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Global Research Editor’s Note

We bring to the attention of our readers the following text of Osama bin Laden’s interview with Ummat, a Pakistani daily, published in Karachi on September 28, 2001. It was translated into English by the BBC World Monitoring Service and made public on September 29, 2001.

The authenticity of this interview remains to be confirmed. It is available in recognized electronic news archives including the BBC. Its authenticity has not been questioned.  

The interview tends to demystify the Osama bin Laden persona.

Osama bin Laden categorically denies his involvement in the 9/11 attacks.  Bin Laden’s statements in this interview are markedly different from those made in the alleged Osama video tapes.

In this interview, Osama bin Laden exhibits an understanding of US foreign policy. He expresses his views regarding the loss of life on 9/11. He focusses on CIA support to the narcotics trade.

He also makes statements as to who, in his opinion, might be the likely perpetrator of  the September 11 attacks.

This is an important text which has not been brought to the attention of Western public opinion.

We have highlighted key sections of this interview.

It is our hope that the text of this interview, published on 28 September 2001 barely a week before the onset of the war on Afghanistan, will contribute to a better understanding of the history of Al Qaeda, the role of Osama bin Laden and the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

This interview is published for informational purposes only. GR does not in any way endorse the statements in this interview.

Michel  Chossudovsky, September 9, 2014


Full text of September 2001 Pakistani paper’s “exclusive” interview with Usamah Bin-Ladin

Ummat (in Urdu)

translated from Urdu

Karachi, 28 September 2001, pp. 1 and 7.

Ummat’s introduction

Kabul: Prominent Arab mojahed holy warrior Usamah Bin-Ladin has said that he or his al-Qa’idah group has nothing to do with the 11 September suicidal attacks in Washington and New York. He said the US government should find the attackers within the country. In an exclusive interview with daily “Ummat”, he said these attacks could be the act of those who are part of the American system and are rebelling against it and working for some other system. Or, Usamah said, this could be the act of those who want to make the current century a century of conflict between Islam and Christianity. Or, the American Jews, who are opposed to President Bush ever since the Florida elections, might be the masterminds of this act. There is also a great possibility of the involvement of US intelligence agencies, which need billions of dollars worth of funds every year. He said there is a government within the government in the United States.

The secret agencies, he said, should be asked as to who are behind the attacks. Usamah said support for attack on Afghanistan was a matter of need for some Muslim countries and compulsion for others. However, he said, he was thankful to the courageous people of Pakistan who erected a bulwark before the wrong forces. He added that the Islamic world was attaching great expectations with Pakistan and, in time of need, “we will protect this bulwark by sacrificing of lives”.

Following is the interview in full detail:

Ummat: You have been accused of involvement in the attacks in New York and Washington. What do you want to say about this? If you are not involved, who might be?

Usamah [Osama bin Laden]: In the name of Allah, the most beneficent, the most merciful. Praise be to Allah, Who is the creator of the whole universe and Who made the earth as an abode for peace, for the whole mankind. Allah is the Sustainer, who sent Prophet Muhammad for our guidance. I am thankful to the Ummat Group of Publications, which gave me the opportunity to convey my viewpoint to the people, particularly the valiant and Momin true Muslim people of Pakistan who refused to believe in lie of the demon.

I have already said that I am not involved in the 11 September attacks in the United States. As a Muslim, I try my best to avoid telling a lie. I had no knowledge of these attacks, nor do I consider the killing of innocent women, children, and other humans as an appreciable act. Islam strictly forbids causing harm to innocent women, children, and other people.

Such a practice is forbidden ever in the course of a battle. It is the United States, which is perpetrating every maltreatment on women, children, and common people of other faiths, particularly the followers of Islam. All that is going on in Palestine for the last 11 months is sufficient to call the wrath of God upon the United States and Israel.

There is also a warning for those Muslim countries, which witnessed all these as a silent spectator. What had earlier been done to the innocent people of Iraq, Chechnya, and Bosnia?

Only one conclusion could be derived from the indifference of the United States and the West to these acts of terror and the patronage of the tyrants by these powers that America is an anti-Islamic power and it is patronizing the anti-Islamic forces. Its friendship with the Muslim countries is just a show, rather deceit. By enticing or intimidating these countries, the United States is forcing them to play a role of its choice. Put a glance all around and you will see that the slaves of the United States are either rulers or enemies of Muslims .

The US has no friends, nor does it want to keep any because the prerequisite of friendship is to come to the level of the friend or consider him at par with you. America does not want to see anyone equal to it. It expects slavery from others. Therefore, other countries are either its slaves or subordinates.

However, our case is different. We have pledged slavery to God Almighty alone and after this pledge there is no possibility to become the slave of someone else. If we do that, it will be disregardful to both our Sustainer and his fellow beings. Most of the world nations upholding their freedom are the religious ones, which are the enemies of United States, or the latter itself considers them as its enemies. Or the countries, which do not agree to become its slaves, such as China, Iran, Libya, Cuba, Syria, and the former Russia as received .

Whoever committed the act of 11 September are not the friends of the American people. I have already said that we are against the American system, not against its people, whereas in these attacks, the common American people have been killed.

According to my information, the death toll is much higher than what the US government has stated. But the Bush administration does not want the panic to spread. The United States should try to trace the perpetrators of these attacks within itself; the people who are a part of the US system, but are dissenting against it. Or those who are working for some other system; persons who want to make the present century as a century of conflict between Islam and Christianity so that their own civilization, nation, country, or ideology could survive. They can be any one, from Russia to Israel and from India to Serbia. In the US itself, there are dozens of well-organized and well-equipped groups, which are capable of causing a large-scale destruction. Then you cannot forget the American Jews, who are annoyed with President Bush ever since the elections in Florida and want to avenge him.

Then there are intelligence agencies in the US, which require billions of dollars worth of funds from the Congress and the government every year. This funding issue was not a big problem till the existence of the former Soviet Union but after that the budget of these agencies has been in danger.

They needed an enemy. So, they first started propaganda against Usamah and Taleban and then this incident happened. You see, the Bush administration approved a budget of 40bn dollars. Where will this huge amount go? It will be provided to the same agencies, which need huge funds and want to exert their importance.

Now they will spend the money for their expansion and for increasing their importance. I will give you an example. Drug smugglers from all over the world are in contact with the US secret agencies. These agencies do not want to eradicate narcotics cultivation and trafficking because their importance will be diminished. The people in the US Drug Enforcement Department are encouraging drug trade so that they could show performance and get millions of dollars worth of budget. General Noriega was made a drug baron by the CIA and, in need, he was made a scapegoat. In the same way, whether it is President Bush or any other US president, they cannot bring Israel to justice for its human rights abuses or to hold it accountable for such crimes. What is this? Is it not that there exists a government within the government in the United Sates? That secret government must be asked as to who made the attacks.

Ummat: A number of world countries have joined the call of the United States for launching an attack on Afghanistan. These also include a number of Muslim countries. Will Al-Qa’idah declare a jihad against these countries as well?

Usamah: I must say that my duty is just to awaken the Muslims; to tell them as to what is good for them and what is not. What does Islam says and what the enemies of Islam want?

Al-Qa’idah was set up to wage a jihad against infidelity, particularly to encounter the onslaught of the infidel countries against the Islamic states. Jihad is the sixth undeclared element of Islam. The first five being the basic holy words of Islam, prayers, fast, pilgrimage to Mecca, and giving alms Every anti-Islamic person is afraid of it. Al-Qa’idah wants to keep this element alive and active and make it part of the daily life of the Muslims. It wants to give it the status of worship. We are not against any Islamic country nor we consider a war against an Islamic country as jihad.

We are in favour of armed jihad only against those infidel countries, which are killing innocent Muslim men, women, and children just because they are Muslims. Supporting the US act is the need of some Muslim countries and the compulsion of others. However, they should think as to what will remain of their religious and moral position if they support the attack of the Christians and the Jews on a Muslim country like Afghanistan. The orders of Islamic shari’ah jurisprudence for such individuals, organizations, and countries are clear and all the scholars of the Muslim brotherhood are unanimous on them. We will do the same, which is being ordered by the Amir ol-Momenin the commander of the faithful Mola Omar and the Islamic scholars. The hearts of the people of Muslim countries are beating with the call of jihad. We are grateful to them.

Ummat: The losses caused in the attacks in New York and Washington have proved that giving an economic blow to the US is not too difficult. US experts admit that a few more such attacks can bring down the American economy. Why is al-Qa’idah not targeting their economic pillars?

Usamah: I have already said that we are not hostile to the United States. We are against the system, which makes other nations slaves of the United States, or forces them to mortgage their political and economic freedom. This system is totally in control of the American Jews, whose first priority is Israel, not the United States. It is simply that the American people are themselves the slaves of the Jews and are forced to live according to the principles and laws laid by them. So, the punishment should reach Israel. In fact, it is Israel, which is giving a blood bath to innocent Muslims and the US is not uttering a single word.

Ummat: Why is harm not caused to the enemies of Islam through other means, apart from the armed struggle? For instance, inciting the Muslims to boycott Western products, banks, shipping lines, and TV channels.

Usamah: The first thing is that Western products could only be boycotted when the Muslim fraternity is fully awakened and organized. Secondly, the Muslim companies should become self-sufficient in producing goods equal to the products of Western companies. Economic boycott of the West is not possible unless economic self-sufficiency is attained and substitute products are brought out. You see that wealth is scattered all across the Muslim world but not a single TV channel has been acquired which can preach Islamic injunctions according to modern requirements and attain an international influence. Muslim traders and philanthropists should make it a point that if the weapon of public opinion is to be used, it is to be kept in the hand. Today’s world is of public opinion and the fates of nations are determined through its pressure. Once the tools for building public opinion are obtained, everything that you asked for can be done.

Ummat: The entire propaganda about your struggle has so far been made by the Western media. But no information is being received from your sources about the network of Al-Qa’idah and its jihadi successes. Would you comment?

Usamah: In fact, the Western media is left with nothing else. It has no other theme to survive for a long time. Then we have many other things to do. The struggle for jihad and the successes are for the sake of Allah and not to annoy His bondsmen. Our silence is our real propaganda. Rejections, explanations, or corrigendum only waste your time and through them, the enemy wants you to engage in things which are not of use to you. These things are pulling you away from your cause.

The Western media is unleashing such a baseless propaganda, which make us surprise but it reflects on what is in their hearts and gradually they themselves become captive of this propaganda. They become afraid of it and begin to cause harm to themselves. Terror is the most dreaded weapon in modern age and the Western media is mercilessly using it against its own people. It can add fear and helplessness in the psyche of the people of Europe and the United States. It means that what the enemies of the United States cannot do, its media is doing that. You can understand as to what will be the performance of the nation in a war, which suffers from fear and helplessness.

Ummat: What will the impact of the freeze of al-Qa’idah accounts by the US?

Usamah: God opens up ways for those who work for Him. Freezing of accounts will not make any difference for Al-Qa’idah or other jihad groups. With the grace of Allah, al-Qa’idah has more than three such alternative financial systems, which are all separate and totally independent from each other. This system is operating under the patronage of those who love jihad. What to say of the United States, even the combined world cannot budge these people from their path.

These people are not in hundreds but in thousands and millions. Al-Qa’idah comprises of such modern educated youths who are aware of the cracks inside the Western financial system as they are aware of the lines in their hands. These are the very flaws of the Western fiscal system, which are becoming a noose for it and this system could not recuperate in spite of the passage of so many days.

Ummat: Are there other safe areas other than Afghanistan, where you can continue jihad?

Usamah: There are areas in all parts of the world where strong jihadi forces are present, from Indonesia to Algeria, from Kabul to Chechnya, from Bosnia to Sudan, and from Burma to Kashmir. Then it is not the problem of my person. I am helpless fellowman of God, constantly in the fear of my accountability before God. It is not the question of Usamah but of Islam and, in Islam too, of jihad. Thanks to God, those waging a jihad can walk today with their heads raised. Jihad was still present when there was no Usamah and it will remain as such even when Usamah is no longer there. Allah opens up ways and creates loves in the hearts of people for those who walk on the path of Allah with their lives, property, and children. Believe it, through jihad, a man gets everything he desires. And the biggest desire of a Muslim is the after life. Martyrdom is the shortest way of attaining an eternal life.

Ummat: What do you say about the Pakistan government policy on Afghanistan attack?

Usamah: We are thankful to the Momin and valiant people of Pakistan who erected a blockade in front of the wrong forces and stood in the first file of battle. Pakistan is a great hope for the Islamic brotherhood. Its people are awakened, organized, and rich in the spirit of faith. They backed Afghanistan in its war against the Soviet Union and extended every help to the mojahedin and the Afghan people. Then these are the same Pakistanis who are standing shoulder by shoulder with the Taleban. If such people emerge in just two countries, the domination of the West will diminish in a matter of days. Our hearts beat with Pakistan and, God forbid, if a difficult time comes we will protect it with our blood. Pakistan is sacred for us like a place of worship. We are the people of jihad and fighting for the defence of Pakistan is the best of all jihads to us. It does not matter for us as to who rules Pakistan. The important thing is that the spirit of jihad is alive and stronger in the hearts of the Pakistani people.

Copyright Ummat in Urdu, BBC translation in English, 2001

Read about Osama Bin Laden in Michel Chossudovsky’s international best-seller

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

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November 22nd, 2013 by Global Research News

Today’s Most Popular Stories

October 15th, 2013 by Global Research News

A deluge of articles have been quickly put into circulation defending France’s military intervention in the African nation of Mali. TIME’s article, “The Crisis in Mali: Will French Intervention Stop the Islamist Advance?” decides that old tricks are the best tricks, and elects the tiresome “War on Terror” narrative.TIME claims the intervention seeks to stop “Islamist” terrorists from overrunning both Africa and all of Europe. Specifically, the article states:

“…there is a (probably well-founded) fear in France that a radical Islamist Mali threatens France most of all, since most of the Islamists are French speakers and many have relatives in France. (Intelligence sources in Paris have told TIME that they’ve identified aspiring jihadis leaving France for northern Mali to train and fight.) Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), one of the three groups that make up the Malian Islamist alliance and which provides much of the leadership, has also designated France — the representative of Western power in the region — as a prime target for attack.”

What TIME elects not to tell readers is that Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is closely allied to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG whom France intervened on behalf of during NATO’s 2011 proxy-invasion of Libya – providing weapons, training, special forces and even aircraft to support them in the overthrow of Libya’s government.

As far back as August of 2011, Bruce Riedel out of the corporate-financier funded think-tank, the Brookings Institution, wrote “Algeria will be next to fall,” where he gleefully predicted success in Libya would embolden radical elements in Algeria, in particular AQIM. Between extremist violence and the prospect of French airstrikes, Riedel hoped to see the fall of the Algerian government. Ironically Riedel noted:

Algeria has expressed particular concern that the unrest in Libya could lead to the development of a major safe haven and sanctuary for al-Qaeda and other extremist jihadis.

And thanks to NATO, that is exactly what Libya has become – a Western sponsored sanctuary for Al-Qaeda. AQIM’s headway in northern Mali and now French involvement will see the conflict inevitably spill over into Algeria. It should be noted that Riedel is a co-author of “Which Path to Persia?” which openly conspires to arm yet another US State Department-listed terrorist organization (list as #28), the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) to wreak havoc across Iran and help collapse the government there – illustrating a pattern of using clearly terroristic organizations, even those listed as so by the US State Department, to carry out US foreign policy.Geopolitical analyst Pepe Escobar noted a more direct connection between LIFG and AQIM in an Asia Times piece titled, “How al-Qaeda got to rule in Tripoli:”

“Crucially, still in 2007, then al-Qaeda’s number two, Zawahiri, officially announced the merger between the LIFG and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb (AQIM). So, for all practical purposes, since then, LIFG/AQIM have been one and the same – and Belhaj was/is its emir. “

“Belhaj,” referring to Hakim Abdul Belhaj, leader of LIFG in Libya, led with NATO support, arms, funding, and diplomatic recognition, the overthrowing of Muammar Qaddafi and has now plunged the nation into unending racist and tribal, genocidal infighting. This intervention has also seen the rebellion’s epicenter of Benghazi peeling off from Tripoli as a semi-autonomous “Terror-Emirate.” Belhaj’s latest campaign has shifted to Syria where he was admittedly on the Turkish-Syrian border pledging weapons, money, and fighters to the so-called “Free Syrian Army,” again, under the auspices of NATO support.

Image: NATO’s intervention in Libya has resurrected listed-terrorist organization and Al Qaeda affiliate, LIFG. It had previously fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, and now has fighters, cash and weapons, all courtesy of NATO, spreading as far west as Mali, and as far east as Syria. The feared “global Caliphate” Neo-Cons have been scaring Western children with for a decade is now taking shape via US-Saudi, Israeli, and Qatari machinations, not “Islam.” In fact, real Muslims have paid the highest price in fighting this real “war against Western-funded terrorism.”

….

LIFG, which with French arms, cash, and diplomatic support, is now invading northern Syria on behalf of NATO’s attempted regime change there, officially merged with Al Qaeda in 2007 according to the US Army’s West Point Combating Terrorism Center (CTC). According to the CTC, AQIM and LIFG share not only ideological goals, but strategic and even tactical objectives. The weapons LIFG received most certainly made their way into the hands of AQIM on their way through the porous borders of the Sahara Desert and into northern Mali.

In fact, ABC News reported in their article, “Al Qaeda Terror Group: We ‘Benefit From’ Libyan Weapons,” that:

A leading member of an al Qaeda-affiliated terror group indicated the organization may have acquired some of the thousands of powerful weapons that went missing in the chaos of the Libyan uprising, stoking long-held fears of Western officials.”We have been one of the main beneficiaries of the revolutions in the Arab world,” Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a leader of the north Africa-based al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb [AQIM], told the Mauritanian news agency ANI Wednesday. “As for our benefiting from the [Libyan] weapons, this is a natural thing in these kinds of circumstances.”

It is no coincidence that as the Libyan conflict was drawing to a conclusion, conflict erupted in northern Mali. It is part of a premeditated geopolitical reordering that began with toppling Libya, and since then, using it as a springboard for invading other targeted nations, including Mali, Algeria, and Syria with heavily armed, NATO-funded and aided terrorists.

French involvement may drive AQIM and its affiliates out of northern Mali, but they are almost sure to end up in Algeria, most likely by design.

Algeria was able to balk subversion during the early phases of the US-engineered “Arab Spring” in 2011, but it surely has not escaped the attention of the West who is in the midst of transforming a region stretching from Africa to Beijing and Moscow’s doorsteps – and in a fit of geopolitical schizophrenia – using terrorists both as a casus belli to invade and as an inexhaustible mercenary force to do it.

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December 30th, 2012 by Global Research News

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Salafism and the CIA: Destabilizing the Russian Federation?

September 14th, 2012 by F. William Engdahl

Part I: Syria comes to the Russian Caucasus

On August 28 Sheikh Said Afandi, acknowledged spiritual leader of the Autonomous Russian Republic of Dagestan, was assassinated. A jihadist female suicide bomber managed to enter his house and detonate an explosive device.

The murder target had been carefully selected. Sheikh Afandi, a seventy-five-year old Sufi Muslim leader, had played the critical role in attempting to bring about reconciliation in Dagestan between jihadist Salafi Sunni Muslims and other factions, many of whom in Dagestan see themselves as followers of Sufi. With no replacement of his moral stature and respect visible, authorities fear possible outbreak of religious war in the tiny Russian autonomous republic.[1]

The police reported that the assassin was an ethnic Russian woman who had converted to Islam and was linked to an Islamic fundamentalist or Salafist insurgency against Russia and regional governments loyal to Moscow in the autonomous republics and across the volatile Muslim-populated North Caucasus region.

Ethnic Muslim populations in this region of Russia and of the former Soviet Union, including Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan and into China’s Xinjiang Province, have been the target of various US and NATO intelligence operations since the Cold War era ended in 1990. Washington sees manipulation of Muslim groups as the vehicle to bring uncontrollable chaos to Russia and Central Asia. It’s being carried out by some of the same organizations engaged in creating chaos and destruction inside Syria against the government of Bashar Al-Assad. In a real sense, as Russian security services clearly understand, if they don’t succeed in stopping the Jihadists insurgency in Syria, it will come home to them via the Caucasus.

The latest Salafist murders of Sufi and other moderate Muslim leaders in the Caucasus are apparently part of what is becoming ever clearer as perhaps the most dangerous US intelligence operation ever—playing globally with Muslim fundamentalism.

Previously US and allied intelligence services had played fast and loose with religious organizations or beliefs in one or another country. What makes the present situation particularly dangerous—notably since the decision in Washington to unleash the misnamed Arab Spring upheavals that began in Tunisia late 2010, spreading like a brushfire across the entire Islamic world from Afghanistan across Central Asia to Morocco—is the incalculable wave upon wave of killing, hatreds, destruction of entire cultures that Washington has unleashed in the name of that elusive dream named “democracy.” They do this using alleged Al-Qaeda groups, Saudi Salafists or Wahhabites, or using disciples of Turkey’s Fethullah Gülen Movement to ignite fires of religious hatred within Islam and against other faiths that could take decades to extinguish. It could easily spill over into a new World War.

Fundamentalism comes to Caucasus

Following the dissolution of the USSR, radical Afghanistani Mujahadeen, Islamists from Saudi Arabia, from Turkey, Pakistan and other Islamic countries flooded into the Muslim regions of the former USSR. One of the best-organized of these was the Gülen Movement of Fethullah Gülen, leader of a global network of Islamic schools and reported to be the major policy influence on Turkey’s Erdogan AKP party.

Gülen was quick to establish The International Dagestani-Turkish College in Dagestan. During the chaotic days after the Soviet collapse, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation officially registered and permitted unfettered activity for a variety of Islamic foundations and organizations. These included the League of the Islamic World, the World Muslim Youth Assembly, the reportedly Al-Qaeda friendly Saudi foundation ‘Ibrahim ben Abd al-Aziz al-Ibrahim.’ The blacklist also included Al-Haramein a Saudi foundation reported tied to Al-Qaeda, and IHH, [2] a Turkish organization banned in Germany, that allegedly raised funds for jihadi fighters in Bosnia, Chechnya, and Afghanistan, and was charged by French intelligence of ties to Al Qaeda.[3] Many of these charities were covers for fundamentalist Salafists with their own special agenda.

As many of the foreign Islamists in Chechnya and Dagestan were found involved in fomenting the regional unrest and civil war, Russian authorities withdrew permission of most to run schools and institutions. Throughout the North Caucasus at the time of the Chechyn war in the late 1990’s, there were more than two dozen Islamic institutes, some 200 madrassas and numerous maktabas (Koranic study schools) present at almost all mosques.

The International Dagestani-Turkish College was one that was forced to close its doors in Dagestan. The College was run by the Fethullah Gülen organization.[4]

At the point of the Russian crackdown on the spread of Salafist teaching inside Russia at the end of the 1990’s, there was an exodus of hundreds of young Dagestani and Chechyn Muslim students to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and other places in The Middle east, reportedly to receive training with the Gülen movement and various Saudi-financed organizations, including Salafists. [5] It is believed in Russia that the students trained by Gülen supporters or Saudi and other Salafist fundamentalist centers then were sent back to Dagestan and the North Caucasus to spread their radical strain of Islam.

By 2005 the situation in the Caucasus was so influenced by this Salafist intervention that the Chechen Salafist, Doku Umarov, cited by the UN Security Council for links to Al-Qaeda,[6] unilaterally declared creation of what he called the Caucasus Emirate, announcing he planned to establish an Islamic state under Sharia law encompassing the entire North Caucasus region including Dagestan. He modestly proclaimed himself Emir of the Caucasus Emirate. [7]

*  *  *

WWIII Scenario

*  *  *

 

Part II: Salafism at war with Sufi tradition

Salafism, known in Saudi Arabia as Wahhabism, is a fundamentalist strain of Islam which drew world attention and became notorious in March 2001 just weeks before the attacks of September 11. That was when the Salafist Taliban government in Afghanistan willfully dynamited and destroyed the historic gigantic Buddhas of Bamiyan on the ancient Silk Road, religious statues dating from the 6th Century. The Taliban Salafist leaders also banned as “un-islamic” all forms of imagery, music and sports, including television, in accordance with what they considered a strict interpretation of Sharia.

Afghani sources reported that the order to destroy the Buddhas was made by Saudi-born jihadist Wahhabite, Osama bin Laden, who ultimately convinced Mullah Omar, Taliban supreme leader at the time to execute the act.[8]

Before and…After Salafist Taliban …

While Sufis incorporate the worship of saints and theatrical ceremonial prayers into their practice, Salafis condemn as idolatry any non-traditional forms of worship. They also call for the establishment of Islamic political rule and strict Sharia law. Sufism is home to the great spiritual and musical heritage of Islam, said by Islamic scholars to be the inner, mystical, or psycho-spiritual dimension of Islam, going back centuries.

As one Sufi scholar described the core of Sufism, “While all Muslims believe that they are on the pathway to God and will become close to God in Paradise–after death and the ‘Final Judgment’– Sufis believe as well that it is possible to become close to God and to experience this closeness–while one is alive. Furthermore, the attainment of the knowledge that comes with such intimacy with God, Sufis assert, is the very purpose of the creation. Here they mention the hadith qudsi in which God states, ‘I was a hidden treasure and I loved that I be known, so I created the creation in order to be known.’ Hence for the Sufis there is already a momentum, a continuous attraction on their hearts exerted by God, pulling them, in love, towards God.” [9]

The mystical Islamic current of Sufism and its striving to become close to or one with God is in stark contrast to the Jihadist Salafi or Wahhabi current that is armed with deadly weapons, preaches a false doctrine of jihad, and a perverse sense of martyrdom, committing countless acts of violence. Little wonder that the victims of Salafist Jihads are mostly other pacific forms of Islam including most especially Sufis.

The respected seventy-five year old Afandi had publicly denounced Salafist Islamic fundamentalism. His murder followed a July 19 coordinated attack on two high-ranking muftis in the Russian Volga Republic of Tatarstan. Both victims were state-approved religious leaders who had attacked radical Islam. This latest round of murders opens a new front in the Salafist war against Russia, namely attacks on moderate Sufi Muslim leaders.

Whether or not Dagestan now descends into internal religious civil war that then spreads across the geopolitically sensitive Russian Caucasus is not yet certain. What is almost certain is that the same circles who have been feeding violence and terror inside Syria against the regime of Alawite President Bashar al-Assad are behind the killing of Sheikh Afandi as well as sparking related acts of terror or unrest across Russia’s Muslim-populated Caucasus. In a very real sense it represents Russia’s nightmare scenario of “Syria coming to Russia.” It demonstrates dramatically why Putin has made such a determined effort to stop a descent into a murderous hell in Syria.

