR-autism link in African American boys.

Dr. Hooker has worked closely with the CDC whistleblower, and he viewed highly sensitive documents related to the study via Congressional request from U.S. Representative Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The CDC documents from Congress and discussions that Hooker had with the whistleblower reveal widespread manipulation of scientific data and top-down pressure on CDC scientists to support fraudulent application of government policies on vaccine safety. Based on raw data used in the 2004 DeStefano et al study obtained under FOIA, Dr. Hooker found that the link between MMR vaccination and autism in African-American boys was obscured by the introduction of irrelevant and unnecessary birth certificate criteria — ostensibly to reduce the size of the study.

The results of the original study first appeared in the journal Pediatrics which receives financial support from vaccine makers via advertising and direct donations, according to a CBS News report. The DeStefano et al study is widely used by the CDC and other public health organizations to dismiss any link between vaccines and autism — a neurological disorder on the rise.

Dr. Hooker stated “The CDC knew about the relationship between the age of first MMR vaccine and autism incidence in African-American boys as early as 2003, but chose to cover it up.” The whistleblower confirmed this.

When asked if there could be any scientific basis for excluding children born outside of Georgia, Hooker responded, “I know of none, and none has been provided by the authors of the DeStefano study.” He added, “The exclusion is reminiscent of tactics historically used to deprive African-Americans of the vote by requiring valid birth certificates.”

Dr. Hooker concluded further study is needed to determine why this specific effect (3.4-fold increase when MMR is administered prior to 36 months) is seen exclusively in African-American males, and determine whether delaying the first MMR vaccination should be advised for this population. A link between the MMR vaccine and autism has been conceded in cases compensated by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

The CDC whistleblower informant, who has worked for the government agency for over a decade, remarked to Dr. Hooker in phone calls: “We’ve missed ten years of research because the CDC is so paralyzed right now by anything related to autism. They’re not doing what they should be doing because they’re afraid to look for things that might be associated.” The whistleblower alleges criminal wrongdoing of his supervisors, and he expressed deep regret about his role in helping the CDC hide data.
According to David Lewis, PhD, former senior-level microbiologist with the U.S. EPA’s Office of Research & Development, skewing scientific data to support government policies is a major problem at federal agencies, including EPA, CDC, and USDA. Lewis, who was terminated by EPA for publishing papers in Nature that questioned the science the agency uses to support certain regulations, believes top-down pressure on federal scientists and researchers working on government-funded projects in academia is jeopardizing public health.

“Working for the government is no different than working for corporations. You either toe the line or find yourself looking for another way to make a living,” Lewis says. “No one would be surprised if Merck published unreliable data supporting the safety of its products. Why would anyone be surprised that the CDC is publishing skewed data to conclude that the vaccines it recommends are safe? We need a better system, where scientists are free to be honest.”

The corporate media is employing adverbs – purportedly, seemingly, apparently – to describe the reported beheading of American freelance journalist James Wright Foley.

Foley was reportedly abducted in Syria. Soon after his disappearance the Columbia Journalism Review said he was “almost certainly being held by the Syrian government in a detention center near the capital city of Damascus.” It was later said he was taken by ISIS, now known as IS, or the Islamic State.

Fox News: “We need to go into Syria.”

On Tuesday a video was posted to Youtube allegedly showing Foley’s beheading. The video is titled “A message to America” and shows a man said to be Foley on his knees, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, next to a black-clad man British authorities believe is a Briton.

Photos and videos also appeared on Twitter accounts linked to IS groups.

“I call on my friends, family, and loved ones to rise up against my real killers, the US government, for what will happen to me is only a result of their complacency and criminality,” the man said to be Foley declares.

“My message to my beloved parents — save me some dignity and don’t accept any meagre compensation for my death from the same people who effectively hit the last nail in my coffin from their recent aerial campaign in Iraq,” a reference to the Obama administration’s token bombing campaign directed at IS in Iraq.

“I call on my brother John, who’s a member of the US Air Force, think about what you are doing.”

“I died that day, John. When your colleagues dropped that bomb on those people, they signed my death certificate.

“I guess all in all, I wish I wasn’t American.”

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said the executioner in the video is probably a British citizen.

“On the face of it, it appears to have been a British person. We’ll have to do some more analysis to make quite certain that that is the case,” Hammond said.

The British Prime Minister David Cameron “cut short his summer vacation to return to London and chair urgent meetings on the threat posed by ISIS in Iraq and Syria,” according to NBC News.

Precisely Timed War Propaganda

The alleged beheading is now dominating the establishment news cycle, overshadowing events in Ferguson, Missouri. The media invariably engages in wall-to-wall coverage when a journalist is killed, especially in such a sensational and grotesque manner.

The alleged murder will undoubtedly be exploited by the state as it ramps up re-intervention in Iraq under the humanitarian banner. In the meantime, it is the responsibility of the corporate media to produce public outrage and further demonize IS, a paramilitary group created by the U.S. and its Gulf Emirate associates and trained by the United States military in Jordan.

“The extremists’ immediate goal was to use the shocking images to intimidate the Obama administration into halting U.S. airstrikes on ISIS strongholds in Iraq,” reports the International Business Times.

In fact, as ISIS undoubtedly knows, the exact opposite will occur – the United States and its partners will step up their bombing campaign, using the video as a convenient propaganda tool and capitalizing on popular outrage over the group.

The New York Post, owned by News Corp. magnate Rupert Murdoch, mustered its editorial board this morning and declared the “time for games is over” and the “horrific wake-up call” of Foley’s alleged murder demands military retaliation. “With American lives now being taken and even more at risk, America is now directly involved. No more playing footsie with butchers.”

Johan Galtung, a Norwegian sociologist and the principal founder of the discipline of peace and conflict studies, has described how the establishment media exploits violence to propagandize the foreign policy objectives of the state.

Manicheanism, the art of portraying one side as brutal and evil while the other is viewed as a chaste and innocent victim, plays a dominant role in war propaganda. This is the process we are now witnessing in regard to the alleged murder of James Foley.

The establishment media will continue to employ this tactic, along with decontextualizing the violence – dwelling on irrational emotional responses while ignoring the underlying reasons for violence and, in the case of ISIS, omitting the fact the group and its mercurial leader are largely a creation of U.S. intelligence and its partners.

Israeli police arrest a protester in Haifa during a protest against the assault on Gaza, 18 July. (Faiz Abu Rmeleh / ActiveStills)

As a Palestinian political activist living in present-day Israel, Tareq Yassin, 23, has grown accustomed to racist intimidation and threats of violence.

Yassin, secretary of the left-wing Hadash political party’s student wing at the University of Haifa, has been targeted for his activism time and again. Yet last month was the first time he was subjected to vigilante violence by right-wing Israelis.

He was punched in the head during a protest in solidarity with the Gaza Strip, where Israel’s ongoing military offensive has killed more than 2,000 Palestinians. “I was attacked by a group of Israeli right-wing racists,” Yassin recalled.

Since Israel began its latest war on Gaza in early July, Palestinian activists in Israel have told The Electronic Intifada that the political climate has become even more frightening than usual as the country spirals into a violently racist frenzy.

“Very disturbing”

Lynch mobs have targeted Palestinians and left-wing Israelis in places like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and Palestinian citizens of Israel across the country have been beaten during protests, attacked by vigilantes, threatened on social media outlets and arrested by police.

Dozens of Palestinians across Israel have also been fired from their jobs for posting content critical of the war on Gaza on social media outlets such as Facebook.

In most cases, employers fired Palestinian employees who posted political content after being threatened with a boycott by local Jewish Israeli communities, according to a lawyer working with the Nazareth-based Kav LaOved workers’ rights group.

In other cases, “Israeli Jews have read statuses of colleagues and then demanded their termination,” the lawyer, Gadeer Nicola, told the liberal Zionist grantmaking group the New Israel Fund in an interview published on the organization’s website.

“The overall atmosphere for Palestinians in the ‘48 territories [present-day Israel] is very disturbing,” Yassin told The Electronic Intifada.

An estimated 1.7 million Palestinians carry Israeli citizenship and live in cities, towns and villages across the country. According to the Adalah Legal Center, a Haifa-based Palestinian advocacy group, Palestinian citizens of Israel are subjected to more than fifty discriminatory laws that stifle their political expression and limit their access to state resources, including land.

Prevented from leaving

More than a hundred Palestinian demonstrators, accompanied by a handful of Israelis, assembled in Haifa’s German Colony area to protest Israel’s assault on Gaza on 18 July.

“We were demonstrating calmly, without causing any problems or breaching any restrictions,” Yassin explained. “But Israeli police arrived to disperse the demonstration immediately and began arresting people.”

Yassin said that police forces, including officers on horseback, then divided the protesters into three separate groups and prevented them from leaving.

A group of right-wing Israelis arrived to stage a counter-protest and began chanting anti-Palestinian slogans and holding placards bearing racist slurs. According to Yassin and other witnesses, Israeli police forces permitted the counter protesters to attack Palestinian demonstrators without interference.

“The police were essentially providing them with protection,” he said, adding that he didn’t file a police report afterwards due to the systemic lack of justice for Palestinians in Israel’s legal system.

Yassin says he saw several Palestinians arrested during the protest, but that he wasn’t aware of any Israeli counter protester being detained, despite the racist chants and physical violence. Yassin was beaten by counter protesters.

“Death to Arabs!”

“The police [also] attacked us brutally, especially the ones on horses,” said Yassin. “Several [protesters] had to be taken to the hospital for treatment.”

press release issued by Adalah confirms his account: “A crowd of right-wing Israeli Jewish counter-demonstrators attacked the al-Jabha [the political party Hadash] protestors with stones and empty bottles, while police fired tear gas and water cannons to quell the protests; four people were subsequently taken to the hospital,” Adalah stated.

Right-wing protesters who chanted “Death to Arabs!” and “Go to Gaza!” were not arrested, the organization added.

Palestinians in Israel and left-wing activists protest the Israeli assault on Gaza in downtown Haifa on 18 July. (Oren Ziv / ActiveStills)

When hundreds gathered for another protest the following evening, at least 29 Palestinians were arrested, according to media reports and human rights groups. That demonstration, on 19 July, was also attacked by police forces, including uncover officers and others on horseback.

Waad Ghantous, 22, a Haifa-based activist and recent university graduate, was threatened by police officers that evening.

“A female police officer called me and other female demonstrators terrorists,” she told The Electronic Intifada. “Then she put her face close to mine, and another officer from the Yassam [a police unit] said I will be the next one arrested.”

During several protests that weekend approximately forty Palestinians were arrested in Haifa alone, Adalah noted.

Threats

Threats of violence and attacks have not been limited Haifa. Right-wing mobs also violently assaulted Palestinians and Israeli leftists in an anti-war protest in Tel Aviv, an Israeli city often promoted by Israel advocates as “liberal.”

Others have been threatened on social media outlets. Yara Abu Ahmad, 20, also a student at Haifa University, says she was threatened by Israelis on Facebook shortly before the latest onslaught on Gaza was launched.

After Abu Ahmad shared an article by Israeli journalist Gideon Levy, who reports critically on Israel’s occupation, she opened her Facebook to find a full inbox. “One of my Israeli classmates shared a screenshot of my Facebook profile on the Im Tirtzu page,” she told The Electronic Intifada, referring to an extremist right-wing Zionist movement.

“You filthy terrorist, start packing your things,” Ofer Yahav, an Israeli Facebook user, told her. “We are going to throw you away to the Arab countries you come from. You will go back there.”

Another Israeli Facebook user, Asaf An, wrote to Abu Ahmad: “Allah, the rat, a son of a bitch, eats in his ass with Mohammad (the gay). Your day will come, bitch.”

Shani Levi simply wrote: “Die bitch.”

Gal H. Arush wrote: “You little bitch […] you Arab bitch. You’ll be kicked out of Israel.”

Elinor Patito told Abu Ahmad to “go live in Gaza or the West Bank.”

Because she has a photograph of herself at the beach on her Facebook page, Zahi Afumando told her she would “be raped by your uncles and imprisoned” in Iran and Syria if she were there.

The dozens of additional threats, several of which Abu Ahmad showed to The Electronic Intifada, were laden with racism and sexual harassment.

Incitement

Nadim Nashif, director of the Haifa-based Palestinian advocacy group Baladna, said “the fascists are much more organized than in previous years.”

“They always know when the Palestinian demonstrations take place and show up,” he told The Electronic Intifada.

“This violence comes from the Israeli politicians [who are] calling for violence all the time,” he added. “The right-wing fascists translate it into action in the streets, while the police have been given a much freer hand to arrest and beat Palestinians protesters.”

