The pro-GMO lobby always demands that its opponents produce scientific evidence to back up their claims. Parts of this lobby smear and attack people like Vandana Shiva, Professor G.E. Seralini and others for supposedly being incompetent, ‘liars’ or ideological/politically motivated (for example, read this piece on Shiva that calls her a liar, especially the part on farmer suicides – then see the evidence that Shiva provides to back up her claims here).

In its view, anti-GMO campaigners or certain scientists are ignorant, engage in bogus science or are ‘demagogues’ who use emotion and ideological rhetoric to sway opinion.

Let us address these accusations.

The pro-GMO lobby demands its opponents back up their (wild) claims with peer-reviewed studies.

Perhaps, just for a start, GMO supporters should read ‘An evidence-based examination of the claims made for the safety and efficacy of GM crops and food‘ and ‘Adverse impacts of transgenic crops/food: a compilation of scientific references with abstracts‘.

The pro-GMO lobby says the debate on GMOs is over because there is a scientific consensus on their efficacy among the ‘scientific community’.

Another bogus accusation. See here for evidence pertaining to a lack of consensus.

GMO supporters argue that GMOs can prevent hunger, while trendy ‘elitist’ activists are merely serving to steal the food from people’s mouths.

See here for the evidence that says GMOs are actually causing food insecurity, see here to discover that GMOs are not required to feed the hungry millions and see here to read that ‘eco farming’ is a much more suitable and sustainable strategy that could double food production within a decade. Also see this report based on the input of over 400 scientists that took four years to complete, which was twice peer reviewed, and states we must look to small-holder, traditional farming (not GMOs) to deliver food security in poorer countries through agri-ecological systems which are sustainable. Moreover, see here to read about the serious health impacts of GMO-driven agriculture and here to discover how GMO agribusiness is devastating communities and driving genocide and ecocide in South America.

The pro-GMO lobby asserts that it relies solely on peer-reviewed science and dispassionate reason.

While some contest the claims of Vandana Shiva pertaining to farmer suicides, which she supports with statistical evidence and correlations, they then call her a ‘liar’. A liar is someone who deliberately sets out to deceive. The evidence she supplies may or may not stack up, but that is open to ongoing debate and interpretation. But the same can be said of many of the studies that the pro-GMO lobby puts forward, which have been contested, see here and in this report here (go to section three of the report), on the basis of conclusions overstepping the evidence or inconvenient findings being dismissed as not significant when they are.

Aside from emotive name calling, where else does emotion, ideology or falsehood play a part in the pro-GMO lobby’s side of the debate? That’s clear to see if we look at this on Owen Patterson, this on Anne Glover and this on Kevin Folta. In fact, these aspects are quite commonplace.

On a more general level regarding ‘dispassionate reason’ informing the debate, see what former Monsanto boss in India said in this piece in India Today ‘Monsanto faked data for its approvals, claims ex-chief‘. See here to discover what method it used in Indonesia to force its products into that country. See here and here  to find out how the industry restricts access to its own research conducted on its products. See here to discover how it sidesteps science when its interests are threatened and to gain wider insight into how the GMO agritech sector is distorting scientific practice and debasing the ethos of science.

It seems to be a case of peer-reviewed science to support the anti-GMO case but ‘anything goes’, including science that is anything but open to public scrutiny or peer reviewed (see here), from GMO agritech.

And yet the onslaught by the GMO agritech industry and its mouthpieces against those who legitimately and scientifically contest the claims about the efficacy of GMOs is relentless.

Just ask Arpad Pusztai, P. M. Bhargava, Judy Carman, Terje Traavik, Andrés Carrasco, Ignacio Chapela, Allison Snow, Marc Lappé, Britt Bailey, Bela Darvas and G. E. Seralini. These scientists have all either been threatened, smeared or hindered in their work because their research called into question the safety and/or efficacy of GMOs or associated products (see this ‘GMO researchers attacked, evidence denied and apopulation at risk’).

Such tactics appear to come easy to the pro-GMO lobby. For instance, see here for a revealing description of how the GMO sector sets up front groups and fake identities with the sole aim of attacking scientists and activists or promoting its propaganda.

This is what happens to scientists who attempt to engage with the GMO issue on a scientific or rational level. The hypocrisy of those from the pro-GMO lobby who call for sound science to inform the debate on GMOs is glaringly obvious.

When GMO supporters mount personal attacks and accuse prominent anti-GMO campaigners of being liars, it is useful to ask what credibility they themselves have: for example, bearing in mind the attack on Vandana Shiva mentioned at the start, see this by Tom Philpott on the author of that particular smear piece.

When the GMO agritech sector and its supporters set out to attack others in the ways outlined here, it is a blatant tactic of psychological projection: a self-defence mechanism that denies the existence of such characteristics in itself, while attributing them to others. In other words, those who argue against GMOs are accused of not having science or facts on their side and of engaging in propaganda and lying, while it is clear the pro-GMO lobby that hurls such allegations is itself guilty of such things.

This diversionary tactic of projection goes hand in glove with a strident populist agenda whereby the pro-GMO lobby portrays itself as on the side of the people, while its opponents are ‘elitists’ and are ‘stealing food from the bellies of the poor’. This is a typical tactic of corporate propaganda.

Reality is being twisted to make opponents appear guilty of the things the pro-GMO lobby is engaging in, not least ‘elitism’ (for example, see this and this on how elite interests are seeking to control global agriculture).

Lace the tactics of projection and populism with an unhealthy dose of cheap, fallacious character assassination and you have the basis for a very transparent and predictable propaganda campaign.

See this short film ‘GMOs A Go Go’, which can be watched here: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkionqWPc-Q

Seeing through the Official Lies on Ukraine 

“We can no longer find any willingness on the part of Poland to conduct serious negotiations with us. These proposals for mediation have failed because [of ] – - Polish mobilization.” (Adolph Hitler, 1939) 

These are the words of Adolph Hitler just before invading Poland and then the Soviet Union. I have replaced Poland with Russia (see below) to show the analogy of US and Nazi pretexts.

“We can no longer find any willingness on the part of Russia to conduct serious negotiations with us. These proposals for mediation have failed because [of ] – - Russian mobilization.”

This is not surprising given the very significant role that major US corporations like GM, IBM, Dupont, Ford, Standard Oil, Chase Bank as well as George and Jeb Bush’s grandfather Prescott who profited big as a bank-front director for the Nazi death machine run (not to mention the big Nazi corporations doing very well in the US during and after the war including Siemens and Allianz). There were also the deals German war criminals made to escape post-War trials, providing 70% of NATO’s intelligence after the war and direction to death squads in Latin America.

After the Poland invasion by pretext provided initial Lebensraum of large fertile lands and an open path to Russia for the Nazis, the invasion of Ukraine offered a bigger prize. Ukraine was and remains a breadbasket of the world, not much mentioned in Western reports as US-led corporate globalization now sweeps East. In 1940’s Ukraine, militant collaborators with Hitler’s Nazis arose at every level to assist in the genocide of Jews, German occupation, killing of resisters, and policing of concentration camps. These pro-Nazi militants featuring Stephen Bandera are still idolized today by their neo-Nazi descendents whose leaders have crucial armed-force posts and militias within post-coup Ukraine, as reports from Global Research like Michel Chossudovsky’s The U.S. has Installed a Neo-Nazi Government in Ukraine have observed. Yet  mockery of any Ukraine-fascist reality today keeps the memory hole closed. “Dream on”, sneers New York Times International Weekly to the  facts without any counter-evidence, and so denial  publicly prevails as Ukraine neo-Nazis have armed militias, death squads  and the notorious Azov battalion on the ground and cabinet posts in the post-coup Kiev state.

All is “Putin’s paranoia” in the Western media in a pervasive campaign of vilification that holds the story together through all its lies.  Charges of aggression and crime against Russia and Putin are daily proclaimed with no evidence, but together provide a pretext for why “Russia must be stopped” and the US-led West Ukraine regime armed with US weapons to “teach Putin a lesson”.  The known five billion dollars spent on political destabilization of Ukraine in recent years, the covert special forces, and the direct financing and orchestration of the overtly fascist coup leaders all disappear into the anti-Putin/Russia propaganda field.

At the very same time, the descendents of the Eastern resisters to the Nazi occupation have been  resisting the reborn Ukraine fascist forces. Yet they are called “terrorists” now as then and war-criminal attacks on the civilian population and infrastructures by US/Kiev direction have followed ever since the illegal violent coup  year ago. For months only abuse and indiscriminate rocket and bombing attacks attacked the Eastern Ukraine civil resistance – until military mobilization occurred with Russian arms and volunteer assistance as well as captured tanks and armaments. That is where we are today with the resistance forces quickly gaining the upper hand against the real aggressor. Neo-Nazi gangs and militias are good at terrorizing and mass murdering civilians, and a mostly unwilling and drafted Ukraine army can pound civilians and infrastructures into hell with artillery, rockets and bombs. But an impassioned armed resistance against them of people speaking the same language and living the same culture will defeat them, and so it has happened here. The February 15 truce has been made because the Eastern-Ukraine resistance and forces have effectively pushed the Kiev forces, fascist militias and mercenaries out of the Donbass/Donetsk region. It was also possible because the US was not directly involved in the Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia meetings..

Is the Truce Just a Space for the US-led Forces to Build More War towards Russia?

No sooner was the truce signed than all onus was put on Russia to sustain it with none evident on Kiev or its US master. Is it just another pause before more weapons, special forces and advisers come in to prop up the US-constructed coup state in Kiev? Certainly that is what the West-Ukraine puppet leaders and US war party are pressing for.

Now most of all, the connections to the Nazi past in Ukraine and the US itself go down the memory hole. So too does the recent warning by Italy’s former Minister of the Economy, Giulio Tremonti, about the new forces at work in Europe – “financial fascism, white fascism” (translated from his apparently suppressed 2012 book, Emergency Exit: Ending the Tyranny of Finance). In short, all the degenerate trends across big bank dictatorship, corporate oligarchies running Europe, ever more armed forces against ever more dispossessed adversaries, squeezing workers wages and employment without limit, devouring attacks on public sectors and programs across nations to privatize their revenues, and now outright civil war in Ukraine are at work together  in a forming a situation which is hell on earth in the long social democratic Europe before 2008 (as diagnosed in global depth by my The Cancer Stage of Capitalism: From Crisis to Cure).   Ukraine is the where the war of movement and land clearance is focused now because the greatest resistance yet to the carcinomic program has arisen here.

Again we might return to the Nazi past to find connective threads of meaning. US and Nazi  justifications have much in common. Before being able to publicly justify Nazi Germany’s military extension into East Europe, Hitler had to have a pretext, to satisfy public opinion. This was managed by Nazi forces posing as Poles on 31 August 1939 attacking a German radio station, Sender Gleiwitz, inside Germany near the border. All went as planned. And so too the movement on to Ukraine and Russia unrolled, always to “stop aggression” – the very same words and reverse pretexts. And always resisters were “terrorists”. These central concepts are at the core of the official stories of Nazi Germany as well as the US. But not only Eastern Europe is thus subjugated. The US has moved far beyond where Hitler expanded, from Iraq to Honduras to Venezuela to Vietnam – where does it stop? Always the question is, “where will Putin stop?” None stop to reflect that no Russian regular forces have moved beyond Russia’s borders, as repeatedly divulged under questioning by a Ukraine intelligence spokesman, the Chief of Staff himself, General Muzenko, and Ukraine’ s spokesman, Major Alexander Raran, at truce time . On the other hand while continuously proclaiming the lie that “Russian troops have invaded Ukraine”, US armed forces move across borders around the world. Where do they stop? They threaten force everywhere, and one can always tell that a people is resisting when the US  embargoes, threatens or bombs them – here with doubled-troop deployments across all Russia’s Western borders.

The difference from the Nazis is the normal subjugation by financial and trade levers, and slower motion of armed forces against resistance.  World rule has already been largely achieved. But Putin, Russia and – most of all – Eastern Ukraine itself have drawn a long overdue line. Russia now is no longer an open looting basin for transnational oligarchs with a drunken puppet Yeltsin in charge. Armed resistance on the ground from the Donbass region has stopped the world’s most lethal ever war-and-money machine from taking all of Ukraine by a US-led and neo-Nazi enforced coup. The Nazis themselves would have kept going. The US does not, and the fascist rump of Ukriane is neither popular nor competent. But the war party is everywhere demanding Russian blood for support of the resistance.  It all started with Kiev-led sniper mass murders in  Maidan square, and was whipped further into frenzy at the downing of a European-filled passenger jet. Yet Putin and Russia have not been so easily blamed in the Internet age where facts come out despite corporate mass media monopoly and NATO dominance.

There is no need to idealize Russia or Putin. Yet they do show exceptional capacity to withstand never-ending terror and attacks from the West, saving the world from Napoleon, Hitler and – so far – the US war state going East today. The evidence of “Russia’s aggression” – armed invading or civil destabilizing of other countries against international law – is pervasive for the US, but sorely lacking in the case of Russia. Knowledge here can win the day. The mass murder, destitution, and oppression in Europe is becoming ever better known, especially in Ukraine itself, and so too the Nazi connections. Once people awake to the worst in fact, they will not go along with the next big-lie pretext for aerial war and destroying another society.

How the Quality Press Lies for the Official Story to Stay Believed

Today on the eve of the first anniversary of the US-led fascist coup in Ukraine and a new truce agreement, the anti-Russia propaganda peaks as if to ensure that any future violation is blamed on Russia. The underlying US-EU corporate plan to pry open Ukraine and Russia downstream as undefended looting basins is kept quiet because it is not supported by any public. And those who serve the program do not fight so well – as we have seen in Ukraine – when confronted by people fighting for their mother country and community lives. That is why the call is so fervent from the war party to get US weapons to the Kiev puppet state.  The official story, of course, is opposite. The weaker is, as always, accused of being the despotic villain that must be brought under control, here a country with a declining population two-thirds the size of Brazil.

Even the academic press gets into the reverse blame game. Yale University Press recently published a book – Ukraine Crisis: What It Means for the West – which was year glowingly reported in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Guardian Weekly (among others) despite its reversal of the most basic facts of the Ukraine crisis. The serial mass murders by snipers which began Ukraine’s violent coup d’etat one year ago are falsely attributed to the pro-Russian President who fled the coup, even though EU evidence has itself shown Kiev agency in the mass murders and the US-led coup leadership refused to investigate (as documented ahead). Yale author Andrew Wilson also asserts with the corporate media that the shootdown of Malaysia flight MH17 killing 298 passengers was by a Buk missile “from Moscow”. Yet the European Union‘s Organization for Security and Cooperation (OSCE), the chief investigating body, has revealed no such evidence while the plausible possibility of a covert black-op to blame on Russia or the Donetsk resistance is blinkered out. The tragedy was certainly not in the interests of the resistance because it gained nothing and almost got war declared on it by NATO as Kiev has aimed for all along. As always, again, the first question of forensic justice – cui bono? – is never asked.

As ultimatums and embargoes from the US and the EU continually escalate blaming “Russia’s aggression” without sustainable evidence ever produced, the war-mongering by the corporate media simultaneously increases to foment war fever. None seem to have processed the undeniable fact that the neutrality and non-arming of Ukraine was promised by NATO and the US  Secretary of State James Baker in 1991. Still the war party’s favorite liars like John McCain and the New York Times declare unsubstantiated war-pretext accusations daily. So the question arises: What will be the next big-lie pretext for NATO and US armed intervention?

State and media war mongers give a hint on what is being cooked up. Consider this paradigm example. The iconic British Guardian and its eminent writer on political affairs, Timothy Garton Ash, headline a February full-page story just before the new truce and coup anniversary, “Putin must be stopped. Guns will be essential”, the headline screams. Why? “Putin is the Slobodan Milosevic [convicted war criminal] of the old Soviet Union [KGB communist]”, Ash proclaims. Then he further alleges with no evidence that Putin and Russia only “spew anti-Western propaganda” and “if the [NATO] threat did not exist Russian television would invent it”. We may observe here another perfect reversal of Western propaganda operations onto the leader and weaker society it is attacking. Impartial observation of the Western press will find in fact continuous slanders at will, while Putin and RT are surprisingly polite in comparison. In general, there is no standard of truth or slander to inhibit free-roaming hate and falsehoods against any foreign force whatever the facts of the matter. Mass sales of product and expensive advertising also rise, and – key to the whole system – the audience is churned to aggressive diversion from their own oppression.

The Guardian story reproduces the old lies as well floating new ones.  Putin uses “energy blackmail” (that is, requirement for overdue payments for gas in the billions of Euros), and brings only “more blood and tears” to peoples (although staying on its borders while the US is war-gaming over 6000 miles from Washington). The New York Times feeds in with war propaganda from the other side of the ocean on the very weekend of truce (NYT Weekly, February. 14-15). It dismisses Russia’s encirclement by escalating US-led NATO forces in six countries and the Black Sea as a “preposterous fable – - to generate hysteria and buttress Russian aggression in Eastern Ukraine”. Breathtaking erasure of the most basic facts and reverse projection onto the designated Enemy here combine in a paradigm illustration of the big-lie system at work.

At the same time, news stories have silently shifted to a new slant – to finally report the civilians and infrastructures of Eastern Ukraine being one-way shelled and bombed to ruin by US-led Kiev, but with no identification of which side is aerial bombing and shelling civilians and civilian targets.  In this way the US-led West-Ukraine forces that perform all of the aerial bombing and – until recently – almost all of the artillery shelling of public and civilian structures and citizens are collapsed into the general fighting that is all blamed on “Russia’s aggression”. The same article under the bold-print heading of Intelligence describes the denial of “all the Russian forces” as “nonsense” and a “figment of the imagination” although as we have seen the denial has come under questioning from the top of the Ukraine armed forces and intelligence spokesmen themselves. The lying propaganda techniques are a study in their own right. The invariably feature the elimination and reversal of facts as their only consistent method.

The really unspeakable fact is erased altogether, but lies deeper still. The age-old Russian-speaking minority of Ukraine – almost the same in language but not beliefs – has been subjected to the biggest ethnic cleansing operation of the millennium. A now estimated 1,500,000 people have been driven from their homes by one-way Kiev bombings and bombardments of even hospitals, schools and public buses while stopping all access to Eastern citizens means of existence as far as possible (not done by Putin even in the height of the US-sponsored war in Chechnya). The distinction between the millions of Eastern Ukraine’s Russia-speaking victims by US-led Kiev bombing, terror and life means deprivation and those in Kiev-ruled Western territory who are untouched by any rebel bombs and terror is simply abolished. This is how a genocide of the Eastern Ukraine people stays in motion while all that is reported is “Russia’s aggression against Ukraine”.

The Unseen Genocidal Program of the US-Led Coup Government

Almost down the memory hole is the precipitating cause of the Ukraine civil war – a spectacularly violent neo-Nazi-led coup overthrowing the established elected federal government of the Party of Regions – the now collapsed federalist party supported by most citizens before the US-orchestrated coup. The federalist option was thus annihilated to cause the uprising of Eastern Ukraine which, accordingly, was targeted for annihilation too. There have three main methods for this genocidal clearance operation whose people produce 95% of the country’s coal and most of its exports as well being rooted in a different language, culture, social organization and political-religious belief system. The first has been cultural dispossession and erasure – abolition of past language rights and federal accountability to the region’s people, the initial spur of the East’s uprising along with the neo-Nazi leadership of the coup state.  Nothing but worse to come was promised by this stripping of cultural and regional rights and institution of a US-led extreme-rightist state led on the ground and in cabinet posts by open neo-Nazis with US support, along with a banker puppet as prime minister who bawls “terrorists” and “Russian aggression” every other sentence. I bracket out proper names to ensure the underlying design is clear because submergence in alien names is part of the cover-up of every deciding fact by the official story.

The second level of genocidal method is armed-force terror by fascist gangs and militias on the ground committing atrocities combined with indiscriminate one-way aerial bombing and relentless artillery bombardment of civilians and civilian sites, vehicles and infrastructures –  never reported in Western corporate media even as the fleeing people multiplied to far more than ISIS proportions. The third and most unrecognized method even by critics has been deliberate mass starvation. It has proceeded among other instruments by cut-off of all social security and pensions to Eastern citizens, freezing of bank accounts to be inaccessible, stoppage of electricity, and  proclaiming “Russian invasion” every time food lorries came in to provide water and food to the starving people, with NATO’s Supreme Commander war-mongering daily about Russian troop build-ups and intentions to invade. Meanwhile every more sanctions and manipulations of global markets to break Russia’s capacity to assist or to defend escalated along with pervasively lying propaganda (as illustrated above).  Most deeply, all the dots remained unjoined by any public observation – with for example, CBC and the NDP echoing the official story daily. .

Given the Russia-speaking citizens who have led the revolt against the fascist-led coup and its US godfather, one could see a preconscious reversal of history back to Nazi-led dominance, oligarchy of the rich and father cult in Ukraine, and hate propaganda as again the moving force of public opinion. As every turn of aggression projected onto Russia has shown for a year, economic war on Russia and cumulative total war machinations have formed with the EU and other satellite corporate states in a geo-strategic trajectory interested in “peace” only as space for more war of expansion and ruin, automatically reverse-blamed on Putin to sustain it. It is difficult to deny the operationalization of the familiar grand objective of totalizing world rule always blamed on the resisters against it. Certainly as in other US-orchestrated “regime changes”, official and media attention blame the very party who has been attacked and never report the catastrophic consequences on innocent people’s lives, even when the terror and destruction becomes genocidal in scope.

Certainly the US-orchestrated “regime change” in Ukraine and continuous subsequent war crimes never reported has led to the worst large-scale mass murdering in Europe since the Nazis, already beyond Bosnia – another US-led expansion of transnational corporate rule backed by NATO bombing. The US-orchestrated “regime change” in Ukraine and its war crimes never reported in the Western media has already executed a very large-scale homicidal planning which none dares to name in public. Consider the dimensions – one-way aerial bombing and indiscriminate attacks of civilians and infrastructures in the Donbass area alone, mass starvation of millions of mainly Russia-speaking citizens, armed-force land clearances and appropriations, one-way mass murder atrocities by the US-led side, documented torture and rape by neo-Nazi death squads and the infamous Azov battalion, and ever more hundreds of thousands of people forced to flee their homes and region in East Ukraine but nowhere else. A mounting ethnic cleansing’ has already happened but is still unspeakable to report in the West.

Instead month after month the audience has been conditioned to revile the new hate object of Vladmir Putin, and thus to justify any life-destructive action at all in East Ukraine. We have seen this movie before. Always focus on the constructed Enemy to keep all eyes of what is being done by the US with allies to destroy millions of peoples’ lives. It is the DNA of this system. “Economic war” too is ratcheted up to ever new levels on Russia to destroy its collective life base, always the underlying target in the society-wrecking program of US-led corporate and NATO globalization. It is a death machine.

Meanwhile the immense assets in line for military-led takeover by the US and allies are excluded from discussion. It is projected instead onto Russia’s “expansionists aims”, while US-led NATO military operations threaten war on all Russia’s East-European borders, ever more military training and the deployment of special forces in coup-state Ukraine, transfer of war instruments and directors, contract-violating sanctions strangling the Russian economy, and even manipulation of global financial and oil markets to “stop the Russian aggressor”. Yet not just the bombs and artillery terrorize the victims of Eastern Ukraine There has been a choking off of their foods, electricity, social supports and pensions, medicines, bank accounts, humanitarian aid, and even freedom of movement – with mandatory passes and check-points like Israel and unpredictable bombardments of citizens with no military target near.

All the while thunderous denunciations of Putin rise to divert all attention from this one-way  war on all fronts as the war crimes multiply by the US-Kiev axis with Harper joining in and warmongering for more. Peace talks are revived in February to “give Russia one more chance” after the Ukranian representative failed to show up at the last talks in Minsk. As peace is hoped for by the peace and hope president, ever more new NATO and US war forces are installed and called for around Russia and the Ukraine “to prevent Russia’s continued aggression”.

What about Russia’s Seizure of Crimea in Violation of International Law?

The war might end if the new truce terms are acted on by Kiev – namely that Kiev-governed Ukraine only regains control of East Ukraine “after local elections in Donetsk and Luhansk and after a full political settlement (deadline end of 2015)”, plus the further conditions of “humanitarian aid; restoration of full economic links with Donetsk/Luhansk, including welfare payments and banking services; Ukrainian state to help develop Donetsk/Luhansk and regions’ co-operation with Russia”.

These terms seem minimally reasonable for any democratic social order. But their deprivation and restoration have been long suppressed reasons for the civil war.  It is a good sign that they are finally made public, if the media carry them, and finally restored to stop the war, if the US-led Kiev wants to.

Yet so far there is little evidence of either commitment on the US side. So far all there is only  talk of “Russia “and “the separatists” breaking the truce, as always. The terms themselves expose  the lie that Russia is only after expansion. The terms allow for no such expansion. No Western media will pick up on this, I predict. It explodes the official story they have been running day in and out for a year. Yet still the terms of truce are there for the first time, and the agreement was brokered by Germany and France in the EU. So it is big advance even if it is doomed to violation under the usual false pretexts. What will come out strongly in the days ahead, I predict, will be that “Russia has won by still having marched into Crimea and seized it by force”, “Russia has violated the sacred territorial integrity of Ukraine and gotten away with it”, “Russia has received a big reward for its aggression”, “Russia has been encourage to go on expanding like Hitler” and so on and on. The millstone of Crimea is still around Russia’s neck, the war crime of invading another nation’s sovereign territory remains, the sanctions must stay on Russia and weapons be provided to Ukraine , and again the justifications for continued economic if not military war remain in place to be repeated ad nauseam. So it is good place to revisit Russia’s re-integration with Crimea to consider how much of all this holds up under scrutiny.

“Russia’s brutal invasion and seizure of Crimea” is, after all, the core charge on which all others rest as the grounding fact to justify the demonization of Vladmir Putin and Russia in Ukraine. The justification itself is never questioned within Western state and media circles. In Ukraine, any questioning of Russia’s crime here – any “public denial or justification of the Russian military aggression against Ukraine”, may now land one in jail. Informally such siding with Russia or the resistance may lead to execution, with many hundreds have already so murdered by Kiev regime’s killer gangs and militias with no Kiev investigations of them.

In the wider world, Russia’s re-unification with Crimea with massive electoral support – neither fact ever allowed discussion in official state and media circles of the US and its allies let alone Ukraine – is sufficient to condemn it to ruin by blanket economic and military attacks.  Ever increasing threats of NATO buildups and war preparations as well as war-like embargoes and violations of trade contracts have already happened because of “Russia’s armed seizure of Crimea” and “gross violation of international law”

Of course what the official story fails to report is that Crimea has been an historic Russian port and strategic peninsula for centuries since Catherine the Great. The Nazi-like narrative further  ignores the fact that Ukraine’s brief interregnum occurred by a 1954 decree from Nikita Khrushchev, a Ukrainian leader who was once led the Soviet Union whose laws now apply nowhere else.  Observe that this is “the sacred territory” that Canada’s toxic PM Harper has sworn will be retaken in pledging “family” loyalty on the September 18 visit of billionaire President Poroshenko. Observe too the patriarchal-mafia intimations.

The claim that Russian soldiers “poured into Crimea to seize it” is, however, perfectly false.  In fact, it was a voluntary referendum with demonstrated EU Parliamentarian-observing its overwhelming public support for re-unification with Russia. No evidence suggests that the already-present Russian soldiers involved were not models of presence without abuse and threat. No doubt many Tatars wanted no part, but the soldiers did not arrive by instruction from the Kremlin “to overthrow with brute force”. They were already a long time in Crimea under contract with Ukraine and in fewer number than the undenied contract allowed. No-one disputes any of this. Diversion from it is the game, and lies about Putin is the strategy that sustains it. An 83% voter turnout elected re-integration with Russia by over 90%. No counter-evidence disputes this, only unsubstantiated innuendos.

In contrast, Poroshenko’s post-coup election in October 2014 was by a fraction of Ukraine’s total electorate with most of the Russia-speaking South and the East unable to participate. His October 26 snap parliamentary election was in the conditions of more than a million citizens driven from their homes, oligarch and foreign money pouring in to indoctrinate voters, and anti-communist and anti-Russian mass passions inflamed to terrorizing proportions. Under post-coup law, the Kiev regime’s sacred claim to Crimea is criminal to disagree with and liable to social destruction – the “new Western democracy and freedom”.

Also erased from the official story are the facts that the Supreme Council of Crimea referred to the United Nations Charter and “the right of nations to self-determination” (Article 2, Chapter 1). This is the very right Ukraine invoked in seceding from the USSR in 1991, and the same right invoked for the separation of Kosovo from Serbia – which was in fact enforced by NATO bombing. Further erased is the UN International Court ruling in July 2010 that “general international law contains no prohibition on declarations of independence”.

Facts and laws are not all that is automatically reversed in the official story and repeated like 2 + 2 =4. The contrast between Russia’s governing treatment of Crimea and the coup government’s treatment of the Ukraine people is also very revealing. While the oligarchs are setting up the  Ukraine people to be permanent debt-slave in exchange for banker-corporate control over the country’s life capital, Russia is far advanced in  upgrading the public infrastructures and life security of  Crimea as fast as possible.

The Underlying Geo-Strategic Pattern

The underlying global pattern is that any organised force standing against NATO-backed corporate globalization is selected for attack and dismemberment. We have seen this from Afghanistan to Syria in the last decade. NATO is the combination of all the white world powers that formerly warred against each other. Now they have a common cause which has switched from the wartime-generated welfare state leading the world to the very polar opposite under the same name – disemploying, defunding and skinning everyone alive without private money stocks from Spain and Greece to Ukraine.

The major strategy of rule is to divide the population into warring sides. The Republican Party has no other evident policy in the US, nor does the US itself abroad. So civil war was planned for Ukraine from before 2000 as reported by Germany’s former State Secretary for Defence, Willy Wimmer, who has since made public his meeting with the US State Department in Berlin on May 2, 2000 when  a map was presented regarding NATO’s future expansion to include the dividing of Ukraine into Eastern and Western regions. Five billion dollars of US foreign-operations spending in Ukraine from 2008 (acknowledged to a business audience by Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland after the Kiev coup she directed) was then directly invested in mass anti-regime circles and propaganda and financial support to key agents of the eventually violent overthrow. This was not the intention of the mainly peaceful and popular demonstrations before February 2014 against the government of Viktor Yanukovych, a corrupt president in a long line. But a violent coup was opted for instead led by neo-Nazi terror on the ground. The terror was then projected onto the government to justify overthrowing it, and then onto the resistance in the Eastern regions, Russia and Putin as patsies for Western public opinion.

As always in US-orchestrated “regime changes”, official and media attention turns to blaming the designated enemy while the catastrophic consequences of the violent overthrow are blinkered out. The Ukraine “regime change” has led to massive bombings of civilians and infrastructures in the East, deliberate starvation of millions of citizens, and armed-force land clearances, murder, torture and rape by neo-Nazi death squads.  This large-scale ethnic cleansing’ has been  altogether screened out of Western state and media reports, while the official story has daily flailed Putin as the villain and the cause of all the problems.

If we look forward and backward from the “weapons of mass destruction of Iraq”, the “genocidal plans of the dictator Gadaffi”, and “Assad’s chemical weapons” as a pretext for bombing another society with major strategic and economic resources to be pried open, we see that the pretexts always turn out to be false. But in every case a society formerly independent of US dominance and doing better than neighbours is torn apart and opened to transnational corporate invasion.

Thus not long after US-led bombing and destroying of Iraq and Libya on false pretexts, another story for more war and bombing arose. In Syria which followed a similar pattern, president Assad was “gassing his own people” and “violating international law”. This story went all the way to a White House plan to bomb Syria’s civilian infrastructures to correct the problem, as in Iraq and Libya – - and as in Ukraine if the war party had won. Even with Assad’s “war crime”, the truth found by multiple analysis was that “kitchen sarin” manufactured in Turkey and crude-missile lobbed by the al Nusra jihadists  allied with the US and funded by Saudi Arabia and Qatar (the precursor of ISIL) was the source of the gas massacre – as Seymour Hersh finally made public. But neither this fact nor the plan to bomb Syria disappeared. The mass media including the New York Times continue to broadcast “Assad’s use of chemical weapons against his people” while erasing Hersh’s research from the record.

As long as all fault is projected onto the official enemy and the facts repressed, there is no release from the perpetual war for economic and military resources for more global strategic control and transnational corporate exploitation. Unlike British imperialism, there is no advance of civilisation for the ruined society. Life capital development is reversed, and socioeconomic genocide is the effective outcome.

How the Ukraine Was Turned Into Civil War

The initial demands from the Russian-speaking Donbass region of East Ukraine centred in Donetsk were not radical. They were rather like the demands of francophone Quebec that have been successfully negotiated in Canada – minority language rights and federal status allowing substantially independent government. Yet minority language rights were immediately revoked by the coup leaders. Past federalist status for the mainly Russia-speaking region was warred upon from the start with a new governor appointed from Kiev. Neo-Nazi gangs then started terrorizing Russian speakers in Ukraine as soon as the coup was completed – with, for example, mass murders of hundreds of unionists and Victory Day celebrants within months.

Bear in mind that the East Ukraine resistance was from the same region that resisted the Nazi invasion in the 1940’s. Now as then, only one side bombed civilians, deployed starvation tactics, and mass-murdered civilians. The official story is that Putin and Russia have led all the criminal aggression in Ukraine, but the coup murders and atrocities, the indiscriminate military bombing, and the embargos against income and sustenance all came from the US-led West Ukraine side.  They had already forced over one million people to flee their homes by September of 2014. This was documented by the UN High Commission for Refugees before last summer was over, but unreported by the mass media or Western  leaders who only bayed insults and threats at Putin. .

Violent overthrow of a people’s elected government, bloody mass murders by regime street gangs, criminal bombing and shelling of civilians and social infrastructures, mass starvation policies, blaming victims as “terrorists” if they resist, anti-communist hatred a moving passion throughout (and hushed-up anti-Semitism), and a regulation on hand for the slave labour of Eastern citizens – all the ignored facts eerily recall the Nazi invasion and nationalist Ukrainian collaboration in genocidal operations decades before. Certainly, a generic pattern remains constant across contemporary history. One society after another is torn apart. Not only is the society decapitated, as in Ukraine to begin the crisis, or Libya or Iraq, or as demanded in Syria. Its civil bonds are rent asunder, its social life supports are stripped, its productive base is run down or destroyed, its government is made a strategic vassal and permanent debt servant to foreign banks, and its environment and resources are hollowed out.

We may recall that Russia’s “plot to rule the world” was the storyline to explain the Cold War, with few noticing that world rule went the opposite way once Russia had its GDP halved in the grand capitalist experiment under the drunk Boris Yeltsin. This helps to explain why the US-led coup d’etat in Ukraine for another neo-liberal feeding frenzy has been resisted by force of arms. Before the coup, as US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland told a business meeting afterwards, $5 billion of public money was invested to turn Ukraine into US control. The method was a familiar one – ever-rising civil destabilization and US alliance with internal extreme-right parties, in this case, parties descended from Ukrainian Nazis supporting Hitler, Pravi (Right) Sektor and Svoboda (“Freedom”, formerly “Social Nationalist Party”).

Although Europe was near brokering a peace agreement, Nuland went ahead with the coup, hand-picking Arseniy Yatsenyuk as putsch prime minister and instructing him to consult with Oleh Tyahnybok  (whose Nazi salute is well known on the Internet) “at least four times a week”.  When reminded of the EU peace talks, she responded in undenied leaked reply, “Fuck the EU”. This US-orchestrated coup then occurred after three days of sniper murder and chaos were falsely blamed on the elected government to overthrow it.

In fact, the sniper murders of 21 people in Kiev in February 2014 which precipitated the bloody coup and started the civil war were part of the larger strategic logistics. The EU’s Foreign Minister’s verified and recorded conversation with Foreign Minister, Urmas Paet of Estonia, speaks for itself. He reported that all 21 murders were (his words) by “the same type of bullets” and from “the same handwriting” which could only be from “the new coalition [in Kiev] which does not want to investigate what happened”. Nor did any Western press.

Reverse projection is the master psych-op at work. Blame the enemy for what the US is doing as the reason to attack it. Even if the evidence shows a big lie in motion, only a few know it and it will not be reported in the corporate media. In fact, such serial mass murder as the Kiev sniper killings is grounds for prosecution of crimes against humanity under international law and prosecution by the International Court. But so far such due process of law and criminal prosecution have been deployed only to serve the unspoken global agenda while war-drums beat against all those who draw a line against it on the ground. The deprived become the Enemy whenever they fight back.

The post-coup words of former “Orange revolutionary” and gas oligarch leader of the Fatherland Party, Yulia Tymoshenko, are revealing of the mind-set long at work leading the Ukraine and denouncing Russia. When she was released from jail for criminal embezzlement of state property in post-coup Kiev, she said: “Take up arms and go and wipe out these damn katsaps” [Russian minority] – - – so that not even scorched earth would be left of Russia.”  The Russian-speaking city of Luhansk was levelled months later by artillery, rockets and air-bombing of civilian centres, schools, hospitals and water and electricity infrastructures, with 350,000 forced to flee from this one city alone by the Fall.

The Global Stakes of the Ukraine Crisis

Harper rule in Canada has joined the war-mongering genocidal game in character – refusing to respond to any diplomatic correspondence from Russia, blocking information flows, and proclaiming inflammatory falsehoods. The profound common life interests at stake are unnamed by all. Ukraine is the breadbasket of Europe and its biggest landmass. Public assets are all on the privatization block. Slash-and-burn budgets are set to service new unpayable debts to foreign banks with ample collateral on tap. Ukraine has large and untapped fracking-gas deposits, and it provides new strategic military control up to Russia’s main border and colossally rich natural resources on the other side. Yet the operation of reverse blame goes from Iraq to Libya to Syria to Ukraine to Russia in one society destruction to the next.  With one-way pervasive media abuse, cumulatively destructive sanctions, and incremental arming of neo-fascist-led Ukrainian forces, vast global power and treasure are at stake beneath discussion which affect us all.

The collapse of Ukraine’s GDP by 60% after 1991 is evidently not enough for the ravenous appetite of US-EU corporate globalization.  While mass media and states chorus “Russian brute force” and “what Hitler did back in the 1930’s” (Hilary Clinton), reverse projection is as usual the syntax of blame. The fire-bombing of the House of Unions in Odessa by regime gangs (May 2) and again in Mariupol on the anniversary of Victory Day over the Nazis (May 9) were major mass murders without arrest of any of those responsible on site, and all has been unreported in the Western media. Yet PM Yatsenyuk with US support keeps proclaiming “Russia’s war to take Ukraine”, and the US war party and its Canada servants lap it up. Public amnesia rules by the media selecting out of public view all facts not in the ruling script.

A new truce has now been entered by EU and Russia initiative with terms to resolve the US-orchestrated civil war. All voices of the official story wonder whether “Russia and the separatists” will obey  its terms. Yet when we examine the record of international law and agreements, especially life-protective promises and agreements, who do we really need to worry about as a violator of them? The record tells us very plainly.

The US state has refused to ratify the International Criminal Court to uphold the law against war crimes and crimes against humanity, and it has publicly repudiated the Court’s right to investigate US criminal violations including the “supreme crime” of initiating a war of aggression (including the Clintons). While the US perpetually invokes international laws to blame others, it repudiates any life-protective law applied to its actions, or its key ally Israel. In truth, the US has systematically undermined virtually all international laws to protect life – treaties and conventions against landmines, against biological weapons, against international ballistic missiles, against small arms, against torture, against racism, against arbitrary seizure and imprisonment, against military weather distortions, against biodiversity loss, against climate destabilization, and even international agreements on the rights of children and of women.

The record of US war crimes and crimes against humanity, against human and planetary life itself, is suppressed. It should be foremost in the minds of those observing what happens next in this potential world war situation or – perhaps at last – non-US resolution.

John McMurtry is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and his work is published and translated from Latin America to Japan. He is the author and editor of the three-volume Philosophy and World Problems published by UNESCO’s Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), and his latest book is The Cancer Stage of Capitalism/from Crisis to Cure. 

 

Gallup headlined on February 16th, “Americans Increasingly See Russia as Threat, Top U.S. Enemy,” and reported that whereas back in 2011 only 3% of Americans answered “Russia” when asked “What country anywhere in the world do you consider to be the United States’ greatest enemy?” 18% cite “Russia” today, which is 3% more than the #2-cited threat, “North Korea,” cited now by 15% (which had been 16% back in 2011, when the top-cited threat of all was then Iran, at 25%, which is now cited by only 9% of Americans, as being America’s “greatest enemy.”

The United States Government has, ever since the end of the Soviet Union and the end of communism there, placed America’s weapons very near the most-highly-industrialized western part of Russia, with 11 NATO members being added since then that had previously been Warsaw Pact members (i.e., that were allies of Russia): Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Albania.

These European countries weren’t motivated to join NATO only by their fear that a now-capitalist Russia might try to re-assemble the empire that the communist dictator Stalin had put together — there was no indication of that even being wanted by Russia’s Vladimir Putin, nor by Yeltsin. These Warsaw-Pact nations were being actively courted by the United States, to join what had previously been a NATO that was anti-communist, but that America’s aristocracy wanted now to become simply an anti-Russian alliance — which is all that it now actually is.

America’s aristocracy succeeded in this effort: NATO is now solidly a military alliance against Russia. Everything else about NATO is just for show.

The Warsaw Pact is dead, and NATO should be too; but, instead, NATO continues on, as now a U.S.-led military alliance against Russia.

Even during the days of the Soviet Union, America’s aristocracy were anti-Russian, not merely anti-communist. In fact, they recruited Hitler’s top scientists and intelligence-operatives to work for the CIA and other U.S. agencies, in order to weaken, first, the U.S.S.R., but then (after the Soviet break-up), Russia itself.

The Soviet leadership, when the brutal dictator Stalin died, tried to avoid a Cold War, or any war, against the U.S. and other major capitalist countries, but the aristocracies in the capitalist countries rejected that peace-effort, and decided to go with nazis instead, who viscerally hated Russians (as did Adolf Hitler himself). America’s aristocrats recruited ‘former’ Nazis, and protected them from prosecution.

According to wikipedia:

“In March 1954, the USSR, fearing ‘the restoration of German Militarism’ in West Germany, requested admission to NATO.[10][11][12] By then, laws had already been passed in West Germany ending denazification [13][14] and the Gehlen Organization [headed by the former head of Nazi Germany’s intelligence, General Reinhard Gehlen], predecessor of the West German Federal Intelligence Service, was fully operative and employing hundreds of ex-Nazis.[15] [Gehlen was chosen for this by America’s Allen Dulles.]

“The Soviet request to join NATO arose in the aftermath of the Berlin Conference of January–February 1954. Soviet foreign minister Molotov made different proposals to have Germany reunified[16] and elections for a pan-German government,[17] under conditions of withdrawal of the four powers armies and German neutrality,[18] but all were refused by the other foreign ministers, Dulles (USA), Eden (UK) and Bidault (France).[19] Proposals for the reunification of Germany were nothing new: earlier in 1952, talks about a German reunification ended after the United Kingdom, France, and the United States insisted that a unified Germany should not be neutral and should be free to join the European Defence Community and rearm.” 

America’s CIA had coordinated all of this, as a BBC documentary has explained. The CIA had recruited ‘former’ Nazis especially in eastern Europe, such as in Ukraine.

Consequently, the Cold War was on; and, from its very start, it wasn’t just an ideological (capitalist-versus-communist) war; it was also, for the western aristocracies that controlled their nations’ foreign policies, very much an anti-Russia war. That BBC documentary makes this fact very clear: ideological nazis, who had previously worked for or under the guidance of Hitler’s Nazi Party, were now being paid by the CIA and worked for the CIA, not only against communism, but also as nationalists, hating Russia and Russians as ethnicity, quite specifically as nazis who admired Adolf Hitler and who still held the hope for an ultimate victory against Russia, a victory which Hitler himself had failed to achieve.

This tragic background led to Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev’s effort in Cuba during 1962 to place Soviet nuclear missiles into Cuba, right next door to the United States — an outrageous threat to American national security, which President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was willing to go to a nuclear war with the Soviet Union to prevent, and so he prevented it.

Khrushchev had crossed the line, and now he backed down. However, it had actually been been JFK’s predecessor, U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower, who had crossed this line the first: As wikipedia (which is edited by the CIA) has buried in a picture-caption in its article on the Cuban Missile Crisis, “More than 100 US-built missiles having the capability to strike Moscow with nuclear warheads were deployed in Italy and Turkey in 1961.” If one clicks there on the link that’s supplied, one finds that the plan to get U.S. missiles within striking distance of Moscow had originated actually in 1956, and started becoming operational in 1959, which was the same year that Fidel Castro came to power in Cuba. In other words: it preceded Castro’s coming-to-power. It was the start of the really dangerous part of the Cold War, and it was an act of sheer aggression by the U.S. against Russia. This was being done by the same President who had made the pro-Nazi Allen Dulles the Director of the CIA, and the pro-Nazi John Foster Dulles the Secretary of State. Under Eisenhower’s leadership, America’s competition against communism became a Cold War against not only communism, but against Russia, and against ethnic Russians — whom Hitler and all of his followers despised.

John F. Kennedy inherited the anti-Russian threat that Dwight Eisenhower had engendered with 100+ nuclear missiles against Moscow. And Kennedy defused it.

As the wikipedia article on the Cuban Missile Crisis notes:

“In response to the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961, and the presence of American Jupiter ballistic missiles in Italy and Turkey against the USSR with Moscow within range, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev decided to agree to Cuba’s request to place nuclear missiles in Cuba to deter future harassment of Cuba. An agreement was reached during a secret meeting between Khrushchev and Fidel Castro in July and construction on a number of missile sites started later that summer.”

So: not only had the United States, under the Republican President Dwight Eisenhower, loaded the CIA with ex-Nazis, but “Ike” had secretly placed in Italy and Turkey nuclear missiles aimed against Moscow — an extremely provocative act, which precipitated Khrushchev’s attempt to place Soviet missiles into Cuba.

A secret part of the agreement that ended the Cuban Missile Crisis was that Kennedy accepted Khrushchev’s demand for those 100 missiles to be removed. They were quietly removed.

The Cuban Missile Crisis started in 1956, before communism reigned in Cuba, and it was a result of Eisenhower’s, and the Dulles brothers’, hatred of Russians, and not merely of an opposition to communism. Those people weren’t democrats at all: they were fascists if not racist ones (nazis), and the Soviet leaders were communists, but totalitarians of any stripe are enemies of the public, enemies of the people — and, now, Americans under Obama are coming to fear Russians, for what? It’s sheer suckerdom.

Russians today thus have very sound historical reasons for fearing east-European nazis who are backed by the United States — it’s what they’ve seen since Dwight Eisenhower was America’s President. However, until the time of U.S. President Barack Obama’s second term, this anti-Russian sentiment was not ruling America’s foreign policy; but, now, it tragically is. Barack Obama is the first-ever U.S. President to install a nazi (i.e., racist-fascist) regime anywhere in Europe. In fact, if one doesn’t count Eisenhower’s 1954 overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala and replacement of him by a fascist regime as having installed a “nazi” regime there (which one might if one considers the subsequent widespread slaughter there of the native population to have been genocidal or an ethnic cleansing), then Obama is the first-ever outright nazi U.S. President: the first one who has installed a nazi (i.e., racist-fascist) regime anywhere.

When Obama set up a violent coup that in February 2014 overthrew the democratically elected President of Ukraine and replaced him with a racist-fascist, anti-Russian, regime, and with a follow-on ethnic cleansing program to eliminate the residents in the portion of Ukraine that had voted 90% for the man whom Obama had just overthrown, Russian public opinion turned sharply against the United States. This kind of behavior resonated strongly with Russians’ historical recollection of Adolf Hitler. According to Pew Global, whereas 56% of Russians had had a favorable view of the United States in 2011, that percentage had dropped to only 23% in 2014. Russians now saw the U.S. sponsoring and increasingly arming a regime that was determinedly eliminating ethnic Russians from the Ukrainian population — and especially exterminating the residents in Donbass, the region that had voted 90% for the man Obama overthrew. This did not make the residents of Russia feel very safe against the global superpower. Russians were shocked to find that the nation that Democratic President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had led in a war against nazis and other fascists, had now become, under ‘Democratic’ President Barack Obama, a nation that instead sponsored a nazi coup in Ukraine so as to place NATO missiles near Moscow — even worse than President Eisenhower, who at least had an excuse: that he was anti-communist. Obama has none at all; he has only hostility toward Russia and contempt for Russians.

Americans have no reason, other than American media-propaganda and brainwashing, to fear Vladimir Putin, but plenty of reason to fear Barack Obama — he’s goading Putin into another arms-race and weapons-buildup, toward a possible nuclear war.

The Gallup poll merely shows the result of Americans being drenched with propaganda. As for the Pew poll’s showing Russians’ opinions of the United States plunging, anyone in Russia who is at all rational and who has open eyes will feel that way. The drenching in propaganda is the U.S., not Russia — or, at least, not nearly to the same extent.

Americans are drowning in propaganda; that’s what this Gallup poll is showing.

American ‘news’ media are doing their job, for the aristocracy that own them. It’s what they’re paid to do. They’re paid to keep the public in line. What the media are to people’s minds, the police are to people’s bodies. One is mental force: deception. The other is physical force: violence. This combination of deception and violence is the cost-effective way to control the public. It’s efficient.

So: the American public is being prepped to hate Russians and to fear Russia. Americans are starting to get in line, for the Big War. That’s also the reason why the U.S.-initiated ethnic-cleansing program in the Donbass region of the  former Ukraine isn’t reported in the western press. All that Americans know is that Russia is bad. And, for most Americans, that’s enough to know. It gives them a fighting spirit. Unfortunately, they’re fighting the wrong enemy. But that’s the purpose, isn’t it?

Even before the coup in Ukraine, a Gallup poll had shown that worldwide the U.S. was considered to be the greatest threat, of all nations, to world peace. But Americans didn’t think so. Now, what would explain that discrepancy? Perhaps the same thing that caused Americans to think that Saddam Hussein’s WMD and support for Al Qaeda necessitated an American invasion of Iraq in 2003.

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

The fate of Ukraine is now shifting from the military battlefield back to the arena that counts most: that of international finance. Kiev is broke, having depleted its foreign reserves on waging war that has destroyed its industrial export and coal mining capacity in the Donbass (especially vis-à-vis Russia, which normally has bought 38 percent of Ukraine’s exports). Deeply in debt (with €3 billion falling due on December 20 to Russia), Ukraine faces insolvency if the IMF and Europe do not release new loans next month to pay for new imports as well as Russian and foreign bondholders.

Finance Minister Natalia Yaresko announced on Friday that she hopes to see the money begin to flow in by early March.[1] But Ukraine must meet conditions that seem almost impossible: It must implement an honest budget and start reforming its corrupt oligarchs (who dominate in the Rada and control the bureaucracy), implement more austerity, abolish its environmental protection, and make its industry “attractive” to foreign investors to buy Ukraine’s land, natural resources, monopolies and other assets, presumably at distress prices in view of the country’s recent devastation.

Looming over the IMF loan is the military situation. On January 28, Christine Lagarde said that the IMF would not release more money as long as Ukraine remains at war. Cessation of fighting was to begin Sunday morning. But Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh announced that his private army and that of the Azov Battalion will ignore the Minsk agreement and fight against Russian-speakers. He remains a major force within the Rada.

