In Persia almost five thousand years ago, Zoroaster divided the gods into two opposing groups. Two, Ahura Mazda (Illuminating Wisdom) and Angra Mainyu (Destructive Spirit), were personifications of good and evil which, he claimed, were in conflict, and the Earth was described as their battlefield. Many others have described the Earth similarly. That the Earth is a battlefield is obvious. People everywhere have been killing each other for various reasons since the dawn of human history. That the battle is between the forces of good and the forces of evil is dubious.
The barbaric violence of Islamic jihadists is undeniable. Regardless of the merit any reasons they have for attacking Westerners have, none justifies their willingness to brutally kill whole groups of people in genocidal ways. Nothing can justify impaling a child! So that jihadists promote evil is an acknowledged assumption of this piece. But the killing being carried out by Westerners is equally abhorrent.
Two American journalists were recently beheaded by jihadists. The Western press turned these killings into a cause celebre. According to that press, two more horrendous murders had never been committed. The jingos pounded the drums of war. But the same week, two other Americans who had joined the jihadists were killed by opposition forces in Syria (perhaps Iraq), but their deaths barely received a notice. The mother of one of the journalists openly pled for the life of her son; no one pled for the lives of the jihadists. Did they not have mothers who grieve?
But some will say, the journalists were beheaded! Ah, yes, they were. Beheading is a horrid crime. No question about it. But let’s remember our history.
In the sixteenth century, the English had a king who had six wives. He had two of them beheaded. He is not generally referred to as a barbaric man. Strange! The English are America’s allies.
In the eighteenth century, the French had a revolution during which they beheaded numerous members of the aristocracy and even invented a machine to make beheading more humane. The French are America’s allies too. Are they horrid barbarians? When does a nation whose people kill others indiscriminately stop being barbaric?
What about the Germans? They lack a history of beheading people, but, according to Zionists, they murdered six million Jews in an attempted genocide. More American allies whose barbaric actions are known but who are never called barbarians. But those jihadists? What barbarians!
The French beheaded Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and other aristocrats by using the guillotine. Was that less brutal than beheading people by sword?
Tsar Nicholas II and his family were executed by bullets during the Russian Revolution. That too was brutal, but was it less brutal than beheading?
ISIS uses swords to brutally behead people. Horrible! Absolutely horrible! Americans use Hellfire missiles fired from drones to dismember people. Isn’t that also horrible? Is dismembering a person by means of a missile less brutal than beheading a person by sword? If you believe so, there’s something wrong with you.
In America recently, a condemned criminal was executed in a botched procedure that took two hours. An efficient, not botched, procedure would have taken mere minutes. But would it have been less brutal than the execution that took two hours?
According to the Geneva Conventions, it is okay to blow people to bits by bullet, bomb, and missile but not to merely gas them to death. Do you believe the dying really care?
People, it’s the killing that’s brutally horrible. There are no ways of killing that are less brutal than others. Distinguishing between killings by various means amounts to making distinctions without a difference. The dead don’t care! They’re dead no matter what.
The President sent a team of assassins to a compound in Afghanistan to execute Osama Bin Laden. The team carried out the mission despite botching the landing because Bin Laden apparently was unguarded. When word of Bin Laden’s execution reached the White House, the people waiting for the news, like Romans in The Colosseum watching gladiatorial combat, cheered. No, the cheering was not a sign of barbarity; it was one of kindness and compassion. Sure it was!
The United States launched a humanitarian mission to aid a trapped, obscure Christian sect in Iraq that turned out not to be needed by the time it arrived. But no humanitarian mission was ever even contemplated to aid the children of Gaza who were being killed by Israeli bombs while in their own bedrooms. Apparently the children of Gaza were not worthy of humanitarian aid. If people can pick and choose whom to provide with aid, the aid is not humanitarian.
Westerners seem to believe that when one of them kills an enemy, something honorable has happened, and that when one is killed by an enemy, a dastardly and barbaric crime has occurred. Isn’t this hypocrisy run amok? Is it any wonder that a nation that wantonly kills people abroad has police who shoot down unarmed teenagers in its streets at home? No people can be violent abroad and peaceful at home. Brutality is a character trait not an accident. Brutality drives out compassion and kindness; brutality and compassion cannot exist together.
The War of the World does not pit good against evil. There is no army of the good in the fight. The battle pits one evil group against another. No matter which side prevails, no good can ever come of it. If humanity survives, decades from now nothing will have changed. Mothers will still be sending their sons and daughters off to combat adversaries and have them come back in boxes. They will fill hallowed graves in reserved cemeteries which people will visit on Memorial Days. They will have died in vain just as all the warriors of past generations have. Humanity has been here before. Many times! Mothers will someday wail that cannon fodder is the fruit of their wombs. The war to end all wars is the war without end. This alone is the legacy of the brutality mentality.
John Kozy is a retired professor of philosophy and logic who writes on social, political, and economic issues. After serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, he spent 20 years as a university professor and another 20 years working as a writer. He has published a textbook in formal logic commercially, in academic journals and a small number of commercial magazines, and has written a number of guest editorials for newspapers. His on-line pieces can be found on http://www.jkozy.com/ and he can be emailed from that site’s homepage.
When the banksters who run America set their sights on the newest designated enemy of democracy, without fail the assault is preceded by information operations to convince a clueless public of the target state’s burning hatred for “freedom.” Momentarily torn away from corporate entertainment spectacle, enlightened citizen-consumers will be fed phony news stories of atrocities,green-screened crisis coverage set to dramatic music, and helpful cues to identify heroes, victims and villains in the unfolding morality play. Washington is said to be Hollywood for ugly people, and the ugly people have proven remarkably adept at statecraft as stagecraft, selling their brand of international banditry as feel-good humanitarian uplift for decades now.
But just as Hollywood has lurched into creative senility, so too is the template for overseas intervention fraying as US global dominance enters its terminal phase. No longer yielding to “leadership” from the wolves of Wall Street, independent powers have begun to challenge the foundations of the Washington consensus. At the forefront of this movement has been a revivedRussia, which in the face of NATO encirclement and with survival on the line, has shown itself willing and able to confront the Pax Americana. But the show must go on; as the United States positions forces ever closer toward Moscow’s frontiers, with furrowed brows and feigned concern, the talking heads on our telescreens mechanically inform us of Russian aggression. It’s springtime again for Russophobia in the West.
With its roots in the Great Game of espionage and intrigue between Victorian subalterns and the Tsar’s Cossacks in Central Asia, a systemic antipathy to Russia as such only took root in America from the time it assumed Britain’s imperial mantle at the dawn of the Cold War. The hostility, of course, has been mutual, and Russians have not forgotten how their land suffered through the “peace dividend” of US unipolarity in the 1990s. Promised that the North Atlantic alliance would never contemplate expanding eastward, Mikhail Gorbachev starred in pizza commercials and Boris Yeltsin headlined summits with his trademark vodka-soaked buffoonery. It was then that a weakened, bankrupt Russia could be looted by multinationals, its people impoverished and demoralized, and the state further subverted by forces from “civil society” NGOs to cutthroat jihadist mercenaries waging holy war in the North Caucasus.
Those days of humiliation are over, and that’s what has Washington worried. During his 15 years of “authoritarian” rule, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin set his country on a new path after a disastrous post-Soviet decline. Early on he thwarted the ambitions of oligarchs and regional separatists; since then he has moved to counter US/NATO plans for controlling Eurasia and its energy transit networks. This struggle has played out through espionage, color-coded revolutions, pipeline double-crosses and proxy wars. After a naval task force dispatched by Moscow effectively deterred the West from bombing Syria in 2013, US foreign policy planners decided to upend Russian resurgence through a quick and dirty route to destabilization: Ukraine.
By orchestrating a coup in Kiev in February of this year, American strategists were gambling on the seizure of Crimea, home to the Black Sea Fleet. Sevastopol in NATO hands would have drastically curtailed Russian influence in the Eastern Mediterranean while ensuring Russian vulnerability to US missile defense and first strike assets. Moscow’s hold on the North Caucasus (and even the Volga Basin) would also inevitably come under challenge, given Washington’s history of generating chaos through webs of foundations and aid agencies. Due to Putin’s quick action, instead of evicting the Kremlin from Crimea, the State Department and CIA unwittingly played catalyst to the peninsula’s reunion with its historical motherland. This bloodless victory constituted an intolerable affront to the vanity of America’s policy elites, sending their demonization campaign into overdrive.
For leading Russia’s return to prominence and refusing to bow to US pressure, Vladimir Putin has been made the focal point of this propaganda barrage. Any enemy of the “international community” (globalist plutocrats speaking through political ventriloquist dummies) must be cast as evil incarnate, which for contemporary man translates first and foremost to one name: Adolf Hitler. As if on cue, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – the woman who demanded that her husband cluster-bomb Serbia as an act of righteousness – ordained the Crimea crisis as a reprise of the Sudetenland.
Now if this sounds familiar, it’s what Hitler did back in the 30s … All the Germans that were … the ethnic Germans, the Germans by ancestry who were in places like Czechoslovakia and Romania and other places, Hitler kept saying they’re not being treated right. I must go and protect my people and that’s what’s gotten everybody so nervous.
Other figures from the unbalanced Senator John McCain to Prince Charles also joined in to label Putin as “another Hitler” for daring to defy the New World Order. Running afoul of American geopolitical designs triggers the Reductio ad Hitlerum mechanism – it’s a multipurpose tool of manipulation used against public opinion and handy for practically any occasion. Thus Gamel Abdel Nasser; Fidel Castro; the Ayatollah Khomeini; Manuel Noriega; Saddam Hussein; Slobodan Milosevic; Kim Jong-Il; Mohamar Gaddafi; and Bashar al-Assad, to name just a few, have all been affixed with the Austrian corporal’s toothbrush mustache of infamy when it suited US objectives. In comparing Putin with Hitler, the most genocidal Russophobe to walk the earth, the limits of absurdity stretch still further. Since he resolutely opposes the Western oligarchy mastering Russia and all of Eurasia, a dream shared by a certain twentieth-century Reichskanzler, Putin is by some wonder of logic akin to Hitler. Here’s a helpful checklist to demonstrate the similarities:
Stands against international capital stripping the people of their national wealth. What is this guy, a Nazi?
Asserts traditional identity of Russia and native cultures within Russia; supports pro-natal policies and strengthening the role of the Orthodox Church in society. Well, that sounds just like something Hitler would do.
Upholds the stabilizing role of Russia as a sovereign Eurasian power with its own natural sphere of interests. Hitler, Hitler, Hitler.
A strange reality comes into focus amidst endless inane Hitler rhetoric deployed in the service of universal conquest: more than any other deity in its pantheon, the liberal order needs Hitler for its continued existence. Leave aside the fact that Anglo-American financial elites underwrote the Führer’s rise to power, or the inconvenient story of Project Paperclip. Even if only for a moment, look past ongoing US sponsorship of Ukraine’s neo-fascists, the direct heirs to the 14th Waffen-SS Division Galizien, who have been pulverizing Donetsk and Lugansk with artillery to fulfill IMF loan conditions and clear the Russian east for shale drilling by Exxon-Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell. Beyond all this, Hitler is secretly the Postmodern Imperium’s most valued ally, a dark totem wielded to exact psychological compliance from the nations of the West both in aggression abroad and in their very own dissolution.
In decadent madness the Pax Americana seeks to subjugate Russia, yet its advance is the same rush toward ignominy of Napoleon’s Grande Armée or Hitler’s fearsome Wehrmacht. Atlanticist elites dread not only Russian power, but the liberating potential of an ancient Russian ideal articulated by legendary thinkers like Fyodor Dostoevsky: traditional faith instead of sectarian extremism or materialist fanaticism; national and ethnic solidarity instead of either toxic chauvinism or corrosive cosmopolitanism; and a just sovereignty instead of our pleasure-dome police state. Rediscovery of these principles can move entire peoples toward nobility and sanctity, affording them true freedom and a fighting chance to crush the cult of Mammon.
Much of the international media claim that Russia’s conduct during the crisis in Ukraine has isolated the country, made her a pariah, and that all of the civilized world has turned from her into disdain. Is this really so?
Suffice it to recall the results of the voting on the UN General Assembly’s anti-Russian resolution immediately after Ukraine reunified with Russia. At that time the Americans were able to push through the resolution. One hundred nations voted in favor and only 11 were against it. However, it turns out that there were actually 93 countries that did not support the resolution – one of the representatives forgot to push his button, another was in the cafeteria at the time, and another did not even attend the discussion. Two-thirds of the earth’s inhabitants live in those 93 countries – and the representatives of two-thirds of humanity did not oppose Russia and did not support the United States.
Another episode occurred during the recent BRICS summit in Brazil. And although meetings between the leaders of those countries are fairly commonplace now, it is worth noting what happened after the summit. The leaders of every Latin American country – most of which are viewed as little more than American vassals – gathered in Brazil. They wanted to be part of a new international organization with a vision they can endorse, an organization with Vladimir Putin at its moral helm.
And even now, at the peak of the crisis in Ukraine, there is no solidarity in Europe supporting the sanctions against Russia. I believe that the proposal to “isolate Russia from the entire world” is in essence nothing more than a propaganda stunt.
Why are so many drawn to Russia? Two years ago, I fell into conversation with several prominent European scholars who were involved in the work of the Yaroslavl Global Policy Forum. I asked if they thought it would be possible to create a world-class debate forum in Russia. Their answer was surprising. They all claimed that a venue that could serve as an alternative to Western forums such as Davos could only be created in Russia. Russia would be the only destination that representatives from all countries would find acceptable and would be the best country in which to construct an alternate, non-Western agenda.
Pursuing a new agenda
What signals are coming from President Putin regarding a new agenda? How is he approaching the issue of modifying the world system and based upon what principles? Following is my interpretation, based on Vladimir Putin’s public statements.
First of all, it is very clear what Putin opposes, what actions he considers to be counterproductive and detrimental.
He stands against the imposition of a political regime of “democracy.” This type of imposition never seems to have been successful. Countries have different backgrounds and cultures and each moves at its own historical pace. Attempts to forcibly engineer such an institution are inherently risky. Unsystematically “ensconcing” such rights as freedom of speech usually results in the loss of other fundamental rights such as the right to life or the right to work. In this matter, countries such as China, which is led by its Communist Party, and Iran, with its Islamic regime, side with Russia.
He stands against intervention in another country’s domestic affairs unless it is clearly warranted. In recent years we have seen that intervention often destroys country’s infrastructures and leads to disaster.
He stands against the new imperialism that destroys states’ sovereignty - resulting in weakened countries that cannot defend their interests in a global world where the leading players set the rules of the game. Just as during the “old” period of imperialism, weakened countries develop slowly and cannot free themselves from their shackles of dependence, while in the end the profits go to the strong. On this issue Russia may find allies among low-income countries, as well as among many left-wing intellectuals, including from Western nations.
He stands against social racism. Try to find out how many people have died during the Iraq war. You can easily find information about the number of dead and wounded soldiers from the US and its allies. But there are only estimates of the Iraqi casualties, which vary almost 1,000%, ranging from 150,000 dead to over a million. No one is counting the number of Iraqis who have been killed, nor is anyone planning to. The West treats many nations today the same way it treated the “aboriginals” during the colonial era, although that relationship is now overlaid with a thin veneer of tolerance. But these people are not aboriginals. Iraq is Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization. Iran, which was cruelly suppressed until recently, is Persia, with a history stretching back many thousands of years. China, a country the West rightly hesitates to try to instruct, is several thousand years old.
Second, Putin supports multilateral diplomacy and the establishment of complex networks within which governments can interact. On one hand, such networks would allow for different interests to be taken into account while seeking out complex compromises and reducing the risk of confrontation. American messianism, which prevents them from admitting anyone as their equal, is inappropriate in this context. That was, incidentally, how the European Union was established. That entity can be criticized from many different angles, but no one could argue that the risk of war within the EU is not lower than it has ever been.
Third, Putin seems to think that an entity should be constructed that would make it possible to seek out a balance of interests, rather than a 19th-century-style balance of power. The simple fact is that the majority of states would be treated more justly by that type of entity.
And fourth, new international institutions like the BRICS Bank need to be created that would operate on new principles and replace the old institutions created by the West to manage the world economy primarily in its own favor.
In summary, the era of domination by the concept of American exceptionalism is at an end. And although, as the Soviet philosopher and dissident Alexandr Zinovyev once wrote, “Western theorists, politicians, and media are, as always, absolutely convinced that their system is the best,” strong new players with an alternative vision have emerged and cannot be ignored within a unified world. The global, political mission that Vladimir Putin has shouldered strongly suggests that Russia will play a leading role in the creation of a new global architecture.
As many had expected as soon as the announcement was made that Barack Obama would make a speech on September 10 regarding his strategy against ISIS, the U.S. President has confirmed that he reserves the right to engage in airstrikes inside Syria.
The President outlined a four-point strategy that would, according to him, “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS. Obama stated that, “if left unchecked, ISIS could prove a threat across the middle eastern region” and possibly the American “homeland.” Obama warned that ISIS terrorists originating from the United States and Europe could return home and engage in terrorist attacks on both American and European soil.
The President also announced his desire to create a “broad coalition” to “roll back the terrorist threat.”
The four-point strategy is allegedly 1) “a systematic campaign of airstrikes” against terrorists in Iraq as well as a plan to work with the Iraqi government and the Iraqi military forces. 2) To increase support to forces fighting ISIL on the ground. This will take the form of 475 additional U.S. service members. Obama claims that these troops will not have a combat mission, but instead an advisory role. Obama also stated his intention to increase assistance to Syrian death squad fighters fighting against Bashar Al Assad. 3) Increase counter-terrorism efforts, cut off funding to terrorist groups and improve intelligence on the ground. Obama stated that he intends to convene a meeting of the UN Security Council in two weeks to discuss these matters. 4) Increase humanitarian assistance to the victims of the crisis in Iraq and Syria.
Obama made clear that he will “not hesitate to take action against ISIL” and that he has “the authority to combat ISIL” but he believes that the country is stronger when the President consults Congress in these decisions. Toward the end of his speech, Obama stated that he intends to “take out ISIL wherever they exist.”
All in all, Barack Obama’s speech to the nation was nothing more than an exercise in the live broadcasting of utter insanity. Obama’s four-point plan is entirely full of deceit and contradictions.
Obama’s statement regarding ISIS in Iraq and Syria is a thinly masked lie covering up the ultimate goal of launching air strikes against the secular government of Assad in Syria. Despite all of the air strikes taking place in Iraq and those to take place in the future, ISIS/ISIL is entirely a creation of the United States and NATO.
In the same speech, Obama professed a desire to cut off funding for ISIL while he simultaneously announced his intention to increase financial and military assistance to ISIL in Syria.
If Obama were truly serious about ending terrorism in Iraq and Syria, he would immediately cease funding it. He would also call on his NATO allies and his allies of the Gulf State feudal monarchies such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar to cease their funding and assistance.
Aside from comments that have no basis in reality, such as his statement that “America’s manufacturing industries are thriving” and that American businesses are experiencing the “biggest streak of job creation in our history,” Obama also took the opportunity to take a jab at what he called “Russian aggression.” Taken with the statement that he reserves the right to “use force against anyone that threatens core American interests,” one can only surmise that the western provocation in Ukraine will continue as planned.
While echoing the Brzezinski-esque  cry for “dignity” Obama also proceeded to take credit for the rescue of the trapped Yazidis on Mount Sinjar despite the fact that it was the Syrian Kurds who rescued the Iraqi victims.
In the end, Barack Obama’s statements of aggression and duplicity came as no surprise to informed observers. The Western-backed terrorist organization known as ISIS will be used as an excuse to continue American Imperialism in the Middle East and to justify a military strike on Syria.
The University of Illinois board of trustees has a history of not taking seriously charges of racism from indigenous peoples, including those regarding the university’s former mascot. (Image source: Flickr)
While all of these have been crucial interventions, very little attention has been paid thus far to the role of systemic racism and colonialism in the Salaita affair.
This silence with respect to the role of racism and colonialism in this affair might be regarded as somewhat odd, considering that this affair surrounds a highly unusual and drastic action taken by the university against a Palestinian-American scholar and an American Indian Studies program. Somehow these details about the targets of this action are being treated as merely incidental by those academics who are nowconcluding that they, too, could have been Steven Salaita.
If any of us could be Salaita, then racism and colonialism must not have had anything to do with this affair. But perhaps we need to think a bit harder about this conclusion.
First, let’s be clear. Systemic racism and colonialism extend far beyond (and in fact do not require) any conscious, willful intent to be racist or a colonizer (although they often do); rather, they simply need to produce outcomes that reinforce an entrenched historical pattern in which people of color and/or the colonized are disproportionately marginalized or harmed.
As such, these systemic injustices can be produced through any number of actions that are nominally colorblind and/or contain only unrecognized biases. Furthermore, because systemic racism is primarily a trait of a social system, rather than of individuals, it can actually be perpetuated by people of color, including Chancellor Wise and others on the University of Illinois’ board of trustees. In fact, systemic racism often benefits from and seeks out the inclusion of “multicultural diversity” because it helps to deflect attention and blame from ongoing racist outcomes.
With that in mind, there are many questions we should be asking about the role of systemic racism and colonialism in this affair. First, what effect has it had on this case that Salaita is a Palestinian-American and a person of color? As in all cases of systemic injustice, it is extremely difficult to draw any straight causal connections, as these cases are usually determined by several compounding factors at once.
Nonetheless, might it not be more than a mere coincidence that the board of trustees has taken this extremely rare, if not unprecedented, action in a case involving a scholar of color? It could hardly be denied that racism, white supremacy and colonialism shape which research, and which researchers, are considered valuable and which are considered dispensable in the academy. The concerns of those who make up the university are more likely to be recognized as “the” important concerns.
Furthermore, research that is highly critical of prevailing power structures, which is perhaps more likely to be produced by scholars of color, is routinely judged too radical, too biased, too unobjective, to bring on board. This will obviously be true to an even greater extent when one belongs to a group actively being targeted by these power structures, with which the modern university is enmeshed, and when the knowledge one is producing actively confronts and threatens those structures.
Let’s be frank — the kinds of judgments made by the chancellor and trustees about Salaita’s unsuitability happen all the time in academic hiring, but usually at the level of the department screening processes, when the stakes and public scrutiny are much lower or non-existent. Such judgments both reflect and reinforce not only the role of the modern university within structures of power, but also to the underrepresentation of people of color in the academy.
We know very well that white privilege, including that which comes from integration into white academic and administrative networks, often provides white scholars with a higher degree of protection against such actions, as they are more likely to be regarded as likeable and collegial, and to be afforded greater benefit of the doubt with respect to their qualifications, objectivity and competence. This doesn’t make white scholars immune to the type of actions taken in this case — far from it — but it does tend to provide them with a stronger buffer.
In short, the board may not be consciously targeting Salaita because he is a person of color, but race may still be affecting the type of scholar against whom the board would, and would not, be willing to take such a drastic measure.
Let’s also consider the language of “civility” in this affair. The justifications given for Salaita’s termination repeatedly point to the “incivility” of Salaita’s tweets. Of course, the concepts of civility and civilization have a longstanding connection with racism and colonialism in this country, with racialized and colonized peoples regularly portrayed as uncivilized brutes in need of a civilizing mission by their colonial masters and racial superiors. In this case, the board need not have actively thought of Salaita as a savage (although there is some indication that they did); it is enough that racism and colonialism have shaped our society’s standards of civility and in turn our assumptions, habits, biases and judgments about what constitutes “civil” behavior (and who tends to exhibit it).
Again, white privilege often confers greater leeway in this regard with respect to tone, comportment and decorum. But white supremacy also affects which issues are deemed worthy of outrage and “incivility” and which are not — which issues allow for “demeaning and disrespectful words” to be used, and which do not. White privilege is then further distributed to those who only get upset about the “right” things — those who, for example, only become outraged at the massacre of the right kinds of bodies.
It is quite clear that in our society the content and styles of speech (as well as the kinds of speakers) that are likely to be regarded as uncivil(ized) are disproportionately those of indigenous peoples and people of color. Again, this is especially the case when one belongs to a group against whom the United States is actively and publicly involved in carrying out immense colonial violence. Further, the language of incivility is even more likely to be deployed against indigenous women and women of color, for whom misogynistic discourses of women’s emotionality, hysteria and lack of reason come into play to challenge their ability to participate in civil public debate.
Finally, it cannot be regarded as merely coincidental that this highly unusual termination has been directed toward an appointment in the American Indian Studies program. The university’s largely unprecedented step of violating the autonomy of the hiring unit — comprised of those who actually possess the scholarly expertise to make academic appointments — is paternalistic and treats the hiring unit as incompetent in their decisionmaking.
Could this affair not be regarded as yet another instance of the historical pattern of colonial paternalism against indigenous peoples on this land? Is this history not shaping what kind of department the board would be willing to second guess, undermine and override in this way? The long history of colonial interactions between the United States and indigenous peoples continues to structure our society’s habits, assumptions, biases, judgments and institutions, such that indigenous peoples are more often, more easily and more reflexively treated as incapable of making their own decisions, and in greater need of guidance and tutelage.
It is the white man’s — and today an increasingly multicultural elite’s — burden to carry out this civilizing mission. As Jacki Thompson Rand has written, the UIUC administration’s actions in the Salaita affair are “painfully reminiscent of colonial practices” and have “put our colleagues on a reservation where they must ask for permission to step outside its boundaries in matters of program administration, expression of opinion and affiliation.”
The systemic colonial character of this intervention becomes even clearer against the backdrop of the University of Illinois’ ongoing mascot and team name controversy, especially the Illinois board of trustees’ longstanding reticence to take seriously charges of racism from indigenous peoples, and to deal with this controversy in a robust and comprehensive manner.
The board’s recent open letter in response to the Salaita affair provides further evidence, as the board aligns the university’s mission with the American nation-building project — and we all know how this nation-building project has dealt with indigenous peoples who have been viewed as “getting in the way.”
We need to ask some different questions about the Salaita affair, beyond those we have been asking about free speech, academic freedom and Palestine/Israel. Intertwined with all of these issues (and intersecting with related issues of racism and colonialism in Palestine) is the presence of entrenched, systemic racism and colonialism in the United States that not only shapes our society’s judgments, practices and institutional outcomes, but also enables extraordinary and heavy-handed expressions of power to be carried out more easily and reflexively against indigenous peoples and people of color.
Jakeet Singh holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Toronto, and is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics & Government at Illinois State University, where he teaches political theory.
The Islamic State (IS) is portrayed as an Enemy of America and the Western world.
With the support of America’s indefectible British ally, President Barack Obama has ordered a series of US bombing raids on Iraq allegedly with a view to defeating the rebel army of the Islamic State (IS).
“We will not waver in our determination to confront the Islamic State … If terrorists think we will weaken in the face of their threats they could not be more wrong.” (Barack Obama and David Cameron, Strengthening the NATO alliance, op ed published in the London Times, September 4, 2014, emphasis added)
But Who is behind the Islamic State Project?
In a bitter irony, until recently the rebels of the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) were heralded as Syria’s “opposition freedom fighters” committed to “restoring democracy” and unseating the secular government of Bashar al Assad.
And who was behind the jihadist insurgency in Syria?
Those who ordered the bombing campaign are those who are behind the Caliphate Project.
The Islamic State (IS) militia, which is currently the alleged target of a US-NATO bombing campaign under a “counter-terrorism” mandate, was and continues to be supported covertly by the United States and its allies.
In other words, the Islamic State (IS) is a creation of US intelligence with the support of Britain’s MI6, Israel’s Mossad, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Saudi Arabia’s General Intelligence Presidency (GIP), Ri’āsat Al-Istikhbārāt Al-’Āmah ( رئاسة الاستخبارات العامة). Moreover, according to Israeli intelligence sources (Debka) NATO in liaison with the Turkish High Command has been involved in the recruitment of jihadist mercenaries from the outset of the Syrian crisis in March 2011.
In relation to the Syrian insurgency, the Islamic State fighters together with the Al Qaeda affiliated jihadist forces of the Al Nusrah Front are the foot soldiers of the Western military alliance. They are covertly supported by US-NATO-Israel. Their mandate is to wage a terrorist insurgency against the government of Bashar al-Assad. The atrocities committed by Islamic State fighters in Iraq are similar to those committed in Syria.
As a result of media disinformation, Western public opinion is unaware that the Islamic State terrorists have from the very outset been supported by the United States and its allies.
The killings of innocent civilians by the Islamic State terrorists in Iraq are used to create a pretext and a justification for US military intervention on humanitarian grounds. The bombing raids ordered by Obama, however, are not intended to eliminate the Islamic State, which constitutes a US “intelligence asset”. Quite the opposite, the US is targeting the civilian population as well as the Iraqi resistance movement.
The Role of Saudi Arabia and Qatar
Amply documented, US-NATO support to the Islamic State is channeled covertly through America’s staunchest allies: Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Acknowledged by the Western media, both Riyadh and Doha acting in liaison and on behalf of Washington have played (and continue to play) a central role in the financing the Islamic State (IS) as well as the recruitment, training and religious indoctrination of terrorist mercenary forces deployed in Syria.
According to London’s Daily Express “They [the Islamic State terrorists] had money and arms supplied by Qatar and Saudi Arabia.”
“The most important source of ISIS financing to date has been support coming out of the Gulf states, primarily Saudi Arabia but also Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates,” (According to Dr. Günter Meyer, Director of the Center for Research into the Arabic World at University of Mainz, Germany, Deutsche Welle)
This money was channeled to ISIS terrorists fighting against government forces in Syria:
“Through allies such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the West [has] supported militant rebel groups which have since mutated into ISIS and other al‑Qaeda connected militias. ( Daily Telegraph, June 12, 2014)
…[M]eet Saudi Arabia’s latest monstrous contribution to world history: the Islamist Sunni caliphate of Iraq and the Levant, conquerors of Mosul and Tikrit – and Raqqa in Syria – and possibly Baghdad, and the ultimate humiliators of Bush and Obama.
From Aleppo in northern Syria almost to the Iraqi-Iranian border, the jihadists of Isis and sundry other groupuscules paid by the Saudi Wahhabis – and by Kuwaiti oligarchs – now rule thousands of square miles. (Robert Fisk, The Independent, June 12, 2014
In 2013, as part of its recruitment of terrorists, Saudi Arabia took the initiative of releasing prisoners on death row in Saudi jails.
A secret memo revealed that the prisoners were being “recruited” to join jihadist militia (including Al Nusrah and ISIS) to fight against government forces in Syria.
The prisoners had reportedly been offered a deal — stay and be executed or fight against Assad in Syria. As part of the deal the prisoners were offered a “pardon and a monthly stipend for their families, who were allowed to stay in the Sunni Arab kingdom”.
Saudi officials apparently gave them a choice: decapitation or jihad? In total, inmates from Yemen, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Jordan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Egypt, Pakistan, Iraq, and Kuwait chose to go and fight in Syria.(See Global Research, September 11, 2013)
“Volte Face”: About Turn
On September 11, 2014, coinciding with the commemoration of 9/11, the King of Saudi Arabia together with the Monarchs of the Gulf States announced their unbending commitment to support Obama’s holy war against the Islamic State (IS), which has and continues to be funded by Qatari and Saudi money as part of a carefully engineered intelligence operation.
Secretary of State John F. Kerry, left, speaks with Joseph W. Westphal, the U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal on his arrival at the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia on Sept. 11, 2014. (Pool photo by Brendan Smialowski via Associated Press)
Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States which actively contributed to the financing of the Islamic State, not to mention the recruitment, training of terrorists on behalf of Washington, pledged their unbending support for Obama’s military campaign to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State.
The statement of support contained in the communiqué, commits the “leading Arab states to working with the U.S. to cut off the flow of foreign fighters and funds to the Islamic State.” It also confirms that members discussed “a strategy to destroy the ISIL wherever it is, including in both Iraq and Syria.”
Saudi Arabia has come to understand the Islamic State group is a serious threat to their country as well– that it isn’t a mainstream Sunni movement.One element of Obama’s IS plan seeks to undermine the ideological and religious claims that the Islamic State militants make to Islam.
The administration hopes Riyadh will use its influence among Islamic religious leaders. (Voice of America, September 11, 2014)
Recruiting “Moderate Terrorists”
As part of the agreement, the House of Saud is to “host a training facility for thousands of Syrian rebel fighters who are combating both the Islamic State and President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.” An absurd and fake proposition. Until September 9th, “officially” Saudi Arabia had been supporting the Islamic State against the government of Bashar al Assad and now it has been entrusted in recruiting jihadists to fight the Islamic State. An absurd and fake proposition. But the media has failed to connect the dots and uncover the big lie.
We are dealing with a diabolical project: The architects of the Islamic State have informed the World that they are “going after” their own terrorists as part of a counter-terrorism operation.
While these actions are undertaken under the banner of the “Global War on Terrorism”, the US has no intention to target its IS own terror brigades which are integrated by Western special forces and intelligence operatives. In fact the only meaningful and effective campaign against Islamic State terrorists is being waged by Syrian government forces.
Needless to say, US, NATO, Saudi and Qatari support and funding to the Islamic State will continue. The objective is not to destroy the Islamic State as promised by Obama. What we are dealing with is a US sponsored process of destabilizing and destroying both Iraq and Syria. The campaign against the Islamic State is being used as a justification to bomb both countries, largely targeting civilians.
The endgame is to destabilize Iraq as a nation state and trigger its partition into three separate entities.
The broader US-NATO strategic objective is to destabilize the entire Middle East- North Africa -Central Asia -South Asia region, including Iran, Pakistan and India.
In 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. Globalization 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.
“We are implementing these new measures in light of Russia’s actions to further destabilise Ukraine over the last month, including through the presence of heavily armed Russian forces in eastern Ukraine, … If Russia fully implements its commitments, these sanctions can be rolled back. If, instead, Russia continues its aggressive actions and violations of international law, the costs will continue to rise.” ( President Barack Obama, September 11, 2001)
Obama’s assertion that “Russian combat forces with Russian weapons and Russian tanks” have been deployed in Eastern Ukraine is an outright lie. It’s not only a Lie, it is Lie which could potentially precipitate humanity into a Third World War.
Observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) “have registered no troops, ammunition or weapons crossing the Russian-Ukrainian border over the past two weeks” (Itar-Tass)
The sanctions regime directed against Russia is part of a broader process of economic and financial warfare in support of a clearly defined military agenda. While the West accuses Russia of “aggression”, the NATO summit in Wales has outlined a military road-map which threatens Russia’s security.
This article was first published by Global Research on April 18, 2006.
Abu Musab Al Zarqawi was the alleged mastermind behind Al Qaeda in Iraq which is at the origin of the Islamic State (ISIS).
Abu Musab Al Zarqawi has been presented both by the Bush administration and the Western media as the mastermind behind the ”insurgency” in Iraq, allegedly responsible for the massacres of Iraqi civilians.
Zarqawi is the outside enemy of America. The Bush administration in official statements, including presidential speeches, national security documents, etc. has repeatedly pointed to the need to “go after” Abu Musab Al Zarqawi and Osama bin Laden.
“You know, I hate to predict violence, but I just understand the nature of the killers. This guy, Zarqawi, an al Qaeda associate — who was in Baghdad, by the way, prior to the removal of Saddam Hussein — is still at large in Iraq. And as you might remember, part of his operational plan was to sow violence and discord amongst the various groups in Iraq by cold- blooded killing. And we need to help find Zarqawi so that the people of Iraq can have a more bright — bright future.” (George W. Bush, Press Conference, 1 June 2004)
The official mandate of US and British occupation forces is to fight and win the “war on terrorism” on behalf of the Iraqi people. Zarqawi constitutes Washington’s justification for the continued military occupation of Iraq, not to mention the brutal siege of densely populated urban areas directed against “Al Qaeda in Iraq” which is said to be led by Zarqawi.
Coalition forces are upheld as playing a “peace keeping role” in consultation with the United Nations. The Western media in chorus has consistently upheld the legitimacy of the “war on terrorism”. It has not only presented Zarqawi as a brutal terrorist, it has also failed to report on the Pentagon’s disinformation campaign, which has been known and documented since 2002.
Pentagon PSYOP Zarqawi Program
In an unusual twist, the Washington Post in a recent article, has acknowledged that the role of Zarqawi had been deliberately “magnified” by the Pentagon with a view to galvanizing public support for the US-UK led “war on terrorism”:
”The Zarqawi campaign is discussed in several of the internal military documents. “Villainize Zarqawi/leverage xenophobia response,” one U.S. military briefing from 2004 stated. It listed three methods: “Media operations,” “Special Ops (626)” (a reference to Task Force 626, an elite U.S. military unit assigned primarily to hunt in Iraq for senior officials in Hussein’s government) and “PSYOP,” the U.S. military term for propaganda work…” (WP. 10 April 2006)
The military’s propaganda program, according to the Washington Post, has “largely been aimed at Iraqis, but seems to have spilled over into the U.S. media. One briefing slide about U.S. “strategic communications” in Iraq, prepared for Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the top U.S. commander in Iraq, describes the “home audience” as one of six major targets of the American side of the war.” (WP, op cit.)
An internal document produced by U.S. military headquarters in Iraq, states that ”the Zarqawi PSYOP program is the most successful information campaign to date.” (WP, op cit).
The senior commander entrusted with Pentagon’s PSYOP operation is General Kimmitt who now occupies the position of senior planner at US Central Command (USCENTCOM), responsible for directing operations in Iraq and the Middle East.
“In 2003 and 2004, he coordinated public affairs, information operations and psychological operations in Iraq — though he said in an interview the internal briefing must be mistaken because he did not actually run the psychological operations and could not speak for them. Kimmitt said, “There was clearly an information campaign to raise the public awareness of who Zarqawi was, primarily for the Iraqi audience but also with the international audience.”
A goal of the campaign was to drive a wedge into the insurgency by emphasizing Zarqawi’s terrorist acts and foreign origin, said officers familiar with the program. “Through aggressive Strategic Communications, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi now represents: Terrorism in Iraq/Foreign Fighters in Iraq/Suffering of Iraqi People (Infrastructure Attacks)/Denial of Iraqi Aspirations,” the same briefing asserts…
It is difficult to determine how much has been spent on the Zarqawi campaign, which began two years ago and is believed to be ongoing. U.S. propaganda efforts in Iraq in 2004 cost $24 million, but that included extensive building of offices and residences for troops involved, as well as radio broadcasts and distribution of thousands of leaflets with Zarqawi’s face on them, said the officer speaking on background…
The Zarqawi program at the Pentagon was run concurrently with a related operation “led by the Lincoln Group, a U.S. consulting firm, to place pro-U.S. articles in Iraq newspapers, according to the officer familiar with the program who spoke on background.” According to The Washington Post, however, there was no relationship between the Pentagon’s PSYOP program and that run by the Lincoln Group on behalf of the Pentagon. (WP, 10 April 2006)
Disinformation and war propaganda are an integral part of military planning. What the Washington Post fails to mention, however, is its own role in sustaining the Zarqawi legend , along with network TV, most of the printed press, and of course CNN and Fox News, not to mention a significant portion of the alternative media. Disinformation regarding the War on terrorism has been fed into the news chain by a limited number of “top feeders”:
A relatively few well-connected correspondents provide the “scoops” that get the coverage in the relatively few mainstream news sources – the four TV networks, TIME, Newsweek, CNN – where the parameters of debate are set and the “official reality” is consecrated for the bottom feeders in the news chain. In other countries, this is what is known as propaganda – or, put less politely, psychological warfare. ( Chaim Kupferberg, The Propaganda Preparation for 9/11)
Zarqawi has been identified by the US media as being behind the “insurgency” in Fallujah, Tal Afar and Samara. He was held responsible for the Amman hotel bombings as well as terrorist attacks in several Western capitals.. He is indelibly behind the suicide bomb attacks in Iraq as confirmed by the Washington Post: ” The ruling Shiite leadership has Zarqawi squarely in its sights. He has led the suicide bombers whose Shiite victims are now climbing into the thousands.” ( 11 December 2005).
The Pentagon’s PSYOP is a cover-up for US sponsored atrocities by the US media, which has upheld the “villainize Zarqawi” focus in its news and editorials coverage of the Iraqi resistance movement.
The top U.S. military intelligence officer in Iraq said Abu Musab Zarqawi and his foreign and Iraqi associates have essentially commandeered the insurgency, becoming the dominant opposition force and the greatest immediate threat to U.S. objectives in the country.
“I think what you really have here is an insurgency that’s been hijacked by a terrorist campaign,” Army Maj. Gen. Richard Zahner said in an interview. “In part, by Zarqawi becoming the face of this thing, he has certainly gotten the funding, the media and, frankly, has allowed other folks to work along in his draft.” (WP, 25 September 2005)
Amid the continuing bloodshed in Iraq, there is evidence of fresh thinking. The change is, ironically, brought about by Abu Musab Zarqawi himself, whose indiscriminate terrorism appears to have succeeded in uniting people there against his global jihad ideology. Since the hotel bombings in Zarqawi’s native Jordan, more and more Sunni Iraqis and Arabs have condemned the terrorist leader’s nightmarish vision for their societies — one that promises further “catastrophic” suicide attacks. (WP, 4 December 2005)
Immediate withdrawal from Iraq is not an option the U.S. administration can or should entertain. It would give Abu Musab Zarqawi and his small band of foreign fighters the opportunity to claim victory and to announce that they have successfully defeated a superpower. This would strengthen al Qaeda’s hand across the Middle East and elsewhere, and lead to greater instability throughout the region. (WP, 11 December 2006)
The US media has identified the nature of the insurgency, centering on the key role of Zarqawi and his ties to the former Baathist regime:
“The backbone of the insurgency appears to be an alliance between the die-hard Baathists and the network of terrorists mostly under the command of Abu Musab Zarqawi. It is a partnership of convenience; both groups are fighting the same battle, but for different reasons and with different goals. (WP, 8 May 2005)
[S]enior officials at the Pentagon and in Iraq say they believe that Mr. Zarqawi and the insurgency’s ”center of gravity” is now in the bends and towns of the Euphrates River valley near the Syrian border.(New York Times, 17 September 2005)
In Fallujah, the siege of the city, which resulted in thousands of civilian deaths was described as a battle against the “Zarqawi network”:.
U.S. forces have conducted four airstrikes on what have been described as targets associated with Zarqawi’s network in and around the city. Among them was a housing compound in an agricultural area about 15 miles south of Fallujah where the U.S. military said as many as 90 foreign fighters were meeting. The military said the strike, which occurred on Thursday evening, killed about 60 foreign fighters.
Witnesses and hospital officials disputed the account, saying that about 30 men were killed, many of them Iraqi. They said 15 children and 11 women also died in the attack.
Neither version of the strike could be independently verified.
The following night, the U.S. military said in a statement that it conducted “another successful precision strike” on a meeting of “approximately 10 Zarqawi terrorists” in central Fallujah. “There was no indication that any innocent civilians were in the immediate vicinity of the meeting location,” the military said in the statement. (WP, 21 Sept 2004)
If indeed Zarqawi’s role was fabricated as part of the Pentagon’s PSYOP, what is the accuracy of these media reports?
The internal military documents leaked to Washington Post confirm that the Pentagon is involved in an ongoing propaganda campaign which seeks to provide a face to the enemy. The purpose is to portray the enemy as a terrorist, to mislead public opinion.
Counterterrorism and war propaganda are intertwined. The propaganda apparatus feeds disinformation into the news chain. The objective is to present the terror groups as “enemies of America.” responsible for countless atrocities in Iraq and around the World. The underlying objective is to galvanize public opinion in support of America’s Middle East war agenda.
US military-intelligence has created it own terrorist organizations. In turn, it has developed a cohesive multibillion dollar counterterrorism program “to go after” these terrorist organizations. To reach its foreign policy objectives, the images of terrorism in the Iraqi war theater must remain vivid in the minds of the citizens, who are constantly reminded of the terrorist threat. The Iraqi resistance movement is described as terrorists led by Zarqawi.
The propaganda campaign using the Western media, presents the portraits of the leaders behind the terror network. In other words, at the level of what constitutes an “advertising” campaign, “it gives a face to terror.”
The “war on terrorism” rests on the creation of one or more evil bogeymen, the terror leaders, Osama bin Laden, Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, et al, whose names and photos are presented ad nauseam in daily news reports. Without Zarqawi and bin Laden, the “war on terrorism” would loose its raison d’être. The main casus belli is to wage a ” war on terrorism”.
The Pentagon documents leaked to the Washington Post regarding Zarqawi have revealed that Al Qaeda in Iraq is fabricated.
The suicide attacks in Iraq are indeed real, but who is behind them? There are indications that some of the suicide attacks could have been organized by the US-UK military and intelligence. (See references below pertaining to British Special Forces Soldiers caught Planting Bombs in Basra.)
Michel Chossudovsky is the author of the international best seller “The Globalization of Poverty ” published in eleven languages. He is Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Center for Research on Globalization, at www.globalresearch.ca. He is also a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. His most recent book entitled: America’s “War on Terrorism”, Global Research, 2005, contains a detailed analysis of the role of Zarqawi in the Adminstration’s disinformation campaign.
In 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. Globalization 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.
Arms producer Kalashnikov and oil giant Rosneft are among Russian companies hit by a new round of EU sanctions, which have come into effect Friday morning upon being published in the EU Official Journal.
The sanctions target the finance, energy and defense sectors. The union has restricted three Russian energy companies from raising long-term debt on European capital markets – Rosneft, Transneft and Gazprom Neft.
The EU has also halted services Russia needs to extract oil and gas in the Arctic, deep sea and shale extraction projects.
The export of any technology considered military ‘dual-use’ has been banned from nine Russian companies, including the manufacturer of Kalashnikov rifles.
Five major Russian state-owned banks – Sberbank, VTB, Gazprombank, Vnesheconombank (VEB) and Rosselkhozbank – have been banned from receiving any long-term (over 30-day) loans from EU companies.
Brussels has also added 24 individuals to the list, blocking travel to the EU and freezing assets. Russian MPs and businessmen, as well as politicians in Crimea and Donbass, are on the blacklist.
The US is going to join the EU initiative with its own set of sanctions to be announced later in the day.
Moscow has described the sanctions as counter-productive and coming at the wrong moment, when Russia has helped negotiate the latest ceasefire in Ukraine and has already signaled its commitment to facilitating peace in the region.
The presidential spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said on Thursday that Brussels either fails to see or “is unwilling to see the real situation in Donbass and does not want to get informed about the steps the parties are taking towards settlement.”
Russian authorities have vowed to support the companies hit by Western sanctions and have promised to adopt a package of retaliatory sanctions in response.
The 10th International Colloquium on the case of Cuban Five convenes today in Havana, Cuba to urge an immediate end to persecution of these heroes of the fight against terrorism. It is now 16 years – 5840 days – since September 12, 1998, the date in which the United States government decided to punish these brave men for their attempt to prevent terrorist and criminal acts of counter-revolutionary groups against Cuba. During this period, the steadfast resistance of these heroes in face of a wide range of inhuman pressures of the United States government aimed at breaking their wills, as manifested in their unwavering defense at the 6 months long trial and as shown in their high morale despite the prison hardships. This, together with the persistent international campaign in their defense has proved key facts in their favor, including:
- The charge of “the crime of conspiracy to commit espionage” against the Cuban Five is totally unfounded, as no evidence exist to support such accusation and as stated in the court by many witnesses, including three retired US Army generals. In fact, the actual mission of the Cuban Five in the United States was to monitor the activities of the groups and organizations responsible for violent activities against Cuba.