Nashif added that Israeli courts are being “much harsher” on Palestinian citizens of Israel arrested in protests. “It seems clear that there was an order from above. The authorities don’t want any opposition right now. They are basically trying to silence everything,” he said.

Meanwhile, back in his Haifa dorm room, activist Tareq Yassin says he fears the increase in violent anti-Palestinian racism will persist even if Israel’s latest military operation against the Gaza Strip ends soon.

“We are being subjected to a wave of racism for no reason other than that we are Palestinian. Many people are scared to speak Arabic in public, fearing that they might have to pay dearly for it” by being attacked or harassed, he said.

Waad Ghantous contributed translation from Hebrew.

Patrick O. Strickland is an independent journalist and frequent contributor to The Electronic Intifada. His website is www.postrickland.com. Follow him on Twitter:@P_Strickland_.

Founders Versus Ferguson …

Former Congressman – and Cleveland mayor – Dennis Kucinich wrote a must-read post yesterday:

The Boston Massacre of March 5, 1770, was a catalyst toward the American Revolution. Five civilians were killed by the British soldiers. The Declaration of Independence, in condemning the offenses against liberty by George III, stated:

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction  foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

  • For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us
  • For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states

Indeed, the top expert on the militarization of America’s police forces – Washington Post writer Radley Balko, who has testified to Congress and written books on the subject – confirms that the Founders would have seen the militarized police as an unconstitutional standing army:

Balko starts with the provocative proposition that police as we know them in modern America are unconstitutional. “The Founders and their contemporaries would probably have seen even the early-nineteenth-century police forces as a standing army, and a particularly odious one at that,” Balko writes. “Just before the American Revolution, it wasn’t the stationing of British troops in the colonies that irked patriots in Boston and Virginia; it was the England’s decision to use the troops for everyday law enforcement.”

Balko links that decision to the oft forgotten Third Amendment, which forbids the quartering of troops in Americans’ homes against their will during peacetime. The Third Amendment is rarely litigated, and the Supreme Court has never heard a case primarily concerning the amendment, but Balko argues that it was included in the Bill of Rights out of a larger concern that a standing army could be used for the purposes of enforcing the law. “The actual quartering of British troops in the private homes of colonists was rare…It was the predictable fallout from positioning soldiers trained for warfare on city streets, among the civilian populace, and using them to enforce law and maintain order that enraged colonists.”

In a post headlined, “Militarized Police: The Standing Army the Founders Warned About“, New American notes:

In an essay published in the Wall Street Journal last August, Radley Balko presented chilling and convincing evidence of the blurring of the line between cop and soldier:

Driven by martial rhetoric and the availability of military-style equipment — from bayonets and M-16 rifles to armored personnel carriers — American police forces have often adopted a mind-set previously reserved for the battlefield. The war on drugs and, more recently, post-9/11 antiterrorism efforts have created a new figure on the U.S. scene: the warrior cop — armed to the teeth, ready to deal harshly with targeted wrongdoers, and a growing threat to familiar American liberties.

Balko rightly connects the menace of the martial police with the decline in liberty and a disintegration of legal boundaries between sheriffs and generals:

Americans have long been wary of using the military for domestic policing. Concerns about potential abuse date back to the creation of the Constitution, when the founders worried about standing armies and the intimidation of the people at large by an overzealous executive, who might choose to follow the unhappy precedents set by Europe’s emperors and monarchs.

A Google search for the following phrase turns up over 250,000 hits, including articles from across the spectrum, such as Newsweek, Daily Kos, the American Conservative and Truth-Out:

“standing army” Ferguson

The same search yields thousands of images.  A comparison of photos of soldiers in war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan and police in Ferguson shows they are virtually indistinguishable.

Indeed:

Someone identifying himself as an 82nd Airborne Army veteran, observing the Ferguson police scene, comment[ed] that “We rolled lighter than that in an actual warzone” …

(Background.)

Remember, the Founding Fathers repeatedly warned against standing armies.

Of course, it would be bad enough if the militarized police forces were only used in genuine emergencies. But Balko notes that the authorities have become “very antagonistic toward the very idea of free speech and the First Amendment“.  And militarized swat teams are being used against people who commitcopyright infringement … or credit card fraud.  They’re being used “for routine warrant service in … nonviolent crimes“.

And Balko notes:

SWAT teams today are overwhelmingly used to investigate people who are still only suspected of committing nonviolent consensual crimes.

And Ellen Brown argues that the police are being militarized to protect of the financial elites:

When depositors cannot access their bank accounts to get money for food for the kids, they could well start breaking store windows and helping themselves. Worse, they might plot to overthrow the financier-controlled government. Witness Greece, where increasing disillusionment with the ability of the government to rescue the citizens from the worst depression since 1929 has precipitated riots and threats of violent overthrow.

Fear of that result could explain the massive, government-authorized spying on American citizens, the domestic use of drones, and the elimination of due process and of “posse comitatus” (the federal law prohibiting the military from enforcing “law and order” on non-federal property). Constitutional protections are being thrown out the window in favor of protecting the elite class in power.

Postscript: The Founding Fathers also fought the Revolutionary War for other reasons, such as stopping:

Interestingly, 3 times as many American colonists supported King George of England during the Revolutionary War as support our own Congress today.

Israel Resumes Assault on Gaza

August 20th, 2014 by Bill Van Auken

A relative carries the body of four-year-old Qassim Elwan during his funeral in Gaza City on 19 July. Qassim was killed along with his brother by Israeli shelling the previous day. (Caption from Electronic IntifadaEzz al-Zanoun / APA images)

Israeli warplanes carried out dozens of strikes against targets in the Gaza Strip Tuesday, renewing the one-sided, more than month-long war.

In the latest round of air strikes, it was reported by the health ministry Tuesday night that a two-year-old child and a woman were killed and 25 others were wounded—most of them women and children—in the bombing of a home in Gaza’s Sheikh Radwan neighborhood. It was reported earlier that two young children were injured in one strike, and three adults in another.

Updated figures released by the Gaza Health Ministry revealed that the Palestinian death toll has climbed to over 2,020, including 543 children and 252 women. Israeli fatalities number 67, out of which 64 were soldiers invading the Palestinian territory.

Among the targets struck Tuesday night was Hamas’s Al Aqsa radio station, which went silent after the bombing.

Meanwhile, UNRWA, the United Nations agency in charge of relief for Palestinian refugees, reported that thousands of people were once again fleeing their homes to seek shelter from the renewed air raids in already overcrowded UN schools. At least 425,000 Gazans have been displaced by Israel’s wholesale destruction of residential neighborhoods.

The resumption of the bombing campaign came as talks in Cairo on a long-term cessation of hostilities ground to a halt in the face of Israeli intransigence. The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused any concessions on core Palestinian demands for the lifting of the seven-year-old blockade that has turned Gaza into the world’s largest open-air prison, starved of essential resources and cut off from the outside world.

Israeli spokesmen said that the Israeli airstrikes came in response to the firing of a handful of rockets form Gaza that injured no one and caused no property damage. The Al Jazeera news network said it had confirmed that rockets had been fired from the Shujaiya district, a densely populated neighborhood that was reduced to rubble and was the scene of some of the most intense carnage during the Israeli invasion.

“In response to Hamas’s violation of the truce, the prime minister and defense minister have ordered the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] to once more attack terror sites in the Gaza Strip,” a government spokesman said.

Tel Aviv announced that the Israeli negotiating team has been ordered to return from Cairo. Palestinian sources said that Palestinian negotiators would leave the Egyptian capital Wednesday.

Later Tuesday night, a government official indicated that the Israeli government is preparing to resume all-out war against Gaza and its impoverished population of 1.8 million. “The IDF has been instructed to operate from the air in preparation for a ground operation,” he told the Israeli media.

Officials of Hamas, the Islamist movement which leads the Gaza government, however, said that they know nothing about any rocket attacks and suggested that the Israeli government had fabricated the incident in a bid to scuttle the talks and resume its attacks. None of the Palestinian factions in Gaza claimed responsibility for launching any rockets Tuesday.

The Obama administration swiftly voiced its support for Israel’s military actions. “Hamas has security responsibility for Gaza … Rocket fire came from Gaza,” declared State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf. She affirmed once again the incessantly repeated US support for “Israel’s right to defend itself.”

In response to the Israeli strikes, the Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, announced late Tuesday night that it had fired rockets at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport.

The renewed conflict came after both sides agreed Monday night to a 24-hour extension of an existing five-day ceasefire in response to a bid by the Egyptian regime of Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to continue the failing indirect talks between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators.

“The negotiations have faced difficulties because of the occupation’s [Israel’s] obstinacy, and the 24-hour [extension] came as a result of a request by mediators to have another chance,” Izzat al-Rishq, a senior Hamas official said. The organization’s spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri said that Israel was merely “playing for time” in the talks.

The Israeli bargaining position reportedly included only an easing of the blockade of Gaza’s borders, which Israel would remain in a position to fully seal off again whenever it saw fit. Tel Aviv refused to discuss Palestinian demands for the opening of a seaport and the restoration of the Gaza airport, which the IDF destroyed during the second Intifada in 2001. As with the question of Palestinian political prisoners, the Israeli negotiators insisted that the discussion of these questions be put off to a later date.

“There has been no progress on any point,” Azzam al-Ahmed, the chief Palestinian negotiator in Cairo and a leading figure in West Bank Palestinian Administration’s ruling Fatah faction said shortly before the eruption of new fighting on Tuesday. “Matters have become more complicated.”

The complications apparently involved new Israeli demands for the demilitarization of Gaza, something that Tel Aviv has not been able to accomplish with its armed actions against the territory. The Fatah official may also have been referring to tensions between the Palestinian Administration and Hamas over the ceasefire deal.

The deal proposed by the Egyptian mediators would restore substantial power to the Palestinian Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas, who lost control of Gaza to Hamas in 2007. The Palestinian Authority’s security forces, which are US-trained and collaborate closely with Israel, would be placed in charge of the Gaza side of border crossings, while the PA would oversee reconstruction efforts in the territory.

The Netanyahu government appeared to be preparing for a resumption of the assault on Gaza even before the breakdown in the talks. Netanyahu declared Monday that the IDF was prepared to take “very aggressive action” if any rockets were fired from Gaza.

Similarly, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, speaking Monday night from an Israeli navy base in Ashdod, insisted that “Operation Protective Edge is not over,” adding, “As we promised, we will not stop until we bring quiet and security [to Israel].”

Ya’alon warned that “The IDF is prepared and ready to respond strongly to any development. Hamas will not drag us into a war of attrition and, if it tries, it will be struck very hard.”

Netanyahu and Ya’alon came under political fire last week over the Cairo talks from the extreme right-wing Zionist elements in the Israeli cabinet who have voiced support for continuing the Gaza war. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, having obtained a draft agreement last week from Cairo, charged Netanyahu with attempting to keep its terms secret from the rest of his cabinet. On Friday, Netanyahu said he had not accepted the draft and disavowed its contents, affirming that it failed to meet Israel’s security demands.

Dead American Journalist: The Latest Ploy to Cover-up Regional Genocide Years in the Making

American journalist James Wright Foley was allegedly brutally murdered on video by terrorists of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS). The development would at first appear to portray a terrorist organization openly declaring itself an enemy of the West, but in reality, it is the latest attempt by the West itself to cover up the true genesis of the current region-wide catastrophe of its own creation now unfolding in the Middle East.

As early as 2007, the stage was being set for the regional genocide now unfolding from Syria and Lebanon along the Mediterranean to northern Iraq. The “sudden” appearance of the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq, otherwise known as ISIS, betrays years of its rise and the central part it played in Western-backed violence seeking to overthrow the government of Syria starting in 2011 amid the cover of the so-called “Arab Spring.”

While the “Free Syrian Army” brand was created and used to obfuscate the hardcore, sectarian extremism that pervaded mercenary forces raised against Damascus, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had warned starting in 2011 that it was neither a pro-democratic uprising, nor a moderate, secular rebellion – but rather hordes of foreign-backed terrorists with ties to Al Qaeda.

The US State Department itself would admit that Al Qaeda’s Syrian franchise, Jabhat al-Nusra (an offshoot of ISIS), was among the most prominent armed militant groups fighting the Syrian government, beginning in 2011 onward. The US State Department’s official press statement titled, “Terrorist Designations of the al-Nusrah Front as an Alias for al-Qa’ida in Iraq,” stated explicitly that:

Since November 2011, al-Nusrah Front has claimed nearly 600 attacks – ranging from more than 40 suicide attacks to small arms and improvised explosive device operations – in major city centers including Damascus, Aleppo, Hamah, Dara, Homs, Idlib, and Dayr al-Zawr. During these attacks numerous innocent Syrians have been killed.