Salafism and the CIA

The existence of the so-called jihadist Salafi brand of Islam in Dagestan is quite recent. It has also been deliberately imported. Salafism is sometimes also called the name of the older Saudi-centered Wahhabism. Wahhabism is a minority originally-Bedouin form of the faith originating within Islam, dominant in Saudi Arabia since the 1700’s.

Irfan Al-Alawi and Stephen Schwartz of the Centre for Islamic Pluralism give the following description of Saudi conditions under the rigid Wahhabi brand of Islam:

Women living under Saudi rule must wear the abaya, or total body cloak, and niqab, the face veil; they have limited opportunities for schooling and careers; they are prohibited from driving vehicles; are banned from social contact with men not relatives, and all personal activity must be supervised including opening bank accounts, by a male family member or “guardian.” These Wahhabi rules are enforced by a mutawiyin, or morals militia, also known as “the religious police,” officially designated the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (CPVPV) who patrol Saudi cities, armed with leather-covered sticks which they freely used against those they considered wayward. They raid homes looking for alcohol and drugs, and harassed non-Wahhabi Muslims as well as believers in other faiths.” [10]

It’s widely reported that the obscenely opulent and morally-perhaps-not-entirely-of- the-highest-standards Saudi Royal Family made a Faustian deal with Wahhabite leaders. The deal supposedly, was that the Wahhabists are free to export their fanatical brand of Islam around to the Islamic populations of the world in return for agreeing to leave the Saudi Royals alone.[11] There are, however, other dark and dirty spoons stirring the Wahhabite-Salafist Saudi stew.

Little known is the fact that the present form of aggressive Saudi Wahhabism, in reality a kind of fusion between imported jihadi Salafists from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and the fundamentalist Saudi Wahhabites. Leading Salafist members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood were introduced into the Saudi Kingdom in the 1950’s by the CIA in a complex series of events, when Nasser cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood following an assassination attempt. By the 1960’s an influx of Egyptian members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Saudi Arabia fleeing Nasserite repression, had filled many of the leading teaching posts in Saudi religious schools. One student there was a young well-to-do Saudi, Osama bin Laden.  [12]

During the Third Reich, Hitler Germany had supported the Muslim Brotherhood as a weapon against the British in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East. Marc Erikson describes the Nazi roots of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood thus:

…as Italian and German fascism sought greater stakes in the Middle East in the 1930s and ’40s to counter British and French controlling power, close collaboration between fascist agents and Islamist leaders ensued. During the 1936-39 Arab Revolt, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, head of German military intelligence, sent agents and money to support the Palestine uprising against the British, as did Muslim Brotherhood founder and “supreme guide” Hassan al-Banna. A key individual in the fascist-Islamist nexus and go-between for the Nazis and al-Banna became the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el-Husseini.[13]

After the defeat of Germany, British Intelligence moved in to take over control of the Muslim Brotherhood. Ultimately, for financial and other reasons, the British decided to hand their assets within the Muslim Brotherhood over to their CIA colleagues in the 1950s. [14]

According to former US Justice Department Nazi researcher John Loftus,  “during the 1950s, the CIA evacuated the Nazis of the Muslim Brotherhood to Saudi Arabia. Now, when they arrived in Saudi Arabia, some of the leading lights of the Muslim Brotherhood, like Dr Abdullah Azzam, became the teachers in the madrassas, the religious schools. And there they combined the doctrines of Nazism with this weird Islamic cult, Wahhabism.” [15]

“Everyone thinks that Islam is this fanatical religion, but it is not,” Loftus continues. “They think that Islam–the Saudi version of Islam–is typical, but it’s not. The Wahhabi cult has been condemned as a heresy more than 60 times by the Muslim nations. But when the Saudis got wealthy, they bought a lot of silence. This is a very harsh cult. Wahhabism was only practised by the Taliban and in Saudi Arabia–that’s how extreme it is. It really has nothing to do with Islam. Islam is a very peaceful and tolerant religion. It always had good relationships with the Jews for the first thousand years of its existence.” [16]

Loftus identified the significance of what today is emerging from the shadows to take over Egypt under Muslim Brotherhood President Morsi, and the so-called Syrian National Council, dominated in reality by the Muslim Brotherhood and publicly led by the more “politically correct” or presentable likes of Bassma Kodmani. Kodmani, foreign affairs spokesman for the SNC was twice an invited guest at the Bilderberg elite gathering, latest in Chantilly, Virginia earlier this year.[17]

The most bizarre and alarming feature of the US-financed  regime changes set into motion in 2010, which have led to the destruction of the secular Arab regime of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Muhammar Qaddafi in Libya, and the secular regime of President Ben Ali in Tunisia, and which have wreaked savage destruction across the Middle East, especially in the past eighteen months in Syria, is the pattern of emerging power grabs by representatives of the murky Salafist Muslim Brotherhood.

By informed accounts, a Saudi-financed Sunni Islamic Muslim Brotherhood dominates the members of the exile Syrian National Council that is backed by the US State Department’s Secretary Clinton and by Hollande’s France. The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood is tied, not surprisingly to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood of President Mohammed Morsi who recently in a meeting of the Non-Aligned in Iran called openly for the removal of Syria’s Assad, a logical step if his Muslim Brothers in the present Syrian National Council are to take the reins of power. The Saudis are also rumored to have financed the ascent to power in Tunisia of the governing Islamist Ennahda Party,[18] and are documented to be financing the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Syrian National Council against President Bashar al-Assad. [19]

Part III: Morsi’s Reign of Salafi Terror

Indicative of the true agenda of this Muslim Brotherhood and related jihadists today is the fact that once they have power, they drop the veil of moderation and reconciliation and reveal their violently intolerant roots. This is visible in Egypt today under Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi.

Unreported in mainstream Western media to date are alarming direct reports from Christian missionary organizations in Egypt that Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood has already begun to drop the veil of “moderation and conciliation” and show its brutal totalitarian Salafist colors, much as Khomeini’s radical Sharia forces did in Iran after taking control in 1979-81.

In a letter distributed by the Christian Aid Mission (CAM), a Christian Egyptian missionary wrote that Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood “announced they would destroy the country if Morsi didn’t win, but they also said they will take revenge from all those who voted for [his opponent Ahmed] Shafiq, especially the Christians as they are sure we did vote for Shafiq. Yesterday they began by killing two believers in el Sharqiya because of this,” the missionary added, speaking on condition of anonymity.[20]

This report came only weeks after Egyptian State TV (under Morsi’s control) showed ghastly video footage of a convert from Islam to Christianity being murdered by Muslims. The footage showed a young man being held down by masked men with a knife to his throat. As one man was heard chanting Muslim prayers in Arabic, mostly condemning Christianity, another man holding the knife to the Christian convert’s throat began to cut, slowly severing the head amid cries of “Allahu Akbar” (“Allah is great”), according to transcripts. In the letter, the Egyptian missionary leader added that, “soon after Morsi won, Christians in upper Egypt were forcibly prevented from going to churches.” Many Muslims, the letter claimed, “also began to speak to women in the streets that they had to wear Islamic clothing including the head covering. They act as if they got the country for their own, it’s theirs now.” [21]

Already in 2011 Morsi’s Salafist followers began attacking and destroying Sufi mosques across Egypt. According to the authoritative newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm (Today’s Egyptian), 16 historic mosques in Alexandria belonging to Sufi orders have been marked for destruction by so-called ‘Salafis’. Alexandria has 40 mosques associated with Sufis, and is the headquarters for 36 Sufi groups. Half a million Sufis live in the city, out of a municipal total of four million people. Aggression against the Sufis in Egypt has included a raid on Alexandria’s most distinguished mosque, named for, and housing, the tomb of the 13th century Sufi Al-Mursi Abu’l Abbas.[22]

Notably, the so-called “democratically elected” regime in Libya following the toppling of Mohamar Qaddafi by NATO bombs in 2011, has also been zealous in destroying Sufi mosques and places of worhip. In August this year, UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova expressed “grave concern” at the destruction by Islamic Jihadists of Sufi sites in Zliten, Misrata and Tripoli and urged perpetrators to “cease the destruction immediately.” [23] Under behind-the-scenes machinations the Libyan government is dominated by Jihadists and by followers of the Muslim Brotherhood, as in Tunisia and Egypt. [24]

The explosive cocktail of violence inherent in allowing the rise to power of Salafist Islamists across the Middle East was clear to see, symbolically enough on the night of September 11,th when a mob of angry supporters of the fanatical Salafist group, Ansar Al-Sharia, murdered the US Ambassador to Libya and three US diplomats, burning the US Consulate in Bengazi to the ground in protest over a YouTube release of a film by an American filmmaker showing the Prophet Mohammed indulging in multiple sex affairs and casting doubt on his role as God’s messenger. Ironically that US Ambassador had played a key role in toppling Qaddafi and opening the door to the Salafist takeover in Libya. At the same time angry mobs of thousands of Salafists surrounded the US Embassy in Cairo in protest to the US film. [25]

Ansar Al-Sharia (“Partisans of Islamic law” in Arabic) reportedly is a spinoff of Al-Qaeda and claims organizations across the Middle East from Yemen to Tunisia to Iraq, Egypt and Libya. Ansar al-Sharia says it is reproducing the model of Sharia or strict Islamic law espoused by the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Islamic State of Iraq, a militant umbrella group that includes al-Qaeda in Iraq. The core of the group are jihadists who came out of an “Islamic state”, either in Afghanistan in the mid-1990s, or among jihadists in Iraq after the US-led invasion in 2003.[26]

The deliberate detonation now of a new round of Salafist fundamentalist Jihad terror inside Muslim regions of the Russian Caucasus is exquisitely timed politically to put maximum pressure at home on the government of Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Putin and the Russian Government are the strongest and most essential backer of the current Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad, and for Russia as well the maintenance of Russia’s only Mediterranean naval base at Syria’s Tartus port is vital strategically. At the same time, Obama’s sly message to Medvedev to wait until Obama’s re-election to evaluate US intent towards Russia and Putin’s cryptic recent comment that a compromise with a re-elected President Obama might be possible, but not with a President Romney, [27] indicate that the Washington “stick-and-carrot” or hard cop-soft cop tactics with Moscow might tempt Russia to sacrifice major geopolitical alliances, perhaps even that special close and recent geopolitical alliance with China.[28] Were that to happen, the World might witness a “reset” in US-Russian relations with catastrophic consequences for world peace.

F. William Engdahl*  is the author of Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order

Notes:

[1] Dan Peleschuk, Sheikh Murdered Over Religious Split Say Analysts, RIA Novosti, August 30, 2012, accessed in

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20120830/175517955.html.

[2] Mairbek  Vatchagaev, The Kremlin’s War on Islamic Education in the North Caucasus, North Caucasus Analysis Volume: 7 Issue: 34, accessed in http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=3334

[3] Iason Athanasiadis, Targeted by Israeli raid: Who is the IHH?, The Christian Science Monitor, June 1, 2010, accessed in http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2010/0601/Targeted-by-Israeli-raid-Who-is-the-IHH.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Mairbek Vatchagaev, op. cit.

[6] UN Security Council, QI.U.290.11. DOKU KHAMATOVICH UMAROV, 10 March 2011, accessed in http://www.un.org/sc/committees/1267/NSQI29011E.shtml. The UN statement reads: “Doku Khamatovich Umarov was listed on 10 March 2011 pursuant to paragraph 2 of resolution 1904 (2009) as being associated with Al-Qaida, Usama bin Laden or the Taliban for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf of, or in support of”, “recruiting for”, “supplying, selling or transferring arms and related materiel to” and “otherwise supporting acts or activities of” the Islamic Jihad Group (QE.I.119.05), the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (QE.I.10.01), Riyadus-Salikhin Reconnaissance and Sabotage Battalion of Chechen Martyrs (RSRSBCM) (QE.R.100.03) and Emarat Kavkaz (QE.E.131.11).”

[7] Tom Jones, Czech NGO rejects Russian reports of link to alleged Islamist terrorists al-Qaeda, May 10, 2011, accessed in http://www.ceskapozice.cz/en/news/society/czech-ngo-rejects-russian-reports-link-alleged-islamist-terrorists-al-qaeda?utm_source=tw&utm_medium=enprofil&utm_campaign=twennews.

[8] The Times of India, Laden ordered Bamyan Buddha destruction, The Times of India, March 28, 2006.

[9] Dr. Alan Godlas, Sufism — Sufis — Sufi Orders:

[10] Irfan Al-Alawi and Stephen Schwartz, Wahhabi Internal Contradictions as Saudi Arabia Seeks Wider Gulf Leadership, Center for Islamic Pluralism, May 21, 2012, accessed in http://www.islamicpluralism.org/2040/wahhabi-internal-contradictions-as-saudi-arabia

[11] Irfan Al-Alawi and Stephen Schwartz, Wahhabi Internal Contradictions as Saudi Arabia Seeks Wider Gulf Leadership, May 21, 2012, accessed in http://www.islamicpluralism.org/2040/wahhabi-internal-contradictions-as-saudi-arabia.

[12] Robert Duncan, Islamic Terrorisms Links to Nazi Fascism, AINA, July 5, 2007, accessed in http://www.aina.org/news/2007070595517.htm.

[13] Marc Erikson, Islamism, fascism and terrorism (Part 2), AsiaTimes.Online, November 8, 2002, accessed in http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/DK08Ak03.html.

[14] Ibid.

[15] John Loftus, The Muslim Brotherhood, Nazis and Al-Qaeda,  Jewish Community News, October 11, 2006, accessed in http://www.canadafreepress.com/2006/loftus101106.htm

[16] Ibid.

[17] Charlie Skelton, The Syrian opposition: who’s doing the talking?: The media have been too passive when it comes to Syrian opposition sources, without scrutinising their backgrounds and their political connections. Time for a closer look …, London Guardian, 12 July 2012, accessed in http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/12/syrian-opposition-doing-the-talking.

[18] Aidan Lewis, Profile: Tunisia’s Ennahda Party, BBC News, 25 October 2011, accessed in http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15442859.

[19] Hassan Hassan, Syrians are torn between a despotic regime and a stagnant opposition: The Muslim Brotherhood’s perceived monopoly over the Syrian National Council has created an opposition stalemate, The Guardian, UK, 23 August, 2012, accessed in http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/23/syrians-torn-despotic-regime-stagnant-opposition.

[20] Stefan J. Bos, Egypt Christians Killed After Election of Morsi, Bosnewslife, June 30, 2012, accessed in http://www.bosnewslife.com/22304-egypt-christians-killed-after-election-morsi.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Irfan Al-Alawi, Egyptian Muslim Fundamentalists Attack Sufis, Guardian Online [London],

April 11, 2011, accessed in http://www.islamicpluralism.org/1770/egyptian-Muslim-fundamentalists-attack-sufis

[23] Yafiah Katherine Randall, UNESCO urges Libya to stop destruction of Sufi sites, August 31, 2012, Sufi News and Sufism World Report, accessed in http://sufinews.blogspot.de/.

[24] Jamie Dettmer, Libya elections: Muslim Brotherhood set to lead government, 5 July, 2012, The Telegraph, London, accessed in http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/9379022/Libya-elections-Muslim-Brotherhood-set-to-lead-government.html.

[25] Luke Harding, Chris Stephen, Chris Stevens, US ambassador to Libya, killed in Benghazi attack: Ambassador and three other American embassy staff killed after Islamist militants fired rockets at their car, say Libyan officials, London Guardian, 12 September 2012, accessed in http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/sep/12/chris-stevens-us-ambassador-libya-killed.

[26] Murad Batal al-Shishani, Profile: Ansar al-Sharia in Yemen, 8 March 2012, accessed in  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17402856.

[27] David M. Herszenhorn, Putin Says Missile Deal Is More Likely With Obama, The New York Times, September 6, 2012, accessed in http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/07/world/europe/putin-calls-missile-deal-more-likely-if-obama-wins.html. According to an interview Putin gave on Moscow’s state-owned RT TV, Herszenhorn reports, “Mr. Putin said he believed that if Mr. Obama is re-elected in November, a compromise could be reached on the contentious issue of American plans for a missile defense system in Europe, which Russia has strongly opposed. On the other hand, Mr. Putin said, if Mr. Romney becomes president, Moscow’s fears about the missile system — that it is, despite American assurances, actually directed against Russia — would almost certainly prove true.

“Is it possible to find a solution to the problem, if current President Obama is re-elected for a second term? Theoretically, yes,” Mr. Putin said, according to the official transcript posted on the Kremlin’s Web site. “But this isn’t just about President Obama. “For all I know, his desire to work out a solution is quite sincere,” Mr. Putin continued. “I met him recently on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, where we had a chance to talk. And though we talked mostly about Syria, I could still take stock of my counterpart. My feeling is that he is a very honest man, and that he sincerely wants to make many good changes. But can he do it? Will they let him do it?”

[28] M.K. Bhadrakumar, Calling the China-Russia split isn’t heresy, Asia Times,  September 5, 2012, accessed in http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/NI05Ad01.html.

 

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Welcome to the newly redesigned Global Research website!

September 8th, 2012 by Global Research

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Video: The 5G Space Weapon, Mind Control Agenda & Kill Grid

November 20th, 2019 by Claire Edwards

An important and informative interview on the topic of 5G and the “International Appeal To STOP 5G on Earth and in Space”. Spokesperson for the Appeal to STOP 5G, Claire Edwards is the guest on this eye-opening, in-depth and compelling episode of Age of Truth TV, interviewed by presenter and investigative reporter, Lucas Alexander.

Watch the interview below.

.

Transcript of the interview is as follows.

Lucas: Hello and welcome to this edition of Age of Truth TV. I’m Lucas Alexander in Copenhagen, Denmark. It’s the 30th of October 2019 and our guest today is the British/Irish spokesperson for the International Appeal to Stop 5G on Earth and in Space. She’s a former United Nations editor, an author and researcher, and has a master’s degree in intercultural competence. Claire Edwards.

Lucas: Claire Edwards, it’s wonderful to have you on the show and welcome to Denmark.

Claire: Thank you very much. It’s wonderful to be here with you.

Lucas: You are a former United Nations editor and have now become a spokesperson for the International Appeal to Stop 5G on Earth and in Space. But why are you going against the rollout of 5G? A lot of people, a lot of scientists say that it’s just something that we are now going to have in order to have a faster-running Internet connection.

Claire: 5G is potentially an annihilation event for this planet. 5G was marketed as 5G because it was intended for people to believe that it was just an upgrade from 4G. But in fact, if you understand wireless technology and cell phones, you would know that cell phones were never tested for health or safety, and wireless technology was never tested for health or safety. So all of this is devastating for health. We have the health results now from all of these first generations of wireless technology so we know that this is absolutely devastating for people’s health and for the environment. And 5G is going to be a very, very different technology. It has very little in common with 4G actually, and it would be truly, truly devastating.

Lucas: What is the difference between 4G and 5G, if 5G is so different?

Claire: Well, the difference between earlier generations of wireless technology and 5G is that you could think of 4G as an antenna that you might see in the distance – and I tend to think of what 4G puts out as a soup. So we’re all sitting in this soup 24/7. But, what 5G does is – it’s basically densification on every level so you – with the 5G box you have up to or more than a thousand mini-antennas in one box. And what this produces is a beam. So it’s beam-forming. It’s like a laser and the laser goes out – a very concentrated signal and it does not attenuate over distance, so it does not weaken over distance as the 4G signal does. And therefore it maintains its power and therefore it’s particularly devastating. Now, the densification aspect of 5G is huge because, again, as I said, 4G, you have – you might see it off in the distance. But 5G would be absolutely everywhere. And the list of places from which 5G will come at you is so long that it’s hard to enumerate. So for a start, “smart” meters are part of the 5G rollout. LED street lights are part of the 5G rollout. Cabinets on the street – so they have designed new cabinets on the street which will let the signal pass. Under manhole covers – so imagine that you’re taking your baby for a walk and you see a friend and you leave the baby standing over the manhole cover. Your baby is being irradiated. Then you have satellites in the Earth orbits. So now SpaceX has asked for permission to put up a further 30,000 satellites, so now we’re up to a figure of 53,000 satellites in the Earth orbits. Plus, they want to put pseudosatellites in the stratosphere. Plus, you’re talking about networked civil aircraft, which would network between them and then beam down broadband down to Earth level, ground level. And also the plan is to put the 5G antennas approximately every third house. So you’re talking about a hugedensification. You’re talking about putting these antennas extremely close to where people are and where they live, outside their bedroom windows, for example. You’re also talking about different power levels. Now, because we have no standards for 5G – if you look at the press conference with Tom Wheeler in 2016, Tom Wheeler said it: we’re not waiting for the standards; we’re not waiting for committees and commissions to sit around deciding the standards. Therefore we have no standards for this. This is completely unprecedented. So we actually do not have a definition for 5G. It is undefined. They’re making it up as they go along. In terms of frequencies, people think that the higher frequencies will be used, which is true. They have – obviously there have been frequency auctions and it’s proposed to use frequencies up to 100 GHz for 5G. But also they will use low frequencies and we have to consider that evenextremely low frequencies do tremendous damage to the human body. So it’s a common misconception that 5G just means higher frequencies – it doesn’t. And it will devastate on all levels and at all frequencies.

Lucas: But isn’t it because of the low frequencies that a lot of scientists who are allowed to speak in the mainstream media, though, are saying that it’s not a danger to our health or anything else?

Claire: Well, 5G is complicated. The whole issue of wireless technology is complicated. The problem we have is that a lie has been perpetrated. Ever since we’ve had wireless technology. The lie is the “thermal hypothesis”. And the thermal hypothesis says that there are no biological effects to microwave radiation, which is absolutely not true. The US military collected compendia of thousands of studies detailing the biological effects of microwave radiation precisely because they wanted to develop weapons. So the biological effects are absolutely known. The World Health Organization organized a symposium in 1973, which was actually called “The Biologic Effects and Health Hazards of Microwave Radiation”. But since then they have conveniently forgotten that they organized that symposium. So it is absolute fact that there are biological effects but the regulatory agencies have been, basically, taken over and corrupted by industry and the lie of the thermal hypothesis has been propagated. So they want us to believe that there are only heating effects. So all your cell phones are based on this principle, that there are only heating effects and therefore if you simply hold the phone away from your head, you’re not being heated and therefore there’s no problem. And they test this on plastic mannequins filled with gel, into which they put a probe to ascertain to what extent this mannequin has been heated. So it’s absolutely fraudulent and people think if they hold the phone away, it’s not affecting them, but of course it’s going through their arm; it’s going into their body and there are biological effects so the whole body is being totally devastated by wireless technology and cell phones.

Lucas: So what are the possible dangers and health effects of electromagnetic radiation and frequencies?

Claire: Well, now we have the results after 25 years of cell phone use, now we have the results and they could not be more devastating. We have 9 to 10 year-old children presenting with the brains of senile old people. We have the highest suicide rate in the US since World War Two.

Lucas: So how is suicide connected to those frequencies?

Claire: Because it causes changes in the brain and it causes people to become depressed. So we have the first three-year fall in life expectancy since World War One[in the US] and numerous other devastating health effects, really too numerous to list. British insurer Legal & General, the CEO recently told us that there is now a premature death trend.

Lucas: What does that mean? Is that because it causes cancer and other illnesses?

Claire: Well, there was recently a paper which was putting out a hypothesis that it is wireless technology, it is the ubiquitous nature of electromagnetic radiation that is causing neurological disease and deaths in the Western world. So we have the information now. The Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance association in the United States put out a report in April this year where they said that millennials, who are the first generation to have used cell phones for a considerable period of time, they have double-digit increases in all the major diseases and you have 27 year-olds now who are presenting with dementia. It could not be more devastating. You also have a prominent scientist in the US who has predicted that, by 2025, every second baby born in the US will be autistic. Autism and ADHD [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder] are both associated with electromagnetic radiation.

Lucas: And we have the studies to prove that?

Claire: Absolutely. These are the studies. These are the results.

Lucas: People, when they hear you talk about these things—we will talk much more about it—can actually do their research and find some evidence about this?

Claire: Absolutely. If people go and they read the articles that I’ve written, I reference everything that I say and I give links to all the studies. The University of Aachen has an EMF Portal and on that portal there are over 28,000 studies. Not all of those are peer-reviewed, obviously. But we have an enormous, an overwhelming amount of studies showing these biological effects, which are absolutely known.

Lucas: So why don’t we hear about them on the mainstream news? Why is it not something that they’re taking into consideration. Why don’t they stop it?

Claire: Because this industry, the telecommunications industry is one of the most powerful industries on this planet. And they estimate that the 5G rollout is worth approximately 17 trillion dollars. And you will also find, since about three months ago because of the success of our Appeal and because so many millions of people now know about the dangers of 5G, the mainstream media started a pushback of fake news. This is mainstream media fake news, which started about three months ago. And you will find that, for example, the BBC has some sort of collaboration going with a telecommunications company. Le Monde in France has done two attacks on what we are saying, one very recently which was specifically about our Appeal.

Lucas: That was a French paper?

Claire: That’s one of the main French newspapers, and that is owned by a man who owns a telecommunications company. And so it goes on. You will find very strong links between the telecommunications companies and the newspapers. So, for example, there was an article in The New York Times about three or four months ago attacking what we’re saying and then it was done – in fact, attacking what Russia Today America was saying about 5G and then Russia Today answered back and said, well, actually The New York Times has a collaboration with Verizon, one of the very major American telecommunications companies. So frankly, the mainstream media has a huge conflict of interest. Not a single whisper comes out about the dangers of 5G. There is no balance and if you listen to what they say about the evidence – please listen carefully because I’ve written an article about this and it’s called BBC Fake News on 5G Decoded – how to decode this fake news. Because if you listen very carefully to what they say. Every time they say there is no evidence, they say there is no solid evidence, there is no convincing evidence, there is no valid evidence. Listen for the key word: there’s lots of evidence, but it’s not solidconvincing, valid, believable, etc.

Lucas: So is it not solid? Is it not believable? Is it not something we can trust?

Claire: Well, you know, do you want to dismiss in excess of 28,000 studies? And in that case, why then would the American military have compiled all these compendia on the biological effects of microwave radiation? Why would they have bothered if none of this is solid, convincing, valid or believable?

Lucas: But all these people behind the scenes or whoever is part of rolling it out, they will be irradiated as well?

Claire: I don’t know what they believe. I think that there are some innocent parties in this. I certainly believe that a lot of the people who work for the telecommunications companies cannot be aware of this.