- The Cuban Five were not only mistreated in United State jails – placed in solitary confinement and isolated from all other inmates for an entire period of 17 months – but were also denied a impartial jury and a fair trial. Such mistreatment has been denounced by many organizations and namely, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. After reviewing the arguments advanced by the families of the Cuban Five and the US government, the Working group concluded that, based on the facts and the circumstances in which the trial was held, the nature of the charges and the severity of the convictions, the imprisonment of the Five violates Article 14 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Liberties.
The facts in favor of Cuban Five are not limited to those stated above and indeed not much effort is needed to prove that the hostility and inhuman behavior against these selfless freedom fighters contradicts the so-called anti-terrorist stand of the US government. If the Empire was true with its claim of fighting terrorism, why should it provide outright support to terrorist gangs responsible of killing 3,478 and injuring 2,099 Cuban citizens? Why has the US supported vicious terrorists who have in their record killing of above 16,000 of men and women in Iran? How could a government pretend to fight terrorism and meanwhile provide arms and financial and logistical supports to terrorist organizations responsible for destroying Libya and killing tens of thousands of people in Iraq and Syria? Well, it is all understandable and there is no need for question marks: the anti-terrorist claim of the US government is fake, totally fake. Here is the logic of the shameful hypocrisy: declaring something and doing exactly the opposite. Just like claiming to defend human rights and violating the same rights at the same time, or raising the banner of peace while carrying on with wars and genocides. This is how it goes.
The only way to expose such hypocrisy is to bring the truth out and inform public opinion about the truth. The hegemonic powers rest on false propaganda, misinformation, and disinformation. To confront these main pillar of imperialist domination, we have no alternative but to stand with the truth and spread it widely and persistently. That is how the international campaign to defend the Cuban Five has grown during the past 16 years, attracting the support of numerous freedom-lovers all over the world – among them Nobel laureates, distinguished peace and human right activists and member of parliaments, including the parliament of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the base country of House of Latin America (HOLA).
The above-mentioned orientation, i.e. mobilization of public opinion, has proved to be fruitful and we should keep on walking on the same path. Now that two of the Cuban Five, Fernando Gonzalez and René González have been freed and returned home to Cuba, we shall continue our defense campaign to make sure that the same thing will happen as soon as possible to the other three Cuban heroes – Gerardo Hernandez, Ramón Labañino, and Antonio Guerrero – who are still spending unjust prison terms in US jails.
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing Tuesday on federal programs that have funneled billions of dollars in military hardware to state and local police forces. Under the heading “Oversight of Federal Programs for Equipping State and Local Law Enforcement,” the Committee called witnesses from the Defense Department, FEMA, and the Justice Department, as well as numerous “independent” experts, to testify about the militarization of American police as well as the events last month in Ferguson, Missouri.
While the hearing was promoted in the press as an official “review” of the militarized police tactics seen in Ferguson, Missouri, its actual purpose was to support the continuation and regularization of the anti-democratic programs. The hearing procedures expressed the unanimous support within the political establishment for the decades-long conversion of local police departments into paramilitary forces. The only reforms presented were intended to make the militarization of police more efficient, not to scale it back.
At no point in the proceedings were the actual motivations for the militarization of police mentioned; the explosive growth of inequality and poverty in the past 25 years, constant wars abroad, and the attack on democratic rights did not merit so much as a whisper.
The right-wing character of the hearing was made plain by the opening remarks of committee chairman Tom Carper (D-Delaware). Carper stated, “These programs were established with very good intentions. The question is whether this equipment matches what the police truly need to uphold the law.” He then went on to cite the lockdown after the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013 as proof that the programs were necessary and effective.
Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), chairwoman of the Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight, focused her remarks on inefficiencies in the programs and a supposed lack of training for local police forces, while emphasizing her support for the police, declaring that they “protect the people of this great nation through our very admirable rule of law.”
While portraying police officers in postiive terms, McCaskill slandered the Ferguson protests as being whipped up by outside agitators and justified the deployment of armored vehicles against peaceful protesters: “I saw a vehicle extricate some police officers in a pretty dangerous situation in Ferguson,” McCaskill said, “once some of the outsiders started coming in from other states that wanted a confrontation with the police.”
McCaskill then bemoaned the poor image that the occupation of Ferguson had given American police and, amazingly, cited the supposed success of occupying troops in Iraq and Afghanistan in winning the “hearts and minds” of the local population by acting “like a police force.”
The witnesses were treated with kid gloves. At no point were any of the political issues involved brought to the fore. Senators continually prefaced their remarks with glowing depictions of the “brave men and women” in state and local police departments.
Setting the tone for the session, Carper began the questioning by asking the witnesses what could be done to “[enable] law enforcement to have some of the resources that they need to meet the level of risk in their communities.” Republican senators Tom Corbin and Rand Paul, for their part, made a show of criticizing the programs, portraying them as federal overreach, in order to further their own right-wing states’ rights policies.
Brian Kamoie of the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), in remarks that were passed on in silence by the committee, said that the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security this year identified 38 urban centers as “high risk” areas, a designation that prioritizes the flow of funds to their local police departments, in consultation with both the Department of Justice and intelligence agencies.
Despite this favorable treatment, the government witnesses tied themselves in knots defending their programs. Alan Estevez, head of the Department of Defense’s now-infamous 1033 program, which transferred billions of dollars in military hardware to local police, declared that the Pentagon exercised due diligence on requests for hardware by police departments, and that “if an agency requests 100 rifles and there are only ten officers,” the request would be rejected. When McCaskill cited two cases where departments with one sworn, full-time officer were each given fourteen assault rifles and two mine-resistant, ambush protected (MRAP) armored vehicles, Estevez equivocated, stating that he would have to look into it.
The Senate committee rounded out its panel of “experts” with two representatives from police organizations who were asked for input on how to improve the image of militarized police forces. Scaling back or reversing these programs was categorically ruled out. Jim Bueermann, president of the Police Foundation, provocatively asserted, “Anyone who thinks that we’re not going to have tactical teams or high-powered weaponry in policing in the United States just has not been paying attention.” No members of the committee took issue with this assertion.
Official Washington’s ever-influential neoconservatives and their “liberal interventionist” allies see President Barack Obama’s decision to extend U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State terrorists into Syria as a new chance to achieve the long-treasured neocon goal of “regime change” in Damascus.
On the surface, Obama’s extraordinary plan to ignore Syrian sovereignty and attack across the border has been viewed as a unilateral U.S. action to strike at the terrorist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), but it could easily evolve into a renewed effort to overthrow Bashar al-Assad’s government, ironically one of ISIS’s principal goals.
ISIS began as part of the Sunni resistance to George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq which had elevated Iraq’s Shiite majority to power. Then known as “al-Qaeda in Iraq,” the terrorist group stoked a sectarian war by slaughtering Shiites and bombing their mosques.
Changing its name to ISIS, the group shifted to Syria where it joined with U.S.-backed rebels seeking to overthrow Assad’s regime which was dominated by Alawites, a branch of Shiite Islam. Then, this summer, ISIS returned to Iraq where it routed Iraqi government forces in a series of battles and conducted public executions, including beheading two U.S. journalists.
In his national address Wednesday, Obama said he will order U.S. air attacks across Syria’s border without any coordination with the Syrian government, a proposition that Damascus has denounced as a violation of its sovereignty. Thus, the argument will surely soon be heard in Washington that Assad’s government must be removed as a military prerequisite so the attacks on ISIS can proceed. Otherwise, there could be a threat to U.S. aircraft from Syria’s air defenses.
That would get the neocons back on their original track of forcing “regime change” in countries seen as hostile to Israel. The first target was Iraq with Syria and Iran to follow. The goal was to deprive Israel’s close-in enemies, Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Palestine’s Hamas, of crucial support. The neocon vision got knocked off track when Bush’s Iraq War derailed and the American people balked at the idea of extending the conflict to Syria and Iran.
Image: President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with members of the National Security Council in the Situation Room of the White House, Sept. 10, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
But the neocons never gave up on their vision. They simply kept at it, clinging to key positions inside Official Washington and recruiting “liberal interventionists” to the “regime change” cause. The neocons remained focused on Syria and Iran with hopes of getting U.S. bombing campaigns going against both countries. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Dangerous Neocon-R2P Alliance.”]
The neocons’ new hope has now arrived with the public outrage over ISIS’s atrocities. Yet, while pushing to get this new war going, the neocons have downplayed their “regime change” agenda, getting Obama to agree only to extend his anti-ISIS bombing campaign from Iraq into Syria. But “regime change” in Damascus has remained a top neocon priority.
In a New York Times op-ed on Aug. 29, neocon Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham avoided the “r-c” phrase couching their words about Syria’s civil war in the vague language of resolving the conflict, but clearly meaning that Assad must go.
The hawkish pair wrote that thwarting ISIS
“requires an end to the [civil] conflict in Syria, and a political transition there, because the regime of President Bashar al-Assad will never be a reliable partner against ISIS; in fact, it has abetted the rise of ISIS, just as it facilitated the terrorism of ISIS’ predecessor, Al Qaeda in Iraq.”
Though the McCain-Graham depiction of Assad’s relationship to ISIS and al-Qaeda is a distortion at best – in fact, Assad’s army has been the most effective force in pushing back against the Sunni terrorist groups that have come to dominate the Western-backed rebel movement – the op-ed’s underlying point is obvious: an initial step in the U.S. military operation against ISIS must be “regime change” in Damascus.
The neocons are also back to their old sleight-of-hand conflating the terrorists fighting the Assad government with the Assad government. In the op-ed, McCain and Graham cite Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson supposedly calling “Syria ‘a matter of homeland security’” – when he actually said in the linked speech from last February:
“We are very focused on foreign fighters heading to Syria. Based on our work and the work of our international partners, we know individuals from the U.S., Canada and Europe are traveling to Syria to fight in the conflict. At the same time, extremists are actively trying to recruit Westerners, indoctrinate them, and see them return to their home countries with an extremist mission.”
In other words, “Syria” was not the problem cited by Johnson but rather the “foreign fighters heading to Syria” and the possibility that they might “return to their home countries with an extremist mission.” The distinction is important, but McCain and Graham want to blur the threat to confuse Americans into seeing “Syria” as the problem, not the extremists.
A similar approach was taken by Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, one of the Obama administration’s top liberal war hawks. On Sept. 4, she sought to conflate recent allegations that Assad may not have surrendered all his chemical weapons with the possibility that any remaining weapons might fall into the hands of ISIS terrorists.
“Certainly if there are chemical weapons left in Syria, there will be a risk” that they could end up in the hands of ISIS, Power said. “And we can only imagine what a group like that would do if in possession of such a weapon.”
If any of these rhetorical tactics are ringing a bell, it’s because they are reminiscent of how the neocons frightened the American people into supporting the Iraq War in 2002-03. Back then, Bush administration officials blended unsubstantiated claims about Iraq’s WMDs with the prospect of them being shared with al-Qaeda.
In both cases – Iraq then and Syria now – the existence of those dangerous chemical weapons was in serious doubt and, even if they did exist, the two governments – of Saddam Hussein then and Bashar al-Assad now – were hostile to the Sunni fundamentalists in al-Qaeda and now its spinoff, ISIS.
Yet, this effort to confuse the American public – by manipulating their lack of knowledge about the power relationships in the Middle East – might work once more, by putting “black hats” on both Assad and ISIS and blurring the fact that they are bitter enemies.
In the weeks ahead, Assad also will surely be portrayed as obstructing the U.S. attacks on ISIS. He likely will be blamed for a lack of cooperation with the airstrikes even though it was the Obama administration that refused to coordinate with Assad’s government.
ISIL or ISIS?
Among anti-neocon “realists” inside the U.S. intelligence community, the concern about how these airstrikes into Syria might lead to dangerous mission creep is so great that I’m told that some senior analysts are even suspicious of President Obama’s repeated use of the acronym “ISIL” – for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant – instead of the more common “ISIS,” referring only to Iraq and Syria.
The concern is that “the Levant” suggests a larger area including all “Mediterranean lands east of Italy,” that theoretically could include everything from Turkey to Palestine and Jordan to parts of Egypt. One source said inclusion of the phrase “ISIL,” instead of “ISIS,” in any “use of force” resolution could be significant by creating a possibility of a much wider war.
In his speech to the nation on Wednesday, Obama continued to use the acronym “ISIL” but his references to U.S. military operations were limited to Iraq and Syria.
The most controversial part of Obama’s speech was his open declaration to conduct cross-border attacks into Syria in clear violation of international law. He also vowed to increase military support for rebels fighting to overthrow the Assad government.
Obama declared that “we have ramped up our military assistance to the Syrian opposition” and he requested additional resources from Congress. He added: “We must strengthen the opposition as the best counterweight to extremists like ISIL, while pursuing the political solution necessary to solve Syria’s crisis once and for all,” a further suggestion that “regime change” is again in play.
Exactly what Obama thinks he can get from the Syrian opposition is a mystery, since he himself stated in an interview just last month that the notion that arming the supposedly “moderate” rebels would have made a difference in Syria has “always been a fantasy.”
He told the New York Times’ Thomas L. Friedman:
“This idea that we could provide some light arms or even more sophisticated arms to what was essentially an opposition made up of former doctors, farmers, pharmacists and so forth, and that they were going to be able to battle not only a well-armed state but also a well-armed state backed by Russia, backed by Iran, a battle-hardened Hezbollah, that was never in the cards.”
Nevertheless, Obama has now trotted out that old “fantasy” in connection with his plan to extend the war against ISIS into Syria. Obama also knows that many of the previous Syrian “moderates” who received U.S. weapons later unveiled themselves to be Islamists who repudiated the U.S.-backed opposition and allied themselves with al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, al-Nusra Front. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Syrian Rebels Embrace Al-Qaeda.”]
Given that record – and Obama’s knowledge of it – what is one to make of the deceptive formulation that he presented to the American people on Wednesday night?
One explanation could be that Obama plans a more direct – albeit secretive – U.S. role in removing Assad and putting a new regime into power in Damascus. Or Obama might be simply pandering to the neocons and liberal hawks who would have gone berserk if he had acknowledged the obvious, that the smart play is to work quietly with Assad to defeat ISIS and al-Nusra Front.
The other smart play might be for Obama to resume his behind-the-scenes cooperation with Russian President Vladimir Putin who helped engineer Syria’s agreement to surrender its chemical weapons arsenal last year and who could presumably broker a quiet agreement between Obama and Assad to allow the U.S. airstrikes now.
Though the U.S. neocons and “liberal interventionists” exploited the Ukraine crisis to drive a wedge between the two leaders, Obama might want to reconsider that estrangement and accept the help of Russia – as well as Iran – in achieving a goal that they all agree on: defeating ISIS and other Sunni terrorist groups. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “What Neocons Want from Ukraine Crisis.”]
Yet, in Wednesday’s speech, Obama seemed to go out of his way to insult Putin by decrying “Russian aggression” in Ukraine where the U.S. government has accused Moscow of violating Ukraine’s sovereignty by crossing the border into eastern Ukraine and aiding ethnic Russian rebels.Obama claimed that Washington’s own intervention in Ukraine was “in support of the Ukrainian peoples’ right to determine their own destiny.”
Yet the realities in Kiev, whose government is backed by the U.S., and in Damascus, whose government is despised by Washington, have eerie parallels. In Syria, Assad, a longtime dictator, won a recent election that was truncated by civil strife. In Ukraine, the current government was established by a February coup d’etat that overthrew an elected president and is now headed by a president elected by only a portion of the population, excluding much of the rebellious east.
Yet, in one country – Ukraine – the United States says outside intervention even by a neighbor to protect a population under military assault is illegal “aggression,” while in the other country – Syria – it is entirely okay for the United States to send its military halfway around the world, cross Syria’s borders to carry out bombing raids while also arming militants to overthrow the internationally recognized government.
Typically, neither Obama nor the U.S. mainstream press made note of the hypocrisy. But the bigger question now is will the neocons hijack Obama’s bombing campaign against ISIS in Syria to achieve one of their most beloved goals, regime change in Damascus.
Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com). For a limited time, you also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.
Note: since submitting this article for publication, terrorist-mortars have rained down on Damascus, with a reported 30 mortars on Wednesday-killing 8 and injuring at least 9–and another at least 7 mortars on Thursday–killing 2 and injuring at least 20 people, according to the Damascus-based monitoring group, “A Mortar’s Diary” [see their FB page]
In stark contrast to the sparse coverage of the brutality of ISIS and other terrorist groups in Syria over the past few years, there has recently been substantial coverage of the emergence of ISIS in Iraq and the terrorist acts that this US-backed and funded group has been committing. This surge of media focus on ISIS’ brutality in Iraq and particularly on the recent alleged be-headings of two American journalists is extensively considered, amongst independent political analysts, to besetting the stage for NATO and the Axis-of-Imperialists to “fight terrorism” in Iraq and Syria, aka destroy both countries (note: there are valid doubts as to the legitimacy of the Foley video itself).
Glaringly absent from corporate media accounts of the proxy-war being waged on Syria is the fact that the very same terrorist group, as well as other Western-backed, al-Qaeda aligned terrorist organizations (like al-Nusra and the so-called “Free Syrian Army”), have been terrorizing Syrians for years—beheading them, flogging, crucifying, amputating hands—to name but a few of their crimes against thousands of Syrians.
In a recent interview, scholar and author Zafar Bangash noted Western-complicity in supporting ISIS and other mercenary groups, as well as NATO’s complicity in the destruction of Syria thus far:
“As a member of NATO, obviously Turkey has close liaison with the United States, Britain, France, etc, providing them all kinds of information. A NATO member, that means by extension NATO itself, is involved in financing, supporting, arming, facilitating the transfer, or entry, of these terrorists into Syria.”
Also omitted are the terrorist-insurgents’ near-daily firing of lethal mortars upon civilian areas in Syria. According to political analyst and Damascus resident Mazen al-Akhras, in the three-month period of April, May and June 2014, terrorist-insurgents fired 994 mortars on Damascus and environs, 426 of which were fired in June (see list of locations hit and number of mortars below). On June 3, Election Day in Syria, the terrorist-insurgents fired 151 shells on Damascus, killing 5 and maiming 33 Syrians, Akhras said.
While statistics on the number of Syrians civilians killed and maimed by such mortar attacks are not readily available, a tally from State media news reports for the period of Jun 18, 2014-current (the available reports) reveals at least 48 Syrians were killed (including 10 children) and 358 injured by mortar fire.
The terrorizing car-bombings which were rampant in civilian areas of Homs (now secured by the Syrian Arab Army), and which continue to plague areas in Hama, have received some scant coverage. But the mortars continue (still out of the media spotlight), albeit to a lesser degree than a few months ago thanks to the gains of the Syrian army in areas like Mleiha (Damascus outskirts), where mortar-fire originated, and increasingly in Jobar (Damascus outskirts).
In April and June 2014, I spent a cumulative month in Syria, in various areas of Damascus, with visits to Latakia, Homs, and Ma’aloula. At the time, Damascus was being intensely shelled by mortars, frequently in my vicinity, including just behind the hotel housing the Peace Delegation which I accompanied for the first week (photo). This attack killed three civilians and one Syrian soldier. We saw some of the 60 plus children injured in the April 15 shelling of a school, not an isolated occasion, an attack which also killed one child. Mortars rained down at close-proximity on many occasions in different areas of the Old City where I had then found lodging.
Prior to and since then, other residential, civilian areas I’ve become familiar with have been incessantly-targeted, and none of those areas can be considered targets for a “revolution”—in other words, neither governmental nor military sites. The terrorist-insurgents are intentionally targeting high-density civilian areas, and often take videos of themselves manufacturing, preparing and firing the mortar shells.
Bab Touma (Thomas Gate), Bab Sharqi (East Gate), and the Shagour area of the Old City have all been repeatedly targeted, as have the commercial Shaalan district—particularly near the Dar al-Salaam school—and other areas of Damascus and environs, including Abasyeen, Dweilaa, Baramkeh, Jaramana, Yarmouk, and Mazzeh. These are areas housing shops, restaurants, homes, schools, hospitals and clinics, hotels, parks, and thus the victims are Syrian civilians, including children.
In June, I spoke with a National Defense Force (NDF) soldier, who explained to me the nature of the mortars being fired on Damascus, the surrounding areas and further afield in Syria. He began with an explanation of his own knowledge of weaponry:
“In Syria, when you are 18, you do mandatory military service (until 2005 it was 2.5 years; in 2011 it was reduced to 18 months). I served in a unit that specialized in rockets. But when they started teaching us about rockets, they had to first teach you the basic science, which is mortars. We began learning with 60-120 mm mortars. Then we learned about the larger sizes, like the 160 mm, and later about small rockets, then the bigger ones, like Scuds.
‘There are different kinds of mortars here. There are local mortars, made in workshops by the terrorists, and there are larger, American-made mortars of the kind used in the second world war, 60-80 mm mortars. These are infantry-specific, not intended for buildings or vehicles.”
But according to the NDF soldier, the home-made mortars are the dirtiest:
“They are shells, made in local workshops. Inside them they pack broken glass, nails, and anything that will hurt whoever is hit by the debris. They put explosives in the centre of these shards. Then they add the tail end and explosives to propel the mortar. When the mortar explodes, the metal container is destroyed and becomes shrapnel pieces which, along with the glass and nails, causes more extensive injuries.
“The US mortars are stronger, intended for infantry. But the terrorists are using them as well. They won’t cause much damage to buildings, but they can maim and kill a lot of people. The terrorists can’t enter the city, so they’re trying to stop daily life by firing mortars on the city. They’ve been very open about their reasons for firing mortars on Damascus and other areas: they are punishing the Syrians who do not support their ‘revolution’. They say if you are living in an area controlled by the army and government of Syria, so you are against the ‘revolution’ and they are going to attack you, they say that it is halal (permitted by Islam) to kill you.”
The NDF soldier was himself injured by shrapnel from mortar attacks on a residential and commercial area in central Damascus, the shells landing near a school and close to a popular cafe, not far from an open market area:
“On May 6, the day I was injured, 54 mortars were fired all over Damascus. In this neighbourhood alone, 27 mortars were fired on us. There is no military here, just civilians. The two mortars on this single street caused at least 15 injuries. By the end of the day, there were around 50 injured and two martyred.
“On June 3, Election Day, they fired mortars and then about five minutes later—when people had gathered to help—they fired more, just a few metres away from where the first ones had landed. So they caused many more casualties. They increased their mortars on Election Day because they wanted to stop people from going to vote.”
Terrorist mortar and missile attacks on cities throughout Syria increased notably in the lead-up to and including Election Day.
“The death toll from a recent mortar attack by foreign-backed Takfiri militants on an election campaign rally in southern Syria has risen to nearly 40.
Syria’s official news agency SANA reported on Saturday that at least 39 people had lost their lives in the mortar attack on the election campaign rally in Syria’s southern city of Dara’a late on Thursday.
According to the report, some 205 people were also wounded in the attack, while 14 of the injured are in critical condition.”
In the lead-up to the elections, Syrian residents and media like Press TV noted the increase in mortar-fire, an attempt to intimidate Syrians from casting votes the following week.
“Twenty people have been killed in mortar attacks carried out by foreign-backed militants on Syria’s northwestern city of Aleppo.
The militants fired 40 mortar shells on several neighborhoods of the flashpoint city, destroying many buildings.
Takfiri groups have stepped up their attacks against Syrians in several cities and towns as the country prepares for the presidential election on June 3.”
A month later, in increased shelling largely seen as vindictive attacks on Inauguration Day, July 16, terrorists fired 23 shells on Damascus, Akhras reported. Syrian State media reported that four were killed and 30 injured by the mortars which targeted Shaalan district, Umayyad Square, and a park near the Sheraton Hotel.
The BBC account of the April 15 school shelling includes such intentionally misleading phrases as:
“They’re believed to be fired by rebels, but the government is also accused of launching them into neighbourhoods under its control.”
To counter this allegation, the NDF soldier explained,
“After evacuating injured and bystanders from the scene of a mortar strike, the security looks for the tail end of the mortar shell, because from the size of the tail end you can know the size of the mortar and thus its range, its trajectory. The 80 mm mortar will fly between 800-1500 metres. The bigger the tail, the further the range.”
Knowing the angle of impact, the range of travel, security can determine whether the mortars came from terrorist-insurgent controlled areas like Jobar (or formerly Mleiha, Barzeh and Daraya) and thus know its provenance:
“Mortars are routinely fired from Jobar, about 1.5 km from here (central Damascus). The main group there is the Nusra Front, though there are also some members of so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA). Some of the armed men were trying a while ago to surrender to the government, but when they would try, they’d get a sniper’s bullet to the head from the other terrorists. There are so many civilians not involved in these attacks, so the army can’t fully attack Jobar with heavy weapons.”
In the three weeks I stayed independent in Syria, I had ample opportunity to speak with Syrians on the issue of the insurgent-fired mortars.
One evening, I sat talking with a restaurant-owner near Bab Sharqi in the Old City. Abu Shadi, the restaurant owner, lamented the lack of tourists, due to the war on Syria, and spoke of his own close encounter with mortars. As we spoke, mortars were fired on different areas of the Old City, one of which roughly 50 metres from where we sat [LISTEN HERE]:
“When I hear kazyif (shell), kazyif, kazyif, for children, for school…these is people rubbish…come to children, to people…this is something no good. Two times come twokazife to my restaurant. Before one minute, I would die if I don’t go to sleep. I was here (roughly 2 metres from restaurant).”
Qamar, an employee in the hotel where I lodged at Bab Sharqi, spoke of her own worries:
“I have children, I worry about them going to school since the terrorists shelled a school last week. Last year, they shelled a school in my area, Mazzeh. A teacher was killed and students were injured.”
The genial hotel owner spoke one day about a friend of his killed a few days prior. “My friend was martyred by a mortar three days ago. He was a pharmacist…He was at Bab Touma at the time, walking on the street, and a mortar fell there. They want to burn Syria from within, want to leave these factions fighting each until Syria is burned down and Syria is bled-out.”
A university student I spoke with on a crowded Old City bus one morning commented on the formerly popular market area, Midan, as the bus passed by:
“People are afraid to come here now, because it’s so close to Yarmouk. Midan is safe, but people think that the terrorists in Yarmouk will fire mortars here. I used to go to Yarmouk all the time, but now, no way.”
Following an April 21 mortar attack on Bab Touma, which killed 2 and maimed 23, I spoke withshop employees who had been present at the time of the attack. An employee in a shoe shop said:
“It was just after 3 pm, the area was packed with people. It happens a lot, a lot, a lot…all the time. Shrapnel flew everywhere, little bits and pieces. In the last two weeks, around ten mortars have landed in this area. This isn’t a revolution. They’ve come from outside. Do you know how we were living? We had security, work…but, sorry, now?”
In a clothing shop, an employee present at the time said:
“We were inside, heard the explosion, went outside and saw the dead lying on the ground. We get these mortars all the time…”
Mazen al-Akhras, notes:
“The terrorists know that their mortars accomplish nothing practically, they are just a vengeful act against the people of Damascus for not supporting them. Sometimes they film themselves as evidence of their loyalty, presented to anyone who would sponsor them financially to keep fighting against President Assad.”
In recent months, the Syrian Arab Army and National Defense Forces have made impressive strides in eradicating mortar-firing and sniping insurgents from their bases in civilian areas like Mleiha, and in the past in Daraya. The reconciliation of other areas like Moadamiyeh and Barzeh has also meant a cessation of mortar fire from those areas.
Insurgents in Jobar, however, continue terrorizing Damascus and environs. On August 29, SANA reported three university students and one other civilian were injured by mortar-fire in different areas of Damascus. On August 30, SANA reported six civilians, including a girl, injured by shelling of Damascus districts, including near a hospital. On September 2, SANA reported the shelling of Damascus neighbourhoods, injured 8 cvilians, as well as in Hasaka city, injuring five, in Idleb, injuring two, and in Deir Ezzor, injuring two. These are just some of the continued terrorist mortar attacks in Syria.
This mortar terrorism, virtually unmentioned in corporate media, is further evidence of the intent of these foreign-backed insurgents to destroy Syria. As with the media’s omission of ISIS’ crimes against Humanity in Syria, the omission of the near-daily insurgent mortar fire upon civilians is ignored precisely because the destruction of Syria has always been on the agenda of the Axis-of-Interventionists, the US-Zionist-Gulf-Turkish-British-French-Jordanian project.
**Mortar statistics April, May, June (via Mazen al-Akras):
Terrorists showered Damascus with a total of 994 mortar shell in April, May and June 2104, 355 of them in April, 213 in may and 426 in June.
The shells landed on different parts of the city as follows:
Abbasyeen and surrounding areas 163 Shells
Jaramana 147 Shells
Dweilaa and surrounding 88
Qassaa, Qusour and Bab Touma 69
Assad Suburb (near Harasta) 61
Tijara, Adawi and Mezraa 59
Hamra and Salhiyeh 47
Old City 35
Baghdad Street 34
Malki & Abu Rommaneh 19
Qazzaz and Sinaa 19
Airport freeway 18
Umawiyeen Square 12
In the wake of President Obama’s speech Wednesday night, the US is preparing to rapidly ramp up its military operations in Syria and Iraq. Over the past month, the American military has carried out about 150 air strikes against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militias inside Iraq. Now, Obama declared, the US will “go on offense,” extending the war in Iraq and into Syria.
While ISIS “terrorists” are the nominal target, the new US-led war in the Middle East is above all a revival of plans shelved a year ago for the toppling of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Immediately after Obama’s address, a senior American defence official briefed the media on the Pentagon’s plans, declaring that it “is ready to conduct direct action against ISIL [ISIS] targets in Syria.” Of the nearly 500 additional US troops due to arrive in Iraq next week, more than half will be allocated to boosting joint operational command centres in Baghdad and the northern Kurdish city of Erbil, closer to the Syrian border. Another 125 military personnel are to go to Erbil to boost the number of drone strikes inside Iraq and Syria.
US Special Forces are already operating in Iraq and undoubtedly will be deployed inside Syria. A senior Air Force commander told USA Today that, while spy planes could identify targets in Iraq and Syria, it was “absolutely crucial that pilots are talking to an American on the ground.” He drew a parallel with the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 when US Special Forces and CIA operatives infiltrated into the country to guide US air strikes on Taliban targets and lay the ground work for the military occupation.
The Obama administration is pressing for Congress to authorise $500 million to train and equip anti-Assad militias, which is likely to proceed quickly with bipartisan support. At the same time, US Secretary of State John Kerry is touring the Middle East to enlist political and military support for anti-Assad forces inside Syria.
Twelve months ago, Obama called off a US air war against the Assad regime at the last minute amid widespread popular hostility, divisions in US ruling circles, lack of support from key allies such as Britain and opposition, particularly from Russia. Now the White House has seized on the spectre of ISIS—which the US and its allies in the Gulf States helped foster and fund—as the pretext for dusting off its plans for regime-change in Syria.
Saudi Arabia, which was bitter about the US decision to cancel the air strikes last year, is enthusiastically supporting the new war against ISIS, even though significant sections of the Saudi elite have been backing ISIS. The Saudi monarchy is well aware that the US has Assad firmly in its sights. Assad’s overthrow would greatly weaken the Saudi regime’s arch rival, Iran, by removing Iran’s ally in the Middle East.
The Saudi regime has offered facilities on its soil for the US to train and arm “moderate” anti-Assad militias and yesterday hosted a meeting between Kerry and Middle Eastern foreign ministers, including from the Gulf States, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Iraq. A joint communiqué between the US and 10 Arab states endorsed efforts to cut off funding to ISIS and block the flow of volunteers to ISIS.
The statement called for a coordinated military campaign, to which each country would contribute “as appropriate.” No specifics were spelled out, but a US State Department official travelling with Kerry told the media that “there’s going to be a meeting soon of defence ministers to work out the details,” including “enhanced basing and overflights” for US military forces.
Speaking after the meeting, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal enthused: “There is no limit to what the kingdom can provide.” Asked about previous criticism of Obama’s decision last year to call off air strikes on Syria, he played down past differences, declaring: “I don’t see disagreement. I see agreement about the present situation.” Any Saudi involvement in military operations inside Syria would dramatically heighten tensions with Iran and throughout the region.
The presence of the new Iraqi foreign minister is significant because Saudi Arabia branded the previous Baghdad government headed by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as an Iranian puppet and cut diplomatic relations. Washington’s determination to oust Maliki to make way for “a more inclusive government,” formed this week, was aimed at drawing Iraq toward Saudi Arabia and other Arab states, and isolating Iran.
Kerry, who met with new government ministers in Baghdad on Wednesday, underlined how critical Maliki’s removal was to Washington’s war plans. “Now that the Iraqi parliament has approved a new cabinet with new leaders and representative from all Iraqi communities, it’s full speed ahead. A new, inclusive Iraqi government has to be the engine of our global strategy against ISIL.”
While repeating the line that the US would not deploy combat troops, Kerry left the door wide open by adding the rider, “unless, obviously, something very, very dramatic changes.” Dramatic changes are virtually inevitable as the US plunges recklessly into a military conflict in Iraq and Syria. If a sufficiently dramatic event does not emerge, it can always be provoked or manufactured.
The governments in Syria, Iran and Russia understand that they are the targets of this phony new “war on terror.” Syrian National Reconciliation Minister Ali Haidar declared yesterday that “any action of any type without the approval of the Syrian government is an attack against Syria.” Haidar insisted “there must be cooperation with Syria,” but Obama has emphatically ruled that out.
Russia’s foreign ministry warned that any US action, “in the absence of a UN Security Council decision, would be an act of aggression, a gross violation of international law.” Obama has indicated that, while he will seek a UN resolution, the US is prepared to act without it. Already confronted by the intervention of the US and its European partners in Ukraine, Russia now faces the prospect of losing its only ally in the Middle East and access to a Mediterranean port for its naval vessels.
Just as the 2003 invasion of Iraq was never about weapons of mass destruction, so the latest US military intervention in the Middle East has nothing to do with fighting terrorism, but is aimed at securing American domination throughout the region. A decade on, under conditions of greatly heightened geo-political tensions, this new expanded war of aggression threatens to embroil the entire region and trigger a far broader conflagration.
“The story of Omar and Guantanamo Bay reflects the failure of civil society, its institutions, and its people to speak out in ensuring our shared values of a just society are carried out.” — DENNIS EDNEY
Dennis Edney (QC) is the recipient of the National Pro Bono Award (2008) and the Human Rights Medal (British Columbia, 2009).
Location: Grand Mosque Community Centre, 2445 Waverly Street, Winnipeg, MB
Date: Friday, Sept. 19, 2014 Doors Open: 5:30 PM Dinner: 6:15 PM (Buffet with meat and vegetarian options) Tickets: $25.00
At age 15, U.S. military found Khadr face-down, unconscious, under a pile of rubble in Afghanistan. When Khadr regained consciousness a week later, he was at Bagram air force base, “one of the worst places on Earth“
Damien Corsetti, who was known as “Monster” at Bagram, based on a tattoo on his chest, and also as “The King of Torture,” described himself as “a disabled veteran suffering post traumatic stress disorder as a result of his interrogation work in both Afghanistan and Iraq,” and explained how, on seeing Khadr on July 29, 2002, just two days after his capture, he was struck by how he was an injured “child” detained in “one of the worst places on Earth.” He added, “More than anything, he looked beat up. He was a 15 year-old kid with three holes in his body, a bunch of shrapnel in his face. That was what I remember. How horrible this 15 year-old child looked.”
Purchase tickets online. Select up to four tickets in the drop-down menu and click on the “Buy Now” button; they will be held at the door for you.
1 $25.00 CAD2 $50.00 CAD3 $75.00 CAD4 $100.00 CAD
Tickets are also available at McNally Robinson Booksellers, Grant Park Shopping Centre, 1120 Grant Avenue
Event proceeds will support incurred legal costs in the pro bono defence of Omar Khadr.
Indications of a new phase in Washington’s longstanding policy of regime change in Syria are emerging in US planning to expand its campaign against ISIS. The Pentagon envisions a multi-year campaign of air strikes inside Syria and assistance to anti-Assad fighters to destroy the Islamic State. But given US policy to topple the government in Damascus, it seems unlikely that the planned campaign will restrict itself to ISIS targets alone. What’s more, Washington has recently accused Syria of hiding chemical weapons, possibly signalling its intention to use concealed WMD—and the threat of chemical weapons falling into the hands of ISIS—as a pretext to expand its target list from ISIS to Syrian forces.
For weeks, Western leaders have delivered two messages about ISIS, one loudly, and the other, not so loudly. The louder message is that ISIS is an unprecedented threat. US defense secretary Chuck Hagel called the Islamist group “an imminent threat to every interest we have” and “beyond anything that we’ve seen.”  Quietly, however, US officials have said the very opposite. On August 22, the Pentagon press secretary, Rear Admiral John Kirby, admitted that ISIS does not have “the capability right now to conduct a major attack on the U.S. homeland.”  The same day, the FBI and Homeland Security Department announced that there are “no specific or credible terror threats to the U.S. homeland from the Islamic State militant group.”  Similar assurances were provided recently by US president Barack Obama, who acknowledged that “he hasn’t seen any ‘immediate intelligence’ to suggest Islamic State could carry out a terrorist attack on U.S. soil.”  Still, the mass media have emphasized statements that draw attention to ISIS as a medieval menace (Obama) worse than al-Qaeda (Hagel) that must be destroyed (US secretary of state John Kerry). 
Washington insists that destroying the Islamic State means US air strikes against ISIS-strongholds in Syria—and violation of Syrian borders. Obama, and the United States’ top soldier, Martin Dempsey, have warned that ISIS cannot be defeated without military action against Islamic State targets in Syria.  For weeks, US surveillance aircraft have been searching for ISIS leaders inside Syria, “developing intelligence on the group’s strongholds” and “collecting intelligence on Islamic State operations inside Syria that could be potential targets.” 
Now, it appears that Washington is on the cusp of pressing ahead with its planned campaign of military action. The New York Times has reported that “Pentagon planners envision a military campaign” to destroy ISIS “in its sanctuary inside Syria” that could last “at least 36 months.”  According to The Wall Street Journal, airstrikes would support anti-Assad fighters unaligned with ISIS, who would be bankrolled by $500 million in US funding, and backed by a global coalition, including the UK and Australia, that would “provide a range of assistance, including humanitarian aid and weapons.” These countries could also join the United States in an air-war over Syria. 
There are reasons to suspect that a US-led military intervention in Syria would not stop at ISIS targets.
First, regime change in Damascus is a long-standing US policy, antedating the Arab Spring. Cables released by Wikileaks showed that US funding to the Syrian opposition began flowing under the Bush administration in 2005, if not before, long before uprisings erupted against the Assad government.  Largely forgotten is that the Bush administration dubbed Syria a member of a “junior varsity axis of evil,” and toyed with the idea of making Assad’s Syria the next target of a US military intervention after Iraq.  The idea that Washington seeks Assad’s ouster as part of a program of democracy-promotion cannot be seriously accepted, especially not in light of unwavering US support for crowned dictatorships in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia which brutally suppressed Arab Spring uprisings there. Washington’s steadfast support of Egypt’s military dictatorship, which crushed peaceful protests against a military coup that ousted the elected president, also reveals that Washington’s publicly stated reason for seeking regime change in Syria—that Assad is a dictator who violently suppressed peaceful protestors and who must therefore be removed in an act of solidarity with the plural-democracy-loving Syrian people—is a complete sham.
Second, the provision of $500 million in funding to “Syrian boots on the ground” would likely amount to increased support for one group of Islamists seeking the overthrow of secular society in Syria by another. Fighters strengthened by an infusion of US aid would not stop after destroying ISIS, if indeed, they didn’t simply ally with them, or more likely, if ISIS members simply transferred allegiance to the US-backed Islamist militant groups.
Third, in recent days, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, has begun making noise about the Assad government allegedly “harboring undeclared chemical weapons.” Playing on ISIS-related fear-mongering, Power pointed to the risk that “there are chemical weapons left in Syria,” and that “we can only imagine what [ISIS] would do if in possession of such a weapon.”  Little may develop from this, but it is suspiciously close to the pretext used by Washington to invade Iraq in 2003.
The real danger posed by ISIS is to Arab states, not to the US, a point conceded by Obama. “The dangers that are posed by (ISIS) are more directed at them (the Arab states) right now than they are at us,” he said.  To be sure, ISIS has posed a threat to the Syrian Arab Republic, one Washington was prepared to overlook, if not nurture. But now that the Islamic State threatens Iraq and possibly Saudi Arabia, Washington, along with its British and French allies, are beating the drums of war—and quite possibly, using the opportunity presented by the Islamic State to escalate their campaign of aggression against Syria.
1. Mark Mazzetti and Helene Cooper, “U.S. isn’t sure just how much to fear ISIS,” The New York Times, August 22, 2014. 2. Mark Mazzetti and Helene Cooper, “US isn’t sure how much to fear ISIS,” The New York Times, August 22, 2014. 3. Eileen Sullivan, “FBI: No credible threats to US from Islamic State,” The Associated Press, August 22, 2014. 4. Patrick O’Conner, Dion Nissenbaum and Carol E. Lee, “Obama to spell out strategy to defeat Islamic state,” The Wall Street Journal, September 7, 2014. Glen Greenwald (Americans now fear ISIS sleeper cells are living in the U.S., overwhelmingly support military action,” The Intercept, September 8, 2014) unpacks the reasoning of US officials to show that they cannot possibly regard ISIS as a threat to the vital interests of the United States. US officials say that ISIS cannot be destroyed by airstrikes alone, but at the same time, they say they’re not prepared to commit US ground forces to a military campaign to destroy the Islamist group. If they’re not prepared to undertake action that, by their own analysis, is necessary to eclipse the threat, then it must be that they understand the threat to be less compelling than they’ve led the public to believe it is. Indeed, Washington’s official pronouncements that ISIS does not constitute a threat to the US homeland corroborate the conclusion. 5. Dion Nissenbaum, “U.S. considers attacks on ISIS in Syria”, The Wall Street Journal, August 22, 2014. 6. Felicia Schwartz and Dion Nissenbaum, “U.S. eyes wider action on Islamic state,” The Wall Street Journal, August 21, 2014; Carol E. Lee, Dion Nissenbaum and Jay Solomon, “U.S. sets goal to ‘destroy’ Islamic militants,” The Wall Street Journal, September 5, 2014. 7. Dion Nissenbaum, “U.S. considers attacks on ISIS in Syria”, The Wall Street Journal, August 22, 2014. 8. Eric Schimitt, Michael R. Gordon and Helene Cooper, “Destroying ISIS may take years, U.S. officials say,” The New York Times, September 7, 2014. 9. Patrick O’Conner, Dion Nissenbaum and Carol E. Lee, “Obama to spell out strategy to defeat Islamic state,” The Wall Street Journal, September 7, 2014. 10. Craig Whitlock, “U.S. secretly backed Syrian opposition groups, cables released by Wikileaks show”, The Washington Post, April 17, 2011. 11. Moshe Ma’oz, “Damscus vs. Washington: Between the ‘Axis of Evil’ and ‘Pax Americana’”, in Bruce Cumings, Evarand Abrahamian and Moshi Ma’oz. Investing the Axis of Evil: The Truth about North Korea, Iran and Syria. The New Press. 2004. 12. Rick Gladstone, “Syria may have hidden chemical arms, U.S. says”, The New York Times, September 4, 2014. 13. Jay Solomon, “Arab states skeptical of U.S. plan to combat Islamic state militants,” The Wall Street Journal, September 7, 2014.
Despite being heralded as a “bridge” to cleaner energy, new reports reveal the grave risks to human health posed by natural gas drilling operations. (Photo: Marcellus Protest)
People who live in close proximity to natural gas drilling sites are significantly more likely to report skin and respiratory problems than those who live further away, according to the largest survey to-date of the reported health effects of people exposed to fracking.
Researchers found that 39 percent of households located less than one kilometer from an active natural gas well reported upper respiratory problems, compared with 18 percent located more than 2 kilometers away. Further, 13 percent of respondents who live within a kilometer of a well said they had rashes and other skin irritations, compared with just 3 percent who live more than 2 kilometers away.
Of the 624 active natural gas wells located in Pennsylvania’s Washington County, 95 percent were fracked — or injected with millions of gallons of water, sand, and a largely-unknown toxic mix of chemicals in order to extract gas from the shale deposits.
Despite assurances by the drilling industry and numerous government officials that fracking chemicals do not pose a risk to nearby populations, scientists and environmentalists have repeatedly voiced concern over the high volume of chemicals used in the process and the potential for both groundwater and airborne contamination. Further, the drilling industry has long-fought efforts to reveal the particular chemicals used in fracking, claiming that the combination of toxins fall under “proprietary information.”
The Yale-based research team notes that they did not collect data on whether individuals were receiving financial compensation for gas well drilling on their property, which they acknowledge “could have affected their willingness to report symptoms.”
Based on the findings of the survey, the researchers conclude that “airborne irritant exposures” related to natural gas extraction activities, including the flaring of gas wells and exhaust from diesel equipment, “could be playing a role” in the increased reporting of respiratory symptoms among people living in close proximity to the wells.
Possible explanations for the increase in reported skin irritations also include exposure to air pollutants, as well as possible well water contamination due to “breaks in the gas well casing or other underground communication between ground water supplies and fracking activities.”
Because of the relative newness of the wells (5-6 years), the researchers were unable to test for a correlation between drilling activities and more long-term health impacts, such as cancer. However, the team says that their findings underscores the need for further research on the possible health impacts of fracking activities, including longitudinal studies on chronically exposed populations.
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is planning its grand opening for the third week in September and garnering some less than stellar press in the process.
The most recent controversy surrounds their unprofessional process of selecting a Métis entertainer for their opening. The Museum asked for and then refused Manitoba Métis Federation’s entertainer suggestion based on age. Now MMF is calling for a boycott.
It’s not surprising to me to that the CMHR seems beset by embarrassing controversies and accusations of arrogance and entrenched colonizing behaviour. I also plan to boycott the CHRM although for a different reason.
The construction of that building itself is an act of cultural violence.
All I see when I look at that monstrosity of a building is a headstone and a terrible waste of resources.
A headstone to many nations of Indigenous peoples whose rich and varied cultural heritages are now buried under megatons of concrete and steel.
Described as the most important archeological site uncovered in Manitoba, those at the top of the CMHR were offered an opportunity to be a part of history by preserving the rich heritages of people who populated this land long before European arrival. The CMHR was provided suggestions on how to incorporate the archeologically significant site and build the museum. They refused.
In a December 2011 CBC interview, the archeologist hired by the museum, Sid Kroker, reported that the decision makers at the CHRM ignored heritage permits and recommendations for “heritage resource management practices”. Before suddenly retiring in the middle of the report, the archeologist noted that making future recommendations would be “…as futile as King Canute railing against the tide.”
The CMHR, run by wealthy children of settlers, decided local Indigenous people’s history and heritage does not deserve the same respect they demand for their own ancestors and history.
It’s a decision rooted in cultural superiority, arrogance and privilege. So I’m not surprised that the CMHR has continued on their entitled myopic path in making subsequent decisions.
The CMHR sits on land containing millions of artifacts of at least eight Indigenous occupations spanning a thousand years, and maybe more. The museum claims to have done the largest dig ever at the Forks site. While this may be true only 3% of the site was examined. The fact that this was the Forks’ largest dig reflects the success of strong pressure by local Indigenous peoples and archeologists to have the site examined vs. the low priority given to Indigenous archeology by euro-descendant decision makers. It is not a sudden awakening of respect for Indigenous cultures by CMHR or the Province of Manitoba.
The 3% of the site they did uncover was done hastily and on the cheap, only hiring three people, opposed to the 15 recommended by their own archeologist.