How much of Ukraine’s budget will be spent on arms? Germany and France made it clear that they oppose further U.S. military adventurism in Ukraine, and also oppose NATO membership. But will Germany follow through on its threat to impose sanctions on Kiev in order to stop a renewal of the fighting? For the United States bringing Ukraine into NATO would be the coup de grace blocking creation of a Eurasian powerhouse integrating the Russian, German and other continental European economies.

The Obama administration is upping the ante and going for broke, hoping that Europe has no alternative but to keep acquiescing. But the strategy is threatening to backfire. Instead of making Russia “lose Europe,” the United States may have overplayed its hand so badly that one can now think about the opposite prospect. The Ukraine adventure turn out to be the first step in the United States losing Europe. It may end up splitting European economic interests away from NATO, if Russia can convince the world that the epoch of armed occupation of industrial nations is a thing of the past and hence no real military threat exists – except for Europe being caught in the middle of Cold War 2.0.

For the U.S. geopolitical strategy to succeed, it would be necessary for Europe, Ukraine and Russia to act against their own potential economic self-interest. How long can they be expected to acquiesce in this sacrifice? At what point will economic interests lead to a reconsideration of old geo-military alliances and personal political loyalties?

The is becoming urgent because this is the first time that continental Europe has been faced with such war on its own borders (if we except Yugoslavia). Where is the advantage for Europe supporting one of the world’s most corrupt oligarchies north of the Equator?

America’s Ukrainian adventure by Hillary’s appointee Victoria Nuland (kept on and applauded by John Kerry), as well as by NATO, is forcing Europe to commit itself to the United States or pursue an independent line. George Soros (whose aggressive voice is emerging as the Democratic Party’s version of Sheldon Adelson) recently urged (in the newly neocon New York Review of Books) that the West give Ukraine $50 billion to re-arm, and to think of this as a down payment on military containment of Russia. The aim is old Brzezinski strategy: to foreclose Russian economic integration with Europe. The assumption is that economic alliances are at least potentially military, so that any power center raises the threat of economic and hence political independence.

The Financial Times quickly jumped on board for Soros’s $50 billion subsidy.[2] When President Obama promised that U.S. military aid would be only for “defensive arms,” Kiev clarified that it intended to defend Ukraine all the way to Siberia to create a “sanitary cordon.”

First Confrontation: Will the IMF Loan Agreement try to stiff Russia?

The IMF has been drawn into U.S. confrontation with Russia in its role as coordinating Kiev foreign debt refinancing. It has stated that private-sector creditors must take a haircut, given that Kiev can’t pay the money its oligarchs have either stolen or spent on war. But what of the €3 billion that Russia’s sovereign wealth fund loaned Ukraine, under London rules that prevent such haircuts? Russia has complained that Ukraine’s budget makes no provision for payment. Will the IMF accept this budget as qualifying for a bailout, treating Russia as an odious creditor? If so, what kind of legal precedent would this set for sovereign debt negotiations in years to come?

International debt settlement rules were thrown into a turmoil last year when U.S. Judge Griesa gave a highly idiosyncratic interpretation of thepari passu clause with regard to Argentina’s sovereign debts. The clause states that all creditors must be treated equally. According to Griesa (uniquely), this means that if any creditor or vulture fund refuses to participate in a debt writedown, no such agreement can be reached and the sovereign government cannot pay any bondholders anywhere in the world, regardless of what foreign jurisdiction the bonds were issued under.

This bizarre interpretation of the “equal treatment” principle has never been strictly applied. Inter-governmental debts owed to the IMF, ECB and other international agencies have not been written down in keeping with private-sector debts. Russia’s loan was carefully framed in keeping with London rules. But U.S. diplomats have been openly – indeed, noisily and publicly – discussing how to “stiff” Russia. They even have thought about claiming that Russia’s Ukraine loans (to help it pay for gas to operate its factories and heat its homes) are an odious debt, or a form of foreign aid, or subject to anti-Russian sanctions. The aim is to make Russia “less equal,” transforming the concept of pari passu as it applies to sovereign debt.

Just as hedge funds jumped into the fray to complicate Argentina’s debt settlement, so speculators are trying to make a killing off Ukraine’s financial corpse, seeing this gray area opened up. The Financial Timesreports that one American investor, Michael Hasenstab, has $7 billion of Ukraine debts, along with Templeton Global Bond Fund.[3] New speculators may be buying Ukrainian debt at half its face value, hoping to collect in full if Russia is paid in full – or at least settle for a few points’ quick run-up.
bubblehudson

The U.S.-sponsored confusion may tie up Russia’s financial claims in court for years, just as has been the case with Argentina’s debt. At stake is the IMF’s role as debt coordinator: Will it insist that Russia take the same haircut that it’s imposing on private hedge funds?

This financial conflict is becoming a new mode of warfare. Lending terms are falling subject to New Cold War geopolitics. This battlefield has been opened up by U.S. refusal in recent decades to endorse the creation of any international body empowered to judge the debt-paying capacity of countries. This makes every sovereign debt crisis a grab bag that the U.S. Treasury can step in to dominate. It endorses keeping countries in the U.S. diplomatic orbit afloat (although on a short leash), but not countries that maintain an independence from U.S. policies (e.g., Argentina and BRICS members).

Looking forward, this position threatens to fracture global finance into a U.S. currency sphere and a BRICS sphere. The U.S. has opposed creation of any international venue to adjudicate the debt-paying capacity of debtor nations. Other countries are pressing for such a venue in order to save their economies from the present anarchy. U.S. diplomats see anarchy as offering an opportunity to bring U.S. diplomacy to bear to reward friends and punish non-friends and “independents.” The resulting financial anarchy is becoming untenable in the wake of Argentina, Greece, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Italy and other sovereign debtors whose obligations are unpayably high.

The IMF’s One-Two Punch leading to privatization sell-offs to rent extractors            

IMF loans are made mainly to enable governments to pay foreign bondholders and bankers, not spend on social programs or domestic economic recovery. Sovereign debtors must agree to IMF “conditionalities” in order to get enough credit to enable bondholders to take their money and run, avoiding haircuts and leaving “taxpayers” to bear the cost of capital flight and corruption.

The first conditionality is the guiding principle of neoliberal economics: that foreign debts can be paid by squeezing out a domestic budget surplus. The myth is that austerity programs and cuts in public spending will enable governments to pay foreign-currency debts – as if there is no “transfer problem.”

The reality is that austerity causes deeper economic shrinkage and widens the budget deficit. And no matter how much domestic revenue the government squeezes out of the economy, it can pay foreign debts only in two ways: by exporting more, or by selling its public domain to foreign investors. The latter option leads to privatizing public infrastructure, replacing subsidized basic services with rent-extraction and future capital flight. So the IMF’s “solution” to the deb problem has the effect of making it worse – requiring yet further privatization sell-offs.

This is why the IMF has been wrong in its economic forecasts for Ukraine year after year, just as its prescriptions have devastated Ireland and Greece, and Third World economies from the 1970s onward. Its destructive financial policy must be seen as deliberate, not an innocent forecasting error. But the penalty for following this junk economics must be paid by the indebted victim.

In the wake of austerity, the IMF throws its Number Two punch. The debtor economy must pay by selling off whatever assets the government can find that foreign investors want. For Ukraine, investors want its rich farmland. Monsanto has been leasing its land and would like to buy. But Ukraine has a law against alienating its farmland and agricultural land to foreigners. The IMF no doubt will insist on repeal of this law, along with Ukraine’s dismantling of public regulations against foreign investment.

International finance as war

The Ukraine-IMF debt negotiation shows is why finance has become the preferred mode of geopolitical warfare. Its objectives are the same as war: appropriation of land, raw materials (Ukraine’s gas rights in the Black Sea) and infrastructure (for rent-extracting opportunities) as well as the purchase of banks.

The IMF has begun to look like an office situated in the Pentagon, renting a branch office on Wall Street from Democratic Party headquarters, with the rent paid by Soros. His funds are drawing up a list of assets that he and his colleagues would like to buy from Ukrainian oligarchs and the government they control. The buyout payments for partnership with the oligarchs will not stay in Ukraine, but will be moved quickly to London, Switzerland and New York. The Ukrainian economy will lose the national patrimony with which it emerged from the Soviet Union in 1991, still deeply in debt (mainly to its own oligarchs operating out of offshore banking centers).

Where does this leave European relations with the United States and NATO?

The two futures

A generation ago the logical future for Ukraine and other post-Soviet states promised to be an integration into the German and other West European economies. This seemingly natural complementarity would see the West modernize Russian and other post-Soviet industry and agriculture (and construction as well) to create a self-sufficient and prosperous Eurasian regional power. Foreign Minister Lavrov recently voiced Russia’s hope at the Munich Security Conference for a common Eurasian Union with the European Union extending from Lisbon to Vladivostok. German and other European policy looked Eastward to invest its savings in the post-Soviet states.

This hope was anathema to U.S. neocons, who retain British Victorian geopolitics opposing the creation of any economic power center in Eurasia. That was Britain’s nightmare prior to World War I, and led it to pursue a diplomacy aimed at dividing and conquering continental Europe to prevent any dominant power or axis from emerging.

America started its Ukrainian strategy with the idea of splitting Russia off from Europe, and above all from Germany. In the U.S. playbook is simple: Any economic power is potentially military; and any military power may enable other countries to pursue their own interest rather than subordinating their policy to U.S. political, economic and financial aims. Therefore, U.S. geostrategists view any foreign economic power as a potentially military threat, to be countered before it can gain steam.

We can now see why the EU/IMF austerity plan that Yanukovich rejected made it clear why the United States sponsored last February’s coup in Kiev. The austerity that was called for, the removal of consumer subsidies and dismantling of public services would have led to an anti-West reaction turning Ukraine strongly back toward Russia. The Maidan coup sought to prevent this by making a war scar separating Western Ukraine from the East, leaving the country seemingly no choice but to turn West and lose its infrastructure to the privatizers and neo-rentiers.

But the U.S. plan may lead Europe to seek an economic bridge to Russia and the BRICS, away from the U.S. orbit. That is the diplomatic risk when a great power forces other nations to choose one side or the other.

The silence from Hillary

Having appointed Valery Nuland as a holdover from the Cheney administration, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined the hawks by likening Putin to Hitler. Meanwhile, Soros’s $10 million on donations to the Democratic Party makes him one of its largest donors. The party thus seems set to throw down the gauntlet with Europe over the shape of future geopolitical diplomacy, pressing for a New Cold War.

Hillary’s silence suggests that she knows how unpopular her neocon policy is with voters – but how popular it is with her donors. The question is, will the Republicans agree to not avoid discussing this during the 2016 presidential campaign? If so, what alternative will voters have next year?

This prospect should send shivers down Europe’s back. There are reports that Putin told Merkel and Holland in Minsk last week that Western Europe has two choices. On the one hand, it and Russia can create a prosperous economic zone based on Russia’s raw materials and European technology. Or, Europe can back NATO’s expansion and draw Russia into war that will wipe it out.

German officials have discussed bringing sanctions against Ukraine, not Russia, if it renews the ethnic warfare in its evident attempt to draw Russia in. Could Obama’s neocon strategy backfire, and lose Europe? Will future American historians talk of who lost Europe rather than who lost Russia?

Michael Hudson’s book summarizing his economic theories, “The Bubble and Beyond,” is now available in a new edition with two bonus chapters on Amazon. His latest book is Finance Capitalism and Its Discontents.  He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, published by AK Press. He can be reached via his website, [email protected]

Notes:

[1] Fin min hopes Ukraine will get new IMF aid in early March – Interfax, http://research.tdwaterhouse.ca/research/public/Markets/NewsArticle/1664-L5N0VN2DO-1

5:40AM ET on Friday Feb 13, 2015 by Thomson Reuters

[2] “The west needs to rescue the Ukrainian economy,” Financial Timeseditorial, February 12, 2015.

[3] Elaine Moore, “Contrarian US investor with $7bn of debt stands to lose most if Kiev imposes haircut,” Financial Times, February 12, 2015.

It’s that time of year again! President’s Day, a time to honor America’s two greatest presidents in history (at least from history book consensus) – George Washington our first and Abraham Lincoln our sixteenth president. By conveniently combining the nearest weekend midpoint between their birthdays (22nd and 12th respectively) and lopping in Valentine’s Day and the NBA All Star Weekend to make it a post-Super Bowl Bonanza for everyone, kind of like what the three-day MLK weekend is to the yearend holiday extravaganza. But between our Presidents’ Day sales, popcorn and beer, this President’s Day 2015 might also be an opportune time to pause and reflect on our presidents over this last century. President’s Day then becomes a sober reckoning of how the fate of our cherished democratic republic was lost and stolen by today’s totalitarian oligarchy. A chronicle of this last century’s presidents offers us Americans a greater understanding of the diminished role our figurehead presidents have played as a mere public face to the shrouded power elite puppet masters pulling their strings. What follows is a presentational overview providing a step-by-step thread of continuity that has led us to the New World Order burgeoning today.

1913 was a pivotal year that brought to fruition the meticulously laid out agenda conspired in total secrecy of the Jekyll Island Coup d’Etat that culminated with the Federal Reserve Act signed by President Woodrow Wilson establishing the deceptively covert, privatized central banking cabal of the Federal Reserve Board. The other illegal 1913 coup that was part of the low-blow, one-two near knockout punch against the American people was the birth of the federal income tax. Thus the foundation of today’s globalist Ponzi scheme on the verge right now of implosion gained its lethal foothold into our lives just one year before “the war to end all wars.”

A handful of extremely powerful men including prominent New York Senator Nelson Aldrich, Paul Warburg (representing the Rothschilds of Europe), Jacob Schiff  (with also longtime Rothschild ties) of Kuhn, Loeb & Company and a few others like Benjamin Strong representing the financial interests of America’s most elite money barons and industrialists like John D. Rockefeller met at J.P. Morgan’s hunting club on a Georgia Island in 1910 to iron out the strategy to take over America’s government by usurping the power of the US Treasury to produce currency.

In his autobiography during the same year the Ponzi scheme was launched, then former President Theodore Roosevelt wrote:

Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the peopleTo destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.

With one of the Jekyll Island participants Colonel Edward M. House acting as President elect Woodrow Wilson’s personal advisor, the robber barons had plucked the Princeton University president from relative obscurity, planted him in office as the Governor of New Jersey in 1911 and then had him elected president the following year. His predecessor President Taft who had opposed a central bank was easily replaced by the naïve and pliable Wilson. Thus when he took his oath of office in January 1913, Colonel House was the elitist insider who was able to easily manipulate Wilson to further serve the interest of the banking cabal. House’s instrumental role of influence and power over Woodrow Wilson might be analogous to what Zbigniew Brzezinski’s was to President Jimmy Carter and Henry Kissinger to President Nixon. But the former Ivy League president was an intelligent man who had written a book published the same year he became president showing he was fully aware of the shadowy bankster cabal. Based on the quote below from his 1913 The New Freedom, Wilson knew a transformation of power was underway, making him all the more culpable when he proceeded to do everything the elite wanted and expected of him. In some ways knowing what he knew, signing the Federal Reserve Act and Federal Income Tax Act the same year his book was published made him a traitor to Americans:

Some of the biggest men in the US, in the field of commerce and manufacturing, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it…. We have been dreading all along the time when the combined power of high finance would be greater than the power of government….

Yeah, if you’re as weak as putty in their hands. To show just how much President Wilson was the first puppet president to be used by oligarchs, dancing gleefully to their diabolical tune, Wilson actually uttered:

Mr. House is my second personality. He is my independent self. His thoughts and mine are one. If I were in his place I would do just as he suggested… if anyone thinks he is reflecting my opinion by whatever action he takes, they are welcome to the conclusion.

With the formation of the Federal Reserve, wealth and power in the United States was instantly consolidated within a few Eastern Establishment families that would ensure their offspring were always educated at the finest Ivy League schools such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Columbia. Upon graduation they would enter Wall Street banking firms, global corporations and eventually infiltrate into key positions in the government. This power grab resulting in control over the flow of money through loans to the federal government, and then collecting interest on those loans, guaranteed loan repayment by income tax collection. This new monetary system was predicated on an invisible elite taking control of the government. What a coup, not unlike what 9/11 is to totalitarianism.

Thus creation of the perfect pyramid scheme for the rich remained by law unaccountable to government oversight and control to the extent that the Federal Reserve was immune from all audits for its first 98 years in existence! Finally in 2011 in its very first audit it was revealed that the Federal Reserve secretly paid $16 trillion in bailouts to the top elitist banks both domestic and foreign. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) commented, “This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged, you’re-on-your-own individualism for everyone else.” In view of the fact that since 1913 the Federal Reserve has created so much new money out of thin air that it has purposely devalued the US dollar by 95%, the banking crime syndicate needs to be destroyed. As if such fiscal irresponsibility isn’t bad enough, a few years later as of last week the so called modern day champion of economic reform Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) herself stopped short of demanding another Fed audit per Senator Rand Paul’s (R-KY) “Audit the Fed” Bill, calling it “Congressional meddling.” Another instance of a politician who claims to represent the people selling out.

The creation of the Federal Reserve Board intentionally deceiving the public by misrepresenting itself as an extension of the government was the ideal means by which the elite central banking cabal could ruthlessly eliminate competition from smaller banks and corporations while controlling the federal government by loaning money to big government to wage big war. And as no surprise, less than a year later, enter World War I, the bloodiest war in human history up to that time with 10 million soldiers and 7 million civilians killed and 20 million injured. But hey, like every war it was a boom to the psychopathic oligarchs in charge as governments plunged deeper into debt and between accrued interest and collected taxes guaranteeing repayment, life was and still is mighty good for the ruling elite.

Establishing an income tax to soak the middle class into funding the elite’s wars, initially passed on a short-lived promise that taxpayers earning under $20,000 a year (the vast US majority in 1913) would only pay 1% of their annual income. But of course a short time later the middle class found itself heavily taxed, by design creating a formidable protective barrier restricting upward class mobility. That way, it ensured that the rich got richer and over time everyone else would get poorer in a debtor economy. The rich a hundred years ago in 1915 were no different from the rich in control today in 2015 since concentrated wealth has seamlessly remained insulated in that same handful of families a full century later. The only difference is their wealth has grown exponentially at the expense of the rest of us who increasingly struggle in this new global age of fiscal austerity. Currently the richest 1% on earth own near half the global wealth.

Through offshore tax loopholes and financing endowment foundations and extravagant elitist think tanks that have always been totally self-serving in supplying tremendous tax breaks, the wealthy ruling elite and its transnational corporations have gotten away with not bearing any tax burden. Thus these sinister anti-democratic, anti-free enterprise machinations enacted a century ago were designed to kill democracy in America, replacing it with the oligarchy we’re currently stuck with today. The coup of 1913 was a mere replication of the wealth and power structure that had been governing Europe’s central banking cabal since the 1600’s. In fact a year before passage of the Federal Reserve Act, in a speech before world bankers, Meyer Nathaniel Rothschild bragged, “Let me control a people’s currency and I care not who makes their laws.” Global rulers consisting of only eight families in US and Europe that own the Federal Reserve envisioned a hundred years ago complete control over a centralized one world government through their central banking cabal. And here in the twenty-first century their diabolical scheme has tragically materialized right before our eyes.

The chairman of the House Committee on Banking and Currency from 1920 to 1931, Congressman Louis McFadden, would later gloat in 1932:

When the Federal Reserve Act was passed, the people of these United States did not perceive that a world banking system was being set up here – a super-state controlled by international bankers and international industrialists acting together to enslave the world for their own pleasure. Every effort has been made by the Fed to conceal its powers but the truth is – the Fed has usurped the government.

Industrialist Henry Ford put it this way, “It is well enough that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”

Maintaining control over the press by disseminating lies and disinformation and education through rewriting history and omitting certain glaring facts, the power elite for many centuries has been brainwashing generation after generation of Americans. Taken in by the countless lies and illusions, we’ve always been taught that our democratic republic was supposed to be a government of the people, by the people and for the people (as Abe eloquently reminded us in his Gettysburg Address), and that through clean honest elections the will of the people is guaranteed by power of choice. The Founding Fathers preached equality and justice for all. But for whom? Only for a minority of the total population – free white men, definitely not for people of darker skinned races or half the population that were women or the growing segment within a debtor nation. The cold hard reality is the ruling elite was always in command right from the start in the United States of America. And in 1913 they were dancing in their mansions when consolidation of power was placed forevermore into fewer hands with passage of both the federal income tax and the Federal Reserve private banking cabal that has only led directly to the unsustainable global theft that elite’s absolute power and control currently driving the pending economic collapse. As a private collection agency it bilks about $400 billion a year off the backs of US taxpayers and another $300 billion in interest alone. The 10 private banks that make up the Federal Reserve is a pyramid scam that has us Americans paying out while they simply collect on what is owed, never having to pay out themselves.

In 1916 President Wilson was an avid proponent pushing the notion that the world needed a League of Nations, a one world governmental body acting as global “peace enforcer,” using the rationale that it would prevent another major war from recurring. And then once World War One ended in 1918, at the Paris Peace Conference the stage was set for the first attempt at a one world government with the founding of the League of Nations on January 10, 1920. However, the League never got off the ground in the US with the Senate voting to not become a member.

As a mediator between clashing nations during the 1920’s, the League of Nations is credited with several instances of successful conflict resolution. At its height in the early 1930’s it boasted 58 nation members. But as the decade progressed, it began losing its power and credibility when nations like Poland refused to comply and Italy eventually walked out. When the polarizing world was militarizing as World War II loomed ominously closer, the League fell apart and disbanded. Of course a decade later after the Second World War, the United Nations reemerged as the primary global body of one world government in-the-making.

The next big day the elitists could celebrate in their NWO conquest was the creation of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in 1921. This organization was the intended functionary liaison between the oligarchs dictating to the US federal government what it should do particularly in international foreign policy and global movement toward one world government. Many of the same Jekyll Island party-goers were founding members like Col. House, Paul Warburg, Warren Harding lasted only two years (1921-1923) in the White House before keeling over. His late night drinking and playing poker with the boys, his unsavory cronies from home state of Ohio, had him even betting away the White House china on a bad poker night. Historians regard Harding as one the worst presidents in US history. He was a do-nothing, middle-of-the-roader who never made enemies because he never took a stand on any major issues. The elite chose him because one, Harding had been a requisite Freemason for two decades and two, the oligarchs knew he would completely sign off on their globalist agenda. His secretary of state was leading internationalist Charles Evans Hughes who worked closely with Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover and Secretary of Treasury Andrew Mellon to switch international trade financing away from British bankers to American banks like Rockefeller’s Chase National Bank.

It did not take long for the newly formed CFR to declare its globalist objective in its magazine Foreign Affairs as Philip Kerr wrote on December 15, 1922:

Obviously there is going to be no peace or prosperity for mankind as long as [the earth] remains divided into 50 or 60 independent states until some kind of international system is created…The real problem today is that of the world government.

Harding’s Vice President, Calvin Coolidge, suddenly became head man from 1923-1929. He was a welcome relief after the scandalous prone Harding administration. “Silent Cal” was a quiet, unassuming, frugal New Englander who opposed big government and the League of Nations. Though he too was a Freemason, the Roaring Twenties were defined more as a period of isolationism than globalism. As a conservative hero of the small businessman, Coolidge harkened on the wisdom and values espoused in the US Constitution and Bill of Rights rather than any progressive modern movement toward socialism and one world government that the Council on Foreign Relations and power elite were steadfastly promoting.

October 1929 brought the Wall Street stock market crash and the ensuing Great Depression that went global for the next 10 years. It was purely a fleecing purposely staged by the ruling elite. The monetary system of the centralized banking cabal feeds off the intentionally induced, erratic ebb and flow of booms and depressions, with each cycle strengthening its profit and control. The Hegelian Dialectic has been repeatedly played out by the globalists. It consists of a three stage process, first the elite creates the problem, in this case the worldwide economic depression. The second phase involves controlling the reaction and then finally offer the solution.

The newly elected CFR member and “Skull & Bones” man (the infamous secret Yale society) President Herbert Hoover (1929-1933) was a longtime globalist who sought making inroads partnering big government with big business. He called upon the Senate in his inaugural address to accept the globalist creation of the World Court. In some ways despite being “a company man,” Hoover became the fall guy as the elite turned to another one of its own in Franklin Delano Roosevelt who defeated Hoover in the 1932 election. Even FDR in a genuine moment of candor stated, “Presidents are selected, not elected.”

To maximize the cabal’s fleecing, interest rates were increased while wages fell by 42%, the annual GDP was cut in half and more than a quarter of the workforce was unemployed. Talk about predatory behavior.

FDR (1933-1944) was credited with the New Deal, an ambitious big government program that was unprecedented in expanding the domain of the globalist federal agenda into every American’s personal life. Roosevelt had campaigned for president on his New Deal as phase two of the Hegelian Dialectic – deliverance of the necessary fix to the Great Depression. Essentially the New Deal assumed responsibility for the welfare of the United States heading us down the path to full frontal corporatism and out of control deficit spending, now well over 18 trillion in the rabbit hole and counting. At the height of the Depression in 1933 Roosevelt, a 32 degree Freemason, a Skull and Bones operator and a CFR member, wrote one of the key architects of this monetary system nightmare CFR founder Col. House lamenting:

The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson … The country is going through a repetition of Jackson’s fight with the Bank of the United States – only on a far bigger and broader basis…

The president was having second thoughts about following House’s big government New Deal advice, wanting to reign the banks in, but it was too late, he’d already given them what they wanted, largely a socialist government patterned after Mussolini’s fascism. FDR’s take on the Depression and how it was manufactured:

The depression was the calculated ‘shearing’ of the public by the World Money powers, triggered by the planned sudden shortage of supply of call money in the New York money market… The One World Government leaders and their ever close bankers have now acquired full control of the money and credit machinery of the US via the creation of the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank.

Of course the same can be said for World War II. The international globalists financed both Hitler and the Allies to ensure more death, domination and control, not to mention profit. Prescott Bush, H.W.’s father, sunk millions into Hitler’s rise. With each world war the oligarchs gained another giant step closer to their one world government vision. And similar to the First World War, even as the bloodiest war in human history still raged on with 15 million dead soldiers, 45 million civilians killed and 25 million wounded, the one world governmental apparatus known as the United Nations was formed. A strong League of Nations advocate, FDR played a seminal role in formulating the blueprint to the United Nations that gained its charter just six monthsafter the longest running president’s death in 1944.

Roosevelt’s successor, Harry Truman (1944-1953), was also unabashed when it came to promoting big government socialism, calling his version “The Fair Deal.” And also like FDR, Truman was a 33 degree Freemason also held membership in the Council on Foreign Relations. And he too led the centralized government assault as both provider and controller over the country’s population and resources. Finally, it was Truman who has the dubious, shameful distinction of being the only country’s president in the history of the world to drop the atom bomb over two Japanese cities knowing that Japan was ready to surrender. The excuse that it saved lives is a disgraceful lie.

In June 1945 Harry Truman gave his globalist position away when he declared:

It will be just as easy for nations to get along in a republic of the world as it is for us to get along in a republic of the United States.

Incidentally, original Jekyll Island-Federal Reserve-CFR co-founder Paul Warburg’s son James still spouted the cocky arrogance his resolute dad exhibited while testifying exactly 65 years ago today before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, “We shall have world government whether or not you like it, by conquest or consent.” From appearances based on today’s developments, James Paul Warburg is close to being correct on both accounts.

Retired General Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961) had impeccable credentials when he was elected US President in 1952. The West Point educated Columbia University president had been WWII Supreme Allied Commander responsible for the largest amphibious land invasion in human history that successfully defeated the German Nazis on the Western front. He also became the first NATO Supreme Commander, the military machine designed to fight Soviet Communism in Europe. As a Council on Foreign Relations member, he surrounded himself with fellow CFR guys including John Foster Dulles as Secretary of State totaling 19. Way back in 1939 CFR fixture Dulles boldly suggested that the US “lead the transition to a new order of less independent, semi-sovereign states bound together by a league or federal union.” Of course his future commander-in-chief was later the first general in charge of the continental army of Europe called NATO.

Every year President Eisenhower happily sent members of his administration to the annual Bilderberg meeting to formally discuss the latest globalist agenda. During Ike’s years as president the ruling elite made monumental strides under the cloak of the cold war that they themselves covertly created as a means towards the New World Order end. Of course it was also the ex-general who warned America in his Farewell Address in January 1961 of the coming threat to our civil liberties and freedom that the war profiteers of the military industrial complex posed. The elite’s power to create enemies and make incessant war designed to increase American Empire global hegemony in sole interests of transnational corporations and the central banking cabal is the endgame result he warned us about.

After 1000 days in office President John Kennedy (1961-1963) was gunned down by elements within his own government because he proved too much a threat to the status quo power structure. He was bent on deflating if not eliminating the CIA’s covert autonomy around the world, was planning to bring back all the US military advisors so as to avoid the Vietnam War altogether, and made movement to unhinge the Federal Reserve banking cabal by bringing back the greenback dollar and reinstating the Treasury Department with authority over the flow of fiat currency. These three actions openly opposed the entire globalist agenda as well as would have severely undercut its power. Thus he was eliminated and the cover-up of murdering factions of rogue government insiders continues unabated to this day. Kennedy outed these shadowy elements in a speech less than seven months prior to his assassination in an April 1963 speech. Kennedy’s father Joe was once quoted in a 1936 New York Times article claiming that “fifty men have run America, and that’s a high figure.” His son turned those same fifty’s sons against him and paid the price.

President Lyndon Johnson (1963-1969), a CFR-Freemason, has been implicated by some as a co-conspirator in the Kennedy murder. He most definitely had both motive and the means. Following the CFR “wise guys” lock, stock and barrel as his advisors both in and out of his cabinet, Johnson plunged the US on yet another false flag headlong into its longest war in its history in Vietnam. Rather than supporting independence and actual economic opportunity in the inner cities of America, Johnson’s “Great Society” and “War on Poverty” proceeded to turn the United States into a welfare state which only mushroomed an underclass of disenfranchised poor. LBJ’s tax exempt status to religious organizations while on his watch only weakened and silenced their free speech rights to actively oppose big government’s march toward invasive power and control for fear of wrath from IRS militants. Johnson cooked the books to conceal exponential growth and absorbent costs of expanding government into the lives of Americans.

Under President Richard Nixon (1969-1974) the pace dramatically accelerated toward the New World Order. His closest security advisor and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger openly and matter-of-factly spoke repeatedly and still speaks of the coming NWO as his fine-tuned globalist agenda, always spinning it in palatable terms as good for humanity, not just the ruling elite. A case in point, while speaking before the UN General Assembly in 1975, Kissinger promised, “Progress and peace and justice are attainable. So we say to all peoples and governments: Let us fashion together a new world order.”

Reflecting on his foreign policy triumph over his recent trip to China, in a February 1972 New York Times article President Nixon is quoted referring to both the US and China’s mutual interest in “building a New World Order.” No doubt with NWO still fresh on his mind, in that same month Nixon signed Executive Order 11647 that authorized UN jurisdiction over 10 regions within the 50 states. It reads like a precursor to UN Agenda 21 two decades later.

Nixon entertained both the idea and the plan to lock up dissidents in detention camps, again the blueprint for today’s FEMA camps. In fact, all the totalitarian police state contingencies were first formulated by this reactionary tyrant who became the only president in US history who resigned from office in disgrace over the illegal wiretapping, breaking and entering and dozens of violations to the US Constitution that are now the oppressive security state we’re living in. He and Kissinger were also traitors that undermined a peace settlement the Johnson administration was working on that would have ended the Vietnam War in 1968. Instead it dragged on for more than four years killing thousands of more humans. Needless to say, Tricky Dick and his war criminal sidekick Henry were card carrying Council on Foreign Relations members with a saturated cabinet and advisors who were also likeminded totalitarian CFR globalists.

Kissinger spilled the beans at the 1991 Bilderberg meeting:

Today, America would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order [referring to the 1991 LA Riot]. Tomorrow they will be grateful! This is especially true if they were told that there were an outside threat from beyond [i.e., an “extraterrestrial” invasion], whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will plead to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well-being granted to them by the World Government.

Spoken like a true NWO fanatic. Three years later Kissinger entitled his book How to Achieve the New World Order.

Gerald Ford (1974-1977) immediately pardoned his predecessor for all his crimes against humanity. As a regular Bilderberger, 33 degree Mason and CFR man, President Ford moved the globalist agenda right along. While a member of the Warren Commission investigating the JFK assassination, Ford inserted words into the report that reinforced the preposterous notion of the single magic bullet that went through Kennedy into Texas Governor Connelly. During the cover-up Ford played his part in defense of protecting the guilty. But then Gerry was always a loyal company man. Finally, Ford selected globalist kingpin Nelson Rockefeller as his vice president.

Jimmy Carter (1977-1981) like Obama came from out of nowhere as the cherry-picked leading presidential candidate of his party, only reinforcing the veracity of FDR’s admission that presidents are selected, not elected. And then Carter was also a member of the Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg and Council on Foreign Relations. His socialism agenda masquerading as his Southern Baptist charm reflects the longstanding globalist point of view.

And his very own Kissinger-esque security advisor was none other than brazen CFR globalist agenda cheerleader Zbigniew Brzezinski who with David Rockefeller founded the Trilateral Commission in 1973. It was Brzezinski who introduced Carter to Rockefeller and the peanut farmer from Georgia was catapulted straight to the top. Even prior to becoming the leader of the free world’s right hand man, Brzezinski’s NWO roots were expressed prophetically loud and clear in his 1970 book Between Two Ages, America’s Role in the Technotronic Era:

The technetronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities.

He goes on with more of his brave new world ranting:

Speaking of a future at most only decades away, an experimenter in intelligence control asserted, ‘I foresee a time when we shall have the means and therefore, inevitably, the temptation to manipulate the behavior and intellectual functioning of all the people through environmental and biochemical manipulation of the brain.

President Reagan allowed himself to be used by the globalist machine bent on destroying everything Ronnie pretended to stand for – traditional values, honesty, courage, strength. Reagan complained about the top 19 positions filled by Trilateral Commission members in the Carter administration criticizing that it too closely aligned with banks and transnationals, yet after elected Reagan turned around and employed10 Trilateralists in his transition team and in his top posts too like his CFR-Trilateralist VP George H.W. Bush. A lifelong devotee of FDR, Reagan started off as a liberal Democrat. Ronald Reagan had a pervasive pattern of staying in stride with the changing wind of the times, becoming a hardened Soviet hater during the cold war. He rode this high horse mantra to legendary fame as the oligarch appointed leader and declared cold war winner in the behind the scenes arrangement East-West oligarchs made to collapse the Soviet Empire in favor of free world raping by the West that opened the floodgate to Russian mafia plundering. The real name of the game was globalization and privatization that arrived as transnational corporate-IMF exploitation. Reagan ignored the AIDS epidemic, a grotesque lapse of caring about those mostly afflicted that happened to be gay.

Also following suit with his fellow GOP SoCal buddy Nixon, as a private citizen Reagan treasonously tampered in off limit foreign affairs, secretly making a deal with Iran to hold off handing over the American hostages until after he got elected. And then when the corrupt unlawful depravity of gun running for crack cocaine Iran-Contra affair was exposed, Reagan suddenly showed his first signs of dementia in his failure to recall much of anything when it came to his favorite Marine Corp criminal Ollie North. Vice President Bush as former CIA director was in charge. Despite Reagan’s “freedom fighters” being murdering marauders killing thousands of their own in the Central American countryside, as long as they were on the right team, Reagan’s anti-Commie busters, they were the good guys. He was complicit in giving the green light to genocide in Guatemala. Reagan used the same lying tactics to demonize Nicaraguan Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega as Obama team is still doing today with Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro and Russian President Putin. Yet Ortega and longtime so called Communist enemy Cuban Fidel Castro have been courted guests at the Council on Foreign Relations on several occasions.

Though Reagan publicly championed small government, in reality he was big government all the way, adding bureaucracy, not taking it away as promised. He was revered for his tax-cutting yet Americans were paying more taxes by the end of his eight years than before he began. In the end his budget was 50% higher than Carter’s and the budget deficit had tripled. All this belied his hyper-inflated glory because he was spending more on arms and the military than any time since WWII. Reagan was a B actor in Hollywood and an A actor in Washington though the phony veneer was not difficult to detect. But the populace that longed for the traditional values of the good old days would do it all over again voting against their own best interest defenselessly smitten by the disingenuous charm of a two-bit actor from the West. We all lose while once again the New World Order leaps forward in bounds especially when the torch is handed off to the Bush NWO crime syndicate.

No other president in the history of the United States has made his views toward one world government more public than globalist Skull and Bones man George H.W. Bush (1989-1993). He signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) deal with Mexico that was good for only big business resulting in lost jobs and destroying small businesses in the US. Making continental and regional alliances and trade deals are the globalist steppingstone to New World Order and world government. Bush is big believer in the globalist vision of the UN and world court as the closest manifestation to his one world government. He signed the UN Agenda 21 along with leaders in 178 nations that is the globalist plan for their New World Order under the guise of sustainability. So every chance he got Bush was promoting his NWO:

The world can therefore seize the opportunity [Persian Gulf crisis] to fulfill the long-held promise of a New World Order where diverse nations are drawn together in common cause to achieve the universal aspirations of mankind.

After giving Saddam Hussein the go-ahead to invade Kuwait, the first Bush used the first Gulf War to promote the self-interests of both the globalists and their transnational corporations in the Middle East, but always in a self-righteous moralistic tone:

If we do not follow the dictates of our inner moral compass and stand up for human life, then his lawlessness will threaten the peace and democracy of the emerging new world order we now see, this long dreamed-of vision we’ve all worked toward for so long.

When he bombed Iraqi water treatment plants and hospitals that caused a half million children to needlessly die, Bush senior’s moral compass pointed straight to demonic hell because that’s where this psychopath lives. The Bush crime family pass their evil down from one generation to the next. His involvement in child sex trafficking is yet one more can of worms in his family closet.

CFR Skull and Bones man Bill Clinton (1993-2001) with a dozen cabinet members his fellow CFR props just goes to show us that regardless of political party, Democrat or Republican, the globalist agenda is one and the same. He too signed NAFTA selling Americans down the river. Andrew Reding of the World Policy Institute said:

NAFTA will signal the formation, however tentatively, of a new political unit — North America. With economic integration will come political integration. By whatever name, this is an incipient form of international government. Following the lead of the Europeans, North Americans should begin considering formation of a continental parliament.

Clinton’s under Secretary of State Strobe Talbot was quoted in a 1992 Time article predicting that in this century “nations as we know it will be obsolete; all states will recognize a single, global authority. National sovereignty wasn’t such a great idea after all.”

Yet another Skullduggerist George W. Bush’s (2001-2009) war crime policy that placed the US on a collision course with the New World Order after the treasonous neocon inside job of 9/11 has been followed to the T by Obama. This tells us that the invisible powerbrokers behind the public faces are calling the shot regardless of party puppet. And of course Hillary is the same as Bill is the same as Obama is the same as Bush Jr. is the same as Jeb is the same as Bush senior is the same as Woodrow Wilson is the same as FDR and every other president over this last full century.

For 100 years now the globalist movement has been out to usurp our national sovereignty, replacing it with a one world government with one currency soon eclipsed by a microchip. There has been a war on both religion and family in this country just as individual rights are being attacked. Loyalty to the collective group above all else has been taught in the federalized public education brainwash called Common Core. Secrecy abounds in a totalitarian state. The militant Orwellian arm of child protective services and the thoroughly broken foster care system in this country are also at war with the American family. Obama and company have been busy making secret deals with the UN as part of the preparation for enactment of the Agenda 21. Still another NWO policy in both North America and Europe is the free anduninterrupted flow of immigration, pitting races, classes, religions and nationalities against each other.

Since the CFR’s founding in 1921, there have been 21 secretaries of defense or war, 19 secretaries of the treasury, 17 secretaries of state, and 15 CIA directors all taking their marching orders from the Council on Foreign Relations, the government offshoot of the globalist agenda of one world government. With all these NWO plants saturating every presidential administration for a century now, their invisibility is now shattered. The plain truth that our government has been taken over and hijacked by criminal psychopaths whose only loyalty is to the oligarchs that own and control them. Of course what’s been happening to America has also been happening to Europe with the European Union. The proliferation of regional trade agreements are expediting this one world agenda all over the globe.

All the globalists worldwide are traitors to their constitutional oaths they once swore to uphold and protect as well as traitors to the people that they also took oaths to serve. They are brazenly now violating the US Constitution, every citizen’s civil liberties and pursuit of happiness and security because they are at war with the American people. The militarized police state makes us all easy targets by the shadow rogue government now in crime syndicate power carrying out a globalist eugenics plan to drastically reduce the human population on earth. Whether by soft kill or hard, it doesn’t much matter to them, the endgame is the same – lower the current 7.2 billion of us down to a half to one billion people that will be the zombie class of subservient lackeys left serving the needs of the ruling elite. In the face of what we are now up against, honoring our dishonorable treasonous presidents no longer seems like a good idea. Waking up and rejecting their tyranny does.

EU Plays “Good Cop” With Russia Over Ukraine Deal

February 18th, 2015 by Ulson Gunnar

US President Barack Obama previously commented on the Ukrainian conflict, claiming Russian President Vladimir Putin was speeding past all the “off ramps” offered by the US and its NATO military alliance to end the violence. And just as it appeared the US and the rest of NATO were about to take their own advice and use the Minsk accord as their own face-saving “off ramp,” they’ve decided to put the pedal to the metal instead.

Of course, considering NATO’s long history of eastward expansion, global militarism and extraterritorial aggression, there was little hope of anything positive coming out of Minsk. Instead, NATO has used it as a means to draw an arbitrary line their media monopolies will claim in the near future Russia has “crossed,” thus justifying greater measures still to escalate the conflict, increase bloodshed and help their client regime in Kiev cling to power a little longer.

A similar tactic is being employed simultaneously in Syria, where President Obama has attempted to receive broader authorization to wage war “on ISIS.” Of course, barring any actual attempt to target ISIS’ state sponsors, such a war is bound to fail. And while President Obama’s measures are aimed at “stopping ISIS” by waging wider war in Iraq and Syria, the Pentagon has already admitted ISIS has spread as far as Afghanistan. Once again, even at face value, the narrative concocted by the US doesn’t add up.

This is important to remember, and the parallels between Ukraine and Syria should not be dismissed easily. The enduring chaos in Syria portends the fate of Ukraine. Essentially, it is a nation destined to be burned completely to the ground before allowing NATO’s agenda to be rolled back. And considering this parallel, one could have easily predicted ahead of time that any good will expressed by the EU before the meeting in Minsk was disingenuous, and the daggers of additional sanctions, expanded military aid for the junta in Kiev and additional NATO posturing along Russia’s borders were all but inevitably brought along.

“Good Cop, Bad Cop”

If the US is slapping Russia around in the interrogation room, the EU is the more reasonable of a duo working in concert to break Russia’s will. The EU speaks softly, offers Russia concessions and compromise, but ultimately has the exact same end game in mind as the US. To illustrate this, with the Minsk accord agreed to, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has shifted gears and is taking a hard line on enforcing sanctions against Russia, apparently to ensure Russia’s part of the deal is implemented.

The post-accord antics included NATO’s new client state’s prime minster, Arseniy P. Yatsenyuk of the dubious “Fatherland” Party, threatening Russia from the confines of the German Council on Foreign Relations. The New York Times would publish several of his accusations aimed at Russia, along with Chancellor Merkel’s demands that Russia meet all of the requirements first before any good will is shown by the EU’s lifting of sanctions.

In fact, not only will existing sanctions not be lifted, but sanctions already scheduled will be put into effect as planned despite the signing of the accord.

Those familiar with the concept of bargaining would realize how untenable this posture is, and that such a posture is the intentional and immediate sabotaging of an accord agreed to by both parties. In reality, the EU has already violated it, and willfully allowed its client regime in Kiev to continue making inflammatory, adversarial remarks aimed not at easing tensions, but to ratchet them up.

The EU is thus revealed to be just as belligerent and unconditionally unreasonable as the US. Russia was likely already aware of the absolute lack of real will and good faith behind any attempt to end a war the West cannot even frame with any degree of honesty.

Demanding Russia Stop A Conflict NATO Started?

Beginning with the violent NATO-backed overthrow of Ukraine’s elected government during the 2013-2014 Euromaidan mobs, the conflict grew into a full-fledged civil war as literal Neo-Nazi brigades were deployed east to force the rest of Ukraine to accept the newly installed junta. These Neo-Nazi militants are now documented by even the West’s own human rights advocacy groups to be committing atrocities on par with ISIS.

Newsweek, hardly “Kremlin propaganda,” would even publish a report literally titled, “Ukrainian Nationalist Volunteers Committing ‘ISIS-Style’ War Crimes,” admitting that “Groups of right-wing Ukrainian nationalists [loyal to Kiev] are committing war crimes in the rebel-held territories of Eastern Ukraine, according to a report from Amnesty International, as evidence emerged in local media of the volunteer militias beheading their victims.“

While the US and EU pretend their own human rights advocacy groups are not recording the horrors being carried out by their own client regime in Kiev, they have repeatedly claimed the entire conflict is instead the result of “Russian aggression.” They demand that this “aggression” cease, but such demands do not account for the grisly violence their own forces are committing along Russia’s borders.

And this is precisely the root of the problem.

The conflict is directly on Russia’s borders, with any sort of “buffer zone” between NATO and Russia all but dissolved by constant, aggressive eastward expansion by both NATO and its political component, the EU. The conflict is not looming on Brussels’ or Washington’s doorsteps, but on Moscow’s.

The US and EU’s intentional dismissal of this simple fact, or any reasonable acknowledgement over the disadvantage NATO has Russia at, or the imperative Russia possesses to ensure stability directly along its borders is indicative of the dishonesty the EU went to the Minsk meeting with. Chancellor Merkel’s inability to show any good will toward Russia by relieving sanctions even partially is simply yet another attempt to propagate a dishonest and destructive narrative, driven by the very same dishonesty and ill-will that triggered this confrontation in the first place.

Russia has attempted to be reasonable by agreeing to the Minsk accord. It, for its part, can begin incrementally putting it into affect. If the EU seriously wants the conflict to draw to an end, it must likewise make good incrementally on its part of the deal. A supranational entity that played a central part in the overthrow of Ukraine’s government in 2013-2014 cannot simply be “trusted.” The good will and trust the EU believes it is simply entitled to must instead be earned. Chancellor Merkel’s comments and the antics that took place directly after the accord showcases an EU no more sophisticated than the global marauders just across the Atlantic.

While the EU seemed to be softening on sanctions against Russia ahead of the accord, we now see they were simply playing “good cop.” They appeared to be departing from the irrational and self-destructive agenda pushed by Washington, but appear now to have instead doubled down.

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

America’s School System: Why the Attack on Tenure?

February 18th, 2015 by Steven Jonas

Tenure for K-12 teachers has been under attack from the Right for a long time. In many states, like Virginia, it does not exist. But now a new attack is being mounted by an ex-news anchor named Campbell Brown. Brown claims that THE cause of bad education in bad schools is bad teachers. And then she goes on to claim that THE solution to getting rid of bad teachers is to end tenure. Of course, the substitute for no tenure would presumably mean no protections of any kind for teachers, against arbitrary firings. They could be done by whomever would then be in charge of the firings. However, details on the latter do not seem to be on Brown’s agenda for description.

But critics of the Brown type, and the Joe Klein type, don’t often get into the programs that they propose to substitute for the programs they wish to eliminate (like the Repubs. on Obamacare, but that’s another matter.) Joe Klein, you may remember, is the businessman that Mayor Mike Bloomberg of New York City first put in charge of the city schools. He did prove one thing: someone with no background in education other than his own is unlikely to be able to effectively lead the nations’ largest school system (and one of the worlds largest, to boot).

The main argument here is that indeed there are bad teachers in every school system whether they have tenure protections or not. Of course there are bad news anchors who cannot hold a job and there are businessmen who cannot effectively run a school system, but that’s another matter too. Not that there are that many bad teachers, possibly up to 5 percent. But, and this is the big BUT, getting rid of tenure would in no way ensure that bad teachers would be gotten rid of.

If there were fewer bad teachers and even more good ones (95% ain’t bad, although doctors and lawyers do better; only somewhere around 1 in 57 doctors and 1 in 97 lawyers lose their licenses at some point during their careers), U.S. education would likely be marginally better than it is. One wonders if, once tenure were to be gone, Ms. Brown and Mr. Klein would be running around the country speaking and writing books about arbitrary firings by principals, school boards, politicians, and what have you, with possibly no effect on the overall quality of teachers. That is because, of course, there is no guarantee that the new teacher-firing system would do any better than the present one.

Yes, the tenure protection system could be significantly improved. But it must be recalled that what can be complex procedures for removing under-performing teachers were put in place, not by the teachers’ unions alone, but by the collectively bargained negotiations between the unions and the employer local school boards and governments.  The latter were often happy to provide for rather byzantine removal processes in exchange for concessions on wages, working conditions, and pensions.  At the same time, the more progressive unions, like the United Federation of Teachers in New York City, have made proposals to make them less byzantine, without getting rid of tenure protections. But, as noted, getting rid of tenure would be no guarantee to getting rid of bad teachers. In fact, depending upon how one defines “bad,” there might be more of them in non-tenure systems than in systems with tenure. Randy Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, has pointed out “that the states with the best protections for teachers also have the best academic performance.”

So why, really, the attack on tenure? First of all, somehow there always (or, OK, almost always) seems to be an association with the anti-tenure folks and the charter school folks. In most states (but not all, Maryland is one exception) teachers in charter schools do not have union protections. So there would seem to be an association between destroying tenure and destroying the teachers’ unions. Doing so would remove one of the last remaining redoubts of trade unionism that has been under the assault of the US ruling class since the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act in 1947. Trade union membership in this country has never been very high, reaching a peak of about 35% right after World War II. By 2013 it had declined to about 11% and it continues to decline. But it is the public employee sector that still has the highest percentage of union membership and that’s the one the Kochs and like-minded members of the ruling class are going after.

Further, as profit opportunities for US capital in the US continue to decline (collateralized mortgage obligations/derivatives, anyone?) it is looking sheep’s-eyes at the education system. Could it be a coincidence that many Wall-Streeters are on the side of destroying the unions to get at public education and replace it with for-profit charter schools? At the same time, polls show that tenure protection is so important to teachers who have it, that their salaries would have to be increased by up to half were it to be taken away (Richard Kahlenberg, Carnegie Foundation). Of course that wouldn’t happen, so what kinds of teachers do you think would be working for less?

The ultimate tragedy for parents of children receiving poor education in their schools who have become Brown followers is that they have been tricked into thinking that getting rid of tenure to “get rid of bad teachers” (which it might very well not do anyway) is going to solve the problem of bad schools. That is when the additional major causes range from class size, to antiquated buildings, to the lack of basic supplies, equipment, and library books) to, in order to save money, the mainstreaming of children who really require special help and in regular classes become regularly disruptive, to not enough teachers (at the height of the Bush Great Recession and the same decline in the local and state tax revenues that support public education, 700,000 teachers had lost their jobs). But these are tough targets so Brown and Klein target the easy one. What was that about sitting in an Ivory Tower?