Lucas: And so it’s on a need-to-know basis? It’s more like a compartmentalized …

Claire: Well, no, it goes back to the thermal hypothesis, you see. The regulatory agencies have put out the lie about the thermal hypothesis and a lot of people have believed it because they’re simply not aware of the biological effects. And so the main culprit in this is the so-called “international commission on non-ionizing radiation protection (icnirp). And this has this very grand name “international commission” so we should all respect this international commission. What this is, this is simply a club under German law. Now I could go and I could start a club and I could call myself the international commission. So this international commission so-called, it appoints its own members. There is no transparency; there is no supervision. It has no legal standing in international law. And yet, clearly they must be doing the bidding of industry, their pronouncements – they dismiss all the science on the biological effects. They say there is only thermal effect. And then, mysteriously, their pronouncements are taken up by the World Health Organization and by the International Telecommunication Union, both of which are UN organizations. And, as far as I can see, there is no legitimacy in the fact that their pronouncements are taken up. And you may also wish to consider that on icnirp’s website, they actually have a disclaimer disclaiming all responsibility for any of their pronouncements, obviously including their so-called safety guidelines, which actually don’t protect anybody from anything whatsoever.

Lucas: And the UN is not taking any action on this either, right?

Claire: The UN is the chief promoter of this.

Lucas: But you worked for the United Nations for a long time. So why aren’t they doing that? Do you think that the United Nations is actually a part of the New World Order structure?

Claire: I have no idea if they are part of the New World Order, but you can just look at what the United Nations actually does.

Lucas: You worked there?

Claire: I worked there and I came into this because, in December 2015, I was working in Vienna at the Vienna International Centre and they put up public access points on the ceilings. Now, these public access points were for Wi-Fi and cell phones and they have very little in common with your home Wi-Fi router. They are much, much more powerful. So when I saw these go up on the ceilings, I was extremely concerned and I tried to bring it to the attention of the authorities in Vienna, none of whom listened to me. And I was sick as a result of that. I was sick for seven months with flu, cold, flu, cold, flu, cold and the symptoms of flu …

Lucas: Caused by that, do you think?

Claire: Well, I would say so. I didn’t realize this until afterwards when I was talking to a friend. I didn’t realize it at the time but afterwards I thought, “Well, gosh, that happened as soon as those things went up”. And the symptoms of flu are almost identical to the symptoms of radiation poisoning, you know, so it’s very difficult for a doctor to differentiate between the two. So I was sick for seven months and, because nobody would listen to me and because I was extremely concerned about the situation, I actually took early retirement to get out of there. But I continued to try to alert people, including the Medical Service at the UN in Vienna, and nobody listened. Nobody even replied to my emails. So in the end, when I heard that the Secretary-General was coming in May last year and was going to speak to staff – you have to understand that when you work for the UN, you keep a grounds pass when you retire. So you’re still part of the UN if, you know, even though you’re retired.

Lucas: So you had access to go there?

Claire: Yes. So I went there to warn him about these public access points and also about 5G. Now, what I find extremely interesting – so that video is now on the Internet– and if you watch that video, what is extremely interesting is that it took me quite a time to read what I had to say out to the Secretary-General. So in other words, he had about three minutes to think how to respond to me. And when he responded to me, he laughed. Which is – I find that quite a strange response.

Lucas: Why did he laugh? That is so immature, isn’t it?

Claire: Well, I mean, I had brought my very serious concerns to him about the welfare of the UN staff. I mean, I hear anecdotally that many people have had breast cancer, some people have died. People have had heart attacks. I know a lot of people have had burnout, which is also associated with exposure to electromagnetic radiation.

Lucas: Stress, huh?

Claire: No, it’s to do with electromagnetic radiation. There’s also connections there so I know that there have been very serious consequences, but I only know anecdotally. What I was asking was that, for example, building biology experts should be brought in. Nobody needs to listen to me. I’m not an expert. I’m simply raising the alarm. So I asked the UN to bring in experts and they failed to do so. Now, what I find interesting about the fact that the Secretary-General laughed is that he could have done something else. So I raised my very serious concerns about the welfare of the staff and his response was to laugh. I find that wildly inappropriate myself. And also think about what he did notsay. So I should have been reassured – if these public access points are fine on the ceilings and he knows that they are fine, then actually he should have reassured me and said, “Oh, don’t worry about a thing. It’s all absolutely safe”. He did not do that.

Lucas: So, other than finding it funny and laughing, did he actually say something constructive or anything that you could use positively?

Claire: He said that he would consult the World Health Organization, which he did not do subsequently. Now, then you have to look at what the Secretary-General actually did do after I told him about 5G. First of all, I should say that he is an electrical engineer by training and also a physicist and he also taught telecommunications signals early in his career. So if there’s one man on this planet who should have known what I was talking about, about the dangers …

Lucas: Should have been him, shouldn’t it?

Claire: … he should have known. So what did he actually do? Approximately two months later he appointed a High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation and this was to promote digitalization. And this Panel was stuffed solely with industry insiders. So this was all Melinda Gates and the man who started Ali Baba … all people who were pro-5G. So this was about promoting 5G. There was not a single doctor involved; there was not a single environmentalist involved. Then he went on to bring out a document on digital technologies. So, basically, you have these digital technologies being pushed through absolutely every UN programme. The word – if you look at the literature, the word that’s used in the UN literature – and other literature emanating from the European Union and the US – the word they use is to “blanket” the Earth. Their intention is to blanket the Earth. As I have already described, 53,000 satellites, pseudosatellites in the stratosphere, networked civil aviation, densification of antennas absolutely everywhere. They intend that every square centimetre of this planet be bathed in electromagnetic radiation. Now when you consider that, already, we have the canaries in the coalmine – you could say – are so-called electrohypersensitive people. Now this term electrohypersensitivity, it’s actually a political term, because, when you talk about, “Oh, you are electrohypersensitive”, this points the finger at you. “Oh, you have a problem because you are electrohypersensitive. The rest of us are not feeling anything” – because this is the problem, you don’t feel anything. We are all being attacked and our health is being massively damaged and the environment is being damaged. So some people – and we don’t know why – but some people feel this, where others don’t.

Lucas: Maybe later on they’ll feel it.

Claire: Well, with 5G, I mean, I’m quite sure that everybody will feel it because this is going to be …

Lucas: But this is the United Nations and the WHO we’re talking about here. People depend on these organizations. They think they’re doing something good, right? Trying to help the human race. That’s at least the official narrative.

Claire: There tends to be a very positive view. But we live in a society where authority is respected and people defer to authority. And I would say this is exactly the problem. That people do not realize that actually they need to inform themselves of what is really going on. And people need to realize that they have a lot of power to change what is going on.

Lucas: But the UN Secretary-General, he knows. Because he’s part of – he knew about all of this, being an engineer, right?

Claire: Yes, I would say he undoubtedly has to know.

Lucas: I mean, really know, in depth.

Claire: Yes, really know, yes, in depth. Yes.

Lucas: Yes, so this he knows and therefore he is actually he’s implement … he’s part of the knowledge and going against what is actually secure and good for the human race. That’s really what it comes down to, right?

Claire: I don’t believe in coincidences. He was appointed Secretary-General at the time when it was known that 5G was going to be rolled out. So I don’t believe in coincidences

Lucas: And he was not too thrilled to meet you when you asked him those questions or presented this material in front of him?

Claire: He patronized me. He may be regretting it now because it was actually what he did that caused me to start cooperating and working on the International Appeal to Stop 5G on Earth and in Space.

Lucas: And we’re gonna talk, of course, much more about that. But why do you think that they’re rolling it out at rapid speed – so fast. Why does that have to happen, so fast?

Claire: That question was actually asked in an EU report [page 6: “The notion of a “race” is part of the campaign”]. It was asked sceptically in an EU report earlier this year. And frankly, I think nobody knows why this has been characterized as a race. My guess is that they need to roll it out before people really realize. Or they hoped to roll it out before people really realized the dangers of 5G and by giving it the name “5G”, people assume that it’s just more of the same as 4G, but just a lot better and a lot faster.

Lucas: “Next generation.”

Claire: So they were hoping really that nobody would inform the public about the real nature of 5G. So by characterizing it as a race, you have to get there before any other country gets there …

Lucas: Because it’s easier to stop it than to take it back or to actually disarm it or destroy it afterwards?

Claire: Er, no. I think they wanted to roll it out before people could realize how damaging it would be. And before people had an opportunity to organize and stop it.

Lucas: It’s more difficult to take it away once it’s there.

Claire: I would say it’s extremely difficult to take it away once it’s there. How are you going to take down 53,000 satellites once they are up? The whole point about 5G is that it affects your brain. I mean, not only does it affect your body, but it affects your brain and therefore it affects your judgment. It can also be used for mind control because it’s very closely associated with HAARP. It has many of the same characteristics as far as I can see …

Lucas: Please, for the viewers, just explain what HAARP is.

Claire: HAARP is the – if I can remember correctly – the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program. H-A-A-R-P and it’s an ionospheric heater. And what you can do with HAARP is you can mind-control people, you can change their emotional state, all sorts of things.

Lucas: Weather.

Claire: The weather, yes, you can interfere with the weather. It’s a very sinister tool. And it heats the ionosphere. Now, my question would be – I think that there are very close parallels between HAARP and 5G. Of course, nobody is drawing attention to this.

Lucas: Some people say that HAARP, which was in Alaska, is no longer functioning.

Claire: No, that’s not true. There was an interview with Dr. Nick Begich, who has written several books on this. And it’s all a switcheroo. It’s all just public relations to make people believe things.

Lucas: So it’s kept under the radar?

Claire: In his opinion, it was taken over, I think, from the American military, it was given to DARPA. And, as we know, DARPA is one of the most sinister organizations on this planet. And from DARPA, it was then transferred to the University of Alaska. So it comes under the University of Alaska now, but the University of Alaska was already working with the American military on HAARP. So it’s just a question of PR. Now the University of Alaska is still providing the same services to those same “clients”, if you want to call it. So, basically, it’s still controlled by the same people. HAARP has multiplied over the years so I believe – I mean, I can’t substantiate that – I haven’t done any detailed research into HAARP, but I believe that there are HAARP stations all around the world at this stage.

Lucas: The European version is placed in Norway, in Tromso.

Claire: Exactly. Exactly. And that was just updated – a couple of years ago there was a huge investment in that. So, far from being downgraded, I would say this is something that has been upgraded.

Lucas: So just explain DARPA. What does that stand for? What is DARPA?

Claire: [Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.] I’ve forgotten what it stands for. This is the organization that does some of the most sinister projects on the planet. So, for example, they have designed these battlefield robots that look like robotic dogs. Now, the problem on the battlefield – and this really shows you the connection with 5G because you can – so, for example, the invasion of Iraq by the US.

Lucas: In 2003.

Claire: Yes, exactly. So a lot of the veterans from the Iraq so-called war came back and complained of some sort of peculiar syndrome. Now, it would appear that, in fact, the Iraq invasion – they were using electronic weapons. So if you listen to what Mark Steele has to say … Mark Steele is based in the UK and he’s a weapons expert. And he says that 5G is battlefield interrogation technology, which it is. So what happened with these Iraq veterans is that they were very damaged by this battlefield interrogation technology. And therefore you really cannot deploy soldiers on the battlefield any more, which is why you need these DARPA robotic dogs.

Lucas: Like Manchurian Candidate syndrome, really?

Claire: That sort of thing, yes. It’s a similar technology. I mean, we also have to realize that the mind-control technology goes back decades. And was taken from the Nazis. In Operation Paperclip, where a lot of Nazis were – thousands of Nazi scientists were brought into the US. And all the various projects that they worked on were taken up by the Americans. And, of course, they’ve had decades to improve this technology.

Lucas: CIA?

Claire: Yes, and the mind-control technology is absolutely real.

Lucas: MKULTRA?

Claire: MKULTRA. And it’s extremely sophisticated at this stage and 5G also includes mind control.

Lucas: So frequencies can be beamed from this satellite grid around Earth that they’re creating with this technology? And it can be beamed into a person’s mind in order to make them do certain things or think in a certain direction. Is that what you mean?

Claire: Exactly. Well, we have the proof you see. This was deployed during the Iraq war when these frequencies were beamed at Iraqi soldiers. In fact, it was put on top of a radio signal so when they were listening to prayers and so forth and they went into fear and panic. And they were told to put down their weapons and they did. So they didn’t understand where this fear and panic came from. So we’ve already had a public demonstration of this.

Lucas: Is 5G part of UN agenda 21, also now known as UN Agenda 2030?

Claire: I can’t really speak to that because I don’t have expertise in that area. I would simply say that 5G …

Lucas: Even if you worked for the UN?

Claire: Well, no, because it depends who you work for. I worked in the Conference Management Service so we were providing services to conferences, so translations and documentation, conference rooms, etc. And, you know, there are many different parts of the UN. So Agenda 21 is the UN Environment Programme and we don’t have the UN Environment Programme in Vienna. In Vienna, we work on space so I edited a lot of the space documents, which is why I have some knowledge of space law and the issues in space.

Lucas: And they also work closely with NASA?

Claire: Not necessarily, no.

Lucas: When you talk about space?

Claire: Oh, well – you know – there are various parts of the UN work on space. So you have the Office of Disarmament Affairs is one, the First Committee in New York is another one. And in Vienna we have the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and so for several years I edited all the documents for them, including their Legal, and Scientific and Technical subcommittees. And what I can tell you is that the two major, major issues that were always talked of were space debris and weaponization. So right now – I don’t know if it’s because of 25 years of cell phone use, but it’s like we have gone into some sort of collective amnesia because the 5G rollout is totally illegal. It’s totally illegal on every level. The number of international treaties that it breaches– you know – I can’t even list them for you. But environmental treaties, human rights, space law. It’s astonishing. And so the two issues that the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space [discussed] were always space debris and weaponization. And it’s almost as if those discussions never ever took place because now we’re putting up 53,000 satellites and so the two issues – let’s separate them. So the space debris – there was a paper written, I think back in the 1970s or 1980s by a man called Kessler who posited what became called the Kessler syndrome. And what he says is that if you reach a point where you have so much space debris that it starts colliding, you could have a cascade effect where you cannot stop the constant cascade of collisions and you would have a situation where the space orbits became unusable for a thousand years.

Lucas: Please explain to us where this space debris comes from. How does that happen?

Claire: Well, there’s – we’ve had a lot of space exploration, obviously, for decades, and so as you – I mean, some, certain countries have actually attacked their own satellites.

Lucas: So it’s from satellites, it’s from rockets or from …

Claire: Rockets, satellites, all the activities that have gone on in space. So you you’ve had I think the US has also attacked its own satellite. Certainly China did, and India did. India did that earlier this year. And when you destroy your own satellite, of course, it shatters into – I don’t know how many pieces. And you have to consider that the velocity at which these pieces travel means that the tiniest, tiniest piece could cause such damage, for example, to the International Space Station, that it could no longer function. So the tiniest – it’s not a question of size. The tiniest piece can be absolutely devastating. And they estimate that there are over 500,000 pieces of space debris already. And by 2025 they estimate that …

Lucas: How can it cause damage when it’s so tiny?

Claire: Because of the velocity at which it travels. And also there was a project during the Cold War called Project West Ford, where the Americans put up 480 million needles into the Earth orbits and those are still up there. They’re floating around. So you – if you look at a picture of space debris. If you go on to YouTube, for example, and look up the Kessler syndrome or space junk, you can actually see the tremendous amount of space debris that exists up there. And so, at the UN, year after year after year, they constantly talked about the dangers from space debris. And now suddenly we’ve forgotten all of that. It’s like we never had those discussions. But now we’re going to put up 53,000 satellites and nobody considers it a problem any more. But the other issue that constantly came up year by year was the issue of weaponization of space. The Outer Space Treaty of 1966 bans weapons in space – it’s actually illegal now the problem with the weaponization of space is of course you don’t have visibility you can’t look out the window and see what’s happening in the earth orbits so if a military satellite and of course the militaries all depend increasingly on the intelligence satellites so if one of these satellites blips out suddenly and makes that country vulnerable. Now, if that country believes that it was another state that caused the , of their satellite, they could launch nuclear missiles! They could think that they’re under attack! It’s tremendously dangerous. This issue of weaponization in space. And again this is another issue where it’s as if these conversations never ever took place because now we have NATO, this December, intends to designate space a domain of warfare! And this year, President Trump announced a space force.President Macron of France has also announced a space force. Where are we going now? We have descended into lunacy now. And all I can suppose is that, because we’ve had 25 years of cell phones, people have lost their minds. It’s unimaginable what is happening now.

Lucas: Some people say that the governments of the world, well, the top elite factions of the governments are working with alien races, people from other worlds. What are your thoughts on that when you’re talking about, let’s say, human-made space stations around Earth?

Claire: I can’t speculate about alien races. I mean, my personal opinion is I don’t see why there should not be alien races. If we exist, you know, why should alien races not equally exist? But I can’t really speak to that, but I can speak to artificial intelligence. Again, this is not an area where I have expertise.

Lucas: People think that 5G is actually, let’s just say a pathway, a route to AI, artificial intelligence.

Claire: Absolutely. 5G is what facilitates artificial intelligence.

Lucas: Is that the agenda?

Claire: 5G, in my view, is about a total surveillance and mind control and kill grid. That’s what 5G is.

Lucas: A kill grid? In order to kill the population?

Claire: Well, people speculate on that.

Lucas: What are your thoughts?

Claire: Well, you know, people say, “Is it a weapon?” Well, you know, if you have a technology which is potentially going to annihilate everything on Earth, do we need to decide whether it’s a weapon or not? I mean, the only difference between it being a weapon and not a weapon is just intention.

Lucas: But why would the leaders of the world and even the moguls in the financial system who are behind the whole control system. Why would they want to kill a large number of the population on Earth known as depopulation?

Claire: Please don’t ask me for insights into the mind of psychopaths. You know, I am not the author of 5G. I think it is more insane, demented than anything I have ever come across in my life.

Lucas: Is it because they think we’re too many or is it because a growing number of the population is waking up to what possibly is behind what we talked about just before a little bit –the new world order structure, a one-world government strategy.

Claire: Well, for me it is a form of madness. What we have in the West is – we have the materialist-reductionist paradigm. And this is very much left-brain thinking. So in left-brain thinking, everything is separate, so nothing is ever seen in context. And in left-brain thinking, you are very much in fear. You tend to exercise control. The right-brain thinking is much more holistic and much more accepting of the idea that you cannot grasp everything – not everything is understandable. So the left-brain thinking is materialistic. Now, if you subscribe to this kind of thinking, which frankly I don’t. Nikola Tesla said that if you think of the universe in terms of energy, frequency and vibration, you would make more progress in a decade in science than ever before. So clearly it’s an energy universe. I mean, this is absolutely indisputable. And I don’t understand why anybody would even argue about it. Even at school we are taught that everything is atoms and molecules. So we know that everything is energy and when you touch something, you should know by now that what you’re touching is, it’s about electron repulsion. You’re not actually touching something solid because there IS nothing solid.

Lucas: Because atoms have no solidity. So everything is holographic in structure or …

Claire: According to some theories, yes. But it’s an energy universe. But when you believe – as many scientists, extraordinarily, still perpetuate this belief that we live in a material world, then you tend to think that everything is scarce and perishable. Life is limited. And therefore you live in fear. And you believe that the resources of the world are limited because they’re made of matter. Now, when you believe that, then you start to worry that you have too many people on Earth. So, depopulation agenda? Is it a conspiracy theory? Well, I would invite people to go and do the research because …

Lucas: Or conspiracy fact?

Claire: Conspiracy fact. Because if you go and do the research and you look at eugenics, this has been touted for well over a hundred years. And very prominent people such as George Bernard Shaw were talking about finding a humane gas to reduce the human population, so if …

Lucas: Bill Gates talked about it.

Claire: Bill Gates talked about it as well.

Lucas: Even Prince Philip.

Claire:  I don’t know if that’s true or not. I’ve certainly heard it. But eugenics and the depopulation agenda is absolutely real. So whether 5G is intended to depopulate the planet, I couldn’t say, but as to its potential for doing so, absolutely!

Lucas: What’s the reason for AI? What is artificial intelligence? Well, that of course explains a little bit what it is, but please talk about why we need that. Why do we want to connect the human brain to artificial intelligence?

Claire: Well, this again for me, it goes to your perception of our existence and potential as human beings. Our brain is fantastically powerful so when Elon Musk talks about the Neuralink, it seems to me a complete inversion. So what he’s offering is that people should connect up their brains to the Internet. And artificial intelligence can be thought of as algorithms, so, you know, in terms of algorithms, I mean it’s pathetic and childish. So I think that this kind of Neuralink and this kind of artificial intelligence is actually about tapping our brain power. It’s not about us connecting ourselves to the Internet and tapping in to the Internet. No. It’s that for such an Internet to work they would actually need our brain power. So it’s complete nonsense to think that you want to connect your brain via Neuralink.

Lucas: To imprison the mind.

Claire: Yes, I think it’s about imprisoning the mind. Absolutely. Yes. But as to artificial intelligence, you know, I think that there are different perceptions of artificial intelligence. It always seemed to me – I was never interested in Facebook. But if you look back to the beginning of the Internet, you used to receive these emails from people, which said “Oh, you have to send on this email to 10 people within the next 15 minutes, and then something wonderful will happen to you”. And I was always very suspicious of this so I never did it. And then Facebook started up and it was very clear to me from the start that Facebook was about getting people’s data. So what they’ve collected over the years is the human reaction to every type of human event in order to develop machines such as Sophia the robot. So that Sophia can come out with a reaction to anything that she might be presented with because it’s been picked up from social media. So is this creature intelligent? I would say absolutely not. It’s just based on algorithms. Now, whether there is another type of artificial intelligence on another level, which could be trained to be intelligent. Well, that may be possible, yes.

Lucas: What are you talking about now? Are you talking about something other-worldly, extraterrestrial or connected to that?

Claire: Well, there’s the algorithmic AI, which I think, frankly, is pretty childish and it’s just imitative of human beings. A sort of fake imitation. But there’s also another level to AI, where it’s posited that machines can actually learn. And that, I think, is extremely sinister and I think it’s that aspect of AI that the UK Prime Minister was addressing when he spoke at the General Assembly just a few weeks ago. And he gave a very, very strong warning about the threat from AI. And he spent some time on it. And he talked about it as a dark cloud, lowering over the human race, over which potentially the human race would have no say whatsoever. So I was very glad to see that he …

Lucas: Boris Johnson?

Claire: Boris Johnson.

Lucas: Why do you think that he actually did that? If he’s part of – like all presidents and prime ministers in a way, supposedly part of this new world order structure and the whole agenda behind that. Why do you think he actually spoke and was allowed to talk about that?

Claire: Well, because I do think that occasionally you can get wildcards. I don’t think everybody … You know, I personally don’t live in fear and paranoia. And so I think that it’s perfectly possible to get somebody who is independent-minded and don’t forget that Boris Johnson came to be Prime Minister in a fairly accidental way because of Brexit. Now, there’s been some questioning about the – how can I put it? The authenticity of what Boris Johnson said. And in the second part of his speech he went on to talk about the importance of vaccinations and so on.

Lucas: And you’re not for that?

Claire: No. And I just think that that was window dressing because he had to be supportive of technologies for strategic reasons. But if you listen to the first part of his speech, he – Boris Johnson is a maverick. And I think that 5G is going to be combatted by mavericks. What you need is, you need free-thinkers, people who don’t just go with the herd. People who actually are clear-sighted and can see what is happening and are prepared to stand up and oppose it. And it seems to me that Boris Johnson is one of those. I’m told that he has planted an enormous number of trees. Certainly he always used to cycle to the House of Commons. So it seems to me that – he’s also a writer and a journalist and he’s benefited from a very good education. So I would say that he was genuine when he was talking.

Lucas: But you don’t like what he said about vaccinations?

Claire: Well, it would appear that, possibly, the vaccinations, the purpose of the vaccinations is again something to do with interfering with the processes of the mind because the adjuvant that is used in vaccinations is aluminium. And it would appear that aluminium in some way also works with these frequencies. Now, I’m not sure exactly how, but certainly aluminium and barium had something to do with the HAARP processes. So equally, I would suggest, that that’s going to affect the brain – the combination of the aluminium adjuvant and these frequencies.

Lucas: And microchipping the population, even through vaccines.

Claire: Well, you don’t need to microchip the population because everybody has cell phones and they’re addicted to them. And it would be my guess that very soon it will become compulsory to carry a “smart” phone. I don’t have one. I don’t want to be mind-controlled. I don’t have one. I took a hammer and I smashed my cell phone in January this year. And I’ve never been happier than to be free of this mobile phone.

Lucas: So please talk about your thoughts on climate change, which is the big thing at the moment. We are in October 2019 and all through this year we’ve been hearing about the climate, almost that the world is going under and that the whole CO2 scare and this Swedish girl, 16-year-old girl Greta Thunberg and how she has been promoted all over the world. But it seems that everybody is worried about the environment and the climate. But the same people are not very worried, it seems, about 5G. So what are your thoughts on climate change? Is it real or not? And why is it not connected to 5G?

Claire: As far as I’m concerned, you cannot talk about anthropogenic climate change as long as you are interfering with the weather, which is what you’re doing with HAARP and it’s what you’re doing with geoengineering. Now, as far as Little Greta is concerned, I thought – if you look at what she said in front of the UN, this terrible rage and distorted expression on her face. Pointing the finger and accusing adults of stealing her childhood. This is revolting. This child is being manipulated. She has a German handler who is paid by one of the George Soros organizations. The child is autistic. She’s being manipulated. And this is about distracting people from the reality of the danger of 5G. The Powers That Be want everybody to be looking in the wrong direction. And if you look at the – all the green parties, the environmental organizations, are so busy talking about anthropogenic climate change and they absolutely refuse to look at electromagnetic radiation, which has been far more devastating over the last 25 years. We have lost between 75 and 80 per cent of our insects at this stage. If you look – there are papers, studies that have been done. The insect loss in the Puerto Rico rainforest can also be attributed to the installation of a very large radar antenna there. There were other studies done in Germany on radar antennas, Cold War radar antennas which have shown absolute devastation to the environment [Summary of Invisible Rainbow: A History of Electricity and Life, chap. 16: Bees, Birds, Trees, and Humans;full book here]. So in my view, and in the view of a lot of scientists, the environmental devastation is actually far more attributable to electromagnetic radiation than it is to any hypothesized climate change.

Lucas: But everybody is talking about that now. It’s covered all in the mainstream media, on the news every single day. Everybody’s, even scientists are saying that we have manmade climate change.