Sacred items such as pipes, tools, animal parts were unearthed; evidence of treaty making; a footprint dating back 800 years; evidence of remarkable plant knowledge… and 97% of this now buried. Much of the site destroyed by the construction of the CMHR. The artifacts already uncovered now sitting unmarked in bags in some government basement. It is clear that accessing and preserving these ancient pieces of history is not a priority.
In media reports, CMHR spokesperson, Angela Cassie, claims “no human evidence” was uncovered as a defense against the need for further site examination. This statement may be correct since only 3% of the site was examined, and examined in a very cursory manner. The CMHR cannot claim that human remains do not exist in the other 97% of the site. And the fact that human remains weren’t found doesn’t lessen the historical importance of the site.
Everything uncovered was a surprise to one of Manitoba’s most acclaimed archeologists. In speaking with retired, Dr. Leigh Syms, a nationally renowned and respected archeologist with more than 40 years experience working with Manitoba’s ancient heritage, he had this to say about the excavations,
“…it was a pathetically inadequate sample and it’s certainly in no way representative of what’s there. And there’s great, great gaps in the knowledge that we will never have in terms of First Nations at the Forks.
“…those 8 occupations are a phenomenally new record on what we think are ancient Anishinabe on the Red River. And the overall site at the Forks, with its 6000 years, has many different cultures that were represented there…now it all lies buried.”
Discoveries at the Forks contributed a new understanding to the field of archeology. For example, traditional archeology believed ancient paints to be rudimentarily made with basic materials. Modern analysis tools used on a paint stone found under the CHRM, revealed that along with fish oils as they thought, there were also a number of plants used to make paints, showing a sophisticated knowledge of plants.
“…we have this whole new range, ideas and appreciation of plant use…you can’t get it unless you have the physical evidence. And obviously if you only have 3% you’re not anywhere near close to getting a representative sample.”
For me all that pile of concrete, steel and glass represents is an attempt to literally stamp out evidence of generations of Indigenous nationhood. Evidence which supports oral stories of self-governing nations gathering to forge agreements on how to live and trade together. Evidence of rich biological and agricultural knowledge systems in place before European arrival.
The CMHR was constructed by the same Eurocentric arrogance that stole peoples lands, food sources and eventually their children; Eurocentric arrogance that determines their pet projects are more worthy of public funds than affordable housing and justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women.
When I see the CMHR, I think of the hundreds of millions of public monies and the efforts of wealthy families to acquire public donations to build their pet project, juxtaposed against children in need of affordable housing, mental health services, real food, addiction programs and cultural supports.
Construction costs of the CMHR total more than 350 million, with more than 170 million coming from taxpayers. Canadian taxpayers have already been paying millions in operating fees for museum staff for the past four years even though the museum hasn’t been open. The opening itself delayed due to the self-indulgent building design that required multiple rewrites. Taxpayers are also on the hook for the estimated 21.7 million annual operating fees while at the same time funding for affordable housing, women shelters, youth programs, counseling services, health, and education are slashed.
Studies and real life examples show that when first nation children are taught and supported in their cultural ways, they thrive. Yet successful programs proven to turn lives around are chronically underfunded if they exist at all.
Recently, a child’s body was found near the CHRM. Fifteen year old, Tina Fontaine, was assaulted and dumped in the river just down the bank from the CMHR. There’s a dark irony to the fact that Tina Fontaine’s life was snuffed out just down the river from where her ancestor’s existence is also being snuffed out.
So I will not be joining in the celebratory events of the CMHR and I do not plan to ever enter that bastion of Eurocentric dominion.
The ancient occupations are not limited to the land underneath the CMHR. Ancient occupations and artifacts extend along the Red River underneath Sam Katz’s ball park and another piece of land, Parcel 4, that is scheduled for development within the next few years. The artifacts found under the Human Rights Museum increase in complexity and depth as you move inland from the river. So with “Parcel 4” there’s still a chance to uncover ancient history and heritages and learn more about the land we live on.
Stuart Murray has touted the educational opportunity that the museum offers and Gail Asper will be receiving an award for her education work. If only the wealthy cared as much about brown peoples’ lives and heritages.
* Requests for interviews with Angela Cassie from CMHR and the Manitoba Historic Resources Branch were not returned.
Kimlee Wong, a mother of three, is a master’s student at the University of Manitoba and holds an honours degree in biology. She is a member of Sagkeeng First Nation and has done investigative stories for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network and worked on social justice issues in southeast Asia and at the United Nations.
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A foreign policy dinner had ‘a full range of views,’ according to the New York Times–featuring hawks from both major political parties.
Obama hosted a dinner of foreign policy insiders on Monday to talk about his plan to attack Islamic State fighters. The New York Times (9/9/14) reported this was “an effort to win over elite opinion,” adding:
The guestlist, which included national security advisers to three former presidents from both parties, represented a full range of views about the risks of returning to Iraq.
So what does a ”full range of views” look like to the New York Times? Powerful people who worked for Republicans and Democrats.
Two of the guests–Stephen J. Hadley and Richard N. Haass–worked for the George W. Bush administration and have direct experience with the Iraq War and its chaotic aftermath.
Theirs would certainly count as “direct experience.”
The discussion included Sandy Berger and Zbigniew Brzezinski, who both advised Democratic presidents; former Obama officials Tom Donilon, Michele Flournoy and CIA deputy director Michael Morell; and former Clinton adviser Strobe Talbott and Democratic hawk Jane Harman.
If the idea was to hear a “full range” of ideas, you might want to add–or subtract–a few names.
Judging by the stories that emerged after the dinner, things went well for the Obama camp. Here’s Washington Post columnist David Ignatius (9/9/14):
“We have to do it,” says Zbigniew Brzezinski, a former national security adviser and the dean of a group of strategists who met with Obama on Monday night.
And back to the New York Times (9/10/14), which reports that “several participants” said that Obama “presented a comprehensive plan that included military, diplomatic and ideological components.” The Times also reported that Harman said that “she and other participants told Mr. Obama that he could order military action in Syria without fear of helping Mr. Assad, since ISIS was occupying ungoverned territory that his forces were unlikely to reconquer.”
So Obama was able to “win over” a group of elites who were likely to agree with him anyway.
A top German virologist has caused shockwaves by asserting that it’s too late to halt the spread of Ebola in Sierra Leone and Liberia and that five million people will die, noting that efforts should now be focused on stopping the transmission of the virus to other countries.
Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit of the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg told Germany’s Deutsche Welle that hope is all but lost for the inhabitants of Sierra Leone and Liberia and that the virus will only “burn itself out” when it has infected the entire population and killed five million people.
“The right time to get this epidemic under control in these countries has been missed,” said Schmidt-Chanasit. “That time was May and June. “Now it is too late.”
The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed over 2200 people, with Liberia and Sierra Leone accounting for over 1700 of those fatalities.
While calling for “massive help” from the international community to prevent Ebola appearing in other countries like Nigeria and Senegal, Schmidt-Chanasit warns that getting a grip on the epidemic in Liberia and Sierra Leone is a departure from reality.
German aid organization Welthungerhilfe blasted Schmidt-Chanasit for his comments, with Sierra Leone based coordinator Jochen Moninger labeling his statements, “dangerous and moreover, not correct.” However, Moninger acknowledged that Schmidt-Chanasit’s assessment may be accurate in the case of Liberia.
The World Health Organization refused to comment on Schmidt-Chanasit’s remarks.
As we reported last month, former FDA official Scott Gottlieb, M.D. warned that if the virus was to hit the United States, the CDC would enact emergency procedures which could lead to healthy Americans who show no symptoms of the diseased being forcibly detained for an indefinite period of time.
Scientists in Canada and Canada’s Public Health Agency have both acknowledged that the virus has likely gone airborne at least to a limited degree, while the CDC has urged airline staff to take steps to prevent the airborne spread of the virus, including giving suspected Ebola victims surgical masks as well as directing staff to “not use compressed air, which might spread infectious material through the air.”
Developers of artificial micro-humans, or ‘mini GM humans,’ are hoping to release their technology on the market by 2017. No this isn’t a sci-fi joke. Scientists are developing artificial humans in the same vein as GM plants with the hope that these creations will replace the need for using animals in laboratory testing.
Artificial humans will be ‘farmed’ with interacting organs that can be used in drug tests, speeding up the process of FDA and other government regulatory approvals, and supposedly without damaging rats or other animals currently used in laboratories. The GM humans will contain smartphone-sized microchips that will be programmed to replicate up to 10 major human organs.
Each GM human will be tiny – roughly the size of a microchip itself, simulating the response of humans to substances inhaled, absorbed in the blood, or exposed to in the intestinal tract.
Early versions comprising an artificial kidney, heart, lung or gut are already being used by the cosmetic industry and to observe the use of chemical drugs on non-GMO humans.
The Times of India reported that researchers said this could replace up to 90 million animals each year in labs. Uwe Marx, a tissue engineer from Technische Universitat Berlin and founder of TissUse, a firm developing the technology said:
“If our system is approved by the regulators, then it will close down most of the animal-testing laboratories worldwide.”
Currently, this type of technology is already used on artificial organs like hearts and livers, but the results must be verified on a ‘live’ being – animals in a lab, for instance, to prove that substances are safe when interacting with a living being with real organs.
The problem with current testing, and obviously this proposed ‘solution,’ is that artificial organs, like animals, won’t respond the same way as a human body. We have already observed unforeseen side effects during human trials after animal trials that are far from ‘safe’ – GM crops are a perfect example of this phenomenon.
Organs cannot be divided into ‘fake’ computerized components. They interact with one another, the endocrine system, the brain, the nervous system, environmental cues, emotions, and according to advanced research, even our energetic bodies.
This reminds me of how genetically modified humans are planned to be the next venture for biotechnology companies working with the United States military, with the admitted goal of producing a ‘super soldier’ that does not require food or sleep to perform Olympic-style physical feats. The genetically modified humans, or ‘super soldiers’, will even be able to regrow limbsthat were destroyed by enemy fire and live off of their fat stores for extreme lengths of time. You can read more on GMO super-humans here.
While the new GM human farms seem great on paper, since eliminating animal testing is indeed noble, they do not address possible far-reaching, negative ramifications for trying to re-create the complexities of Mother Nature’s form. It seems the pharmaceutical industry and biotech don’t learn from their mistakes at all.
In addition to national interests, which are an eternal component of global politics, there is another factor with much greater impact, and this is the moral basis that underpins the players acting upon the world stage. International relations and diplomacy have always been grounded in a moral foundation. It has been hypothesized that the old, but still relevant moral foundations are no longer able to ensure the sustainability of the global system, that the old worldview is out of sync with the latest challenges, and that it is not possible to reconstruct the global system based on a vision from the past century. Another, more daring hypothesis is that Russia can offer a new frame of reference for this global system, as well as new principles to guide states’ interaction. Russians have always held a worldview that is somewhat distinct (significantly distinct during the Soviet era) from that of Westerners. Perhaps therein lies the root cause of the West’s reluctance to accept the idea of extensive cooperation with Russia. The risk to the West is that Russia’s understanding of how to arrange this world order may be too attractive for many, perhaps for the majority of the world’s population. And then the West would be stripped of its moral authority.
The foreign policy of the US has a clear and simple moral basis – the exceptionalism of the American nation.
Since the 19th century Americans have believed that they were building the most advanced society on earth, a society of freedom and opportunity, where each is free to find his own path. Democracy as a method of governance was the finest system to be devised in human history. America is held up as a model, and her values should hold sway throughout the world. But this raises the question of how to achieve the triumph of American values and of the American model of governance and society. Should one merely rely on the power of this example, remaining a beacon for all of humanity? Or should American foreign policy actively promote the dissemination of American institutions?
Photo right: Woodrow Wilson
Prior to WWI, the US preferred not to intervene in international affairs outside of the Americas. The country adhered to the doctrines of its founding fathers, and those doctrines were fairly isolationist. But within its own sphere of influence America has never been loath to act. In just the first few years of the 20th century she intervened in the affairs of (and occasionally occupied) countries such as Haiti, Panama, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic. But the First World War was a turning point, and President Woodrow Wilson created a new foreign policy for the US.
Wilson made an intellectual and political U-turn. Building from the idea of the exceptionalism of the American nation, and seemingly without discounting the need to steer clear of European squabbles and wars, he radically changed US foreign policy: transforming it from local to truly global. Wilson’s logic was as follows (here I am expounding on ideas from Henry Kissinger’s book Diplomacy): the challenges confronting America were placed there by Providence itself (and it would be difficult to invent a more powerful moral basis for action). The security of the US is inseparable from the security of the rest of humanity. Thus it follows that it is America’s duty to resist aggression wherever that may be. The country’s exceptional nature requires that its own example be used to affirm freedom while simultaneously disseminating it. America’s providential moral foundation does not permit her to be limited in any way while pursuing her missions abroad – the country’s infallibility is foreordained. A global crusade to impose American values must be launched. Moreover, the strength of the United States will atrophy if America does not labor to spread freedom throughout the world.
I quote Woodrow Wilson, “We set this Nation up to make men free and we did not confine our conception and purpose to America, and now we will make men free. If we did not do that all the fame of America would be gone and all her power would be dissipated.”
This intellectual concept – which combines the exclusivity of America as a disseminator of freedom with her ability to intervene in the affairs of any country in the world, if such is deemed necessary in Washington DC – has been the moral foundation of America’s foreign policy for almost a hundred years. This is precisely why Vladimir Putin’s article in theNew York Times last year generated such a hysterical reaction in the US. To quote Putin, “It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.” Putin “dared” to criticize the most sacred of American values – that nation’s exceptionalism. He made it clear that he did not share such a “messianic” view of how a global system of states should be organized, and that there may be other axiological bases, which he can describe, on which to ground such a system.
Even if we accept (or at least agree to tolerate) the values of Wilsonianism, we must critically assess the current practice of applying Wilson’s theory. Would not any critical analysis show that almost nothing remains of those 100-year-old messianic ideals? That humanity is no longer drawn to that “beacon of freedom,” but is instead frightened and repelled by it? That what was once an idealistic policy, and for many it truly was, is degenerating into the most cynical Realpolitik? The gross interference in the domestic affairs of other countries, resulting in the destruction of the apparatus of the state and heavy casualties, such as in Iraq, Syria, and Libya … The discourtesy toward one’s closest allies: the wiretapping of heads of state, the pressure on French banks, the refusal to return Germany’s gold, etc. The use of radical Islamic forces to achieve un-idealistic and entirely pragmatic and selfish goals. The unprecedented control over the mass media – this is clearly evident in the surging anti-Russian campaign that has accompanied the Ukrainian crisis.
The brief era of US hegemony is coming to a close, and with it – Wilsonian diplomacy.
The world’s economic and political structure is changing rapidly. “Never before has a new world order had to be assembled from so many different perceptions, or on so global a scale,” wrote Henry Kissinger [“Diplomacy”, p.26). There can no longer be any doubt that Russia is destined to play a major role in the creation of that new order.
“There is a taboo,” said the visionary Edward Said, “on telling the truth about Palestine and the great destructive force behind Israel. Only when this truth is out can any of us be free.”
For many people, the truth is out now. At last, they know. Those once intimidated into silence can’t look away now. Staring at them from their TV, laptop, phone, is proof of the barbarism of the Israeli state and the great destructive force of its mentor and provider, the United States, the cowardice of European governments, and the collusion of others, such as Canada and Australian, in this epic crime.
The attack on Gaza was an attack on all of us. The siege of Gaza is a siege of all of us. The denial of justice to Palestinians is a symptom of much of humanity under siege and a warning that the threat of a new world war is growing by the day.
When Nelson Mandela called the struggle of Palestine “the greatest moral issue of our time”, he spoke on behalf of true civilisation, not that which empires invent. In Latin America, the governments of Brazil, Chile, Venezuela, Bolivia, El Salvador, Peru and Ecuador have made their stand on Gaza. Each of these countries has known its own dark silence when immunity for mass murder was sponsored by the same godfather in Washington that answered the cries of children in Gaza with more ammunition to kill them.
Unlike Netanyahu and his killers, Washington’s pet fascists in Latin America didn’t concern themselves with moral window dressing. They simply murdered, and left the bodies on rubbish dumps. For Zionism, the goal is the same: to dispossess and ultimately destroy an entire human society: a truth that 225 Holocaust survivors and their descendants have compared with te genesis of genocide.
Nothing has changed since the Zionists’ infamous “Plan D” in 1948 that ethnically cleansed an entire people. Recently, on the website of the Times of Israel were the words: “Genocide is Permissible”. A deputy speaker of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, Moshe Feiglin, demands a policy of mass expulsion into concentration camps. An MP, Ayelet Shaked, whose party is a member of the governing coalition, calls for the extermination of Palestinian mothers to prevent them giving birth to what she calls “little snakes”.
For years, reporters have watched Israeli soldiers bait Palestinian children by abusing them through loud-speakers. Then they shoot them dead. For years, reporters have known about Palestinian women about to give birth and refused passage through a roadblock to a hospital; and the baby has died, and sometimes the mother.
For years, reporters have known about Palestinian doctors and ambulance crews given permission by Israeli commanders to attend the wounded or remove the dead, only to be shot through the head.
For years, reporters have known about stricken people prevented from getting life-saving treatment, or shot dead when they’ve tried to reach a clinic for chemotherapy treatment. One elderly lady with a walking stick was murdered in this way – a bullet in her back.
When I put the facts of this crime to Dori Gold, a senior adviser to the Israeli prime minister, he said, “Unfortunately in every kind of warfare there are cases of civilians who are accidentally killed. But the case you cite was not terrorism. Terrorism means putting the cross-hairs of the sniper’s rifle on a civilian deliberately.”
I replied, “That’s exactly what happened.”
“No,” he said, “it did not happen.”
Such a lie or delusion is repeated unerringly by Israel’s apologists. As the former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges points out, the reporting of such an atrocity invariably ends up as “caught in the cross-fire”. For as long as I have covered the Middle East, much if not most of the western media has colluded in this way.
In one of my films, a Palestinian cameraman, Imad Ghanem, lies helpless while soldiers from the “most moral army in the world” blew both his legs off. This atrocity was given two lines on the BBC website. Thirteen journalists were killed by Israel in its latest bloodfest in Gaza. All were Palestinian. Who knows their names?
Something is different now. There is a huge revulsion across the world; and the voices of sensible liberalism are worried. Their hand wringing and specious choir of “equal blame” and “Israel’s right to defend itself” will not wash any more; neither will the smear of anti-Semitism. Neither will their selective cry that “something must be done” about Islamic fanatics but nothing must be done about Zionist fanatics.
One sensible liberal voice, the novelist Ian McEwan, was being celebrated as a sage by the Guardian while the children of Gaza were blown to bits. This is the same Ian McEwan who ignored the pleading of Palestinians not to accept the Jerusalem Prize for literature. “If I only went to countries that I approve of, I probably would never get out of bed,” said McEwan.
If they could speak, the dead of Gaza might say: Stay in bed, great novelist, for your very presence smoothes the bed of racism, apartheid, ethnic cleansing and murder – no matter the weasel words you uttered as you claimed your prize.
Understanding the sophistry and power of liberal propaganda is key to understanding why Israel’s outrages endure; why the world looks on; why sanctions are never applied to Israel; and why nothing less than a total boycott of everything Israeli is now a measure of basic human decency.
The most incessant propaganda says Hamas is committed to the destruction of Israel. Khaled Hroub, the Cambridge University scholar considered a world leading authority on Hamas, says this phrase is “never used or adopted by Hamas, even in its most radical statements”. The oft-quoted “anti-Jewish” 1988 Charter was the work of “one individual and made public without appropriate Hamas consensus …. The author was one of the ‘old guard’ “; the document is regarded as an embarrassment and never cited.
Hamas has repeatedly offered a 10-year truce with Israel and has long settled for a two-state solution. When Medea Benjamin, the fearless Jewish American activist, was in Gaza, she carried a letter from Hamas leaders to President Obama that made clear the government of Gaza wanted peace with Israel. It was ignored. I personally know of many such letters carried in good faith, ignored or dismissed.
The unforgivable crime of Hamas is a distinction almost never reported: it is the only Arab government to have been freely and democratically elected by its people. Worse, it has now formed a government of unity with the Palestinian Authority. A single, resolute Palestinian voice – in the General Assembly, the Human Rights Council and the International Criminal Court – is the most feared threat.
Since 2002, a pioneering media unit at Glasgow University has produced remarkable studies of reporting and propaganda in Israel/Palestine. Professor Greg Philo and his colleagues were shocked to find a public ignorance compounded by TV news reporting. The more people watched, the less they knew.
Greg Philo says the problem is not “bias” as such. Reporters and producers are as moved as anyone by the suffering of Palestinians; but so imposing is the power structure of the media — as an extension of the state and its vested interests — that critical facts and historical context are routinely suppressed.
Incredibly, less than nine per cent of young viewers interviewed by Professor Philo’s team were aware that Israel was the occupying power, and that the illegal settlers were Jewish; many believed them to be Palestinian. The term “Occupied Territories” was seldom explained. Words such as “murder”, “atrocity”, “cold-blooded killing” were used only to describe the deaths of Israelis.
Recently, a BBC reporter, David Loyn, was critical of another British journalist, Jon Snow of Channel 4 News. Snow was so moved by what he had seen in Gaza he went on YouTube to make a humanitarian appeal. What concerned the BBC man was that Snow had breached protocol and been emotional in his YouTube piece.
“Emotion,” wrote Loyn, “is the stuff of propaganda and news is against propaganda”. Did he write this with a straight face? In fact, Snow’s delivery was calm. His crime was to have strayed outside the boundaries of fake impartiality. Unforgivably, he didn’t censor himself.
In 1937, with Adolf Hitler in power, Geoffrey Dawson, editor of The Times in London, wrote the following in his diary: “I spend my nights in taking out anything which will hurt [German] susceptibilities and in dropping in little things which are intended to soothe them.”
On 30 July, the BBC offered viewers a masterclass in the Dawson Principle. The diplomatic correspondent of the programme Newsnight, Mark Urban, gave five reasons why the Middle East was in turmoil. None included the historic or contemporary role of the British government. The Cameron government’s dispatch of £8 billion worth of arms and military equipment to Israel was airbrushed. Britain’s massive arms shipment to Saudi Arabia was airbrushed. Britain’s role in the destruction of Libya was airbrushed. Britain’s support for the tyranny in Egypt was airbrushed.
As for the British invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, they didn’t happen, either.
The only expert witness on this BBC programme was an academic called Toby Dodge from the London School of Economics. What viewers needed to know was that Dodge had been a special adviser to David Petraeus, the American general largely responsible for the disasters in Iraq and Afghanistan. But this, too, was airbrushed.
In matters of war and peace, BBC-style illusions of impartiality and credibility do more to limit and control public discussion than tabloid distortion. As Greg Philo pointed out, Jon Snow’s moving commentary on YouTube was limited to whether the Israeli assault on Gaza was proportionate or reasonable. What was missing – and is almost always missing – was the essential truth of the longest military occupation in modern times: a criminal enterprise backed by western governments from Washington to London to Canberra.
As for the myth that “vulnerable” and “isolated” Israel is surrounded by enemies, Israel is actually surrounded by strategic allies. The Palestinian Authority, bankrolled, armed and directed by the US, has long colluded with Tel Aviv. Standing shoulder to shoulder with Netanyahu are the tyrannies in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar — if the World Cup ever gets to Qatar, count on Mossad to run the security.
Resistance is humanity at its bravest and most noble. The resistance in Gaza is rightly compared with the 1943 Jewish uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto – which also dug tunnels and deployed tactics of subterfuge and surprise against an overpowering military machine. The last surviving leader of the Warsaw uprising, Marek Edelman, wrote a letter of solidarity to the Palestinian resistance, comparing it with the ZOB, his ghetto fighters. The letter began: “Commanders of the Palestine military, paramilitary and partisan operations – and to all soldiers [of Palestine].”
Dr. Mads Gilbert is a Norwegian doctor renowned for his heroic work in Gaza. On 8 August, Dr. Gilbert returned to his hometown, Tronso in Norway which, as he pointed out, the Nazis had occupied for seven years. He said, “Imagine being back in 1945 and we in Norway did not win the liberation struggle, did not throw out the occupier. Imagine the occupier remaining in our country, taking it piece by piece, for decades upon decades, and banishing us to the leanest areas, and taking the fish in the sea and the water beneath us, then bombing our hospitals, our ambulance workers, our schools, our homes.
“Would we have given up and waved the white flag? No, we would not! And this is the situation in Gaza. This is not a battle between terrorism and democracy. Hamas is not the enemy Israel is fighting. Israel is waging a war against the Palestinian people’s will to resist. It is the Palestinian people’s dignity that they will not accept this.
“In 1938, the Nazis called the Jews Untermenschen – subhuman. Today, Palestinians are treated as a subhuman people who can be slaughtered without any in power reacting.
“So I have returned to Norway, a free country, and this country is free because we had a resistance movement, because occupied nations have the right to resist, even with weapons – it’s stated in international law. And the Palestinian people’s resistance in Gaza is admirable: a struggle for us all.”
There are dangers in telling this truth, in breaching what Edward Said called “the last taboo”. My documentary, Palestine Is Still the Issue, was nominated for a Bafta, a British academy award, and praised by the Independent Television Commission for its “journalistic integrity” and the “care and thoroughness with which it was researched.” Yet, within minutes of the film’s broadcast on Britain’s ITV Network, a shock wave struck – a deluge of emails described me as a “demonic psychopath”, “a purveyor of hate and evil”, “an anti-Semite of the most dangerous kind”. Much of this was orchestrated by Zionists in the US who could not possibly have seen the film. Death threats arrived at a rate of one a day.
Something similar happened to the Australian commentator Mike Carlton last month. In his regular column in the Sydney Morning Herald, Carlton produced a rare piece of journalism about Israel and the Palestinians; he identified the oppressors and their victims. He was careful to limit his attack to “a new and brutal Israel dominated by the hard-line, right-wing Likud party of Netanyahu”. Those who had previously run the Zionist state, he implied, belonged to “a proud liberal tradition”.
On cue, the deluge struck. He was called “a bag of Nazi slime, a Jew-hating racist.” He was threatened repeatedly, and he emailed his attackers to “get fucked”.
The Herald demanded he apologise. When he refused, he was suspended, then he resigned. According to the Herald’s publisher, Sean Aylmer, the company “expects much higher standards from its columnists.”
The “problem” of Carlton’s acerbic, often solitary liberal voice in a country in which Rupert Murdoch controls 70 per cent of the capital city press — Australia is the world’s first murdocracy — would be solved twice over. The Australian Human Rights Commission is to investigate complaints against Carlton under the Racial Discrimination Act, which outlaws any public act or utterance that is “reasonably likely … to offend, insult, humiliate another person or a group of people” on the basic of their race, colour or national or ethnic origin.
In contrast to safe, silent Australia — where the Carltons are made extinct — real journalism is alive in Gaza. I often speak on the phone with Mohammed Omer, an extraordinary young Palestinian journalist, to whom I presented, in 2008, the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism. Whenever I called him during the assault on Gaza, I could hear the whine of drones, the explosion of missiles. He interrupted one call to attend to children huddled outside waiting for transport amidst the explosions. When I spoke to him on 30 July, a single Israeli F-19 fighter had just slaughtered 19 children. On 20 August, he described how Israeli drones had effectively “rounded up” a village so that they could savagely gunned down.
Every day, at sunrise, Mohammed looks for families who have been bombed. He records their stories, standing in the rubble of their homes; he takes their pictures. He goes to the hospital. He goes to the morgue. He goes to the cemetery. He queues for hours for bread for his own family. And he watches the sky. He sends two, three, four dispatches a day. This is real journalism.
“They are trying to annihilate us,” he told me. “But the more they bomb us, the stronger we are. They will never win.”
The great crime committed in Gaza is a reminder of something wider and menacing to us all.
Since 2001, the United States and its allies have been on a rampage. In Iraq, at least 700,000 men, woman and children are dead as a result. The rise of jihadists – in a country where there was none – is the result. Known as al-Qaeda and now the Islamic State, modern jihadism was invented by US and Britain, assisted by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The original aim was to use and develop an Islamic fundamentalism that had barely existed in much of the Arab world in order to undermine pan-Arab movements and secular governments. By the 1980s, this had become a weapon to destroy the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. The CIA called it Operation Cyclone; and a cyclone it turned out to be, with its unleashed fury blowing back in the faces of its creators. The attacks of 9/11 and in London in July, 2005 were the result of this blowback, as were the recent, gruesome murders of the American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. For more than a year, the Obama administration armed the killers of these two young men — then known as ISIS in Syria — in order to destroy the secular government in Damascus.
The West’s principal “ally” in this imperial mayhem is the medieval state where beheadings are routinely and judicially carried out — Saudi Arabia. Whenever a member of the British Royal Family is sent to this barbaric place, you can bet your bottom petrodollar that the British government wants to sell the sheiks more fighter planes, missiles, manacles. Most of the 9/11 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia, which bankrolls jihadists from Syria to Iraq.
Why must we live in this state of perpetual war?
The immediate answer lies in the United States, where a secret and unreported coup has taken place. A group known as the Project for a New American Century, the inspiration of Dick Cheney and others, came to power with the administration of George W Bush. Once known in Washington as the “crazies”, this extreme sect believes in what the US Space Command calls “full spectrum dominance”.
Under both Bush and Obama, a19th-century imperial mentality has infused all departments of state. Raw militarism is ascendant; diplomacy is redundant. Nations and governments are judged as useful or expendable: to be bribed or threatened or “sanctioned”.
On 31 July, the National Defense Panel in Washington published a remarkable document that called for the United States to prepare to fight six major wars simultaneously. At the top of the list were Russia and China – nuclear powers.
In one sense, a war against Russia has already begun. While the world watched horrified as Israel assaulted Gaza, similar atrocities in eastern Ukraine were barely news. At the time of writing, two Ukrainian cities of Russian-speaking people – Donetsk and Luhansk – are under siege: their people and hospitals and schools blitzed by a regime in Kiev that came to power in a putsch led by neo-Nazis backed and paid for by the United States. The coup was the climax of what the Russian political observer Sergei Glaziev describes as a 20-year “grooming of Ukrainian Nazis aimed at Russia”. Actual fascism has risen again in Europe and not one European leader has spoken against it, perhaps because the rise of fascism across Europe is now a truth that dares not speak its name.
With its fascist past, and present, Ukraine is now a CIA theme park, a colony of Nato and the International Monetary Fund. The fascist coup in Kiev in February was the boast of US assistant secretary of state Victoria Nuland, whose “coup budget” ran to $5 billion. But there was a setback. Moscow prevented the seizure of its legitimate Black Sea naval base in Russian-speaking Crimea. A referendum and annexation quickly followed. Represented in the West as the Kremlin’s “aggression”, this serves to turn truth on its head and cover Washington’s goals: to drive a wedge between a “pariah” Russia and its principal trading partners in Europe and eventually to break up the Russian Federation. American missiles already surround Russia; Nato’s military build-up in the former Soviet republics and eastern Europe is the biggest since the second world war.
During the cold war, this would have risked a nuclear holocaust. The risk has returned as anti-Russian misinformation reaches crescendos of hysteria in the US and Europe. A textbook case is the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner in July. Without a single piece of evidence, the US and its Nato allies and their media machines blamed ethnic Russian “separatists” in Ukraine and implied that Moscow was ultimately responsible. An editorial in The Economist accused Vladimir Putin of mass murder. The cover of Der Spiegel used faces of the victims and bold red type, “Stoppt Putin Jetzt!” (Stop Putin Now!) In the New York Times, Timothy Garton Ash substantiated his case for “Putin’s deadly doctrine” with personal abuse of “a short, thickset man with a rather ratlike face”.
The Guardian’s role has been important. Renowned for its investigations, the newspaper has made no serious attempt to examine who shot the aeroplane down and why, even though a wealth of material from credible sources shows that Moscow was as shocked as the rest of the world, and the airliner may well have been brought down by the Ukrainian regime.
With the White House offering no verifiable evidence – even though US satellites would have observed the shooting-down — the Guardian’s Moscow correspondent Shaun Walker stepped into the breach. “My audience with the Demon of Donetsk,” was the front- page headline over Walker’s breathless interview with one Igor Bezler. “With a walrus moustache, a fiery temper and a reputation for brutality,” he wrote, “Igor Bezler is the most feared of all the rebel leaders in eastern Ukraine …nicknamed The Demon … If the Ukrainian security services, the SBU, are to be believed, the Demon and a group of his men were responsible for shooting down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 … as well as allegedly bringing down MH17, the rebels have shot down 10 Ukrainian aircraft.” Demon Journalism requires no further evidence.
Demon Journalism makes over a fascist-contaminated junta that seized power in Kiev as a respectable “interim government”. Neo-Nazis become mere “nationalists”. “News” sourced to the Kiev junta ensures the suppression of a US-run coup and the junta’s systematic ethnic cleaning of the Russian-speaking population of eastern Ukraine. That this should happen in the borderland through which the original Nazis invaded Russia, extinguishing some 22 million Russian lives, is of no interest. What matters is a Russian “invasion” of Ukraine that seems difficult to prove beyond familiar satellite images that evoke Colin Powell’s fictional presentation to the United Nations “proving” that Saddam Hussein had WMD. “You need to know that accusations of a major Russian ‘invasion’ of Ukraine appear not to be supported by reliable intelligence,” wrote a group of former senior US intelligence officials and analysts, the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “Rather, the ‘intelligence’ seems to be of the same dubious, politically ‘fixed’ kind used 12 years ago to ‘justify’ the U.S.-led attack on Iraq.”
The jargon is “controlling the narrative”. In his seminal Culture and Imperialism, Edward Said was more explicit: the western media machine was now capable of penetrating deep into the consciousness of much of humanity with a “wiring” as influential as that of the imperial navies of the 19th century. Gunboat journalism, in other words. Or war by media.
Yet, a critical public intelligence and resistance to propaganda does exist; and a second superpower is emerging – the power of public opinion, fuelled by the internet and social media.
The false reality created by false news delivered by media gatekeepers may prevent some of us knowing that this new superpower is stirring in country after country: from the Americas to Europe, Asia to Africa. It is a moral insurrection, exemplified by the whistleblowers Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange. The question begs: will we break our silence while there is time?
When I was last in Gaza, driving back to the Israeli checkpoint, I caught sight of two Palestinian flags through the razor wire. Children had made flagpoles out of sticks tied together and they’d climbed on a wall and held the flag between them.
The children do this, I was told, whenever there are foreigners around, because they want to show the world they are there — alive, and brave, and undefeated.
This article is adapted from John Pilger’s Edward Said Memorial Lecture, delivered in Adelaide, Australia, on 11 September.
“Still, we continue to face a terrorist threat. We cannot erase every trace of evil from the world, and small groups of killers have the capacity to do great harm. That was the case before 9/11, and that remains true today. That’s why we must remain vigilant as threats emerge. At this moment, the greatest threats come from the Middle East and North Africa, where radical groups exploit grievances for their own gain. And one of those groups is ISIL — which calls itself the “Islamic State.”
-US President Barrack Obama from his September 10 speech to the nation. 
On September 8, 2013, the popular Russia Today broadcast, The Truth Seeker, aired a thirteen minute newscast critical of the official explanation of 9/11. The broadcast was starting to go viral on You Tube before Youtube statistics suspiciously flat-lined.
The 9/11 Truth movement is becoming increasingly visible as RETHINK 911 anniversary events in New York City and around the world are becoming increasingly impossible to ignore.
Meanwhile, US President Barrack Obama on the eve of the anniversary announces his plans to launch military assaults in Iraq and Syria in order to destroy the terrorist menace with virtually no significant resistance.
The 9/11 Consensus Panel put out a press release in recent days announcing new points of concensus relating to the 9/11 airliner black boxes found at the World Trade Center site, standard protocols that were not followed in the instance of a hijacking, and incriminating statements from former New York City Mayor Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
The Truth movement may be growing, but there seems to be no noticeable changes in the political landscape as a result.
On the week marking the thirteenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we get thirteenth anniversary retrospectives on 9/11 from two people very much at the forefront of the efforts to challenge the official account of the tragedy. They address the efforts to investigate 9/11 using recently revealed but rarely seen on-line documents, the obstacles to 9/11 Truth making a breakthrough in the political arena, the role of groups like Al Qaeda and ISIS/ISIL as US strategic assets, and concerns forming around a new State directed investigation.
Elizabeth Woodworth is a retired health Sciences Librarian and researcher. She is coordinator and co-founder of the 9/11 Concensus Panel.
Michel Chossudovsky is the Director and Founder of the Centre for Research On Globalization, an Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and author of “America’s War On Terrorism.” He was one of the first people in the world to publicly question the 9/11 narrative, specifically the claim that it was necessary to wage a “War on Terrorism” in order to contain and control Al Qaeda.
A complete digest of 9/11 related articles is available on the Global Research site.
Burnaby Radio Station CJSF out of Simon Fraser University. 90.1FM to most of Greater Vancouver, from Langley to Point Grey and from the North Shore to the US Border. It is also available on 93.9 FM cable in the communities of SFU, Burnaby, New Westminister, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Surrey and Delta, in British Columbia Canada. – Tune in every Saturday at 6am.
CFRU 93.3FM in Guelph, Ontario. Tune in Wednesdays from 12am to 1am.
Momentum is still growing for a $15 minimum wage. On August 4 150 cities rallied for $15 and union rights, with striking fast food workers engaging in civil disobedience. Meanwhile, San Francisco voters are expected to pass a $15 referendum in November, and Seattle starts to phase in $15 on January 1. The city of Sea-Tac, Washington has lived under $15 all year, proving false the predictions of the 1% that economic collapse would ensue.
The savvier establishment politicians understand the populist wave of $15, and are taking action to stem the tide. For example, the mayors of Chicago, New York and Los Angeles have endorsed various versions of a $13 minimum wage, though Chicago’s mayor endorsing a $13 minimum wage for only city workers in 2018 isn’t likely to quiet the streets.
While elite politicians understandably fear the growing muscle of $15, many on the political left have underestimated its strength, dismissing the movement as a fluff campaign led by opportunistic unions. This narrative includes some valid criticisms but misses the big picture entirely.
The hidden power behind the $15 demand is the unpredictable dynamic it creates. When non-activist working people are suddenly activated on a national scale, the seeds of a social movement begin to sprout.
In the same way that people are demanding dignity and justice in Ferguson, the $15 minimum galvanizes previously inactive segments of the population. If masses of working people become politically active the social-economic equilibrium of the country favoring the 1% begins to shake. An emerging threat to the balance of power is ultimately what’s terrifying the politicians.
The “fight for $15” is the first time in decades that working class people have been inspired by a bold demand. Two years ago $15 was a ridiculous pipe dream. But now $15 is starting to materialize, proving to millions of onlookers that it’s achievable. Hopelessness can turn into hope and powerlessness into power when $15 is fought for and won. Winning a once-impossible demand inspires confidence to make new equally impossible demands.
If the Occupy movement had been armed with the $15 demand, its reach would have widened to broader layers of the community, helping expand the movement’s life. The $15 movement is one of Occupy’s many children, but Occupy failed to raise any demands or solutions.
The most direct route to attack income inequality and poverty is a $15 minimum wage, which would directly benefit 51 million people and indirectly help 30 million more, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
The era of corporate-dominated national politics adds an extra layer of power to $15: we are midway through a period of uncontrollable neoliberalism, where a demand for $15 directly confronts the ceaseless attacks on working people’s living standards.
Of course the millions of people who make less than $15 an hour don’t need this explained to them. The demand is automatically accepted, in the same way it is automatically rejected by the elite, who stand to lose $billions in profits to rising workers’ wages.
Another vital component of the $15 demand is the role of organized labor, whose ranks include millions more working people. Unions birthed the $15 demand in 2012 with SEIU-organized fast food strikes. This then led to unions successfully winning $15 in SeaTac, Washington, and then Seattle.
Labor’s connection to $15 has shown non-union people why unions matter. After decades of political irrelevance because of their willingness to accept concessions without a fight, unions are beginning to wake up; and only unions could have launched the $15 movement so successfully, since they remain the only working class organization with enough resources to successfully engage battle with the 1%.
The normally timid voice of unions is due to their links to the Democratic Party, which consistently insists that unions water down their demands to appease the 1%, thus inspiring nobody. Union politics have bored union members and the community for years. The $15 demand is thus a break from boring union politics and a break with the Democrats in action over a serious issue, which all activists — union and non-union — should encourage.
The ultimate reason why $15 inspires working people is that it connects with their desire for a dignified life. This sentiment lies at the core of all revolutions. The Arab Spring consisted of average people raising the voices after decades of political invisibility, in a region of mass unemployment, growing inequality in wealth and unresponsive political elites. In the U.S. the defeat of segregation was directly challenged by the simple yet profound slogan “I Am a Man,” which reflected the broad-based demand for dignity among African Americans.
The tens of millions of working poor and unemployed in the U.S. are beginning to demand dignity, with potentially profound implications. A $15 minimum wage will not solve all of our society’s social problems, but it can trigger a powerful process for social change that has been absent in the U.S. for decades.
A national $15 minimum wage can be won if average people are inspired to join labor and community groups in the streets in ongoing actions. It takes a living wage like $15 to inspire action in the streets, while the Democratic Party’s demand of $10.10 — or slightly higher — does not. Keeping momentum towards $15 is vital; and therefore $10.10 is not a step in the right direction but a barrier to $15, since it blocks energy at a crucial moment.
The national demand is $15 because it is a living wage, although just barely. The movement doesn’t have to settle for less than $15.
The article below entitled Who is Osama bin Laden? was first published 13 years ago on September 12, 2001. It was among the first articles on the Global Research website, which was launched on September 9, 2001, two days before the tragic events of 9/11.
I started writing on the evening of September 11, late into the night, going through piles of research notes, which I had previously collected on the history of Al Qaeda. The article was first published on the Global Research website on the evening of September 12, 2001.
From the outset, the objective was to use 9/11 as a pretext for launching the first phase of the Middle East War Central Asian war, which consisted in the bombing and occupation of Afghanistan.
Within hours of the attacks, Osama bin Laden was identified without evidence as the architect of 9/11. On the following day, the “global war on terrorism” had been launched. The media disinformation campaign went into full gear.
Also on September 12, less than 24 hours after the attacks, NATO invoked for the first time in its history “Article 5 of the Washington Treaty – its collective defense clause” declaring the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) and the Pentagon “to be an attack against all NATO members.” Implied in this statement was that Afghanistan as a nation state had attacked the United States, a totally absurd proposition.
What happened subsequently, with the invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya is already part of history.
Syria and Iran constitute the next phase of the US administration’s military road map.
Al Qaeda is a terrorist construct, and “intelligence asset” financed, trained and supported covertly by the CIA.
“Jihadist” mercenaries continue to be recruited by the US and its allies. Al Qaeda and its numerous affiliates –including the Islamic State (IS) and Al Nusrah in Syria– are used as a means to destabilizing sovereign countries under the banner of the “Global War on Terrorism”.
9/11 propaganda prevails. On September 10, 2014 president Obama announced the onslaught of a new holy war directed against the Islamic State (IS).
On September 11, Saudi Arabia and Gulf States which actively contributed to the financing of the Islamic State, not to mention the recruitment and training of terrorists on behalf of Washington, pledged their unbending support for Obama’s military campaign against the Islamic State.
Let us be under no illusions. The Islamic State is a construct of US intelligence with the support of its intelligence counterparts including Britain’s M16, Israel’s Mossad and Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence.
We are dealing with a diabolical project: The architects of the Islamic State have informed the World that they are “going after” their own terrorists as part of a counter-terrorism operation
While these actions are undertaken under the banner of the “Global War on Terrorism”, the US has no intention to target its IS own terror brigades which are integrated by Western special forces and intelligence operatives.
What we are dealing with is a US sponsored process of destruction and destabilization. The campaign against the Islamic State is being used as a justification to bomb both Iraq and Syria, largely targeting civilians.
In this regard, the September 11, 2001 attacks continue to be used by the US administration as a pretext and a justification for waging a war without borders.
On this thirteenth anniversary commemoration of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the central issue remains 9/11 Truth as a means to dismantling Washington’s global military agenda, upholding civil liberties and restoring World Peace.
Michel Chossudovsky, Montreal, September 12, 2014
Who Is Osama Bin Laden?
by Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, September 12, 2001
A few hours after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, the Bush administration concluded without supporting evidence, that “Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda organisation were prime suspects”. CIA Director George Tenet stated that bin Laden has the capacity to plan “multiple attacks with little or no warning.” Secretary of State Colin Powell called the attacks “an act of war” and President Bush confirmed in an evening televised address to the Nation that he would “make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them”. Former CIA Director James Woolsey pointed his finger at “state sponsorship,” implying the complicity of one or more foreign governments. In the words of former National Security Adviser, Lawrence Eagleburger, “I think we will show when we get attacked like this, we are terrible in our strength and in our retribution.”
Meanwhile, parroting official statements, the Western media mantra has approved the launching of “punitive actions” directed against civilian targets in the Middle East. In the words of William Saffire writing in the New York Times: “When we reasonably determine our attackers’ bases and camps, we must pulverize them — minimizing but accepting the risk of collateral damage” — and act overtly or covertly to destabilize terror’s national hosts”.
The following text outlines the history of Osama Bin Laden and the links of the Islamic “Jihad” to the formulation of US foreign policy during the Cold War and its aftermath.
Prime suspect in the New York and Washington terrorists attacks, branded by the FBI as an “international terrorist” for his role in the African US embassy bombings, Saudi born Osama bin Laden was recruited during the Soviet-Afghan war “ironically under the auspices of the CIA, to fight Soviet invaders”. 1
In 1979 “the largest covert operation in the history of the CIA” was launched in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in support of the pro-Communist government of Babrak Kamal.2:
With the active encouragement of the CIA and Pakistan’s ISI [Inter Services Intelligence], who wanted to turn the Afghan jihad into a global war waged by all Muslim states against the Soviet Union, some 35,000 Muslim radicals from 40 Islamic countries joined Afghanistan’s fight between 1982 and 1992. Tens of thousands more came to study in Pakistani madrasahs. Eventually more than 100,000 foreign Muslim radicals were directly influenced by the Afghan jihad.3
The Islamic “jihad” was supported by the United States and Saudi Arabia with a significant part of the funding generated from the Golden Crescent drug trade:
In March 1985, President Reagan signed National Security Decision Directive 166,…[which] authorize[d] stepped-up covert military aid to the mujahideen, and it made clear that the secret Afghan war had a new goal: to defeat Soviet troops in Afghanistan through covert action and encourage a Soviet withdrawal. The new covert U.S. assistance began with a dramatic increase in arms supplies — a steady rise to 65,000 tons annually by 1987, … as well as a “ceaseless stream” of CIA and Pentagon specialists who traveled to the secret headquarters of Pakistan’s ISI on the main road near Rawalpindi, Pakistan. There the CIA specialists met with Pakistani intelligence officers to help plan operations for the Afghan rebels.4
Ronald Reagan Meets Mujahideen Leaders at the White House
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) using Pakistan’s military Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) played a key role in training the Mujahideen. In turn, the CIA sponsored guerrilla training was integrated with the teachings of Islam:
Predominant themes were that Islam was a complete socio-political ideology, that holy Islam was being violated by the atheistic Soviet troops, and that the Islamic people of Afghanistan should reassert their independence by overthrowing the leftist Afghan regime propped up by Moscow.5
Pakistan’s Intelligence Apparatus
Pakistan’s ISI was used as a “go-between”. The CIA covert support to the “jihad” operated indirectly through the Pakistani ISI, –i.e. the CIA did not channel its support directly to the Mujahideen. In other words, for these covert operations to be “successful”, Washington was careful not to reveal the ultimate objective of the “jihad”, which consisted in destroying the Soviet Union.
