Gaza: “It’s not Really Violence, It’s a Massacre”

August 1st, 2014 by Norman Finkelstein

 Some people have suggested that instead of writing up my analyses I use video in order to convey what I think is going on in the current Israeli massacre in Gaza. And so this will be my first attempt, and we’ll see how successful it is. I’ll try each time I go on the web to focus on one particular issue, and today I would like to look at the proposals that Secretary of State Kerry has being putting forth, the various proposals for ending the current round of violence. (It’s not really violence, it’s a massacre.)

There have been many versions of this Kerry proposal that are circulating on the web, and it’s impossible to determine—for an outsider to determine—which is the accurate version of the proposal Kerry put to the Israeli cabinet.

But in fact it’s pretty much beside the point, because the bottom line of all the proposals is the same. The bottom line is the quid pro quo: in order for Israel to lift the blockade of Gaza, basically the Palestinians have been told they have to—the current language usage is—“address Israel’s security concerns,” which is just a euphemism for “the Palestinians have to disarm.” So I want to look first at the issue of the blockade, and then look at the issue of whether the Palestinians have to disarm.

On the question of the blockade, it’s pretty straightforward under international law. The blockade of Gaza constitutes a form of collective punishment, and therefore is illegal under international law. That seems to be the legal consensus (with the exception, of course of Israel and its apologists): the blockade is illegal, and so there can’t be any qualifications, any caveats, any ifs, ands or buts. The blockade, being a form of collective punishment, has to be lifted.

It’s important to keep in mind that in prior agreements—the ceasefire agreement in June 2008, the ceasefire agreement in November 2012—in both of the ceasefire agreements, it was never demanded of the Palestinians that they had to disarm in exchange for the end of the blockade. Each of the agreements did stipulate that the blockade of Gaza was supposed to end gradually. As it happens, in both cases, Israel reneged on that condition. But neither of the ceasefire agreements, either in June 2008 or in November 2012, neither of those agreements called on the Palestinians to disarm as a condition for ending the blockade.

So this condition that’s now been entered—“addressing all Israel’s security concerns,” which is separate from a ceasefire; “addressing all Israel’s security concerns,” which in effect means the Palestinians must disarm—that’s unprecedented and obviously has no basis in international law, because the blockade is illegal and the blockade has to be lifted regardless of Israel’s security concerns.

Let’s now turn to this issue of Israel’s security concerns. Does Israel have the right to demand of the Palestinians of Hamas, of the Palestinian militant groups, does Israel have the right to demand of them that they have to disarm?

The international law is perfectly clear at this point. Under international law, a people engaged in struggle for self-determination is not legally bound not to use force. Under international law, people struggling for self-determination—either the law is neutral on the subject, or it says that those struggling for self-determination have [the right] to use force. But what’s clear is that under international law it is not illegal for those struggling for self-determination to use force.

On the other side, under international law, a state that’s trying to suppress the struggle for self-determination, in this case Israel, a state trying to suppress a self-determination struggle, they’re not allowed to use force. So what you have here is exactly and precisely an inversion of international law. Those struggling for self-determination are in effect being told that as a condition for lifting the blockade they have to renounce force, but no such demand is being made on the power which is suppressing the struggle for self-determination.

In effect, this euphemism, “addressing all Israel’s security concerns,” what that’s actually saying is “Israel has the right to secure the occupation,” and that’s a contradiction in terms, literally. Because under international law the most fundamental characteristic, most fundamental trait of an occupation—when you open any textbook of international law, the first thing it says—is, an occupation is supposed to be temporary. In a word, an occupation is supposed to end. If the occupation does not end, it’s not an occupation, it’s an annexation, and annexation under international law is illegal. So when Israel talks about its right to have all its security concerns addressed, it’s not talking about the right to protect its country, it’s talking about its right to secure its occupation.

Now concretely, what does that mean? Let’s just look at the last round of negotiations that occurred just prior to the outbreak of the current hostilities—or the outbreak of Israel’s launching of its latest massacre. Let’s look at the negotiations. The record is not crystal-clear, but it’s pretty clear. The Palestinian side, the Palestinian Authority, was willing to concede all of Israel’s major demands. It was willing to concede to Israel the settlement blocks; it was willing to concede to Israel the nullification of the Palestinian right of return.

So in effect the Palestinians were offering Israel, not a settlement on the basis of international law, Palestinians were offering Israel a surrender—and the Israelis refused a Palestinian surrender, determined to maintain the occupation through eternity. That was obvious even from the statements of Secretary of State Kerry: when Secretary of State Kerry spoke before the congressional committee, he said, “Poof!” It was the Israelis who, in effect, ended the negotiations and made a settlement of the conflict impossible.

So one thing can be established I think with what one might call almost scientific certainty: under no circumstances will Israel end the occupation. So when Israel says it demands that all its security concerns be addressed, that means Israel’s demanding its right to maintain the occupation through eternity, and it’s demanding simultaneously that the Palestinians disarm themselves, and the Palestinians cease to resist the occupation, the Palestinians cease their struggle for self-determination.

That’s the real meaning when Israel says it wants all its security concerns addressed, because Israel conceives any expression of Palestinian struggling for self-determination, it conceives any expression of a self-determination struggle, it conceives that as threatening its security, or its “security concerns.” So, what’s in effect being said now is, Israel will lift the blockade of Gaza if and when the Palestinians cease struggling for self-determination, cease struggling for independence, cease struggling for statehood, and the Palestinians accept that the occupation will go on through eternity.

Leaving aside the moral issue, as a legal question it makes no sense. If Israel is demanding that all its security concerns be addressed, and that all its security concerns include any Palestinian manifestation of its struggle for self-determination, and if that means the occupation will go on through eternity, that means it’s not an occupation. It’s an annexation, and annexation is flagrantly, blatantly, incontrovertibly illegal under international law. It’s the most elementary principle of the UN Charter as it was expressed in UN Resolution 242: it’s inadmissible for a country to acquire territory by war. Israel acquired the West Bank and Gaza and East Jerusalem in a war; it has no title to that territory. If in effect it’s demanding its right to annex that territory, then it’s clearly, blatantly, and flagrantly violating international law.

Transcription by Michael Keefer. The video from which this transcription was made is available at http://normanfinkelstein.com, and also at http://rt.com/news/176372-israel-racist-chant-gaza/.

United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl inspects the damage at an UNRWA school following an Israeli strike. (Photo: AFP-Mohammed Abed)

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) says it had sent 17 communiqués that included the coordinates of the Abu Hussein UN-run school in the Jabalia refugee camp to the Israelis to avoid bombing it. The last of these warnings was communicated a few hours before the massacre, according to UNRWA. The deadly Israeli air strike on the school prompted the UN agency to break its silence and challenge the Israeli account of what had happened.

Gaza – This the third time that UNRWA schools have been bombed during this war. The first attack did not lead to casualties, as the Israeli occupation army had sent warnings to the Maghazi School in the central Gaza Strip before shelling it.

The second attack turned into a massacre in Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, killing around 15 refugees. At the time, UNRWA was equivocal about the cause of the attack, and relied on the Israeli account that claimed there had been military activity there. But Wednesday’s massacre took place in a refugee camp that does not have enough room for even a single bullet to be fired. The shelling claimed the lives of 17 people and injured dozens, many critically.When the worshippers had finished their prayers at dawn in the mosques of the northern part of the Jabalia refugee camp, and made their way to the shelters at the elementary Abu Hussein School, they did not know they were about to become the victims of a horrific massacre.

In the beginning, the shells were not directed toward the school, but were random and hit houses in the surrounding area. Suddenly, the Israeli artillery decided to target the school directly, destroying the outer gate, two classrooms at the front and center of the school and adjacent toilets, in addition to three homes near the school. It was a bloodbath with body parts everywhere. Injured people, whose arms or legs were blown off, were paralyzed from shock and could not even scream. Even some animals that were near the gate were killed, and their corpses mingled with those of people.

Mohammed Awad, a journalist who lives in the area, rushed to document the incident. He said what he had seen was probably the “worst massacre” he encountered since the start of the war. He told Al-Akhbarthat he counted up to 15 shells that landed on the school and the street that separates it from surrounding homes, adding, “The strikes were sudden and random. People did not realize what was happening and they could not escape.”

Awad said that members from both the Najjar and Amoudi families were killed in the attack, in addition to the school’s janitor who was on UNRWA’s payroll, adding, “Eight people died in a single classroom.” The journalist also pointed out that fires broke out at the school as a result, and spread to a fuel tank and an electricity generator.

According to Awad, the majority of families that sought shelter in the school came from the farmlands in the north, “fleeing with their carts, horses, and donkeys, the source of their livelihoods.” Awad also stressed that there had been no prior warning issued to the school.

Mohammed Muhanna also witnessed the massacre. He said, “Those who know the area know that it is crowded, and that there is no room to fire rockets from it. The entire area is civilian and the occupation knows it.” Muhanna was among the first to arrive at the scene, and helped transport the injured. He also told Al-Akhbar that there were officials from UNRWA who were checking the schools and surrounding areas to verify whether there was any threat to people’s lives.

Fuad Abu Qleiq, who was sheltering in the school, said that he stayed behind to collect the body parts at the scene, and expressed his sorrow for the fate of the families that came seeking shelter under UNRWA’s roof. He said angrily, “UNRWA should have protected us, but it couldn’t, and Israel did not show any respect for it.”

Medical sources put the death toll at 17 and said 65 people were injured as a result of the massacre. The sources said that most injuries were critical, some requiring urgent surgery, including cases that cannot be treated in Gaza’s hospitals.

Faced with the third attack of its kind on its schools, UNRWA blamed Israel for killing women and children at the Abu Hussein School and called for holding Israel accountable, as an UNRWA delegation examined the scene and collected evidence. According to an UNRWA statement, the delegation analyzed shrapnel samples and examined craters from the shelling and other damage.

The UNRWA statement said, “Last night, children were killed as they slept next to their parents on the floor of a classroom in a UN designated shelter in Gaza. Children killed in their sleep; this is an affront to all of us, a source of universal shame. Today the world stands disgraced.”

The statement continued, “We have visited the site and gathered evidence…Our initial assessment is that it was Israeli artillery that hit our school, in which 3,300 people had sought refuge…These are people who were instructed to leave their homes by the Israeli army.”

UNRWA stressed that the Israeli army had been notified of the exact location of the school and its coordinates, saying, “The precise location of the Jabalia Elementary Girls School and the fact that it was housing thousands of internally displaced people was communicated to the Israeli army seventeen times, to ensure its protection; the last being at ten to nine last night, just hours before the fatal shelling.”In the same vein, UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre Krähenbühl said, “I condemn in the strongest possible terms this serious violation of international law by Israeli forces.” Krähenbühl added, “This is the sixth time that one of our schools has been struck. Our staff, the very people leading the humanitarian response are being killed. Our shelters are overflowing. Tens of thousands may soon be stranded in the streets of Gaza, without food, water and shelter if attacks on these areas continue.”

Krähenbühl concluded, “We have moved beyond the realm of humanitarian action alone. We are in the realm of accountability. I call on the international community to take deliberate international political action to put an immediate end to the continuing carnage.”

Meanwhile, UNRWA spokesperson Adnan Abu Hasna said that the agency held an emergency meeting, and came out with several decisions including measures to assist the family of the slain janitor, who he said “was the responsibility of the agency.” Abu Hasna said that UNRWA would need to provide for his nine children and offer them support and compensation.

It should be noted that UNRWA had claimed during the current conflict that it had found weapons in one of its schools. UNRWA rushed to announce this in a statement without investigating the incident following protocol, which helped the Israeli side justify its attacks in front of public opinion. However, the massacre at Abu Hussein was clearly unprovoked and unjustified even by UNRWA and Israeli standards.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

In classical and historical view of international law, any form of aggression that affected assets or legitimate interests of a particular nation done by external parties is tantamount to an “act of war” or in its original Latin – casus belli.

After the world was ravaged by two world wars in the early 20th century, the creation of the United Nations has led to the establishment of a charter of international law on casus belli which is binding to all of its members.

Article 51 of UN Charter recognizes only three lawful justifications for waging war: self-defense, defense of an ally required by the terms of a treaty and an approval by UN itself.

But such charter despite of its effectiveness in curbing total war between nations have failed to curtail some geopolitical actors in circumventing it by using other forms and means that still can be regarded as an “act of war”.

The United States of America (US) is one such country that has continuously circumvented this law either by conducting their “Black Ops” under the guise of classified US Special Operations or Proxy Wars, famously fought across all continents during the Cold War era and still is today. Cuba, Afghanistan, Vietnam and many other nations became its battleground not only in ideological battles between liberal-democracy of US against the communism of Soviet Union, but also a real battleground fought with guns, tanks and Apache.

In fact US under the former administration of President George W Bush, this charter was disregarded by invading Iraq without ever formally declaring war.

The word “war” was pretty much muted in the run up to and throughout Operation Iraqi Freedom in the mouthpieces of American mainstream media. No matter what the justifications Washington and its allies had given, the international community still regard the invasion as a real “act of war” that was forged with the lies of Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD) and in violatation of Article 51 as Washington went against the resolutions of the UN Security Council.

If we were to take along the pessimistic and aggressive tones as shown by Washington and its European NATO allies towards the Kremlin, we can clearly ascertain that the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 is definitely an “act of war” – a war which has nothing to do with Malaysia and its people but nonetheless a war fought between US through its proxy, the newly-installed Ukraine government against Russia and pro-Russian Ukrainian separatist.

Sadly, many geopolitical observers have dwarfed Malaysia’s position, the owner of the downed MH17 as a mere mishap war casualty that was caught in the crossfire.

Over the span of four months, Malaysian Airlines has been beset with two downed flights (including the yet-to-be found MH370) which carried and embodied Malaysia’s sovereignty in the international arena. Must we regard the downing of MH17 as simply a tragic incident that can be merely relegated to the level of “collateral damage” in a proxy war between US-NATO and Russia?

In geopolitical matters, tragedies or accidents could not be left as fated or mere chance. Given the fact we have seen numerous incidents in the past that suggested almost similar kind of events that can hardly be denied as “staged” or pretext for a more sinister goal. One of the glaring examples can be seen during the Vietnam War under the administration of former US President Lyndon B. Johnson.

The casus belli cited by the US against Communist-backed North Vietnam was the Gulf of Tonkin incident in which the US authorities claimed that the USS Maddox was attacked by two Vietnamese gunboats that were sunk by the US Navy.  Despite North Vietnam’s denial, the US pursued its cause of declaring a war against them without proving conclusively that North Vietnam was the guilty party. Recently declassified documents has proven that the casus belli was based on deception.

Compare this to what is currently happening in Ukraine, the US and NATO have been drumming the war beat through their own mainstream media in trying to frame the downing of MH17 as a casus belli for the US and NATO to push forward and closer to the Russian border of Eastern Ukraine.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has been mulling since May this year on the option to invoke NATO’s Article 5, a mutual defense clause that is tied to UN Charter 51 against the escalating unrest in Eastern Ukraine in which he blamed Kremlin for continuously stoking the fire.

Not only that: Rasmussen has dished out a strong statement with regard to the crisis of Ukraine where he viewed it to be a “geo-political game changer” for NATO Allies. But NATO Council members especially Germany gave a lukewarm and cautionary response towards Rasmussen’s proposal.

But the downing of MH17 indeed has really become a game-changer for US and NATO as they have been issuing strong statements and rallying their allies in demanding greater responsibilities from Kremlin to sort out the mess in its own backyard of Eastern Ukraine.

The downing of MH17 can definitely not be viewed as a mere “friendly fire” or just a “collateral damage” as purported by US and NATO that have constantly alleged the pro-Russian separatists and Russia to be the guilty parties in shooting yet-to-be proven Buk missiles towards a civilian airplane that flew far above the combat zone.

Russian military officials have provided concrete amount of satellite data as an act of defense against accusations leveled by US and NATO. Even US senior officials who have been tasked to conduct assessment on the incident have backtracked their allegation and downplay the role of Russia and pro-Russian separatists on their capability and military means to down the MH17.

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak diplomatic coup over the Ukrainian separatist has drawn applaud from the international community but will Malaysia still be able to pursue what Najib has demanded earlier – a “swift justice” for the downing of MH17?

Such daring task will be highly dependent upon Malaysia’s strong political and diplomatic maneuver on the international stage. One of the ways is to establish a valid casus belli against both sides of warring parties of US/NATO-backed Ukraine and Russia and pro-Russian separatists of Eastern Ukraine. Through this move, Malaysia’s interest with respect to the downed MH17 shall no longer be dwarfed as a mere “collateral damage”.

Malaysia’s access to the crash sites is crucial in order to collect necessary evidence. Such move should not be regarded, interpreted and framed as an effort to further escalate the conflict in Ukraine but rather as a mean to accord proper recognition on the downed MH17, especially towards the grieving families of the innocent victims and as a mean to solicit more concrete supports and commitment from international communities to assist in this investigation so that no stones will be left unturned or being swept under the carpet of history.

Thus far only the Russian government has given a strong signal to cooperate with the investigation by providing necessary data. The US, NATO and its Ukraine ally have thus far failed to match Russia’s commitment in assisting with this investigation by providing more tangible data that can be evaluated and inspected by independent commissions and international bodies like International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and UN Security Council.

Malaysia being a small nation will surely need help and support from other superpowers especially among the members of UN Security Council, notably the Five-Veto Nations.

Prime Minister Najib has signaled that Malaysia should be regarded as a middle-power nation within ASEAN region and Malaysia’s position as chairman of ASEAN coming 2015 will be tested sooner than expected on how best Malaysia will persistently pursue a “swift justice” for the downing of MH17.

Wan Ahmad Fayhsal  is a fellow at Putra Business School, Malaysia.

Among those who cheer when a cease-fire ends and killing resumes are those who want more Palestinians slaughtered as a form of mass punishment for fictional offenses.  Also among those cheering are certain mainstream U.S. newspaper columnists.  In fact, at least one person is clearly in both of the above categories.

My local newspaper in Charlottesville, Va., printed a column on Friday from Thomas Sowell, distributed by Creators Syndicate but actually written for the right-wing Jewish World Review. Sowell writes:

“It is understandable that today many people in many lands just want the fighting between the Israelis and the Palestinians to stop. Calls for a cease-fire are ringing out from the United Nations and from Washington, as well as from ordinary people in many places around the world. According to the New York Times, Secretary of State John Kerry is hoping for a cease-fire to ‘open the door to Israeli and Palestinian negotiations for a long-term solution.’ President Obama has urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to have an ‘immediate, unconditional humanitarian cease-fire’ — again, with the idea of pursuing some long-lasting agreement.”

Here is where Sowell might logically object to Washington shipping Israel more weaponry in the midst of proposing cease-fires and mumbling quietly about the inappropriateness of particular bits of the mass-murder underway.  John Kerry doesn’t hope for a long-term solution any more than he knew Syria used chemical weapons or Putin shot down a plane or Iraq deserved to be destroyed before it didn’t but after it did.  John Kerry knows the U.S. provides the weaponry and the criminal immunity to a nation intent on completing the process of eliminating its native peoples, as Kerry’s own nation effectively did long ago.  There’s no solution possible in that context other than a Final Solution for Palestinians. But this is not what Sowell goes on to say.

“If this was the first outbreak of violence between the Palestinians and the Israelis, such hopes might make sense. But where have the U.N., Kerry and Obama been during all these decades of endlessly repeated Middle East carnage?”

Well, the same place all of their Republican and Democratic predecessors have been, supporting endless armaments for Israel and most of its neighbors, and vetoing any U.N. resolutions that would impose any consequences for Israel’s occupation, blockade, and Apartheid repression on the basis of religion and race.

“The Middle East must lead the world in cease-fires. If cease-fires were the road to peace, the Middle East would easily be the most peaceful place on the planet.”

Stop for a moment and appreciate the unfathomable stupidity of that remark.  One might as well say the Middle East must lead the world in U.S. weapons imports or the Middle East must lead the world in wars.  If these were paths to peace, the Middle East would easily be the most peaceful place on the planet.  One might also just as easily say the Middle East must lead the world in the brevity of its cease-fires, with cease-fires elsewhere lasting longer, and with as many broken agreements lying in the sand of the Middle East as anywhere since the last big batch of promises made to Native Americans.  One might even just as easily say the Middle East must lead the world in resumptions of fighting, rather than in halts to fighting. But that’s not where Sowell is headed.  He’s out to reverse Benjamin Franklin’s notion that there has never been a good war or a bad peace.

“‘Cease-fire’ and ‘negotiations’ are magic words to ‘the international community.’ But just what do cease-fires actually accomplish? In the short run, they save some lives. But in the long run they cost far more lives, by lowering the cost of aggression.”

Here it comes.  Just as the Jewish World Review wants to make poor people “self-sufficient” by denying them any assistance, Sowell wants to teach the people of Palestine a lesson for their own good.  Of course people dispossessed of their land, made refugees, entrapped and blockaded, and targeted with missiles that level their homes and explode in their schools and hospitals and shelters are unusual suspects to accuse of aggression.  And for those who shoot rockets, so ineffectively and counter-productively, into Israel, the lesson Sowell wants to teach through mass slaughter is demonstrably not taught.  Everyone in Gaza will tell you that Israeli violence increases support for Palestinian violence.  Not every Palestinian understands that the reverse is also true, that the rockets fuel Israeli attacks, but that hardly justifies their murder or creates a lesson where Sowell imagines Israeli missiles teaching one.

“At one time, launching a military attack on another nation risked not only retaliation but annihilation. When Carthage attacked Rome, that was the end of Carthage.”

Ah, the good old days, when any colony or challenger that stepped out of line could be wiped out, starved out, and cleansed from the earth.

“But when Hamas or some other terrorist group launches an attack on Israel, they know in advance that whatever Israel does in response will be limited by calls for a cease-fire, backed by political and economic pressures from the United States.”

The political pressure of Kerry groveling before Netanyahu? Of Susan Rice explaining to the world that Kerry never meant to negotiate and has always been 100% in Israel’s camp? Of Obama joining Sowell in blaming the victims? The economic pressure of the free weapons continuing to flow from the U.S. to Israel?  What sort of fantasy is this?

One possibility is that it’s a fantasy of racism or culturalism.  Americans are rational beings in this fantasy.  It would only make sense to apply obvious points of pressure for a cease-fire once you’ve proposed one.  Arming the Middle East for peace would be insanity.  So, Sowell perhaps fantasizes that sanity and rationality prevail.  Except in places like Palestine or Iran:

“Those who say that we can contain a nuclear Iran, as we contained a nuclear Soviet Union, are acting as if they are discussing abstract people in an abstract world. Whatever the Soviets were, they were not suicidal fanatics, ready to see their own cities destroyed in order to destroy ours. . . .  Even if the Israelis were all saints — and sainthood is not common in any branch of the human race — the cold fact is that they are far more advanced than their neighbors, and groups that cannot tolerate even subordinate Christian minorities can hardly be expected to tolerate an independent, and more advanced, Jewish state that is a daily rebuke to their egos.”

Since when does Iran not tolerate minorities? Since when is it populated by 76 million suicidal fanatics?

You see, not only do the Gazans want to die, in the view of Sowell and so many others we’ve been hearing from via our so-called public airwaves, because it makes good footage, because they have a culture of martyrdom — you’ve heard all the explanations for Gazans stubbornly remaining in their homes and hospitals rather than swimming to Cyprus as normal people would do — but the source of Gazans’ irrational aggression against the benevolent power that stole their land and starves their children and bans the importation of books is — wait for it — jealousy. It’s wounded egos.  Just as poor Americans are jealous of the success of those with the wisdom and fortitude to be born into the families of billionaires, so Palestinians resent the superiority, the Ubermenschness of the people who have been clever enough to get born into Pentagon subsidies.

As a contrasting view of the world to Sowell’s allow me to offer this new Willie Nelson video (http://youtu.be/MezGqmMCrwo):

Five Latin American Countries Withdraw Envoys from Israel

August 1st, 2014 by Global Research News

The decision of the Latin American countries to recall their ambassadors in Tel Aviv is a “deep disappointment”, says Israel.

El Salvador on Wednesday became the fifth Latin American country to withdraw its ambassador from Israel in protest at Israel’s military offensive in Gaza.

Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Peru have already recalled their ambassadors.

Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesman Yigal Palmor said that the move encourages Hamas; “this decision encourages Hamas which has been recognized as a terrorist organization by several countries. The countries standing against terror must act responsibly and should not reward them. While Hamas has been responsible for hindering a ceasfire, El Salvador, Peru and Chile were expected to support international attitude for peace and demilitarization of Gaza”, the statement said.

Earlier Israel criticized Brazil over its decision to recall its ambassador in protest at Israel’s military offensive in Gaza.

Brazil was one of 29 countries in the UN Human Rights Council that voted last Wednesday to investigate Israel over its military offensive in Gaza.

During a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping on July 17, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said her country was “profoundly concerned by the dramatic events” in Gaza.

The Palestinian death toll from a devastating Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip rose to 1283, according to a Gaza Health Ministry spokesman.

According to the spokesman, at least 7170 Palestinians have also been injured in the ongoing Israeli attacks since July 7.

Syndicated from Anadolu Agency

Ebola 2: Here Come the “Global Pandemic” Promoters

August 1st, 2014 by Jon Rappoport

Now in the UK, the government has absurdly decided it wants to hunt for 30,000 people who might have “come in contact” with air traveler Patrick Sawyer, who is said to have died from Ebola.

At first, the search was going to be aimed at only several hundred, but now they’ve multiplied the hysteria factor.

Here is one predictable outcome: at clinics and hospitals, frightened people who arrive with what are labeled “early signs” of Ebola will be labeled as probable cases. What are those symptoms? Fever, chill, sore throat, cough, headache, joint pain. Sound familiar? Normally, this would just be called the flu.

What’s (intentionally) missing in all this an understanding of the immune system. Generally speaking, a germ doesn’t stand a chance of causing serious illness when the immune system is strong.

Of course, you won’t hear about that. Instead, news accounts will feature shock and awe: “perfectly healthy people” who suddenly succumbed to the “killer germ.”

The fact is, unless a serious, honest, and highly competent practitioner does a complete workup on a patient, he has no idea whether that person is healthy and has a strong immune system.

While researching my first book in 1987, AIDS Inc.: Scandal of the Century, I read published summaries of “the first AIDS cases,” all of whom had been patients at UCLA Hospital. To a man, these patients were labeled “formerly otherwise healthy.” That was sheer propaganda. Nothing could have been further from the truth. The lists of their prior medical drugs put the lie to that in short order.

In areas of the world where severe malnutrition, starvation, lack of basic sanitation, contaminated water, overcrowding, heavy pollution are present, people fall ill and die routinely.

These conditions destroy the immune system—and then any germ that sweeps through the area causes illness and death, because body’s defenses are shot. That’s the real problem.

Here’s another point you won’t see discussed on the mainstream news: the reliability of tests used to diagnose Ebola.

Two of those tests—antibody and PCR—are notoriously unreliable.

Antibody tests will register positive for disease because they ping on factors that have nothing to do with the disease being looked for. And even when cross-reaction ping doesn’t occur, a positive test merely shows that the patient came in contact with the germ in question. It says nothing about whether he’s ill or is going to become ill.

In fact, before 1984, when the science was turned on its head, antibody-positive status was taken to mean the patient’s immune system had successfully warded off the germ.

The PCR test is a sophisticated way of amplifying tiny, tiny bits of what are assumed to be viral material, so they can be observed. The problem here is this: if only tiny bits of material could be found in the patient’s body in the first place, there is no reason to suppose they’re enough to cause disease. Very, very large amounts of virus are necessary to begin to suspect the patient is ill or is going to become ill.

Bottom line: huge numbers of people on whom these tests are done are going to be falsely diagnosed with Ebola.

And in a pandemic scare, diagnostic tests are going to be ignored altogether. “Eyeball” assessment becomes the order of the day.

This is exactly what happened in the US, in the summer of 2009, when the Swine Flu scare was at its height.

The Centers for Disease Control, without informing the public, just stopped doing tests and stopped counting numbers of American Swine Flu cases. Yet, on the basis of zero evidence, they claimed the disease was an expanding nightmare.

Sharyl Attkisson, star investigative reporter for CBS at the time, broke this story—and her network shut her off. There was much more she could have exposed, but it didn’t happen.

Here’s what did happen. The CDC, shaken to its core by Attkisson’s revelations, doubled down, employing a time honored strategy: if a lie doesn’t work, tell a much bigger lie.

The CDC suddenly claimed that its (unverified) total of tens of thousands of Swine Flu cases in America were really “tens of millions of cases.”

As the days and weeks pass, you’re going to hear and see all manner of outrageous propaganda about Ebola. “People of interest” and “possible carriers” and “people who might have come in contact with someone who has Ebola” will morph into “suspected cases of Ebola” and “victims of Ebola.”

The psyop warriors and their dupes will scream “global pandemic” every fifteen seconds.

To exert control over the population and obtain compliance (stay indoors, don’t travel, avoid contact with people who might be ill, etc.), they’ll say anything.

Every so-called “pandemic” is a test: how well will the population follow orders?

That’s the whole point.

The World Health Organization and the CDC are the spear points of the operation. They float the lies and the lies about lies.

The World Health Organization is also in charge of doing damage to national economies. “Shut down the airports. No planes should take off or land. Keep the ships in the harbors.”

Disruption, fear, damage.

Chaos—then new Order imposed on the chaos.

In 1987, I warned that medical propaganda ops are, in the long run, the most dangerous. They appear to be neutral. They wave no political banners. They claim to be science. For these reasons, they can accomplish the goals of overt fascism without arousing suspicion.

The “pandemic” is a high-value strategy in the medical psyop playbook.

The doctor is a foot soldier. In most cases, he has no idea how he’s being used. He’s learned his lessons well in medical school, where he’s also learned how to be arrogant and immune to uncomfortable truths.

Jon Rappoport is the author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. 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.

As the Ebola outbreak continues to cause concern, President Barack Obama has signed an amendment to an executive order that would allow him to mandate the apprehension and detention of Americans who merely show signs of “respiratory illness.”

The executive order, titled Revised List of Quarantinable Communicable Diseases, amends executive order 13295, passed by George W. Bush in April 2003, which allows for the, “apprehension, detention, or conditional release of individuals to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of suspected communicable diseases.”

The amendment signed by Obama replaces subsection (b) of the original Bush executive order which referred only to SARS. Obama’s amendment allows for the detention of Americans who display,

“Severe acute respiratory syndromes, which are diseases that are associated with fever and signs and symptoms of pneumonia or other respiratory illness, are capable of being transmitted from person to person, and that either are causing, or have the potential to cause, a pandemic, or, upon infection, are highly likely to cause mortality or serious morbidity if not properly controlled.”

Although Ebola was listed on the original executive order signed by Bush, Obama’s amendment ensures that Americans who merely show signs of respiratory illness, with the exception of influenza, can be forcibly detained by medical authorities.

Although the quarantining of people suspected of being infected with the Ebola virus seems like a perfectly logical move, the actual preconditions for this to happen aren’t restricted to just those suffering from the disease.

As we highlighted earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has measures in place for dealing with an outbreak of a communicable disease which allow for the quarantine of “well persons” who “do not show symptoms” of the disease.

In addition, under the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act, public health authorities and governors would be given expanded police powers to seize control of communications devices, public and private property, as well as a host of other draconian measures in the event of a public health emergency.

When the legislation was introduced, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons warned that it “could turn governors into dictators.”

Yesterday it was reported that Emory University Hospital in Atlanta was set to receive a patient infected with Ebola. A hospital in Germany also accepted an infected patient earlier this week. Some critics have raised concerns about the risk of deliberately importing infected individuals into the west.

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

A number of Western/NATO politicians – Hillary Clinton foremost among them – and media people have recently introduced a new ethical principle in international affairs:

When A delivers weapons to B, A is responsible for what B does with these weapons. The former Secretary of State and perhaps future U.S. President presents this new ethical principle here on CNN 

This makes a lot of sense to me. Look at it this way:

Here is a young confused boy who has little to look forward to – and less to lose – because his country is falling apart in nasty civil war. He’s been told by some commander, or by his President, that he must hate the enemy; he gets paid for killing off as many as he can. And so he does.

He believes also in what he’s been promised: Fame as a hero upon return – that is, if he returns – and a comfortable life.

So he kills people, children and woman among them. He’s paid for it, not much but it’s better than earning nothing at all. And then that hope of a good life when it’s all over.

If these tragic figures survive, they return home – but not to fame but to traumas, nightmares, divorce, guilt feelings, isolation from family and friends, then alcohol and often suicide – or perhaps make a career as part of the mafia.

I’ve met quite a few such young men, for instance in the various parts of what was once Yugoslavia.

Roll back the war movie

Tell you what, I’ve never been able to understand why this type of war criminal is the only one who is prosecuted and punished.

Roll back the film: OK, he held the gun and of course he has resonsibility for what he does. He could choose not to pull the trigger.

But he was part of an organisation – army or rebel group, whatever – with commanders who gave orders; his country’s political leaders had lied to him and constructed an ideology of hate. The media promoted all kinds of war propaganda, lies and myths – and made him believe that what he did was right.

And how did that gun get into his hand? Well, there were researchers and engineers who developed it – actually the largest single group of researchers on earth.

There were industries who manufactured it and there were governments or middlemen or private arms traders who sold the weapon and ammunition – and there were transport companies which transported it to the war zone. There were people far away from the danger who made huge profits from somebody else’s killing.

That’s how!

Are all these other actors in this movie innocent?

Why on earth is this poor fellow the only one to be punished – while the multi-billionaire arms manufacturers, traders and transporters are at large and living the life he dreamt about?

OK, the world isn’t fair – and ethics is not in high demand in the field of politics. But somehow it should be pretty obvious that the soldier is far from the only culprit and that his finger on the trigger is only the end of a long movie.

Hillary Clinton’s ethics is a step forward

So Madam Clinton is saying something interesting, pointing in the direction of a new ethics which I actually find reasonable:

Putin is responsible – at least ”indirectly” as she says – for the shooting down of MH17 because he – or Russia or whatever else over there we don’t like – gave the Eastern Ukrainian rebels the missile with which they made the MH17 fall down from the sky. (Leave aside that we don’t have all the facts; it’s just an example, isn’t it?)

Conclusion: Arms developers, researchers, manufacturers, traders, profiteers, commanders, politicians, prime ministers and presidents – all those who caused our young fellow – and the millions like him – to pull the trigger should be brought to justice.

Off you go to the International Criminal Court – not because you killed but because you facilitated killing. Sometimes mass killing, genocide, crimes against humanity!

Bravo! But!

There is only one little problem: It applies only to Putin – as you may have guessed. Because look here: US supplies Israel with bombs amid Gaza blitz.

And the U.S. doesn’t do only that in the midst of mass murder of civilians – no it gives military ”aid” to Israel so Israel can more effectively destroy itself as state and the Palestinians as people: Some US $ 3 bn per year, year after year and provides the political support for the killing of innocent people, sleeping children in UN schools included.

So, dear Hillary Clinton… 

May I humbly suggest that you please shut up with your selective ethics or stand up and admit your country’s responsibility for wars around the world, the one in Gaza included.

The U.S. is the world’s largest arms producer, it’s largest arms exporter and arms consumer.

And could the free media – here CNN’s Fareed Zakaria – please begin to speak up and do what journalists are supposed to do: Ask questions to power?

Today’s Guardian includes an article that appears to be excusing Israel of responsibility for the massive death toll it has inflicted on Palestinian civilians. But, more significantly, it includes a lot of useful – and damning – information about just how “indiscriminate” Israel’s weapons really are. [http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/31/gaza-civilian-death-toll-military-training-experts]

This interests me a great deal because I have been warning about problems with the interpretation of international law used by leading human rights groups on this very point since the 2006 Lebanon War.

At that time I got into a dispute with Human Rights Watch’s Middle East policy director, Sarah Leah Whitson. Her organisation argued that Hizbullah was committing war crimes by definition whenever it fired rockets at Israel, even if it hit military targets, because those rockets were primitive and inherently inaccurate.

By contrast, HRW claimed, Israel’s missiles were precise and therefore their use was not inherently inadmissible. Its view was that Israel did not commit war crimes by firing its missiles; the obligation was on observers to show that they had not been used within the rules of war – which is a much harder standard of proof. For more on this debate, see my articles here [http://www.jonathan-cook.net/2006-09-07/how-human-rights-watch-lost-its-way-in-lebanon/] and here [http://www.jonathan-cook.net/2006-09-25/human-rights-watch-still-missing-the-point/].

In practice, HRW’s argument was nonsense, as was clear even in 2006. During that war, Israel dropped millions of cluster munitions – little bomblets that serve effectively as land mines – all over southern Lebanon, endangering the whole civilian population of the area.

But Norman Finkelstein recently pointed out the more general problem with HRW’s argument:

“By this standard, only rich countries, or countries rich enough to purchase high-tech weapons, have a right to defend themselves against high-tech aerial assaults. It is a curious law that would negate the raison d’être of law: the substitution of might by right.”

It may not be entirely surprising that HRW and others interpret international law in a way that serves rich and powerful western states, however many civilians they kill, and criminalises developing states, however few civilians they kill.

The current fighting in Gaza illustrates this point in dramatic fashion. Some 95% of the 64 Israelis who have been killed during the current fighting are soldiers; some 75% of the nearly 1,500 Palestinians who have been killed are civilian.

But comments from experts in the Guardian article add another layer of insight into HRW’s dubious distinctions.

One should ignore the irritating framing used in the article, which seems to suggest that the high Palestinian death toll may be down to human or systems errors. Experts discount this theory in the article and also point out that Israel is often not checking whether its shooting is accurate. In other words, it gives every indication of not taking any precautions to ensure it is hitting only military targets (or rather targets it claims are military in nature). That recklessness makes it fully culpable.

But we also have experts cited here who make the point that much of Israel’s precise weaponry is not accurate at all.

Andrew Exum, a former US army officer and defence department special adviser on the Middle East, who has studied Israel’s military operations, says this:

“There are good strategic reasons to avoid using air power and artillery in these conflicts: they tend to be pretty indiscriminate in their effects and make it difficult for the population under fire to figure out what they’re supposed to do to be safe.”

“Pretty indiscriminate”! So doesn’t that mean Israel was committing war crimes by definition every time it made one of those thousands of air strikes that marked the start of Operation Protective Edge, and that continue to this day?

But it is not just strikes from the air that are the problem. There is more:

“However, military analysts and human rights observers say the IDF is still using unguided, indirect fire with high-explosive shells, which they argue is inappropriate for a densely populated area like Gaza …

“[Israel's 155m howitzer] shells have a lethal radius of 50 to 150 metres and causes injury up to 300 metres from its point of impact. Furthermore, such indirect-fire artillery (meaning it is fired out of direct sight of the target) has a margin of error of 200 to 300 metres.”

Read that again: a margin of error of up to 300 metres, plus a lethal radius of up to 150 metres and an injury radius of 300 metres. So that’s a killing and injury zone of close to half a kilometre from the intended “precise” site of impact – in a territory that is only a few kilometres wide and long. In short, one of the main shells Israel is using in Gaza is completely imprecise.

Set aside what Israel is trying to do in Gaza. Let us assume it is actually trying to hit military targets rather than being either reckless about hitting civilian targets or deliberately trying to hit civilians, as much of the evidence might suggest.

Even if we assume total good faith on Israel’s part that it is trying to hit only Hamas and other military sites, it is clear it cannot do so even with the advanced weaponry it has. The inherent imprecision of its arsenal is compounded many fold by the fact that it is using these weapons in densely built-up areas.

So when are we going to hear HRW or the United Nation’s Navi Pillay stop talking about proportionality or Israel’s potential war crimes, and admit Israel is committing war crimes by definition – right now, as you read this.

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books).  His website is www.jonathan-cook.net.

This moment in history is a watershed moment for Humankind.  It has been triggered by the senseless and premeditated extermination of innocent and largely defenseless children, women and men in the largest open-air concentration camp on earth called Gaza by an overwhelming force for only one purpose: making life itself unbearable.

The response to and condemnation of what I have no name for is universal. It transcends all political, ideological, religious, national, continental, gender and age boundaries. It is unique as it is not based on gaining any advantages or fighting for or against anything. It simply is the outpouring of everything that is good within  human beings. It is the universal expression of what we really are. Sentient, loving, caring, compassionate creatures.

This outpouring is genuine and unique.

It shows that lies are not believed any longer, that no propaganda can distort our innate knowledge of right and wrong.

No event in history could accomplish what the unmasked menace, now staring Humankind in the face, could. Not the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, not the fire bombings of Tokyo, Dresden and Hamburg, not the atrocities of WW I and II, not the catastrophes of Chernobyl, Fukushima or Deepwater Horizon.

What we are witnessing is the rise of the true human consciousness and universal spirit in all its glory. Truth, justice and compassion will prevail.

R. Teichmann is an activist living in West Cork / Ireland and an editor with news-beacon-ireland.info. He also blogs on War is a Crime.

Unlike previous centuries and epochs, modern warfare is not restricted solely to the battlefield. Rather, it extends into the information sphere where the dissemination of propaganda and the construction of narratives are of equal importance to weapons and soldiers. For today, the legitimacy of a war in the eyes of public opinion in many ways determines victory or defeat. It is here, in the realm of public opinion, that an organization such as Human Rights Watch (HRW) becomes indispensible to the Empire, not so much for the facts that it presents, but the narrative that it shapes.

Put another way, HRW serves as intermediary between the facts on the ground and the western public who rely on the organization (and similar NGOs such as Amnesty International) to accurately tell the story of a given conflict. It is precisely this position as an “information middleman” that makes HRW both relevant and dangerous for the simple fact that the manner in which it presents information, along with the critical facts it chooses to omit or otherwise distort, can have a tremendous impact on how the world views a conflict and, consequently, how the world responds.

By examining the way in which HRW documented, investigated, and presented findings from the conflicts in Israel/Palestine, Ukraine, Libya, Syria, and Venezuela, it becomes clear that the organization, though theoretically objective and “disinterested,” is in fact an integral part of the western imperial system. Though HRW has done some good work, and likely will in the future, this cannot be taken as evidence that the organization is somehow not a part of the Empire. On the contrary, without HRW and similar organizations, Washington and its allies would not be able to champion themselves as “defenders of human rights,” “beacons of democracy,” and “humanitarian powers.”

HRW on Israel/Palestine

In analyzing HRW’s findings and, perhaps most importantly, the way in which they are presented, one conclusion becomes inescapable: when the facts are damaging to the western powers, HRW dilutes the impact of its own conclusions, and when its findings advance the western agenda, HRW exaggerates them. What can one call such obvious service to power under the guise of truth-telling? Words like cynical, insidious, and treacherous certainly come to mind.

On the subject of Israel/Palestine, HRW has consistently placed itself in the “condemn both sides” camp. That is to say, it makes an equivalence between the violence and barbarism of Israel’s colonial-style occupation of Gaza and the West Bank on the one hand, and Palestinian armed resistance on the other. The cynicism is painfully obvious. By making such equivalence, HRW effectively reduces the scope and scale of Israeli crimes which are, objectively speaking, far more widespread, systematic, and devastating.

As renowned Palestinian journalist and Middle East analyst Mouin Rabbani wrote in 2009:

In the years since 2000, HRW pursued a consistent — and consistently effective — formula: criticize Israel, but condemn the Palestinians. Challenge the legality of an Israeli aerial bombardment, preferably in polite, technical terms, and vociferously denounce the Palestinian suicide bomber in unambiguous language — especially when raising questions about the latest Israeli atrocity. In HRW publications, explicit condemnations and accusations of war crimes were almost wholly monopolized by Palestinians. With Israeli citizenship a seeming precondition for the right to self-defense, the right to resist was for all intents and purposes non-existent.

Rabbani here correctly points out not only the false equivalence between the violence perpetrated by Israel and the armed resistance of the Palestinians, but also the question of legitimacy and legality in regard to the latter. HRW portrays Palestinian resistance, in whatever form it takes, as illegitimate and a violation of international law, often referring to the rockets and, when it was still applicable the “suicide bombers,” as war crimes. In contrast, HRW very rarely, if ever, expressly uses the term “war crimes” to refer to any of the atrocities committed by Israel that undoubtedly are such.

Perhaps here it would be relevant to point out that, according to international law and UN precedent, all Israeli so-called “self-defense” (bombing civilian targets, laying siege to Gaza, etc.) constitutes war crimes. By contrast, the Palestinians have a legal right to resist their occupation by a foreign power by any means necessary. Indeed, this point has been reiterated countless times by the United Nations. One particularly relevant example comes from the 43rd resolution of the 37th UN General Assembly held in 1982 against the backdrop of Israel’s vicious war on Lebanon which, “Reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, including armed struggle.”

Though certainly not the only example of international law and UN precedent legitimizing the armed resistance of the Palestinian people, the above resolution makes it quite plain that the argument that “Hamas rockets constitute a war crime” is little more than a rhetorical flourish from those who attempt to make an equivalence between Israeli and Palestinian violence in order to justify the former by discrediting the latter. It goes almost without saying that such faulty reasoning must be rejected entirely.

But this issue of rhetoric and language is also crucial to understanding how HRW is able to criticize Israel without actually condemning its atrocities or exposing it to charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. In response to the most recent round of Israeli crimes, renowned scholar and activist Norman Finkelstein wrote:

In its first press release on 9 July 2014, Indiscriminate Palestinian Rocket Attacks; Israeli Airstrikes on Homes Appear to be Collective Punishment, HRW stated that “Israeli attacks targeting homes may amount to prohibited collective punishment.” In its second press release on 16 July, Unlawful Israeli Airstrikes Kill Civilians; Bombings of Civilian Structures Suggest Illegal Policy, HRW states that “Israeli air attacks in Gaza…have been targeting apparent civilian structures and killing civilians in violation of the laws of war. Israel should end the unlawful attacks that do not target military objectives and may be intended as collective punishment or broadly to destroy civilian property.” It then proceeded to legally define the meaning of war crimes, but artfully avoided accusing Israel of committing them…In these statements HRW doubly distanced itself from alleging Israeli war crimes: first, it qualified the weight of the incriminating evidence – “appear,” “may,” “apparent,” “may be,”; second, it recoiled from explicitly charging Israel with war crimes and instead settled for lesser or vaguer charges – “collective punishment,” “violation of the laws of war,” “unlawful attacks.”

As Finkelstein correctly notes, the language that HRW employs is, at least superficially, supposed to provide a veneer of objectivity by using qualifier words such as “may” and “apparent.” However the reality is that such language is deliberately designed to allow HRW to avoid correctly ascribing terms like “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity” to Israeli actions. In this way, HRW dilutes its own findings, pleasing the powerful corporate and political interests in the US that fund it.