Claire: There are – there’s a substantial body of scientists who say that there is no anthropogenic climate change. And if you look into the climate issue, you will find that the science has actually been distorted and the calculations have been very conveniently done to exclude the [Little] Ice Age. So these figures have been distorted. We know that there has been manipulation in scientific circles. So the whole climate change agenda originated – there was a very interesting document published a couple of months ago by the Canadian civil liberties organization. And they actually identified this fake climate change agenda as coming from, I think, the 1970s and …

Lucas: Club of Rome.

Claire: Club of Rome, exactly. So it’s something that has been cooked up to put people in fear and manipulate them. Now, as to the real motive behind the climate change agenda. This was revealed a couple of weeks ago, where I came across a very interesting article, which included a video, where our Little Greta has now teamed up with a very fake environmental journalist called George Monbiot who writes for the UK Guardian. And so we had Little Greta lying on a carpet on her stomach, looking into the camera. So they were clearly trying to make her look like an ordinary teenage girl and not an autistic child. So she spoke first and then she was followed by George Monbiot, who told us, “Wow, we have a machine that converts CO2 to oxygen and it’s called a tree!” So now we have, the trees are now machines. This again is materialist-reductionist paradigm. It’s the madness of seeing everything as mechanistic. The tree is a living organism. This is not a machine. And what I further learned from this article is that actually the aim of all this is a new regime which is “Naturocracy”. So Naturocracy is now about monetizing nature. So it’s not enough that the neoliberals of the last 40 years have stolen everything on this planet, stolen all the resources, exploited everybody, stacked up vast fortunes in tax havens, but now they want the Earth orbits, they want the stratosphere, they want the ionosphere, and they want every last blade of grass! This is what this is about. It’s about monetizing nature. That is the purpose of the fake climate change agenda. And I don’t know about you, but I find that frankly horrifying. This is my planet. This is my home and I will do everything to defend this planet and protect all the creatures that live on it and all the nature that lives on it. So I would say to people, they have to stop following blindly what they find in the media. Now, I suspect that, we do know that the cell phones are about mind control and manipulation. We know that people do become addicted to cell phones. Weapons expert Barrie Trower has told us that these phones are 17 times as addictive as heroin. So what you have now is, I think, you have memes that are put out by the media and they are reinforced by these cell phones to make people into herds who will simply follow what they have been told. And you can just move them left and right and manipulate them. I would ask people to stop parroting absolute nonsense which has no scientific foundation whatsoever and to actually go and do their own research. There’s enough information …

Lucas: Most people believe the scientists when they speak through the mainstream media.

Claire: Well, you know, it’s always a manipulation. I mean, you know, cui bono? Who is making money out of this? People need to ask some serious, hard questions.

Lucas: Who benefits.

Claire: Who benefits?

Lucas: Some of those people, some climate activists who are advocating that we have to really worry about the climate, say now that the oil company, I think called Exxon, is part of this anti-climate change propaganda happening, saying that it’s not real because they are worried about the whole oil industry thing. Do you think that could also be orchestrated?

Claire: I think everything is a fiction at this stage. I mean, if people were to wake up and look around them, I think they would quickly see that everything is a fiction. And I find it very interesting to note that you recently saw these so-called Extinction Rebellion people, who again are funded by the same George Soros organizations, by the way. But recently they all dressed up in red robes and protested somewhere. Now, did nobody else notice the parallels with the ISIS theatricals where the ISIS so-called terrorists were all dressed up in theatrical costumes and all arranged – you know, posing for photographs. It’s the same manipulation. I think that I would really say – I would really plead with people to get rid of these dangerous cell phones because people are clearly being prevented from thinking properly. Their brains don’t function properly and they’re being seriously misled. People need to get rid of these cell phones, they need to switch off their Wi-Fi routers, they need to cable their computers and they need to start seriously looking at the facts.

Lucas: Here in Denmark, and maybe other places around the world, “smart” meters are mandatory. It’s actually forced that we must have a “smart” meter rigged up in our homes. How can we actually say no to that?

Claire: Lucas, you can say no to anything. It depends whether you are in your power and your sovereignty. We are sovereign human beings. It doesn’t matter what manmade laws there are. It doesn’t matter what you are told. Ultimately, you are a human being and you are sovereign. So you don’t have to be told anything whatsoever. You simply refuse to cooperate. And this is really what is the problem on this planet. That people think they have no power. They do not realize that they are creator beings. And their intention creates everything. What do you think creates everything that we have around us? Everything started with an idea. Everything started with the creation of a mind. Everything that we have here is about intention. So the most important thing that we have to do now is say “No!” to this whole agenda. Every single part of it. Now, you don’t need everybody to do that; you simply need a sufficient number for a tipping point. So people need to take back their power. In fact, I would simply say they need to recognize the power that they have and they need to start asserting it. They just have to refuse. So do what you feel necessary to make sure that you do not have a “smart” meter. And I would say further, that you have a lot of – so the 5G rollout is taking place on a local basis and people are following orders. “Oh, the government told us we have to do this.” Okay, but the government is acting illegally under national and international law. So are you like Nazis now? Is that your excuse? That you’re going to follow orders and kill your local population? Or are you going to inform yourself and stand up and confront this agenda?

Lucas: You certainly do that through the International Appeal to Stop 5G on Earth and in Space. Please talk about this initiative. Who is part of this International Appeal to Stop 5G and how can people join or sign up? What is the purpose of this Appeal? What do you think can be the positive result?

Claire: Well, there have been a lot of previous scientific appeals. People don’t realize this. There have been at least 60 previous appeals by scientists and doctors and none of those succeeded in coming to public notice, really. So they really didn’t have any effect because they remained within those closed circles and the governments and institutions just ignored them. Now, what’s different about our International Appeal to Stop 5G on Earth and in Space is that, one, it’s extremely comprehensive. It’s telling you the whole context of 5G and not purely addressing the science. So it tells a story to people. It sets out the whole situation and, for me, the most important aspect of this Appeal is that it provides the information people need and information is empowering. So that’s the most important aspect of the Appeal as far as I’m concerned. In terms of an appeal, I think it’s questionable – making an appeal to the very organizations that are rolling out 5G, appealing to them to stop. I wonder about the effectiveness of that. However, again, the Appeal – by signing the Appeal, you are joining a project to refuse your consent. So rather than the Appeal side of things, it’s more like a vehicle to say that you do not agree with this agenda. So in those terms I think it’s extremely powerful. We currently have approximately 165,000 signatories, which includes many thousands of scientists and doctors and also organizations. We would like to have a lot more signatories. It’s being sent to the addressees at the moment, but it’s going to remain open for people to sign. And I would like to see millions of people sign that Appeal because, as I say, that expresses their own intention to oppose this agenda.

Lucas: How can people sign the Appeal?

Claire: Well, they simply look up “5G space appeal” on the Internet and they will instantly find it. There’s one other very significant thing about this Appeal. It’s that we chose as our symbol the bee. And the bee is a symbol of life. And it’s also an insect that we really love and we really love it because we know that the bee assists us in in having our food. So it’s something very beautiful and it’s motivating because we love the bee. Now, a lot of other appeals, they would put a cell phone mast as the symbol of their appeal. Well, you don’t motivate people by fear. You motivate people by love. And it’s absolutely love that motivates me in campaigning here. For me, this has nothing to do with fear. Now, when people – you know, some people say, “Oh, you know, they’re so powerful. There’s nothing I can do to change this because I’m just one person.” But this is absolute nonsense because – if you say that, it means that you have not understood 5G. 5G is potentially an annihilation event. Oleg Grigoriev, who is the head of the Russian National Committee on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection, he has called 5G “a slow Hiroshima”. Professor Emeritus Martin Pall has said that, with 5G we can expect societal breakdown within months, not years. So when you really understand 5G, you are not going to say, there is nothing I can do and I have no power. You are absolutely going to stand up and oppose this agenda.

Lucas: Can 5G be stopped from being rolled out?

Claire: Absolutely. I’ve always believed it. I’ve always said this must be stopped. The important thing is that 5G is unlike any other human challenge we have had because, in the past, when we’ve made mistakes, for example, with asbestos and tobacco. Okay, many people have been injured and many people have died and then we’ve adjusted and done something about it. But with 5G you cannot do that. You’re talking about a total surveillance, mind control and kill grid. Once this is in place, you will not be able to stop it. You will already be damaged. And you will not be able to withdraw it. So people have to take action now so that 5G never happens. Now, it’s being rolled out as we speak. In many countries, it’s being rolled out, but there’s also huge opposition. People have to realize that millions of people are now aware of the dangers of 5G. I have a list of at least 30 countries where people are opposing the 5G agenda. So far from being powerless, it’s absolutely the opposite. I recently published an article where I listed all the official pushback. I’m not talking about demonstrations I’m talking about official pushback against 5G and this is massive. We are already succeeding in stopping 5G.

Lucas: They stopped the rollout in the former EU capital, Brussels, in Belgium, didn’t they? Why do you think they hesitated or stopped it there and not all over the world?

Claire: Well, the Environment Minister said that the people of Brussels were not guinea pigs and she acknowledged that the scientific data were not there on the safety of 5G and therefore she was not prepared to roll it out in Brussels. My question would be, what’s happening with the rest of Belgium? Why do the environment ministers there only talk about Brussels? So are they rolling it out in the rest of Belgium? Or is it just Brussels that is unique? But you’ve already had – one company has pulled out of Australiabecause they were convinced by the health arguments. And another company has pulled out of the US. So we have to remember that this is being rolled out by commercial companies. So this is their Achilles heel. I would say that we need to keep pushing these companies. These companies cannot get insurance for injuries or damage caused by electromagnetic radiation. So this is their Achilles heel. One thing about these space launches. I would like to know whether these companies launching these satellites actually have insurance. Because there isa space Liability Convention, which says that launching states are responsible for any damage caused by objects launched into space. And if these companies cannot get insurance – you know, you have to think about the potential consequences here. I mean, you could have vastareas of this planet destroyed, you know, vast populations affected by this. So these companies need to have insurance in the many billions. Do they have any insurance at all? I mean, for example, we have Portugal now, which has set up a space port– or it’s just about to be set up in January 2020 on the island of Santa Maria in the Azores. And if you look at the Liability Convention, it’s the launching state that carries the liability for damage caused by a space launch. So you have to ask the question, “Why is Portugal establishing its space agency on Santa Maria, which is a little island with nothing. I would guess that they are trying to avoid liability. Now, Portugal is not a signatory to the Liability Convention, but nevertheless, we need to make these people accountable. What we have with 5G is a total free-for-all. And I come back to the beginning of this conversation, where we said that in 2016 Tom Wheeler said that they would not wait for the standards. That means that 5G is completely undefined. Now, a lot of people are saying that this is a crime against humanity under the Nuremberg Code because there has never been any health or safety testing on 5G. But, in my view, it’s not that that makes it a crime against humanity. What makes it a crime against humanity is that it’s undefined and it’s a free-for-all. Because if you had to define this and create norms and standards for this before it’s rolled out, it would never be rolled out. So the first person who has to be held liable for crimes against humanity is Tom Wheeler of the Federal Communications Commission. But we need now, as the population of the world, we need to hold these people accountable.

Lucas: And you say that the global warming or climate change scare propaganda is actually a diversion away from 5G, which you say is the essential problem.

Claire: Absolutely. The climate change agenda is a total distraction and it’s designed to have people focus on something which is irrelevant. 5G is a planetary emergency and everybody needs to drop everything to stop 5G.

Lucas: Is there any possibility …?

Claire: The people who realize this, Lucas, they have they have given up their jobs to work on this. I’ve been working on this day and night since I found out about it and that’s what you do once you understand 5G. If you are not currently working on stopping 5G, it means you don’t understand it yet. When you understand it, nothing else matters any more because this is about the survival of you, your children and this planet.

Lucas: Do you know if there is a possibility that we can shield ourselves from 5G radiation, the electromagnetic frequencies that’s coming from 5G? If it’s being rolled out.

Claire: This is one of my bêtes noires, my hobbyhorses. To me, this is another manifestation of the mad thinking of the left brain: “Oh, we have a disaster of a technology. Let’s find another technology to combat the last technological disaster. And if that turns out to be a disaster, perhaps we can find another technology to combat that as well.” The fact is, you cannot shield yourself against 5G. There is no shielding yourself against 5G. You’re not going to paint your walls with lead paint. You’re not going to wear little doo-dads, pendants and so on. There is nothing that you are going to be able to use to shelter yourself from 5G. And even if you did, what then would happen to the environment? How are you going to have your food when we have no pollinators left? Do you want to live in a totally devastated environment, where all the trees are dead? So the solution to this has to be holistic. It’s not about you solely and your individual survival. This is about the survival of all of us together and that’s why it’s so beautiful. I think that this is a problem for individuals to stand up to and cooperate with other individuals. So this is not a problem where you’re going to go to an organization or a leader or a government to stop this. This is the responsibility of every single individual to confront this. And when you confront 5G, you’re confronting something that is more terrifying than anything you have ever confronted in your life. Because you are talking about the potential annihilation of everything you have ever related to in your entire life. Everything you’ve ever known could be annihilated by this. So this is a terror such as you have never felt. You are facing your own death and you have to look truth in the face. And when you do that, you find that you pass through a trial by fire. And it’s necessary. If you like, this trial by fire is transformative. Because the only way you can deal with this is to change yourself. We have to change from passive, powerless beings into immensely powerful creator beings and say “No!” to this. And we do that inside ourselves. There are no answers out there. Forget it! Who’s doing this? All these authorities that you have believed in all your life – they are the ones doing this. And the only people who are going to stop this are individuals.

Lucas: So that is your most important message for people to hear if they are a bit fearful after hearing all of what you’ve said here.

Claire: Well, people have to realize that it’s necessary to feel the fear. Unless you feel the fear, you have not understood 5G unless you feel this terror. But all I can say is, yes, you feel the terror, and it’s a process and you pass through it and you come out the other side. And you come out the other side transformed. I don’t feel any fear about it. I have a job here to do, which is to stop 5G. And I do that in love; I don’t do that in fear. Because every time I hear something more horrible about an aspect of 5G, which unfortunately I hear pretty much every day, I actually feel more love. I feel more love and I feel more connection. When I walk out in the street and I see the children, the little children dancing and playing and smiling and laughing, I feel devastated for them. They don’t know that these antennas are underneath manhole covers or coming at them from cabinets on the street that they’re passing. They don’t know that these cell phones are injuring their brains. They have no idea. These are innocents in all of this and I feel tremendous love for them. I feel tremendous love for the trees. So everything I hear about 5G now actually generates more love in me. For me, 5G means fifth-generation, but for me, what it is generating? It’s generating love. Now, you know, people talk about the Awakening. 2012 and the Awakening. Well, to my mind, 5G IS the Awakening. That’s exactly what it is. So when you confront 5G, you transform internally. And the Awakening is not something out there, it’s something in here. And it’s every individual responding to this threat. And what is unique about 5G is precisely that there is no escape. It’s hermetically sealed. You cannot protect yourself because it’s going to come at you from everywhere. And therefore you have to transform. Therefore, the answer is always within yourself. So 5G for me is absolutely perfect. And in my team, we always say, “I love 5G”.

Lucas: If people want to know more, read your articles, maybe get involved, to participate or something, or have you to come to their place or their country for a lecture, how can they contact you?

Claire: People – a lot of my articles are published on Global Research. I think they probably have all of my articles at this stage.

Lucas: What is the website?

Claire: Well, just look up Global Research and my name and they’ll find me as an author on Global Research and they’ll be able to see all my articles. Now, the mainstream media is completely missing in action over 5G so what I try to do is I try to write articles which address the different aspects of 5G. I’m trying to cover the different aspects. Now, as a former UN editor, I reference everything extremely carefully. I don’t put anything in my articles that I cannot substantiate. So if people look at the references and the links to those articles, they can do their own research and they will see that I have all the evidence in those articles.

Lucas: Under your name, Claire Edwards.

Claire: Absolutely. I try to simplify and make this – I like to put the whole thing in context and try to make it clear for people. So, at the end of those articles, they will find my address and they can contact me there. [[email protected]]

Lucas: It’s been absolutely fascinating, really informative, mind-blowing and very, very interesting to have you on the show and you are obviously a great inspiration and we wish you the best of luck with the International Appeal to Stop 5G on Earth and in Space. Claire Edwards, thank you very much for doing this interview.

Claire: Thank you for inviting me, Lucas. It’s been a real pleasure.

Lucas: Thank you.

Lucas: Thank you very much to Claire Edwards. And thanks to all of you for watching Age of Truth TV. You can support us by clicking onto our website, Age of Truth TV. And please like our videos, subscribe to our channel and hit the bell for notifications. Your support is greatly appreciated. Thank you very much for watching and we’ll see you again soon.

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Claire Edwards, BA Hons, MA, worked for the United Nations as Editor and Trainer in Intercultural Writing from 1999 to 2017. From May 2018 to October 2019, she collaborated with Arthur Firstenberg on the International Appeal to Stop 5G on Earth and in Space (www.5gspaceappeal.org), which is available in 30 languages. The Appeal has attracted over 179,625 individual and group signatories from more than 206 nations and territories as of 19 November 2019. Claire warned the Secretary-General about the dangers of 5G during a meeting with UN staff in May 2018, calling for a halt to its rollout at UN duty stations. Claire can be contacted at [email protected].

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Video: The Madness of Putting 53,000 5G Satellites in Space

November 20th, 2019 by Claire Edwards

Claire Edwards was speaking at a seminar in Oslo, Norway, on Saturday 26 October 2019.

Elon Musk has now applied to the Federal Communications Commission for permission to launch a further 30,000 satellites into Earth orbit, bringing the current total to 53,000 (October 2019). With the issues of space debris and weaponization being the two major issues of concern at the UN year after year, this is a mad enterprise, especially when NATO intends to declare space a domain of warfare in December 2019.

We stand at the brink of extinction if we do not stop the madness.

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Claire Edwards, BA Hons, MA, worked for the United Nations as Editor and Trainer in Intercultural Writing from 1999 to 2017. Since May 2018, she has collaborated with Arthur Firstenberg to publish the International Appeal to Stop 5G on Earth and in Space (www.5gspaceappeal.org), which is available in 30 languages. The Appeal has attracted over 153,000 individual and group signatories from more than 207 countries as of 7 October 2019. Claire warned the Secretary-General about the dangers of 5G during a meeting with UN staff in May 2018, calling for a halt to its rollout at UN duty stations.

Featured image is from InfoRos

Kurdish provocateurs have tried to burn a Typhoon MRAP vehicle of the Russian Military Police and a Kirpi MRAP vehicle of the Turkish Army in northern Syria. The incident happened during a joint Russian-Turkish patrol, which was conducted in the framework of the safe zone agreement reached between Ankara and Moscow.

Russian and Turkish forces once again showed an amazing restraint and avoided the use of force against the Kurdish radicals. Nonetheless, a Turkish vehicle rammed one of the cars involved in the provocations.

Such actions of Kurdish radicals affiliated with the Syrian Democratic Forces pose a serious threat to the shaky stability in the region. If their actions lead to casualties among Russian or Turkish personnel, they will easily find themselves in the situation when the Turkish Army will have to resume its military operation in the area and Moscow will not hurry up to rescue them once again.

The intensity and frequency of attacks on the Russian-Turkish patrols by pro-SDF rioters that are always timely supported by journalists are a strong signal that these developments are a part of well-organized pre-planned campaign to instigate tensions in the area.

Local experts say that by such actions the US-affiliated part of the Kurdish leadership is attempting to undermine the de-escalation and demonstrate to the so-called international community that the US troop withdrawal led to the destabilization of northern Syria.

At the same time, the SDF leadership announced that it rejects the deployment of the Syrian Army and the Russian Military Police in the town of Tell Tamir. Earlier reports appeared that the Russian Military Police will establish an observation point there. The Russian military convoy even deployed near the town. This move is aimed to de-escalating the situation north of the town, where clashes between Turkish-led forces and SDF units in some cases backed by the Syrian Army.

However, it seems that the SDF leaders have once again demonstrated that they are more interested in keeping their fleeting influence than in stability in the area.

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Anyone remember the line from the film Forest Gump: ‘Stupid is as stupid does’? Well, now we have, each and every passing day, the bastard children of our violent empire. Yes, violence has always been with us, this the frailty and flaw of humanity. One would think that as more (supposedly) ‘evolved’ a culture becomes, the less inclined it is to choose violence as a meaningful expression of distaste or disagreement. No siree bob! Amerika in this the 21st Century is more and more violent.

Think about this when you hear of crazed individuals blowing away groups of people, or a professional football player ‘losing it’ and crashing a helmet on the bare head of the opposing quarterback at the end of his team’s winning game. Recently, the fifteen year old boy shooter at the California grade school  and the man child football player are but symptoms of just how violent our Amerikan empire has become. Most of the apathetic public have never been too concerned for what their government has done and is doing to the people of other nations. Go back to the disgraceful and immoral (so called) Vietnam War, whereupon Uncle Sam interceded in what was in essence a civil war between the Vietnamese people. We bombed the shit out of those people, with Napalm and other incendiary devices that either melted or maimed for life hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese. Let us not forget the 50,000 US servicemen who came home, like Vito P. and Tommy l. from my neighborhood, in wooden boxes, and the tens of thousands of their ‘brothers in arms’ who lost arms, legs, eyes and in many cases their minds for life! Many great directors like Oliver Stone, Francis Ford Coppola, Michael Cimino and Stanley Kubrick captured the sad reality of that Phony War.

Throughout the 1970s, 80s and 90s, and finally right into this new century, this Amerikan empire has trampled on the bodies of so many civilians worldwide, all in the name of ‘Restoring Democracy’. Sadly, where is that democracy right here at home? The super rich, whether private or corporate, have the money to place the candidates they purchase on Column A or Column B of this Two Party/One Party scam. The only democracy they allow is to let the suckers… sorry, the voters, to make the final choice… Sometimes. I say sometimes because in 2000 and even 2004 they wouldn’t even allow that to chance. The Fix was in both times. This writer recalls how even the Deep State stooge, pollster Dick Morris, as political analyst for one of the news networks, summed it up best on election night 2004. When he noticed how the exit polls in Ohio were decidedly for John Kerry, he remarked how they were always ‘right on target’. Later in the night, when it became clear that Junior Bush would win Ohio, Morris said in essence that ‘Something smelled!’ No guns were needed at all to maintain the status quo of continuing to keep our republic hostage and undemocratic.

Martin Luther King Jr. said it best: “The greatest purveyor of violence in the world: My own government. I cannot remain silent.” Even in the sports world violence reigns supreme. For over a century baseball was called ‘America’s pastime’. Since our intrusion into Vietnam football became our new ‘Amerikan pastime’. Think about this: Wars are fought for gaining another’s territory… by force. Football’s game plan is to move into and take over the other team’s territory, and finally, to land into what they call ‘The END Zone’. Reminiscent of the anger and rage that permeated in Weimar Germany circa 1930, as the Nazi mindset gained influence amongst rank and file Germans, so one can feel it here and now in Amerika. The Deep State’s scapegoating of foreign nations parallels a similar attitude by many towards foreigners and or non white and non Christian peoples right here at home. For some who think and behave that way we can dismiss them as just being foolish or stupid. Yet, many fine and decent folks in Germany circa 1930 may have said the same thing about those jackasses in brown or black uniforms wearing the swastika. What Forrest Gump should have said is “Evil is as evil does”.

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Philip A Farruggio is a contributing editor for The Greanville Post. He is also frequently posted on Global Research, Nation of Change, World News Trust and Off Guardian sites. He is the son and grandson of Brooklyn NYC longshoremen and a graduate of Brooklyn College, class of 1974. Since the 2000 election debacle Philip has written over 300 columns on the Military Industrial Empire and other facets of life in an upside down America. He is also host of the ‘It’s the Empire… Stupid‘ radio show, co produced by Chuck Gregory. Philip can be reached at [email protected].

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Over the past days, southern Idlib, southern Raqqah, northwestern al-Hasakah remained the main points of tensions in Syria.

On November 16, the Syrian Army repelled an attack by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and its allies on the hill of Khaznah in southeastern Idlib. According to pro-government sources, at least 7 militants were killed in the clashes.

The Syrian Army, backed up by the Russian Aerospace Forces, liberated the Khaznah hill and the village of Luwaybidah on November 14 in an attempt to expand a buffer zone between militants’ positions and nearby civilian areas. Despite this, attacks in the area continued. If government forces want to remove the threat of shelling by militants to nearby villages, they will have to push deeper into southern Idlib.

On November 17, the Russian Aerospace Forces delivered a series of strikes on positions of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham near Maarzita and Misherfah eliminating several strong points.

On November 15, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces retook the villages of Bir Tmah and Sa’dah from Turkey’s Syrian National Army. On November 15 and 16 clashes were also ongoing north of Tell Tamir.

Watch the video here.

On November 17, a Russian military convoy deployed in the Tell Tamir area. According to reports, the Russians will establish an observation post in the area as a part of the local de-escalation deal. Under the same deal, SDF units will reportedly withdraw from the town and Turkish-backed militants will abandon several villages north of Tell Tamir.

In the period from November 14 to November 15, Israel, the United States, Germany, Italy and Greece participated in the Blue Flag 2019 military drill at the Uvda Air Force base north of Israel’s Eilat. According to the Israeli Defense Forces, the drill involved 70 aircraft, including F-35I, and approximately 1,000 personnel.

The storyline guiding the exercise was based on two fictional neighboring countries, one blue and the other red. The scenarios included large aircraft formations, including fighter jets, remotely piloted aerial vehicles, transport aircraft and helicopters. The blue force’s mission was protecting Israel’s skies and overcoming the red’s air power and air defenses.

Several pro-Israeli media outlets and military experts reported that the Red’s Patriot surface-to-air missile systems simulated Russia’s S-300 and S-400 air defense systems, which were successfully overcome during the exercise.

The success demonstrated by US-made Patriot missiles in Saudi Arabia, where they defended a half of Saudi oil production from Houthi strikes, is widely-known on the international level. So, there are no reasons to doubt the result of the drill.

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We spent the last week in Occupied Palestinian Territory, commonly referred to as Israel, where we traveled around the country to visit communities in Jerusalem, Jaffa, Bethlehem, the West Bank, the Nagab, and more.

We call Israel Occupied Palestine because it is not just the West Bank and Gaza that are occupied, but all of historic Palestine, the entire Palestinian nation. Palestinian people do not have equal rights and their communities are constantly encroached upon by settlers pushing them into small, crowded areas. The mistreatment of Palestinians happens right before the eyes of the Israeli Jews. If they do not see it, it is either because they do not want to see it or because they are encouraged not to see it. Just as Jim Crow racism was evident to all in the southern states of the US, apartheid in Palestine is obvious.