In the words of CIA’s Milton Beardman “We didn’t train Arabs”. Yet according to Abdel Monam Saidali, of the Al-aram Center for Strategic Studies in Cairo, bin Laden and the “Afghan Arabs” had been imparted “with very sophisticated types of training that was allowed to them by the CIA” 6
CIA’s Beardman confirmed, in this regard, that Osama bin Laden was not aware of the role he was playing on behalf of Washington. In the words of bin Laden (quoted by Beardman): “neither I, nor my brothers saw evidence of American help”. 7
Motivated by nationalism and religious fervor, the Islamic warriors were unaware that they were fighting the Soviet Army on behalf of Uncle Sam. While there were contacts at the upper levels of the intelligence hierarchy, Islamic rebel leaders in theatre had no contacts with Washington or the CIA.
With CIA backing and the funneling of massive amounts of US military aid, the Pakistani ISI had developed into a “parallel structure wielding enormous power over all aspects of government”. 8 The ISI had a staff composed of military and intelligence officers, bureaucrats, undercover agents and informers, estimated at 150,000. 9
Meanwhile, CIA operations had also reinforced the Pakistani military regime led by General Zia Ul Haq:
‘Relations between the CIA and the ISI [Pakistan's military intelligence] had grown increasingly warm following [General] Zia’s ouster of Bhutto and the advent of the military regime,’… During most of the Afghan war, Pakistan was more aggressively anti-Soviet than even the United States. Soon after the Soviet military invaded Afghanistan in 1980, Zia [ul Haq] sent his ISI chief to destabilize the Soviet Central Asian states. The CIA only agreed to this plan in October 1984…. `the CIA was more cautious than the Pakistanis.’ Both Pakistan and the United States took the line of deception on Afghanistan with a public posture of negotiating a settlement while privately agreeing that military escalation was the best course.10
The Golden Crescent Drug Triangle
The history of the drug trade in Central Asia is intimately related to the CIA’s covert operations. Prior to the Soviet-Afghan war, opium production in Afghanistan and Pakistan was directed to small regional markets. There was no local production of heroin. 11 In this regard, Alfred McCoy’s study confirms that within two years of the onslaught of the CIA operation in Afghanistan, “the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderlands became the world’s top heroin producer, supplying 60 percent of U.S. demand. In Pakistan, the heroin-addict population went from near zero in 1979… to 1.2 million by 1985 — a much steeper rise than in any other nation”:12
CIA assets again controlled this heroin trade. As the Mujahideen guerrillas seized territory inside Afghanistan, they ordered peasants to plant opium as a revolutionary tax. Across the border in Pakistan, Afghan leaders and local syndicates under the protection of Pakistan Intelligence operated hundreds of heroin laboratories. During this decade of wide-open drug-dealing, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency in Islamabad failed to instigate major seizures or arrests … U.S. officials had refused to investigate charges of heroin dealing by its Afghan allies `because U.S. narcotics policy in Afghanistan has been subordinated to the war against Soviet influence there.’ In 1995, the former CIA director of the Afghan operation, Charles Cogan, admitted the CIA had indeed sacrificed the drug war to fight the Cold War. `Our main mission was to do as much damage as possible to the Soviets. We didn’t really have the resources or the time to devote to an investigation of the drug trade,’… `I don’t think that we need to apologize for this. Every situation has its fallout…. There was fallout in terms of drugs, yes. But the main objective was accomplished. The Soviets left Afghanistan.’13
In the Wake of the Cold War
In the wake of the Cold War, the Central Asian region is not only strategic for its extensive oil reserves, it also produces three quarters of the World’s opium representing multibillion dollar revenues to business syndicates, financial institutions, intelligence agencies and organized crime. The annual proceeds of the Golden Crescent drug trade (between 100 and 200 billion dollars) represents approximately one third of the Worldwide annual turnover of narcotics, estimated by the United Nations to be of the order of $500 billion.14
With the disintegration of the Soviet Union, a new surge in opium production has unfolded. (According to UN estimates, the production of opium in Afghanistan in 1998-99 — coinciding with the build up of armed insurgencies in the former Soviet republics– reached a record high of 4600 metric tons.15 Powerful business syndicates in the former Soviet Union allied with organized crime are competing for the strategic control over the heroin routes.
The ISI’s extensive intelligence military-network was not dismantled in the wake of the Cold War. The CIA continued to support the Islamic “jihad” out of Pakistan. New undercover initiatives were set in motion in Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Balkans. Pakistan’s military and intelligence apparatus essentially “served as a catalyst for the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the emergence of six new Muslim republics in Central Asia.” 16.
Meanwhile, Islamic missionaries of the Wahhabi sect from Saudi Arabia had established themselves in the Muslim republics as well as within the Russian federation encroaching upon the institutions of the secular State. Despite its anti-American ideology, Islamic fundamentalism was largely serving Washington’s strategic interests in the former Soviet Union.
Following the withdrawal of Soviet troops in 1989, the civil war in Afghanistan continued unabated. The Taliban were being supported by the Pakistani Deobandis and their political party the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Islam (JUI). In 1993, JUI entered the government coalition of Prime Minister Benazzir Bhutto. Ties between JUI, the Army and ISI were established. In 1995, with the downfall of the Hezb-I-Islami Hektmatyar government in Kabul, the Taliban not only instated a hardline Islamic government, they also “handed control of training camps in Afghanistan over to JUI factions…” 17
And the JUI with the support of the Saudi Wahhabi movements played a key role in recruiting volunteers to fight in the Balkans and the former Soviet Union.
Jane Defense Weekly confirms in this regard that “half of Taliban manpower and equipment originate[d] in Pakistan under the ISI” 18
In fact, it would appear that following the Soviet withdrawal both sides in the Afghan civil war continued to receive covert support through Pakistan’s ISI. 19
In other words, backed by Pakistan’s military intelligence (ISI) which in turn was controlled by the CIA, the Taliban Islamic State was largely serving American geopolitical interests. The Golden Crescent drug trade was also being used to finance and equip the Bosnian Muslim Army (starting in the early 1990s) and the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). In last few months there is evidence that Mujahideen mercenaries are fighting in the ranks of KLA-NLA terrorists in their assaults into Macedonia.
No doubt, this explains why Washington has closed its eyes on the reign of terror imposed by the Taliban including the blatant derogation of women’s rights, the closing down of schools for girls, the dismissal of women employees from government offices and the enforcement of “the Sharia laws of punishment”.20
The War in Chechnya
With regard to Chechnya, the main rebel leaders Shamil Basayev and Al Khattab were trained and indoctrinated in CIA sponsored camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan. According to Yossef Bodansky, director of the U.S. Congress’s Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, the war in Chechnya had been planned during a secret summit of HizbAllah International held in 1996 in Mogadishu, Somalia. 21
The summit, was attended by Osama bin Laden and high-ranking Iranian and Pakistani intelligence officers. In this regard, the involvement of Pakistan’s ISI in Chechnya “goes far beyond supplying the Chechens with weapons and expertise: the ISI and its radical Islamic proxies are actually calling the shots in this war”. 22
Russia’s main pipeline route transits through Chechnya and Dagestan. Despite Washington’s perfunctory condemnation of Islamic terrorism, the indirect beneficiaries of the Chechen war are the Anglo-American oil conglomerates which are vying for control over oil resources and pipeline corridors out of the Caspian Sea basin.
The two main Chechen rebel armies (respectively led by Commander Shamil Basayev and Emir Khattab) [image right] estimated at 35,000 strong were supported by Pakistan’s ISI, which also played a key role in organizing and training the Chechen rebel army:
[In 1994] the Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence arranged for Basayev and his trusted lieutenants to undergo intensive Islamic indoctrination and training in guerrilla warfare in the Khost province of Afghanistan at Amir Muawia camp, set up in the early 1980s by the CIA and ISI and run by famous Afghani warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. In July 1994, upon graduating from Amir Muawia, Basayev was transferred to Markaz-i-Dawar camp in Pakistan to undergo training in advanced guerrilla tactics. In Pakistan, Basayev met the highest ranking Pakistani military and intelligence officers: Minister of Defense General Aftab Shahban Mirani, Minister of Interior General Naserullah Babar, and the head of the ISI branch in charge of supporting Islamic causes, General Javed Ashraf, (all now retired). High-level connections soon proved very useful to Basayev.23
Following his training and indoctrination stint, Basayev was assigned to lead the assault against Russian federal troops in the first Chechen war in 1995. His organization had also developed extensive links to criminal syndicates in Moscow as well as ties to Albanian organized crime and the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). In 1997-98, according to Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) “Chechen warlords started buying up real estate in Kosovo… through several real estate firms registered as a cover in Yugoslavia” 24
Basayev’s organisation has also been involved in a number of rackets including narcotics, illegal tapping and sabotage of Russia’s oil pipelines, kidnapping, prostitution, trade in counterfeit dollars and the smuggling of nuclear materials (See Mafia linked to Albania’s collapsed pyramids, 25 Alongside the extensive laundering of drug money, the proceeds of various illicit activities have been funneled towards the recruitment of mercenaries and the purchase of weapons.
During his training in Afghanistan, Shamil Basayev linked up with Saudi born veteran Mujahideen Commander “Al Khattab” who had fought as a volunteer in Afghanistan. Barely a few months after Basayev’s return to Grozny, Khattab was invited (early 1995) to set up an army base in Chechnya for the training of Mujahideen fighters. According to the BBC, Khattab’s posting to Chechnya had been “arranged through the Saudi-Arabian based [International] Islamic Relief Organisation, a militant religious organisation, funded by mosques and rich individuals which channeled funds into Chechnya”.26
Since the Cold War era, Washington has consciously supported Osama bin Laden, while at same time placing him on the FBI’s “most wanted list” as the World’s foremost terrorist.
While the Mujahideen are busy fighting America’s war in the Balkans and the former Soviet Union, the FBI –operating as a US based Police Force- is waging a domestic war against terrorism, operating in some respects independently of the CIA which has –since the Soviet-Afghan war– supported international terrorism through its covert operations.
In a cruel irony, while the Islamic jihad –featured by the Bush Adminstration as “a threat to America”– is blamed for the terrorist assaults on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, these same Islamic organisations constitute a key instrument of US military-intelligence operations in the Balkans and the former Soviet Union.
In the wake of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, the truth must prevail to prevent the Bush Adminstration together with its NATO partners from embarking upon a military adventure which threatens the future of humanity.
Hugh Davies, International: `Informers’ point the finger at bin Laden; Washington on alert for suicide bombers, The Daily Telegraph, London, 24 August 1998.
See Fred Halliday, “The Un-great game: the Country that lost the Cold War, Afghanistan, New Republic, 25 March 1996):
Ahmed Rashid, The Taliban: Exporting Extremism, Foreign Affairs, November-December 1999.
Steve Coll, Washington Post, July 19, 1992.
Dilip Hiro, Fallout from the Afghan Jihad, Inter Press Services, 21 November 1995.
Weekend Sunday (NPR); Eric Weiner, Ted Clark; 16 August 1998.
Dipankar Banerjee; Possible Connection of ISI With Drug Industry, India Abroad, 2 December 1994.
See Diego Cordovez and Selig Harrison, Out of Afghanistan: The Inside Story of the Soviet Withdrawal, Oxford university Press, New York, 1995. See also the review of Cordovez and Harrison in International Press Services, 22 August 1995.
Alfred McCoy, Drug fallout: the CIA’s Forty Year Complicity in the Narcotics Trade. The Progressive; 1 August 1997.
Douglas Keh, Drug Money in a changing World, Technical document no 4, 1998, Vienna UNDCP, p. 4. See also Report of the International Narcotics Control Board for 1999, E/INCB/1999/1 United Nations Publication, Vienna 1999, p 49-51, And Richard Lapper, UN Fears Growth of Heroin Trade, Financial Times, 24 February 2000.
Report of the International Narcotics Control Board, op cit, p 49-51, see also Richard Lapper, op. cit.
International Press Services, 22 August 1995.
Ahmed Rashid, The Taliban: Exporting Extremism, Foreign Affairs, November- December, 1999, p. 22.
Quoted in the Christian Science Monitor, 3 September 1998)
Tim McGirk, Kabul learns to live with its bearded conquerors, The Independent, London, 6 November1996.
See K. Subrahmanyam, Pakistan is Pursuing Asian Goals, India Abroad, 3 November 1995.
Levon Sevunts, Who’s calling the shots?: Chechen conflict finds Islamic roots in Afghanistan and Pakistan, 23 The Gazette, Montreal, 26 October 1999..
See Vitaly Romanov and Viktor Yadukha, Chechen Front Moves To Kosovo Segodnia, Moscow, 23 Feb 2000.
The European, 13 February 1997, See also Itar-Tass, 4-5 January 2000.
The downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH 17 is a heinous crime – a crime of deliberate mass murder.
Most, if not all global mass media as well as the Alternate media expressed similar sentiments and demanded that the perpetrators be brought to justice.
Six weeks have passed since July 17, 2014 when the dastardly crime was committed and we are no nearer from the truth in so far as official pronouncements are concerned. In fact, lies and propaganda were intensified to mislead and divert public attention from the glaring irrefutable fact that the US and UK are ultimately responsible for the mass murder. This, we will show in due course below.
First, we must expose the elaborate cover-up starting with the release of the Preliminary Report in Malaysia on the 10th of September, 2014.
Why do I say that there is an internationally sanctioned cover-up?
Let’s recap what the world leaders, with blood on their hands had to say on the 18th July, 2014.
This is how The Independent (a UK newspaper) reported and we quote:
World leaders are demanding an international investigation into the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine, which killed all 298 people on board.
In a statement on Friday, US President Barack Obama warned that the “eyesof the world [are] on eastern Ukraine.”
Calling for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine, Obama demanded a credible investigation into the incident.
“We’re going to make sure that truth gets out,” he said, having called thecrash a “terrible tragedy” on Thursday evening.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister David Cameron had described the air disaster as “absolutely appalling, shocking [and] horrific” and called for thoseresponsible “to be held to account” after chairing a meeting of theGovernment’s Cobra emergency committee.
Prior to Obama’s statement on Friday afternoon, the United Nations (UN) Security Council backed a British-drafted statement calling for a “full, thoroughand independent international investigation”, during an emergency meetingpreceded by a moment’s silence for those killed in the crash.
Earlier on Friday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said it “is critical thatthere be a full, credible, and unimpeded international investigation as quickly as possible”. He told a news conference it was “vital that no evidence be tampered with in any way and that all potential evidence and remains at the crash site are undisturbed”.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel echoed the call for an independent investigation into the crash to be started as quickly as possible, telling a news conference in Berlin: “There are many indications that the plane was shotdown, so we have to take things very seriously.”
The Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk described the downing of the plane as an “international crime” and a “war against the world” as he called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council. “All lines have beencrossed,” he added.
To All Malaysians, especially the Malaysian government and the families of the victims, am I right in saying that in plain and simple English, the quoted passages above suggests that any independent investigationmust lead to the identification of the perpetrators so that they would be prosecuted for their crimes. Nothing short of a definitive finding of fact as to who is guilty of this crime is but a heinous cover-up of the mass murder!
Any independent investigation must establish the perpetrators, the criminal liability and responsibility of any state, and if more than one state or entity are involved, to apportion such criminal liability.
If any report that emanates from the present investigation falls short of this benchmark, it is nothing more than a white wash and a cover-up.
The Malaysian Prime Minister and the Attorney-General have publicly declared and assured the Malaysian public and the world that the perpetrators would be prosecuted for the crime. Nothing less would suffice!
What is most startling is that within hours of the crash, a global propaganda campaign was mounted against Russia and President Putin which even influenced the Malaysian mass media which uncritically echoed this deceitful propaganda. For the record, Future Fast-Forward has been in the forefront in Malaysia exposing this propaganda and challenged the Malaysian mass media that if they cannot come up with irrefutable evidence showing that President Putin and Russia were responsible, they should shut up, bow in shame and apologise publicly to President Putin and Russia. Till to date, those in Malaysia responsible for the falsehoods have yet to issue any apology. .
Leading members of the US regime, past and present have the audacity to point fingers at President Putin, the Russian Federation and the Ukrainian Resistance to the Kievw Junta as being responsible for this heinous crime.
We quote from The Independent again:
US senator John McCain also warned that there will be “hell to pay” if the Russian military or separatists are deemed to have had any involvement in the ‘incident’.
In a television interview, the former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggested the plane could have been shot by Russian-backed separatists, and said action was needed to “put [Vladimir] Putin on notice that he has gonetoo far and we are not going to stand idly by”.
She told PBS news: “There does seem to be some growing awareness thatit probably had to be Russian insurgents. How we determine that will require some forensics, but then if there is evidence pointing in that direction, the equipment had to have come from Russia. What more the
Russians may or may not have done, we don’t know.”
These two war criminals have to date nothing to show for their accusations. But, let us give them the benefit of doubt that they do have the evidence.
In the circumstances, these two war criminals together with President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry should (and they have the means and capabilities) to set up a parallel “independent investigation” to evaluate their dastardly accusations against President Putin and Russia.
Justice demands that if these war criminals have such irrefutable evidence, they owe the world a duty to disclose the evidence and come clean that they are in no way involved in this heinous crime and bring those involved to justice since they have demanded accountability.
Having demanded accountability from others, it is only right that they account to the world and the families of the victims for their blatant accusations and assist Malaysia in prosecuting the criminals responsible for this heinous crime.
But, the opposite is the case.
When Russia came out with evidence that the plane was tailed by Ukrainian fighter planes and MH17 was diverted and that at the critical moment of the downing of MH17, an American satellite was monitoring the entire area, the global mass media controlled by the Zionist Anglo-American establishment fell silent. How very convenient.
Now the bombshell!
Given the above circumstances, one would have thought that the current so-called independent investigation headed by the Netherlands would have as its primary objective to identify the perpetrators and the country responsible for this heinous crime, given the fact that members of the US regime, past and present (as quoted above) have accused President Putin and therefore the evidence in support are allegedly available itshould not be a problem for this investigation to proceed accordingly.
Wrong!!!! The powers that be have decided otherwise and have used a particular provision in the enabling international convention to avoid this responsibility.
To avoid any misunderstanding, let me state here categorically that there is absolutely no evidence of any culpability on the part of President Putin, Russia and/or the Ukrainian Resistance. On the contrary, the evidence points decisively towards the Kiev Junta installed by the US, UK and NATO. It follows that a massive cover-up is needed.
The cover-up is needed because if the truth is out that the US, UK and NATO together with the Kiev Junta are involved in this mass murder, the entire pretext for a war against Russia and thereafter the entire Eurasia Theatre would unravel and the blowback would be such that Obama may well be impeached following demands from the American people. David Cameron would have to resign forthwith which would accelerate the secession of Scotland from the “United Kingdom” and the dreams of the War Party of a “New Eastern Front” with Poland as the springboard would collapse immediately.
So what is this provision that allows the perpetrators with the connivance of the Netherlands to avoid being investigated?
It is paragraph 31 of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Annex 13 which provides that the sole objective of:
“…this investigation is the prevention of similar accidents and incidents. It is not the purpose of this activity to apportion blame or liability in respect of any party.”
I am not stating this with hindsight as I am on record in my interviews and articles that I have written as well as emails sent out, that I have held back my investigations and analyses so as to give these criminals enough rope tohang themselves for in the process of covering-up, they would by their actions show to the world their complicity.
I have written records and witnesses to the above assertion and I dare challenge anyone to contradict me on this assertion.
The above cited provision is an insult to the victims and the families of the victims. This is a mass murder. It is not an accident. It is also not a mereincident that could be prevented in the future. War criminals and states that commit war crimes such as US, UK, France etc. have been committing such crimes in the past and have not been brought to account in any international tribunal. Only in Malaysia, in the present century, have the courage of its conviction to convict Bush, Blair etc. for their war crimes in Iraq and the rump state of Israel for the war crimes and genocide against the Palestinians!
Shame to the ICAO!
Shame to President Obama!
Shame to Secretary of State, John Kerry!
Shame to Prime Minister David Cameron!
Shame to former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton!
Shame to Senator John McCain!
How much more blood do they wish to be on their hands?
Have no illusions, for there will be a massive blowback for their connivance and conspiracy to commit this heinous crime and for the cover-up.
The mere thought (which was previously dismissed as a fanciful dream) of Scotland seceding has sent shock waves to the ruling war party in England. It was a three-hundred-year myth that Scotland and Wales needed England to survive. The Scots and the Welsh fell for it hook, line and sinker but no more. The Empire is dead, and there will be no longer the refrain, “the King is dead, long live the King!” It is dead for good, even if in the event the Scots change their minds and vote to remain in the UK. The writing is on the wall.
Likewise, for “Uncle Sam”! When the former chief economist of President
Obama calls for the “dethronement of the „King Dollar‟ ”, the American Empire is in its death throes!
For my American friends, you need not fear the demise of the Empire for your country when established by the founding fathers never envisaged an empire, having fought against one at great costs. Hold close to your hearts the Farewell Address of President George Washington and rebuild your once great Republic from the ashes of the “Imperial Anglo-American Empire”. Wake up to the fact that for over a century you have been hoodwinked and brainwashed by the Zionist Anglo establishment in the
City of London to fight and die for “Mother England” for she had never forgiven America for the insult and humiliation of losing the “Imperial Crown of America”, the most prized possession of Mother England.
Break free from such clutches!
The people of America must help Malaysia and Malaysians to expose this heinous crime and by so doing we would together prevent a potential war against Russia and thereafter against Eurasia.
Americans must learn from their recent experience.
Have you not fought enough wars?
How many thousands of your young men and women must die for another nation’s interest?
For the memory of the thousands who died on 9/11 and the millions who died in the wars that followed, as well as for the elimination of Constitutional rights in the US as a result of the Orwellian “War on Terror”.
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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. Globalization 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.
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Photo: A Yemeni boy looking at a graffitti in Sana’a, Yemen, showing a U.S. drone with a question in red: “Why did you kill my family?”. (Yahya Arhab/EPA)
On Wednesday 10th September, Barack Obama made a major foreign policy speech, in which he set out how the U.S. and anyone who cares to tag along plan to ‘degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy’.
As was widely expected, Obama announced that as part of this ‘strategy’, the U.S. will not ‘hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq’. And by ‘action’ he means, of course, bombing.
He compared the newly announced ‘strategy’ for destroying ISIS in Iraq and Syria to the strategy that has been pursued by the U.S. in recent years in Somalia and Yemen, saying that:
This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years.
But I just want to take a quick look at how ‘successful’ that strategy has actually been.
According to data collated by the New America Foundation, the first U.S. airstrike in Yemen was carried out in 2002.
However, there were no further strikes in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. It is fair to say, then, that the air war over Yemen properly started in 2009, which was of course Obama’s first full year in office.
Here’s a graphical representation of those strikes from the New America Foundation:
Given that Obama has pointed to Yemen as an example of how air strikes and drone strikes can work to successfully combat ‘terrorism’, you might reasonably expect to see the number of terror attacks being carried out in Yemen steadily decreasing, year on year, between 2009 and 2014.
Well, that’s not quite what’s happened.
Here’s another graph, from the Global Terrorism Database, showing the number of ‘terror’ attacks being committed in Yemen year on year:
As you can see, from 2009 onwards – the year in which Obama escalated air strikes and drone strikes in Yemen – there has actually been a major increase in the number of ‘terrorist’ attacks being carried out within Yemen.
And while correlation doesn’t necessarily imply causation, it simply is not tenable to say the ‘strategy’ being pursued by Obama in Yemen has been ‘successful’. If anything, it seems to have been hugely counter-productive.
The air strikes and drone strikes themselves have also, of course, taken a grim toll on Yemeni civilians, and might justifiably be regarded as ‘terrorism’ in their own right.
According to data collated by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, there were 14-20 drone or air strikes carried out by the U.S. in Somalia between 2001-2014.
Here’s a table representing those strikes, and the toll they have taken:
Given that Obama has also pointed to Somalia as an example of how air strikes and drone strikes can work to successfully combat ‘terrorism’, you might reasonably expect to see the number of terror attacks being carried out steadily decreasing, year on year, between 2001 and 2014.
But once again, that’s not quite what’s happened.
Here’s another graph, again from the Global Terrorism Database, showing the number of ‘terror’ attacks being committed in Somalia year on year:
So as in Yemen, there has also been a massive increase in the number of ‘terrorist’ attacks being carried out inside Somalia since the onset of the U.S. air strikes and drone strikes. It’s another country in which you would be hard pressed to say that the ‘strategy’ being pursued by the U.S. is anything like ‘successful’.
This hasn’t gone unnoticed by what you might call the ‘NatSec’ community, even from individuals operating within the mainstream of it. A few tweets to demonstrate:
Obama compares what he will do in Syria to what he did in Somalia, Yemen. That’s reasonable. Problem is neither is much of a success.
If the campaign in Iraq and Syria does develop along the same lines as the campaigns in Yemen and Somalia, then expect to see:
A major increase in the number of ‘terrorist’ attacks being carried out within Iraq and Syria, with all that entails for the people of those countries.
Civilians being killed, injured, displaced and immiserated directly by U.S. drone and air strikes.
I mean, it’s almost as if the bombing of Yemen, Somalia, Iraq and Syria has nothing to dowith combating ‘terrorism’ at all, and that this is just the pretext being used to drum up support among the American and wider global publics for the same old grubby resource Imperialism. Almost.
“While questions about Russia’s tactics remain, its strategy has become more clear: The Kremlin appears to have decided to prevent Ukraine turning West and leaving what Russia regards as its sphere of influence.”
However, did the U.S., in the early 1960s, decide to accept Cuba’s having turned away from the U.S. sphere of influence that had existed under the prior, corrupt, Cuban leader, Fulgensio Batista, and Cuba’s then becoming instead a new Soviet satellite, under Fidel Castro? And, in particular, how did the U.S. feel about Cuba’s new Soviet ally trying to insert Soviet missiles with nuclear warheads in Cuba, right next door to us?
Did we like that? Did we even let that happen (which would be like Ukraine’s joining NATO, and then allowing Ukraine to get U.S. missiles)?
Of course not! (It was called the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.)
Nor will Russia let that happen to them in Ukraine. Putin is the same on that matter as Kennedy was, when the shoes were on the other feet — Soviets were the danger to the world’s peace then in Cuba, but Americans are the danger to the world’s peace now in Ukraine.
And this comes already after polls, such as this one, had previously shown that, globally, the U.S. is already considered to be, by far, the most dangerous nation in the world — considerably more dangerous than Russia is.
Are the ‘news’ ‘reporters,’ and the editors and the producers and the other ‘news’ managers, who hire and fire those ‘news’ ‘reporters,’ really so ignorant of the relevant history on this subject (the Cuban Missile Crisis, and its reverse analogue today in Ukraine), as they pretend to be? Of course not! But they want their public to remain that way (ignorant of it, or at least not to make the link), because the people who pay them, their advertisers, want the public’s ignorance to stay that way: trusting, even when it shouldn’t be. And we call this (the ‘journalism’ that those masters of the ‘press’ — or propaganda — deliver to us) a ‘free press,’ as if it were, though it’s actually a capitalistically controlled press, to manipulate the public in the way that virtually all advertisers want them to be manipulated: to trust the way that things are, rather than to question — much less to oppose — it.
The next sentence in this typical CNN (supposed) ‘news’ ‘report’ is:
“What’s more, the Kremlin appears determined to achieve its goal regardless of the cost.”
Actually, however, it is the United States that has expended the vast sums to install the current Ukrainian Government, and then to retain it. Obama’s agent controlling Ukraine, who is Victoria Nuland, said in December 2013, three months before the coup, that we had already spent “more than five billion dollars” to establish “democracy” in that land where we soon thereafter actually ended Ukraine’s struggling democracy. Then, the IMF (which is to say, mainly U.S. taxpayers) lent another $17 billion, to enable this new Government to exterminate the resistors (and to aid U.S. firms to take over the country’s agriculture and gas); and, then, on 9 September 2014, the great economist Michael Hudson bannered “The IMF’s New Cold War Loan to Ukraine”; and he wrote that, “Four months later, on August 29, just as Kiev began losing its attempt at ethnic cleansing against the eastern Donbas region [where Ukraine’s troops are clearing away the residents so as to install gas-fracking wells], the IMF signed off on the first loan ever to a side engaged in a civil war, not to mention rife with insider capital flight and a collapsing balance of payments.” Hudson noted that, “The IMF’s Articles of Agreement forbid it to make loans to countries that clearly cannot pay, prompting its economists to complain at last year’s October 2013 annual meeting in Washington that their institution was violating its rules by making bad loans ‘to states unable to repay their debts.’”
In other words: Obama as the U.S. President is acting like the megabank presidents did who had crashed their banks in 2008 by carrying out Ponzi schemes for ever-rising sales-commissions to their employees, and for ever-higher executive bonuses to themselves, via pumping out tons of liars’ ‘loans’ [now IMF ‘loans’ to an insolvent Ukraine] to people who couldn’t repay those loans and who would inevitably be driven bankrupt though trying to do so — all in order to produce then ever-growing quantities of rigged AAA-rated Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS) that ended up robbing pension funds (while those megabank CEOs pocketed enormous sums in their bloated bonuses). And, as happened with the (still continuing) Wall Street bailout, U.S. taxpayers are left holding a multi-trillion-dollar debt for our children and grandchildren as taxpayers to pay, while today’s oligarchs (and their agents, such as, perhaps ultimately, a retired Obama) stash secret offshore bank accounts with their essentially stolen cash, as payoffs for services rendered in these mega-heists.
It’s all a racket. The name for it is “fascism.” It’s actually Ponzi-scheme capitalism. And this fact is news that’s not fit to print, in a fascist country — at least not by fascist ‘news’ media, which benefit by perpetuating that type of Ponzi scheme — the nationalistic type.
So: we get ‘news’ that portrays America’s first-ever installation of an outright racist-fascist (otherwise called ideologically “nazi”) regime, in Ukraine, exterminating its own ethnic-Russian population (the people who live in Ukraine’s southeast), as if America were instead ‘protecting’ Ukraine against ‘Russian aggression.’
Such ‘news’ is not to be believed, because it is false; it is fake ‘news,’ not real “news” — not news at all, but instead mere myth-propagation. It is nothing more than nationalistic propaganda. It can equally be characterized as “aristocratic” propaganda (which is the reason why the conservatives in Britain are explicitly called “Tories”). (NOTE: There is a profound difference between nationalism and patriotism. Patriotism is democratic; nationalism is aristocratic. Patriotism used to be strong in America, but nationalism has increasingly replaced it. The very idea of ‘winning’ a nuclear war is nationalistic, and it is also traitorous; it is also false: it’s based on myths.)
Nationalistic propaganda is what Americans are reading, and seeing on television, about Ukraine, Russia, and American foreign policy.
Here, then, is the real news about Ukraine: Obama has broken the dysfunctional Ukraine into what will now inevitably be two or more failed states, just as George W. Bush did to Iraq, but Obama used mainly the State Department and CIA and IMF to do it, rather than the U.S. military (no “boots on the ground”). Putin is trying to manage the consequences of Obama’s aggression, in a way that will avoid a nuclear war with the U.S.
And so the Big Lie in the ‘news’ ‘reporting’ about Ukraine and Russia is that the Ukrainian regime and the man who installed it (Obama) are defending democracy against aggression from dictatorial Russia.
The editorial board of the New York Times has an Orwellian knack for war. Sixteen months ago, when President Obama gave oratorical lip service to ending “perpetual war,” the newspaper quickly touted that end as a democratic necessity. But now — in response to Obama’s speech Wednesday night announcing escalation of war without plausible end — the Times editorial voice is with the endless war program.
Under the headline “The End of the Perpetual War,” published on May 23, 2013, the Times was vehement, calling a new Obama speech “the most important statement on counterterrorism policy since the 2001 attacks, a momentous turning point in post-9/11 America.” The editorial added: “For the first time, a president stated clearly and unequivocally that the state of perpetual warfare that began nearly 12 years ago is unsustainable for a democracy and must come to an end in the not-too-distant future.”
The Times editorial board was sweeping in its conclusion: “Mr. Obama told the world that the United States must return to a state in which counterterrorism is handled, as it always was before 2001, primarily by law enforcement and the intelligence agencies. That shift is essential to preserving the democratic system and rule of law for which the United States is fighting, and for repairing its badly damaged global image.”
But the “essential” shift is now dispensable and forgettable, judging from the New York Times editorial that appeared hours after Obama’s pivotal speech Wednesday night. The newspaper’s editorial board has ditched the concept that the state of perpetual war is unsustainable for democracy.
Under the headline “The Attack on ISIS Expands to Syria,” the Times editorial offers only equivocal misgivings without opposition “as President Obama moves the nation back onto a war footing.” Without a fine point on the matter, we are to understand that war must be perpetuated without any foreseeable end.
The concluding paragraph of the New York Times editorial in the Sept. 11, 2014 edition is already historic and tragic. It sums up a liberal style of murmuring reservations while deferring to the essence of U.S. policies for perpetual war: “The American military’s actions in the Middle East has (sic) often fueled Arab anger, even when the United States was spending billions of dollars on beneficial programs, including health and education. Mr. Obama expressed confidence that the plan against ISIS will work and, at the moment, seems aware of the risks he takes.”
Like the vast bulk of the rest of U.S. mass media, when push comes to militaristic shove, the New York Times refuses to make a break from the madness of perpetual war. In fact, with rare exceptions, the dominant media outlets end up fueling that madness. A strong challenge to it will have to come from elsewhere. From us.
Norman Solomon is executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and co-founder of RootsAction.org. His books include “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.” Information about the documentary based on the book is at www.WarMadeEasyTheMovie.org.
Simultaneous with the news regarding the formation of a new government in Baghdad and the war against ISIS in the Kurdish areas, the outgoing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki continues the nonstop bombarding of civilians, dropping explosive barrels on Sunni neighbourhoods and killing women and children. Below are some examples of such massacres carried out on September 3 and 6 alone, which constitute a clear example of war crimes. Those who have ordered these atrocities must be prosecuted.
- 3 September 2014, al-Tagheer TV: “Fallujah Hospital stated that due to the resumption of bombardment of Fallujah by Maliki’s warplanes, eight people were killed and nine others injured.”
- 6 September, 2014, Al-Jazeera TV: “In the bombardment of al- Hawija city by Iraqi forces, the city hospital was targeted; 7 woman and children were killed and 20 more were injured. A pregnant woman and a new born infant were among the victims. Also a school in the city that housed displaced people was targeted; seven people were killed and 11 were injured.”
- 6 September, 2014, Al-Jazeera TV: “In an air strike on city of al-Awja six children were killed and six more were injured.”
- 6 September, 2014, Rafidain TV: “in Fallujah nineteen citizens were killed and injured due to shelling of the residential areas by the Iraqi Army.”
- 6 September, 2014, al- Tagheer TV: “Due to shelling of the albu-Shamsi district (north of Babil), dozens were killed and wounded.”
- 6 September, 2014, Al-Jazeera TV: “In the bombardment of the district of Buhayrat in the province of Babil, south of Baghdad, 16 residents were killed and 20 were injured by warplanes of the government.”
- … Also the residents of Jorf al-Sakhar in the province of Babil stated that they found twenty corpses with signs of torture seen on them. They added that these corpses belonged to the 35 individuals that were arrested by governmental forces in Khezr district three days before.”
While strongly condemning the bombardment and massacre of innocent people in various Iraqi cities, the European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA) wishes to place on record that the foremost and most important demand of the Iraqi people and the Sunni tribes from the new government is to stop the bombardment of the Sunni populated cities by the forces under al-Maliki’s command. If the new Prime Minister is unable to stop this bombardment until his cabinet is officially formed, we call on him to at least condemn it strongly and keep himself distant from these outrageous crimes.
EIFA also calls on the U.S. government to stop the Iranian regime and Maliki’s forces from massacring innocent people from the air which is practically under U.S. control while the U.S. is bombarding ISIS.
Reiterating once again that the main perpetrators of these massacres, which are going on in Iraq every day, are the militias associated with Maliki and the Iranian regime’s Quds Force, EIFA calls on the U.S. government and Iraq’s new Prime Minister to dissolve and disband all militias.
How Freudian of the smaller, vassalised country to attempt outshining the larger, fraternal (and maternal) counterpart. Even as the IS threat is being expanded as the curse of the Middle East, distant legislatures are getting busy finding hypothetical standards in examining terror threats. Even worse, they remain hypotheses, untested and hostile to evidence.
The Australian Immigration Minister, Scott Morrison, has never been troubled by the incursions of the empirical world into his scantily governed portfolio. On Wednesday, he decided to tell Australia that there had been “specific” threats to Australia which he was “not at liberty to go beyond”. With broad strokes of presumption, he suggested that those “radicalised” by their period as combatants overseas, some “two-thirds of them [had] got up to things when they come back.”
Some at the country’s National Press Club at Canberra should have been falling off their seats at the remarks. “We know there is a very real threat by the death cult that is operating over in Iraq and Syria and we know that that threat is not just over the Middle East.”
The dangers of the half-educated remark should be obvious. The specific is absorbed into the general. Hypotheses become factual assertions. There is no need to actually explain what the mischief might have entailed, or give figures about the dimension of this threat. Truth be told, Morrison’s bag of tricks on that score is light.
The occasion for getting the Australian electorate into such a state was the arrests of two Muslim men in the suburb of Logan in Brisbane. The iQraa Islamic Centre in Underwood saw an operation mounted by 180 personnel of the Australian Federal Police and Queensland Police, netting 21-year-old Agim Kruezi and 31-year-old Omar Succarieh. Succarieh’s brother, Ahmed, has been investigated in connection with a suicide bomber incident which took place in Syria in September last year.
Succarieh has been charged with providing funds to Jabhat al-Nusra, one of the designated nasties who so happens to be fighting the West’s own war against Bashar al-Assad in Syria. He was also charged with plans for an incursion into Syria “to engage in hostile activity”, while Kreuzi was similarly charged under the Crimes (Foreign Incursions and Recruitment) Act 1978.
A perverse outcome of the act’s application might well be that fighting for the pro-government forces in Syria might not fall within the realms of illegality. Some Australian academics have even gone so far as to suggest that the market for civil war should be open slather, at least when it comes to ideological commitment – don’t restrain fighters going to a foreign conflict, especially for a cause against a brutal regime.
As Ben Saul, professor of international law at the University of Sydney has argued, “while our government opposes Assad’s terror, Australian law paradoxically criminalises anyone who fights for the rebels – yet allows Australians to fight for President Bashar al-Assad.” (Saul may be wrong on this – Australians fighting for Assad are bound to be netted in any case, though a conviction is quite another story.)
Caution too rapidly transforms into indiscretion – individuals like Morrison, should have little role in dabbling in matters of state security, but immigration and security are the nasty twins of his tenure. His ministerial stewardship is public policy’s latrine. “The fact that there are Australians involved… and there is ambitions that go well beyond just the establishment of the [Islamic] State and, as I said, there are many other terrorist organisations that fit under this umbrella of what is occurring in the Middle East.”
Call back radio has been flooded by an otherwise vegetative public, worried that the society was awash with “sleepers” waiting to strike. “How did they get there?” lamented one caller to the Brisbane radio station 4BC.
Morrison’s statement is not decoupled from various assumptions. The first is the establishment of IS, which presupposes global caliphate ambitions that will see an enthusiastic radical blow himself up at a sporting event in Australia. Why people go and fight in such conflicts varies, but they are never simplistic codes of general definition. One Muslim’s disagreement with another need not imply carting constitution and common law to the slaughter house. Complexity and nuance are enemies of the Morrison case.
The second is the reading of IS in the manner of the “Red Menace” in the late 1940s, a pathological-biological spread of irresistible woe that would infect its hosts and poison its subjects. Monolithic communism was the mentally weak statement for boosting security budgets and keeping intelligence services in saucepans and scourers. Nationalism, indigenous liberation movements, and particularity, were all ignored.
Those involved in the security business want a slice of the publicity. The Queensland premier, Campbell Newman, is effusive in declaring that his state can nip the terrorist plan in bud and operation. Morrison has been happy to soften the ground.
Hyperbole is the order of the day, all the more so, given the upcoming G20 summit in November. Seventeen items will be prohibited without “lawful excuse”, be they eggs, glass jars, reptiles or insects. (Ah, that old Australian killer animal trick.) The occasion has induced the Queensland police minister, Jack Dempsey, to have a special leave of mental lucidness. Convicted criminals, he has suggested, will be moved away from restricted zones. The result? A possible holiday for felons on the tax payer’s already extended purse.
This may all be some scrappy reflex to the September 11 commemorations, a date which has seen a tradition of declaring “high” terror alerts in anticipation of some celebrating act of Islamic violence. On Tuesday, the outgoing domestic intelligence spy chief David Irvine seemed left out from the fun his counterparts were having in other countries connected with the Five Eyes arrangement. After all, if the UK Prime Minister David Cameron can increase a “terror alert”, why can’t we?
The entire spectacle is suspect – treating terror alerts like a cookery class; turning the level from medium to high if the dish of poor policy options requires it. In Irvine’s own kitchen language, the current threat was “a very elevated level of medium”. Not likely to be sufficient, he was “certainly contemplating very seriously the notion of lifting it higher because of the numbers of people that we are having to be concerned about here in Australia.” If Irvine is not careful, such heat is bound to dry out the contents of his dish.
Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge and lectures at RMIT University. Email: [email protected]
Creo que la imagen del hombre y el estadista será muy negativa. Admito que será responsabilizado por las futuras generaciones en el mundo y en su propio país del agravamiento de una estrategia imperial criminal que empujo a la humanidad hacia una crisis civilizatoria que amenaza su continuidad.
Pero en estos días, en los países de la Unión Europea, la imagen de un Obama inexistente fue tan profundamente asimilada por millones de personas, desde Lisboa hasta Budapest, de Londres hasta Varsovia, que es muy difícil persuadir a la mayoría de que el actual presidente de USA es lo opuesto al ciudadano ejemplar a quien la Academia de Oslo atribuyo el Premio Nobel de Paz.
Una campaña masacrante, de ámbito mundial, fabricó y difundió la imagen de un Obama dispuesto a cambiarlo casi todo en los EUA y a promover la paz en el mundo, un político con matices revolucionarios.
El senador Barack Obama llamo la atención, aun joven, por ser un hombre muy inteligente, ambicioso, gran orador. Candidato por el Partido Demócrata sabia, en plena crisis, capitalizar el descontento de la mayoría del electorado, con un discurso progresista que sintetizo las aspiraciones de los más pobres y de la clase medio, que habían sido duramente afectadas por el escándalo de los subprime.. Ataco el Wall Street, responsabilizo a la Banca y a las grandes transnacionales, por el sufrimiento de las víctimas del engranaje. Su famosa frase yes, we can (si, nosotros podemos) las admoniciones al congreso, las denuncias de una política diferente, orientada hacia la Paz fueron decisivas para la gran victoria electoral que alcanzo.
Una ola de esperanza recorrió a los EUA
El hecho de ser negro también contribuyo para que los intelectuales progresistas, incluyendo muchos comunistas, admitieran que el país podría estar en vísperas de un cambio.
Mientras tanto, para sorpresa de la mayoría, su campaña fue generosamente financiada por el gran capital. Wall Street conocía al hombre; sus críticas y promesas y su oratoria popular no impresionaron la Finanza.
Los señores del capital actuaron con inteligencia.
Instalado en la Casa Blanca, Obama olvido, engaveto o violo la mayoría de los compromisos asumidos.
No cerró la cárcel de Guantánamo, mantuvo la legislación represiva de Bush, promulgo una ley que en la práctica autoriza a la tortura y otra sobre la prisión de sospechosos de relacionamiento con posibles terroristas (diploma que en palabras de Michel Chossudovsky confiere al Estado un carácter totalitario), y llamo para el gobierno y cargos de su confianza políticos a economiistas relacionados íntimamente con el engranaje del Wall Street.
Una política externa imperial y agresiva
La nominación de Hillary Clinton para el Departamento de Estado fue el prologo de una política internacional profundamente reaccionaria.
La esposa del ex-presidente imprimió a su acción un estilo más agresivo y bélico que el de Condoleeza Rice.
Obama apoyó su defensa del sionismo, sus críticas desabridas a China, su abierta hostilidad hacia el mundo islámico.
Una de las primeras decisiones estratégicas del presidente fue el envío de más de 100.000 militares para Afganistán. No dudo en presentar como prioridad la victoria en la guerra de agresión allí iniciada por Bush hijo. El resultado negó el proyecto. Posteriormente, el fracaso de sucesivas ofensivas- dos comandantes regionales fueron despedidos- desemboco en el compromiso de retirar todas las tropas estadounidenses hasta final de 2014. Sin embargo, al final, van a permanecer allí varios miles de soldados.
Hoy en día, las fuerzas que combaten en el país a los ocupantes norte-americanos y a la OTAN controlan casi todo el territorio con excepción de Kabul y de las principales ciudades.
En cuanto a la producción de opio aumento bastante desde la invasión en 2001.
La agresión a Libia, también concretizada en nombre de la defensa de los derechos humanos y el amor por la libertad y la democracia, fue en realidad una guerra imperial, preparada con antecedencia con características genocidas. De acuerdo con el proyecto, viabilizado por el Consejo de Seguridad de la ONU, el resultado después de la destrucción del país y del asesino de Muamar Khadafi sería un «régimen democrático», tutelado por Washington, por los aliados de la Unión Europea y por las grandes empresas petrolíferas.
Pero las cosas no ocurren de acuerdo con los deseos de Obama
Los gobiernos fantoches instalados por los ocupantes perdieron rápidamente el control del país. La situación existente es anárquica, con diferentes milicias involucradas en combates fratricidas. El desorden alcanzo tales proporciones que una de estas milicias tribales ocupo en Trípoli edificios de la embajada de los EUA cuyo personal diplomático había prudentemente abandonado el país.
En Iraq, una campaña estruendosa anuncio al mundo que, cumplidos los objetivos de la invasión del país, e instalado en Bagdad «un régimen democrático estable», los EUA, honrando una promessa, habían retirado, finalmente todas las tropas de combate.
Otra grosera mentira. Decenas de miles de mercenarios, controlados por empresas mafiosas de los EUA, sustituyeron las fuerzas del ejército.
La situación en Bagdad y en las provincias es caótica. Las últimas elecciones, como las anteriores, fueron una farsa. Pero la negativa del primer ministro Nouri Al Malik en abandonar el poder genero una crisis, marcada por escenas propias de un teatro del absurdo que sólo terminó con un ultimátum de Washington. La violencia es endémica en todo el territorio.
En Siria, Obama intento repetir, recurriendo a un método diferente, la «operación» desestabilizadora que en Libia tenía por objetivo el derrocamiento del régimen.
La fase inicial fue una campaña mediática montada a nivel mundial para mostrar que el país estaba sometido a una feroz dictadura. El presidente Bashar al Assad fue satanizado, presentado como un monstruo responsable por los crímenes en contra de la humanidad.
La segunda fase fue el desencadenamiento de una “rebelión”. Grupos de mercenarios, armados y financiados por los EUA, por Israel y por Turquia, atacaron el ejercito, destruyeron instalaciones públicas, ocuparon ciudades y aldeas.
Crímenes cometidos por los «rebeldes» fueron atribuidos por los gobernantes y por los medios de los EUA y de la Unión Europea a las fuerzas armadas Sirias.
Obama llego a anunciar en un discurso incendiario, que tomó la decisión de bombardear Síria para instalar en el país la democracia y las libertades.