It was clear that the nationwide, extensive operations of al-Nusra were more than an apparition – instead they constituted the true nature of the armed conflict ravaging Syria – an armed enterprise that was clearly state-sponsored and the realization of long-laid plans by the West to reorder the region through chaos.

Rise of ISIS Portended in 2007

But even before 2011, analysts and journalists warned of an impending regional sectarian war being intentionally engineered by the United States, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and other regional partners. The goal was to undermine and overthrow the government of Iran by first using covert violence to eliminate its arc of influence from Baghdad to Damascus, and of course in Lebanon.

 

Image: The war in Syria was always against foreign-backed sectarian extremists – just as was warned by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in 2011. The reason why despite hundreds of millions of dollars in cash, weapons, and equipment flowing to “moderates,” Al Qaeda has still managed to become the most prominent militant group now on both sides of the Syrian-Iraqi border, is because there were never any “moderates” to begin with. 

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

Veteran journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winner Seymour Hersh warned in a prophetic 2007 New Yorker article titled, “The Redirection Is the Administration’s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” that (emphasis added):

Also in Hersh’s 2007 article, was mentioned ongoing support by the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel to the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood for the purpose of creating the networks necessary to execute the coming violence that would be unleashed in 2011. He reported (emphasis added):

There is evidence that the Administration’s redirection strategy has already benefitted the Brotherhood. The Syrian National Salvation Front is a coalition of opposition groups whose principal members are a faction led by Abdul Halim Khaddam, a former Syrian Vice-President who defected in 2005, and the Brotherhood. A former high-ranking C.I.A. officer told me, “The Americans have provided both political and financial support. The Saudis are taking the lead with financial support, but there is American involvement.” He said that Khaddam, who now lives in Paris, was getting money from Saudi Arabia, with the knowledge of the White House. (In 2005, a delegation of the Front’s members met with officials from the National Security Council, according to press reports.) A former White House official told me that the Saudis had provided members of the Front with travel documents.

Both the “Arab Spring” cover, and the networks of armed extremists were being built simultaneously in 2007, and unleashed in earnest in 2011 amid a regional political conflagration.

Image: Just as was predicted, the West’s premeditated plan to arm and back sectarian extremists would cause regional genocide. Also predicted was that these targeted minorities would seek Hezbollah, Syrian, and Iranian protection. 

Hersh would also touch upon the coming sectarian nature of the West’s designs, noting that even former CIA officers knew it would be precisely the Iranian arc of influence that would end up protecting religious minorities from the legions of terror the West was preparing to unleash. Hersh reported:

Robert Baer, a former longtime C.I.A. agent in Lebanon, has been a severe critic of Hezbollah and has warned of its links to Iranian-sponsored terrorism. But now, he told me, “we’ve got Sunni Arabs preparing for cataclysmic conflict, and we will need somebody to protect the Christians in Lebanon. It used to be the French and the United States who would do it, and now it’s going to be Nasrallah and the Shiites.

It would be difficult for anyone today to read Hersh’s 2007 report and interpret as anything less than a verbatim outline of what the West had planned and now, since 2011, fully executed. It would also be difficult to claim that the regional presence of ISIS is not the full realization of the conflict Hersh warned the world of in 2007.

ISIS’ Multinational Military Force the Product of Years of Western State-Sponsorship 

It is confirmed that since 2011, the United States, Turkey, France, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar have been heavily arming terrorists along both Syria’s border with Turkey in the north and with Jordan in the south. While official speeches from behind podiums have expressed a reluctance to assist militants fighting in Syria, the presence of the militants are entirely a product of foreign backing.

Image: ISIS began its invasion into Iraqi territory from NATO-member Turkey, through Syria and riding in Toyota Hilux trucks – identical to those provided to “moderates” by the US State Department as part of multi-million dollar “non-lethal” aid packages. ISIS did not take these trucks from “moderates,” the moderates never existed to begin with. From the beginning, it was the West’s plan to raise a mercenary army of sectarian extremists operating under the banner of Al Qaeda.  

…3,000 tons of weapons dating back to the former Yugoslavia have been sent in 75 planeloads from Zagreb airport to the rebels, largely via Jordan since November. In the Telegraph’s 2013 article titled, “US and Europe in ‘major airlift of arms to Syrian rebels through Zagreb’,” it is reported:

 The story confirmed the origins of ex-Yugoslav weapons seen in growing numbers in rebel hands in online videos, as described last month by The Daily Telegraph and other newspapers, but suggests far bigger quantities than previously suspected.

The shipments were allegedly paid for by Saudi Arabia at the bidding of the United States, with assistance on supplying the weapons organised through Turkey and Jordan, Syria’s neighbours. But the report added that as well as from Croatia, weapons came “from several other European countries including Britain”, without specifying if they were British-supplied or British-procured arms.

British military advisers however are known to be operating in countries bordering Syria alongside French and Americans, offering training to rebel leaders and former Syrian army officers. The Americans are also believed to be providing training on securing chemical weapons sites inside Syria.

Additionally, The New York Times in its article, “Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With C.I.A. Aid,” admits that:

With help from the C.I.A., Arab governments and Turkey have sharply increased their military aid to Syria’s opposition fighters in recent months, expanding a secret airlift of arms and equipment for the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, according to air traffic data, interviews with officials in several countries and the accounts of rebel commanders.

The airlift, which began on a small scale in early 2012 and continued intermittently through last fall, expanded into a steady and much heavier flow late last year, the data shows. It has grown to include more than 160 military cargo flights by Jordanian, Saudi and Qatari military-style cargo planes landing at Esenboga Airport near Ankara, and, to a lesser degree, at other Turkish and Jordanian airports.

The US State Department had also announced it was sending hundreds of millions of dollars more in aid, equipment and even armored vehicles to militants operating in Syria, along with demands of its allies to “match” the funding to reach a goal of over a billion dollars. The NYT would report in their article, “Kerry Says U.S. Will Double Aid to Rebels in Syria,” that:

With the pledge of fresh aid, the total amount of nonlethal assistance from the United States to the coalition and civic groups inside the country is $250 million. During the meeting here, Mr. Kerry urged other nations to step up their assistance, with the objective of providing $1 billion in international aid.

The US has also admitted that it was officially arming and equipping terrorists inside of Syria. The Washington Post’s article, ”U.S. weapons reaching Syrian rebels,” reported:

The CIA has begun delivering weapons to rebels in Syria, ending months of delay in lethal aid that had been promised by the Obama administration, according to U.S. officials and Syrian figures. The shipments began streaming into the country over the past two weeks, along with separate deliveries by the State Department of vehicles and other gear — a flow of material that marks a major escalation of the U.S. role in Syria’s civil war.

More recently, scores of Toyota Hilux pick-up trucks were delivered to terrorists along the Turkish-Syrian border, which would later be seen among ISIS convoys invading northern Iraq. In a PRI report titled, “This one Toyota pickup truck is at the top of the shopping list for the Free Syrian Army — and the Taliban,” it stated:

Recently, when the US State Department resumed sending non-lethal aid to Syrian rebels, the delivery list included 43 Toyota trucks.

Hiluxes were on the Free Syrian Army’s wish list. Oubai Shahbander, a Washington-based advisor to the Syrian National Coalition, is a fan of the truck.

It is clear that ISIS did not materialize from sand dunes in Iraq’s northern region, nor are they procuring immense armories of weaponry by picking Kalashnikovs from date trees. They are the visible materialization of years of material support openly reported by the Western media allegedly sent to “moderate rebels” who do not exist. If they did exist, there has been no plausible explanation to account for how ISIS has managed to procure more weapons, cash, fighters, and influence throughout the region than “moderates” receiving backing from the combined resources of the US, Europe, Turkey, the Saudis, Qataris, and Jordanians.

Maintaining Plausible Deniability 

Image: American journalist James Wright Foley was allegedly beheaded by ISIS terrorists. Before his execution, a masked terrorists with a British accent threatened the US, the same US that in fact has created, armed, funded, directed, and to this day perpetuates ISIS’ activities across the region. The depraved propaganda ploy is designed to create plausible deniability for the West, creating the illusion that ISIS and the US are enemies, not allies.  

To deflect the general public from ever arriving at this obvious conclusion, a myriad of public relations ploys have been designed to portray ISIS not as the armed fist of Western hegemony in the Middle East, but a villain not only beyond its control, but posing as a direct threat to the West itself. Token bombing in northern Iraq and the arming of Kurds served dual purposes. The bombings made it appear that the US was fighting, not backing ISIS, while arming the Kurds helped further Balkanize Iraq as part of the classic hegemonic stratagem of “divide and conquer.”The logical conclusion to be drawn by those observing the last 3 years of immense funding, weapon deliveries, political, diplomatic, and even military training for terrorists fighting in Syria and now in Iraq, is that there were never any “moderates” to begin with. It was, as veteran journalist Seymour Hersh had warned in 2007, always sectarian extremists ideologically aligned with Al Qaeda that the West had planned to utilize against its enemies in the Middle East.

More recently, in what is obvious propaganda, American journalist James Wright Foley was allegedly abducted,then murdered on video by ISIS terrorists. Throughout the video, before the alleged execution, a man’s voice, apparently the masked individual about to carry out the execution, speaks with a British accent, condemning the United States, threatening US President Barack Obama, and promising retaliation against the West.

Regardless of the veracity of the events portrayed in the video, the fact that it was created in the first place indicates a need by the West and those directly handling, arming, and funding ISIS’ activities both in Syria and in Iraq, to create “distance” between the West and the ISIS mercenaries executing their foreign policy in their long-planned regional sectarian bloodbath. Videos like those featuring Foley, splashed sensationally across the front pages of Western websites and newspapers when US casualties in wars gone bad are otherwise buried, indicate a concerted propaganda campaign aimed at manipulating public perception, not honest, responsible reportage.

The predictable reaction of Americans is to recoil at ISIS’ barbarism, despite similar barbarism being carried out for years in Syria and Iraq by Western-backed terrorists. With the apparent death of Foley, the US has created in the minds of many, plausible deniability regarding its well-documented role in the premeditated creation and continued perpetuation of ISIS. For Western special interests willing to lie to invade and occupy Iraq at the cost of over a million lives, including thousands of Americans, what would one more murdered American mean in an attempt to continue advancing its destructive, misanthropic agenda?

It should be remembered that Western designs in the Middle East are but one stage of a greater agenda. The reordering of the Middle East with immense standing armies of terrorists answering to Western dictates, will be used to move against Russia in the Caucasus region, and against China within and along the boundaries of Xinjiang province.

De Facto Martial Law in Ferguson, Missouri

August 20th, 2014 by Barry Grey

The state of Missouri, with the full backing of the Obama administration, has responded to continuing protests against the police murder of Michael Brown, an unarmed African American teenager, by imposing de facto martial law on the largely working class city of Ferguson.

Residents have been stripped of the constitutionally guaranteed right to assemble, reporters have been arrested or banished in violation of freedom of the press, police checkpoints have been set up at major intersections. A massive force of military vehicles, helicopters, sound cannon, flash grenades, tear gas, SWAT teams wielding assault weapons and local cops backed by National Guard troops has been deployed to intimidate, terrorize and crush social protest.

On Monday night, the crackdown on overwhelmingly peaceful protesters demanding justice in the killing of Brown was stepped up. Seventy-eight people were arrested ostensibly for failing to obey a police order, for which there is no legal or constitutional basis, to disperse.

The scale of the repression is vastly disproportionate to the supposed threat from what the authorities are calling “criminal elements.” At a 2:20 am Tuesday press conference, Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, who was put in charge of security operations last week by Democratic Governor Jay Nixon, could point only to two hand guns, one Molotov cocktail and some water bottles allegedly captured by the police to justify that night’s violent crackdown and mass arrests. He advised “peaceful protesters” to stay home Tuesday night so that the police could identify all those on the street as “outside agitators” and arrest them.

The arbitrary and disproportionate use of force has characterized the entire crisis. Brown, who was not carrying a weapon, was shot six times at point-blank range. Peaceful protests by outraged residents were met with a military-style crackdown, mass arrests, the declaration of a state of emergency, and the imposition of what amounts to martial law.

As video reports posted on the World Socialist Web Site show, residents of Ferguson are making the connection between the military-police occupation of their city and the use of similar methods by the United States government in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are pointing to the hypocrisy of Washington’s claim to be defending democratic and human rights in the Middle East and Central Asia, while at home it responds to any sign of social opposition by employing the same anti-democratic and violent means it cites as the reason for overthrowing foreign governments.