Indeed, here it is important to reiterate how HRW creates a false equivalence between Israeli war crimes and Palestinian “war crimes.” HRW has gone on record saying that “Hamas rocket attacks targeting Israeli civilians are unlawful and unjustifiable, and amount to war crimes… As the governing authority in Gaza, Hamas should publicly renounce rocket attacks on Israeli civilian centers and punish those responsible, including members of its own armed wing.”

So, let’s just be clear here. Israeli bombings of Palestinian civilian targets through systematic campaigns “may” constitute “collective punishment” (not war crimes according to HRW’s language), while Hamas rocket attacks “amount to war crimes.” The transparently hypocritical use of double-standards in terms of language exposes a deeply rooted bias in HRW against the justness of Palestinian resistance. Whether one agrees or disagrees with Hamas’s military (and political) tactics, the legal and moral righteousness of their resistance cannot be disputed by anyone objectively evaluating the conflict.

More to the point, HRW accusing Palestinians of war crimes implies yet another distortion perpetrated by the Empire and its media and NGO toadies: that the conflict in Gaza is a “war.” This is no war, it is a one-sided slaughter. One could point to the casualty figures, the absence of an army, navy, or air force on the Palestinian side, the complete lack of indigenous economic activity to support a “war economy” in Gaza, or any of the other myriad material reasons why this is not a war.

If one is being honest, then it is clear that it is the western media (which includes of course Israeli media) which distorts the reality of the situation, calling it a “war” so as to justify the horrific crimes being committed. Because, as is self-evident, only under conditions of war can Israeli actions be justified in the minds of westerners. This is willful self-deception of the highest order. Indeed, self-deception is one of the most potent weapons that Israel’s supporters, along with HRW, have at their disposal.

HRW on Ukraine

23423The armed conflict between the US-sponsored regime in Kiev and the anti-Kiev rebels in the East of the country has devolved into a bona fide civil war. However, it should be noted that, though the term “civil war” is used to describe the fighting, it should not be taken to mean that there is equivalent force on both sides. Rather, the Kiev regime has the full force of an organized military with air power, heavy weapons, tanks, artillery, and a host of other military materiel. In contrast, the anti-Kiev forces possess very few of these same weapons, with no air power whatsoever, despite the continued allegations of Russian support. And so, as with the so called “war” between Israel and Hamas, the conflict is far more one-sided than most media is willing to admit.

This point about unequal force is critical to understanding just how HRW, though seemingly condemning the use of rockets by the US-backed Ukrainian military, in fact provides an important service to the western narrative on Ukraine. Specifically, HRW presents a “condemn everyone equally” perspective which unjustifiably condemns the rebel forces with as much fervor as it does Kiev’s military. In so doing, HRW once again makes false equivalence, thereby distorting the true nature of the conflict in the eyes of western observers.

In its report Ukraine: Unguided Rockets Killing Civilians, HRW documents the use of “Grad” (Russian for “hail”) rockets by both sides in Ukraine. The report noted that “Unguided Grad rockets launched apparently by Ukrainian government forces and pro-government militias have killed at least 16 civilians and wounded many more in insurgent-controlled areas of Donetsk and its suburbs in at least four attacks between July 12 and 21, 2014.” In this initial assessment at the opening of the report, HRW is correct in pointing out that both sides of the conflict have been using such weapons, at least according to a number of independent reports from the region. However, again one must return to the question of equivalence between the two sides. In other words, are both sides equally accountable for the death and destruction wrought on the civilian population?

According to HRW and the language of the report, the answer is yes. Ole Solvang, senior emergencies researcher at HRW noted that, “Grad rockets are notoriously imprecise weapons that shouldn’t be used in populated areas. If insurgent and Ukrainian government forces are serious about limiting harm to civilians, they should both immediately stop using these weapons in populated areas.” Though of course one would agree that the use of such weapons by either side harms civilians, it presupposes that each side is equally responsible. Naturally, one should note that it is the Kiev regime’s military which is launching these rockets against a civilian population, while the rebels are using such rockets against military positions held by the Ukrainian army. This simple fact, conveniently left out of HRW’s report, should significantly alter how the issue is perceived. Rather than a war between two equally criminally responsible parties, there is undoubtedly an asymmetry in the violations of the rules of war.

To be fair, there are portions of the HRW report which do intimate, though perhaps stop short of explicitly stating, the fact that Kiev bears the majority of the blame. The report states, “Human Rights Watch called on all parties to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, particularly Ukrainian government forces, to stop using Grad rockets in or near populated areas because of the likelihood of killing and wounding civilians.” Indeed, the use of the phrase “particularly Ukrainian government forces” does suggest that Kiev is more culpable than the rebels. However, HRW quickly negates whatever value can be drawn from the above statement by following it with “Insurgent forces should minimize the risk to civilians under their control by avoiding deploying forces and weapons in densely populated areas.” Such a statement is patently absurd considering that the war is undeniably being fought in densely populated areas (Donetsk alone has about a million residents).

How can HRW genuinely tell rebels who are protecting their homes, their families, and their communities, not to fight in densely populated areas? The Ukrainian air force and military have been shelling civilian areas with far more than just the Grad rockets (artillery, aerial bombardment, and possibly white phosphorous bombs), and HRW expects the rebels to simply allow this? Again, the report presents an equivalence between the force employed by both sides, an utterly disingenuous argument. The report notes, “Human Rights Watch said that insurgent forces have failed to take all feasible precautions to avoid deploying in densely populated areas, thereby endangering civilians in violation of the laws of war.” In other words, though HRW condemned the use of the rockets by Kiev’s military forces, ultimate responsibility lies with the rebels who are “endangering civilians.”

This is backwards thinking. It is the equivalent of Israeli military spokesmen who argue that Hamas is responsible for Palestinian deaths because of where they place their rockets. The sort of mental gymnastics required to evaluate the situation in this way perhaps best illustrates what HRW is doing. Rather than assigning blame to Kiev where it is deserved, HRW condemns fervently the rebels for the actions of Kiev. In this way, HRW bolsters the western narrative that the “pro-Russian separatists” (as the western media is fond of calling them) are the ultimate cause of the conflict and the civilian deaths. This is not the first time that HRW has blamed the victims of aggression for the crimes of the aggressors.

Part 2 of this article will focus on HRW’s propaganda and service to the Empire in Libya, Syria, and Venezuela. It will appear on New Eastern Outlook in the coming days. 

Eric Draitser is an independent geopolitical analyst based in New York City, he is the founder of StopImperialism.org and OP-ed columnist for RT, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

Israel and the “G” Word: Gaza Genocide And Arab Fratricide

August 1st, 2014 by Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich

 Lets not mince words.   Israelis are committing genocide in Gaza.   But the United Nations is loath to use the “G” word and it us using the “C” (condemn) word instead.   Why?  Money talks.     The top financier of the United Nations is America with a whopping 22.00% in direct funds (followed by Japan 10.83%, Germany 7.14%, France 5.59%, and GB 5.18%),  if the United Nations called out the genocide in Gaza, its top financier would have to be punished for its complicity.

According to Article 3 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, persons committing genocide or complicity in genocide shall be punished “whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.”  The United States not only supports and funds the ongoing genocide in Gaza, replenishes Israel with more funds and weaponry, but it also uses its political clout to enable Israel to continue its ruthless crimes against humanity.

While many have not been shy about calling these crimes genocide,  they have  come under attack for using the “G” word.  Is genocide an appropriate term to use?   Well, it is if one has respect for international law and the rules of the genocide convention.   Article 2 of the Convention clearly spells out:

“In the present Convention, genocide means any [emphasis added]of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part [emphasis added], a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

•               (a) Killing members of the group;

•               (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

•               (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

•               (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

•               (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

There is little argument and ample evidence that Israel’s actions against the people of Gaza in particular, and Palestine as whole, constitute the term genocide.

 While the pro-Israel Western media has been unable to conceal the daily, indiscriminate killing of anything that breathes and moves in Gaza (Article 2a) and the terrorization of children, the young and the old (mental harm) with the constant bombardment, bulldozers, and drones (Article 2b), the media has been apt at hiding the horrific effects of the blockade – the deliberate infliction of condition of life calculated to bring about physical destruction in whole or in part (Article 2c).

In 2010, Amnesty International’s report Suffocating Gaza – the Israeli blockade’s effects on Palestinians detailed the reality of life in Gaza including restricting the entry of basic goods,  food and fuel. On January 28, 2014, the daily Haaretz ran an article entitled “In Gaza, water – and time – are running out; Experts say Gaza water shortage likely to bring about illness.”  The situation has only exasperated.

Yet, in spite of the evidence, the United Nations Secretary General Ban ki-Moon, ignoring all other atrocities, calls an attack on a UN school which killed innocent civilians “outrageous”.   Perhaps he ought to be reminded of, and heed his predecessor, Kofi Annan who acknowledged responsibility for not having done more to prevent or stop the Rwanda genocide.   In his July 2004 address to the Commission on Human Rights, Mr. Annan said:

            “If we are serious about preventing or stopping genocide in future, we must not be held back by legalistic arguments about whether a particular atrocity meets the definition of genocide or not.  By the time we are certain, it may often be too late to act.  We must recognize the signs of approaching or possible genocide, so that we can act in time to avert it.”

 Ban ki-Moon must have missed the speech and the memo; although in July 2012, he did appoint Adam Dieng of Senegal as his Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide –  only to refrain from the “G” word it would seem.

The American government is not alone in its complicity in genocide or in its incitement.   Mainstream media networks and commentators who paint a picture of an Israel “self-defense” to give room to the continued genocide are complicit and must be punished.  But in the opinion of this writer, the vilest partners in this crime are the Egyptian and Saudi leaders committing fratricide.

Egypt’s military coup leader and the illegitimate president of Egypt, al-Sisi, whom the Israel ambassador called a ‘hero for all Jews’ , has trapped the Gazans so that Israel can eliminate them all.   Genocide will prove to be lucrative business for the Egyptians.   Piping Israeli gas (stolen from Gaza) to liquefaction plants in Egypt to beconverted into LNG and exported across the world.

In 2009, David Wurmser writing for the Jewish policy Center opined “Israel and its neighbor now sit atop roughly two years’ worth of European consumption”.  He further suggests “even modest amounts of Israeli gas exports can carry significant strategic leverage”. Citing Europe’s gas vulnerability, Wurmser wrote “Europe’s grim reality could represent a unique window of opportunity for Israel to nail down long-term agreements and align export policy with a broader effort to reset Israeli-European relations.”

The MH 17 was brought down four hours after Israel’s ground invasion of Gaza.  Europeans reluctant to enforce further sanctions on Russia was no longer so reluctant. END SIDE BAR.]

Israel’s interest in Egypt and its opposition to the elected president of the Egyptian people, Mohammad Morsi, went beyond a gas transit and the Palestinians.    On May 30, 2013, The Times of Israel reported that the construction on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (on the Blue Nile) had sparked a major diplomatic crisis with Egypt – a concern shared with Saudi Arabia and its plans to divert water from the Nile.  In 2012, it was reported that Saudi Arabia had claimed a stake in the Nile.

The Saudi regime showered the coup government with aid after the overthrow of Morsi.  In January, Egypt received a further $4 billion to Egypt, and in May, Saudi Arabia showered the Egyptians with another $3billion while Egypt trapped Gazans to be slaughtered by Israel.

Never has the world witnessed so much impunity.    The United Nations refuses to acknowledge genocide and takes no part in preventing or punishing it.   The silence of those guarding our rights and our laws makes them  the silent partners in this crime against humanity.  As Jonathan Swift said: ““I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.”

Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich is an independent researcher with a focus on U.S. foreign policy and the influence of lobby groups. 

Israel Commits War Crimes In Gaza

We previously noted:

Israel is currently bombing Gaza back to the stone age ….

And:

Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Eli Yishai said:

We must blow Gaza back to the Middle Ages destroying all the infrastructure including roads & water.

Or as Haaretz puts it:

Interior Minister Eli Yishai on Israel’s operation in Gaza: “The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages ….”

Destroying civilian infrastructure is – of course – a war crime under the Geneva Convention.

The following are also war crimes under the Geneva Convention:

  • The indiscriminate or disproportionate use of force
  • Collective punishment for the acts of a few
  • Targeting civilians

***

Indeed, the UN has repeatedly found Israeli’s actions in Gaza to be a war crime. See this, this and this.

The same year, Gilad Sharon – the son of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon – wrote an Op-Ed in the Jerusalem Post saying:

We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too.

“There should be no electricity in Gaza, no gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing.”

Many observers allege that Israel is intentionally targeting essential infrastructure such as water supplies.

Israel has now bombed Gaza’s only power plant -  knocking out power for a year – and so Gazans are being urged to ration water as pumps grind to a halt.

Israel has also repeatedly bombed UN shelters for civilians … killing scores of women and children.

And as AntiWar reports:

Earlier today, the Israeli military announced a four-hour “humanitarian lull in the Gaza Strip, giving civilians in the strip a chance to go out and try to find food at the marketplaces, or so they thought.

Instead, Israel let hundreds of civilians pour into the Shejaiya marketplace and then attacked it long before the truce expired, killing at least 17 civilians and wounding 160 others.

It was one of several Israeli attacks reported during the four-hour “lull,” almost entirely focusing on civilian targets, and by all accounts so far killing exclusively civilians.

Daily Beast writes, in an article entitled, “Israel’s Campaign to Send Gaza Back to the Stone Age“:

The already brittle civilian infrastructure lay in shards. The Gaza City port had been bombed and the finance ministry was flattened. Tens of thousands more people had fled their homes as Israeli flares lit up the night sky, and shells and rockets pounded residences, businesses and government buildings.

***

Few in Gaza will see a campaign that has now targeted civilian infrastructure as anything less than collective punishment for having a leadership that fights back.

***

The power plant is a loss with particularly far-reaching consequences. According to Hayat abu Salah, spokesperson for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), it will need major repairs before it can be put back on line. “This will affect the provision of water and sanitation services,” she said. “It will impact the operation of health facilities.”

With more wounded pouring into Gaza hospitals every day, they are already stretched. The emergency room of Gaza City’s Al Shifa Hospital is running out of supplies and was already coping with massive complications created by power cuts. The maternity ward has lost premature babies because it was unable to keep the incubators running.

***
This is not the first time Israel has knocked out Gaza’s power plant and targeted essential infrastructure. Indeed, this is almost part of a standard playbook. Following Hamas’ kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006, Israel plunged Gaza into darkness with a retaliatory strike on the power plant. The bombing and escalation in Gaza set off a series of events that led to a full-on war in Lebanon as well as Gaza.
Over a year ago I published an essay entitled ‘The Linchpin Lie: How Global Collapse Will Be Sold To The Masses’. This essay addressed efforts by the ever malicious Rand Corporation to create a false narrative surrounding the possibility of global collapse. Linchpin Theory, as it was named by it’s originator and Rand Corp. employee, John Casti, is I believe the very future of propaganda.
Every engineered crisis needs a clever cover story, and in Linchpin Theory, we are told that all human catastrophe is a mere natural product of the “overcomplexity” within various systems. Yes, there is no accounting of false flag geopolitics or elitist conspiracy, no acknowledgment of deliberately initiated chaos; such things do not exist in the world of “linchpins”. Rather, the Rand Corporation would have us believe that the world is a massive game of Jenga, and the supporting pieces just remove themselves from the teetering structure by magical and coincidental causality.

Today, the linchpin lie is now being carefully inserted into the mainstream narrative. I can’t say I was shocked to hear Alan Greenspan use its basic premise when he recently stated that:

I have come to the conclusion that bubbles…are a function of human nature. We don’t have enough observations, but my tentative hypothesis to what we’re dealing with is that both a necessary and sufficient condition for the emergence of a bubble is a protracted period of stable economic activity at low inflation. So it is a very difficult policy problem. I do believe that central banks that believe they can quell bubbles are living in a state of unrealism.

It is important that we understand what Greenspan is actually doing here. The former Fed chairman is asserting that economic bubbles like the derivatives bubble of 2008 are a “natural function”, like the seasons, and are out of the control of central bankers. The truth is that central bankers have never tried to “quell” economic bubbles, they have been deliberately creating them in order to position the global economy into a crisis which they can then exploit. Greenspan is not only diverting blame for all the past and future economic crashes central banks have engineered, he is also setting the propaganda stage for a great change in the dynamic of the central banking concept – what the IMF’s Christine Lagarde calls the “global economic reset”.

The current central banking structure gives the illusion of separation and sovereignty. Most people who have not researched the nature of the international banking cartel believe that the Federal Reserve, for instance, is a separate national entity from the Central Bank of Russia, or the Central Bank of China. They believe that these institutions act of their own accord rather than in concert with each other. The reality is, there is no Federal Reserve. There is no Central Bank of Russia. There are no separate entities. There are no Western banks and there are no BRICS. All of these banking edifices are merely front organizations for global financiers, as Council on Foreign Relations insider (and friend to the Rockefellers) Carroll Quigley made clear in his book, Tragedy And Hope:

It must not be felt that the heads of the world’s chief central banks were themselves substantive powers in world finance. They were not. Rather they were the technicians and agents of the dominant investment bankers of their own countries, who had raised them up, and who were perfectly capable of throwing them down. The substantive financial powers of the world were in the hands of these investment bankers who remained largely behind the scenes in their own unincorporated private banks. These formed a system of international cooperation and national dominance which was more private, more powerful, and more secret than that of their agents in the central banks.

A “global economic reset”, I suspect, will consist of a grand shift away from covert cooperation between central banks to an OPENLY centralized one world banking system, predicated on the concepts put forward by the IMF and led by the Bank for International Settlements, which has always been behind the sceneshanding down commandments to the seemingly separate central banks of nations.

In order for this “reset” to be achieved, however, the establishment needs a historically monumental distraction. A distraction so confounding and terrifying that by the time the public has a chance to examine the situation rationally, the elites have already tightened the noose.

I have been warning ever since the beginning of the derivatives/debt collapse of 2007/2008 that the international financiers and globalists who created the artificially low interest rates and fiat lending bonanza would one day be required to fashion a considerably dangerous event in order to trigger the final collapse of the dollar based monetary system and replace it with a new currency (or basket of currencies), along with a new centralized financial authority.

This distracting event would have to rely on three very important strategies in order to succeed -

1) The use of what I call the “scattershot effect”; a swarm of smaller crises growing exponentially until it blurs together to create one dynamic calamity.

2) The use of multiple false paradigms in order to confuse the masses and pit them against one another in an absurd fight over fake and meaningless causes.

3) The use of deceptive benevolence on the part of the financial elite as they tap dance in to act as global “mediators”, ready to save the public from itself.

The end result would be a new brand of “world war” rather unique to history.

When most people imagine WWIII, they immediately envision images of nuclear bombs and mushroom clouds; however, I believe that when world war erupts, it may progress far differently from our cinematic assumptions. Regional conflicts are very likely, there is no doubt, but if one places himself in the shoes of the elites, one realizes that all out mechanized nuclear Armageddon is not really necessary to achieve the desired result of global governance.

Economic warfare alone could be extremely effective in initiating full spectrum fiscal implosion as well as mass starvation, mass panic, and mass desperation. All the signs lead me to believe that financial combat and 4th generation warfare will be used in the place of large armies and missiles.

The Scattershot Effect

Consider the sheer scope and number of crisis situations that have reached explosive proportions just in the past six months.

Syria continues to destabilize due to ISIS insurgents supported by the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Israel; it is a horrifying storm which is now bleeding into other nations such as Iraq.

Iraq is on the verge of complete disintegration as the same western organized ISIS moves towards the outskirts of Baghdad. 

Libya has imploded, with the American embassy evacuated, as well as the French and British, as various militias battle for supremacy.

The Ukraine crisis is nearing mutation into another beast entirely after the attack on Malaysian flight MH17. In just the past week, the EU has instituted sanctions against Russia, fighting has become even more fierce around Donetsk, Russia has been accused of firing artillery into Ukraine, and the U.S. now claims that Russia has violated the terms of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces treaty.

In the meantime, the Federal Reserve continues to taper QE3 while ignoring the unprecedented equities bubble they have birthed in the stock market, as well as refusing to answer the question as to who will actually buy U.S. Treasury debt if they do not? Our secret friend from Belgium? And what if this secret friend is, as I suspect, actually the IMF/BIS global loan shark duo? What then? Do we become yet another third world African-style debtor owing our very infrastructure to a financial bureaucracy on the other side of the world?

And what about the Baltic Dry Index, one of the few measures of global shipping demand that cannot be manipulated by outside money interests? Well, the BDI is back down to historic lows,falling 65% since January, signaling that the so-called “economic recovery” is not at all what it is cracked up to be.

Add to this the deluge of illegal immigration on the southern border, aided by the Obama Administration, as well as possible presidential impeachment and lawsuit proceedings, and you have a recipe for total chaos of the fiscal variety.

If the first six to seven months of 2014 have been this frenetic, how bad will the next six months be?

False Paradigms

We are all aware of the prevalence of the false Left/Right paradigm in American politics. Hopefully most people in the Liberty Movement understand, for example, that any impeachment or lawsuit proceedings against Barack Obama will be nothing more than a crafted circus designed to accomplish nothing – a con game to placate conservatives with useless top-down solutions while the country burns around their ears.

There are other false paradigms that are not so clear to some, though…

The false Israel/Hamas paradigm has certainly duped a particular subsection of Americans and even a few patriots, even though it is historical fact that the creation of Hamas itself was funded and supported by the Israeli government. Why do Israeli politicians put money and arms at the disposal of Muslim extremist groups like Hamas and ISIS, only to enter into brutal conflict with them later? Could it be that the Israeli government does not have the best interests of the Israeli people at heart? Could it be that Israel is being used by internationalists as a catalyst for chaos? It is vital that we question the intentions behind such contrary actions in the Middle East.

Why has the U.S. government (Democrats and Republicans), Saudi Arabia, and Israel put support behind the ISIS caliphate in Iraq after spending decades of time, billions in resources, and thousands of lives, attempting to overrun and dominate the region? Why are these governments creating enemies that will later try to harm us?

It is all about false paradigms; dividing the masses into numerous conflicting sides and pitting them against each other when they should be fighting against the elites.

The false East/West paradigm is perhaps the most dangerous lie facing free men today. It is a lie that may very well define our generation if not our century. I have outlined in multiple articles the substantial evidence that proves beyond a doubt that Russia and China are members of the globalist agenda, and that the tensions between our two hemispheres are completely fabricated.

The latest announcement of a BRICS bank to rival the IMF is yet another scheme to perpetuate the illusion that the elites of these nations are at odds. In fact, the BRICS conference mission statement makes it clear that developing nations have no intention of breaking from the IMF (and certainly not the BIS). Instead, the BRICS bank is meant to provide “leverage” to “force” the IMF to become more inclusive, and hand over more power and participation. Vladimir Putin had this to sayat the latest summit:

In the BRICS case we see a whole set of coinciding strategic interests. First of all, this is the common intention to reform the international monetary and financial system. In the present form it is unjust to the BRICS countries and to new economies in general. We should take a more active part in the IMF and the World Bank’s decision-making system. The international monetary system itself depends a lot on the US dollar, or, to be precise, on the monetary and financial policy of the US authorities. The BRICS countries want to change this.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff insisted that the BRICS were not seeking to distance themselves from the Washington-based International Monetary Fund:

On the contrary, we wish to democratize it and make it as representative as possible…

Putin and the BRICS commonly rail against the “unipolar” financial system revolving around the U.S. dollar, but in the end they are only controlled opposition, and their solution is to place even more power into the hands of the IMF (a supposedly U.S. government controlled institution), creating a truly unipolar world order.  If the U.S. loses its IMF veto status this year due to lack of allocated funds, and the BRICS dump the dollar as world reserve, this may very well happen.

As sanctions between Russia and the U.S. snowball, a perfect rationalization for a dollar decoupling will be created that very few people would have believed possible only a few years ago.  It is only a matter of time before fiscal warfare escalates to destructive levels. Russia will inevitably cut off gas exports to the EU, and the BRICS will inevitably drop the U.S. dollar as a world reserve standard.

The U.S. relationship to the EU is also currently being presented as dubious, and this is not by accident. Failing relations between America and Germany are yet more theater for the masses to chew on. Western allies have been spying on each other for decades, but somehow the exposure of CIA activities in Germany is shocking news? The NY Fed suddenly attacks Deutsche Bank, seeking expanded monitoring and regulation? Germany’s business interests are highly damaged by U.S. sanctions against Russia? It would seem as though someone is trying to create an artificial divide between elements of the EU and the U.S.

I believe that the narrative is being prepared for a faked financial breakup between the U.S. and many of its former allies, isolating the U.S., and destroying the dollar, but to what end? To answer that question, we must ask WHO ultimately benefits from these actions?

The Rise Of The Hero Bankers

In June of last year, the Bank for International Settlements, the central bank of central banks whose history began with the financial support of the Third Reich, released a statement warning that “easy money” from central banks was creating a dangerous bubble in stock markets around the world.

The IMF, too, has been pushing warnings of stock bubble collapse into the mainstream.

In June of this year, the BIS, a normally obscure and secretive organization, released another statementpronouncing that government had been led into a “false sense of security” by easy monetary policy and low interest rates, making the world economy perpetually unstable.

For an organization so covert and occult, the BIS sure has become rather candid lately. Frankly, I agree with everything they have said. However, I do not agree with the hypocrisy of the BIS, which dominates the decisions of all of its member banks, publicly criticizing policies which it most likely scripted itself. Why would the BIS suddenly denounce fiscal methods it used to promote? Because the BIS is setting itself up as the great prognosticator of a collapse that IT HELPED ENGINEER.

After the great financial war has subsided, and the people are suitably poverty stricken and desperate, it will be institutions like the BIS and IMF that swoop in to “save the day”. Their offer will be to consolidate economic control into the hands of an elite group of bankers “not affiliated” with any particular nation state, thereby insulating them from “political concerns”. The argument will be that national sovereignty is a bane on the back of humanity. They will claim that the catastrophe will continue until we “simplify” and streamline our economic and political systems. They will present themselves as the heroes of the age; the ones who predicted the crisis would occur, and the ones who had a solution ready to save the day (after sufficient death and destruction, of course).

As long as people remain obsessed with false paradigms and faux enemies, the establishment’s goal of complete centralized dominance will be predictably attainable. If we change our focus to the internationalists as the true danger instead of playing their game by their rules, then things will become far more interesting… 

You can contact Brandon Smith at: [email protected]Alt-Market, where this article first appeared, is an organization designed to help you find like-minded activists and preppers in your local area so that you can network and construct communities for mutual aid and defense. Join Alt-Market.com today and learn what it means to step away from the system and build something better.

Ukraine and Crimea’s Vanishing Gold

August 1st, 2014 by John Goss

Since a United States-sponsored coup d’état removed Ukraine’s legitimately elected government and installed an ultra right-wing regime with Arseniy Yatsenyuk as the Prime Minister, Ukraine has been brought to its knees by a needless civil war and faith in the myth that ownership of dollars will make it a rich western country. Mr. Yatsenyuk and his entire cabinet resigned on July 24, 2014 because, ostensibly, they could not push for harsher austerity measures against civilians who are already suffering. Ukraine has become another Greece while Yatsenyuk waits on the sideline for the Ukrainian parliament to collapse.

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Both the US and Ukraine economies are fueled by dollar mythology and are on the brink of financial collapse. While Russia and several other countries have been increasing their gold reserves in preparation for a worldwide economic crash, the US has been digging itself deeper into dollar debt. For the time being, faith in the myth that those with dollars are rich keeps the dollar afloat. Most trade in the world is still done in dollars, and since many other countries are also up to their necks in dollar debt, if the dollar fails, so will they. The US, of course, knows this. This is why it promised Ukraine loans of $17 billion in paper money through the International Monetary Fund (IMF). IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, described the loan as being risky, but the IMF does not take risks any more than any other lender. Financial loans companies are obliged to know what collateral will guarantee a loan.

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Gold is the collateral that Yatsenyuk had to offer from a country that was tearing apart at the seams. Gold is what all countries fall back on as a reserve to support the confetti in your wallet. In economic terms, gold is worth much more than paper money, because there is a finite quantity of gold, and you cannot print more of it at whim. As collateral, gold does, however, pose a problem in unstable economies and war-torn zones. Other groups might take power, for example, as happened to former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich. How can the IMF be sure it will be repaid with interest, if the gold collateral to back up the loan remains in Ukraine? One way around this dilemma would be for the US to look after Ukraine’s gold reserve. This is what probably happened.

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On March 7, 2014, about two weeks after the removal of Yanukovich, a small newspaper called Iskra (Spark) — formerly based in Zaporozhye in Eastern Ukraine and now apparently shut down — published an article that was picked up by many online sites concerned with general news and the metals market. The Iskra story alleges that a reliable source from Ukraine’s former ministry of finance said that Arseniy Yatsenyuk had ordered 40 boxes of gold to be loaded onto an unmarked plane at Borispol airport, in Kiev. Witnesses who reported seeing the heavy sealed boxes being loaded at 2 a.m. by 15 men in black combat gear and masks, some with machine guns, and a “mysterious” man (or men) entering the plane, were told by airport supervisors not to meddle in other people’s affairs. Since Ukraine’s gold reserves amount to about 36 tons, each box would have contained about one ton of gold.

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One day before the mysterious flight, the US Congress had approved President Barack Obama’s request for a $1 billion loan to Ukraine. Considering how finance works in a corrupt global corporate world, it is unlikely that these two events would be unrelated. Though it might be argued that the US is merely holding the gold on Ukraine’s behalf, it is a fact that what was once Ukraine’s gold is now with the country that funded regime change in Ukraine. Germany, which had kept its gold reserves in the US to prevent them from falling into Russian hands, failed in a recent campaign to get its 3,386-ton gold reserve repatriated and, in a face-saving statement, reported that it now believes that the US federal reserve is an honest broker.

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Another tale of gold involving Ukraine relates to Scythian gold artifacts that were on loan from four museums in Crimea and on display in Amsterdam until August 2014, during an unprecedented European tour of these treasures. A March 30, 2014 Wall Street Journal article questioned whether these gold artifacts still belong to Crimea, since it had been part of Ukraine when the treasures were loaned out. Clearly the mainstream mouthpiece of US financial markets was prompting its readership to speculate that the Scythian gold belonged to Ukraine rather than Crimea. This suggests that the US, having already got the bulk of Ukraine’s gold, is encouraging Kiev to steal gold that belongs to Crimean museums and is more valuable for its antiquity than its weight.

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Although we will probably never know the exact circumstances that brought about the July 17 downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17), with its mostly Dutch casualties, it is clear that this disaster has offered an occasion to accuse Russia and Russian separatists of perpetrating such a reprehensible act that Europe might more enthusiastically support sanctions against Russia. To the new sanctions package would be added the notion that the Crimean gold and other antiquities on display in Amsterdam should be returned to Ukraine instead of Crimea. So far, several supposed pieces of video evidence from Kiev have turned out to be manufactured.

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The week of Yatsenyuk’s departure saw the worst fall in Ukrainian bonds since he came to power in servility to the US. The Ukrainian economy is on its knees and far worse off than under former President Viktor Yanukovich. There is concern that salaries will not be paid in August 2014, including military salaries. Nothing has been so punitive against Ukraine’s civilians since World War II as President Petro Poroshenko’s civil war against the people of Donbass. This too is unlikely to improve the failing economy.

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News Junkie Editor’s Notes: Photographs two, seven and nine by Sasha Maksymenko; three and five by Choo Yut Shing; one (cartoon) by Frits Ahlefeldt Laurvig; four by Bill Brooks; six by Mary Harrsch; and eight by Peter Kudlacz.

 

The lies that the Obama regime and Western presstitute media are hurling at President Putin are even more blatantly false that the lies Washington used against Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, Assad, the Taliban, and Iran, and the lies are far more reckless.

On a number of occasions recently I have made the point that the psychopaths in control of Washington are driving the West to war with Russia. The lies that the Obama regime and Western presstitute media are hurling at President Putin are even more blatantly false that the lies Washington used against Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, Assad, the Taliban, and Iran, and the lies are far more reckless.

Russia has a nuclear arsenal as large as Washington’s, and Russia is very much aware that for 13 years Washington’s lies and demonizations of countries are the preludes to launching military attacks on the countries.

It is completely obvious that no one in Washington has enough sense to be in government. In Washington power is in demonic and idiotic hands. Washington consists of the largest collection of criminal fools in human history.

You have read what I have had to say. Now you can read it from Chris Martenson. Tyler Durden has posted Martenson’s analysis on Zero Hedge or you can read it on Peak Prosperity.

The threat to life on earth has never been as great as it is at this time. The crazed fools in Washington and the reckless scum that comprise the Western media are brewing Armageddon.

Dr. Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan Administration. He was associate editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal, columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service. He is a contributing editor to Gerald Celente’s Trends Journal. He has had numerous university appointments. His book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is available here. His latest book,  How America Was Lost, has just been released and can be ordered here.

In view of the public debate they have raised in Germany, Matterhorn Asset Management is extremely pleased to feature the below written interview Lars Schall did, on our behalf, with Marc Friedrich and Matthias Weik this past week. German economists Friedrich and Weik co-authored two books which unfortunately are still only available in German. In their latest publication, “Der Crash ist die Lösung”, the economists explain from a German and International perspective, in easy to understand language, why “The Crash is the solution” and why this crash will be more catastrophic than the previous one. They describe based on solid economic fundamentals why a ‘final financial collapse’ is on our doorstep.

Lars Schall: What are the most crucial weak spots in our financial system? And why is it that the financial sector is so powerful vis-à-vis politics?

Marc Friedrich: The most crucial weak spots in our financial system are:

  • Japan’s gigantic debt;
  • China’s shadow banking system;
  • The completely opaque derivatives market;
  • The immense and rapidly growing global debt;
  • The global banking sector as a whole.

Marc-MatthiasThe financial sector is so powerful vis-à-vis politics because a very unhealthy one-sided relationship exists between the political system and the financial industry. Let’s take a closer look: How does a government fund itself? It collects taxes, and it sells government bonds. Who buys these government bonds for the most part? Banks and insurance companies! So who holds the reins here? It’s the creditor, of course, who gives the commands and who says which laws can and cannot be passed against him. This is also the reason why nothing has changed since the crisis in 2008. The hand that gives is always above the hand that takes. Moreover, the financial industry has succeeded in establishing structures outside of the law and saturating itself with cheap money from the central banks. This has made them even bigger, more powerful and, most importantly, more systemically important, which has only increased their ability to coerce governments and citizens when the next crisis comes.

LS: Why do you think the financial system won’t survive?

M&M: The financial system won’t survive for several reasons: We’ve had a fiat money system in place since 1971 based on interest and compound interest. In other words, it grows exponentially. But exponential growth is mathematically impossible on our planet with limited resources and thus destined to fail. We have a monetary system based on debt, so our system constantly needs new debt in order to grow, i.e. new money is generated only through the issuance of credit. This means our financial system has a mathematically finite lifespan–and it expired in 2008. Added to this is bank money created from nothing. This enables all banks to create money out of nothing by lending money.

Let me explain this madness: Central banks and commercial banks can create nearly unlimited amounts of bank money from “nothing”. This completely perverse system works this way every time a loan is granted by a bank. By creating money out of nothing, banks do something that is not only incredible but also makes every banker’s heart beat faster with delight–it’s what we call the 8th wonder of the world, in addition to the effect of compounding: Banks lend money that they themselves can create from “nothing”. Since January 18, 2012, banks in Europe are only required to deposit a one percent minimum reserve of central bank money at the ECB as collateral. This means that for every euro deposited at the ECB, the bank can create 100 euros and lend this with interest and compound interest. The banks lend money created from “nothing” and charge interest for something that actually does not exist. It’s brilliant! Banks make money without directly having to do anything for it. The interest that the customer has to pay ultimately means that more money is paid back than previously existed and was lent. In turn, the banks take this additional money and grant new loans. This automatically leads to more and more debt, which the banks must create out of nothing again, ad infinitum. This creates an unending circle, which, mathematically speaking, must eventually collapse.

The only way to keep the present financial system alive is to ban math and thus overturn the laws of nature.

LS: In order to understand your thesis that the crash will be the solution, one needs to understand the following, namely that the same people who caused the ongoing financial crisis are the real winners of it. Please elaborate on this, and please explain why you consider a crash as a chance?

M&M: As perverse as it may sound, the people causing the crisis are the ones who stand to gain the most from it. We explain this in our book “The Crash Is the Solution” based on an overwhelming number of facts and sources.

Financial sector profits are back at record levels, stock markets are hitting all-time highs thanks to the flood of cheap money and huge bonuses are being paid out again. Yet, ever since the onset of the crisis, the political establishment, central banks and financial industry have only bought time at a very high price and, in doing so, more than anything else, have accelerated the process of maximizing economic damage at the expense of us citizens. No lessons were learned from the crisis and nothing has changed. What happened to all the big promises that were announced? What about Basel III, the financial transaction tax, reining in the banks, etc.? The financial lobby succeeded in axing, massively watering down or pushing all this off into the far-distant future.

Banks have swelled up again with cheap money from central banks so that they are now even bigger, more powerful and therefore more “systemically important” than before. But that’s not all. They’ve also achieved something truly incredible: It is the only industry that is above the law and seems to always land softly despite constant systematic fraud, lies and manipulation.

Furthermore, there is no åsolution within the existing system. If there was one, the protagonists would have proudly announced it long ago. The profiteers of the system from the political and economic elite will do anything to preserve the status quo and let the masses pay for it. Aside from 90 percent of the population, the biggest loser is democracy.

LS: Is the crisis we’re seeing really a crisis of capitalism?

M&M: What is capitalism? In capitalism, you would have let the forces do their work and the market would have taken care of itself. But this was not permitted. We no longer live in the age of capitalism: Banks are bailed out with taxpayers’ money or even nationalized; central banks intervene in the markets and shareholders are expropriated. The real “capitalism” in place now uses means of communism to save itself. Just like in communism, only a small elite group benefits from this system. No crisis has been solved to date by printing money. What we are witnessing in Europe right now is neither in Europe’s interest nor does it correspond to our understanding of democracy. Laws and treaties are broken at the highest level, and an already failed currency is desperately being clung to–at the expense of the people, and especially at the expense of Europe’s youth. Money that needs to be rescued like the euro is not money at all. In our book we point out that the FED had intervened in the markets on 85 percent of all trading days since 2008. This is sick and often leads to the formation of bubbles, and ultimately to crises. With their disastrous policies, central banks create one bubble after another that often have to be absorbed by new, even larger bubbles. That’s why the solution will be the final collapse.

What we currently have is a mixture of planned economy, statism, socialism and other nonsense. Everything but capitalism.

LS: Is the crisis caused partially because of the way money gets created?

M&M: Yes, absolutely! This is the underlying problem together with the unhealthy relationship between our elites in politics and the financial industry.

LS: Do you think in the future the process of how money gets created needs to be taught in schools and universities?

M&M: Yes definitely, we also call for this in our latest book “The Crash Is the Solution– Why the Final Collapse Will Come and How to Save Your Assets.

” If people understood how our monetary and financial system works, then many people would likely not be so easily robbed of their savings by the financial industry. We all deal with money on a daily basis, but hardly anyone knows how our monetary system works. This needs to change. We need empowered citizens and responsible investors. Money, saving for retirement, and investments–these are all topics that must be taught as a subject in schools. This is also essential to break up the financial industry’s current monopoly and to ensure more democracy and justice.

LS: What do you see as possible triggers for a crash?

M&M: There are any number of variables in the system that could cause it to collapse. Start with Japan’s disastrous kamikaze policy and its horrendous debt, the extremely bloated shadow banking system in China or the credit bubble there; drastic political turmoil in the Middle East; the Ukraine conflict; a flash crash on the stock exchanges; a major bank that fails; the crash of the dollar or euro; the sovereign default of Greece, Italy or Spain; a bursting government bond bubble, or the real estate bubble popping in the UK. We are all so interconnected through globalization that if a bank, a country or a currency collapses it could create a disastrous domino effect that no one can escape. The fact is: It isn’t a question of whether the crash will come, but when.

LS: Is your advice to get out of paper securities and go into tangible assets?

M&M: We have been experiencing epochal change since 2008, and we are very clear in our advice: Get out of paper assets and into tangible assets! These have always done better in the past than paper assets, and they have the unbeatable advantage that they can never become completely worthless. Paper assets have the disadvantage that they are more or less transparent, are only on paper and can only serve you indirectly. In addition, many different parties (banks, brokers, insurance companies, the government, etc.) take their own share. Tangible assets on the other hand prevent this in part, and serve you directly and immediately.

Broad diversification of investments is essential. No more than a third of total assets should be invested in an asset class. For example, a third in real estate, a third in gold and a third in (cash) money. We recommend much broader diversification however, spread over ten or more different investments. This makes your asset situation much more stable, even if one of your main assets should fail. And they will fall, be taxed or at worst even be expropriated.

LS: What do you think about gold and silver in that regard?

M&M: In uncertain times like these, physically possessing the two classic “money metals” gold and silver is essential as “life insurance” to protect your assets against crises, economic and social turmoil, and inflation. This gives you two time-tested and globally accepted tangible assets to protect your wealth. With silver you can also protect yourself against a possible prohibition on gold, which, for instance, has been practiced in the past in the United States, Russia and China. And due to the lower purchase price of silver coins, silver is more suitable than gold in an emergency to meet daily needs such as purchasing food and household items.

As a general rule: Always rely on the “old” precious metals–gold and silver. In physical form, that is. But it’s important here to buy in several installments! You can still take your wealth out of the system completely legally and anonymously with gold and silver. This is something that should be done and taken advantage of.

Gold and silver have survived all crises and have never become worthless for thousands of years. What did Jesus get as a gift from the three kings to honor his birth? Myrrh, frankincense, and… U.S. government bonds! No, of course not. It was gold.

We do not recommend other precious metals such as palladium, etc. The risks and uncertainties are much greater here. It remains to be seen how the price of gold and silver will continue to develop. We currently are not seeing real prices, especially in the case of gold where the political establishment has deliberately manipulated and depressed prices in the past. Gold of all things was not allowed to be too expensive!
Avoid debt, and definitely do not buy what is often totally overpriced real estate with borrowed money.

In view of the current situation, having a certain amount of cash on hand is not a bad idea. Whether you hide it under the mattress or keep it in a safe deposit box is your decision.

Ever since the bank accounts of depositors in Cyprus got a major shave to bail out the banks there, we know: Money belongs everywhere, just not in an account. Something essential that everyone should know: The money in your bank account doesn’t belong to you, but the bank! It’s not yours until you physically withdraw it. By depositing money at the bank, which is up to the roof in debt, you are providing a loan at extremely favorable conditions to the bank with no real underlying security. On the other hand, when the bank gives you a loan to purchase a home for example, it puts a lien on the property to secure the loan.

LS: You perceive a crash as an opportunity. Why so?

M&M: There is an opportunity in every crisis. We currently have the biggest economic crisis in modern times, so we also have the biggest opportunity. If we succeed in seizing this opportunity, we can enter into a golden age of humanity. However, in order to do this we must solve the problem of “elite” and fundamentally change many things–both socially and economically, the human factor being the more important one. We deal with this in our book, which is extremely unusual for nonfiction. We talk about humility, respect, love, trust and other catchwords.

It is said that people learn from failure. Apparently the crash of 2008, whose aftershocks we are still feeling today, was not big enough. The facts, unfortunately, tell us that nothing has changed. The past, unfortunately, also shows us that the protagonists won’t be forced to make the necessary changes until after a catastrophic event. It’s always been like this, and so it will probably be the same this time, too. But the collateral damage will be enormous. One dramatic example of this is the “energy transition” in Germany–whether it is good or bad is beside the point. Nevertheless, it took a catastrophe in Japan to happen before the energy transition was possible in Germany. Apparently, our financial system will need to collapse first before people realize that we must implement a new financial system that serves all people and not just a small percentage of the population.

LS: Would you agree that we would need a competition of different forms of money in order to overcome the monoculture that we are witnessing in the monetary sphere?

M&M: This could be a sensible approach, but the currencies should be secured and not unsecured like our current money. Only time will tell whether different forms of money in order to overcome the monoculture is on the right path. The fact is: We definitely need a different and new monetary system!

LS: Who will be the winners and the losers of a crash?

M&M: There will only be losers, because we will all lose something. However, those who hold paper assets will lose substantially more than those who own property. Owners of government bonds, annuities, life insurance policies and accounts will be the big losers in the event of a crash–this was always the case in the past, and will also be so in the future. It’s only a matter of time until the mother of all bubbles–the government bond bubble–bursts, because we cannot pay off debt with debt forever. This is why we are very clear in our advice: Get out of paper and into tangible assets.

LS: Marc and Matthias. Much appreciate your time for this interview.

Marc Friedrich studied international business administration and has focused intensely on the economy and financial markets. During a job assignment in Argentina, he witnessed a sovereign default first hand in 2001 and its devastating consequences. Marc Friedrich gained valuable work experience in the UK, Switzerland and the US.
Matthias Weik studied international business in Australia where he completed his degree. He has dealt with the global economy and its financial markets for over a decade. Matthias Weik earned his MBA as part of a work-study program while working for a German corporation. On professional and academic stays in South America, Asia and Australia, Matthias Weik gained deep insight into the world of international finance and economics.
Together with Matthias Weik, Marc Friedrich holds seminars and lectures for companies, associations, foundations, at conferences, trade shows and at universities and colleges. Together with the economist Matthias Weik he co-authored two bestselling books “Der grösste Raubzug der Geschichte” (“The Greatest Heist of All Time”) and “Der Crash ist die Lösung” (“The Crash Is the Solution”). Their first book was also translated into Chinese Taiwan. Translations into Chinese mandarin and Korean are in preparation.

http://friedrich-weik.de

For our German readers the two publications are available from Amazon:
1. Der größte Raubzug der Geschichte
2. Der Crash ist die Lösung

Here is a recent panel interview they gave on German Television:

Gaza Ministry of Health, Palestine

 August 01, 2014

Urgent call for international assistance to evacuate civilians

The Ministry of Health Gaza calls for immediate international assistance to evacuate thousands of civilians trapped under heavy Israeli bombardment in Rafah, in which at least 40 have already been killed and over 150 injured.

 Some five kilometres between Salah Al-Eddin street and Al Najjar Hospital is under intense and indiscriminate artillery fire, ambulances are unable to reach the wounded, and thousands of civilians are trapped in their homes.

We cannot reach the civilians to evacuate them, the wounded to provide medical care, or the dead to retrieve their bodies.

Israel has informed the United Nations that there is no truce.

We have officially notified the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva of the critical situation, which has all the makings of the biggest Israeli massacre in living memory.

 Gaza needs immediate help to evacuate civilians from this area.