Postscript: On Teach for America (from a New York Times article that appeared after I had written the original Commentary). It turns out that TfA is: a)closely affiliated with the charter school movement, sending many of the people to them, b) surprise, surprise, also closely linked with mandatory testing standards, the linkage of teacher performance evaluations to student test results, and “weakening of teacher tenure,” and c) as the overall employment market for college graduates improves, applications for TfA declined for the second year in a row. In a separate critique of TfA, candidates get five weeks of teacher training before being thrust into the classroom and in most places stay on the job for just two years. This is preparing college graduates for careers in education? This is supposed to improve overall teacher standards in the US? Why no. But it sure does help charter schools fill their slots that fully qualified teachers wouldn’t take.

 January 25th, Syriza (Coalition of the Radical Left) formed a government in Greece with the help of the ANEL (Independent Greeks). Within 24 hours direct attacks, threats and provocations aimed at the Greek government, about to begin negotiations with EU and Eurozone leaders, began. The attacks were pre-emptive strikes against efforts to find a quick, viable and productive solution to the Greek debt problem that continues to strangle the Greek economy and society; time is very short and everyone is aware that it is working against the efforts of the Greek government that needs to reach an agreement by February 16 or February 28 at the latest.

Thousands rally in Athens to show their support for the new Syriza government.

First came the German Defense Minister, Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen, who warned that when you request solidarity you are expected to show solidarity. The warning referring to the objections that Athens raised on the first day of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on the job, that the new government was not even asked in the EU’s decision to extend sanctions on Russia. The German minister also took the unprecedented step to warn that the place of Greece in NATO might be at stake if it continues to ‘support’ Russia. Greece however did no more than protest for not being consulted before such a serious decision was taken.

But the main battlefront is in Germany. On February 4th the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt stated that as of February 11th, 2016 it would stop accepting Greek bonds as collateral for granting liquidity. While Greek banks would still receive emergency funding from the Greek Central Bank through the Emergency Liquidity Assistance, the Greek government and the Greek finance minister tried to keep their cool and not raise the temperature higher than it already was. Regardless of the composed response the warning – if not blackmail – is very clear. The ECB decision gives to the Greek government six days to comply and ‘capitulate’ even though negotiations have barely started. Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel and officials know that time works against them in one respect; leaders in Europe and beyond (see Obama’s interview on the need to end austerity in Europe) may soon realize the value of the Greek proposal to pay the debt when the country’s economy begins to grow and not spend tens of billions of euros in the next two years that could be invested in the real economy.

Negotiating with Creditors

The ECB of course follows its rules; Mario Draghi stated that it could not continue to provide liquidity since the austerity-based program for Greece has been effectively discontinued. The demand however by the ECB and EU officials that the Syriza-led government continues the previous government’s policy is an offence to democracy and the clear mandate of the Greek people in the elections of January 25. The assumption that a government elected with the mandate to negotiate a different plan for Europe (that is possible) and an end to austerity in Greece will renege on its promises that call for a more democratic and socially just Europe is historically naïve, politically dangerous and morally unacceptable.

But why is the Greek government’s rather sensible and modest plan is an anathema for the German government and economic circles in Frankfurt, Brussels and most European capitals, especially Madrid? These attacks aim not at the Greek government’s solutions to its debt and liquidity problems but at the rise of an anti-austerity party in government that generates hope for a rise of the Left around Europe. The expected rise of the Podemos party in Spain (elections to be held in November) threatens the right wing government and will challenge even more strongly Chancellor Merkel’s intransigence. This is why German policy needs to stop the Syriza-led government from achieving what will amount to a relative victory, no more than an easing of the current debt repayment obligations, which is what the Greek government is asking and especially more time (up to six months) to devise an alternative program that will crack down on tax evasion as previous governments failed to do so. Who would disagree – European governments included – that the fight against the corrupt Greek oligarchs is long overdue?

Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek finance minister, has already conceded that instead of asking for debt forgiveness the Greek government will focus on balanced and surplus budgets (of no more than 1 to 1.5% of GDP, instead of the insane 4.5% agreed by the previous government). Instead of a stand-off however a tough negotiation and an agreement is more likely. Concessions from Frankfurt or Berlin and expressed at the next Eurozone members meeting on Monday February 16 will reach a ‘bridging agreement.’ What is at stake is an alternative strategy for the EU and the Eurozone or the intransigence of the German government and its allies; the Greek government’s plan to restore economic stability and generate growth in the continent, for economic, moral but above all political reasons is not only viable, but indeed necessary.

The role of France and Italy in the conflict is crucial and President François Hollande may grasp the opportunity he has been looking for. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi can no longer be considered left in Europe and right-wing in Italy, as he complained when Tsipras visited him in Rome; but all social democrats have more to lose from parties like Syriza because they are exposed for failing to combat austerity-driven policies that have dragged Europe into deflation. The historic victory of a Left party with an explicitly anti-neoliberal programme represents a threat for the neoliberal/conservative bloc that dominates European politics at the moment. The failure of the austerity agenda is evident to all but very difficult to admit and above all ‘sell’ the U-turn to German, Dutch and other north-European electorates and even Spanish conservative voters. It is not an exaggeration to predict that from the battle between the first explicitly anti-austerity government of the Left in a Eurozone country and a very powerful bloc of other member states the future of the Left everywhere in the continent will be decided.

The Return of the Politics of Dignity

In some ways however the most significant battle has been won. The intense and hopeful campaign of Syriza before the elections against the politics of fear won over middle-aged voters, the unemployed, the young, even the more conservative countryside. Syriza represents the promise of a new social contract with Greek society, since the party is untainted by corruption, mismanagement, failed promises and a disastrous handling of the crisis. Today the Greek government states emphatically that it will not be blackmailed and will not renege on its pre-election commitments. Despite the tense negotiations underway people in the country, in Athens and elsewhere, feel more confident, hopeful and not afraid; in an unusual show of solidarity to the Greek government a few thousand gathered on February 5th and more on February 11th and 15th around the country, but also in many cities around the world, to proudly state that they support the politics of dignity. It has been a very long time since a pro-government demonstration has taken place in Greece.

Beyond the economics of the conflict, most Greeks are hopeful because they elected a government that seeks to restore their dignity and respond to the racist stereotypes of corrupt, lazy and profligate Greeks. The first poll a few days after the elections shows the overwhelming majority of Greeks – not only those who voted for Syriza – approve of the dignified stance that the Greek government has taken in the negotiations. The Greek government in its first few weeks enjoys levels of popularity that reach 60 to 80 per cent, as people approve the strategy of tough but fair negotiating line that the Greek delegation and Tsipras personally follow. Such a return to politics was more than necessary in a country that has been divided for too long, has been scared for too long. Given the state of the country’s economy and society it is not curious why Greeks elected a Left government, it is astonishing that they took so long.

Sakis Gekas is a professor in the History Department at York University, Toronto.

Corporate-funded think tank, the Council on Foreign Relations, in their magazine Foreign Affairs, recently published an article titled, “Silencing the Shinawatras.” In it, author Matthew Wheeler encapsulates current US policy toward Thailand regarding the recent ousting by military coup of its proxy regime headed by Thaksin Shinawatra and his sister, Yingluck Shinawatra.

Wheeler claims:

At a time when the nation needs compromise, stability, and engagement across the political spectrum, Yingluck’s impeachment appears to many as a settling of scores, and its partisan implications make the prospect of progress look ever further off.

Wheeler also warns:

The sitting military regime, calling itself the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), promised to “return happiness” to the Thai people, overcoming social divisions and political rifts. Yingluck’s impeachment risks signaling that the military has surrendered all pretensions of impartiality, increasing the possibility of future turmoil.

Wheeler argues throughout his piece that Thailand must compromise with the ousted Shinawatra regime or face further instability. He briefly touches on the unprecedented violence that resulted after the removal from power of Thaksin Shinawatra in 2006. He fails to mention the specifics of that violence, or the immense mass murder that took place while Shinawata was in power.

Indeed, while in power Shinawatra had some 3,000 innocent people extrajudicially executed in the streets over a 90 day period in 2003. The following year, he violently put down a demonstration in Thailand’s troubled southern provinces, killing 85 people in a single day. He also implemented a campaign of terror and assassinations that saw at least 18 human rights advocates killed or disappeared during his first term in office. At least two of his political opponents have been outright assassinated, and a third narrowly escaped a broad daylight attack that saw over 100 bullets riddle his car in the center of the city.

His “red shirt” street mobs have regularly gunned down, hacked to death, or otherwise brutalized Shinawatra’s critics, and much of the success his political movement has enjoyed has been on the back of the fear and intimidation these “red shirts” have until recently inspired.

In 2009 and again in 2010, Shinawatra backed violent “red shirt” riots in Bangkok. The 2010 riots also included some 300 heavily armed terrorists who triggered bloodshed that would see nearly 100 killed. And just recently, as the largest street demonstrations in recent Thai history sought to unseat Thaksin Shinawatra’s sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, from power, he once again deployed heavily armed terrorists to kill and maim nearly 30 unarmed men, women, and children, and left maimed over 800 more.

Wheeler then is basically saying that because Shinawatra is willing to use such violence, and if Thailand would like to avoid further bloodshed, it should capitulate to his demands and compromise, accommodating his desire to once again dominate Thailand’s political landscape. Or in other words, capitulate to threats of terrorism and violence. But what Wheeler actually illustrates, is precisely why a military coup was required – twice – to remove this corrosive, violent influence upon Thai society in the first place – and why it is absolutely impossible to afford this threat any further compromise or accommodation.

The United States is famous for its stated policy of never negotiating with terrorists. It appears that Thailand has learned after nearly 20 years, the merits of this policy. Appeasing and accommodating those who set no limit on what they are willing to do to advance their own agenda is to invite bloodshed and self-destructive instability that will compromise the country economically, politically, and socially for generations to come. The future of Thailand depends on uprooting Shinawatra and those like him from power permanently, and laying a framework that prevents the weeds of violent despotism and nationwide corruption to take root again.

While Wheeler insists that Thailand must compromise with Shinawatra, in reality Thailand cannot afford anything less than the complete and permanently uprooting of his regime and its political networks from Thailand’s political landscape.

It should be noted that Wheeler hails from the International Crisis Group, another corporate-funded think tank amongst whose membership also sits Kenneth Adleman, a lobbyist for Thaksin Shinawatra and a chairman for the US State Department’s “Freedom House” organization which along with the Naitonal Endowment for Democracy (NED) funds pro-Shinawatra propaganda networks inside of Thailand like the notorious online publication “Prachatai.” The International Crisis Group also includes as a member, George Soros, a convicted financial criminal and whose Open Society organization also funds Prachatai and other pro-Shinawatra fronts.

It is no surprise then, that Wheeler argues Shinawatra should be accommodated –  but despite his claims otherwise, such an accommodation is certainly not in Thailand’s best interests, but rather in the best interests of those that fund Wheeler’s think tank and his colleagues who have, over the years, painstakingly groomed and propped Shinawatra up politically at great cost to the Thai people.

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

Ohio anti-fracking activists. (Photo: Frack Free Ohio/Facebook)

In a blow to anti-fracking campaigners across the state, the Ohio Supreme Court said this week that the authority to regulate oil and gas drilling activities—and therefore, to ban fracking within municipal borders—lies with the state as opposed to cities, towns, or counties.

As the Akron Beacon Journal put it: “The decision takes local control of drilling away from communities and supports the state as the continued main overseer of drilling.”

Several Ohio cities, including Athens, Oberlin, and Mansfield, have passed similar ordinances to ban fracking—some as recently as November 2014—that may now be rendered moot by the court’s decision.

By a 4-3 vote, the justices ruled (pdf) that the state has “exclusive authority” over shale-extraction activities and that cities and counties can neither ban nor regulate fracking through zoning laws or other restrictions.

The decision came in a case brought by an Akron suburb against Beck Energy Corp., which received a state-required permit from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources in 2011 to drill a traditional well on private property in the northeast city of Munroe Falls. The city sued, saying the company illegally evaded local ordinances.

The state’s top court rejected Munroe Falls’ assertion that it was validly exercising ‘home rule,’ which lets communities enact local rules and regulations as long as they don’t conflict with general state law. The court found Munroe Falls’ ordinances amounted to an exercise of ‘police power,’ not self-government, and conflicted with state regulations first enacted in 2004.

According to the Columbus Dispatch:

Local governments’ home-rule powers stop short of the wellhead—overridden by the authority that lawmakers gave to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to license and regulate the location of wells, the court’s majority ruled.

The ruling was a victory for oil and gas producers, who no longer face local regulations, and a defeat for local governments that sought to protect residents from what they see as potential dangers from fracking.

At least one of the dissenting judges agreed that the victor in the court’s decision was the fossil fuels industry.

“Let’s be clear here,” Justice William O’Neill wrote in his dissenting opinion. “The Ohio General Assembly has created a zookeeper to feed the elephant in the living room. What the drilling industry has bought and paid for in campaign contributions they shall receive. The oil and gas industry has gotten its way, and local control of drilling-location decisions has been unceremoniously taken away from the citizens of Ohio.”

Environmentalists and local government officials both expressed dismay at the decision.

“It’s really sad and tragic for the citizens of Ohio,” Vanessa Presak, president of the Network for Oil and Gas Accountability and Protection, told the Beacon Journal. “The fact that communities cannot stop harmful industrial activities is tragic.”

Athens mayor Paul Wiehl echoed those concerns,telling The Post that it was unfair for the state to void Athens’ ban. “I guess that means the voice of the people doesn’t matter,” Wiehl told the independent, student-run newspaper. “We said ‘We want local control,’ and then they take it away.”

However, the court’s decision “was very close,” notes local activist Roxanne Groff, a member of the Athens County Fracking Action Network, in an email to Common Dreams.

“Justice [Terrence] O’Donnell in his decision does give thought to the constitutional rights of local governance,” she added. “Hopefully this decision will ignite local governments to fight back by demanding that our lawmakers restore those rights.”

In Ohio, fracking has been directly linked to an uptick in earthquakes. A spill and fire at a fracking well in mid-2014 forced evacuations and befouled a creek, resulting in dead crayfish, minnows, and smallmouth bass. And at the end of 2014, about 25 families in the eastern part of the state were unable to live in their homes for three days because of an out-of-control natural-gas leak at a nearby fracking well.

Associated Press reports that the Ohio case “has been closely watched nationally, raising a question in cities and towns where lucrative oil and gas is trapped in underground shale: Can regulations put in place by states eager for the jobs and tax revenues that come with drilling trump local restrictions on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, that communities are enacting to protect against haphazard development.”

Across the United States, attempts to stymie the fracking boom on the local level have met with mixed results.

In July, New York’s highest court ruled that local governments can outlaw fracking, but in 2013, a Pennsylvania court said towns can regulate it but not outright ban it. Towns in Texas and California also banned fracking in last year’s election, but Texas officials haverefused to allow it to be enforced.

The U.S. Empire and ISIS: A Tale of Two Death Cults

February 18th, 2015 by Glen Ford

As U.S. imperialism loses its capacity to compete outside the military sphere, its foreign policy options shrink, accordingly. “Since the U.S. is superior to the rest of the world ONLY in military terms, Washington finds its ultimate advantage in turning the whole world into a battlefield.” Permanent War follows the same logic as a death cult. In fact, one created the other – literally.

President Obama is a master of military supply and demand. His operatives and allies supply jihadists with enough weapons, financing and, in the case of Libya, a Euro-American air force, to plunge vast tracts of Africa and Asia into bloody chaos, thus creating a demand for intervention by the planet’s only “indispensable” nation: the United States. It’s a diabolical formula for fomenting hell on earth, driven by a simple logic: Since the U.S. is superior to the rest of the world ONLY in military terms, Washington finds its ultimate advantage in turning the whole world into a battlefield. U.S. imperialism in terminal decay sees no salvation except through global war.

Of necessity, Obama is a flame-thrower, a fire-spitter, a pyromaniac on a mission to incinerate humanity’s capacity to resist – a vision shared by the jihadist death cults America has incubated for the past four decades.

ISIS, the Islamic State, begat by Al Qaida, which was begat by Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the U.S. in Afghanistan, now declares sovereignty over portions of Libya, having occupied much of Syria and Iraq and planted the black flag in southern Yemen and the suburbs of Paris, where its token presence is enough to drive millions of Europeans into a decrepit Crusader palsy. A subcontinent of thieves who have plundered the planet for half a millennia vow to send the dark Others back to “their own countries” – as if Europe had not stolen these African and Asian homelands long ago. In the end, however, what Europe will send is more weapons to the jihadists, mimicking Uncle Sam.

This week, as happens every year, France, Britain, Italy and other piratical European states join the U.S. Africa Command’s military Flintlock exercise, designed to deepen African militaries’ dependence on western weaponry, training and finance. Chad, a client state of both Washington and Paris, is the nominal host of the exercise – as if any of the African participants could actually say No to an imperial proposal. The Flintlock maneuvers have converged with a regional military offensive against Boko Haram, the northern Nigerian jihadists that have gained so much ground since the U.S. and NATO turned Libya over to the tender mercies of Arab jihadists, in 2011. Libyan weapons flooded south across the Sahara desert, bringing instability to the vast Sahel region – which is like honey to the Pentagon bee. The U.S. military has announced that it will “share communications equipment and intelligence” with the five nations preparing to battle Boko Haram around oil-rich Lake Chad – imperial double-speak for putting the Americans in charge of the command-and-control mechanisms of the armies of Chad, Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Benin. Boko Haram has proven quite useful to the consolidation of U.S. military dominance in West Africa.

Meanwhile, the jihadist rampage has come full circle in Libya, where both ISIS and Al Qaida have multiple strongholds. Jihadist “ultras” are most deeply entrenched in Derna, a port city east of Benghazi that accounted for the most jihadists killed or captured in Iraq during the American occupation. When U.S. and NATO finally destroyed Muammar Gaddafi’s forces after seven months of bombing, hundreds of jihadists were sent to Syria, hoping to repeat the process against President Bashar al-Assad. Many have since returned to Libya, bringing the black flag of the Islamic State with them.

Egyptian dictator Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, a supporter of one of three rump “governments” in Libya, bombed ISIS targets in Derna after the decapitation of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christian migrant workers. The atrocity, combined with a declaration of allegiance to ISIS by some Islamic rebels on Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, prompted el-Sisi to call for the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS to put Libya on its bombing list– an invitation from the world’s most populous Arab nation for the U.S. to extend the scope of its military operations to Egypt’s western border.

Jihad is truly a blessing for U.S. imperial objectives – but there is nothing coincidental about it. The U.S. installed jihadists in power in Libya, leading directly to the destabilization of vast lands to the South, which in turn facilitated the U.S. Africa Command’s mission to militarily dominate the continent. The U.S.-led jihadist proxy war against secular Syria was the incubator for ISIS, providing the U.S. with a new portal into Iraq, an excuse to operate openly in Syria, and now a possible chance to re-enter Libya cloaked as a savior from the jihadist hordes that the U.S. armed, financed and empowered only four years ago.

ISIS has been such a boon to U.S. war-fomenting strategy, Obama has been emboldened to demand that Congress give him three years of virtually unlimited, renewable powers to reboot the War on Terror. Like George Bush before him, Obama refuses to put geographic limits on the scope of his crusade against ISIS and its “associates.” The world is his live-fire chessboard, he can call the pieces by whatever name he wants, and make up the rules along the way. Every move is calculated to lead to greater militarization of relations among nations and peoples, because the military is America’s strongest suit – in fact, its only suit.

The truth is, the rulers of the United States are as much a death cult as the Islamic State, although U.S. imperialism is infinitely more dangerous. Let us do our best to send them both to their respective Paradises.

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

5 Ways Mass Surveillance Is Destroying the US Economy

February 18th, 2015 by Washington's Blog

Prosperity Requires Privacy

Privacy is a prerequisite for a prosperous economy. Even the White House admits:

People must have confidence that data will travel to its destination without disruption. Assuring the free flow of information, the security and privacy of data, and the integrity of the interconnected networks themselves are all essential to American and global economic prosperity, security, and the promotion of universal rights.

Below, we discuss five ways that mass surveillance hurts our economy.

1. Foreigners Stop Buying American

Foreigners are starting to shy away from U.S. Internet companies, due to the risk that American spooks will spy on them.

American tech companies – including Verizon, Cisco, IBM and others – are getting hammered for cooperating with the NSA and failing to protect privacy. The costs to the U.S. economy have been estimated to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars. And see this and this.

That doesn’t even take into account the just-revealed NSA program of infecting virtually all popular Western hard drives with spyware.  This will cause huge markets like China to insist that locally-produced hard drives be used, to make it harder for the NSA to hack into them.

So the NSA’s shenanigans are hurting dual pillars of the U.S. tech sector: computers and Internet.   (The sale of mobile devices might not be far behind.)

2. Trust and the Rule of Law – Two Main determinants of Prosperity – Are Undermined By Surveillance

Trust is KEY for a prosperous economy. It’s hard to trust when your government, your internet service provider and your favorite websites are all spying on you.

The destruction of privacy by the NSA directly harms internet companies, Silicon Valley, California … and the entire U.S. economy (Facebook lost 11 millions users as of April mainly due to privacy concerns … and that was before the Snowden revelations). If people don’t trust the companies to keep their data private, they’ll use foreign companies.

And destruction of trust in government and other institutions is destroying our economy.

A top cyber security consultant points out:

If privacy is not protected while performing mass surveillance for national security purposes, then the people’s level of trust in the government decreases.

We noted in 2012:

Personal freedom and liberty – and freedom from the arbitrary exercise of government power – are strongly correlated with a healthy economy, but America is descending into tyranny.

Authoritarian actions by the government interfere with the free market, and thus harm prosperity.

U.S. News and World Report notes:

The Fraser Institute’s latest Economic Freedom of the World Annual Report is out, and the news is not good for the United States. Ranked among the five freest countries in the world from 1975 through 2002, the United States has since dropped to 18th place.

The Cato institute notes:

The United States has plummeted to 18th place in the ranked list, trailing such countries as Estonia, Taiwan, and Qatar.

***

Actually, the decline began under President George W. Bush. For 20 years the U.S. had consistently ranked as one of the world’s three freest economies, along with Hong Kong and Singapore. By the end of the Bush presidency, we were barely in the top ten.

And, as with so many disastrous legacies of the Bush era, Barack Obama took a bad thing and made it worse.

But the American government has shredded the constitution, by … spying on all Americans, and otherwise attacking our freedoms.

Indeed, rights won in 1215 – in the Magna Carta – are being repealed.

Economic historian Niall Ferguson notes, draconian national security laws are one of the main things undermining the rule of law:

We must pose the familiar question about how far our civil liberties have been eroded by the national security state – a process that in fact dates back almost a hundred years to the outbreak of the First World War and the passage of the 1914 Defence of the Realm Act. Recent debates about the protracted detention of terrorist suspects are in no way new. Somehow it’s always a choice between habeas corpus and hundreds of corpses.

Of course, many of this decades’ national security measures have not been taken to keep us safe in the “post-9/11 world” … indeed, many of them [including spying on Americans] started before 9/11.

And America has been in a continuous declared state of national emergency since 9/11, and we are in a literally never-ending state of perpetual war. See this, this, this and this.

***

So lawlessness infringement of our liberty is destroying our prosperity.

Put another way, lack of privacy kills the ability to creatively criticize bad government policy … and to demand enforcement of the rule of law. Indeed, 5,000 years of history shows that mass surveillance is always carried out to crush dissent. In other words, mass surveillance is the opposite of the principle of the rule of law (in distinction to the rule of men) upon which America was founded.

Free speech and checks and balances on the power of government officials are two of the main elements of justice in any society. And a strong rule of law is – in turn – the main determinant of GDP growth.

3. The Free Flow of Information Requires Privacy

Moreover, surveillance hampers the free flow of information as many people begin to watch what they say. The free flow of information is a core requisite for a fast-moving economy … especially an information economy, as opposed to economies focused on resource-extraction or manufacturing.

As quoted above, the White House states:

Assuring the free flow of information [is] essential to American and global economic prosperity, security, and the promotion of universal rights.

Mass surveillance makes people more reluctant to share information … and thus hurts the economy.

4. Mass Surveillance Hurts Productivity

Top computer and internet experts say that NSA spying breaks the functionality of our computers and of the Internet. It reduces functionality and reduces security by – for example – creating backdoors that malicious hackers can get through.

Remember, American and British spy agencies have intentionally weakened security for many decades. And it’s getting worse and worse. For example, they plan to use automated programs to infect millions of computers.

How much time and productivity have we lost in battling viruses let in because of the spies tinkering? How much have we lost because “their” computer programs conflict with “our” programs?

Microsoft’s general counsel labels government snooping an “advanced persistent threat,” a term generally used to describe teams of hackers that coordinate cyberattacks for foreign governments. It is well-known among IT and security professionals that hacking decreases employee productivity. While they’re usually referring to hacking by private parties, the same is likely true for hacking by government agencies, as well.

And the spy agencies are already collecting millions of webcam images from our computers. THAT’S got to tie up our system resources … so we can’t get our work done as fast.

Moreover, the Snowden documents show that the American and British spy agencies launched attacks to disrupt the computer networks of “hacktivists” and others they don’t like, and tracked supporters of groups such as Wikileaks.

Given that the spy agencies are spying on everyone, capturing millions of screenshots, intercepting laptop shipments, creating fake versions of popular websites to inject malware on people’s computers, launching offensive cyber-warfare operations against folks they don’t like, and that they may view journalism, government criticism or even thinking for one’s self as terrorism – and tend to re-label “dissidents” as “terrorists” – it’s not unreasonable to assume that all of us are being adversely effected to one degree or another by spy agency operations.

Bill Binney – the high-level NSA executive who created the agency’s mass surveillance program for digital information, a 32-year NSA veteran widely regarded as a “legend” within the agency, the senior technical director within the agency, who managed thousands of NSA employees – tells Washington’s Blog:

The other costs involve weakening systems (operating systems/firewalls/encryption). When they do that, this weakens the systems for all to find. Hackers around the world as well as governments too.

These costs are hard to count. For example, we hear of hackers getting customer data over and over again. Is that because of what our government has done?

Or, how about all the attacks on systems in government? Are these because of weakened systems?

5. Creativity – A Prime Driver of Prosperity – Requires Privacy

The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Canada – Ann Cavoukian, Ph.D. – noted recently:

Privacy is Essential to … Prosperity and Well-Being

Innovation, creativity and the resultant prosperity of a society requires freedom;

Privacy is the essence of freedom: Without privacy, individual human rights, property rights and civil liberties – the conceptual engines of innovation and creativity, could not exist in a meaningful manner;

Surveillance is the antithesis of privacy: A negative consequence of surveillance is the usurpation of a person’s limited cognitive bandwidth, away from innovation and creativity.

The Financial Post reported last year: “Big Brother culture will have adverse effect on creativity, productivity“.

Christopher Lingle – visiting professor of economics at ESEADE, Universidad Francisco Marroquín – agrees that creativity is a key to economic prosperity.

Edward Snowden points out:

The success of economies in developed nations relies increasingly on their creative output, and if that success is to continue we must remember that creativity is the product of curiosity, which in turn is the product of privacy.

Silicon Valley is currently one of the largest drivers of the U.S. economy. Do you think Bill Gates and Steve Jobs could have tinkered so creatively in their garages if the government had been watching everything they do?

Everyone who has every done anything creative knows that you need a little privacy to try different things before you’re ready to go public with it. If your bench model, rough sketch or initial melody is being dissected in real time by an intrusive audience … you’re not going to be very creative.  And see this.

Chemtrails Exposed: A History of the New Manhattan Project

February 18th, 2015 by Peter A. Kirby

Dees Illustration

Discoveries and inventions are not terminals; they are fresh starting points from which we can climb to new knowledge.” - Dr. Willis R. Whitney, founder of General Electric Laboratories

After so many years of watching airplanes produce the lines in the sky, largely without knowing of what this Project consists or why, we have recently gained an understanding. Evidence suggests that today’s chemtrail spraying operations consist of airplanes saturating our atmosphere with nano-sized particles influenced by electromagnetic energy for the purpose of weather modification.

U.S. patent #4,686,605 “Method and Apparatus for Altering a Region in the Earth’s Atmosphere, Ionosphere and/or Magnetosphere” shows how stratospheric and tropospheric aerosols can be manipulated using electromagnetic energy in order to modify the weather. The ground-based antennas (known as ionospheric heaters) needed to produce the appropriate electromagnetic energy exist. For a detailed discussion, please see the author’s previous article “Smoking Gun: The HAARP and Chemtrails Connection.” 

The 1996 U.S. military document “Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025″ outlines a program using aerosols sprayed from airplanes which are then manipulated with electromagnetic energy in order to modify the weather. This document will be discussed shortly.

The common thread here is weather modification; or as the Library of Congress calls it, “weather control.” Lots of other evidence supporting this assertion exists as well, but these two documents are the most salient.

Motives are plenty. Most notably, significant direct benefits can be gained by playing financial markets which rise and fall with the weather such as the weather derivatives and catastrophe reinsurance markets; not to mention agricultural and energy commodities. Enron pioneered the markets. With foreknowledge of the weather, so many scams could be concocted that it boggles the mind. Weather routinely changes the course of Human history. It determines what we do every day. It determines the outcomes of wars and influences elections. Control of the weather is God-like power. Money and power junkies want it.

Controlling Earth’s weather would necessarily require a gigantic scientific effort. Oddly enough, when one looks for a National effort in weather modification, one finds a lot. Specifically, if one looks, one can find a history of weather control programs involving electromagnetic energy and atmospheric particles; all in a coherent chronological order.

This paper is the result of thousands of dollars and countless hours spent researching many thousands of pages of source, organizational and Government documents related to weather modification and the atmospheric sciences. This article serves as the foundation for a series of shortly forthcoming articles detailing the history and current state of this Project. May this work help end the spraying. For the fact that these environmental modifications have been done without our informed consent, may this work contribute to the largest class-action lawsuit in history.

This paper examines the origins and development of this; the first planetary level scientific endeavor. Now is our opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the New Manhattan Project.

The Origins of Weather Modification

People have been attempting to modify the weather for ever. Most commonly, man has gone about making it rain; especially in times of drought. The earliest recorded efforts were those of mystics. Local shaman would be called upon to ingest a certain concoction in order to communicate with the weather gods and ask for help. In some cases, the sacrifice of certain animals in certain fashions may have been the thing to do. Sometimes a good old rain dance may have done the trick.

Some early Western efforts to stop destructive weather are outlined in professor James Fleming’s book Fixing the Sky. On page 78 he writes, “In ancient Greece, the official ‘hail wardens’ of Cleonae were appointed at public expense to watch for hail and then signal the farmers to offer blood sacrifices to protect their fields: a lamb, a chicken, or even a poor man drawing blood from his finger was deemed sufficient.”

A little later professor Fleming writes, “In Austria, it was traditional to ring ‘thunder bells’ or blow on huge ‘weather horns’ while herdsmen set up a terrific howl and women rattled chains and beat milk pails to scare away the destructive spirit of the storm.”

Much of the early Western attempts at weather modification involved the detonation of explosive charges in the lower atmosphere. It was hypothesized that atmospheric explosions cause precipitation.

Early American Involvement

Although there has been much international participation, this article focuses on America’s participation in the New Manhattan Project. Throughout the development of the New Manhattan Project, America was the world’s technological leader; especially in the area of military technology. America led the way and developed most of this Project. America continues to lead the Project today. Therefore the early history of weather modification in America is relevant.

James Pollard Espy (1785-1860) also known as “The Storm King” was the first meteorologist in U.S. government service. Although he never received Federal funding for it, he suggested that forest fires can produce rainfall and that experiments in this area should be carried out. His magnum opus was a book called The Philosophy of Storms. This book contains a long section entitled “Artificial Rains.”

The first Federally funded weather modification field effort took place in Texas in 1891, with funds appropriated by the Congress in the amount of nine thousand dollars through the Department of Agriculture. The experiment involved weather modifier Robert St. George Dyrenforth (1844-1910) attacking the atmosphere with balloons, kites, dynamite, mortars, smoke bombs and fireworks. The results were inconclusive, but you can bet that the atmosphere was absolutely terrified!

From these early efforts until the beginning of the scientific era in 1946, the realm of weather modification was inhabited largely by a motley collection of pseudo-scientists and con artists similar to Dyrenforth. These people, who referred to themselves as “rainmakers,” traveled around the Country (mostly the West), going where local governments were willing to pay for their services. If a certain region was experiencing a severe drought, people were often desperate for solutions. These rainmakers’ activities often involved the mixing and open air release of dangerous chemicals. Some of these efforts were Federally funded. Since the days of Robert Dyrenforth, the Federal money has not stopped flowing.

Nikola Tesla

In the late 1800s, inventor Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) popularized the use of electromagnetic energy. In his 1905 United States patent number 787,412 “Art of Transmitting Electrical Energy Through the Natural Mediums” Tesla describes how electromagnetic energy may be sent and received through the atmosphere. The Supreme Court found that U.S. patent #645,576 “System of Transmission of Electrical Energy” proves he invented radio; not Marconi. He pioneered radar. He invented wireless signal and power transmission. Yes, power can be transmitted wirelessly; we’ll have more about that later.

Tesla’s musings and scientific discoveries pioneered what are today’s ionospheric heaters which use electromagnetic energy to cause atmospheric perturbations from great distances and play a defining role in the New Manhattan Project. Specifically, he pioneered the use of a certain type of electromagnetic energy called extremely-low frequency (ELF). This is a specific type of energy known to be used in the New Manhattan Project; the other being very-low frequency (VLF) electromagnetic energy.

In her book Tesla: Man Out of Time, Margaret Cheney writes that he did a good deal of theorizing about weather control. She also writes that he theorized that the entire earth might be illuminated by shooting electromagnetic energy 35,000 feet up into the atmosphere. 35,000 feet is about the altitude of today’s offending airplanes.

The Beginning of the Scientific Era

The scientific era of weather modification began famously in 1946 with a trio of scientists from General Electric Laboratories: Irving Langmuir, Vincent Schaefer and Bernard Vonnegut. Leading the group was the world famous Nobel Peace Prize winning scientist Irving Langmuir (1881-1957). This trio popularized the fact that, under certain circumstances, dumping substances from airplanes into clouds causes precipitation. Early experiments used dry ice while later experiments pioneered the use of silver iodide. Also invented were silver iodide generation equipment and many other weather related scientific instruments. Much of this trio’s work here was done in cooperation with the Office of Naval Research and the Air Force. Although others had previously dumped stuff out of airplanes in attempts to modify the weather, the G.E. scientists practiced a sound scientific method previously unseen in the field.

Schaefer, Langmuir & Vonnegut, image source: General Electric Laboratories

Following the famous scientific weather modification efforts of the G.E. Labs trio, the public’s imagination was sparked and a government regulated weather modification industry flourished. To this day, the government-regulated weather modification industry (or “conventional” weather modification industry as we will call it) expels dry ice, lead iodide or silver iodide (usually silver iodide) from airplanes.

However, the conventional weather modification industry is distinct from the New Manhattan Project and therefore is not the focus of this article. The New Manhattan Project employs electromagnetic energy to manipulate dispersed particles while conventional weather modifiers do not. Also, conventional weather modification efforts are conducted on a regional basis while the New Manhattan Project is global.

Not long after the scientific breakthroughs of the G.E. Labs trio, fueled by high level political rhetoric and popular interest, the United States federal government began pouring hundreds of millions of dollars annually into basic atmospheric research. Since then, the United States government is admitted to have spent many tens of billions of dollars on weather modification and the atmospheric sciences. Much of that was expended in 1950s, ’60s and ’70s dollars. If one is to control the weather, one must know how the atmosphere works. Or as geoengineer Dr. Clement J. Todd wrote in 1970, “Our ability to manage precipitation depends upon four factors: (1) understanding the physical processes of the atmosphere, (2) real-time knowledge of the weather we wish to manipulate, (3) devising the optimum treatment material and technique, and (4) delivery of that treatment to the cloud where and when we wish.”

The majority of the vast expanses of literature pertaining to weather modification and the atmospheric sciences is geared towards conventional weather modification. However, both the New Manhattan Project and conventional weather modification are supported by basic atmospheric research. So, buried in this body of literature, one may find glimpses of the New Manhattan Project. The rest of this paper recounts these glimpses.

Bernard Vonnegut

One member of the G.E. Labs trio, Bernard Vonnegut (1914-1997) went on to pioneer weather modification research involving the use of artificial electric charges and atmospheric aerosols. His work in this area was performed under Government contracts outsourced to a research and development firm called Arthur D. Little Inc.

Bernard Vonnegut, image source: Life Magazine

The earliest recorded instances of electricity being intentionally used to modify particles in the atmosphere can be found in the 1884 experiments of Sir Oliver Lodge (1851-1940). The 1918 U.S. patent #1,279,823 “Process and Apparatus for Causing Precipitation by Coalescence of Aqueous Particles Contained in the Atmosphere” by J.G. Balsillie built upon Lodge’s work. Using this knowledge as a basis, Mr. Vonnegut resumed Lodge’s work; this time with massive funding and modernized scientific equipment.

Beginning in 1953, Bernard Vonnegut, Arthur D. Little et al., conducted experiments involving stainless steel wires miles long strung from the tops of telephone poles, connected to a power supply and discharging corona. The coronal discharge’s effect upon ambient aerosols and the clouds above was monitored and analyzed. Through 1961, these experiments were carried out in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Texas, Illinois and New Mexico. These types of experiments are referred to as “space charge” experiments. The U.S. Signal Corps and the U. S. Coast Guard provided support. Others performed similar experiments.

Space charge experiment, image source: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The 1958 “Final Report of the Advisory Committee on Weather Control” contained an article by Bernard Vonnegut, Vincent Schaefer, J. S. Barrows and Paul MacCready titled “The Future.” In it they outline an atmosphere saturated with “chemicals” and “altering” atmospheric electrical variables. It reads:

When the nature of thunderstorm electrification is understood it may prove possible to control this process by the introduction of chemicals into the atmosphere or by altering electrical variables. Such variables might be atmospheric conductivity, field, and space charge, or perhaps the corona giving properties of the earth’s surface.

When we become sufficiently sophisticated concerning the dynamics of the atmosphere it is possible that weather may be controlled by the large scale release of chemical or more probably thermonuclear heat energy.

In 1961, Bernard Vonnegut, Arnold W. Doyle and D. Read Moffett wrote a paper for Arthur D. Little titled “Research in Electrical Phenomena Associated with Aerosols.” This was a report about their experiments of the previous 3 months involving the effects of electromagnetic energy upon a grounded sphere in a small chamber surrounded by gas. Please consider the implications of that. We will revisit this paper much later.

If you are wondering… yes, Bernard Vonnegut was related to the novelist Kurt Vonnegut. They were brothers.

***

In 1958 the chief White House advisor on weather modification, Captain Howard T. Orville, said the U.S. defense department was studying “ways to manipulate the charges of the earth and sky and so affect the weather” by using an electronic beam to ionize or de-ionize the atmosphere over a given area.

***

The Department of Commerce Weather Bureau reported in 1960 that they were conducting a weather modification study in which, “Chemicals are introduced into the cloud which noticeably changes the surface tension of the droplets. Electrification effects are being observed by artificially electrifying the droplets and subjecting them to impressed electric fields.”

***

For better or for worse, this super secret program had a prophet. His name was United States Navy Admiral William Francis Raborn (1905-1990).

William Francis Raborn, image source: United States Navy

In the January 1963 edition of the U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, Admiral Raborn outlined a program using electromagnetic energy to modify the weather. His article was entitled “New Horizons of Naval Research and Development.” In this paper, underneath the heading of ‘Environmental Warfare’ he wrote:

The possibilities for the military employment of the “weather weapon” may be as diverse as they are numerous. An ability to control the weather could introduce greater changes in warfare than those which occurred in 1945 with the explosion of the first nuclear weapons.

A severe storm or hurricane striking a naval force may well inflict greater damage than could an enemy. The capability to change the direction of destructive storms and guide them toward enemy concentrations may exist in the future arsenal of the naval tactical commander.

Ground, sea, air and amphibious operations might be supported by the dissipation of fog or clouds, or by the production of rain or drought. Conversely, the creation of solid, low overcasts might be used to conceal troop concentrations, movements, and task force deployments. Large-scale weather control techniques might be used to cause extensive flooding in strategic areas or even to bring a new “ice age” upon the enemy. By influencing the ionosphere and atmosphere simultaneously, magnetic, acoustic, and pressure effects might be generated in such a way that ocean-wide sweeping of mines would occur.

Creating or dissipating atmospheric temperature/humidity ducts might modify the refractive index of the atmosphere enough to influence radar or radio transmission. Artificially-induced ionospheric storms might produce a blackout of communications.

Certain electromagnetic waves are unable to pass through an area of precipitation. A cloud seeding generator could be employed under appropriate meteorological conditions to produce precipitation that would interfere with the operation of radio-guided or remotely-controlled devices or vehicles. We already have taken our first steps toward developing an environmental warfare capability. We are using satellite weather data from Tiros II for current, tactical operations and more accurate, long-range weather predictions. Some experiments in fog dissipation have shown promise, and some exploratory research has been conducted on ways to change the heading of major storms.

For these reasons – and because our advances in science make it reasonable – we are now engaged in planning a ten-year, comprehensive study of the atmosphere, a study which we will designate ATMOS. This plan will be co-ordinated with our TENOC oceanographic studies.

About the ATMOS program, the author has failed to find any other significant information. The author has looked over a 1961 report pertaining to the Navy TENOC (Ten Year Program in Oceanography) program. Although it did not contain any specific information pertinent to the New Manhattan Project, it did make mention of another, classified TENOC report.

It is notable that the title of Raborn’s article includes the word “horizon” because the type of electromagnetic energy to which he refers is akin to “over the horizon radar.” This type of radar is called “over the horizon” because it is bounced off the ionosphere and therefore is effective far beyond the range of the forty miles or so (depending on terrain) afforded by previous radar systems. Forty miles is approximately the distance one can see over flat land or sea before the curvature of the Earth obscures points beyond. Over the horizon radar, on the other hand, is effective to thousands of miles. Today’s ionospheric heaters evolved as over the horizon radar.

Also of note is the fact that the United States Navy, of which Mr. Raborn was an admiral, is today one of the managers of the HAARP facility in Alaska. The HAARP facility contains the world’s most powerful ionospheric heater which is documented to be able to modify the weather.

***

In the 1967 National Science Foundation’s ninth annual weather modification report, it reads, “ESSA [Environmental Science Services Administration] is also investigating the effect of cirrus clouds on the radiation budget of the atmosphere by studying aircraft-produced contrails which often spread into cirrus layers covering considerable fractions of the sky. One technique proposed for modifying lower cloud development has been the generation of a high level cirrus deck with jet aircraft. By intercepting solar radiation at high altitude it may be possible to influence larger scale cloud development elsewhere by reducing solar input and reducing convective cloud generation in areas where they are not needed.” This is essentially today’s geoengineering thesis.

A little later in that same report, it reads that their computer atmospheric simulations, or ‘models’ as they call them, might simulate, “…producing high-level cirrus cloud cover over an area by means of jet aircraft, inserting particulate matter into the upper atmosphere to alter the solar radiation balance and the like.”

***

In 1966, the Interdepartmental Committee on Atmospheric Sciences Select Panel on Weather Modification produced a document titled “Present and Future Plans of Federal Agencies in Weather-Climate Modification.” On page 17 of this report, it reads, “It is anticipated that there will be a few large-scale facilities funded for the testing of modification schemes. Typical schemes might be the suspension of a spray nozzle over a valley between two mountain peaks to produce cloud-sized droplets into which electrical charges can be introduced in either polarity, contaminants can be introduced, and the drop size spectrum can be adjusted to any reasonable distribution.” The Interdepartmental Committee on Atmospheric Sciences subsequently agreed to proceed with the development of a National Weather Modification Program along the lines of this report.

The now defunct Interdepartmental Committee for Atmospheric Sciences (ICAS) was created by the Federal Council for Science and Technology in 1959 in order to oversee and coordinate a wide range of basic atmospheric research originating from many previously disparate government offices. Their focus was weather modification. Members of the ICAS included the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Interior, Transportation and State as well as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Energy Research and Development Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation. These are the government agencies which have been involved in weather modification all along.

The ICAS produced a series of semi-annual reports between 1960 and 1978. In these reports, ICAS member organizations’ weather related scientific activities and expenditures were recounted. The ICAS reports’ areas of study included: Earth’s natural geomagnetic energy, different ways clouds form and different ways they precipitate, lightning, hurricanes and other extreme weather, inadvertent weather modification, intentional weather modification and extra-planetary atmospheres. The ICAS is duly noted here because so much of the history of the New Manhattan Project is accounted for in the pages of their reports.

In the 1969 ICAS report, under the heading of “Cloud Electricity Modification,” it is written that the National Science Foundation is developing, “Means for injecting significant quantities of charge artificially into clouds…”

Again in this 1969 report, on page 37 it describes the Army’s intentions in the area of weather modification. It reads, “Studies will continue on upper atmospheric structure and dynamics, lasers and other electromagnetic propagation, and acoustic propagation. New approaches to atmospheric modification will be studied.”

On page 42 of the 1971 ICAS special report “A National Program for Accelerating Progress in Weather Modification,” the authors write of fog being cleared by airplanes releasing chemicals and ‘electrical methods’ of fog dissipation.

On page 79 of the 1973 ICAS report, it is written, “There is a great deal to be learned before we can with confidence say what effect can be produced by the injection of chemically active trace gasses and particulates into the lower stratosphere. New emphasis has been given to both dynamical and physical meteorological research relevant to this question.”

***

United States patent #5,003,186 “Stratospheric Welsbach Seeding for Reduction of Global Warming” was filed by the Hughes Aircraft Corporation in 1991. The patent describes a method for dispersing particulates into the upper atmosphere in order to save us from global warming. The author David B. Chang suggests that aluminum oxide be used for this purpose. Lab tests from around the world have shown aluminum to be the number one chemtrail ingredient.”

One proposed solution to the problem of global warming,” it reads, “involves the seeding of the atmosphere with metallic particles. One technique proposed to seed the metallic particles was to add the tiny particles to the fuel of jet airliners, so that the particles would be emitted from the jet engine exhaust while the airliner was at its cruising altitude.

“The first mention of aluminum occurs in this passage, “The method comprises the step of seeding the greenhouse gas layer with a quantity of tiny particles of materials characterized by wavelength-dependent emissivity or reflectivity, in that said materials have high emissivities in the visible and far infrared wavelength region. Such materials can include the class of materials known as Welsbach materials. The oxides of metal, e.g., aluminum oxide, are also suitable for the purpose.”

The second mention of aluminum occurs a little later. It reads, “Another class of materials having the desired property includes the oxides of metals. For example, aluminum oxide (Al2O3) is one metal oxide suitable for the purpose and which is relatively inexpensive.”

The Hughes Aircraft Corporation was acquired by and is now integrated into Raytheon.

***

A 1994 document produced by Stanford Research International called “Multiple Instrument Studies of Chemical Releases and Heating at Arecibo” details three barium releases of 48 kilograms each over Puerto Rico. The barium clouds produced by these rocket-borne explosions were subsequently hit with man-made electromagnetic energy from an ionospheric heater and thus turned into a plasma. Barium has been found to be the number two chemtrail ingredient.

***

In 1996 the Air Force produced a previously mentioned document called “Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025.” The document was produced by the Department of Defense and written as ordered by the chief of staff of the Air Force, Ronald R. Fogleman. “Owning the Weather” was but one in a series of 39 documents speaking to a great overhaul of Air Force operations to be achieved by the year 2025. The larger set of documents is called “Air Force 2025.” “Owning the Weather” describes a system of weather modification combining atmospheric aerosols with electromagnetic energy.

On page 2 the document reads, “Prior to the attack, which is coordinated with forecasted weather conditions, the UAVs begin cloud generation and seeding operations. UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] disperse a cirrus shield to deny enemy visual and infrared (IR) surveillance. Simultaneously, microwave heaters create localized scintillation to disrupt active sensing via synthetic aperture radar (SAR) systems such as the commercially available Canadian search and rescue satellite-aided tracking (SARSAT) that will be widely available in 2025. Other cloud seeding operations cause a developing thunderstorm to intensify over the target, severely limiting the enemy’s capability to defend. The WFSE monitors the entire operation in real-time and notes the successful completion of another very important but routine weather-modification mission.”

The document mostly speaks to military combat applications, but there are some very interesting quotes. Here’s one, “In the United States, weather-modification will likely become a part of national security policy with both domestic and international applications.” Let’s hear more about those “domestic applications”

On page 34 the document reads, “The ability to modify the weather may be desirable both for economic and defense reasons.”

Also in 1996, as part of the same series containing “Owning the Weather,” the Air Force produced a document entitled “An Operational Analysis for Air Force 2025″ which briefly outlines something they call a “weather analysis and modification system.” This system is described as employing both particulate seeding and microwave energy for the purpose of weather modification.

Under the heading of “Weather Analysis and Modification System,” the document reads, “A global network of sensors provides ‘weather warriors’ with the means to monitor and accurately predict weather activities and their effects on military operations. A diverse set of weather modification tools allows manipulation of small-to-medium scale weather phenomena to enhance friendly force capabilities and degrade those of the adversary.”

***

In the mid-nineties, Lawrence Livermore Laboratories scientists Edward Teller, Lowell Wood and Roderick Hyde wrote a series of papers calling for the spraying of megatons of aluminum to save us from global warming. The mid-nineties was when reports of chemtrail spraying in American skies began pouring in. If you will recall, aluminum has been found to be the number one chemtrail ingredient.

In their 1997 paper “Global Warming and Ice Ages,” the Livermore Labs trio wrote, “It has been suggested that alumina injected into the stratosphere by the exhaust of solid-rocket motors might scatter non-negligible amounts of sunlight. We expect that introduction of scattering-optimized alumina particles into the stratosphere may well be overall competitive with use of sulfur oxides; alumina particles offer a distinctly different environmental impact profile.”

They continue to espouse the virtues of stratospheric alumina in the footnotes writing, “Alumina, like sulfate, is ubiquitous in the terrestrial biosphere, and its stratospheric injection seemingly poses no significant environment issues.”

In conclusion 

So there you have an evolutionary history of a project employing sprayed particles and the electrification of clouds for the purpose of weather modification. Is this a coincidence? Are all these examples simply isolated, one-off events not a part of a larger overall plan? What are the odds of these data points evolving in a chronological order such as they have without being part of a coordinated effort? One may be looking at something like a quadrillion to one; and that is conservative.

For five days only, from Thursday, February 19 through Monday, February 23, my ebook Chemtrails Exposed will be available for free from Amazon.

Stay tuned. God willing, this article is only the first of many coming in this year; 2015. The heavy lifting (studying the history of weather modification) is complete. The next papers will come much easier because they involve smaller topics and half or more of the work on each is already done. Although the topic will remain secret until publication, you can expect the next article in a couple of months, possibly sooner. Until then, keep firing in the information war. Thank you.

Peter A. Kirby is a San Rafael, CA author and activist. Check out the newly updated and expanded edition of his ebook Chemtrails Exposed. It’s still only 99¢, but not for long. 