This visit deepened our support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement because we saw modern apartheid, Jim Crow-segregation laws, ongoing land theft, and ethnic cleansing. For example, we were in Jerusalem when a squadron of fighter jets flew over our heads to bomb the open-air prison of Gaza killing more than 30 people. The Israeli people, media and politicians applauded that, displaying a sickness that runs deep in this colonized land founded on theft, terrorism, and violence.

To end the colonization, there is great hope of developing a movement for the creation of One Democratic State (ODS). This is being organized by a large group of Palestinians and Jews as the formation of two separate states is impossible. ODS envisions a universally equal and democratic nation where minority communities are protected and every person can vote. ODS is the first step to the decolonization and healing of Palestine.

Aida Refugee Camp, photo by Margaret Flowers.

Correcting The Record

Palestinians are disenfranchised:  Occupied Palestine is called a liberal democracy. In reality, while Palestinians are the majority, most of them can’t vote. Out of a total population of twelve million people, five million Jews can vote and five million Palestinians can’t. The remaining two million Palestinians who live in “The 48,” the land between the West Bank and Gaza, can vote but often boycott elections in protest. The dominant parties all support anti-Palestinian policies.

Image on the right: Sign entering Area A, Israeli Citizens Forbidden.

Palestine has hyper-segregation: Palestine can only be described as a modern apartheid state with updated Jim Crow laws. We drove on Jewish-only roads where the color of a person’s license plate determines if they can use the road. There are military checkpoints along these roads. Palestinians are often forced to take long detours to get around the segregated roads and walls. Many Jews never meet a Palestinian because their lives are so segregated.

Under the 1993 Oslo Accords, Occupied Palestine was divided into Areas A, B and C. We visited Bethlehem, classified as Area A, where a sign upon entry warns it is against the law for Israeli-citizens to enter. In Area A, the Palestinian Authority (PA) serves as police and can arrest Israeli-Jews and turn them over to Israeli-police. In Area B, both the PA and Israeli-police have power. And, in Area C, the majority of the country, only the Israeli-police have authority.

Land Theft Against Palestinians Continues: People are often told that no one lived here before 1948 when the occupation of the area by Jewish settlers began. This massive land theft continues today. Although the German Holocaust is used to justify this, the Zionist project began well before then.

Image below: Jaffa, above as depicted by Gutman and below as the crowded Arab city that actually existed. Photo by Margaret Flowers.

This false picture is depicted by the well-known Zionist artist Nahum Gutman. His famous painting of the major Arab city of Jaffa showed only sand dunes and a few buildings where hundreds of houses stood.  Today Sir Charles Clore Park covers the remains of this section of the city. Similar tactics have hidden thousands of Palestinian villages that existed before “The Nakba” in 1948.

Forests planted by the Jewish National Fund (JNF), founded in 1901, are still being used to hide the sites of Palestinian villages. We visited the village of Al-Araqib, which has been destroyed 167 times. All that remains is a cemetery built in 1914 and a few residents who hold space under a tree near the cemetery in fear of losing access to it. In Canada, there is a campaign to end the non-profit status of the JNF.

Jaffa was an important Arab port city with a population of 90,000 before 1948 that served as an entry point into Jerusalem and beyond. The first Jewish neighborhoods were built there in the late 19th Century. Tel Aviv, the first Jewish-governed city, began in the early 20th century as a suburb of Jaffa. More than ninety-five percent of the population of Jaffa was expelled by Zionist militias in 1948 and beyond. The remaining residents were confined to an area under guard and forced to operate the port. Between 1947 and 1949, the Nakba terrorized Palestinians and forced 800,000 to flee their homes. The Absentee Property Law was used to seize the homes of those who fled.

Zionist settlers continue encroaching on land in Palestinian neighborhoods. In the historic walled city of Old Jerusalem, they come up from underground tunnels to seize homes in the Palestinian quadrant and put them under armed guards. In Palestinian East Jerusalem, Zionists continue to confiscate houses and land, pushing Palestinians to the other side of the segregation wall where they are crowded into areas without city services. Similar forced urbanization and crowding is occurring throughout Palestine. Gaza is perhaps the most severe example of this. Over the last 50 years, the Israeli government has transferred between 600,000 and 750,000 settlers to the West Bank and East Jerusalem in at least 160 settlements and outposts.

In the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza, this land annexation has made a two-state solution physically impossible. The combination of hundreds of thousands of settlers, Jewish-only roads plus the Expansion (or Annexation) Wall that divides Palestinian communities, and more than 200 checkpoints have severely restricted movement for Palestinians and seized 78% of their country.

A banner hanging in Mea Shearim, a Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem.

Judaism is not Zionism: In the 1880s, Palestinian Jews amounted to three percent of the total population. They were apolitical and did not aspire to build a Jewish state. We met with Rabbi Meir Hirsch in the Mea Sharim neighborhood of Jerusalem. This tightly-knit ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood has signs posted on the walls that say: ‘A Jew Not a Zionist,’ ‘Zionism is Dying’ and ‘Arabs are Good.’

Hirsch’s family came to Palestine 150 years ago from Russia. His people came to better worship God, not to take land from Palestinians. Hirsch told us about Jacob Israël de Haan, a Dutch-Jew who worked to prevent the 1917 Balfour Declaration and almost succeeded. The Balfour Declaration, issued by the British government, announced support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine. De Haan was assassinated in Jerusalem by the Jewish paramilitary organization Haganah for his anti-Zionist political activities. His murder led to the Neturei Karta movement, which resists Zionism to this day.

Hirsch views Zionism as contradictory to the Jewish religion. His community believes the Torah does not allow Jewish sovereignty of any kind over the Holy Land and those who want to live there must have the approval of the native Palestinian people. Hirsch says that ultra-Orthodox Jews “want to see the end of the Zionist tragedy and the restoration of peace to the Middle East.” His views counter those who claim criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic as, he says, “Judaism and Zionism are as foreign to each other as day and night, good and evil.”

One Democratic State

There is a positive path to resolving the conflict between Jews and Palestinians. The path comes from the movement for One Democratic State, which envisions a genuinely just and workable political agreement developed by Palestinians and Jews together.

There has been a marked decline in support for a two-state solution. A poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research from September 11-14, 2019 found only 42% of Palestinians now support the two-state solution. When President Netanyahu entered office a decade ago, that figure was 70%. Similarly, fewer than half of the Jews now support a two-state solution. Further, 63% of Palestinians believe a two-state solution is no longer practical or feasible due to the expansion of the settlements and 83% support the local and international boycott (BDS) movement against Israel.

We met separately with two leaders of this campaign, Awad Abdelfattah, a founder of the Arab Balad Party, and Ilan Pappe, an Israeli historian. Along with many others in the ODS campaign, they seek a multicultural and constitutional democracy in which all people enjoy a common citizenship, a common parliament, and equal civil rights, with constitutional protection granted to national, ethnic and religious views. ODS means equal rights for Palestinians and protection of the rights of Jews.

Their vision includes making the Palestinian ‘right of return’ a reality. Palestinian homes and communities were demolished years ago. According to the Palestinian geographer Salman Abu-Sitta, 85% of Palestinian lands taken in 1948 are still available for resettlement. While more than 530 villages, towns, and urban areas were systematically demolished, their agricultural lands still exist. Other lands lie under public parks and forests. Refugees could actually return, if not to their former homes, at least to the parts of the country where they originated. Palestinian planners could design modern communities for refugees and their descendants in the areas they left with new communities and economic infrastructure that is integrated with other segments of the society. Land redistribution, financial compensation, and equal access to education, training and the economy would enable refugees, like other Palestinians, to achieve economic parity with Jews within a fairly short time.

For Jews, their security will increase by providing constitutional protection of their collective rights. While structures of privilege and domination would be dismantled, the “collective rights” of groups to maintain their community in the framework of a multi-cultural democracy (e.g., communities of ethnic Russians, African asylum-seekers, foreign workers, anti-Zionist ultra-orthodox Jews, and others) give Jews the collective security they need.

ODS views the establishment of a just and working state as requiring: decolonization, restoration, and reconciliation. Decolonization includes ending economic, cultural, political, and legal domination. This means building an egalitarian, inclusive and sustainable society that restores the rights, properties (actual or through compensation), identities and social position of those expelled, excluded and oppressed. This is followed by reconciliation to confront the still-open wounds of the Nakba and the Occupation, and the suffering they have caused.

While the view may sound Utopian to some, in fact, it is the practical path out of the current disaster of Occupied Palestine. Palestine is already one nation. The issue is whether it will be a democratic state with equal rights for all citizens that dismantles the apartheid system or whether it will remain an undemocratic and unequal settler-colonial nation.

We titled this article “BDS to ODS” because while this solution must come from the Palestinian people, along with Jews, people in the United States and throughout the world who support peace and justice have an important role to play through the growing BDS campaign to pressure Israel into accepting ODS. This struggle will be won through solidarity between popular movements inside and outside Occupied Palestine.

We encourage you to visit Occupied Palestine to see and learn for yourself. If you visit Jerusalem, be sure to take the tour offered by Grassroots Jerusalem. They also offer a guide to Palestinian places to stay, shop and eat. Zochrot is an organization that also offers tours and resources about the Nakba. If you are interested in direct service, you can volunteer to assist with the olive harvest or volunteer in places such as the Aida Refugee Camp. They need all sorts of volunteers, especially those who can provide instruction to children in music and arts. Visit Volunteer Palestine to see the many opportunities available.

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Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese co-direct Popular Resistance where this article was originally published.

One of Canada’s top child advocacy groups, Children First Canada, has released a new poll on Canadian’s attitudes on the wellbeing of our country’s kids. The poll is being released today on the occasion of National Child Day and the 30th Anniversary of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child.

According to the new poll, 71% believe Canada ranks in the top 10 compared to other wealthy nations, with 36% believing it ranks in the top 5. In fact, Canada ranks 25th overall.

Once informed of Canada’s actual rank, nine in ten respondents said Canada should put a high priority on improving children’s well-being, with 4 in 10 believing it should be a very high priority.

The number of Canadians prioritizing children’s well-being has increased since the poll was last conducted in 2016. Then, 86% said it was a high priority (compared to 91% today) and 24% said it was a very high priority (increasing 19 points to 43% in 2019). 

“It’s discouraging to know there is so much work that needs to be done to improve the health and wellbeing of Canada’s children, but Canadians aren’t aware of the problem. What this poll shows us is that when Canadians become aware of the state of our children, they strongly support urgent action to improve our kids’ wellbeing,” Says Sara Austin, Founder and CEO of Children First Canada. 

“As Canadians celebrate National Child Day, the federal cabinet is being sworn into office. Children First Canada urges the Prime Minister and his Cabinet to put our children at the top of the agenda, and to swiftly take action on the long-standing recommendations to appoint an independent Commission for Children and Youth,” adds Austin. 

Today has additional significance for Austin because it is the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child and National Child Day. In the early 2000s, the child advocate lobbied the United Nations to pass the “Third Optional Protocol,” which allows children to hold their governments accountable for the protection of their rights. The protocol was passed in 2011, but has yet to be ratified by Canada.

As part of its unveiling of today’s report, Children First Canada is also holding an event in Ottawa to bring together children and youth to learn about their rights and the Canadian Children’s Charter. The event will also assemble representatives from federal government and Canada’s leading charities, hospitals, research institutes and major corporations to discuss current challenges and create a plan of action.

Satellite events will also take place across the country, bringing together youth and adult leaders to be part of a national conversation on how to make Canada the best place in the world for kids to grow up.

“Children have a right to be at the table when decisions are being made that impact their future. They have a voice and it needs to be heard,” adds Austin.

Top issues affecting children as identified by poll respondents:

1. mental health/depression/anxiety – mentioned by 48% of respondents

2. Bullying/safety online – mentioned by 34% of respondents

3. Health/fitness/obesity/nutrition: mentioned by 32% of respondents

4. Schools/education: mentioned by 31% of respondents

5. Poverty/poor families: mentioned by 31% of respondents

6. Domestic violence/child abuse and post-secondary education: both cited by 23% of respondents

“It’s heartening to hear that Canadians are concerned about the issues that matter most to our children,” say Austin. The top priorities identified in the poll are well aligned with the research released earlier this by Children First Canada in the Raising Canada report on the top 10 threats to Canada’s kids. 

Other findings:

  • Only 54% believe that young Canadians get the support they need to achieve their full potential (only 7% stating they totally agree)
  • 92% believe that investing in children now saves additional spending in the future
  • 59% believe Canada is not doing its best for poor people

The study was conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Children First Canada and two of its partners: Children’s Healthcare Canada and the IWK Health Centre.

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Last month a fire roared through the refugee camp on the Greek island of Samos, a few miles from the coast of Turkey. The immediate cause of the fire is unclear, but there were clashes between Afghan and Syrian refugees in the nearby town of Vathy earlier in the evening, which some witnesses said continued in the camp. There were chaotic scenes during the fire, and almost the entire camp was evacuated, according to Doctors Without Borders (MSF) Field Coordinator Eirini Papanastasiou.

“The shelters are totally burnt down,” she told Newsweek. “They’re mainly made out of tents and plywood and plastic sheeting and all of this has burned down.”

The camp, originally constructed as an army base meant to house 650 individuals, now hosts close to 6,000 refugees. Roughly 3,000 reside in the camp itself, while the remainder scramble to find a spot to pitch their makeshift tents on an adjacent hillside, which is known as the Jungle. Because of the extreme overcrowding, the shelters are built close to each other, and it does not take much for a fire to spread. While no serious injuries were reported, the blaze did destroy the shelters of 700 people residing in the Jungle.

Samos is one of a handful of Greek islands where migrants arrive seeking refuge in Europe, fleeing war, hunger, torture and poverty. At the height of the refugee crisis in 2015 and 2016, over a million asylum seekers used this route to make their way to Germany and other countries. In March of 2016, however, the European Union and Turkey, in an attempt to stem the flow of refugees, signed an agreement that would allow the EU to transfer Syrian refugees on the Greek islands back to Turkey. The deal has been criticized on many points, including the fact that it is based on the premise that Turkey is a safe country for refugees. One of the provisions of the deal was that refugees would be detained on the Greek islands until their asylum cases were heard, after which those who were refused asylum would be deported. However, the Greek asylum service was overwhelmed by the number of asylum applicants, and refugees have been staying on the islands—sometimes for two or three years—waiting to have their future decided. As a consequence, the Aegean islands in practice have become detention centers.

The conditions on Samos—as well as the other islands—are deplorable.

“C’est l’enfer,” said Jean, a forty-year-old refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo told me a week after he arrived on Samos with his six-year-old daughter. It is hell.

Aref Kassem, his wife Fariba and three of their children, refugees from Afghanistan, are lucky because they live in the camp itself, rather than the Jungle. They stay in a container with fifteen other families. Their own space is two meters by two meters, separated from those of the others by curtains. The container has four toilets and one shower, used not only by the residents of the container, but by the refugees living in the Jungle, where there are no toilet facilities at all.

“It is not a place for human beings,” said Aref.

The food and water is a particular issue of contention for many of the refugees. Everyone gets 1.5 liters of water every day, which is not nearly sufficient for the hot days of summer. The food is generally of poor quality, and much of it is expired.

“We get potatoes, rice, beans and sometimes chicken for lunch. But no vegetables. I have been here one year and have never seen a vegetable,” said Farzaad, a twenty-two-year-old from Afghanistan.

To obtain breakfast, which consists of a small pastry and a juice box, residents must rise at 2 am and wait in line for six hours. This process is repeated for lunch and dinner. It is so arduous that many of the residents buy their own food in the town.

Violence is a consequence of the extreme overcrowding and the deplorable conditions. The fighting on the evening of the fire resulted in stab wounds. Clashes are especially common in the food line.

“There is always fighting in the line. Every day. Every breakfast. Every lunch. Every dinner. Women against women. I was in front of you. I was here first,” said Farzaad. “Every day. Sometimes with knifes. I saw one guy stab another.”

The camp and the Jungle are both filthy, and there are snakes, scorpions, rats and bedbugs.

“Some of the refugees bring stray cats to the camp in the hopes they will chase away the rats,” said Abdul, a refugee from Yemen. “But the rats are so big that the cats are afraid of them.”

The access to medical care in the camp is almost non-existent, as there is only one doctor for the 6,000 refugees. Residents often spend the night on the ground in front of the doctor’s office, hoping to be seen the next day. More often than not, they are turned away.

“The worst thing about being in the camp is the waiting,” said Farzaad. “All you do is wait. For food, for the doctor, for your interview.”

Farzaad is speaking about an interview with the Greek asylum office, where the fate of the refugees is decided. A survey recently administered by NGO’s on the island revealed that over 40% of the respondents have their first interview with the asylum office in 2021 or later.

The situation has become untenable for those affected directly by the fire. Sandrine Vollebregt, a doctor working for a medical NGO on Samos, described the situation.

“When you walk around town, you see many women and children lying on the street. The playgrounds are full of people,” she said. “Many people lost their medication. We saw babies that couldn’t stop crying after the fire. Some mothers couldn’t produce breast milk anymore.”

The Greek government has attempted to alleviate the situation by transferring 700 asylum seekers from Samos to the mainland, with plans to move another 300. While this will help in the immediate aftermath of the fire, a real solution will not be found until Europe changes its policies vis-à-vis the refugees and discontinues its practice of forcing those fleeing the horrors of war and torture to suffer in these camps in abominable conditions.

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Prof. Richard Hardigan is a university professor in the United States, whose work has appeared in Al Jazeera, Huffington Post, and other websites. His book, The Other Side of the Wall: An Eyewitness Account of the Occupation in Palestine, was recently published by Cune Press. His website is richardhardigan.com.

Featured image is from Regis via the author

It’s no secret that Donald Trump is one of the most aggressive arms salesmen in history. How do we know? Because he tells us so at every conceivable opportunity. It started with his much exaggerated “$110 billion arms deal” with Saudi Arabia, announced on his first foreign trip as president. It continued with his White House photo op with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in which he brandished a map with a state-by-state rundown of American jobs supposedly tied to arms sales to the kingdom. And it’s never ended. In these years in office, in fact, the president has been a staunch advocate for his good friends at Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and General Dynamics — the main corporate beneficiaries of the U.S.-Saudi arms trade (unlike the thousands of American soldiers the president recently sent into that country’s desert landscapes to defend its oil facilities).

All the American arms sales to the Middle East have had a severe and lasting set of consequences in the region in, as a start, the brutal Saudi/United Arab Emirates war in Yemen, which has killed thousands of civilians via air strikes using U.S. weaponry and pushed millions of Yemenis to the brink of famine. And don’t forget the recent Turkish invasion of Syria in which both the Turkish forces and the Kurdish-led militias they attacked relied heavily on U.S.-supplied weaponry.

Donald Trump has made it abundantly clear that he cares far more about making deals for that weaponry than who uses any of it against whom. It’s important to note, however, that, historically speaking, he’s been anything but unique in his obsession with promoting such weapons exports (though he is uniquely loud about doing so).

Despite its supposedly strained relationship with the Saudi regime, the Obama administration, for example, still managed to offer the royals of that kingdom a record $136 billion in U.S. weapons between 2009 and 2017. Not all of those offers resulted in final sales, but striking numbers did. Items sold included Boeing F-15 combat aircraft and Apache attack helicopters, General Dynamics M-1 tanks, Raytheon precision-guided bombs, and Lockheed Martin bombs, combat ships, and missile defense systems. Many of those weapons have since been put to use in the war in Yemen.

To its credit, the Obama administration did at least have an internal debate on the wisdom of continuing such a trade. In December 2016, late in his second term, the president finally did suspend the sale of precision-guided bombs to the Royal Saudi Air Force due to a mounting toll of Yemeni civilian deaths in U.S.-supplied Saudi air strikes. This was, however, truly late in the game, given that the Saudi regime first intervened in Yemen in March 2015 and the slaughter of civilians began soon after that.

By then, of course, Washington’s dominance of the Mideast arms trade was taken for granted, despite an occasional large British or French deal like the scandal-plagued Al Yamamah sale of fighter planes and other equipment to the Saudis, the largest arms deal in the history of the United Kingdom. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, from 2014 to 2018 the United States accounted for more than 54% of known arms deliveries to the Middle East. Russia lagged far behind with a 9.5% share of the trade, followed by France (8.6%), England (7.2%), and Germany (4.6%). China, often cited as a possible substitute supplier, should the U.S. ever decide to stop arming repressive regimes like Saudi Arabia, came in at less than 1%.

The U.S. government’s stated rationales for pouring arms into that ever-more-embattled region include: building partnerships with countries theoretically willing to fight alongside U.S. forces in a crisis; swapping arms for access to military bases in Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and other Persian Gulf states; creating “stability” by building up allied militaries to be stronger than those of potential adversaries like Iran; and generating revenue for U.S. weapons contractors, as well as jobs for American workers. Of course, such sales have indeed benefited those contractors and secured access to bases in the region, but when it comes to promoting stability and security, historically it’s been another story entirely.

The Nixon Doctrine and the Initial Surge in Mideast Arms Sales

Washington’s role as the Middle East’s top arms supplier has its roots in remarks made by Richard Nixon half a century ago on the island of Guam. It was the Vietnam War era and the president was on his way to South Vietnam. Casualties there were mounting rapidly with no clear end to the conflict in sight. During that stopover in Guam, Nixon assured reporters accompanying him that it was high time to end the practice of sending large numbers of U.S troops to overseas battlefields. To “avoid another war like Vietnam anywhere in the world,” he was instead putting a new policy in place, later described by a Pentagon official as “sending arms instead of sending troops.”

The core of what came to be known as the Nixon Doctrine was the arming of regional surrogates, countries with sympathetic rulers or governments that could promote U.S. interests without major contingents of the American military being on hand. Of such potential surrogates at that moment, the most important was the Shah of Iran, with whom a CIA-British intelligence coup replaced a civilian government back in 1953 and who proved to have an insatiable appetite for top-of-the-line U.S. weaponry.

The Shah’s idea of a good time was curling up with the latest copy of Aviation Week and Space Technology and perusing glossy photos of combat planes. Egged on by the Nixon administration, his was the first and only country to buy the costly Grumman F-14 combat aircraft at a time when that company desperately needed foreign sales to bolster the program. And the Shah put his U.S.-supplied weapons to use, too, helping, for instance, to put down an anti-government uprising in nearby Oman (a short skip across the Persian Gulf), while repressing his own population at the same time.

In the Nixon years, Saudi Arabia, too, became a major weapons client of Washington, not so much because it feared its regional neighbors then, but because it had seemingly limitless oil funds to subsidize U.S. weapons makers at a time when the Pentagon budget was beginning to be reduced. In addition, Saudi sales helped recoup some of the revenue streaming out of the U.S. to pay for higher energy prices exacted by the newly formed OPEC oil cartel. It was a process then quaintly known as “recycling petrodollars.”

The Carter Years and the Quest for Restraint

The freewheeling arms trade of the Nixon years eventually prompted a backlash. In 1976, for the first (and last) time, a presidential candidate — Jimmy Carter — made reining in the arms trade a central theme of his 1976 campaign for the White House. He called for imposing greater human-rights scrutiny on arms exports, reducing the total volume of arms transfers, and initiating talks with the Soviet Union on curbing sales to regions of tension like the Middle East.

Meanwhile, members of Congress, led by Democratic Senators Gaylord Nelson and Hubert Humphrey, felt that it was long past time for Capitol Hill to have a role in decision-making when it came to weapons sales. Too often Congressional representatives found out about major deals only by reading news reports in the papers long after such matters had been settled. Among the major concerns driving their actions: the Nixon-era surge of arms sales to Saudi Arabia, then still an avowed adversary of Israel; the use of U.S.-supplied weapons by both sides in the Greek-Turkish conflict over the island of Cyprus; and covert sales to extremist right-wing forces in southern Africa, notably the South African-backed Union for the Total Independence of Angola. The answer was the passage of the Arms Export Control Act of 1978, which required that Congress be notified of any major sales in advance and asserted that it had the power to veto any of them viewed as dangerous or unnecessary.

As it happened, though, neither President Carter’s initiative nor the new legislation put a significant dent in such arms trafficking. In the end, for instance, Carter decided to exempt the Shah’s Iran from serious human-rights strictures and his hardline national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, undercut those talks with the Soviet Union on reducing arms sales.

Carter also wanted to get the new Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) he established — which eventually morphed into the U.S. Central Command — access to military bases in the Persian Gulf region and was willing to use arms deals to do so. The RDF was to be the centerpiece of the Carter Doctrine, a response to the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the fall of the Shah of Iran. As the president made clear in his 1980 State of the Union address: “An attempt by any outside forces to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States. It will be repelled by use of any means necessary, including the use of force.” Selling arms in the region would prove a central pillar of his new doctrine.

Meanwhile, most major sales continued to sail through Congress with barely a discouraging word.

Who Armed Saddam Hussein?

While the volume of those arms sales didn’t spike dramatically under President Ronald Reagan, his determination to weaponize anti-communist “freedom fighters” from Afghanistan to Nicaragua sparked the Iran-Contra scandal. At its heart lay a bizarre and elaborate covert effort led by National Security Council staff member Oliver North and a band of shadowy middlemen to supply U.S. weapons to the hostile regime of Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran. The hope was to gain Tehran’s help in freeing U.S. hostages in Lebanon. North and company then used the proceeds from those sales to arm anti-government Contra rebels in Nicaragua in violation of an explicit Congressional ban on such aid.

Worse yet, the Reagan administration transferred arms and provided training to extremist mujahedeen factions in Afghanistan, acts which would, in the end, help arm groups and individuals that later formed al-Qaeda (and similar groups). That would, of course, prove a colossal example of the kind of blowback that unrestricted arms trading too often generates.

Even as the exposure of North’s operation highlighted U.S. arms transfers to Iran, the Reagan administration and the following one of President George H.W. Bush would directly and indirectly supply nearly half a billion dollars worth of arms and arms-making technology to Iran’s sworn enemy, Iraqi autocrat Saddam Hussein. Those arms would bolster Saddam’s regime both in its war with Iran in the 1980s and in its 1991 invasion of Kuwait that led to Washington’s first Gulf War. The U.S. was admittedly hardly alone in fueling the buildup of the Iraqi military. All five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (the U.S., the Soviet Union, France, the United Kingdom, and China) provided weapons or weapons technology to that country in the run-up to its intervention in Kuwait.

The embarrassment and public criticism generated by the revelation that the U.S. and other major suppliers had helped arm the Iraqi military created a new opening for restraint. Leaders in the U.S., Great Britain, and other arms-trading nations pledged to do better in the future by increasing information about and scrutiny of their sales to the region. This resulted in two main initiatives: the United Nations arms trade register, where member states were urged to voluntarily report their arms imports and exports, and talks among those five Security Council members (the largest suppliers of weapons to the Middle East) on limiting arms sales to the region.