This is the very point the WSWS made just days before the police murder of Brown. In an August 4 Perspective column entitled “The slaughter in Gaza: A warning to the international working class,” the WSWS wrote: “The Israeli onslaught in Gaza is a forewarning of the measures that will be used in every country against working class resistance to war, militarism and the agenda of austerity. The methods developed in the course of a decade of the US-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to terrorise hostile populations will also be used against workers fighting to defend their jobs, living standards and basic democratic rights.”

The resort to police state methods in Ferguson is the outcome of the protracted decay of American democracy. This process entered a new stage with the theft of the 2000 presidential election. It was accelerated after 9/11 and the declaration of the so-called “war on terror.” From the start, that phony war was used to justify an eruption of imperialist war abroad and an unrelenting assault on democratic rights within the US.

The past 13 years have seen a massive buildup of the repressive powers of the state at the expense of democratic rights, resulting today in the existence of a police state in waiting. The USA Patriot Act, which sanctioned the unbridled expansion of government spying on the people of America and the world, was followed by the establishment of the Homeland Security Department, which has coordinated and funded, along with the Pentagon, the transformation of local police into paramilitary counterinsurgency forces. The Northern Command, the first ever military command covering the territory of the United States, was set up.

These innovations were accompanied by countless studies and plans developed by military and intelligence agencies and think tanks for urban warfare and mass repression to quash social protest in the US. The 2013 Boston Marathon bombings were seized on as an opportunity to put such plans to the test. For the first time in American history, a major urban area was placed under a military-police lockdown and civil liberties were effectively suspended. The absence of any significant protest from any section of the political or media establishment confirmed the collapse of any commitment to democracy within the ruling class.

The assault on democratic rights under George W. Bush has been accelerated under Barack Obama. The current president has not only shielded the authors of torture programs and the Guantanamo gulag from prosecution, he has asserted his right to indefinitely detain and even assassinate US citizens without due process, and admitted to having done so.

The driving force behind these advanced preparations for a police state is the immense growth of social inequality. A quasi-criminal corporate-financial elite, which enriches itself on the basis of speculative activities of a parasitical nature while destroying the industrial infrastructure and decent-paying jobs, arrogates to itself an ever greater share of the national wealth. This form of criminality is inextricably linked to a criminal foreign policy based on aggression, war and plunder.

Every democratic and social demand of the working class collides with the social interests of this new aristocracy. It views every manifestation of social protest as a threat to its interests that must be immediately smashed.

The vast and unaccountable military-police-intelligence apparatus that has been built up over the years functions as the guarantor of the interests of this criminal capitalist elite. A political analysis of the events in Ferguson must begin not with the empty and insincere rhetoric of Obama and other politicians, but with what they are doing. In the interests of the financial oligarchy they serve, they are mobilizing the repressive violence of the state to terrorize the working class in Ferguson and set a precedent to be used in cities all across the country.

This is the reality of America. Not accidentally, the most socially unequal of all advanced industrialized countries is also the most undemocratic. The root cause is the capitalist system itself, which is incapable of meeting the basic needs of the working class, the vast majority of the population.

ISIL leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi.

CAIRO — Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, with control over large parts of Iraq and Syria, has set its sights on North Africa.

Islamist sources said ISIL has intensified recruiting in several countries in North Africa. They said the recruitment was now meant to help establish sleeper and operational cells in such countries as Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia.

“The cells are being organized by North Africans who have fought and are now returning to their home countries,” a source said. “It’s something that is very worrisome to the regimes in the area.”

In 2014, several North African states have reported the arrest of dozens of suspected ISIL recruiters. The sources said the recruiters at first focused on sending young Muslims to the ISIL wars in Iraq and Syria.

“Over the last two months or so, the direction has been changing, and ISIL also wants to establish an infrastructure in North Africa,” the source said.

ISIL has also sought alliances with other Al Qaida networks in North Africa. The sources said Al Qaida Organization in the Islamic Maghreb, deemed the leading franchise, rebuffed ISIL and its plans for a caliphate.

As a result, ISIL has been wooing Ansar Al Sharia, an Al Qaida branch active in Libya and Tunisia. On July 23, Islamist forums carried an appeal for Ansar to join ISIL and swear its allegiance to commander Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi. On July 30, Ansar declared a caliphate around the Libyan city of Benghazi.

“The success or failure of the ISIS project hinges on the positions of three key jihadist organizations in the world: Al Qaida in Yemen, AQIM and Ansar Al Sharia in Libya,” Abdullah Rami, a leading analyst on Islamist groups, said. “Without the allegiance of those groups, the caliphate project will just be ink on paper and will be a local organization confined to Iraq’s borders.”

Rami told the U.S. Central Command-sponsored Magharebia.com news site that ISIL has attracted numerous smaller Al Qaida-aligned cells in North Africa. In addition, ISIL has recruited hundreds of so-called lone wolves for attacks.

“Therefore, Al Baghdadi can use those at any moment to carry out terrorist operations and destabilize regional countries,” Rami said.

The sources have already detected signs of ISIL-directed operations in North Africa. One group believed to have joined ISIL’s network was identified as the Uqba Ibn Nafaa Brigade, which claimed responsibility for an attack that killed 15 Tunisian Army soldiers along the border with Algeria in July 2014.

“These are prototypes for future operations in North Africa, which will undermine the region’s stability and security and wreak havoc if the international community doesn’t act quickly,” Mouhcine Abdul Wahed, a Moroccan researcher, said.

MSNBC host Ed Schultz suggested on his show last night that police like those currently occupying Ferguson, Missouri may need military gear in order to deal with the threat posed by “anti-government groups.”

“The Department of Homeland Security recently came out with a report saying the biggest threat to our security is here within our own borders,” said Schultz, adding, “There’s a lot of anti-government groups that have popped up in this country, hate groups that have popped up in this country, and law enforcement feels outgunned and they want to be prepared,”

The MSNBC host went on to suggest that it was the use of militarized equipment that was the issue, not a question of whether police departments should possess it in the first place.

Apparently, Schultz thinks it’s perfectly reasonable for heavily armed police to use armored vehicles and military weapons against some Americans, so long as their political opinions can be skewed as “anti-government.”

“Did you catch that? If not, allow me to summarize: The police are too militarized and as a result are unfairly and unjustly using their unnecessary power to harm black people. But wait, could they actually need this stuff because of people who don’t trust the police?” writes Caleb Howe.

Schultz’s reference to the DHS report relates to a leaked document from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis which predicted a rise in “anti-government violence over the next year.”

The report notes that a “perceived victory” during the Bunkerville standoff involving Cliven Bundy has emboldened such extremists, who will continue to cite “government overreach and oppression” as an excuse to stage “more violence.”

Schultz’ myopic comments again expose the hypocrisy of the left-right paradigm. Both sides of the partisan persuasion are only concerned about police brutality and the militarization of domestic law enforcement when it is used to target people who embrace their political dogma, when the sensible response would be to realize that the constitutional rights of people from all over the political map are simultaneously being oppressed.

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

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Riot police in Ferguson, Missouri, will continue to arrest journalists for simply walking down the street while covering the riots, according to a police captain early Tuesday.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson made the startling statement at a press conference in Ferguson when asked if the 31 people arrested at the protests last night included journalists.

“…Some journalists are walking around, and all you have is a cell phone because you’re from a small media outlet,” he said. “Some of you may just have a camera around your neck, so yes, we are — we may take some of you into custody.”

“But when we do take you into custody, and we have found out you’re a journalist, we’ve taken the proper action.”

The proper action for the police, however, would be to respect the freedom of the press guaranteed under the First Amendment. No where does the First Amendment state that members of the press are subject to arrest if their cameras are “too small.”

Unfortunately, that’s not what happened last night in Ferguson when a cop reportedly ripped a press badge off of a Vice News reporter while proclaiming, “this doesn’t mean ****.”

This harassment of the press by police has been going on in Ferguson for the past week and even made international news when a St. Louis Co. SWAT team intentionally gassed an Al-Jazeera America news crew, forcing them to flee, and began dismantling their camera equipment before realizing that other media was capturing everything on tape.

This harassment of the press by police has been going on in Ferguson for the past week and even made international news when a St. Louis Co. SWAT team intentionally gassed an Al-Jazeera America news crew, forcing them to flee, and began dismantling their camera equipment before realizing that other media was capturing everything on tape.

“Al Jazeera America is stunned by this egregious assault on freedom of the press that was clearly intended to have a chilling effect on our ability to cover this important story,” Kate O’Brian, president of Al-Jazeera America, wrote in a statement. “Thankfully all three crew members are physically fine.”

“We believe that this situation must be investigated along with those involving our colleagues at other media outlets.”

Infowars reporter Joe Biggs was also wounded that night when police shot him in the kidneys with a rubber round and not long before that, two journalists were arrested in the nearby McDonald’s.

At the press conference, Capt. Johnson suggested he didn’t want more violence in Ferguson, but when Infowars asked him why the police were dressed like the military if that were the case, he refused to respond.

On August 9, Michael Brown, 18, died after being shot by a Ferguson police officer, the shooting of which sparked off ongoing mass protests in the St. Louis suburb of around 21,000, to which the police responded with military tactics and gear.

Experts at a European Union (EU) think-tank are demanding that the EU prepare to put down strikes and protests with military force. Due to the deepening social inequality in a globalised economy and growing military conflicts within the EU’s borders, such outbursts will inevitably increase.

In the study by the European Union Institute for Security Studies, the authors bluntly state that in the face of these developments, the army will have to be used increasingly for policing duties to protect the rich from the anger of the poor.

The book appeared a year after the near-collapse of the global financial system in 2008, entitled “Perspectives for European Defence 2020.” It makes clear that academics and politicians are very aware of the revolutionary implications of the crisis. They are working through scenarios that would allow the opposition of the vast majority of the population to social attacks to be suppressed.

“Within the framework of the joint foreign and security policy, the responsibilities of the police and armed forces are increasingly being merged, and the capacities to tackle social protest built up,” radio station Deutschlandfunk reported on the study last month. Officially this was concerned with interventions in countries outside the EU.

“But under article 222 of the Lisbon treaty, a legal basis has been created for the deployment of military and paramilitary units within EU states in crisis.”

The book was authored by a team of academics and experts in the area of European security, defence and foreign policy. The foreword was written by EU foreign policy representative Catherine Ashton. In it she set out the long-term parameters of the EU’s security policy. Her introduction, and the fact that the institute is an EU institution, give the study an official stamp of approval.

The longest contribution in the book, entitled “The EU and the globalised security environment,” summarises the direction of the EU’s plans. In it, Professor Tomas Ries, Director of the Swedish Institute of International Affairs, suggests that the EU should increasingly combat social problems with military means.

During the Cold War, Ries was already an experienced agenda-setter for militaries of northern Europe. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, he turned his attention to studying global security policy.

Ries sees the central threat to “security” in a violent “conflict between unequal socioeconomic classes in global society,” which were “in vertical asymmetric tensions in the global village.” Put simply, the main “security issue” is class struggle in the globalised world economy.

To illustrate these “vertically asymmetric tensions,” Ries presented a diagram of social inequality. At the top are the transnational corporations, the “global fortune 1,000,” or the 1,000 companies with the largest revenue. He calculated that as a percentage of the global population they amount to 0.1 percent, almost 7 million people. He sees a much larger contingent among the hundreds of millions of the global population starving. They are right at the bottom of his diagram.

For the inevitable social, economic and political conflicts which would emerge from this inequality, he recommended that the EU enter a “symbiosis” with the global corporations. The power of these companies “in the areas of technology and economy is constantly growing, while they are also winning influence in other areas. But they need the state and the state needs them.”

With the financial crisis, the state had already fulfilled its part in the “symbiosis.” The population had been burdened with the banks’ debts, and the living conditions of the working class had been attacked and undermined.

As a consequence of these fundamental attacks on the social rights of the working class, according to Ries, social conflict will inevitably develop which would constrain important areas of infrastructure.

Ries provided examples of the sorts of workers’ struggles he meant: a strike of rubbish collectors in Naples, Italy, a strike by firefighters in Liverpool, England, and air traffic controllers in the US.

In all of these situations, the military had been utilised to maintain infrastructure. Even though this was not actually the army’s job, Ries warned that over the coming years the army would need to be deployed domestically with increasing frequency. “Police work” by the military will be called for more strongly due to these tensions, he wrote.

Since these lines were written, soldiers have already been deployed against striking workers in Spain and Greece, or martial law was declared to force them back to work. For Ries, this is inevitable.

The rich had to be protected from the poor, the professor explained. Since “the percentage of the population who were poor and frustrated would continue to be very high, the tensions between this world and the world of the rich would continue to increase, with corresponding consequences. Since we will hardly be able to overcome the origin of this problem by 2020, i.e., the functional defects of society, we will have to protect ourselves more strongly.”