Notes

Adventure into the Unknown: the first 50 years of the General Electric Research Laboratory by Laurence A. Hawkins, published by William Morrow & Company, 1950

U.S. patent #4,686,605 “Method and Apparatus for Altering a Region in the Earth’s Atmosphere, Ionosphere and/or Magnetosphere,” 1987

“Weather as a Force Multiplier: Owning the Weather in 2025″ by Col. Tamzy J. House, Lt. Col. James B. Near, Jr., LTC William B. Shields (USA), Maj. Ronald J. Celentano, Maj. David M. Husband, Maj. Ann E. Mercer and Maj. James E. Pugh, published by the United States Air Force, 1996

The Smartest Guys in the Room by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, published by the Penguin Group, 2004

The Weather Changers by D.S. Halacy, Jr., published by Harper and Row, 1968

Fixing the Sky by James Roger Fleming, published by Columbia University Press, 2010

U.S. patent #787,412 “Art of Transmitting Electrical Energy Through the Natural Mediums,” 1905

U.S. patent #645,576 “System of Transmission of Electrical Energy,” 1900

Tesla: Man Out of Time by Margaret Cheney, published by Simon & Schuster, 1981

Early History of Cloud Seeding by Barrington S. Havens, published by the Langmuir Laboratory at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center at the State University of New York at Albany and the Research and Development Center of the General Electric Company, 1978

Interdepartmental Committee for Atmospheric Sciences reports 1960-1978, published by the Federal Council for Science and Technology

“Department of the Interior Program in Precipitation Management for 1970″ by Dr. Clement J. Todd as it appeared in the “Proceedings of the Twelfth Interagency Conference on Weather Modification” 1970

U.S. patent #1,279,823 “Process and Apparatus for Causing Precipitation by Coalescence of Aqueous Particles Contained in the Atmosphere”

“Technique for Introducing Low-Density Space Charge into the Atmosphere” by B. Vonnegut, K. Maynard, W.G. Sykes and C.B. Moore, published by Arthur D. Little and the Journal of Geophysical Research, volume 66, number 3, March, 1961

“The Future” by Bernard Vonnegut, Vincent Schaefer, J. S. Barrows and Paul MacCready, published in the Final Report of the Advisory Committee on Weather Control, p201, 1958

Research in Electrical Phenomena Associated with Aerosols by Bernard Vonnegut, Arnold W. Doyle and D. Read Moffett, published by Arthur D. Little, 1961

Angels Don’t Play this HAARP: advances in Tesla technology by Jeane Manning and Dr. Nick Begich, published by Earthpulse Press, p78, 1995

1st National Science Foundation annual weather modification report, p14, 1960

“New Horizons of Naval Research and Development” by William Francis Raborn, published in U.S.Naval Institute Proceedings, January, 1963

“Ten Year Program in Oceanography: TENOC” by the U.S. Navy, March 13, 1961

9th National Science Foundation annual weather modification report, 1967

“Present and Future Plans of Federal Agencies in Weather-Climate Modification” by the Interdepartmental Committee on Atmospheric Sciences Select Panel on Weather Modification, 1966

Interdepartmental Committee on Atmospheric Sciences memorandum to Homer E. Newell dated June 21, 1966, as it appeared in the appendix to “Present and Future Plans of Federal Agencies in Weather-Climate Modification” by the Interdepartmental Committee on Atmospheric Sciences Select Panel on Weather Modification, 1966

“The Interdepartmental Committee on Atmospheric Sciences: A Case History” by Robert E. Morrison

U.S. patent #5,003,186 “Stratospheric Welsbach Seeding for Reduction of Global Warming,” 1991

“Multiple Instrument Studies of Chemical Releases and Heating at Arecibo” by Stanford Research International, published by Stanford Research International, 1994

“Air Force 2025″ by the U.S. Air Force, published by the U.S. Air Force, 1996

“An Operational Analysis for Air Force 2025″ by the U.S. Air Force, published by the U.S. Air Force as part of “Air Force 2025″ by the U.S. Air Force, published by the U.S. Air Force, 1996

Global Warming and Ice Ages by Edward Teller, Lowell Wood and Roderick Hyde, published by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 1997

Websites: 

worldcat.org
amazon.com
abebooks.com
google.com/patents
airforce.com
navy.mil
ge.com
weathermodification.org
adlittle.com
signal.army.mil
uscg.mil
commerce.gov
nsf.gov
noaa.gov
whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ostp/nstc
usda.gov
defense.gov
doi.gov
dot.gov
state.gov
epa.gov
energy.gov
nasa.gov
raytheon.com
sri.com
llnl.gov
aircrap.org
globalskywatch.com

Fighting escalated in the eastern Ukrainian city of Debaltseve on Tuesday, as the cease-fire negotiated last week in Minsk has failed to take hold.

There was street-to-street fighting in Debaltseve, as pro-Russian separatist militias moved to consolidate control over the city, where at least 5,000 Ukrainian troops are trapped. The separatists aim to reinforce their strategic position by seizing the city—a key rail hub connecting the rebel-controlled cities of Donetsk and Luhansk—from the NATO-backed Kiev regime.

Eduard Basurin, spokesman for the Donetsk People’s Republic’s (DPR) Defense Ministry, told reporters that the separatists controlled “eighty percent” of Debaltseve on Tuesday.

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry reported that a group of soldiers had been ambushed and taken prisoner by the pro-Russian separatists. While Kiev did not confirm how many were captured, separatists claimed that they had captured as many as 300 soldiers.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko phoned German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday and denounced the separatists’ attempt to consolidate control over Debaltseve as a “cynical attack” on the cease-fire agreement. In the same call, he reportedly appealed to the UN Security Council to “prevent further violations…and full-scale military operations in the heart of Europe.”

Separatist leader Aleksandr Zakharchenko said over the weekend that the rebels do not consider Debaltseve to be covered by the terms of the cease-fire and called on the encircled Ukrainian forces to lay down their weapons and surrender. “Any attempt of the Ukrainian armed forces to unblock Debaltseve will be regarded as a violation of the Minsk agreements; such attempts will be suppressed, adversaries will be eliminated,” Zakharchenko said.

In another sign that the Minsk agreement is breaking down, both sides stated that they would not remove heavy weapons, including artillery, from the front lines as long as the other side continued fighting. Last week’s agreement stipulated the pull back of all heavy equipment from the front lines beginning Tuesday, two days after the cease-fire went into effect.

Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko bluntly stated that “there is no ceasefire, and so there is no precondition for a pull-back of heavy weapons.”

Separatist leaders also announced they would not begin to pull back heavy equipment until the Kiev regime did the same. “We will not do anything unilaterally. That would make our soldiers targets,” Denis Pushilin stated.

The continuing fighting makes clear that the recent Minsk agreement has done nothing to end the bloody proxy war being waged between NATO and Russia in eastern Ukraine, or the danger that this conflict could escalate into total war between NATO and Russia, a nuclear-armed power.

Tensions remain extremely high. This is above all because Washington, which triggered the conflict by installing a right-wing regime in Kiev last February through a fascist-led putsch, has made clear that it intends to continue escalating the conflict.

The Minsk deal was negotiated between the governments of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine, amid fears that US plans to directly arm the Kiev regime could trigger continent-wide war throughout Europe.

On Tuesday, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters that the Obama administration was still prepared to arm the Ukrainian regime with lethal military equipment. “We certainly believe that a diplomatic approach and a political approach is the right approach here, but the same options that were on the table a week ago or two weeks ago remain on the table,” she told reporters.

If Washington has not yet openly repudiated the Minsk deal, this is largely because the military situation facing the pro-Kiev regime forces in eastern Ukraine is desperate. After the last failed Ukraine ceasefire, also negotiated in Minsk last September, the Kiev regime refused to remove its troops and artillery from positions in the east, and fighting continued.

Kiev is again responding to the Minsk agreement by trying to buy time on the ground and strengthen itself in preparation for a renewed offensive against the separatists. On Tuesday, Poroshenko authorized a timetable through the end of the year for the call-up of men up to the age of 27.

Tensions between Russia and the United States are also escalating, as Moscow and Washington trade accusations that they are arming their proxies in Ukraine in violation of the cease-fire.

Speaking after a meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the Western powers of supplying the Kiev regime with arms. “According to our data, weapons are already being supplied [to Kiev],” he told reporters. “This is not surprising. I am convinced that whoever is supplying the weapons, the number of victims may grow, but the outcome will not change.”

The US State Department released a statement Monday that placed blame on Russia for the continued fighting. It warned that ongoing hostilities between Ukrainian armed forces and pro-Russian separatists “threaten the most recent cease-fire and jeopardize the planned withdrawal of heavy weapons.”

The State Department reported that it was “closely monitoring reports of a new column of Russian military equipment moving toward Debaltseve.” The statement concluded by calling on “Russia and the separatists it backs to halt all attacks immediately,” and “fully implement their September 5 and 19 Minsk commitments.”

Continuing its part in escalating political and economic pressure on Russia, the European Union announced new sanctions targeted at those in Russia and Ukraine accused of supporting the separatists. The EU announced on Monday 19 additions to the list of individuals in Russia and eastern Ukraine subject to asset freezes and travel bans, including Russia’s deputy defense minister.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls’ government yesterday forced through an unpopular bill imposing large-scale liberalization of the French economy without a parliamentary vote. Instead, Valls used the anti-democratic provision 49-3 of the French Constitution, which allows the executive to force the National Assembly to either adopt the bill or bring down the government.

A motion of censure to bring down Valls’ government, a coalition of the Socialist Party (PS) and the small Radical Left Party (PRG), will go to a vote on Thursday. Its sponsors—the right-wing Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) and Union of Democrats and Independents (UDI), together with the Left Front—reportedly do not expect it to pass. The PS-PRG coalition controls 306 of the Assembly’s 577 seats, with 288 seats from the PS and 18 from the PRG.

Valls resorted to this move after discussion with President François Hollande, as it became clear that even the PS delegation was hesitating to vote for the law, named after PS Economy Minister and former investment banker Emmanuel Macron. Sources at the Elysée presidential palace told Reuters that they wanted to avoid failure of the bill, a risk that “the executive did not want to take given the bill’s importance for our economy.”

The Macron Law is a major attack on the working class. Its more than 200 provisions include making it harder for workers to sue for wrongful dismissal; letting employers demand increased working hours on Sunday without overtime pay; a comprehensive overhaul of fees for various legal and medical services; and numerous privatizations of public firms.

The proposed law led to numerous protests last year by service workers opposing Sunday work without overtime pay, as well as by medical and legal professionals opposed to the liberalization of their professions.

Valls said the decision was taken to avoid fatally undermining Hollande, whose wars and austerity measures have made him France’s most unpopular president since the end of World War II. “Right now as we speak, the bill would not pass,” Valls told deputies at the National Assembly. “We are at a time when we cannot, in good conscience, weaken the head of the state and the government.”

The government’s resort to provision 49-3 underscores the fact that the austerity program of the PS and the European Union (EU) lacks any political legitimacy. A poll last year found that Hollande’s economic policy has only a 3 percent approval rating, reflecting rising outrage in the working class over unemployment and economic stagnation. The PS therefore pushed through its reactionary policies, with total contempt for the population, without even the fig leaf of parliamentary support.

The PS hypocritically denounced the government the last time 49-3 was used. This was in 2006 by then-UMP Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, as he sought to impose his unpopular First Job Contract (CPE) in the face of mass youth protests. “49-3 is an act of brutality, 49-3 is a denial of democracy, 49-3 is a way of blocking or preventing parliamentary debate,” Hollande declared at the time.

As for the parties in the Assembly who are now criticizing the PS government—led by the UMP and also the Left Front, a coalition of long-time allies of the PS—their opposition is no less hypocritical. They have all designed and helped impose social cuts against the working class for decades. Their decision not to vote for the Macron Law, like that of the sections of the PS itself, is only a cowardly attempt to hide their support for unpopular austerity measures.

Marine Le Pen, the leader of the neo-fascist National Front (FN), responded to the use of the 49-3 provision by calling for the dissolution of the parliament and new elections, in which the PS would stand to lose heavily and fall from power, and the FN to make substantial gains. Valls “should present the resignation of his government … The government itself is admitting that it no longer has a parliamentary majority,” Le Pen said.

The PS government is clearly calculating that the 49-3 maneuver will shore up its parliamentary majority, and give political cover to factions of the PS closer to pseudo-left organizations, including the Left Front and the New Anti-capitalist Party (NPA).

“Rebel” (frondeur) PS factions associated with former Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg, who criticized PS economic policies last year and might feel politically exposed if they openly voted for the Macron Law, will now be able to instead vote confidence for the Valls government. Such a vote would not only preserve the government and their own seats, but also allow the “rebels” to cynically justify their vote as necessary to stop the rise of the FN.

The only way forward for workers is a broader mobilization of the working class in political struggle against the EU and the Hollande government. Such a struggle has been consistently blocked by the Left Front, the NPA and the trade unions, who supported the election of Hollande in 2012 and continue to support the PS government. They isolated protests by sections of workers and of the middle classes against the Macron Law, seeking to prevent these protests from developing into a broader struggle against the government and the entire capitalist system.

As the bourgeoisie works out its strategy for imposing continued austerity despite mass popular anger, a reactionary political division of labor has emerged. While pseudo-left and PS “rebel” forces block a united struggle of the working class and encourage illusions in parliamentary opposition to the PS, PS factions closer to Hollande and Valls work directly with the EU to prepare and justify further attacks on the working class.

EU Economics Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, who previously served as Hollande’s finance minister, demanded that the French government develop a more ambitious liberalization and austerity agenda, going beyond the Macron Law. “France can and must have this,” he declared last week.

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg via Flickr

The European Court of Human Rights today confirmed that the Polish government was complicit in the CIA’s secretive programme of rendition, detention and interrogation.

The Court in Strasbourg today rejected a challenge from the Polish government to a landmark ruling from last July, a decision which now makes that original judgement final.

July’s judgment said that two current Guantánamo inmates, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, were held in a CIA prison in Poland, that they had been subject to torture, and that Poland failed in its duty under European human rights law to protect them or investigate what happened.

Poland had requested a referral to the Court’s grand chamber, effectively appealing the decision, which could not become final while the request was pending.

The grand chamber today refused the request, but did not give any reasons.

It means that the Polish government now faces a substantial bill for damages and legal costs.

In the July judgment, both men were awarded €100,000 in damages and Abu Zubaydah another €30,000 in legal costs.

However, Abu Zubaydah’s US lawyer confirmed to the Bureau that if the money was made available they would not claim the legal costs, and that Abu Zubaydah would be donating the full €100,000 in damages to victims of torture.

Poland is the first EU member state to be found guilty of complicity in the CIA’s secret detention programme and responsible for multiple violations of the detainees’ rights.

The case concerned the treatment of the two detainees, who were held by the CIA in Poland and subjected to torture, incommunicado detention and secret transfer to other CIA black sites.

Both men were secretly rendered to Poland on December 5 2002. Al-Nashiri was taken to Morocco on June 6 2003. Abu Zubaydah was transferred from Poland to a black site in Guantánamo Bay on September 22 2003.

Helen Duffy, European lawyer for Abu Zubaydah, told the Bureau the decision means that “Poland is required to finally conduct a thorough and effective investigation, make public information concerning its role and hold those responsible to account”.

She added: “This is an opportunity for Poland to reengage constructively, to address the crimes of the past and reassert its position as a supporter of the rule of law.”

The decision comes after the Senate intelligence committee published an executive summary of its investigation into the CIA’s detention and interrogation programme last December. Al-Nashiri and Abu Zubaydah were among the 119 detainees named in that summary report.

The European Parliament last week voted to resume investigating the complicity of EU member states in the CIA programme, in the wake of the new information revealed by the Senate’s summary.

The new information included confirmation of previous suspicions that the CIA paid the Polish government to continue hosting the black site, after the government refused to accept the planned transfer of new detainees, who the summary said included Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the September 11 2001 attacks on US cities.

Joe Marguiles, US lawyer for Abu Zubaydah, told the Bureau: “We are gratified but not surprised that the Court held to its prior judgment.  The evidence was overwhelming when the Court ruled the first time, and now it’s irrefutable.  The only question is whether Poland is sufficiently committed to the rule of law that it will conduct a meaningful investigation.  So far, the evidence on that score is not promising.”

The Polish government claimed when requesting referral to the grand chamber that the presence of a CIA black site in Poland was not proven, and that Polish officials were unaware of what happened within the confines of the alleged black site.

In its letter to the ECHR requesting a referral, which has been seen by the Bureau, the Polish government said: “It is not enough to make an overall negative assessment of the HVD [High Value Detainee] programme and to make the respondent state’s cooperation under this programme plausible.”

The Polish government had also questioned the court’s finding that Abu Zubaydah and al-Nashiri were actually in Poland. In the letter, the government said that al-Nashiri’s allegations contained “unrebutted fact”, and that the body of evidence which suggested the two men were detained in Poland was “mostly circumstantial”.

Following the US Senate Intelligence Committee’s report into CIA rendition and “enhanced interrogation” techniques last December, former Polish president Alexander Kwasniewski admitted that he had allowed the US to operate its black site in Poland, but claimed he did not know torture was being carried out there.

Related story: European Parliament to investigate CIA’s torture and rendition operations in EU

Abu Zubaydah was the first detainee of the CIA’s detention and interrogation programme. He and al-Nashiri were two of around 17 so-called high value detainees.

Both al-Nashiri and Abu Zubaydah were subjected to the torture technique known as waterboarding, with US government documents showing Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times in one month.

Documents filed by Abu Zubaydah’s lawyers show he was transferred by the CIA on December 5 2002 to the village of Stare Kiejkuty in Poland from Thailand.

Abu Zubaydah is a stateless Palestinian who was born in Saudi Arabia. He was captured by the CIA from a house in Faisalbad, Pakistan, on March 28 2002 and held in detention by the CIA until September 2006, when he was transferred to US military custody at Guantanamo Bay.

Al-Nashiri is a citizen of Saudi Arabia. He has been charged with war crimes.

Abu Zubaydah also remains in indefinite detention in Guantánamo Bay and has never been charged with any crime, either before a military commission or in a civil court.

This report is part of a joint investigation with The Rendition Project and is being supported by the Freedom of the Press FoundationTo support the Freedom of the Press Foundation’s fundraising appeal for this investigation, please click here.

Follow Victoria Parsons on Twitter. Sign up to email updates from the Bureau here.

Obama to Give Jihadists the Ability to Order Airstrikes

February 18th, 2015 by Mikael Thalen

The Obama administration is preparing to equip the so-called “moderate” Syrian rebels with the ability to order U.S. air strikes despite the group’s admitted allegiance to the Islamic State.

Members of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) will be provided with radios to call in strikes from American B-1B bombers as well as pickup trucks with mounted machine guns as the president puts the final touches on plans to train as many as 3,000 rebels in Jordan and Turkey by the end of 2015.

“Negotiations have been concluded and an agreement text will be signed with the US regarding the training of the Free Syrian Army in the coming period,” said Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Tanju Bilgic.

The planes will reportedly use similar munitions to those seen in Afghanistan, targeting anything from small vehicles to tanks with 500 and 2,000-pound guided bombs.

Aside from the Toyota Hi-Lux trucks, multiple groups of rebels will also be given mortars and possibly antitank weapons as well.

A senior military official speaking with the Wall Street Journal stated that the decision would likely emulate recent bombing campaigns against the Islamic State in Iraq.

“The way we envision it, it would be very similar to Kobani,” the source said.

Ludicrously refuting previous statements by claiming not to be at war with the Syrian government, U.S. officials alleged that air strikes would likely not be ordered against the Syrian army.

Despite the Obama administration’s claims, countless intelligence and military officials have stated that the “moderate” rebels are essentially non-existent, with well over 90 percent being with terrorist groups or aligned in ideology.

Just last September, a commander with the FSA admitted to fighting alongside several terrorist organizations in the region including the Islamic State.

“We are collaborating with the Islamic State and the Nusra Front by attacking the Syrian Army’s gatherings in… Qalamoun,” Bassel Idriss, commander of an FSA-run rebel brigade, said. “Let’s face it: The Nusra Front is the biggest power present right now in Qalamoun and we as FSA would collaborate on any mission they launch as long as it coincides with our values.”

Jamal Maarouf, the leader of the Syrian Revolutionary Front (SRF), also told reporters last April that his fighters regularly worked with Al Qaeda and Al-Nusra as well.

During the same time period it was reported that “several factions within the FSA, including Ahl Al Athar, Ibin al-Qa’im,” decided to hand their weapons over to the Islamic State before pledging their allegiance to the group.

An Islamic State fighter speaking with Al-Jazeera in 2013 revealed that the FSA regularly sold its weapons to them shortly after they would receive shipments from the U.S.

“We are buying weapons from the FSA,” Abu Atheer said. “We bought 200 anti-aircraft missiles and Koncourse anti tank weapons. We have good relations with our brothers in the FSA.”

Obama’s rebels and the Islamic State even went as far as to sign a non-aggression pact with one another in order to rally against the Assad government in late 2014.

In fact, with thousands of rebels openly defecting and joining ranks with the Islamic State, President Obama was forced to brazenly repeal sections of U.S. law that banned the arming of known terrorist groups in order to keep weapons flowing.

Obama’s actions spurred a major backlash within the military at the end of 2013, resulting in numerous U.S. troops taking to social media to post photos of themselves holding up signs stating that they would not fight on the same side as terrorists in Syria.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz presciently warned in 2013 that President Obama was quickly turning the United States into Al Qaeda’s air force as the situation in Syria continued to intensify.

“We should be focused on defending the United States of America,” Cruz said. “That’s why young men and women sign up to join the military, not to, as you know, serve as Al Qaeda’s air force.”

Watch: Obama is Arming ISIS to Fight ISIS

Officials Declare ‘Eating Healthy’ a Mental Disorder

February 18th, 2015 by Jefferey Jaxen

In an attempt to curb the mass rush for food change and reform, psychiatry has green lighted a public relations push to spread awareness about their new buzzword “orthorexia nervosa,” defined as “a pathological obsession for biologically pure and healthy nutrition.” In other words, experts are saying that our demand for nutrient-dense, healthful food is a mental disorder that must be treated.

CNN, Fast Company, Popular Science, and other top outlets have all began to trumpet the talking points on cue relatively recently:

“Orthorexia nervosa is a label designated to those who are concerned about eating healthy. Characterized by disordered eating fueled by a desire for “clean” or “healthy” foods, those diagnosed with the condition are overly pre-occupied with the nutritional makeup of what they eat”.

In short, if you turn your back on low quality, corporate food containing known cancer causing toxic additives and a rich history of dishonesty rooted in a continuous “profits over people” modus operandi, then you may suffer from a mental illness. The cherry on top is that if you have the pseudo-science labeled disorder of orthorexia nervosa, you will be prescribed known toxic, pharmaceutical drugs from some of the same conglomerate corporations that you are trying to avoid by eating healthy in the first place.

Orthorexia has not yet found its way into the latest edition of the psychiatric bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), yet is commonly being lumped in with other eating disorders. Stepping back and looking at the ones pushing this label on us shows highly questionable motives.

Psychiatry as a whole is deeply in bed with a pharmaceutical industry that makes the drugs to “treat” every one of these “disorders.” It is often these companies that are wielding influence behind the scenes to invent more mental health categories with their toxic products as the answer. This latest media push to popularize orthorexia as a mental disorder with a goal to marginalize or derail the food revolution appears to have been dead on arrival.

The psychiatric community has even deemed creativity to be a mental illness.

As the people continue to walk away from the broken medical and agricultural/food systems like any abusive relationship, the food makers are willing to do anything to maintain their waning control. Organic and non-GMO food markets have exploded in the last 5 years, so much so that any corporation wishing to not follow the trend risks financial hardship or ruin. In addition, pharmaceutical companies are feeling the strain as less people want their toxic medications and crippling side effects.

Perhaps some people take it too far to the point of self-harm, but the problem we face with a toxic food system is a much larger threat. In closing, let’s be aware of some of the overall BS fed to us by the pharmaceutical bankrolled industry of psychiatry. When healthy eating and creativity are mental issues, something is amiss.

Additional Sources:

Popular Science

Jon Rappoport

The cholesterol-lowering statin drug empire continues to crumble. This past Sunday (February 15, 2015) the Sunday Express in the UK published a headline story stating that Oxford professor Dr. Rory Collins, whose research had been used to support putting millions of patients on statin drugs, was reassessing the data behind those studies for possible drug side effects they might have missed previously.

According to the Express:

Although the original research looked at the effect of statins on the heart and considered cancer risks it did not examine other side effects.

A Pharmaceutical Scandal that Can No Longer Be Hidden?

This announcement by Dr. Collins is stunning, to say the least, and points to a massive cover-up and scandal related to statin drugs.

In 2014, Dr. Collins supported calls in the UK to put more people on statin drugs. However, he met with some opposition, and the British Medical Journal (BMJ) published a couple of articles documenting some of the side effects of statin drugs, which would call into question new government guidelines that would encourage physicians to put more patients on the already popular class of cholesterol-lowering drugs. Statins are the world’s best selling pharmaceutical drugs of all time, with no close competitors.

Dr. Collins criticized the  BMJ articles, and demanded that they retract them. According to Dr. Malcolm Kendrick:

He stated that these articles were irresponsible, worse than Andrew Wakefield’s work on the MMR vaccine, and that thousands would die if they were scared off taking their statins by such articles. (Source.)

An independent review panel set up by Fiona Godlee, editor of the BMJ, looked at the BMJ’s data and rejected his demands.

Dr. Collins is head of the Cholesterol Treatment Trialists’ (CTT) Collaboration, and as Dr. Kendrick points out:

you should know that for a number of years, people have been trying to get Rory Collins to release the data he and his unit (the CTT), holds on statins. [The CTT was set up purely to get hold of and review all the data on statins, it has no other function].

He has stubbornly refused to let anyone see anything. He claims he signed non-disclosure contracts with pharmaceutical companies who send him the data, so he cannot allow anyone else access. Please remember that some of the trials he holds data on were done over thirty years ago, and the drugs are long off patent.

Now, amazingly, after running the CTT for nearly twenty years, Collins claims that ‘he has not seen the full data on side-effects.’ In an e-mail to the Sunday Express he stated that ‘his team had assessed the effects of statins on heart disease and cancer but not other side effects such as muscle pain.’

Let that statement percolate for a moment or two. Then try to make sense of it. So, they have got the data, but not bothered to look at it? Or they have not got it – which surely must be the case if he hasn’t even seen it. Give us a clue. Either way, Collins states he has not assessed it. (Source.)

So why this sudden about face by Dr. Collins in admitting the data on statin drugs needs to be reassessed due to potential side effects not previously studied? Could the thousands of lawsuits currently being filed in the United States against Lipitor, the best-selling drug in the history of the world, for causing diabetes, be just the tip of the iceberg in terms of serious side effects that are now about to become public?

ABC Australia Investigative Report on Statin Scam Pulled from YouTube

Dr MaryAnne Demasi from the Catalyst. Her investigative reporting on the dangers of statin drugs has now been banned.

Dr. MaryAnne Demasi’s documentary on the criminal activity of the pharmaceutical industry regarding cholesterol-lowering statin drugs sent shock waves through the mainstream media in Australia at the end of 2013. Published in two parts on the popular news show The Catalyst, the pharmaceutical industry complained loudly after the first show, and requested the network not air the second episode, “Heart of the Matter Part 2 – Cholesterol Drug War.”

ABC Australia aired it anyway, but the pharmaceutical influence was apparently too strong, as they later announced that the network would remove the videos from their website because “they breached its impartiality standards.” All copies found on YouTube were also removed.

Dr. Michael Eades has published them on his Vimeo channel, however, and you can watch them below. If you know anyone currently being prescribed statin drugs to lower their cholesterol, this information could save their lives.

Heart of the Matter – Part 1

Heart of the Matter Part 2 – Cholesterol Drug War

 

This week’s Global Research News Hour is a fund-raiser for host radio station CKUW 95.9FM.

It was broadcast live on Friday February 13.

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The program focused for the most part on the differences between mainstream and independent media.

Guests include Andy Lee Roth, associate director of Project Censored, Julie Lévesque, Associate Editor of Global Research, Lesley Hughes, Winnipeg-based journalist and broadcaster Lesley Hughes, and veteran CKUW programmer Scott Price.

Podcast includes a clip from a past GRNH interview with the late Michael C. Ruppert.

Also featuring music by Norman Nawrocki (Bella Ciao), Frank Zappa (Valley Girl), and Trio Bembe (Donde Estabas Tu).

With FUndrive 2015 now officially ended, anyone wishing to contribute to CKUW may do so through the website fundrive.ckuw.ca (you can find Global Research News Hour in the drop down menu under ‘Pledge Options.’ Please note, tax receipts are only honoured for Canadian residents. Out of town residents must include instructions for delivery of incentives by mail.)

Donations are also acceptable through the GLOBAL RESEARCH website.

https://store.globalresearch.ca/donate  (indicate GRNH)

Listeners of the Global Research News Hour are encourage to support other community radio stations which air the Global Research News Hour.

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The Global Research News Hour airs every Friday at 1pm CT on CKUW 95.9FM in Winnipeg. The programme is also podcast at globalresearch.ca .

The show can be heard on the Progressive Radio Network at prn.fm. Listen in every Monday at 3pm ET.

Community Radio Stations carrying the Global Research News Hour:

CHLY 101.7fm in Nanaimo, B.C – Thursdays at 1pm PT

Boston College Radio WZBC 90.3FM NEWTONS  during the Truth and Justice Radio Programming slot -Sundays at 7am ET.

Port Perry Radio in Port Perry, Ontario –1  Thursdays at 1pm ET

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.

 

Strange Tendencies in the Gold and Silver Markets

February 18th, 2015 by Bill Holter

Very strange happenings in all things financial, perhaps the most strange is located within the COMEX. 

First, for the last year and a half or more, we watched as gold and silver open interest steadily rises for several months and then suddenly falls in collapse fashion.  The rise and collapse in open interest have not been parallel in gold and silver, often times they have been directly inverse as they now are currently.  Open interest in gold is currently close to multi year lows while silver’s open interest is near multi year highs.  Why is this?  Why would these two metals have opposite moves in open interest?   Some might say because of “spreading” or ratio trades being long one while short two the other or what have you, I don’t think so.

 Going back for the last 18 months or so, we have seen an anomaly which previously did not exist.  It seems as if the open interest in both gold and silver build and build and build leading up to about two weeks prior to first notice day.  I have written about this several times and pointed out the huge open interest just prior to FND.  Currently for example, the open interest in March silver with only 9 trading days left is about 380 million ounces.  For perspective, this amount is in relation to 67 million ounces COMEX has registered and available to deliver and about 175 million ounces held in both the registered and eligible categories.  Another astonishing comparison of these 380 million ounces would be to total global silver production of 800 million ounces.  With only nine days left, COMEX contracts open for March are almost 50% of ALL annual silver production!  For a little more perspective and in comparison in paper terms, this is less than $8 billion …or in reality, absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things.

 Each and every COMEX expiration for the last year and a half has witnessed an implosion of open interest going into a major delivery month and then during the month.  It used to be traders would “roll” out and into the next big delivery month, this has changed and is the reason we are seeing such large drops in OI, very few are “rolling”.  This really does not make any sense because there is almost zero premium paid to roll out.  There used to be a $3-$5 premium in gold (and can be explained by higher interest rates in the past), now however, the premium is less than $1.  What I am trying to say is that there is almost no disincentive or deterrent to rolling, yet very little gets rolled?  It is this anomaly which has caused the dichotomy in OI for gold and silver, the only common large delivery month they share is December.  The “build” of open interest and following collapses are happening because their big delivery months are staggered and don’t coincide with each other.

 But why?  Why does open interest collapse each time?  Conspiracy theorists believe many of these contracts are “bought out” with a premium paid to make potential delivery demands simply go away.  In the past, I was not sure and didn’t know what to think.  I now believe this is probably occurring, here is why:  A few years ago when gold or silver went into first notice day, there would be however many contracts standing for delivery and they all would be delivered on within the next two days.  You see, there is absolutely ZERO incentive for a short not to deliver as soon as possible because of the carrying costs involved.  Why would a short wait until the last few days of the delivery month when they must pay storage fees for the extra three weeks or more?  The simple answer is “they wouldn’t”.  One last point on this, the “delivery” is consummated when the short delivers the metal.  The long can stand for delivery but does not know when, or what day the delivery will take place.  It is ultimately the short who knows what day they will deliver.

  Another very strange anomaly and one which never ever happened until this last year is the odd fact of “longs” who are standing for delivery at the beginning of the month, slowly just bleed away during the delivery period.  For instance, February gold saw its open interest decline by nearly 90% over the last two weeks of trading to finish with 26.85 tons left standing.  Since then, amazingly the amount standing and demanding delivery has contracted from 27 tons to just about three tons!  90% of those initially standing for delivery have vanished? Who would do this?  First, remember this, all longs MUST have 100% of the contract value in cash, in their account from first notice day on.  Who would put the full money up to purchase and be delivered on …only to walk away?  I challenge anyone to give me a credible reason for this, especially since it is a new phenomenon.  Please don’t tell me something like “no one really wants delivery” because I will answer you with three words, “the Chinese do”.  In fact, China imported over 250 tons of gold in January, nearly 100 times the size of the February COMEX delivery, 10 times the size of what COMEX claims as available for delivery and well more than COMEX holds in total …in just ONE MONTH!  To me, this stinks to high heaven.  For open interest to decline 90% DURING the delivery process is highly suspect and reeks of the shorts being unable to deliver because of the question, “why would a fully funded long turn away from taking possession?”.  This has never ever happened to this extent as far as I know.

  A few of the other very strange happenings within COMEX are as follows: the vast majority of inventory movements for the last year or so has been divisible by “32.15″.ounces.  This is important because 32.15 ounces are equal to 1 kilo.  COMEX deals in, and is contracted in 100 ounce bars.  Three kilos for example are equal to 96.45 ounces, just shy of 100 ounces.  Last year, JP Morgan reported the movement of 321,500 ounces for three consecutive weeks, (10,000 kilos),  is this not an oddity in itself?  Also, kilo bars are 99.99% pure gold, 100 ounce bars are 99.5% pure.  Although these are only apart by 1/2% purity, who would want to be on the losing end of the 1/2% purity?  This amounts to one half of an ounce of gold …or about $600 for every 100 ounces.

 Another very odd and statistical impossibility is the reporting of 100 ounce bar movements.  These bars are cast and then weighed out to 3 decimal points (99.723 or 100.295 for example), they can only land at 100.000 one time out of 1,000 statistically.  Yet, day after day we are seeing reports of these “.000″ (triple zero) movements within inventory.  This cannot possibly be correct!  Another crazy oddity has been happening in the silver inventory, repeatedly 2,900.000 ounces are being reported as moving.  How can this be?  The number is not divisible by 32.15, it is a “triple zero” entry and COMEX is predominantly a 5,000 ounce contract (except for the minis).  I have no explanation for this and cannot even dream up a scenario.

  One must wonder where the CFTC has been during all of this?  Or any other regulatory agency for that matter?  All of these anomalies are not just “coincidence” and are blatantly obvious to anyone willing to take even a small peak at what’s going on.  I have maintained all along we would end up with a two tier market, the physical markets and an increasingly irrelevant paper market.  The above evidence argues that the “tricks” employed by paper are now larger, more frequent and far easier to detect.

I plan to write tomorrow regarding the new “fix” process and how China will soon be a part of it.  Couple this with a Chinese new year, a fracturing Europe and very likely war over Ukraine amongst other financial happenings.  I believe the process of discernible difference between paper metal and physical metal pricing may very well be here and now, we will soon see?

Greece and the Eurozone

February 18th, 2015 by Mike Whitney

Monday is a crucial deadline in Greece’s struggle against Brussels-imposed austerity. Eurozone finance ministers are set to meet in the morning to decide whether Greece has made sufficient progress on previous agreements to justify further support. The new leftist government of Greece, Syzira, has rejected provisions in the so-called bailout, saying that the loans have only increased the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio which has ballooned from 115 percent in 2010 more than 170 percent today. Eurogroup ministers have dismissed Syriza’s objections saying that Greece must accept the conditions of the original ($270 billion) agreement or be cut off from additional funding. The confrontation between the Eurogroup and Syriza has set the stage for clash that could trigger a run on the Greek banking system followed by a “dirty exit” of Greece from the Eurozone. The impact this would have on the people of Greece, who have already endured a five year slump worse than the Great Depression, could be catastrophic.

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis made the case for changing the terms of the EZ’s programs in an op-ed in the New York Times on Monday. He said:

“The great difference between this government and previous Greek governments is twofold: We are determined to clash with mighty vested interests in order to reboot Greece and gain our partners’ trust. We are also determined not to be treated as a debt colony that should suffer what it must…

We shall desist, whatever the consequences, from deals that are wrong for Greece and wrong for Europe. The “extend and pretend” game that began after Greece’s public debt became unserviceable in 2010 will end. No more loans — not until we have a credible plan for growing the economy in order to repay those loans, help the middle class get back on its feet and address the hideous humanitarian crisis. No more “reform” programs that target poor pensioners and family-owned pharmacies while leaving large-scale corruption untouched.”
(Yanis Varoufakis: No Time for Games in Europe, Yanis Varoufakis, New York Times)

Game theory expert, Varoufakis, denies that he is engaged in a game of chicken to win concessions from Brussels. What he wants is a deal that makes sense, that is, funding assistance with a component for economic growth so Greece can finally emerge from its long-term slump and put its people back to work. The current bailout strategy makes no sense at all from an economic point of view. As we pointed out earlier, accepting loans while shrinking the economy through crippling austerity measures, only generates more red ink and a deeper hole. Even so, Varoufakis’s “modest proposals” are not a blanket rejection of Greece’s obligations to its creditors, they merely adjust the terms of the agreement so that success becomes possible. For example, Varoufakis has recommended that Greece reduce the size of its primary budget surplus to provide more fiscal stimulus for the ailing economy. While an economy with 25 percent unemployment obviously needs more stimulus, Varoufakis’s approach pales in comparison to Obama’s $800 billion ARRA package of 2009 that was aimed at ending the Great Recession. In fact, it’s not really stimulus at all; it is just a reduction in the surplus. (which is “small beer” by any standard) The point is, Varoufakis is not making unreasonable demands. He merely wants an agreement that provides solutions that address the problem, and don’t just add more debt. Here’s more from Varoufakis’s op-ed:

“Our government is not asking our partners for a way out of repaying our debts. We are asking for a few months of financial stability that will allow us to embark upon the task of reforms that the broad Greek population can own and support, so we can bring back growth and end our inability to pay our dues.”

Varoufakis has described the current bailout regime as paying off the mortgage with a credit card. The strategy might buy some time, but it only puts off the inevitable day of default. Strangling the economy through counterproductive belt-tightening measures and the selling of state-owned assets has not improved Greece’s finances at all. It has been an utter failure as the rising debt-to-GDP figures illustrate. Even so, the European Central Bank (ECB) has threatened to cut off liquidity to the Greek banking system if Greece doesn’t capitulate and accept an agreement that only increases the debt, prolongs the slump and deepens the crisis. Does that make sense?

Varoufakis is giving euro-leaders a chance for redemption, a chance to rethink their vision of Europe as a land of prosperity for banks, bondholders and creditors alone. He’s laid down the gauntlet saying that he will meet these lofty Masters of the Universe halfway or, perhaps, more than halfway; but he won’t abandon the working people who have suffered so dramatically under the present regime. He won’t submit to the ECB’s blackmail or give in to Germany’s threats. He’ll stick to his convictions and do what he promised to do because– as he says in his op-ed– “it is right”.

Monday’s negotiations are about more than just Greece. They’re about the future of Europe. Varoufakis wants a Europe that is less divided between debtor and creditor, between German and Greek, between us and them. He is not asking for a reprieve or a bailout or charity. He’s asking Europe’s leaders to take the Union in an entirely different direction, a direction that better reflects the hopes and aspirations the vast majority of working people in the EU. As he says in his op-ed:

“Europe will only regain its soul when it regains the people’s trust by putting their interests center-stage.”

Bravo, Varoufakis.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at [email protected].

US Support of Violent Neo-Nazis in Ukraine: Video Compilation

February 18th, 2015 by Global Research News

Shocking and insightful videos detailing the neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic, ultra-nationalist movement in Ukraine. The videos examine the ongoing US support of these groups, including the Svoboda party and Right Sector.

Visit http://stpeteforpeace.org for more info.

 

Published on 18 Mar 2014

Shocking and insightful videos detailing the neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic, ultra-nationalist movement in Ukraine. The videos examine the ongoing US support of these groups, including the Svoboda party and Right Sector.

Visit http://stpeteforpeace.org for more info.

Source videos:
http://youtu.be/fWkfpGCAAuw

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqlPvK…

 

http://youtu.be/tHhGEiwCHZE

 

http://youtu.be/5SBo0akeDMY

 

http://youtu.be/2R7chF70UTw

 


See also

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-B1vW…

http://youtu.be/oKqPwGTjDlY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEcZFg…

Wither the bomb – as a legal problem. Ever since its inception as a weapon of war, atomic, and subsequently nuclear weaponry, have become the totemic reminders that sovereignty lie in their acquisition. Not having them poses insecurity; acquiring them grants the illusion of safety while pushing the globe towards greater prospects of immolation.

The Nuclear Weapons Non-Proliferation Treaty, which came into force in 1970, was the juggling result of this dilemma.  The question that dogs the entire treaty is that of power: where does it lie?  Non-nuclear powers are discouraged from acquiring a nuclear weapons potential, though not a civilian potential – indeed, they are encouraged to receive technology for peaceful purposes “on a non-discriminatory basis” at a cheap price.

Nuclear weapons powers, however, are merely required to pay lip service to such misty-eyed visions of a world without nuclear weapons, while happily engaging in that euphemistic word termed “modernisation”.  Article Six, a vague provision at best, makes the five nuclear states “undertake to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective means relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date.”  Disarmament, in the scheme of things, becomes utopia.

In other words, the NPT is a club of skewed membership with poor credentials, despite the note from the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs calling it significant for having more signatories than “any other arms limitation and disarmament agreement”.[1]  Analysts like Fred Kaplan argue that the NPT did prevent the nuclear club from swelling – a prediction of 25-30 countries having such weapons is deemed a more terrifying prospect than having the addition of four or so more powers.[2]  Of course, the underlying rationale of the NPT was precisely that: keeping the club exclusive.

But it has been shown over the years of its operation that the NPT is a legal creature with vast, lumbering deficiencies.  The supply of technology to produce “peaceful” nuclear energy can just as well be used to create nuclear weaponry – a point emphasised by a thriving nuclear black market, and the easy means by which uranium can be enriched outside the scrutiny of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).  Countries like North Korea have realised such weaknesses, abrogating its commitment to the regime by employing Article 10.  But the system justifies its own abuses, making non-nuclear weapons states compliant by allowing IAEA inspection.

Then come the gentleman’s club of nuclear powers – the ones who came before the others and script a tune they don’t necessarily march to.  The treaty prohibits the nuclear club powers, under Article 1, from providing materials, technology and incidental material that would be used for making nuclear weapons.  The nuclear weapon states are also not to “assist, encourage, or induce any non-nuclear weapon State to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, or control over such weapons or explosive devices.”

In reality, this nuclear club continues to create dispensations and mark out areas of exception. Over time, countries have received nuclear technology in violation of signatory undertakings.  The supposed limitations imposed by the NPT on non-nuclear weapons states have been deemed insufficient.

But one such state takes the mantle when it comes to nuclear exceptionalism.  Israel has deemed it wise not to sign the NPT, thereby evading the prying eyes of the IAEA.  It prefers the state of ambiguity that surrounds its weapons, while insisting that other states not undertake a nuclear weapons program.  In December, former speaker of the Knesset, Avraham Burg, decided to wade into dangerous waters by challenging this policy of ambiguity as “outdated and childish,” calling for a “regional dialogue, including with Iran”.  He was met by accusations of treason by the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel.[3]

Nuclear countries have also capitalised on this position, while insisting that Israel “become a state party to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.”[4]  As far back as January 5, 1968, National Security Advisor Walt Rostow expressed the view to President Lyndon Johnson that Israel would, eventually, sign the NPT.[5]  But it was as early as 1966 that the CIA realised that Israel has acquired nuclear capability.

Technology has been supplied to Israel, despite an official position by Washington that it would be “unalterably opposed to Israel’s acquiring of nuclear weapons.”[6]  That, in addition to traditional industrial espionage undertaken by the spy ring Lakam, made acquiring the nuclear weapons program a matter of course, to be undertaken even in defiance of its close ally’s position.

As a member of the nuclear club, the United States is on record as having featured in its nuclear program.  Initially, it was deemed unwitting – the supply of a 5-magawatt (thermal) research reactor at Nahal Soreq; the supply of heavy water to the Dimona reactor in 1963.  France, a point noted in Pierre Pean’s Les duex bombes (1982), did even more, kick-starting the Dimona project and revealing the role of French technicians behind creating a plutonium extraction plant at the same site.[7]

In a declassified report by the US Department of Defence, Critical Technology Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations (April 1987), the schizophrenic nature of US weapons policy towards Israel was revealed.  It was acknowledged that Israel was “developing the kind of codes which will enable them to make hydrogen bombs.  That is, codes which detail fission and fusion processes on a microscopic and macroscopic level.”[8] (The technical crew did, however, suggest Israel had some catching up to do.)  Furthermore, “The SOREQ and the Dimona/Beer [sic] Sheva facilities are the equivalent of our Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge National Laboratories.”  Ideas on various technologies are noted, including the use of various types of detonator codes.

Roger Mattson, formerly of the Atomic Energy Commission’s staff, found the “degree of cooperation on specialised war making devices between Israel and the US” striking.  European powers, and their role behind the Israeli defence complex, are also noted.

Grant Smith, who initiated the Freedom of Information request for the report, has actively argued that the Pentagon proved coy about its knowledge and involvement with the Israeli defence industry, burying it “in violation of the Symington and Glenn amendments, costing taxpayers $86 billion” (RT, Feb 13).

As director of the Washington think tank Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, Smith has long argued that violations have taken place of the Symington Amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 prohibiting US foreign aid to countries found trafficking in nuclear enrichment equipment or technology, and the Glenn Amendment of 1977, which demanded an end of US foreign aid to countries importing nuclear reprocessing technology.

Certain breaches of the international regime on non-proliferation, in other words, are tolerated.  Israel remains the grandest of security exceptions – or ambiguities – free of signing the NPT, obviating the need to deal with the IAEA, and a catalyst, and recipient, of nuclear weapons technology.

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

Notes

A recently published report entitled “Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror”, published by the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in Montgomery, Ala, has illustrated the need for re-examining a sordid period in United States history which has never been acknowledged on an official level.

Although the practice originated during slavery, after the conclusion of the Civil War and beginning of Reconstruction, extra-judicial killings of African Americans became an integral part of the methods of exploitation and social containment of the former enslaved people. The Ku Klux Klan was formed in 1866 as a secret organization led by former plantation owners and Confederate military officials such as Nathan B. Forrest, who is often credited as the engineer of one of worst massacres of the Civil War at Fort Pillow, Tennessee in 1864.

The study places the rise of lynching within an historical context. After the Civil War and the legal abolition of slavery, European Americans sought to re-establish their dominance over African people.

In a section entitled “Second Slavery After the Civil War”, the authors emphasize that “white southern identity was grounded in a belief that whites are inherently superior to African Americans. Following the war, whites reacted violently to the notion that they would now have to treat their former human property as equals and pay for their labor. Plantation owners attacked black people simply for claiming their freedom. In May 1866, in Memphis, Tennessee, forty-six African Americans were killed; ninety-one houses, four churches, and twelve schools were burned to the ground; at least five women were raped; and many black people fled the city permanently.” (EJI Report, p. 7)

Study Contributes to Field Started by African American Woman

This report by EJI continues the work of other scholars and Civil Rights organizations since the late 19th century. By 1892, the phenomenon of public lynchings attracted the attention of former school teacher and journalist Ida B. Wells, who started an international campaign after three African American men were taken from a jail cell in Memphis, Tennessee and shot to death by law-enforcement agents.

A PBS documentary from 2002 entitled “The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow” notes “Tom Moss and two of his friends, Calvin McDowell and Henry Stewart, were arrested for defending themselves against an attack on Moss’ store. Moss was a highly respected figure in the black community, a postman as well as the owner of a grocery store. A white competitor, enraged that Moss had drawn away his black customers, hired some off-duty deputy sheriffs to destroy the store.”

This tragic narrative continues recounting that “Moss and his friends, not knowing the men were deputies, resisted. A gun battle broke out and several deputies were wounded. Moss, his two friends, and one hundred other black supporters were arrested. Several nights later, masked vigilantes dragged Moss and his two friends from their cells, took them to a deserted railroad yard, and shot them to death.”

Wells was later driven out of Memphis after she had exposed the false pretext under which many lynching were justified. This series of events resulted in thousands of African Americans leaving Memphis in mass, migrating to Oklahoma during the subsequent months and years.

The following year, 1893, Wells toured Britain to lecture on lynching in the U.S. further revealing to an international audience the plight of African Americans. She would re-locate to Chicago and continue the work from there after the Memphis newspaper offices that she owned were fire bombed by a white mob empowered by a local magistrate.

Wells wrote and published the first social scientific study of the mob killings of African Americans. The report was published as a pamphlet initially in 1895 under the title “The Red Record: Tabulated Statistics and Alleged Causes of Lynching in the United States.”

Later the anti-lynching organizer went on to be a co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909. The NAACP campaigned for decades against lynching and unsuccessfully for federal legislation to outlaw the widespread practice.

In 1951 under the sponsorship of the Civil Rights Congress (CRC), Atty. William L. Patterson, Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois and cultural worker and activist Paul Robeson published “We Charge Genocide”, a petition submitted to the United Nations which documented years of racial violence against African Americans carried out with impunity in full view of white officials, law-enforcement agencies and the courts. Even during the height of the mass Civil Rights Movement during 1955-1968, many more African Americans and their allies were murdered at the hands of white police officers and racist mobs.

Study Finds Additional Cases Previously Undocumented

According to the publication, “EJI researchers documented 3959 racial terror lynchings of African Americans in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia between 1877 and 1950 – at least 700 more lynchings of black people in these states than previously reported in the most comprehensive work done on lynching to date. Lynching in America makes the case that lynching of African Americans was terrorism, a widely supported phenomenon used to enforce racial subordination and segregation.” (Introduction)

This study utilizes sources which indicate that the practice was far more widespread than previously suggested. The authors acknowledged the work of academic Stewart E. Tolnay as well as Tuskegee University in Alabama, but also drew upon additional cases found in the African American press which was in its classical period during the late 19th and early decades of the 20th century.

The Death Penalty as Legalized Lynching

After World War I with the Great Migration of African Americans from the rural South to urbanized regions of the North and West of the U.S., there was a decline in public lynchings. Nonetheless, these acts of racial terror continued through other means including state-sanctioned executions.

The report says:

“By 1915, court-ordered executions outpaced lynchings in the former slave states for the first time. Two-thirds of those executed in the 1930s were black, and the trend continued. As African Americans fell to just 22 percent of the South’s population between 1910 and 1950, they constituted 75 percent of those executed in the South during that period.” (p. 21)

This study documents the continuation of this process into the modern era citing that “In the 1987 case of McCleskey v. Kemp, the Supreme Court considered statistical evidence demonstrating that Georgia decision makers were more than four times as likely to impose death for the killing of a white person than a black person. Accepting the data as accurate, the Court described racial bias in sentencing as ‘an inevitable part of our criminal justice system’ and upheld Warren McCleskey’s death sentence because he failed to identify a ‘constitutionally significant risk of racial bias’ in his case.”

Legal Lynching Continues Across the U.S.