Sin embargo, el contexto difería de lo planeado. La gran mayoría del pueblo Sirio y su ejercito infligieron severas derrotas a las organizaciones terroristas, señaladas por Washington. Y la firmeza de Rusia forzó a Obama a renunciar al anunciado bombardeo.
Esta derrota política coincidió con otra. El gobierno norte-americano, que en semanas anteriores multiplicaba las amenazas a Irán, y aprobaba paquetes de sanciones por Teherán no ceder a sus exigencias, cambio súbitamente de táctica y discurso y decidió abrir negociaciones con el gobierno del presidente Hassan Rohani.
Obama y el caos ucraniano
En una demostración de irresponsabilidad, Barack Obama tomo iniciativas en la frente europea que agravaron las relaciones con Rusia, ya bastante tensas, en el momento en que en el Medio Oriente acumulaba derrotas.
El escenario escogido para la confrontación fue Ucrania. No supo extraer lecciones del fracaso Georgiano.
Todo comenzó a principio de febrero con las manifestaciones en Kiev tendientes a desestabilizar el país. En la plaza Maidan grupos paramilitares, financiados por la CIA provocaron disturbios, asaltaron ministerios, destruyeron edificios públicos y entraron en choques armados con la policía.
Washington alcanzo el objetivo. El presidente legitimo, Vktor Yaconovich – de hecho un aventurero corrupto, tal como la ex primera ministra Timochenka, de la ultraderecha- fue derrocado el 24 de Febrero.
Una junta de políticos fascistas, creada ad hoc, asumió temporalmente el gobierno del país.
Los EUA festejaron, y un a farsa electoral llevoon a la presidencia el multimillonario Petro Poroshenko, conocido por el apodo de «rey del chocolate».
La farsa democrática fue recibida con reservas por algunos de los aliados europeos de los EUA.
Quedo claro que el Parlamento y la Junta son controladas por partidos de extrema-derecho, algunos de los cuales exhiben con orgullo símbolos nazis. La caza de los comunistas fue oficializada.
Ucranianos que lucharon en las SS hitlerianas contra la Union Sovietica son ahora guindados a titulo póstumo a héroes nacionales.
En el este del país, en provincias donde la mayoría de la población es de habla rusa, la resistencia encontrada por el gobierno fantoche de Kiev fue inmediata. Exigían garantías de una amplia autonomía.
Poroshenko no supo extraer de lo sucedido en Crimea las conclusiones que se necesitaban,
Con el aval de Washington y confiando en promesas de una ayuda financiera generosa, garantizo que iba a controlar a los «rebeldes » en pocos días.
La bravata fue luego desmentida. Las ofensivas del ejército de Kiev, apoyadas por brigadas de voluntarios que se asumen como nazis y anti rusos, fueron derrotadas.
La propia prensa de los EUA reconoce que la deserción de soldados y oficiales del exercito de Kiev es masiva.
En el momento en el que escribo – inicio de septiembre- la situación militar, política, económica y social es catastrófica.
Las insistentes apelaciones para ayuda militar y el pedido de ingreso de la OTAN, formulados por la junta, expresan el desespero de la camarilla instaurada en el poder.
Las declaraciones del presidente de los EUA y del secretario de Estado John Kerry – un republicano muy conservador y de mediocridad inocultable- dejan ver la confusión existente en Washington.
Obama esclareció que en el momento no tiene una estrategia definida para la región.
No puede confesar que todas las opciones son negativas.
Los EUS refuerzan la presencia militar en las Repúblicas Bálticas en Polonia y va a instalas cinco nuevas bases militares en los países del este. Al mismo tiempo, la Unión Europea escoge para presidente del consejo de ministros, como sucesor del belga Rompuy, el polaco Donald Tusk, un anti ruso que en su juventud milito en Solidarnosc de Lech Walesa.
Pero las arrogantes amenazas de Obama a Rusia son en la realidad tiros de pólvora seca. Las sanciones perjudican sobre todo a la Unión Europea.
El presidente sabe de sobra que las acusaciones de unidades militares rusas en las provincias separatistas ucranianas son falsas.
Los generales del Pentágono consideran impensable el envolvimiento de los EUA en Ucrania en una guerra convencional contra Rusia. Y el uso de armas nucleares, mismo siendo tácticas, sería probablemente el prologo de una tragedia planetaria.
La desorientación que se instalo en la Casa Blanca, en el pentágono y en el departamento de Estado se justifica.
En el auge de la crisis de Ucrania, la situación existente en Iraq y en Siria se agravo peligrosamente.
La proclamación de Califato en territorios de la media luna fértil por una organización jihadista que se auto titula Estado Islamico desencadeno pánico en Washington y en las capitales europeas. Surgiendo repentinamente como vendaval de violencia, estas organizaciones de jihadistas fanáticos, liderados por Abu Bakr Al Baghadi (que afirma ser descendiente del Profeta Muhammad) ocupo en pocas semanas un área del nordeste de Siria y casi un tercio de Iraq. Provoco derrotas demoledoras al ejercito Iraquiano e invadió territorios de Kurditan autónomo, aliado de los EUA.
La situación, tal como se presenta nos recuerda una tragicomedia.
Reaccionando a los SOS lanzados por el nuevo primer ministro de Bagdad, Haida al Abadi, hombre de confianza de la casa blanca, los EUA decidieron realizar bombardeos quirúrgicos, alegando reaccionar asi para evitar el exterminio de los Yazidis, una minoría de religión pre-islámica (serán en la máximo nos 300.000) con rituales del mazdeísmo persa.
Omitieron los medios de comunicación que los Yaazidis fueron bombardeados en el 2007 en circunstancias más esclarecidas y que en la época el gobierno de los EUA ignoro el asunto.
Obama informó, que entre tanto los EUA no enviaran tropas terrestres para la región.
Los monstruosos actos de barbarie practicados por el Estado Islámico,( ya degollaron dos periodistas americanos- provocaron la justa indignación de millones de musulmanes en todo el mundo. Los gobiernos de Iran y de Siria hicieron pública su disposición para combatir los criminales del Califado fantasma.
La posición de los EUA, enfretando una situación de pesadilla, inimaginable hace pocos meses, es, por lo tanto, más que incomoda, dilemática. Todas las opciones –repito- son negativas.
No pueden aceptar la ayuda militar de Siria, de Iran y de otro Estados enemigos que definen como terroristas y forman aquello que llaman «el eje del mal».
Tampoco pueden reenviar tropas de la US Army para Iraq después de haber utilizado la retirada de estas como prueba de cumplimiento de su misión «democrática y civilizadora».
¿Que hacer entonces?
Barack Obama no tiene respuesta para esta pregunta.
Pienso que los historiadores que identifican en la Historia la madre de las ciencias llegaran en el futuro a la conclusión de que Obama fue el más nocivo, hipócrita y peligroso para la humanidad de todos los presidentes del país.
The U.S. government is tracking and gathering intelligence on as many as 300 Americans who are fighting side by side with the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria and are poised to become a major threat to the homeland, according to senior U.S. officials.
Officials say concern is widespread in Washington that radicalized foreign fighters could return to the homeland and commit terrorist attacks with skills acquired overseas, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the information. Those concerns were heightened by the disclosure Tuesday that a California man was killed fighting alongside militants with the group, also known as ISIS.
It is incredible because the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) has not only been tapping and recording phone conversations of Americans for years, but also tracking phone locations as well. How is it that this massive, invasive, illegal, abhorrent surveillance control grid can be put in place, sold to the public as a necessity to “protect Americans” and “national security,” yet miss entire battalions of Americans signing up for and joining overseas, a terrorist organization like the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)?
If the very scenarios the NSA uses to justify its abhorrent means have unfolded unimpeded, revealed only by “chance” with the passport of an American turning up in the pockets of dead terrorists upon an alleged battlefield in Syria, either the NSA’s existence serves another purpose, or the narrative we are being fed regarding the true nature of ISIS is a lie, or the most likely scenario – both.
The US has yet to account how its CIA could be operating within territory held by ISIS – including all along the Turkish-Syrian border and within Turkish territory itself – and neither know the existence, movements, or intentions of ISIS forces.
Between NSA surveillance at home, and the CIA operating side-by-side with ISIS and other Al Qaeda-linked terrorist organizations, the sudden revelations that Americans are fighting within ISIS’ ranks seem to be more a matter of politically-motivated propaganda, timed perfectly to justify US military intervention in Syria, than a case of yet another convenient lapse in American intelligence.
Washington Menacing America With Its Own Mercenaries
“The short-term concern is the Americans that have gone to fight with ISIS and the west Europeans that have gone to fight with ISIS could be trained and directed by ISIS to come to the United States to conduct small-scale attacks,” Morell stated. “If an ISIS member showed up at a mall in the United States tomorrow with an AK-47 and killed a number of Americans, I would not be surprised.”
Morell warned that over the long-term the extremist group could be planning for a 9/11-style attack that killed thousands of Americans.
The same report would also claim:
The United States launched a new barrage of airstrikes Wednesday against the Islamic State extremist group that beheaded American journalist James Foley and that has seized a swath of territory across Iraq and Syria. President Barack Obama vowed relentless pursuit of the terrorists and the White House revealed that the U.S. had launched a secret rescue mission inside Syria earlier this summer that failed to rescue Foley and other Americans still being held hostage.
The current justification for ongoing preparations against Syria has been the Foley execution video, which experts have agreed upon was staged. The London Telegraph in its article, “Foley murder video ‘may have been staged’,” would state:
Analysts believe the British jihadi in the video may not have been James Foley’s killer, although it is accepted that the journalist was murdered.
Of course, if the video was staged, and every claim about it made by ISIS thus far proven a fabrication, no evidence at all suggests when and where, or even if Foley was murdered. If he was, no evidence suggests by whom. And despite this revelation, the US continues building momentum to intervene in Syria.
Imperialism Hiding Behind Righteousness
Several years and hundreds of millions of dollars later, ISIS is clearly the product of long-laid Western designs to overthrow the Syrian government and reorder the Middle East as warned by the prophetic 2007 9-page report titled, “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism?,” written by Seymour Hersh and published in the New Yorker. In it Hersh warned about a cataclysmic sectarian war that would ravage the entire region, targeting not only Syria and neighboring Lebanon, but also Iran. He also warned that it was an intentionally engineered conspiracy between the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, with many smaller regional players serving in supporting roles.
With the emergence of ISIS creating the very cataclysmic sectarian conflagration warned about in Hersh’s 2007 report, with no other credible explanation to account for ISIS’ incredible size, strength, and success beyond multinational state-sponsorship, Hersh’s reportage has once again been vindicated.
It is clear that the US has created ISIS, and is to this day using it as both a means to target and attack its enemies across the Middle East, as well as serve as a pretext for direct US military intervention when proxy wars flounder. It is also being used in a third context – on the domestic front – as a manufactured and perpetual threat with which to further justify the militarization and centralization of America’s police forces and the continued expansion of the NSA’s invasive domestic spying.
It is also clear that all of this adds up not to promoting freedom and democracy abroad while ensuring national security at home, but rather achieving full-spectrum domination in regions abroad and over the population at home. It is naked hegemony and imperialism playing dress-up in the wardrobe of righteousness.
Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
A Black Hawk helicopter flies near Kabul, Afghanistan. (Photo: philmofresh)
A U.S. airstrike killed 11 civilians, including women and children, in the Kunar province of Afghanistan, local officials said Wednesday.
The deaths are reportedly the result of a strike, which also left at least a dozen wounded, on Tuesday in Narang district.
The deaths also included “two suspected insurgents,” the governor of Kunar, Shujaulmulk Jalalah, told Stars and Stripes.
President Hamid Karzai issued a statement condemning “in the strongest terms the bombardment by American forces.”
Spokesperson for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Maj. Paul L. Greenberg, said it was “looking into the circumstances” of the attack.
A report issued last month by Amnesty International found that the U.S. military has failed to provide accountability for the many Afghan civilians killed or wounded by occupying forces.
“Thousands of Afghans have been killed or injured by U.S. forces since the invasion, but the victims and their families have little chance of redress. The U.S. military justice system almost always fails to hold its soldiers accountable for unlawful killings and other abuses,” Richard Bennett, Amnesty International’s Asia Pacific Director, said in a statement issued last month.
“None of the cases that we looked into — involving more than 140 civilian deaths — were prosecuted by the US military. Evidence of possible war crimes and unlawful killings has seemingly been ignored,” Bennett’s statement continued.
Americans are sometimes astonished when foreign leaders who are responsible for horrendous atrocities are treated like statesmen in their own countries, asked polite questions by journalists all too aware of the consequences of speaking truth to power.
The former national security adviser seems to be everywhere lately. He made an appearance at an event with other former secretaries of state, leading Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank (9/3/14) to call him “the most celebrated foreign-policy strategist of our time,” and to note that of those gathered, “the wisest, as usual, was Kissinger.”
There he was on the CBS Sunday show Face the Nation (9/7/14), with hostBob Schieffer asking him: “Has the Obama administration talked to you or sought your advice on Russia? Because to my way of thinking, nobody probably knows Putin as well as you do.”
Photo: An MSNBC appearance from 2011. Some viewers were disappointed to learn that the arrest referenced on screen was not in any way related to Kissinger.
He went on later to take a brave stand in favor of Kissinger:
And I’m going to say it up front, I don’t give advice obviously, I report on what others do. But I would send Henry Kissinger tonight to Moscow to talk to Putin and see what he can find out and decide where we should go from there.
The front page of USA Today (9/8/14) offered Kissinger’s thoughts on how to “dismantle” the Islamic State, wise words from the “nation’s senior foreign policy elder.”
The treatments of Kissinger are almost all notably positive. This isn’t anything new for elite media; consider Nightline host Ted Koppel’s praise from 1989, when memories of Kissinger’s record should have been fresh (Media Beat, 1/16/06):
I’m proud to be a friend of Henry Kissinger. He is an extraordinary man. This country has lost a lot by not having him in a position of influence and authority.
Koppel would say a few years later: “If you want a clear foreign-policy vision, someone who will take you beyond the conventional wisdom of the moment, it’s hard to do any better than Henry Kissinger.”
Photo: 2.8 million tons of bombs were dropped on Cambodia during the Vietnam War–overwhelmingly on Kissinger’s orders (Walrus, 10/06).
Kissinger is most closely associated with the wars in Vietnam and Cambodia. Of the latter, he famously delivered this order: ”A massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. Anything that flies on anything that moves.” Credible estimates of the number of people killed as a result of this order range as high as 800,000.
But these atrocities are rarely brought up when Kissinger makes the rounds in US media. On a recent NPR Weekend Edition appearance (9/6/14), Scott Simon posed this question near the end of the interview:
Mr. Kissinger, every time we interview you, we hear from people who object, who say they have no interest in your opinion because of your role during the war in Vietnam, especially the bombing of Cambodia and Laos. How do you answer that?
It’s not an especially tough question, but you could sense Kissinger’s frustration. He made a rather astonishing claim–”I bet if one did an honest account, there are fewer civilian casualties in Cambodia than there have been from American drone attacks”–and then assured that the policies that he and others carried out were done “with anguish.”
Simon’s follow-up: “Do you think Hillary Clinton would be a good president?”
Asked about similar issues by USA Today, Kissinger waved them away: “That was 50 years ago. I’m now 91. And from that perspective, what you mentioned is not of any concern to me.”
The interview that stands out for being exceptionally tough was on the public radio show The Takeaway (9/9/14), where Todd Zwillich actually confronted Kissinger about his record. On the bombing of Cambodia, Kissinger claimed, “We bombed these areas that were largely uninhabited.” Which led to this:
Zwillich: Excuse me, sir. Uninhabited goes against the facts of history. There were hundreds of thousands of people killed in that campaign.
Kissinger: Wait a minute. Ignorance is no excuse for being insulting. The bombing that people are talking about, that they’re criticizing the White House, was a 10-mile strip in which very few people were killed–if any.
It is difficult to imagine that Kissinger really believes that the US bombing of Cambodia possibly killed no one.
What is clear is that Kissinger has contempt for even being asked about such matters:
I served in a difficult period of various wars in which we did the best we could to bring an end to the wars and begin a structure of peace. And really, for 50 years after, an interview that would spend this much time on this is outrageous.
Of Chile, Kissinger says it is
an issue that your audience cannot possibly know much about. This happened over 40 years ago, it has been exhaustively discussed. It is a reflection of a period in which the divisions in America were so great that opponents seemed to take a perverse pleasure in charging the people with whom they disagreed on other points with sort of criminal activities.
Kissinger takes part in a Stephen Colbert comedy sketch.
He is correct about one thing: Most Americans are probably unaware of this record. Not because it does not matter, but because the “elder statesman” who oversaw these policies is treated as some sort of oracle by elite media.
A new collection of essays by Noam Chomsky includes one piece where he compares Kissinger’s frank admission about Cambodia–published years later in the New York Times (5/27/04)–to the crimes of official enemies like former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic:
Suppose, however, that someone were to unearth a document in which Milosevic orders the Serbian air force to reduce Bosnia or Kosovo to rubble, with the words “Anything that flies on anything that moves.” The prosecutors would be overjoyed, the trial would end, and Milosevic would be sent off to many successive life sentences for the crime of genocide–a death sentence, if it followed US conventions. One would, in fact, be hard put to find such an explicit order to carry out genocide–as the term is currently employed with regard to crimes of enemies–anywhere in the historical record.
In this case, after casual mention in the world’s leading newspaper, there was no detectable interest, even though the horrendous consequences are well-known.
“As Far As People Who Ran The Show, It Was The Highest Levels of NATO, the U.S., MI6, CIA And The Pentagon”
Sibel Edmonds has just released her fantastic spy thriller, The Lone Gladio (available on Amazon). Here’s our review, comparing it to the best of Clancy or Ludlum … but with a twist.
In the real world, Edmonds is a former FBI translator who translated terror-related communications for the FBI right after 9/11. In that capacity, she read communications between terrorists and other radicals.
The most gagged person in the history of the United States of America.
Famed Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg says that Edmonds possesses information “far more explosive than the Pentagon Papers”. He also says that the White House has ordered the press not to cover Edmonds:
I am confident that there is conversation inside the Government as to ‘How do we deal with Sibel [Edmonds]?
The first line of defense is to ensure that she doesn’t get into the media. I think any outlet that thought of using her materials would go to to the government and they would be told “don’t touch this . . . .”
Even Paul Newman praises Edmonds, saying:
Sibel Edmonds would not let an intimidating FBI shut her mouth, and as a result, suffered grievous consequences, but she has persevered and we are better off for her sacrifices.
Edmonds told Washington’s Blog that she wrote The Lone Gladio because the FBI classified 100% of her previous book, Classified Woman. When she found out that she doesn’t need to get pre-publication approval for “novels”, she decided to write a novel.
So Edmonds decided to write a work of fiction based on the real-life operation- ‘Operation Gladio B’ – as the context, and with fictional events and characters in the novel The Lone Gladio.
[WASHINGTON’S BLOG]: You’ve previously claimed that Gladio was not terminated with the fall of the Soviet Union, but has continued up until today … the so-called “Gladio B”.
[SIBEL EDMONDS]: Yes. The title “Gladio B” was given by the FBI, because we don’t know what they really call it.
NATO, MI6, MIT (the Turkish military and intelligence service), and the Pentagon, also some outside rogue elements connected with Gladio.
[WASHINGTON’S BLOG]: Did you see – when you were still with the FBI – source documents about this so-called “Gladio B”? In The Lone Gladio, you have a “fictitious” set of memos that have players from NATO, the U.S. State Department and high-level terrorists meeting together. Did you see documents like that when you were at FBI?
[SIBEL EDMONDS]: Yes. I reviewed over 5,000 documents. Not only from FBI’s Washington office. A lot of documents came from FBI’s Chicago office. The document were from the period 1996 through February 2002. There were written documents, and audio translated by FBI translators.
[WASHINGTON’S BLOG]: Were NATO personnel actually mentioned in some of the documents or transcripts you saw as being part of these Gladio B meetings?
[SIBEL EDMONDS]: A number of generals were involved. Both U.S. generals and British generals and other generals involved with NATO. And many recognizable, public names with the U.S. State Department.
Most of this involved people from and State Department and the CIA. These are at the top levels … you’re not going to get operative-level involved with this.
Edmonds explained that the State Department doesn’t just deploy “soft power”, but is involved in many “hard power” operations, often coordinating through well-known “Non-Governmental Organizations” (NGOs).
Specifically, Edmonds explained that numerous well-known NGOs – which claim to focus on development, birth control, women’s rights, fighting oppression and other “magnificent sounding” purposes or seemingly benign issues – act as covers for State Department operations. [Background.] She said that the State Department directly places operatives inside the NGOs.
As one example, Edmonds said that – during the late 90s and early 2000s – perhaps 30-40% of the people working for NGOs operated by George Soros were actually working for the U.S. State Department.
Edmonds also said that Osama Bin Laden – and several other members of his family – were working with U.S. agencies as part of Gladio B right up until 9/11. Edmonds notes that Bin Laden and his family members were helping the West set up terrorist groups in Chechnya up until 9/11.
Edmonds also said that the FBI failed to prosecute any of the criminal activities occurring in the United States as revealed by these documents.
9/11 Was Part of Gladio
Back to our interview …
[WASHINGTON’S BLOG]: In terms of 9/11, what’s your opinion about whether there were countries involved, or whether it was rogue Gladio personnel?
[SIBEL EDMONDS]: You have to separate the pawns from the main players. There might have been elements involved within countries: for example Prince Bandar in Saudi Arabia, or Turkish people at the MIT.
But the people who ran the show at the top were NATO and Gladio. And Gladio was under the U.S. It was – and is – an operation under the U.S., for U.S. empire.
As far as people who ran the show, it was the highest levels of NATO, the U.S., MI6, CIA and the Pentagon.
The Goal: Control of Eurasia, Oil and Other Resources
Edmonds says that the entire focus of the U.S. and these related groups is to control the world’s resources, such as oil and gas pipelines in Eurasia.
She explained that many of the people in Eurasian region speak Turkic languages. For that reason, Turkey and its intelligence service – MIT – has been a major conduit for Gladio operations. And since a lot of the resources are in former Soviet countries, a lot of Gladio’s focus has been in those countries.
Postscript: Edmonds has previously stated that Bin Laden – and his number 2 Al Qaeda lieutenant – Ayman al-Zawahiri – worked with the U.S. government for 3 months AFTER 9/11 to coordinate destablization in the Caucus region.
For the past 11 years I have been emphasizing that my State Secrets Privilege & Gag Orders had to do with the FBI files (covering period 1996-2002 February) on covert-terrorist operations in Caucasus and Central Asiabacked, managed and armed by US actors. These US-NATO directed operations in the region involved Bin-Laden and mainly Zawahiri …..
The FBI documents contained damning evidence (audio and written) collected between 1996-2002 tying these terror operations directly to the U.S. persons in the State Department/CIA and Pentagon. Also, how the State Department got Congress to grant huge amounts of funds to “front’ NGOs and businesses (mainly Turkish companies in US-listed/members of ATC) to funnel money to the terrorist cells in this region.
If you want to hear Edmonds name names, watch part 1 and part 2 of her interview with James Corbett.
The tragedy of September 11, 2001, goes far beyond the deaths of those who died in the towers and the deaths of firefighters and first responders who succumbed to illnesses caused by inhalation of toxic dust. For thirteen years a new generation of Americans has been born into the 9/11 myth that has been used to create the American warfare/police state.
The corrupt Bush and Obama regimes used 9/11 to kill, maim, dispossess and displace millions of Muslims in seven countries, none of whom had anything whatsoever to do with 9/11.
A generation of Americans has been born into disdain and distrust of Muslims.
A generation of Americans has been born into a police state in which privacy and constitutional protections no longer exist.
A generation of Americans has been born into continuous warfare while needs of citizens go unmet.
A generation of Americans has been born into a society in which truth is replaced with the endless repetition of falsehoods.
According to the official story, on September 11, 2001, the vaunted National Security State of the World’s Only Superpower was defeated by a few young Saudi Arabians armed only with box cutters. The American National Security State proved to be totally helpless and was dealt the greatest humiliation ever inflicted on any country claiming to be a power.
That day no aspect of the National Security State worked. Everything failed.
The US Air Force for the first time in its history could not get interceptor jet fighters into the air.
The National Security Council failed.
All sixteen US intelligence agencies failed as did those of America’s NATO and Israeli allies.
Air Traffic Control failed.
Airport Security failed four times at the same moment on the same day. The probability of such a failure is zero.
If such a thing had actually happened, there would have been demands from the White House, from Congress, and from the media for an investigation. Officials would have been held accountable for their failures. Heads would have rolled.
Instead, the White House resisted for one year the 9/11 families’ demands for an investigation. Finally, a collection of politicians was assembled to listen to the government’s account and to write it down. The chairman, vice chairman, and legal counsel of the 9/11 Commission have said that information was withheld from the commission, lies were told to the commission, and that the commission “was set up to fail.” The worst security failure in history resulted in not a single firing. No one was held responsible.
Washington concluded that 9/11 was possible because America lacked a police state.
The PATRIOT Act, which was awaiting the event was quickly passed by the congressional idiots. The Act established executive branch independence of law and the Constitution. The Act and follow-up measures have institutionalized a police state in “the land of the free.”
Osama bin Laden, a CIA asset dying of renal failure, was blamed despite his explicit denial. For the next ten years Osama bin Laden was the bogyman that provided the excuse for Washington to kill countless numbers of Muslims. Then suddenly on May 2, 2011, Obama claimed that US Navy SEALs had killed bin Laden in Pakistan. Eyewitnesses on the scene contradicted the White House’s story. Osama bin Laden became the only human in history to survive renal failure for ten years. There was no dialysis machine in what was said to be bin Laden’s hideaway. The numerous obituaries of bin Laden’s death in December 2001 went down the memory hole. And the SEAL team died a few weeks later in a mysterious helicopter crash in Afghanistan. The thousands of sailors on the aircraft carrier from which bin Laden was said to have been dumped into the Indian Ocean wrote home that no such burial took place.
The fairy tale story of bin Laden’s murder by Seal Team Six served to end the challenge by disappointed Democrats to Obama’s nomination for a second term. It also freed the “war on terror” from the bin Laden constraint. Washington wanted to attack Libya, Syria, and Iran, countries in which bin Laden was known not to have organizations, and the succession of faked bin Laden videos, in which bin Laden grew progressively younger as the fake bin Laden claimed credit for each successive attack, had lost credibility among experts.
Watching the twin towers and WTC 7 come down, it was obvious to me that the buildings were not falling down as a result of structural damage. When it became clear that the White House had blocked an independent investigation of the only three steel skyscrapers in world history to collapse as a result of low temperature office fires, it was apparent that there was a coverup.
After 13 years people at home and abroad find the government’s story less believable.
The case made by independent experts is now so compelling that mainstream media has opened to it.
After years of persistence a group in New York has secured the necessary number of valid signatures to put on the ballot a vote to investigate the cause of the collapse of the three WTC buildings. The official account, if correct, means that existing fire and building codes are insufficient to protect the public and that all other steel high rise structures are subject to the same failure. The group has been clever to frame the issue in terms of public safety and not in terms of 9/11 truth.
New York authorities, of course, continue to oppose the initiative. The question now rests on a judge’s ruling. It is difficult to imagine a judge going against the government in such a major way, but the group will have made the point that the government has no confidence in the truth of its own story.
Over these 13 years, physicists, chemists, architects, engineers, pilots, and first responders have provided massive evidence that completely disproves the official account of the failure of the three skyscrapers. The response to experts has been for non-experts to call experts “conspiracy theorists.” In other words, the defenders of the government’s story have no scientific or factual basis on which to stand. So they substitute name-calling.
9/11 was used to fundamentally alter the nature of the US government and its relationship to the American people. Unaccountable executive power has replaced due process and the checks and balances established by the US Constitution. In the name of National Security, executive power knows no restraints. Essentially, Americans today have no rights if the government targets them.
Those Americans born after 9/11 were born into a different country from the rest of us. Having never experienced constitutional government, they will not know what they have lost.
The anthrax attacks of October 2001 have been forgotten, but Professor Graeme MacQueen in The 2001 Anthrax Deception (Clarity Press, 2014) shows that the anthrax attacks played an essential role in setting the stage for the government’s acquisition of unaccountable police state power. Two Democratic Senate committee chairmen, Thomas Daschle and Patrick Leahy, were disturbed by the Bush regime’s overreach for carte blanche power, and were in a position to block the coming police state legislation and the ability of the executive branch alone to take America to war.
Both senators received anthrax letters, as did major news organizations. The TV network news anchors, such as Dan Rather, who compared the collapse of WTC skyscrapers to buildings brought down by controlled demolition, had not yet been fired by Republicans on framed-up charges.
Initially, the anthrax letters, which caused the deaths of some USPS employees, were seen as the second stage of the 9/11 attack. Fear multiplied. The senators and media shut up. Then it was discovered that the anthrax was a unique kind produced only by a US government military facility.
The response to this monkey wrench thrown into the government’s propaganda, was the FBI’s frame-up of a dead man, Bruce Edwards Ivins, who had been employed in the military lab that produced the anthrax and was driven to suicide by the false charges. The dead man’s colleagues did not believe one word of the government’s false story, and nothing in the dead man’s past indicated any motive or instability that would have led him to such a deed.
Initially, the US government tried to frame up Steven Jay Hatfill, but despite the best efforts of the New York Times and Nicholas Kristof the attempt to frame Hatfill failed. Hatfill received $5 million from the US government for the false accusation that ruined his life. So the corrupt US government moved on to Ivins.
Ivins was dead and couldn’t defend himself, but his colleagues did.
The entire episode stinks to high heaven. Justice is something that exists outside the borders of the United States. Never expect to find justice within the United States.
Most Americans are unaware of the extent to which the federal government owns the experts who can contradict its fairy tales. For example, no competent physicist can possibly believe the official story of the destruction of the three WTC buildings. But physics departments in US universities are heavily dependent on federal money. Any physicist who speaks his mind jeopardizes not only his own career but also the career of all of his colleagues. Physicist Steven Jones, who first pointed to the use of thermite in the destruction of the two towers had to agree to having his university buy out his tenure or his university was faced with losing all federal financing.
The same constraints operate in the private sector. High rise architects and structural engineers who express doubts about the official explanation of the collapse of three skyscrapers are viewed by potential clients as Muslim apologists and conspiracy kooks.
The clients, of course, have no expert knowledge with which to assess the issue, but they are indoctrinated with ceaseless, endless, repetition that 9/11 was Osama bin Laden’s attack on America. Their indoctrination makes them immune to facts.
The 9/11 lie has persisted for 13 years. Millions of Muslims have paid for this lie with their lives, the destruction of their families, and with their dislocation. Most Americans remain comfortable with the fact that their government has destroyed in whole or part seven countries based on a lie Washington told to cover up an inside job that launched the crazed neoconservatives’ drive for Washington’s World Empire.
When will 9/9, the day of the release of the new IPhone and Watch replace 9/11 in the consciousness of Americans who put consumption way ahead of civil activism?
The wizards of Apple, who will soon have a device on the market to help you pay your bills, (and take a micro slice) must be aware that consumer borrowing has just seen its biggest hike since November 2001—just two months after the big event—and now stands at a whopping $3.24 TRILLION. According to the Federal Reserve, there has been a hike of $16.01 Billion in July alone.
When I made the film In Debt We Trust in 2006 about the immense debt burden of Americans, I didn’t connect the phenomenon to hikes in federal borrowing to finance our other pre-occupation: war spending. Significantly, earlier in this same week, President Obama asked for another $5 billion for a new costly counter-terrorism offensive to fight ISIS.
This came just a few weeks after the Administration said it didn’t really consider ISIS a threat and had no strategy to fight it. Where might we ask was the National Security Agency with all its pervasive surveillance technology? Could they have missed its emergence because they are too busy sucking up metadata on our web and phone records?
Even superhawk Henry Kissinger downplayed ISIS, claiming Iran is a bigger threat—just before we learned that both Iran and the US are fighting ISIS, some say, together.
When did no threat become the biggest threat in the world?
Could the media have had anything to do with it? Killa reporter or two and you are guaranteed massive publicity. These horror shows—and they are both, horrors and shows, rocketed the need for a global response of the kind Washington is now pushing up the escalation ladder.
For one thing, we now have a ”terror threat” to be scared enough to throw money at, a response that delights the accountants in the military industrial complex who no longer fear theirendless spigot of spending will be cut off or decreased.
So, after the next ritualistic 911eve speech to the nation, US bombers will be back in the air “degrading” ISIS and any civilians who happen to be too close for comfort. That old “bomb them back into the stone age” strategy that failed in Vietnam, failed in Afghanistan, and failed in Iraq as “Shock And Awe’ is back because the Pentagon doesn’t know what else to do.
Never mind that our dictatorial Royal Arab allies, with US help, have been funding their own terrorist armies for “democracy” in Syria for years that have also failed miserably. What do you do when a “battle plan” fails? Try it again!
Loretta Napoleoni, the economist who has focused on financial frauds of all kinds has a brilliant book coming out on for Seven Stories Press to show us what we really have to fear.
“Many believe that the Islamic State, like al-Qaeda before it, wants to turn back the clock, and indeed in Western media Syrian and Iraqi refugees describe its rule in their countries as a sort of carbon copy of the Taliban regime,” she writes.
“…Paradoxically, to deem the IS essentially backward would be mistaken. Indeed, during the last few years the belief that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the group’s leader and the new Caliph, is a clone of Mullah Omar may well have led Western intelligence to undervalue him and his organization’s strength. …What distinguishes the Islamic State from all other armed groups that predate it, including those active during the Cold War, and what accounts for its enormous successes, is its modernity and pragmatism.”
All we really know about their strategy is the tactic of beheading, a technique based on a desire to be feared because they know they will never be loved in the West. Western propagandists then echo and praise their propaganda including a savvy use of social media, (They rarely mention beheadings of dissidents by Saudia Arabia!)
Who is behind disseminating these beheading videos that has aroused Obama to “act.” The controversial investigative reporter,Wayne Madson,charges it is not a news organization, but a right-wing propaganda group, writing (and I have seen this no where else) “
“The most recent video images of orange jump suit-clad U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff being beheaded were released by the Search for International Terrorist Entities or “SITE,” which also initially discovered andreleased the video beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley of GlobalPost.com.
As with the Foley video, U.S. intelligence initially refrained from validating the authenticity of the Sotloff video …Obviously, the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies are well-versed on SITE’s Israeli pedigree. As previously revealed by WMR, SITE is a Washington, DC-based research institute with links to Israeli right-wing Likud elements and Mossad.”
Hmmm! (Remember that the government did not do much, as their families have pointed out, to save them.)
True or not, it is irrefutable that the State Department has now been circulating its own video response to ISIS as a slick media war plays out on the Internet Each side is using these horrific images for their own reasons, one to boast, the other to roast. We are using the deaths of journalists as a pretext for more deaths.
Writes Napoleoni in the intro to the book, now on the SevenStories.com website, “No matter how barbarous their actions are or have been, their status as threats to national security, as warriors, will be beyond doubt.
As the Islamic State’s war of conquest progresses, it is becoming clear that since 9/11 the business of Islamist terrorism has been getting stronger instead of weaker — to the extent that now it has morphed into a state — by simply keeping abreast with a fast-changing world in which propaganda and technology play an increasingly vital role. The same cannot be said for the forces engaged in stopping it from spreading.”
Perhaps that’s why new polls show that fear of ISIS is rising, in essence giving the Administration a blank check, the blank check it wanted all along. Whether theycan be successful remains to be seen.
Speaking of business, did you know, or have you forgotten, the costs of 9/11? The New York Times reported that Al Qaeda spent only $400,000 for its attack while the US has spent, in response, an estimated $3.3 TRILLION. Don’t scoff, spending on that scale keeps the Pentagon and our economy humming by creating jobs and weapons, but not benefiting, of course, the 2,996 Americans who perished.
Sam Stein reports on Huff Post, “From 9/11 To Osama Bin Laden’s Death, Congress Spent $1.28 Trillion In War On Terror.”
It is almost incalculable when you add it all up. The website of The Institute for Analysis of Global Security lists the costs in part:
•The destruction of major buildings in the World Trade Center with a replacement cost of from $3 billion to $4.5 billion.
•Damage to a portion of the Pentagon: up to $1 billion.
•Cleanup costs: $1.3 billion.
•Property and infrastructure damage: $10 billion to $13 billion.
•Federal emergency funds (heightened airport security, sky marshals, government takeover of airport security, retrofitting aircraft with anti-terrorist devices, cost of operations in Afghanistan): $40 billion.
•Direct job losses amounted to 83,000, with $17 billion in lost wages.
•The amount of damaged or unrecoverable property hit $21.8 billion.
•Losses to the city of New York (lost jobs, lost taxes, damage to infrastructure, cleaning): $95 billion.
•Losses to the insurance industry: $40 billion.
And,on, and on. When you add it all up and then factor in what money did not go for—schools, healthcare, poverty alleviation etc etc—you realize how devastating it’s been. We do not have many bragging rights in this exchange, in the sense that with GITMO and our deadly torture program, we have tried to outdo our enemies.
The Financial Crisis, from which we have still not recovered, hit six years after the towers went down. It was a self-afflicted wound for which few were punished. (Remember the heavily-hyped and costly effort back then to get Wall Street reopen for business? Did It! And then what?)
As 911 makes its annual calendar turn, let’s understand who has benefited from the Terror wars and who hasn’t, and why our economy and political system needs external enemies to fear, lest an angry public take a closer look at growing domestic economic inequality and its beneficiaries. No wonder WashingtonwantsISIS as the focus.And how do you think they present us to their supporters?
Filmmaker and News Dissector Danny Schechter has just finished a TV Series on the American Surveillance State. He blogs daily at NewsDissector.net and edits Mediachannel.org. Comments to [email protected]
Governments from Around the World Admit They Do It
Governments from around the world admit they’ve used the bully’s trick … attack first, and then blame the victim:
A major with the Nazi SS admitted at the Nuremberg trials that – under orders from the chief of the Gestapo – he and some other Nazi operatives faked attacks on their own people and resources which they blamed on the Poles, to justify the invasion of Poland. Nazi general Franz Halder also testified at the Nuremberg trials that Nazi leader Hermann Goering admitted to setting fire to the German parliament building, and then falsely blaming the communists for the arson
Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev admitted in writing that the Soviet Union’s Red Army shelled the Russian village of Mainila in 1939 – while blaming the attack on Finland – as a basis for launching the “Winter War” against Finland
Israel admits that an Israeli terrorist cell operating in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including U.S. diplomatic facilities, then left behind “evidence” implicating the Arabs as the culprits (one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to identify the bombers, and several of the Israelis later confessed) (and see this and this)
The CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950′s to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister
The British Prime Minister admitted to his defense secretary that he and American president Dwight Eisenhower approved a plan in 1957 to carry out attacks in Syria and blame it on the Syrian government as a way to effect regime change
As admitted by the U.S. government, recently declassified documents show that in the 1960′s, the American Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan to blow up AMERICAN airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes), and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil, and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. See the following ABC news report; the official documents; and watch this interview with the former Washington Investigative Producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.
2 years before, American Senator George Smathers had suggested that the U.S. make “a false attack made on Guantanamo Bay which would give us the excuse of actually fomenting a fight which would then give us the excuse to go in and [overthrow Castro]“.
And Official State Department documents show that – only nine months before the Joint Chiefs of Staff plan was proposed – the head of the Joint Chiefs and other high-level officials discussed blowing up a consulate in the Dominican Republic in order to justify an invasion of that country. The 3 plans were not carried out, but they were all discussed as serious proposals
The NSA admits that it lied about what really happened in the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964 … manipulating data to make it look like North Vietnamese boats fired on a U.S. ship so as to create a false justification for the Vietnam war
A U.S. Congressional committee admitted that – as part of its “Cointelpro” campaign – the FBI had used many provocateurs in the 1950s through 1970s to carry out violent acts and falsely blame them on political activists
The German government admitted (and see this) that, in 1978, the German secret service detonated a bomb in the outer wall of a prison and planted “escape tools” on a prisoner – a member of the Red Army Faction – which the secret service wished to frame the bombing on
The South African Truth and Reconciliation Council found that, in 1989, the Civil Cooperation Bureau (a covert branch of the South African Defense Force) approached an explosives expert and asked him “to participate in an operation aimed at discrediting the ANC [the African National Congress] by bombing the police vehicle of the investigating officer into the murder incident”, thus framing the ANC for the bombing
An Algerian diplomat and several officers in the Algerian army admit that, in the 1990s, the Algerian army frequently massacred Algerian civilians and then blamed Islamic militants for the killings (and see this video; and Agence France-Presse, 9/27/2002, French Court Dismisses Algerian Defamation Suit Against Author)
Senior Russian Senior military and intelligence officers admit that the KGB blew up Russian apartment buildings in 1999 and falsely blamed it on Chechens, in order to justify an invasion of Chechnya (and see this report and this discussion)
According to the Washington Post, Indonesian police admit that the Indonesian military killed American teachers in Papua in 2002 and blamed the murders on a Papuan separatist group in order to get that group listed as a terrorist organization.
The well-respected former Indonesian president also admits that the government probably had a role in the Bali bombings
As reported by BBC, the New York Times, and Associated Press, Macedonian officials admit that the government murdered 7 innocent immigrants in cold blood and pretended that they were Al Qaeda soldiers attempting to assassinate Macedonian police, in order to join the “war on terror”
Senior police officials in Genoa, Italy admitted that – in July 2001, at the G8 summit in Genoa – planted two Molotov cocktails and faked the stabbing of a police officer, in order to justify a violent crackdown against protesters
Similarly, the U.S. falsely blamed Iraq for playing a role in the 9/11 attacks – as shown by a memo from the defense secretary – as one of the main justifications for launching the Iraq war. Even after the 9/11 Commission admitted that there was no connection, Dick Cheney said that the evidence is “overwhelming” that al Qaeda had a relationship with Saddam Hussein’s regime, that Cheney “probably” had information unavailable to the Commission, and that the media was not ‘doing their homework’ in reporting such ties. Top U.S. government officials now admit that the Iraq war was really launched for oil … not 9/11 or weapons of mass destruction (despite previous “lone wolf” claims, many U.S. government officials now say that 9/11 was state-sponsored terror; but Iraq was not the state which backed the hijackers)
Former Department of Justice lawyer John Yoo suggested in 2005 that the US should go on the offensive against al-Qaeda, having “our intelligence agencies create a false terrorist organization. It could have its own websites, recruitment centers, training camps, and fundraising operations. It could launch fake terrorist operations and claim credit for real terrorist strikes, helping to sow confusion within al-Qaeda’s ranks, causing operatives to doubt others’ identities and to question the validity of communications.”
U.S. intelligence officers are reporting that some of the insurgents in Iraq are using recent-model Beretta 92 pistols, but the pistols seem to have had their serial numbers erased. The numbers do not appear to have been physically removed; the pistols seem to have come off a production line without any serial numbers. Analysts suggest the lack of serial numbers indicates that the weapons were intended for intelligence operations or terrorist cells with substantial government backing. Analysts speculate that these guns are probably from either Mossad or the CIA. Analysts speculate that agent provocateurs may be using the untraceable weapons even as U.S. authorities use insurgent attacks against civilians as evidence of the illegitimacy of the resistance.
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
Quebec police admitted that, in 2007, thugs carrying rocks to a peaceful protest were actually undercover Quebec police officers (and see this)
At the G20 protests in London in 2009, a British member of parliament saw plain clothes police officers attempting to incite the crowd to violence
Egyptian politicians admitted (and see this) that that government employees looted priceless museum artifacts in 2011 to try to discredit the protesters
A Colombian army colonel has admitted that his unit murdered 57 civilians, then dressed them in uniforms and claimed they were rebels killed in combat
U.S. soldiers have admitted that if they kill innocent Iraqis and Afghanis, they then “drop” automatic weapons near their body so they can pretend they were militants
The highly-respected writer for the Telegraph Ambrose Evans-Pritchard says that the head of Saudi intelligence – Prince Bandar – recently admitted that the Saudi government controls “Chechen” terrorists
High-level American sources admitted that the Turkish government – a fellow NATO country – carried out the chemical weapons attacks blamed on the Syrian government; and high-ranking Turkish government admitted on tape plans to carry out attacks and blame it on the Syrian government
The former Ukrainian security chief admits that the sniper attacks which started the Ukrainian coup were carried out in order to frame others
Britain’s spy agency has admitted to (and see this) that it carries out “digital false flag” attacks on targets, framing people by writing offensive or unlawful material … and blaming it on the target
The use of the bully’s trick is so common that it was given a name hundreds of years ago.
“False flag terrorism” is defined as a government attacking its own people, then blaming others in order to justify going to war against the people it blames. Or as Wikipedia defines it:
False flag operations are covert operations conducted by governments, corporations, or other organizations, which are designed to appear as if they are being carried out by other entities. The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is, flying the flag of a country other than one’s own. False flag operations are not limited to war and counter-insurgency operations, and have been used in peace-time; for example, during Italy’s strategy of tension.
The term comes from the old days of wooden ships, when one ship would hang the flag of its enemy before attacking another ship in its own navy. Because the enemy’s flag, instead of the flag of the real country of the attacking ship, was hung, it was called a “false flag” attack.
Indeed, this concept is so well-accepted that rules of engagement for naval, air and land warfare all prohibit false flag attacks.
Leaders Throughout History Have Acknowledged False Flags
Leaders throughout history have acknowledged the danger of false flags:
“This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.”
“If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”
- U.S. President James Madison
“A history of false flag attacks used to manipulate the minds of the people! “In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
“Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death”.
- Adolph Hitler
“Why of course the people don’t want war … But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship … Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
- Hermann Goering, Nazi leader.
“The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. [The public] will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatened”.
- Josef Stalin
People Are Waking Up to False Flags
People are slowly waking up to this whole con job by governments who want to justify war.
According to scientific modeling systems used by the European Union, the radioactive ocean plume released by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster is likely to remain a massive clump of radioactivity until it slams into the West Coast of the United States in late 2017.
On March 11, 2011, a massive earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, knocking out power and cooling capability to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Within three days, multiple meltdowns and reactor explosions had taken place. By March 25, massive amounts of radioactive material were observed leaking directly into the Pacific Ocean.
In 2013, the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center in Norway used computer models to project the movement and dispersion of this radioactive plume. Although the results of this study have been cited in official Chinese government documents, they have not been widely publicized.
Levels to remain high through at least 2026
The researchers used two separate scenarios to model leakage of radioactivity from the Fukushima plant into the Pacific. The first scenario assumed continuous and constant leakage for 20 days, while the second assumed continuous and constant leakage for one year.
Although delivering differing estimates of total radiation, both models concluded that the pollution would remain in a relatively unified mass and take the same path across the ocean until crashing up against western North America. Both models show the plume colliding with the U.S. West Coast and beginning to spread out starting around late 2017, with a maximum concentration of radiation hitting the coast toward the end of 2018.
Following this collision, the plume is projected to disperse and spread north, south and west, with portions of it eventually crashing back into East Asia sometime between 2021 and 2026. Throughout this entire time period, however, the area of greatest radioactivity concentration will remain positioned along North America’s West Coast.
The researchers noted that the model does have certain limits, namely its failure to account for ocean ecology (which may alter the flow of radioactive material) and atmospheric fallout (which may increase the concentration of radioactive material in additional regions to those predicted by the model).
Cleanup efforts in shambles
More than three years after the disaster, the Fukushima plant remains crippled, contaminated and uncontained. Massive amounts of radioactive water continue to pile up at the plant and leak into the surrounding earth and ocean. Thus far, all plans by plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) to stem the flow of this water by freezing the ground surrounding the plant have failed. More than 120,000 people evacuated from the area in 2011 are still unable to return to their homes, and criminal gangs have infiltrated cleanup operations.