By “functional defects,” Ries means the social consequences of the global profit system, just as much as the wars which are led to secure its maintenance. But these are both fundamental components of the capitalist system, forcing ever greater numbers of people into poverty or to become refugees. The shielding of the rich from the poor is described by Ries as a “loser’s strategy,” i.e. a strategy against the losers of the system. Although it was “highly morally questionable,” there would be “no way around it if we are not capable of overcoming the origins of this problem.”

Ries sums up the social outlook of the ruling class with his remarks. It is prepared to do anything to defend its privileges and riches against the opposition of the population.

Ries does not only call for a European military regime to suppress strikes, but also a massive strengthening of EU states. By 2020 at the latest, the EU will have to expand its military capabilities significantly in order to possess the full spectrum of capabilities required for high-intensity combat, Ries commented.

According to Ries, the peace between the major powers “is entirely and completely dependent upon the functioning of the world economy.” “If it breaks apart, the peaceful political order would also probably be destroyed.” This was what the EU had to prepare for.

Ries described Russia as especially dangerous for the EU. “Hard power politics” were called for against the country. Since these lines were written, the EU has already established its “power politics.” After orchestrating a fascist coup in Ukraine to push back Russian influence, a course of confrontation has been adopted towards the Kremlin. Ries describes how this will develop further: with war abroad and at home.

After Monday’s deployment of the National Guard to Ferguson by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon following more than a week of protests, police tightened down on protesters’ right to peaceable assembly. In this video, residents speak about the connection between the militarization of society and the attack on democratic rights.

US “Pivot” to Asia Stumbles in Thailand

August 19th, 2014 by Tony Cartalucci

Months after the May 22, 2014 military coup that ousted the regime of Thaksin Shinawatra, the military-led government has been working in earnest to uproot the Shinawatra political machine as well as realign the Kingdom’s foreign policy to represent a better balance between China’s rising power and the West’s waning but meddlesome influence.

Uprooting the West’s Unwarranted Influence 

The regime of Thaksin Shinawatra, led by nepotist proxy via his own sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, represented an inequity between this balance. Shinawatra has been a long-time family friend of the Bush political dynasty, was a member of the Carlyle Group, and since being ousted from power himself in a similar military coup in 2006, has been openly represented by some of the largest corporate lobbying firms on Earth, including, Kenneth Adelman of the Edelman PR firm (Freedom HouseInternational Crisis Group,PNAC), James Baker of Baker Botts (CFR, Carlyle Group), Robert Blackwill (CFR) of Barbour Griffith & Rogers (BGR)Kobre & KimBell Pottinger (and here) and currently Robert Amsterdam of Amsterdam & Partners (Chatham House).

While in office Shinawatra took up a decided pro-West stance, economically and geopolitically. To the protest of the Royal Thai Army and the Thai people themselves, Shinawatra sent Thai troops to aid in the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq. He also authorized the US CIA to use Thai territory to carry out their abhorrent “rendition” program. Shinawatra also attempted to ram-rod through an unpopular and quite illegal free trade agreement with America’s Fortune 500.

Since October of 2013, as protests grew against Shinawatra’s regime, the Western media took a decidedly pro-regime stance, utterly ignoring the brutality of Shinawatra’s systematic campaign of terrorism and mass murder against his political opponents, while fabricating tales of “anti-democratic extremists” attempting to overthrow a “democratically elected government.”

In the wake of the May 2014 coup, anti-coup sentiment is non-existent. As predicted, there was never a significant divide in Thai society, with elections merely an exercise in handouts and vote-buying, and real support for Shinawatra being in single-digit percentiles.

Thailand Seeks to Re-balance Foreign Ties 

Q0113661110428121256Thailand’s regional neighbor, China, is a growing power. It represents both opportunities and potential threats. Unchecked, reckless regional integration with China can lead to Beijing exercising the same unwarranted influence in Thailand that the West currently is aspiring to exert. A careful balancing act in Bangkok keeping all interests in the Pacific seeking influence within Thailand’s borders in check with one another appears to be the goal.

Popular backlash against the West among the protesters who successfully ousted the regime of Thaksin Shinawatra was met by a more cautious and diplomatic approach by the military-led government. Led by Royal Thai Army General Prayuth Chan-ocha, the mood versus the West was one of re-balancing relations, not cutting ties altogether. World Socialist Web Site (WSWS) noted this in their article, “Thai junta seeks more open recognition from Washington,” claiming:

While Washington will undoubtedly closely monitor Bangkok’s talks with Beijing, the Thai junta has clearly indicated that it has no desire for a loosening of the alliance with the US. Rather, it appears to be using the prospect of closer ties with China as a bargaining chip to strengthen the alliance. At the same time, the military is proceeding cautiously, well aware that Washington could quickly turn the regime into a pariah if it too openly embraces Beijing.

Even with WSWS’ tendency to favor Shinawatra for his psuedo-populist policies while ignoring his numerous and deep ties to Wall Street, it appears that a visible break in what were previously much stronger ties with the West under Shinawatra have become obvious even to them.

As noted by WSWS, General Prayuth Chan-ocha has clearly sought to strengthen ties with Beijing in a more visible and meaningful way. China immediately recognized the authority and legitimacy of the new military-led government once it took power from the floundering Shinawatra regime in May. It also welcomed the new government’s decision to move forward with a Thai-Chinese rail link long in the making. With Thailand finally re-balancing itself between East and West, China offered Bangkok the opportunity of becoming a founding-member of its Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank – part of a BRICS strategy to undermine and replace the monopoly of the IMF and World Bank dominated and driven by Western interests.

Bangkok’s Nation newspaper in an article titled, “Thailand to help launch investment bank for Asia,” reported that:

Thailand has been invited by China to become one of the founding fathers of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which is supported by this country’s central bank. 

“There was no reason to refuse,” Bank of Thailand Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul said yesterday. 

Thailand was offered a primary signing agreement as a member from October to November, according to a report by the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO).

The recent moves by the new military-led government of Thailand in relation to China have certainly given it more leverage against the West who regularly seeks to turn uncooperative nations into geopolitical pariahs. The West so far has nothing to offer Thailand in terms of incentives beyond increasingly ineffective threats and coercion.

Chinese Opportunities, Western Threats 

Indeed, while China offers Thailand opportunities to join alternative financial markets and strengthen regional ties, the West has resorted to a series of sociopolitical attacks aimed at undermining the credibility and stability of Thailand’s new government.

The latest attempt comes in the form of baseless allegations made by a notoriously dishonest, confrontational pro-Shinawatra propagandist Kritsuda Khunasen who claims she was “tortured” by the military while recently detained. Despite all other members of Shinawatra’s regime admitting their detention by the military was humane and dignified, Khunasen claims she was beaten. With no physical evidence of any kind, the West’s human rights advocates have demanded an immediate investigation. Ironically, for 6 months prior to the coup, Shinawatra’s supporters oversaw a systematic campaign of armed violence killing over 20 and maiming hundreds in grenade and automatic weapons fire that plagued rally sites almost nightly. The same Western rights advocates calling for an investigation regarding baseless allegations of “torture” today, were utterly silent for 6 months of documented, armed violence.

Despite this, the military-led government in Bangkok seeks to maintain what it can in regards to Western relations. The idea is to maintain a balance between competing regional superpowers Thailand has no hope of ever directly confronting itself. This strategy has served it well over the centuries, making it the only Southeast Asian nation to avoid European colonization. By pitting competing British, French, and Asian interests against one another while making small and reversible concessions, Thailand avoided direct confrontations with imperial powers that destroyed and subjugated its neighbors.

But no matter how carefully Bangkok attempts to balance East versus West, one or the other will benefit more. For decades that benefactor has been the West. Today, with China offering actual opportunities for Thailand, and the West offering nothing but threats, subversion, and subjugation, it is clear in which direction Bangkok should lean further. The actions of Bangkok recently suggests such re-balancing in favor of Beijing is already taking place.

In the months and years to follow, Thais and those interested in a truly multipolar world must watch with vigilance this balancing act in Bangkok, applying a certain degree of geopolitical sophistication to discern the difference between balancing and capitulation, while encouraging the military-led government and its successors to take all possible steps to strengthen Thailand within so that it mustn’t rely so much on such balancing acts in the first

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

As hemp makes a comeback in the U.S. after a decades-long ban on its cultivation, scientists are reporting that fibers from the plant can pack as much energy and power as graphene, long-touted as the model material for supercapacitors. They’re presenting their research, which a Canadian start-up company is working on scaling up, at the 248th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society.

Although hemp (cannabis sativa) and marijuana (cannabis sativa var. indica) come from a similar species of plant, they are very different and confusion has been caused by deliberate misinformation with far reaching effects on socioeconomics as well as on environmental matters.

Hemp is the most universally useful plant we have at our disposal. The history of mankind’s use of hemp can be traced way back in time to between about 5000 – 7000 BC.

Industrial hemp and hemp seed could transform the economy of the world States in a positive and beneficial way, and therefore should be exploited to its full potential, especially relating to energy storage.

David Mitlin, Ph.D., explains that supercapacitors are energy storage devices that have huge potential to transform the way future electronics are powered. Unlike today’s rechargeable batteries, which sip up energy over several hours, supercapacitors can charge and discharge within seconds. But they normally can’t store nearly as much energy as batteries, an important property known as energy density. One approach researchers are taking to boost supercapacitors’ energy density is to design better electrodes. Mitlin’s team has figured out how to make them from certain hemp fibers — and they can hold as much energy as the current top contender: graphene.

“Our device’s electrochemical performance is on par with or better than graphene-based devices,” Mitlin says. “The key advantage is that our electrodes are made from biowaste using a simple process, and therefore, are much cheaper than graphene.”

The race toward the ideal supercapacitor has largely focused on graphene — a strong, light material made of atom-thick layers of carbon, which when stacked, can be made into electrodes. Scientists are investigating how they can take advantage of graphene’s unique properties to build better solar cells, water filtration systems, touch-screen technology, as well as batteries and supercapacitors. The problem is it’s expensive.

Mitlin’s group decided to see if they could make graphene-like carbons from hemp bast fibers. The fibers come from the inner bark of the plant and often are discarded from Canada’s fast-growing industries that use hemp for clothing, construction materials and other products. The U.S. could soon become another supplier of bast. It now allows limited cultivation of hemp, which unlike its close cousin, does not induce highs.

Since the 1950s, the United States has been lumped hemp into the same category of marijuana, and thus the extremely versatile crop was doomed in the United States. Hemp is technically from the same species of plant that psychoactive marijuana comes from. However, it is from a different variety, or subspecies that contains many important differences.

Industrial hemp has very low Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels, which is the principal psychoactive constituent. Compared to marijuana which is specifically cultivated for personal psychoactive use, it is nearly impossible to “get high” on hemp. Marijuana that can be smoked usually contains between 5-10% THC, industrial hemp contains about one-tenth of that. In order to get a psychoactive effect, one would need to smoke more than a dozen hemp cigarettes over a very short period of time to achieve any kind of psychoactive effect.

The reason for the low THC content in hemp is that most THC is formed in resin glands on the buds and flowers of the female cannabis plant. Industrial hemp is not cultivated to produce buds, and therefore lacks the primary component that forms the marijuana high. Furthermore, industrial hemp has higher concentrations of a chemical called Cannabidiol (CBD) that has a negative effect on THC and lessens its psychoactive effects when smoked in conjunction.

Scientists had long suspected there was more value to the hemp bast — it was just a matter of finding the right way to process the material.

“We’ve pretty much figured out the secret sauce of it,” says Mitlin, who’s now with Clarkson University in New York. “The trick is to really understand the structure of a starter material and to tune how it’s processed to give you what would rightfully be called amazing properties.”

His team found that if they heated the fibers for 24 hours at a little over 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and then blasted the resulting material with more intense heat, it would exfoliate into carbon nanosheets.

Mitlin’s team built their supercapacitors using the hemp-derived carbons as electrodes and an ionic liquid as the electrolyte. Fully assembled, the devices performed far better than commercial supercapacitors in both energy density and the range of temperatures over which they can work. The hemp-based devices yielded energy densities as high as 12 Watt-hours per kilogram, two to three times higher than commercial counterparts. They also operate over an impressive temperature range, from freezing to more than 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

“We’re past the proof-of-principle stage for the fully functional supercapacitor,” he says. “Now we’re gearing up for small-scale manufacturing.”

Governments have cooperated with powerful corporate lobbyists the ensure that hemp is lumped into the same category as marijuana. The primary reason is that hemp has too many abundant resources for fuel, housing, food, medicine that corporations cannot exploit. Think about how many polluting conglomerates would go down if hemp was permitted as a resource. The oil, pharmaceutical, supplement and constructions industry would need to radically shift their business model to survive.