The report reaffirms that the current wave of police killings and other racist attacks are part and parcel of the system of national oppression and social control utilized by the ruling class to exploit and contain African people from the 19th century to the present. Today in the aftermath of Civil Rights legislation passed during the 1950s and 1960s and the ascendancy of African American elected officials including the president, people are still being denied justice.

Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Aiyana Stanley Jones, Tamir Rice and countless others have been killed by police officers who remain unscathed by prosecutors and the courts. The Justice Department has not brought any charges against these officers after local authorities failed to indict and arrest the perpetrators.

Undoubtedly it will take a revolution to overthrow the legacy of racial terrorism in the U.S. The African American and other oppressed peoples must be totally liberated from national oppression before they can expect any real justice that protects and values their lives from the ravages of state-supported violence and political repression.

Post-Minsk EU Sanctions on Russia

February 18th, 2015 by Stephen Lendman

Imposing new sanctions shows Brussels wants confrontation, not conflict resolution.

Russia’s NATO representative, Alexander Grushko, calls relations with the Alliance “close to the freezing point.”

“(W)e…have (no) illusions regarding the dangers that might be caused by NATO,” he said. (It) found a new meaning of life. (It’s) play(ing) out against us, against Russia.”

On February 16, Brussels sanctioned 19 more Russian and Donbas officials. Its blacklist totals 151 individuals, as well as 37 Russian companies and other entities. Sanctions are war by other means.

Three top Russian military officials were added. Including Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov, First Deputy Defense Minister, General Arkady Bakhin, and General Staff Operation Directorate head Lt. General Andrey Kartapolov.

Two additional lower House State Duma members were sanctioned, as well as Moscow Communist Party head Valery Rashkin and singer Iosif Kobzon.

Fourteen others are Donbas government and military officials. Eight rebel self-defense battalions and the Novorossiya movement were sanctioned.

Measures imposed include freezing assets held in European Union countries an an EU-wide travel ban.

State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Aleksey Pushkov said new sanctions are “contrary to the (letter and spirit) of Minsk. (They) will not solve anything, but will complicate political dialogue.”

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said new sanctions defy common sense. Moscow vows an “appropriate” response. Brussels shamelessly accommodates Washington and Kiev’s “party of war.”

Moscow’s EU representative, Vladimir Chizhov, said extending sanctions and adding new ones “will not only give a signal to Russian public opinion and force Russia to return to our own sanctions list, but will dissuade both sides of the conflict from the active implementation of the provisions of the Minsk documents.”

It shows no matter what efforts Russia makes toward resolving Ukraine’s conflict, it will continue being targeted unfairly.

Energy giant Roseneft CEO Igor Sechin said “(i)n the longterm, sanctions against Russia endanger Europe’s security of supply.”

Losers on both sides are assured. Spain’s Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said “(s)anctions have had a heavy cost for us all.”

“The EU so far lost 21 billion euros. In Spain, we have been badly hit in terms of agriculture and tourism.

Czech President Milos Zeman called for lifting sanctions. Saying “I long for solid trade and economic relations between the Czech Republic and Russia, which shouldn’t be hampered by sanctions.”

“Esspecially if those sanctions are useless.” Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras rhetorically opposes sanctions while approving their renewal. At the same time, he wants things resolved diplomatically, adding:

“The difficult way of talks is always favorable to the easy way of sanctions, which leads to a dead end.”

Dark forces in America, EU countries and Ukraine want war continued, not ended. Huge geopolitical issues are at stake.

Key is targeting Russia for regime change. Washington’s longstanding goal is eliminating a major rival, controlling its vast land mass, balkanizing it for easier control, plundering its resources and exploiting its people.

At the same time, war-profiteers are making fortunes. Russian State Duma Deputy Chairman Sergey Zheleznyak said Ukrainian generals are enriched by war.

Ending it cuts off their income stream. They have clear incentives to keep conflict going.

So do volunteer elements. They’re profiteering like others. As long as war enriches them they’ll keep fighting.

On Monday, Angela Merkel called things “extremely unstable.” Restoring peace remains “extremely difficult.”

“The situation is fragile. It was always clear that much remains to be done.”

“And I have always said that there are no guarantees that what we are trying to do succeeds. It will be an extremely difficult path.”

Impossible as long as Washington and war-profiteers want conflict continued.  It bears repeating what other articles stressed.

Obama didn’t initiate proxy war to quit. Chances for a durable, sustainable peace are virtually nil.

Low-intensity conflict continues. It’s just a matter of time before things heat up again full force. Will direct US/Russia confrontation follow?

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

As Netanyahu cynically calls for European Jewry to emigrate – with their assets – to Israel, (a dangerous place for anyone to live),  one has to ask an important question:

‘Are the 5 million Muslim Arabs – the indigenous people of Palestine for 1000 years – not also entitled to freedom of movement, religion and speech; security of their land and assets, and safety for their families to live and work, just as indisputably are the 1/4 million Jews whose families have been in Britain for the past 350 years?’

It’s a question that begs an answer – but to deny any causal link to increased anti-Semitism, would be ingenuous. Human life and freedom of the individual are sacrosanct within any democratic state. This is 2015, not Berlin in 1933.

Most importantly, Israel’s illegal occupation and settlement of Palestinian land – that has been condemned by the Palestinian Authority, the European Union, the International Court of Justice, the UN General Assembly, the UN Security Council and the International Court – must now end.

It will not eradicate anti-Semitism but it will remove the provocation that provides the excuse.

Rape as a Weapon of War, Made in the USA?

February 18th, 2015 by Felicity Arbuthnot

“It’s really 19th century behavior in the 21st century, you just don’t invade another country on phony pretexts in order to assert your interests.” (Secretary of State, John Kerry, “Meet the Press”, 2nd March 2014.)

Various professional psychology sites  state succinctly: “Projection is a defense mechanism which involves taking our own unacceptable qualities or feelings and ascribing them to other people.”

Further: “Projection tends to come to the fore in normal people at times of crisis, personal or political, but is more commonly found in the neurotic or psychotic – in personalities functioning at a primitive level as in narcissistic personality disorder or borderline personality disorder”, opines Wiki.

With that in mind it is worth returning to the assault on Libya and the allegation by Susan Rice, then US Ambassador to the UN, in April 2011, that the Libyan government was issuing Viagra to its troops, instructing them to use rape as a weapon of terror.

However, reported Antiwar.com (1) MSNBC was told:

“by US military and intelligence officials that there is no basis for Rice’s claims. While rape has been reported as a ‘weapon’ in many conflicts, the US officials (said) they’ve seen no such reports out of Libya.”

Several diplomats also questioned Rice’s lack of evidence suspecting she was attempting:

 “to persuade doubters the conflict in Libya was not just a standard civil war but a much nastier fight in which Gadhafi is not afraid to order his troops to commit heinous acts.”

The story was reminiscent of the pack of lies which arguably sealed the 1991 US led Iraq onslaught – of Iraqi troops leaving premature babies to die after stealing their incubators. The story of course, was dreamt up by global public relations company, Hill and Knowlton Strategies, Inc., then described as the word’s largest PR company which had been retained by the Kuwait government.

A tearful hospital “volunteer”, Nayirah gave “testimony” which reverberated around an appalled world. It transpired she was the daughter of the Kuwaiti Ambassador to Washington and was neither a “volunteer”, “witness”, nor in Kuwait. Amnesty International obligingly backed up the fictional nonsense suffering lasting credibility damage.  However, as Libya two decades later, Iraq’s fate was sealed.

The US Ambassador the UN, Susan Rice and Foreign Affairs advisor, Samantha Power are credited with helping persuade President Obama to intervene in Libya. By the end of April 2011, Rice was also pushing for intervention in Syria, claiming that President Assad was: “seeking Iranian assistance in repressing Syria’s citizens …” In the light of all, she vowed: “The United States will continue to stand up for democracy and respect for human rights, the universal rights that all human beings deserve in Syria and around the world.” (Guardian, 29th April 2011.)

Looking across the world at the apocalyptic ruins of lives and nations resultant from America’s continuance in uninvited “standing up” for “democracy”, “human rights” and “universal rights” there are surely few who could not only silently weep.

Amnesty, perhaps “once bitten” not only questioned the Libya Viagra nonsense but denied it in categorical terms. According to Donatella Rovera, their Senior Crisis Response Advisor, who spent three months in Libya from the start of the crisis: “We have not found any evidence or a single victim of rape or a doctor who knew about somebody being raped.”(2)

Liesel Gerntholtz, heading Womens Rights at Human Rights Watch which also investigated the mass rape allegations stated: “We have not been able to find evidence.”

The then Secretary of State, Hillary “We came, we saw, he died” Clinton, was “deeply concerned” stating that: “Rape, physical intimidation, sexual harassment and even so-called ‘virginity tests’ “ were taking place not only in Libya, but “throughout the region.” Presumably leaving the way open for further plundering throughout Africa in the guise of bestowing “democracy”, “human rights” etc.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court obediently weighed in telling a Press Conference of:  “ … information that there was a policy to rape in Libya those that were against the government. Apparently (Colonel Gaddafi) used it to punish people.” A bit of a blow for the impartiality and meticulous evidence of the ICC it might be thought.

A week after the bombing of Libya started in March 2011, Eman al-Obeidy burst in to a Tripoli hotel telling the international journalists there she had been raped. She was removed by Libyan security. Government spokespeople claimed she had mental health problems, was drunk, a thief a prostitute and would be charged with slander. The world sneered.

By June 2011 Ms al-Obeidy had ended up in Boulder, Colorado, US, granted asylum with remarkable speed, with the help of Hillary Clinton, according to US news outlets.

In November 2014 al-Obeidy, now known as Eman Ali, was arrested  “violating conditions of her bail bond and probation.” It was her third arrest. Prosecutors allege that she tested positive for opiates and alcohol. The probation and bail bond relate to an alleged assault case in a Boulder bar with Ms al-Obeidy-Ali accused of pouring drink over a customer and then lobbing a glass at her. (3,4) The trial is scheduled for 17th February with the possibility of her asylum status being rescinded.

However, back to projection. It transpires that the Pentagon has been supplying Viagra to US troops since 1998. That year it spent $50 million, to keep troops, well, stiffened up: “The cost, roughly, of two Marine Corps Harrier jets or forty five Tomahawk cruise missiles …”(5)

By 2014 the cost of extra-curricular military forces frolics had risen to an astonishing $504,816 of taxpayers moneys. An additional $17,000-plus was spent on two further erectile enhancing magic potions.

The Washington Free Beacon helpfully estimated:

“that the amount of Viagra bought by the Pentagon last year could have supplied 80,770 hours, 33 minutes, and 36 seconds of sexual enhancement, assuming that erections don’t last longer than the 4 hour maximum advised by doctors.”(6)

Surely coincidentally, on 14th February, St Valentine’s Day, Joachim Hagopian released an article: “Sexual Assault in the US Military – More Rapists Attend the Air Force Academy Than Any Other College in America.” (7)

In a survey taken in 2012 “an unprecedented number” of over “26,000 incidents of unwanted sexual contact was reported by service men and women.” Further, weekly: “another high profile officer often in charge of reducing assaults was being investigated and charged himself.”

The US Air Force at Colorado Springs, writes Hagopian: “has more rapists on Campus than any other college in the country.”

But then the US military planners would seem to be sex and bodily function obsessed. In 1994 they contemplated releasing pheromones (a hormonal stimulus) against enemy troops: “to turn enemy soldiers into flaming love puppets whose objects of affection would be each other.” (8)

“While enemy troops were preoccupied with making love instead of war …” America’s finest could blow them to bits. This bit of military dementia was dubbed the “gay bomb.”

Also dreamed up have been halitosis, flatulence and vomit inducing chemicals to unleash on foes. Body function obsession clearly rules in  the armed forces, officially and unofficially.

Projection: “ … is more commonly found … in personalities functioning at a primitive level.” Indeed. And to think both Saddam Hussein and Colonel Gaddafi were labeled mad by such as these.

 Notes

  1. http://antiwar.com/blog/2011/04/30/susan-rices-viagra-hoax-the-new-incubator-babies/
  2. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/amnesty-questions-claim-that-gaddafi-ordered-rape-as-weapon-of-war-2302037.html
  3. http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/libyan-political-refugee-living-in-boulder-charged-with-assault-arrested-again
  4. http://www.newsgb.com/local/libyan-refugee-iman-al-obeidi-sentenced-to-work-release-for-violating-probation-h60508.html
  5. http://articles.latimes.com/1998/oct/03/news/mn-28958
  6. http://the-raw-story.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/us-military-moral-bit-flaccid-pentagon.html
  7. http://www.globalresearch.ca/sexual-assault-in-the-u-s-military/5431157
  8. http://www.topsecretwriters.com/2014/12/7-strangest-non-lethal-technologies-explored-dod/

Am 12. Februar verkündete Christine Lagarde, Direktorin des Internationalen Währungsfonds, der IWF habe sich mit der ukrainischen Regierung auf ein neues wirtschaftliches Reformprogramm geeinigt. Die Bekanntgabe der Nachricht erfolgte nur wenige Minuten nach Beendigung der Friedensgespräche zwischen den Regierungschef Deutschlands, Frankreichs, Russlands und der Ukraine in Minsk. Der Zeitpunkt war nicht zufällig gewählt. Die USA waren von den Friedensgesprächen ausgeschlossen worden und reagierten nun, indem sie der Welt durch ihre mächtigste Finanzorganisation eine klare Botschaft zukommen ließen: Die Politik der Ukraine wird auch weiterhin von Washington aus bestimmt – wenn schon nicht durch Waffenlieferungen, dann zumindest wirtschaftlich und finanziell.

Christine Lagardes Behauptung, das Programm werde für eine „unmittelbare wirtschaftliche Stabilisierung“ sorgen und markiere „einen Wendepunkt für die Ukraine“ sind ebenso weit von der Wirklichkeit entfernt wie das seit Jahren von den Mainstream-Medien vermittelte Bild des IWF als einer Hilfsorganisation, die in Not geratene Länder „rettet“. Kaum ein Cent der Kredite wird die arbeitende Bevölkerung der Ukraine je erreichen. Stattdessen wird der Löwenanteil des Geldes benutzt werden, um die den USA ergebene Regierung von Premierminister Jazenjuk zu stützen. Es wird sie in die Lage zu versetzen, die von ihrer Vorgängerregierung nach der Finanzkrise von 2008 angehäuften Schulden zu bedienen, einen Großteil der monatlichen Militärausgaben von 250 Millionen US-Dollar für den Krieg gegen die eigene Bevölkerung zu bestreiten und zumindest einige der durch den wirtschaftlichen Zerfall entstandenen Löcher im Staatshaushalt zu stopfen.

Als Grundlage für die Kredite dienen das Wirtschaftsprogramm für 2015 – 2020 vom Dezember 2014, sowie die harschen Bedingungen der im August 2014 zwischen IWF und ukrainischer Regierung abgeschlossenen Absichtserklärung (letter of intent“). Einige der Maßnahmen sind bereits in Kraft, andere werden folgen. Zu den bereits in Kraft getretenen zählt die Wechselkursfreigabe der ukrainischen Währung Hrivna. Ihre 67%ige Abwertung hat internationalen Devisenhändlern zu Milliardengewinnen verholfen, während sie den durchschnittlichen Monatslohn im Lande unter 50 Euro gedrückt hat.

Die 25%ige Inflation von 2014 und eine Erhöhung der Gaspreise um 50 % im Mai 2014 machen dem schwächsten Viertel der Bevölkerung ein Überleben fast unmöglich. Aber auch der Rest der arbeitenden Bevölkerung, vor allem Alte und Schwache, werden eine drastische Verschlechterung ihres Lebensstandards hinnehmen müssen. Für 2015 und 2016 sind die Entlassung von 10 % der Beschäftigten im öffentlichen Dienst und die teilweise Privatisierung von Gesundheits- und Bildungswesen geplant. Das Renteneintrittsalter für Frauen soll um 10 Jahre, das für Männer um 5 Jahre erhöht werden. Soziale Vergünstigungen für Rentner sollen gestrichen, der Markt für Medikamente soll dereguliert werden. Die bestehenden Renten werden eingefroren, das kostenlose Mittagessen für Schulkinder und Patienten in Krankenhäusern gestrichen. Die Zahlungen an die Opfer der Katastrophe von Tschernobyl werden gekürzt und die Grenzen der radioaktiven Gefahrenzone neu festgelegt. Der staatlich festgesetzte Mindestlohn wird entgegen früheren Zusagen nicht angehoben, sondern verbleibt bis zum November 2015 bei 1.218,00 Hrivna (knapp 42,00 Euro).

All diese Maßnahmen werden mit Sicherheit nicht für die von Christine Lagarde angekündigte „Wiedereinführung robusten Wachstums“ sorgen. Statt dessen werden sie das Leid der ukrainischen Bevölkerung verschlimmern, den sozialen Graben in dem durch einen blutigen Bürgerkrieg zerrissenen Land vertiefen, seinen Zerfall beschleunigen, separatistischen Bewegungen zusätzlichen Nährboden bieten und damit die perfekten Bedingungen für eine Zukunft in Hoffnungslosigkeit und Verzweiflung schaffen.

Mit der Verfolgung dieser Strategie befindet sich der IWF in perfekter Übereinstimmung mit den geopolitischen Zielen der Wall Street und des Weißen Hauses in Washington. Beide stecken derzeit in tiefen Schwierigkeiten, da wegen der Explosion der Einkommensungleichheit schwere soziale Konflikte in den USA drohen und die in Schulden ertrinkende Regierung wegen des wirtschaftlichen Niedergangs der USA und der globalen Machtverlagerung hin zu den BRICS-Staaten zunehmend die Kontrolle über das Weltfinanzsystem verliert.

Wall Street und das Weiße Haus sind allerdings nicht bereit, diesen historisch unumkehrbaren Prozess tatenlos hinzunehmen. Deshalb führen sie derzeit einen weltweiten Kreuzzug gegen Russland und China, die es gewagt haben, sich gegen den Petrodollar zu versündigen und einen Vertrag über langfristige Öl- und Gaslieferungen außerhalb des Dollars abzuschließen. Außerdem fürchtet Washington, dass beide Länder sich möglicherweise an der Einführung einer neuen, goldgedeckten Währung beteiligen könnten, die den US-Dollar als weltweite Reservewährung ablösen und das endgültige Aus für die globale Vormachtstellung der USA bedeuten könnte. Um dies zu verhindern – und sich darüber hinaus die Kontrolle über die riesigen und gewaltige Profite versprechenden Ressourcen Russlands zu sichern – betreiben Wall Street und das Weiße Haus seit einigen Jahren eine gezielte Politik des Regimewechsels in Moskau. Ihnen ist jedes Mittel recht, um die gegenwärtige politische Führung in Moskau durch eine Regierung zu ersetzen, die den US-Interessen genauso ergeben ist wie das Kabinett von Premierminister Jazenjuk in Kiew.

Eines der Ziele der USA war zunächst die Integration der Ukraine in die NATO. Mit dieser Maßnahme sollte der militärische Druck auf Moskau erhöht werden. Doch die EU – insbesondere Deutschland – scheinen nicht bereit, sich auf einen Krieg gegen Russland einzulassen (nicht aus humanitären Erwägungen heraus, sondern wegen ihrer Abhängigkeit von russischem Gas und Öl und vermutlich wegen ihrer Erwartung einer neuen Weltfinanzordnung, die nicht mehr von den USA beherrscht werden wird). Auch die Mehrheit der US-Bevölkerung scheint trotz einer massiven Medien-Kampagne mit dem Ziel der Dämonisierung Waldimir Putins nicht bereit, einen Krieg zu unterstützen, der mehr Geld und mehr Leben als alle früheren Kriege kosten und in einer nuklearen Katastrophe enden könnte. Deshalb zielt die gegenwärtige Politik von US-Regierung und Wall Street hauptsächlich darauf ab, die bereits bestehenden sozialen, ökonomischen und ethnischen Konflikte in der Ukraine anzuheizen und zu verschärfen. Auf diese Weise hofft man, Wladimir Putin und seine Gefolgsleute in einen lang anhaltenden und kostspieligen Krieg an der Westgrenze Russlands hineinzuziehen, der seine Position im eigenen Land schwächen und schließlich den Weg für die Einsetzung einer neuen Führung in Moskau bereiten könnte.

Betrachtet man die Ukraine auf diese Weise als einen Teil der gegenwärtigen geopolitischen Auseinandersetzungen, so wird einem klar, dass die von Christine Lagarde angekündigten neuen Kredite des IWF ganz gewiss keinen „Wendepunkt“ zum Besseren darstellen. Statt dessen werden sie einmal mehr unsägliches menschliches Leid bewirken und zu der langen Blutspur beitragen, die der IWF in der Vergangenheit in so vielen Fällen nach der Ankündigung von „Hilfe und Unterstützung für in Not geratene Staaten“ hinter sich zurückgelassen hat.

Ernst Wolff ist freiberuflicher Journalist und Autor des Buches „Weltmacht IWF- Chronik eines Raubzugs“, erschienen im Tectum Verlag, Marburg

Global Warming, God, and American Complacency

February 17th, 2015 by David Ray Griffin

The headline of a 2013 Washington Post article said, “Americans Are Less Worried about Climate Change than Almost Anyone Else.” According to a Pew poll of that year, only 33% of the American public consider global warming a “very serious” problem, and only 28% think that it should be a “top priority” for the politicians in Washington. Of the 21 issues tested, moreover, global warming was at the bottom of the priority list.2

1. Supernaturalism and Climate Complacency

One of the main reasons for this attitude is theism – not simply theism understood broadly as “belief in God,” but belief in a particular conception of God, which is shared by a large number of Americans. Belief in God in this sense is exemplified by many of our political leaders in Washington.

For example, in a book called The Greatest Hoax, Republican Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma explained why people should not be worried about climate change by citing Genesis 8:22 – “As long as the earth remains there will be seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night.” Saying that this passage shows that God promised long ago that “cold and heat should not cease,” Inhofe said: “This is what a lot of alarmists forget. God is still up there, and He promised to maintain the seasons.” It is arrogant, said Inhofe, to “think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate.”3

Likewise, Republican Congressman John Shimkus of Illinois, using the same verse from Genesis, said: “I believe that’s the infallible word of God, and that’s the way it’s going to be for his creation. . . . The Earth will end only when God declares it’s time to be over.”4

In the same vein, talk-show host Rush Limbaugh took issue with Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement that climate change is “a challenge to our responsibilities as the guardians . . . of God’s creation.” Limbaugh replied: “If you believe in God, then intellectually you cannot believe in manmade global warming.” To worry about human-caused global warming, Limbaugh said, is to imply that “we are so . . . omnipotent that we can . . . destroy the climate.”5

To believe in God, according to these three men, is to believe that the world is under the complete control of an omnipotent deity. The traditional doctrine of divine omnipotence is the idea that God can unilaterally bring about anything (except perhaps for logical impossibilities – God cannot create round squares). Nothing can come about, therefore, unless God causes or at least permits it.

This conception of the world is called “supernaturalism,” because God is said not to be limited by the world’s natural laws. God may allow the world generally to run according to the natural laws – such as the laws of physics, chemistry, and biology – but God can at will interrupt or override them.

This worldview has been stated with special clarity by Evangelical theologian Millard Erickson, who says that his faith community “operates with a definite supernaturalism – God resides outside the world and intervenes periodically within the natural processes through miracles.” Nature, Erickson says, “is under God’s control; and while it ordinarily functions in uniform and predictable ways in obedience to the laws he has structured into it, he can and does also act within it in ways which contravene these normal patterns (miracles).”6

This supernaturalistic worldview is exemplified by Calvin Beisner, the spokesman for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, which put out an “Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming,” which says: “Earth and its ecosystems – created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence – are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting.”7 In other words, the world is in the hands of a good and omnipotent deity, so we need not worry about global warming.

Holding that the great threat to civilization is not global warming but environmentalism, Beisner says that, in light of the omnipotence, omniscience, and faithfulness of God, to believe that global warming could lead to catastrophe would be “an insult to God.”8

One common feature of Christian supernaturalism is belief in “the Second Coming of Jesus Christ,” according to which Jesus will return at the end of the world. A 2013 article published in the Political Research Quarterly found that “believers in Christian end-times theology are less likely to support policies designed to curb global warming than are other Americans.” Whereas most other Americans “support preserving the Earth for future generations,” the “end-times believers would rationally perceive such efforts to be ultimately futile, and hence ill-advised.”9

Another common feature of Christian supernaturalism is the conception of extreme weather events as “acts of God.” For example, when end-times preacher John Hagee, who heads a megachurch in San Antonio, was asked whether he believed Hurricane Katrina to be divine punishment for immorality, he replied: “All hurricanes are acts of God, because God controls the heavens. I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God. . . . [T]here was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came. . . . And I believe that the Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans.”10

David Crowe, the executive director of Restore America, also spoke to the question of why Hurricane Katrina occurred: “The answer,” he explained, “is found in understanding that man is not in control. God is! Everything in the sky, the sea and on earth is subject to His control.” Saying that Katrina was “God’s judgment on America,” Crowe referred to the upcoming “gay, lesbian and transgender ‘Southern Decadence’ Labor Day gala.”11

Given this perspective, extra-deadly hurricanes (as well as droughts, floods, tornadoes, and heat waves) are to be explained in terms of divine policies, not in terms of human energy policies. To be sure, extreme weather events are the fault of human beings, but because of sexual sins, not because of burning too much coal, oil, and natural gas.

The belief in divine omnipotence is very dangerous, because of the climate complacency it encourages. It is especially dangerous when it is held by people in positions of power in the most powerful nation on Earth, such as Senator Inhofe, Representative Shimkus, and Congressman Ralph Hall of Texas, who chaired the House of Representative’s Science, Space, and Technology Committee. With regard to climate change, he said: “I don’t think we can control what God controls.”12

This attitude can also influence the business world. For example, with respect to the concern that the planet’s temperature is becoming too warm, Peter Brabeck, the chairman of the Nestlé corporation, said: “Are we God to say the climate, as it is today, is the one we have to keep? That’s the way it’s going to be? We are not God.”13

The supernaturalistic worldview has been used to support many beliefs that tend to promote ethically destructive beliefs, one of which is climate complacency.14 But can it be called clearly false?

2. Supernaturalism as Anti-Scientific

The supernaturalistic worldview, as exemplified by theists such as Erickson, Inhofe, Shimkus, Limbaugh, and Beisner, can be called false insofar as anti-scientific beliefs must be considered false. There are at least four ways in which the supernaturalistic beliefs cited above are anti-scientific.

Infallible Scriptures

As John Shimkus showed in the statement quoted above, he regards the Bible as “the infallible word of God.” According to this belief, everything in the Bible is true, because it was infallibly (technically, “inerrantly”) inspired, so that whatever the Bible says about the future “is the way it’s going to be for [God’s] creation.”

However, this view is contradicted by the scientific (or “critical”) study of the Bible, which began in earnest in the 17th century.15 Beginning with simply pointing out hundreds of false assertions in the Old and New Testaments, the scholars then pointed out that the various books of the Bible expressed very different beliefs, showing that it could not have simply been written by a single author (God), or even fact-checked by an omniscient proof-reader.16

The idea of infallible inspiration presupposes the belief in supernatural interruption: The normal way in which human beings arrive at their beliefs is an extremely fallible process, in which false beliefs can enter in through prejudice, wishful thinking, party spirit, the limited information available at a given time and place, and countless other factors. The belief that the ideas put forth by some particular human writers were infallible and inerrant, guaranteed to be devoid of error, presupposes that in these writers, the normal human processes of belief-formation, with their fallibility and tendency to error, have been supernaturally overruled, so that pure, unadulterated truth came forth. But the scientific study of the Bible has been showing since the late 17th century that this view of the Bible is untrue.

To settle the truth about global warming by appeal to the Bible, while ignoring the results of the scientific study of this collection of writings, would be analogous to using the writings of René Descartes (1596-1650), along with those of Plato and Aristotle, to explain the truth about physics, chemistry, biology, and cosmology.

Miraculous Interventions

As shown above, Millard Erickson says that his faith-community’s supernaturalism affirms miracles, and not simply in the sense that astounding things sometimes happen, but that, whereas nature “ordinarily functions in uniform” ways, God sometimes acts “in ways which contravene these normal patterns.” This is, in fact, the definition of supernaturalism, and this is the worldview that modern science has wholly rejected, at least since the middle of the 19th century.

Since then, the scientific world’s most basic presupposition has been naturalism, understood simply as the denial of supernatural interruptions of the world’s causal processes. In his famous Science and the Modern World, written after he came to Harvard, mathematician and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead said that the scientific mentality “instinctively holds that all things great and small are conceivable as exemplifications of general principles which reign throughout the natural order,” so that “every detailed occurrence can be correlated with its antecedents in a perfectly definite manner, exemplifying general principles.”17

Scientific naturalism, in other words, is simply the view that the world’s causal web, with its general causal principles, cannot be interrupted from time to time. Unfortunately, the term “naturalism” has also come to be used for a much more restrictive view, according to which naturalism involves both materialism and atheism. That view, however, is only a particular version of naturalism, which is not entailed by science. Science requires naturalism only in the sense that the normal patterns of the world are never violated.

An example of a scientist who has failed to recognize this distinction is Harvard biologist Richard Lewontin. In a review of a book by Carl Sagan, which had a materialistic standpoint, Lewontin said that explanations of phenomena on the basis of such a standpoint sometimes result in “patent absurdity.” Nevertheless, Lewontin said, science has “a prior commitment to materialism” that is “absolute,” because “we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. . . . To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen.”18

Lewontin evidently did not know that since the 18th-century Enlightenment there have been ideas of deity that rule out omnipotence in the sense of allowing the regularities of nature to be ruptured. Whitehead himself, in fact, came to affirm such an idea.19

In any case, although belief in God as such does not necessarily lead to climate complacency, the supernaturalistic idea of God tends to do so.

Young Earth

Supernaturalism also allows people to endorse an alternative to science’s evolutionary worldview, according to which humans and other mammals developed through millions of years of biological evolution, built upon billions of years of cosmic and geological evolution. Supernaturalism, with its omnipotent deity, allows people to accept the idea that our world came about only a few thousand years ago.

Although the type of theism that Whitehead developed holds that God influences the evolutionary process, he said that God did not have the kind of power that could bring about developments in the world unilaterally and hence suddenly. Saying that all the entities of which the world is composed have their own power, Whitehead regarded divine power as persuasive rather than coercive. He held, accordingly, that God could have brought the world to its present state only by means of a very long, slow, step-by-step process.

By contrast, supernaturalistic theism, holding that the world has no power of its own vis-à-vis God with which it could resist the divine will, holds that God did not need to employ a long evolutionary process. Indeed, 46% of Americans, according to a 2012 Gallup poll, say that God actually did create our world within the past 10,000 years.20

Given this view, combined with the end-times belief that the world will not last much longer, it is no surprise that Evangelicals are less concerned about global warming than Americans in general. From the supernaturalistic point of view, even if God does not use omnipotent power to prevent global warming from destroying civilization, our planet’s becoming unfit for human life would not be much of a tragedy, because God could, if desired, simply create a new one.

This idea that our world is only about 10,000 years old undermines the basis for realizing the full seriousness of global warming for civilization – that it is taking us out of the Holocene era, which, coming after a 100,000-year ice age, was warm enough and stable enough for civilization to emerge and endure. Because civilization has always existed in the Holocene era, we have no evidence that it can survive if this era is left behind.

Whereas evolution has long been rejected by a large number of Americans, Republicans have increasingly been introducing bills in state houses that would rule out, or at least provide alternatives to, both climate science and evolutionary science. In response to this twofold attack on science, the National Center for Science Education expanded its mission: Having been founded in 1981, it was originally devoted to “defending the teaching of evolution.” But since 2012, it has been devoted to “defending the teaching of evolution & climate science.”21

The fact that climate-science-denial is now joined at the hip in Republican politics with evolution-denial shows that the rejection of this consensus reached by climate scientists is an anti-science position. Indeed, bills with this combination are sometimes referred to simply as “anti-science” bills. This two-fold denial was illustrated by the fact that, just as all the Republican presidential candidates in 2012 except Jon Huntsman rejected climate science, they also would not profess belief in evolution. That this double denial had become the norm was driven home by Huntsman’s 2011 tweet, “I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.”22

The Problem of Evil

A fourth basis for rejecting supernaturalistic theism as anti-rational is its problem of evil. Trying to show the consistency between the world’s evil and the power and goodness of the world’s creator has been called “theodicy,” meaning “justifying the ways of God.” But this has proved impossible within the framework of supernaturalistic theism.

The seventeenth-century philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz recognized that, if God is perfectly good as well as both omniscient and omnipotent, there could be no genuine evil. The traditional argument goes: “God is perfectly omniscient and omnipotent, so God could prevent all evil. God is perfectly good, so God would want to prevent all evil; but evil exists; therefore, God does not exist.” Leibniz avoided this conclusion by denying that evil exists, saying, notoriously that our world is “the best of all possible worlds.” But eighteenth-century philosophe Voltaire parodied this view in Candide, illustrating that no one could consistently believe that nothing genuinely evil ever happens.

Nowadays, it is for the most part simply assumed by philosophers and other intellectuals that the problem of evil disproves the existence of God. For example, former Oxford philosopher John Mackie wrote a book called The Miracle of Theism: Arguments for and against the Existence of God, in which he concluded that the reasons against belief in God, especially the problem of evil, are decisive. Mackie’s argument did not really refute the rationality of theism as such, because he limited his treatment to supernaturalistic theism, according to which God is “able to do everything (i.e. omnipotent).” Mackie admitted that one who believes in a deity that is “though powerful, not quite omnipotent, will not be embarrassed by this difficulty.”23

However, the idea of a divine being who is omnipotent as well as perfectly good cannot be salvaged, so supernaturalistic theism does not have a self-consistent conception of God.24 This form of theism is anti-rational, hence anti-scientific.

Conclusion

Climate complacency has been encouraged by several features of supernaturalistic Christian theism, including infallible scriptures, miraculous interventions, anti-evolutionary Young Earth beliefs, end-times beliefs, and the idea that the world’s creator can be both omnipotent and perfectly good. Because Evangelicals largely endorse these ideas, it is no wonder that self-identified Evangelicals are less likely than Americans in general to be very concerned about global warming. And given the high percentage of Americans who are self-identified Evangelicals, this form of theism goes far to explain why Americans are “less worried about climate change than almost anyone else.” But just as the government and the media generally do not allow anti-rational beliefs to shape public policy, they should not allow anti-scientific religious beliefs to play a role in shaping policies.

David Ray Griffin is emeritus professor at Claremont Theology School and Claremont Graduate University. His most recent book is Unprecedented: Can Civilization Survive the CO2 Crisis? (Clarity Press, 2015).

Notes

1. This essay is an adaptation of a chapter entitled “Religious Challenge” in Unprecedented: Can Civilization Survive the CO2 Crisis? (Clarity Press, 2015).

2. Max Fisher, “Americans Are Less Worried about Climate Change than Almost Anyone Else,” Washington Post, 27 September 2013; Climate Change: Key Data Points from Pew Research,” Pew Research Center, 2 April 2013.

3. Senator James Inhofe, The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future (Washington, WND Books, 2012), 70-71; Brian Tashman, “James Inhofe Says the Bible Refutes Climate Change,” Right Wing Watch, 3 August 2012.

4. “God Won’t Allow Global Warming, Congressman Seeking to Head Energy Committee Says,” Raw Story, 11 November 2010.

5. David Edwards, “Limbaugh: Christians ‘Cannot Believe in Manmade Global Warming,’” Raw Story, 14 August 2013.

6. Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1985), 304, 54.

7. “An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming,” Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation. The full title of the declaration is“A Renewed Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor: An Evangelical Examination of the Theology, Science, and Economics of Global Warming.”

8. Meredith Bennett-Smith, “Calvin Beisner, Evangelical Christian, Claims Environmentalism Great Threat to Civilization,” Huffington Post, 21 March 2013.

9. David C. Barker and David H. Bearce, “End-Times Theology, the Shadow of the Future, and Public Resistance to Addressing Global Climate Change,” Political Research Quarterly, June 2013.

10. K.C. Boyd, “The End-Times Politics of Pastor John Hagee,” AlterNet, 29 January 2013; Ryan Chiachiere and Kathleen Henehan, “Will MSNBC Devote as Much Coverage to McCain’s Embrace of Hagee’s Support as It Did to Obama’s Rejection of Farrakhan?” Media Matters, 28 February 2008.

11. David Crowe, “Katrina: God’s Judgment on America,” Beliefnet, September 2005.

12. Jeffrey Mervis, “Ralph Hall Speaks Out on Climate Change,” National Journal, 14 December 2011.

13. Jo Confino, “Peter Brabeck courts controversy by claiming climate change is largely down to natural cycles and society should focus on adaptation,” Guardian, 31 January 2014.

14. Although supernaturalism “tends to promote” climate complacency, it does not do so necessarily: There are Evangelical Christians, such as Katherine Hayhoe and Richard Cizik, who are fully involved in work to prevent climate disruption; see Chapter 15 in Griffin, Unprecedented: Can Civilization Survive the CO2 Crisis.

15. Although there is a tendency today to equate “science” with the natural sciences, there are also the social sciences, among which history is arguably the most successful, in the sense that it exemplifies the main criterion of a genuine science, namely, making progress. “Scientific historiography” can be defined as “the study of past events that generates probable knowledge” (as opposed to historiography that does other things, such as offering interpretations or providing narratives); see Harold Kincaid, “Scientific Historiography and the Philosophy of Science(History and Theory, February 2006, 124-33). The historical study of the Bible, moreover, is arguably one of the disciplines in which the most progress has been made.

16. See Mark S. Gignilliat, A Brief History of Old Testament Criticism: From Benedict Spinoza to Brevard Childs (Zondervan, 2012); Edward Farley and Peter Hodgson, “Scripture and Tradition,” in Christian Theology: An Introduction to Its Traditions and Tasks, ed. Peter C. Hodgson and Robert H. King, 2nd ed. (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1985), 61-87.

17. Alfred North Whitehead, Science and the Modern World (1925; Free Press, 1967), 5, 12.

18. Richard Lewontin, “Billions and Billions of Demons,” New York Review of Books, 9 January 1997: 28-32, at 31.

19. Only after working on philosophy in his 60s did Whitehead give up his atheism or at least agnosticism for (a non-traditional form of) theism; see David Ray Griffin, Reenchantment without Supernaturalism: A Process Philosophy of Religion (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2001), Chap. 1.

20. Frank Newport, “In U.S., 46% Hold Creationist View of Human Origins,” Gallup, 1 June 2012.

21. Stephen D. Foster Jr., “Oklahoma GOP Introduces Bill that Attacks Evolution and Climate Change,” Addicting Info, 22 January 2012; Katherine Stewart, “The New Anti-Science Assault on US Schools,” Guardian, 12 February 2012; “Anti-Evolution and Anti-Climate Science Legislation Scorecard: 2013,” National Center for Science Education, 20 May 2013; “Frequently Asked Questions about NCSE,” National Center for Science Education.

22. Levy and Evan McMorris-Santoro, “Creationism Controversies: The Norm Among Potential Republican 2016 Contenders,” Talking Points Memo, 20 November 2012; Justin Sink, “Huntsman: ‘Call Me Crazy,’ I Believe in Evolution, Global Warming,” E2 Wire, The Hill, 18 August 2011.

23. John Mackie, The Miracle of Theism: Arguments for and against the Existence of God (Oxford: Clarendon, 1982), 1, 151.

24. David Ray Griffin, God, Power, and Evil: A Process Theodicy (1976; Westminster John Knox, 2004).

Fight the Mainstream Media Silence!

February 17th, 2015 by Global Research

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President Barack Obama promised a “transparent” administration, reviving democracy by letting Americans see into the inner workings of their government as much as possible, an implicit criticism of the excessive secrecy of his predecessor, George W. Bush. But instead Obama’s presidency has been one of the most opaque and deceptive in modern history.

Not only has Obama continued to wrap the carry-over anti-terrorism wars in maximum secrecy but he has taken unprecedented steps to shut down leaks by prosecuting whistleblowers who talk to the press. And, he has left standing his administration’s misleading rushes to judgment on key issues after U.S. intelligence analysts have refined or reversed the first impressions.

Whether on the Syrian sarin attack in 2013 or pivotal incidents in the Ukraine crisis – who was behind the sniper attacks in Kiev last Feb. 20 and who shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 last July 17 – Obama has withheld evidence developed by U.S. government analysts rather than undercut the propaganda value of the initial accusations.

In the sarin incident, Secretary of State John Kerry and others rushed to blame President Bashar al-Assad’s government – bringing the U.S. military to the brink of war – and similarly the State Department exploited the two most iconic events of the Ukraine crisis by blaming then-President Viktor Yanukovych for the sniper killings and Russia and ethnic Russian rebels for shooting down MH-17 killing all 298 people onboard.

After the State Department had squeezed out the propaganda value of those accusations, U.S. intelligence analysts came to more detailed conclusions with their findings conflicting with the hasty finger-pointing after the events. But instead of refining or correcting the record, the Obama administration typically went silent, leaving the initial impressions in place even when the President knew better.

In the context of Ukraine, I asked one senior administration official about this behavior and he responded that Russia held most of the advantages there by nature of proximity and history but that one advantage the United States wielded was “information warfare” – and it made no sense to surrender that edge by withdrawing accusations that had put Russian President Vladimir Putin on the defensive.

Thus, in this Orwellian world that seems to have swallowed America’s major institutions, what mattered most was how “information” – including false or misleading propaganda – could be deployed for geopolitical purposes even if it also involved deceiving the U.S. public. Or, one might say, especially if it deceived the U.S. public.

‘Perception Management’

This attitude toward manipulating rather than informing the American people has a long and grim history. For instance, President Lyndon Johnson won congressional support for his disastrous Vietnam War escalation by citing the Tonkin Gulf incident, a false claim about North Vietnamese aggression which has since been debunked but still is used historically by the Defense Department to justify the millions killed in that conflict.

After the U.S. defeat in Vietnam, President Ronald Reagan set up inter-agency task forces devoted to the concept of “perception management,” essentially how to get the American people to “kick the Vietnam Syndrome” and get back into line behind U.S. military interventions abroad, a CIA-inspired campaign that proved stunningly successful. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Victory of ‘Perception Management.’”]

Last decade, the American people got their perceptions managed once more regarding Iraq’s non-existent WMD, leading to another catastrophic war which continues to spread chaos and death across the Middle East to this day. One might think that with that bloody history, President Obama would want to fulfill his promises of “transparency.”

According to a memorandum instructing Executive Branch department heads, Obama wrote:

“My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.  We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.”

Instead, Obama has clamped down more than ever on openness and transparency, including the prosecution of more government whistleblowers than all the previous presidents combined and sitting on U.S. intelligence reports that would change how Americans understand major international crises.

By and large, Obama has continued the excessive secrecy of President George W. Bush, including withholding from the American people 28 pages of the 2002 congressional investigation into the 9/11 attack that relate to Saudi financing for al-Qaeda terrorists.

Obama also has refused to give the U.S. public access to the updated intelligence analyses of more current crises, including the near American military entry into the Syrian civil war in 2013 and the potential nuclear showdown with Russia over Ukraine in 2014. So, even when American lives are being put at risk by rushes to judgment, Obama doesn’t believe that the people have a right to know the facts.

The Pathology of Secrecy

I spoke with one person who has known Obama since he was a senator from Illinois who suggested the President is fearful that if he does release these secrets and some negative consequences result that he’ll be blamed. In order words, Obama in practice is too scared to live up to his commitment about “transparency.”

Another less generous explanation is that Obama is at heart an elitist who likes to surround himself with secrets but doesn’t want to share them with common citizens who are best treated like the proverbial mushrooms kept in the dark and fertilized.

Or put differently, Obama is like the character Gollum in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings series who is entranced by the power of the One Ring and obsessively pursues it, what he calls “my Precious.” In that analogy, Obama can’t part with his precious secrets despite his promises to the American people about government openness.

Surely, Obama does get warnings against letting the public in on what the U.S. government knows about pivotal events. Government bureaucrats can always find reasons to keep information secret. But presidents have the ultimate say in what is kept secret and what is released.

And, except for a flurry of disclosures immediately after taking office, including Bush’s legal memos justifying torture, Obama has done less about opening up the federal government’s archives than many recent presidents. For instance, President Bill Clinton declassified Cold War-era files on U.S. participation in Guatemala’s decades of brutal repression.

Obama has shown less enthusiasm for giving Americans back their history. More importantly, however, Obama has withheld crucial information about current crises, such as the Syrian sarin attack and events that drove the Ukrainian civil war. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Collapsing Syria-Sarin Case” and “The Danger of an MH-17 Cold Case.”]

In both areas, his administration rushed to judgment based on fragmentary information and – as more detailed data became available challenging the earlier claims – Obama clamped down on what the American people were allowed to hear.

Much like the Tonkin Gulf case, war hawks in the U.S. government found the misimpressions useful, so they didn’t want to correct the record. All the better to get an edge on foreign “adversaries” and manage the perceptions of the American people.

And, for whatever his reasons, President Obama couldn’t let go of his “Precious.”

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon andbarnesandnoble.com). 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.

US Imperialism and the Catastrophe in Libya

February 17th, 2015 by Joseph Kishore

This weekend, the Islamic State (ISIS) released a video of the horrific beheadings of 21 Coptic Christian workers seized in the town of Sirte in eastern Libya. This barbaric act was the latest in a series of such killings, including the beheading or immolation of hostages from the US, Britain, Japan and Jordan.

The latest ISIS atrocity has triggered predictable expressions of shock and anger by news anchors and editorialists in the United States, along with further massacres. Within hours of the release of the video, Egypt, led by US-backed dictator General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, launched a wave of air strikes killing 64 people, including seven civilians.

Washington and its political allies are politically and morally responsible for these atrocities. The Islamist beheadings in Libya are the product of a monumental crime: the 2011 NATO war in Libya to oust the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

Prior to the intervention of NATO, there were no sectarian murders of Christians in Libya and Islamist militias tied to Al Qaeda were small groups with no broader influence. These forces were armed and promoted when, in 2011, the Obama administration and its allies in Europe, led by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, took the decision to topple Gaddafi.

The imperialist powers funneled massive amounts of money and weaponry to Islamist militias and Al Qaeda operatives, providing them with air support through a mass bombing campaign that killed tens of thousands of Libyans.

As the World Socialist Web Site wrote at the time:

“Far from a ‘revolution’ or struggle for ‘liberation,’ what the world is witnessing is the rape of Libya by a syndicate of imperialist powers determined to lay hold of its oil wealth and turn its territory into a neo-colonial base of operations for further interventions throughout the Middle East and North Africa.”

The disastrous consequences of the rape of Libya are now all too clear to see.

The war culminated in the carpet bombing of Sirte and the torture and murder of Gaddafi, after which then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gloated, “We came, we saw, he died.” Since then, Libya has collapsed into an ever-bloodier civil war between various Islamist factions and rival militias vying for state power. The country has also served as a training ground for CIA-backed Islamist forces preparing to fight the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Less than four years after the war, the American media report on ISIS atrocities in Libya as if US imperialism had nothing to do with them. No one reading the editorial produced Sunday by the New York Times (“What Libya’s Unraveling Means”) would have any inkling of Washington’s role in producing this catastrophe, or the US media’s role in supporting the operation. One of the key figures in the war, the late US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, who was killed in an Islamist raid in Benghazi after the war, was himself a friend of many Times journalists.

The Times worries that “this oil-rich nation [is veering] towards complete chaos,” and that “the growth and radicalization of Islamist groups raise the possibility that large parts of Libya could become a satellite of the Islamic State.” It manages to describe the conflict that led to Gaddafi’s ouster simply as a “civil war,” without even mentioning NATO’s six-month bombing of Libya.

ISIS is now strongest precisely where Washington has intervened most aggressively. Another article published in the Times over the weekend warns, “The Islamic State is expanding beyond its base in Syria and Iraq to establish military affiliates in Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt and Libya.” The Times does not mention that the US has invaded or financed Islamist proxy wars in four of the six countries mentioned: Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

The world is now witnessing the consequences of the recklessness, brutality, greed and limitless stupidity of Washington and its NATO allies.

Responsibility for the disaster in Libya lies squarely with former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the initial champion of a NATO war in Libya; President Obama, whose administration provided the bulk of the firepower that shattered Libya’s armed forces and its major cities; and the NATO allied powers that joined in this murderous adventure.

What is unfolding across the Middle East today is an indictment of imperialism, its ruling elites, its political servants and its lying media.

Canada’s Blank Check for Israel

February 17th, 2015 by Juliana Farha

Questions have been raised over which country’s cabinet John Baird has served. (DFATD/Flickr)

The announcement that John Baird is to stand down as Canada’s foreign minister came about a year too late for Gaza.

For it was Baird who had gleefully embodied Canada’s ugly stance on last summer’s Israeli attack.

Not content simply to ignore the slaughter of sleeping children and unarmed civiliansfleeing while waving white flags, Baird and his Conservative Party boss, Prime MinisterStephen Harper, rose to the unconditional defense of Israel, pretending the Palestinian question originated with Hamas, implying parity between the two “sides,” smoke-screening the longstanding siege of Gaza and blaming the dead for their own annihilation.

Curiously, some pundits in Canada’s mainstream press who seemed happy with Baird’s sledgehammer statecraft during his tenure, which includes cutting all diplomatic ties withIran, have just now begun questioning his approach to Palestine.

Writing in The Globe and Mail, for instance, Middle East correspondent Patrick Martinobserves that “There were times, when John Baird was foreign minister, that people weren’t quite sure in what country’s cabinet he served.”

“Baird, for all his intelligence and charm, chose not to untangle the Arab-Israeli complexities and help build a bridge between the parties,” Martin adds, “but to take a side, that of Israel, to which he gave carte blanche.”

While many would say these observations are far too little and much too late, there’s no doubt this view is widely shared by Palestinians and their supporters.

Saeb Erekat, chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority, wrote an opinion piece headlined “It is John Baird who needs to apologize to the Palestinian people.” According to Erekat, the Western-backed PA “has been engaged in a diplomatic effort to obtain those very same ideals Canadians hold dear — to achieve freedom and dignity. We have been working tirelessly to exercise our right to self-determination and establish a state of our own — a state that lives in peace and security with its neighbors, including Israel.”

In practice, as many Palestinian critics of the PA have pointed out, this has meant making endless concessions to Israel on fundamental issues such as settlements andJerusalem, as well as collaborating closely with Israeli occupation forces against any form of Palestinian resistance.

“Instead of rewarding the Palestinians for their insistence on pursuing peace and for their deep commitment to the stability and security of the region,” Erekat added, “Mr. Baird has chosen to deride and stand against Palestinians at every corner.”

An absent opposition

One could be forgiven for thinking that free-flying spittle seems rather un-Canadian, and admittedly the international media have bigger fish to fry than documenting the increasingly cynical immorality of the country’s foreign policy under Harper and his sidekick Baird.

And while we’re at it, it’s only fair to note that their ill-considered and ahistorical views went virtually unchallenged by either of the country’s putative “opposition” parties. There’s the formerly progressive New Democratic Party, one of whose legislators, Sana Hassainia, quit over her party’s failure to condemn Israeli aggression in Gaza, and was subsequently subjected to a smear campaign.

And then there’s the formerly centrist Liberal Party, now led by Justin Trudeau, whose father, the late former Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau, was the only real statesman to have led Canada during my lifetime.