However, the P-5 talks, as they were called, quickly fell apart when China decided to sell a medium-range missile system to Saudi Arabia and President Bill Clinton’s administration began making new regional weapons deals at a pace of more than $1 billion per month while negotiations were underway. The other suppliers concluded that the Clinton arms surge violated the spirit of the talks, which soon collapsed, leading in the presidency of George W. Bush to a whole new Iraqi debacle.

The most important series of arms deals during the George W. Bush years involved the training and equipping of the Iraqi military in the wake of the invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. But $25 billion in U.S. arms and training was not enough to create a force capable of defeating the modestly armed militants of ISIS, when they swept into northern Iraq in 2014 and captured large swaths of territory and major cities, including Mosul. Iraqi security forces, short on food and equipment due to corruption and incompetence, were also short on morale, and in some cases virtually abandoned their posts (and U.S. weaponry) in the face of those ISIS attacks.

The Addiction Continues

Donald Trump has carried on the practice of offering weaponry in quantity to allies in the Middle East, especially the Saudis, though his major rationale for the deals is to generate domestic jobs and revenues for the major weapons contractors. In fact, investing money and effort in almost anything else, from infrastructure to renewable energy technologies, would produce more jobs in the U.S. No matter though, the beat just goes on.

One notable development of the Trump years has been a revived Congressional interest in curbing weapons sales, with a particular focus on ending support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. (Watching Turkish and Kurdish forces face off, each armed in a major way by the U.S., should certainly add to that desire.) Under the leadership of Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), Representative Ro Khanna (D-CA), and Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA), Congress has voted to block bomb sales and other forms of military support for Saudi Arabia, only to have their efforts vetoed by President Trump, that country’s main protector in Washington. Still, congressional action on Saudi sales has been unprecedented in its persistence and scope. It may yet prevail, if a Democrat wins the presidency in 2020. After all, every one of the major presidential contenders has pledged to end arms sales that support the Saudi war effort in Yemen.

Such deals with Saudi Arabia and other Mideast states may be hugely popular with the companies that profit from the trade, but the vast majority of Americans oppose runaway arms trading on the sensible grounds that it makes the world less safe. The question now is: Will Congress play a greater role in attempting to block such weapons deals with the Saudis and human-rights abusers or will America’s weapons-sales addiction and its monopoly position in the Middle Eastern arms trade simply continue, setting the stage for future disasters of every sort?

William D. Hartung, a TomDispatch regular, is the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy and the author of Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex.

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Three Taliban commanders have been released today, on Tuesday, by the Afghan government as part of a prisoner swap involving two Western hostages. Reportedly, the militant leaders, including senior Taliban leader Anas Haqqani, had landed in Qatar, which hosts the Taliban political office.

In exchange, two university professors identified as US citizen Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks were reportedly released later on Tuesday. The pair had been held by the Taliban for three years.

“The two professors are safely freed and are being taken care of now,” an Afghan official told [1] Reuters news agency.

Kevin King and Timothy Weeks were kidnapped in August 2016 from outside the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul where both worked as professors. They appeared in a hostage video a year later looking disheveled and pleading with their governments to secure their release.

The developments come after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced a week ago that Haqqani, whose elder brother is the deputy Taliban leader and head of the Haqqani Network, a Taliban affiliate, and the two other commanders would be freed.

Renewed efforts to end the country’s 18-year conflict have been stepped up recently, with US special representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad visiting Pakistan last month to meet the Taliban’s top negotiator, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, a close aide to the Taliban’s deceased leader Mullah Omar.

Baradar was released from captivity [2] in October last year by Pakistan’s intelligence agencies and was allowed to join his family in Afghanistan. He was captured in a joint US-Pakistan intelligence-based operation in the southern port city of Karachi in 2010.

His release was a longstanding demand of the US-backed Kabul government because he is regarded as a comparatively moderate Taliban leader who could play a positive role in the peace process between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

Alongside the issues of Taliban providing guarantees that it would not allow Afghan soil to be used by transnational terrorists, al-Qaeda and the Islamic State Khorasan, the Taliban holding direct negotiations with the US-backed Afghan government – which the Taliban regards as an American stooge and hence refuse to recognize – a permanent ceasefire and the formation of a mutually acceptable interim government, a few other minor issues, such as the exchange and release of prisoners, removing travel restrictions on the Taliban leadership and unfreezing its bank accounts were on the agenda of the peace talks, before Donald Trump abruptly ended the negotiations in September.

In announcing the cancellation of the peace talks with the Taliban in September, Trump cited a Taliban attack in Kabul in which 12 people, including a US soldier, were killed, though that was only an ostensible excuse because the death toll of American soldiers in Afghanistan already stood at 2,372 in July 2018.

Fact of the matter is that the biggest stumbling block in the peace talks has been the American deep state. The bureaucracy of the Pentagon, the State Department and their mouthpiece, the mainstream media, tried their best to thwart the nuclear negotiations with North Korea and Trump’s Syria withdrawal last year, and their subversive antics are hampering the Afghanistan drawdown too.

Regarding the presence of transnational terrorist networks on the Afghan soil, the al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden has already been killed in a May 2011 raid of the US Navy Seals in the Abbottabad compound in Pakistan and its second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri is on the run. Besides, the number of al-Qaeda’s Arab militants in the Af-Pak region does not exceed more than a few hundred and are hence inconsequential.

Though the homegrown insurgent movements comprising ethnic Pashtun militants, such as the Taliban and its breakaway factions, including the Islamic State Khorasan, are a much larger menace. According to a recent report by the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), the US-backed Afghan government controls only half of Afghanistan’s territory.

It’s worth noting, however, that SIGAR is a US-based governmental agency that often inflates figures. Factually, the government’s writ does not extend beyond a third of Afghanistan. In many cases, the Afghan government controls district centers of provinces and outlying rural areas are either controlled by the Taliban or are contested.

The so-called “Khorasan Province” of the Islamic State in the Af-Pak region is nothing more than a coalition of several breakaway factions of the Taliban and a few other inconsequential local militant outfits that have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State’s late chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in order to enhance their prestige, and draw funds and followers, but which doesn’t have any organizational and operational association with the Islamic State proper in Syria and Iraq.

The total strength of the Islamic State-Khorasan is estimated to be between 3,000 to 5,000 fighters. By comparison, the strength of the Taliban is estimated to be between 60,000 to 80,000 militants. The Islamic State-Khorasan was formed as a merger between several breakaway factions of the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban in early 2015. Later, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), a Pakistani terrorist group Jundullah and Chinese Uyghur militants pledged allegiance to it.

In 2017, the Islamic State-Khorasan split into two factions. One faction, based in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province, is led by a Pakistani militant commander Aslam Farooqi, and the other faction, based in the northern provinces of Afghanistan, is led by a former Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) commander Moawiya. The latter faction also includes Uzbek, Tajik, Uyghur and Baloch militants.

If we take a cursory look at the insurgency in Afghanistan, the Bush administration toppled the Taliban regime with the help of the Northern Alliance in October 2001 in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attack. Since the beginning, however, Afghanistan was an area of lesser priority for the Bush administration.

The number of US troops stationed in Afghanistan did not exceed beyond 30,000 during George Bush’s tenure as president, and soon after occupying Afghanistan, Washington invaded Iraq in March 2003 and American resources and focus shifted to Iraq.

It was the Obama administration that made the Afghanistan conflict the bedrock of its foreign policy in 2009 along with fulfilling then-President Obama’s electoral pledge of withdrawing American forces from Iraq in December 2011. At the height of the surge of the US troops in Afghanistan in 2010, the American troops numbered around 100,000, with an additional 40,000 troops from the rest of the international coalition, but they still could not manage to have a lasting effect on the relentless Taliban insurgency.

The Taliban are known to be diehard fighters who are adept at hit-and-run guerrilla tactics and have a much better understanding of the Afghan territory compared to foreigners. Even by their standards, however, the Taliban insurgency seems to be on steroids during the last several years.

The Taliban have managed to overrun and hold vast swathes of territory not only in the traditional Pashtun heartland of southern Afghanistan, such as Helmand, but have also made significant inroads into the northern provinces of Afghanistan which are the traditional strongholds of the Northern Alliance comprising the Tajik and Uzbek ethnic groups.

In October 2016, for instance, the Taliban mounted brazen attacks on the Gormach district of northwestern Faryab province, the Tirankot district of Uruzgan province and briefly captured [3] the district-center of the northern Kunduz province, before they were repelled with the help of the US air power.

The main reason of the surge in the Taliban attacks during the last several years appears to be the drawdown of the American troops which number only 14,000, and the number has reportedly been further reduced by several thousand even after the cancellation of the peace talks with the Taliban in September, indicating impending resumption of the dialogue process as is obvious from the release of Kevin King and Timothy Weeks on Tuesday.

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Nauman Sadiq is an Islamabad-based attorney, columnist and geopolitical analyst focused on the politics of Af-Pak and Middle East regions, neocolonialism and petro-imperialism. He is a regular contributor to Global Research. 

Notes

[1] Taliban commanders ‘land in Qatar’ as part of prisoner swap move

[2] Afghan Taliban founder Mullah Baradar released by Pakistan

[3] Concerted Taliban onslaughts on Kunduz, Faryab, Uruzgan, Farah and Helmand

Mobile Phone Radiation and the EU’s Phonegate Crisis

November 19th, 2019 by Equipe Phonegate

Following the invitation on October 1, 2019 to the European Parliament of Dr Marc Arazi by MEPs Philippe Lamberts, Michèle Rivasi and Klaus Buchner of the Greens/EFA, and the alert issued to parliamentarians and organisations gathered at this event on the Phonegate health and industrial scandal, a written question was tabled by Michèle Rivasi on October 9, 2019 before the European Commission.

We would like to thank her for her support and mobilisation at European level to protect the health of hundreds of millions of mobile phone users.

At the end of 2016, Europe had 745 million mobile subscriptions. What corrective actions will manufacturers and public authorities in the various Member States take to inform their customers and the public? Will existing models be “updated”, with software that will limit their influence? Which ones will be withdrawn from the market? MEP Michèle Rivasi is asking for urgent and precise answers from the European Commission in the management of this new health crisis affecting consumer protection.

Read the press release published by the MEP on 29 October 2019

Press release
Brussels, 29th October 2019
MEP Michele Rivasi

Overexposure of the public to mobile phone radiation: What is Europe doing?

Do you keep your mobile phone with you, in the pocket of a shirt? Or glued to your ear to make a phone call? When worn close to the body, most mobile phones placed on the market before 2016 emit so much radiation that they exceed exposure limits. These are the official conclusions of a set of radiation measures made in France since 2012, which have remained largely confidential so far. In its opinion published on 21 October 2019, the Agence française de sécurité sanitaire de l’alimentation, de l’environnement et du travail (ANSES) recommends that measures be taken to ensure that users are no longer exposed to high levels when phones are worn close to the body. The alert came from France but the issue is also European, says MEP Michèle Rivasi, who has been following the impact of electromagnetic waves on life for more than 20 years.

“We knew that mobile phones “in motion” radiated more than the same phones used “motionless”. It is now a fact that most mobile phones worn against the skin are more dangerous than when held away from the body, used with an earpiece or on loudspeaker mode.

SAR, or Specific Absorption Rate, is the indicator used to estimate the body’s exposure to radiation from a mobile phone. At the head or trunk level, the regulatory SAR limit value in France and Europe is set at 2 W/kg, the threshold above which biological effects have been observed.

Measures that are more in line with actual use conclude that the standards have been exceeded

Previously, SAR measurements were made at an average distance of 15 mm from the body. From now on, since 2016, the European RED directive requires the SAR to be measured by placing the mobile phone at a maximum distance of 5 mm from the skin. The results under these realistic conditions are then significantly different. Phones marketed with SAR values that previously met the standards are now exceeding them. “Tests on nearly 300 phones were carried out between 2012 and 2016,” summarizes the ANSES opinion published on 21 October. A large proportion of the phones tested had SAR values above 2 W/kg, some exceeding 7 W/kg on contact. »

On 1 October 2019, during a meeting I organised at the European Parliament on 5G and the precautionary principle, Marc Arazi of the PhoneGate Alert association warned:

Most mobile phones exceed regulatory values but we also discovered that there was a 10-fold difference between the value displayed in the manuals and advertisements of some manufacturers and the DAS value found in tests in France. Other independent tests conducted in 2018 and 2019 in the United States at 2 mm from the skin show that several very popular phones exceed the ceilings. The iPhone 7 has values twice as high as the American standard of 1.6 W/Kg. For the iPhone 8, this is three times the norm. The Samsung galaxy S8 has the most worrying rates: five times the US standard. This is a widespread, systematic and large-scale deception by manufacturers against consumers about a legal value – the DAS – indicating the conformity and the absence of health danger of a mobile phone. »

What is Europe doing to inform its 500 million consumers?

Articles 40 and 42 of Directive 2014/53/EU (RED Directive) on the harmonisation of the laws of the Member States relating to the availability of radio equipment on the market, lay down the obligations of the economic operator and the Commission as regards corrective measures or withdrawal from the market in respect of equipment which does not comply or which may present a risk.

In my written question at the beginning of October, I reminded the Commission that when 95 mobile phones were tested in France in 2015, the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) of 85 of them (89% of phones) was above the limit value (2 W/kg) when the phones were tested in contact with the body. Since then, as a result of these controls, 17 mobile phones have either been withdrawn from the market or updated in France. At the end of 2016, Europe had 745 million mobile subscriptions. What corrective actions will manufacturers and public authorities in the various Member States take to inform their customers and the public?

The most radiating mobiles must be removed from the market!

These facts are very serious and should not be overlooked. For several years now, we have been denouncing the methods used to calculate the SAR, which are too vague, too approximate and, above all, underestimate people’s actual exposure. The measures taken in France, which the PhoneGate Alert association has made public since 2016, reveal the importance of the scandal.

By reducing public exposure measures, manufacturers have knowingly and deliberately caused the massive overexposure of several hundred millions of people throughout the European Union to mobile phone radiations, to values above the legal limits. And this has been the case for nearly 20 years for the oldest users.

The official alert comes from the French authorities, which have announced that they have asked the European Commission “to strengthen the requirements applicable to new mobile phones placed on the market”. But what exactly is the situation? What about the old models? Will they be “updated”, with software that will limit their influence? Which ones will be withdrawn from the market? We expect urgent and precise answers from the European Commission in the management of this new health crisis affecting consumer protection. It should be recalled that since 2011, in the light of available studies, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified microwave radiation from mobile phones as a “possible carcinogen”. Denial is no longer an acceptable option.

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Sources

October 1, Workshop on 5G, Health Risks and Precautionary Principle
“No impact studies on life and the environment? No 5G!”
https://www.michele-rivasi.eu/a-la-une/pas-detudes-dimpact-sur-le-vivant-et-lenvironnement-pas-de-5g

October 9, 2019, Written question by Michele Rivasi
“Removal of non-compliant mobile phones from the European market (PhoneGate)”
http://bit.ly/Rivasi_PhoneGateEU

October 21, 2019, Opinion on the ANSES Report of July 2019
“Exposures to mobile phones worn close to the body”
http://bit.ly/Rivasi_ANSES_DAS

October 25, 2019, Communiqué of the French Government
“to limit exposure to emissions from certain mobile phones and better inform the public”
https://solidarites-sante.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/191025-_cp_anses.pdf

The RED Directive
https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/FR/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32014L0053

The PhoneGate Alert Association
https://www.phonegatealert.org

In 1960 Allan H. Frey was 25 years old, he had graduated in biophysics and worked at General Electric’s Advanced Electronics Center at Cornell University. When a radar technician invited him to come and listen to a clicking sound of the radar broadcasting, which he was hearing in his brain at his workplace,

Allan Frey made a discovery that started his lifetime scientific research. Just one year later, in 1961, he published in a scientific magazine his experiments where people could hear in their heads, at a distance of 300 feet from the antenna, different sounds produced by pulsed microwaves. With this same method, he also produced in people the perception of severe buffeting of the head, or the pins and needles sensation (see this). His further experiments were financed by American Navy and Air Force (see this), which could see in his experiments the potential for new type of weapons. Allan Frey began to experiment with rats and frogs and found out that to influence the activity of their nervous system he needed much lower density of electromagnetic energy than is the density of electromagnetic energy used nowadays for the communication by cell phones.

Robert Becker was twice nominated to the Nobel prize for his research on effects of electric and magnetic fields on healing of fractures. At the end of 20th century he testified in a trial where the state of Wisconsin tried to ban the construction of an antenna for the communication with military submarines on its territory. The antenna was supposed to use 90 Hz frequency, which is within the range of the functioning of the human nervous system (see this). Robert Becker testified that the transmission of the antenna could be harmful to people.

When he lost his work for this testimony, he started writing books on the research of effects of electromagnetic radiation on the human organism. In the book entitled “Body Electric“ – he wrote about the experiment by Allan H. Frey, where he slowed down the heart beat of frogs by electromagnetic energy with a density of 3 microwatts per square centimeter (see this). Just to have a comparison – in the European Union the limit for electromagnetic exposure is at the frequency of 900 Mhz set to 450 microwatts per square centimeter and at another microwave frequency used by cell phone systems 1800 Mhz to 900 microwatts per square centimeter.

This means that it is permitted in the European Union to expose people to a density of electromagnetic energy 150 and 300 times higher than is necessary to slow down the heart-beat of a frog. With the fifth generation of cell phone systems this density will be increased at least tenfold. It is possible to object that at higher frequencies the skin will absorb most of this radiation, but the human body is full of salty liquids and this kind of electrolyte may act as an antenna which will carry this radiation deep into the human body – just see the veins (covered just by milimeter of skin), which are full of blood, which is an electrolyte. In addition the radiation will be transmitted constantly and there will be no place to escape from it, since it is supposed to enable driver-less car transportation and so it must penetrate every inch of the planet (see this).

In 1975 Allan Frey published an experiment where he injected a fluorescent dye into the circulatory system of white rats, then swept the microwave frequencies across their bodies and the dye had leached into the confines of the rats’ brains. It proved that microwave frequencies can breach the barrier between the blood and brain allowing toxins and viruses to enter the brain (see this). Swedish scientist Leif Salford i is engaged in similar experiments. He exposed three groups of rats to the power density of 24 microwatts, 240 microwatts and 2400 microwatts and found out that due to penetration of toxins into their brains a number of neurons in their brains were destructed, while in the control group, which was not exposed to this radiation, it did not happen (see this). Similar results were obtained by 13 scientific laboratories in 6 countries (see this, this, and this).

Indian scientists carried out an experiment where rats were exposed for 180 days for two hours a day to cell phone radiations in 900, 1800 and 2450 Mhz. Prior to the experiment the rats were trained to move in a maze. After the exposure the reactions of irradiated rats were slower than the reactions of rats that were not exposed to microwave radiation. The scientists drew a conclusion that the ability of exposed rats to learn and to remember was damaged. Their DNA was also damaged (see this). To measure the exposure of rats to electromagnetic radiation the Indian scientists used a specific absorption rate. In their experiment it was 595 microwatts per one kilogram and 672 microwatts per one kilogram. According to the European norms people may not be exposed to density of electromagnetic radiation exceeding 0,08 Watts per one kilogram. Again, this exposure is high above the exposure where toxic effects of microwave radiation on rat’s brains were observed. With this finding we should not be surprised that the intelligence quotient of people living in developed countries is decreasing since the 1990’s of the past century (see this), when the density of electromagnetic radiation in the human environment has been rapidly growing.

Allen H. Frey wrote in 2012, when he was already partially retired, that in the USA the results of effects of microwave radiation on people were falsified during the cold war years to assure people that the radiation from military radars could not harm them. Another reason to block and disqualify the unclassified research of effects of microwaves on human organism was to hide the microwave bio-weapons program. For that matter the contractors, hired by military, supposedly replicated the Allan Frey’s experiment with injecting dye into the blood of rats by injecting it into their intestines instead of incjecting it into their blood. At the scientific conferences they then presented the results of their experiments where the dye did not penetrate the rat’s brains. In this way they suppressed the impact of Frey’s experiments. To keep hiding the military research of bio-weapons the U.S. Government stopped financing unclassified research in the microwave area and in this way also stopped the subsequent publication of the results. Stopped was, as well, the funding of Allan Frey’s research on the barrier between blood and brain.

Apparently the same situation exists worldwide and many scientists do not oppose the implementation of the 5G systems, because they are afraid that they could lose the funding of their work in the same way as Robert Becker did. In the conclusion of his article Allan Frey wrote that for those reasons hundreds of millions of people, who began to use cell phones, became subjects of experiments they never gave informed consent to (see this).

However all over the world there exists legislations prohibiting experiments on people without their informed consent and at present time the world mass media fail to inform the general public of the risks connected to the use of cell phones and the implementation of the fifth generation of the cell phone systems networks. In this way people are not allowed to know that electromagnetic radiation produces in their organisms oxidative stress, which can contribute to the following illnesses:

  • cancer (for example in the Czech Republic since 1985, when the use of microwaves started growing – GPS, cell phone systems and WiFi – until 2016 the occurrence of cancer disease grew by 141%, see this)
  • diabetes (in the Czech Republic was registered 184000 people with this disease in 2008 and in 2018 it was already 320000 – the number of ill people grew almost by 100% in ten years, see this and this – there are some 10 millions of inhabitants in the Czech Republic)
  • Parkinsons disease (20000 people are ill with this disease in the Czech republic in this year and in 2030 it is expected to be 30000 people, see this)
  • Alzheimer disease (at present time there are 135000 people ill with this disease in the Czech Republic and it is expected that there will be 225000 of them in 2050 (see this) – in the last five years that number grew by 38% (see this) and certainly the life expectancy in the Czech Republic has not grown by 38% in the last five years)
  • Autism (in 1975 one out of 5000 people suffered with this disease in the Czech Republic, in 1985 it was one out of 2500 people, in 2007 it was one out of 150 people and in 2015 it was one out of 86 children This is the increase by 5000% in 30 years !!! (see this))

According to the scientific research all of those illnesses can be produced by oxidative stress (see this), caused in the human organism by electromagnetic radiation (see this and this). It is highly logical to find that there is coincidence between the rapidly growing density of electromagnetic radiation in the atmosphere since the introduction of GPS, cell phone telephony and WiFi and rapidly growing occurrence of illnesses which can be produced by oxidative stress produced by electromagnetic radiation.

It would be appropriate to sue the governments, which promote the introduction of 5G mobile telephony, without verifying its harmlessness, for experimenting on people without their informed consent, and consequently sue the actual members of those governments for the further increase of the occurrence of the diseases mentioned above after the introduction of the 5G cell phone systems.

The readers may sign the appeal for the world wide ban of the introduction 5G technology here.

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A future without independent media leaves us with an upside down reality where according to the corporate media “NATO deserves a Nobel Peace Prize”, and where “nuclear weapons and wars make us safer”

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UK Government Accused of Covering Up War Crimes in Iraq

By Johanna Ross, November 19, 2019

Leaked documents have revealed that not only was the UK army involved in war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan in the 2000s, but Conservative ministers succeeded in covering it up. Military detectives unveiled alleged ‘daily’ abuse dating back as far as 2003 by the Black Watch regiment in Basra as well as more recent crimes such as a 2012 raid on a compound in Helmund Province where three ‘unarmed’ children and a young man were shot dead.

China, USA and the Geopolitics of Lithium

By F. William Engdahl, November 19, 2019

For several years since the global push to develop mass-scale Electric Vehicles, the element Lithium has come intofocus as a strategic metal. Demand is enormous in China, in the EU and in the USA at present, and securing control over lithium supplies is already developing its own geopolitics not unlike that for the control of oil.

For China, which has set major targets to become the world’s largest  producer of EVs, developing lithium battery materials is a priority for the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) period. Though China has its own lithium reserves, recovery is limited, and China has gone to secure lithium mining rights abroad.

Conflict of Interest: Julian Assange’s Judge and Her Husband’s Links to the British Military Establishment Exposed by WikiLeaks

By Mark Curtis and Matt Kennard, November 19, 2019

It can also be revealed that Lady Arbuthnot has received gifts and hospitality in relation to her husband, including from a military and cybersecurity company exposed by WikiLeaks. These activities indicate that the chief magistrate’s activities cannot be considered as entirely separate from her husband’s.

Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom, a former defence minister, is a paid chair of the advisory board of military corporation Thales Group, and was until earlier this year an adviser to arms company Babcock International. Both companies have major contracts with the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD).

Europe’s Economy Today & Tomorrow

By Dr. Jack Rasmus, November 19, 2019

Look beneath what’s happening with Yellow Vests in France, Hong Kong demonstrations, mass demonstrations across the South American continent, in North Africa and the Middle East, and what you will find is young workers growing desperate over their working conditions, over income inequality, the lack of jobs that provide a basic living, and their sense of hopelessness of change any time soon. In other words, discontent over their fate in emerging 21st century capitalism.

But the worse is still yet to come. Contingent, or so-called precarious, work and its condemning of workers to a ‘new indentureship’—a kind of 21st century capitalist serfdom—is now being intensified by new capitalist business models and technological change.

Brexit Trade Deals Signed So Far Worth Just 8 Percent of UK Total Trade

By True Publica, November 19, 2019

The EU, taken as a whole is the UK’s largest trading partner. In 2018, UK exports to the EU were £291 billion (45% of all UK exports). UK imports from the EU were £357 billion (53% of all UK imports).

Therefore, the UK had an overall trade deficit of -£66 billion with the EU in 2018. A surplus of £28 billion on trade in services was outweighed by a deficit of -£94 billion on trade in goods.

The Destabilization of Haiti

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, November 19, 2019

The armed insurrection which contributed to unseating President Aristide on February 29th 2004 was the result of a carefully staged military-intelligence operation.

The Rebel paramilitary army crossed the border from the Dominican Republic in early February. It constitutes a well armed, trained and equipped paramilitary unit integrated by former members of Le Front pour l’avancement et le progrès d’Haiti (FRAPH), the “plain clothes” death squadrons, involved in mass killings of civilians and political assassinations during the CIA sponsored 1991 military coup, which led to the overthrow of the democratically elected government of President Jean Bertrand Aristide.

The US-Sponsored Coup that Ousted Evo Morales. Bolivia’s Partnership with China in Lithium Production

By Dr. Chandra Muzaffar, November 18, 2019

Morales obtained 47.08 % of the vote to secure a fourth term as president in the election held on the 20th of October. Since his vote was more than 10% of what his closest rival had harnessed, there was no need for a second round of voting according to the Bolivian Constitution. However his opponents did not want to accept the result. Neither did the Organisation of American States (OAS) nor the United States of America (USA) nor the European Union (EU).  They alleged “electoral fraud” without providing any tangible evidence. It should be emphasised that international observers from a number of countries testified to the legitimacy of the polls.