The Ministry of Health Gaza calls on the ICRC, The United Nations, international NGOS and people of good conscience everywhere to act immediately to:

1.       Provide immediate assistance to evacuate civilians;

2.       Provide immediate assistance to enable the retrieval of the dead and injured;

3.       Exert sufficient international pressure to bring an immediate end to the Israeli massacre of Gaza civilians.

Contacts:

Dr Yousef AbuAlrish, Deputy  Minister of Health                                +972 597 918 339

Dr Medhat Abbas, Director General, Ministry of Health                      +972 599 403 547

Su-25 aircraft

According to the report of German pilot and airlines expert Peter Haisenko, the MH17 Boeing 777 was not brought down by a missile.

What he observed from the available photos were perforations of the cockpit: 

 The facts speak clear and loud and are beyond the realm of speculation: The cockpit shows traces of shelling! You can see the entry and exit holes. The edge of a portion of the holes is bent inwards. These are the smaller holes, round and clean, showing the entry points most likely that of a 30 millimeter caliber projectile. (Revelations of German Pilot: Shocking Analysis of the “Shooting Down” of Malaysian MH17. “Aircraft Was Not Hit by a Missile” Global Research, July 30, 2014)

[click image right to enlarge]

Based on detailed analysis Peter Haisenko reached  the conclusion that the MH17 was not downed by a missile attack:

This aircraft was not hit by a missile in the central portion. The destruction is limited to the cockpit area. Now you have to factor in that this part is constructed of specially reinforced material

The OSCE Mission

It is worth noting that the initial statements by OSCE observers (July 31) broadly confirm the findings of Peter Haisenko:

Monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe reported that shrapnel-like holes were found in two separate pieces of the fuselage of the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines aircraft that was believed to have been downed by a missile in eastern Ukraine.

Michael Bociurkiw of the OSCE group of monitors at his daily briefing described part of the plane’s fuselage dotted with “shrapnel-like, almost machine gun-like holes.” He said the damage was inspected by Malaysian aviation-security officials .(Wall Street Journal, July 31, 2014)

The monitoring OSCE team has not found evidence of a missile fired from the ground as conveyed by official White House statements. As we recall, the US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power stated –pointing a finger at Russia– that the Malaysian MH17 plane was “likely downed by a surface-to-air missile operated from a separatist-held location”:

The team of international investigators with the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) are uncertain if the missile used was fired from the ground as US military experts have previously suggested, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported. (Malay Mail online, emphasis added)

The initial OSCE findings tend to dispel the claim that a BUK missile system brought down the plane.

Evidently, inasmuch as the perforations are attributable to shelling, a shelling operation conducted from the ground could not have brought down an aircraft traveling above 30,000 feet.

Ukraine Su-25 military aircraft within proximity of MH17

Peter Haisenko’s study is corroborated by the Russian Ministry of Defense which pointed to a Ukrainian Su-25 jet in the flight corridor of the MH17, within proximity of the plane.

Ironically, the presence of a military aircraft is also confirmed by a BBC  report conducted at the crash site on July 23.

All the eyewitnesses  interviewed by the BBC confirmed the presence of a Ukrainian military aircraft flying within proximity of Malaysian Airlines MH17 at the time that it was shot down: 

Eyewitness #1: There were two explosions in the air. And this is how it broke apart. And [the fragments] blew apart like this, to the sides. And when …

Eyewitness #2: … And there was another aircraft, a military one, beside it. Everybody saw it.

Eyewitness #1: Yes, yes. It was flying under it, because it could be seen. It was proceeding underneath, below the civilian one.

Eyewitness #3: There were sounds of an explosion. But they were in the sky. They came from the sky. Then this plane made a sharp turn-around like this. It changed its trajectory and headed in that direction [indicating the direction with her hands].

BBC Report below

 

 

The original BBC Video Report published by BBC Russian Service on July 23, 2014 has since been removed from the BBC archive.  In a bitter irony, The BBC is censoring its own news productions.

Media Spin

The media has reported that a surface to air missile was indeed fired and exploded before reaching its target.  It was not the missile that brought down the plane, it was the shrapnel resulting from the missile explosion (prior to reaching the plane) which punctured the plane and then led to a loss of pressure.

According to Ukraine’s National security spokesman Andriy Lysenko in a contradictory statement, the MH17 aircraft “suffered massive explosive decompression after being hit by a shrapnel missile.”  (See IBT, Australia)

In an utterly absurd report, the BBC quoting the official Ukraine statement  says that:

The downed Malaysia Airlines jet in eastern Ukraine suffered an explosive loss of pressure after it was punctured by shrapnel from a missile.

They say the information came from the plane’s flight data recorders, which are being analysed by British experts.

However, it remains unclear who fired a missile, with pro-Russia rebels and Ukraine blaming each other.

Many of the 298 people killed on board flight MH17 were from the Netherlands.

Dutch investigators leading the inquiry into the crash have refused to comment on the Ukrainian claims.

“Machine Gun Like Holes”

The shrapnel marks should be distinguished from the small entry and exit holes “most likely that of a 30 millimeter caliber projectile” fired from a military aircraft. These holes could not have been caused by a missile explosion as hinted by the MSM.

While the MSN is saying that the “shrapnel like holes” can be caused by a missile (see BBC report above), the OSCE has confirmed the existence of what it describes as “machine gun like holes”, without however acknowledging that these cannot be caused by a missile.

In this regard, the GSh-302 firing gun operated by an Su-25 is able to fire 3000 rpm which explains the numerous entry and exit holes.

According to the findings of Peter Haisenko:

If we now consider the armament of a typical SU 25 we learn this: It is equipped with a double-barreled 30-mm gun, type GSh-302 / AO-17A, equipped with: a 250 round magazine of anti-tank incendiary shells and splinter-explosive shells (dum-dum), arranged in alternating order. The cockpit of the MH 017 has evidently been fired at from both sides: the entry and exit holes are found on the same fragment of it’s cockpit segment (op cit)

The accusations directed against Russia including the sanctions regime imposed by Washington are based on a lie.

The evidence does not support the official US narrative to the effect that the MH17 was shot down by a BUK missile system operated by the DPR militia.

What next? More media disinformation, more lies?

See:

Revelations of German Pilot: Shocking Analysis of the “Shooting Down” of Malaysian MH17. “Aircraft Was Not Hit by a Missile” By Peter Haisenko, July 30, 2014

President Vladimir Putin. Press Conference

Putin points to a breakdown of international relations, focussing on the impacts of US policies on the institutions of sovereign countries.

US-Russia relations are in a stalemate which makes it very difficult to establish a meaningful dialogue.

The president reaffirms Russia’s commitment to resolving the Ukraine crisis through dialogue and negotiation. He points to the devastating economic implications.

The US in imposing sanctions on Russia is harming major Western companies which are involved in trade and investment activities with Russian partners.

“They are harming their energy companies”, said president Putin. [M.Ch. Global Research Editor]

Emblem of the Azov Battalion of the National Guard

According to reports neo-Nazis from Sweden, Bulgaria and Hungary are travelling to Ukraine to join it’s fight against its own citizens in the East:

“They are fighting with the Azov Battalion, a Ukrainian squad which flies a flag with Nazi symbols and which one Swedish soldier says fights for ‘a white Ukraine.’

Far right volunteers have joined the pro-Kiev forces from Hungary and Bulgaria as well as Sweden.” (M. E. Synon, Neo-Nazis Travelling to Fight in Ukraine, Breitbart, July 31, 2014)

The Swedish news outlet The Local reports that four Swedes have joined the battalion:

“Azov is a special force of about 300 soldiers, including multiple volunteer soldiers from across Europe. The force was established by the Ukrainian government, but does not fight alongside the national army and is instead steered by ultra-nationalists.

Four Swedes are in the group. Neo-Nazi Mikael Skillt is one of them.

‘They are not fighting for a democratic Ukraine,’ Anton Shekhotsov, a Ukrainian political scientist who researches right extremist movements in Europe, told Sveriges Radio (SR).  ’Their vision of Ukraine is a fascist dictatorship.’” (Swedish neo-Nazis join fight in Ukraine, The Local, July 30, 2014)

This confirms what the Western mainstream media fails to recognize since the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine: the presence of neo-Nazi elements both within the U.S-backed Kiev government as well as within the National Guard and the Armed Forces. Global Research  has published numerous articles on the issue.

Greg Rose reported in March:

“The ultra-right Svoboda Party has scored six major cabinet ministries in the government of Arseniy Yatsenyuk approved by the Ukrainian parliament on Thursday. Svoboda is the Neo-Nazi, ultra-right, anti-Semitic, Russophobic party with its base of support in the Western Ukraine.

The most important post was claimed by a co-founder of Svoboda, Andriy Parubiy. He was named Secretary of the Security and National Defense Committee, which supervises the defense ministry and the armed forces.” (Greg Rose, Ukraine Transition Government: Neo-Nazis in Control of Armed Forces, National Security, Economy, Justice and Education, People’s World, March 2, 2014)

In June, Michel Chossudovsky exposed the Azov Battalion:

“The Azov Battalion -which displays the Nazi SS emblem– (below left) is described by the Kiev regime as “a volunteer battalion of territorial defense”. It’s a National Guard battalion under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.  Officially based in Berdyank on the Sea of Azov, it was formed by the regime to fight the opposition insurgency in Eastern and Southern Ukraine. It is also financed by the US administration.” (Michel Chossudovsky, Ukraine’s Kiev Regime is not “Officially” A Neo-Nazi Government, June 1, 2014)

The Local states that the Swedish neo-Nazi Mikael Skillt has been in Ukraine since February, confirming once again that neo-Nazis were an integral part of the Maidan protests that brought down an elected government and replaced it with several non-elected neo-Nazi figures. Among them, Andrij Belitskij, the Commander of the Azov Battalion, who promotes the end of “contact between races”:

The battalion’s commander, Andrij Belitskij, is also the leaer of the Social-National Assembly (SNA), which lists among its goals the end of “sexual perversions and contact between races“.

Skillt, a member of the neo-Nazi Party of the Swedes (Svenskarnas parti), seems to agree.

“My goal is a white Ukraine,” Skillt told newspaper Svenska Dagbladet (SVD) last week. “I am a nationalist and I want there to still be white Europeans in Europe.”

The Swede is originally from Sundsvall, and has been in Ukraine since February. Skillt has confirmed on social media as well as for Swedish media that he fights in the Azov battalion – and that he does so in Swedish uniform.

The Ukrainian government, however, denied that any foreigners fight in their units.

Swedish national police have also confirmed their presence.

“We do not know exactly how many Swedes are fighting in Ukraine, but we know there are several,” police superintendent Sören Clerton told SVD.

Shekhotsov warned that the battalion may not be satisfied simply by separatist defeat.

He reported that the SNA has been behind multiple attacks against sexual and ethnic minorities in Kiev. He also expressed concern that, although Azov may not successfully instate dictatorship, the force may still block the construction of a democratic Ukraine.

His fears seemed confirmed by Swedish soldier Skillt, who called the struggle in Ukraine a war based on race. (The Local, op. cit., emphasis added.)

According to Breitbart:

Skillt said: “We’re finding and grabbing people who collaborated with the separatists.”

Asked how he communicated with the locals, he replied: “I often have an interpreter. I understand some Russian, but I do not speak the language itself. I can only say commands like ‘stay,’ ‘down on your knees,’ ‘hands behind your head.’”

Skillt also thinks that Ukraine’s large Jewish minority should leave the country because he does not count it as white.

Global mining giant Rio Tinto markets itself as a ‘sustainable company’. But serious failures in its reporting, and its attempt to hold an Australian indigenous group to ransom, reveal a very different truth: the company is driven by a reckless pursuit of profit at any cost.

Rio Tinto uses its sustainability reporting to bolster the argument that it is a responsible company and therefore entitled to a license to operate.

Now, a global campaign is demanding that Rio Tinto live up to its sustainability claims.

Rio Tinto subsidiary, Energy Resources of Australia (ERA), has threatened the Mirarr people that if it is not allowed to expand its Ranger uranium mining operations underground, it may be unable to fully fund rehabilitation of the open pit mine.

The Ranger mine is located in the traditional lands of the Mirarr, the world heritage-listed Kakadu national park in Australia’s Northern Territory.

If ERA does not complete rehabilitation of the site, which suffered a radioactive spill last year, the water, air quality and soil in the area could be scarred with toxic radiation for generations.

‘It’s not our problem’

When a shareholder confronted Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh about this at the company’s April annual meeting, Walsh flatly refused to commit to full rehabilitation or take responsibility for the mess.

Walsh said it is a problem for ERA, not Rio Tinto: “We are clearly shareholders [of ERA], but it’s a matter for all shareholders and a matter for the ERA board.”

What he did not mention is that Rio Tinto is the controlling shareholder of ERA, and that five out of six ERA board members are current or former Rio Tinto employees.

What’s more, in its latest sustainable development report, Rio Tinto unequivocally states that “ERA will make sure that when its operations come to an end, the Ranger Project Area will be safely closed and rehabilitated … “.

RT: sustainability ‘supporting our license to operate’

Rio Tinto is keen on sustainability reports. It produces them both at the global level and for many of its individual sites.

The reason why is neatly summed up in the title of its 2013 sustainable development report: “Supporting our license to operate”. In effect, Rio Tinto uses its sustainability reporting to bolster the argument that it is a responsible company and therefore entitled to a license to operate.

This tacit license is distinct from the authorisation it needs to operate each individual mine, such as land, water and air permits. However, it is just as important.

Unless it is seen as trustworthy, decision-makers will be reticent to grant mining rights to Rio Tinto. Without these rights, the company will have no way to make profits.

Fiction not fact – only 60% of sustainability claims are true

Much of the information that Rio Tinto reports on its website is subject to strict accuracy requirements. It mirrors the information it provides to securities regulators where Rio Tinto’s shares are traded.

But the company’s sustainability reporting is not subject to such controls. Rio Tinto states that its sustainable development reporting is in line with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines, a voluntary set of rules used by 6,000 companies around the world.

However, when examining the sustainability reporting of leading Australian companies that apply the GRI guidelines, Catalyst Australia came to a different conclusion.

It found that only 60% of Rio Tinto’s sustainability claims are accurate compared with information the company reports. Rio Tinto scored second worst out of the 16 companies that Catalyst examined.

The ugly truth

IndustriALL Global Union recently analysed Rio Tinto’s reporting and performance in the four categories the company uses for sustainability reporting: social, governance, economic, environment.

The resulting study, ‘Unsustainable: the ugly truth about Rio Tinto‘, also reveals that Rio Tinto’s sustainability reporting contrasts sharply with the company’s actual performance in all four categories.

It shows how Rio Tinto’s reckless pursuit of profit at any cost has caused disputes with numerous unions as well as environmental, indigenous and community groups. Most of the disputes covered in the report are ongoing.

Rio Tinto has continued to provoke disputes in the three months since the report was released:

  • with South African regulators by illegally operating a coal mine for a decade;
  • with injured Australian workers by systematically targeting them in a layoff;
  • with leaders in Zimbabwe by reportedly reneging on a pledge to support community development programs;
  • and with the people of Papua New Guinea by rejecting calls for an investigation into the company’s role in a bloody civil war.

Rio Tinto will go on provoking disputes and operating in an unsustainable manner unless it believes that doing so could threaten its license to operate.

To reform Rio Tinto, first we must threaten its ‘license to operate’

IndustriALL in collaboration with our affiliated unions and civil society organizations is running a campaign aimed at getting Rio Tinto to operate in a sustainable way.

We have organized actions at high profile company events in Australia, South Africa and the UK. We have reached out to politicians and community leaders in places where Rio Tinto operates, and hopes to operate.

We are organizing more workers at Rio Tinto workplaces. We are producing research, sharing information through our networks, and getting coverage in the media. We are organizing a global day of action targeting Rio Tinto for 7 October this year.

Through these activities, we are getting our message out to key stakeholders: Rio Tinto has not yet earned the mantle of sustainable company.

The more effectively we get this message out, the more the company will see the campaign as a threat to its ‘license to operate’. Our goal is for Rio Tinto to decide it is in its best interest to live up to its own sustainability claims.

Achieving that goal will not be easy. It will require collaborative efforts of a diverse and global coalition over an extended period. We are interested in working with others to continue to build this campaign and coalition.

Kemal Özkan is Assistant General Secretary of IndustriALL Global Union, which represents 50 million workers in 140 countries in the mining, energy and manufacturing sectors.

Please contact us to discuss how you can be involved in our effort.

The report: ’Unsustainable: the ugly truth about Rio Tinto‘.

An unintended outcome is almost certainly an increased use of pesticides. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Brazilian farmers say their GMO corn is no longer resistant to pests, Reuters reported Monday.

The Association of Soybean and Corn Producers of the Mato Grosso region said farmers first noticed in March that their genetically modified (GMO) corn crops were less resistant to the destructive caterpillars that “Bt corn”—which has been genetically modified to produce a toxin that repels certain pests—is supposed to protect against. In turn, farmers have been forced to apply extra coats of insecticides, racking up additional environmental and financial costs.

The association, which goes by the name Aprosoja-MT, is calling on Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta and Dow companies to offer solutions as well as compensate the farmers for their losses. In a release posted to the Aprosoja-MT website, spokesman Ricardo Tomcyzk said farmers spent the equivalent of $54 per hectare to spray extra pesticides, and that the biotech companies promised something they didn’t deliver, “i.e. deceptive advertising.” (via Google Translate)

But Monsanto, et al are unlikely to accommodate the farmers. According to Reuters, “seed companies say they warned Brazilian farmers to plant part of their corn fields with conventional seeds to prevent bugs from mutating and developing resistance to GMO seeds.”

Earlier this year, a similar problem arose in the U.S., when scientists confirmed that corn-destroying rootworms had evolved to be resistant to the GMO corn engineered to kill them.

The industry response to such loss of efficacy is not to encourage biodiversity, but to further modify the organisms, according to the nonprofit GM Watch.

The case of Brazil is an example for an overall trend showing that nearly twenty years after the start of commercialization of Bt crops, there are problems in several countries growing this kind of genetically engineered crop. Industry tries to tackle this issue by commercialization of so called “stacked events” that produce several different Bt toxins. The best known example is Monsanto’s SmartStax maize that produces six different Bt toxins.

Another unintended outcome is almost certainly an increased use of pesticides, as has already happened in Mato Grosso.

A cholera outbreak has killed 8,500 Haitians since 2010 and UN forces are responsible, the author argues. Not only that, but the UN helped consolidate Gérard Latortue’s post-coup regime.

Since 2010 the UN has been dodging responsibility for a cholera outbreak that has killed 8,500 Haitians and sickened more than 700,000. Nepalese soldiers with the UN “peacekeeping” forces caused the outbreak by allowing their sewage to leak into Haiti’s largest river. According to the UN itself, cholera could kill 2,000 more people in 2014.

The UN now faces a lawsuit in U.S. courts that was brought by some of the victims. The Obama administration is trying to have the suit dismissed but, this May, Amicus Briefs filed by prominent international law experts refuted the U.S. government’s arguments for dismissal. Scientific evidence of the UN’s guilt is so conclusive that Bill Clinton, a UN special envoy to Haiti, acknowledged in 2012 that UN soldiers brought cholera to Haiti, but he made the UN’s demented excuse that “what really caused it is that you don’t have a sanitation system, you don’t have a comprehensive water system.”

By this logic, if I kill a gravely ill person by knocking them off their hospital bed, my defense should be that a healthy person would have survived the fall. In a civilized legal setting, where the victim cannot be dismissed as irrelevant, making such a repulsive argument might provoke a judge to hand down the harshest sentence allowable. Unfortunately, international law has always been the plaything of the most powerful, and Haitians have long endured the consequences of that fact. Criminal negligence is one of many crimes in Haiti for which UN officials should answer.

On Feb. 29, 2004 – at about 6:15 a.m. – U.S. troops flew Haiti’s democratically elected president, Jean Bertrand Aristide, out of Haiti. In fact, they flew him out of the Western Hemisphere – all the way to the Central Africa Republic.  According to the Bush administration’s comically implausible story, Aristide simply asked the U.S. to save him from a small group of insurgents led by a convicted death-squad leader, Jodel Chamblain. The public face of the insurgents was a crooked ex-police chief named Guy Philippe who had long standing ties with local elites and the U.S..  Chamblain was responsible for thousands of murders and rapes under a military junta that ruled Haiti from 1991 to 1994, after the first coup that ousted Aristide. It made sense to put the far younger Guy Philippe in front of cameras, but nobody with any knowledge of the 1991 coup had any excuse for failing to see what was coming in 2004.

The insurgents had been launching hit and run attacks into Haiti for years (since 2000) from the safe haven offered by the Dominican Republic, a U.S. client. Jeb Sprague’s book Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti documents how key players among Aristides’ “peaceful opponents” in Haiti, along with military and government officials from the Dominican Republic, closely supported the insurgents who killed dozens of people while the international press (and the human rights industry) ignored it and depicted some of the financiers as victims of a “crackdown on dissent”.  The “crackdown” was one of the excuses the Bush administration used to starve the Aristide government of funds for years with the help of the OAS. U.S.-led sanctions, among other things, blocked funds for projects to improve Haiti’s water supply to protect against the spread of diseases like cholera. At the same time, tens of millions of U.S. government dollars flowed to Aristide’s political rivals.

Sprague’s book reveals that, after Aristide was overthrown in 2004, hundreds of former rightist paramilitaries were incorporated into Haiti’s police force under the UN and U.S. Embassy’s close supervision.  Anyone familiar with the 1991 coup will find this as unsurprising as it is disgusting. When the Clinton Administration ordered the Cédras military junta to stand down in 1994 (and permit Aristide to serve out what little was left of his first term in office), it did so only after guaranteeing impunity for the junta’s leaders and arranging for some of its henchmen to remain within Haiti’s security forces. Aristide, to some extent, countered those maneuvers by disbanding the Haitian army over strong U.S. objections. The re-constructed Haitian police remained infiltrated by officers close to the U.S. and local right-wing forces. Nevertheless, the U.S. and its allies were forced to a play a far more direct role in the 2004 coup because Haiti lacked its own army, the force traditionally used by the U.S. to bring down governments it dislikes.

A few months after the 2004 coup, UN troops (known by the French acronym MINUSTAH) took over the task of consolidating Gérard Latortue’s post-coup dictatorship.  Roughly 4,000 of Aristide’s supporters were murdered under Latortue according to a scientific survey published in the Lancet medical journal [1].  Hundreds more, by conservative estimates, became political prisoners. Most of the killing was done by the police and death squads allied with them. MINUSTAH generally provided tactical support but also perpetrated its own atrocities. On July 5, 2005, MINUSTAH went on a shooting spree in the shanty town of Cité Soleil that was so murderous (and so well documented) that a MINUSTAH spokesman felt obliged to promptly state that it “deeply regrets any injuries or loss of life during its operation”.  In 2012, MINUSTAH found some of its troops guilty of rape and sexual abuse. The actual perpetrators, to say nothing their commanding officers, have evaded serious consequences even when found guilty. Over a hundred MINUSTAH troops have been sent out of Haiti to “face justice” at home for sex crimes. Little wonder that abusers have been undeterred.

Thanks to Wikileaks, we need not speculate about exactly what the U.S. government wanted to get out of MINUSTAH in Haiti. In a 2008 cable, the U.S. Ambassador to Haiti predicted that the “security dividend the U.S. reaps from this hemispheric cooperation not only benefits the immediate Caribbean, but also is developing habits of security cooperation in the hemisphere…” She identified “resurgent populist and anti-market economy political forces” in Haiti as a threat to the entire hemisphere. She highlighted the importance of having other countries contribute towards neutralizing the threat:

“This regionally-coordinated Latin American commitment to Haiti would not be possible without the UN umbrella. That same umbrella helps other major donors — led by Canada and followed up by the EU, France, Spain, Japan and others — justify their bilateral assistance domestically.”

It won’t do for allies to explain to their own people that they are doing the USA’s dirty work in Haiti – helping it contain the political threat posed by “populist and anti-market forces” or, in other words, sacrificing Haiti as a pawn on a regional chessboard imagined by U.S. officials.

After two years of terrorizing Aristide’s supporters – murdering, imprisoning and driving them into exile -the U.S. and its allies allowed Haitians to elect a government to replace Latortue’s dictatorship. The presidency was won by René Préval – a former president and Aristide protégé who had played no role at all in the 2004 coup.  It was a stunning refutation of the propaganda used to justify the coup. Préval won the election in the first round despite barely being able to campaign. Candidates who had been prominent leaders of the coup (Charles Baker, Guy Philippe) received single digit percentages of the vote.

The cables procured by Wikileaks show that Préval worried about being given the Aristide treatment while in office and treaded very carefully around U.S. officials.  Former Brazilian diplomat, Ricardo Seitenfus, says that in 2010 MINUSTAH chief Edmond Mulet explicitly threatened Préval with a coup and exile for opposing U.S. interference in Haitian elections. Préval supposedly responded to Mulet’s threat by saying: “I am not Aristide. I am Salvador Allende”.  Préval and Colin Granderson, head of the CARICOM-OAS Electoral Mission in Haiti in 2010-2011, have backed up the claim that Préval had been “asked” to step down.

Seitenfus has also strongly denounced the corruption and hypocrisy of the key governments that sustain MINUSTAH – in particular the infamous “core group”: the USA, Canada, France, Spain, and Brazil. Commenting on the impact of the 2010 earthquake that may have killed 200,000 people, Seitenfus remarked: “Traditionally in Haiti, the ‘goods’ such as hospitals, schools, and humanitarian aid are delivered by the private sector, while the ‘bads’ — that is, police enforcement — is the state’s responsibility. The earthquake further deepened this terrible dichotomy.”

An “aid” sector made up of foreign NGOs that are not accountable to the vast majority of Haitians breeds corruption and inefficiency, as former CARE employee Timothy Schwartz has also pointed out. It gives many NGOs, with some honorable exceptions, a strong incentive to thwart the development of democratic institutions in Haiti that would hold them accountable and take over many of their functions.

Brazil stepped up to play a leading role in MINUSTAH. Today, despite various MINUSTAH related scandals, Brazil continues to supply the largest contingent of troops. Uruguay supplies the second largest contingent though President Mujica has pledged to withdraw them. Bolivia and Ecuador also supply troops. Venezuela’s Chavista governments, on the other hand, always recognized the 2004 coup for what it was and never took part in MINUSTAH.

Thankfully, the backlash from Latin American governments was fierce when the USA and Canada maneuvered at the OAS to weaken a strong regional response against the 2009 coup in Honduras. Sanderson’s dream of “hemispheric cooperation” with the U.S. to defeat “populist and anti-market economy political forces” quickly became more of a fantasy. Edward Snowden’s revelations of extensive U.S. spying on the Brazilian government also poured cold water on the USA’s imperial dreamers. This year’s upper-class revolt in Venezuela – an undisguised attempt at “regime change” – was strongly opposed by the OAS, much to the Obama Administration’s dismay.

Rejecting coups and coup attempts is very important step in the right direction. However, Latin American governments should move beyond that. They should call for the prosecution of MINUSTAH officials like Edmond Mulet. Eventually, the prosecution of his bosses in Washington, Ottawa, and Paris might become a realistic option.

This article was first published by Telesur.

Notes

[1] Athena R. Kolbe and Royce A. Hutson, “Human rights abuse and other criminal violations in Port-au-Prince, Haiti: a random survey of households,” The Lancet, Vol. 368, No. 9538, September 2, 2006.

Boycott from Within has sent the following letter to the United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide. We encourage others to do the same at http://www.un.org/en/preventgenocide/adviser/contactform.asp?address=1. You may use this letter.

Dear Madame/Sir,

We are citizens of Israel who oppose our government’s policies of colonialism, occupation and apartheid against the Palestinian people and its actions which may amount to genocide. We write to you following thirteen days of an ongoing massacre, which is being perpetrated by Israel in the besieged Gaza Strip. As the death toll is rising, it now stands at 400 casualties and 3100 injured. The UN has declared, via UNICEF, that over a third of the victims are children. As you well know, this massacre was preceded by a month of massive Israeli violence and political persecution in the occupied West Bank, including the arrest of hundreds of so-called “Hamas-affiliated” men and boys. Meanwhile, Israeli mobs run wild in the streets of our cities, shouting the chilling “Death to the Arabs” chants (as well as “Death to the Leftists”).

You cannot ignore the fact, especially during this UN-declared “year of solidarity with the Palestinian people”, that two similar massacres have already been perpetrated by Israel in the short span of six years; that Gaza suffocates under Israel’s hermetic siege; that Israel has been perpetrating an ongoing ethnic cleansing against the indigenous people of Palestine since 1948 and up to this day; and that Israel believes it may exterminate hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza every two years and do so with full impunity.

The UN states that “Where genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity do occur, the International Criminal Court, which is separate and independent from the UN, is empowered to investigate and prosecute those most responsible if a state is unwilling or unable to exercise jurisdiction over alleged perpetrators.” Israel is well beyond the point of prevention and we, its privileged citizens, are hereby charging it with genocide.

We demand that your office will do everything in its power to halt Israeli genocide as it is taking place. We demand that you take immediate action to prevent Israel’s genocide against the Palestinian people. We will be following your conduct on this matter.

Sincerely,
BOYCOTT! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within

Why is this war happening?

The conventional answer tells us that the June abduction and murders of three Israeli teenagers is the answer. This crime was carried out by Hamas, Israeli officials claim, and it led to a brutal crackdown on Hamas officials in the West Bank. Hundreds were detained, and several Palestinians died in clashes with Israeli security forces. Rocket fire from Gaza then intensified, forcing the Israelis to launch the current military assault.

But did Hamas actually kill Naftali Fraenkel, Eyal Yifrach and Gilad Shaar? And if there’s no evidence that they did, shouldn’t more journalists be pressing Israeli officials about their claims?

There seems to be agreement on the timeline. As the Washington Post(7/22/14) put it:

Israel accused Hamas of orchestrating the killing. Israeli troops cracked down hard on the militant group in the West Bank; Hamas responded by escalating rocket fire from Gaza into Israel.

Time magazine’s Joe Klein (7/24/14) wrote that Hamas “was in an existential jam this spring,” and their best option was simple: “Provoke Israel.” He writes:

The initial provocation, the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers, was indefensible, as was a retaliatory murder of a Palestinian teen. In a moment of moral clarity, Hamas lauded its kidnappers, while a furious Netanyahu called the retaliation “reprehensible.”

It is true that Hamas lauded the kidnappings, most likely as one way to strike a prisoner swap with Israel. The group did not claim responsibility for that action, though–which is precisely what one would have expected them to do.

So what is the evidence–other than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s word–that Hamas carried out these murders? A CNN report (6/15/14) noted:

A Hamas spokesman in Gaza told CNN that Netanyahu’s comments attributing blame were “stupid and baseless.”

“The arrest campaign made by the Israeli occupation in the West Bank is targeted to break the backbone of Hamas and bring it down, but the Israelis will not succeed in achieving their goal,” Sami Abu Zuhri said.

Howard Kurtz (cc photo: David Shankbone)

Fox News’ Howard Kurtz said Hamas killed the Israeli youth–then said his point was that Hamas praised their killing. Both claims were dubious. (cc photo: David Shankbone)

Fox News host Howard Kurtz (7/27/14) was, like Klein, sure about what happened: “There is no question that Hamas started the latest round of Mideast violence, first with the killing of three Israeli teenagers, and then by firing rockets indiscriminately at the Jewish state.” When it was noted onTwitter that there were still no evidence that Hamas was responsible (Mediaite,7/27/14), Kurtz tweeted: “My point on the three slain Israeli teenagers is that Hamas praised killings as a heroic act.” Which is, of course, not the same point at all.

(The Al-Jazeera interview in which Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal heralded the abduction of the teenagers as “a heroic act”–in the Times of Israel‘s paraphrase, 6/24/14–took place on June 23, a week before the discovery of the youth’s bodies, so it’s also inaccurate to say that Hamas praised the “killings.”)

Controversy over who carried out the murders kicked into high gear recently when two reporters tweeted that Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeldhad admitted that they could not pin the crimes on Hamas. First from BBCreporter Jon Donnison:

And then Buzzfeed‘s Sheera Frankel:

Those posts garnered some attention–most specifically via a New Yorkmagazine post (7/25/14) that was originally headlined, “It Turns Out Hamas Didn’t Kidnap and Kill the Three Israeli Teens After All.” Then came some pushback in the form of a Daily Beast report (7/27/14) by Eli Lake, who got a denial from the Israeli source:

Rosenfeld said that he had told Donnison what the Israeli government had been saying all along. “The kidnapping and murder of the teens was carried out by Hamas terrorists from the Hebron area,” he told the Daily Beast. “The security organizations are continuing to search for the murderers.”

Donnison on Saturday said he stood by his earlier tweets.

Lake’s piece does not substantiate the Israeli claims that Hamas bears responsibility. “Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay,” Netanyahu famously declared after the victims’ bodies were found (Washington Post,6/30/14). While the controversy over Rosenfeld’s statement and subsequent walkback is interesting, it does not change the fact that linking the crime to Hamas has always been a stretch (FAIR Blog7/2/14), since the suspects were not considered to be part of any formal Hamas cells.

As Shlomi Eldar (Al-Monitor6/29/14) wrote, the suspects belong to a clan that “has a well-earned reputation as troublemakers. Not only does it tend to ignore the movement’s leaders. It even acts counter to the policies being advocated by the movement.”

Journalism about the current violence is bound to focus on the death and destruction in Gaza. But there remains ample space to ask whether the war was launched to punish Hamas for something it had nothing to do with.

Smoke from the explosion of an Israeli strike rise over Gaza City on 29 July. (Ashraf Amra / APA images)

Hours after Israel shelled yet another UN school sheltering internally displaced families and a marketplace in Gaza, killing dozens of people, an unnamed defense department officialrevealed to CNN that the US had approved an Israeli request to tap into the one billion dollar weapons stockpile the US keeps in Israel.

The last time Israel dipped into the special stockpile was in 2006, during its assault on Lebanon.

Pentagon press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby confirmed to the The Electronic Intifada over email that the US Department of Defense authorized a transfer of munitions to Israel on 23 July in response to a request from the Israeli defense ministry for “a normal Foreign Military Sales delivery of ammunition.”

Two of the munitions Israel demanded—120mm mortar rounds and 40mm grenades—happened to be available in the stockpile, so the US delivered them to the Israeli army from there.

“Issuing munitions from the War Reserve Stockpile Ammunition-Israel (WRSA-I) was strictly a sourcing decision,” explained Kirby.

Arming Israel to stop violence?

Israel’s call for more arms was fullfilled on the sixteenth day of Israel’s assault on the besieged Gaza Strip. By then Israel had already killed at least 661 Palestinians, including 132 children.

Asked whether the defense department — the Pentagon — is concerned that its weapons might be used to harm innocent Palestinians given that the overwhelmingly majority of those killed in Gaza have been civilians, Kirby replied that the US is troubled by civilian casualties and is actively pushing for a ceasefire.

“We have consistently voiced our concerns over the rising number of civilian casualties in this conflict. We need to bring the violence and civilian casualties to an end, which is why the US government is focused on instituting an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire that ends hostilities now and leads to a permanent cessation of hostilities based on the November 2012 ceasefire agreement,” said Kirby, adding, “We are also concerned that continued fighting could further destabilize the West Bank.”

The spokesman also issued an unprompted reaffirmation of support for “Israel’s right to defend itself,” and praised the Israeli army’s supposed moral superiority, saying “Unlike Hamas, which is firing rockets from populated areas and indiscriminately targeting civilians in Israel, the IDF [Israeli army] takes measures to limit civilian casualties.”

Kirby continued: “But the fact is, despite Israel’s efforts, the Palestinian civilian suffering in Gaza — including the deaths and injuries of children — is great and growing every day.”

“The high civilian death toll makes clear that Israel can and must do more to meet its own high standards for protecting civilians from being killed. This underscores the urgency of getting an unconditional, immediate humanitarian cease-fire.”

“High standards”

Today Israel has killed over 1,300 Palestinians in Gaza since 7 July, including more than 300 children. Almost 80 percent of those killed have been civilians.

In stark contrast, actions by armed Palestinian resistance groups, mainly Hamas, killed 56 soldiers and three Israeli civilians, one of whom was a West Bank settler killed while voluntarily delivering treats to Israeli soldiers stationed at the Gaza border prior to the ground invasion.

Hamas rockets, which do little damage, lack precision guidance systems and are therefore indiscriminate by default, although Hamas has said on occasion that rockets it has fired were intended for military targets.

Conversely, Israel, with a high-powered US-financed precision-guided arsenal at its disposal, has deliberately bombed civilian targets including private homes, hospitals and mosques, as well as schools, UN shelters, playgrounds, ambulances, media buildings, water treatment facilities and Gaza’s only power plant.

Based on the evidence, it seems Israel’s “high standards for protecting civilians” are no match for the ethical calculations of the side being demonized as “terrorists.”

July 30 saw back-to-back atrocities in Gaza that made it clear to anyone with eyes to see that Israel is carrying out a war of terror against civilians. Its aim is to break the will of the Palestinian people through the murder of children, the destruction of homes, and the driving of an entire population back to Stone Age conditions.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) struck first at a UN-run school in the Jabaliya refugee camp, where some 3,000 people driven from their homes had sought shelter, killing at least 16 and wounding over 125 more. Then, in the middle of an IDF-announced cease-fire, shells were rained down on a crowded market place in Shejaiya, killing 17 and wounding over 200.

As the horrific images of these massacres emerged from Gaza, newspapers carried the report that the Obama administration had agreed with the European Union to impose sweeping sanctions—not against Israel, but against Russia.

The punitive actions by the US and the EU are being carried out in the context of a provocative global propaganda campaign blaming Moscow and President Vladimir Putin personally for the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine and the deaths of its 298 passengers and crew.

While indicting Putin and the anti-Kiev militias in eastern Ukraine as mass murderers, Washington and its allies have kept a stony silence on the killing of over 1,000 civilians in the region, as the Ukrainian regime they installed through a fascist-led coup last February continues to unleash artillery and rocket fire on residential neighborhoods.

Despite the Western sanctions and denunciations, Washington has presented not one shred of evidence that Flight MH17 was brought down by a missile either fired by the anti-Kiev forces or supplied by Moscow. Instead, it has pointed to videos and audio recordings posted on YouTube by the Ukrainian intelligence agency, which is notorious for fabricating false charges against Russia. The vast US intelligence apparatus has produced no satellite photos, communications intercepts or anything else to back the allegations against the Putin government.

The Russian military, on the other hand, has released radar and other intelligence data raising significant questions about the Western narrative. They show that the pro-Kiev forces had at least three anti-aircraft batteries in the area on the day of the crash, and that a Ukrainian warplane armed with air-to-air missiles had flown to within striking distance of the Malaysian airliner shortly before the crash. This hard evidence—and Russia’s call for an impartial investigation—have gone largely unreported in the Western press or dismissed as “propaganda” and “conspiracy theories.”

While the precise circumstances of the Boeing 777’s crash have yet to be proven, two things are clear. First, the area over which it flew was turned into a war zone thanks to the intervention of the US and Germany to bring down Ukraine’s elected government. And second, while neither Moscow nor the so-called separatists had anything to gain from this tragedy, it has provided the means for Washington and its puppets in Kiev to rally the previously reluctant Western European powers to the provocative and highly dangerous campaign against Russia.

Whatever doubts there are about the events in eastern Ukraine, there exist none as to the responsibility for the carnage in Gaza, where the number of dead children alone has surpassed that of all the victims of MH17. Israel’s Zionist leadership, having failed to suppress the heroic Palestinian resistance, has reacted with demoralized rage, demolishing entire neighborhoods, bombing schools and hospitals, and killing some 1,400 people, 90 percent of them civilians.

Yet in this case, the Obama administration insists that no one can be held responsible, save the Palestinians for refusing to capitulate. While Obama cynically laments the deaths in Gaza, Washington is moving rapidly to approve hundreds of millions of dollars more in emergency arms aid to Israel to ensure that the killing can continue without interruption.

It is significant that one of the key architects of this criminally duplicitous policy is Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the United Nations. She oversaw the casting by Washington of the sole vote opposing the formation of a UN commission to investigate Israeli actions in Gaza. She has worked tirelessly to block the Security Council’s passage of any binding resolution imposing a ceasefire. And she has warned other council members that even in non-binding statements on Gaza, any attribution of blame on Israel is a “red line” for Washington.

Ms. Power, it should be recalled, is the same individual who became the leading advocate within the Obama administration of the so-called policy of R2P (responsibility to protect civilians) as the foundation for “humanitarian” interventions. Waving the flag of “human rights,” the most hypocritical of all justifications for imperialist war, Power was a leading advocate of the US-NATO war for regime-change in Libya, which toppled and murdered Muammar Gaddafi, leaving the country awash in violence and chaos three years later.

She has likewise been a key promoter of the US proxy war for regime-change in Syria, helping to foment a sectarian civil war that has killed over 100,000 people, and then using this catastrophe created by imperialism as justification for more direct intervention. Last February, she invoked images of “dead and dying children” in Syria to support her demand that the Security Council pass a resolution with “meaningful consequences on the ground,” i.e., one that provided a pseudo-legal fig leaf for direct US aggression.

Images of “dead and dying children” in Gaza, however, evoke no such response, proving once again that all morality is class morality, and that the tear ducts of imperialist operatives like Samantha Power are activated only to justify aggression and plunder and advance the interests of the US financial oligarchy.

Given its track record, today’s human rights imperialism makes the old “white man’s burden” of colonialism’s heyday seem like a noble cause by comparison. Nothing has been more rapidly discredited. When Washington tries to peddle it, people all over the world recognize it for the garbage that it is.

However, this has not stopped an entire pseudo-left layer from jumping on the blood-soaked R2P bandwagon. There is less than one degree of separation between elements like Power and groups like the International Socialist Organization or academics like University of Michigan’s Professor Juan Cole, who have helped sell US aggression as a defense of “human rights” and portrayed civil wars waged by CIA-backed Islamists in Libya and Syria as well as the fascist-spearheaded coup in Ukraine as “revolutions.”

The struggle against war, which the events in both Gaza and Ukraine pose with ever greater urgency, can be waged only in a struggle for the political independence of the working class against the influence of these forces, whose politics reflect an upper-middle class layer whose privileges are bound up with the interests of imperialism.

The US-backed Ukrainian government and its armed forces blocked access to the Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) crash site amid heavy fighting in towns in east Ukraine targeted by the far-right US- and European-backed regime in Kiev.

The military operation hit many towns in eastern Ukraine and involved an artillery strike on Horlivka that killed at least 13 civilians. In Donetsk at least three people died in shelling, and civilian casualties were also reported in Luhansk.

Ukrainian troops and tanks entered the town of Shakhtarsk, 10 miles west of the site of the Boeing 777 crash, and fighting was reported in the towns of Snizhne and Torez, the mid-sized towns nearest to the crash site.

There were reports of a mass exodus from Donetsk and an additional 4,600 people moving to temporary camps in Russia Sunday, pushing the total number of refugees in such camps above 31,000, including 11,000 children, and the total of all refugees in Russia to over 142,000.

Military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said that though the Ukrainian army would “soon” oust pro-Russian separatist rebels from the area, investigators would still not be able to visit the site until mines that he claimed have been laid by rebels were cleared. There is no evidence whatsoever of the existence of any mines surrounding the site, however.

With Ukrainian security officials claiming that they needed control over the crash site to prevent pro-Russia separatists from destroying evidence, a military cordon was placed around the area preventing investigators from reaching it. The road leading from the provincial capital, Donetsk, to the crash site northeast of Shakhtyorsk was blocked by armoured vehicles as the civilian body count started to climb.

On Tuesday, the Dutch Justice Ministry had complained that, for a third day, “The group of Dutch and Australian experts did not leave Donetsk for the crash site in east Ukraine. There is currently too much fighting on and around the road to the crash site.”

Underscoring that the aim of the operation was not to “liberate” the crash site, the New York Times wrote Monday that, “reporters who visited [the crash site] earlier Sunday said insurgents were nowhere to be seen.” It quoted a “separatist commander at a checkpoint outside Shakhtyorsk, about 10 miles from the crash site,” who said, “The attempts to clear militia from the crash site irrefutably show Kiev is trying to destroy evidence.”

With the MH17 crash site sealed off, on Monday Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott denounced the “shambolic” situation, blaming Russian President Vladimir Putin. Turning reality on its head, he asserted, “There’s no doubt that at the moment the site is under the control of the Russian-backed rebels and given the almost certain culpability of the Russian-backed rebels in the downing of the aircraft having those people in control of the site is a little like leaving criminals in control of a crime scene.”

In effect refuting Abbott’s rhetoric, that same day Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop indicated at a press briefing that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe had secured access to the wreckage site in negotiations with pro-Russia rebels prior to the Ukrainian offensive.

The bloody offensive of the Kiev regime, and not the movement of pro-Russian militias, is emerging as the main obstacle within Ukraine to an investigation of the crash.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte called Poroshenko to ask Ukrainian forces to stop fighting near the crash site. A spokesman said, “Rutte expressed his concern about the fact it appeared the investigators may today yet again not reach the site. This is important because we want to get to the crash site as quickly as possible to get the victims and bring them home.”

The Netherlands is home to most of the crash victims. As many as 71 bodies still remain unrecovered.

The New York Times Tuesday, amid the usual obligatory criticisms of Russia, made clear that Russian-backed separatists had in fact been “driven from part, but not all, of the site” with only “a half-dozen glum-looking and exhausted gunmen hunkered down in trenches on the western edge.”

“One of the fighters in a roadside trench, who gave only his nickname, Trojan, said Ukrainian forces now controlled the village of Grabovo, the site of a field where the main landing gear, the wings and the rear cone of the Boeing 777-200’s fuselage hit. Behind him lay a cargo pallet from the flight. ‘The plane isn’t relevant now,’ he said. ‘We’re being attacked.’”

In addition, the article noted that in Petropavlovka, “the overhead luggage bins from the plane’s business-class section landed in a tree, along with much other debris…”

Local resident Maria Nikolayeva asked, “Why isn’t anybody coming here to pick up the pieces?”

The media is, of course, largely silent on the politically criminal offensive in east Ukraine, along with Washington, London, Berlin and Paris.

The same holds true for the extraordinary delay in issuing any findings from the black boxes handed over by the rebels on July 20 and sent for investigation by an international team of experts in the UK on July 22. The BBC reported that the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch ”investigators are confident that, depending on the extent of the damage, they can retrieve information from the boxes within 24 hours.”

Since then there has been no official report—a situation made all the more extraordinary given that prior to the handover, the media was filled with screaming headlines speculating that “vital information” was being either destroyed or had been shipped to Russia.