My Lebanese-Canadian grandparents were so loyal to the pro-immigrant Liberals of their day, they kept a framed picture of their local member of Parliament (MP) on the mantelpiece alongside family photos.

In fact, at the height of last summer’s Gaza onslaught, a group of eight Liberal and Conservative MPs embarked on a “fact-finding mission” to Israel sponsored by the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.

Not one of those MPs — who remain mute to this day on Israel’s targeting of UNRWAschools, the four-figure Palestinian death toll and Israel’s near-daily ceasefire violations— set foot in Gaza on this quest for “facts.” Instead, their time was spent visiting injured Israeli soldiers to offer sympathy and condolences.

Still, I confess to a soft spot for the former Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chretien, whose swan song consisted of refusing the invitation by US President George W. Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair to help invade Iraq.

Contrast that with Baird’s ennobling cri de coeur: the announcement on 18 January of a formal pact between Canada and Israel to fight efforts to boycott Israel.

As The Electronic Intifada has reported, the move was denounced by Palestine’sBoycott National Committee, the steering group for the global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, which accused Canada of “further deepening its collaboration with Israel’s occupation and launching a shameful, propagandistic attack on free speech in the process.”

“Aversion to justice”

The pact with Israel came on the heels of Baird’s pronouncement that the Palestinian bid to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) was “a huge mistake.” This view was challenged forcefully by Paul Heinbecker, the country’s last ambassador to sit in the UN Security Council and a foreign policy advisor to former Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.

Describing the ICC as “a court of last resort,” Heinbecker writes that “Ottawa’s bluster in response to the Palestinian initiative looks more like an aversion to justice than a devotion to principle.”

There was precedent, of course. On 16 July, just a week after Israel’s 51-day-long summer assault on Gaza began, Harper’s Conservative party released the videoThrough Fire and Water, Canada Will Stand with You, a two-and-half-minute-long blank check for any acts of terror or criminality Israel might undertake.

To the beat of military drums and a backdrop of flags waving in slow motion, Harper offered this context for Canada’s unconditional support: “At the great turning points of history, Canada has consistently chosen — often to our great cost — to stand with others who oppose injustice and to confront the dark forces of the world.”

Those unfamiliar with Canadian history might wonder about the “turning points” to which Harper refers. Perhaps he’s talking about the resolution of the 1956 Suez Crisis, which earned Lester B. Pearson, the Canadian president of the United Nations General Assembly, the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957.

In fact, just six weeks after the release of Through Fire and WaterB’nai Brith, an influential Canadian Jewish and pro-Israel organization, nominated Harper for the same prize to widespread outrage.

The comparison might seem risible until one considers Pearson’s proactive role in helping to create Israel in the first place. Before he took the helm at the UN General Assembly, Pearson had chaired the UN Special Committee on Palestine which supported existing plans to carve up the land, and rejected a one-state solutionproposed by the Arab Higher Committee in which all religious and ethnic groups would live side by side and be entitled to equal rights.

In fact, throughout the country’s history there has often been tension between Canadians’ self-regard as decent, honest brokers and its less principled policies. Nonetheless, Canada’s foreign policy has reached its nadir under Harper.

The writing was on the wall back in 2010 when Canada lost its bid for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the first time in history. In response, then Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon perversely declared that “some would even say that, because of our attachment to [democratic and human rights principles] we lost a seat on the council. If that’s the case, then so be it.”

I’m not sure my friends at some of Canada’s human rights organizations shared Cannon’s analysis of the unprecedented loss, nor the misplaced chutzpah his remarks exposed. The bigger question is whether Canadians at large will recognize how far the country is shifting away from a growing consensus on Israeli aggression and Palestinian rights, and whether they’ll prioritize rehabilitating Canada’s global standing.

Juliana Farha is a Canadian writer based in London. She blogs at www.twowords.ca on politics, feminism and social issues.

A recent study by researchers from Boston University and Abraxis LLC found significant amounts of glyphosates in a food that you wouldn’t necessarily expect: honey.

Five categories of food items were tested from Philadelphia grocery stores: honey, corn and pancake syrup, soy milk, tofu, and soy sauce. Sixty-two percent of the conventional honeys and 45% of the organic honeys sampled had levels of glyphosates above the minimum established limits.

It’s hard to ignore the presence of glyphosate in a large portion of our food supply. Glyphosate is the main ingredient in Monsanto’s star herbicide, Roundup. It is interesting to note that the level of glyphosates was much higher in honey from countries that permitted GM crops; honey from the U.S. contained the highest levels.

Even the Organic Honey?

So how did so many of the 69 honey samples, including 11 organic samples, tested contain such high levels of glyphosates? There are two reasons for this. Given that a single honeybee can fly over 6 miles to find nectar and bring back a total of 250 pounds of nectar a year, modern life is set up so that it is almost impossible for them to avoid harmful substances. Pesticides, herbicides, and toxins released into the air from factories and cities make it impossible for all but the most remote beehives to maintain 100% purity.

There’s also the issue of the wax that bees use for their hives. Bees are at risk for Varroa mites, an external parasite that reproduces in the hives, so conventional beekeepers frequently use pesticides to get rid of them. Beeswax retains chemicals, so over time, these chemicals build up and make their way into the honey. While the use of pesticides directly on the beehives isn’t an issue for beekeepers using organic methods, the issue is where they source their wax. A survey of pesticide residues in beehives found that over 98% of them contained at least one pesticide. With such a large amount of wax contaminated, it’s likely that organic beekeepers who purchase commercially available wax will be unable to avoid these toxins.

Can I Ever Eat Honey Again?

Is there any way around the amount of herbicides and pesticides in honey? Short answer? Probably not. Countries that don’t allow genetically modified crops have lower levels of herbicides in their honey, but that list of countries is under attack every day that Monsanto and their buddies are in business. With increased use of chemicals in farming, a greater amount of herbicides and pesticides will make it way into beehives, causing a ripple effect throughout bee colonies.

If you’re going to purchase honey, your best bet is to do your research. Talking to local beekeepers at farmer’s markets can give you an idea of the quality of honey available directly in your area. Even though there were glyphosates in the organic honey, there were still more in the conventional honey. You can increase your odds of getting less toxic honey by researching which countries don’t allow GMOs (not a bad solution for other products, either!).

If you find yourself eating honey often, it could be a good idea to do a detox to remove Candida and toxins from your body. If you’d like to learn about what other alternative sweeteners there are, check out Healthy Sugar Alternatives.

Sources:

http://sustainablepulse.com

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com

http://journals.plos.org

http://truthwiki.org/GMO_Dangers,_opinion

http://truthwiki.org/Genetically+modified+cr…

Kali Sinclair is a copywriter for Green Lifestyle Market, and a lead editor for Organic Lifestyle Magazine. Kali was very sick with autoimmune disease and realized that conventional medicine was not working for her. She has been restoring her health by natural means and is interested in topics including natural health, environmental issues, and human rights.

“Mind control has one basic purpose: the construction of false Reality. The embedding of false Reality to such an extent that it seems absurd to question it or even notice it. Purple and pink raccoons? Of course there are purple and pink raccoons. Why do you even bring it up? Without purple and pink raccoons, the world as we know it would collapse.”(The Underground, Jon Rappoport)

In recent articles, I’ve been pointing out that the current “measles outbreak” is a CDC fabrication.

On and off, since 1987, I’ve been following the CDC and its astonishing trail of lies. Lying is its business.

Here is yet another example—

Once upon a time, the CDC claimed that roughly 36,000 people in the US died every year from the flu. Media sources parroted this figure over and over.

Lately, the CDC has chosen to change that estimate. It’s now between 3,000 and 49,000 flu deaths per year. That’s quite a loose range. Why does the CDC now waffle so egregiously?

Perhaps because they’ve been exposed…

In December of 2005, the British Medical Journal (online) published a shocking report by Peter Doshi, which spelled out a delusion and created tremors throughout the halls of the CDC.

Here is a quote from Doshi’s report:

“[According to CDC statistics], ‘influenza and pneumonia’ took 62,034 lives in 2001—61,777 of which were attributable to pneumonia and 257 to flu, and in only 18 cases was the flu virus positively identified.”

You see, the CDC had created one category that combined flu and pneumonia deaths. Why did they do this? Because they self-servingly assumed that the pneumonia deaths were complications stemming from the flu.

This is an absurd assumption. Pneumonia has a number of causes. But even worse, in all the flu deaths, only 18 were traced directly to a flu virus.

Therefore, the CDC could not say, with assurance, that more than 18 people died of the flu in 2001.

(Note: In several articles, I erred and reported “18 flu cases in 2001” instead of “18 flu deaths in 2001”.)

Doshi continues his assessment of published CDC flu-death statistics: “Between 1979 and 2001, [CDC] data show an average of 1348 [flu] deaths per year (range 257 to 3006).”

However, as Doshi showed from the year 2001, the CDC actually finds the flu virus in a tiny proportion of people who are estimated to have died from the flu. So the CDC range of flu deaths—257 to 3006—is much, much lower when lab confirmation is required. And confirmation needs to be required, unless hocus-pocus guesswork is sufficient.

To the overwhelming percentage of Americans, the idea that only 18 people were positively identified as flu deaths in a year is staggering.

It’s so staggering, they reject it. It must be wrong. It has to be wrong. If it isn’t wrong…

A pillar of reality collapses.

And we’re not just talking about a Brian Williams pillar of reality or a went-to-war-for-the-wrong-reason pillar of reality. We’re not just talking about the CIA lying or the NSA lying or the President lying.

No. We’re talking about a medical pillar collapsing.

And the medical cartel is the modern Church of Reality. It has its priests in white coats and its CDC bishops and its ceaseless propaganda about an “overwhelming concern for the well-being of humanity.”

Therefore, when many people read this, when they see that only 18 flu deaths in America were confirmed in the year 2001, it doesn’t register at all in their minds.

It’s invisible.

This isn’t “cognitive dissonance.” It’s much, much deeper. It’s “I never read that.” “I don’t remember reading that.” “18 confirmed flu deaths in one year? I never heard of that.”

Mind control par excellence.

It’s on the order of half a major city disappearing overnight and the citizens saying, “Of course, nothing disappeared. How could anything disappear?”

Going even deeper, there are two factors at work here. One, a person’s stubborn refusal to reject reality as he receives it; and two, his refusal to invent a better reality to replace the one that has just crumbled and vanished.

Those two factors underlie the success of mind control.

Jon Rappoport is the author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALEDEXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at NoMoreFakeNews.comor OutsideTheRealityMachine.

How Trade Deals Boost the Top 1% and Bust the Rest

February 17th, 2015 by Robert Reich

Leaders of TPP member states and prospective member states at a TPP summit in 2010. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Suppose that by enacting a particular law we’d increase the U.S.Gross Domestic Product. But almost all that growth would go to the richest 1 percent.

The rest of us could buy some products cheaper than before. But those gains would be offset by losses of jobs and wages.

This is pretty much what “free trade” has brought us over the last two decades.

Today’s “trade agreements” should really be called “global corporate agreements” because they’re mostly about protecting the assets and profits of these global corporations rather than increasing American jobs and wages.

I used to believe in trade agreements. That was before the wages of most Americans stagnated and a relative few at the top captured just about all the economic gains.

Recent trade agreements have been wins for big corporations and Wall Street, along with their executives and major shareholders. They get better access to foreign markets and billions of consumers.

They also get better protection for their intellectual property – patents, trademarks, and copyrights. And for their overseas factories, equipment, and financial assets.

But those deals haven’t been wins for most Americans.

The fact is, trade agreements are no longer really about trade. Worldwide tariffs are already low. Big American corporations no longer make many products in the United States for export abroad.

The biggest things big American corporations sell overseas are ideas, designs, franchises, brands, engineering solutions, instructions, and software.

Google, Apple, Uber, Facebook, Walmart, McDonalds, Microsoft, and Pfizer, for example, are making huge profits all over the world.

But those profits don’t depend on American labor — apart from a tiny group of managers, designers, and researchers in the U.S.

To the extent big American-based corporations any longer make stuff for export, they make most of it abroad and then export it from there, for sale all over the world — including for sale back here in the United States.

The Apple iPhone is assembled in China from components made in Japan, Singapore, and a half-dozen other locales. The only things coming from the U.S. are designs and instructions from a handful of engineers and managers in California.

Apple even stows most of its profits outside the U.S. so it doesn’t have to pay American taxes on them.

This is why big American companies are less interested than they once were in opening other countries to goods exported from the United States and made by American workers.

They’re more interested in making sure other countries don’t run off with their patented designs and trademarks. Or restrict where they can put and shift their profits.

In fact, today’s “trade agreements” should really be called “global corporate agreements” because they’re mostly about protecting the assets and profits of these global corporations rather than increasing American jobs and wages. The deals don’t even guard against currency manipulation by other nations.

According to Economic Policy Institute, the North American Free Trade Act cost U.S. workers almost 700,000 jobs, thereby pushing down American wages.

Since the passage of the Korea–U.S. Free Trade Agreement, America’s trade deficit with Korea has grown more than 80 percent, equivalent to a loss of more than 70,000 additional U.S. jobs.

The U.S. goods trade deficit with China increased $23.9 billion last year, to $342.6 billion. Again, the ultimate result has been to keep U.S. wages down.

The old-style trade agreements of the 1960s and 1970s increased worldwide demand for products made by American workers, and thereby helped push up American wages.

The new-style global corporate agreements mainly enhance corporate and financial profits, and push down wages.

That’s why big corporations and Wall Street are so enthusiastic about the upcoming Trans Pacific Partnership – the giant deal among countries responsible for 40 percent of the global economy.

That deal would give giant corporations even more patent protection overseas. It would also guard their overseas profits.

And it would allow them to challenge any nation’s health, safety, and environmental laws that stand in the way of their profits – including our own.

The Administration calls the Trans Pacific Partnership a key part of its “strategy to make U.S. engagement in the Asia-Pacific region a top priority.

Translated: The White House thinks it will help the U.S. contain China’s power and influence.

But it will make giant U.S. global corporations even more powerful and influential.

White House strategists seem to think such corporations are accountable to the U.S. government. Wrong. At most, they’re answerable to their shareholders, who demand high share prices whatever that requires.

I’ve seen first-hand how effective Wall Street and big corporations are at wielding influence — using lobbyists, campaign donations, and subtle promises of future jobs to get the global deals they want.

Global deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership will boost the profits of Wall Street and big corporations, and make the richest 1 percent even richer.

But they’ll bust the rest of America.

Robert Reich, one of the nation’s leading experts on work and the economy, is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. Time Magazine has named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the last century. He has written thirteen books, including his latest best-seller, Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future; The Work of NationsLocked in the CabinetSupercapitalism; and his newest, Beyond Outrage. His syndicated columns, television appearances, and public radio commentaries reach millions of people each week. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, and Chairman of the citizen’s group Common Cause. His widely-read blog can be found at www.robertreich.org.

The president signed an executive order Saturday after a speech at a ‘Cyber Security Summit’ at Stanford University, while many were distracted with Valentine’s Day. The ever-hated CISPA legislation has stalled in congress thanks to public outcry, but Obama has decided to act on his own.

“Executive Order — Promoting Private Sector Cybersecurity Information Sharing” was apparently intended to coerce organizations and corporations to share more info with the government, while promoting the creation of organizations to process data collected for an unspecified end.

The executive order specifically talks about the formation of ‘Information Sharing and Analysis Organizations’ (ISAOs), Orwellian corporate and/or government organizations that process massive amounts of data collected from people through every imaginable way. This obviously can’t be good. The tech sector is already voicing its skepticism of the bill, citing government overreach and lack of reforms to the NSA’s spying program:

“Typical of these concerns were the remarks of Apple CEO Tim Cook who gave a vigorous speech at the same Stanford cyber meeting that seemed to challenge the president’s appeal for greater cooperation. Cook issued a dire warning that the threat to privacy posed by technology “risks our way of life.”
[…]
Other major tech CEOs snubbed the White House cyber summit at Stanford, reflecting private sector worries. The no-shows included Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google executives Larry Page and Eric Schmidt.”

The executive order says,

“The Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) shall strongly encourage the development and formation of Information Sharing and Analysis Organizations (ISAOs).
[…]
(b) ISAOs may be organized on the basis of sector, sub-sector, region, or any other affinity, including in response to particular emerging threats or vulnerabilities. ISAO membership may be drawn from the public or private sectors, or consist of a combination of public and private sector organizations. ISAOs may be formed as for-profit or nonprofit entities.”

The president predictably utilized his refined lying skills and charisma to fear-monger a bit; saying, “As a country, one of our greatest resources are the young people, the digitally fearless. But it also means that the problem of how we secure this digital world will only increase,”

So this order looks like it will serve to back up current NSA operations, and shift some power to the Department of Homeland Security. It also looks like they may fund the creation of ‘ISAO’s. I highly recommend you read it for yourself, it is not very long.

They essentially are expanding upon the foundation they have been constructing, for multiple government and non-government, non-profit and of course for profit ‘ISAO’s. The President want’s to build a kind of web of infrastructure reminiscent of the military-industrial-complex, except for mass surveillance.

The question is: what exactly will this function to do? What will these ‘Information Sharing and Analysis Organizations’ actually accomplish, and who will be incarcerated or targeted as a result of their work?

Perhaps an even better question, what are we citizens actually going to do about this?

Talking about it is necessary first step; but at some point some form of mass, hardcore disobedience or something along those lines must be pursued to have any chance of abolishing these power grabs. Some form of actual action is necessary to slowing or halting the progression of these webs of entrapping, fascist infrastructure. I am not advocating for violence, but mass disobedience.

Please share this with as many people as possible, and maybe it would benefit us to have some kind of roundtable discussions about this. I highly recommend keeping your eyes on this surveillance infrastructure.

No Agreement Reached Between EU Finance Ministers and Greece

February 17th, 2015 by Robert Stevens

A meeting of euro zone finance ministers in Brussels to discuss the debt crisis of the Syriza-led Greek government broke up in acrimony Monday.

With Germany taking the lead, the finance ministers, headed by Jeroen Dijsselbloem of the Netherlands, presented Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis with a statement to sign that unambiguously upheld the existing debt-repayment scheme, demanded further austerity measures, and reiterated the full subordination of the Greek government to the dictates of the European Union (EU), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the banks.

German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble appeared to go out of his way to humiliate Syriza (Coalition of the Radical Left) and its leader, the new prime minister, Alexis Tsipras. In a German radio interview Monday in advance of the Brussels meeting, Schäuble said he was “very sceptical” about the prospects for a deal being reached at the gathering and accused the recently elected Greek government of acting “pretty irresponsibly.”

Schäuble accused Tsipras of “insulting those who have helped Greece in the past few years.”

Varoufakis refused to sign the statement, complaining that the European Commission’s economic chief, Pierre Moscovici, had offered him an earlier plan that he was prepared to sign. The meeting quickly collapsed, and the different parties held separate press conferences.

Varoufakis objected in particular to language in the EU draft stipulating Syriza’s adherence to the “current programme” of debt repayment. His opposition, and that of Syriza as a whole, amounts to pleading for terminological window dressing to obscure the capitulation of the Syriza-led government in substance to the current “bailout” programme and the brutal austerity agenda that has already reduced millions of Greek workers and youth to poverty.

Syriza desperately needs such a fig leaf, having campaigned on a pledge to end the current debt-repayment regime, which is hated by the vast majority of Greeks. Syriza’s election was the result of growing opposition to more than five years of savage cuts. This sentiment has been expressed in numerous anti-austerity protests held in Greece since the new government took office on January 25. On February 11, at least 13 demonstrations took place in Greece, with tens of thousands protesting in Athens and Thessaloniki. On Sunday, further large demonstrations were held.

However, EU governments fear that even the appearance of a concession to Greece will fuel popular opposition to austerity throughout Europe. To this point, they have coalesced behind the hard-line position of Berlin.

Varoufakis and Tsipras have bent over backwards to reassure the EU, the IMF, the European Central Bank and the international financial markets that they fully intend to meet Greece’s debt obligations and are committed to the “structural reforms”—i.e., further attacks on pensions, jobs and working class living standards—demanded by global capital.

In an op-ed piece posted by the New York Times Monday, Varoufakis denied that he was pursuing “some radical-left agenda,” declaring: “Our government is not asking our partners for a way out of repaying our debts. We are asking for a few months of financial stability that will allow us to embark upon the task of reforms that the broad Greek population can own and support, so we can bring back growth and end our inability to pay our dues ” (emphasis added).

Last week, he begged for a compromise in a Guardian interview, pleading, “We are a party of the left, but what we are putting on the table is essentially the agenda of a reformist bankruptcy lawyer from the City of London.”

Syriza, in fact, speaks for privileged sections of the Greek upper-middle class that want a better deal within the framework of Greek and European capitalism and the EU. It advances policies favoured by sections of the Greek and international bourgeoisie to confront a deepening breakdown of the capitalist system—at the expense of the working class. It has formed a bourgeois government in coalition with the ultra-right, rabidly nationalist Independent Greeks.

The Financial Times reported Monday that after the short-lived EU finance ministers’ meeting, Varoufakis for the first time said publicly that he had been prepared to agree to an extension of the existing debt repayment programme on the basis of conditions agreed to by Moscovici, which, he claimed, differed from those incorporated into the draft statement presented by Dijsselbloem. Financial Times journalist Peter Spiegel reported he was told by euro zone officials that, in fact, there was no difference in substance between the Moscovici and Dijsselbloem texts. According to Der Spiegel, the euro group meeting broke up before the finance ministers even had a chance to discuss the draft statement prepared by the Greek side.

Nevertheless, Varoufakis declared after the meeting, “I have no doubt there is going to be an agreement in the end.”

The draft statement, leaked to the press and published by the Financial Times and other newspapers, stated, in part: “The Greek authorities gave their firm commitment to refrain from unilateral action and will work in close agreement with their European and international partners, especially in the field of tax policy, privatisation, labour market reforms, financial sector, and pensions.”

The EU part of the loan programme for Greece is set to expire February 28, raising the possibility of a collapse of Greece’s banking system, a default on the country’s €320 billion sovereign debt, and a forced exit of Greece from the euro currency bloc. Monday had been described as a deadline for an agreement between Greece and the euro group because several national parliaments needed time to vote on a deal before the end of the month.

A study by JP Morgan released as the euro group talks got under way concluded that Greece’s financial reserves could be exhausted in several months. Estimating that Greek banks were losing €2 billion of deposits a week, JP Morgan said if such outflows continued, the country’s banks would run out of collateral for new loans in just 14 weeks.

At a press conference after the meeting, Dijsselbloem said the euro group had told Greece that the “best way forward would be for the Greek government to seek an extension of the programme,” and that in any agreement going forward Greece could not “roll back any measures” except with the agreement of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF.

Greece, he said, had to present proposals for an extension of the debt repayment programme by Friday, and warned, “We can use this week, but that’s about it.”

Asked if an extension or, in the words of the Greek government, a “bridging” agreement, would be very different from the existing programme, Dijsselbloem said, “I don’t think so.”

He added that “the ESM [European Stability Mechanism] treaty and rules and regulations talk about strict conditionalities. It would still be about fiscal sustainability and therefore also debt sustainability. It would still be about economic competitiveness…and a stable financial sector and all of the above requires next steps, more measures and reforms, some popular and some obviously not so popular.”

Speaking alongside Dijsselbloem was Moscovici, until 2014 the French finance minister, and Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF.

Moscovici said no alternative to an extension of the current programme would be considered. Lagarde said the IMF’s programme with Greece would end in March 2016. She warned that only if Greece accepted an extension of the current austerity package could further IMF funds be disbursed.

Since 2001, a group of hackers – dubbed the “Equation Group” by researchers from Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab – have infected computers in at least 42 countries (with Iran, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, and Syria most infected) with what Ars Technica calls “superhuman technical feats” indicating “extraordinary skill and unlimited resources.”

The exploits – including the ‘prized technique’ of the creation of a secret storage vault that survives military-grade disk wiping and reformatting – cover every hard-drive manufacturer and have many similar characteristics to the infamous NSA-led Stuxnet virus.

According to Kaspersky, the spies made a technological breakthrough by figuring out how to lodge malicious software in the obscure code called firmware that launches every time a computer is turned on.

Disk drive firmware is viewed by spies and cybersecurity experts as the second-most valuable real estate on a PC for a hacker, second only to the BIOS code invoked automatically as a computer boots up.

“The hardware will be able to infect the computer over and over,” lead Kaspersky researcher Costin Raiu said in an interview.

Kaspersky’s reconstructions of the spying programs show that they could work in disk drives sold by more than a dozen companies, comprising essentially the entire market. They include Western Digital Corp, Seagate Technology Plc, Toshiba Corp, IBM, Micron Technology Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.

The group used a variety of means to spread other spying programs, such as by compromising jihadist websites, infecting USB sticks and CDs, anddeveloping a self-spreading computer worm called Fanny, Kasperky said.

Fanny was like Stuxnet in that it exploited two of the same undisclosed software flaws, known as “zero days,” which strongly suggested collaboration by the authors, Raiu said. He added that it was “quite possible” that the Equation group used Fanny to scout out targets for Stuxnet in Iran and spread the virus.

Which, as Reuters reports, strongly suggests the “extraordinary skills and unlimited resources” were funded by the NSA…

The U.S. National Security Agency has figured out how to hide spying software deep within hard drives made by Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba and other top manufacturers, giving the agency the means to eavesdrop on the majority of the world’s computers, according to cyber researchers and former operatives.

That long-sought and closely guarded ability was part of a cluster of spying programs discovered by Kaspersky Lab, the Moscow-based security software maker that has exposed a series of Western cyberespionage operations.

Kaspersky said it found personal computers in 30 countries infected with one or more of the spying programs, with the most infections seen in Iran, followed by Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Mali, Syria, Yemen and Algeria. The targets included government and military institutions, telecommunication companies, banks, energy companies, nuclear researchers, media, and Islamic activists, Kaspersky said.

The firm declined to publicly name the country behind the spying campaign, but said it was closely linked to Stuxnet, the NSA-led cyberweapon that was used to attack Iran’s uranium enrichment facility. The NSA is the agency responsible for gathering electronic intelligence on behalf of the United States.

A former NSA employee told Reuters that Kaspersky’s analysis was correct, and that people still in the intelligence agency valued these spying programs as highly as Stuxnet. Another former intelligence operative confirmed that the NSA had developed the prized technique of concealing spyware in hard drives, but said he did not know which spy efforts relied on it.

The global coverage is clearly focused in a particular region (and not in the US)…

As Kasperskey exposes, victims generally fall into the following categories:
•     Governments and diplomatic institutions
•     Telecommunication
•     Aerospace
•     Energy
•     Nuclear research
•     Oil and gas
•     Military
•     Nanotechnology
•     Islamic activists and scholars
•     Mass media
•     Transportation
•     Financial institutions
•     Companies developing cryptographic technologies

As an interesting note, some of the “patients zero” of Stuxnet seem to have been infected by the EQUATION group. It is quite possible that the EQUATION group malware was used to deliver the STUXNET payload.

So far, Kaspersky have identi?ed several malware platforms used exclusively by the Equation group. They are:

EQUATIONDRUG  – A very complex attack platform used by the group on its victims. It supports a module plugin system, which can be dynamically uploaded and unloaded by the attackers.

DOUBLEFANTASY  – A validator-style Trojan, designed to con?rm the target is the intended one. If the target is con?rmed, they get upgraded to a more sophisticated platform such as EQUATIONDRUG or GRAYFISH.

EQUESTRE  – Same as EQUATIONDRUG.

TRIPLEFANTASY – Full-featured backdoor sometimes used in tandem with GRAYFISH. Looks like an upgrade of DOUBLEFANTASY, and is possibly a more recent validator-style plugin.

GRAYFISH  – The most sophisticated attack platform from the EQUATION group. It resides completely in the registry, relying on a bootkit to gain execution at OS startup.

FANNY  – A computer worm created in 2008 and used to gather information about targets in the Middle East and Asia. Some victims appear to have been upgraded ?rst to DoubleFantasy, and then to the EQUATIONDRUG system. Fanny used exploits for two zero-day vulnerabilities which were later discovered with Stuxnet.

EQUATIONLASER  – An early implant from the EQUATION group, used around 2001-2004. Compatible with Windows 95/98, and created sometime between DOUBLEFANTASY and EQUATIONDRUG.

Although the implementation of their malware systems is incredibly complex, surpassing even Regin in sophistication, there is one aspect of the EQUATION group’s attack technologies that exceeds anything Kaspersky has ever seen before.

This is the ability to infect the hard drive ?rmware.

The plugin version 4 is more complex and can reprogram 12 drive “categories”


*  *  *

So to summarize:

1) US sanctions Russia

2) a Russian-based research group (Kaspersky Lab is an international group operating in almost 200 countries and territories worldwide. The company is headquartered in Moscow, Russia, with its holding company registered in the United Kingdom. Kaspersky Lab currently employs over 2,850 qualified specialists) reveals that through Equation group’s code, there is NSA presence across the supply chain of the highest margin US products .

3) As Reuters notes, the exposure of these new spying tools could lead to greater backlash against Western technology,particularly in countries such as China, which is already drafting regulations that would require most bank technology suppliers to proffer copies of their software code for inspection.

4) And Peter Swire, one of five members of U.S. President Barack Obama’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology, said the Kaspersky report showed that it is essential for the country to consider the possible impact on trade and diplomatic relations before deciding to use its knowledge of software flaws for intelligence gathering. “There can be serious negative effects on other U.S. interests,” Swire said.

It appears the ‘boomerang’ is boomerang-ing…

*  *  *

Full Kaspersky Labs report below:

Equation Group Questions and Answers

Equation Group Questions and Answers

It seems that the Puerto Rico government is scrambling to find ways to collect tax revenues to satisfy its debt obligations. Why? Well there is a new controversial “Fat” tax bill filed by Puerto Rican Senator Gilberto Rodriguez to combat child obesity. The plan calls for school teachers to identify and locate obese children and refer them to the Puerto Rico health department officials. Then they will determine what is the cause of the child’s obesity problem and formulate a diet and exercise plan. Then they will monitor the child’s progress every four weeks. The tax penalty would start at $500 if the child’s weight does not improve within the first six months and up to $800 after another six months if there are still no improvements. This is absurd! United Press International’s (UPI) report ‘Puerto Rico may fine parents of obese children’ described the proposal:

The bill, introduced by Sen. Gilberto Rodríguez, would make the Department of Education in Puerto Rico responsible for identifying children who are at risk for obesity, but not due to preexisting medical conditions, according to El País. Health officials would indicate obesity health risks to parents. If the child’s condition does not “progress” within six months, parents could be fined $500. If after another six months the child’s condition does not improve, the fine could be $800. The case could be brought to social workers at the Puerto Rico Department of Family Affairs.

The idea is not new. Jonathan Gruber, the architect of Obamacare declared in 2010 that taxing “fat people” by body weight was an option to fight obesity in an article titled ‘Taxing Sin to Modify Behavior and Raise Revenue’ for theNational Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) and said:

Ultimately, what may be needed to address the obesity problem are direct taxes on body weight. While it is hard to conceive of this approach being a common public policy tool in the near term, such taxation may be happening indirectly through health insurance surcharges. Currently, employers may charge up to 20 percent higher health insurance premiums for employees who fail to meet certain health-related standards, such as attaining a healthy BMI. The new health reform legislation increases this differential to 30 percent, with the possibility of rising to 50 percent. Results of programs that use differential premiums to impose direct financial penalties for obesity will bear watching in the future.

Many on the Island-nation do not agree with the new bill including the president of Puerto Rico’s chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Ricardo Fontanet who declared “It will bring complications because there are obese children due to medical complications and genetic factors” the report said. I agree to a certain extent, however, Puerto Rico’s obesity problem especially for children has one major problem that Mr. Fontanet did not mention and that is a direct correlation with obesity and U.S. fast food corporations. Many Fast food corporations has invaded Puerto Rico including McDonalds, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Wendy’s, and several others have led to the domination of the local food markets. In a 2005 report by Caribbean Business stated how fast food corporations began in Puerto Rico:

The fast-food industry has come a long way since such chains as Tastee Freeze and Big Boy began appearing on the island in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Since then, the number of chains has multiplied aggressively, demonstrating Puerto Rico is an attractive market. As a whole, 2,000 fast-food restaurants in Puerto Rico are estimated to rake in $1 billion to $1.3 billion a year in revenue, according to industry sources. Studies also have shown 77% of locals visit fast-food restaurants often.

If there are 2,000 fast food restaurants with 77% of locals as consumers, then do expect obesity levels to increase. One film that fast food enthusiasts’ should watch is Morgan Spurlock’s ‘Super Size Me’, a 2004 documentary film that tracked Spurlock’s 30-day experimentation by eating three meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) a day from McDonalds. What was the result according to Spurlock’s film?:

After six months of deliberation, Judge Robert Sweet dismissed the lawsuit against McDonald’s. The big reason? The two girls failed to show that eating McDonald’s food was what caused their injuries. Interesting, in only thirty days of eating nothing but McDonald’s I gained twenty-four and a half pounds, my liver turned to fat and my cholesterol shot up sixty-five points. My body fat percentage went from eleven to eighteen percent, still below the national average of twenty-two percent for men and thirty percent for women. I nearly doubled my risk of coronary heart disease, making myself twice as likely to have heart failure. I felt depressed and exhausted most of the time, my mood swung on a dime and my sex life was nonexistent. I craved this food more and more when I ate it, and got massive headaches when I didn’t. In my final blood test many of my body functions showed signs of improvement, but the doctors were less than optimistic.

I am not saying that fast food is the main cause of obesity. There are other factors including poverty, U.S. food imports laced with genetically modified organisms (GMO) and the lack of education on the benefits of eating healthy non-GMO foods. Puerto Rico can re-examine a policy that would benefit the Puerto Rican people. For starters, the Puerto Rico government can “Ban” fast food restaurants that are a health hazard to the local population.  Bolivian President Evo Morales was a vocal critic against McDonalds and other fast food corporations.  In 2013, McDonalds shut its doors after 14 years of operation.  Here is what President Morales said at a speech to the UN general assembly on February 20th, 2013 prior to McDonald’s decision to close all of it’s remaining stores:

The major multinational food companies seek to control the production of food and to dominate global markets by imposing their customs and foods. The only goal of such producers is to generate profits. So they standardize food and drinks, turning them into global foods produced on a massive scale with the same formula. They are not interested in the health of human beings, only in their earnings and corporate profits.

U.S. corporate fast food chains have saturated the world with endless fast food restaurants no matter what country you visit except Montenegro, Bermuda and now Bolivia. This is an interesting turn of events concerning the backlash of fast food corporations besides the worldwide resistance against Monsanto and other GMO-based corporations. There is a growing awareness among the public on the health hazards of fast food and its exploitation of workers. There is also the question of cultural imperialism when American fast food is imposed on local communities around the world. The mainstream media (MSM) said that McDonald’s closing in Bolivia was due to its decline in sales. The truth is that the Bolivian people and the government of Evo Morales rejected globalization and corporate fast food in their country.  McDonalds has opened up dozens and sometimes even hundreds of restaurants once their operations are approved. Fast food corporations have a negative impact on communities especially when it comes to local customs’ and culture. The climax of cultural imperialism imposed by American fast food corporations into almost every country on the planet for profits does undermine local economies and its dynamic culture besides the health risks customers face. In Bolivia’s case, health risks are associated with the way McDonalds prepares their food according to Lance Devon of www.naturalnews.com:

The rejection isn’t necessarily based on the taste or the type of food McDonald’s prepared. The rejection of the fast food system stemmed from Bolivian’s mindset of how meals are to be properly prepared. Bolivians more so respect their bodies, valuing the quality of what goes into their stomach. The time it takes for fast food to be prepared throws up a warning flag in their minds. Where other cultures see no risk, eating McDonald’s every week; Bolivians feel that it just isn’t worth the health risk. Bolivians seek well prepared, local meals, and want to know that their food was prepared the right way. This self respect helps Bolivians avoid processed “restructured meat technology,” often used by fast food joints like McDonald’s.

In 1999, the Island of Bermuda had constant protests by the local population against the construction of a McDonalds. The protests were so intense that the government passed a law banning all franchised restaurants in the country. According to local reports, an 83 year old senior and resident of Bermuda by the name of Phyllis Harron, said “It is not Bermudian. McDonald’s cheapens wherever it goes.” The government of Montenegro also banned McDonalds in opposition to globalization in an article published by www.viennareview.net titled ‘Montenegro: Not Lovin’ It’ stated:

By making this decision to ban McDonald’s, Montenegro has, in a way said no to globalisation. It was also an expression of concern for the health of its inhabitants, an act of solidarity with local restaurants, and maybe even a gesture of support for the trade balance. The decision also made a political statement regarding the involvement of the United States. And in the process, Montenegro may have made itself a test case of how to deal with similar problems of globalisation that may, in long term, harm the populations, trade, or health of other Eastern European countries.

Imposing a “Fat” tax on people because of their obesity will not solve the problem. The Puerto Rican government needs to stand up to U.S. corporations and Washington by “Banning” GMO laced imports and closing all of the fast food chains that serve unhealthy food to the Puerto Rican people. They need to support local farmers and businesses that produce and sell organic food. Imposing a tax on Puerto Rican families is not a solution. However, for the Puerto Rican government, it is seeking ways to collect tax revenues to satisfy its debt obligations to its creditors. More than 28% of Puerto Rican children are considered obese which means that they can generate millions in tax revenues. Puerto Rico’s governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla has made raising taxes a priority to reduce Puerto Rico’s deficit. Puerto Rico debt service burden requires between $3.4bn and $3.8bn a year for at least the next four years. The “Fat”tax is just another option for the Puerto Rico government to raise money they need to pay off their debt.

One problem with Senator Rodriguez’s proposal is how far will the government go for tax revenues? What will they tax next? Children who are under weight? What about children who have other health issues and diseases such as cancer or even epilepsy? How far will they go?

An ABC News article also reported the reaction to the proposal by a deputy director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut:

“This proposal is very unfair and inappropriately penalizes and stigmatizes parents,” said Rebecca Puhl, deputy director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut. “Childhood obesity is a highly complex issue, and while the home environment is important to address, much broader societal changes are required to effectively address obesity.”

Policies that support parents are much more helpful than policies that penalize them, she said. Improving access to opportunities for physical activity and providing incentives toward buying healthier food, for example, have already proven effective in cities like Philadelphia, Puhl said.

One proposal I have for Senator Rodriquez is to start eating three meals a day at McDonalds for one month and see if he will gain weight and develop health problems as the result. Then maybe he can submit a new bill to end all fast food corporations from operating in Puerto Rico. Then we can reverse the obesity rate by supporting local non-GMO healthy foods which can help local businesses, farmers and improve our children’s health. Taxing parents will not solve the obesity problem; eliminating or even reducing the number of fast food restaurants is a step forward towards a healthy society. That is one option Puerto Rico should consider if they are serious about helping obese children. But as long as Puerto Rico remains a colonial territory under Washington, it will continue to be a captive market for U.S. business interests and their fast food restaurant chains.

The Role of British Imperialism in the Atlantic Slave Trade

February 17th, 2015 by Abayomi Azikiwe

A six part historical fiction television series recently concluded its premiere over the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) network.

It is airing over Black Entertainment Television (BET).

This dramatic representation is based on a novel of the same name by Lawrence Hill, an African Canadian writer, who took aspects of the actual history of enslaved Africans from the west coast of the continent on their journey to the Carolinas, New York, Novia Scotia, Canada and to Sierra Leone.

African American History Month Series Part VI

Title: The Book of Negroes

Writer: Lawrence Hill

Director: Clement Virgo

Executive Producer: Damon D’Oliveira

Cast Includes: Aunjanue Ellis, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Lyriq Bent, Louis Gossett, Jr.

The series examines the brutality of the Atlantic Slave Trade of the 18th Century and the nature of the system of human bondage and racism in the-then British colonies in North America. The principal character, Aminata Diallo, played by Aunjanue Ellis, is captured at the age of eleven in Guinea and shipped off to the southern colony in the 1750s.

During the course of the story, the nature of the slave system in starkly portrayed. Families are broken up, children are sold from their parents, women are harshly exploited and assaulted, while the knowledge and skills of the enslaved Africans are utilized to further enhance the profitability of plantation economy.

Despite these horrors the Africans continue to resist their enslavement. This is done through various forms of rebellion from the slave ships to the plantations where the rich landowners sought to dehumanize the Africans who were designated as property.

A Different View of the “American Revolution”

One often hidden historical fact brought out in the novel and subsequent television series is that more Africans fought alongside the British during the colonial war than with the future rulers of the United States. The British promised emancipation to those slaves who joined their ranks after 1776.

Some historians, such as Gerald Horne, maintain that the motivation behind the independence movement among the colonists was to preserve slavery. During this period a debate was developing in Britain over the abolition of slavery in England.

In his book entitled “The Counter-Revolution of 1776”, Horne re-emphasizes that “For European colonists, the major threat to security in North America was a foreign invasion combined with an insurrection of the enslaved. And as 1776 approached, London-imposed abolition throughout the colonies was a very real and threatening possibility—a possibility the founding fathers feared could bring the slave rebellions of Jamaica and Antigua to the thirteen colonies. To forestall it, they went to war.” (amazon.com)

Horne challenges the official narrative of the “War of Independence  suggesting “The so-called Revolutionary War was in large part a counter-revolution, a conservative movement that the founding fathers fought in order to preserve their liberty to enslave others—and which today takes the form of a racialized conservatism and a persistent racism targeting the descendants of the enslaved. The Counter-Revolution of 1776 drives us to a radical new understanding of the traditional heroic creation myth of the United States.”

Hill places this history symbolized through the actual “Book of Negroes”, a document containing the names of Africans who were slated for freedom once the British monarchy won the war. However, they lost the war and later took thousands of former slaves to Nova Scotia, another colony, where they were met with extremely cold weather, near famine conditions and vicious racism.

In an interview with a British newspaper Hill recounts that he “used The Book of Negroes as the title for my novel, in Canada, because it derives from a historical document of the same name kept by British naval officers at the tail end of the American Revolutionary War. It documents the 3,000 blacks who had served the King in the war and were fleeing Manhattan for Canada in 1783.” (Guardian, UK, May 20, 2008)

He goes on further to say “Unless you were in The Book of Negroes, you couldn’t escape to Canada. My character, an African woman named Aminata Diallo whose story is based on this history, has to get into the book before she gets out.”

From Nova Scotia Back to Africa

After the war these Africans were taken by the British army to Nova Scotia in Canada where slavery still existed. The harsh conditions in Nova Scotia are illustrated in the series.

Conditions are not conducive to agricultural production and the weather is colder than most have ever experienced. The whites in the colony are struggling themselves to survive and view the newly-arrived Africans as being in competition with them for jobs and other economic opportunities.

Louis Gossett, Jr. plays an elderly minister who holds the African community together. He later accepts the British offer to repatriate thousands back to West Africa for the establishment of yet another colony for London.

Nonetheless, when they arrive in Sierra Leone the Atlantic Slave Trade is even more widespread than during the previous decades. They quickly realize that real safety and security cannot prevail in such an atmosphere.

The series ends with the main character intervening in the debate on the abolition of slavery in Britain leading to the outlawing of the Atlantic Slave Trade in 1806. During her period of enslavement in the Carolinas and New York, she acquires exceptional literary skills and works as a medical practitioner both on the plantation as well as on the battlefield during the war between Britain and the colonists.

This dramatization of such an important period in world history will shed light on the social development of the U.S. and Canada along with the role of racism and national oppression in shaping modern politics. With the mini-series being aired over both Canadian and U.S. television it will reach a broad audience compelling millions to alter their perspective on the character of bourgeois democracy from the 18th century to the present.

“It is highly probable that the bulk of the Jew’s ancestors ‘never’ lived in Palestine ‘at all,’ which witnesses the power of historical assertion over fact.” H. G. Wells, The Outline of History

Anti-Semitism or a justifiable demand that Israelis stop persecuting Palestinians?

The reality is that by simply asking such a valid question innocent people can become targets for  unjustified accusations of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial which together have become the most powerful weapon — by conflating Zionism with Judaism — for silencing criticism of, or preventing activism against Israeli violations of international law including a barbarous disregard for human rights. Maintaining this effective Zionist policy has required the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and other Jewish groups to covertly contribute vast sums, to politically coerce, and to calculatingly con the mainstream media into perpetuating the totally false premise that only Jews are semites. This appropriation of the word “semite” and the subsequent evolvement of the term “anti-Semitism” has with irresponsible impunity facilitated the silencing of Israel’s critics even to the extent of wrecking their careers, their social standing, and their lives. Consequently people in politics, the media, and other public service professions cringe at at the thought of being labeled, “anti-semitic” and unfortunately — even against the better judgment of their conscience — succumb to Zionist blackmail, bribery, or bullying and publicly present themselves as being diehard supporters of Israel.

“Israelis and American Jews fully agree that the memory of the Holocaust is an indispensable weapon — one that must be used relentlessly against their common enemy . . . Jewish organisations and individuals thus labour cut continuously to remind the world of it. In America, the perpetuation of the Holocaust memory is now a $100-million-a-year enterprise, part of which is government funded.”

According to Israeli author Moshe Leshem, the expansion of Israeli power is commensurate with the expansion of ‘Holocaust’ propaganda. Balaams Curse: How Israel Lost its Way, and How it Can Find it Again, Simon & Schuster, 1989.

(http://www.globalresearch.ca/anti-semitism-the-ultimate-zionist-weapon/5394499)

So what exactly is a semite? Diligent, impartial research will reveal that the word “semite” has no relation with any particular religious group or ethnicity, but with a group of semitic languages: Amharic (spoken by Ethiopians and Eritreans in lands formerly known as Abyssinia); Arabic (spoken by Arabs and others in Muslim countries because it is the language of the Qur’an); Aramaic (spoken mostly by the Chaldeans of Iraq, some Catholics, and Maronite Christians at least liturgically if not socially); Hebrew (spoken by Israelis, some Jews, and others outside of Israel); and Syriac (spoken by some in various parts of Syria and the Middle East). Linguistic experts also point out that Abraham, the father of the Arabs and Jews, did not speak Hebrew, but Aramaic which was then the language of the land.

Anti-Semitism: The word anti-Semitism was an invention; H.H. Beamish, in a New York address, October 30 – November 1, 1937:

“In 1848 the word ‘anti-Semitic’ was invented by the Jews to prevent the use of the word ‘Jew.’ The right word for them is ‘Jew’.”

Ever since the Jews invented the libel charge of ‘anti-Semitism’ in the 1880s. It was first printed in the Jewish Encyclopaedia (1901 Vol. 1, p. 641), and has been built up with Jewish money, organisations, propaganda and lies (such as the Holocaust — Holohoax), so that now the word is like a snake venom which paralyses one’s nervous system. Even the mention of the word ‘Jew’ is shunned unless used in a most favourable and positive context.

Charles A. Weisman, Who is Esau-Edom?, Weisman Publications, 1966.

Furthermore, actual genetic Jews are from Spain, Portugal, North Africa and the Middle East and are known as “Sephardic,” a word derived from the Hebrew “Sepharad,” which relates to Spain. Sephardic Jews, because of familiarity with their own history and the true meaning of the word “semite,” tend to avoid using the term “anti-Semite” because it is utter nonsense. Alternatively, Ashkenazi Jews who exploit Israel’s Law of Return — Israeli legislation passed on 5 July 1950, giving Jews the right of return, the right to live in Israel, and the right to acquire citizenship — have as recent studies illustrate (http://www.livescience.com/40247-ashkenazi-jews-have-european-genes.html) a maternal lineage derived largely from Europe which contradicts the notion that European Jews are mostly descendants of people who left Israel and the Middle East some 2,000 years ago. In 1970, Israel extended the right of entry and settlement to include people of Jewish ancestry, and their spouses while in the meantime forcibly expelled indigenous Palestinians (http://www.ifamericansknew.org/history/ref-nakba.htmlcontinue to have no such right.

“Strictly speaking it is incorrect to call an ancient Israelite a ‘Jew’ or to call a contemporary Jew an Israelite or a Hebrew.”

1980 Jewish Almanac, page 3.

(http://www.iamthewitness.com/doc/Ashkenazis.are.not.the.descendants.of.the.Ancient.Israelites.htm)

Well organised, incessant, and shrill accusations of rampant “anti-Semitism” by Jewish organisations cannot therefore be simply accepted with silent obedience and without question. To begin with it is only right to acknowledge that anti-Jewish sentiment does exist just as does Islamophobia, inter-religious hatred and racism because fanaticism and ignorance are deleterious maladies that humanity has so far failed to overcome. It is very hypocritical of Jewish organisations to demand acknowledgement and respect for their human rights to be “Jewish” while denying those same rights to the Palestinian people with more than 60 years of persecution whose Nazi-style barbarity deserves to be classified as a “Palestinian Holocaust.” In this respect, the mainstream media has a journalistic obligation to shed its blatant Israeli bias (cowardice) and instead encourage a public debate that clearly distinguishes between anti-Jewish sentiment and justified criticism of consistent Israeli violations of international law including human rights.

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

George Orwell

Jews must come to realise that if they consistently insist to the rest of humanity that as “God’s chosen people” they are by inference superior; that as such, God also promised them and no one else the Holy Land; that because of their “Jewish specialness” they must exercise an aloof  separateness that discourages assimilation with others and perceives a world of their own; that if they stifle justified criticism of their criminality; that if they continue to blackmail, bribe, and bully the rest of the world so as to achieve their selfish goals — then they cannot expect to either win friends or influence people.

Jewish attitudes have also with contemptuous presumption continued to encroach upon and undermine the the rest of humanity’s right to free speech with the latest outrage being a request by Israeli politicians that other nations across the world should enact legislation outlawing any criticism of Jews or Israel. They claim that their request is due to an apparent increase in “anti-semitism” across the world. It is very hard to believe that a people chosen by God Himself are unable to differentiate between abhorrent anti-Jewish sentiment and justified criticism of Israel for its barbaric crimes against humanity.

“One has to realise that Israel’s efforts having nothing to do with hate speech, anti-Semitism or holocaust denial, but are rather about stifling critical speech that affects Israel and its lobbyists. For example, we know that Israel and its lobbyists are not offended by holocaust denial because Israel and its lobbyists are the leading proponents of Armenian holocaust denial in the world today. Israel should also not be particularly offended by anti-Semitism, because Israel is actually one of the most racist and anti-Semitic nations on the planet.”

(http://yournewswire.com/israel-worldwide-ban-on-criticising-israel-and-jews-new-law-proposed/)

“The crime against the Palestinian people is being committed by a Jewish state with Jewish soldiers using weapons displaying Jewish religious symbols, and with the full support and complicity of the overwhelming mass of organised Jews worldwide. But to name Jews as responsible for this crime seems impossible to do.”

Paul Eisen - (August 19, 2004)

(http://www.righteousjews.org/article10.html

It may seem impossible to do, but in order to save humanity — responsible people with a conscience and respect for other human beings — must at all costs resist Zionism’s all out onslaught on the right to free speech because without that right and an unfettered mainstream media we become just brainwashed subjects rather than enlightened citizens. The actuality of our becoming brainwashed citizens is unfortunately already with us because in Britain for example any condemnation, protest, or activism against Israel’s irrefutably barbaric treatment of the Palestinian people is immediately met with accusations of anti-Semitism by a government whose leaders threaten tough legislation to further criminalise criticism of Jews or Israel. So rather than upholding their citizens’ noble right to demand universal respect for human rights, Western leaders like Prime Minister David Cameron insist that current legislation prohibiting discrimination or racism is not good enough for Jews whose “specialism” and “separateness” require additional laws to protect them and their rights while encroaching on the rights of others. Cameron recently continued with his Jewish lobby appeasement by announcing Government plans for a new £50million Holocaust memorial in central London. Such benevolence raises the question of whether that money would be better spent on medical aid to the traumatised and physically mutilated victims of Israel’s latest genocidal assault on Gaza.