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Monday that the US was softening its position on Israel’s network of settlements in the occupied Palestinain territory, saying it was revoking the notion that settlements are illegal under international law — a notion recognized by the rest of the world as factual and true.

“The Trump administration is reversing the Obama administration’s approach to Israeli settlements,” Pompeo said in his opening remarks at a press conference in Washington, D.C.

Pompeo said that the Trump administration would be departing from the Carter administration’s 1978 legal opinion — which served as the basis for the long-standing U.S. policy on settlements —  which states that Israel’s establishment of Jewish-only settlements was “inconsistent with international law.”

Calling Israeli settlements illegal under international law, Pompeo said, “hasn’t worked” and  “hasn’t advanced the cause of peace.”

“The hard truth is there will never be a judicial resolution to the conflict, and arguments about who is right and wrong as a matter of international law will not bring peace,” he said.

“The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with international law,” Pompeo declared, adding that the administration was “expressing no view on the legal status of any individual settlement.”

According to Pompeo, one of the considerations taken by the administration leading up to the decision were the “confirmed the legality of certain settlement activities” by the Israeli legal system — a system that has been widely criticized as serving to uphold the structures of Israel’s occupation rather than one aimed at achieving justice and equality for all.

He went on to say that this decision was not meant to be a judgement on the status of the West Bank or Israeli sovereignty in the territory.  “This is for the Israelis and the Palestinians to negotiate.”

“The United States remains deeply committed to helping facilitate peace, and I will do everything I can to help this cause.  The United States encourages the Israelis and the Palestinians to resolve the status of Israeli settlements in the West Bank in any final status negotiations,” he concluded.

Outrage in Palestine, celebration in Israel

Monday’s announcement was the latest in a series of efforts by the Trump administration — declaring occupied Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, recognizing Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights, and the movement of the US embassy to Jeruaslem — aimed at weaking Palestinian claims of statehood.

“The announcement marks a continuation of the Trump Administration’s efforts to undermine years of progress on refining parameters for an agreed-upon resolution of the core issues of the conflict,” Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now said in a statement. 

The group called the announcement “an Orwellian absurdity,” saying “no declaration will change the fact that the settlements were built on occupied territory, in contravention of international law, and that they pose among the greatest obstacles to peace.”

The European Union released a statement immediately after Pompeo’s remarks, saying “all settlement activity is illegal under international law and it erodes the viability of the two-state solution and the prospects for a lasting peace.”

The statement went on to call on Israel to cease all settlement activity “in line with its obligations as an occupying power.”

PLO Executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi called the policy change “outrageous and horrific” in a statement, and reaffirmed the widely held position that settlements are a “grave violation of international law.”

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat reacted to the news, saying “Israeli settlements steal Palestinian land, seize and exploit Palestinian natural resources, and divide, displace and restrict the movement of the people of Palestine.”

“In sum, Israel’s colonial-settlement enterprise perpetuates the negation of the Palestinian right to self-determination,” he said.

Nabil Abu Rdeineh, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said “the U.S. administration has lost its credibility to play any future role in the peace process.”

Meanwhile, Israel and its supporters welcomed the decision. According to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he spoke to Trump on the phone after the announcement to thank him for “correcting a historical injustice.”

“I said to President Trump that we are not in a foreign land. This is our homeland for over 3,000 years. The reason that we are called “Jews” is because we came from here, from Judea,” he continued, referring to the Hebrew name for the West Bank.

Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Israel Katz also took to Twitter to celebrate the decision, saying “there’s no dispute about the right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel.”

Nail in the coffin of two-state solution

The policy reversal comes at a pivotal time in regional politics, as Netanyahu, an ardent supporter of the settlements and annexation, struggles to hold onto power, and the Palestinian Authority continues to suffer financial and political blows at the hands of the US and its allies.

Michael Lynk, Canadian law professor and UN human rights expert, told Mondoweiss that by legitimizing Israeli settlements, that US has put the “very last nail in the coffin of the two state solution.”

Lynk emphasized the fact that “the illegality of the Israeli settlements has been accepted by virtually every country in the world,” and by departing with this consensus, the US is legitimizing “the significant human rights and humanitarian violations perpetuated by the settlements.”

“This effectively grants permission to the Israeli government to formally annex large parts of the occupied West Bank. This will only confirm a one state reality characterized by a rigid two-tier system of legal and political rights, based on ethnicity and religion,” Lynk said. “This would meet the international definition of apartheid.”

Palestinian-American activist and human rights lawyer Noura Erekat expressed to Mondoweiss that she wasn’t particularly surprised by Pompeo’s announcement or what seems to be a sudden change in US foreign policy.

“What Pompeo is announcing is not a rupture in US foreign policy, but a culmination of it,” she said, adding that since 1967 the U.S. has “spoken out of both sides of its mouth.”

On the one hand, the US has maintained, until now, that settlements are inconsistent with international law and counterproductive to the peace process, but “out of the other side of its mouth, the US has provided Israel with unequivocal military, financial, and diplomatic aid in order to continue that settlement process,” Erekat said.

Erekat highlighted the fact that since the early 1990s until today, Israeli settlement expansion has increased by 200%.

“So this is the culmination of what every administration has done,” she told Mondoweiss. “The only difference is that Trump removed the Emperor’s clothes.”

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UK Government Accused of Covering Up War Crimes in Iraq

November 19th, 2019 by Johanna Ross

The UK is very keen at reminding certain countries – Syria, Russia, China – of their human rights abuses and yet, when it comes to looking closer to home, this current government quite frankly prefers not to, and in some cases deliberately try to obfuscate the truth. 

Leaked documents have revealed that not only was the UK army involved in war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan in the 2000s, but Conservative ministers succeeded in covering it up. Military detectives unveiled alleged ‘daily’ abuse dating back as far as 2003 by the Black Watch regiment in Basra as well as more recent crimes such as a 2012 raid on a compound in Helmund Province where three ‘unarmed’ children and a young man were shot dead.

According to the BBC’s Panorama programme and The Sunday Times, the documents suggest that senior military officers covered up the incidents, with the implicated individuals only being questioned briefly on the matters by the Royal Military Police (RMP). It is reported that the Ministry of Defence itself put pressure on the organisations involved in the investigations – the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) and Operation Afghanistan (for Afghanistan) to bring enquiries to a halt.

The government dismissed on Sunday any allegations of a cover-up, with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab naturally defending the military’s handling of the cases, stressing that the prosecuting authorities for the British military are ‘some of the most rigorous in the world’. But it cannot be denied that this could be potentially harmful to the government at a time when it and its leader, Boris Johnson are accused of being ‘dishonest’.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has said that it would be independently investigating the reported allegations and was taking them ‘very seriously’. The BBC said on Monday morning it would be a ‘landmark case’ if indeed the government was to be prosecuted for protecting soldiers from being charged with war crimes.

In a further twist, former employees of the now defunct IHAT have said that the reason given for shutting down the organisation was in fact an excuse for ending further investigation. It was closed in 2017 by the government after it was found that Phil Shiner, a solicitor who had taken more than 1000 cases to IHAT, was in fact paying fixers in Iraq to source him clients.

It is important that the ICC does indeed do its own digging as to what was going on with IHAT and the allegations of war crimes by UK soldiers. Otherwise, we may never know what happened. With Brexit, an increasingly right-wing government in power and the mantra being one of ‘Rule Britannia’, the rhetoric has changed in recent years to one of little sympathy for the victims of war crimes and more disgust and dismay that British soldiers should be investigated at all.

Indeed it is somewhat disturbing that for some commentators, the fact whether unnecessary killings have been committed by British soldiers abroad have been carried out, seems almost obsolete. Writing in The Telegraph on Monday, Richard Dannatt says “My heart sank when I read the front page story yesterday about alleged British Army war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. “Here we go again”, I thought.” Being ex-army, one could argue that of course he will support the military in this argument. But the fact that his views are carried in Britain’s leading right-wing broadsheet, does make one wonder the extent to which this opinion is shared by the current Conservative government, hence the fact that proper investigations have never taken place.

The leaking of these documents does not come at a good time for Boris Johnson, as he battles to retain his position as PM in the run-up to the December election.  And yet for many ‘Leave’ voters, who support his bid to ‘get Brexit done’ it may be nothing more than an irrelevant distraction.  British, or rather English nationalism is on the rise, and Brexit has exacerbated levels of xenophobia and racism not seen for decades in Britain. The questions this issue raises about the government’s lack of integrity, and even of its inherent racism and islamophobia – of which the Conservative party has been directly accused – may not dissuade those who are mainly concerned about Britain leaving the EU.

It is a dangerous state of affairs if we have a government implicit in deceit, led by a lying, cheating Prime Minister, which is not being held to account; a government aiding and abetting cover-ups at home but one which is all too eager to highlight perceived injustices in other countries. And one can be sure that a government which unscrupulous in some areas will be just as underhand in others. It’s a high price to pay for Brexit.

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Federal Reserve: Enemy of Liberty and Prosperity

November 19th, 2019 by Rep. Ron Paul

Lost in the media’s obsession with the impeachment circus last week was Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s testimony on the state of the economy before the Joint Economic Committee. In his testimony, Chairman Powell warned that when the next recession inevitably occurs, the US Government’s over $23 trillion debt would prevent Congress from increasing spending to revive the economy.

Powell also said that the Fed’s current low interest rate policies would prevent the Fed from using its traditional methods of increasing the money supply and further lowering interest rates to jump-start economic growth in a recession. Hopefully, Powell is correct that when the next recession hits the Federal Reserve and Congress will be unable to “stimulate” the economy with cheap money and new spending.

Interest rates are the price of money and, as with all prices, government manipulation of interest rates distorts the signals regarding market conditions. Artificially low interest rates lead to malinvestment and the creation of bubbles. Recessions are a painful but necessary correction that allows the economy to cleanse itself of these distortions. When the Federal Reserve and Congress try to stimulate the economy, they introduce new distortions, making it impossible for the economy to heal itself. Fiscal and monetary stimulus may temporally create the illusions of prosperity, but in reality they merely create another bubble that will eventually burst starting the boom-and-bust cycle all over again. So, the best thing Congress and the Federal Reserve can do to help the economy recover from a recession is nothing.

Powell is the latest Federal Reserve Chair to warn of the dangers of government debt, which is ironic since the Federal Reserve is the great enabler of deficit spending. Government manipulation of the value of money allows politicians to hide the true costs of their warfare and welfare. This is why throughout history governments have sought the power to dictate what is and is not money and determine the value of the monetary unit. Today’s central bankers are the heirs of the medieval kings who shaved off the edges of gold coins, then ordered the people to pretend that shaved coins were just as valuable as unshaved coins.

Instead of shaving gold coins, today’s central bankers facilitate the growth of government by purchasing government securities in order to keep interest rates—and thus the government’s borrowing costs— low. The Federal Reserve’s interventions enable the expansion of government well beyond what would be politically palatable if politicians had to finance the entire welfare-warfare state through direct taxation or borrowing at market interest rates, which would increase interest rates for private sector borrowers, lower growth, and increase unemployment.

Since the creation of the Federal Reserve, the US dollar has lost over 96 percent of its value. The Federal Reserve-caused decline in purchasing power is a stealth tax. This inflation tax does not affect the financial elites—who receive new money created by the Federal Reserve before the Fed’s actions have diminished the dollar’s purchasing power—but has hurt middle-and-working class Americans whose purchasing power is continuously reduced by the Federal Reserve. The inflation tax is not just the most hidden, but the most regressive of taxes.

The Federal Reserve is responsible for the growth of government, the loss of liberty, the rise in income inequality, and the boom-and-bust economic cycle. All those who support liberty, peace, and prosperity should join the effort to audit and end the Fed.

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The EU, taken as a whole is the UK’s largest trading partner. In 2018, UK exports to the EU were £291 billion (45% of all UK exports). UK imports from the EU were £357 billion (53% of all UK imports).

Therefore, the UK had an overall trade deficit of -£66 billion with the EU in 2018. A surplus of £28 billion on trade in services was outweighed by a deficit of -£94 billion on trade in goods.

Services accounted for 41% of the UK’s exports to the EU in 2018. Financial services and other business services (a category which includes legal, accounting, advertising, research and development, architectural, engineering and other professional and technical services) are important categories of services exports to the EU – in 2018 these two service categories made up just over half of of UK service exports to the EU. (Source – Research briefings – UK Parliament – published Nov 1st 2019)

Most of these trade deals now signed to replace those within the EU are in fact, ‘continuity of trade deals. ‘ These were already in place but required adjusting due to the current arrangement with the EU.

So far, the UK has signed 18 “continuity” deals covering 48 countries or territories. Combined, these deals represent just 8% of total UK trade. No other trade deals have been signed although some are being negotiated. The current Conservative government considers a trade deal with America to be the big prize. Currently, Britain enjoys a trade surplus with America of nearly $19billion. Outside of the EU, America is Britain’s biggest trading partner. U.S. goods and services trade with the UK totalled $261.9 billion in 2018. Exports were $140.4 billion; imports were $121.5 billion.

A full trade agreement with America would mean a significant trade deficit being created with America as lower quality/regulated goods will be allowed in. Any deal to be signed with the USA is likely to take a number of years to sign meaning the UK will be trading through WTO rules – an organisation that America has been undermining for years.

Trade deals signed so far:

And that’s it.

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Trump Regime Calls Illegal Israel Settlements Legal

November 19th, 2019 by Stephen Lendman

There’s no ambiguity about the illegality of Israeli settlements. International law on the issue is clear and unequivocal. 

It’s automatically US constitutional law under its Supremacy Clause (Article VI, Clause 2).

Fourth Geneva’s Article 49 states:

“Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.”

“The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.”

Security Council Resolution 2334 (December 2016) said the following:

Settlements have “no legal validity and constitute a flagrant violation under international law.”

The resolution demands “Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.”

It recognizes no territorial changes “to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations.”

It “(c)alls upon all States, to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.”

It “(c)alls for immediate steps to prevent all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation and destruction, calls for accountability in this regard…”

Note: Security Council resolutions are binding international law on all 193 UN member states. They’re automatically US constitutional law.

On Monday, Pompeo turned international and US constitutional law on its head, stating:

“The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with international law (sic),” adding:

“Israeli courts have confirmed the legality of certain settlement activities…”

Fact: His announcement green-lighted US approval for unlimited Israeli settlement expansions on stolen Palestinian land, perhaps driving a final nail in the no-peace/peace process — the greatest hoax in modern times, along with the US war on terror waged on humanity.

Fact: Israeli or other courts calling illegal settlements legal flagrantly breach binding international law.

Pompeo: “(T)he conclusion that will no longer recognize Israeli settlements as per se inconsistent with international law (sic) is based on the unique facts, history, and circumstances presented by the establishment of civilian settlements in the West Bank (sic).”

Fact: There’s nothing “unique” about revanchist aims of nations with territorial ambitions beyond their borders.

Fact: The principle of territorial integrity in international law prohibits states from forcefully usurping control over land not their own.

Fact: UN Charter Article 2 (4) affirms this principle, stating: “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

Fact: In 1948, Israel stole 78% of historic Palestine, in June 1967 illegally taking the rest.

In 1947, the UN General Assembly declared Jerusalem an international city, a corpus separatum under a world body protectorate. It’s not the legal capital of Israel or any other country.

On June 30, 1980, the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 476 (the US abstaining), declaring “all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal validity and constitute a flagrant (Fourth Geneva) violation.”

Israel claiming the city, “complete and united, as (its) capital” has no legal standing.

East Jerusalem is illegally occupied territory. So is historic Palestine, lawlessly seized by Israel during its 1948 war of aggression, massacring and displacing hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, replacing their cities, towns and villages with Israeli ones – exacerbating their long nightmare, begun following the infamous 1917 Balfour Declaration.

The US and Israel consistently breach binding Security Council resolutions and other international laws that differ from their imperial aims.

Palestine belongs to the Palestinians. Theft of their land by Israel has no legal validity.

Pompeo falsely claimed that the US is “deeply committed to helping facilitate peace…”

Its historical actions reveal otherwise, smashing one nation after another, waging economic terrorism against sovereign states, supporting Israeli aggression against defenseless Palestinians, along with a long history of hostile actions against ordinary people at home and abroad.

In response to Pompeo’s Monday announcement, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the following:

“The EU calls on Israel to end all settlement activity, in line with its obligations as an occupying power.”

Fact: EU nations operate as virtual US colonies, partnering in its wars of aggression and economic terrorism, along with taking no actions against Israeli high crimes and other abuses of power throughout Jewish state history.

Mogherini’s remark was hollow, Brussels doing nothing to hold Israeli accountable for time and again breaching international law, nothing to support the fundamental rights of Palestinians and ordinary people everywhere — consistently pursuing might over right.

Netanyahu praised the Trump regime’s illegal recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, its illegal control of Syria’s Golan and settlements on stolen Palestinian land.

PLO member Saeb Erekat condemned the Trump regime’s position on settlements, saying “once (again it) undermine(d) international law,” affirmed Israel’s illegal “occupation, (its) war crimes, (its) threat to international peace and security…”

PLO member Hanan Ashrawi made similar remarks, saying Pompeo “sen(t) a clear signal that (the Trump regime) ha(s) total disregard for international law, for what is right and just, and for the requirements of peace.”

The US under both right wings of its war party operates by its own rules exclusively — serving its own interests at the expense of world peace, stability, equity, justice, and the rule of law.

Israel operates the same way, how it’s been throughout its history.

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

U.S. Continues to Draw Lines in Eastern Mediterranean

November 19th, 2019 by Paul Antonopoulos

From November 3 to November 14, Israeli, U.S., German, Italian and Greek war jets participated in the “Blue Flag 2019” military exercises out of the Ovda Air Base in Israel’s Negev Desert. The timing of these exercises corresponds with Turkey and a whole host of other countries conducting their own naval exercises in the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas.

Lines are certainly being drawn in the Eastern Mediterranean between pro-U.S. forces and states seeking their own sovereignty away from U.S. hegemony, especially Turkey. Greece proves to be a curious country at the moment, since one of its warships participated in the Turkish-led naval exercises, even though Pakistan twice violated Greek airspace during these exercises and a war of words continues to ensue between Turkish and Greek political leaders over the maritime waters of Cyprus and the Eastern Aegean.

Although Greece was involved in both exercises, there can be no doubt that the Blue Flag 2019 exercises were aimed against Russia, Turkey and Iran. Part of the Blue Flag 2019 was the process and execution of aerial scripts to neutralize Russia’s S-400 Triumph missile defense system. However, since none of the participating countries have an S-400, the Israeli military had deployed U.S.-made Patriot missiles in specific locations to try to simulate the capabilities of the Russian-made systems during the military exercises that occurred near the Gaza Strip.

The simulation of the S-400 rocket launcher demonstrates for the first time that Israel is actively preparing to deal with such a system that exists only in Syrian and Turkish territory. In Syria, the powerful Russian defense system was deployed to protect Russian forces exactly four years ago, ironically because Turkey blew out a Russian jet from Syrian airspace in November 2015.

Meanwhile, the S-300V4 missiles will also be deployed in Egypt. The S-300V4 uses almost similar technology to the S-400 and has great capabilities in handling stealth aircraft. The S-400 has recently been shipped to Turkey, but is not yet operational, while Iran and Saudi Arabia have also shown interest in these systems.

The oldest and least capable S-300PMU-2 was deployed by the Syrian armed forces in late 2018, reducing the frequency of Israeli attacks in the country, but not stopping them. It is unclear what exact development led to Israel’s implementation of the S-400 neutralization training, however it is likely that these systems will also begin appearing elsewhere in the Middle East, putting Israel in a compromised military position.

Whatever the case, a big game is being played in the area with the possession and potential use of strategic weapons, such as Russian missiles and 5th generation American fighter jets.

Turkey, Greece, Israel, the U.S. and Syria have been embroiled in a meltdown of developments over who will eventually have the upper hand in the Eastern Mediterranean, but it is also seen that alliances are forming in the region. Although Greece was involved in both exercises taking place in the Eastern Mediterranean,  its warship participating in the Turkish-led exercises took a more observatory position ensuring that its maritime waters were not violated, while it took a very active role in Israel, even winning the war games against the other participants of the exercises, which is unsurprising since Greece has the best pilots in NATO.

While Greece also participated in the Turkish-led naval exercises, it was actively training its pilots alongside the U.S. and conducting drills with Patriot missile batteries modified to imitate the Russian-made systems. However, the Russian systems hit targets twice as fast as the Patriots, and at a longer distance and higher altitude – essentially, attempting to use Patriots to simulate the S-400 would not  have been very accurate.

It cannot be forgotten that Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest exporter and producer of oil in the world, on September 14 had its daily supply cut by nearly 50 percent because of drone and missile attacks against state-owned oil company by the Yemeni Houthi-led Ansarullah resistance movement. With Saudi Arabia investing billions of dollars into the Patriot system, it would have been expected that they would have a near 100% success rate in hitting all the missiles launched by the Ansarullah Movement.

It is for this reason that Russian Senate Security and Defense Committee member Franz Klintsevich, in a comedic manner, stated that “if Saudi Arabia had installed the Russian anti-aircraft systems, this would not have happened. The S-300 and S-400 missile systems, supported by the Pantsir S-1 would not have allowed any of the drones and missiles to hit their target. The Saudis should think about it.” Therefore, there is a huge doubt that the modified Patriots could successfully mimic the S-400.

Whether the training against “the S-400” in Israel was successful for the participating countries, it more importantly demonstrates an intent by these countries to be able to overcome the Russian missile defense system. For Israel, it is crucial so that it knows how to respond to any hypothetical war with Iran or Turkey, while for the U.S. it would also be against Russia.

With Russia selling the S-400 system, announcing its intent to also sell fighter jets, and conducting patrols with Turkey in Syria, their ties are becoming much more integrated. It also appears that the U.S., Greece and Israel are strengthening their military coordination in the Eastern Mediterranean. Although Israel is not against Russia, it certainly has an adversarial political and military relationship with Turkey despite their close economic ties, just as Greece does with Turkey. And although Greece might not be against Russia, they certainly are against Turkey. The U.S. intentions for the Blue Flag 2019 exercise is to coordinate an alliance against Russia, and potentially Turkey, while training against the S-400.

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Paul Antonopoulos is a Research Fellow at the Center for Syncretic Studies.

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Iran’s problem isn’t that foreign forces are politically encouraging the latest unrest and possibly even directly supporting some of the most violent provocateurs to an uncertain extent, but that the vast majority of the participants in these nationwide protests are there for well-intended reasons and represent a real grassroots movement.

Iran has been rocked by unrest ever since the government increased fuel prices to 15,000 rials (approximately $0.13) a gallon last week and imposed a rationing policy of 60 liters (13 gallons) a month in order to fund direct payouts to most families and curb corrupt smuggling activities by those who were abusing the previous subsidy system. Its citizens used to be able to be able to purchase up to 250 liters a month for 10,000 rials each, but will now have to pay 30,000 rials for every liter beyond 60. Although this price increase is minuscule compared to Western standards, it’s disproportionately impactful for the average Iranian given their country’s ongoing economic crisis that’s been gradually exacerbated by the US’ unilateral sanctions regime. It’s little wonder then that tens of thousands of people took to the streets over the past few days to protest against this decision since it contributed to the prevailing uncertainty about Iran’s overall economic future, but some of their demonstrations turned violent after provocateurs started attacking police officers and burning & seizing buildings.

President Rouhani declared that “People have the right to protest, but that is different from riots”, after which he strongly hinted at an impending crackdown by warning that “We cannot let insecurity in the country through riots”. As for the Ayatollah, he shrewdly declined to give his opinion on the wisdom behind the latest price hike because he’s “not an expert on such matters” but said that he stands by the government’s decision on the principle that it was reached by the heads of the three branches of government after consulting competent experts. The Supreme Leader acknowledged that “some people are certainly worried or upset about this decision”, but blamed “hooligans” and “thugs” for the recent acts of “sabotage”. He said that this “adds insecurity to any possible problem” and “is the worst disaster for every country and every society”. He’s certainly right about that, and he’s also correct in pointing out that “all malicious centers in the world, which work against us, have encouraged these actions…ranging from the sinister and malicious Pahlavi household to evil and criminal munafeqeen terrorist cult (who) are constantly encouraging such actions in social networks and via other outlets.”

Iran’s problem, however, isn’t that foreign forces are politically encouraging the latest unrest and possibly even directly supporting some of the most violent provocateurs to an uncertain extent, but that the vast majority of the participants in these nationwide protests are there for well-intended reasons and represent a real grassroots movement. The security forces have the right to crack down on those who commit crimes against the population and acts of terrorism against the state, but it’s a gross oversimplification to blame the recent events solely on foreign forces. Although the US is most directly responsible for Iran’s economic woes over the past few years, the “politically inconvenient” fact of the matter is that its sanctions policy has indeed succeeded in creating the conditions whereby people naturally take to the streets in protest from time to time (and especially after so-called “trigger events” such as the latest fuel price hike), after which they function (whether knowingly or unwittingly) as de-facto “human shields” for provocateurs to hide behind when carrying out their attacks against the state. So long as they have a critical mass of people to “protect” them, the security forces will be reluctant to kinetically respond to the provocateurs out of fear of causing “collateral damage”.

Given the scope of the latest unrest, the rapidity with which it’s spread across the country, and the intensity of some of the riots, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Iran has a nascent crisis on its hands that could easily spiral out of control if it’s not properly resolved, thus generating a self-sustaining cycle of unrest that could then facilitate more direct foreign intelligence meddling in its domestic affairs. The key is to contain the grassroots rage and separate legitimate protesters from professional provocateurs, which could happen by the state enacting some “concessions” in order to encourage them to leave the streets. There’s also the risk that doing so could embolden both the protesters and the provocateurs who hide behind them, but it might be a risk worth taking. The Ayatollah shrewdly declined to state his opinion on the price hike other than to say that he supports the state in principle because the agreement was reached by the government’s three branches, so there’s some leeway for him as the Supreme Leader to propose a “compromise solution” if he feels the need, one which could then be used as the pretext for removing some of the more unpopular officials responsible for this decision.