In recent weeks, TEPCO has also been hit with a number of legal setbacks. A court ordered the company to pay nearly half a million dollars to the family of a woman who committed suicide just two months after being forcibly evacuated from her home near Fukushima. In August, a citizens’ judicial panel called for three former TEPCO executives to be prosecuted for their role in the disaster. TEPCO is also being sued by four workers seeking $600,000 in unpaid wages from their work in the plant’s clean-up and decommissioning operations.
“A year ago, the prime minister told the world that Fukushima was under control. But that’s not the case,” said Tsuguo Hirota, lawyer for the plaintiffs. “Workers are not getting promised hazard pay and skilled workers are leaving. It’s becoming a place for amateurs only, and that has to worry anyone who lives near the plant.”
During his prime time speech last night, President Barack Obama vowed that no combat troops would fight on foreign soil in the pursuit of ISIS, an assertion contradicted by NBC’s chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel, who says that U.S. boots are already on the ground in Iraq.
“I know there are already American boots on the ground where I am now,” Engel told MSNBC, adding, “They are troops who are staying away from reporters, they are embedded with local fighters trying to guide in air strikes, gathering intelligence — the kind of thing you would have thought the Green Berets would have done many years ago, and which are now being done by Navy SEALS and Delta Force and other Special Operations Forces.”
Engel went on to state that Obama was engaged in a “secret war” to dislodge ISIS while questioning the effectiveness of such a strategy.
The NBC reporter’s revelation that U.S. troops are already working alongside local fighters in Iraq to target ISIS contradicts Obama’s claim last night that his plan, “will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil.”
In a subsequent interview, Engel slammed Obama’s strategy to eliminate ISIS as “wildly off-base,” asserting that comparisons to U.S. military activity in Yemen and Somalia were an oversimplification of the problem.
Meanwhile, Obama faced criticism from some on the right who accused him of failing to acknowledge the threat posed by radical Islam after Obama remarked that “ISIL is not Islamic” during his speech.
Libertarians assailed Obama for officially adopting President Bush’s preemptive war doctrine while vowing to violate the territorial sovereignty of Syria without a UN resolution or even consultation with Congress.
As we documented yesterday, the White House plans to step up arms shipments to so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels despite the fact that the vast majority of militants in Syria are radical jihadists and many of them are aligned with or have given weapons to ISIS.
Given that the Syrian government has repeatedly made clear that it will consider any U.S. military action inside its border an “act of war,” the Obama administration risks pouring gasoline on a raging inferno if it follows a similar policy to that adopted towards Libya, which is now a failed state largely controlled by warlords and radical jihadist militias.
“Weasel wording” consists in using “words and phrases aimed at creating an impression that a specific and/or meaningful statement has been made, when in fact only a vague or ambiguous claim has been communicated, enabling the specific meaning to be denied if the statement is challenged.” … “Some weasel words may also have the effect of softening the force of a potentially loaded or otherwise controversial statement through some form of understatement.” (Gary Jason 1988)
One thing must be stated outright: This report does not lie.
It just can’t lie since there is nothing new in it. I myself have never seen such a meaningless plane crash report. What comes as a surprise, however, is the report’s diplomatic, sophisticated choice of words, which loses itself in ambiguous terminology.
It was probably planned this way, so each party can continue to defend their version of what happened with zeal.
Let’s take a closer look at this report.
At the beginning we find, as usual, detailed statements about the plane, who it belonged to, that it was in perfect condition and details about the crew.
Technical issues or weather conditions are excluded as causes for the crash.
Image right: German pilot and author Peter Haisenko
Then, it confirms that the flight recorders were virtually undamaged and that they have not been tampered with.
The report continues with the description of the debris scattered over a vast area and from this observation is drawn the amazing conclusion that this aircraft had blown up in the air.
I apologize for the slight sarcasm, but I will have no choice but to continue to make some sarcastic remarks about this “report”.
14 minutes of silence in the cockpit is absolutely impossible
It is reported that the cockpit section was probably completely broken off from the aircraft because it fell almost vertically from the point of shelling to the ground and was found at some distance from the rest of the debris.
The report indicates that the damages done by external forces were recorded almost exclusively in the front of the plane, namely the cockpit, and this led to the breakup of the aircraft.
So far so good, nothing new. Then there is a transcript of the radio communication between MH017 and air traffic control taken from the voice recorder.
At this point the expert starts to ask himself questions.
The transcript of the radio communication starts at 13:08:00 and ends at 13:22:02, a 14 minute time frame.
From my experience as an aircraft captain I cannot imagine that during 14 minutes no other dialogues or sounds were picked up in the cockpit by the voice recorder.
When the cockpit receives radio transmissions from other aircraft, those are also recorded by the device. As I said, there are no lies, but in all likelihood, not everything is being said. The published conclusion points out that:
“Crew communication gave no indication that there was anything abnormal with the flight.”
Everything was normal, but the possible (and very probable) conversation in the cockpit is concealed, as well as radio transmissions from other aircrafts.
High Energy Objects – and other hazy formulations
The conclusion of this report is a prime example of a situation in which one knows something with certainty, but the facts are presented in such a way that nothing is revealed:
The damage observed in the forward section of the aircraft appears to indicate that the aircraft was penetrated by a large number of high-energy objects from outside the aircraft. It is likely that this damage resulted in a loss of structural integrity of the aircraft, leading to an in-flight break up.”
Aha! says the astonished reader. We knew that already. We must take a closer look at this conclusion. In fact, it is not a conclusion.
The report speaks of possibilities and probabilities: “appears to indicate”, “it is likely”. But this is the less enigmatic part.
The wordings “penetrated” and especially “high-energy objects” are interesting. It remains unclear how far these “objects” entered, or even if they went through the entire cockpit and came out on the other side of it, thus completely “penetrating” the cockpit. The background picture of the cockpit section shown in this report is of lower quality and in smaller scale than the one I provided myself and published in my analysis.
Again it must be noted: The report does not lie, but the Commission shows less information than it has at its disposal.
The term “high-energy objects” is totally “original”. What is this?
I myself know this term from astrophysics or quantum physics. Otherwise, I have not commonly seen it in the context of aviation or plane accidents. So how should this concept be understood? I asked English speakers about this. They spontaneously replied bullets, projectiles from a cannon or fast moving freight trains. They also noted that this term is unusual in “normal”, colloquial terms, except in astrophysics or quantum physics. This strange wording leaves everything open.
License to interpretations – The explanation appears different
Those who want to follow the Western description can conclude that a surface-to-air missile discharges “high-energy-objects”. This is precisely the interpretation that I observed in the German media today.
Our newspapers are reciting like a creed the American version of the cause of the disaster, issued immediately after the MH 017 crash, by claiming that the present report confirms that the Boeing 777 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile.
That is not exactly what the report states, but it allows this interpretation – and that’s probably the point of this very flexible choice of words. Everybody can interpret what they want to believe according to their own taste. Especially if they are not native English speakers who spontaneously think of bullets.
This “report” is not worth the paper it is written on.
This is not surprising, because the Kiev Maidan government had to give their OK to what could be published.
The report leaves open everything which could actually contribute to an explanation. The MH 017 could have been hit by a missile, whether surface-to-air or air-to-air. It could have been shot down by a fighter jet or, sarcastically, according to the astrophysics or quantum physics terms, by a large number of “high-energy objects” that rained down on the cockpit from the far reaches of the universe.
They’re an American tradition. They date from the republic’s inception. Notable ones began in the mid-19th century.
They facilitated annexing Texas. Half of Mexico followed. America became Cuba’s colonial power.
Controlling the Philippines, Guam, Samoa, Hawaii, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Canal Zone, Puerto Rico and other territories followed.
In 1917, Woodrow Wilson manipulated public sentiment. He did so with Big Lies.
They turned most Americans into raging German haters. Big Lies work this way. Wilson got the war he wanted.
FDR manipulated Japan to attack Pearl Harbor. Doing so let him wage war.
He had to convince Congress and a pacifist public to go along.
What better way than by manufacturing terror.
Washington and Seoul conspired against Pyongyang. Numerous 1949/1950 cross-border incursions provoked its June response. Truman got the war he wanted.
War against North Vietnam followed the fake August 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident. Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. Doing so authorized war without declaring it.
Reagan’s 1983 Grenada invasion had nothing to do with rescuing US medical students. It was about replacing leftist New Jewel Movement governance with pro-Western stooge allies.
In December 1989, manufactured incidents precipitated America’s Panama invasion. Former US ally Manuel Noriega was deposed. At issue was forgetting who’s boss.
In August 1990, Washington colluded with Kuwait’s al-Sabah monarchy. Saddam Hussein was entrapped to invade.
In January 1991, the Gulf War followed. Over two decades of sanctions, war, occupation, and destruction of the “cradle of civilization” followed.
It bears repeating. 9/11 is the mother of all Big Lies. Thirteen years of imperial wars followed.
They continue. One country after another is targeted. Ravaging, destroying, colonizing, exploiting and controlling them reflect official US policy.
Homeland wars target Muslims, people of color, Latino immigrants and working Americans.
Award-winning author David Ray Griffin researched 9/11 exhaustively. He did so in 10 books, many articles and lectures. He provided vital evidence too important to ignore.
In April 2006, he discussed “9/11: The Myth and the Reality,” saying:
“It would seem, for many reasons, that the official story of 9/11, which has served as a religious Myth in the intervening years (and still does), is a myth in the pejorative sense of a story that does not correspond to reality.”
In September 2008, Griffin headlined “September 11, 2001: 21 Reasons to Question the Official Story about 9/11.”
The FBI admitted it “ha(d) no hard evidence connecting” 9/11 to bin Laden.
So-called devout Muslim alleged hijackers drank heavily, frequented strip clubs and paid for sex.
Technology in 2001 made cell phone calls made from above 30,000 feet impossible.
The FBI lied claiming Mohamed Atta’s left behind luggage contained “decisive evidence” about Al Qaeda responsibility for the attacks.
Passports allegedly found at United 93′s crash site were fake.
Alleged hijackers weren’t aboard the four fateful flights.
Then Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta said Dick Cheney “apparently confirmed a stand-down order” prior to an alleged plane striking the Pentagon.
The 9/11 whitewash Commission deleted Mineta’s comment from its official report.
Secret Service agents let Bush remain at a Sarasota, FL school for 30 minutes after learning about the second twin tower strike.
Standard procedure calls for securing his safety immediately in case of potential danger.
Jet fuel doesn’t heat high enough to melt or cause rigid steel columns to crumble.
Doing so is “scientifically impossible.” Controlled demolitions destroyed both towers. Building 7 fell the same way. Griffin explained other Big Lies.
He concluded saying growing numbers of “physicists, chemists, architects, engineers, pilots, former military officers, and former intelligence officers reject the official 9/11 myth.”
In June 2010, he headlined “Did 9/11 Justify the War in Afghanistan?”
Asking is verboten. It’s “off-limits,” said Griffin. It’s “not to be raised in polite company, and certainly not in the mainstream media.”
It’s forbidden “to ask whether the original invasion was justified by the 9/11 attacks.”
No evidence linked them to Afghanistan. Attacking a country posing America no threat is lawless aggression.
War without mercy continues. It does so without Security Council authorization, Griffin explained. Claims otherwise are false.
No moral justification for war exists. Contrary arguments were Big Lies. America decided to invade Afghanistan two months before 9/11, said Griffin.
Reasons for doing so differ from official Big Lies. Invading had nothing to do with “captur(ing) or kill(ing) Osama bin Laden,” Griffin explained.
Or defeating Al Qaeda. Or other nonexistent threats.
It was about advancing America’s imperium. It was to colonize and control a strategic territory.
Afghanistan is a geopolitical prize. At issue is controlling Eurasia’s vast oil, gas and other resources.
It’s controlling the world’s largest opium supply. It floods global markets with heroin.
It provides enormous profits for Wall Street. It gives CIA access to billions of dollars in elicit drug money.
Occupied Afghanistan gives America a strategically located land-based aircraft carrier. It’s part of Washington’s plan to encircle Russia and China with bases.
9/11 was a convenient pretext. It was the mother of all Big Lies. Wars without end followed.
Griffin calls America’s Afghan war “an abomination.” The “official rationale (given) is a lie. We are there for other reasons,” he stressed
No legal or moral justification exists. “The fact that the official story is a lie makes (America’s) war crimes even worse.” They continue daily out of sight and mind.
In his book “Freedom Next Time: Resisting the Empire,” John Pilger called Afghanistan “the grand illusion of the American cause.”
At the same time, “(t)rough all the humanitarian crises in living memory, no country has been abused and suffered more, and none has been helped less, than Afghanistan,” he said.
America’s presence exacerbates horrific conditions. Death, destruction and daily violence persist. They haunt daily life. Human misery is extreme.
Peace, stability and freedom remain distant hopes. Maybe “next time,” says Pilger. For sure no time soon.
Not as long as permanent US occupation continues. America has no plans to leave.
On Thursday, September 11, this writer’s Progressive Radio News Hour features new Consensus 9/11 information.
Elizabeth Woodworth will discuss it. She’ll explain newly discovered truths. “Best evidence” proof is presented. It dispels official Big Lies. Consensus 9/11 is founded on:
“(1) The opinions of respected authorities, based on professional experience, descriptive studies, and reports of expert committees.
(2) Physical data in the form of photographs, videotapes, court testimony, witness reports, and FOIA releases.
(3) Direct rather than circumstantial evidence.”
It’s based on “integrating individual professional expertise with the best available documentary and scientific evidence.”
Doing so is similar to how doctors diagnose illnesses. It’s how forecasts based on best judgments are made.
Revisions based on new evidence are encouraged. Doing so reveals important truths.
No airliner black boxes were found at the World Trade Center site. New evidence refutes the official claim. Woodworth will explain.
Over a three-year period, 24 Consensus 9/11 panel members produced 44 peer-reviewed Big Truths. They refute official Big Lies.
New information keeps surfacing. Consensus 9/11 is dedicated to explaining what everyone needs to know.
For example, 10 so-called Muslim hijackers allegedly broke into the cockpits of four aircraft. Supposedly they commandeered them.
Yet none of the pilots or co-pilots “squawked” the 7500 hijack code. Nor does proof exist to verify numerous other official Big Lies.
9/11 is the mother of all them all. Truth is its mortal enemy. Revealing it is crucially important. Spreading it lets many others know.
Growing numbers of Americans and others worldwide reject the official 9/11 myth.
They do so for good reason. It’s a bald-faced lie. It’s by far the most harmful one in living memory.
Millions of corpses attest to America’s barbarity. The mother of all Big Lies persists. Imperial wars rage without end.
Freedom in America is dying. Obama targets it for elimination altogether. He presides over a ruthless police state apparatus.
No one is free and safe. Big Brother watches everyone. Mass surveillance is official US policy.
So is targeting anyone resisting US authority. Monied interests alone matter. Advancing America’s imperium serves them.
Whistleblowers exposing government crimes are targeted. Dissent is increasingly criminalized.
Constitutional rights are vanishing in plain sight. The Patriot Act alone eliminated fundamental freedoms. Nancy Chang once asked “(w)hat’s so patriotic about trampling on the Bill of Rights?”
The American dream is more myth than reality. George Carlin once said “(y)ou have to be asleep to believe it.”
Obama won’t prosecute CIA torturers. He facilitates Wall Street grand theft. Corporate crooks run America.
War-profiteering is the national pastime. Thirdworldizing America is official policy. So is waging war on humanity.
Habeas protection no longer exists. Or due process and judicial fairness. Anyone can be criminalized for any reason or none at all.
Police states operate this way. Obama is judge, jury and executioner. He usurped diktat power.
He can claim emergency authority to declare martial law, suspend the Constitution for national security reasons, deploy federal and/or National Guard troops on city streets, and suppress whatever he calls disorder.
Included are peaceful protests. At issue is abolishing fundamental First Amendment rights. Without them all others are at risk.
They include free expression, a free press, public assembly, religious freedom, and right to petition government for redress. No longer.
America is unfit to live in. It’s on a fast track to tyranny. It’s perilously close to full-blown.
Perhaps just another 9/11-type False Flag away. The fullness of time will tell.
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour
Today marks the thirteenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The events of that day were followed within days by the proclamation of a “war on terror” by the Bush administration, a so-called war that has continued in different forms to the present.
From the outset, the “war” was a lie. The acts of terrorism, the circumstances and background of which have never been the subject of a serious investigation, were used as a pretext for implementing an agenda, long in preparation, for military aggression abroad and the destruction of democratic rights at home.
More than a decade later, the Obama administration is seeking to repackage this war, using the actions of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), itself a product of US support for Islamic fundamentalists in the imperialist interventions in Libya and Syria, as the casus belli for a massive bombing campaign in the Middle East.
The deeply reactionary and anti-democratic essence of the “war on terror” is expressed in the use of torture as an instrument of US policy. Recent events have confirmed that the highest levels of the US government and American intelligence authorized, monitored and sought to cover up the most barbaric forms of torture—acts that are clear violations of international and domestic law as well as the Constitution of the United States.
First is the publication by the British Telegraph newspaper of details of CIA “waterboarding,” a method that was used against at least three US prisoners: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, allegedly involved in planning the September 11 attacks; Abu Zubaydah, an alleged aide to Osama bin Laden; and Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri, alleged to have planned the USS Cole bombing in 2000.
“They weren’t just pouring water over their heads or over a cloth,” the standard definition of waterboarding used by the CIA, one source told the Telegraph. “They were holding them under water until the point of death… This was real torture.” According to another unnamed source who is familiar with a still classified Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture, the brutal methods employed would “deeply shock” the population if they were revealed.
This was followed Monday by an announcement from Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein that a summary of the Intelligence Committee report, which was supposed to come out last month, might not be ready before Congress adjourns later this month, preventing the question of torture from becoming an issue in the November midterm elections. Feinstein cited conflicts with the CIA over redactions demanded by the agency, but the delay is politically convenient for all sides.
The report in the Telegraph has been ignored by the American media. It has not been mentioned by the New York Times or the Washington Post or reported by major US television news outlets. While the images of the beheading of journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff by ISIS have been reprinted in newspapers throughout the country accompanied by denunciations of the acts as “barbaric,” no similar publicity has been given to the barbaric actions of CIA officials operating under the direction of the American government.
Similarly, the constitutional crisis that erupted earlier this year between the Senate and the CIA has been almost entirely dropped by the media. In late July, the CIA’s own Office of the Inspector General concluded that the agency hacked into Senate computers as the Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA torture was being compiled, yet nothing has come of this open violation of US law and the Constitutional separation of powers.
This silence is not surprising. The crimes revealed implicate not only the Bush administration, but the entire political establishment.
The torture of Zubaydah (captured in March 2002), al-Nashiri (captured in November 2002), and Mohammed (captured in March 2003) was a critical stage in the raft of anti-democratic measures implemented as part of the “war on terror.”
Secret memos were drawn up by Justice Department lawyers to spin a pseudo-legal rationale for torture. This rested on the claim that the “war on terror” gave the president, as the commander in chief, unrestrained powers that trumped all legal and constitutional restraints. These arguments would then be marshaled to justify unending war, domestic spying, military tribunals, indefinite detention of US citizens and non-citizens without charges and other violations of core democratic rights.
The torture memos outlined the legal framework for presidential dictatorship—a framework that has been followed by the Obama administration in expanding the powers of the National Security Agency (NSA) and justifying the assassination of anyone declared a “terrorist,” including US citizens, without due process.
After taking office, the Obama administration did everything it could to cover up for CIA torturers and for those who directed them. Soon after his 2009 inauguration, Obama announced that the torture programs had been ended, but that there would be no accountability. It was necessary “to look forward as opposed to looking backwards,” he declared.
In November 2010, the Justice Department said it would not prosecute anyone for the destruction of hundreds of hours of taped interrogations (including torture) of Zubaydah and al-Nashiri. These tapes had been viewed by top Bush administration officials, likely including President George W. Bush himself.
Then in 2012, the White House announced that the only two cases it was considering for prosecution would be dropped. These involved the fatal torture of one prisoner in Afghanistan (Gul Rahman, alleged to be part of the insurgency against the US occupation, who died after being shackled to a concrete wall in near-freezing temperatures at a CIA prison), and one prisoner in Iraq (Manadel al-Jamadi, whose corpse was photographed packed in ice after he died at the hands of the CIA in 2003).
Finally, the Justice Department announced earlier this year that there would be no criminal charges brought against the CIA in response to the revelation that it spied on the Senate.
The only person prosecuted in relation to CIA torture was John C. Kiriakou, a former CIA official who was the first to speak openly about waterboarding in 2007. Kiriakou was indicted by the Obama administration in 2012 under the Espionage Act and pleaded guilty of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. He is currently serving a 30-month prison sentence.
What is revealed in these events is a military-intelligence complex which, behind the formal trappings of democracy, engages in criminal actions without any consequences. The various institutions of the state and the major political parties function as representatives of this apparatus and the financial aristocracy it serves. The mass media consists of paid apologists and propagandists who help in covering up these crimes, while seeking to establish the political and ideological framework to legitimize them.
The fundamental target of all these actions is not “terrorism,” but opposition to the policies of the American financial aristocracy both abroad and at home. The barbaric act of torture—which the Enlightenment jurist and philosopher Cesare Beccaria called an act “worthy of a cannibal”—reveals the social outlook and reactionary essence of the American ruling class and the methods it is preparing to use against the working class in defense of its economic system.
In a perfunctory speech on national television Wednesday night, US President Barack Obama announced an open-ended escalation of US military violence in the Middle East.
Using the crimes of the Muslim fundamentalist group ISIS as a pretext, Obama announced he was sending another 475 US troops to Iraq, stepping up the bombing of ISIS targets in that country, and preparing a cross-border extension of the bombing campaign into Syria.
In addition, he called on Congress to provide funding for a major increase in US recruitment, training and arming of “rebel” forces in Syria to fight both ISIS and the main target of American imperialism in the region for the past three years, the Syrian government of President Bashar al Assad, which is allied with both Iran and Russia.
It was only 12 months ago that Obama tried and failed to create the political conditions for US air strikes against the Assad regime, making allegations of the use of nerve gas weapons that were later discredited. Now Obama is seeking to achieve the same goal by a different route, using ISIS as a pretext to get American military forces into Syria, where they will become the spearhead of the campaign to oust Assad and install a pro-US stooge regime in Damascus.
In devoting less than 15 minutes to motivating a dramatic change in US foreign policy—reversing his previous posturing as an opponent of long-term US military intervention in the Middle East—Obama demonstrated his contempt for the American people and any conception of democracy.
Obama did not offer any serious accounting for his decision to plunge once again into the cauldron of the Middle East, other than the actions of ISIS, particularly the repulsive beheading of two American freelance journalists over the past month.
He presented ISIS as an inexplicable evil, although the group originated as a byproduct of US imperialist interventions in Central Asia and the Middle East. The organization, he said, “has taken advantage of sectarian strife and Syria’s civil war to gain territory on both sides of the Iraq-Syrian border.” He did not mention that both the sectarian strife and the civil war were instigated by the United States.
After its defeat by Sunni tribal forces and Shiite militias in Iraq, Al Qaeda in Iraq reformed itself as ISIS, operating on both sides of the Iraq-Syria border. It profited enormously from the US-backed campaign of subversion against the Assad regime. ISIS rebuilt itself from aid provided by the CIA and US allies such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia, then crossed back into Iraq and launched its current offensive against the US-backed puppet regime in Baghdad.
Obama could not discuss any of this history in his television address, since it would underscore the reckless and incendiary character of the new round of military intervention he has begun. One thing is certain: more American bombs, missiles and soldiers will only worsen the humanitarian catastrophe in Iraq and Syria, while increasing the likelihood that localized conflicts spread into a general war throughout the Middle East, and even beyond.
The US president emphasized that there was no geographical limit to the new war he was declaring. “This counter-terrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out [ISIS] wherever they exist,” he said. This amounts to a declaration that Washington is prepared to bomb not only Iraq and Syria, but Lebanon, Jordan and anywhere else the Islamists may rise up.
Obama reiterated his policy that the US has the right to wage war against anyone, anywhere that it determines poses a threat to the “core interests” of the United States—i.e., the interests of the American ruling class.
In the closing portion of his speech, Obama insisted on the leading role of the United States in virtually every international crisis on every continent, saying, “American leadership is the one constant in an uncertain world.”
He continued, “It is America that has the capacity and the will to mobilize the world against terrorists. It is America that has rallied the world against Russian aggression…”
The quick transition from targeting ISIS to confronting Russia—the world’s second-largest nuclear power—is particularly ominous. As for Russian “aggression,” the crisis in Ukraine was provoked by US and German sponsorship of a right-wing coup backed by fascist forces.
The way in which the new policy on Iraq and Syria was formulated and rolled out shows the complete decay of democracy in America. After weeks of discussion with the military-intelligence establishment, Obama presented his proposals Monday in a meeting of several hours with leading figures in the foreign policy establishment.
On Tuesday he met briefly with the congressional leaders of both parties, telling them that he did not need their approval for military action, to which they readily assented.
Then on Wednesday, he gave a perfunctory television speech, with only the barest pretense of seeking to persuade the American people, who have absolutely no say on the most fundamental questions of war and peace.
From Wednesday 17th to Friday 26th September this year thousands of friends and relatives of the fallen and the final few who fought there 70 years ago will gather to commemorate the Battle of Arnhem.
In 1944, as the Allies were heading for Berlin, British Airborne troops were dropped in to take the Arnhem bridge, and the US 82nd Airborne the penultimate Nijmegen bridge. British tanks of XXX corps chugging up the road as reinforcements – at least that was the plan.
Known to most through the 1977 feature film, “A Bridge Too Far” (directed by the late Sir Richard Attenborough), Operation Market Garden was the biggest airborne operation in history. Over 40,000 American and British soldiers, with artillery, jeeps and light armored vehicles were dropped, by parachute and hundreds of gliders, behind German lines.
The objective was to liberate a large slice of Holland, cross the Rhine, grab a bridgehead into the industrial heartland of the Ruhr’s Nazi war machine, and end the war by Christmas 1944. Instead the mission’s failure brought a colossal 16,000 casualties, and left a 60-mile finger of Allied troops sticking into German-held territory leading nowhere. A disastrous “Hongerwinter” of bitter starvation followed the military failure, where an estimated 22,000 Dutch civilians starved to death under Nazi occupation.
But as both sides gather in 2014 to remember, and puzzle over, one of the most enigmatic and engaging battles of the war, the organized evil of fascism is again legitimized, active and growing in Europe. Right now the legacy of Hitler’s “Crooked Cross” is a political force, notably in Greece, with the Golden Dawn party, and Ukraine, with the openly pro-Nazi Pravy Sektor party.
“Did we,” many of the old soldiers will be wondering, “really finish the job in 1945?” “Have our leaders set us on the right path with their War on Terror determined to vanquish terrorism from the face of the Earth?” “Or has that enemy been deliberately ‘cooked up’ by the real enemy within?” “Will our children again have to confront this totalitarian menace in our midst before social justice triumphs and the cult of fascism and gangsterism is winkled out forever?”
At many of the twenty-four now mostly abandoned airfields all over the south and southeast of England from which the airborne Market forces took off, you’ll find war memorials to the thousands that died trying to liberate Holland. We owe it to those 11,000 or so that never returned to expose both the mistakes in and lies about the battle. 4th Parachute Brigade commander General Sir John Hackett, in the foreword to “The Devil’s Birthday,” described it as “an absorbing field of study which is by no means fully exhausted.” In plain talk, perhaps, “a can of worms.”
After the success of the Normandy Invasion, back in June 1944, the hard slog to Berlin was on. US and British generals were vying for the precious ammunition, food and other supplies being shipped over the English Channel. British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery in the north won the tussle and was granted, in Operation Market Garden, a last chance to prove that audacity and imagination might make a quick end to the war in Europe. The traditional slugger, US General George S. Patton in the south, would have to bide his time.
Major Brian Urquhart was an intelligence officer in the planning of Market Garden. When he was shown aerial reconnaissance photographs of the 9th and 10th SS Panzer divisions “resting” just outside Arnhem he demanded a total rethink. British Airborne chief “Boy” Browning, though, would have none of it and Urquhart was unceremoniously put on sick leave. After the war Brian Urquhart went on to become Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations. He blamed the failure of the operation firmly on the incompetence and vanity of those in charge.
Of all the British airborne leaders, Colonel John Frost is roundly thought of as the most able, so much so that the bridge at Arnhem is now named after him. His 2nd battalion fought their way into Arnhem and held on to the bridge for three days and nights in the face of an enormous German force.
In his 1980 autobiography, “A Drop Too Many”, Frost makes it crystal clear that the pre-drop intelligence that the German Panzer divisions were in the area was kept from him. “We had been given absolutely no inkling of this possibility,” he relates. Indeed, airborne commander Browning actually diluted what he knew into a deliberate deception for Frost. “There were said to be some SS recruits in the Arnhem area without guns or armor.”
At the Arnhem Bridge “hanging on by their fingernails” with Colonel Frost was Brigade Major Tony Hibbert, who I was privileged to interview in 2012. Like so many others in Arnhem, he felt let down by the ground army that never came. His insistent desire, though, was that the Polish General Stanisław Sosabowski, stripped of his command and scapegoated by Browning for the operation’s failure and who sadly died in poverty in 1967, should have his rank restored and be posthumously honored by the British Army.
Led by a donkey
Despite commanding all three airborne divisions, according to William F. Buckingham’s book, “Arnhem 1944”, Eton-educated General “Boy” Browning “had no operational airborne experience at all.” Instead of ferrying fighting men, he used 36 of the precious aircraft and gliders to bring in his lavish headquarters on a peripheral objective, the Groesbeek Heights, and after ordering US General Gavin to forget about his main objective, the Nijmegen bridge, instead to take up positions around his headquarters. As John Frost put it, his main objective, “Nijmegen bridge was there for the walk-over.”
Browning spent the first day cruising about in his jeeps and making a trip across the nearby German border, into the Reichswald Forest, joking that he could take the credit as the first British officer to urinate on Germany. Adopting a more serious pose, he had his photograph taken for the home press as the first British officer to set foot on German soil.
Possibly Browning’s most damning act though, when the desperate fight for the Nijmegen bridge was at its height, was to turn down the aid of an entire air-landing formation waiting in England who were straining to get in on the fight. Major General Hakewell-Smith, commanding the 52nd Lowland Division, offered to come to Browning’s aid but was rebuffed, as Geoffrey Powell records in his “The Devil’s Birthday: The Bridges To Arnhem 1944,” with the reply, “Thanks for your message but offer not repeat not required as situation better than you think.”
After the war, Browning landed a top post as Comptroller of the Royal Household, that of Treasurer to both the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. But despite the top job he remained an alcoholic throughout his two post-war decades and was forced out of his responsibilities for the Duke of Edinburgh’s finances in the 1959 by a nervous breakdown.
The burning question of Market Garden though remains Captain Peter Carrington’s and his great Grenadier Guards’ tank break. Eyewitness 82nd Airborne Captain Moffatt T. Burriss recounts the words of General Horrocks, in charge of the tank reinforcements of XXX Corps, promising the collected Allied commanders, poised to take the penultimate Nijmegen bridge. “My tanks will be lined up in full force at the bridge, ready to go, hell-bent for Arnhem. Nothing will stop them.”
Instead, once Burriss and his men had taken the bridge, Horrocks, now with a clear run to Arnhem, ordered his men to take an 18-hour break, by which time Frost’s men at Arnhem Bridge had been defeated, and the battle was lost.
Historians and soldiers have argued, and will continue to argue, over why Horrocks’ depleted Corps of tanks, at least 100, failed to make that final 11-mile cruise to Arnhem on the evening of Wednesday 20th September, 1944.
Not enough ammunition, we are told. Well, one tank that did make the trip on its own through Lent and out the other side was described by its commander Sergeant Robinson pumping “round after round” into a lone German assault gun, then moving further up the road to do the same into Lent church from which unholy fireball a company of SS Panzer Grenadiers were observed to scatter in disarray.
Darkness, making it impossible for anti-tank guns to sight and range, might be the perfect cover for a tank advance and Lloyd Clark reveals in his 2008 book Arnhem, “Jumping the Rhein, 1944 and 1945,” that Horrocks “was a great advocate of the night tank attack.” Even Colonel Frost points out how vulnerable the German soldiers were at night. According to the maestro, “They had one major weakness in that they did not relish fighting by night… then was the time to advance on them, to bypass them, to do what one wanted.”
Not enough infantry is another excuse given for the halting of the tanks, but Horrocks had the crisp 130th Brigade of the 43rd Infantry Division twiddling their thumbs just south of Nijmegen, which he appears to have forgotten about. Not only that, scores of 82nd Airborne paratroopers that had taken the Nijmegen bridge were leaping up onto, and on one occasion even into, British tanks, expecting to accompany them on the 20-minute ride to Arnhem.
Then there was the “boggy terrain” of the lowlands which meant the tanks would have to stick to the mostly elevated dyke roads. No problem, according to German General Heinz Harmel, who insisted later that he had no forces to block the way and the British had made a big mistake staying put. “If they had carried on it, would have been all over for us,” he told the author of “It Never Snows In September: The German View of Market Garden,” former British Army Colonel Robert Kershaw.
Having taken the Nijmegen bridge, Captain Moffatt Burris was the first to arrive at Captain Carrington’s Sherman tank, parked triumphant but motionless by the north ramp. When urged to head north to relieve the British Airborne at Arnhem, Carrington refused to budge, saying his orders were to “stay here and wait for the infantry.”
When I interviewed Moffatt Burriss, he testified: “I cocked my tommy gun, pointed it at his head and said, ‘Get down that blankety-blank road before I blow your blankety-blank head off.” Carrington explained politely that Captain Burriss surely didn’t expect him to obey orders of a foreign officer, but then, Burriss says, Carrington “ducked into his tank and locked the hatch” so, as Burriss recalls, “I couldn’t get at him.”
Over the subsequent hour-and-a-half in-between the Nijmegen bridge and the little town of Lent that evening, a succession of ever higher-ranking American Airborne officers turned up to have a word with Captain Carrington in his tank. “Why aren’t you going?” demanded Capt. Burriss’ CO, Major Cook. Half an hour later 504 Parachute Infantry Regiment’s Colonel Tucker arrived, telling Carrington: “Your boys are hurting up there at Arnhem. You’d better go. It’s only 11 miles.” Just before dark, around 8pm, the top US officer, General Gavin himself, arrived and told Carrington: “If they were my men in Arnhem we would move tanks at night, we would move anything at night to get there.”
Carrington was after all, just following orders. His divisional commander, Major General Allan Adair, who commanded the Guards Armoured Division in which Carrington served as a captain, left only a sketchy memoir of the battle. (Adair spent much of the post-war years as Yeoman of the Guard, ceremonial bodyguard to the monarch. In the 1960s and 1970s, he took up the less ceremonial office of Deputy Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Freemasons.)
Tank corps commander General Brian Horrocks, who was ultimately responsible for the 18-hour halt at the crucial point in the battle, is rumored by some, including military publisher Christian Bace, to have left a letter with another military publisher Leo Cooper, only to be opened after he died. According to Leo’s wife, the novelist Jilly Cooper, Horrocks’ letter is a complete mystery. Either it was lost, or it never existed at all.
But perhaps the greatest enigma connected with Arnhem was not to take place until a decade after the battle itself. In the self-same suburb of Oosterbeek, known as the Hexenkessel, or “witches cauldron” where, surrounded by overwhelming German firepower, so many British soldiers lost their lives, NATO’s secret political lobby was inconspicuously born.
In the chair at the first-ever “Bilderberg conference” in 1954 was Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, a former SS officer who was in on Market Garden’s planning, peering over Monty’s and Horrocks’ shoulders. Many believe he was instrumental in sabotaging the Allies’ efforts at Arnhem 10 years before.
The Prince was the British Army’s Dutch liaison officer for this planned liberation of his adopted country. Bernhard’s trusted agent for Market Garden was Christiaan Lindemans, codename “King Kong”. So why the questions about whether Prince Bernhard was actually still a Nazi? Because when he was smuggled across into German lines on Thursday 14th September, Lindemans deliberately took everything he knew of the Dutch underground resistance network and the Market Garden plans straight to German Army intelligence. Bernhard’s star player was a double agent.
Those who questioned whether it was wise to trust a former German aristocrat and SS officer, which Bernhard was, in that Dutch liaison role would have been reminded that King George VI himself had instructed Naval Intelligence officer Ian Fleming to give him security clearance. But like something from a plot which Fleming would later pen as author of the James Bond thrillers, other Allied forces, specifically the US Army and Royal Navy, refused to allow Bernhard anywhere near their secret facilities.
Another important figure in the drama of Market Garden, Peter Carrington, later Lord Carrington, also went on to chair the Bilderberg conferences. As UK Defence Secretary, Carrington was responsible for the army in Northern Ireland on Bloody Sunday in 1972, where 26 civilian demonstrators were shot by the British army, 13 of whom died of their wounds. Many point to this as the spark that ignited two-and-a-half decades of the Northern Ireland troubles. After several years as Foreign Secretary to Margaret Thatcher, Carrington resigned to become Secretary General of NATO for four years in the 1980s, moving on to chair the elite Bilderberg meetings for eight years through most of the 1990s.
Bilderberg is where the transatlantic banking, royal, media and corporate elite give our politicians their orders, and has been meeting annually in Europe or North America from 1954 to this day. Its connection to NATO is umbilical, yet often overlooked, as all Bilderberg steering group members and important attendees are from the NATO countries.
NATO’s Nazi ties go right back to the supposedly defensive alliance’s first meetings. Quoted in AJ Barker’s “Waffen SS at War”, HIAG, the SS veterans association’s chief after the war, former Eastern front Panzer corps General Paul Hausser, “claimed that the foreign units of the SS were really the precursors of the NATO army.”
Critics point out that, through politically motivated state terror campaigns such as Operation Gladio, which left hundreds of innocent European civilians dead, right through to liaison with Ukraine’s far right paramilitaries UNA/UNSO, NATO’s covert operations with fascist groups have been continuous since the end of World War II. As Italian “gladiator” Vincenzo Vinciguerra put it in a BBC Timewatch documentary: “In 1945 World War Two ended, and World War Three began.”
Was Market Garden sabotaged?
The evidence has mounted over the decades to support the idea that there was not just incompetence but a conscious “lack of enthusiasm” amongst some senior British army officers for Market Garden to succeed. That evidence has led some to link the disaster at Arnhem and Nijmegen with the wider “endgame” of World War Two, and the ultimate creation of the anti-democratic European Union which Bilderberg conferences have so successfully put in place.
Though it was never admitted in German propaganda, the Nazis’ defeat became obvious a few weeks before the ill-fated Falaise Gap battle of August 1944 signified the beginning of the end of the Third Reich.
The titans of German industry hastily arranged the “Red House Meeting” in Hotel Rotes Haus, Strasbourg for August 10th, setting plans in motion to “bury the Nazi treasure”. They were practical men, determined to keep control of their doomed war industries and ready to go underground, only to resurface after the war to take their cut of the Nazis’ looted wealth.
Hitler had friends amongst the Allies, particularly in the United States where, in 1934, the patriarch of the Bush dynasty, Prescott Bush, attempted to overthrow the US government in a military coup which was only thwarted by plucky US Marine Colonel Smedley Butler. The unrepentant Prescott Bush was prosecuted twice during WWII under the “Trading With The Enemy Act”.
Deals were done toward the end of the war through the OSS with this US Nazi faction in exchange for Hitler’s war machine technology, particularly for rockets and missiles as well as uranium and plutonium for the Manhattan Project’s nuclear weapons. Apart from a shared hatred for anything left-wing, particularly communism, the Germans also held bargaining chips of a massive hoard of artworks, gold and securities their armies had looted from the treasure houses of European capitals.
Operation Market Garden’s failure put the conduct of the remainder of the war and arrangements for post-war Europe firmly into US hands but it would need the cooperation of some of the top Brits to throw the fight.
Failure at Arnhem also gave the Nazis a much-needed extra four months, to 1st May, 1945, in which to transport everything and everyone of value out of Germany, to hiding places in Switzerland and far-flung corners of the world such as Argentina and Indonesia.
After the war, Bush’s fellow Nazi sympathizers, brothers Allen and John Foster Dulles, were busy laundering much of the Nazi loot through their New York law firm Sullivan and Cromwell. John Foster ran the State Department, and his brother the newly formed Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The Dulles’ Nazi continuity regime which Kennedy tried, and failed, to break, had set the US on an immediate aggressive foreign policy post-war.
The Dulles brothers’ enthusiasm for corporate lobbyists like the Council on Foreign Relations, who they were happy to let dominate the State Department, created the climate whereby John F. Kennedy could be assassinated in 1963 with impunity, sending a clear message to all US presidents and candidates not to cross the all-powerful US military industrial complex.
British veteran Arthur Bealy (83) shows two postcards he found in 1944 in a destroyed farm in Elst, 21 September during the 63th commemoration of Operation Market Garden, the battle of Arnhem at the Airborne monument in Arnhem (AFP Photo)
British veteran Arthur Bealy (83) shows two postcards he found in 1944 in a destroyed farm in Elst, 21 September during the 63th commemoration of Operation Market Garden, the battle of Arnhem at the Airborne monument in Arnhem (AFP Photo)
‘History will be kind to me. I know because I will write it.’ – Winston Churchill
Just before he set off for June 2014’s 70th D-Day anniversary, I was privileged to chat, off the record, to one of Britain’s most respected military historians. A former senior army officer who has written the most detailed account of the crucial Nijmegen part of the Market Garden battle, told me: “Oh no. I won’t be going to the Market Garden anniversary. It’s got way too political.”
Establishment “groupthink” historians have so massaged events at Arnhem and Nijmegen that telling the truth would put writers and historians in the West “beyond the pale”. All except one, that is. William F. Buckingham, commissioned by Oxford University’s Hew Strachan, wrote the most damning account of Market Garden, “Arnhem 1944,” in 2002. In it, Buckingham rightly shreds what might be left of the reputation of airborne commander “Boy” Browning.
Echoing the theme of Powell and Pressburger’s 1943 film, “The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp,” that “jobs for the boys” mean failures in self-seeking, entrenched, ossified leadership, which in wartime spells disaster. Browning put General Roy Urquhart in charge of 1st Airborne Division “because he was pliable”.
“The crux of this particular problem,” Buckingham says, “was the British Army’s tendency to value personal recommendation over specialist experience or operational expertise.”
With the rise of the Bilderberg faction, that “problem” has now grown to mammoth proportions throughout Europe and America. Formalizing privilege and promotion through gentleman’s clubs and secret societies in Britain has so enforced a “them and us” culture that we are heading back to Victorian levels of preventable, beggar-thy-neighbor homelessness, hunger and deprivation. Ever widening social division, and the viciousness that comes with it, has become de rigueur.
The prosperity of a parasitic, gangster elite has become the only priority, at the expense of everyone but the favored few. Authoritarian society has spread like a cancer where politics, education, religion and the media is all being denuded, sucked dry in a stranglehold of debt.
As the last of the old soldiers gather in Nijmegen and Arnhem for this, their last decade, we owe it to those who died at and after Arnhem, and to our children, not to pussyfoot around when it comes to nailing those Nazis and their collaborators. Because the politics of racism, greed and betrayal that Hitler was so determined to impose on Europe in World War Two is now back with a vengeance.
To the growing army of critics of US military intervention, who also reject the mendacious claims by American officials and their apologists of ‘world leadership’, Washington is engaged in ‘empire-building”.
But the notion that the US is building an empire, by engaging in wars to exploit and plunder countries’ markets, resources and labor, defies the realities of the past two decades. US wars, including invasions, bombings, occupations, sanctions, coups and clandestine operations have not resulted in the expansion of markets, greater control and exploitation of resources or the ability to exploit cheap labor. Instead US wars have destroyed enterprises, reduced access to raw materials, killed, wounded or displaced productive workers around the world, and limited access to lucrative investment sites and markets via sanctions.
In other words, US global military interventions and wars have done the exact opposite of what all previous empires have pursued: Washington has exploited (and depleted) the domestic economy to expand militarily abroad instead of enriching it.
Why and how the US global wars differ from those of previous empires requires us to examine (1) the forces driving overseas expansion; (2) the political conceptions accompanying the conquest, the displacement of incumbent rulers and the seizure of power and; (3) the reorganization of the conquered states and the accompanying economic and social structures to sustain long-term neo-colonial relations.
Empire Building: The Past
Europe built durable, profitable and extensive empires, which enriched the ‘mother country’, stimulated local industry, reduced unemployment and ‘trickled down’ wealth in the form of better wages to privileged sectors of the working class. Imperial military expeditions were preceded by the entry of major trade enterprises (British East India Company) and followed by large-scale manufacturing, banking and commercial firms. Military invasions and political takeovers were driven by competition with economic rivals in Europe, and later, by the US and Japan.
The goal of military interventions was to monopolize control over the most lucrative economic resources and markets in the colonized regions. Imperial repression was directed at creating a docile low wage labor force and buttressing subordinate local collaborators or client-rulers who facilitated the flow of profits, debt payments, taxes and export revenues back to the empire.
Imperial wars were the beginning, not the end, of ‘empire building’. What followed these wars of conquest was the incorporation of pre-existing elites into subordinate positions in the administration of the empire. The ‘sharing of revenues’, between the imperial economic enterprises and pre-existing elites, was a crucial part of ‘empire building’. The imperial powers sought to ‘instrumentalize’ existing religious, political, and economic elites’ and harness them to the new imperial-centered division of labor. Pre-existing economic activity, including local manufacturers and agricultural producers, which competed with imperial industrial exporters, were destroyed and replaced by malleable local traders and importers (compradors). In summary, the military dimensions of empire building were informed by economic interests in the mother country. The occupation was pre-eminently concerned with preserving local collaborative powers and, above all, restoring and expanding the intensive and extensive exploitation of local resources and labor, as well as the capture and saturation of local markets with goods from the imperial center.
The results of contemporary US military interventions and invasions stand in stark contrast with those of past imperial powers. The targets of military aggression are selected on the basis of ideological and political criteria. Military action does not follow the lead of ‘pioneer’ economic entrepreneurs – like the British East India Company. Military action is not accompanied by large-scale, long-term capitalist enterprises. Multi-national construction companies of the empire, which build great military bases are a drain on the imperial treasury.
Contemporary US intervention does not seek to secure and take over the existing military and civilian state apparatus; instead the invaders fragment the conquered state, decimate its cadres, professionals and experts at all levels, thus providing an entry for the most retrograde ethno-religious, regional, tribal and clan leaders to engage in intra-ethnic, sectarian wars against each other, in other words – chaos. Even the Nazis, in their expansion phase, chose to rule through local collaborator elites and maintained established administrative structures at all levels.
With US invasions, entire existing socio-economic structures are undermined, not ‘taken over’: all productive activity is subject to the military priorities of leaders bent on permanently crippling the conquered state and its advanced economic, administrative, educational, cultural and social sectors. While this is militarily successful in the short-run, the medium and long-term results are non-functioning states, not a sustained inflow of plunder and expanding market for an empire. Instead what we have is a chain of US military bases surrounded by a sea of hostile, largely unemployed populations and warring ethno-religious groups in decimated economies.
The US claims to ‘world leadership’ is based exclusively on failed-state empire building. Nevertheless, the dynamic for continuing to expand into new regions, to militarily and politically intervene and establish new client entities continues. And, most importantly, this expansionist dynamic further undermines domestic economic interests, which, theoretically and historically, form the basis for empire. We, therefore, haveimperialism without empire, a vampire state preying on the vulnerable and devouring its own in the process.