(http://imeu.org/article/50-days-of-death-destruction-israels-operation-protective-edge)

William Hanna is a freelance writer with recently published books the Hiramic Brotherhood of the Third Temple and The Tragedy of Palestine and its Children. Purchase information, sample chapter, other articles, and contact details at (http://www.hiramicbrotherhood.com/)

According to LifeSiteNews, a Catholic publication, the Kenya Catholic Doctors Association is charging UNICEF and WHO with sterilizing millions of girls and women under cover of an anti-tetanus vaccination program sponsored by the Kenyan government.

The Kenyan government denies there is anything wrong with the vaccine, and says it is perfectly safe.

The Kenya Catholic Doctors Association, however, saw evidence to the contrary, and had six different samples of the tetanus vaccine from various locations around Kenya sent to an independent laboratory in South Africa for testing.

The results confirmed their worst fears: all six samples tested positive for the HCG antigen. The HCG antigen is used in anti-fertility vaccines, but was found present in tetanus vaccines targeted to young girls and women of childbearing age. Dr. Ngare, spokesman for the Kenya Catholic Doctors Association, stated in a bulletin released November 4:

“This proved right our worst fears; that this WHO campaign is not about eradicating neonatal tetanus but a well-coordinated forceful population control mass sterilization exercise using a proven fertility regulating vaccine. This evidence was presented to the Ministry of Health before the third round of immunization but was ignored.” (Source.)

Dr. Ngare brought up several points about the mass tetanus vaccination program in Kenya that caused the Catholic doctors to become suspicious:

Dr. Ngare told LifeSiteNews that several things alerted doctors in the Church’s far-flung medical system of 54 hospitals, 83 health centres, and 17 medical and nursing schools to the possibility the anti-tetanus campaign was secretly an anti-fertility campaign.

Why, they ask does it involve an unprecedented five shots (or “jabs” as they are known, in Kenya) over more than two years and why is it applied only to women of childbearing years, and why is it being conducted without the usual fanfare of government publicity?

“Usually we give a series three shots over two to three years, we give it anyone who comes into the clinic with an open wound, men, women or children.” said Dr. Ngare.

But it is the five vaccination regime that is most alarming. “The only time tetanus vaccine has been given in five doses is when it is used as a carrier in fertility regulating vaccines laced with the pregnancy hormone, Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) developed by WHO in 1992.” (Source.)

UNICEF: A History of Taking Advantage of Disasters to Mass Vaccinate

It should be noted that UNICEF and WHO distribute these vaccines for free, and that there are financial incentives for the Kenyan government to participate in these programs. When funds from the UN are not enough to purchase yearly allotments of vaccines, an organization started and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, GAVI, provides extra funding for many of these vaccination programs in poor countries. (See: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Vaccine Empire on Trial in India.)

Also, there was no outbreak of tetanus in Kenya, only the perceived “threat” of tetanus due to local flood conditions.

These local disasters are a common reason UNICEF goes into poorer countries with free vaccines to begin mass vaccination programs.

Health Impact News reported last year that UNICEF began a similar mass vaccination program with 500,000 doses of live oral polio vaccine in the Philippines after a Super Typhoon devastated Tacolban and surrounding areas. This was in spite of the fact there were no reported cases of polio in the Philippines since 1993, and people who have had the live polio vaccine can “shed” the virus into sewage systems, thereby causing the actual disease it is supposed to be preventing. (See: No Polio in the Philippines Since 1993, But Mass Polio Vaccination Program Targeted for 500,000 Typhoon Victims Under Age 5.)

A very similar mass vaccination with the live oral polio vaccine occurred among Syrian refugees in 2013, when 1.7 million doses of polio vaccine were purchased by UNICEF, in spite of the fact that no cases of polio had been seen since 1999. After the mass vaccination program started, cases of polio began to reappear in Syria. (See: Are UNICEF Live Polio Vaccines Causing Polio Among Syrians? 1.7 Billion Polio Vaccines Purchased by UNICEF.)

It seems quite apparent that UNICEF and WHO use these local disasters to mass vaccinate people, mainly children and young women. Massive education and propaganda efforts are also necessary to convince the local populations that they need these vaccines. Here is a video UNICEF produced for the tetanus vaccine in Kenya. Notice how they use school teachers and local doctors to do the educating, even though the vaccines are produced by western countries.

 

At least in Kenya, Catholic doctors are acting and taking a stand against what they see as an involuntary mass sterilization campaign designed to control the population of Africans.

On February 12, Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, announced that the IMF had reached an agreement with the Ukrainian government on a new economic reform program. Ms Lagarde’s statement, made in Brussels, came only minutes after peace negotiations between the heads of the German, French, Russian und Ukrainian governments in Minsk, Belarus, had ended. The timing was no coincidence. Washington had been left out of the negotiations and now reacted by sending its most powerful financial organization to the forefront in order to deliver a clear message to the world: that the US will not loosen its grip on the Ukraine, if not by sending weapons, then at least economically and financially.

Mme Lagarde’s assertions that the program „would support immediate economic stabilization“ and spell „a turning point for the Ukraine“ are as far removed from reality as the main stream media’s depiction of the IMF as an aid organization helping a drowning country to survive in times of trouble. Not a single cent of the loans will go to the Ukrainian working people. Instead, the money will be used to prop up the Yatseniuk government which is totally subservient to US interests, and enable it to service the debts incurred by its predecessors in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008, to pay off most of its military expenses of around $ 250 million per month for the continuation of a war against its own population and to fill at least some holes in the state budget which are due to the country’s ongoing economic deterioration.

The loans will be based on the terms of an economic program for Ukraine for 2015 – 2020, passed by the Kiev parliament in December 2014, and are tied to harsh conditions laid down in a letter of intent, signed by prime minister Yatseniuk and president Poroshenko in August 2014. Some of the measures have already been implemented, others will follow. Among those already in force is the flexible exchange rate regime which has not only led to a 67% devaluation of the hrivna, lowering the average monthly wage of Ukrainian workers to less than $ 60, but has also opened the doors for international currency speculators who have already made millions by indebting themselves in hrivnia and repaying their debts in euros and dollars.

The rate of inflation, running at 25 % in 2014 and expected to rise even higher in 2015, and a hike in gas prices by 50 % in May 2014 made survival almost impossible for the weakest 20 % of the population who already lived below the poverty line in 2013. Among the measures still to come are the layoff of 10 % of the country’s public employees and the partial privatization of health care and education. The retirement age for women is to be raised by 10 years, that for men by 5 years, most benefits for old age pensioners are to be abolished, the pharmaceuticals market is to be deregulated. Retirement pensions will be frozen, and there will be no more free lunches for school children and patients in hospitals. Benefits for victims of the 1986 nuclear disaster in Chernobyl are to be cut, and the boundaries of the officially designated radioactive hazard zone will be revised. The country’s monthly minimum wage is to remain at 1,218.00 hrivna ($ 46 at the current rate of exchange) until at least November 2015.

None of these measures will serve to „improve the living standards for the Ukrainian people“, as cynically predicted by Ms Lagarde. Nor will they „restore robust growth“ in an economy which is teetering on the verge of collapse, with a central bank left with only $ 6 billion in currency reserves and incapable of raising new fundi

ng in foreign exchange auctions. However, they will contribute to an intensification of the suffering of the Ukrainian people, deepen the social divide of a country already torn apart by a bloody civil war and lead to its complete disintegration, nurturing separatist movements and thus creating perfect conditions for a future of violence and despair.

In pursuing this strategy, the IMF is totally in line with the geopolitical policies pursued by Wall Street and the government in Washington. Both are in deep trouble, with the US torn apart by ever-increasing social inequality threatening to explode in massive social unrest, while its rulers are drowning in debt and losing control over the world financial system. Having dominated global markets for seven decades, the United States’ economic decline and a shift in global power are ringing in the end of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency and thereby heralding the end of the US’s status as the world’s super power.

In a reckless attempt to stop this unstoppable process, Wall Street and the White House are waging an extremely aggressive campaign against Russia and China who have dared to complete an energy deal outside the petro-dollar and whom the US fear to be preparing a new, possibly gold-backed, currency that might replace the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency. To prevent this from happening and to gain control of the vast natural riches of Russia which promise enormous profits, Wall Street and the White House are pursuing a strategy of regime change in Moscow, undertaking everything possible to replace the Russian government by one that is as subservient to US interests as that of Ukrainian premier Yatseniuk and his investment banker cronies in Kiev.One of the means to this end is the integration of Ukraine into NATO in order to step up the military threat against Russia. However, as the EU – and Germany in particular – do not seem to be willing to join forces in an all-out war against Russia (not out of humanitarian considerations, but because of their dependency on Russian gas and oil and their anticipation of a new monetary world order no longer dominated by the US) and as the majority of Americans, despite a massive media campaign demonizing Vladimir Putin, are unwilling to support a war that would cost more money and more lives than any war in the past and could end up in a nuclear catastrophe, the US government’s and the IMF’s main purpose in Ukraine is to deepen and widen the already existing economic, social and ethnic conflicts. By doing so, they hope to force Vladimir Putin into a long-lasting and costly war that will weaken his position at home and eventually pave the way for the installation of new rulers in Moscow.

Looking at Ukraine as a part of the present geopolitical struggle, one can see that the IMF’s  new loans to Ukraine, announced by Christine Lagarde, are anything but a „turning point“ signalling the country’s stabilization. They will lead to unspeakable human suffering and contribute to the trail of blood which Ms Lagarde and the IMF are so used to leaving behind after intervening under the pretext of „helping“ countries in times of trouble.

Ernst Wolff is a freelance journalist and the author of the book “Pillaging the World. The History and Politics of the IMF”, published by Tectum Verlag, Germany.

US Cops Kill Every 8 Hours in 2015

February 17th, 2015 by Richard Becker

One could easily get the impression from watching the corporate mass media or listening to public officials like President Obama and FBI director James Comey that the police death toll is rising rapidly and policing is an especially deadly occupation.

In his Jan. 20, 2015, State of the Union address, Obama drew an equal sign between the danger faced by police and those who are the victims of police brutality and murder:

“We may have different takes on the events of Ferguson and New York. But surely we can understand a father who fears his son can’t walk home without being harassed. Surely we can understand the wife who won’t rest until the police officer she married walks through the front door at the end of his shift.”

Speaking on Jan. 4 at the funeral of a New York City police officer who was shot and killed, Comey said he was “shocked and bewildered” by the number of police killed in 2014.

“One hundred and fifteen were killed last year,” he said. “That’s a shocking increase from 2013. I don’t understand evil and I cannot try.” Comey claimed that 100 police had been killed in 2013.

But both Obama’s equal sign and Comey’s statistics are falsifications of reality.

As of February 13, U.S. police have killed at least 131 people in 2015, an average of three per day, the vast majority by gunfire. Last year, police killed more than 1,100 people according to the killedbypolice.net website, nearly three times the number reported by local and state police and sheriff’s departments to the FBI. The FBI reporting is voluntary, and many departments, large and small—including New York City—do not participate.

U.S. cops kill at up to 100 times the rate of police in other capitalist countries.

As in years past, a large majority of those killed by the police in 2015 have again been young African Americans and Latinos. The two youngest were both 17-years-old, Kristiana Coignard of Texas and Jessica Hernandez of Colorado. The oldest was 87-year-old Lewis Becker from rural upstate New York.

In the first 44 days of 2015, while 13 police died while on duty, no police were killed by hostile action, according to the pro-police website, “Officer Down Memorial Page.” All of the reported deaths have been attributed to illness or accidents.

The “Officer Down” site records every police, sheriff, prison guard, Border Patrol and other civilian agency and military police fatality, including those outside the country. It is very thorough, even reporting on the deaths of K-9 police dogs.

Many federal, state, local government agencies as well as colleges and universities have their own police departments. There are railroad police, transit police, forestry police, park police, fish and game police, and many, many more.

“Officer Down” lists 122 police fatalities in 2014. Of those, 63 were due to illness or accident, 59 by hostile action. In 2013, the same source reported 112 police killed, 73 due to illness or accident, 39 by hostile action. In 2012, 130 were killed, 65 by hostile action. In 2011, 180 were reported killed, 87 due to attacks.

All together, there are well over 1.5 million police and prison guards in the U.S. According to the 2013 report by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics on fatal injuries, “Police and sheriff’s patrol deputies” ranked as the 41st most dangerous occupation, with far lower death rates than not only such jobs as logging, mining, fishing, and farming, but also plane piloting, truck driving and recycling.

Yet police receive far higher pay than nearly all of those employed in more hazardous occupations. The relatively high salaries and pension benefits received by police are justified to the public on the basis of the supposed great danger the police face.

The glorification of the police by the corporate media and politicians, the exaggeration of the dangers they face, and the high pay most receive are all due to the role the police play as the protectors, not of the people but of a system based on capitalist exploitation and national oppression.

More than 20,000 Palestinian homes in Jerusalem have been shortlisted to be demolished by the Israeli occupation authorities, Jerusalem Centre for Social and Economic Rights (JCSER) has revealed.

The centre’s head, Ziad Hamouri, said that the reason these homes have been shortlisted for demolition is that they were built without building licences issued by the Israeli municipality in the occupied city. Applications for such licences from Palestinians are rarely approved.

According to Hamouri, the Israelis use the licence issue as a pretext to get rid of the centuries-old Palestinian existence in Jerusalem. Few Palestinians can afford a building licence even if an application is approved. “The Israeli demands for a construction licence are punitive financially and procedurally,” said Hamouri. “Every licence takes from five to eight years to be issued and they cost from $30,000 to $50,000 each.”

Such measures do not apply to Jews living in the city, who even find apartments ready-made for them to move into and are exempt from frequent and very high taxes.

The Palestinian Authority has called for the international community to stop Israel taking ever more Palestinian land by stealth.

Ukraine: How Can This Happen? Here Is How.

February 17th, 2015 by Eric Zuesse

How can this happen?

http://fortruss.blogspot.com/2015/02/ukrainian-soldiers-break-into-house.html

Here is how:

http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/ukraines-land-agency-give-land-to-soldiers-in-the-east-for-free-352100.html

Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 6.48.31 PM

So: Ukraine’s troops are permitted to steal whatever they want from the residents in Donbass, the rebelling region. The particular victim here lives in an apartment, and so all that Ukraine’s troops can take from him are his belongings.

He’s lucky they didn’t shoot him (if they didn’t).

The cover story in the 4 August 2014 issue of TIME was: “In Russia, Crime Without Punishment: Vladimir Putin backs the rebels …”

Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 6.56.26 PM

Would a more-honest news-report have been titled, “In America, Crime Without Punishment: Barack Obama institutes ethnic cleansing in southeast Ukraine”?

Or, perhaps: “Crime Without Punishment: TIME magazine lies about Russia and Ukraine”?

Either way: How can such things as this happen?

Well, both things did — the ethnic cleansing did and does, and the cover-up of it and of its source did and does.

And that’s the biggest uncovered news-story of our time: both the ongoing crime, and its ongoing cover-up.

The present news-report is being distributed to virtually all U.S. ‘news’ media for publication, so that readers of all which do publish it (which can be determined by a google-search of this news-report’s headline) can come to know, from all that do not (show there), which ‘news’ media (other than TIME) are co-conspirators with Obama, in deceiving the American public into hiding reality so as to encourage further movement toward a nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia — a nuclear war in which America (and definitely not Russia) was the instigator. (Even the founder of the “private CIA” firm Stratfor acknowledges that the February 2014 overthrow of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovuch, which started this, was “the most blatant coup in history” — and it was run from the U.S. White House. It precipitated, as a purely defensive measure by Russia, Russia’s accepting Crimea’s bid to rejoin Russia: Crimea had been since 1783 the base for Russia’s crucial Black Sea fleet, which Obama wanted to kick out of there.)

Any news-media that issue this news-report are honest, because the news-report itself is (and none of them is being charged anything to publish it; so, expense is not involved here). Any that don’t issue it, each reader can judge — and nobody has to wait for a nuclear war in order to do so; the ‘news’ media can be judged right now, because this coup occurred a year ago, and yet still it has not been reported in the U.S. as having been a coup (this overthrow was supposedly instead a result of ‘the democratic Maidan demonstrations’ that were actually used merely as a cover for it).

Furthermore, the present reporter offers to all other journalists the full text of the only thorough investigation that was ever done regarding the overthrow of Viktor Yanukovych, a rigorous scientific analysis of all of the existing evidence. It concludes exactly as did the European Union’s investigator when he first reported on 26 February 2014 that it had been a coup, which had been perpetrated by “someone” allied with the EU (presumably by the U.S. White House); it shocked Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign-affairs chief, when she learned it from him. This lengthy subsequent independent investigation into the matter is by far the most thorough examination that exists of the event, and it is titled, “The ‘Snipers’ Massacre’ on the Maidan in Ukraine.” Its author is University of Ottawa political scientist, Dr. Ivan Katchanovski. Any ‘news’ medium that decides not to publish the present news report about this American international atrocity, and that also does not at least request from me (or from Dr. Katchanovski) that full investigative report by Katchanovski about how this ethnic cleansing started, is clearly not interested in reporting the truth, regarding what is actually the most important international-affairs news-story of the past year, since the February 2014 coup, at least — the only matter that could very possibly end up producing World War III. (Obama wanted a proxy war against Russia to soften them up for the real thing; and the result is all of this bloodshed in Ukraine during and since that coup a year ago.) So: nobody can say that the reason it’s not being reported is that it’s not important news (now become history) to report. It was, and (unfortunately) still is.

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

“Hypocritical” is how CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou describes his arrest and imprisonment for exposing the spy agency’s use of torture while those who actually committed the heinous acts go unpunished. In an in-depth interview with RT’s Ben Swann, Kiriakou discussed only his time in prison, but also the controversial “enhanced interrogation” program, claiming that President George W. Bush personally approved the harsh practices.

Has the IMF Annexed Ukraine?

February 17th, 2015 by Michael Hudson

This interview with Michael Hudson makes clear that the loan to Ukraine is wildly out of line with IMF rules, making it painfully obvious that this “rescue” is all about propping up the government so it can continue to wage war rather than economic development.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MptYEsV159s#t=107

Transcript 

SHARMINI PERIES, EXEC. PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to the Michael Hudson report on The Real News Network. I’m Sharmini Peries, coming to you from Baltimore.

A ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine has been agreed to, following a marathon all-night, 17-hour negotiation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko. They were flanked byother European leaders keeping vigil. Russia and Ukraine may have many differences, but what they have in common is a looming economic crisis, with oil prices taking a dive on the Russian side and a very expensive war they were not counting on on the Ukrainian side.

Joining us now to talk about all of this is Michael Hudson. He is a distinguished research professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. His upcoming book is titled Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroyed the Global Economy.

Michael, thank you, as always, for joining us.

MICHAEL HUDSON, ECONOMICS PROF., UNIV. OF MISSOURI, KANSAS CITY: Good to be here.

PERIES: So, Michael, in a recent interview published in The National Interest magazine, you said that most media covers Russia as if it is the greatest threat to Ukraine. History suggests the IMF may be far moredangerous. What did you mean by that?

HUDSON: First of all, the terms on which the IMF make loans require more austerity and a withdrawal of all the public subsidies. The Ukrainian population already is economically devastated. The conditions that the IMF’s program is laying down for making loans to Ukraine is that it must repay the debts. But it doesn’t have the ability to pay. So there’s only one way to do it, and that’s the way that the IMF has told Greece and other countries to do: It has to begin selling off whatever the nation has left of its public domain; or, to have your leading oligarchs take on partnerships with American or European investors, so that they can buy out into the monopolies in the Ukraine and indulge in rent-extraction.

This is the IMF’s one-two punch. Punch number one is: here’s the loan – to pay your bondholders, so that you now owe us, the IMF, to whom you can’t write down debts. The terms of this loan is to believe our Guiding Fiction: that you can pay foreign debt by running a domestic budgetary surplus, by cutting back public spending and causing an even deeper depression.

This idea that foreign debts can be paid by squeezing out domestic tax revenues was controverted by Keynes in the 1920s in his discussion of German reparations. (I devote a chapter to reviewing the controversy in my Trade, Development and Foreign Debt.) There is no excuse for making this error – except that the error is deliberate, and is intended to lead to failure, so that the IMF can then say that to everyone’s surprise and nobody’s blame, their “stabilization program” destabilized rather than stabilized the economy.

The penalty for following this junk economics must be paid by the victim, not by the victimizer. This is part of the IMF’s “blame the victim” strategy.

The IMF then throws its Number Two punch. It says, “Oh, you can’t pay us? I’m sorry that our projections were so wrong. But you’ve got to find some way to pay – by forfeiting whatever assets your economy may still have in domestic hands.

The IMF has been wrong on Ukraine year after year, almost as much as it’s been wrong on Ireland and on Greece. Its prescriptions are the same as those that devastated Third World economies from the 1970s onward.

So now the problem becomes one of just what Ukraine is going to have to sell off to pay the foreign debts – run up increasingly for waging the war that’s devastated its economy.

One asset that foreign investors want is Ukrainian farmland. Monsanto has been buying into Ukraine – or rather, leasing its land, because Ukraine has a law against alienating its farmland and agricultural land to foreigners. And a matter of fact, its law is very much the same as what the Financial Times reports Australia is wanting to do to block Chinese and American purchase of farmland.[1]

The IMF also insists that debtor countries dismantle public regulations againstforeign investment, as well as consumer protection and environmental protection regulations. This means that what is in store for Ukraine is a neoliberal policy that’s guaranteed to actually make the situation even worse.

In that sense, finance is war. Finance is the new kind of warfare, using finance and forced sell-offs in a new kind of battlefield. This will not help Ukraine. It promises to lead to yet another crisis down the road very, very quickly.

PERIES: Michael, let’s unpack the debt in this crisis. The war has led Ukraine into a deeper crisis. Talk about the devastation that has caused and what they have to manage in addition to what the IMF is trying to impose on it.

HUDSON: When Kiev went to war against Eastern Ukraine, it fought primarily the coal mining region and theexport region. Thirty-eight percent of Ukraine’s exports are to Russia. Yet much of this export capacity has been bombed out of existence. Also, the electric companies that fuel the electricity to the coal mines been bombed out. So Ukraine can’t even supply itself with coal.

What is so striking about all this is that just a few weeks ago, on January 28, Christine Lagarde, the head of the IMF, said that the IMF does not make loans to countries that are engaged in war. That would befunding one side or another. Yet Ukraine is involved in a civil war. The great question is thus when the IMF will even begin to release the loan it has been discussing.

Also, the IMF articles of agreement say that it cannot make loans to an insolvent country. So how on earth can it be part of a loan bailout for the Ukraine if, number one, it’s at war (which has to stop totally), and number two, it’s insolvent?

The only solution is that Ukraine will scale back its debts to private investors. And that means a lot of contrarian hedge funds investors. The Financial Times today has an article showing that one American investor alone, Michael Hasenstab, has $7 billion of Ukraine debts and wants to speculate in it, along with Templeton Global Bond Fund.[2] How is Ukraine going to treat the speculators? And then, finally, how is the IMF going to treat the fact that Russia’s sovereign fund lent 3 billion euros to the Ukraine on harsh terms through the London agreement terms that can’t be written down? Is the IMF going to insist that Russia take the same haircut that it’s imposing on the hedge funds? All of this is going to be the kind of conflict that’s going to take much more effort than even the solutions that we’ve seen over the last few days have taken on the military battlefront.

PERIES: And so how could Ukraine imagine getting out of this crisis?

HUDSON: It probably imagines a dream world in which it’ll get out of the crisis by the West giving it $50 billion and saying, here’s all the money you need, spend it as you want. That’s the extent of its imagination. It is fantasy, of course. It’s living in a dream world – except that a few weeks ago, George Soros came out in The New York Review of Books and urged Congress and “the West” to give Ukraine $50 billion and look at it as a down payment on military or with Russia. Well, immediately Kiev said, yes, we will only spend them on defensive arms. We will defend Ukraine all the way up toSiberia as we wipe out the Russians.

Bit today a Financial Times editorial said, yes, give Ukraine the $50 billion that George Soros asked for.[3] We’ve got to enable it to have enough money to fight America’s New Cold War against Russia. But the continental Europeans are saying, “Wait a minute. At the end of this, there’ll be no more Ukrainians to fight. The war might even spread into Poland and into elsewhere, because if the money that’s given to Ukraine is really for what the Obama administration and Hillary and Soros are all pressing for – to go to war with Russia – then Russia’s going to say, ‘Okay, if we’re being attacked by foreign troops, we’re going to have to not only bomb the troops, but the airports they are coming in through, and the railway stations they’re coming in through. We’re going to extend our own defense towards Europe.’”

Apparently there are reports that Putin told Europe, look, you have two choices before you. Choice one: Europe, Germany and Russia can be a very prosperous area. With Russia’s raw materials and European technology, we can be one of the most prosperous areas in the world. Or, Choice two: You can go to war with us and you can be wiped out. Take your choice.

PERIES: Michael, complex and interesting times in Ukraine, as well as at the IMF. Thank you so much for joining us.

HUDSON: It’s good to be here, Sharmini.

PERIES: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

La sexta gran marcha anual para conmemorar a las mujeres autóctonas asesinadas y desaparecidas se realizó en Montreal. Cientos de voces reclaman al gobierno de Canadá que escuche las demandas repetidas en favor de una comisión de investigación nacional.

Le 15 février 2015

Canadá e Israel se comprometen a luchar juntos contra BDS

February 17th, 2015 by Jorge Zegarra

En un reciente acuerdo de cooperación, Canadá dio su apoyo al régimen de Israel para contrarrestar la creciente campaña mundial de Boicot, Desinversión y Sanciones conocida como BDS.

14 février 2015

In recent years, the nature of the U.S.-South Korean military alliance has been undergoing a transformation. At the urging of the United States, the Alliance has adopted a more global perspective, in which South Korean armed forces provide support for U.S. military occupations. With the appointment of Ashton Carter as U.S. Secretary of Defense, South Korea can expect to be pressured into assuming a more active role in future U.S. invasions and bombing campaigns.

When South Korea signed an Individual Partnership and Cooperation Program with NATO in September 2012, it committed itself to cooperation with NATO in a number of areas, including the euphemistically termed “multinational peace-support operations.” The text of the agreement has not been made publicly available, but it is probable that it is similar to the agreement signed between Australia and NATO. That document said the partnership “aims to support NATO’s strategic objectives,” including “enhancing support for NATO’s operations and missions.” Training and other joint activities would assist Australian military forces in Afghanistan “and any possible future NATO-led mission.” That language mirrors the text of NATO’s policy document on partnerships, which identifies increasing support for NATO-led operations and missions as a primary strategic objective.

Ostensibly formed as a defensive alliance for Western Europe, NATO has never acted in self-defense. Instead, the alliance has been steadily expanding and encroaching on former Warsaw Pact territory, and it now stands on Russia’s doorstep, provocatively tightening the military noose around its designated adversary. In 1999, NATO engaged in its first war of aggression, bombing every city and town in Yugoslavia and inflicting widespread death and destruction. That was followed by NATO support for the U.S. occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq and a bombing campaign against Libya that succeeded in overthrowing the government and creating an anarchic free-for-all by Islamic militias.

Prior to its agreement with NATO, South Korea had already sent small contingents to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of U.S. occupying forces. In 2011, South Korea pledged half a billion dollars over a five-year period for Afghan government forces and development programs.

However, these support operations are not deemed sufficient by NATO. In November 2012, NATO official Dirk Brengelmann met with South Korean foreign ministry officials in Seoul, to “explore opportunities for expanding cooperation,” in the words of a NATO report.

At the seventh Policy Consultation between South Korea and NATO in October 2014, the two sides agreed to “strengthen and upgrade” their partnership. Only a few days earlier, a South Korean delegation met with U.S. officials in Washington. There, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced, “We were very grateful to hear from both Foreign Minister Yun and Defense Minister Han that South Korea intends to continue cooperating closely with us in regard to these international efforts, and in fact wants to step up its efforts in a number of regards.” The joint statement issued after the meeting stated, “Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to further develop the Alliance into a global partnership.”

Jeffrey Reynolds of the Strategic Engagement Team at NATO headquarters and Barry Pavel of the Atlantic Council co-authored an article in which they argue that NATO is already a Pacific power. The authors admit that NATO engagement in Asia “will create controversy.” As NATO pursues an Asia-Pacific strategy, “pushback from other nations in the region will be a natural response, but the alliance should be prepared for that outcome and nevertheless stride ahead.” In the view of Reynolds and Pavel, “A far riskier option for the alliance is to stay out of Asia. In doing so, it would lose the opportunity to play a constructive role in the security of the world’s emerging basin of consequence.” Considering NATO’s impact on Yugoslavia and Libya, a fair-minded person would have to substitute the word “destructive” for “constructive” in the previous sentence in order to properly characterize what NATO has to offer Asian nations.

“America’s pivot is a significant opportunity for NATO,” Reynolds and Pavel continue. “NATO must be regional in character, global in stature and Pacific in direction.”

The United States has been pushing its Asian allies for some time to establish a military alliance similar to NATO. “We must encourage our allies to move beyond bilateral alliances and towards an era of greater multilateral security cooperation,” asserts U.S. Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey. However, as one unnamed U.S. military official admitted, “No one expects this region to move to a NATO-type security architecture anytime in the near future.”

While it may take years to extend NATO into Asia or to build a counterpart in Asia, more immediate plans call for NATO’s Asian partners to play a more active role in U.S. wars of aggression. U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter spelled out his vision back in 1999, as NATO was obliterating infrastructure in Yugoslavia. “NATO’s principal strategic and military purpose in the post-Cold War era should be to provide a mechanism for the rapid formation of militarily potent ‘coalitions of the willing’ that are able to project power beyond NATO territory.”

Moreover, Carter argued, NATO’s partnership programs “should be enhanced beyond today’s emphasis on peacekeeping.” The objective “should be to prepare partners to operate alongside NATO members in ‘coalitions of the willing’ that cover the full range of NATO’s new power-projection missions.” Membership in a NATO partnership program “for non-NATO members” should be “as similar as possible to the experience of NATO membership.”

In Carter’s view, for NATO partners to limit their involvement to post-invasion support operations is inadequate. They must send combat forces to fight alongside NATO as it attacks its next hapless victim. In the coming years, South Korea, as well as other Asian nations such as Japan, Australia and New Zealand, can expect to face strong-arm tactics to adopt the type of role South Korea played in the U.S. invasion of Vietnam in years past. South Korea has nothing to gain from making itself a tool of imperialism, and it is to be hoped that it will resist pressure to do so.  It is time for the peoples of the world to say no to military madness.

Gregory Elich is on the Board of Directors of the Jasenovac Research Institute and the Advisory Board of the Korea Policy Institute. He is a columnist for Voice of the People and one of the co-authors of Killing Democracy: CIA and Pentagon Operations in the Post-Soviet Period, published in the Russian language.

Guerra econômica e suas sanções (segunda parte)

February 16th, 2015 by Valentin Katasonov

 

Sanções econômicas, trata-se de complexas medidas para fazer pressão em outros países para obter objetivos políticos, mas, tem-se que apesar dessas sanções trazerem consequências negativas para os países sendo atacados, os premeditados objetivos políticos dos países promotores da mesma, nem sempre são alcançados. Mais frequentemente esses objetivos nunca são alcançados. Gary Hufbauer, um conhecido perito americano nessa área e seus associados mostram, de quando classificando 204 casos de sanções, que somente 30 desses teriam tido sucesso (Tabela 1).

1.Objetivo das sanções e seus reais resultados

Custo da modificação da política                (43-51%)

  1. Mudança de regime ou democratização      (80-31%)
  2. Cessação das atividades de guerra             (19-21%)
  3. Destruição do potencial militar                  (29-31%)
  4. Outros tipos de mudanças de política         (33-30%)

Em parênteses:- (Número de Casos-Porcentagem de Sucesso)

Fonte : Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Jeffrey J. Schott, Kimberly Ann Elliott, and Barbara Oegg. Economic Sanctions Reconsidered, 3rd edition. Novembro de 2007.

Em muitos casos as sanções mostram-se como estimulantes, exercendo uma ação de influência na economia abaixo de sanções. Foi assim que o denominado bloqueio continental que Napoleão Bonaparte organizou contra a Grã-Bretanha, deu um empurrão na segunda fase da revolução industrial nesse país, contribuindo para a finalização da sua transformação na “oficina do mundo”.

A propósito, Napoleão conseguiu até um certo ponto incluir a Rússia no bloqueio continental, tendo conseguido então que ela suspendesse o fornecimento à Inglaterra de cereais, madeira, linho, linhaça e outros bens. Ao mesmo tempo a Rússia se sentiu constrangida a rejeitar as importações de produtos industriais da produção da Inglaterra, entre eles as importações de produtos metalúrgicos e de vidro. Conhecedores da história econômica observaram que foi precisamente a entrada da Rússia no bloqueio continental que deu o necessário empurrão para o desenvolvimento das indústrias metalúrgicas e das indústrias de têxtil russas, então.

Um exemplo clássico da não efetividade do sistema de sanções mostrou-se com o caso do embargo levantado contra o comércio com a Itália pela Liga das Nações, 1935. Foi a Grã-Bretanha  que iniciou essas sanções, e o motivo dado pela sua declaração foi o retornar da Itália à Abissínia, Etiópia. Esse embargo mostrou-se inefetivo. Em primeiro lugar, o comércio da Itália continuou com os países que não faziam parte da Liga das Nações, principalmente então com a Alemanha nazista de então. Depois, em segundo lugar, mesmo países que tinham concordado com as sanções contra a Itália não as observaram muito estritamente.

Um impressionante exemplo do poder de mobilização das sanções viu-se com o caso da União Soviética. Já nos primeiros meses da chegada ao poder pelos bolcheviques os países da Entente, ou seja dos outros aliados, começaram a organizar bloqueios marítimos e comerciais contra a Rússia Soviética. Ao final esses bloqueios vieram a fazer com que junto a direção do país tivesse começado a amadurecer a visão da necessidade de se decidir a respeito de uma elaboração construtiva da economia, a qual deveria ser minimamente dependente dos mercados exteriores.

Em dezembro de 1925 foi proposta uma solução socialista para a industrialização. Já depois de quatro anos saiu o primeiro plano quinquenal, ou seja de cinco anos, o qual veio a caracterizar a indústria pesada da União Soviética. No começo da Segunda Guerra Mundial construiram-se mais do que 9.000 empresas industriais. O país fez mesmo por onde se preparar para a agressão por parte da Alemanha fascista de então.

O custo para satisfazer o consumo interno da importação de meios de produção para a URSS, assim como para meios de consumo no mercado, caíram no nível de mais ou menos 2%. Depois de mais 10 à 12 anos a União Soviética conseguiu realizar o seu grandioso programa de substituição de importações.

A seguir a Segunda Guerra Mundial, uma das direções que a guerra fria do ocidente contra a União Soviética tomou expressou-se na proibição de dar a ela tecnologia militar, assim como tecnologia com possibilidades a serem usadas tanto civíl como militarmente, além de embargo a exportação de cereais, a limitação de créditos, acusações de dumping, e negação a eventuais concessões de regime de país mais favorecido em comércio, etc.

Entretanto, o efeito da guerra econômica do ocidente contra a União Soviética foi limitado. Em primeiro lugar porque a União Soviética aprendeu a contornar algumas limitações e proibições de comércio com o ocidente. Em segundo lugar porque a dependência da União Soviética tanto quanto a importação como a exportação, no decorrer dos primeiros trinta anos depois da Segunda Guerra Mundial, manteve-se num nível mínimo. Em terceiro lugar então, porque algumas importações necessárias para a URSS foram cobertas por outros países do bloco socialista.

Essa situação só começou a mudar no começo dos anos 70. Nos finais de 1973 o preço do petróleo nos mercados internacionais deu um salto quádruplo. Na União Soviética começou então a chover dólares, e gradualmente ela foi ficando dependente da exportação do petróleo. De ser uma potência industrial ela se transformou numa fonte de matéria prima, o que fez com que a potencialidade da efetividade de eventuais sanções do ocidente contra ela no quadro de uma guerra econômica foi aumentada.

Entretanto, o que serviria como um bom exemplo de baixa efetividade de sanções econômicas nos nossos tempos, seriam as ações do ocidente contra o Iraque e o Irã.

Depois da anexação de Kuwait pelo Iraque – mesmo que de caso pensado Saddam Hussein possa ter sido levado a isso por artimanhas dos americanos – em 6 de agosto de 1990, o Conselho de Segurança da ONU tomou a resolução 661 em 1990, a qual tinha como objetivo o tomar contra o Iraque medidas coercivas mas sem recurso a armas. Abaixo dessas medidas entrava o estrangulamento de todos os caminhos para transações financeiras e mercadorias, excluindo-se só o fornecimento de medicamentos e produtos alimentares, num quadro humanitário.  Entretanto, tem-se que como medida principal fecharam-se todos os caminhos para exportações de petróleo do Iraque.

Naturalmente então que a influência das sanções na economia do Iraque, a qual é dependente da exportação do petróleo, tornou-se muito sensível. Nas vésperas mesmo das sanções o sector petrolífero garantia mais do que 60% do PIB do Iraque. Essas sanções fizeram então por abaixar o nível de vida da população a qual veio a sentir falta até de produtos alimentares. Observou-se também ao mesmo tempo uma contínua desvalorização da moeda nacional.

No período das muito abrangentes e inclusivas medidas, de 1990 a 1995, o valor do dinheiro do Iraque em relação ao dólar caiu mais de 20 vezes e a inflação, medida em bases anuais, ficou numa porcentagem de várias centenas.

É verdade que depois do programa “Petróleo por Alimentos” ser elaborado, em 1996, a inflação começou a diminuir, e o problema da falta de alimentos, e medicamentos, perdeu a sua natureza aguda. Entretanto o governo do Iraque gradualmente começou a construir um esquema que permitiria o negociar com o mundo exterior, contornando as sanções. Foi por causa da ineficiência das sanções que os Estados Unidos resolveram retornar ao Iraque.

No Irã que já se encontra abaixo das sanções dos Estados Unidos e seus associados a 35 anos não se observa nenhum sinal de grande crise no país. A influência negativa na economia do Irã é, em resumo, somente visível na indústria do petróleo e isso por causa da proibição quanto a importação de equipamentos para essa indústria. Depois tem-se uma pressão suplementar na economia iraniana dado que os Estados Unidos conseguiram ligar a União Europeia as suas sanções. Entretanto, tem-se que, literalmente falando, o Irã de 2 a 3 anos, conseguiu adaptar-se a esse total bloqueio ocidental da sua indústria petrolífera.

Para Washington isso apresentou-se como uma surpresa e um fato absolutamente não aceitável. Irã tornou-se depois numa espécie de manual educacional, mostrando a outros países como se poderia contornar as sanções ocidentais. Do nosso ponto de vista foi exatamente isso que motivou a que em 2013, por iniciativa de Washington, as discussões em Geneva foram iniciadas quanto ao programa nuclear do Irã, com a participação do sexteto, ou seja dos 5 permanentes membros do Conselho de Segurança da ONU, mais a Alemanha, como intermediários.

Entretanto, não pensamos que os Estados Unidos estejam antes de mais nada preocupados com o programa nuclear iraniano, como também não pensamos que como troca pela redução do programa nuclear o ocidente iria suspender, ou reduzir, as sanções contra o Irã. Mesmo no caso da promessa de Washington de descongelar parte das detidas reservas monetárias do Irã, para mostrar boa vontade, tem-se que fala-se aqui de uma muito pequena parte dessas reservas. Depois disso também, a administração dos Estados Unidos sublinhou que qualquer que fosse a decisão tomada a respeito de mudanças nas sanções contra o Irã, essas seriam sempre de “carácter reversível”.

Em termos gerais as seguintes conclusões podem ser tiradas:

1) Não se nega a influência das sanções econômicas nos países sancionados mas reconhece-se que os motivos políticos quanto aos países promotores das sanções raramente são alcançados. As negativas consequências sociais que seguem-se as sanções são normalmente compensadas através de que as autoridades governamentais acabam usando as sanções para introduzir novas idéias assim como para consolidação política da comunidade.

2) Com o tempo a influência das sanções vai diminuindo e o país sancionado vai também se adaptando. Sucede frequentemente que as sanções tornam-se numa espécie de empurrão para extensivas reorganizações e mudanças econômicas .

3) Os países promotores das sanções frequentemente sofrem também perdas relativas ao fato de que suas empresas perdem possibilidades de fazer negócios com os países sancionados. Depois disso tem-se que as empresas dos países distribuindo sanções também perdem na concorrência com as empresas de países que não fazem parte dessas.

4) De quando os países distribuindo sanções percebem a ausência de resultados, quanto aos  efeitos políticos desejados, esses podem vir a valer-se do uso de outros métodos de pressão, como por exemplo pressão diplomática, guerras, operações de serviços secretos, etc.

5) O ocidente tem tentado de todas as maneiras possíveis negar os casos onde o uso de sanções econômicas tenha sido ineficiente. Isso sendo porque eles querem continuar a usar suas ameaças de sanções econômicas como arma para amedrontar os países que se desviem do curso estipulado pelos centros de forças ocidentais.

No final do artigo, na parte III dessa sequência, com base na análise da experiência internacional passaremos a examinar a questão da forma de adaptação empregadas por vários países abaixo do regime de sanções.

(a ser continuado)

Valentin Katasonov 

 

Tradução do russo : Anna Malm, artigospoliticos.wordpress.com para Mondialisation.ca

Versao inglesa : Economics Wars and Economic Sanctions (II), 7 de fevereiro de 2015

National mobilisation against the authorisation of permits for GM maize, October 2012-November 2014.

From October 2011 to November 2014, the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT) sat in Mexico. The PPT is an independent international legal body and the successor to the legendary Russell Tribunal – which enjoyed great visibility between 1966 and 1976 when it judged the crimes of the Vietnam War and the horrors of the Southern Cone dictatorships.

In requesting the PPT’s intervention in Mexico, the petitioning group of organisations, communities and persons declared: “In light of the dense legal thicket enveloping us, it’s urgent for us to find an authority that actually goes beyond the international institutional framework. An authority that would be truly independent and allow us to document in a comprehensive, open (but nonetheless rigorous) fashion every type of grievance.”1

The problem is structural, systemic and complex. It was aggravated by the structural adjustment policies of the 1980s to the point where it acquired an irreversible character with free trade agreements and their train of “phase-in” or “review” clauses. In this analysis, the Mexican State is committing a “deviation of power” because “it creates space for corporations while preventing the population from achieving justice through legal or institutional channels. In effect, State bodies are impenetrable, the legal issues are mired in confusion, and public policies, constitutional reforms and laws are confected to abrogate collective rights, infringe on the commons and weaken the social pact.”2

The PPT’s Mexican chapter identified free trade as the core element of a systemic dynamic in which the law is subservient to the economic interests of sectors distant from the general population. The 2011-2014 PPT session as a whole is therefore entitled “Free Trade, Impunity and Peoples’ Rights in Mexico.”

Over a three-year period, Mexican civil society documented seven processes summarising an unsustainable situation: generalised violence (tens of thousands of disappeared, repression, militarisation, imprisonment and over 100 thousand assassinations); environmental devastation; precarisation of workers’ rights and repression of independent unions; gender violence and hate crimes; expulsion/inexorable migration; absence of press freedoms and violence against journalists; and the comprehensive attack against peasant life, food sovereignty and collective land tenancy. It is this seventh process that is the subject of the present document.3

In 2013, various communities and organisations – most of them close to the Red en Defensa del Maíz (Maize Defence Network) and the Asamblea Nacional de Afectados Ambientales (National Assembly of Environmentally Affected Parties) – held workshops in diverse regions and localities to systematically document the grievances arising from: the State’s abandonment of agriculture without concern for the problems of peasants and farmers in rural areas; policies undermining the indigenous peoples and peasant life; the destruction of tenancy systems and of the territories maintained by communities, subsistence and decent living conditions in communities; the voracity of the agroindustrial food system; and of course the irresponsible policy of promoting GM maize and the massive imports of maize of dubious quality for industrial uses.

Poster for the final hearing of the Mexico Chapter of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (TPP), November 2014, Mexico DF.

During twenty workshops, five pre-hearings, a final hearing and a complementary hearing, systematic testimonies resulted in specific rulings and a final sentence bearing on this specific process wherein national and foreign jury members recognised – for the first time in the international legal sphere – the vast and systematic character of the attack against the peasantry and independent food production. (One of the pre-hearings was organised by the Unión de Científicos Comprometidos con la Sociedad [Union of Concerned Scientists]. It consolidated a multi-voice analysis on the dangers of GM crops and biased business-friendly science, i.e., a technoscience that contradicts the authentic principles of the scientific method, which acknowledges complexity and uncertainty as fundamental principles.)

All testimony provided ample evidence that the so-called structural reforms and international public policies promoted since the eighties are responsible, in conjunction with constitutional changes and reforms to laws and regulations, for the dismantling of legal and institutional protections at the expense of peasant communities. The subordination of Mexican agriculture to the interests of an industrialised global food system dominated by a few transnational corporations, the disempowering of the peasantry to the point where it isn’t profitable for them to produce their own food and the interruption or erosion of the living process of creating agricultural and cultural-social biodiversity are all direct effects of these policies and free trade agreements (which function as padlocks to make them irreversible).

The corporations of the global food system are unforgiving to farmers, whether subsistence or commercial farmers, who seek to make a living from agriculture, even under the rules imposed by the dominant model. They are marginalised “as profit rates fall and the corporations act to cut the throats of any who should impinge on their financial stability.”4Consumers in both cities and rural areas are affected as they may no longer choose their own food having become the prisoners of public policies and the designs of corporations.

It is a situation of structural violence, a process of dismantling rural environments, social property, peasant life and the possibility of people feeding themselves. Everything to ensure that transnational companies obtain legal certainty and the opportunity to accumulate vast tracts of land or establish oligopolies in key market sectors, such as seeds or grain purchasing and distribution, grain processing and retail sales. The result: a vast forced rural exodus and the inexorable growth of cities with, in turn, repercussions in the form of further aggravation of the problems in the countryside.

2. The rulings and visions

National mobilisation against the authorisation of transgenic maize permits, October 2012-November 2014.

Paragraph 3.2 of the final sentence of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal process in Mexico painted a faithful picture of a systemic condition:

Mexico’s insertion in neoliberal globalisation has been associated with an extraordinary increase in suffering for the Mexican people. Neoliberal globalisation generates strong imbalances between the market and human rights. As the economy globalises, the democratic institutions safeguarding the majority’s rights are subordinated and marginalised; globalised institutions substitute for democratic control via the opaque regulation of international trade.

Neoliberal law provides a framework for wealth accumulation and the concentration of economic and political power required to meet the challenge of eliminating the “losers.” Moreover, neoliberal law is based on the architecture of impunity constructed in favour of multinational companies and capital. Inequality and asymmetry are integral to this process.

Workshop in the Guerrero Mountains, part of the deliberations on the systematisation of violence against maize, food sovereignty and people’s autonomy, April 2013.

The Mexican government has intervened to facilitate the transformation and forced elimination, via economic means, of masses of urban and rural populations deemed “unnecessary” or “superfluous.” Mexican governments have used the power of the State to accelerate this elimination through direct acts of dispossession of the means of production or via interventions distorting the subsistence economy.5

In November 2013, the final hearing on Violence against Maize, Food Sovereignty and Peoples’ Autonomy declared in its ruling:

There is an open war, of a criminal character, against the autonomous subsistence of broad groups, including, notably, the indigenous peoples and peasant communities. In dispossessing them of their independent means of subsistence, one condemns them to migration, dependence on assistance programs, misery, marginalisation and death… The imposition of an intensive agroindustrial model –which includes transgenics as one of its most extreme elements – by the Mexican State and corporations such as Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow, BASF or Cargill, not only constitutes an attack against a culture, but also a veritable war against subsistence, spearheaded via the confection of laws to prevent the defence of peasant agriculture and independent [food] production.

Pre-hearing on the question of attacks on community life in Acatepec, Hidalgo, part of the deliberations on systematisation of violence against maize, food sovereignty and peoples’ autonomy, November 2013.

According to the PPT, public policies and laws produce the following results: they favour corporations even if they erode the general profitability of farming activity and undermine people’s food security; they encourage the oligopolistic control of land and water; they impose laboratory seeds (hybrids and transgenics) and highly toxic inputs; they criminalise native peasant seeds and their associated fabric of relationships; and they drive vast systems of intellectual property. Corporations are taking control of the entire food chain (from the land to retail food sales). Furthermore, emptied lands are being invaded with mining, development, tourism and pseudo-conservation projects, garbage dumps, etc. This way leads only to widespread environmental devastation.

The various organisations and communities presented their cases with a comprehensive and panoramic vision of the significance of this attack for agriculture and independent food production. The rulings reflect the force with which this comprehensive vision was presented throughout the PPT process.6

The evidence emerging from the cases presented (by groups and communities) led to the identification of a central grievance revisited in both the final ruling of the general hearing of November 2013 and the PPT’s final sentence in November 2014. This central grievance received the imprimatur of the work of philosopher Jean Robert and that of Ivan Illich.7 As the adjudicators of the Tepoztlán pre-hearing put it:

The objective of the attacks [by corporations and government] is total dispossession, i.e., wresting from the people their knowledge, their forms of constructing their own vision, meaning and ways of doing things, their ways of living together and, of course, their means of subsistence. This with the objective of turning us into isolated individuals, without social ties, unrooted to a place, to the land or to a neighbourhood, dependent on work to eat, thereby leaving us with no other alternative but to become submissive, cheap and disposable labour.8

3. The grievances

The general indictment sought a comprehensive perspective as a method for interconnecting the different elements of the process. The rulings echoed this comprehensive perspective, which not only sought to elucidate specific cases but also to disentangle the system’s dynamics and structure.