Mitlin, who conducted the research while at the University of Alberta, acknowledges funding from Alberta Innovates Technology Futures,National Institute for Nanotechnology (Canada) and Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency.

Environmental Benefits of Hemp

* Hemp results in a 95.5% fuel-to-feed ratio when used for pyrolysis the thermochemical process that converts organic matter into fuel.
* Biomass has heating value of up to 8,000 BTU/lb., with virtually no residual sulphur or ash during combustion.
* Hemp is the #1 producer of biomass per acre in the world. Biomass energy expert Lynn Osburn estimates that 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 million acres of hemp would replace all of Canada’s fossil fuel demands.
* From 75°/O to 90% of all paper was made with hemp fiber until the late 1800′s.
* An acre of hemp will produce as much pulp for paper as 4,1 acres of trees over a 20 year period.
* The hemp paper-making process requires no dioxin-producing chlorine bleach and uses 75% to 85% less sulphur-based acid.
* Hemp paper is suitable for recycle use 7 to 8 times, compared with 3 times for wood pulp paper.
* Hemp produces the strongest, most durable natural soft-fiber on earth. Until the 1 820′s, up to 80% of all textiles and fabrics for clothes, canvas, linens and cordage were made principally from hemp.
* Hemp cloth is stronger, more durable, warmer and more absorbent than cotton. Best of all. ‘ grown in Canada, cotton cannot.
* An acre of land will produce 2 to 3 times as much fiber as cotton, about 1,000 Ibs. of fiber per acre.
* Hemp grown in most parts of Canada will require no herbicide, fungicide or insecticide applications. Up to ½ of all agricultural pesticides used in North America are applied to the cotton crop.
* Natural, organic hemp fiber breathes and is recyclable, unlike petroleum-based synthetic fibers.
* A fully mature hemp plant may contain 1/2 of its dry-weight in seed.
* Once hemp seed oil has been extracted, the remaining seed cake is second only to soya bean for protein content and is an excellent source of nutrition for either farm animals or humans.

Agricultural Benefits of Hemp

* England, France and Spain have all legalized low THC varieties of hemp for an agricultural crop. England planted 1,500 acres of hemp as a first year crop. Reports from England state that farmers are receiving in excess of 3,000$ per acre for their hemp crop.
* Low THC hemp is not suitable as a psychoactive drug.
* A Canadian report from the late 1800′s demonstrated that hemp works very well in rotation with bean and corn crops.
* In 1991 Ontario farmers receiver 290$ and 240$ per acre for grain corn and soya bean respectively.
* Hemp was grown successfully in Canada for over 100 years. For a period in the late 1800′s Canada produced ‘hi: of all England’s hemp requirements. At kite time, England was the largest hemp consumer in the world.
* In the 1930′s, a South Western Ontario newspaper reported that Canadian grown hemp was among the best in the world and far superior to tropical hemp.
* In Canada hemp can be grown successfully from our southern borders to approximately 60O North Latitude, the parallel that divides the North West Territories from the provinces. This remarkable range is possible due to hemp’s short growing season, usually 90 to 110 days.
* The hemp plant will reach a height of up to 5m (16ft.) and sink a main tap root down 1 ft. This tap root will draw nutrients from deep in the soil and make them available to subsequent crops when the hemp leaves are shed on the soil. This extensive root system also helps to alleviate the problem of soil compaction.
* Hemp is very easy on the soil and returns up to 60% of the nutrients it takes from the soil, when dried in the field.
* A report from Kentucky states that hemp was grown on the same land for 14 consecutive years without soil depletion or reduction in yield.
* Hemp is very economical crop to grow since it requires virtually no pesticide applications.
* Hemp is also relatively drought-resistant and has been relied upon several times during drought-induced famine for its high protein seed.
* Hemp is very resistant to increased UV radiation and should not suffer decreased yields, unlike soya bean and corn.

Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy. 

Sources
acs.org
sacredearth.com
preventdisease.com
cannabisculture.com

As a basic principle we refrain from showing videos in which prisoners of war are questioned. However with this article we make an exception, because the video confirms what the interviewed insurgent states as well in the following text: that the Ukrainian army commits war crimes and buries their own dead in mass graves. So it is worthwhile to read both the text and to watch the video – two completely independent sources.

An interview with an insurgent from the Eastern Ukraine. He lives and fights in an area where the Ukrainian army was shattered three weeks ago, close to the Russian border in the Donetsk region. He stayed quiet about his name to me, but he was a wealthy businessman before the war. The interview was recorded mid-August and translated into German directly and from German. Some accuracy might have been lost when the German was translated to English.

Recorded by: Ilja Degtjarov


Why have you become an insurgent?

Because I do not agree with this Government and the things that are happening. I do not agree with this attitude towards the people. I could not bear it anymore to watch the people being tormented. Therefore, I have become an insurgent even though I’m already 53 years old. I do not agree that they came into my region. I will protect my trees, my stones, houses, children, women and everything else.

Where do you draw your optimism? You fight against the Ukrainian army and thousands of foreign mercenaries. The whole West backs the Ukraine. Why do you remain optimistic that you gain the upper hand?

We have a heroic people who have never knelt down. The victory will be ours, and if we still die, then better standing than on our knees. We have our vision, we have something that we want to fight for. Our grandchildren will grow up here. And if we die ourselves, our grandchildren will live as one must live, that is in a free country.

In much of the Western mass media it is reported that in reality the insurgents are composed of Russian special units or parts of the regular Russian army. What do you think?

We are not fighting for Russia, we are fighting for our people. Russia is a free country, a country where one can freely live without submissive bows to the United States and the EU. We know how you can live in Russia and we want to live like that as well. We do not want to bow before anyone, or worship anybody. We are a free people.

What do you think is wrong with the new Ukrainian Government? What caused this movement in the Donbass region?

These people have come to power through blood. Now they want to drown the whole Ukraine in the blood. Although they talk about the “free Ukraine” this country was never free, it always had to be subordinate to someone. Now the Ukraine is knuckling under to the United States of America, a country that suppresses all countries and is inciting wars everywhere. Actually, this country [USA] should be eliminated completely from the Atlas. Well, for the time being we will reach Poland, there we will wash our boots and then we will go on.

Back to the previous question: are the insurgents primarily local citizens or are they mostly Russian volunteers or even the nasty Russian army, dressed up with foreign uniforms, as some claim?

Insurgents are people who just yesterday were working with a hoe and a spade; who cared for their gardens. Then they laid down their tools and now they protect their gardens with machine guns. We are freedom-loving people. Even women, children and seniors go fight with us.

How would you describe the ideology of the people who have come to power in Kiev? In the West they say, of course, that they are flawless Democrats, who simply want to be different than Russians. Would you call them Democrats or perhaps something else?

I understand democracy in the way that one can express his will; and not that someone else speaks on your behalf. I still remember how you voted about the separation [of the USSR]: at that time also nobody cared to listen to us. Even now they are pursuing a unilateral policy. They want to see only that, what happens on the other side [in the Western Ukraine]. They are unaware of the suffering of our mothers and fathers. This is not a democracy, but fascism in its worst form. Not even fascists have killed children in this way, destroyed houses, poisoning the land with ecologically dangerous bombs. They bombard us with white phosphorous bombs and cluster munitions. They bombard us with cluster bombs, so that millions of small metal particles fly in all directions and on whole streets, everyone is killed, including women and children. After such bombings nothing is left, not even animals, but only burnt earth. Is this democracy? Do they fight this way for democracy? No, that is fascism.

Who fights on the side of the Ukrainian army? What is meant by foreigners?

We had prisoners of war from Poland. There are very many foreign instructors, granade launchers. Our [Ukrainian] soldiers do not want to fight, according to the prisoners of war, thus they are threatening them and their families with death. In the Ukrainian army they are even killing wounded.

So people in the vicinity of Kramatorsk were massacred, their organs have been retrieved; then their bodies were buried with tractors and compacted on top with armored cars. So they are hiding the evidence of their crimes. This also applies to Krasnodon: they destroyed their own people. (Editor’s note: compare with video)

The insurgents, the so-called “terrorists”, have left no one wounded in the lurch. They also help the civilians, the sick, all those in need.

So there are actually facts that they retrieved organs, apparently to sell them?

Yes. There is someone they can ask about this, can’t they? [ask to another insurgent]. We have people from Kramatorsk, who observed that.

Have you seen it with your own eyes?

Yes, with my own eyes. (Another insurgent in the background): We cannot reveal our sources.

You do not need to do. Such information before was at the level of “someone has heard that someone has heard” …

Why, yes! That has been seen even by our reconnaissance. Even prisoners of war confirm this. Bodies were buried with excavators.

Apart from the Polish, who else is fighting [against you]?

If we link up into their radio conversations, we hear foreign languages. But I don’t know which ones. And the Poles are found everywhere.

Why did they come? Are they mercenaries or regular units, sent here by force?

These are people, among others, who are even willing to pay to be allowed to hunt people. They pay that they may fire on living people with sniper rifles. If there are no insurgents, they shoot civilians. For example, there was a man driving to work with his bicycle and they have shot off his head just for fun.

 

Do you mean a specific case?

Yes, a week ago. The man was completely harmless. A sniper shot him, for fun. (Another insurgent in the background): We’ve seen it, it was a hundred meters away from us. He was just going to work.

I have read about such cases, but I have not heard directly of that.

That was in Krasnopartisansk.

Why do the new leaders consider themselves entitled to kill such vast amounts of people? There used to whining all over the world, that allegedly some students on the Maidan were beaten. Now thousands are dying, and nobody cares. Why? Why the double moral standards – what ideology is it?

[About] these double standards, I understand the following: Ukraine executes commands from the West, it has no will of its own. Ukraine is eliminating people who are in the way for the coal and gas production of the Americans. They do not need our people here and destroy them therefore, area-wide. It is not a question of eliminating some of us, it is about to annihilate us comprehensively, using Grad [rocket] launchers, mines, surface-to-surface systems [ballistic missiles]. There are bombs, which leave a crater three metres deep and eight metres wide. Within a radius of 300 meters nothing is left alive. Thus, they destroy cities. Women and children are hiding in cellars and they burn them there with flame-throwers and explosives. They do not “only” kill families, but inhabitants of entire apartment buildings. The killing of insurgents’ wives is particularly enjoyed. Is it even possible not to fight against those guys? We are simply obliged to neutralize this contagious infection that is spreading in our country.

If we consider the situation realistically: at the end of 2013 the Ukrainian army had about 4,000 armoured cars according to official data. The insurgents have only a few of them, so you cannot compare the forces. This huge mass [the Ukrainian army] is overwhelming and additionally there are these, for example, Polish armored cars. How can you beat this endless mass?

They fight for the money or out of fear that their families may be hurt, if they fight badly, or something similar. We fight for the lives of our children, for our country. That is a big difference. They fight without a vision and we have one. This will always win. We do not feed ourselves as well, but our spirit is stronger than theirs. No doubt, we will win because we are fighting for our people, while they came to our region, to take it away from us.

Were there cases that the Ukrainian army shelled buses or cars in which were clearly refugees?

Several times – even if it was written in large letters [on cars] that there were children. They shot at big crowds before customs houses. They fired at a seven-kilometer queue with grenade launchers and howitzers. People were running in all directions and left their stuff. As a slightly different example, next to the border an alarm system responded very loud at something; the children from the Donetsk region, from Kramatorsk thought that they would soon be bombarded. Which psyche can such children have?

What else is the Ukrainian army doing that you definitely do not know in the West?

Even people from the Stone Age have not done anything like these people in the 21st century. They torture, they kill people, break arms, cut off fingers, chop off heads and see how long you can still walk without a head. Everything you can imagine as horrible at all, they already do. We speak the same language, we had the same ABC-books at the school, so it is incomprehensible to me, through what influence they became the way they are.

Can you give specific examples? Without a name.

They shot at refugees, i.e. people who are already scared, with grenade launchers; with machine guns as in a shooting gallery, if people were clearly visible on a street. They did not shot to warn, but to kill. By the side of the road cars are lying around and they [Ukrainian army] do not allow the bodies to be picked up. Accordingly it smelled noisome due to decomposition of the bodies. Only after the liberation of the area the corpses could be removed. So they are fighting so against children, against women; and yet once they see armed men they lay down their arms and surrender with a white flag.

Regarding Boeing [MH17]: In the West it was proclaimed immediately – without ifs and buts – that the insurgents shot down the aircraft. [They said] Putin had given both the money and the BUK [missile] system, so Putin is to blame personally. Anything you can say?

I know nothing about that, but it is clear that the insurgents would never shoot down an airliner. Insurgents are fighting for people’s lives and it is unimaginable to save people with one hand and to execute people with the other hand.