Empire or Vampire: The Results of US Global Warfare
Empires, throughout history, have violently seized political power and exploited the riches and resources (both material and human) of the targeted regions. Over time, they would consolidate a ‘working relation’, insuring the ever-increasing flow of wealth into the mother country and the expanding presence of imperial enterprises in the colony. Contemporary US military interventions have had the opposite effect after every recent major military conquest and occupation.
Iraq: Vampires Pillage
Under Saddam Hussein, the Republic of Iraq was a major oil producer and profitable partner for major US oil companies, as well as a lucrative market for US exports. It was a stable, unified secular state. The first Gulf War in the 1990’s led to the first phase of its fragmentation with the de facto establishment of a Kurdish mini-state in the north under US protection. The US withdrew its military forces but imposed brutal economic sanctions limiting economic reconstruction from the devastation of the first Gulf War. The second US-led invasion and full-scale occupation in 2003 devastated the economy and dismantled the state dismissing tens of thousands of experienced civil servants, teachers and police. This led to utter social collapse and fomented ethno-religious warfare leading to the killing, wounding or displacement of millions of Iraqis. The result of GW Bush’s conquest of Baghdad was a ‘failed state’. US oil and energy companies lost billions of dollars in trade and investment and the US economy was pushed into recession.
Afghanistan: Endless Wars, Endless Losses
The US war against Afghanistan began with the arming, financing and political support of Islamist jihadi-fundamentalists in 1979. They succeeded in destroying and dismantling a secular, national government. With the decision to invade Afghanistan in October 2001 the US became an occupier in Southwest Asia. For the next thirteen years, the US-puppet regime of Hamad Karzai and the ‘NATO coalition’ occupation forces proved incapable of defeating the Taliban guerrilla army. Billions of dollars were spent devastating the economy and impoverishing the vast majority of Afghans. Only the opium trade flourished. The effort to create an army loyal to the puppet regime failed. The forced retreat of US armed forces beginning in 2014 signals the bitter demise of US ‘empire building’ in Southwest Asia.
Libya: From Lucrative Trading Partner to Failed State
Libya, under President Gadhafi, was evolving into a major US and European trading partner and influential power in Africa. The regime signed large-scale, long-term contracts with major international oil companies which were backed by a stable secular government. The relationship with the US and EU was profitable. The US opted to impose a ‘regime change’ through massive US-EU missile and bombing strikes and the arming of a motley collection of Islamist terrorists, ex-pat neo-liberals and tribal militias. While these attacks succeeded in killing President Gadhafi and most of his family (including many of his grandchildren) and dismantling the secular Libyan government and administrative infrastructure, the country was ripped apart by tribal war-lord conflicts, political disintegration and the utter destruction of the economy. Oil investors fled. Over one million Libyans and immigrant workers were displaced. The US and EU ‘partners-in-regime-change’ have even fled their own embassies in Tripoli – while the Libyan ‘parliament’ operates off-shore from a casino boat. None of this devastation would have been possible under President Gadhafi. The US vampire bled its new prize, Libya, but certainly could not incorporate it into a profitable ‘empire’. Not only were its oil resources denied to the empire, but even oil exports disappeared. Not even an imperial military base has been secured in North Africa!
Syria: Wars on Behalf of Terrorists not Empire
Washington and its EU allies backed an armed uprising in Syria hoping to install a puppet regime and bring Damascus into their “empire”. The mercenary assaults have caused the deaths of nearly 200,000 Syrians, the displacement of over 30% of the population and the seizure of the Syrian oil fields by the Sunni extremist army, ISIS. ISIS has decimated the pro-US mercenary army, recruiting and arming thousands of terrorists from around the world It invaded neighboring Iraq conquering the northern third of that country. This was the ultimate result of the deliberate US dismantling of the Iraqi state in 2003.
The US strategy, once again, is to arm Islamist extremists to overthrow the secular Bashar Assad regime in Damascus and then to discard them for a more pliable client. The strategy ‘boomeranged’ on Washington. ISIS devastated the ineffective Iraqi armed forces of the Maliki regime in Baghdad and America’s much over-rated Peshmerga proxy ‘fighters’ in Iraqi ‘Kurdistan’. Washington’s mercenary war in Syria didn’t expand the ‘empire’; indeed it undermined existing imperial outposts.
The Ukrainian Power Grab, Russian Sanctions and Empire Building
In the aftermath of the collapse of the USSR, the US and EU incorporated the Baltic, Eastern European and Balkan ex-communist countries into their orbit. This clearly violated major agreements with Russia, by incorporating most of the neo-liberal regimes into NATO and bringing NATO forces to the very border of Russia. During the corrupt regime of Boris Yeltsin, the ‘West’ absolutely looted the Russian economy in co-operation with local gangster – oligarchs, who took up EU or Israeli citizenship to recycle their pillaged wealth. The demise of the vassal Yeltsin regime and the ascent and recovery of Russia under Vladimir Putin led the US and EU to formulate a strategy to deepen and extend its ‘empire’ by seizing power in the Caucuses and the Ukraine. A power and land grab by the puppet regime in Georgia attacking Russian forces in Ossetia in 2012 was decisively beaten back. This was a mere dress rehearsal for the coup in Kiev. In late 2013-early 2014, the US financed a violent rightwing putsch ousting the elected government and imposing a hand-picked pro-NATO client to assume power in Kiev.
The new pro-US regime moved quickly to purge all independent, democratic, federalist, bilingual and anti-NATO voices especially among the bi-lingual citizens concentrated in the South-Eastern Ukraine. The coup and the subsequent purge provoked a major armed uprising in the southeast, which successfully resisted the invading NATO-backed neo-fascist armed forces and private armies of the oligarchs. The failure of the Kiev regime to subdue the resistence fighters of the Donbass region resulted in a multi-pronged US-EU intervention designed to isolate, weaken and undermine the resistance. First and foremost they attempted to pressure Russia to close its borders on the eastern front where hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian civilians eventually fled the bombardment. Secondly, the US and EU applied economic sanctions on Russia to abandon its political support for the southeast region’s democratic and federalist demands. Thirdly, it sought to use the Ukraine conflict as a pretext for a major military build-up on Russia’s borders, expanding NATO missile sites and organizing an elite rapid interventionist military force capable of bolstering a faltering puppet regime or backing a future NATO sponsored putsch against any adversary.
The Kiev regime is economically bankrupt. Its war against its own civilians in the southeast has devastated Ukraine’s economy. Hundreds of thousands of skilled professionals, workers and their families have fled to Russia. Kiev’s embrace of the EU has resulted in the breakdown of vital gas and oil agreements with Russia, undermining the Ukraine’s principle source of energy and heating with winter only months away. Kiev cannot pay its debts and faces default. The rivalries between neo-fascists and neo-liberals in Kiev will further erode the regime. In sum, the US-EU power grab in the Ukraine has not led to the effective ‘expansion of empire’; rather it has ushered in the total destruction of an emerging economy and precipitated a sharp reversal of financial, trade and investment relations with Russia and Ukraine. The economic sanctions against Russia exacerbate the EU current economic crisis. The belligerent posture of military confrontation toward Russia will result in an increase in military spending among the EU states and further divert scarce economic resources form job creation and social programs. The loss by significant sectors of the EU of agricultural export markets, as well as the loss of several billion-dollar military-industrial contracts with Russia, certainly weakens, rather than expands, the ‘empire’ as an economic force
Iran: 100 Billion Dollar Punitive Sanctions Don’t Build Empires
The US-EU sanctions on Iran carry a very high political, economic and political price tag. They do not strengthen empire, if we understand ‘empire’ to mean the expansion of multi-national corporations, and increasing access to oil and gas resources to ensure stable, cheap energy for strategic economic sectors within the imperial center.
The economic war on Iran has been at the behest of US allies, including the Gulf Monarchies and especially Israel. These are dubious ‘allies’ for US ‘empire’ . . . widely reviled potentates and a racist regime which manage to exact tribute from the imperial center!
In Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere, Iran has demonstrated its willingness to co-operate in power sharing agreements with US global interest. However, Iran is a regional power, which will not submit to becoming a vassal state of the US. The sanctions policy has not provoked an uprising among the Iranian masses nor has it led to regime change. Sanctions have not weakened Iran to the extent of making it an easy military target. While sanctions have weakened Iran’s economy, they has also worked against any kind of long-range empire building strategy, because Iran has strengthened its economic and diplomatic ties with the US’ rivals, Russia and China.
As this brief survey indicates, US-EU wars have not been instruments of empire-building in the conventional or historical sense. At most they have destroyed some adversaries of empire. But these have been pyrrhic victories. Along with the overthrow of a target regime, the systematic break-up of the state has unleashed powerful chaotic forces, which have doomed any possibility of creating stable neo-colonial regimes capable of controlling their societies and securing opportunities for imperialist enrichment via economic exploitation.
At most the US overseas wars have secured military outposts, foreign islands in seas of desperate and hostile populations. Imperial wars have provoked continuous underground resistance movements, ethnic civil wars and violent terrorist organizations which threaten ‘blowback’ on the imperial center.
The US and EU’s easy annexations of the ex-communist countries, usually via the stage-managed ballot-box or ‘color revolutions’, led to the take-over of great national wealth and skilled labor. However, Euro-American empires bloody campaigns to invade and conquer the Middle East, South Asia, North Africa and the Caucuses have created nightmarish ‘failed states’ – continuously draining imperial coffers and leading to a state of permanent occupation and warfare.
The bloodless takeover of the Eastern European satellites with their accommodating, corrupt elites has ended. The 21st century reliance on militarist strategies contrasts sharply with the successful multi-pronged colonial expansions of the 19th – 20th century, where economic penetration and large scale economic development accompanied military intervention and political change. Today’s imperial wars cause economic decay and misery within the domestic economy, as well as perpetual wars abroad, an unsustainable drain.
The current US/EU military expansion into Ukraine, the encirclement of Russia, NATO missiles aimed at the very heart of a major nuclear power and the economic sanctions may lead to a global nuclear war, which may indeed put an end to militarist empire-building… and the rest of humanity.
Commander of Iran’s Basij (volunteer) force Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi lashed out at the US and Israel for sponsoring the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
“The criminal US created, equipped and armed the ISIL terrorist group with the help of the wicked Britain and the child-killing Zionist regime as well the petrodollars of oil-rich countries and they ordered it (ISIL) to carry out crimes and large-scale massacre of Shiites and Sunnis and disrupt their tranquility on the pretext of a sectarian Sunni war on Shiites,” General Naqdi said, addressing a gathering of thousands of Basijis in Lorestan province.
He noted that the western countries wanted to introduce a tainted image of Islam to the world by displaying horrible crimes and savage wickedness against children, women and innocent people with extreme brutality and savagery in a bid to harness the huge waves of Islamism and tendency for Islam in the world, specially the western countries.
General Naqdi reiterated that the arrogant powers have created the ISIL and every now and then they attack the terrorists to portray that they are fighting terrorism while the American, British and Israeli military advisors are supporting them in the battlefield.
“The outcome of the actions of this terrorist current in Syria was unprecedented as it caused people’s high turnout in that country’s presidential election, which set as yet another example of the inefficiency of weapons and the victory of the resistance movement against the global arrogance,” he added.
Also, in similar remarks in August General Naqdi took the US and certain European states responsible for providing logistics for the terrorist ISIL to find an alibi to boost its buildup in the region. “American’s intangible presence in the region has been a major cause for the creation of the terrorist ISIL group,” Naqdi said, addressing people in a city near Tehran last month.
He also condemned the US Congress for approving an aid budget for the ISIL, and said, “The European countries, including France, arm the ISIL and the US and the West’s attempts are not aimed at any goal but getting closer to Iran” borders.
On Monday, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri warned of the enemies’ plots to spread Islamophobia, and said the terrorist groups in the region have been created by the spy agencies of the US and its allies.
“The world public opinion is aware that the phenomena such as the al-Nusrah Front, the ISIL, al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups in the region, have been created by the intelligence services of the US and the White House’s allies and have a mission to defame the dear Islam to prevent the people’s conversion to the real Islam and to spread Islamophobia and weaken the regional resistance front,” General Massoud Jazayeri said.
He referred to the US attempts to stir chaos in the region and its support for the terrorists, and said, “The vigilant and resistant people in Iraq and Syria should force their enemies, specially the Americans, to understand that they won’t allow the White House to create new poles in their countries through lies and deception.”
The tragic events of September 11, 2001 constitute a fundamental landmark in American history. a decisive watershed, a breaking point. Millions of people have been misled regarding the causes and consequences of 9/11.
September 11 2001 opens up an era of crisis, upheaval and militarization of American society.
A far-reaching overhaul of US military doctrine was launched in the wake of 9/11.
Endless wars of aggression under the humanitarian cloak of “counter-terrorism” were set in motion.
9/11 was also a stepping stone towards the relentless repeal of civil liberties, the militarization of law enforcement and the inauguration of “Police State USA”.
September 11, 2001 marks the onslaught of the “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT), used as a pretext and a justification by the US and its NATO allies to carry out a “war without borders”, a global war of conquest.
At eleven o’clock, on the morning of September 11, the Bush administration had already announced that Al Qaeda was responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) and the Pentagon. This assertion was made prior to the conduct of an indepth police investigation.
CIA Director George Tenet stated that same morning that Osama bin Laden had the capacity to plan “multiple attacks with little or no warning.”
Secretary of State Colin Powell called the attacks “an act of war” and President Bush confirmed in an evening televised address to the Nation that he would “make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them”.
Former CIA Director James Woolsey, without mentioning Afghanistan, pointed his finger at “state sponsorship,” implying the complicity of one or more foreign governments. In the words of former National Security Adviser, Lawrence Eagleburger, “I think we will show when we get attacked like this, we are terrible in our strength and in our retribution.”
That same evening at 9:30 pm, a “War Cabinet” was formed integrated by a select number of top intelligence and military advisors. And at 11:00 pm, at the end of that historic meeting at the White House, the “War on Terrorism” was officially launched.
The tragic events of 9/11 provided the required justification to wage war on Afghanistan on “humanitarian grounds”, with the full support of World public opinion and the endorsement of the “international community”. Several prominent “progressive” intellectuals made a case for “retaliation against terrorism”, on moral and ethical grounds. The “just cause” military doctrine (jus ad bellum) was accepted and upheld at face value as a legitimate response to 9/11.
In the wake of 9/11, the antiwar movement was completely isolated. The trade unions and civil society organizations had swallowed the media lies and government propaganda. They had accepted a war of retribution against Afghanistan, an impoverished country in Central Asia of 30 million people.
The myth of the “outside enemy” and the threat of “Islamic terrorists” was the cornerstone of the Bush administration’s military doctrine, used as a pretext to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, not to mention the repeal of civil liberties and constitutional government in America.
Amply documented but rarely mentioned by the mainstream media, Al Qaeda is a creation of the CIA going back to the Soviet- Afghan war. This was a known fact, corroborated by numerous sources including official documents of the US Congress, which the mainstream media chose to either dismiss or ignore. The intelligence community had time and again acknowledged that they had indeed supported Osama bin Laden, but that in the wake of the Cold War: “he turned against us”.
The 9/11 Commission Report has largely upheld the “outside enemy” mythology, heralding Al Qaeda as the “mastermind” organization behind the 9/11 attacks.
The official 9/11 narrative has not only distorted the causes underling the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings, it has also erased the historical record of US covert support to international terrorism, while creating the illusion that America and “Western Civilization” are threatened.
Without an “outside enemy”, there could be no “war on terrorism”. The entire national security agenda would collapse “like a deck of cards”. The war criminals in high office would have no leg to stand on.
After 9/11, the campaign of media disinformation served not only to drown the truth but also to kill much of the historical evidence on how this illusive Al Qaeda “outside enemy” had been fabricated and transformed into “Enemy Number One”.
The 911 Reader is composed of a carefully selected collection of key articles published by Global Research in the course of the last eleven years.
9/11 was an important landmark for Global Research. Our website was launched on September 9, 2001, two days prior to 9/11. Our coverage of 9/11 was initiated on September 12, 2001.
Within this collection of more than 60 chapters, we have included several important reports from our archives, published by Global Research in the immediate aftermath of the attacks. These articles provide a focus on issues pertaining to the 9/11 Timeline, foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks, the attack on the Pentagon, the issue of insider trading on Wall Street in the days preceding 9/11 pointing to foreknowledge of the attacks.
What prevails is a complex web of lies and fabrications, pertaining to various dimensions of the 9/11 tragedy. The falsehoods contained in the official 9/11 narrative are manifold, extending from the affirmation that Osama bin Laden was the mastermind, to the assertion by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that the WTC buildings collapsed due to the impacts of fire. (see Part III).
Where was Osama bin Laden on September 11, 2001?
Is there any proof to the effect that Osama bin Laden, the bogeyman, coordinated the 9/11 attacks as claimed in the official 9/11 narrative?
According to CBS news (Dan Rather, January 28, 2002), “Enemy Number One” was admitted to the urology ward of a Pakistani military hospital in Rawalpindi on September 10, 2001, courtesy of America’s indefectible ally Pakistan. He could have been arrested at short notice which would have “saved us a lot of trouble”, but then we would not have had an Osama Legend, which has fed the news chain as well as presidential speeches in the course of the last eleven years.
DAN RATHER. As the United states and its allies in the war on terrorism press the hunt for Osama bin Laden, CBS News has exclusive information tonight about where bin Laden was and what he was doing in the last hours before his followers struck the United States September 11.
This is the result of hard-nosed investigative reporting by a team of CBS news journalists, and by one of the best foreign correspondents in the business, CBS`s Barry Petersen. Here is his report.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BARRY PETERSEN, CBS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Everyone remembers what happened on September 11. Here`s the story of what may have happened the night before. It is a tale as twisted as the hunt for Osama bin Laden.
CBS News footage of the Rawalpindi, Pakistan, hospital where bin Laden was allegedly treated the day before 9/11. [Source: CBS News]
CBS News footage of the Rawalpindi, Pakistan, hospital where bin Laden was allegedly treated the day before 9/11. [Source: CBS News]
The foregoing CBS report which is of utmost relevance indicates two obvious facts:
1. Osama bin Laden could not reasonably have coordinated the 9/11 attacks from his hospital bed;
2. The hospital was under the jurisdiction of the Pakistani Armed Forces, which has close links to the Pentagon. Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts were known to both the Pakistani and US military.
U.S. military and intelligence advisers based in Rawalpindi. were working closely with their Pakistani counterparts. Again, no attempt was made to arrest America’s best known fugitive. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld claimed, at the time, that the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden were unknown. According to Rumsfeld: “Its like looking for a needle in a stack of hay”.
October 7, 2001: Waging America’s 9/11 War of Retribution against Afghanistan
The immediate response of the US and its allies to the 9/11 attacks was to the declare a war of retribution against Afghanistan on the grounds that the Taliban government was protecting “terror mastermind” Osama bin Laden. By allegedly harboring bin Laden, the Taliban were complicit, according to both the US administration and NATO, for having waged an act of war against the United States.
Parroting official statements, the Western media mantra on September 12, 2001 had already approved the launching of “punitive actions” directed against civilian targets in Afghanistan. In the words of William Saffire writing in the New York Times: “When we reasonably determine our attackers’ bases and camps, we must pulverize them — minimizing but accepting the risk of collateral damage” — and act overtly or covertly to destabilize terror’s national hosts”.
This decision was taken by the Bush-Cheney war cabinet in the evening of September 11, 2001. It was based on the presumption, “confirmed” by the head of the CIA that Al Qaeda was behind the attacks.
On the following morning, September 12, 2001, NATO’s Atlantic Council meeting in Brussels, endorsed the Bush administration’s declaration of war on Afghanistan, invoking Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.
An act of war by a foreign nation (Afghanistan) against a member of the Atlantic Alliance (the USA) is an act of war against all members under NATO’s doctrine of collective security. Under any stretch of the imagination, the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon cannot be categorized as an act of war by a foreign country. But nobody seemed to have raised this issue.
Meanwhile, on two occasions in the course of September 2001, the Afghan government –through diplomatic channels– offered to hand over Osama Bin laden to US Justice. These overtures were turned down by president Bush, on the grounds that America “does not negotiate with terrorists”.
The war on Afghanistan was launched 26 days later on the morning of October 7, 2001. The timing of this war begs the question: how long does it take to plan and implement a major theater war several thousand miles away. Military analysts will confirm that a major theater war takes months and months, up to a year or more of advanced preparations. The war on Afghanistan was already in the advanced planning stages prior to September 11, 2001, which begs the question of foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks.
The repeal of civil liberties in America was launched in parallel with the bombing and invasion of Afghanistan, almost immediately following 9/11 with the adoption of the PATRIOT legislation and the setting up of a Homeland Security apparatus, under the pretext of protecting Americans. This post-911 legal and institutional framework had been carefully crafted prior to the 9/11 attacks.
Al Qaeda is a US Intelligence Asset
Important to the understanding of 9/11, US intelligence is the unspoken architect of “Islamic terrorism” going back to the heyday of the Soviet-Afghan war.
Bin Laden was 22 years old and was trained in a CIA sponsored guerrilla training camp. Education in Afghanistan in the years preceding the Soviet-Afghan war was largely secular. With religious textbooks produced in Nebraska, the number of CIA sponsored religious schools (madrasahs) increased from 2,500 in 1980 to over 39,000.
“Advertisements, paid for from CIA funds, were placed in newspapers and newsletters around the world offering inducements and motivations to join the [Islamic] Jihad.” (Pervez Hoodbhoy, Peace Research, 1 May 2005)
”The United States spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings….The primers, which were filled with talk of jihad and featured drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines, have served since then as the Afghan school system’s core curriculum. Even the Taliban used the American-produced books,..”, (Washington Post, 23 March 2002)
Under the Reagan administration, US foreign policy evolved towards the unconditional support and endorsement of the Islamic “freedom fighters”. This endorsement has not in any way been modified.
In a twisted irony, throughout the post 911 era, US intelligence in liaison with Britain’s MI6, an Israel’s Mossad, continues to provide covert support to the radical Islamist organization allegedly responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Al Qaeda and its various affiliated groups including the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and factions within the Free Syria Army (FSA) are directly supported by the US and NATO.
In a bitter irony, the US and its allies claim to be waging a “war on terrorism” against the alleged architects of 9/11, while also using Al Qaeda operatives as their foot-soldiers.
Front row, from left: Major Gen. Hamid Gul, director general of Pakistan’s
Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), Director of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
Willian Webster; Deputy Director for Operations Clair George; an ISI colonel; and senior CIA official,
Milt Bearden at a Mujahideen training camp in North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan in 1987.
Ronald Reagan meets Afghan Mujahideen Commanders at the White House in 1985 (Reagan Archives)
VIDEO (30 Sec.)
The Collapse of the World Trade Center Buildings
Based on the findings of Richard Gage of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings was not caused by fire resulting from the crash of the planes:
In more than 100 steel-framed, high-rise fires (most of them very hot, very large and very long-lasting), not one has collapsed, ever. So it behooves all of us, as your own former chief of NIST’s Fire Science Division, Dr. James Quintiere, said, “to look at real alternatives that might have been the cause of these collapses.”
Let’s start with temperatures – 1,340° F. temperatures, recorded in thermal images of the surface of the World Trade Center rubble pile a week after 9/11 by NASA’s AVIRIS equipment on USGS overflights. Such temperatures cannot be achieved by oxygen-starved hydrocarbon fires. Such fires burn at only 600 to 800° F. Remember, there was no fire on the top of the pile. The source of this incredible heat was therefore below the surface of the rubble, where it must have been far hotter than 1,340 degrees.
Mark Loizeaux, president of Controlled Demolition, Inc., who was hired for the Building 7 cleanup, said that “molten steel was found at 7 WTC.” Leslie Robertson, World Trade Center structural engineer, stated that on October 5, “21 days after the attacks, the fires were still burning and molten steel was still running.” Fire department personnel, recorded on video, reported seeing “molten steel running down the channel rails… like you’re in a foundry – like lava from a volcano.” Joe O’Toole, a Bronx firefighter, saw a crane lifting a steel beam vertically from deep within a pile. He said “it was dripping from the molten steel.” Bart Voorsanger, an architect hired to save “relics from the rubble,” stated about the multi-ton “meteorite” that it was a “fused element of molten steel and concrete.”
Steel melts at about 2,850 degrees Fahrenheit, about twice the temperature of the World Trade Center Tower 1 and 2 fires as estimated by NIST. So what melted the steel?
Appendix C of FEMA’s BPAT Report documents steel samples showing rapid oxidation, sulfidation, and intergranular melting. A liquid eutectic mixture, including sulfur from an unknown source, caused intense corrosion of the steel, gaping holes in wide flange beams, and the thinning of half-inch-thick flanges to almost razor-sharpness in the World Trade Center 7 steel. The New York Times called this “the deepest mystery uncovered in the investigation.”
NIST left all of this crucial forensic evidence out of its report. Why? Because it didn’t fit in with the official conspiracy theory.
Last year, physicist Steven Jones, two other physicists, and a geologist analyzed the slag at the ends of the beams and in the samples of the previously molten metal. They found iron, aluminum, sulfur, manganese and fluorine – the chemical evidence of thermate, a high-tech incendiary cutting charge used by the military to cut through steel like a hot knife through butter. The by-product of the thermate reaction is molten iron! There’s no other possible source for all the molten iron that was found. One of thermate’s key ingredients is sulfur, which can form the liquid eutectic that FEMA found and lower the melting point of steel.
In addition, World Trade Center 7′s catastrophic structural failure showed every characteristic of explosive, controlled demolition. … The destruction began suddenly at the base of the building. Several first responders reported explosions occurring about a second before the collapse. There was the symmetrical, near-free-fall speed of collapse, through the path of greatest resistance – with 40,000 tons of steel designed to resist this load – straight down into its own footprint. This requires that all the columns have to fail within a fraction of a second of each other – perimeter columns as well as core columns. There was also the appearance of mistimed explosions (squibs?) at the upper seven floors on the network video recordings of the collapse. And we have expert testimony from a European demolitions expert, Danny Jowenko, who said “This is controlled demolition… a team of experts did this… This is professional work, without any doubt.”
Fire cannot produce these effects. Fire produces large, gradual deformations and asymmetrical collapses. Thermate can produce all of these effects used in conjunction with linear shaped charges. If the thermate is formed into ultra-fine particles, as has been accomplished at Los Alamos National Laboratory, it is called super-thermate, and is very explosive.(Richard Gage, January 2008)
The following AE911Truth Video provides irrefutable evidence that the WTC center towers were brought down through controlled demolition.
According to David Ray Griffin: “The official theory of the collapse, therefore, is essentially a fire theory, so it cannot be emphasized too much that fire has never caused large steel-frame buildings to collapse—never, whether before 9/11, or after 9/11, or anywhere in the world on 9/11 except allegedly New York City—never.” (See David Ray Griffin).
According to Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, based on solid scientific analysis and evidence, the collapse of the WTC towers was engineered through controlled demolition. While AE11Truth does not speculate on who might be behind the conspiracy to bring down the WTC buildings, they nonetheless suggest that the carrying out such an operation would require a carefully planned course of action with prior access to the buildings as well as an advanced level of expertise in the use of explosives, etc.
The Collapse of WTC Building Seven
The most grotesque lie pertains to the BBC and CNN announcement in the afternoon of September 11, that WTC Building Seven (The Solomon Building) had collapsed. The BBC report went live at 5.00pm, 21 minutes before the actual occurrence of the collapse, indelibly pointing to foreknowledge of the collapse of WTC 7. CNN anchor Aaron Brown announced that the building “has either collapsed or is collapsing” about an hour before the event. (See WTC7.net the hidden story of Building 7: Foreknowledge of WTC 7′s Collapse)
CNN anchor Aaron Brown seems to struggle to make sense of what he is seeing one minute after announcing that WTC Building 7, whose erect facade is clearly visible in his view towards the Trade Center, has or is collapsing.
Coverup and Complicity
The 911 Reader presents factual information and analysis which points to cover-up and complicity at the highest levels of the US government.
This body of articles by prominent authors, scholars, architects, engineers, largely refutes the official narrative of the 9/11 Commission Report, which is reviewed in Part IV. It dispels the notion that America was attacked on September 11, 2001 on the orders of Osama bin Laden.
This is a central issue because US military doctrine since 9/11 has been predicated on “defending the American Homeland” against Islamic terrorists as well as waging pre-emptive wars against Al Qaeda and its various “state sponsors”. Afghanistan was bombed and invaded as part of the “war on terrorism”. In March 2003, Iraq was also invaded.
Fiction prevails over reality. For propaganda to be effective, public opinion must firmly endorse the official 9/11 narrative to the effect that Al Qaeda was behind the attacks. A well organized structure of media disinformation (Part XI) is required to reach this objective. Perpetuating the 9/11 Legend also requires defying as well smearing the 9/11 Truth Movement.
Throughout the post 9/11 era, a panoply of Al Qaeda related events and circumstances is presented to public opinion on a daily basis. These include terrorist threats, warnings and attacks, police investigations, insurgencies and counter-insurgencies, country-level regime change, social conflict, sectarian violence, racism, religious divisions, Islamic thought, Western values, etc.
In turn, 9/11, Al Qaeda – War on Terrorism rhetoric permeates political discourse at all levels of government, including bipartisan debate on Capitol Hill, in committees of the House and the Senate, at the British House of Commons, and, lest we forget, at the United Nations Security Council.
September 11 and Al Qaeda concepts, repeated ad nauseam have potentially traumatic impacts on the human mind and the ability of normal human beings to analyze and comprehend the “real outside World” of war, politics and the economic crisis.
What is at stake is human consciousness and comprehension based on concepts and facts.
With September 11 there are no verifiable “facts” and “concepts”, because 9/11 as well as Al Qaeda have evolved into a media mythology, a legend, an invented ideological construct, used as an unsubtle tool of media disinformation and war propaganda.
Al Qaeda constitutes a stylized, fake and almost folkloric abstraction of terrorism, which permeates the inner consciousness of millions of people around the World.
Reference to Al Qaeda has become a dogma, a belief, which most people espouse unconditionally.
Is this political indoctrination? Is it brain-washing? If so what is the underlying objective?
People’s capacity to independently analyse World events, as well as address causal relationships pertaining to politics and society, is significantly impaired. That is the objective!
The routine use of 9/11 and Al Qaeda to generate blanket explanations of complex political events is meant to create confusion. It prevents people from thinking.
All of these complex Al Qaeda related occurrences are explained –by politicians, the corporate media, Hollywood and the Washington think tanks under a single blanket “bad guys” heading, in which Al Qaeda is casually and repeatedly pinpointed as “the cause” of numerous terror events around the World.
The Alleged Role of Iraq in the 9/11 Attacks
9/11 mythology has been a mainstay of war propaganda. In the course of 2002, leading up to the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, “Osama bin Laden” and “Weapons of Mass Destruction” statements circulated profusely in the news chain. While Washington’s official position was that Saddam Hussein was not behind the 9/11 attacks, insinuations abounded both in presidential speeches as well as in the Western media. According to Bush, in an October 2002 press conference:
The threat comes from Iraq. It arises directly from the Iraqi regime’s own actions — its history of aggression, and its drive toward an arsenal of terror. .,.. We also must never forget the most vivid events of recent history. On September the 11th, 2001, America felt its vulnerability — even to threats that gather on the other side of the earth. We resolved then, and we are resolved today, to confront every threat, from any source [Iraq], that could bring sudden terror and suffering to America. President Bush Outlines Iraqi Threat, October 7, 2002)
Meanwhile, a new terrorist mastermind had emerged: Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi.
In Colin Powell’s historic address to the United Nations Security Council, in February 2003, detailed “documentation” on a sinister relationship between Saddam Hussein and Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi was presented, focussing on his ability to produce deadly chemical, biological and radiological weapons, with the full support and endorsement of the secular Baathist regime. The implication of Colin’s Powell’s assertions, which were totally fabricated, was that Saddam Hussein and an Al Qaeda affiliated organization had joined hands in the production of WMD in Northern Iraq and that the Hussein government was a “state sponsor” of terrorism.
The main thrust of the disinformation campaign continued in the wake of the March 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. It consisted in presenting the Iraqi resistance movement as “terrorists”. The image of “terrorists opposed to democracy” fighting US “peacekeepers” appeared on television screens and news tabloids across the globe.
Iran: Alleged State Sponsor of 9/11
In the wake of the Iraq invasion, the same alleged “state sponsorship” of terrorism accusations emerged in relation to Iran.
In December 2011, the Islamic Republic of Iran was condemned by a Manhattan court, for its alleged role in supporting Al Qaeda in the 9/11 attacks.
The investigation into Tehran’s alleged role was launched in 2004, pursuant to a recommendation of the 9/11 Commission “regarding an apparent link between Iran, Hezbollah, and the 9/11 hijackers”. The 91/11 Commission’s recommendation was that the this “apparent link” required “further investigation by the U.S. government.” (9/11 Commission Report , p. 241). (See Iran 911 Case ).
In the December 2011 court judgment (Havlish v. Iran) “U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels ruled that Iran and Hezbollah materially and directly supported al Qaeda in the September 11, 2001 attacks and are legally responsible for damages to hundreds of family members of 9/11 victims who are plaintiffs in the case”.
According to the plaintiffs attorneys “Iran, Hezbollah, and al Qaeda formed a terror alliance in the early 1990s. Citing their national security and intelligence experts, the attorneys explained “how the pragmatic terror leaders overcame the Sunni-Shi’a divide in order to confront the U.S. (the “Great Satan”) and Israel (the “Lesser Satan”)”. Iran and Hezbollah allegedly provided “training to members of al Qaeda in, among other things, the use of explosives to destroy large buildings.” (See Iran 911 Case ).
This judicial procedure is nothing more than another vicious weapon in the fabricated “War on Terror” to be used against another Muslim country, with a view to destabilizing Iran as well as justifying ongoing military threats. It also says a lot more about the people behind the lawsuit than about the accused. The expert witnesses who testified against Iran are very active in warmongering neocon circles. They belong to a web of architects of the 21st century Middle-Eastern wars, ranging from high profile propagandists to intelligence and military officers, including former U.S. officials.
Ironically, while Washington accuses Iran and Afghanistan of supporting terrorism, the historical record and evidence indelibly point to the “state sponsorship” of Al Qaeda by the CIA, MI6 and their counterparts in Pakistan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Al Qaeda death squads have been recruited to wage America’s humanitarian wars throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
In Syria Al Qaeda units were recruited by NATO and the Turkish High command: “Also discussed in Brussels and Ankara, our sources report, is a campaign to enlist thousands of Muslim volunteers in Middle East countries and the Muslim world to fight alongside the Syrian rebels.” (http://www.debka.com/article/21255/ Debkafile, August 31, 2011).
In Libya, jihadists from Afghanistan trained by the CIA were dispatched to fight with the “pro-democracy” rebels under the helm of “former” Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) Commander Abdel Hakim Belhadj:
Western policy makers admit that NATO’s operations in Libya have played the primary role in emboldening Al Qaeda’s AQIM faction (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb). The Fortune 500-funded Brookings Institution’s Bruce Riedel in his article, “The New Al Qaeda Menace,” admits that AQIM is now heavily armed thanks to NATO’s intervention in Libya, and that AQIM’s base in Mali, North Africa, serves as a staging ground for terrorist activities across the region. http://www.globalresearch.ca/al-qaeda-and-natos-pan-arab-terrorist-blitzkrieg/
Table of Contents of the 9/11 Reader
In Part I, the 911 Reader provides a review of what happened on the morning of 9/11, at the White House, on Capitol Hill, the Pentagon, at Strategic Command Headquarters (USSTRATCOM), What was the response of the US Air Force in the immediate wake of the attacks? Part II focusses on “What Happened on the Planes” as described in the 9/11 Commission Report.
Part III sheds light on what caused the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings. It also challenges the official narrative with regard to the attack on the Pentagon.
Part IV reviews and refutes the findings of the 9/11 Commission Report.
Part V focusses on the issue of foreknowledge by Western intelligence agencies. Part VI examines the issue of how foreknowledge of the attacks was used as an instrument of insider trading on airline stocks in the days preceding September 11, 2001. The bonanza financial gains resulting from insurance claims to the leaseholders of the WTC buildings is also examined.
Part VII focusses on the history and central role of Al Qaeda as a US intelligence asset. Since the Soviet-Afghan war, US intelligence has supported the formation of various jihadist organizations. An understanding of this history is crucial in refuting the official 9/11 narrative which claims that Al Qaeda, was behind the attacks.
Part VIII centers on the life and death of 9/11 “Terror Mastermind” Osama bin Laden, who was recruited by the CIA in the heyday of the Soviet Afghan war. This section also includes an analysis of the mysterious death of Osama bin Laden, allegedly executed by US Navy Seals in a suburb of Islamabad in May 2011.
Part IX focusses on “False Flags” and the Pentagon’s “Second 9/11″. Part X examines the issue of “Deep Events” with contributions by renowned scholars Peter Dale Scott and Daniele Ganser.
Part XI examines the structure of 9/11 propaganda which consists in “creating” as well “perpetuating” a “9/11 Legend”. How is this achieved? Incessantly, on a daily basis, Al Qaeda, the alleged 9/11 Mastermind is referred to by the Western media, government officials, members of the US Congress, Wall Street analysts, etc. as an underlying cause of numerous World events.
Part XII focusses on the practice of 9/11 Justice directed against the alleged culprits of the 9/11 attacks.
The legitimacy of 9/11 propaganda requires fabricating “convincing evidence” and “proof” that those who are accused actually carried out the attacks. Sentencing of Muslims detained in Guantanamo is part of war propaganda. It depicts innocent men who are accused of the 9/11 attacks, based on confessions acquired through systematic torture throughout their detention.
Part XIII focusses on 9/11 Truth. The objective of 9/11 Truth is to ultimately dismantle the propaganda apparatus which is manipulating the human mindset. The 9/11 Reader concludes with a retrospective view of 9/11 ten years later.
Timeline: What Happened on the Morning of September 11, 2001
On the morning of September 11, Pakistan’s Chief Spy General Mahmoud Ahmad, the alleged “money-man” behind the 9-11 hijackers, was at a breakfast meeting on Capitol Hill hosted by Senator Bob Graham and Rep. Porter Goss, the chairmen of the Senate and House Intelligence committees.
“Foreknowledge” and “Failure to act” upholds the notion that the terrorist attacks (“act of war”) “waged by Muslims against America” are real, when all the facts and findings point towards coverup and complicity at the highest levels of the US government.
On the morning of September 11, Pakistan’s Chief Spy General Mahmoud Ahmad, the alleged “money-man” behind the 9-11 hijackers, was at a breakfast meeting on Capitol Hill hosted by Senator Bob Graham and Rep. Porter Goss, the chairmen of the Senate and House Intelligence committees.
The main justification for waging this war has been totally fabricated. The American people have been deliberately and consciously misled by their government into supporting a major military adventure which affects our collective future.
9/11 Ringleader connected to secret Pentagon operation
- by Dr. Daniele Ganser – 2005-08-27
Atta was connected to a secret operation of the Pentagon’s Special Operations Command (SOCOM) in the US. A top secret Pentagon project code-named Able Danger identified Atta and 3 other 9/11 hijackers as members of an al-Qaida cell more than a year before the attacks.
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.
On October 5, 2012, the Energy Board of Quebec gave the green light to Hydro-Quebec to begin the Phase 1 of the deployment of “new generation” meters on all buildings in the metropolitan area of Montreal. Then on June 13, 2014, it approved their deployment elsewhere in Quebec, after refusing to reconsider the health effects of the radiofrequency emissions (pulsed microwaves) of these devices, despite the hundreds of testimonies it received about this, and without ordering an impact study, despite repeated requests to that effect.
In fact, hundreds of thousands of Quebecers are very concerned about the effects on their health and that of their family from continuous exposure to these powerful pulsed emissions, with peak emissions exceeding 50,000 microwatts per square meter (µW/m2). This was revealed in a Leger Marketing poll in early April 2014, with 500 respondents from the Greater Montreal, since 63% of them have indicated their concern about this. In addition, 52% of the citizens polled were opposed the continued deployment of these devices if an impact study isn’t performed first to determine whether or not they are harmful to human health.
Alas, like Hydro-Quebec, the Energy Board of Quebec does not care, it seems, since its core mandate is to review the requests from this Crown corporation mainly as to their financial impact on its profitability. And as a matter of fact, because this type of device is precisely designed to allow for time-of-use pricing, 73% of poll respondents fear, once all the meters are deployed, that there will most likely be a rate increase at the times of peak electricity consumption, which could inflate their utility bill by 15 to 20%, as occurred in Ontario and elsewhere.
Worried about having those pesky counters imposed upon them against their will, many citizens have mobilized and, notably, received support from their municipal council in this very unequal struggle. To date, over one hundred municipalities (111 as of August 26, 2014), representing more than two million Quebecers have called for a moratorium on their deployment and/or a free opt-out. Considered to be exorbitant, unfair and punitive damages ($17 per month plus $98 initially), the fees for a “non communicating” meter (with no radiofrequency transmitter) are only intended to deter customers from opting-out. That didn’t stop more than 5600 households to do so, as of May 1st. And that’s not counting the tens of thousands who managed to prevent installers from taking away their old and safe electromechanical meters, which are apparently three times more durable than those fragile “smart” meters, that will need to be replaced every 15 years.
However, due to the numerous pleas it received, Hydro-Quebec has agreed to reduce its opting-out fees which, once approved by the energy board, would be $48 for the installation of a non communicating meter and $8 per month for manual meter reading of the electricity consumption – all the details HERE. It’s not free as requested, but at least the efforts of opponents will not have been wasted! And the pill will be less hard to swallow for the 1.8 million customers who already had these dangerous devices forced upon them, and who want to get rid of them.
Nevertheless, one must know that the World Health Organization has classified those radiofrequencies (RF) as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” in 2011, and thousands of independent scientific studies have also shown that repeated exposure to low RF levels can be genotoxic (DNA breakage) and neurotoxic (various neurological consequences). If Hydro-Quebec is so adamant on imposing this technology, it is because it can hide behind Health Canada’s Safety Code 6, its outdated RF exposure guidelines adopted in 1979. Indeed, this Code 6 recognizes only thermal (warming) effects from RF and ignores the biological effects observed at exposure levels as low as 100 µW/m2 (maximum recommended within a house by the Council of Europe). Health Canada claims that there is no possible biological effects below the 6 million µW/m2 permitted by the Code 6, while countries like Switzerland, Italy, Russia and China have adopted exposure limitations much more stringent, in order to abide by the precautionary principle.
But the problems with this technology don’t stop there. With the highly detailed power consumption data these meters send to Hydro-Quebec, it is possible to draw a clear picture of our lifestyles and even of the types of devices we own. Despite their encryption, hackers, and even the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) or the National Security Agency (NSA) could get their hands on this data, and thus be able to surreptitiously monitor our every move within the sanctuary of our home. In addition to being a potential violation of privacy and a serious health risk which, in the long run, could multiply the number of cases of the nightmarish electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS), these devices have the tendency to catch fire when their built-in protection against power surges fails. The EMF Safety Network compiles the cases of smart meters that have caused fires.
If all of this above has convinced you to resist, know that you are not alone. Over 5700 Quebecers have signed a petition indicating their desire to not contend with such a risk. To join them and learn more, visit JeGardeMonCompteur.com. Be sure to read the testimonials of people already affected. And talk about this to others, even if, unfortunately, for many it’s already too late…
This article was first published by Global Research on June 13, 2002. You can access the original archive here.
In the immediate aftermath of the destruction of the World Trade Center, the finger of guilt was directed toward the only plausible author for such a sophisticated and ruthless act of terror – Osama bin Laden.
Throughout the late ’90′s, we were informed that bin Laden had declared war on America by reason of the American military presence on Saudi soil in the wake of the Persian Gulf War. We were told how bin Laden, ensconced in Afghanistan, headed up a world-wide terror franchise whose sophistication and global reach dwarfed that of the Iranian-financed Hizballah or Islamic Jihad (previously, the most widely known of the terror organizations among the masses in the Middle East). Bin Laden’s organization, al-Qaida, was presented to us as something entirely new in the annals of terrorism – a far-flung, sophisticated empire of terror, possessing – possibly – weapons of mass destruction, while having no clear or viable state sponsor behind it (as the Afghani Taliban were merely its resident protectors). In short, by September 11, the United States now had a bona fide enemy – and, as they say in criminal justice parlance, a suspect with motive, means, and opportunity.
And while I was a bit taken at how quickly – and confidently – the fingers were pointing only hours after the 9/11 bombings, I was positively shaken by the first red flag that popped up. His name was John O’Neill – or more precisely, he is the seam that shows. Dated September 12, in a Washington Post article by Vernon Loeb, it was revealed that O’Neill, who died in his capacity as head of security for the World Trade Center, was also formerly the New York FBI Counterterror chief responsible for the investigation into Osama bin Laden. That could perhaps be written off as one of those freak synchronicities. There were the other items – reported quite blandly, in that “there’s nothing to see here, folks” tone – that gave me that sinking feeling. Apparently, O’Neill had a falling-out with the Ambassador to Yemen over his investigative style and was banned from returning there. But then there was that other nugget that I had trouble digesting – that O’Neill had resigned from a thirty-year career in the FBI “under a cloud” over an incident in Tampa – and then left to take up the security position at the WTC (only two weeks before!).
The seam that shows…
For the bulk of his career, like most of his FBI colleagues, John O’Neill was largely unknown to the public at large – respected in his circle, to be sure, yet scarcely meriting much mention in the media – beyond being referenced now and then as an expert on counterterrorism. Yet in the few months leading up to September 11, O’Neill was now suddenly the subject of a series of seemingly unrelated controversies – the first, in July, involving his dispute with the State Department over the conduct of the bin Laden investigation in Yemen; and the second, in August, in which he was reported to be under an FBI probe for misplacing a briefcase of classified documents during an FBI convention in Tampa.
In the light of the aftermath of this second controversy – the documents were found, “untouched”, a few hours later – one wonders why this seemingly minor news would merit such lengthy coverage in the Washington Post and New York Times. Keeping in mind the fact that these latter articles on O’Neill appeared a mere three weeks before he was to die in the rubble of the Twin Towers, one wonders if this wasn’t a well-orchestrated smear campaign against O’Neill, with a bit of unintended “blowback” – as this now-discredited counterterror chief in charge of all bin Laden bombings would finally make the news as a fatal casualty of bin Laden’s final bombing. Coincidence? Or was there something more here that would bear investigating?
My gut told me that, in the months preceding September 11, somebody was out to either discredit John O’Neill or, alternatively, to plant disinformation that could later be used to divert any investigator from a fruitful reconstruction of the forces behind 9/11. Or, quite possibly, was a mistake made – one pointing the way toward a plan whose scope goes well beyond the designs of Osama bin Laden? In other words, could we spot the telltale fingerprints of a propaganda campaign preceding 9/11?
Well, as they say, a hypothesis is only as good as its usefulness in ferreting out reality. My hypothesis: that the events of September 11 were planned by those who not only had the motive, means, and opportunity to carry out the plan, but also were best placed to manage the consequences stemming from it, as well as managing the flow of information. If this were an “inside job”, the first thing to do was to look at who conveyed specific information on bin Laden before – and I stress, before – 9/11, for they were most likely involved wittingly or not with those who masterminded it.