1. The Mexican State and corporations are destroying with exceptional intensity the relationship of communities to their territories, which is the very foundation of subsistence and the civilising continuity of a people. With the 1992 counter-reform of the Constitution’s Article 27, and related legislation, land was stripped of its inalienable, unseizable and indefeasible character, thus paving the way for its rental, sale, mortgaging or alienation through contracts with corporations and individuals.9Land was separated from water and natural resources, and human communities from the natural environments they had safeguarded for millennia. With the new Energy Reform, the Mexican State seeks to eradicate communal and ejidal property (i.e., social ownership of land) through subsidiary laws providing for the “occupation” of any land that may potentially contain energy resources, thereby decreeing the priority of energy exploration over all other activities. This abuse does not merely imply the disposal of abstract land: it is the forced exile of entire communities and an attempt to erase the territorial memory of communities and ejidos.10

2. Nor are the rights of the indigenous peoples recognised. They are merely recognised as entities of public interest. To recognise their rights to autonomy and territory would require the Mexican State’s prior recognition of the Indian peoples as subjects of public law. In light of the designs of companies, governments and multilateral organisations – i.e., land grabs, privatisations and plundering – it was crucial to NOT recognise any possibility that indigenous peoples have rights, that is to say possess instruments of legal defence.11

3. Withdrawing support for independent food production weakens national sovereignty and food security for the population as a whole, and it undermines the country’s economic foundations and strategies. Meanwhile, the big corporations repeatedly obtain every facility to produce, import, market and/or promote the processed foods they manufacture using their own supply channels of raw materials.12

4. Support for industrial farming means implanting forced dependency. Technological packages make farming dependent on highly toxic chemicals. They also erode the soil and can make farming too costly to be profitable.13

Imposed dependency includes crop intensification programs of an alienating and authoritarian character (supposedly to increase productivity and yields). Ancestral agricultural management practices and knowledge are eradicated as ancestral seeds are replaced with a gamut of registered and certified laboratory seeds (hybrids and GM), purchased from corporations; furthermore, mechanisation, chemical fertilisers and pesticides are promoted. In their sentence, the jury members of the final maize hearing stressed the following point:

When the Green Revolution was extended to peasant areas and maize, it was central to a policy that strove explicitly to expel peasants from the land to create a supply of cheap workers for cities already undergoing an accelerated process of industrialisation. At the same time, the utilisation of hybrid seeds and the associated agrochemical inputs was progressively extended to rain-fed agricultural areas, traditionally cultivated with native seeds.14

Maintaining high yields can only be achieved through predatory land use, which consumes lot after lot, and ruthless land grabbing, premised on the notion that everything is disposable. Standards are imposed. In effect, quality standards, food hygiene and other “technical” criteria such as “good agricultural practices” (GAP), NOMs, Premium Quality, etc. are invoked to marginalise “unregulated” foods, thereby privileging food produced under corporate control, although in practice such foods may be much more harmful than foods produced by traditional small farming.15

5. The war against subsistence leads to the privatisation of knowledge and discoveries, which leads to even privatising life itself. Intellectual property, patents, plant breeders’ rights and the entire panoply of associated notions such as certification, registry and cataloguing (of plant varieties for example) are established to expressly criminalise the ownership and free exchange of native ancestral seeds.16 Corporations and various associations promote this criminalisation, in complicity with states and international organisations, through systems of laws designed to exclude all seeds NOT registered and certified by them. In their verdict at the final Maize hearing, the jury members observed: “laws and the judicial apparatus are being used to mock legal principles and peoples’ fundamental rights. The Seeds Act of 2007 makes a crime of what peoples have done for millennia to husband, improve, multiply and share their seeds.”17

6. GM crops are the greatest weapon against independent food production. They entail genetic control codified by legal frameworks for intellectual and industrial property. In the last fourteen years, the government has adopted a variety of contamination strategies. First, it intentionally penetrated the regions with transgenics, but in underhand ways. Then it minimised the effects of GMOs, enacted laws to promote them, denied Mesoamerica’s status as the centre of origin of maize, terminated the moratorium against transgenic maize and commenced authorising permits for pilot projects and experimental sowing of transgenics in northern Mexico.18 In various pre-hearings, scientific evidence and community monitoring results were presented to demonstrate the dispersion of transgenic contamination of peasant maize and cotton in various places in Mexico (the centre of origin of both crops). Another case was  that GM soybeans have contaminated honey. The short and long-term effects of this transgenic invasion are catastrophic for biodiversity, agriculture, food production and people’s health, and not just for Mexico, but for the entire world, as maize is one of the world’s principal food crops.19

In its final sentence the PPT declared: “The Mexican government must adopt all necessary measures to guarantee the conservation of native maize as a principal staple food and as a cultural element of social cohesion and organisation. As Mexico is the genetic reservoir of this pillar of world food security, the sowing of transgenic maize in the country must be prohibited.”20

In 2010, Pat Mooney, director of the ETC Group affirmed: “If you lose the battle in the centre of origin of maize, then we will lose the centres of origin of agricultural diversity everywhere in the world. We cannot win if you [Mexicans] lose.”21

In the ruling rendered at the pre-hearing in San Luis Beltrán, Oaxaca, an analysis was effected concerning how the scientific establishment colluded in maize contamination, seeking to make it irreversible. The adjudicators gathered evidence on “how certain parties engaged in falsifying testing, methodological abuses, dishonest presentation of results and the withholding of information. In effect, an authentic conspiracy was constructed in which government officials, private corporations and supposed scientists realised criminal activities to withhold information on transgenic contamination.”22

After several attempts dating back to October 2012, on 5 July 2013, a group of civil society organisations, scientists and lawyers filed a class action suit against the sowing of GM maize in Mexico. This suit resulted in “a precautionary measure authorised on 17 September 2013 which required the suspension of GM maize permits for the duration of the trial”. Thanks to this measure, all permits for the sowing of GM maize throughout the country were suspended by a court order.

The injured parties allege that the Mexican State is guilty of deviation of powers as several government agencies and five companies “have brought 73 challenges against the suit and precautionary measure, as of 17 September 2014, including appeals and applications for review, revocation, the judge’s recusal, as well as amparo actions.”23 Governmental agencies have no hesitation in supporting corporations in instituting an instrument of control that automatically privatises not only a particular variety but also entire species and, in the long term, agricultural activity as a whole. The legal actions of the government and the corporations, and the deviation of power implied, are intended to stop civil society mobilisation as well as the suspension of GM maize sowing.

Poster for the prehearing on contamination of transgenic maize in San Luis Beltrán, Oaxaca, April 2013.

7. Water resource grabbing is being promoted at a frenetic pace. Any and all legal loopholes are employed to break the defence of water sources in peasant and indigenous territories. The local rural communities surrounding cities have been so dispossessed of their water resources that a significant fraction of the water left to them is a source of illness and poisoning.24

8. An expulsion of waves of human beings from their own territories is ongoing, which cuts off persons and collectivities from their roots and means of subsistence. This forced exodus to cities or agroindustrial centres engenders trafficking in persons for cheap labour as day workers or ordinary workers. Cities swell with the influx of rootless populations bereft of economic security. This in turn increases urban demands on rural areas, thereby exacerbating a rural-urban vicious circle.25

9. Forced rural exodus entails an emptying of territories and leads to their invasion by mining firms, deforestation and fraudulent speculation schemes, including carbon and oxygen as environmental services, REDD, biosphere reserves, etc. Such schemes alienate land-use management and turn communities’ ancestral environmental stewardship into a basis for speculation.26

10. Corporations are taking over the entire food production chain. The distance between where food is produced and where it is consumed is growing. A “vertical integration” of the agro-industrial food system is being imposed. This encompasses land grabs, the production and use of laboratory seeds (including GM) with toxic agrochemical packages, soil use changes, the devastation-deforestation-monopolisation-abuse of soils and water, and the transportation, processing, packaging, warehousing and delivery to corporate food marketing chains. Food safety, prices and food access are negatively affected. Local markets are dismantled in favour of agrifood corporations and major supermarket chains, thus fracturing regions and their most deeply rooted patterns of exchange.27

11. Extreme violence is brought to bear on many long duration historical processes of great importance to communities and peoples. Threats, coercion, jailings, disappearances and assassinations are increasing against community leaders and members of civil society, peasant and indigenous organisations, at the hands of paramilitary groups and hired assassins backed by agribusiness, mining, forestry and infrastructure companies, among others, in order to terrorize or disappear opponents.28

As the adjudicators of the pre-hearing in Maní, Yucatán underlined:

There is a much broader process of land grabbing and seizure of the commons, of social, environmental and territorial destruction and of annihilation of social fabrics, which is part of an orchestrated plan to displace populations and empty territories. This process of dispossession also includes a mechanism to destroy the communal fabric of the indigenous peoples by fomenting division in communities and co-opting leaders. [...] Sometimes an accomplice, sometimes the driving force, it is nearly impossible to clearly distinguish the State and its interests from those of land coveting national or foreign businessmen.29

In November 2013, a sentence was rendered at the final Maize and Food Sovereignty hearing, which ruled that the harms afflicting communities “are effected through diverse forms of systemic violence, with the apparent object of fomenting deep and generalised terror, thereby creating an environment of chaos and provoking confusion and continuous uncertainty.”30

But the people resist. They gain perspective. They understand that “today, peasant and indigenous communities and small scale farmers produce most of the world’s food,” despite the small share of the world’s land in their care, and despite the efforts to impose oppressive conditions on them.31

The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal process opened multiple spaces and networks where the assembled participants reflected on and analysed what was happening to them. This process was about collectively understanding how to transform the conditions burdening them. Communities are reassessing the role of local agriculture, their own independent production, and “ancestral crops and native seeds.” They endeavour to keep their young people in their communities and regions to ensure that the critical mass of people who act and think as a community are not wasted, lost or broken. They know that they must, whatever the cost, open and strengthen spaces for assembly, community and reflection (as a focal point for the collective creation of knowledge and general understanding of the world and the tasks ahead). And they know that local and regional ties must grow and strengthen.

Notes

 1 Petitoria formal al Tribunal Permanente de los Pueblos, Fundación Lelio Basso, Rome, Italy, encaminada a instaurar un Capítulo México donde podamos ventilar los nexos entre Libre comercio, guerra sucia y derechos de los pueblos, Comité promotor del Capítulo México, February 2011. See also the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Peoples, adopted in Algiers, 4 July 1976.

 2 Ibid.

 3 The seven PPT processes against the Mexican State served as an instrument for a surprising reflection/collective systematization process and a local-regional-national linking up from below, rarely seen. Over a thousand local, regional and national collectives presented 500 cases and countless witnesses testified in 25 of the country’s states, during 11 hearings, 40 pre-hearings and close to 150 systematization workshops. For information on the entire process: www.tppmexico.org

 4 “Los devastadores efectos de una guerra sostenida contra la subsistencia de los pueblos,” indictment made in Process 5, Violence against Maize, Food Sovereignty and the Autonomy of Peoples, at the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal, Mexico City, 19 November 2013

 5 Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal, Final Sentence rendered re the Free Trade, Violence, Impunity and Peoples’ Rights process in Mexico (2011-2014), Mexico City 12-15 November 2014. http://www.internazionaleleliobasso.it

 6 Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal, pre-hearing in Tepoztlán, Colisión campo-ciudad, 24 November 2012; pre-hearing in San Luis Beltrán, Oaxaca, La contaminación transgénica expresa encontrada en el maíz nativo mexicano, April 2013; pre-hearing in San Isidro, Jalisco, Territorialidad, subsistencia y vida digna, 28-30 June 2013; pre-hearing in Maní, Yucatán, Políticas de exterminio de del pueblo maya, 10 November 2013; pre-hearing Cultivos transgénicos, el caso de México con énfasis en el maíz, Mexico DF, 12 November, 2013; See complementary hearing in Acatepec, Hidalgo, Devastación de la vida comunitaria,  November 2013. www.tppmexico.org

 7 Jean Robert, “Por un sentido común controversial”, in GRAIN (compilation), No toquen nuestro maíz, June 2014. See Iván Illich, El trabajo fantasma. Complete Works, Tome 2, FCE, Mexico, 2008.

 8 See note 6: Dictamen presentado en la Preaudiencia: Colisión Campo-Ciudad, Tepoztlán, Morelos, op. cit.

 9 See Tenencia de la tierra y derechos agrarios (pdf), December 2003. http://www.sagarpa.gob.mx/sdr/evets/sm_jovenes/pdfs/1_eirr_sra.pdf.

 10 Centro de Estudios para el Cambio en el Campo Mexicano and GRAIN: Reformas energéticas, despojo y defensa de la propiedad social de la tierra en México, biodiversidadla.org, 2014.

 11 “El Estado mexicano no reconoce los derechos de los pueblos indios”, Ojarasca  178, February 2011.

 12 Ana de Ita, “La seguridad alimentaria como negocio”, La Jornada, 28 April 2012. GRAIN; “Flujo de alimentos y TLC”,  October 2008, and GRAIN, “Corporations are still making a killing from hunger,” January 2009. [http://www.grain.org/article/entries/716-corporations-are-still-making-a-killing-from-hunger]

 13 See “Permanent Peoples Tribunal Verdict against the Big six Agrochemical Companies: Syngenta, Bayer, Monsanto, Dow, Dupont, Basf”, Bangalore, India, December 2011, http://www.gloobal.net/iepala/gloobal/fichas/ficha.php?id=17107

 14 Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal, Dictamen sobre Violencia contra el Maíz, la Soberanía Alimentaria y la Autonomía de los Pueblos, third thematic hearing as part of the Free Trade, Violence and Peoples’ Rights in Mexico process (2011-2014), Mexico, 19-21 November 2013. See www.tppmexico.org.

 15 GRAIN, The great food robbery, GRAIN, 2013 [http://www.grain.org/article/entries/4501-the-great-food-robbery-a-new-book-from-grain]

 16 Alianza Biodiversidad, Red por una América Libre de Transgénicos, Campaña Mundial de la Semilla de Vía Campesina, “Declaración de Yvapuruvu”, www.biodiversidadla.org. Alianza Biodiversidad, Leyes de semillas y otros pesares, October, 2014. [http://www.grain.org/es/article/entries/5002-leyes-de-semillas-y-otros-pesares-los-pueblos-de-america-latina-las-cuestionan-e-impugnan]

 17 Dictamen sobre Violencia contra el Maíz, la Soberanía Alimentaria y la Autonomía de los Pueblos, op. cit.

 18 ETC Group, El año de la gran contaminación, October 2012, http://www.etcgroup.org/es/node/185

 19 ETC Group, The Great Mexican Maize Massacre, press release 15 November 2012 http://www.etcgroup.org/content/great-mexican-maize-massacre

 20 ETC Group Comunique, “International Tribunal Demands GM Maize Ban in Mexico,” 5 December 2014. http://www.etcgroup.org/content/international-tribunal-demands-gm-maize-ban-mexico

 21 Pat Mooney (ETC Group), “La FAO contaminada transgénicamente”, in GRAIN, Coa, Casifop, El maíz no es una cosa, es un centro de origen, México, 2012.

 22 See note 6: ruling on Contaminación transgénica del maíz nativo, San Luis Beltrán, Oaxaca, op. cit.

 23 Addition to the document “De la simulación de protección de la diversidad del maíz al desvío de poder a favor de las transnacionales,” made during filing of the class action lawsuit against GM maize in Mexico and filed with the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal, Mexico chapter, September 2014. www.tppmexico.org

 24 Andrés Barreda, “La catástrofe del agua en México sólo la explican las políticas del TLC,” Ojarasca 178, February 2012.

 25 Final sentence of the PPT, November 2014, op.cit,

 26 Ibid.

 27 The great food robbery, op. cit.

 28 See note 6, Dictamen de la Preaudiencia: Colisión Campo-Ciudad, op. cit.

 29 See note 6, Dictamen de la preaudiencia de Políticas de exterminio contra el Pueblo Maya, Táan U Xu’Ulsaj K-Kuxtal, Maní, Yucatán, op. cit.

 30 PPT, Dictamen sobre Violencia contra el Maíz, la Soberanía Alimentaria y la Autonomía de los Pueblos, op. cit.

Guerra econômica e suas sanções (primeira parte)

February 16th, 2015 by Valentin Katasonov

Nas guerras econômicas dos séculos XIX- XXI usou-se o comércio, as possibilidades marítimas, o bloqueio de créditos, o emprisionamento e a confiscação de bens. Isso foi feito, numa esmagadora maioria dos casos, tendo-se em vistas fins políticos. De quando conduzindo política exterior agressiva, em relação a países na periferia do capitalismo mundial, o ocidente evita usar o termo “guerra econômica”, preferindo outros termos mais neutrais, como “sanções econômicas”, delimitação comercial-econômica, “moratório” e “interditação”. Entretanto, todas essas medidas, no conjunto, tem o objetivo de arruinar adversários econômicos, levantar agitação social, e conduzir a mudanças de poder.

Entre as guerras econômicas do passado é necessário aqui relembrar-se do “Bloqueio Continental”. Essas foram medidas complexas com o objetivo de bloquear o comércio da Grã-Bretanha, medidas essas que foram conduzidas por Napoleão Bonaparte 1806-1814. Para esse bloqueio da ilha britânica Napoleão conseguiu convocar uma grande parte das nações da Europa continental.

De maneira geral, no século XIX, as guerras econômicas mais propagadas foram as feitas pelo bloqueio marítimo. No período 1827-1914, infligiram-se 21 bloqueios. A esses foram submetidos a Turquia, Portugal, os Países Baixos, a Colômbia, o México, a Argentina e Salvador. Os iniciadores dos bloqueios foram então a Grã-Bretanha (12 vezes), a França (11 vezes), a Itália e a Alemanha (por 3 vezes), a Áustria e a Rússia (por 2 vezes) e o Chile.

GUERRA ECONÔMICA E SANÇÕES DO SÉCULO XX

 

DINÂMICA DAS SANÇÕES ECONÔMICAS DO SÉCULO XX

5 ANOS                  QUANTIDADE

1911-1915                    1

1916-1920                   2

1921-1925                    2

1926-1930                   0

1931-1935                    3

1936-1940                    3

1941-1945                     1

1946-1950                    8

1951-1955                     5

1956-1960                   10

1961-1965                   15

1966-1970                    4

1971-1975                   13

1976-1980                   25

1981-1985                   15

1986-1990                   20

1991-1995                   34

1996-2000                   13

Fonte :

Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Jeffrey J. Schott, Kimberly Ann Elliott, and Barbara Oegg. Economic Sanctions Reconsidered, 3rd edition. November 2007.

 

Sanções econômicas tornaram-se nos principais, e mais usados, instrumentos da política internacional sómente depois da Segunda Guerra Mundial, especialmente então, nos últimos três decênios do século XX. No período1971-2000 tiveram-se 120 casos de sanções, o que significa 69% do total de todas as sanções registradas no período 1911-2000.

No século XX a guerra econômica ocidental foi principalmente, em grande escala, contra a União Soviética. Essa guerra manifestava-se claramente como tendo objetivos políticos – Esses eram: derrubar o poder bolchevista, levar ao poder os protegidos dos países Ententes, ou seja dos aliados – em primeira mão a Grã-Bretanha e a França – e mudar o rumo político-econômico do país.

O ocidente procurava conseguir que a Rússia tivesse necessidades de realizar despesas, assim como que essa restabelecesse o direito dos estrangeiros a ter bens e haveres, ou seja, que ela revocasse a nacionalização dos ativos estrangeiros. A guerra econômica contra a União Soviética começou em 1917, de quando os antigos parceiros Antantes da Rússia declararam contra ela um bloqueio marítimo.

Sem grandes interrupções, a principal sendo então no período da Segunda Guerra Mundial, a guerra econômica contra a União Soviética continuou até a desintegração da URSS, em dezembro de 1991. A suplementar guerra psicológica-informativa, assim como as operações de guerra econômica dos serviços secretos ocidentais contra a União Soviética, faziam parte da composição da guerra fria contra o campo socialista.

SANÇÕES ECONÔMICAS E GUERRA ECONÔMICA CONTRA A RÚSSIA

Não é possível de se entrar em um acordo quanto a afirmação de que depois da desintegração da União Soviética o ocidente não teria conduzido guerra econômica contra a Federação Russa. Nas relações entre a Rússia e os Estados Unidos continuaram as atividades de emendas da lei comercial conhecidas como Jackson-Vanik, tomadas em 1974. Essa tinha como objetivo fazer com que Moscou suspendesse as dificuldades para os hebreus de sairem da União Soviética.

As emendas tinham em vista fazer diversos tipos de delimitações, uma delas sendo em relação a exportação-importação comercial de, e para, a União Soviética. Essas emendas de lei só foram mudadas em 2012, de quando foram imediatamente então substituidas pelo “Ato Magnitisky”. Essa nova lei dava ao governo e a presidência dos Estados Unidos o direito de limitar o comércio com a Federação Russa.

Um outro exemplo – limitação do fornecimento tecnológico. Já em 1949 por iniciativa de Washington foi iniciada uma organização internacional com o nome de “Comité de Coordenação para Multilateral Controle de Exportações” – mais conhecido como CoCom.

Na época da guerra fria CoCom apresentou uma lista de mercadorias estratégicas e tecnológicas a não serem oferecidas em exportação para os países do bloco oriental. O comité apresentou sua estratégia denominada “Atraso Tecnológico Controlado” – tendo em vista os países constituintes do Pacto de Varsóvia.

Caiu o Muro de Berlim, caiu a própria União Soviética, mas CoCom continuou sua existência. CoCom só foi extinguido em 1994, mas no seu lugar entrou então o “Acordo Comercial Vasenar”, no original “Вассенаарское”. Esse acordo permitia uma não menor, assim também como uma efetiva delimitação da entrada de tecnologia militar ocidental , assim também como de tecnologias de duplo uso, para países “não-gratos” ou indesejáveis.

Dessa maneira tem-se que só a nomenclatura foi mudada, na sua essência a política do ocidente em relação a nova Rússia continuou da mesma forma como a relação que tinham com a União Soviética. A Federação Russa continuou a ser objeto de guerra econômica.

Uma peculiaridade aqui é que manifestações dessa guerra externa contra a Rússia não tinham se manifestado anteriormente, e isso por dois motivos principais.

Em primeiro lugar, nos primeiros tempos da sua existência a Federação Russa, de própria vontade, caminhou nas águas da política ocidental. Quanto a política internacional ela transformou-se num objeto dessa política, o que fez com que nenhuma atividade de coerção ou imposição tenha sido exigida em relação a ela. O ocidente tem a sua disposição um grande arsenal de métodos para guerras econômicas, mas nos anos 90, esses foram usados muito raramente.

Em segundo lugar, formalmente as medidas ocidentais não se relacionam com nenhuma guerra econômica. Entretanto, isso é só formalmente. Por exemplo, no verão de 2014 o juiz do Tribunal Internacional de Haag lançou um veredicto de demanda com o pretexto de “ofensa” a investidores estrangeiros de uma companhia petrolífera russa, a Yukos. Esse veredicto obrigava a Federação Russa a pagar uma multa de compensação no valor de 50 bilhões de dólares.

Essa determinação judicial tinha uma clara motivação política. A declaração de demanda dos inspectores encontrava-se no judicial já a muitos anos, mas foi disparada precisamente em 2014. Essa decisão foi tomada no auge da crise da Ucrânia, de quando o ocidente já tinha levantado uma série de sanções contra a Rússia, sanções essas que deveriam reforçar o efeito das sanções oficiais feitas pelos Estados Unidos e União Europeia.

ABAIXO DE SANÇÕES – MEIO MUNDO

[52% DA POPULAÇÃO MUNDIAL]

A Rússia não é o único objeto de sanções econômicas por parte do ocidente. Na avaliação da ONU, no começo do século XXI, as sanções econômicas dos Estados Unidos e outros países do “ouro bilhões” faziam-se contra dezenas de países do mundo, países esses nos quais viviam 52% da população mundial. As guerras econômicas de maior duração apresentam-se como sendo as contra Cuba e a Coréia do Norte.

As sanções contra Cuba começaram em 1960, de quando os revolucionários abaixo da direção de Fidel Castro desapropriaram propriedades e companhias de cidadãos americanos na ilha de Cuba. Em 1962 essas sanções foram reforçadas no nível de embargo, e essas atividades continuaram até os dias de hoje, sem indulgências. Por dados oficiais de Cuba, o prejuizo direto desse embargo, de mais de meio século, é de mais do que 1 trilhão de dólares. Entretanto, o seu maior objetivo – o de mudar o regime de Cuba – Washington não conseguiu realizar.

Uma guerra econômica muito longa foi, e ainda continua sendo também, conduzida contra o Irã. Sanções dos Estados Unidos em relação ao Irã começaram em 1979. Até hoje elas não foram abolidas. Uma tranformação se deu, mas sómente quanto a sua composição. Mesmo depois do começo das negociações com o Irã a respeito do seu programa nuclear o bloqueio contra o país não foi completamente revogado, sendo que o abrandamento feito foi simplesmente de carácter simbólico. A guerra contra o Irã continua.

O ARSENAL DE MÉTODOS DE GUERRA ECONÔMICA NO SÉCULO XXI

No começo do século XXI o arsenal de meios para guerras econômicas ampliou-se, e de muito.

Primeiro, trata-se de sanções econômicas que são declaradas por, e para, representantes de um governo. Essas sanções poderão ser efetivadas em relação a todos os cidadãos e todos os sujeitos econômicos de um outro país, tais como companhias, bancos e outras organizações, podendo essas ser sectoriais.

Por exemplo, sanções contra a Rússia foram anunciadas no verão de 2014 em relação a três sectores – ao sector da indústria militar, ao sector do petróleo, e ao sector bancário. Em alguns casos as sanções foram adressadas a específicos alvos, e nesses casos então apresentavam-se as chamadas listas negras. As sanções também poderiam apresentar-se como sendo de duas categorias, ou tipos.

Primeiro Tipo – Atividades em relação a cidadãos e subjetos econômicos dos países abaixo de sanções. Tem-se também um outro tipo que diz respeito a atividades em relação a outros cidadãos, companhias, e bancos de países, que contribuam para uma violação de sanções. Por exemplo, contra muitos bancos europeus e americanos hoje em dia avançam-se aos árbitros e órgãos da inspecção financeira acusações de que esses bancos estariam participando na condução de pagamentos internacionais em favor de bancos e companhias do Irã, Líbia, Síria, Cuba e Sudão, contra os quais os Estados Unidos e alguns países europeus declararam sanções. Os bancos que contribuem para que isso se realize caem abaixo das denominadas sanções do segundo tipo e hoje em dia esses bancos podem ficar sujeitos a penalidades de bilhões de dólares.

Sanções podem referir-se ao fluxo de mercadorias (exportação-importação), companhias de transporte, movimentação das forças de trabalho, fluxos financeiros, e outras atividades. Efeitos destrutivos podem especialmente ser alcançados por intermédio de sanções que bloqueiem operações bancárias através do sistema de comunicação bancária SWIFT.

Apesar de SWIFT ser uma organização internacional de carácter particular – principalmente entre os fundadores apresentam-se bancos de vários países – tem-se que através do sistema SWIFT, tanto a estrutura governamental dos Estados Unidos, assim como seus aliados na Europa, ficam em condições de exercer fortes pressões na esfera internacional.

Efeitos de profunda perturbação podem ser conseguidos com sanções de congelamento das reservas de ouro e valuta de «países-párias». Já se tem precedentes. Por exemplo, U.S. deteu as reservas do Irã (a quantia exata não é conhecida). Em 2011 foram detidas as reservas do Banco Central e do Fundo Soberano da Líbia, sendo que o total da detenção de ativos seria de 150 bilhões de dólares.

Junto as fortes manobras da guerra econômica prosseguia-se com emprisionamentos, confiscações, e nacionalizações de ativos no exterior, pertencendo a companhias e bancos particulares. Isso do mesmo modo como muitos movimentos nacionalistas de liberação de quando tomando o poder em países da Ásia, África e América Latina nos anos 60 registraram uma grande quantidade de casos de nacionalização de ativos de corporações transnacionais tendo atividades em seus países.

Depois, com meios da guerra econômica seguem atividades não formalmente relacionadas com o tema de motivos políticos, ou declarações oficiais de sanções. Como exemplos claros disso tem-se manipulações nos mercados financeiros e de commodities. Países-iniciadores de guerra econômica – em primeira linha USA e Grã-Bretanha – também apoiam-se aqui nas possibilidades de que seus bancos possam artificialmente aumentar e diminuir valores e apreciações quanto aos mercados de matérias primas, de taxas de juros dos mercados financeiros, ou de taxas de câmbio dos mercados financeiros, etc.

Tudo isso pode ser acreditado a “elementos do mercado” ou a ações de “especuladores gananciosos”. O baixo preço do petróleo afetou a economia russa, mas seria difícil de ligar isso, de maneira formal, com a guerra econômica desencadeada contra a Rússia. As agências de rating descaradamente abaixaram a quotação dos títulos de valores russos a um nível muito baixo, mas essas mesmas agências declaravam que as suas avaliações eram “independentes”.

Talvez o instrumento informal mais poderoso na guerra econômica contra a Rússia seja a “Lei Fakta” que é uma lei a respeito de impostos sobre contas estrangeiras. Essa lei foi tomada para prover uma total arrecadação de impostos para o tesouro dos Estados Unidos. Os serviços de arrecadação de impostos planejam, já no corrente ano, a exigir de todos os bancos localizados nos limites dos Estados Unidos, informações a respeito de clientes seus que tenham casos suspensos com o tesouro americano.

Abaixo do pretexto de luta para aumentar a arrecadação de impostos o governo dos Estados Unidos empreendeu tentativas, sem precedentes, para colocar diretamente abaixo de sua administração o controle sobre os bancos estrangeiros. Bancos russos não excluidos. Já que os Estados Unidos conduzem uma não declarada guerra econômica contra a Rússia, um tal controle sobre bancos russos iria, com todas as probabilidades, ser usado para uma destabilização da Rússia.

Hoje em dia a Rússia deveria estar bem armada dado toda a rica experiência adquirida quanto a modernos meios de guerra econômica. Especial atenção merecem aqui duas questões: a eficácia das sanções e medidas contra elas.

Mas isso virá na Parte 2 desse artigo.

Valentin Katasonov

 

Artigo em inglês : Economics Wars and Economic Sanctions (I), startegicculture.org

Tradução Anna Malm, artigospoliticos.wordpress.com para Mondialisation.ca

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis–an economics professor who has taught at Cambridge and the universities of Athens, Sydney and Texas–may understand the Greek debt crisis even better than New York Times reporters. (photo: Angelos Tzortzinis/NYT)

As corporate media prepared to caricature the new Greek government led by the anti-austerity SYRIZA party as dangerously naive radicals, the New York Times(1/29/15) published a piece by Liz Alderman with a devious suggestion that SYRIZA Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis does not understand the basic debt dynamics of his own country. She then followed up with her own erroneous definition of a fiscal “primary surplus,” a crucial accounting concept for the Greek debt work-out.

Here’s the Times report (emphasis added):

When pressed to describe how Greece would pay for bonds falling due in the coming months without taking the €7 billion installment, Mr. Varoufakis replied, “Let’s not talk about details.” To SYRIZA’s detractors, such remarks might signal that the new government does not understand the magnitude of Greece’s financial challenges. But Mr. Varoufakis suggested that the government could finance its obligations by reducing the target for the so-called primary surplus, the amount of cash in Greece’s coffers after expenses and interest payments.

But Alderman  got the primary surplus back to front.  The definition should actually be  before interest payments–the primary surplus being a measure of whether a government would be spending more than it takes in if it weren’t paying back past borrowing. Could it be the Times reporter does not understand the magnitude of Greece’s financial challenges?

Varoufakis surely does. He is a top economist, author of the influential  Modest Proposal for Resolving the Eurozone Crisis, a Keynesian plan offered as an alternative to austerity. Before being named Finance minister last week, he was working on debt dynamics with James Galbraith at the University of Texas at Austin.

The New York Times‘ headline characterized him as “feisty.”

Andy Robinson is a reporter in Madrid, Spain.

Observações feitas pelo jornalista venezuelano José Vicente Rangel são geralmente vistas como bem informadas e acuradas. Para o programa de televisão Los Conficenciales (Fontes de Confiança) ele relatou recentemente a respeito do trabalho do pessoal suplementar para as estações da CIA na América Latina. De acordo com Rangel, pelo menos 500 reforçamentos chegaram as embaixadas americana, e outros U.S. tipos de quartél-general na América Latina, para ajudar operativos que já lá estavam, a aumentar suas atividades subversivas e de espionagem.

Esses agentes estão a focalizar países como a Venezuela, Bolivia, Argentina, , Brasil, Ecuador, e Cuba. Entretanto, isso não significa que outros países estariam resguardados do policiamento imperial. De qualquer modo, por muito loiais que esses governos sejam em seguir o rastro das diretivas políticas americanas, as agências de inteligência dos Estados Unidos estão sistemáticamente fortalecendo o seu pessoal secreto no México, na Guatemala, Colômbia, República Dominicana, Perú, Chile, e outros países. Na América Latina os serviços presidenciais e governamentais estão sendo deliberadamente infiltrados, assim também como a liderança das forças armadas, dos serviços secretos nacionais, e das agências de contra-espionagem. Os americanos estão forjando alianças para criar uma tropa de vanguarda, e cúmplices, para ajudá-los a opor-se a quaisquer potenciais inimigos deles no continente, especialmente então nos «regimes populares»

As posições operacionais dos serviços de inteligência U.S. na América Latina abriram muitos ramos novos e são agora capazes de levar a frente operações de destabilização. Em recente anos, tais tentativas foram feitas na Venezuela, Bolívia, Equador, e Argentina, onde os governos desses países estiveram resistindo aos planos americanos de total controle do continente abaixo do disfarce de uma criação de uma zona de comércio livre para todo o continente. Os esforços da CIA para forjar uma «revolução colorida» [lê-se golpe de estado] na Venezuela em 2002-2003 deu em nada : o Presidente Hugo Chavez não só sobreviveu mas conseguiu também ter sucesso em unir a América Latina. O seu sucessor, Nicolás Maduro, continua loial aos princípios da Revolução Bolivariana, enquanto rigorosamente resiste as tentativas dos Estados Unidos para underminar as suas realizações, isso sendo feito então através de conspirações econômicas e financeiras além de encorajar provocações vindas da oposição radical na Venezuela.

Uma estrategia similar está sendo usada pela CIA contra o governo de Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner na Argentina. Na Bolívia e no Equador estações da CIA estiveram tentando destabilizar o legitimamente eleito governo com a ajuda de forças policiais, dos quais muitos líderes tradicionalmente estiveram abaixo do domínio de instrutores americanos. O Presidente Rafael Correa do Equador por pouco escapou a morte quando rebeldes circundaram o edifício onde os seus guarda-costas o estavam protegendo do quando franco-atiradores treinados pela CIA estiveram por muitas horas atirando nas janelas do seu refúgio. Um bando de militantes da Europa, usados pela CIA para atos terroristas foram incumbidos com a tarefa de assassinar o Presidente Evo Morales da Bolívia. De acordo com investigadores, a estação da CIA na Irlanda e na Hungria montou os grupos.

A CIA na América Latina está claramente se preparando para exacerbar a situação. A vigilância eletrônica da NSA, agência nacional de segurança dos americanos, apesar das revelações de Edward Snowden, Julian Assange e outros, não só continuam como aumentam, e de muito, a sua intensidade. Os dados obtidos pela NSA está sendo distribuídos para específicos serviços da comunidade de inteligência americana, dependendo das suas áreas de especialização. A CIA é o maior consumidor desse material, o qual é usado para o planejamento de «revoluções coloridas» ou seja, golpes de estado, assim também como para chantagem, recrutamento, provocações, campanhas de propaganda subversiva, e coisas do gênero. Note-se que cada administração americana –de Bush a Obama – focusou na colheita de dados de espionagem, uma tarefa que tinha sido responsabilidade dos chamados «clean» empregados de várias agências, especialmente então do Departamento do Estado dos Estados Unidos. Isso foi motivado pela necessidade de aumentar a luta contra o terrorismo.

Num memorando assinado na época de Condoleezza Rice, mas aprovado pelos seus sucessores, U.S. diplomatas ficavam encarregados de colecionar dados a respeito de instalações militares, sistemas de comunicação usados nos países onde se encontravam, como os líderes eram protegidos, onde eles moravam e estacionavam os seus carros, quais os seus endereços de e-mails, números de telefone, etc. Um componente dessa tarefa é particularmente inquietante – os diplomatas ficaram também incumbidos de colher informação do estado de saúde de seus “alvos”, incluindo-se aqui dados a respeito da estabilidade mental de cada um. Menções também são feitas a respeito da necessidade de obter material visual, impressão digital e «material biológico». Esse último, de acordo com peritos do assunto, seriam úteis no planejamento de assassinatos com uso de tecnologia avançada. Brazil e Venezuela, assim como China e Rússia estão incluidos na lista de alta prioridade do Departamento de Estado americano para relatórios de inteligência de diplomatas na América Latina. Delegados e representantes dos países aqui mencionados devem ser seguidos continuamente, e isso não só na América Latina mas, por todo o mundo.

Entretanto a maior caça é feita contra os cidadãos da Rússia. Para aumentar sua efetividade os serviços de inteligência americanos usam um amplo arsenal de provocações e duplicidade. O piloto Konstantin Yaroshenko, que foi cusado do tráfico de drogas, foi emaranhado num desses tipos de armadilha. De acordo com agências de notícias, uma empregada do pessoal da embaixada U.S. na Colômbia deu um secreto instrumento de gravação para um cidadão local que era um agente da DEA operando abaixo do nome de «Santiago». Depois de vários encontros entre o agente e o piloto, que resultou num vídeo e numa áudio gravação de suas conversas, os mesmos foram redigidos e apresentados a Cortes dos Estados Unidos, ainda que uma significante parte do seu conteúdo tivesse sido apagada, o que deu então um impacto direto no veredito. Cidadãos do Brasil, Argentina, Venezuela, Nicaragua e muitos outros países foram vitimados por esse tipo de operações, sendo que as implicações são sempre as mesmas : A América Latina não conseguiria evadir-se de cooperação com a CIA!

De qualquer maneira, a agência tem um dossier na América Latina que levanta espanto até em governos que são loiais a Washington. Uma augorenta indicação das tácticas estilo-Gestapo da CIA foi a criação da base militar U.S. de Guantânamo, em Cuba, com um campo para prisioneiros suspeitos de atividades terroristas, ou de instigação dos Talibãs. Em dezembro de 2005, Condoleezza Rice declarou-se como defendendo a idéia desse campo, sublinhando o facto de que dessa maneira a CIA  «tinha impedido ataques terroristas e salvado vidas inocentes na Europa, assim como nos Estados Unidos, e outros países. » A respeito da revelação das prisões secretas Rice arrogantemente disse que «era para todos esses governos e seus cidadãos se decidirem contra ou a favor a trabalhar com os Estados Unidos para impedir ataques terroristas contra seu próprio país.

Em dezembro de 2014, o U.S. Comité de Seleção do Senado para inteligência publicou um relatório de 500 páginas quanto ao uso de tortura pela CIA para extrair confissões de indivíduos suspeitos de terrorismo. A versão completa tinha quase que 7.000 páginas e incluia muitos detalhes das «melhoradas técnicas de interrogação» usadas pela CIA. A sua desvendação foi considerada como muito perigosa por que essa poderia deslanchar retaliação. O documento original foi redigido e retiraram-se os nomes das prisões secretas na Europa e na Ásia, assim como os nomes dos chefes da CIA que deram seu consentimento a tortura de prisioneiros, assim como o nome do pessoal que as administraram. Eles tiveram especialmente muito cuidado em apagar as informações a respeito das «tácticas avançadas de interrogação» usadas em Guantânamo.

O Secretário do Estado John Kerry também tentou tirar outros fatos do documento dizendo que a publicação iria por em perigo vidas de diplomatas americanos no exterior. Só a intervenção de organizações dos direitos humanos conseguiu impedir isso. Agora a Human Rights Watch, a American Civil Liberteis Union, e outras organizações, estão tentando obter os nomes dos que criaram essas prisões e introduziram o uso de tortura. Entretanto, esses seus esforços estão sendo impedidos pela direção John Brennan da CIA. A mesma desculpa é oferecida – a publicidade poria em perigo a vida dos empregados.

É importante para John Brennan poder manter seus empregados experientes depois das grandes reformas da CIA, projetadas por ele. Informações surgiram na mídia a respeito da natureza da planejada reorganização: em vez de ter departamentos especializados nas agências, e um serviço separado para análises do material de inteligência, centros de fusão serão criados. Esses centros de fusão deveriam ser responsáveis por regiões específicas e por ameaças sistemáticas a segurança dos Estados Unidos. Na perspectiva de John Brennan tem-se que principalmente dado ao facto de que a CIA durante muito tempo esteve concentrada nas guerras no Afeganistão e Iraque, assim também como nas operações do Norte da África e outras regiões remotas, incluindo-se aqui a Ucrânia, essas ameaças estariam agora vindo da América Latina.

Alianças estão sendo solidificadas no continente, e a formação e consolidação de organizações regionais como CELAC, UNASUR, MERCOSUR, ALBA e outras, enfraqueceram a posição dos Estados Unidos no continente. Washington vê as entradas sendo feitas pela China e Rússia [massivas ofertas de financiamentos, empréstimos e desenvolvimento da infraestrutura sem exigências de cortes no desenvolvimento social] e isso não só em comércio e economia como também quanto a tecnologia e exploração espacial. A construção do Canal da Nicaragua com a assistência da China, Rússia e Brasil é um símbolo do desgaste geopolítico dos Estados Unidos.

Tendo-se em conta a natural arrogância dos mesmos, fracassos dessa magnitude são difíceis de serem engolidos, o que poderia explicar maquinações de revange através de simultaneamente destabilizar os governos populares e incitar guerra civíl na Venezuela. As novas tropas chegando nas estações da CIA nas embaixadas americanas, e outros lugares, já estão mergulhando nos seus novos afazeres.

  Nil Nikandrov

Referências e Notas:

Artigo em inglés: The CIA in Latin America: From Coups to Torture and Preemptive Killings, strategic-culture.org, 22 de janeiro de 2015

Artigo em russo: ЦРУ в Латинской Америке: от переворотов до пыток и превентивных убийствwww.fondsk.ru

Traduzido da versão em inglês baseada no original russo – www.strategic-culture.org : Anna Malm, artigospoliticos.wordpress.com para Mondialisation.ca

 

A comment by Financial Times columnist Wolfgang Münchau, published on the eve of today’s meeting of the euro zone group of finance ministers, points to significant differences over German-led insistence that the demand of the Syriza-led Greek government for debt restructuring should not be met.

Following the rejection of the Greek proposal at a meeting of the Eurogroup last Thursday, Münchau wrote that the Greek finance minister could expect a frosty reception when he once again confronted his colleagues in a “high noon” showdown.

“My advice to Yanis Varoufakis,” he continued,

“would be to ignore the exasperated looks and veiled threats and stand firm. He is a member of the first government in the euro zone with a democratic mandate to stand up to an utterly dysfunctional policy regime that has proved economically illiterate and politically unsustainable. For the euro zone to survive with the current geographic remit, this regime needs to go.”

The publication of such a vigorous comment in one of the world’s major financial dailies points both to the considerable opposition in financial centres to the policies of the German government and to the fact that the Syriza program, far from representing some far-left agenda, is a thoroughly bourgeois program enjoying some measure of support in ruling political and financial circles.

Münchau pointed out that there were risks involved in Greece standing up to the European Union policy elites, including a financial collapse leading to it being forced out of the euro zone. However, he writes that Greece should nevertheless maintain its stand in demanding a new loan to cover its needs over the next few months.

The Greek government has called for the “bridging finance” while a new agreement is worked out following the expiration of existing arrangements at the end of this month. With Germany taking the lead, the euro zone finance ministers have insisted that any additional finance can only be provided within the framework of the existing program.

This has been rejected by Syriza, a position which is supported by Münchau. The Greek government, he wrote, “should stick with their position not to accept a continuation of the existing financial support program.”

In so doing they would no longer be bound by

“self-defeating policy targets such as the contractual requirement to run a primary budget surplus of 3 percent of gross domestic product. For a country with mass unemployment, such a target is insane. It would, of course, be better for this nonsense to stop while Greece remains in the euro zone. But the most important thing is that it has to stop.”

In other words, even if it leads to a financial crisis in Greece and the end of the euro zone in its present form, the overriding imperative is to take a stand against the German-imposed agenda.

Münchau cited proposals from a number of academic sources as to how Greece might deal with the situation, without precipitating a withdrawal from the euro zone.

The “most sensible,” he wrote, is the introduction of a kind of parallel currency consisting of government-backed IOUs, citing a proposal by a US economist Robert Parenteau for “tax anticipation notes” based on expected future revenue. According to Münchau: “They act as a tax credit that allows government to run a fiscal deficit until the economy recovers. With such an instrument Greece could abandon austerity without abandoning the euro.”

He also cited John Cochrane, a “conservative economist from the University of Chicago, who also wants the Greek government to create IOUs, electronic money, not necessarily cash, that could be used to fund pension and other transfer payments.”

Münchau does not make the point, but the position of Cochrane is significant. The University of Chicago is the centre of the most right-wing “free market” tendency in bourgeois economists, associated with Milton Friedman. The so-called “Chicago boys” were notorious for their restructuring of the Chilean economy under General Pinochet after the CIA-backed overthrow of the Allende government in 1973. The fact that representatives of this tendency should be considering ways in which Greece can defy the dictates of the EU is some measure of the opposition to German policies in US financial and economic policy circles.

If measures for alternative financing were adopted, Münchau goes on to explain, then once set in place Greece would be able to default on its debts—mostly loans from European governments and EU institutions. Faced with a default, the official European creditors would not be able to eject Greece from the euro zone as they have no legal means for doing so. They would also be hesitant to force it out of the EU as they need Greece’s support for policy changes, such as renewing sanctions against Russia.

Setting out his bottom line, Münchau concludes that Greece should seek to avoid an exit from the euro zone. However, while such an outcome is not desirable, it would be preferable to the status quo. “The worse-case scenario would be for the Greek government to blink first, and accept defeat.” If that were to happen then the only political party left to oppose the EU agenda would be Golden Dawn, a neo-Nazi party.

Münchau’s comment is significant from a number of standpoints. It underscores the opposition to the austerity agenda, at least in its present form, emanating from sections of the US, British economic establishments, with support in some parts of Europe.

In recent weeks, US President Barack Obama, as well as Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, have remarked that some way must be developed to lessen pressure on Greece. Their central concern is not the impoverishment of the Greek working class. Rather their stand underscores the point made by Marx that, while each capitalist seeks to suppress the wages of his own working class, he views the expenditure of the workers employed by others as the source of the demand for the goods he produces. On a far larger scale, the US fears that austerity and depression in Europe—a vital outlet from American goods and investment—will rebound on the US economy itself. The US thus pushes for some alleviation.

Another important aspect of the comment is what it reveals of the tactics being adopted by Syriza itself in its conflict with the EU. Far from its program representing a confrontation with the financial oligarchy in the interests of the working people of Greece, not to speak of the rest of Europe, it is a calculated attempt to win support from American and other powerful financial interests to pressure the German bourgeoisie.

However, resistance is proving hard to overcome because it is rooted in profound economic interests.

According to Münchau, reflecting the position of many other commentators: “The Germans support austerity on ideological grounds.” However, this attempt to pass off the intransigence of the Merkel government as some kind of Lutheran-based desire for discipline, a response to memories of the hyper-inflation of 1923 or some Teutonic aspiration for order misses the real forces at work.

The German opposition is not fundamentally based on these factors. Rather, it is grounded in the fear among sections of the ruling elites that if it relents on austerity then it will have to ultimately take on responsibility not only for the debts of Greece but possibly, Spain, Portugal or even Italy. Such an outcome would seriously weaken Germany’s global economic position, especially in relationship to US finance capital, which inflicted considerable damage on the German financial system through the sub-prime crisis in 2007.

These conflicts and tensions may not be openly expressed at today’s meeting of the eurogroup, but as Münchau’s column points to, they will be seething not far below the surface.

The Human Rights Disaster in America

February 16th, 2015 by Andre Damon

Antonio Zambrano-Montes, a 35-year-old Mexican national, was shot to death by police in Pasco, Washington last Tuesday as he was backing away from officers with his hands up. A video of the shooting clearly corroborates claims by Zambrano-Montes’s family that he was killed “execution style.”

Police claimed that Zambrano-Montes, who had lived in the city for ten years and worked as an orchard picker, may have been “armed with a rock” before he was shot multiple times. Protests erupted over the weekend, with more than a thousand demonstrating in Washington state on Saturday against the killing.

The United States has invaded, bombed and destabilized dozens of countries on the grounds that their regimes perpetrated human rights abuses. In his State of the Union address earlier this year, President Obama declared that America leads the world “with the example of our values.” He added, “That’s what makes us exceptional.”

Not only is this sanctimonious drivel completely at odds with the reality of American imperialist foreign policy, which employs mass murder, support for extreme right forces, subversion and provocation as its stock-in-trade, it is belied by the reality of life within the United States itself.

The wave of police violence in the US is one aspect of an escalating assault on the democratic rights of the working class that makes a mockery of the official human rights rhetoric. Were these events occurring in a country targeted for conquest or regime change by the CIA and the Pentagon, that country would be declared a human rights disaster area.

According to a web site that keeps track of police shootings, Zambrano-Montes was the 122nd person to be killed by police in the United States since the start of the year. In the five days since the shooting, another ten people have been killed by police: two black, two white, one Latino. The names and identities of five others have not been released.

In virtually all of these fatal police shootings, the victims have been blasted by a fusillade of bullets, their bodies riddled by ten, fifteen, twenty or more rounds fired off by the killer cops.

The recent incidents of wanton police violence include:

The beating of an elderly Indian man in Alabama as he walked in the street, leaving him partially paralyzed.

The beating of a 13-year-old schoolgirl by police in Baltimore, Maryland.

The killing of 17-year-old Jessica Hernandez as she sat in a car with her friends in Denver, Colorado.

The killing of Kristiana Coignard, a mentally disturbed teenager who was carrying a kitchen knife, in Longview, Texas.

Most of the killings and beatings that are widely known to the public have been captured on videotape, like the shooting of Zambrano-Montes. Countless similar incidents go unreported by the local and national media.

It is now six months since the August 9 police shooting of Ferguson, Missouri teenager Michael Brown, an act of wanton violence that sparked protests locally and nationally. The immediate reaction of the political establishment, from the local authorities to the Democratic governor to the Obama White House, was mass repression, including the declaration of a state of emergency and the deployment of the National Guard and militarized police with helicopters and armored vehicles to occupy Ferguson.

This was followed by a politically motivated decision not to indict Brown’s killer, officer Darren Wilson, in a sham grand jury proceeding. Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who choked to death Staten Island resident Eric Garner in broad daylight, was likewise exonerated.

These rulings signaled a counteroffensive by the state to intimidate and criminalize opposition to police violence and murder.

New York City, under the leadership of Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio, announced the formation of a special police unit armed with machine guns. The unit will be deployed for “dealing with events like our recent protests,” as New York Police Commissioner William Bratton put it. Across the country, scores of people have been arrested for posting anti-police comments on the Internet.

The wave of police beatings and killings is only one component of the escalation of state violence and the assault on democratic rights. Despite numerous “botched” executions, including the horrific state murder of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma last April, in which the prisoner writhed in pain for an hour, America’s capital punishment assembly line continues to exact its toll, with eight people executed so far this year.

America’s vast prison gulag, which incarcerates the largest inmate population in the world, is increasingly assuming the social role of the debtors’ prisons of Dickensian England. Last week, the Vera Institute of Justice released a report documenting the extent to which American jails have become “massive warehouses” for the poor.

The organization found that more than half of the people in jail were incarcerated because they were unable to pay a bail of $2,500 or less. It concluded that “a guilty plea may, paradoxically, be the fastest way to get out of jail.”

The brutality of the “justice” system in the US is only the most visible expression of the violent and exploitative character of American society. It embodies the response of the ruling class to ever-rising levels of social inequality, which have increased at an unprecedented rate over the six years of the Obama administration.

The corporate and financial elite, whose wealth has doubled since 2009, gorges itself at the expense of an increasingly impoverished working class. The state, headed by a military-intelligence-police apparatus that operates above the law, looks on the population with distrust, fear and hatred.

Killer cops shielded by the politicians and the courts, the militarization of the police, the criminalization of social protest—these are aspects of dictatorial forms of rule being put into place to defend the interests of the financial aristocracy against the inevitable eruption of class struggle in America.