Instead, on Monday Ukrainian authorities issued claims that data from the black boxes had pointed to “massive explosive decompression” from missile shrapnel. Andriy Lysenko, the spokesman for Ukraine’s Security Council, told a news conference in Kiev that the information came from experts analysing the recorders from the plane.

Though barely reported elsewhere, Dutch Safety Board (DSB) spokeswoman Sara Vernooij told The Independent that Lysenko’s information did not come from them, and that “Bringing out fragmented pieces of information is not on behalf of the investigation,” which would not report its initial findings until August 1.

Citing the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 as impetus, US President Barack Obama announced stronger sanctions against Russia leveled by both the US and EU. This comes after previous sanctions implemented before the downing of MH17 failed to garner support across Europe, leaving the US measures politically and economically impotent. In the wake of American sanctions, pundits, politicians, and corporate-lobbyists decried Europe’s desire to continue doing business with Russia, claiming US sanctions alone would only hurt US corporations leaving a void gladly filled by Europe and others. 

MH17 – The Convenient Impetus

With the “serendipitous” downing of MH17, this geopolitical calculus changed abruptly, and US President Barack Obama, even while admitting investigations were ongoing, invoked the tragedy to justify both the pressure put on Europe to finally impose stronger sanctions against Russia, but also as a means to sell the decision to a public targeted by weeks of baseless anti-Russian propaganda.

Clearly MH17 is being exploited, and especially so since investigations are still under way and no conclusions – or even preliminary results – have been announced. At face value, the West exposes itself as shameless opportunists leveraging human misery to advance their geopolitical ambitions. But Washington, London, and Brussels’ actions also raise serious suspicion over their possible role in the downing of the aircraft. While evidence is forthcoming, a motive for the West to have shot the aircraft down and blame Russia has been demonstrably established.

Despite the “convenience” of the MH17 tragedy and the expediency with which the West has exploited it, this latest attempt to ram through ineffectual sanctions indicate increased desperation from Washington, London, and Brussels, not a renewed initiative in Ukraine, or against Russia as a whole.

Sanctions Don’t Work

Sanctions haven’t worked against nations many times smaller and economically weaker than Russia, and they won’t work against Russia. In fact, the sanctions will instead motivate Moscow to build stronger ties elsewhere, as well as become stronger internally. Many of the sanctions will not even bite for years to come – if ever. Europe was initially reluctant to level sanctions against Russia, not because of any particular affinity for Moscow, but because they would suffer economically as a result of implementing them. Western think-tanks bemoaned Europe’s insistence that the “pain” be shared equally – pain the sanctions were surely to cause all those who agreed to them.

It took the shameless political exploitation of a tragedy to twist Europe’s collective arms into agreeing to the measures now being taken, measures that will immediately begin effecting European nations dependent on long-standing economic ties with Russia and ties that cannot be easily replaced.

Japan likewise, citing nothing other than a desire to “cooperate with G7,” issued new sanctions against Russia – Japan also being a nation that cannot afford narrowing prospects for its declining economy.

ITAR-TASS News Agency in an article titled, “Japan prepares to impose new sanctions on Russia,” stated:

“Japanese government is preparing to impose new sanctions on Russia, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference on Wednesday.

“We are preparing to take additional measures, including freezing of bank accounts. We intend to give a proper response with an emphasis on co-operation with G7 partners,” Suga said.

Russia responded by pointing out Japan’s inability to establish independent foreign policy of its own and instead pursue self-destructive edicts dictated by Washington. Indeed, what the West is doing is isolating itself from a growing mulipolar world that refuses to recognize or remain beholden to a waning unipolar international order centered around Wall Street and London. While the US, EU, and Japan constitute immense economies, technology and progress elsewhere has led to emerging economies that have the potential to eclipse them all. In China alone, Russia has been looking to hedge economic risk by developing ties with the growing nation.

Despite attempts to disrupt growing Russian-Chinese relations through terrorism and political subversion, sanctions against Russia and continued belligerence as part of the West’s “pivot to Asia” serve only to drive these two emerging powers closer together.

The Myth of Ukrainian Self-Determination

In addition to citing MH17 as grounds for leveling new sanctions, Obama also claimed that Ukraine had a right to determine its own destiny and therefore continued interference from Russia could not be tolerated. This betrays the true genesis of the current Ukrainian conflict. The current regime occupying Kiev was installed by NATO to serve EU interests – with US Senator John McCain whose National Endowment for Democracy (NED) subsidiary, the International Republican Institute (IRI) funded the various fronts that led and supported the 2013-2014 “Euromaidan” mobs, literally taking to the stage during the protests to offer support for the Neo-Nazi Svoboda Party in Kiev.

What the US means to say is Russia’s interference with NATO’s plans to subvert, overthrow, and replace political orders along Russia’s borders with belligerent NATO proxies will not be tolerated – a similar scenario that played out along Russia’s borders when Adolf Hitler’s Nazis likewise carried out a regional campaign of covert and outright military aggression ultimately aimed at Moscow itself.

Rush to War? 

Provocations against Russia are increasing, as is the rhetoric to attempt to sell some sort of wider confrontation between NATO and Russia. Unfortunately for the West, sanctions, grisly disasters they “serendipitously” stood to benefit from but can’t, and even attempting to wind up their respective populations for a military confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia appear only as “bad, worse, and the worst” of all possible options. Analysts fear growing desperation from the West who can neither move forward, nor retreat, will resort to increasingly desperate and destructive tactics to change the tide in Ukraine, and against Russia and the growing multipolar order it represents. But when sanctions and what appears to have been a false flag attack have failed utterly, what is left besides war?  However, even war is an untenable prospect for the West - that while feasible and likely to catch most off guard as an opinion not considered to be on the table – it is a prospect that could initially succeed but ultimately backfire just as Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union did during World War II.

But when it’s not the money or the blood of the special interests driving this confrontation with Russia being spent, what does the West have to lose by trying?  Russia will have to continue being smart, patient, prudent, and let the West’s ill-intents destroy itself. No matter how weak or desperate the West may appear throughout was appears to be irreversible decline, the one mistake to be made would be underestimating what Washington, London, and Brussels could do in their death throes. From theaters along Russia’s immediate peripheries, to interests across the Middle East and North Africa – Syria included – maximum vigilance is required to guard against the vindictive spite of an antiquated, dying international order.

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

Kiev Deploys WMDs Against Eastern Ukraine

July 31st, 2014 by Ulson Gunnar

 Ukraine’s Kiev-based regime has deployed OTR-21 Tochka ballistic missiles also known as SS-21 “Scarabs,” against the people of eastern Ukraine. The missiles measure 6.4 meters in length and carry warheads of up to 454 kg, making them without a doubt a weapon of mass destruction (WMD). Their use was revealed by a CNN report released just as US President Barack Obama announced that the US and EU would be issuing more sanctions against Russia. CNN revealed that,“there were reports that Ukraine’s government in the past 48 hours used short-range ballistic missiles against the rebels, three U.S. officials told CNN. The weapons have a range of about 50 miles (80 kilometers) and pack up to 1,000-pound (454-kilogram) warheads.”  1406651044_110

CNN would also claim, “another of the U.S. officials said using the missiles is “an escalation, but Ukraine has a right to defend itself.”

In a separate CNN video report, retired Major General James A. Marks also asserted that Ukraine had the right to defend itself, before admitting that the ballistic missiles were not “precise weapon systems” and are generally used for offensive, not defensive maneuvers. In the same report it was admitted that the US had knowledge of where the missiles were being fired but would not disclose the information publicly out of fear it would undermine the image of the regime in Kiev.

Certainly the US has nothing to gain by disclosing the details of Kiev’s use of WMDs against its own people. It was similar allegations the United States used itself as a pretext to invade and occupy Iraq for nearly a decade, and attempted to do so again in Syria. In Libya, merely using warplanes against militants was deemed a crime against humanity by NATO paving way for a devastating air campaign coupled with heavily armed militants backed by NATO cash and logistics on the ground. Regime change in each case was the primary objective.

With the pro-Western regime in Kiev turning tanks, artillery, warplanes, and now imprecise but devastating ballistic missiles on its own people, it would again be incumbent upon NATO to likewise intervene under its own contrived pretense (and with multiple precedents) of responsibility to protect to stop Kiev’s assault on the people of eastern Ukraine. That NATO has elected to turn a blind eye to Kiev’s tactics is an explicit indicator of the absolute lack of legitimacy or consistency behind both Western values and the international institutions, laws, and “norms” supposedly built upon them.

By CNN and the military officials it interviewed’s own admissions, the US is not only waging a full-spectrum propaganda war against Russia and eastern Ukrainians as well as providing material support for the regime in Kiev, but now actively covering up crimes against humanity the regime is committing on Ukrainian soil and may commit beyond its borders as the conflict continues to escalate. While Kiev’s forces are for the time being firing ballistic missiles at their own people, with a range of between 75-185 km depending on the missiles Kiev has in its possession, in a bid to draw Russia into the conflict and provoke a more robust NATO response, these weapons of mass destruction may end up targeting populated areas beyond Ukrainian borders.

With the US openly covering up evidence of the weapons’ use, the truth behind any future incident is sure to be similarly obstructed, spun, and otherwise manipulated.

Systematic Punitive Annihilation

The conflict in eastern Ukraine is not taking place on an open battlefield but within the populated areas the resistance lives and had worked before the conflict began. By resorting to ballistic missiles with half-ton warheads launched imprecisely at populated centers in eastern Ukraine, Kiev has unofficially announced its intentions to pursue a campaign of systematic, punitive annihilation. The weapons are hardly likely to hit legitimate military targets, and instead, like Nazi V2 rockets during World War 2, are deployed to shock entire populations causing psychological trauma as much as indiscriminate physical devastation.

The use of ballistic missiles comes after similar tactics of strafing cities with warplanes, shelling populated centers with artillery, and driving tanks into villages, towns, and cities to “tank shock” the population have been tried and have apparently failed. Without a large number of professional, properly equipped (or even properly fed) soldiers to draw from, the regime in Kiev is left to compensate with increasingly brutal and inhumane tactics leaning disproportionately on the use of heavy weapons and the terror they induce.

Kiev pursues its strategy in direct violation of all the international laws and “norms” the West itself has defined and posed as unilateral international enforcers of. The West’s silence over Kiev’s current conduct introduces a dangerous double standard. While the West attempts to gain control over Ukraine by punishing militarily those that resist Kiev, and undermining economically those in Russia who voice opposition over the treatment of eastern Ukrainians, what the West has lost is anything resembling a moral imperative.

And despite what would have long ago given NATO and the UN the green light to proceed with a “humanitarian intervention” in any other nation opposing Western interests, Russia has shown maximum restraint in the face of yet another provocation carried out at the expense of the eastern Ukrainian people. While Russia is framed as the aggressor in Ukraine, it is clear that those conducting themselves outside of international law and at the cost of lives and the stability of Ukraine, are Kiev and NATO themselves.

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

Press Release

Gaza Ministry of Health, Palestine

 July 31, 2014                                                                                                                   

Gaza hospitals are operating under impossible conditions, with surgery now being performed in corridors and on the floor due to the sheer numbers of wounded from massacres such as Shati park, UNRWA school and Shujeiyah market.

Lack of theatre space sees two persons being operated on at a time in the same theatre, while others receive surgical interventions in the corridors.

Even beds are in such short supply that surgeons are forced to undertake complicated procedures while their patients lie on stretchers on the floor.

There is nowhere to send the patients post-operatively, with Shifa ICU full, and no vacant beds in surgical wards. Some surgical cases have been sent to maternity and internal medicine hospitals, and to other hospitals outside Shifa medical complex.

Despite 30 patients being ready for discharge, they literally have nowhere to go. These 30 beds are desperately needed.

Wards are full to overflowing, with patients lying on mattresses in the corridors. It has deteriorated to the extent that patients have even been sharing beds, and others are being discharged prematurely.

In many cases no patient notes are being recorded contemporaneously or files created because the staff just cannot take the time away from treating the high volume of patients. Some details are being recorded afterwards, but this is less than ideal.

These conditions are a recipe for disaster.

Infection control is well-nigh impossible, and post-operative complications including death will be inevitable.

Deaths are already occurring from a lack of timely treatment, as the numbers of patients far exceed the capacity of the staff. We estimate that we have a 50% shortfall in staff numbers to deal with the case loads presenting for treatment, resulting in some patients receiving suboptimal care and others receiving none at all.

Current staff are as overburdened as the facilities they serve, working without pay for 24 hours on a day-on, day-off roster. All surgeons and surgical staff have been recalled, to cope with the sheer numbers. They are suffering enormous stress, not only from lack of rest, the horrendous injuries they are dealing with and the under-resourced conditions under which they work, but also due to constant fear for their families, and fear of attack as hospitals have increasingly become targets of Israeli fire.

 The Ministry of Health Gaza calls for:

1.       The UN, ICRC and other international NGOs to provide as a matter of urgency safe and hygienic shelters for the discharge of displaced patients to free up desperately-needed hospital beds;

2.       the borders to be opened immediately to enable the entry of urgently-required medical teams and equipment to alleviate the workloads; and

3.       the international community to take immediate and concrete action to reign in the unfettered Israeli war crimes in Gaza.

Contacts:

Dr Yousef AbuAlrish, Deputy  Minister of Health                                +972 597 918 339

Dr Medhat Abbas, Director General, Ministry of Health                     +972 599 403 547

Original: IAC Cassad – M.V. Litvinov

Translated from Russian by Gleb Bazov

Military Offensive in Late July

As could have been expected, the last weekend of July was marked by yet another offensive gamble by the Kiev regime.

More precisely, there were, in fact, two such offensive gambles. At the same time, it must be noted that the second one, to which observers paid less attention, was in no way less dangerous to the Militia than the one that occupied the primary spot in the propaganda efforts of the informational support specialists of the “punitive corps”.

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Map: Military Deployments, 24-30 July

Both operations were gambles for the simple reason that they were constructed solely on the basis of the punitive forces’ firm belief in their operational-tactical superiority over the Militia and in reliance on their absolute certainty in the Militia’s inability to render in any way stubborn resistance.

It must further be noted that throughout the entire month of July, the command of the punitive forces failed to achieve any operational-tactical successes that went beyond capitalizing on the inevitable consequence arising from the withdrawal of the Militia from the Slavyansk-Kramatorsk defence area. Simply speaking, the punitive forces were able to occupy only that, which they were simply obligated to take control of after Slavyansk was abandoned.

In view of their numerical and technical superiority, the Ukrainian military formations have a plethora of advantages in a transition from positional to maneuverable warfare. However, the most interesting outcome of the latest July escalation in the operational situation is perhaps the fact that the talentless operations of the Ukrainian military formations once again created the preconditions for the emergence of a positional front. Only time will tell whether or not the command of the Militia will manage to take full advantage of the developing circumstances.

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The Kiev Junta’s Offensive Against the Donetsk People’s Republic

The first direction of the punitive forces’ offensive became the advance in the Shakhtersk-Torez area from the north and from the south, the aim of which was to cut off the main lines of communication between Donetsk and Lugansk and the Russian border. This operation became perfectly obvious immediately following the withdrawal from Slavyansk, and it is then when attention was drawn to the reality of the checkpoints of the punitive forces being established in this region. It was also noted then that this operation is quite feasible, in contrast to the ambitions plans involving a breakthrough around Lugansk or the assaults on Atratsit or Snezhnoye. One can wonder why this operation began on July 27th, rather than on July 8th.

The growing threat in this direction was obvious. Already on June 21st the command of the DPR Militia reacted quite nervously to the information about the appearance of the tanks of the punitive forces in Debaltsevo (as nervously as it previously reacted to the attacks by crime bosses on Artemovsk). And this reaction undoubtedly was noticed by the command of the punitive corps. At the headquarters of the punitive forces, a new hope was born that a breakthrough in the Debaltsevo-Shakhtersk direction will lead to the Militia’s withdrawal from Donetsk, just like it happened in Slavyansk. From this moment on the command of the punitive forces began to concentrate all available troops for a new offensive. These plans were constantly frustrated by the unexpected for the punitive forces actions of the Severodonetsk Commandant’s Office, by the LPR counterattack in Lisichansk and by the decisive actions of the Slavyansk Brigade in the area of the “Marinovka Corridor”, resulting in it being completely closed on June 26th.

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Despite all these difficulties, the punitive forces placed their main bet on a breakthrough in the Debaltsevo-Shakhtersk direction. And, on July 23rd, they commenced battles for the staging areas of this offensive – Debaltsevo and Blagodatnoye. On July 24th, they managed finally to secure control over Blagodatnoye; however, the battles for Debaltsevo did not give the desired effect – they continued failing to oust from the village the staunchly defending Militia units.

Faced with this situation, the command of the punitive corps decided to repeat the approach that previously brought it success in Artyomovsk, and in the night of July 26th-27th bypassed Debaltsevo with the tactical battalion group of the 95th Aeromobile Brigade and assaulted Shakhtersk. As far as can be told, the DPR Militia, absorbed in the fighting for the Marinovka Corridor and for Debaltsevo, did not expect this move. The maneuver was a complete success. The reason for this success is that the DPR Militia, insofar as it seeks to maintain a continuing line of front, does not have the ability to garrison key settlements located beyond the line of defence with forces sufficient for successful defence.

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The Militia had no more than one company in Shakhtersk; moreover, these troops were not concentrated in a fist, but instead were dispersed throughout checkpoints. At the same time, it is necessary to have least 200-300 fighters to repel an attack on a settlement by a tactical battalion group. And, in general, the minimum necessary garrison for such a settlement is 500 fighters.The main forces of the 2nd and the 3rd Battalions of the Slavyansk Brigade were located to the south of the Torez-Shakhters-Zugres-Kharzysk line.

As a result, meeting practically no resistance, the punitive forces established company strongpoints in the areas of Gornoye and Olchovchik, thereby cutting off the shortest routes from Donetsk to Snezhnoye. The forces of the Militia at that moment were fettered by attacks coming from the front in the area of Stepano-Krynka. And although the attacks of the punitive forces in this area were repulsed, the punitive troops in Shakhters merged with the main forces of the Amvrosievka grouping of the Ukrainian armed formations that came up from the side of Blagodatnoye.

The DPR Militia ended up in a very difficult situation. Its forces were split apart. Communications to the north, of course, were maintained, and to cut them off the punitive forces would have needed at least three free battalions, which the Ukrainian armed formations did not have available. However, that was not the problem. The withdrawal from Slavyansk placed a heavy psychological burden on the shoulders of the DPR Militia. “The enemy is too strong; it is too well armed.” And it is this mental attitude that became the main obstacle to the transition of the confrontation again to the positional phase. The Militia needed to make a stand somewhere; it needed to win a psychological victory over the punitive forces and to break the enemy’s will to attack. It seemed that there would again be a retreat, and that a decisive battle would come later.

But then the talentless command of the punitive corps did a favour for the DPR Militia. Rather than being satisfied with their success, pulling up artillery and digging into the ground at the newly acquired positions, it decided to finish DPR once and for all. And on July 28th it commenced a new offensive. Bypassing Torez, the punitive forces rushed from Gornoye through Manuylovka and Petrovskoye into the rear of Saur-Mogila. From Semenovskaya and Tarany, their armoured columns rushed toward Stepanovka and Marinovka. Their most battle-worthy units located in the Southern Cauldron attempted a breakout from Djakovo in the direction of Dibrovka and, from there, toward Dmitrovka and Chervonnaya Zarya. All the artillery was aimed at Saur-Mogila in an attempt to suppress the Militia’s artillery battery.

But the DPR Militia, and, first and foremost, its Slavyansk Brigade, managed to withstand this assault, in the process retaining all the key settlements. The successes of the punitive forces were limited to yet another occupation of the village of Saurovka, which the Kiev propagandists quickly renamed Saur-Mogila, and the displacement of the Militia from Dmitrovka. The punitive forces were even unable to forge a corridor to the south of Marinovka. But the main thing was that the Militia withstood the strike of the 250-vehicle armoured armada of the Ukrainian regular army. In the course of these battles, the Militia has proven, first and foremost to itself and its command, that it is capable of withstanding an assault of such magnitude.

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The command of the punitive forces was unable to transfer reserves from the north. Bogged down in the fighting on the approaches to Gorlovka and in Debaltsevo, and fettered by a counterstrike in Popasnoye and, on the part of the LPR Militia, an assault near Depreradovka, aimed at the rear of the Debaltsevo grouping, it had no available troops. The final effort of the punitive corps on July 29th allowed them to enter Stepanovka, but, on the very same day, the DPR Militia punched a corridor in Shakhtersk through to Torez.

The July offensive of the punitive corps on the territory of the DPR has petered out. Despite the fact that the situation remains exceedingly difficult, due primarily to the numerical and technical superiority of the punitive forces, and despite the regular terroristic shelling of the DPR cities, the DPR Militia has been able to create the preconditions for a transition to positional fighting in the sections of the front selected by the Militia.

The Kiev Junta’s Offensive Against the Lugansk People’s Republic 

The situation in the Lugansk area was developing in a less dramatic fashion, even if the danger to the Militia that it carried was no less significant. The key point in the LPR defence is the settlement of Novosvetlovka to the south-east of Lugansk. The settlement itself is not large, but all the roads leading to Izvarino pass through it. Its loss would cut off not only Krasnodon, but also the main highway to the Russian border. Certainly, its loss would not result in a catastrophe, but it would significantly complicate the situation in Lugansk.

Starting on July 27th, the command of the punitive corps undertook several attempts to break through to this settlement from the side of the Lugansk airport, as well as from the area of Lutugino, through Pervozvanovka and Krasnoye. Airstrikes were conducted on Novosvetlovka. However, in the end, the LPR Militia utterly defeated the 24th Territorial Defence Battalion Aidar, along with the supporting units of the 1st Separate Tank Brigade [“OTBR”] and the 30th Separate Mechanized Brigade [“OMBR”]. The punitive forces sustained significant losses not only in terms of killed and wounded, but also captured soldiers.

The reason why the success achieved by the Militia here did not entail such dramatic twists and turns as the one near Donetsk is that the LPR defence is built on proactively taking control with sufficient forces even of key settlements that are not subjected to direct threat, often to the detriment of control over connectedness and continuity of communications. What enable the command of the LPR Militia to adhere to such a tactic is its advantageous position with respect to the Russian border.

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On the same day, July 27th, the command of the LPR Militia continued to apply pressure to the isolated garrisons of the punitive forces in the area of Krasnodon, where the remnants of the units of the 51st OMBR are being finished off, and in the are of the Dolzhanskiy border crossing checkpoint, where the liquidation of the Ukrainian Border Guard Service [“GPSU”] garrison is being completed.

On the following day, July 28th, the command of the LPR Militia enhanced its positions, continuing to extend its success – it took control of the key strategic height near Georgievka and extended its proactive maneuvers to the west, in the direction of the settlement of Cheluskinets. Accordingly, in the Lugansk area the Militia was able to maintain its key positions and to prevent the Lugansk airport from being de-blockaded. This course of events signifies that also in this region the necessary preconditions for the transitioning of the hostilities to a positional phase have developed.

At this moment, the least stable situation continues to persist in the Pervomaisk-Stakhanov-Bryanka-Alchevsk-Krasniy Luch strip. Here the outcome of hostilities has not been determined, and significant changes to the positions of the warring sides remain possible. Likewise, changes of any kind cannot be excluded in the area of the crash of the Malaysian Boeing.

Author: M.V. Litvinov

Es will kein Licht ins Dunkel um das Unglück der Malaysian MH 017 kommen. Die Flugschreiber sind in England und werden ausgewertet. Was kann dabei herauskommen? Möglicherweise mehr, als man annehmen möchte. Vor allem der Voicerecorder dürfte interessant sein, wenn man das Bild eines Cockpit-Fragments betrachtet. Als Fachmann für Luftfahrt habe ich mir die Bilder der Wrackteile vorgenommen, die im Internet kursieren.

Als erstes war ich erstaunt, wie wenige Fotos von den Wrackteilen mit Google zu finden sind. Alle sind in niedriger Auflösung, bis auf eines: Das Fragment des Cockpits unterhalb des Fensters auf der Kapitänsseite. Dieses Bild ist allerdings schockierend. In Washington hört man mittlerweile Stimmen, die bezüglich MH 017 von einem „möglicherweise tragischen Irrtum/Unfall“ sprechen. Angesichts dieses Bilds wundert mich das nicht.

Ein- und Austrittslöcher von Geschossen im Cockpit-Bereich

Quelle für alle Bilder: Internet

Ich empfehle, das kleine Bild rechts anzuklicken. Sie können dieses Foto als PDF in guter Auflösung herunterladen. Das ist notwendig, denn nur so ist zu verstehen, was ich hier beschreibe. Ich rede nicht von Spekulationen, sondern von eindeutigen Fakten: Das Cockpit zeigt Spuren von Beschuss. Man kann Ein- und Austrittslöcher sehen. Der Rand eines Teils der Löcher ist nach ! innen ! gebogen. Das sind die kleineren Löcher, rund und sauber, etwa Kaliber 30 Millimeter. Der Rand der anderen, der größeren und etwas ausgefransten Austrittslöcher ist nach ! außen ! gebogen. Zudem ist erkennbar, dass an diesen Austrittslöchern teilweise die äußere Schicht des doppelten Aluminiums weggefetzt oder verbogen ist – nach außen! Weiterhin sind kleinere Schnitte zu erkennen, alle nach außen gebogen, die darauf hinweisen, dass Splitter die Außenhaut vom Inneren des Cockpits her durchschlagen haben. Die offenen Nieten sind nach außen aufgebogen.

Bei Sichtung der verfügbaren Bilder fällt eines auf: Alle Wrackteile der Sektionen hinter dem Cockpit sind weitgehend unversehrt, wenn man davon absieht, dass es sich um Fragmente eines Ganzen handelt. Nur der Cockpit-Teil ist wüst zerstört. Daraus lässt sich eines bereits schließen: Dieses Flugzeug wurde nicht von einer Rakete in der Mitte getroffen. Die Zerstörung beschränkt sich auf den Cockpit-Bereich. Nun muss man wissen, dass dieser Teil aus besonders verstärktem Material gebaut ist. Schließlich muss der Bug des Flugzeugs auch den Aufprall eines großen Vogels bei hoher Geschwindigkeit einigermaßen schadlos überstehen können. Man sieht auf dem Foto, dass in diesem Bereich deutlich stärkeres Aluminium verbaut worden ist als am Rest der Außenhaut. Man erinnere sich an den Absturz der Pan Am über Lockerbie. Das einzige weitgehend unbeschädigte Teil war ein großes Cockpit-Segment. Hier hat zweifelsfrei eine Explosion innerhalb des Flugzeugs stattgefunden.

Panzerbrechender Munitionsmix

Was kann also passiert sein? Russland hat Radaraufzeichnungen veröffentlicht, die mindestens eine ukrainische SU 25 in der nächsten Nähe der MH 017 zeigen. Das korrespondiert mit der Aussage des verschollenen spanischen Controllers, der zwei ukrainische Kampfflugzeuge in der direkten Nähe der MH 017 gesehen hat. Betrachten wir dazu die Bewaffnung der SU 25: Sie ist ausgerüstet mit einer zweiläufigen 30-mm-Kanone, Typ GSch-302 /AO-17A, Kampfsatz: 250 Schuss Panzerbrand- bzw. Splitter-Spreng-Geschosse, die in einer definierten Reihenfolge in einem Gliederzerfallgurt befestigt sind. Das Cockpit der MH 017 ist von zwei Seiten beschossen worden: Ein- und Austrittslöcher auf derselben Seite.

Einschusslöcher an der Außenhaut

Nun stelle man sich vor was passiert, wenn eine Abfolge von Panzerbrand- und Splitter-Spreng-Geschossen das Cockpit trifft, die immerhin so ausgelegt sind, dass sie einen Panzer zerstören können. Die Panzerbrandgeschosse werden teilweise quer durch das Cockpit aus der anderen Seite leicht deformiert wieder austreten. Schließlich ist ihre Durchschlagskraft für eine solide Panzerung ausgelegt. Die Splitter-Spreng-Geschosse aber werden im Cockpit selbst explodieren, so sind sie ausgelegt. Bei der rapiden Feuerfolge der GSch-302 Kanone gibt es folglich in kürzester Zeit eine schnelle Abfolge von Explosionen innerhalb des Cockpit-Bereichs, von denen jede einzelne ausreicht, einen Panzer zu zerstören.

Welcher „Irrtum“ wurde wirklich begangen – und von wem?

Streifschuss an der Tragfläche

Weil der Innenraum eines Verkehrsflugzeugs ein luftdicht verschlossener Raum ist, wird durch diese Explosionen der Druck im Innern des Flugzeugs in Sekundenbruchteilen extrem ansteigen. Dafür ist das Flugzeug nicht gerüstet. Es wird zerplatzen wie ein Luftballon. Mit dieser Erklärung ergibt sich ein schlüssiges Bild. Die weitgehend intakten Fragmente der hinteren Sektionen sind an den Stellen zerbrochen, die aufgrund der Bauart bei extremem Überdruck am ehesten auseinanderbrechen werden. Das Bild des weit zerstreuten Trümmerfelds und das brutal beschädigte Cockpit-Segment passen dazu. Weiterhin zeigt ein Flügelsegment Spuren eines Streifschusses, der in Verlängerung direkt zum Cockpit führt. Interessanterweise musste ich feststellen, dass sowohl das hochaufgelöste Foto des Cockpit-Segments als auch das vom Streifschuss am Flügel mittlerweile aus Google-Images entfernt worden sind. Man findet praktisch überhaupt keine Bilder mehr von den Wrackteilen, außer rauchenden Trümmern.

Folgt man den Stimmen aus Washington, die von einem „möglicherweise tragischen Irrtum/Unfall“ sprechen, bleibt nur noch die Frage, welcher „Irrtum“ hier begangen worden sein könnte. Ich begebe mich jetzt nicht in den Bereich der Spekulationen, gebe aber folgendes zu bedenken: Die MH 017 ist in ihrer Lackierung verwechselbar mit der des russischen Präsidenten. Beide tragen die Farben der russischen Trikolore. Die Maschine mit Putin an Bord befand sich zur selben Zeit in der Nähe der MH 017, wenn man „Nähe“ mit Fliegeraugen betrachtet: etwa 200 bis 300 Kilometer. Dazu nehmen wir noch die Aussage der Frau Timoschenko, sie wolle Putin am liebsten mit einer Kalaschnikow erschießen. Aber das ist pure Spekulation. Der Beschuss des Cockpits der MH 017 nicht.

Acting Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk recently announced his resignation from the government amidst parliamentary infighting in the Rada, supposedly over none of the factions wanting to take the fall for the upcoming suicidal IMF stipulations. (His desire to leave off the hook ahead of the coming economic and social collapse of Ukraine has apparently come into collision with the interests of Western power groups seeking to establish control over the Ukrainian gas trasportation system first – OR).

The withdraw of the nationalist party Svoboda and Klitschko’s (German) project Udar continues the chain reaction of institutional collapse that began in late-November with the EuroMaidan Color Revolution. If a new Rada isn’t formed within 30 days, elections will have to take place. It has already been forecasted that this is nothing more than a ploy to solidify Poroshenko’s power base (Udar is a close ally) and expand the reach of the Svoboda nationalists. These risky and Machiavellian calculations will likely have far-reaching implications, continuing to push Ukraine ever further towards full-scale collapse and spreading the black hole of chaos that has begun to emerge in the country.

Nearing the Precipice

A routine fight in the Ukrainian parliament (photo taken on July 24, 2014)

A routine fight in the Ukrainian parliament (photo taken on July 24, 2014)

In the run-up to the most recent stage of institutional collapse, Kiev had found itself in a conundrum. After revving up the population for so-called Western integration and signing the EU Association Agreement and receiving IMF loans, the Rada realized that none of its members wanted to be responsible for implementing the brutal economic ‘tweaks’ that both of them necessitate. This is the immediate cause of the current Rada crisis – everyone wanted to ‘join the West’, but no one wanted to take electoral responsible for what that truly means.

Concurrent to this, Ukraine also banned one of its consistently largest political parties, the Communist Party, which polled 15% at the last legitimate election in 2012. For a country trying to ingratiate itself with ‘Western values’, it is contradictory that it would carry out such a policy, however, it cannot be said to be unexpected. After all, there had been loud calls for lustration ever since the February coup against legitimate president Yanukovich. This policy of political (and therefore, social) exclusion has been aided by the nationalist and fascist forces that have swept to power and influence in Ukraine in recent months.

All of this is to say nothing of the enormous humanitarian catastrophe ongoing in the Donbass region, where the UN officially estimates that at least 1,000 people have been killed and over 3,500 injured since the start of punitive operations against Federalist supporters in mid-April. 500,000 refugees have fled to Russia since then, with over 34,000 of them currently being housed by the state.

The Real Reason for the Void

The aforementioned explanations for the current governing void all owe their genesis to events that started earlier than the coup itself. First and foremost, Ukraine has been a geopolitical chess piece for the US since its independence in 1991. Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote about its role as a pivot of America’s Eurasian influence in his 1997 work “The Grand Chessboard”, quipping that “Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire”. This strategic advice was certainly heeded at the State Department, since Victoria Nuland admitted that the US had spent $5 billion for “democracy promotion” in Ukraine since 1991. This investment wasn’t for “democracy” but rather for regime change by mobocracy, as can be seen by the Maidan mobs that ravaged Kiev before the coup. The drawn-out urban warfare of EuroMaidan, coupled with an intense Western propaganda campaign of state demonization, inevitably led to the shredding of the state’s structure right after the coup. This is something which did not even happen after the 2004 Orange Revolution, when the governing apparatus still relatively functioned in comparison to today.

Had it not been for the US’ geostrategic goals in enacting regime change in Ukraine and attacking Russia via proxy, there would be no crisis in the country. Refugees would not be streaming eastwards and Ukraine would not be split along civilizational fault lines. The growing black hole of chaos is completely attributable to the efforts of the US to follow through on its threats to disrupt Russia’s Eurasian Union integration goals, of which Ukraine was a possible candidate for membership prior to the destabilization’s commencement.

Ukraine Before the Storm

Events have been so dramatic and have moved so fast since November that it may be easy to forget what the country was like one year ago. In summer 2013, the government was corrupt but workable, with no large-scale violence and relative macro stability. All political parties were welcome in the inclusive government and the country had profitable dealings with the US, EU, and Russia. Importantly, energy supplies were secured and no downstream partners were in danger of a winter shortage.

Flash forward to the present day. The ‘government’ is dysfunctional and cripplingly corrupt, resembling Italy during the Cold War (one could even provocatively say today). Wide-scale violence has already claimed over 1,000 lives and destroyed the infrastructure in of one of Ukraine’s most formerly prosperous regions, destabilizing the entire Donbass. Lustration has made the Rada an exclusive club of those in alliance with the oligarchs, and extreme fringe movements hold disproportionate influence over the country. Although nominally moving towards Europe economically, Ukraine is now shackled in debt and is on the cusp of losing all bilateral trade with Russia, on which its economy is dependent. Failed political maneuvering by Kiev forced Russia to shut off the gas tap, raising fears of a cold winter and almost certainly guaranteeing another future crisis at the end of the year.

Over the Edge and Into the Unknown

In hindsight, the EuroMaidan coup may very well be seen as the fatal outside blow that wrecked Ukrainian statehood once and for all. The country is experiencing a painful and extended collapse before the eyes of the world, with the current political void being but the latest iteration of its downward spiral. Ukraine has gone over the edge and into unknown territory, with the only blueprint being the Yugoslavian scenario. The black hole of chaos inside of Ukraine is only growing, with the country now certainly exhibiting the symptoms of failed state status. There was an outside-engineered coup in a geopolitically convenient area, a proxy government, a merry-go-round parliament, a civil war that could possibly involve an intervention by its neighbor (Russia), and rabid nationalists scheming for power.

Being a country of 45 million and located smack dab in the middle of Eastern Europe, Ukraine may be ‘too big to fail’ for its foreign backers. In the past, it could never sustain itself on its own, being previously dependent on Russia since independence. Now that Russia has been violently pushed away, Ukraine is making itself a burden on the West and the EU, neither of which now wants to properly deal with it. The Western integration of Ukraine was a slogan used by both Ukrainian and Western politicians alike, none of whom wanted to take on the responsibilities associated with it, thereby putting the country in an untenable position and leading to the destitution of its masses.

Any entity demonstrating Ukraine’s failed-state characteristics should be something that other states’ militaries steer clear away from at all costs, but the US and NATO have unreasonably been moving even closer to this sick man since its symptoms began to show. The absorption of Ukraine into Shadow NATO under these circumstances is tantamount to directly involving the alliance in Ukraine’s hurricane-like spiral of chaos. Granting the country major non-NATO ally status is dangerous and irresponsible, especially when occurring during a government collapse and the increasingly dictatorial tendencies of its leader. The situation in Afghanistan, the most recent major non-NATO ally, has at least been semi-stable and predictable due to the forcible NATO occupation there (set to expire at the end of the year, however), but such a situation does not (yet) exist in Ukraine. It may be, however, that the West finds its Ukrainian operation ‘too big to fail’, and as the country experiences slow-motion economic, military, and political collapse, it may desperately think that NATO integration can plug these processes and reverse the inevitable.

Andrew Korybko is the American political correspondent of Voice of Russia who currently lives and studies in Moscow, exclusively for ORIENTAL REVIEW.

 Zur deutschen Version bitte hier anklicken

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The tragedy of Malaysian MH 017 continues to elude any light of clarity being cast over it.

The flight recorders are in England and are evaluated. What can come of it? Maybe more than you would assume.

Especially the voice recorder will be interesting when you look at the picture of a cockpit fragment. As an expert in aviation I closely looked at the images of the wreckage that are circulating on the Internet.

Peter Haisenko in Cockpit of Condor DC 10

First, I was amazed at how few photos can be found from the wreckage with Google. All are in low resolution, except one: The fragment of the cockpit below the window on the pilots side. This image, however, is shocking. In Washington, you can now hear views expressed of a “potentially tragic error / accident” regarding MH 017. Given this particular cockpit image it does not surprise me at all.

Entry and exit impact holes of projectiles in the cockpit area

Source for all photos: Internet

I recommend to click on the little picture to the left. You can download this photo as a PDF in good resolution. This is necessary, because that will allow you understand what I am describing here. The facts speak clear and loud and are beyond the realm of speculation: The cockpit shows traces of shelling! You can see the entry and exit holes. The edge of a portion of the holes is bent inwards. These are the smaller holes, round and clean, showing the entry points most likely that of a 30 millimeter caliber projectile. The edge of the other, the larger and slightly frayed exit holes showing shreds of metal pointing produced by the same caliber projectiles. Moreover, it is evident that at these exit holes of the outer layer of the double aluminum reinforced structure are shredded or bent – outwardly! Furthermore, minor cuts can be seen, all bent outward, which indicate that shrapnel had forcefully exited through the outer skin from the inside of the cockpit. The open rivets are are also bent outward.

In sifting through the available images one thing stands out: All wreckage of the sections behind the cockpit are largely intact, except for the fact that only fragments of the aircraft remained . Only the cockpit part shows these peculiar marks of destruction. This leaves the examiner with an important clue. This aircraft was not hit by a missile in the central portion. The destruction is limited to the cockpit area. Now you have to factor in that this part is constructed of specially reinforced material. This is on account of the nose of any aircraft having to withstand the impact of a large bird at high speeds. You can see in the photo, that in this area significantly stronger aluminum alloys were being installed than in the remainder of the outer skin of the fuselage. One remembers the crash of Pan Am over Lockerbie. It was a large segment of the cockpit that due to the special architecture survived the crash in one piece. In the case of flight MH 017 it becomes abundantly clear that there also an explosion took place inside the aircraft.

Tank destroying mix of ammunition

Bullet holes in the outer skin

So what could have happened? Russia recently published radar recordings, that confirm at least one Ukrainian SU 25 in close proximity to MH 017. This corresponds with the statement of the now missing Spanish controller ‘Carlos’ that has seen two Ukrainian fighter aircraft in the immediate vicinity of MH 017. If we now consider the armament of a typical SU 25 we learn this: It is equipped with a double-barreled 30-mm gun, type GSh-302 / AO-17A, equipped with: a 250 round magazine of anti-tank incendiary shells and splinter-explosive shells (dum-dum), arranged in alternating order. The cockpit of the MH 017 has evidently been fired at from both sides: the entry and exit holes are found on the same fragment of it’s cockpit segment!

Now just consider what happens when a series of anti-tank incendiary shells and splinter-explosive shells hit the cockpit. These are after all designed to destroy a modern tank. The anti-tank incendiary shells partially traversed the cockpit and exited on the other side in a slightly deformed shape. (Aviation forensic experts could possibly find them on the ground presumably controlled by the Kiev Ukrainian military; the translator). After all, their impact is designed to penetrate the solid armor of a tank. Also, the splinter-explosive shells will, due to their numerous impacts too cause massive explosions inside the cockpit, since they are designed to do this. Given the rapid firing sequence of the GSh-302 cannon, it will cause a rapid succession of explosions within the cockpit area in a very short time. Remeber each of these is sufficient to destroy a tank.

What “mistake” was actually being committed – and by whom?

Graze on the wing

Because the interior of a commercial aircraft is a hermetically sealed pressurized chamber, the explosions will, in split second, increase the pressure inside the cabin to extreme levels or breaking point. An aircraft is not equipped for this, it will burst like a balloon. This explains a coherent scenario. The largely intact fragments of the rear sections broke in mid air at the weaker points of construction most likely under extreme internal air pressure. The images of the widely scattered field of debris and the brutally damaged segment of cockpit fit like hand in glove. Furthermore, a wing segment shows traces of a grazing shot, which in direct extension leads to the cockpit. Interestingly, I found that both the high-resolution photo of the fragment of bullet riddled cockpit as well as the segment of grazed wing have in the meantime disappeared from Google Images. One can find virtually no more pictures of the wreckage, except the well known smoking ruins.

If you listen to the voices from Washington now who speak of a “potentially tragic error / accident”, all that remains is the question of what might have been the nature of this “mistake” perpetrated here. I am not given to hover long in the realm of speculation, but would like to invite others to consider the following : The MH 017 looked similar in it’s tricolor design to that that of the Russian President’s plane. The plane with President Putin on board was at the same time ”near” Malaysia MH 017. In aviation circles “close” would be considered to be anywhere between 150 to 200 miles. Also, in this context we might consider the deposition of Ms. Tymoshenko, who wanted to shoot President Putin with a Kalashnikov.

But that this remains pure speculation. The shelling of the cockpit of air Malaysia MH 017, however, is definitely not speculation. 

Historically, the Levant is the birthplace of Christianity and the oldest Christian communities have lived in it and the entire Fertile Crescent since the start of Christian history. Early Christians called themselves followers or people of «the Way» before they adopted the term Christian; in Arabic their antiquated name would be «Ahl Al-Deen». [1] Traces of this original name are also available in the New Testament of the Bible and can be read in John 14:5-7, Acts 9:1-2, Acts 24:4 and 14. From the Fertile Crescent these Christian communities spread across Africa, Asia, and Europe. Since that time the ancient communities of Christians, many of which still use the Syriac dialects of Aramaic in their churches, have been an integral and important part of the social fabrics of the pluralistic societies of Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Turkey, and Iran. Nevertheless, the Christians of the Levant and Iraq are now in the cross-hairs.

Deceit and mischief has been at play. It is no coincidence that Egyptian Christians were attacked at the same time as the South Sudan Referendum, which was supposed to signal a split between the Muslims in Khartoum and the Christians and animists in Juba. Nor is it an accident that Iraq’s Christians, one of the oldest Christian communities in the world, began to face a modern exodus, leaving their homes and ancestral homeland in Iraq in 2003. Mysterious groups targeted both them and Palestinian refugees…

Coinciding with the exodus of Iraqi Christians, which occurred under the watchful eyes of US and British military forces, the neighborhoods in Baghdad became sectarian as Shiite Muslims and Sunni Muslims were forced by violence and death squads to form sectarian enclaves. This is all tied to a US and Israeli project of redrawing the map.

The Christian communities of the Levant and Iraq have long distrusted the US government for its support of Israel, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and fanatical militants with anti-Christian leanings. Lebanon’s Christians have also been weary of US support for Israeli expansion and ideas about resettling Palestinians into Lebanon. There is also a widely held belief that the US and Israel have been involved in a policy to remove or «purge» the Christians from Iraq and the Levant in some type of Zionist-linked resettlement plan. Since the US-supported anti-government fighters started targeting Christian Syrians, there has been renewed talk about a Christian exodus in the Middle East centering on Washington’s war on Syria.

Silencing the Ancient Church Bells of Sham and Shinar

Christian Arabs and both the Assyrian and Armenian ethnic communities, which are overwhelming composed of Christians, inside Lebanon and Syria have been in the crosshairs. From Homs and Maaloula to Kessab, Syria’s Christians have been under siege. Various ecclesiastic councils or synods have expressed concerns as have Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I, the Vatican or Holy See, Russian Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow Cyril (Kirill) I, Armenian Apostolic Catholicos Aram I, the Maronite Greek Catholic Patriarchate in Lebanon, Jerusalemite Greek Orthodox Archbishop Theodosios (Attallah) Hanna of Sebastia, the Anglican See of Canterbury, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, the Free Patriotic Movement of Lebanon’s Michel Aoun, the World Council of Churches, and various interfaith bodies. Even US celebrities Cherilyn Sarkisian (Cher) and Kimberly Kardashian joined the chorus and voiced their concerns about Syria’s Christians after the Turkish government perfidiously helped Al-Nusra overrun the predominately Armenian town of Kessab in Lattakia Governate on March 24, 2014. [2]

Inside Syria, Maronite Greek Catholic Archbishop of Damascus Samir Nassar, Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregory III Laham, Antiochian Greek Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius IV, and Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas have all condemned the violence. The leaders of Syria’s other faiths, Druze Sheikh Al-Aql Hamoud Hennawi, Sunni Grand Mufti Ahmed Badreddin, and Ashari Imam Mohammed Said Ramadan, have joined the Christian leaders in their calls for peace and condemnations of Washington’s war on Syria. These leaders have risked their lives and the lives of their loved ones by taking these positions. Sheikh Ramadan, who was also an ethnic Kurd, was murdered while he was teaching in a mosque for his backing of the Syrian government on March 21, 2013. Patriarch Ignatius IV had his brother kidnapped in Aleppo whereas Grand Mufti Hassoun had his twenty-two year-old son murdered on his way to university in Idlib. Despite the threats, all these figures have spoken against the insurgency as a cancerous threat to coexistence in Syrian society and the broader region. Melkite Patriarch Gregory III Laham has very vocally said that his country is being attacked by bandits and terrorists under the fiction of a revolution that seek to destroy the Christians and all Syria. [3]

The Christian communities of Syria, which constitute at least 10% of the Syrian population, have been systematically targeted; their churches have been attached and desecrated; their priests, monks, and nuns murdered; and generally discriminated against by the anti-government forces that the US, UK, France, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and their allies support. The objectives of establishing this exodus are reflected by the anti-government chants: «Alawites to the ground and Christians to Lebanon!» What this chant means is that Syria is no longer a place where either Alawis or Christians can live.