Were there cases, where the Ukrainian army shelled towns and villages, when there was no insurgency at all?

This is their action model: first they use mines and missiles and then they penetrate into the cities. First they destroy and then they begin to “protect” the destroyed. They destroy absolutely everything. They destroy the people as one chops down a forest. They do not care whether it’s women or children, disabled people in wheelchairs, no matter whether there are insurgents in the city or not.

What use is it to shoot peaceful cities and civilians? What do they want to achieve with this?

We have here the city of Molodogwardejsk. Although there are no rebels at all, this town has been destroyed from a safe distance with howitzers. For them it is simply to destroy cities and leave a desert. Why do they do it, you have to ask them yourself. In the meantime we can now not even trust their white flag. Under the white flag, they perform regrouping of their forces and then begin to shoot again. You can no longer trust them – neither the army nor the Government. This is scum of humanity. When you look at their resumes, it becomes clear that they belong in a zoo. Until they sit in cages, children don’t have to be afraid of them any more. That would be my only wish.

How can you explain that even in some areas of the South East [of Ukraine] the junta has currently de facto won, for example, in Dnepropetrovsk? Why have large parts of the population changed sides ideologically? Why isn’t there any significant resistance?

Our country is poor. At first poor people earned from participating at the Maidan. You just went there [to Kiev] to earn the money. There it took people, to create large crowds – I would say herds of people. There they were given drugs, e.g. in tea. By the way, after their return home they have detected withdrawal symptoms in them. In addition, they received a brainwashing at Maidan. And only the people from Donbass were not going there; they had to work in this industrial area, they had to earn the money for the whole country, feeding the country. Therefore they still cannot subdue us. We have endured it as long as we could it. But at some point we could not any longer, which led to the uprising. It was always so in Russia: they harness slowly, but they ride fast.

What will happen with these cities [outside of the Donbass] now? Certainly one can assume that the vast majority of them are also against the Kiev Government, but this majority is suppressed and stays silent. But in my opinion, they should also liberated, otherwise they will be taken sooner or later, so that they support the junta. Then they are lost forever.

But we will liberate these towns as well. We will not punish anyone; everybody can have his own opinion. We will present our point of view, but will not impose our opinion. If someone wants to follow us, just go ahead, but if not, then not. Then they can simply go to lead their lives, to work.

It is summer. It is still warm and the streets are well passable. But in winter it is cold, un-asphalted roads will become impassable dirt, so that you can hardly deliver humanitarian aid from Russia. In many cities there is now no electricity, no water, no heating. How will you survive then?

We are a strong people. We are used to difficulties. And we will overcome these obstructions as well, whether in rain or snowstorms. We are serious about what we have started, and we will not stop now just like that. We will fight to the end, there is no way back.

Is there evidence that Americans sit in the military administration and give orders?

I can say nothing about that. Everyone makes his task here and since I’m not a scout I am not able to answer the question.

To what extent does the local population support the insurgents: Is it 95%, 70%, 50%?

You can judge for yourself: people harvest potatoes and give us some of it. People harvest three tomatoes in the garden and give us two of them.

If we look back to the times when there were no armed insurgents, but the junta had already proceeded disproportionately; how did people fight against them back then?

They fought with sticks against machine guns. They quit their jobs, left their families and came to us from everywhere. This concerned those as well, who did ignore the whole thing. Meanwhile, they changed their mind and protected their country. Many changed their bad habits, abstaining from alcohol. Among the insurgents, generally, iron discipline reigns and it is strictly forbidden to drink alcohol. The people are not paid. They fight for an idea. They eat what they are given from the civilians. All are highly motivated, but the sooner the whole thing comes to an end, the better.

What has changed in the towns and villages under control of the insurgents? For example, I read that they close casinos and pursue drug traffickers…

The Ukrainian police fought for 23 years against such phenomena as corruption and drugs, but without success. We have fixed it immediately. Drugs have become the absolute rarity. Something is changing in people’s minds and even alcoholics and drug addicts are changing their habits. In our shops you can buy vodka easily, but nobody does. Addicts tell themselves – maybe as a joke – that they will take no more drugs before victory. Anyway, there are no more drugs.

Within the liberated towns, factories and coal mines are destroyed; there is no work. How can you live there?

We will rebuild it, as we did after the Great Patriotic War. Our enthusiasm will be enough for that. Even if our generation will live in poverty, the next generation will live better. We are not afraid.

From the Russian side you receive humanitarian aid, which is generally known. But who delivers this assistance: the State, any parties, the church, private individuals?

You have access to these packages. Take pictures, the packages are labeled.

In the store for humanitarian aid I’ve seen many packages by the Communist Party, from churches…

Also from veterans of the Afghan war, by Chernobyl veterans, by the Communist Party, from the people who know what a war is like.

Do western organizations also provide humanitarian assistance in South-East?

And how! They deliver mines and projectiles for the Ukrainian army. In this way they help the Ukraine and this assistance helps then to destroy normal people.

So, there is no real humanitarian aid [from the West]?

It does not exist, I’ve never seen any. The same applies for medical help.


Interview Video (English subtitles) – 8:15

Video: Recorded by Fedot Panteleev.  Subtitles by Marcel Sardo

Text: Translated from German by Joerg Braun. Edited by S. Naylor.

The Middle East has been engulfed in a state of chaos for decades now, with the region becoming increasingly unstable in recent years largely due to western sponsored proxy wars. The current map of the Middle East was created in 1916 through the surreptitious Sykes-Picot agreement, a deal which divided the Ottoman-ruled territories of Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine, into areas controlled by either Britain or France. Today the chaos we see in the Middle East is the creation of Anglo-American-Israeli power, which is attempting to redraw the map to meet their present strategic and imperial objectives.

Islamic State: A Creation of US Intelligence

The Islamic State (IS) has hit the headlines in recent months due to their latest terror campaign in Iraq, which has led to US airstrikes in the North of the country. What has been omitted from mainstream circles though is the intimate relationship between US intelligence agencies and IS, as they have trained, armed and funded the group for years. Back in 2012, World Net Daily received leaks by Jordanian officials who reported that the US military was training ISIL (as it was then known) in Jordan, before being deployed into Syria to fight against Bashar al-Assad. Francis Boyle, a Law professor at the University of Illinois, has described IS as a “covert US intelligence operation” whose objective is to “destroy Iraq as a state”.

The strategy in the Middle East is the creation of a perpetual condition of instability and a policy of “constructive chaos”, where nation states are to be destroyed so that the map of the Middle East can be redrawn. IS provided the pretext to intervene in Iraq once again, with the intervention ensuring the oil fields in Erbil are safely in the hands of multi-national corporations – as oppose to chaotic and dysfunctional mercenaries. As well as providing the justification for the US,Britain and France to “bolster” the Kurds in the North of the country, which furthers the agenda of destroying “Iraq as a state”. As the President of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and Former Director of Policy Planning at the State Department, Richard Hass, wrote in an Op Ed for Project Syndicate last month:

“It is time to recognize the inevitability of Iraq’s break-up (the country is now more a vehicle for Iran’s influence than a bulwark against it) and bolster an independent Kurdistan within Iraq’s former borders.”

As I reported in June, the policy in Iraq is to split the country into 3 separate religious and ethnic mini-states: a Sunni Iraq to the West, an Arab Shia State in the East and a Free Kurdistan in the North. The objective of dividing Iraq into 3 has been discussed in neo-imperial policy circles since as far back as 1982, when Israeli journalist – who also had close connections to the Foreign Ministry in Israel – Oded Yinon, wrote an article which was published in a journal of the World Zionist Organisation, titled: “A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties”. Yinon discusses the plan for a Greater Israel and pinpoints Iraq in particular as the major obstacle in the Middle East which threatens Israel’s expansion:

“Iraq, rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other, is guaranteed as a candidate for Israel’s targets. Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria. Iraq is stronger than Syria. In the short run it is Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest threat to Israel (p.12)……….The dissolution of Syria and Iraq later on into ethnically or religiously unique areas such as in Lebanon, is Israel’s primary target on the Eastern front in the long run, while the dissolution of the military power of those states serves as the primary short term target.” (p.11.)

Yinon continues:

“In Iraq, a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in Syria during Ottoman times is possible. So, three (or more) states will exist around the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, and Shi’ite areas in the south will separate from the Sunni and Kurdish north.”(p.12)

Israel is merely an extension of Anglo-American power and has been since its creation in 1948, so any expansion of Israeli territory is synonymous with an increase in Anglo-American hegemony in the region. Arthur James Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary from 1916 to 1919 and author of the 1917 Balfour Declaration – which declared British support for the creation of a Jewish state (Israel) in Palestine – was also a member of the Milner Group, according to CFR historian Carroll Quigley in his book the Anglo-American Establishment (p.311). The Milner Group was the precursor to the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA) or Chatham House; the British arm of the CFR, with both organisations sharing the collective objective of creating an Anglo-American global empire.

The Plan for a “Middle Eastern Union”

After funding and being directly responsible for much of the chaos and instability that has been unleashed in the Middle East, western think tank strategists are proposing a centralised, sovereignty-usurping union as the solution to the problem they have created, in a classic deployment of the order out of chaos doctrine. As The New American reported last month, Ed Husain, an Adjunct Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the CFR, compared today’s Middle East to Europe before the EU was created, and he asserted that the only solution to the ongoing violence is the creation of a “Middle Eastern Union”.  This sentiment was echoed by Hass, who compared the Middle East of today to 17th century Europe, in his article “The New Thirty Years War”. Hass proclaims that the future will likely be as turbulent unless a “new local order” emerges:

“For now and for the foreseeable future – until a new local order emerges or exhaustion sets in – the Middle East will be less a problem to be solved than a condition to be managed.”

The idea of an EU-style governing body over the Middle East is not a new concept. In 2008, the Iraqi government called for an EU-style trading bloc in the Middle East that would encompass Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Turkey and later perhaps the Gulf states, in an address to the US think tank the Institute of Peace. Chatham House has also set up an initiative in Turkey called the Chatham House Istanbul Roundtable, designed to discuss issues relating to Turkey’s role within the region.  The President of Turkey, Abdullah Gül, was in attendance at the second meeting in 2011 along with Egemen Bağış, the ‘Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator’ at the time, who gave a speech where he described the EU as the model for the Middle East:

“We all know that the EU emerged as the most successful peace and development project of the history after a bloody war. Today, we have the very same expectations for the Middle East.’”

Whether a “Middle Eastern Union” will be created is difficult to determine at this point in history, but there is no question that the process of redrawing the map of the Middle East is well under way.

Additional Sources:

Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a “New Middle East”

Steven MacMillan is an independent writer, researcher, geopolitical analyst and editor of The Analyst Report, who has had articles featured on numerous news sites including Global Research, Truthstream Media, and New Eastern Outlook.

Bolivia and the Large Scale Extraction of Natural Resources

August 19th, 2014 by Federico Fuentes

Labeling the government of Bolivia as “pro-extractivist” or “neoextractivist” ignores the reality that Bolivia has made significant advances in breaking with the extractivist framework inherited from previous governments and enforced by the existing global relationship of forces.

A central challenge facing progressive governments and social movements in South America today is breaking the region’s dependency on raw material exports. This issue, which has tended to revolve around the concept of “extractivism”, has also become one of the main points of contention between supporters and critics of the processes of change currently underway in the region.

Extractivism generally refers to an economic model centred on the large-scale removal (or “extraction”) of natural resources for the purposes of exporting raw materials. The term usually covers industrial-scale agriculture, forestry and even fishing, along with more traditional extractive industries such as mining and hydrocarbons.

Alberto Acosta, a former energy and mining minister in the Rafael Correa government and now outspoken critic, notes that extractivism is not a new phenomenon. It emerged as “a mode of accumulation” with the colonization of the global South (Africa, Asia and Latin America) and “has been determined ever since by the demands of the metropolitan centres of nascent capitalism.”

“In practice,” explains Acosta, “extractivism has been a mechanism of colonial and neocolonial plunder and appropriation.”

Exploiting their position of power, countries in the global North (North America, Europe and Australia) have geared their economies towards transforming cheap imported raw materials into profitable manufactured goods. This has allowed them to pursue their own industrial development at the expense of other country’s resources.

In the global South, a dependency on exporting raw materials that are then imported back into the country as expensive processed goods has become the norm. For example, many oil-producing nations still find themselves having to import petrol.

Extractivism also has the effect of fragmenting local economies into highly specialized extractive industries geared towards the global market (and therefore vulnerable to its vicissitudes), alongside backward, low-tech domestic industries and a bloated informal sector.