Virtually the first “smoking gun” was presented the day after 9/11, when Vernon Loeb and Dan Eggen reported in the Post that Abdel Bari Atwan, editor of the Al-Quds al Arabi newspaper in London, “received information that he [bin Laden] planned very, very big attacks against American interests” only three weeks before 9/11. Moreover, the article reported that Atwan “was convinced that Islamic fundamentalists aligned with bin Laden were ‘almost certainly’ behind the attacks.” Incidentally, Atwan had personally interviewed bin Laden in Afghanistan in 1996 – among the very few to do so. As reported by Michael Evans in the August 24, 1998 issue of The Times, Atwan “is trusted by bin Laden.”
Curious, perhaps, that Atwan seemed to be one of the major “point men” used in elaborating the Osama bin Laden “legend”, as they say in intelligence parlance. In a U.S. News article dated August 31, 1998, Atwan informs us that bin Laden “is a humble man who lives simply, eating fried eggs, tasteless low-fat cheese, and bread gritty with sand. He hates America.” No flash in the pan, this interviewer. Apparently, bin Laden kept Atwan’s business card tucked away in his toga pocket. “Bin Laden phoned this newspaper, phoned me last Friday,” Atwan revealed in an ABC News LateLine Transcript dated August 25, 1998. We’ll come back to ABC News shortly.
While solidly implicating bin Laden the day after 9/11, Atwan was also the media’s “go-to” guy back in 1998 when he informed us, after President Clinton bombed tool sheds in Afghanistan, that bin Laden issued this threat against the United States: “The battle has not started yet. The response will be with action and not words.” In the same article (which I took from Nando Times), ABC News is the source for an additional threat called in by Ayman al-Zawahiri, a senior bin Laden aide: “The war has just started. The Americans should wait for the answer.” Only a few months before that, ABC had conducted its televised interview of bin Laden. By the summer of 1998, primed by Atwan, ABC NEWS, and a surprisingly small clique of well-worn sources, we had come to know bin Laden as America’s latest “Saddam”, “Qaddafi”, “Noriega” – take your pick and set your bomb sites.
By October 2000, when the U.S.S. Cole was bombed in Yemen, in case there was any doubt, Atwan offered Reuters his helpful analysis with regards to the source of blame: “I do not rule out that this was undertaken by Osama bin Laden. Yemeni groups don’t have the experience to carry out this kind of operation.” Atwan informed Reuters that bin Laden “was unlikely to claim direct responsibility for Thursday’s attack for fear of U.S. reprisals.” One can imagine, then, that Atwan gave his trusting phone mate cause for many a sleepless night. With friends like these…
Leading up to 9/11, by the Spring of 2001, an incriminating wedding videotape, apparently implicating bin Laden in the Yemen bombing, was circulating around the Middle East after being broadcast on the ubiquitous al-Jazeera television station (reconstituted from the BBC TV Arabic Service – more on them later). In the video, bin Laden, according to the Saudi-owned al-Hayat newspaper (more on them later, too), recited a poem celebrating the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole (shades of deja vu here?) This from the ABCNEWS.com site dated March 1: “Al-Hayat, which carried a photo of bin Laden and his son at the wedding, said its correspondent was the only journalist at the ceremony, also attended by bin Laden’s mother, two brothers and sister who flew to Kandahar from Saudi Arabia.”
And yes, here, too, Atwan offers his thoughtful review of the bin Laden video, courtesy of PTI, datelined London June 22, 2001: “[Atwan] said the video was proof that the fugitive Saudi millionaire [the Bruce Wayne of terrorists] was fit, well equipped and confident enough to send out a call to arms.” Why this sudden need for proof? According to Atwan in the same article: “There have been rumours that [bin Laden] is ill and that he is being contained by the Taliban in Afghanistan. It is quite clear from the film that he is in good health to the point where he can fire a rifle, and is free to operate as he chooses.” In other words, limber enough for his starring role in the months ahead.
So who is Abdel Bari Atwan and why is he anxious to tell us so much? According to the Winter 1999 issue of INEAS (Institute of Near Eastern and African Studies), Abdel Bari Atwan, a Palestinian, was born in a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip in 1950. Educated at the American University of Cairo, Atwan moved to Saudi Arabia and worked as a writer for the al-Madina newspaper. In 1978, he moved to London, where he became a correspondent for the Saudi-owned Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper. In 1988, after shuffling around between Saudi-owned papers, Atwan was offered a position as editor of al-Quds al-Arabi. By his account, he was offered a position as the executive editor of the Saudi-owned al-Hayat (of the bin Laden wedding video coup), yet turned it down to produce a more independent newspaper as a challenge to the “empires” of the Saudi-dominated dailies.
Al-Quds began production in April 1989. A little more than a year later, Saddam invaded Kuwait and al-Quds stood alone as the only Arab newspaper opposed to the Persian Gulf War – at least by Atwan’s account. According to Atwan: “Without the Gulf War, we wouldn’t have taken such political lines, which made us well recognized and well respected.” In November 1996, Bari-Atwan braved a twelve-hour car ride through muddy roads, attired in shabby Afghani rags in below-zero weather, and gave us the early scoop on bin Laden, conducting a one-on-one interview in bin Laden’s [bat]cave. From then on, the mainstream media – CNN, ABC, BBC, Sky News – looked to Bari-Atwan and al-Quds as the “independent” voice of the Arab street.
Incidentally, in a discussion concerning the matter of Saudi domination of the Arabic media, taken from the Carryon.oneworld.org site, Atwan, as editor of his struggling independent, was facing off against Jihad Khazen, the editor of the Saudi-owned al-Hayat. As Atwan proudly related in support of his independence: “One day I was called by the BBC-TV Arabic service [whose staff later reconstituted itself as al-Jazeera television]: ‘There’s a story on your front page today, saying such and such. Is it true?’ I asked why he should doubt it and he replied: ‘It’s not published in al-Hayat [his job offer] or al-Sharq al-Awsat [his alma mater].’ ” Atwan boasts: “At least I can say we are 95 to 96 per cent independent” – leaving out the 4 to 5 per cent spent on bin Laden, I presume. Whether or not al-Quds truly is independent, this is the cover story the mainstream media buys into when they come trolling for their “independent” evidence.
So, to elaborate further on this (so far) fruitful hypothesis, it is my contention that al-Qaida and bin Laden are elaborate “legends” set up to promote a plausibly sophisticated and ferocious enemy to stand against American interests. I am not, however, implying that bin Laden himself is a total fabrication. Rather, it is my contention that confederates, believing themselves to act on behalf of bin Laden, are being set up in a “false flag operation” to perform operations as their controllers see fit. And who are these controllers? If they’re anything resembling the folks who brought you Hizbullah and Hamas, you wouldn’t be sweating the suitcase nukes (made in America), the Ames strain anthrax (made in America), the MI5-like “sleeper agents” and coded “go” messages. Instead, you would be dodging primitive nail bombs and road mines – and not needing Abdel Bari Atwan to feed you the lowdown on the blame.
In view of the fact that bin Laden is of Saudi origin, that much of the “evidence” on the Arab side initially originated from Saudi-owned or Gulf Anglo-client state sources, and that Saudi Arabia is the major financial sponsor of the Taliban brand of fundamentalism in Afghanistan (as a counter-point to Iran), I believe it is fair to say that Saudi Arabia might possibly be implicated. ” Most likely, the Saudis performed their roles as subservient proxies. We’ll get to the ultimate controllers soon enough (if you haven’t already guessed where this is going). And now, to fill out the picture further, it is necessary to name an equally essential partner as proxy – Pakistan, or, more specifically, Pakistan’s version of the CIA – the ISI (Interservices Intelligence Directorate).
And this is where we begin to “close the circle” of our close-knit pre-9/11 propaganda clique. Returning again to the above-mentioned Dan Eggen and Vernon Loeb Post article of September 12, we’re offered – in a powerful little side-bar – more critical evidence implicating bin Laden for the attacks the day before. This time, the bombshell is offered by Palestinian journalist Jamal Ismail, Abu Dhabi Television’s bureau chief in Islamabad. According to Ismail, a bin Laden aide called him “early Wednesday on a satellite telephone from a hide-out in Afghanistan,” praising the attack yet denying any responsibility for it. As it turns out, Ismail was also among the select few to conduct his very own bin Laden interview, published by Newsweek in its April 1, 1999 issue. Here is how Newsweek described Ismail’s good fortune: “Palestinian journalist Jamal Ismail’s mobile phone rang just before prayers on December 18. ‘Peace be upon you, ‘ said the voice on the line. ‘You may not recognize me, but I know you.’ ” And thus was Jamal Ismail invited on his own mud-soaked incursion to the bin Laden [bat]cave.
Searching deeper, I found an interesting obscure article penned by respected Pakistani journalist Rahimullah Yusufszai in The News Jang, and dated May 3, 2000. It details the detention of two men of Kurdish origin, accused by the Taliban of spying for American and Israeli intelligence. As Yusufszai relates it, he spoke to the only journalists allowed by the Taliban to interview the detained men – Jamal Ismail and his cameraman. Apparently, Ismail had a special relationship with the Taliban, allowing him this rare privilege above other journalists. And, as we shall shortly see, so does Yusufszai. One wonders who debriefs them at the end of a workday. But more interestingly, by May 5, as reported by Kathy Gannon for the Associated Press, the story acquires – as they say – “new legs.” Not only are the basic elements of the Yusufszai story mentioned, but the article leads off with the bombshell that one of the detained men revealed that he was recruited by the United States to find Osama bin Laden. It finishes with a little coda implicating bin Laden in the 1998 embassy bombings. Thus, in the space of two days, Yusufszai’s Pakistani “spy” article sprouts a bin Laden addition when fertilized by the American Associated Press – and nicely provides a plausible explanation as to why a Kurd would be prowling around Afghanistan on behalf of the United States.
Yusufszai, incidentally, moonlighted as an ABC News producer, charged with guiding ABC News correspondent John Miller through the Afghani marshes to the bin Laden [bat]cave – one of the very few American journalists to be accorded such an honour (and also, as it happens, a good friend of bin Laden arch-foe John O’Neill. But not chummy enough to direct O’Neill on to bin Laden’s hideaway). Moreover, Ismail and Yusufszai are mentioned together in a CNN article posted January 4, 1999 – the former for his Newsweek interview, the latter for his own bin Laden dialogue for TIME Magazine the day later.
Rahimullah Yusufszai, regarded by New York Times reporters John Burns and Steve LeVine as “one man who has seen more of the Taliban than any other outsider,” is also named by The Nation, in its article of January 27, 1997, as “one of the favourite journalists of [Pakistan's] ISI…one of the organizations funding and arming the Taliban. ”
It’s a small world after all. In the September 29, 2001 article of PressPlus, Yusufszai’s ABC colleague, John Miller, mused about running into his buddy John O’Neill in Yemen while reporting on the U.S.S. Cole bombing the year before. “He said, ‘So this is the Elaine’s of Yemen.’ ”
“There is a terrible irony to all this,” Miller said. I’ll say: Miller, one of the very few Americans who can give a first-hand account of bin Laden, bumps into his friend, bin Laden’s chief investigator, while both are investigating a bombing in Yemen that will later be tagged onto bin Laden – and only a year before O’Neill dies at the hands of… allegedly …bin Laden.
Now, following the logic of my hypothesis, if the bin Laden threat was, pre-9/11, a close-knit propaganda campaign, one would expect to find the same names showing up repeatedly in combination with one another. This, too, applies to the American commentators. Let us return to the August 1998 American bombings of bin Laden’s tool sheds as an example. The night of the bombing, Rahimullah Yusufszai received a call from bin Laden aide Ayman al-Zawahiri, in a report from the Associated Press. Later, Yusufszai obtained for ABC News exclusive photos of the damage to bin Laden’s camp. Further commentary describing the layout of the bin Laden camp was furnished to the Washington Post by former CIA analyst and terrorism expert Kenneth Katzman, as well as Harvey Kushner of Long Island University. Only little more than a week before that, Katzman and Kushner were offering their assessment of bin Laden’s culpability for the embassy bombings in Africa in a Washington Post article penned by Vernon Loeb and Walter Pincus. They were joined in this effort by Vincent Cannistraro, the ABC news analyst who also escorted John Miller to his bin Laden interview, as well as provided running commentary in the days immediately following 9/11. Cannistraro, a former CIA counterterrorism chief, provided covert aid to the Afghani mujaheddin in the late ’80′s, as well as supervised CIA operations with the contras. He was also one of the point men in the notoriously circumspect investigation at Lockerbie. In the above-noted Loeb and Pincus article – in which bin Laden is quoted from the ABC News Miller and Yusufszai interview – Cannistraro weighs in with his assessment of the embassy bombings: “I believe Osama bin Laden is the sponsor of this operation, and I think all of the indications are pointing that way.”
Soon after the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen, a Vernon Loeb Post article, dated October 13, 2000, proceeded to implicate bin Laden through the detailed information provided by Kushner, Katzman, and Cannistraro. Earlier, in a Vernon Loeb Post article dated July 3, 2000, Yusufszai, Kushner, and Cannistraro unveiled bin Laden aides Ayman al-Zawahiri and Muhammed Atef as the men to watch as bin Laden’s likely successors, with a helpful tidbit on the Zawahiri biography thrown in by the Saudi-owned al-Sharq al-Awsat.
None of the above, of course, is offered as the “smoking gun” pointing the way to a propaganda conspiracy, nor are my chosen examples meant to be exhaustive in evidencing this point. According to Felicity Barringer, in a New York Times article dated September 24, 2001: ”A good deal of the public information on bin Laden comes from the journalists who went to Afghanistan to interview him, including [Peter] Bergen, … Peter Arnett, John Miller, Rahimullah Yusufzai, and Jamal Ismail.” The article further makes reference to Vernon Loeb, Al Quds al-Arabi (Atwan), Judith Miller, Al Jazeera, and Brian Jenkins (formerly of Kroll Associates – the security firm that obtained the WTC position for John O’Neill by way of Jerry Hauer). Clearly, I have also not heretofore made mention of the other experts who have worked assiduously toward building our knowledge base on bin Laden – Steven Emerson, Daniel Pipes, Yossef Bodansky, and various British and EU elites. However, the above examples do show how the information flow on bin Laden could be plausibly managed by the skilfully placed revelations of a relatively insular clique of “experts” called upon repeatedly by the mainstream media.
Here is how it would work: A relatively few well-connected correspondents provide the “scoops” that get the coverage in the relatively few mainstream news sources – the four TV networks, TIME, Newsweek, CNN – where the parameters of debate are set and the “official reality” is consecrated for the bottom feeders in the news chain. In other countries, this is what is known as propaganda – or, put less politely, psychological warfare.
But before I leave this topic, I would like to provide an example of “news management” that is revealing for what is omitted – that is, the “smoking gun” of Pakistani ISI involvement in the events of 9/11. On October 9, 2001, the Times of India dropped this little bombshell: “Top sources confirmed here on Tuesday that [ISI Chief Mahmud Ahmad] lost his job because of the “evidence” India produced to show his links to one of the suicide bombers that wrecked the World Trade Centre. The US authorities sought his removal after confirming the fact that $100,000 were wired to WTC hijacker Mohammed Atta from Pakistan by Ahmad Umar Sheikh at the instance of Gen. Mahmud.”
What makes this particular piece so devastating is that only days before, much of the mainstream American media was touting the news of a “key link” in the chain of evidence linking bin Laden to the events of September 11 – namely, a $100,000 wire transfer to the hijackers from a shadowy operative linked to bin Laden. Yet once this operative was “outed” as being linked instead to the Pakistani ISI Chief, any propaganda gains initially made through this evidence would now crumble. One possible reason might stem from this Karachi News item, released only two days before September 11:
“[Pakistani] ISI Chief Lt-Gen Mahmood’s week-long presence in Washington has triggered speculation about the agenda of his mysterious meetings at the Pentagon and National Security Council. Officially, State Department sources say he is on a routine visit in return to [sic] CIA Director George Tenet’s earlier visit to Islamabad…What added interest to his visit is the history of such visits. Last time Ziauddin Butt, Mahmood’s predecessor, was here during Nawaz Sharif’s government the domestic politics turned topsy-turvy within days. That this is not the first visit by Mahmood in the last three months shows the urgency of the ongoing parleys…”
In other words, this was a propaganda piece that went disastrously wrong. After October 9, bin Laden’s alleged paymaster could now be linked to a U.S. “ally” who spent the days before 9/11 in deep consultation at the Pentagon. The US authorities immediately went into damage control mode by insisting on the quiet retirement of the “outed” ISI chief. Thus removed from the public eye, the ISI Chief’s role in all this could be effectively ignored, and an American media black-out could be safely assumed.
Such a scenario certainly fits in snugly with my hypothesis, which I will now proceed to elaborate completely. The events of September 11 were masterminded by those who were in the best position to manage the consequences – namely, those most able to manage the flow of information, those most able to coordinate all the elements necessary for the perpetration of a successful operation (subverting airport security, guiding the planes to their specific targets), and most significantly, those who stood to reasonably benefit in the aftermath. Conspiracies, by their very nature, are not crimes of passion. They may involve rational, albeit cold-blooded, attempts to achieve a desired end by employing the most effective means available. It is for this reason that “mainstream” terror groups like Hamas and Hizbullah largely avoid attacking American interests where such attacks would serve no practical interest. For all their talk of Jihad, these terror groups tend to plan their specific attacks with an eye to the consequences that could reasonably be expected to follow. Thus, knowing the moral and political constraints of Israeli deterrent strategies, they calibrate their attacks to elicit consequences that are most tolerable for them – and hence, manageable. Yet surely, in the light of the cult of suicidal martyrdom, such considerations no longer hold sway. Perhaps. But then, in the case of such a far-flung anti-Zionist movement as al-Qaida, one would expect at least a little more exertion against Israeli interests than has heretofore prevailed – unless, of course, the “point” of al-Qaida was to provide a plausible dire threat to American interests where none had then existed. In any case, as nobody has noticed this particular anomaly, there was no need for any needless exertion of resources in order to bolster a credibility that needed no bolstering in this one particular sector.
Motive, means, and opportunity. While I presented the Saudis and Pakistani intelligence as clear-cut proxies, the only motive these elements would have to benefit from a crime of this nature is an assurance that no punishment would be forthcoming but rather, they would be on the right side of power and wealth among those in a position to determine the booty.
Another anomaly: on the very day that the ISI Chief was in deep consultation at the Pentagon, Ahmed Shah Massoud, the head of the Afghani Northern Alliance – a cultishly popular figure within that group, and a mortal foe of Pakistan’s ISI – was assassinated by two terrorists posing as cameramen. Keeping in mind the fact that, throughout the ’90′s, American leaders such as Clinton, and American companies such as Unocal, were largely throwing their support over to the Taliban in opposition to the Northern Alliance (or United Front), it seems rather convenient that, in the aftermath of 9/11, the way was now cleared for the Northern Alliance to be co-opted as an instrument for setting up a more pliant Afghani government (now headed, incidentally, by a former consultant to Unocal).
So who are the ultimate controllers? To begin with, the circumstantial evidence seems to point to an operative clique primarily based out of New York City and the State of Florida. I stress the word “operative”, as this clique appears to consist of subservient agents involved in laying the preparations. Once again, John O’Neill serves as an effective Rosetta Stone in interpreting the raw outlines of this operative clique (which is by no means a “rogue” clique). The FBI and CIA elements involved in counterterrorism have a checkered past. For one, Oliver North in the 1980′s served as Counterterrorism Chief while he used his office as a cover to deal with such narco-terrorists as Monzar al-Kassar (who figures in the crash at Lockerbie – also investigated by Cannistraro). In the late ’90′s, O’Neill was transferred from the federal office of Counterrorism to the New York Counterrorism Office of the FBI – and it was the New York branch which was then designated as the primary investigator of all overseas investigations involving bin Laden. Moreover, this branch was also involved in the somewhat suspect investigation of TWA 800 – investigated by O’Neill and reported upon by ABC’s John Miller, who was formerly the Deputy Police Commissioner of Public Relations for the NYPD before he joined up with ABC.
As regards New York, there is another element involved in germ warfare operations. Actually, a multi-million dollar bunker – serving as a command and control center in the event of a biological attack – was set up at 7 World Trade Center at the direction of Rudolph Giuliani, who also oversaw the mass spraying of malathion over the boroughs of New York City when the West Nile Virus hit town a few summers previously. The man Giuliani placed in charge of that operation, Jerry Hauer, also happened to be the man who found John O’Neill the position at the World Trade Center, as well as being the one who – by his own admission – identified O’Neill’s body.
Moreover, there has been a widespread campaign on to link the threat of al-Qaida with that of a mass biological attack. At least the day after September 11, the link – as the Anthrax mailings had yet to arise – was not so apparent. Yet on PBS’ Frontline, the New York Times’ Judith Miller (no apparent relation to John Miller, as far as I’m aware), accompanied by the New York Times’ James Risen, was interviewed as an expert on al-Qaida. Several weeks later, Judith Miller would once more make the headlines as the apparent recipient of an anthrax mailing which turned out to be a false alarm – yet was all the same conveniently timed with the well-publicized launching of her book on…germ warfare. As was later discovered, the anthrax mailings petered out once the news leaked that a DNA test revealed the material to be of the Ames strain of anthrax, an agent synthesized out of a CIA laboratory in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Nevertheless, this was sufficient to fast-track Bioport’s exclusive license for the anthrax vaccine toward FDA approval. Formerly, Bioport’s experimental anthrax vaccine was being forcibly administered – under threat of court-martial – to hundreds of thousands of American servicemen (in conformity with Bioport’s exclusive and lucrative contract with the Department of Defense).
Incidentally, Judith Miller, along with Jerry Hauer, was among 17 “key” participants in a biowarfare exercise known as “Dark Winter” – a think tank-funded scenario that aimed to study the nationwide effects of a hypothetical smallpox outbreak. One of the sponsors of that exercise was the Anser Institute of Homeland Security, an organization established before September 11, 2001. Interestingly enough, the curious phrase “homeland security” was starting to creep up with increasing frequency in the vocabularies of certain political cliques (Dick Cheney, the Hart-Rudman Commission, et al.) in the year or two leading up to 9/11.
The point of the above-noted information is to draw attention to an apparent propaganda campaign to prepare the public for a catastrophic biological attack. As with the Twin Towers, the blame for any coming attack may be duly and plausibly assigned by those who carefully laid the groundwork in preparing us for this eventuality.
As for Florida, the connection with this state is obvious, for not only was the first anthrax mailing directed to the Florida offices of the National Enquirer, but many of the accused hijackers were also reported to receive their pilot training from flight schools in Venice and Tampa. Notably, it was a Florida bank account to which hijacker Mohamed Atta allegedly deposited his 9/11 pay cheque. Moreover, Florida, by way of the MacDill Air Force Base, is also Central Command for the war in Afghanistan. In addition to its function as Central Command for the war on terrorism, MacDill is -outside of Langley – also a major base of the CIA. Thus, in the CIA’s own backyard, we find the infrastructure and financial support that went into the planning for the events of 9/11. And, as we so often find with events surrounding 9/11, another synchronicity – for coincidentally enough, the woman who reportedly happened to find an apartment for one of the alleged hijackers was the wife of the senior editor of the National Enquirer. Moreover, her husband, Michael Irish, also happened to make use of an airfield that reportedly served as flight training for some of the hijackers. I emphasize the word “reportedly,” as the possibility always exists that this “reported fact” may be nothing more than disinformation, strategically placed to divert attention from a possibly more subtle truth. In intelligence operations, foreign assets are often placed with resident “controllers” whose job it is to supervise the asset as well as provide accommodations as the need arises. Who are Michael and Gloria Irish? Or, perhaps more revealingly, what kind of social circles do they run with? This is certainly an avenue worth exploring – by reason of its many synchrocities if for nothing else. Again, the seam that shows.
As a little side-note, Tampa experienced its own mass spraying of malathion, a mutagenic pesticide, when it encountered a med fly outbreak the year before New York’s West Nile outbreak. In the end, the flies were contained through a sterile med fly program administered out of MacDill Air Force base.
So, to sum up, it appears that the events of September 11 were planned years in advance, with the groundwork being carefully laid by a propaganda campaign orchestrated to convince the public that the United States has a plausibly sophisticated nemesis with the motive, means, and opportunity to perpetrate a devastating act of terror against Americans. Toward that end, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have been used as the primary proxy agents to run a “false flag” operation, setting up and financing the infrastructure of al-Qaida in Afghanistan. Through madrassas based in Pakistan, Saudi and Yemenite militants were instructed in the Saudi brand of Wahabbi Islam, and subsequently “graduated” to the camps that were set up in Afghanistan – again, under Saudi and Pakistani sponsorship. Stateside, the operative agents were mostly based out of New York City and Florida. In the aftermath of 9/11, elements in the American government are now widely disseminating information in vast quantities, overwhelming the populace and lending credibility to the government’s version of events. Thus, post-9/11, the actions of this formerly insular propaganda clique are no longer perceptible. Information is now being doled out in generous portions to credulous reporters who are outside the loop, yet perform their unwitting service as “bottom feeders” in the downward flow of information.
In all cases, the actions of these proxy agents and operative planners are sufficiently distanced and compartmentalized from the true masterminds to create a condition of “plausible deniability”. In short, the proxies have also been set up as possible patsies with evidence that has been carefully laid to incriminate them should cracks in the “official story” become too discernible. Moreover, the groundwork has already been carefully laid to cast aspersions on another convenient patsy – the Jews, by way of the State of Israel and its supporters. Already, for those prone to perceive Jewish conspiracies, the reliable vein of anti-Semitism – combined with anti-Zionism – has been mined to distract the masses and to create a modern version of the ritual blood libel, thereby further “muddying the waters” should the true masterminds be threatened with exposure. In other words, the present difficulties in the Middle East work perfectly to set up the State of Israel as a plausible alternative suspect with motive, means, and opportunity. Toward that end, a low-level “buzz” has been circulating over the Internet (and especially in Europe) of an Israeli spy ring that was rounded up in the days after September 11. Whether or not these reports are credible is not the point. Most likely, there was a spy ring operating, and various Israelis were unwittingly set up as patsies, to be exposed should the need arise. Thus, while evidence may be marshaled to taint the Saudis, Pakistanis, or Israelis, the real guilt must inevitably lie with those in the best position to manage the flow of information as well as reliably benefit from the new order created, primarily, the political and corporate elites of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union – also, as it happens, the very parties orchestrating the global war on terrorism. In this respect, the Saudis, Pakistanis, or Israelis have far less to gain (other than the benefits of going along with the designs of the rich and mighty).
I could go on and further highlight the obvious geostrategic gains of those who are clearly managing the flow of information – the proverbial pipelines, oil, wealth, and so forth. But I think those purported benefits are a bit of a “red herring” – more of a side benefit than the main motivating factor. Americans and their allies would have easily supported a thrust into Afghanistan for a provocation far less costly and bloody than this (such as Kuwait in the early ’90′s). It is no small act to intentionally take down such an overarching symbol of financial stability as the Twin Towers, and chance killing thousands in the process. Such a conspiracy, if in fact perpetrated from within, would by its nature necessitate a huge structural, cultural, and demographic change. The very brazenness of the act, the naked aggression, would necessitate a tenacious determination to achieve the ends for which these actions were perpetrated. There is no going back now. An infrastructure is being laid out – one that will, finally, provide a dissident-proof totalitarian oligarchy composed of like-minded elites served by an under-class kept under constant surveillance. The edifice of this regime is being constructed, brick by brick, with the mortar of the Office of Homeland Security (to centralize and coordinate an effective police state), the Freedom Corps (to indoctrinate the most idealist – and therefore activist – elements of the populace toward service to the state), and the Patriot Act (to provide the legal basis for subverting long-held rights under the screen of national security). If all of this sounds strangely familiar, if it is redolent of Huxley and Orwell, that is perhaps because Huxley and Orwell were both intimately involved with the elites of their time – in fact, were fully subsumed among them – in ways that made their future projections abundantly prescient, and, in their minds, inevitable. With further refinements in mind control technologies – yes, they do exist – as well as the monopolization of the food supply by way of sterile seed “terminator technology” – the approval for which was granted in the months following 9/11 – the masses may be perpetually culled and exploited by those who hold the keys to this fully managed society.
If this notion of reality strikes you as somewhat dissonant, at odds with your own personal experience, it may be perhaps that we have not quite arrived there yet, and that you have personally not felt the corrosive lash of political corruption and governmental malfeasance. In all likelihood, you have not read the mountain of evidence detailing political and elite deviant behaviour in this country. You may even be dismissive of “conspiracy theories”, yet wholly unaware of the well-documented attempts by the CIA and FBI to subvert, surveil, and propagandize the populace through programs such as Project Mockingbird (media infiltration) and MK-Ultra (mind control through chemical, hypnotic, or electro-magnetic means). These programs are effected primarily through “think tanks” that are set up across the United States for the purpose of disseminating information and propaganda under the rubric of “expertise”. Moreover, various foundations, such as the Rockefeller or Ford Foundations, are often used as funnels to finance and feed the arteries of these propaganda networks. In the 1970′s, a good deal of this structural corruption was officially exposed – in a “limited hang-out” – by way of the Church Commission, as well as the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Thereafter, much of the most damaging revelations were played down or ignored by the mainstream media, and the waters were then muddied by a stream of outlandish conspiracy theories – aliens, Elvis, etc. – that merely served to discredit the information that was most credible. “Muddying the waters”, incidentally, is a tried and true staple of the intelligence craft.
It is really just a matter of familiarizing yourself with all the documented anomalies that do not accord with the received, mainstream reality put forth to you by the mainstream media. As a practical guide to begin, you might want to confine your search to strictly “mainstream” sources, as I have sought to do in attempting to construct my case on 9/11. My evidence is by no means exhaustive. In fact, it is merely the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Yet proceeding in this direction, under my hypothesis, has been most fruitful in analyzing the various anomalies that pop up now and then.
Any simple keyword search of the following terms may be helpful in pointing toward a more substantive understanding of the elites who ultimately guide your fortunes: “Iran-Contra” , “Mena”, “BCCI”, “Project Paperclip”, “Michael Aquino”, “Paul Bonacci”, “Operation Northwoods”, “MK-Ultra”. Much of the information on these topics is credible and well-documented. More disturbingly, it highlights behavior committed by the very same elites who are now interpreting the events of 9/11 for you. Read for yourself, and decide, at the end of the day, how much credibility you will continue to accord to those who claim to be the proper trustees of your fate and well-being.
Chaim Kupferberg is a freelance researcher and writer.
Project Censored Editors note: The full version of this study with all of the citations will be published in Censored 2015: Inspiring We the People, edited by Andy Lee Roth, Mickey Huff, and Project Censored, Seven Stories Press, official release date October 7, 2014.
According to newspaper accounts over 1,500 people die annually in the US in law enforcement related deaths. These are all deaths in the presence of law enforcement personnel both on the street and in local jails. Infamous cases such as Andy Lopez, Oscar Grant, and Michael Brown are only the tip of the iceberg. Many hundreds more are killed annually and these deaths by police are almost always ruled justifiable, even when victims are unarmed or shot in the back running away. We interviewed 14 families who lost loved ones in law enforcement related deaths in the SF Bay Area from 2000-2010. All the families believe their loved one should not have been killed and most felt that the police over-reacted and murdered their family member. All families reported abuse by police after the deaths. Most also reported that the corporate media was biased in favor of the police and failed to accurately report the real circumstances of the death.
Beginning in 1996 activists in New York organized a national protest day on October 22 each year. The October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation says that they “bring forward a united, powerful, visual coalition of families victimized by police terrorism.”
In 1998 Project Censored co-sponsored a research study with the Stolen Lives Project a group born out of the October 22nd Coalition. Through funding from the San Francisco Foundation, Karen Saari, a legal researcher in Sonoma County California, spent a good part of a year searching the newspaper databases Lexis-Nexis and Proquest online at Sonoma State University for articles on Law Enforcement Related Deaths. She was searching for police shootings and any situation reported in the newspapers where someone died in the presence of law enforcement officers. Besides gun shots, deaths included suicides, car accidents, shootings, drowning, and Taser use.
To our knowledge, this was the first time such a study had been attempted in the U.S. During the twelve-month period October 1, 1997 to October 1, 1998, Saari found news stories on 694 deaths in the presence of law enforcement that occurred in the United States. Department of Justice figures at the time listed about 350 people killed by police in the previous year, so Saari’s research showed a significantly higher rate of death among civilians in law enforcement incidents than was previously known at the time.
In 2011, Jim Fisher used Internet searches to identify 1,146 police shootings that year. Of this number news reports indicated that 607 people died. This was a slightly higher rate of shooting deaths than had been reported in 1997-98, but did not include taser, restraint deaths and suicides. Fisher found that vast majorities of the people shot were between the ages of 25-49, a result similar to Saari’s report a decade earlier. In 2011 two victims of the police were 15 years of age and one girl was only 16. Fifty of the dead were armed with BB-guns, pellet guns or toy replica firearms.
In addition to the people dying on the street or in their homes through law enforcement related activities, research shows that several hundred people a year die in local jails. In 2011, according to the Office of Justice Programs, 885 inmates died in the custody of local jails. Thirty-nine percent died within the first week of being jailed. This number combined with deaths on the outside shows that in excess of 1,500 people die annually in law enforcement related circumstances both in custody or in the process of enforcement in the community. It is reasonable to assume that some portion of these deaths is attributable to officer mistakes, over- reactions, or deliberate acts resulting in death.
But almost always, despite obvious questionable behavior by law enforcement personnel, no charges are filed. Police investigations of law enforcement related death, either internally within departments or by outside police agencies, nearly always rule homicides are justifiable and followed departmental procedures. It is extremely rare for police departments to rule a death as unjustified or to charge an officer with neglect, manslaughter, or murder.
Research has shown that it was a much graver error for a street cop to use too little force and begin developing a reputation among fellow officers as a shaky officer than to engage in excessive force and be told by colleagues to calm down. When officers do not use enough force they are subject to reprimand, gossip, and avoidance in the police subculture. The dangers associated with the occupation often prompt officers to distance themselves from the chief source of danger — citizens. The coercive authority that officers possess also separates them from the public. The cultural prescriptions of suspiciousness and maintaining the edge over citizens in creating, displaying, and maintaining their authority further divides police and people in the community. Officers who are socially isolated from citizens, and who rely on one another for mutual support from a dangerous and hostile work environment, are said to develop a “we versus they” attitude toward citizens and strong norms of loyalty to fellow officers.
We believe that certain behavior changes by police could well result in the lowering of law enforcement related deaths in the U.S. We decided to interview families of people who died in a law enforcement related incident. Our research team interviewed fourteen individuals who were immediate family members of people who died in Law Enforcement related incidents in northern California between 2000 and 2010. At least one year had passed from when their loved one died and the date of the interview. Interviews were recorded and transcribed for analysis and comparison. All the names of the interviewees and the victims are to remain anonymous to protect the privacy of the families.
Following is a brief outline of the key facts as reported by family members for the fourteen cases and their opinions on the death. In all fourteen cases, the investigating police departments ruled the deaths justifiable homicide. In case # 9 a narcotics officer was indicted by the Grand Jury, but was found innocent in a court trial. All the family members interviewed strongly believe that police overreacted and their loved one should not have been killed under the circumstances.
Case #1. White male, Age 29, San Anselmo, prior history of mental illness, in-home traumatic episode, victim charges police with small steak knife, shot to death
Interviewee #1, “I think he (police officer) acted hastily…the cop that did it shouldn’t have a gun…he is the problem.”
Case #2. Black male, Age 19, High School Senior, Hayward, shot in back of head while running away from Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police, no record of mental illness, no weapons present,
Interviewee #2, “The police and the media just said …the officer felt threatened by my son and had to shoot him. Very few newspapers changed their story or apologized when they found out my son was shot in the back of the head.”
Case #3. Black Male, Age 30, Rohnert Park, prior drug use, shot in back running from police after car chase, no record of mental illness, no weapons present,
Interviewee #3, “he was running from the police…they shot him in the back…murdered by the police.”
Case #4. Black Male, Age 27, Oakland, prior drug use and sales, no history of mental illness, shot in back running from police, threw away handgun before being shot, financial settlement to family from civil trial.
Interviewee #4, “He had to run because he had a pistol on him. The police chased him. He ran around the corner and threw away the gun. The cop saw him throw away the gun and I guess decided it was ok to go ahead and shoot. He was shot two or three times in the back.”
Case #5. Black male, Age 23, San Francisco, bipolar and depressed, confrontation in movie theater over smoking, shot 48 times by nine officers, no weapons, financial settlement to family from civil trial.
Interviewee #5, “They (police) evacuated all the theater… and they got in and shot him 48 times. They (Cops) posted stuff on my son’s website. I checked the IP address and it came form the police station, (they wrote) “who cares about your dead baboon on welfare?”
Case #6. Black male, Age 73, Ukiah, long history of mental illness, local psych unit asked police to pick him up so he could take his medications, runs to his apartment chased by police dog, dog attacks him and he responds with sharp object, shot several times in back and side by police.
Interviewee #6, “In my opinion he was murdered.”
Case #7. Black male, Age 30, Rohnert Park, self-employed rapper, prior arrests for marijuana and passing counterfeit money, no recorded mental illness, ran from police after traffic stop, shot in back, no weapons present.
Interviewee # 7, “He ran (from the car after a stop) and was shot immediately in the back. And then he was dead. He and the officer that shot him …had gone to school together and played basketball together.”
Case #8. White male, Age 39, Petaluma, prior depression and minor drug use, not taking his medications, traumatic episode called 911 himself, rampaging in his parents home, tasered by police three times and dies, no weapons present.
Interviewee #8. “The police…are supposed to protect you and take care of you, and we were following the rules.”
Case #9. Latino male, Age 40, San Jose, prior felon, no history of mental illness, mistaken identity car chase by under-cover narcotics officers, runs from car and shot in back by officer, bleeds to death after delayed medical care, no weapons present, financial settlement to family after civil suit.
Interviewee #9, “My uncle happens to drive by a stakeout and he fits the description of a Mexican guy with a mustache…in a blue van. The undercover narcotic officers gave chase,… my uncle didn’t know who they were…he ends up on a one-way street and stops his car, and starts to run away. My uncle jumps a fence and the officer shoots him in the middle of the back. They let him lay there for eleven minutes bleeding…finally they let the ambulance in and he dies on the way to the hospital.”
Case #10. Black male, Age 16, 127 lbs, Sebastopol, no prior criminal record, depressed, traumatic episode in van parked in family driveway with small carving knife, pepper sprayed and shot six times by county sheriff, financial settlement to family from civil trial.
Interviewee #10, “The officer was highly reactive and he didn’t assess the situation, he immediately jumped into plan of action and that escalated the situation rather then contain it. Both officers said they feared for their life, yet these officers were both more than twice the weight of my 127 lb son.”
Case #11. Latino male, Age 34, San Jose, prior drug use, no history of mental illness, single officer confrontation 3:00 AM in front of his children’s and ex-partner’s home, tasered by officer, physical struggle, shot four times, no weapons present.
Interviewee # 11, “his autopsy report showed that he had been hit four times with bullets through his left side. He was unarmed. The police said they are trained to stop a threat. And I said well my god if this officer felt threatened what about a shot to the leg or something…and he responded no we are trained to show center space in the body. You know if you can’t shoot center space you won’t be a police officer.”
Case #12. White male, Age 24, Santa Rosa, mentally ill ward of the state, schizophrenic, in and out of care facilities since age 14, stopped taking medication and had psychotic incident in his home shard by three men, picked up small kitchen knife and is tasered and then shot by police four times, small financial settlement from civil suit.
Interviewee #12, “There are probably a great many combat veterans in the police…you have been taught to kill, They could have stepped back The first thing they could have done is not make him come out of his room. Anyone who knows anything about mental patients who are off their meds—just get them somewhere quiet and alone.”
Case #13, White-Korean male, Age 30, Santa Rosa, Mental Illness Bipolar and PTSD, fired gun afraid of intruders in his attic, taken by police outside, runs at officers shot, no weapon in possession at time of shooting.
Interviewee # 13, “They kept shouting orders at him, I believe there were six officers, they approached in formation all of them with their guns aimed at him and to someone in this mental state it was extremely threatening way to approach him. (They had him on the ground) and kept shouting confusing orders to him, turn your head to the right, turn your head to the left, then he jumped up…and they shot him a rifle in the chest, right in the heart. None of this would have happen, all they had to do was say we are here to help, we understand you are hearing intruders, do you mind if we take a look?”
Case #14. Black male double amputee in wheelchair, Age 61 and his son, age 21, Oakland, Police arrive seeking proof of vaccination for dog that was reported to have bit someone in the home, , father killed with one shot to heart, son killed with 13 shots, officer dies (family says from friendly fire), police claim son had a shotgun, mother says no gun in the house, tape recording hidden by police for six years shows cooperative son, and no shotgun blast.
Interviewee #14, “I think the reason officers do what they do is because they can. It is just like any human reaction that if there are not consequences, then you have a green light….they don’t pay lawsuits, the taxpayers do, they seldom get fired for wrongdoing. So basically what they do is with impunity be they know the odds of any negative impact coming back to them …is negligible.”
Most all of the families complained that the police lied to them after the death of their family member and the media backed up the police. In most cases, immediate family members are isolated from each other, and taken to the police station. Families were kept from knowing that their loved one was dead. Questioning by police was designed to build a negative case against the deceased.
Certainly, the sudden death of a loved one is a very traumatic event for anyone. However, adding in isolation, interrogations, and lies will undoubtedly magnify the trauma. These families carry a deep-seated anger towards the police, not only for killing their loved ones but also for what they see as gross mistreatment by authorities after the event. Not only do they understand that after a law enforcement related death police immediately circle the wagons and go into protective mode, but they also see the media as likely to accept press releases from the police unquestioningly and conduct little in the way of investigative reporting.
In conclusion, we believe that, with some 1,500 people dying annually, a major continuing problem with law enforcement related death exists in the US. The national move to militarized police with homeland security oversight is certainly not reducing this death rate. Long-term racism continues to show abuses affecting people of color to greater degrees that whites. The culture of policing tends to reward aggressive behavior and diminish efforts to mitigate shooting deaths. And families of law enforcement related death victims are mistreated and abused by police departments and the corporate media.
We think that a comprehensive review of police training is needed to give greater emphasis to the use of non-lethal interventions, and non-aggressive behaviors especially in mental health cases. Mental health/social service support for families of victims of law enforcement related deaths, given the testimony above, is an important social justice need for people already suffering serious trauma.
Peter Phillips is a Professor of Sociology at Sonoma State University, and President of Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored
Diana Grant is a Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice Studies at Sonoma State University
Greg Sewell is a recent sociology graduate from Sonoma State University
A Manhattan federal judge said on Thursday that investors may pursue a lawsuit accusing 12 major banks of violating antitrust law by fixing prices and restraining competition in the roughly $21 trillion market for credit default swaps.
“The complaint provides a chronology of behavior that would probably not result from chance, coincidence, independent responses to common stimuli, or mere interdependence,” [Judge] Cote said.
The defendants include Bank of America Corp, Barclays Plc, BNP Paribas SA, Citigroup Inc , Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG , Goldman Sachs Group Inc, HSBC Holdings Plc , JPMorgan Chase & Co, Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and UBS AG.
Other defendants are the International Swaps and Derivatives Association and Markit Ltd, which provides credit derivative pricing services.
U.S. and European regulators have probed potential anticompetitive activity in CDS. In July 2013, the European Commission accused many of the defendants of colluding to block new CDS exchanges from entering the market.
“The financial crisis hardly explains the alleged secret meetings and coordinated actions,” the judge wrote. “Nor does it explain why ISDA and Markit simultaneously reversed course.”
In other words, the big banks are continuing to fix prices for CDS in secret meetings … and have torpedoed the more open and transparent CDS exchanges that Congress mandated.
Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc was ordered to pay $50 million by a federal judge in Connecticut over claims that it rigged the London interbank offered rate.
RBS Securities Japan Ltd. in April pleaded guilty to wire frauda s part of a settlement of more than $600 million with U.S and U.K. regulators over Libor manipulation, according to court filings. U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in New Haventoday sentenced the Tokyo-based unit of RBS, Britain’s biggest publicly owned lender, to pay the agreed-upon fine, according to a Justice Department Justice Department.
Global investigations into banks’ attempts to manipulate the benchmarks for profit have led to fines and settlements for lenders including RBS, Barclays Plc, UBS AG and Rabobank Groep.
RBS was among six companies fined a record 1.7 billion euros ($2.3 billion) by the European Union last month for rigging interest rates linked to Libor. The combined fines for manipulating yen Libor and Euribor, the benchmark money-market rate for the euro, are the largest-ever EU cartel penalties.
Global fines for rate-rigging have reached $6 billion since June 2012 as authorities around the world probe whether traders worked together to fix Libor, meant to reflect the interest rate at which banks lend to each other, to benefit their own trading positions.
To put the Libor interest rate scandal in perspective:
Even though RBS and a handful of other banks have been fined for interest rate manipulation, Libor is still being manipulated. No wonder … the fines are pocket change – the cost of doing business – for the big banks
It is the participating banks themselves that administer the gold and silver benchmarks.
So are prices being manipulated? Let’s take a look at the evidence. In his book “The Gold Cartel,” commodity analyst Dimitri Speck combines minute-by-minute data from most of 1993 through 2012 to show how gold prices move on an average day (see attached charts). He finds that the spot price of gold tends to drop sharply around the London evening fixing (10 a.m. New York time). A similar, if less pronounced, drop in price occurs around the London morning fixing. The same daily declines can be seen in silver prices from 1998 through 2012.
For both commodities there were, on average, no comparable price changes at any other time of the day. These patterns are consistent with manipulation in both markets.
Engaging in mafia-style big-rigging fraud against local governments. See this, this and this
Shaving money off of virtually every pension transaction they handled over the course of decades, stealing collectively billions of dollars from pensions worldwide. Details here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here
Why? Because the system is rigged to allow the big banks to commit continuous and massive fraud, and then to pay small fines as the “cost of doing business”. As Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz noted years ago:
“The system is set so that even if you’re caught, the penalty is just a small number relative to what you walk home with.
The fine is just a cost of doing business. It’s like a parking fine. Sometimes you make a decision to park knowing that you might get a fine because going around the corner to the parking lot takes you too much time.”
This is not the first controversy that has hit the Marlin mine. When it was first constructed, there were multiple protests from local farmers.
In December 2004, an indigenous group from Sipakapa began a 42-day blockade of Glamis trucks passing through their community on the way to the mine, but the blockade was ended when more than 1,200 soldiers and 400 police agents began firing at unarmed protesters, resulting in the death of an indigenous farmer, Raul Casto Bocel.
This latest death is part of a decade-long struggle for local communities to protect themselves from the mine and its impact on the region. The stories are shocking with tales of intimidation, threats, social division, violence, bribery and corruption of local authorities, destruction and contamination of water sources, not to mention forest clearing and appalling health impacts such as malnutrition and skin diseases.
The company running Marlin is Montana Exploradora, a subsidiary of Goldcorp, based in Vancouver, Canada. The Guardian asked them to comment on allegations that company workers had been responsible for setting fire to the protestor and received this response from the Communications Director, Christine Marks:
The allegation is patently false. Goldcorp and its subsidiary Montana Exploradora do not condone violence of any kind, against anyone. We respect the right of all individuals to voice their opinions respectfully. Goldcorp and Montana Exploradora have adopted the internationally-recognized standards of “Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.” These standards provide the guidelines for security policies which include and demonstrate respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. All of our security personnel are trained in the ‘Voluntary Principles’, as are the local members of the Guatemalan police and army.
When asked about other controversies, The Guardian was directed to a website where “you’ll find common myths that have been exposed repeatedly as falsehoods.” I think the Guatemalan locals would disagree.