America’s Foot Soldiers and the Rape of Christians in Syria and Iraq

Fides News Agency, the official news agency of the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church, has reported that the so-called religious leaders of the anti-government fighters declared it lawful for the anti-government fighters to rape «any non-Sunni Syrian woman» that they desired; the declarations of these corrupt pastors have been used to justify the rape, humiliation, torture, and murder of women and girls in towns and territory captured by groups like the so-called Free Syrian Army, Jabhat Al-Nusra, and the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant/Al-Dawlah Al-Islamiyah fi Al-Iraq wa Al-Sham (ISIL/DAISH). [4]

Here is the account given to the Fides News Agency by two priests about what was done to one fifteen year-old Syrian Christian girl in Homs Governate after the anti-government fighters took control of it:

The commander of the battalion «Jabhat al-Nusra» in Qusair took Mariam, married and raped her. Then he repudiated her. The next day the young woman was forced to marry another Islamic militant. He also raped her and then repudiated her. The same trend was repeated for 15 days, and Mariam was raped by 15 different men. This psychologically destabilized her and made her insane. Mariam, became mentally unstable and was eventually killed. These atrocities are not told by any «International Commission» say to Fides two Greek-Catholic priests, Fr. Issam and Fr. Elias who have just returned to town. [5]

These same US-supported multinational insurgent groups have begun to do this to Iraqi Christians too. «On June 12, [2014,] only two day after capturing Mosul and other territories in Iraq, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria issued a decree ordering the people to send their unmarried women to ‘jihad by sex’» and made a decree ordering that unmarried women sexually be offered to their fighters for fornication. [6] The following account, which was confirmed by the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights and reported by the Assyrian International News Agency, deals with Mosul after its takeover by the insurrectionary forces entering Iraq from Syria on June 25, 2014:

A Christian father who watched his wife and daughter get brutally raped by members of the militant group, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) because he couldn’t pay them a poll tax in Mosul, Iraq, killed himself under the weight of the trauma this past weekend. [7]

The molestation and rape of Christian women and girls as sex objects has not been limited to Christians alone. Syrian women and girls, regardless of their faiths, that have been captured by the anti-government forces are being raped and molested. Muslims, Christians, and Druze are all equally at risk. These perverted acts are being encouraged by corrupt clerics issuing legal opinions and decrees (fatwas) that support rape and womanizing.

These twisted legal opinions and decrees being issued include calls for foreign women to become concubines to the anti-government fighters in Syria in what is disgracefully called a «sexual holy struggle» (jihad al-nikah). The Tunisian government was even prompted to react in mid-2013 to these calls for sexual offering, because they were exploiting young Tunisian girls. [8] Tunisian Minister of Religious Affairs Noureddine Al-Khadimi condemned the corrupt and ignorant clerics and individuals behind the calls, insisting that they had nothing to do with Muslim teachings:

The minister’s statements came after the spread of an anonymous «sexual jihad» fatwa on the Internet calling on young women to support opposition fighters in Syria by providing sexual services. According to media reports and mujahideen who returned to Tunisia after participating in jihad in Syria, 13 Tunisian girls headed to the battlefield in response to the «sexual jihad» fatwa. [9]

«After the sexual liaisons they have [in Syria] in the name of ‘jihad al-nikah’ — (sexual holy war, in Arabic) — [these girls] come home pregnant», Tunisian Interior Minister Lotfi bin Jeddou testified to Tunisian legislators months after Al-Khadimi’s condemnations, explaining that the misguided girls could have over a hundred partners. [10]

Targeting Bishops, Priests, Monks, and Nuns: Besieging the People of «The Way»

Since the start of the fighting, Christian spiritual figures have been targeted in one way or another. There are the cases of Greek Orthodox Archbishop Sayedna Paul (Boulos) Yazigi and Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan Mar Gregorios John Abraham (Yohanna Ibrahim), which were kidnapped near the Turkish border, on April 22, 2013. Their driver, a Christian priest himself, was killed instantly for protecting the two Christian metropolitans by refusing to let them leave their car. A fourth person in the car, Fouad Eliya, managed to remain free (and explain what happened). [11]

The Turkish government is directly involved in the kidnapping of the two Orthodox Christian bishops. The Turkish newswire Dogan News Agency (Dogan Haber Ajansı) reported on July 23, 2013 that the murders or, using the report’s words, «assassins» of the two Syrian bishops were arrested in Konya. [12] The arrest happened to be of anti-Russian fighters from the North Caucasus, which corresponded to Foud Eliya’s account that Boulos Yazigi and Yohanna Ibrahim were taken by North Caucasian militants dressed like Taliban fighters from Afghanistan. [13]

Grand Mufti Hassoun revealed that Turkish-trained Chechen fighters were dispatched by Ankara to kidnap Sayedna Boulos Yazigi and Mar Gregorios, because of two important reasons. According to Sheikh Hassoun, the first reason is that Metropolitan Gregorios was asked by Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas to head a church committee to begin the process of reclaiming the vast holdings of the Syriac Orthodox Church that the Turkish government had confiscated during its persecution of Syriac Orthodox Christians. [14]

In a meeting between Prime Minister Erdogan and Mar Gregorios, the Turkish government asked that the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch establish a eparchy (an ecclesiastical province or administrative division of the church with a metropolitan) in Turkey and to even relocate its patriarchate from Damascus to Hatay (Antioch), but Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim refused and said that the patriarchate of the Syriac Orthodox Church will never change locations, that Syriac Orthodox Christians recognized the Levant as one unified land, and that a bishop would be assigned to Turkey when the Syriac Orthodox Church’s properties were returned by the Turkish government, which angered Turkish officials. [15] The other reason that the Orthodox Christian cleric was targeted was that he was reconciling anti-government fighters peacefully with the Syrian government in Aleppo Governate, which upset Turkey and its allies. [16]

Other cases include those of: Father (Abouna) Fadi Jamal Haddad, a Antiochian Greek Orthodox priest acting as a mediator in Qatana during the fighting, who was tortured and shot in the head after he tried to mediate the release of a doctor that was being ransomed for money; Father (Abouna) Francois Al-Mourad, a Catholic priest of the Franciscan Order, who was shot for preventing fellow Christians and Syrians from being hurt by the anti-government fighters; and Father Frans van der Lugt, a Dutch priest of the Jesuit Order working in Homs. When Abouna Fadi went to pay the insurgents for the doctor they had abducted, they kidnapped him too; they would later kill the Christian priests and leave him on the side of the highway, «horribly tortured and [with] his eyes gouged out», where his body would be found on September 25, 2012. [17]

According to the Franciscan Order’s representatives in Syria, the insurgents «broke into the convent, looted it and destroyed everything. When Fr. Franҫois tried to defend the nuns and other people, the gunmen shot him dead» on June 23, 2013. [18]

The insurgents murdered Father Frans van der Lugt on April 7, 2014.This an account of the circumstances behind his murder:

Wael Salibi, 26, recalled how when the Christian area in Homs was taken over by rebels, 66,000 of the faithful «left their home, and just few of them stayed there. He was the only priest, he stayed in his church.»

«Just months before he died, he said ‘I can’t leave my people, I can’t leave my church, I am director of this church, how can I leave them?’» Salibi told CNA on April 11.

Salibi, who hails from the now-ravished city of Homs, grew up as a close friend and pupil of Fr. Frans, who was brutally killed on April 7. Days before his 76th birthday, an unknown gunman entered his church, beat him and shot him in the head. [19]

In Hasakah (Hasce) many of the Christian Syrians fled, but almost 30,000 stayed as internal refugees. The Syrian Christians who belonged to the Chaldean Catholic Church, Syriac Orthodox Church, Syriac Catholic Church, Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church, and the Armenian Catholic Church collectively asked the world for help and to put an end to the fighting, in an appeal that went unheard, in late-2012; they have suffered from persecution, lawlessness, kidnappings, ransoms, and murder. One Christian from the area told Fides News Agency that Al-Nusra was targeting «all young people who were born between 1990 and 1992. They look for them, accuse them of being soldiers for the national service and kill them cold-bloodedly. They want to terrorize young people to prevent them from enlisting.» [20]

Another example of the assault on the Christian community is Al-Nusra’s assault on the town of Maaloula. Maaloula is one of a few villages maintaining an old dialect of Aramaic, known as the language of Jesus of Nazareth. Many Christian structures and historic sites fill the Syrian town, but the Melkite Greek Catholic Saint Sergius (Mar Sarkis) Monastery and Antiochian Greek Orthodox Saint Thecla (Mar Taqla) Monastery standout. The town became the scene of fighting between Al-Nusra and the Syrian Arab Army and switched hands between the insurgents and Syrian government four times between late-2013 and mid-2014.

Many of Maaloula’s residents, both Christian and Muslim alike, became trapped in their homes and local buildings, including forty Greek Orthodox Christian nuns and the orphans they were looking after, which sparked panic in the Christian populations of Syria and Lebanon. Hence the strong backing of Bashar Al-Assad’s government by all of Syria’s minorities and the expression of these type of sentiments were nearly universal among Christian Syrians: «‘They’re coming after us,’ [said] Odette Abu Zakham, a 65-year-old woman in the congregation who lives in the nearby historic Christian district of Bab Touma. ‘All they do is massacre people, all they know is killing.’» [21] Not only were the nuns held hostage by Al-Nusra, but the anti-government fighters desecrated absolutely all of Maaloula’s shrines and Christian buildings, stole its historic artifacts to sell in the black market, and scattered the partially Aramaic-speaking population of the town. Eyewitnesses who escaped Maaloula give this account below:

[The insurgents] tried to change the religious and architectural-historical look of the ancient Christian town entirely: completely destroying some churches, the militants brought down all bells from other ones. The fate of two other world-famous monuments of Ma’loula was no less tragic: extremists blew up the statue of Christ the Savior, which had stood at the entrance of St. Thecla Convent, as well as the statue of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, which had stood close to the Safir hotel, the latter of which served as the main shelter for Takfirists for many months. [22]

Easter, in 2014 was a special time for Maaloula. Around Easter, the Syrian government regained the town. Maaloula was finally secured and residents were returning. «The display of hatred was clear — the houses are totally destroyed, the whole village was destroyed. I can’t describe the amount of damage to the village», a returning resident by the name of Lorain told the press about what the insurgents did. [23] President Al-Assad visited too. Al-Assad himself came to visit it as a sign of the Syrian government’s commitment to its entire population regardless of their faith or ethnicity. Both the Western rite and Eastern rite Christian celebrations of Easter, respectively using the Gregorian and Julian calendars, fell on the same date too: April 20, 2014.

(To be continued in part two; to read part two please click here)

NOTES

[1] The term Christian is akin to the term Mohammedian, which was once used to describe Muslims. It was a name originally used as a derogatory term by non-Christians to identify the followers of Jesus of Nazareth and «the Way» by them, but would eventually be accepted and adopted by many of the Christians; the Arabic word «deen» means «way» and not religion as it is commonly substituted for.
[2] Pinar Tremblay, «Armenian-Americans blame Turkey for Kassab invasion, Al-Monitor, April 3, 2014.
[3] «Syria has been reduced to banditry and anarchy, says Gregory III Laham», Vatican Insider, May 4, 2012.
[4] «13 Syrian Christian Women Raped and Killed by Islamists» Pravoslavie, April 5, 2013; «Rape and atrocities on a young Christian in Qusair», Fides News Agency, July 2, 2013; Stoyan Zaimov, «Syrian Christian Mother Reveals Stories of Rape, Church Attacks in Streets of Damascus», Christian Post, October 17, 2013; Jamie Dettmer, «Syria’s Christians Flee Kidnappings, Rape, Executions», Daily Beast, November 19, 2013.
[5] «Rape and atrocities», Fides, op. cit.
[6] «ISIS in Mosul Orders Unmarried Women to ‘Jihad By Sex,’» Assyrian International News Agency, June 21, 2014.
[7] Leonardo Blair, «Christian Father Commits Suicide After ISIS Members Rape Wife and Daughter in Front of Him Because He Couldn’t Pay Poll Tax», Christian Post, June 25, 2014.
[8] Mohammed Yassin Al-Jalassi, «Tunisians Raise Alarm on Fatwa Encouraging ‘Sexual Jihad,’» Al-Monitor, March 27, 2013.
[9] Ibid.
[10] «Sex Jihad raging in Syria, claims minister», Agence France-Presse, September 20, 2013.
[11] Dikran Ego, «Turkey’s Role in the Kidnapping of the Syrian Bishops», Assyrian International News Agency, February 1, 2012.
[12] Ismail Akkaya, «Suriyeli metropolitlerin katil zanlıları Konya’da yakalandı» [«Syrian metropolitan’s alleged assassins were caught in Konya»], Dogan Haber Ajansı, July 23, 2013.
[13] Dikran Ego, «Turkey’s Role in Kidnapping», AINA, op. cit.
[14] Grand Mufti Hassoun explains this in a video released by the Stockholm-based Syriac Foundation on May 4, 2014.
[15] Ibid.
[16] Ibid.
[17] «Fr. Fadi Jamil Haddad: Priest, Trusted By All, Martyred in Syria», Pravmir.com, October 28, 2012: .
[18] «Custos of the Holy Land: Fr Franҫois Mourad killed by Islamist insurgents in al-Ghassaniyah», AsiaNews.it, June 25, 2013: .
[19] Elise Harris, «‘I can’t leave my people’: Priest killed in Syria hailed as martyr», Catholic News Agency, April 15, 2014.
[20] «Appeal from the people of Mesopotamia, left to themselves», Fides News Agency, January 17, 2013.
[21] Lee Keath, «Seizure of nuns stokes Syrian Christian fears», Associated Press, December 8, 2013.
[22] «All Shrines of Ma’loula Either Destroyed or Desecrated», Pravoslavie, January 13, 2014.
[23] Firas Makdesi, «Syria’s Assad pays Easter visit to recaptured Christian town», Reuters, April 20, 2014.

Jon Snow, the lead journalist on C4 News, returned from Gaza a few days ago.  It was clear from this blog  and in the one written as he flew back to Britain that he had been deeply affected by the deliberate injury and killing of children in Gaza.  This was evident too in his colleague Jonathan Miller, and in Lyse Doucet of the BBC.

Last night he tried to elicit truth from Michael Oren aka Michael Scott Bornstein, on C4 News.  Oren was ‘Israeli’ ambassador to a surrogate US until last year.  He is described as an historian and in the Wikipedia profile as being one of the ten most powerful Jews in the US.  There is no hint as to how that is measured.

Mr Snow was unable to tease out any humanity from the Tel Aviv spokesperson about the carnage and ‘infra-destruction’ within the Gaza ghetto, even though the occupier is bound in international law to safeguard the welfare of its 1.8 million humans.

He was interviewing a robot.  He did say that ‘Israel’ tries not to kill and hurt civilians, as with the four boys on the beach by the little fishing port.  But pull the other one Oren.

Furthermore, he inferred they were warned by the ‘tap on the roof’ (a fine euphemism) or by air dropped leaflets to flee wherever from more of the massive quantities of ‘ordnance’ aimed at their homes.  These rockets, bombs, shells and bullets are supplied in the main by the surrogate eg thermobaric Hellfire missiles, but the apocalyptic bombardment is aided by many NATO countries.  Britain has supplied the head-up cockpit display kits for those US F16s, and now or previously the bomb release mechanisms (EDO – Brighton).

After he attempted to deliver a lecture to this eloquent, senior journalist, he got round to saying that Hamas was a ‘vicious, medieval, racist, genocidal organisation’.  This was said with a grim determination and with the intention that it would enter the minds of the gullible like the shrapnel cut through the spinal cord of dear Maha in Jon Snow’s blog above.  The automaton did not see the great irony or the brass neck in his description of Hamas.

He will not recognise that Hamas candidates were in a majority of those elected fairly in 2006 when the turn out in Gaza was 74.6%–76.0%, nor that it sacked a deeply corrupt Fatah crew in a pre-emptive coup in 2007 after three large consignments of US weapons had been trucked in from Egypt for Fatah.  He would not know that Hamas got guns off the streets, the children educated in spite of having three shifts in some schools and that they had done their best with what passes for infrastructure although completely hamstrung by a most brutal siege since ’07.  Frequent homicidal and utterly lawless convulsions from the people that robbed their land required its superhuman efforts

Is Oren deluded or is he simply parroting a script uploaded from hell to IOF (Israeli Occupation Forces) command?

What in the black mind of the Jewish state allows it to lay wide waste to lives, homes, schools, and hospitals on the pretext of revealing ‘terror’ tunnels and the launch sites of cottage industry rockets?  Although the material destruction is enormous, the physical injury of thousands will crystalise in tears and the mental injury to thousands upon thousands will defy counselling and all the rest.  The very high rate of bedwetting in adolescents following previous bombardments and invasions will be heightened as one instance of severe mental trauma.

What moral indications are there in contemporary Jewish teaching and leadership that might dissuade Oren, the high command,  and the 90% of the Israeli Jewish population who support the present ‘military’ operations from such evil?

At the focus of modern Jewish memory, Yad Vashem, we read what the chairman Avner Shalev has to say.

Every visitor leaves Yad Vashem with a personal impression of an event that has universal dimensions. The new museum complex reinforces the commitment of Jewish visitors to their people and their ethical brotherhood with other nations. Non-Jewish visitors will empathize with the fate of the Jewish people, and will be inspired to join the drive to a more humane future for humanity as a whole.

 “  …and will be inspired to join the drive to a more humane future for humanity as a whole.”

Holocaust Memorial Day is largely state funded in the UK.  I have written on this and concluded with the wise advice of Howard Zinn.  These words are from the ceremony held in British schools to remember the ‘Holocaust’ and other genocides.  The holocausts of holocausts, Hiroshima and Nagasaki do not figure.

On this day we can honour the survivors of these regimes of hatred and challenge ourselves to use the lessons of their experience to help create a safer, better future.

Though anodyne in force these words speak against the terror and the harm being done to a captive, native people down the coast.  And what of the Ten Commandments as recorded twice in the Jewish Bible, the Torah.  The two most outrageous crimes committed against the ‘ten’ are theft of land, and murder.

It is likely, is it not, that Oren and the psychopaths who rev the Machaver war machine have the Talmud in their minds, just as Ayelet Shaked, Netanyahu and many others do.  The former saw the “entire Palestinian people as the enemy,” and the latter wound the racial hatred up as fast as he could.

This is the crux.  The Babylonian Talmud and its morbid decrees run entirely counter to the laws of war and common humanity.  Women and children are spared in the wars of men.  Professor Geoffrey Alderman, whom I have met on a TV panel, is quoted here from the Guardian.

The Halachah is crystal clear. It is entirely legitimate to kill a rodef – that is to say, one who endangers the life of another – and this is true, incidentally, even if the rodef has not yet actually taken another life. So the Judaism that I practise permits what is generally referred to as “pre-emptive” military action.

In this particular case, the ruling power, Hamas, has advertised (in its charter) that its mission is to kill Jewish people. Therefore every member and supporter of Hamas may be considered a rodef.

What precise kind of pre-emptive military action might one take? A great deal has been said about “proportionality”. This may be a Christian idea, but thankfully it is certainly not a Jewish one.

For some the most violent prescriptions of a distant tribe from very long ago have meaning.

In this month Oren argued against a ceasefire and for the continuation of the ‘conflict’, a euphemism

if ever there was one.  He called on the international community to leave Israel alone to defang and deprive Hamas of its heavy arms and make it pay a “prohibitive cost.”

I say these words to Oren.  They are adapted from surgical practice.

‘Do your best to heal and not to harm.’  And to agree with me that ‘no mother and child should be in the least harmed anywhere in our still beautiful world.’

“… To be committed to justice we must believe that ethics matter, that it is vital to have a system of shared morality.” – Bell Hooks

Out of nowhere many soldiers jumped out and ambushed Samir. They shot him first in the leg, yet he managed to run away towards the village. But how far can an injured child run? Twenty, maybe 30, meters? They could have easily arrested him, especially when he was injured, but instead they shot him in the back with live ammunition… To me this is premeditated murder.”– Malek Murrar, 16, interviewed on 20 September 2013 at the site where he had witnessed his friend Samir Awad being murdered by Israeli security forces.

The West’s claim to moral superiority by championing universal human rights and the rule of law is a grotesque lie.”

Palestinian life is cheap – something Samir already understood from his short 16 years of living under occupation. For the friends and family of Samir and the thousands of other Samirs murdered by the Israeli military and settlers over the last four decades, Palestinian life will still be cheap when the shooting stops, the Israeli military withdraws its ground forces from Gaza, and daily life under occupation returns to the norm of low-intensity systematic state terror.

The killings, breaking of bones, firing of tear gas canisters into enclosed spaces, and the daily humiliation of checkpoints, separate roads and separating walls will continue to be daily reminders to Palestinians that they are different; lesser; expendable.

From these experiences, Palestinians understand – like many of us on the receiving end of the Western world’s “civilizing mission” – that the West’s claim to moral superiority by championing universal human rights and the rule of law is a grotesque lie.

Over the years, Palestinians have seen how they can be murdered in the hundreds and thousands with impunity and in the full glare of the mass media. And while most of the non-Western world is stunned by the indiscriminate viciousness of the Israeli attack, headlines in Western media outlets proclaim “Hamas lays siege on Israel” and “Hamas terrorizes Israel” – as though the over one thousand lives of murdered Palestinians are completely irrelevant and devoid of value.

The devaluing of Palestinian life is in stark contrast to the concern for the dignity of the remains of the victims of Malaysia Airlines flight M17, recently shot down over Ukraine. It is also reflected in the arguments of the Israeli propagandists, who imply that Western news media should stop covering the deaths of Palestinian civilians because it satisfies the strategic objective of the “Hamas terrorists.”

The scenes of carnage – Palestinian bodies littering the streets of Shujaiya; whole families packed into cars, desperately trying to flee the onslaught of Israeli rockets and naval bombardments; and a vicious scorched-earth ground operation in which whole communities are free-fire zones for Israelis, have still not been enough to generate much empathy for the lives of Palestinians for many in the U.S. A recent Gallop poll of opinion in the U.S. suggests that 71% of the respondents who claim to follow the Israeli-Palestinian conflict closely say that Israeli actions in Gaza are justified. ii

The scenes of carnage have still not been enough to generate much empathy for the lives of Palestinians for many in the U.S.”

And in Western capitals, the defenders of “universal” human rights proudly proclaim their unwavering support for Israel’s right of “defense” against a captured and largely defenseless people who are supposed to have special protections under international law.

The moral positions taken by many people in the West, especially in the U.S., confirms the existence of an ethical double-standard – one in which the actions of the Israeli state are framed as legitimate, reasonable and deserving of support, and one in which all acts of resistance on the part of the captured and oppressed Palestinians are seen as criminal, immoral and terroristic. iii

The ethical double-standards for non-Europeans versus Europeans – or those who are associated with white power and European civilization, like the Israeli state – are grounded in a generalized acceptance of the civilizational superiority of the West and the division of humanity between those “like us” and “others” who have different standards of human behavior.

This division has always been a fundamental component of white supremacist thought that justified the conquest, pillage and exploitation of most of the non-Western world. The violence of slavery, genocide of Native Americans and colonialism found its defenders among liberals and within the contradictory framework of Eurocentric, male-centered liberalism that divided humanity between those eligible for the full enjoyment of human rights – European male, capitalist property owners and eventually most people categorized as “white” irrespective of class and gender – and everyone else.

The “white man’s burden” “manifest destiny,” the “doctrine of discovery,” “American exceptionalism” – and their 21st century expression in humanitarian intervention and the responsibility to protect – these are all expressions of the arrogant pathology of the white supremacist worldview.

It is this sublimated framework that Israeli propagandists skillfully appeal to, in order to generate the continued moral and political support for their policies with large segments of the populations of Europe and especially within the white supremacist settler-state of the U.S.

Constructed as an uncivilized, barbarous, terrorist organization, Hamas has been effectively de-humanized – along with all of the Palestinian people of Gaza, since they voted for Hamas in the elections of 2006. In contrast, Israel is juxtaposed as innocent, civilized and humane.

Projecting itself as a superior civilization, Israel attempts to immunize itself from human rights charges, since as a “civilized” (read “Western”), humane and rational society, Israel by definition cannot be accused of engaging in massive human rights violations?

Instead it is the actions of the Palestinian resistance fighters that are highlighted, because that resistance provides a convenient weapon in the narrative created by Israel of Palestinian “otherness” where their legitimate resistance is instead twisted into being further evidence of their sub-human status.

Hamas has been effectively de-humanized – along with all of the Palestinian people of Gaza.”

According to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Natahuyu, the value of human life is different for Palestinians and their leadership who want more dead Palestinians so that they can use “telegenically dead Palestinians”iv for their cause. The logical corollary to this position is that it is perfectly understandable and justifiable that Israel is forced to kill hundreds of “them” in order to ensure Israeli security from these “barbarous” people who have a natural propensity towards violence, if they are not contained and periodically terrorized into submission.

For activists in solidarity with Palestinian desires for national self-determination, undermining the hegemony of the “innocent settler” narrative is imperative in order to counter the propaganda that justifies Israeli state and settler violence. To do so means centering colonialism and white supremacy as the grounding analytical categories and conceptual framework.

This is not necessarily a new argument or one that has not been embraced by some, but for various reasons, including bogus charges of anti-Semitism, many in the U.S. progressive and radical communities have eschewed this approach over the years.

The other challenge is that the “white supremacist” term has been domesticated and reduced to a crude and relatively simple notion of “racism.” In this context, white supremacists and white supremacy is represented by easy targets like Donald Sterling and Tea Party members, while racialized imperialism is overlooked.

In order to re-position Israel in the public imagination, activists must overcome both of these issues if movements for solidarity and justice such as the growing boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement have any chance of being effective solidarity mechanisms.

Liberated from the racist bias of the colonial/imperialist lens that casts Israelis as victims, Israeli state actions and policies in Gaza are then stripped of the obfuscating claims of self-defense and concerns for Palestinian civilians. And ending ethical double standards by applying one standard informed by the principles of human equality and the rejection of all forms of dehumanizing oppression would clearly identify the real victims in the ongoing drama of the Israel/Palestinian conflict – and it would not be the state of Israel.

Ajamu Baraka is a human rights activist, organizer and geo-political analyst. Baraka is an Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) in Washington, D.C. and editor and contributing columnist for the Black Agenda Report. His latest publications include contributions to two recently published books: Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA and Claim No Easy Victories: The Legacy of Amilcar Cabral. He can be reached at [email protected] and www.AjamuBaraka.com.

Notes

i Malek Murrar, 16, interviewed on 20 September 2013 at the site where he had witnessed his friend Samir Awad being murdered by Israeli security forces, see Trigger-Happy: Israel’s use of Excessive force in the West Bank” http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE15/002/2014/en/349188ef-e14a-418f-ac20-6c9e5c8d9f88/mde150022014en.pdf

ii http://www.vox.com/2014/7/24/5934837/gallup-israel-gaza-americans

iii The analysis here and what follows was greatly influence by the work of Cyra A. Choudhury, see “Comprehending “our” Violence: Reflections on the Liberal Universalist Tradition, National Identity and the War in Iraq,” Muslim World Journal of Human Rights, volume 3,Issue 1, 2006.

iv http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israelgaza-conflict-the-myth-of-hamass-human-shield-9619810.html

6th UN Shelter Bombed by Israel

Many Gazans have been ordered by the Israeli military to leave their homes.

The Gaza strip was already very small and overcrowded – and Israel has just taken away 44% of it – and so many civilians have crowded into UN shelters … which they assumed were safe.

By way of background, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) runs a number of shelters in Gaza.

Israel has bombed numerous UNRWA shelters in the last week.  Pierre Krähenbühl – Drector of Operations at the International Committee of the Red Cross – tweets today:

This is 6th time one of our @UNRWA schools has been struck. Our staff leading int’l response are being killed. This is a breaking point.

BBC reports today:

Israel attacked a UN-run school housing refugees in Gaza despite warnings that civilians were there, the UN has said.

UN spokesman Chris Gunness said “the world stands disgraced” by the attack, in which 15 died and dozens were hurt.

***

Mr Gunness, from the UN Relief and Works Agency (Unrwa), told the BBC that Israel had been told 17 times that the school in the Jabaliya refugee camp was housing the displaced.

He said there had been “multiple deaths” including women and children, adding that the attack caused “universal shame“.

Bob Turner, Unrwa’s Gaza director, said the UN was “confident” Israel was responsible.

He said UN workers had collected fragments of projectiles that suggested they were artillery shells fired from Israeli positions to the north-east of the school.

***

“The last time was hours before the fatal attack,” he said. “Our initial assessment is that it was Israeli artillery that hit our school.”

Israel previously attacked different UN shelters, killing civilians. For example, Antiwar reported last week (citing coverage in the New York Times):

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was “shocked and appalled” today with the news that Israeli forces attacked a UN school backed full of refugees in the Gaza Strip. At least 16 civilians were confirmed killed in the attack, and around 200 wounded.

The school was one of several designated UN shelters in the Gaza Strip, and the UNRWA says they sent “precise coordinates” of all the shelters to the Israeli military, and not just so they could target them.

Reports state that that particular UN school – 1 of 6 hit – was bombed three separate times.

As a matter of faith, some people believe that God can see and hear everything. But as a matter of fact, the U.S. government now has the kind of surveillance powers formerly attributed only to a supreme being.

Top “national security” officials in Washington now have the determination and tech prowess to keep tabs on billions of people. No one elected Uncle Sam to play God. But a dire shortage of democratic constraints has enabled the U.S. surveillance state to keep expanding with steely resolve.

By the time Edward Snowden used NSA documents to expose — beyond any doubt — a global surveillance dragnet, the situation had deteriorated so badly because the Bush and Obama administrations were able to dismiss earlier warnings to the public as little more than heresy.

Eight years ago, in the book State of WarNew York Times reporter James Risen devoted a chapter to the huge expansion of surveillance. A secret decision by President George W. Bush “has opened up America’s domestic telecommunications network to the NSA in unprecedented and deeply troubling new ways, and represents a radical shift in the accepted policies and practices of the modern U.S. intelligence community,” Risen wrote.

Risen added: “The NSA is now tapping into the heart of the nation’s telephone network through direct access to key telecommunications switches that carry many of America’s daily phone calls and e-mail messages.”

The logo for the Information Awareness Office, which oversaw the Total Information Awareness project.

Image: The logo for the Information Awareness Office, which oversaw the Total Information Awareness project.

More details on the surveillance state came in 2008 with James Bamford’s book The Shadow Factory, which illuminated the National Security Agency’s program for “eavesdropping on America.” And in August of 2012 — nearly 10 months before Snowden’s revelations began — filmmaker Laura Poitras released a mini-documentary on the New York Times website about the NSA’s mass surveillance program.

All three journalists relied on whistleblowers who balked at the NSA’s virtual mission to see and hear everything. Both books (especially State of War) depended on information from unnamed sources. The short documentary focused on a public whistleblower — former NSA executive William Binney, who continues to speak out.

Testifying to a committee of the German parliament in Berlin two weeks ago, Binney — whose 30 years at the NSA included work as a high-level intelligence official – said that the NSA has a “totalitarian mentality.”

Days later, speaking at a conference in London, Binney explained:

“At least 80 percent of fiber-optic cables globally go via the U.S. This is no accident and allows the U.S. to view all communication coming in. At least 80 percent of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the U.S. The NSA lies about what it stores.”

Since last summer, a backup source of strength for the voices of Binney, Thomas Drake, Kirk Wiebe and other NSA whistleblowers — the fact that Snowden has provided the public with NSA documents — is exactly what has enraged U.S. officials who want to maintain and escalate their surveillance power. Because of those unveiled documents, clarity about what the NSA is really doing has fueled opposition.

NSA surveillance proliferates in a context that goes well beyond spying. The same mentality that claims the right to cross all borders for surveillance — using the latest technologies to snoop on the most intimate communications and private actions of people across the globe — is also insisting on the prerogative to cross borders with the latest technologies to kill.

When a drone or cruise missile implements an assumed right to snuff out a life, without a semblance of due process, the presidential emulation of divine intervention is implicit.

But, in military terms, dominating the world is a prohibitively expensive goal. In the digital age, surveillance has emerged as a cost-effective way to extend the U.S. government’s global reach and put its intelligence capacities on steroids — while tens of billions of taxpayer dollars in annual revenues go to corporate contractors servicing the NSA, CIA and other agencies of the military-industrial-surveillance complex.

So the trend line continues to move in the wrong direction. Speaking last month at a news conference that launched ExposeFacts.org (part of the Institute for Public Accuracy, where I work), Binney said that in recent years the NSA’s surveillance activity has “only gotten worse.” He added: “I mean it’s almost in everything that you do. If you do anything electronically, they’re in it and they’re watching you.”

The information being collected is so vast that NSA operatives face a huge challenge of figuring out how to sift through it on such a large scale — “because they have to manually look at this data,” Binney said. “But the point is, they’re setting the stage for this to continue to the point where everybody could be monitored almost constantly throughout the day. That is an oppressive, suppressive state.”

Since last summer, revelations about NSA programs have been so profuse and complex that it’s difficult to gain an overview, to see the surveillance state’s toxic forest for the digital trees. But the macro picture has to do with a mind-blowing agenda for monitoring the people of the world.

“For me, the most significant revelation is the ambition of the United States government and its four English-speaking allies to literally eliminate privacy worldwide, which is not hyperbole,” journalist Glenn Greenwald said at a news conference three months ago. “The goal of the United States government is to collect and store every single form of electronic communication that human beings have with one another and give themselves the capacity to monitor and analyze those communications.”

Such a goal, formerly reserved for the more fundamentalist versions of God, is now firmly entrenched at the top of the U.S. government — and at the top of corporate America. As Greenwald pointed out, “There almost is no division between the private sector and the NSA, or the private sector and the Pentagon, when it comes to the American ‘national security’ state. They really are essentially one.”

Now that’s the kind of monotheism the world can do without.

Norman Solomon is co-founder of RootsAction.org and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, which recently launched ExposeFacts.org. His books include War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.

The following report based on Donbass governmental sources does not provide the most recent figures on casualties following the recent large scale attacks by the Kiev regime. This text first published by the Central News Agency Novorossia, Novorus.info  was translated from Russian (See Russian original in Annex)

Total losses in Donbass inflicted to Kiev “punitive operatives” [in Russian каратели] 2 May – 11 July 2014

– 4994 soldiers (killed, wounded, prisoners)

[The figures pertain to killed, wounded or taken prisoner]

Within days punitive operative [Kiev forces] in Donbass suffered enormous losses (over 400 soldiers).

Defeated

24 Mechanized Brigade (g.Yavorov, Lviv region) and

79 airmobile brigade (Nikolaev).

72 Mechanized Brigade (White Church, Kyiv region) – surrounded.

In Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics Kiev Air force suffered significant losses.

July 11 shot down four Ukrainian Air Force Su.During the last days Kiev forces suffered enormous losses (over 300 soldiers) and the southern group of executioners appeared in the boiler. The greatest losses suffered

24 Mechanized Brigade (g.Yavorov, Lviv region) – more than 160 killed and wounded.

Large losses and 79 servicemen airmobile brigade (Nikolaev) – about 100 soldiers

Total losses in the Donbass punitive for May 2 – July 11, 2014South Kiev Forces groups in the DonbassServicemen 72 Mechanized Brigade (White Church, Kyiv region)

LC militias shot down another SU-25 aircraft

At the headquarters of the People’s Militia Donbass say that just today as a result of intense fighting in the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics aviation Kiev junta suffered significant losses.

In particular, it is stated that on July 11 shot down shot down four Ukrainian Air Force Su.Total losses in the Donbass for May 2 – July 11, 2014

Thus, the total loss of punitive forces – 4994 soldiers (killed, wounded, prisoners) are

-1730 extremists “right sector,” mainly included in the National Guard, as well as losses among themselves soldiers of the National Guard of Ukraine.

May 29 was killed by Slavic Head of combat training of the National Guard Maj. Gen. Sergei Kulchitskii.

- 1400 Ukrainian mercenaries Kolomoyskogo (spetsbatalona Ukrainian mercenaries olomoyskogo “Dnepr”, “Donbass”, “Idar” and “Azov”, etc.). In Mariupol in May killed the leaders of mercenaries Kolomoyskogo Demidenko and Birch.

- 115 SBU Ukraine (Sumy “Alpha” completely destroyed, Kiev, Poltava, Ternopil, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Rivne, Lutsk, Volyn, Vinnitsa, Zhitomir “Alpha” suffered heavy losses, etc.)

- 300 foreign mercenaries: Polish PMC «ASBS Othago» lost 109 people, the American PMCs “Greystone” – 40 people. American PMCs “Asademi” (until 2009 known as Blackwater) – 125 people. Baltic female snipers lost 26 people.

- 95 190 troops airmobile brigade Zhytomyr
- 25 150 troops airmobile brigade Dnepropetrovsk
- 79 180 troops airmobile brigade (Nikolaev)
- 230 troops 24 Mechanized Brigade (g.Yavorov, Lviv region)
- 80 130 troops airmobile regiment (Lviv)
- 40 special forces regiment of troops 3 (Kirovograd)
- 30 members of the Special Forces Regiment 8 (Khmelnitsky)
- 50 military 93 Mechanized Brigade (s.Cherkasskoe, Novomoskovskiy district Dnipropetrovsk region)
- 45 personnel 72 Mechanized Brigade (White Church, Kyiv region)
- 55 servicemen Lugansk border detachment
- 40 military frontier DonetskTotal losses in the Donbass punitive for May 2 – July 11, 2014
- 30 members of the 51th Brigade of the National Guard Army Aviation (Alexandria, Kirovograd region)
- 30 members of the 16th Army Aviation Brigade (Brody, Lviv region)
- 30 members of the 128 mining Infantry Brigade (Mukachevo, Transcarpathian region)
- 50 military battalions of territorial defense
- 25 831 soldiers Brigade Combat Aviation (g.Mirgorod, Poltava region)
- 5 114 soldiers Brigade Combat Aviation (Ivano-Frankivsk)
- 20 soldiers 299th Brigade Combat Aviation (Nikolaev)
- 9 out of the 25th Air Brigade transport (Melitopol) – Crew 1st IL-76
- 5 soldiers from reconnaissance aircraft AN-30 was shot down June 6 (approximately g.Chuguev Kharkiv region)
- 25 of the CIA and the FBI (13 killed, 12 wounded)
- 40 members of the MUP

Total losses in the Donbass punitive for May 2 – July 11, 2014

Destruction of equipment:

- 1 AN-26 aircraft
- 1 reconnaissance aircraft AN-30
- 2 aircraft – Ilyushin 76
- 7 Su-25 (Su-25, one captured in LC July 7)
- 5 Su-24
- 4 drone
- 18 combat helicopters (“Mi-24″, “E-17″ and “Mi-8″)
- 50 T-64 tanks
- 7 T-72 tanks
- 5 Hummers
- Jeep
- 10-66 Gas
- Staff car
- mobile crane
- 17 Uralov
- 14 Kamaz
- 2 UAZ 469
- 2 ACS Nona
- 1 Zu 23-2
- Position 4 GRAD MLRS
- 6 units MLRS Hurricane
- 12 D-30 howitzers
- 12 122 mm mortars

Total losses in the Donbass punitive for May 2 – July 11, 2014

- 36 BMP
- 35 BMD.
- 88 BTR.

Igor Panarin, Central News Agency Novorossia, Novorus.info


 ANNEX

Общие потери карателей в Донбассе за 2 мая – 11 июля 2014 года – 4994 человек.

В течении суток каратели в Донбассе понесли гигантские потери (более 400 человек). Разгромлены 24 механизированная бригада (г.Яворов, Львовская область) и 79 аэромобильная бригада (г.Николаев). 72 механизированная бригада (Белая Церковь, Киевская область) – окружена. На территории Донецкой и Луганской народных республик авиация карателей понесла значительные потери. 11 июля сбиты четыре штурмовика Су ВВС Украины.

В течении последних суток каратели понесли гигантские потери (более 300 человек), а южная группировка карателей оказалась в котле. Наибольшие потери понесла 24 механизированная бригада (г.Яворов, Львовская область) – более 160 убитых и раненых. Большие потери и у военнослужащих 79 аэромобильной бригады (г.Николаев) – около 100 человек.

Общие потери карателей в Донбассе за 2 мая – 11 июля 2014 года

Окружение Южной группировки карателей в Донбассе

Военнослужащие 72 механизированной бригады (Белая Церковь, Киевская область) попали в котел в районе кургана Саур-могила
Ополченцы ЛНР сбили очередной СУ-25 и процент потерь авиации карателей достиг 50%. В штабе Народного ополчения Донбасса говорят, что только за сегодняшний день в результате интенсивных боев на территории Донецкой и Луганской народных республик авиация киевской хунты понесла значительные потери. В частности, утверждается, что 11 июля сбиты сбиты четыре штурмовика Су ВВС Украины.

Общие потери карателей в Донбассе за 2 мая – 11 июля 2014 года

Итак, общие потери карателей – 4994 человек (убитых, раненых, пленных): из них

- 1730 экстремистов «Правого сектора», в основном вошедших в состав национальной гвардии, а также потери среди самих военнослужащих Национальной гвардии Украины. 29 мая был убит под Славянском начальник Управления боевой подготовки Национальной гвардии генерал-майор Сергей Кульчицкий.
- 1400 украинских наемников Коломойского (спецбатальоны украинских наемников оломойского «Днепр», «Донбасс», «Айдар» и «Азов» и т.д.). В Мариуполе в мае убиты руководители наемников Коломойского Демиденко и Береза.
- 115 сотрудников СБУ Украины (Сумская «Альфа» полностью уничтожена, Киевская, Полтавская, Тернопольская, Ивано-Франковская, Львовская, Ровенская, Луцкая, Волынская, Винницкая, Житомирская «Альфа» понесли большие потери и т.д.)
- 300 иностранных наемника: польская ЧВК «ASBS Othago» потеряла 109 человек, американская ЧВК «Грейстоун» – 40 чел., американская ЧВК «Асаdemi» (до 2009 года известна как Blackwater) – 125 чел. Прибалтийские женщины снайперы потеряли 26 человек.
- 190 военнослужащих 95 аэромобильной Житомирской бригады
- 150 военнослужащих 25 аэромобильной Днепропетровской бригады
- 180 военнослужащих 79 аэромобильной бригады (г.Николаев)
- 230 военнослужащих 24 механизированной бригады (г.Яворов, Львовская область)
- 130 военнослужащих 80 аэромобильного полка (г.Львов)
- 40 военнослужащих 3 полка спецназа (г.Кировоград)
- 30 военнослужащих 8 полка спецназа (г.Хмельницкий)
- 50 военнослужащих 93 механизированной бригады (с.Черкасское, Новомосковский район Днепропетровской области)
- 45 военнослужащих 72 механизированной бригады (Белая Церковь, Киевская область)
- 55 военнослужащих Луганского пограничного отряда
- 40 военнослужащих Донецкого погранотряда

Общие потери карателей в Донбассе за 2 мая – 11 июля 2014 года

- 30 военнослужащих 51-й бригады армейской авиации национальной гвардии (Александрия, Кировоградской области)
- 30 военнослужащих 16 бригады армейской авиации (г.Броды, Львовская область)
- 30 военнослужащих 128 горно-пехотной бригады (г.Мукачево, Закарпатская область)
- 50 военнослужащих батальонов территориальной обороны
- 25 военнослужащих 831 бригады тактической авиации (г.Миргород, Полтавская область)
- 5 военнослужащих 114 бригады тактической авиации (г. Ивано-Франковск)
- 20 военнослужащих 299-й бригады тактической авиации (г.Николаев)
- 9 человек из 25-й транспортной авиабригады (Мелитополь) – экипаж 1-го Ил-76
- 5 военнослужащих из самолета-разведчика АН-30, сбитого 6 июня (ориентировочно г.Чугуев Харьковской области)
- 25 сотрудников ЦРУ и ФБР (13 убито, 12 ранено)
- 40 сотрудников МВД

Общие потери карателей в Донбассе за 2 мая – 11 июля 2014 года

Уничтоженная техника:

- 1 самолет АН-26
- 1 самолет-разведчик АН-30
- 2 самолета – Ил 76
- 7 самолетов Су-25 (+1 СУ-25 захвачен в ЛНР 7 июля)
- 5 самолетов Су-24
- 4 беспилотника
- 18 боевых вертолетов («Ми-24», «Ми-17» и «Ми-8»)
- 50 танков Т-64
- 7 танков Т-72
- 5 Хаммеров
- Джип
- 10 Газ-66
- штабная машина
- автокран
- 17 Уралов
- 14 Камазов
- 2 УАЗ 469
- 2 САУ-Нона
- 1 зенитная установка ЗУ 23-2
- 4 установки РСЗО ГРАД
- 6 установок РСЗО Ураган
- 12 гаубиц Д-30
- 12 122 мм минометов

Общие потери карателей в Донбассе за 2 мая – 11 июля 2014 года

- 36 БМП
- 35 БМД.
- 88 БТР.

Игорь Панарин,
Центральное информационное агентство Новороссии
Novorus.info

The collapse of the Kiev parliament came as a result of the harsh IMF conditions which the right wing coalition did not want to approve. – Really? – These conditions were known long in advance. The Yatsenyuk government was begging the IMF for the US$ 17.5 billion line of credit, long before he was even the PM of a sham elected Government.

The IMF complied promptly, disbursing a first tranche of 3.5 billion to pay off Kiev’s gas debt to Russia. That happened hastily.  The IMF’s motto – bind them to our conditions of social restructuring – pension cuts, salary cuts, work force cuts — before taking the risk that Ukrainians, those who were allowed to vote, may vote with reason, against the Nazi junta.

Happily for the IMF – and the US and the EU – and of course for Wall Street – that did not happen.

Yatsenyuk and his right-right coalition knew the conditions. Indeed, the PM pretends he resigned because Parliament did not want to approve this draconian IMF loan. Yatsenyuk went on to lie that without these funds Ukraine will starve, will have no money to buy wheat for bread and gas for the winter. Yet, he knows, the Parliament knows that not a penny of this money goes into the Kiev Treasury, but is transferred straight to Ukraine’s creditors.

So – why resign now and feign a collapse of the Ukraine Government, when manipulating parliament in a Nazi dictatorship is so easy?  – After all, dictatorships all over the world have so-called Presidential decrees to bypass parliament.