The capital-intensive nature of extractive industries means they provide little in terms of jobs, and are highly dependent on transnationals based in the global North that continue to maintain a monopoly over the technology and machinery required to run these industries.

This ensures that along with the country’s resources, most of the wealth generated by these industries is also extracted out of the country.

Acosta explains that the end result of extractivism is “high levels of underemployment, unemployment and poverty, while the distribution of income and wealth [becomes] even more unequal.” This also leads to a shrunken domestic market, thereby entrenching the economy’s dependency on export markets.

Seen in this context, extractivism is a powerful concept for understanding how imperialist exploitation continues to be a huge obstacle on the path of development for global South countries.

It also reveals why the struggle for an alternative, post-capitalist development model is intertwined with the need to overcome extractivism.

Few leftists in South America would disagree with these propositions. Yet, an at times sharp debate has opened up between whatsome commentators have defined as “pro-extractivists” and “anti-extractivists”.

As I have explained elsewhere, counterposing differences in such a way tends to hinder rather than help us understand the unfolding debate.

The reality is that almost no one proposes closing down all extractive industries. Even a keen critic of extractivism such as Uruguayan ecologist Eduardo Gudynas acknowledges the need for what he terms “sensible” and “indispensable” extractivism.

Instead, the debate should be viewed as one involving different opinions regarding how best to overcome extractivism.

Acosta acknowledges that the new wave of progressive governments represents a step forward in relation to previous neoliberal governments, but at the same time argues that they do not pose an alternative to extractivism.

Instead, he criticizes these governments for pursuing a strategy of what he calls “neoextractivism”.

According to Acosta, a defining feature that sets neoextractivism apart from traditional extractivism is the increased presence and role of the state within extractive industries. This allows local governments to capture a greater share of the wealth generated by these industries.

However, even this positive aspect has a negative side according to Acosta, as governments have used social programs funded by extractive industries to justify expanding extractivist practices at the expense of the environment and local communities.

Acosta goes on to argue that under neoextractivism, “the structures and fundamental features of production and exports remain unaltered” with local economies maintaining their subordinate position in the global market.

With extractive industries continuing to be a cornerstone of the development policies of progressive governments, “there are no substantive changes in the current structure of accumulation” writes Acosta.

So how do these criticisms stack up to reality? Not very well if we take Bolivia – regularly considered to be implementing a neoextractivist strategy – as an example.

Certainly, moves by the Evo Morales government have led to increased state control over the gas and mining sector. This has involved the nationalization of gas and mineral deposits and re-negotiation of new contracts that mean the state now takes the lion’s share of profits generated in these sectors.

This has facilitated a seven-fold increase in social and productive spending by the government since 2005, which in turn has allowed the government to make some headway in overcoming the social debt it inherited.

A form this has taken is the dramatic expansion in access to social programs, to the point where one in three Bolivians today directly benefit from government social security payments. This has undoubtedly been a key-contributing factor to the fall in poverty from 60.6% of the population in 2005 to 43.4% in 2012.

However, it is important to note that unlike under extractivism, poverty reduction has gone hand in hand with decreased income inequality. For example, the disparity in income between the richest 10 percent and the poorest 10 percent has closed from a ratio of 128 to 1 in 2005, to 60 to 1 in 2012.

Decreased inequality is also evidenced by the improvements in Bolivia’s Gini Coefficient and Human Development Index, which take into account the expanded access to education and healthcare made available under the Morales government.

Acosta criticises this as helping to legitimise extractivism. In reality, it is an about finding ways to urgently meet peoples’ basic human development needs. Critics provide little in the way of alternatives when it comes to proposals regarding how else progressive governments can attend to peoples’ demands and expectations.

They also leave out other important benefits brought about by greater state control over natural resource wealth.

Firstly, increased state revenue has facilitated a sharp drop in public debt, making the state less dependent on foreign loans. It has also allowed the government to expand its nationalization program into such other areas as telecommunications, electricity and water and ensure that more Bolivians have access to these basic services.

Secondly, wealth redistribution has helped boost the domestic market, with the economy expanding three-fold within seven years. Higher incomes for most of Bolivia’s population resulted in greater domestic demand, which averaged 5.2% per year between 2006 and 2012, and became the main driving force for economic growth.

Overall, Bolivia expert, the late Benjamin Kohl, noted that under the Morales government, there has been a “general loosening of transnational control” over the Bolivian state and economy.

Critics also ignore the important steps that have been taken towards industrializing and diversifying the economy.

Under the government’s gas industrialization plan, Bolivia has already begun to export processed gas and by the end of this year will be able to meet its domestic demand for gasoline and liquefied petroleum gas.

This not only demonstrates that Bolivia has begun taking small steps towards breaking with its traditional role of raw materials exporter, but it also means that hundreds of millions of dollars currently being used to subsidize the cost of imported processed gas can be redeployed to meeting other needs.

Similarly, the higher returns from exporting processed gas mean Bolivia can generate more wealth from less gas extraction.

Overall, the current industrialization plan is pushing Bolivia in the direction of less dependency on raw material exports and processed imports, more wealth to redistribute, and the potential to decrease gas exploitation.

The redistribution of revenue from higher hydrocarbon taxes and royalties to other productive sectors has aided growth in the manufacturing sector, which has outstripped that of mining or hydrocarbons.

Moreover, a phenomenal jump in the number of registered enterprises, from less than 20,000 in 2005 to over 96,000 by mid-2013, has contributed to a decrease in unemployment and an increase in the percentage of workers employed in the formal.

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly in terms of attempting to move Bolivia not only in a post-extractivist, but a post-capitalist direction, are the steps taken by the government to help foster the communitarian sector.

This has been done primarily through the creation of a number of small state-owned enterprises in which local producers and communities have a say in how they are run, and the titling of over thirty-five million hectares of land as either communitarian property or indigenous territories.

The state has also sought to strengthen communitarian agriculture practices through preferential access to equipment, supplies, no-interest loans, and state-subsidized markets.

None of this is to deny that transnationals continue to operate in Bolivia, and that extractive industries persist. Moreover, Bolivia’s economy is still capitalist and resource dependent.

However, labeling the government as “pro-extractivist” or “neoextractivist” ignores the reality that Bolivia has made significant advances in breaking with the extractivist framework inherited from previous governments and enforced by the existing global relationship of forces.

These include gradually replacing dependency on foreign demand with increased internal consumption (resulting from wealth redistribution) as the main driver of economic growth, and steps towards industrializing and diversifying the economy away from a dependence on raw materials exports.

Of course there has been legitimate debate regarding aspects of the government’s economic strategy, in particular over the pace and scope of its implementation.

A critical factor that could help the process along would be support and aid from the global North in the form of technology transfer and repayment of its climate debt to the global South. That is why the government has placed so much emphasis on forging broad international alliances with governments and social movements around issues such as climate.

Similarly, a new wave of revolutionary struggle in Bolivia or the region could add the kind of necessary impetus needed to drive the process of change forward.

In the meantime, the Bolivian people and their government continue to provide important proof that an alternative to extractivism, although difficult to build, is possible.

Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African American youth, was shot at least six times by a Ferguson, MO white police officer Darren Wilson according to the preliminary results of an independent autopsy requested by the family. The fatal shot went directly through the top of Brown’s head into his brain, killing him immediately.

There are numerous eyewitnesses to the killing of Brown. A cellphone videotape captured the scene minutes after the youth was gunned down in the street while police stood around talking.

When Brown’s family members attempted to take a look at the body, theywere pushed away by the Ferguson police. The name of the officer was not released until six days after shooting.

On the same day as Wilson’s name was released, a video was issued by local authorities in Ferguson which purportedly showed someone resembling Brown taking a box of cigars from a store and pushing a clerk. The contents of this video and the timing of its release further inflamed tensions in the African American community.

On the evening of Aug. 15 after the release of the video attempting to criminalize Brown, the store in question was trashed. This took place a day after the St. Louis County police were ostensibly pulled back while being criticized in its brutal actions against demonstrators,community members and even members of the media.

Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, supposedly made the decision to lighten upon the police repression. He was called by President Barack Obama who was attempting to reduce the damage these developments have had on local, state and federal governments in the United States.

Nevertheless, by the morning of Aug. 16, riot police units were called back into the unrest areas in Ferguson. On the evening of Aug. 17, police claimed that they were fired on and attempts were made to put up barricades to hold back law-enforcement and to overrun the command center.

These claims were made in an effort to justify further repression.Gov. Nixon announced that he was deploying the National Guard in an effort to quell the unrest. A curfew was imposed on Aug. 15 resulting in mass efforts to defy the orders that people leave the streets by midnight.

On Aug. 17, militarized police units attacked the people gathered in the streets more than two hours before the curfew was scheduled to go into effect. Nixon announced that the curfew would be lifted on the evening of Aug. 18, but that the National Guard would be deployed to maintain order.

Brown Shot and Killed at Close Range

Brown was wounded four times in his shoulder and arm with an additional bullet going through his mouth. The fatal wound was apparently the final one which takes on the dimension of an“execution-style” killing.

At a press conference held in Ferguson called by the family of Michael Brown, Atty. Benjamin Crump acted as the chief spokesman and conveyed three questions being asked by Lesley McSpadden, the mother of the 18-year-old student who was struck down on Aug. 9 while walking to his grandmother’s home.

McSpadden wanted to know how many times her son was shot. Whether Brown suffered prior to his death and finally, why hasn’t the police officer who killed her child been arrested.

“It verifies the worst that the family thinks happened — that he was executed,” Crump told the news conference on Aug. 18. “It confirms what the witnesses said, that this was an execution.” (CNN)

Crump served as the lawyer for the family of Trayvon Martin who was killed by George Zimmerman in Feb. 2013. Like Brown, his death galvanized African American communities across the U.S. and prompted world news coverage of the killings and demonstrations organized to seek justice.

Ferguson Rebellion Creates Crisis for the Ruling Class and State

President Barack Obama has spoken twice on the situation in Ferguson.During his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard on August 14, he was compelled to address the crisis after six days of mass demonstrations both non-violent and violent. Obama said that the U.S. was “one country with common values” and that the situation in Ferguson must be resolved through peaceful means admonishing those who engaged in attacks on private property and police.

Nonetheless, if the U.S. was one country then there would not beperiodic urban rebellions throughout African American communities nationwide. Many of these outbreaks are fueled by blatant acts of police misconduct and brutality.

The situation in Ferguson is by no means an isolated incident. Since the times of slavery, Africans have resisted national oppression, racist violence and economic exploitation. To suggest that both the oppressed and the oppressor have equal responsibility in a situation that was clearly provoked by the police, the authorities in St. LouisCounty and the state of Missouri, is disingenuous to say the least.

In a second press conference on Aug. 18 after Obama’s return to the White House, he mentioned the situation in Ferguson again. Initially however, as on Aug. 14, he discussed the current U.S. military intervention in northern Iraq through aerial bombardment and ground operations.

Obama sought to justify the deployment of U.S. “military advisors” and fighter jets in Iraq over the last several weeks. He said that civilians were being threatened and the Islamic State needed to be curtailed and contained.

The president never acknowledged the role of the U.S. in destabilizing Iraq and creating the conditions for sectarianism. The Islamic State formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting against the government in Syria on the same side as Washington which is committed to overthrowing the presidency of Bashar al-Assad.

When asked during the question and answer period whether he had any reservations about the militarization of the police, where they are given hundreds of millions of dollars in defense equipment utilized in war zones, the president refused to address this inquiry directly.Obama made reference to the aftermath of 9-11 as a reason for the militarization.

However, the situation in Ferguson is not at all similar to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001. It was the actions of a white police officer, a department where he works, a county law-enforcement militarized response and the governor who has refused to address the oppressive conditions under which African Americans live and instead sent in the National Guard to suppress the mass response to such an injustice.

In addition, the only programmatic response to the questions about the social conditions of African American youth in contemporary U.S.society, Obama only discussed his so-called “My Brother’s Keeper”project which in essence places the onus of responsibility for living in a racist-capitalist society on the victims themselves, not providing any assistance from the federal government and the corporate institutions which are at the root of the mass unemployment, underemployment, poverty and incarceration prevalent among tens of millions of African Americans.

Obama said that many people of color do not feel they are a part ofthe broader society. The fact is African Americans and other nationally oppressed groups are not treated equally and are systematically discriminated against which manifests itself through disparate treatment due their race and social class. Until these issues are corrected, unrest, both nonviolent and violent, will continue throughout the U.S.

To advance demands for self-determination, national liberation and full-equality on a political level it requires the mass organization of the oppressed in alliance with the working class as a whole. The only way racism and national oppression can be uprooted and destroyed in U.S. society is to fundamentally transform the system of racial capitalism.