Was the PM involved in the downing of MH17? – With the killing of almost 300 people – to provoke Russia into a Third World War?

Just pretend that indeed the Malaysian airliner was flying 200 km south of the conflict zone, well clear of a potential danger, as asserted by the Malaysian Transport Minister; that Malaysia Airlines had a long-standing policy not to fly over conflict zones throughout the world, as recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organization – ICAO, an advice followed by many other airlines – and let’s pretend that two Ukrainian fighter jets caught up with MH17 to escort and guide it over the Donbass conflict zone – once there, they disappeared and in less than 3 minutes, according to recorded air controllers conversations, the Boeing 777 exploded.

In the meantime, despite Obama’s early demonizing and unproven blame on Russia, the CIA as much as cleared Russia from direct involvement, and according to Kiev’s own admission radar installations were disabled by the Kiev military in the conflict area, so as to prevent the pro-Russian militia to use guided land-to-air missiles to shoot down the junta’s fighter planes.

Who else remains? – The Kiev Nazi junta, of course, the extended arm of Washington that would not dare to touch a gun if not authorized by their NATO masters. And if so, would not the Ukraine PM – Yatsenyuk, know about it? – Possibly even have given orders to his air force for the escorting and shooting down operation? – Could that be the true reason for his resignation and the ‘collapse’ of the right-right parliamentary coalition? – Trying to sink into oblivion before an investigation somehow might uncover the truth?

Food for thought.

Meanwhile, US arrogance keeps churning out anti-Putin lies through the Anglo-Saxon corporate dominated propaganda killing machine, repeating lies after lies – spread throughout the Western media. As we all know – and in Goebbels words – a lie repeated often enough becomes the truth.

At the same time, the US Joint Chief of Staff, General Dempsey’s declaration at the “Aspen” club of ‘US intelligentsia’ (sic) that Russia was stepping up the war in Eastern Ukraine, that never since 1939 has a country so recklessly invaded another sovereign nation for purposes of territorial expansion as Russia is doing today. This is ridiculous statement, disregarding all the Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama wars and invasions throughout the world. This outright lie remains uncontested by American intellectuals – not to mention the public at large.

But careful - this amateurish and reckless arrogant trigger-happy crowd of politicians and senior officials may just press the red button and pull humanity down the drain.

Peter Koenig is an economist and former World Bank staff. He worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He writes regularly for Global Research,  ICH, the Voice of Russia and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe.

A renowned Palestinian-American professor of law is of the opinion that without U.S. moral support, the Israeli regime would not have been able to massacre the Palestinian people so ruthlessly.

“The United States veto power in the United Nations Security Council is the single most important factor in enabling Israel’s decades long impunity from international law,” said Prof. George Bisharat in an exclusive interview with Fars News Agency.

Prof. Bisharat whose commentary on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict regularly appears on the academic publications and major newspapers in the United States says that there’s no elctoral advantage for the politicians to criticize Israel for its war crimes, instead, they can raise remarkable funds for their campaigns if they condone Israel’s brutalities and sympathize with it.

“[I]n the United States, there is simply no electoral advantage for politicians to criticize Israel, and ample advantages in defending it,” Bisharat noted. “Of course, virtually any critic of Israel faces the likelihood of baseless accusations of anti-Semitism, while compliance with Israeli policies ensures future flows of campaign donations.”

George Bisharat is a Professor of Law at the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. He has advised the Palestinian Legislative Council to help them reform and develop the Palestinian judiciary system. Bisharat who holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology and Middle East studies from Harvard University has published articles in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, Intifada Palestine and Huffington Post.

To discuss the latest developments in the besieged Gaza Strip and the legal aspects of the Israeli regime’s atrocious onslaught there, FNA spoke to Prof. George Bisharat, a well-known professor of law and frequent commentator on the Middle East current affairs.

Q: Several legal and political experts in the recent years, as well as prominent world leaders have likened Israel’s policies in the Occupied Territories and Gaza Strip to those of the apartheid regime in South Africa. If discrimination on the basis of racial and ethnic belongings or religion is not legal, and if apartheid is a crime, then why don’t the relevant international authorities and human rights organizations take action to hold Israel accountable?

A: There is a strong argument that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people as a whole, external refugees, Palestinian citizens of the state, and residents of the Occupied Territories constitutes the crime of apartheid under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The reasons that Israel has not been held accountable for this offense, however, are the same that it has not been held accountable for its many other offenses, including those being committed as I write; primarily, diplomatic protection from the United States and other western powers.

Q: In the recent days, we have been witness to the relentless and cruel mass killing of the Palestinian women and children in the Gaza Strip. Interestingly, no voice is raised by those who claim to be the advocates of human rights, and the politicians in the Western countries are astoundingly silent. Is it that they are afraid of being labeled “anti-Semite” by the Israeli lobby, AIPAC, ADL, AJC, B’nai B’rith and other influential Jewish organizations based in the United States? Or do you think there are other factors at work?

A: It is not the case that human rights advocates have been silent. Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and even several Israeli human rights organizations have criticized the Israeli assault on Gaza in whole or in part. Not all politicians, either, have been silent; MP’s in the house of commons, for example, strongly challenged British Foreign Minister in his recent defense of his government’s policy toward the attack on Gaza. But in general, the assertion is correct, that too few, and especially too few powerful politicians in the West have spoken out against the onslaught. Conditions vary from country to country, but in the United States, there is simply no electoral advantage for politicians to criticize Israel, and ample advantages in defending it. Of course, virtually any critic of Israel faces the likelihood of baseless accusations of anti-Semitism, while compliance with Israeli policies ensures future flows of campaign donations.

Q: Israel is perpetrating war crimes in the Gaza Strip. It claims its right to self-defense, but it disregards several internationally-recognized conventions and treaties which it is a signatory thereof. It’s also reported that it has used, like the Gaza Massacre in 2008-2009, banned chemical weapons, such as white phosphorus, on the civilian population in Gaza. Is the United States implicitly endorsing these crimes? Will Israel be able to behave so aggressively without U.S. moral support?

A: reports that Israel has resumed the use of white phosphorus remain unconfirmed, but there is little question that it has committed war crimes, especially in deliberately targeting civilian individuals and objects for attack. And yes, in thoughtlessly endorsing Israel’s “right of self-defense,” the United States implicitly also approves these other crimes. The United States’ veto power in the United Nations Security Council is the single most important factor in enabling Israel’s decades long impunity from international law.

Q: You wrote in a recent article that in the light of the international silence against the Israeli airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip, Palestinians should invoke the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice. Do you see the readiness, firmness and independence in ICJ to investigate Israel’s conduct in the recent military incursion into the Gaza Strip?

A: My recommendation was to invoke the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC), and Palestinian officials have since announced that they have decided to take that step. It seems politically impossible for them to renege at this point on that promise. Great pressure will, no doubt, be brought against the Palestinians themselves, and on the prosecutor and judges of the ICC. Whether they will be able to withstand that pressure, only time will tell.

Q: What’s your interpretation of the continued blockade imposed on the civilian population of Gaza by Israel? Is the siege, which is constantly blocking the people of Gaza’s access to medicine, foodstuff, construction materials, toys for the children and even books acceptable and justifiable in terms of international law?

A: A siege is an act of war, and functions in the Gaza Strip as a form of mass collective punishment. Israel initially imposed the siege to punish the Palestinian people for the exercise of their democratic right to vote, as they did in 2006, delivering a parliamentary majority to representatives of Hamas. Collective punishment violates international law, and the siege further violates Israel’s obligation to provide protection to the civilian population of the Gaza Strip, who continue to live under occupation according to international law, due to Israel’s continuing “effective control” of that region.

Q: As you know, the Israeli regime does not recognize the Palestinian refugees’ right of return. Between 1946 to 1948, some 700,00 Palestinians were expelled from their homes, and now, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, the number of Palestinian refugees and their descendants who were born since 1948 amount to 5,000,000. Does Israel have the legal right to prevent these refugees from coming back to their homes?

A: The right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and homeland is rooted in customary international law, and was recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in Resolution 194 of 1948.

Israel cannot, therefore, lawfully continue to exclude Palestinians, and in a just resolution of the conflict, Palestinian refugees must be offered their right to return. Some may choose to accept compensation for their properties and resettlement, while others, doubtless, will choose actual return, but the key is that they must be given the choice. This is an individual right, and cannot be bartered away by anyone, not the PLO, nor any other body that has not been specifically charged with that responsibility by each and every refugee.

Crime (Israel) and Punishment (Russia)

July 30th, 2014 by Pepe Escobar

The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but that it was impossible to avoid joining it …

A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledgehammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic – George Orwell, 1984

So Obama, Merkel, Cameron, Hollande and Italian Premier Matteo Renzi – let’s call them the Fab Five – get on a video conference call to muster their courage and “increase pressure” asking for a cease-fire in Gaza. Later in the day, Israel’s Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu delivers his answer, in plain language: he remains dead set on achieving his version of a Final Solution to Gaza. [1] With or without “pressure”.

So what’s left for the Fab Five after having their illustrious Western collective behinds solemnly kicked? They decide to dump Gaza and instead sanction Russia – again! How brilliant is that as an exit strategy?

Spectacular non-entity Tony Blinken, who doubles as deputy national security adviser to Barack Obama, was keen to stress to Western corporate media that the unruly Eurotrash mob is now “determined to act”. No, not against Israel because of Gaza; against Russia because of Ukraine. Such a lovely Orwellian symmetry: the extended Two Minutes Hate from Israel towards Gazans morphs into the extended Two Minutes Hate from the “West” towards Russia, mirroring the extended Two Minutes Hate from Kiev towards Eastern Ukrainians.

Not even Hollywood could come up with such a plot; Israel gets away with unlawful premeditated mass murder of civilians, while Russia gets framed for a (smaller-scale) airborne mass murder of civilians that has all the makings of being set up by the Kiev vassals of Russia’s Western “partners”.

Here I have exposed how sanctions, sanctions, sanctions is the one and only official Obama administration “policy” on Russia. On top of the next European Union sanctions, coming soon, the US will be piling up – what else – more sanctions. After all, Washington is so “concerned” that Moscow will sooner or later invade Ukraine; that would certainly, and finally, answer all those In God We Trust prayers.

Where we stand now

Let’s follow the facts. Washington from the get-go said it was Russian President Vladimir Putin’s missile that downed MH17. They swore they had evidence. Like in “We know. Trust us”. The historical record for the past 60 years at least shows they cannot be trusted. There was never any evidence. Just spin.

Moscow, via the Defense Ministry, presented hard evidence. And called for an unbiased international investigation. Washington ignored it all – the call and the hard evidence.

The US Navy, crammed with state-of-the-art missile defense radars, has been in the Black Sea for weeks now. As much as the Russians, they have tracked every particle flying over Ukraine. The NSA goes for signals intelligence; the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency goes for phenomena in the imagery realm; the Defense Intelligence Agency adds Humint; there’s the CIA; and there’s the all-seeing, all-knowing Director of National Intelligence. How come all this trillion-dollar Full Spectrum Dominance apparatus cannot come up with a single, conclusive piece of evidence?

The only risible “evidence” presented so far pictures the acronym salad of US intel agencies spending their time reading blogs and Twittering. As in the State Department head in Kiev twittering satellite imagery that the New York Times parroted “proved” Russia is shelling Ukraine from across the border. The proverbial “senior US officials” even had to tersely admit on the record they have no proof whatsoever about “Putin’s missile”. If they had, NATO would be ready to flip burgers in Red Square.

Based on the wealth of info now in the open, the top probability of what caused the MH17 tragedy was an R-60M air-to-air missile shot from a Ukrainian Su-25 – and not a BUK (there’s also the possibility of a double down; first an R-60M and then a BUK). The R-60M is very fast, with an ideal engagement distance of up to five kilometers. That’s how far the Su-25 detected by the Russians (they showed the graphics) was from MH17.

SBU – Ukrainian intel – for its part confiscated the recordings of Kiev control tower talking to MH17. That would certainly explain why MH17 was overflying a war zone (Malaysian Airlines revealed they were forced to). Hefty bets can be made the recordings are now being “doctored”.

Then there are the black boxes, which will not de decoded by the Malaysians or by the Dutch, but by the Brits – acting under Washington’s orders. As The Saker blogger summed up the view of top Russian specialists, “the Brits will now let the NSA falsify the data and that falsification will be coordinated with the SBU in Kiev which will eventually release the recordings who will fully ‘confirm’ the ‘authenticity’ of the NSA-doctored recordings from the UK.” To make it more palatable, and erase suspicions about Anglo-American foul play, the Dutch will announce it. Everyone should be forewarned.

NATO heads, for their part, are droolin’. Kiev’s forces/militias will hold “joint exercises” with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Ukraine in slightly over a month from now, on September 1; red alert applies, because this is when Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said the slow motion ethnic cleansing of Donbass will be finished.

As for the R2P (“responsibility to protect”) angle, it sounds quite improbable. True, Moscow can always say that unless the slow motion ethnic cleansing of Donbass stops they will recognize the Donetsk and Luhansk Republics. In that case, Moscow would be replaying Abkhazia and South Ossetia; a de facto R2P backed by military muscle.

Under international law – which Washington never respects, by the way – this is not the same as “invading” Ukraine. The frankly scary Samantha Power, the US Ambassador to the United Nations, would obviously freak out – but that’s a dose of her own medicine. It would indeed be comparable to what the Americans are doing to the benefit of those Salafi-jihadis in Syria; and better yet, to what the US did in Kosovo.

The $50billion vultures

And now, on top of sanctions, Moscow also has to contend with a massive US$50 billion theft attempt. The International Arbitration Court in The Hague found that the Kremlin’s pursuit of Yukos and its main shareholder, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a decade ago was politically motivated. Moscow can’t appeal – but it will pursue all legal avenues for trying to get this ruling “set aside”.

Well, it’s The Hague’s decision itself that is political. Khodorkovsky was found guilty not only by the Russian judicial system but also by the European Court of Human Rights. Yukos and Menotep shareholders were and remain a bunch of oligarch gangsters – to put it mildly.

So here’s the Empire of Chaos once again in action, manipulating a Dutch court after literally stealing Germany’s gold and fining France for selling warships to Russia. In this case though, the “West” has more investments in Russia than the Russian government in the West. Payback could be a bitch – as in Moscow, for instance, freezing all US and EU energy investments especially in the new ultra-profitable frontier, the Arctic oil fields. Western Big Oil will never allow this to happen.

This could go on forever. The bottom line: the Russian state simply won’t allow itself to be robbed by a dodgy ruling on behalf of a bunch of oligarchs. In parallel, a case can be made that not only the Return of the Living (Neo-Con) Dead but also substantial sections of the deep state in Washington DC and environs – as well as “Western” plutocracy – want to provoke some sort of NATO war against Russia, sooner rather than later.

And in another parallel line, Moscow rumor has it that the Kremlin finds this protracted post-Yukos battle just an afterthought compared to the economic war about to convulse Europe and eventually pit Europe against Russia: exactly what the Empire of Chaos is praying – and working – for. “Two Minute” Hate? Talk about hours, days, weeks, and years.

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

Notes:

1. Netanyahu: We’re prepared for an extended operation in Gaza, The Jerusalem Post, July 28, 2014.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has called on Kiev authorities to stop its military operation against independence supporters around the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash site in eastern Ukraine, Agence France-Presse reported Tuesday, citing a government representative.

“The prime minister this morning called the Ukrainian president with a request to halt hostilities around the crash site,” Jean Fransman said.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told Rutte that he would take all measures “to allow investigators access” to the scene, according to the government spokesman.

“Rutte expressed his concern about the fact it appeared the investigators may today yet again not reach the site. This is important because we want to get to the crash site as quickly as possible to get the victims and bring them home,” Fransman said.

Earlier in the day, a group consisting of Dutch and Australian specialists for the third time failed to reach the crash site near the city of Torez due to ongoing fighting in the region.

On Monday, a spokesman from Ukraine’s National Security Information Center, Andriy Lysenko, claimed that the Ukrainian National Guard gained control over a number of cities in eastern Ukraine, including Torez.

A total of 298 people, including 85 children and 15 crew members, died on July 17 as a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in the Donetsk Region of Ukraine. The tragedy claimed the lives of 193 Dutch citizens.

The cause of the catastrophe remains unclear and the investigation into the circumstances is still underway, seriously obstructed by continuing clashes between independence supporters and the government forces in the region.

Norman Finkelstein and 25 others were arrested for civil disobedience. (July 29, 2014)

“For 20 days I have sat in front of this computer like a mad man.

Tomorrow I will be arrested and arrested and arrested until this madness ends.”

Stop The Terror Bombing!

Lift The Blockade!

Today!

.

.

.

Norman NY2
NY2
ny4

Norman NY

 

As the world’s two nuclear super-powers gird for possible war against each other, and the United States sends nuclear weapons to the rim of Russia, and Russia holds war-games to test its responses, the publics in both countries are increasing their mutual hostility.

Russians now hostile toward U.S.

A graph was released on July 29th to subscribers to Gallup Analytics, showing that due to the U.S. and Russian differences regarding the U.S.-sponsored February 2014 coup d’etat in Russia’s neighbor Ukraine and the new pro-U.S. Ukrainian government’s subsequent ethnic-cleansing campaign there to get rid of the residents in the Ukrainian regions that had voted for the pro-Russian Ukrainian President whom that coup had toppled, the level of approval of “the job performance of the leadership of … United States” has plunged 75% among Russians, as compared to what it had been before the coup.

Although the level of approval was only 16% prior to the Ukrainian coup, it now is a barely perceptible 4%.

Because Europe follows America’s lead, the opinions of Russians toward the leadership in Europe have declined similarly to that toward America’s leadership, plunging from 21% down to only 6%. This has happened even though only the U.S. has wholeheartedly endorsed the new Ukrainian Government, while the EU’s leaders have been ambivalent to it on account of its nazism.

By contrast, the level of approval in Russia toward the leadership in China, now, after the 30-year gas-deal that Russia negotiated in China to replace gas sales lost to Europe on account of the Ukrainian matter, increased from 25% before the coup, to a much higher 42% now.

Americans Now Hostile Toward Russia

recent CNN Poll found that 29% of Americans think that Russia is a “Very serious threat” to the United States, and that 40% consider it a “Moderately serious threat.” That’s 69% who consider it a “serious threat.” In 2012, only 11% had considered it a “Very serious threat,” and 33% considered it a “Moderately serious threat.” 44% then considered Russia a “serious threat.” The huge surge in fear of Russia — from 44% to 69% — seems to be due entirely to Ukraine. 81% of the poll-respondents said that “Russia’s actions in Ukraine are … a violation of international law.” Only 12% said that it’s not. Asked whether “there was any justification for Russia’s actions in Ukraine,” 72% said “No,” and only 17% said “Yes,” despite the fact that the U.S. is now preparing to place nuclear missiles right near Moscow.

When asked “Do you think it is likely or not that there will be a new cold war,” 48% said “Likely,” and 49% said “Not likely.”

And when asked “Do you worry about the possibility of nuclear war with Russia,” 40% said “Yes,” and 59% said “No.”

The threat feared from Russia is mainly of their troops, who are manning bases for Russian Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), all of which are located inside Russia. There also are a small number of nuclear-weapons-equipped submarines that Russia stations off U.S. shores.

By contrast, the U.S. has troops in many countries, which include the following nations where our soldiers are stationed (and this includes ones with missile bases located near Russia): Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan.

We also have some soldiers in other former parts of the U.S.S.R.: Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

We also have nearly 35,000 troops stationed in Japan, a nation near Russia and that claims ownership of four small Sakhalin Islands and two small Kuril Islands, from Russia.

Not to mention, of course, installations in places like Romania, Singapore, Turkey, Peru, Kenya, and Oman, totaling 185 countries throughout the world.

The United States is, of course, not surrounded by any Russian soldiers at all — not in Mexico, nor in Canada, nor anywhere near this country, except Russia itself near Alaska.

The current conflict inside Ukraine has spiked this fear by the U.S. public, which can help prepare the U.S. public to support a nuclear invasion of Russia, and so to support President Obama’s plan to station nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

Although U.S. media have maintained that Russia’s Vladimir Putin precipitated the Ukraine conflict when he backed the overwhelmingly popular movement in Crimea to separate itself from Ukraine, that view is irrational. The actual situation is far more complex. A much stronger argument can be made that President Obama’s actions caused this conflict. Paul Craig Roberts well summarized the actual history behind the Crimean matter recently, when he said (and this history should be publicized widely to the U.S. public, but is instead not publicized in our “news” media):

“Areas of southern and eastern Ukraine are former Russian territories added to Ukraine by Soviet leaders. Lenin added Russian areas to Ukraine in early years of the Soviet Union, and Khrushchev added Crimea in 1954. The people in these Russian areas, alarmed by the destruction of Soviet war memorials commemorating the Red Army’s liberation of Ukraine from Hitler, by the banning of Russian as an official language, and by physical assaults on Russian-speaking people in Ukraine, broke out in protests. Crimea voted its independence and requested reunification with Russia, and so have the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. Washington, its EU puppets, and the Western media have denied that the votes in Crimea, Donetsk, and Luhansk are sincere and spontaneous. Instead, Washington alleges that the protests leading to the votes and the votes themselves were orchestrated by the Russian government with the use of bribes, threats, and coercion. Crimea was said to be a case of Russian invasion and annexation. These are blatant lies, and the foreign observers of the elections know it, but they have no voice in the Western media, which is a Ministry of Propaganda for Washington. Even the once proud BBC lies for Washington.”

Furthermore, Russia’s Black Sea fleet had been established in Crimea in 1783 and continued being based there till the present day, so that to allege, as Obama and his minions do, that kicking Russia’s Black Sea fleet out of Crimea wouldn’t constitute a highly aggressive move against Russia, is a lie that befits only a Hitler or a Stalin, not a leader of any democracy, such as Obama claims to be.

However, since U.S. President Barack Obama wants to station U.S. or other NATO nuclear missiles inside Ukraine a ten-minute flight to destroying Moscow, he refuses to recognize the will of the Crimean people, reflected overwhelmingly in a plebiscite, to rejoin with Russia, after Russia voluntarily transferred Crimea to Ukraine in 1954; and he calls the rejoining of Crimea to Russia as being illegal, while his February coup in Ukraine was, he says, legal.

Furthermore, he blames the victims for the crimes that he himself caused. Prior to his Ukrainian coup, there was no separatism in Ukraine; there was no civil war there. Yet Obama blames the residents in the separatist areas for the civil war that he himself caused. On July 29th, he said, ”These Russian-backed separatists … have continued to shoot down Ukrainian aircraft in the region.  And because of their actions, scores of Ukrainian civilians continue to die needlessly every day. Meanwhile, Russia continues to support the separatists.” The separatists are merely trying to protect their families from horrors such as this, which come from the bombers that the Ukrainian Government sends every day to bomb them. And yet Obama has the nerve to blame the victims for his own international war crimes.

Americans should not blame Putin for this; they should blame Obama for it, because he caused it. Putin is only reacting to it. Obama is clearly the aggressor here.

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 Elite, the ‘Great Game’ and World War III

July 30th, 2014 by Prof. Mujahid Kamran

This article was originally published in June 2011

The control of the US, and of global politics, by the wealthiest families of the planet is exercised in a powerful, profound and clandestine manner. This control began in Europe and has a continuity that can be traced back to the time when the bankers discovered it was more profitable to give loans to governments than to needy individuals.

These banking families and their subservient beneficiaries have come to own most major businesses over the two centuries during which they have secretly and increasingly organised themselves as controllers of governments worldwide and as arbiters of war and peace.

Unless we understand this we will be unable to understand the real reasons for the two world wars and the impending Third World War, a war that is almost certain to begin as a consequence of the US attempt to seize and control Central Asia. The only way out is for the US to back off – something the people of the US and the world want, but the elite does not.

The US is a country controlled through the privately owned Federal Reserve, which in turn is controlled by the handful of banking families that established it by deception in the first place.

In his interesting book The Secret Team, Col. Fletcher Prouty, briefing officer of the US President from 1955-63, narrates a remarkable incident in which Winston Churchill made a most revealing utterance during World War II:

“On this particular night there had been a heavy raid on Rotterdam. He sat there, meditating, and then, as if to himself, he said, ‘Unrestricted submarine warfare, unrestricted air bombing – this is total war.’ He continued sitting there, gazing at a large map, and then said, ‘Time and the Ocean and some guiding star and High Cabal have made us what we are’.”

Prouty further states:

“This was a most memorable scene and a revelation of reality that is infrequent, at best. If for the great Winston Churchill, there is a ‘High Cabal’ that has made us what we are, our definition is complete. Who could know better than Churchill himself during the darkest days of World War II, that there exists, beyond doubt, an international High Cabal? This was true then. It is true today, especially in these times of the One World Order. This all-powerful group has remained superior because it had learned the value of anonymity.” This “High Cabal” is the “One World Cabal” of today, also called the elite by various writers.

The High Cabal and What They Control

The elite owns the media, banks, defence and oil industry. In his book Who’s Who of the Elite Robert Gaylon Ross Sr. states: “It is my opinion that they own the US military, NATO, the Secret Service, the CIA, the Supreme Court, and many of the lower courts. They appear to control, either directly or indirectly, most of the state, county, and local law enforcement agencies.”

The elite is intent on conquering the world through the use of the abilities of the people of the United States. It was as far back as 1774 that Amschel Mayer Rothschild stated at a gathering of the twelve richest men of Prussia in Frankfurt: “Wars should be directed so that the nations on both sides should be further in our debt.” He further enunciated at the same meeting: “Panics and financial depressions would ultimately result in World Government, a new order of one world government.”

The elite owns numerous “think tanks” that work for expanding, consolidating and perpetuating its hold on the globe. The Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA), the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission, and many other similar organisations are all funded by the elite and work for it. These think tanks publish journals, such as Foreign Affairs, in which these imperialist and anti-mankind ideas are edified as publications, and then, if need be, expanded in the form of books that are given wide publicity.

Zbigniew Brzezinski and Henry Kissinger et al, as well as the neo-con “thinkers,” owe their positions and good living standards to the largesse of the elite. This is an important point that must be kept in full view at all times. These thinkers and writers are on the payroll of the elite and work for them. In case someone has any doubts about such a statement, it might help to read the following quotes from Professor Peter Dale Scott’s comprehensively researched book The Road to 9/11 – Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America (University of California Press, 2007):

…Bundy’s Harvard protégé Kissinger was named to be national security adviser after having chaired an important “study group” at the Council on Foreign Relations. As a former assistant to Nelson Rockefeller, Kissinger had been paid by Rockefeller to write a book on limited warfare for the CFR. He had also campaigned hard in Rockefeller’s losing campaign for the Presidential nomination in 1968. Thus Rockefeller and the CFR might have been excluded from control of the Republican Party, but not from the Republican White House. (Page 22)

The following quote from page 38 of the book is also very revealing:

The Kissinger-Rockefeller relationship was complex and certainly intense. As investigative reporter Jim Hougan wrote: “Kissinger, married to a former Rockefeller aide, owner of a Georgetown mansion whose purchase was enabled only by Rockefeller gifts and loans, was always a protégé of his patron Nelson Rockefeller, even when he wasn’t directly employed by him.”

Professor Scott adds:

Nixon’s and Kissinger’s arrival in the White House in 1969 coincided with David Rockefeller’s becoming CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank. The Nixon-Kissinger foreign policy of detente was highly congruous with Rockefeller’s push to internationalise Chase Manhattan banking operations. Thus in 1973 Chase Manhattan became the first American bank to open an office in Moscow. A few months later, thanks to an invitation arranged by Kissinger, Rockefeller became the first US banker to talk with Chinese Communist leaders in Beijing.

How They Manipulate Public Opinion

In addition to these strategic “think tanks” the elite has set up a chain of research institutes devoted to manipulating public opinion in a manner the elite desires. As pointed out by John Coleman in his eye opening book The Tavistock Institute on Human RelationsShaping the Moral, Spiritual, Cultural, Political and Economic Decline of the United States of America, it was in 1913 that an institute was established at Wellington House, London for manipulation of public opinion. According to Coleman:

The modern science of mass manipulation was born at Wellington House London, the lusty infant being midwifed by Lord Northcliffe and Lord Rothmere. The British monarchy, Lord Rothschild, and the Rockefellers were responsible for funding the venture… the purpose of those at Wellington House was to effect a change in the opinions of British people who were adamantly opposed to war with Germany, a formidable task that was accomplished by “opinion making” through polling. The staff consisted of Arnold Toynbee, a future director of studies at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA), Lord Northcliffe, and the Americans, Walter Lippmann and Edward Bernays. Lord Northcliffe was related to the Rothschilds through marriage.

Bernays was a nephew of Sigmund Freud, a fact never mentioned, and developed the technique of “engineering consent.” When Sigmund Freud moved to Britain he also, secretly, became associated with this institute through the Tavistock Institute. According to Coleman, Bernays “pioneered the use of psychology and other social sciences to shape and form public opinion so that the public thought such manufactured opinions were their own.”

The Tavistock Institute has a 6 billion dollar fund and 400 subsidiary organisations are under its control along with 3,000 think tanks, mostly in the USA. The Stanford Research Institute, the Hoover Institute, the Aspen Institute of Colorado, and many others, devoted to manipulation of US as well as global public opinion, are Tavistock offshoots. This helps explain why the US public, by and large, is so mesmerised as to be unable to see things clearly and to react.

Bilderberg researcher Daniel Estulin quotes from Mary Scobey’s book To Nurture Humanness a statement attributed to Professor Raymond Houghton, that the CFR has been clear for a very long time that “absolute behaviour control is imminent… without mankind’s self realisation that a crisis is at hand.”

Also keep in mind that currently 80% of US electronic and print media is owned by only six large corporations. This development has taken place in the past two decades. These corporations are elite owned. It is almost impossible for anyone who is acquainted with what is going on at the global level to watch, even for a few minutes, the distortions, lies and fabrications, incessantly pouring out of this media, a propaganda and brainwashing organ of the elite.

Once your picture is clear it is also easy to notice the criminal silence of the media on crimes being perpetrated against humanity at the behest of the elite. How many people know that the cancer rates in Fallujah, Iraq are higher than those in Hiroshima and Nagasaki because of the use of depleted uranium, and maybe other secret nuclear devices, by US forces? Fallujah was punished for its heroic resistance against the American forces.

The Importance of Eurasia

Why is the US in Central Asia? In order to understand this, one has to look at the writings of the stooges of the elite – Brzezinski, Kissinger, Samuel P Huntington, and their likes. It is important to note that members of these elite paid think tanks publish books as part of a strategy to give respectability to subsequent illegal, immoral and predatory actions that are to be taken at the behest of the elite. The views are not necessarily their own – they are the views of the think tanks. These stooges formulate and pronounce policies and plans at the behest of their masters, through bodies like the Council on Foreign Relations, Bilderberg Group, etc.

In his infinitely arrogant book The Grand Chessboard, published in 1997, Brzezinski spelled out the philosophy behind the current US military eruption. He starts by quoting the well-known views of the British geographer Sir Halford J Mackinder (1861–1947), another worker for the elite. Mackinder was a member of the ‘Coefficients Dining Club’ established by members of the Fabian Society in 1902. The continuity of the policies of the elite is indicated by the fact Brzezinski starts from Mackinder’s thesis first propounded in 1904:

“Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland: Who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island: who commands the World-Island commands the world.”

Brzezinski argues that for the first time in human history a non-Eurasian power has become preeminent and it must hold sway over the Eurasian continent if it is to remain the preeminent global power: “For America the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia… About 75 percent of the world’s people live in Eurasia… Eurasia accounts for about 60 percent of the world’s GNP and about three fourths of the world’s known energy resources.”

It is not just the geostrategic location of this region – it is also its wealth, “both in its enterprises and beneath its soil,” that holds such attraction for the elite whose greed for money, and lust for power, remain insatiable, as if there was a sickness afflicting it.

Brzezinski writes:

“But it is on the globe’s most important playing field – Eurasia – that a potential rival to America might at some point arise. This focusing on the key players and properly assessing the terrain has to be a point of departure for the formulation of American geostrategy for the long-term management of America’s Eurasian geopolitical interests.”

These lines were published in 1997. Millions of people have died in the past two decades and millions have been rendered homeless in this region but it remains a “playing” field for Brzezinski and his likes! In his book Brzezinski has drawn two very interesting maps – one of these has the caption The Global Zone of Percolating Violence (page 53) and the other (page 124) is captioned The Eurasian Balkans. The first of these encircles a region which includes the following countries: Sudan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, all Central Asian states, Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of Russia as well as India. The second one has two circles, an inner circle and a wider circle – the outer circle encloses the same countries as in the first map but the inner circle covers Iran, Afghanistan, eastern Turkey and the former Soviet Republics in Central Asia.

“This huge region, torn by volatile hatreds and surrounded by competing powerful neighbours, is likely to be a major battlefield…” writes Brzezinski.

He further writes:

“A possible challenge to American primacy from Islamic fundamentalism could be part of the problem of this unstable region.”

These lines were written at a time when this kind of fundamentalism was not a problem – subsequently the US manipulated things and chose to make it one by its provocative and deceptive tactics. According to its strategic thinkers, the US might face a serious challenge from a coalition of China, Russia and Iran and must do whatever it can to prevent such a coalition from forming.

For Brzezinski, “terrorism” – a Tavistock-type concept – is just a well planned and well thought out strategy, a lie and a deception, to provide cover for a military presence in the Central Eurasian region and elsewhere. It is being used to keep the US public in a state of fear, to keep Russia in a state of insecurity about further breakup (the US has trained and supported Chechen fighters, “terrorists,” throughout) and to justify presence of US troops in and around Central Asia.

The Concocted War on Terrorism

Terrorism provides justification for transforming the United States into a police state. According to the Washington Post of 20 & 21 December 2010, the US now has 4,058 anti-terrorism organisations! These are certainly not meant for those so-called terrorists who operate in Central Asia – the number far exceeds the number of so-called terrorists in the entire world. Unbridled domestic spying by US agencies is now a fact of life and the US public, as always, has accepted this because of the collusion of media and Tavistock type institutes owned by the elite.

The US historian Howard Zinn puts it very well: “The so-called war on terrorism is not only a war against innocent people in other countries, but also a war on the people of the United States: a war on our liberties, a war on our standard of living. The wealth of the country is being stolen from the people and handed over to the superrich. The lives of our young are being stolen. And the thieves are in the White House.” Actually the thieves control the White House and have been doing so for a very long time.

In his outstanding book Crossing the Rubicon, Michael Ruppert points out that much of the violence in the Central Asian region as well as in Pakistan, which has been encircled in two maps in Brzezinski’s book, was “initiated by the US proxies.” “Given that these maps were published a full four years before the first plane hit the World Trade Centre, they would fall in a category of evidence I learned about at LAPD [Los Angeles Police Department]. We called them ‘clues’.” This means that the eruption of US militarism after 9/11, and the event itself, were part of a pre-planned and coherent strategy of global domination in which the people of the US were also “conquered” through totalitarian legislation carried out in the wake of 9/11.

As Brzezinski puts it:

America is too democratic at home to be autocratic abroad. This limits the use of America’s power, especially its capacity for military intimidation. Never before has a popular democracy attained international supremacy. But the pursuit of power is not a goal that commands popular passion, except in conditions of a sudden threat or challenge to the public’s sense of domestic well-being… The economic self-denial (that is, defence spending) and the human sacrifice (casualties even among professional soldiers) required in the effort are uncongenial to democratic instincts. Democracy is inimical to imperial mobilisation.

Certainly post 9/11 legislation, the extraordinary expansion of agencies and surveillance of the US public is a cause of great satisfaction for the elite – the US can hardly be called a democracy now. As reported by the Washington Post, the National Security Agency intercepts over 1.7 billion emails, phone calls and other communications every day and stores them. No wonder Bush called 9/11 “a great opportunity” and Rumsfeld saw it analogous to World War II to “refashion the world.”

In order to achieve the objectives of the elite, the US destroyed Yugoslavia while Russia stood by mesmerised and impotent, carried out regime changes in Central Asia, set up military bases in East Europe and Central Asia, and staged highly provocative military exercises testing Russia’s and China’s will. It set up a military base in Kyrgyzstan that has a 500 mile or so border with China. When the Chinese protested recent naval exercises with South Korea were too close to Chinese territory, a US spokesman responded: “Those determinations are made by us, and us alone… Where we exercise, when we exercise, with whom and how, with what assets and so forth are determinations that are made by the United States Navy, by the Department of Defence, by the United States government.” As journalist Rick Rozoff notes: “There is no way such confrontational, arrogant and vulgar language was not understood at its proper value in Beijing.”

The US has acquired bases in Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, and the Czech Republic – and set up the largest military base ever built in the region, Camp Bondsteel, in Kosovo. According to a report in the Russian Kommersant newspaper on 3 March 2011, a four-phase plan for deployment of a US missile system in Europe is to be fully implemented by the end of 2020. The US is also busy setting up bilateral military ties in Russia’s backyard with Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and is pursuing the goal of a “Greater Central Asia” from Afghanistan right up to the Middle East, a great corridor from where the oil, gas, and great mineral wealth of this region will flow to the coffers of the US elite, at bloody expense to the local people.

As remarked by the Indian career diplomat M.K. Bhadrakumar: “The time is not far off before they begin to sense that ‘the war on terror’ is providing a convenient rubric under which the US is incrementally securing for itself a permanent abode in the highlands of Hindu Kush, the Pamirs, Central Asian steppes and the Caucasus that form the strategic hub overlooking Russia, China, India and Iran.” The scene for a great war involving the great powers of the time – US, Russia and China – is now set, by design of the elite. It is just a matter of time.

Time and again the US elite has taken its good people into great wars through documented and proven deceptions – the sinking of the Lusitania during World War I, Pearl Harbour in World War II, and so on. The elite considers us “human garbage” – a term first used by the French in Indo-China. It is also generating a good deal of “human garbage” in the US. A World Bank report points out that in 2005, 28 million Americans were “insecure” – in 2007 the number had risen to 46 million! One in every five Americans is faced with the possibility of becoming “destitute” – 38 million people receive food coupons!

Michael Ruppert laments:

My country is dead. Its people have surrendered to tyranny and in so doing, they have become tyranny’s primary support group; its base; its defender. Every day they offer their endorsement of tyranny by banking in its banks and spending their borrowed money with the corporations that run it. The great Neocon strategy of George H.W. Bush has triumphed. Convince the America people that they can’t live without the ‘good things’, then sit back and watch as they endorse the progressively more outrageous crimes you commit as you throw them bones with ever less meat on them. All the while lock them into debt. Destroy the middle class, the only political base that need be feared. Make them accept, because of their shared guilt, ever-more repressive police state measures. Do whatever you want.

A global economic system erected on inhuman and predatory values, where a few possess more wealth than the billions of hungry put together, will end, but the end will be painful and bloody. It is a system in which the elite thrives on war and widespread human misery, on death and destruction by design. As Einstein said, “I do not know how the Third World War will be fought, but I can tell you what they will use in the Fourth – sticks and stones!”

Prof. Mujahid Kamran is Vice Chancellor, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan, and his book The Grand Deception – Corporate America and Perpetual War has just been published (April 2011) by Sang e Meel Publications, Lahore, Pakistan.

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Media Hype and Gaza’s ‘Terror’ Tunnels

July 30th, 2014 by Peter Hart

Coincidentally or not, there’s been a noticeable increase in media attention to the tunnels in Gaza, many of which lead to Israel and are (allegedly) used by Hamas militants for attacks. The Israeli government has said that destroying the tunnels is one of the rationales for the war.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer (7/28/14) touted his exclusive on the Situation Room:

Earlier today, CNN was the only US television network to get a look inside one of the tunnels used by Hamas to infiltrate Israel. This is an exclusive report no other American television network can bring you.

Blitzer’s guide was Israel Defense Forces Lt. Col. Oshik Azouli.

BLITZER: The IDF says the underground passages into Israel have only one purpose. From what you know, what was the purpose of this tunnel?

AZOULI: I think soldiers, they want to attack regular people, children, women, men.

BLITZER: So they wanted to go in, attack, kill Israelis.

AZOULI: Yes.

BLITZER: But also kidnap Israelis.

AZOULI: Yes.

He also interviewed Israeli spokesperson Mark Regev, who told CNN of the dangers of the tunnels:

A group of terrorists with automatic weapons, explosives and rocket-propelled grenades. The idea that they just pop out of the ground on our side of the frontier to murder and kidnap, that’s unacceptable.

The New York Times followed up with a piece  by Jodi Rudoren (7/28/14)headlined “Tunnels Lead Right to the Heart of Israeli Fear.” She writes that these tunnels “have lurked in the dark spaces of Israeli imagination at least since 2006, when Hamas, the militant Islamic movement that dominates Gaza, used one to abduct an Israeli soldier.” Such attacks “have shaken the collective psyche and stiffened resolve to continue or even expand the fight.”

She goes on:

In cafes and playgrounds, on social-media sites and in the privacy of pillow talk, Israelis exchange nightmare scenarios that are the stuff of action movies: armed enemies popping up under a day care center or dining room, spraying a crowd with a machine gun fire or maybe some chemical, exploding a suicide belt or snatching captives and ducking back into the dirt.

The Times story even notes: “As part of the propaganda push, the military has also invited a few journalists underground for a tour.”
Israeli deaths, military and civilian (Intercept)
That is revealing, since the only thing missing from these nightmarish scenarios of terrorists emerging from the ground to kill innocents is any evidence that anything like this has ever happened. The Times story quotes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying the “sole purpose” of the tunnels “is the destruction of our civilians and the killing of our children.” But have there been any such attacks?

Journalist and media critic Greg Mitchell has posed this question on his blog (Pressing Issues7/29/14), where he reports that CNN‘s Jake Tapper responded to his queries on Twitter by noting that all of the the tunnel deaths he was aware of have been Israeli military.

Palestinian deaths, military and civilian (Intercept)Glenn Greenwald (Intercept,7/29/14) notes  that the Israel–often credited in US media with taking great care to avoid civilian casualties–has actually killed three noncombatant for every “militant.” Meanwhile, only 5 percent of the much smaller number of deaths caused by Palestinian fighters have been civilians, even though Hamas’s disregard for innocent life is taken for granted by US journalists.

If outlets like CNN and the Times are going to give so much attention to these Hamas-built tunnels, shouldn’t they add this context to their reporting? Or is the “propaganda push” just more effective when these inconvenient facts aren’t mentioned?

Are you Ready for Nuclear War?

July 30th, 2014 by David North

Are you ready for war—including possibly nuclear war—between the United States, Europe, and Russia? That is the question that everyone should be asking him- or herself in light of the developments since the destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17.

The crisis provoked by American and European charges of Russian responsibility for the shooting down of flight MH17 has brought the world the closest it has been to global war since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. But the situation today may be even more dangerous. A half century ago, the Kennedy administration—haunted by fears that miscalculations on either side could precipitate a nuclear exchange—sought to keep the lines of communications open and avoid the demonization of Soviet leaders.

Today, on the other hand, the CIA is directing an incendiary propaganda campaign against Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, a campaign that seems intent on provoking a direct military confrontation with the country with the second largest nuclear arsenal in the world. There is no question that the CIA is mobilizing all the resources and assets it commands—within governments, the media, and among academics—in a carefully orchestrated campaign aimed at polluting public opinion with anti-Russian hysteria.

As of now, there is nothing approaching a definitive explanation of the chain of events that led to the destruction of MH17. Despite all the massive surveillance technology at its disposal, upon which it lavishes tens of billions of dollars annually, the US intelligence agencies have not produced a shred of hard evidence to back up the accusations of Russian responsibility.

But while the physical circumstances surrounding MH17’s destruction remain unknown, the political purposes to which this tragedy is being put to use have become all too clear.

Since the beginning of the week, the three most influential mass circulation newsmagazines of the United States, Britain, and Germany—Time, The Economist, and Der Spiegel—have published cover stories that combine wild accusations against Vladimir Putin with demands for a showdown with Russia.

The most striking and obvious characteristic of these cover stories is that they are virtually identical. The CIA has scripted them all. The stories employ the same insults and the same fabrications. They denounce Putin’s “web of lies.” The Russian president is portrayed as a “depraved” mass murderer.

What is the Russian president to make of the use of this sort of language in the most influential newsmagazines? He is on the receiving end of the same campaign of vilification that was previously directed against Serbia’s Slobodan Milosevic, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. Putin certainly knows the outcome of these propaganda campaigns. Serbia was bombed into political submission and Milosevic was carted off to The Hague, where he died, mysteriously, in prison. Iraq was invaded and Hussein executed. Libya was also invaded, and Gaddafi —much to the amusement of Hillary Clinton—was savagely tortured and lynched. As for Assad, the United States has directed a bloody insurgency that has resulted in the deaths of more than 100,000 Syrians.

Given this record, Putin could hardly be accused of paranoia were he to conclude that the United States and its European allies want him dead. Therefore, one must ask, what impact might this well-grounded suspicion have on his own course of action as the confrontation escalates?

In all three cover stories, the governments of Western Europe and the United States are taken to task for failing to move against Putin and Russia. The three magazines adopt a tone of angry impatience with what they perceive to be insufficient aggressiveness. They all argue that the time for talk is over. Der Spiegel declares “The wreckage of MH17 is also the wreckage of diplomacy.”

How should this statement be interpreted? If diplomacy has failed, it can only mean that war is imminent.

In its article “In Russia, Crime without Punishment,” Time attacks Obama for asking Putin to assist in the investigation of the crash rather than immediately threatening Russia with war. It writes, “This was the crisis in a nutshell: the least Putin could do was the most Obama could ask for. The American President announced no deadlines, drew no red lines and made no threats.”

The invocation of “deadlines,” “redlines,” and “threats” is the language of war. How else should these words be read?

Time attacks Italy and France and even the Obama administration and the American people for not backing aggression against Russia: “Putin doesn’t have a lot to worry about when he looks at the forces aligned against him. Obama, as the leader of a war-weary nation, has ruled out all military options, including the provision of weapons to Ukraine.” Clearly, Time wants to place military options on the table.

In its lead editorial, entitled “A web of lies,” The Economist follows the same script, accusing the West of vacillation. “The Germans and Italians claim to want to keep diplomatic avenues open, partly because sanctions would undermine their commercial interests. Britain calls for sanctions, but it is reluctant to harm the City of London’s profitable Russian business. America is talking tough but has done nothing new.”

The coordinated media campaign is already producing the desired effect. On Tuesday the Obama administration and the European Union announced that they had agreed on a new set of tougher sanctions. These measures are being interpreted as a transitional measure toward what Financial Times columnist Wolfgang Munchau describes as “The Atom Bomb of Financial War.” Munchau’s piece has been published not only in the Financial Times but also in Der Spiegel.

By a combination of military threats and economic strangulation, the US and the EU are moving to politically destabilize Russia. As their continuous references to the Russian oligarchs make clear, they are hoping that the financial sanctions will encourage a conspiracy to overthrow and even murder Putin. The regime envisaged by Washington would convert Russia into a neo-colonial protectorate, entirely subordinated politically, economically and militarily to US imperialism.

Of course, were Putin to shift course and accommodate himself to US demands, the media campaign would make the necessary adjustments. However, events can proceed in a direction unforeseen in any CIA scenario.

The recklessness of a policy of destabilizing Russia, a power that controls the world’s second-largest arsenal of nuclear weapons, is staggering. As military forces are set on alert throughout Eastern Europe and the Black Sea region, and Ukrainian and Russian forces exchange artillery fire along their borders, the possibility for a miscalculation is mounting by the day.

Whatever the short-term outcome, the long-term implication of the agenda being pursued by the United States and the European imperialist powers leads inexorably in the direction of war with cataclysmic consequences. The greatest danger facing the working class is that decisions are being taken behind the scenes, with masses of people largely unaware of the risks facing the world’s population.

A hundred years ago this week, World War I was launched by small cabals of ministers, monarchs, and business interests throughout Europe, whose decision to risk everything on victory in war led to deaths numbering in the tens of millions. Today, similar forces are setting into motion a drive to a conflagration that could lead to the destruction of the planet.

There is no means to stop the momentum toward war except through the politically-conscious intervention of the working class. Anyone who believes that a nuclear war is impossible because modern governments, unlike those that were in power in 1914, would not risk catastrophe, is deluding himself. If anything, the regimes that exist today are even more reckless. Beset by mounting economic and social problems for which they have no progressive solution, they are ever-more inclined to see war as a risk worth taking.

This is why the International Committee of the Fourth International insists upon the urgency of building an international anti-war, anti-imperialist, and anti-capitalist movement of the working class.

 

America has been sending young men who answered its call into harm’s way for the last two and a half centuries. Enslaving Africans and engaging in a genocide policy against Native Americans for three centuries, America’s militant racist history was squarely founded on subjugation of darker skinned peoples. Only for a little more than a century has the United States not been actively pursuing a national policy of ethnic cleansing of America’s first inhabitants. And when the still highly deplorable human conditions on tribal reservations today are taken into account with such extreme poverty, rampant drug and alcohol addiction and highest unemployment rates in America, one might conclude genocide is still actively going on.

Canadian professor and philosopher John McMurtry concludes:

“The historical record demonstrates the US is provably guilty of continual lawless mass murder of
civilians across the world.”

Yet he adds that America’s impunity is only maintained through mass deception, corporatized propaganda, physical coercion and extortion. This presentation is a chronicled account and overview of just how relentless and pervasive the US Empire’s killing machine has been for as long as the United States has been an independent nation.

Inheriting its imperialistic Anglo Saxon blood from mother England and the longstanding British Empire, and armed from the beginning with its God sanctioned Manifest Destiny, to this day the United States upholds a long tradition of simply taking what it wants by hook or crook. Besides enslaving and ethnic purging through most of its history, America literally stole all its land from the indigenous population and then most of its western states and Florida from Spain, engaging in war and murder as its God given right as the erroneously, arrogantly perceived superior race and nation.

America’s taste for war not even a century out from its independence imploded on itself with the Civil War fought between 1861-1865 when Americans massacred Americans racking up more deaths than any other war in its entire history at 620,000 men, comprising 2% of the total US population. When defining a casualty of war as a military person lost through death, wounds, injury, sickness, internment, capture or through missing in action, an estimated 1.5 million American citizens became Civil War casualties in that bloodiest four year war span in US history. It was not until the Vietnam War that all other US wars combined finally exceeded the American loss of life of the War Between the States.

The second bloodiest war for America came between 1941-1945 when 405,399 American lives were lost. The Second World War was the deadliest war in human history with over 60 million killed, over 2.5% of the world population. Deaths rose to 85 million from war related diseases and famine, including up to 55 of those 85 million innocent civilian casualties in what the US military coldheartedly refers to as “collateral damage.”

The third largest American death toll from war was World War I costing 116,516 American lives and amassing a total of over 16 million deaths, marking it among the bloodiest wars in human history. Between 1914-1918 seven million civilians died in “the war to end all wars.”

With influential assistance from then media mogul propagandist Randolph Hearst, the US orchestrated the false flag of the sinking USS Maine in the Havana harbor in order to deceitfully blame Spain to initiate the Spanish American War of 1898. Of course as is so often the case, the real reason behind this unjustified war was increasing American expansionism and burgeoning global hegemony. And as always to the victors go the spoils. Cuba’s “independence” came under US exclusive control, and US colonialism spread to Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines. American soldiers are always the sacrificial lamb of US expansionistic imperialism – 70,000 Americans were lost. However, that is a mere drop in the blood bucket compared with the near two million Filipinos who were brutally massacred in just three years.

Then fueled and captivated by Hollywood films glorifying war and violence over the last century, this militant war-loving American tradition has only accelerated right up to the present times. Many Americans, particularly young males, have long been brainwashed, always eager to volunteer and sacrifice themselves fighting and dying in US wars that have been raging on foreign soil virtually nonstop since our Founding Fathers’ 1776 Declaration of Independence. In fact, more than 91% of the time America has been in existence (specifically 217 out of its 238 years), Americans have been fighting and dying in wars around the world. And America’s recent war on terror perpetually assures that more Americans will only continue indefinitely coming home in body bags or missing limbs and body parts.

No other nation on earth has such a dubious and aggressive zeal for globalized killing on such a massive scale as the United States of America. Certainly the US cold war enemies Russia and China don’t. Recently Putin was requested by ethnic Russians in Crimea to reclaim it given the fact that for centuries up until the 1950’s it had always been part of Russia. When his annexing Crimea is cited as Russia’s primary military aggression since acquisition of Eastern Europe’s Iron Curtain, American critics crying afoul are outright hypocrites and liars, not to mention deniers. Like the US currently in its thirteenth year, the former Soviet Union did take its turn losing its war in Afghanistan – the graveyard of empires – in its own decade long debacle throughout the 1980’s thanks to US financed and armed Osama bin Laden spawning the genesis of al Qaeda.

From the 9/11 inside neocon-executed false flag, al Qaeda has conveniently been labeled our enemy, but then throughout the 80’s in Afghanistan and the Balkans in the 1990’s and then more recently in Libya, Syria and Iraq, al Qaeda has been increasingly used as our mercenary ally, depending on whatever shortsighted, self-serving Empire interest is deemed most salient at any given time. Bottom line, from the Reagan-era to the Clinton-era, right up to the Bush and Obama neocons still operating fully in control, al Qaeda has never stopped being their friend even if Americans were brainwashed through lies and propaganda to view them as the next bogey-men after the Communists before them. All this is a very diabolical yet highly effective, convenient ploy to deceptively wage permanent war on the entire world, all for the corporatized American Empire and its controlling oligarch puppet master.

Meanwhile, our other so called cold war enemy China has not invaded another country since its 1949 occupation of neighboring Tibet. Another axis-of-evil nation Iran has not attacked another nation in over fifty years. Of course Iran had to defend itself for eight bloody years when US backed Iraq invaded Iran in September 1980. And finally the other nation perennially on America’s shit list is North Korea, which has never waged war with another country since the US cold war creation known as the Korean War back in the early 1950’s. During the three years of the Korean War, 33,600 American military personnel were killed and another 16,000 UN troops perished. But a million Koreans died (over a half million North Koreans and less than half million South Koreans) along with nearly a million Chinese.

The Dulles brothers operating as President Eisenhower’s CIA Director and Secretary of State were responsible for assassinating a democratically elected President of Iran in 1953. A year later as investors in the United Fruit Company, they engineered a coup forcing the liberal Guatemalan dictator into exile after he introduced land reform that interfered with US and the Dulles’ personal business interests.

In 1961 the leader of Iraq moved to nationalize its vast oil reserves threatening Western petroleum companies from continuing their exploitation and was subsequently ousted two years later and eventually shot to death, setting the stage for US backed Saddam Hussein’s rise to dictatorship in 1968. The kiss of death in regions all over the earth where non-whites reside is actually becoming a US ally, because once that happens, it’s only a matter of time before the US betrayal when it kills off all its onetime allies. It’s simply the never ending cycle of US foreign policy.

Comparing America’s so called enemies’ war records over the last half century with the US, anyone can plainly see that it is the American Empire that stands out as the world’s most dangerous and murderous enemy. In diametrical contrast, US military interventions around the globe over the last half century number into the hundreds.

Throughout the 1950’s and beyond, the US Naval Seventh Fleet has been regularly deployed in the South China Sea to ensure that Communist Red China does not launch an offensive to annex and unify ethnic Chinese living on the island of Formosa that is now Taiwan.

Shortly after the French gave up its Indochinese colony Vietnam, beginning in the mid 1950’s the US began sending military advisors that grew to 21,000 troops by 1964. And it was August 1964 that the US used the Gulf of Tonkin incident as yet another false flag to begin the Vietnam War where over the next decade more than 58,000 Americans died compared to over 3 million Southeast Asians. Additionally, America deployed thousands of US troops and for years dropped tons of napalm bombs covertly in both Laos and Cambodia killing up to 300,000 Cambodians and up to 200,000 Laotians.

The destruction of My Lai as a wartime atrocity just happened to be the only South Vietnamese village incident of its kind exposed at the time, or actually a few months after the fact by the enterprising now renowned ex-New York Times journalist Seymour Hersh (back when the Times actually sought the truth instead of spewing out mere government propaganda and disinformation as it currently spins).

It was only many years later that the world would learn that My Lai was but one savage crime spree episode among many during a six month period from December 1968 to June 1969 dubbed Operation Speedy Express where US war policy was systematically obliterating with artillery firepower and air support before US soldiers entered hamlets to mop up the killing operation by torching, raping and mass murdering at least 5000 villagers, nearly all innocent civilians consisting mostly of the elderly, women and children. It turns out throughout the course of the decade long war in Vietnam there were many My Lai massacres that had gone unnoticed until decades later when author-journalist Nick Turse chronicled these war crime atrocities with firsthand accounts of both perpetrating US soldiers and South Vietnamese victims in a book called Kill Anything That Moves (2013).

Such ruthless wholesale slaughter of other races has always been an integral yet whitewashed constant throughout United States history. Despite the incessant lies that are always used to justify war, the Vietnam conflict became America’s first military defeat in its history as well as the longest running war in its history. But it turned out to be just the beginning in a series of disastrous, even longer lasting military losses in protracted, costly counterinsurgency wars that continue to this present day.

It was during the cold war of the 1950’s that the all important strategy of opposing Communist expansion led America to establish countless active duty military installations on every continent. During the Suez Crisis in 1956 the US dispatched a Marine battalion to Egypt to “secure” order in Alexandria. In 1958 more US Marines landed in Lebanon to fight against an ongoing insurrection attempting to overthrow the US puppet Lebanese government in Beirut.

Military bases began springing up all over the planet to support US military operations to then thwart the Red scare spread of communism. South Korea, Philippines, Japan and Guam in Asia all house numerous installations and posts for US armed forces stationed in Asia. Australia has also been a longtime base of US military operations. Germany, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Turkey provide the bulk of American bases in Europe. Other strategically established locations are in Saudi Arabia, Israel and later Kuwait in the Middle East while Panama and Honduras in Latin America have been base headquarters.

Recognizing the mushrooming power behind America’s surging militarization under his watch, then President and war hero GeneralEisenhower’s farewell message to Americans warned them against the merging of the arms industry with the military fighting force to create the cancerous military industrial complex that he believed would be the single greatest threat to American citizens’ liberty and freedom. He realized that it was far more dangerous to America than any outside threat that included even US cold war enemies. But unfortunately, his sobering words went unheeded and exponential growth of the corporatized killing machine as war profiteers during the ensuing years have insidiously grown so mammoth as to have bought and taken over the corrupt US de facto government.

Since President Madison’s Manifest Destiny spanning two centuries of ironclad fisted control and entitlement, the US has wielded overt military and geopolitical hegemony throughout the Western Hemisphere. Regular military incursions over many years into Cuba, Panama, Nicaragua, Mexico and Honduras have dominated the New World on both continents north and south.

Immediately after Castro secured Communism in America’s backyard Cuba, in 1959 right into the 1960’s the Second Marine Ground Task Force was sent to various Caribbean island locations allegedly to protect US citizens in the region. In actuality it was to isolate Cuba’s Communism from gaining a spreading hemispheric foothold into Latin America. In April 1961 the CIA coordinated a military invasion of Cuba by Cuban expatriates to overthrow Castro in the infamously botched Bay of Pigs operation. In 1965 the US sent 20,000 US Marines to intervene in the internal politics of Dominican Republic in support of the US backed military regime against the populist movement to reinstall the former democratically elected leader Juan Bosch.

Often in the 1960’s and the 1970’s the US sent military air transports to the Congo to put down insurgents threatening the US puppet government. Throughout the cold war the CIA was actively engaging in coups and assassinations in numerous newly independent African as well as Latin American nations, cherry picking its anti-communist puppets as the continents’ national leaders.

The CIA even recruited Obama’s Kenyan father to a full scholarship ride at the University of Hawaii, setting him up with Obama’s white mother whose family was steeped in CIA involvement. Obama was in fact “programmed” in his early years of grooming that soon would lead to his meteoric rise from obscure Chicago community activist to junior Illinois senator to suddenly becoming the very real Manchurian candidate president that he is. And as the oligarch front man, he is still being programmed to obey their every command.

During 1973’s Yom Kippur War the United States in Operation Nickel Grass airlifted 22,325 tons of tanks, artillery, ammunition and supplies to fellow apartheid partner-in-crime Israel in order to defeat Arab states Egypt and Syria, triggering oil rich Moslem OPEC nations to retaliate with an embargo on the US causing the 1973 oil crisis.

From the wars of 1948 and 1956, but especially the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel kept stealing Arab lands through recurring skirmishes, conflicts and wars that resulted in a million Palestinian refugees. Meanwhile, the loyal US ally has always given its apartheid rogue nation whatever it wants and demands. While the US economy has been floundering in recession for years and Israel’s economy is booming, America still keeps sending Israel $3.1 billion in aid every year. One quarter of the Israeli annual defense budget has been subsidized by US taxpayers in recent years. This is absurd. Yet the Zionist hold on America runs so deep and dark, only the sinister players themselves know just how morally depraved. And with US arms currently being used to massacre innocent Palestinian people everyday, both Americans and the world are demanding that the violence stop.

Wielding such exclusive power in the American media, entertainment and banking industries goes far in explaining the US-Israeli axis-of-evil, but their syndicate crime network has been able to get away with mass murder and destruction in part because anyone who dares to criticize and expose their diabolical underworld bond is deemed anti-Semitic, similar to those exposing the corrupt truth about the US government dismissed by a false accusation of being unpatriotic or a conspiracy theorist. But that strategy is wearing thin and the world is finally seeing the malevolence of both rogue states. America and Israel are clearly the two most warlike and destructive forces on earth operating up till now with complete impunity. Those days are numbered.

1973 was an important year. The last official US military troops came home from Vietnam and President Nixon imposed the petrodollar on OPEC nations as the international currency. This secured a guaranteed US extortion fee on all oil purchasing throughout the world by all nations. Nixon’s right hand man and fellow war criminal Henry Kissinger along with the CIA engaged in state sponsored terrorismwhen Chile’s democratically elected President Salvador Allende was assassinated and replaced by the notorious military dictator General Pinochet in October 1973. During this war criminal’s 17-year reign of terror, 3,200 people were murdered, up to 80,000 Chileans were interned and as many as 30,000 were tortured.

The US government has been guilty of a longstanding unbroken pattern of backing bloodthirsty antidemocratic dictators who regularly commit crimes against humanity towards their own citizens. Since the US at will violates international law in its relentless commission of war crimes, birds of a feather flocking together has America just as frequently promoting, installing and endorsing with blind eye similarly inclined murderous, dictatorial regimes. Invariably by poor example, the US Empire leads as the world’s number one violator of human rights, causing other militant tyrannical nations to simply follow suit. US Empire wouldn’t have it any other way.

Those few nations with leaders courageous enough to actually operate independently in the best interests of their people are always punished, bullied and intimidated into submission. If coercive pressure fails to gain the nation’s compliance, wars, coups de tat and/or assassinations inevitably follow. Nations like Venezuela especially under the late Hugo Chavez as well as Iran have incurred the Empire’s wrath for resisting and defying America’s power. And now that the cold war is back in full swing, Putin and Russia are especially being targeted since Putin not only defies US hegemony but he has outsmarted Obama in his feeble bungling, weak ways. Yet on Empire pressure alone, Europe knuckles under every time in its empty rhetoric joining in the conspiracy to make Putin the world’s villain. Truth still matters and the world is increasingly seeing through the West’s hypocrisy and lies.

An integral built-in component causing such widespread heinous human rights violations is the infamous US training school for state sponsored terrorism and torture that is the US Army School of the Americas located at Fort Benning, Georgia. For many decades the US has been systematically teaching and training Latin American dictators and their military junta leaders to applying their newly learned skills terrorizing, torturing and murdering thousands upon thousands of its own citizens. It is now euphemistically called Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. But changing the school’s name to avoid negative publicity and global criticism is but a feeble and shameless attempt to continue its business as usual. After all, terrorism must go on.

Throughout the 1980’s the US methodically trained Latin American death squad commando units that President Reagan affectionately called his “freedom fighters,” unleashed on the El Salvadoran and Nicaraguan countrysides killing 75,000 in El Salvador alone and forcing one million out of its total six million residents to flee the country. Notorious war criminal Colonel James Steele acting as chief advisor was the American officer in charge and most responsible.

And because fellow war criminals Rumsfeld and Cheney admired his methods using unspeakable pain to get detainees to talk in the 80’s, Steele was called back into service in Iraq in 2003 to implement that same “Salvadoran option” with yet another war criminal General David Petraeus. As a major back in the 80’s eager to learn Steele’s brand of counterinsurgency skills, Petraeus made a special trip down to Central America to learn from the cold steel-eyed torture master himself.

When General Petraeus was in charge of training the Iraqi security forces, his direct subordinate Colonel Coffman and Steele led the training of the Shiite death squads that violated every conceivable international law in rounding up Sunni detainees, incarcerating them in secret prisons all over Iraq and torturing and murdering thousands of innocent civilians. Their massive killing sprees in 2004 and 2005 ushered in the sectarian civil war violence that rages on to this very day in Iraq. Clearly Petraues, Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush were all fully aware of the crimes against humanity and war atrocities they were committing but of course have dodged questions about their accountability with only more lies.

Abu Ghraib Prison scandal in Iraq in late 2003 and 2004 where detainees had been systematically tortured and humiliated by American military police was just the tip of the iceberg. Just as the My Lai massacre was but one example of genocidal extermination during the Vietnam War among many that were never made public, the photos depicting the inhumane unlawful, degrading practices at Abu Ghraib was similarly just one detainment center operation that happened to get caught in the act. But through the ten year Iraq War there were undoubtedly countless more Abu Ghraib-like prisons, especially if the hundreds of Iraqi detainment centers both in and out of Iraq are included.

Committing unlawful international crimes against humanity is both the nature of US Empire wars as well as the nature and effects of war on frail, flawed human participants whose rules of enemy engagement constantly get blurred and subsequently Geneva Convention rules and United Nations Charter laws are commonly repeatedly violated. And unfortunately rarely are their horrific abuses and heinous crimes ever discovered. We are still waiting on how Obama will attempt to slip that 6700 page CIA torture report compiled by the Senate Intelligence Committee under the radar in the coming weeks.

US armed forces Special Operations Command originally formed during the Reagan years never actually left Latin America despite the highly publicized Oliver North cover-up of the Iran-Contra scandal that tarnished Reagan’s overrated presidency. Evidence that Special Ops are at it again in Central America since 2008 has been confirmed. Elite counterinsurgency units from the US Army Rangers as part of US Special Operations Command South have been busily training Honduran military death squads, silencing and eliminating thecampesinos members of the land rights movement. The US backed military dictatorship in Honduras is extremely ruthless and corrupt, and is largely responsible for the international drug smuggling trade’s dominance in Central America as the cocaine pathway from Colombia through Honduras to Mexico on up to North America. The rampant violence and murder directly supported by the US government has largely contributed to the present humanitarian crisis of over 50,000 children from Central America converging at the US border just since last October.

The Empire inflicted death and destruction punctuated with war crime after war crime in every decade on multiple continents continued brazenly under Bush senior in Iraq and Clinton in Yugoslavia throughout the 1990’s. After the US baited then by complicity gave its taciturn approval for ambitious Saddam to invade Kuwait, in just over six months with airpower pulverization, the first Gulf War was over. However, not before daddy Bush went out of his way to commit more crimes against humanity by purposely bombing Iraqi hospitals and water treatment facilities to inhumanely ensure that an epidemic medical crisis would be the lasting US parting gift until his son came along. The result is a half million Iraqi children died of dysentery and miscellaneous other diseases. Depleted uranium from both wars have caused skyrocketing cancer rates and birth deformities for generations of newborns in Iraq.

It was then the Democratic administration’s turn when for three straight months in the spring of 1999 under the NATO command of General Wesley Clarke, Clinton rained internationally outlawed cluster bombs known for shredding human flesh down on the Serbians living in the city of Kosovo. The relentless bombing during the war’s closing days led to systematic destabilization, destruction and breakup of the former Republic of Yugoslavia into thirteen broken pieces with no sovereign independence but only beholding to US-NATO control. Civilian targets were bombed like the Serbian radio station which also constitute war crimes.

Throughout the 1990’s the Balkan wars were also where the US Empire continued financing and arming its mercenary proxy allies al Qaeda to do its dirty bidding carrying out US state sponsored terrorism against their fellow Moslem Serbs in Kosovo and Bosnia. US was complicit in both the ethnic cleansing it was sponsoring as well as profiting from the heroin drug trade that passed through the region from the opium fields in Afghanistan west to Europe and North America.

It was also the 1990’s when US executed Gladio B operations in Turkey, resulting in numerous false flag killings of innocent people, murders and assassinations. Again CIA, organized crime, drug smugglers, high powered Turkish government officials and generals exchanging lots of money were involved. The exhaustive list of war crime atrocities committed by America and its proxies at any given time all over the globe seems endless.

But since entering the new millennium with the forever pivotal event of the 9/11 coup, everything changed. The rising death toll and war crime frequency of US Empire’s global transgressions has only brazenly increased at an alarming accelerated pace. The neocons’ mass murder of nearly 3000 Americans on 9/11 followed by their repeated boldface lies purporting Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction and nonexistent ties to terrorism as the pretext for their Iraq invasion needs to be taken up at the Hague. The killing of up to a million mostly innocent Iraqis, the systematic dismantling of America’s constitutional rights and liberties, the criminal mass surveillance of Americans as well as the entire world, the US militarized police state that has ushered in brutal, hostile and barbaric practices against its own citizens, the devastating wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya and their accompanying failed state chaos and destruction, the onslaught of drone surveillance and deadly secret warfare both domestic and internationally used to eliminate thousands of innocent bystanders, and the utter lapse of conscience and morality in this rampant evil that has emerged as everyday modern life since 9/11, in its criminal totality and global destruction of all human and planetary life, it far surpasses even the worst despots of past evil leaders like Hitler and Stalin. The Bush family, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and slew of other neocons with 9/11 perpetuated the most colossal damage and destruction to humanity ever in modern history. They must be tried for their unspeakable crimes against the human species through the international court system.

Just as nothing much changed as far as war crimes from the first Bush to Clinton, nor has the changeover from one megalomaniacal regime of Bush junior to another in Obama altered the downward spiral into the abyss that has been set into motion years earlier.

The most recent fall of Iraq into the brutal extremism and barbarism of Islamic Soldiers of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) covertly backed by the US and Israel spells even worse times ahead for the Iraqi people. The systematic creation by US-oligarch twisted design of newer stronger brands of terrorist enemies is no accident, and bound to come back on Americans with the freehanded arms giveaways to radical Islamic extremists fighting the US proxy war in both Syria and now Iraq.

The false flag of the three murdered Israeli boys that precipitated the genocidal destruction currently being executed by the Israeli Army in Gaza against all Palestinians is an affront to all of humanity. The Israeli government knew that the perpetrators were not operating directly under the authority of Hamas, yet it was used as an excuse to engage in all out ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. It is such a shameful and arrogant display of pure evil knowing its military is targeting and murdering now hundreds into the thousands of innocent civilians, mostly women, the elderly and especially children. The whole world is watching in horror and turning against the state of Israel, all of course except the one nation that could stop it. But instead the US turns a blind eye and continues allowing the atrocities of apartheid genocide to drag on week after week. The sales of US arms and open support for the terrorist Israeli rogue state will resume uninterrupted in spite of the over-the-top daily bloodbaths piling up. Just as the neocons must be tried by international court in Hague, so must Netanyahu and his bloodthirsty henchmen.

Then the recent second Malaysian Airliner to go down this year. The rush to judgment by US and Western press and governments is a dead giveaway for yet another one of their false flags. So much evidence now is accumulating to indicate that it in fact was a coordinated attack by the US puppet government in Kiev. Why else would the Kiev air traffic control divert the plane purposely into a war zone when all other flights east flew much further south to avoid the all too obvious risk. Why else would the plane be ordered to lower its altitude on a cloudy day from the customary 33,000 feet to 30,000 feet to become more of a visible preplanned target. And why else would a Ukrainian Air Force fighter jet be trailing it so closely that fateful afternoon. Coming up with fake videos to lay false claims have already backfired. The warmongering bandwagon to once again demonize Putin and the ethnic Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine as the guilty culprits is nothing less than a criminal conspiracy, a transparent lynch mob on a desperate witch hunt. Their overzealous objective to escalate tensions and turn the world against Putin to justify yet more war and violence is also ever so transparent and is clearly not working.

It was nearly a year ago that Obama and company tried to use the chemical weapon attack in Syria as yet another false flag to essentially go to war with Syria, Iran, Russia and China, risking the start of World War III. Since the August attack last year it has been concluded that its was US backed proxy al Qaeda rebels that were responsible.

With such a pervasive false flag history, triggering virtually every US war, this current rush to judgment while refusing to present any concrete evidence is identical to last year’s paper tiger rhetoric. Neither the American public nor the entire world was fooled last time and they will see through this latest attempt as yet another batch of false flag lies and deceit as well. More importantly, the capacity to see the truth again will prevail, averting another disaster despite all the haters from the West. Prudence and wisdom through honest examination will win out, sparing the human race once again from another close call at self-annihilation.

This frenzied pace of diabolical madness underscoring all these self-destructive current events and ongoing developments is a very strong indication that the oligarch agenda is feeling a bit unsettled, as if they know the world is rapidly onto them. Thus, they are becoming more desperate in its ratcheting up agenda to eugenically manipulate the world stage for more doom and gloom. It is up to us to head them off at the doomsday pass with the truth. We must actively oppose their orchestrated plan to drastically reduce the world’s population at breakneck speed through war and poisoning of our eco-space.

Finally, America’s over inflated, false sense of exceptionalism and superiority with its “might makes right” credo may relish in its hegemonic role as world policeman-turned-bully, sole world superpower and ultra-aggressive yet imperialistic empire on steroids now in decline. Since World War II the United States has murdered over 30 million mostly innocent, mostly darker-skinned civilian foreigners who happened to have gotten in its way. And now its apartheid aggression is attacking its own people, like the puppet dictators it makes and breaks. Its arrogance and impunity along with other rogue regimes like Israel must be stopped. The international court system and world citizens who know right from wrong must step up and intercede on behalf of all humanity and life forms. Choosing to stick our heads in the sand out of fear and passivity is merely joining the legions of the walking dead on this planet. Standing up as a unified force of solidarity is the only answer.

Joachim Hagopian is a West Point graduate and former US Army officer. He has written a manuscript based on his unique military experience entitled “Don’t Let The Bastards Getcha Down.” It examines and focuses on US international relations, leadership and national security issues. After the military, Joachim earned a masters degree in Clinical Psychology and worked as a licensed therapist in the mental health field for more than a quarter century. He now concentrates on his writing.

 

Yesterday, for the third day in the row, Dutch and Australian investigators into the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 were prevented from reaching the crash site in eastern Ukraine by a military offensive being waged by the far right regime in Kiev against pro-Russian separatists.

Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for Kiev’s National Security and Defence Council, told the media on Monday, that troops had entered Shakhtarsk, Torez and Lutuhyne—the three towns closest to the MH17 wreckage. The Dutch-Australian team reached Shakhtarsk, which is just 10 kilometres from the crash site, on Monday but had to turn back amid sounds of heavy shelling.

Pieter Jaap Aalbersberg, head of the Dutch team, told the media on Tuesday evening: “Our inability to reach the crash site is frustrating. We are losing valuable time to recover the victims’ remains.” The bodies of almost 100 of the 298 people killed in the disaster have not been recovered. Debris from the aircraft is reportedly strewn over an area of some 30- to 35-square kilometres.

Yesterday, Michael Bociurkiw, spokesman for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), made it absolutely plain that it was the Ukrainian government offensive that halted access to the crash site. Speaking in Donetz, he said: “We’ve been dealing with the [pro-Russian] separatists for three months and since the crash happened we’ve had access every day until this [fighting].”

Bociurkiw said both sides had been clearly informed of what the investigative team was trying to achieve and given precise details of intended route movements, who was in the cars and the vehicles’ number plates. “There’s no excuse for anyone not to know the stakes in this. They are huge. One third of the passengers’ bodies are still out there. There’s a lot of debris there.”

However, the US and its allies, which accused pro-Russian separatists of shooting down MH17, of tampering with evidence and desecrating the bodies of the victims, have remained virtually silent on Kiev’s military offensive in recent days around the crash site.

No hue and cry has been raised by Western governments or the media about the Ukrainian military’s blocking of investigators. Nothing has been said about Kiev’s motives in initiating the fighting or preventing the collection of evidence from the site.

The Australian government was in the forefront of denouncing pro-Russian separatists, who controlled the area around the crash, and accusing Moscow of complicity. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop flew to New York last week to personally take charge of the push to secure a UN Security Council resolution on MH17. It called for no fighting at and around the crash site, an independent, international investigation and for “all parties” to cooperate fully.

The UN resolution was principally targeted against Russia and pro-Russian separatists inside Ukraine. Kiev’s flagrant breach of the resolution, as well as of last week’s promise by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to establish a 40-kilometre ceasefire zone around the crash site, has been greeted by muffled criticism or outright silence by Washington and its allies.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott expressed guarded frustration yesterday. “There is fighting and it’s not just the separatists, it’s the Ukrainian government as well. They have all made a commitment to use their best endeavours to get the site safe enough for us to go on board… and it’s high time those commitments were honoured,” he declared.

Foreign Minister Bishop, who is in Kiev with her Dutch counterpart Frans Timmermans, made no criticism of the Ukrainian regime. Timmermans noted obliquely that “the strategic goal of Ukraine is at odds with our strategic goal.” Both Bishop and Timmermans have secured agreements from Ukrainian officials to allow countries that lost citizens in the disaster to send up to 700 armed guards to the crash site. The agreements are due to be ratified by the Ukrainian parliament tomorrow.

Kiev has made clear that its military operations are specifically aimed at securing control of the crash site and that it will not allow investigators into the area until its goal has been achieved. Andriy Lysenko, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s Security Council, told the media yesterday: “Ukraine can’t guarantee the security of the international experts. When we liberate the area, the international experts will be able to do everything for the investigation.”

The Ukrainian regime’s determination to establish control over the crash site before a serious investigation gets underway suggests a distinct nervousness as to what would be revealed. The Russian military has released data pointing to the possibility that a Ukrainian war plane or Ukrainian ground-to-air missile was responsible for the disaster. The US is yet to provide any evidence to support its allegation that pro-Russian separatists shot down MH17.

Preliminary examinations of the wreckage had already begun. The plane’s black boxes had been handed over to Dutch authorities and are being examined in Britain. The investigation itself is under the control of governments that support Kiev and have denounced Moscow—Australia and the Netherlands.

If the Ukrainian government were genuinely interested in allowing the investigation to proceed, it would have abided by its promise to respect a ceasefire around the site. So the most obvious explanation for Kiev’s military offensive in this precise area is that it wants to cleanse the site of any incriminating evidence or plant false evidence before any investigation proceeds.

In doing so, the Ukrainian regime can count on the complicity of the US and its allies. The Obama administration has urged and assisted the Kiev government to wage its brutal war of attrition to occupy the east of the country and suppress all opposition. UN figures indicate that at least 1,129 people were killed and 3,442 wounded between mid-April, when the fighting began, and July 26. A sharp rise has occurred since a UN report in mid-June put the death toll at 356. Much of the essential infrastructure in the area, including electrical, water and sewage plants, has been heavily damaged by Ukrainian army shelling and rockets.

Washington’s attitude was underlined by a CNN report yesterday. Citing US officials, it revealed that the US possessed evidence that the Ukrainian military used short range ballistic missiles against separatist fighters. The missiles, which have a range of 80 kilometres and carry a warhead of nearly half a tonne, are the most deadly and destructive weaponry used in the conflict to date.

No details have been released of the impact on civilian populations. One of the American officials involved told CNN that it was unclear if the US would release satellite imagery of the Ukrainian missiles “because these are the good guys.”

There have been several significant developments over the past few decades in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) which now require special and immediate attention.  The multitude of oil spills — both large and small — require extraordinary remediation measures, as well as the application of safe and proven technologies which will not make the existing hydrocarbon pollution worse. There are other major sources of water pollution in the GOM which have also became apparent, particularly since the eye-opening 2010 BP oil spill.

The Gulf of Mexico is Dying: A Special Report On The BP Gulf Oil Spill

The BP Gulf Oil Spill drew the world’s attention to the GOM for a variety of reasons. The sheer volume of oil spilt was unprecedented, as were its profound and lasting effects on a large geographic area.  Because it occurred in such a large body of water, many population centers were adversely impacted as they continue to be up to this very day.  However, it was the incompetent and negligent oil spill response from BP that received the justified scrutiny of the entire world.

Some have since advanced the notion that global oil spill response has been forever changed for the better, because of how profoundly BP mismanaged the spill for all to see. In this regard, they speak of a literal sea change regarding the methodologies and modalities, process and procedure, science and technology that are now accepted by many of the nations of the world.

The entire world watched in horror as millions of gallons of the dispersant Corexit were used to ‘disappear’ the gushing oil in the Macondo Prospect throughout 2010 and beyond.  Disappearing the oil actually meant sinking it, after micronizing it, so that both BP and  the US Federal Government could be ‘applauded’ for a successful response.  However, the known health risks/dangers and environmental damage caused by Corexit became so well publicized that it has now been banned in those countries which have learned from the BP fiasco.  The following article provides more details in this regard.

Dispersant Use Like Corexit Sees Precipitous Decline Worldwide

The single revelation about the ramped up toxicity of Corexit-treated oil served to awaken many stakeholders about the safety of dispersant use in our coastal waters. More importantly, this issue also triggered a variety of concerns about the overall condition of the Gulf of Mexico.  Residents along the GOM coast, business owners, annual vacationers, property owners and the like began to research and discover the true state of the Gulf.

It was through a confluence of many disparate circumstances during the gushing, “ginormous”  oil volcano which brought to light the following critical observations about the overall status of the Gulf of Mexico. These various perceptions and insights, when considered in the aggregate and within a much larger context, have allowed to surface an assessment of the GOM which can no longer be denied or ignored.

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What are the major factors contributing to the unrelenting degradation of the Gulf of Mexico?

We need to look no further than the mouth of mighty Mississippi River to assess some of the most obvious causes of the relentless destruction of the GOM. If one just considers what the Mississippi River dumps into the GOM on a daily basis, it is easier to grasp the enormity of the problems confronting every stakeholder. The most obvious types of pollution entering the GOM are conveyed in vast amounts from various sources throughout the American heartland. Countless kinds of harmful contaminants and toxic chemicals find their way into the Gulf via the Mississippi which comes from many different sources.

This mighty river and it’s many tributaries carry a tremendous chemical burden in the form of industrial waste, as well as rain runoff laden with every chemical imaginable from suburbia and cityscapes alike.  Agribusiness has seen to it that enormous amounts of chemical fertilizers and soil fortifiers, pesticides and insecticides, mosquitocides and larvicides, fungicides and herbicides, weedkillers and defoliants, bovine growth hormone and animal antibiotics end up in the Mississippi. Likewise, a whole assortment of pharmaceutical drugs, over-the-counter medications, nutraceutical products, as well as all the chemical compounds utilized in the typical American household eventually find their way into the sewers of the nation’s midsection.

When you add the untold volumes of leaked oil and gas into the mix in the undersea Mississippi Canyon by way of manmade oil spills, natural leaks and seeps, drilling mud and other highly toxic chemicals used by the Oil & Gas Industry, methane burps, undersea mud volcanoes, and the increasing vaporization of methane hydrates, an alarming picture starts to take shape.

Oil & Gas Industry Produces Humongous Amounts Of Pollution In The GOM 

Just as each human body possesses its own very unique environmental profile, so, too, does the Gulf of Mexico.  From the preceding description of what the Gulf of Mexico is routinely exposed to, it is now incontestable that, as a body of water, the GOM cannot avoid being extremely polluted and only getting worse by the year.  In addition to what the Mississippi incessantly dumps into the GOM, Oil & Gas Industry operations are responsible for enormous amounts of pollution.

If the BP Gulf Oil Spill taught us nothing else, it is that oil and gas drilling operations conducted in the GOM 24/7 produce an extraordinary number of predicaments in which severe pollution is produced, and then dispersed to the four corners of the Gulf.  Not only is the actual process of drilling a very dirty one, the subsequent transport, refinement and utilization of the oil and gas creates myriad opportunities for pollutants, toxins, contaminants, poisons and chemicals to further pollute the GOM.

Environmental and Health Impacts of the BP Gulf Oil Spill

However, this is just one component of the ever-worsening condition of the GOM.  The incessant utilization of drilling mud (also known as drilling fluids) has greatly contributed to the current state of degradation of the entire Gulf Of Mexico.  The traditional drilling locations off the coast of Louisiana and Texas are by far the most polluted and perhaps irremediable.  However, even the coastlines of Florida are vulnerable to the migration of hydrocarbon affluent and drilling fluids.

The components of drilling mud are much less about mud, and more about other highly corrosive and toxic chemicals which are necessary to do a very difficult job.  During any drilling operation in the GOM where copious amounts of drilling mud are utilized, there is effectively no way of containing it or disposing it once it is released.  Hence, the GOM seafloor and sub-seafloor geological formations have been exposed to constant injections of drilling mud since use first began decades ago.

The following link entitled “Drilling fluids and health risk management” contains a 9 page list of components found in drilling fluids in Appendix 8 under the title:
“Detailed health hazard information on drilling fluid components”

A close reading of this material reveals an extraordinary number of highly toxic pollutants which can eventually find there way into the water columns, the wetlands, the estuaries, and onto the beaches, etc.

maap

Decades of  High Intensity Oil Drilling Operations Have Created A Toxic GOM Environment

The sheer number of oil wells drilled throughout the GOM since the early 1930s is quite staggering.  Each of those wells is either active or inactive.  With each well that is drilled, there are opportunities for hydrocarbon effluent to escape into the GOM.  After wells are capped there are also many situations that can, and do, develop whereby a bad well can allow for a steady leak of hydrocarbon effluent into the GOM.

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The BP Gulf Oil Spill demonstrated how a blown well can present a predicament that simply cannot be fixed (See preceding diagram).  Depending on just how large an oil reserve has been drilled into, hydrocarbon effluent can leak into the Gulf of Mexico into perpetuity.  There is also the ever-present risk associated with all capped wells leaking.  These are also subjected to undersea earthquakes and other seismic activity, undersea volcanoes and mud volcanoes, as well as hydrothermal vents and other fissures which can open up anywhere at any time.

The preceding discussion provides only a glimpse into some of the various co-factors which are responsible for contributing considerable amounts of pollution to the total toxic load borne by the Gulf of Mexico every day … of every week … of every year … over many decades.  Because of the inordinate political pressures operating at the federal level to make the USA completely energy independent, the push to “drill, drill and drill more” has only increased.

U.S. Agrees to Allow BP Back Into Gulf Waters to Seek Oil – NYTimes.com

Event the Atlantic Seaboard is being opened to oil and gas exploration so powerful is the Oil & Gas Industry lobby in DC.

Obama opens Eastern Seaboard to oil exploration – US News

What’s it all mean?

It means many things to those who live, work and play along the GOM coastline.  Because of the speed of deterioration of the environmental profile of the Gulf, fishing in the waters, swimming in the bayous, sunning on the beaches is no longer what it used to be.  The proliferation of pollution via so many vectors of dissemination has increased the concentration of dangerous chemicals and other toxins so much that the GOM must be looked at through different lens, henceforth.

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The State Of The Bioterrain Always Dictates The Most Likely Outcomes

In virtually every article that has been published in the mainstream media over the past decade about the many deaths and serious illnesses that have been directly linked to the GOM, there is often a qualification about the individual who died or who became seriously ill or diseased. Deliberate reference is made to the strength (or lack thereof) of the immune systems of those who passed or took ill.  This leaves the reader with the false impression that only those with weakened immune systems are vulnerable to pathogenic micro-organisms like Vibrio vulnificus.

While it’s true that a fisherman who is immuno-compromised is more susceptible to serious infection should he enter the waters with open wounds, it is also true that any individual with open wounds or sores can be easily infected by Vibrio.  Because the concentrations of various chemicals and contaminants in various regions of the GOM is at an all time high, the human body is only so equipped to efficiently process them.  Therefore, the bioterrain of any person will be affected, no matter how strong their constitution is.  Or, how clean their bioterrain is.  Or, how efficiently their immune system is functioning.

What is being proposed here is that the more resonance that occurs between the human body and the GOM body of water during swimming, fishing, snorkeling, and boating activities, the greater the likelihood of adverse health consequences.  For those oyster fisherman, who also eat raw oysters, the risks increase exponentially.  Especially those whose bioterrains have been degraded through an unhealthy lifestyle, there will be more and more serious medical repercussions from imprudent and/or ill-advised activity in the GOM.

Mississippi fisherman loses arm to Vibrio flesh-eating bacteria in the Gulf of Mexico

Mississippi fisherman loses arm to Vibrio flesh-eating bacteria in the Gulf of Mexico

Soaring Vibrio Vulnificus Infections Reveal The Degree Of Resonance Between The GOM Body Of Water And The Human Body

The spate of articles over the past few years regarding the flesh-eating bacteria incidents coming out of the GOM clearly indicate an evolving predicament which no one in government — federal, state, or local — or from industry, want to address in any meaningful way.  When people are regularly getting sick — VERY SICK — to the point of dying from Vibrio vulnificus infections, it does not reflect well on the various branches of government which are responsible for ensuring public safety and addressing serious public health concerns.

Flesh-eating Vibrio bacteria at seasonal peak in South Mississippi waters

Likewise, the many businesses and industries which rely on the GOM are no longer inclined to trumpet serious health alerts, such as the rising incidence of Vibrio infections. Simply put, it’s bad for business.  Whether you’re a fisherman or boat manufacturer,  hotel owner or tour boat operator, a sick Gulf of Mexico does not look good on the front pages of the newspapers.  This is especially true in the middle of the intractable recession that the Southeast economy has been stuck in since 2008.

The same is true for the homeowners and commercial property developers, particularly the wealthy, whose mansions dot the coastline from the Florida Keys to the southeastern coastline of Texas.  They simply don’t want to hear that there are tar balls washing up on their secluded beaches, especially when those tar balls contain high numbers of Vibrio vulnificus.  Or, that red tide is showing up off their coasts.  Schools of dead fish, or dead dolphins, or dead whales washing up on their sandy shores are also an extremely undesirable image.  Especially when property values can plummet were the true condition of the waters to be publicized.

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Not Only Pathogenic Bacteria Like Vibrio, Red Tide Also Proliferates In Polluted GOM

Vibrio is only one of numerous pathogenic micro-organisms which will proliferate in such a conducive environment as the GOM.  There are many others, such as Alexandrium fundyense (the algae that causes Red tide), which also seek out an imbalanced aquatic environment in which to thrive.  Over time there is expected to be a steady rise in the incidence of these and other water borne pathogens and ailments which originate in a degraded GOM.

Red tide has been visiting the Gulf Coast for many years now, except that the outbreaks have become increasingly more severe and affecting larger areas.  Emergency room visits have seen a marked increase during full blown Red tide blooms.  So have schools of fish and manatees and other marine life seen a considerable uptick in their mass killings by Red tide.  The released toxins during a Red tide event are especially deadly to many kinds of fish.

Red Tide blamed for large fish kill in northeast Gulf of Mexico

Florida sees record 803 manatee deaths; red tide blamed

Here’s what the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has to say about Red tide, also known as harmful algal blooms, or HABs.

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The Gulf of Mexico has a bioterrain, too!  

What NOAA will not tell you about Red tide is that there are circumstances beyond certain environmental conditions which encourage this highly toxic algae to bloom.  Just like the human bioterrain, when the intestinal flora becomes imbalanced, the opportunistic candida albicans fungus will colonize within the GI tract and overtake the eugenic bacteria required for proper digestion and absorption of nutrients.  If allowed to persist without proper intervention, systemic candidiasis can result, which can ultimately give rise to a pre-cancerous condition in the various target organs and tissues weakened by the pathogenic, mutated candida.

Likewise, when the GOM’s normal balance of both eugenic and pathogenic micro-organisms is thrown off, a similar set of circumstances can result.  Dangerous invasions of flesh-eating bacteria, toxic algae blooms and other health-compromising, microscopic inhabitants will likewise proliferate.  The more polluted the waters, the higher the frequency of their appearance, especially closer to shore because of the warmer waters which prevail there; where it’s shallow, the sun reflects off the sea bottom and warms the waters.

Of course, this is exactly where much of the swimming, water sports, fishing and other GOM activities take place.  The bayous and lagoons, bays and estuaries, wetlands and swamps often function as traps for much of the pollution which is systematically produced within and/or dumped into the GOM.  Because the normal circulation of these areas can be significantly limited at times (such as when the Loop Current stalls), they create an opportunity for the many toxic chemicals, hydrocarbon contaminants, industrial pollutants, and poisonous dispersants to both aggregate and densify.  In so doing, they eventually create an hospitable environment for pathogenic micro-organisms to propagate and flourish.

Nothing demonstrates this concept better than the existence of multiple dead zones throughout the GOM.  The following map delineates only those dead zone areas south of the Mississippi River, which have been the site of intensive oil and gas drilling since the early 1930s.  Were the entire Gulf of Mexico to be similarly mapped out, the resulting dead zones would be shown to be growing in both numbers and size, particularly over the past many years that deep sea oil drilling has been intensifying.

Dead zone pollutant grows despite decades of work

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Dead Zones in the Gulf of Mexico south of Louisiana coastline


Radioactive Component Of Hydrocarbon Effluent and Refinement Process

The following excerpt provides a cursory explanation of the radioactive components associated with both the oil and gas extraction process in deep wells, as well as the oil and gas refinement process.  This is the real untold story of the Hydrocarbon Fuel Paradigm, and why it is so fatally flawed.  If the community of nations properly responded to this weighty matter alone, they would have begun the process of systematically transitioning the world away from the Hydrocarbon Fuel Paradigm.

If the reader pays attention to nothing else in this essay, be advised that pervasive ionizing radiation disseminated by oil and gas extraction operations worldwide is the most critical issue that must be addressed.  The very sustainability of life on Planet Earth depends upon it, especially the deeper the oil wells are drilled in desperation of finding the next motherlode of hydrocarbon reserves.  As follows:

“The deeper the geological source of the hydrocarbons, the more radioactive isotopes present in the oil and gas.

That hydrocarbons pulled from the bowels of the earth have a scientifically verified radioactive component(s) is the dirty little secret of the Oil & Gas Industry. So secret in fact that, if it were to get out, this single scientific fact would seal the fate of the entire industry. It also undergirds the correct understanding that oil and gas are both abiotic in nature and abiogenic in origin – facts which cast a refreshing light on the notion of Peak Oil.
Yes, we have reached Peak Oil, but not because of the untenable Fossil Fuel Theory which has been known to be false by the Oil and Gas Industry since its inception. It has been asserted that the Macondo Prospect sits on a reservoir of abiotic oil the size of Mount Everest, one of the two largest batholiths with proven oil and gas mega-reserves in the GOM. However, that doesn’t make it economically feasible or technologically prudent to extract; nor is it smart to engage in such utter folly, as the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon dramatically demonstrated.

Mantle-generated hydrocarbons come from very young geological formations deep in the earth, and are the product of extremely powerful geo-thermal forces. The presence of radioactive isotopes such as uranium, thorium, radium show up in much greater concentrations the deeper the well bore is drilled into the earth’s crust, and are ubiquitous throughout the mantle. Therefore, the hydrocarbon constituents, which are actually found in the interstitial spaces, porous rock formations and quaternary sediments and are scattered everywhere because of their liquid and gaseous states, exist within and around this highly radioactive environment.
How radioactive is the hydrocarbon effluent upsurging from the wells in the GOM that are drilled at 12, 15, 18, 20, 25 or 30,000 feet through the crust and into the mantle? Here’s a link to the American Petroleum Institute website that will partially answer this question:
Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORMin North American Oilfields

Here’s another link to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website page entitled Radiation Protection that shows just how serious this matter has become from an environmental health standpoint.

Oil and Gas Production Wastes (Naturally-Occurring Radioactive Materials identified by the EPA)

Whenever there is a higher concentration of methane gas in the mix of oil/gas that comes out of any given well, it means that:

“The more methane that is present reflects the amount of Uranium and Thorium in the oil reserve. The deeper the oil, the younger the radiological decay is that produces helium.”
“Helium is a naturally occurring gas formed in oil reserves. So common that helium detectors have been used to discover oil reserves. Helium is an inert gas known to be a by-product from the radiological decay of uranium and thorium. Uranium and Thorium are known to be in great quantities at greater depths. Yes, radioactive elements occur naturally and can be found and detected in smaller amounts in shallow oil reserves. Oil reserves that do not produce large amounts of methane also lack uranium and thorium. The presence of methane is proportional to the presence of uranium and thorium, both radioactive elements.”

“The energy coming from uranium and thorium decay is thought to be the most significant energy source inside the earth,” Tolich said. “So this is the driving engine for things such as tectonic plate movements, volcanoes and earthquake. We are looking for neutrinos, particularly electron antineutrinos … coming from uranium and thorium decay inside the earth. The uranium and thorium is distributed all through the earth in the mantle.” (Per “URGENT: Radioactive Oil From BP Blowout“)

Uranium, thorium neutrino research could determine Earth’s age, energy production

From our many discussions with those knowledgeable at the OSATF (Oil Spill Academic Task Force) in Tallahassee, FL, it became evident early on in the spill that the percentage of methane of the total hydrocarbon composition was quite high. Some observed that it appeared to very slowly decrease, yet remained high right up until the capping of the gusher. Hence, we know that this oil spill in the GOM has a very definite radioactive component which must be addressed.”[1]

Oil rig fires like the Macondo explosion can disseminate airborne radioactive particles depending on the source of the hydrocarbons.

Oil rig fires like the Macondo explosion can disseminate airborne radioactive particles depending on the source of the hydrocarbons.

Conclusion:

The basic story is that the Gulf of Mexico is slowly dying.  How and why it is dying is not a narrative the EPA, CDC, US Coast Guard or NIH is ever likely to publish.  Taken to the next level of understanding, it becomes quite obvious that the predominant environmental profile of the geographic location in which we live will always be reflected by our own individual bioterrain (environmental profile).  If an individual lives near Fukushima for any length of time, then radiation will show up in their body.  If they work and play downwind from a biomass incinerator, those airborne contaminants will in time accumulate in his or her body.

Likewise, the GOM has its own environmental profile which affects all who live near it, work in or on it, as well as eat the catch from its waters.  Even those who live at a distance can be affected by the GOM’s chemical profile to the extent that the regional hydrological cycle brings moisture and chemicals (remember Acid Rain) from the GOM over their homes and businesses.  The massive spraying of Corexit throughout the Gulf has only exacerbated this situation to the extent that such dispersants are still permitted to ‘disappear’ both new and old oil spills.

Although the first responsibility of government is to safeguard and protect the citizenry, this rarely happens in contemporary society.  Because of the overwhelming power and influence that Corporate America now exerts at very level of government, corporate profits and income lines almost always trump human health concerns and environmental protection[2].  Similarly, the shareholders’ interests, even when in a distant land, often take precedence over the welfare of the local communities which are deeply affected by environmentally-destructive corporate behavior.

In closing, it is indisputable that the Gulf of Mexico will continue to absorb a toxic burden well beyond its capacity to effectively process.  As the dead zones enlarge and start to merge with each other, perhaps the people who depend on this great body of water will reach a breaking point.  Only when there is a sufficient level of collective intolerance will the forces, and resources, become available to start taking back our Gulf.  Then, we might return to a time when the GOM looked like this:

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Submitted by:
Gulf Oil Spill Remediation Cyber-Conference
International Citizens’ Initiative
July 27, 2014

Author’s Note:

Of all the major co-factors contributing to the slow motion demise of the Gulf of Mexico, none is so easily removed from this progressively worsening scenario as the wanton and indiscriminate spraying of the dangerous dispersant Corexit.  The continuing use of this noxious chemical has only made a bad situation much worse.  In addition to sinking the oil that it is designed to disperse, Corexit converts the oil into a much more toxic form.

The oil dispersal process also micronizes the Corext-laden byproduct so that it is impossible to see and very difficult detect, making it resistant to the traditional methods of gathering the oil for other types of disposal.  This “out of sight, out of mind” approach is an essential part of the BP Advertising Campaign[3] that appears on virtually every website on the internet, which is even remotely connected to the Gulf oil spill or the GOM.  In this regard BP’s actual response to their 2010 oil spill has been all form and very little substance, except the oily kind.

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As a glaring testimony to this hapless reality, both BP and the EPA have been repeatedly made aware of a non-toxic, environmentally safe, cost-effective bioremediation agent known as OSEII.  This hydrocarbon remediation agent has been proven effective on a broad range of oil spills throughout the world and is fast replacing the dispersant class of treatments.  Nations near and far have been outlawing the application of dispersants since the BP Gulf Oil Spill and now eagerly replacing it with bioremediation agents such asOSEII.

That the EPA, NOAA, US Coast Guard, and the Department of Interior would permit the reflexive use of such a harmful dispersant like Corexit when far superior alternatives exist — which have been NCP-listed —  defies common sense.  It also violates the EPA’s charter, most basic regulations and stated policies.  Clearly, it is well past the time that EPA administrators ought to be held personally responsible for breaking the laws which govern the environmental protection of US territorial waters.

Lastly, the Gulf Oil Spill Remediation Cyber-Conference would ask each and every reader to watch the following video. This very impressive presentation provides an actual demonstration of OSEII being used to clean up some shoreline oil. The broad dissemination of such an effective use of a bioremediation agent, being successfully utilized by nations around the globe, might just compel the US Federal Government to reconsider their misguided and environmentally unsound oil spill response plan.

[youtube_sc url= https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2TuTfQNEDY&w=560&h=315%5D

Notes

[1] The Gulf of Mexico is Dying: A Special Report On The BP Gulf Oil Spill

[2] Environmental and Health Impacts of the BP Gulf Oil Spill

[3] The BP Gulf Oil Spill Info Blackout And Data Lockdown

Resources:

Drilling Fluids and Heath Risk Management — a guide for drilling personnel, managers and health professionals in the oil and gas industry
(See “Appendix 11: Potential health effects that may result from exposure to certain components of drilling fluids”)

Change Oil Spill Response Now!

References:

The BP Gulf Oil Spill Continues To Sicken People Along The GOM

In-Depth: The Gulf Is Still Sick

BP oil spill dispersants still in environment

Warm Water Sparks Flesh-Eating Disease Warning in Florida

VIBRIO VULNIFICUS: Flesh-eating ocean bacteria hospitalizes 32, kills 10 in Florida

Flesh-eating Bacteria: Coastal Scourge (Vibrio vulnificus) is Lurking in the Estuaries

FWC News Release: Red tide causes large fish kill in northeast Gulf of Mexico

As Summer Officially Begins, A 1,250-Pound Tar Mat Discovered Off Florida Beach

Will Bacterial Plague Follow Crude Oil Spill Along Gulf Coast?

Deadly Bacteria Lurk in Deepwater Horizon Tar Balls

Woman loses leg after Gulf swim

Two Baldwin Co. Cases of Flesh Eating Bacteria

St. Johns River tests positive for flesh-eating bacteria

A bacteria that causes illnesses found in Indian River Lagoon

7 cases of flesh-eating bacteria reported so far this year in Miss.

Ocean Springs man dies from flesh eating bacteria

This article was first published in April 2011 at the height of the war on Libya

Every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defense against a homicidal maniac.”- George Orwell.

Reflecting on George W. Bush’s speech to the nation, forty eight hours before the (19th March 2003) invasion of Iraq, Professor J. Gregory Payne, of the Department of Communication Studies, Emerson College, Boston, Mass., reflected that his stance:

” … furthers the perception that the United States has appointed itself the sheriff of the world, who decide, on our own, what is needed, and precisely when to keep what the sheriff determines, to be ‘order.’ ” (i)

Bush also directed the Iraqi troops :

“not to die for a dying regime” and: “continued his repetition of ‘regime, ‘tyrant’, ‘murderer,’ and other devil terms to enhance the reception of his claims …” The Professor concluded: “Summed up: ‘Might makes right.’ “

He also reminds that Bush’s first warning to the Iraqis was: “not to set the oil wells on fire.” Admonishing not to detonate “weapons of mass destruction” – the stated “reason” for the war – was an afterthought. How modern history repeats.

President “humbled to be awarded the Nobel” Obama, has learned fast. Quaddaffi, he said in his speech on 29th., March was: “a tyrant”, engaged on a “campaign of killing”, “brutal repression”, and we were bombing the country in to possible oblivion: “to avoid a massacre.”

Iraq is further repeated in the Libya embargo.

As Iraq, assets are frozen: “$33 Billion of the regime’s assets”, trumpeted the President (who gets the interest? Will Libya ever see it again? Or as Iraq, will it simply vanish?) A travel ban is imposed on the regime, an arms embargo (and also, as Iraq in 1990, on a country those now bombing it, had awarded it virtually “favoured nation” status in their arms sales) and trade is crippled. The “no fly zone”, where the usual suspects can fly and bomb from a safe height, is another Alice in Wonderland mirror image (pun intended.)

“This indicates that the (UN.,) Security Council has double standards, and raises suspicion that it is an attempt to seize Libya’s resources, its funds deposited abroad and its oil revenues, in order to pay off the debts, accumulated by certain states, as a result of the global economic crisis”, said the then Foreign Minister, Musa Kousa, at the UN., on 21st March.(ii)

Kousa also argued, in a letter to the Security Council on 17th., March (eighth anniversary of Bush’s Iraq speech) that Libya had simply taken: “legitimate action against terrorism, seeking to defend itself … and prevent al Qaeda from infiltrating Europe, in accordance with the counter terrorism instruments to which it is a party.” He further stated that: “an external conspiracy was targeting Libya and its territorial integrity.” Iraq’s “sovereignty and territorial integrity”, was, of course, also guaranteed by the UN. Kousa requested an emergency meeting of the Security Council. (See ii.) Like Iraq, the request was dismissed. That Pentagon hand book on: “How to Manipulate International Law and Market a New Enemy”, must be well dog-eared and worn.

On 5th April, Colonel Quaddaffi himself wrote to President Obama. In the circumstances it was a remarkably conciliatory letter. In yet another Iraq re-run, Washington dismissed it out of hand. At a joint Press Conference on 7th., April, with the Italian Foreign Minister, Franco Frattini, Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton stated: “I don’t think there is any mystery about what is expected from Mr. Gaddafi at this time, that is an international assessment.”

Once the infantile reducing of a head of state to “Mr” starts, there is trouble ahead. Remember: “Mr Hussein”?

Also as Iraq, the main stream media – with honourable exceptions – are always on hand to assist the propaganda. Here are some random examples, from April 6th., and 7th.:

The BBC on Radio 5 Live’s “Breakfast” programme (7th., April) stated that Colonel Quaddaffi’s  letter was “three pages”, and gave the impression, seemingly from a US government source, that it was rambling and incoherent. Their statement was repeated, word for word, on BBC websites. I checked a number – worldwide.

A random sample of other news outlets, of differing political hues, make an interesting read:

* The (UK) Daily Mirror:

“In a rambling, three-page letter littered with errors, Gaddafi implored Obama to stop the Nato-led air campaign ‘against a small people of a developing country.’ ” (iii)

* Sky News: “He reportedly appealed to Mr Obama for a ceasefire in a rambling, three-page letter.”(iv)

* Oil Leader News : “Obama received a rambling, three-page letter from Gaddafi asking for a halt to a Western air campaign against his forces, but US., officials bluntly dismissed the plea.” Hilary Clinton, says the publication, responded by demanding the Libyan leader go into exile. So much for “sovereignty and territorial integrity.” (v)

* EU Journal: “In a rambling three-page letter obtained by The Associated Press, Gaddafi implored Obama to stop the Nato-led air campaign, which he called an ‘unjust war against a small people of a developing country ..’ ” (vi)

* For the UK’s Daily Telegraph, Alex Spillus, in Washington reported : ” US., officials said, that in a rambling, three page letter, the Libyan leader referred to the US., President as “our son”  … ” (vi)

* Real Clear World, was indeed a little clearer: “Libya accused Britain of damaging an oil pipeline in an air strike, hours after rebels said government attacks had halted production of oil they hope to sell to finance their uprising. British warplanes have attacked, and carried out an air strike against the Sarir oilfield which killed three oilfield guards and other employees at the field were also injured … Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim told reporters. There was no immediate comment from Britain’s Ministry of Defense or from NATO …”

But:  “Gaddafi himself appealed for a halt to the air campaign in a rambling three page letter to the US., President Barack Obama …”(viii)

* CBS News: who actually link the letter, still says: “A US., official confirms that the US., considers the rambling three-page letter to be authentic”, they quoted some of the content: ‘ “You are a man who has enough courage to annul a wrong and mistaken action”, Qaddafi wrote in the letter, that was sent to the State Department and forwarded immediately to the White House, according to a U.S. official who had seen the letter. “I am sure that you are able to shoulder the responsibility for that.” ‘

* For Google News it was: “In a rambling three-page letter obtained by the Associated Press, Gaddafi implored Obama to stop the NATO-led led air campaign, which the Libyan called an ‘unjust war against a small people of a developing country.’ “(x)

* The Jerusalem Post opined: “Obama received a rambling, three-page letter from Gaddafi asking for a halt to a Western air campaign against his forces, but US officials bluntly dismissed the plea.”(xi)

* The Guardian also did a near word for word cut and paste job, as the others : “In a rambling three-page letter obtained by the Associated Press …” (xii)

Across the world, from the Jordan Times to the Detroit Free Press was: “a rambling three page letter.” The (UK) Daily Mail conjured up: “a three page missive littered with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.”(xiii)

Given his country and compound was being bombed, decades of development destroyed, his son Khamis had been, reportedly, mortally injured on the first day of the bombing, dying two days later, and it was ten days before the anniversary of his baby daughter, Hanna’s death, killed in Reagan’s 1986 bombing, a few errors when writing in an entirely unrelated language, might be forgiven. It has to be wondered how good the Mail correspondent’s arabic is.

Worth noting is that in the 1986 bombing, the White House stated that the US., “was excercising its right to self defense”, and as one commentator put it:  “Allied air power has been deployed in Libya ostensibly to protect Libyans from a leader the world has belated discovered as a deadly psychopath.”(xiv)

So, with, again, the media demonisation propaganda swinging seamless in to action, here is the text of Colonel Quaddaffi’s letter. All six short paragraphs of it:

Here, from The Associated Press, is the complete text of the Libyan leader’s latest letter (with unusual English spellings and grammar as in the original):

Our son, Excellency,

President Obama

U.S.A

We have been hurt more morally that physically because of what had happened against us in both deeds and words by you. Despite all this you will always remain our son whatever happened. We still pray that you continue to be president of the U.S.A.

We Endeavour and hope that you will gain victory in the new election campaigne. You are a man who has enough courage to annul a wrong and mistaken action. I am sure that you are able to shoulder the responsibility for that. Enough evidence is available, Bearing in mind that you are the president of the strongest power in the world nowadays, and since Nato is waging an unjust war against a small people of a developing country. This country had already been subjected to embargo and sanctions, furthermore it also suffered a direct military armed aggression during Reagan’s time. This country is Libya. Hence, to serving world peace … Friendship between our peoples … and for the sake of economic, and security cooperation against terror, you are in a position to keep Nato off the Libyan affair for good.

As you know too well democracy and building of civil society cannot be achieved by means of missiles and aircraft, or by backing armed member of AlQuaeda in Benghazi.

You — yourself — said on many occasions, one of them in the UN General Assembly, I was witness to that personally, that America is not responsible for the security of other peoples. That America helps only. This is the right logic.

Our dear son, Excellency, Baraka Hussein Abu oumama, your intervention is the name of the U.S.A. is a must, so that Nato would withdraw finally from the Libyan affair. Libya should be left to Libyans within the African union frame. The problem now stands as follows:-

1. There is Nato intervention politically as well as military.

2. Terror conducted by AlQaueda gangs that have been armed in some cities, and by force refused to allow people to go back to their normal life, and carry on with exercising their social people’s power as usual.

Mu’aumer Qaddaffi

Leader of the Revolution

Tripoli 5.4.2011

The reference to “Our dear son”, which has been much sneered at, is normal linguistic currency when referring to those of African heritage, by Africans and those of African descent. Indeed, in the Boston Globe, the day after Obama’s election, one columnist wrote: “As a symbol of a son of Africa, elected to lead a majority white nation, that once enslaved Africans and treated their descendants with great cruelty, Obama’s rise makes me proud of our country.”(xvii) Wonder how he feels now.

Indeed, on 13th July 2009, President Obama told a “riveted” Ghanaian Parliament: “I have the blood of Africa within me.” Ironic he now has it on his hands.

“What happens here”, he said, as he ended his visit, “has an impact everywhere.”

And why is not the BBC referenced? Below is a letter written to them on the 7th., April, the day they talked of that “rambling three page letter.”

“To: [email protected]

Subject: Quaddaffi letter : long, rambling, three pages

Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2011 13:03:19 +0100

Greetings,

This morning you stated that the letter from Mu’aumer Quaddaffi was three pages and gave the impression that it was rambling and incoherent. Did any one look at it? It is six paragraphs and pretty succinct.

Interesting that this seemingly bit of corporate proganda has been repeated, seamlessly, worldwide. I have picked, randomly, the Canadian version (below.)

As the Balkans, has the BBC become a mouthpiece for NATO? I seem to remember your correspondent, Mark Laity, after that blitzkrieg ended, got a job with them.

Yours,

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-12990618

There has been no reply, but the “rambling and incoherent” implication, seems to have vanished from every BBC., website, including the above. The “three pages”, however, remains.

“The BBC., bringing you the news, as it is, all the time”, is one of their quoted slogans. Not quite, it seems.

“Democracy Now”s Amy Goodman summed media collusion, laziness and duplicity well: “The Press needs to be the Fourth Estate, not the Fourth State.”

Notes

i. http://www.presidentialrhetoric.com/speeches/03.17.03.responses.html

ii http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jTx2qLIAaj2mpZBmwBfAQf5uWowg?docId=c2b284d2590449f7bbd4bf505db4c5aa

iii. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2011/04/07/colonel-gaddafi-appeals-to-our-son-barack-obama-to-tell-nato-to-lay-off-115875-23043017/

iv.http://news.sky.com/skynews/Article/201009115967221

v. http://www.Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.

vi. http://www.europe-current-events.com/…/gaddafi-begs-obama-to-halt-unjust-war/ –  

vii. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/…/Libya-Gaddafi-writes-to-Barack-Obama-asking-him- to-halt-Nato-campaign.html

viii.http://www.realclearworld.com/news/reuters/international/2011/Apr/07/rebels_say_gaddafi_halts_oil__libya_blames_britain.html

ix.  http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503543_162-20051336-503543.html

x. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jOdszjUAaO0Bkfrds7Wxg_F5iPsw?docId=5aba55552eea4dd387813063ace2377f

xi. http://www.jpost.com/VideoArticles/Video/Article.aspx?id=215465

xii.  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/06/gaddafi-obama-nato-libya

xiii.  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1374315/Gaddafis-letter-Barack-Obama-calls-end-unjust-war.html#ixzz1J3Yxobqv

xiv   http://www.sunrise.ug/component/content/category/75.html?layout=blog

xvi   http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24189

See also: Truth, Propaganda and Media Manipulation : http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=23868

xvii.  http://pierceschoolbrookline.org/History.shtml

xviii.http://newsone.com/obama/news-one-staff/obama-says-i-have-the-blood-of-africa-within-me-in-ghana-speech/

             

Kiev Fires Ballistic Missiles into Eastern Ukraine

July 30th, 2014 by Tony Cartalucci

CNN has reported that the regime in Kiev launched several short-range ballistic missiles into eastern Ukraine – each missile containing warheads of up to 1,000 lbs (450 kg). The missiles fired were OTR-21 Tochka also known by their NATO reporting name as SS-21 Scarabs and are considered far from “precision” weapons.

While smaller than the infamous “Scud” missile, SS-21s are similarly inaccurate and their use in combat against an enemy entrenched in populated areas is almost guaranteed to cause indiscriminate mass casualties. In fact, when Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi allegedly fired Scuds at NATO-backed Al Qaeda terrorists, according to the Telegraph in its article, “Col Gaddafi fires scud missile at rebel territory as Nato braces itself for final violent showdown,” one Western official claimed:

That it didn’t hit anything or kill anyone is not the point. It’s a weapon of mass destruction that Col Gaddafi is willing to train on his own people.

Clearly the West’s conscience has shifted and now weapons of mass destruction Ukraine is willing to train on its own people appears more than acceptable.

The US Department of Defense admittedly holds information regarding Kiev’s use of the ballistic missiles but is refusing to disclose it, only confirming that indeed the weapons have been used. In the CNN report, Major General James A. “Spider” Marks claimed that the reasoning behind the Pentagon’s decision was because “Ukraine has a right to defend itself,” before admitting that SS-21s are used offensively ahead of an invasion or other armed incursion.

What it appears the West is doing by admitting to what is otherwise a crime against humanity by their own definition, is acclimatizing what is left of their impressionable audiences to an increasingly brutal campaign of indiscriminate violence against the whole of eastern Ukraine in an effort to not only break armed resistance, but the civilian population that has rejected Kiev’s authority. The use of such weaponry, just as the Telegraph and others noted before the fall of Libya, hints at tactical weakness and impending strategic defeat – and while the West covers for Kiev’s numerous and multiplying atrocities, the fact that Kiev must resort to increasingly brutal and indiscriminate measures indicates a failure no amount of Western support can undo.

Is Killing Civilians Part of Israel’s plan?

July 30th, 2014 by Jonathan Cook

Another day, another UN school hit by Israeli shelling in Gaza. Israel’s attack this morning killed at least 16 civilians sheltering at the school and wounded dozens. The casualties figures are expected to rise.

Israel and even most of its critics tell us that the civilian casualties are accidental, caused by Israel’s need to wage its war against Hamas in heavily built-up areas of Gaza. Israel is accused of “disproportionality”, or of recklessness, or of inflicting unfortunate collateral damage.

But here’s another possibility: that the people of Gaza, not just Hamas, are the target. That Israel’s generals don’t see much difference between the two.

Israel’s army is “degrading” – or “mowing the lawn”, in even worse military parlance – Gaza’s ability’s to resist. Not Hamas’ abilities, but Gaza’s. Because the problem lies not with Hamas. Hamas is simply a symptom, of the people of Gaza’s determination to liberate themselves from Israel’s siege.

That is why the power plant was destroyed yesterday. That is why Israel has been starving Gaza for years through its siege, limiting the entry of basic foods and counting the minimum calories people need for bare survival - putting them on a diet, as one senior adviser jokingly termed it. That is why Gaza’s infrastructure is being trashed - the notorious Dahiya doctrine, devised by Israeli generals in 2006 as way to force hostile populations back into the Stone Age, keeping them preoccupied with the essentials of life rather than demanding, or fighting, for their rights.

Israel knows it cannot destroy Hamas’ will to resist without destroying Gaza’s will to resist too. And that is what it looks like we are seeing played out here day-in, day-out. Civilians, it seems, must die to teach Gaza a lesson: you will submit.

www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=716936

In her latest post, my colleague Rania Khalek makes reference to “a new racist chant mocking the more than two hundred children slaughtered by Israel’s merciless bombing campaign in Gaza: ‘Tomorrow there’s no school in Gaza, they don’t have any children left.’”

This video shows an Israeli mob actually singing in celebration of children’s deaths in the style of a soccer fans’ song: “In Gaza there’s no studying, No children are left there, Olé, olé, olé-olé-olé.”

The mob also incites directly against Ahmed Tibi and Haneen Zoabi, two prominent Palestinian citizens of Israel who are members of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament.

The video of the 26 July event in Tel Aviv was published by Israeli journalist Haim Har-Zahav.

The words of the repulsive song have been translated for The Electronic Intifada by Dena Shunra:

Tibi – Ahmed Tibi
I wanted you to know
The next kid to be hurt will be your kid
I hate Tibi
I hate Tibi the terrorist.
Tibi – is dead!
Tibi – is dead!
Tibi – is dead!

Tibi is a terrorist.
Tibi is a terrorist.
Tibi is a terrorist.

They’ll take their papers away.
They’ll take their papers away.
They’ll take their papers away.
Olé, olé, olé-olé-olé
In Gaza there’s no studying
No children are left there,
Olé, olé, olé-olé-olé,

[Three lines, not entirely clear]

Who is getting nervous, I hear?
Zoabi, this here is the Land of Israel
This here is the Land of Israel, Zoabi
This here is the Land of the Jews
I hate you, I do, Zoabi
I hate all the Arabs.
Oh-oh-oh-oh
Gaza is a graveyard
Gaza is a graveyard
Gaza is a graveyard
Gaza is a graveyard

English subtitles

Tali Shapiro has posted a version of the same video with English subtitles.

(Click on caption, CC, at the bottom of the video if the subtitles don’t show.)

Senior U.S. Intelligence Officers: Obama Should Release Ukraine Evidence

Preface: With the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine turning a local civil war into a U.S. confrontation with Russia, former high-level U.S. intelligence veterans released a statement today urging President Obama to release what evidence he has about the tragedy and silence the exaggeration and rush to judgment. (The whole post is a must-read; but we at Washington’s Blog have added bolding for emphasis.)

Signatory Bill Binney – the former senior technical director at the NSA, and a man who battled the Soviet Union for decades – tells Washington’s Blog:

In my analytic efforts to predict intentions and capabilities down through the years, I always made sure that I had multi-factors verifying what I was asserting. So far, I don’t see that discipline here in this administration or the IC [i.e. the United States intelligence community].

Posted with permission of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Intelligence on Shoot-Down of Malaysian Plane

Executive Summary

U.S.–Russian intensions are building in a precarious way over Ukraine, and we are far from certain that your advisers fully appreciate the danger of escalation. The New York Times and other media outlets are treating sensitive issues in dispute as flat-fact, taking their cue from U.S. government sources.

Twelve days after the shoot-down of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, your administration still has issued no coordinated intelligence assessment summarizing what evidence exists to determine who was responsible – much less to convincingly support repeated claims that the plane was downed by a Russian-supplied missile in the hands of Ukrainian separatists.

Your administration has not provided any satellite imagery showing that the separatists had such weaponry, and there are several other “dogs that have not barked.” Washington’s credibility, and your own, will continue to erode, should you be unwilling – or unable – to present more tangible evidence behind administration claims. In what follows, we put this in the perspective of former intelligence professionals with a cumulative total of 260 years in various parts of U.S. intelligence:

We, the undersigned former intelligence officers want to share with you our concern about the evidence adduced so far to blame Russia for the July 17 downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17. We are retired from government service and none of us is on the payroll of CNN, Fox News, or any other outlet. We intend this memorandum to provide a fresh, different perspective.

As veteran intelligence analysts accustomed to waiting, except in emergency circumstances, for conclusive information before rushing to judgment, we believe that the charges against Russia should be rooted in solid, far more convincing evidence. And that goes in spades with respect to inflammatory incidents like the shoot-down of an airliner. We are also troubled by the amateurish manner in which fuzzy and flimsy evidence has been served up – some it via “social media.”

As intelligence professionals we are embarrassed by the unprofessional use of partial intelligence information. As Americans, we find ourselves hoping that, if you indeed have more conclusive evidence, you will find a way to make it public without further delay. In charging Russia with being directly or indirectly responsible, Secretary of State John Kerry has been particularly definitive. Not so the evidence. His statements seem premature and bear earmarks of an attempt to “poison the jury pool.”

Painting Russia Black

We see an eerie resemblance to an earlier exercise in U.S. “public diplomacy” from which valuable lessons can be learned by those more interested in the truth than in exploiting tragic incidents for propaganda advantage. We refer to the behavior of the Reagan administration in the immediate aftermath of the shoot-down of Korean Airlines Flight 007 over Siberia on August 30, 1983. We sketch out below a short summary of that tragic affair, since we suspect you have not been adequately briefed on it. The parallels will be obvious to you.

An advantage of our long tenure as intelligence officers is that we remember what we have witnessed first hand; seldom do we forget key events in which we played an analyst or other role. To put it another way, most of us “know exactly where we were” when a Soviet fighter aircraft shot down Korean Airlines passenger flight 007 over Siberia on August 30, 1983, over 30 years ago. At the time, we were intelligence officers on “active duty.” You were 21; many of those around you today were still younger.

Thus, it seems possible that you may be learning how the KAL007 affair went down, so to speak, for the first time; that you may now become more aware of the serious implications for U.S.-Russian relations regarding how the downing of Flight 17 goes down; and that you will come to see merit in preventing ties with Moscow from falling into a state of complete disrepair. In our view, the strategic danger here dwarfs all other considerations.

Hours after the tragic shoot-down on Aug. 30, 1983, the Reagan administration used its very accomplished propaganda machine to twist the available intelligence on Soviet culpability for the killing of all 269 people aboard KAL007. The airliner was shot down after it strayed hundreds of miles off course and penetrated Russia’s airspace over sensitive military facilities in Kamchatka and Sakhalin Island. The Soviet pilot tried to signal the plane to land, but the KAL pilots did not respond to the repeated warnings. Amid confusion about the plane’s identity – a U.S. spy plane had been in the vicinity hours earlier – Soviet ground control ordered the pilot to fire.

The Soviets soon realized they had made a horrendous mistake. U.S. intelligence also knew from sensitive intercepts that the tragedy had resulted from a blunder, not from a willful act of murder (much as on July 3, 1988, the USS Vincennes shot down an Iranian civilian airliner over the Persian Gulf, killing 290 people, an act which President Ronald Reagan dismissively explained as an “understandable accident”).

To make the very blackest case against Moscow for shooting down the KAL airliner, the Reagan administration suppressed exculpatory evidence from U.S. electronic intercepts. Washington’s mantra became “Moscow’s deliberate downing of a civilian passenger plane.” Newsweek ran a cover emblazoned with the headline “Murder in the Sky.” (Apparently, not much has changed; Time’s cover this week features “Cold War II” and “Putin’s dangerous game.” The cover story by Simon Shuster, “In Russia, Crime Without Punishment,” would merit an A-plus in William Randolph Hearst’s course “Yellow Journalism 101.”)

When KAL007 was shot down, Alvin A. Snyder, director of the U.S. Information Agency’s television and film division, was enlisted in a concerted effort to “heap as much abuse on the Soviet Union as possible,” as Snyder writes in his 1995 book, “Warriors of Disinformation.”

He and his colleagues also earned an A-plus for bringing the “mainstream media” along. For example, ABC’s Ted Koppel noted with patriotic pride, “This has been one of those occasions when there is very little difference between what is churned out by the U.S. government propaganda organs and by the commercial broadcasting networks.”

“Fixing” the Intelligence Around the Policy

“The perception we wanted to convey was that the Soviet Union had cold-bloodedly carried out a barbaric act,” wrote Snyder, adding that the Reagan administration went so far as to present a doctored transcript of the intercepts to the United Nations Security Council on September 6, 1983.

Only a decade later, when Snyder saw the complete transcripts — including the portions that the Reagan administration had hidden — would he fully realize how many of the central elements of the U.S. presentation were false.

The intercepts showed that the Soviet fighter pilot believed he was pursuing a U.S. spy aircraft and that he was having trouble in the dark identifying the plane. Per instructions from ground control, the pilot had circled the KAL airliner and tilted his wings to order the aircraft to land. The pilot said he fired warning shots, as well. This information “was not on the tape we were provided,” Snyder wrote.

It became abundantly clear to Snyder that, in smearing the Soviets, the Reagan administration had presented false accusations to the United Nations, as well as to the people of the United States and the world. In his book, Snyder acknowledged his own role in the deception, but drew a cynical conclusion. He wrote, “The moral of the story is that all governments, including our own, lie when it suits their purposes. The key is to lie first.”

The tortured attempts by your administration and stenographers in the media to blame Russia for the downing of Flight 17, together with John Kerry’s unenviable record for credibility, lead us to the reluctant conclusion that the syndrome Snyder describes may also be at work in your own administration; that is, that an ethos of “getting your own lie out first” has replaced “ye shall know the truth.” At a minimum, we believe Secretary Kerry displayed unseemly haste in his determination to be first out of the starting gate.

Both Sides Cannot Be Telling the Truth

We have always taken pride in not shooting from the hip, but rather in doing intelligence analysis that is evidence-based. The evidence released to date does not bear close scrutiny; it does not permit a judgment as to which side is lying about the shoot-down of Flight 17. Our entire professional experience would incline us to suspect the Russians – almost instinctively. Our more recent experience, particularly observing Secretary Kerry injudiciousness in latching onto one spurious report after another as “evidence,” has gone a long way toward balancing our earlier predispositions.

It seems that whenever Kerry does cite supposed “evidence” that can be checked – like the forged anti-Semitic fliers distributed in eastern Ukraine or the photos of alleged Russian special forces soldiers who allegedly slipped into Ukraine – the “proof” goes “poof” as Kerry once said in a different context. Still, these misrepresentations seem small peccadillos compared with bigger whoppers like the claim Kerry made on Aug. 30, 2013, no fewer than 35 times, that “we know” the government of Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical incidents near Damascus nine days before.

On September 3, 2013 – following your decision to call off the attack on Syria in order to await Congressional authorization – Kerry was still pushing for an attack in testimony before a thoroughly sympathetic Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. On the following day Kerry drew highly unusual personal criticism from President Putin, who said: “He is lying, and he knows he is lying. It is sad.”

Equally serious, during the first week of September 2013, as you and President Vladimir Putin were putting the final touches to the deal whereby Syrian chemical weapons would be given up for destruction, John Kerry said something that puzzles us to this day. On September 9, 2013, Kerry was in London, still promoting a U.S. attack on Syria for having crossed the “Red Line” you had set against Syria’s using chemical weapons.

At a formal press conference, Kerry abruptly dismissed the possibility that Bashar al-Assad would ever give up his chemical weapons, saying, “He isn’t about to do that; it can’t be done.” Just a few hours later, the Russians and Syrians announced Syria’s agreement to do precisely what Kerry had ruled out as impossible. You sent him back to Geneva to sign the agreement, and it was formally concluded on September 14.

Regarding the Malaysia Airlines shoot-down of July 17, we believe Kerry has typically rushed to judgment and that his incredible record for credibility poses a huge disadvantage in the diplomatic and propaganda maneuvering vis-a-vis Russia. We suggest you call a halt to this misbegotten “public diplomacy” offensive. If, however, you decide to press on anyway, we suggest you try to find a less tarnished statesman or woman.

A Choice Between Two

If the intelligence on the shoot-down is as weak as it appears judging from the fuzzy scraps that have been released, we strongly suggest you call off the propaganda war and await the findings of those charged with investigating the shoot-down. If, on the other hand, your administration has more concrete, probative intelligence, we strongly suggest that you consider approving it for release, even if there may be some risk of damage to “sources and methods.” Too often this consideration is used to prevent information from entering the public domain where, as in this case, it belongs.

There have been critical junctures in the past in which presidents have recognized the need to waive secrecy in order to show what one might call “a decent respect for the opinions of mankind” or even to justify military action.

As senior CIA veteran Milton Bearden has put it, there are occasions when more damage is done to U.S. national security by “protecting” sources and methods than by revealing them. For instance, Bearden noted that Ronald Reagan exposed a sensitive intelligence source in showing a skeptical world the reason for the U.S. attack on Libya in retaliation for the April 5, 1986 bombing at the La Belle Disco in West Berlin. That bombing killed two U.S. servicemen and a Turkish woman, and injured over 200 people, including 79 U.S. servicemen.

Intercepted messages between Tripoli and agents in Europe made it clear that Libya was behind the attack. Here’s an excerpt: “At 1:30 in the morning one of the acts was carried out with success, without leaving a trace behind.”

Ten days after the bombing the U.S. retaliated, sending over 60 Air Force fighters to strike the Libyan capital of Tripoli and the city of Benghazi. The operation was widely seen as an attempt to kill Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, who survived, but his adopted 15-month-old daughter was killed in the bombing, along with at least 15 other civilians.

Three decades ago, there was more shame attached to the killing of children. As world abhorrence grew after the U.S. bombing strikes, the Reagan administration produced the intercepted, decoded message sent by the Libyan Peoples Bureau in East Berlin acknowledging the “success” of the attack on the disco, and adding the ironically inaccurate boast “without leaving a trace behind.”

The Reagan administration made the decision to give up a highly sensitive intelligence source, its ability to intercept and decipher Libyan communications. But once the rest of the world absorbed this evidence, international grumbling subsided and many considered the retaliation against Tripoli justified.

If You’ve Got the Goods…

If the U.S. has more convincing evidence than what has so far been adduced concerning responsibility for shooting down Flight 17, we believe it would be best to find a way to make that intelligence public – even at the risk of compromising “sources and methods.” Moreover, we suggest you instruct your subordinates not to cheapen U.S. credibility by releasing key information via social media like Twitter and Facebook.

The reputation of the messenger for credibility is also key in this area of “public diplomacy.” As is by now clear to you, in our view Secretary Kerry is more liability than asset in this regard. Similarly, with regard to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, his March 12, 2013 Congressional testimony under oath to what he later admitted were “clearly erroneous” things regarding NSA collection should disqualify him. Clapper should be kept at far remove from the Flight 17 affair.

What is needed, if you’ve got the goods, is an Interagency Intelligence Assessment – the genre used in the past to lay out the intelligence. We are hearing indirectly from some of our former colleagues that what Secretary Kerry is peddling does not square with the real intelligence. Such was the case late last August, when Kerry created a unique vehicle he called a “Government (not Intelligence) Assessment” blaming, with no verifiable evidence, Bashar al-Assad for the chemical attacks near Damascus, as honest intelligence analysts refused to go along and, instead, held their noses.

We believe you need to seek out honest intelligence analysts now and hear them out. Then, you may be persuaded to take steps to curb the risk that relations with Russia might escalate from “Cold War II” into an armed confrontation. In all candor, we see little reason to believe that Secretary Kerry and your other advisers appreciate the enormity of that danger.

In our most recent (May 4) memorandum to you, Mr. President, we cautioned that if the U.S. wished “to stop a bloody civil war between east and west Ukraine and avert Russian military intervention in eastern Ukraine, you may be able to do so before the violence hurtles completely out of control.” On July 17, you joined the top leaders of Germany, France, and Russia in calling for a ceasefire. Most informed observers believe you have it in your power to get Ukrainian leaders to agree. The longer Kiev continues its offensive against separatists in eastern Ukraine, the more such U.S. statements appear hypocritical.

We reiterate our recommendations of May 4, that you remove the seeds of this confrontation by publicly disavowing any wish to incorporate Ukraine into NATO and that you make it clear that you are prepared to meet personally with Russian President Putin without delay to discuss ways to defuse the crisis and recognize the legitimate interests of the various parties. The suggestion of an early summit got extraordinary resonance in controlled and independent Russian media. Not so in “mainstream” media in the U.S. Nor did we hear back from you.

The courtesy of a reply is requested.

Prepared by VIPS Steering Group

William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)

Larry Johnson, CIA & State Department (ret.)

Edward Loomis, NSA, Cryptologic Computer Scientist (ret.)

David MacMichael, National Intelligence Council (ret.)

Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst (ret.)

Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East (ret.)

Coleen Rowley, Division Counsel & Special Agent, FBI (ret.)

Peter Van Buren, U.S. Department of State, Foreign Service Officer (ret)

Ann Wright, Col., US Army (ret); Foreign Service Officer (ret.)

H/t: Consortium News

I just want my Constitution back. Thomas Drake, former NSA senior executive, July 29, 2014

Both Thomas Drake and Jesselyn Radack are familiar names in the world of whistleblowing.  They are currently visiting Australia, giving talks and presentations on the subject of how estranged subjects of the state can reclaim their citizenry.  In a neat, taut presentation by both speakers at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne on Tuesday, both outlined the seminal points of the whistleblowing mandate and the consequences of not being one. (We know all too well the consequences that face those who do take that pathway of conversion.) 

Drake is one of the few in the growing collective of whistleblowers that has a direct line of inspiration for former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, having himself worked as a senior executive of the National Security Agency.  Radack represented Drake in the legal proceedings against him, and was herself a whistleblower in disclosing FBI misconduct in the interrogation of John Walker Lindh, known more popularly as the “American Taliban”.  Snowden has also retained Radack as one of his legal representatives.

The language of subjects reclaiming citizenry may seem alien to those of the digital age, where information as concept and presence is ubiquitous. Human beings are units of cumulative data, even as they vote, purchase, and fornicate.  Both activists are waging a war against apathy – the disabling apathy that assumes that the totally accessible being, one whose information is readily available for perusal by the powerful, and the secret fraternity, is a worthy idea.

The police state set piece will always be the same in this regard: if you have done nothing contrary to the laws, there will be no retribution or punishment.  This logic, by extension, applies to concealing the abuses of that every state.  Only the state breaks laws, and remedies them. Citizens (now rendered docile subjects in the digital age) are required to heel.

Drake did come across as gloomy, and he has every reason to.  He was hounded, threatened and faced the prospect of having the key thrown away for decades for mishandling documents under the Espionage Act.  In June 2011, the 10 original charges filed against him were dropped, leaving the way for a plea for misusing a computer.  He now works in an Apple store in Maryland, having had his security access revoked, and the circle of friends within the intelligence community withdrawn.  Mixing with Drake is dangerous business if you want to get far on the retirement plan and keep sighing at the picket fence.  This is the “radioactive” dilemma – one which the hardened whistleblower faces.  Expose, and the world withdraws.

Drake demonstrated the all too problematic of paradoxes in modern intelligence gathering: that efficiency does not lie in massive, bulk collection alone. It lies, rather, in the aptitudes of selection, discrimination and proportion.  The move from the analogue world to a digital one has made the gatherers of data lazy, the modern equivalent of gouty, slothful aristocrats.

Both Radack and Drake played much on the metaphor of the haystack and needles.  The haystack is simply been filled with more hay, enlarged by the scope of inquiry being pursued by the likes of NSA and GCHQ. The result is that either the needle vanishes, or everything becomes a needle.  Perspective here is obliterated.

The whistleblower in national security offers the best corrective to the abusive reach of power, providing the means to return citizenry to individuals who are mere subjects of data and collection. The dangers apparent in the very idea of information collection lie in the precise lack of relationship between agency and citizen.  You are not a citizen before the collection demons, but a mere subject of analysis.  There is no contractual relationship, either socially or politically, between the NSA operator and the subject he or she examines.  The electoral link between representative and citizen is thereby circumvented.

The obsession with controlling every facet of information, data collection, and retention, as a means of protecting a state’s security, has become pathological.  This is the message from Drake and Radack.  Such pathologies tend to prove grossly inefficient in the main, and very dangerous when left to unguided frolics.

The distance between the scribbles of the Constitution, and the exercise of rights, is becoming wider in the United States. It is even wider in countries, such as Australia, where the very idea of a bill of rights is treated with apoplectic aversion by those who believe that the wisdom of the common law will prevail.  Currently, the Australian Attorney General, George Brandis, is busying himself with finding new offences in terms of punishing public disclosure, and protecting the domestic and external intelligence services from the reaches of the law. Freedom is fine, as long as it is exercised by the right sort.

While President Harry Truman ushered in the national security state in titanic confrontations, actual and imaginary, with communism, the post 9/11 world ushered in an intelligence hobgoblin beyond the rule of law. Attempts to claw back that relationship between data and the citizen is one of the most important projects of our time.  An intelligence community operating within the tight embrace of the law is not only one that is safer, but one that is invariably more efficient in what it does.  The perception of where the needle lies, and what it is, needs to change.

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