Should the state stand its ground and refuse to make any “concessions” (whether symbolic or of substance) prior to kinetically (forcefully) responding to the provocateurs, then it risks radicalizing the well-intended majority of the protesters who might get caught in the crossfire and thus worsening the same incipient Color Revolution dynamics that it wants to offset. Furthermore, any attempt to paint the protest movement itself as being purely the result of foreign intelligence meddling risks delegitimizing the population’s genuine economic grievances and absolving the state of any responsibility for the crisis even though the government should have realized that it was extremely poor timing (to put it mildly) to enact the fuel price hike against the backdrop of the recent riots in neighboring Iraq and nearby Lebanon. That’s not to say that the government “deserved” this response, but just that it was entirely predictable given the regional security context. The state has the right to respond to rioters however it sees fit, as does it have the right to implement policy, but both must be done responsibly in order to reduce the odds of blowback and ensure the success of both initiatives. As long as the latest unrest continues to be driven by grassroots forces, however, then Iran’s present security challenges will remain very serious.

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This article was originally published on OneWorld.

Andrew Korybko is an American Moscow-based political analyst specializing in the relationship between the US strategy in Afro-Eurasia, China’s One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity, and Hybrid Warfare. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

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A Itália na coligação “antiterrorismo”

November 19th, 2019 by Manlio Dinucci

O Ministro dos Negócios Estrangeiros, Luigi Di Maio, acolhendo em Roma, os cinco soldados feridos no Iraque, declarou que “o Estado italiano nunca recuará um centímetro diante da ameaça terrorista e reagirá com toda a sua força diante dos que semeiam terror”. Voou, então, para Washington, a fim de participar na reunião de grupo restrito da “Coligação Global contra o Daesh”, do qual fazem parte, sob orientação USA, a Turquia, a Arábia Saudita, o Catar, a Jordânia e outros países que apoiaram o Daesh/ISIS e formações terroristas análogas, fornecendo-lhes armas e treino de combate (conforme documentamos neste jornal).

A Coligação – que inclui a NATO, a União Europeia, a Liga Árabe, a Comunidade dos Estados do Sahel/Sahara e a Interpol, mais 76 Estados individuais – afirma no seu comunicado de 14 de Novembro, “ter libertado o Iraque e o nordeste da Síria” do controlo do Daesh/ISIS», embora seja evidente que as forças da Coligação deixaram, deliberadamente, a mão livre ao Daesh/ISIS.

Esta e outras formações terroristas foram derrotadas apenas, quando a Rússia interveio militarmente em apoio às forças do governo sírio.

A Coligação também reivindica ter “fornecido 20 biliões de dólares em assistência humanitária e para a estabilização do povo iraquiano e sírio, treinado e equipado mais de 220.000 membros das forças de segurança para estabilizar as comunidades locais”. O objectivo desta “assistência” é, na realidade, não a estabilização, mas a contínua desestabilização do Iraque e da Síria, fomentando instrumentalmente, sobretudo, as diversas componentes do independentismo curdo, para desagregar esses Estados nacionais, controlar o seu território e as suas reservas de energia.

Como parte dessa estratégia, a Itália, definida como “um dos maiores contribuintes da Coligação”, está empenhada no Iraque, principalmente, no adestramento das “forças de segurança curdas” (Peshmerga), em particular, no uso de armas anti-tanque, morteiros, artilharia e espingardas de precisão, em cursos especiais para franco-atiradores.

Operam, actualmente, no Iraque, cerca de 1.100 soldados italianos, divididos em diversas ‘task force’/grupos de trabalho, em vários lugares, equipados com mais de 300 veículos terrestres e 12 meios aéreos, com uma despesa, em 2019, de 166 milhões de euro.

A do Iraque está apoiada por uma componente aérea italiana no Kuwait, com 4 caças-bombardeiros Typhoon, 3 drones Predator e um avião-tanque para reabastecimento em voo.

Com toda a probabilidade, as forças especiais italianas, às quais pertencem os cinco feridos, participam em acções de combate, mesmo que a sua tarefa oficial seja só de treino. O emprego de forças especiais é em si, secreto. Agora, torna-se ainda mais secreto porque o seu comando, o COMFOSE, foi transferido do quartel Folgore, em Pisa, para a área vizinha da base de Camp Darby, o maior arsenal USA fora da pátria, onde também são realizadas actividades de treino.

Na Coligação, a Itália também tem a tarefa de co-dirigir o “Grupo financeiro de combate ao “ISIS”, juntamente com a Arábia Saudita e os Estados Unidos, ou seja, aqueles que financiaram e organizaram o armamento das forças do ISIS e de outras formações terroristas (ver a pesquisa do New York Times, em 2013).

Fortalecido com todos estes méritos, o Ministro dos Negócios Estrangeiros, Di Maio, apresentou em Washington a proposta, imediatamente aceite, de que seja a Itália a acolher a reunião plenária da Coligação, em 2020. Assim, a Itália terá a honra de receber oponentes infatigáveis do terrorismo como a Arábia Saudita que, depois de financiar o ISIS, agora gasta os seus petrodólares para financiar a sua guerra terrorista, no Iémen.

Manlio Dinucci

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L’Italia nella Coalizione «antiterrorismo»

November 19th, 2019 by Manlio Dinucci

Il ministro degli Esteri Luigi Di Maio, accogliendo a Roma i cinque militari feriti in Iraq, ha dichiarato che «lo Stato italiano mai indietreggerà di un centimetro di fronte alla minaccia terroristica e reagirà con tutta la sua forza di fronte a chi semina terrore». E’ quindi volato a Washington per partecipare alla riunione del gruppo ristretto della «Coalizione globale contro Daesh» di cui fanno parte, sotto guida Usa, Turchia, Arabia Saudita, Qatar, Giordania e altri paesi che hanno sostenuto Daesh/Isis e analoghe formazioni terroristiche, fornendo loro armi e addestramento (come abbiamo documentato su questo giornale).

La Coalizione – di cui fanno parte Nato, Unione Europea, Lega Araba,  Comunità degli Stati del Sahel/Sahara e Interpol, più 76 singoli Stati  – rivendica nel suo comunicato del 14 novembre di «aver liberato l’Iraq e la Siria nord-orientale dal controllo di Daesh/Isis», mentre è evidente che le forze della Coalizione avevano lasciato volutamente mano libera a Daesh/Isis.

Questa e altre formazioni terroristiche sono state sconfitte solo quando la Russia è intervenuta militarmente a sostegno delle forze governative siriane.

La Coalizione rivendica inoltre di aver «fornito 20 miliardi di dollari di assistenza umanitaria e per la stabilizzazione ai popoli iracheno e siriano, e addestrato ed equipaggiato oltre 220.000 membri delle forze di sicurezza per stabilizzare le comunità locali». Scopo di questa «assistenza» è in realtà non la stabilizzazione ma la continua destabilizzazione  di Iraq e Siria, facendo leva strumentalmente soprattutto sulle diverse componenti dell’indipendentismo curdo, per disgregare questi Stati nazionali, controllare il loro territorio e le loro riserve energetiche.

Nel quadro di tale strategia l’Italia, definita «uno dei massimi contribuenti  della Coalizione», è impegnata in Iraq principalmente nell’addestramento delle «Forze di sicurezza curde» (Peshmerga), in particolare all’uso di armi anti-carro, di mortai e artiglieria, e a quello di fucili di precisione in speciali corsi per cecchini.

Operano attualmente in Iraq circa 1100 militari italiani, divisi in diverse task force in luoghi differenti, dotati di oltre 300 mezzi terrestri e 12 mezzi aerei, con una spesa nel 2019 di 166 milioni di euro.

A quella in Iraq è affiancata una componente aerea italiana in Kuwait, con 4 cacciabombardieri Typhoon, 3 droni Predator  e un aereo-cisterna per il rifornimento in volo.

Con tutta probabilità le forze speciali italiane, cui appartengono i cinque feriti, partecipano ad azioni di combattimento anche se il loro compito ufficiale sarebbe solo quello di addestramento. L’impiego delle forze speciali è di per se stesso segreto. Ora diviene ancora più segreto perché il loro comando, il Comfose, viene trasferito dalla caserma della Folgore a Pisa alla limitrofa area della base di Camp Darby, il più grande arsenale Usa fuori dalla madrepatria, dove si svolgono anche attività di addestramento.

Nella Coalizione l’Italia ha inoltre il compito di co-dirigere il «Gruppo finanziario di contrasto all’Isis» insieme ad Arabia Saudita e Stati uniti, ossia a coloro che hanno finanziato e organizzato l’armamento delle forze dell’Isis e di altre formazioni terroristiche (v. inchiesta del New York Times nel 2013).

Forte di tutti questi meriti, il ministro degli Esteri Di Maio ha avanzato a Washington la proposta, subito accettata, che sia l’Italia ad ospitare la riunione plenaria della Coalizione nel 2020. L’Italia avrà  così l’onore di ospitare strenui oppositori del terrorismo come l’Arabia Saudita che, dopo aver finanziato l’Isis, ora spende i suoi petrodollari per finanziare la sua guerra terroristica nello Yemen.

Manlio Dinucci

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China, USA and the Geopolitics of Lithium

November 19th, 2019 by F. William Engdahl

For several years since the global push to develop mass-scale Electric Vehicles, the element Lithium has come intofocus as a strategic metal. Demand is enormous in China, in the EU and in the USA at present, and securing control over lithium supplies is already developing its own geopolitics not unlike that for the control of oil. 

China Moves to Secure Sources

For China, which has set major targets to become the world’s largest  producer of EVs, developing lithium battery materials is a priority for the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) period. Though China has its own lithium reserves, recovery is limited, and China has gone to secure lithium mining rights abroad.

In Australia Chinese companyTalison Lithium, controlled by Tianqi, mines and owns the world’s largest and highest grade spodumene reserves in Greenbushes, Western Australia near Perth.

Talison Lithium Inc. is the world’s largest primary lithium producer. Their Greenbushes site in Australia produces today some 75% of China’s lithium demands and about forty percent of world demand. This as well as other vital Australian raw materials, has made relations with Australia, traditionally a firm US ally, of strategic importance to Beijing. As well, China has become the largest trade partner for Australia.

However China’s growing economic influence in the Pacific around Australia led Prime Minister Scott Morrison to send a warning message to China not to challenge Australia’s strategic backyard region. In late 2017 Australia, with growing concern over expanding Chinese influence in the region, resumed informal cooperation in what is sometimes called the Quad,with USA, India and Japan, reviving an earlier attempt to check Chinese influence in the South Pacific. Australia has also recently stepped up lending to strategic Pacific island nations to counter China’s lending. All this clearly makes it imperative for China to go global to other sites to secure its lithium in order to become the key player in the emerging EV economy over the coming decade.

As development  of electric vehicles became priority in Chinese economic planning, the search for secure lithium turned to Chile,another major source of the lithium. There,China’s Tianqiis amassing a major share of Chile’s SociedadQuimica Y Minera (SQM), one of the world’s largest lithium producers. If China’s Tianqi succeeds in gaining control of SQM it will change the geopolitics of world lithium control according to mining industry reports.

The global supply of lithium metals, a strategic component of lithium-ion batteries used  to power electric vehicles (EVs) is concentrated in a very few countries.

To give an idea of lithium’s potential demand, the battery for Tesla’s Model S requires 63 kilograms of lithium carbonate, enough to power approximately 10,000 cell phone batteries. In a recent report, the Goldman Sachs bank has called lithium carbonate the new gasoline. Only a 1 per cent increase in electric vehicle production could increase lithium demand by more than 40 per cent of current global production, according to Goldman Sachs. With many governments demanding lower CO2 emission, the global auto industry is expanding plans for EVs massively over the coming decade, which will make lithium potentially as strategic as oil is today.

Saudi Arabia of Lithium?

Bolivia, whose lithium is far more complicated to extract, has alsoin recent years become a target of interest for Beijing. Some geological estimates rank Bolivia’s lithium reserves as the world’s largest.Salar de Uyuni salt flats alone are estimated to contain nine million tons of lithium.

Since 2015 a Chinese mining company, CAMC Engineering Company, has been operating a large plant in Bolivia to produce potassium chloride as fertilizer. What CAMC downplays is the fact that beneath the potassium chloride are the largest known lithium reserves in the world in Salar de Uyuni salt flats, one of 22 such salt flats in Bolivia. China’s Linyi Dake Trade in 2014 constructed a lithium battery pilot plant on the same site.

Then in February 2019 the Morales government signed another lithium deal, this with China’s Xinjiang TBEA Group Co Ltd who will hold a 49 percent stake in a planned joint venture with Bolivia’s state lithium company YLB. That deal is to produce lithium and other materials from the Coipasa and PastosGrandes salt flats and would cost an estimated $2.3 billion.

In terms of lithium, China so far dominates the global new Great Game for control. Chinese entities now control nearly half of global lithium production and 60 percent of the electric battery production capacity. Within a decade, Goldman Sachs predicts China could supply 60 percent of the world’s EVs. In short lithium is a strategic priority for Beijing.

USA China Lithium Rivalry?

The other major actor in the global lithium mining world today is the United States. Albemarle, a Charlotte, North Carolina company with an impressive board of directors, has major lithium mining in Australia and Chile,notably, just as does China. In 2015 Albemarle became a dominant factor in world lithium mining when it bought US company, Rockwood Holdings. Notably, Rockwood Lithium had operations in Chile in the Salar de Atacama, and in the same Greenbushes mine in Australia, where China’sTianqi Industry Group owns 51 percent. That gave Albemarle 49% share of the huge Australian lithium project, in partnership with China.

What is beginning to become clear is that US-China tensions over Chinese economic plans also likely include countering China influence in controlling key strategic lithium reserves. The recent military coup in Bolivia that forced Evo Morales into Mexican exile, from early evidence, had the fingerprints of Washington. The entry of acting interim President Jeanine Áñez, a right-wing Christian,and the right-wing millionaire, Luis Fernando Camacho, signals a nasty turn to the right in the country’s political future, one openly backed by Washington. Crucial among other issues will be whether a future government will annul the lithium mining agreements with Chinese companies.

So too, the cancellation of the November 16 meeting in Chile of APEC, which was to have featured a summit on trade between Trump and Xi Jinping, takes another significance. The meeting was also to have been the venue for major China-Chile trade deals according to the South China Morning Post. Xi’s planned delegation would have included 150 corporate heads and plans to sign major economic agreements, further tightening Chile-China economic ties, something the US has recently warned against.

The eruption of mass protests across Chile opposing government public transit fare increases bears the signs of similar economic triggers in other countries used to ignite Washington Color Revolutions. The protests had the short-term effect of cancelling the APEC summit in Chile. The active role of the US-financed NGOs in the Chile protests has not been confirmed, but the growing economic relations between Chile and China clearly are not seen as positive by Washington. China lithium exploitation in Chile at this point is a little-discussed strategic geopolitical factor that could be target of Washington interventions despite the free market economics of the present government.

At this juncture what is clear is that there is a global battle on for domination of the EV battery market of the future and control of lithium is at the heart of it.

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F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook” where this article was originally published. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

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This skilfully researched book focuses on how a small socio-political American elite seeks to establish control over the very basis of human survival: the provision of our daily bread. “Control the food and you control the people.”

This is no ordinary book about the perils of GMO. Engdahl takes the reader inside the corridors of power, into the backrooms of the science labs, behind closed doors in the corporate boardrooms.

The author cogently reveals a diabolical world of profit-driven political intrigue, government corruption and coercion, where genetic manipulation and the patenting of life forms are used to gain worldwide control over food production. If the book often reads as a crime story, that should come as no surprise. For that is what it is.

Europe’s Economy Today & Tomorrow

November 19th, 2019 by Dr. Jack Rasmus

Introduction

The Wall St. Journal page one article of November 18, 2019 broadcast: “Europe’s New Jobs Stoke Discontent”.

It asked: ‘why are workers so angry’, when millions more jobs have been created since Europe’s last recessions (2008-09 and 2011-13), when millions more job openings remain, and when minimum wages have been raised in most countries’?

The article then goes on to try to answer some of these questions. It suggested one problem is that the vast majority of new jobs created in Europe have been contingent (i.e. temp, part time, independent contractor, etc.). That has meant, in turn, lower aggregate pay and a lack of insurance, disability, pension (deferred wage) benefits. It also has meant less job security and longer total hours worked and more costs to workers trying to cobble together multiple part time jobs. Europe has developed a two tier labor force, of those that ‘have somewhat’ and those who ‘definitely have not’.

These 2nd tier conditions afflict mostly younger, under 35 years old workers. Apart from the substandard wages and benefits, the contingent work has left them with a sense of hopelessness that they’ll ever be able to get out of the ‘2nd tier worker’ hole, a kind of 21st century indentureship, that they know prevents them from living a normal life, having a family, obtaining reasonable housing, and so on.

The condition is not picked up by mainstream media referring to economy-wide gains in ‘average wages’, which mostly apply to regular, 1st tier workers. Job creation numbers also do not distinguish between the two tiers and the low quality (contingent, precarious) jobs that account for the vast majority of jobs created in recent years in Europe (as well as in the USA and Japan). Nor are contingent jobs reflected in the large number of unfilled job openings, which are for the highly skilled, technical workers that capitalism needs in greater numbers today but which the educational systems have failed to produce. In short, the data that mainstream media articles like the Wall St. Journal keep referencing as indications of a strong labor force and good job gains are irrelevant to the growing problem of temp and part time jobs that official government data either ignore or don’t accurately reflect.

Furthermore, the official mainstream press and media don’t connect the mass protests and demonstrations breaking out worldwide to the growing problem of contingent employment and its discontent. Beneath the apparent causes of the growing mass demonstrations and protests lies the mass discontent and growing hopeless of young people over their deteriorating work and living conditions.

Look beneath what’s happening with Yellow Vests in France, Hong Kong demonstrations, mass demonstrations across the South American continent, in North Africa and the Middle East, and what you will find is young workers growing desperate over their working conditions, over income inequality, the lack of jobs that provide a basic living, and their sense of hopelessness of change any time soon. In other words, discontent over their fate in emerging 21st century capitalism.

But the worse is still yet to come. Contingent, or so-called precarious, work and its condemning of workers to a ‘new indentureship’—a kind of 21st century capitalist serfdom—is now being intensified by new capitalist business models and technological change.

The new models are creating even more precarious work. They are what I call the ‘Amazon Effect’ and the ‘Uber Effect’. But these new business models are not the worst of it. Overlaid on contingency, precarious work, and the intensification by these new business models is the even greater negative impact now just emerging due to Artificial Intelligence. AI promises to exacerbate the problems of low pay, long hours, job insecurity and general hopelessness caused by precarious work, and the revolutions in capitalist business models from Amazon and Uber that are making that precarious employment even worse.

Europe’s economy has been even more devastated than America’s by the recent contingent-precarious job trends of capitalism. And AI will prove even more destructive when it comes.

This past spring 2019, this writer was interviewed for a book of interviews to be published soon in Poland. The following excerpt from the interview addresses the destruction of labor markets, jobs, incomes and lives of workers, going on in recent decades and coming in Europe in the decade ahead. Already reeling under the effects of precarious work and new business models, Europe’s workers are about to be further impacted by Artificial Intelligence. AI will come later in Europe than in the US and Asia. Its introduction will therefore be more intense and its effects therefore even more disruptive.

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Interviewer: I was talking with Aleksandr Dugin, he is one of the top ideologists for Kremlin right now and he told me something quite interesting. He said that, the problem in Europe is not so economical problem, there is a deeper problem. He said that firstly, the whole population of Europe will be replaced by people from Africa and Middle East, and all these people will be replaced by robots, the whole labor will be replaced by automation, what do you think about that.

Dr. Jack Rasmus: Yes, well I don’t agree that you’re going to have a mass immigration into Europe. Europe is already closing off its’ borders in various ways from the immigration from North Africa and the Middle East. The problems in North Africa are part of the problems of global lack of real global economic recovery and the greater ease of transportation and communication of recent decades, so these folks are coming to Europe but that’s a symptom of the bigger problem. Not the problem itself.

The second part of your point is much more fundamental and structural, and that is what we are seeing now is changes in the labor markets and product markets globally and capitalist economies changing at a very rapid rate. What that means is that in order for capitalists to compete with each other globally and individually they have got to cut costs even more rapidly and the new technologies and business models are enabling it to do just that. Artificial intelligence is the next wave of massive change in the labour markets.

We’ve already seen the change in Europe where we’ve already had a shift to contingent employment, part time and temp jobs, in recent decades. Over the last ten years, most of the jobs created in Europe have been these second tier kind of jobs, part time, temp contingent jobs. Low paid, service jobs with no rights, less benefits than first tier. That labor market change is behind a lot of the yellow vests and protest in Europe. It’s economic, it’s jobs, hopeless jobs and hopeless futures and the elite’s ignoring that as it erupts. That’s already a big problem in Europe, where even in Germany 60% to 70% of the jobs created, according to data I’ve seen, have been these second-tier jobs and these second-tier workers are rebelling now.

Their unions are tied into the state apparatus, pretty much, so workers just expressing this individually, spontaneously. So that problem of widespread 2nd tier employment already exists in Europe, but now we’re going to have overlaid on it this new wave of technology, driven by A.I. that will make it much worse. And what is Artificial Intelligence? It’s simply eliminating decision making, simple decision making in the economy. More sophisticated decision making, more complex will still be there. In fact you’ll see an increase in jobs in data science and statistical analysis and so forth but these are high level and highly skilled jobs and not everyone can do them. And the education system has not been preparing people to do those jobs. So we’re going to see the jobs that were simple decisions jobs, a lot of these second tier contingent jobs, are even going to disappear.

A McKinsey report in the United States, McKinsey Consultants, recently came out this year and said in the U.S alone AI will mean 30% of the occupations will either be eliminated or significantly reduced in terms of hours worked. 30% of occupations, that’s roughly of one third of 165 million jobs in the US, are going to be either eliminated or reduced in hours and therefore pay. The same thing’s going to happen in Europe. This is artificial intelligence, which is simply large databases, massive computing power and statistical analysis to develop machine learning so that the machinery, the automation, makes the decisions and you don’t need simple people making simple decisions. Well that’s going to have a massive impact by the middle of the next decade to the economies. It’s going to allow business that make this shift—those who don’t will go under—to be more profitable and to survive the new capitalist competition that will continue to intensify. But it’s going to wipe out a lot of businesses and a lot of jobs in the process. Now all that AI effect is coming on top of the crisis of slow economic growth since 2009 that already exists as well as the economic recession that’s just around the corner. How will they deal with that, how will the elites of these countries in Europe, and the U.S and Japan, deal with this convergence of AI, slow growth, and recession is going to be interesting because we are going to have far more people unemployed and under-employed and we’re going to be in a situation of very low growth in general with segments, pockets, of explosive economic growth by those companies and industries that are able to exploit these changes in technology. It will be a very ‘dual track’ world economy, with the gap between haves and have nots growing even more than today.

I: I’m still wondering what will happen with this working class in Europe, and basically everywhere, who cannot compete with Artificial intelligence. Young people are going to study something, but they know they cannot compete in one decade or two decades, they won’t be able to get any job in the market because the Artificial Intelligence can just replace you. So, I was talking with people who are involved deeply with artificial intelligence, they are building artificial intelligence at MIT or wherever and they just told me “OK, maybe the government will send you some money every month and that will fix the problem” but this from my perspective sounds like bullshit to be honest.

DJR: Well you know, there will be more chronic unemployment and especially underemployment. We will have a larger based of unemployed in relationship to the employed. There will be many more underemployed than we have now, that’s going to get even worse. The question is how that affects the consumption potential of the system when we don’t have job growth. We already see a chronic slow economic growth since 2010. It will mean there will be more debt-financed consumption. They will allow more people to survive more on borrowing, more on credit. Which is just a way of taking away your future wages, but they’ll rely on debt much more. More underemployed, more unemployed, and more credit and household debt. Some people are talking that a universal basic income will have to occur.

I think that might be a partial solution in theory but it will never fly politically, at least not in the USA. The political forces will never agree to UBI, universal basic income, as long as they have control of the political system to the extent they do. So I don’t see that actually happening over the next decade. Not in the USA. I think the recession is coming soon and it will accelerate AI. You know the McKinsey study predicted that by 2025 you’re going to have maybe thirty to fifty percent of all the companies implementing some form of AI. And again, A.I.is just a new business model to reduce cost even more. That’s what it’s all about. AI is very much like Amazon and it’s very much like the sharing economy. See this is the new product revolution in capitalism.

Capitalism is evolving and changing more rapidly than ever before. It’s always been a dynamic system. But It’s accelerating in its rate of change and we see this is in the labor markets and we see this in the product markets and these new business models now emerging. And we see it in changes in fiscal and monetary policy and we’re seeing it in trade policy. What is Trump’s trade offensive all about? Well it’s about positioning the U.S capitalist class, and U.S business elite, to maintain hegemony over the global economy as all these changes occur over the next decade. They are restructuring particularly the relationship with China, the biggest US competitor, so the U.S business elite can remain dominant and the dollar, the global trading currency, can remain dominant. They are preparing for this and that’s how I see all this Trump trade war.

Trade is a response to capitalist restructuring underway. Changes in trade relations have to occur after we have had all these structural changes in the finance markets, product markets and the labor markets. Capitalism is changing.

Capitalist change means that if you’re not a capitalist, you’re going to make even less, they’re going to squeeze you with these new business models, you the worker, and they’re going to squeeze their capitalist competitors to whatever extent they can with these new business models. If you look at France, what are all the changes Macron is trying to do? Well he wants to change the product market, he wants France to become more like the U.S in terms of Uber, Amazon and A.I. and that’s true for all of Europe.

They are all trying to do this. Germany is still based on the old business model largely, i.e. to make things, but it knows it’s going to have to change more rapidly in the future. Europe knows this, they know they’ve got to make these changes and they know they are behind the global curve.

They’re playing catch up to the USA and China. The changes are coming rapidly in China and in the U.S. Britain wants to attach itself more to the U.S, that’s partly why you have this Brexit thing. It knows what the future is going to be, France knows, but they can’t make the change fast enough you see because they don’t have the banking system, the financial system, to pull off the financial restructuring. They don’t have the higher education system to prepare the labor markets for AI and the new models, and to be able to do this on the massive scale necessary, that’s already occurring in the U.S and China.

So Europe is the weak link, as I said, because it’s not been able to make this capitalist evolution fast enough in product markets, and its attempts to radically change labour markets in favor of capitalists is producing blowback and discontent and creating working class eruptions both in the streets, like in France, and at the ballot box, like in Brexit in England and other places, in Italy.

I: Well it sounds like some dystopian movie from the future, so what do you think is inclusive capitalism is some kind of solution for this? For example, like Lynn Forester de Rothschild she’s proposing inclusive capitalism as a solution for economy right now, so what do you think about that, is it a real solution or some kind of hoax?

DJR: Well I think that’s an ideological phrase, we’re all inclusive in capitalism, we’re all a part of capitalism. If she thinks that the solution is to make everyone a capitalist, that’s nonsense. That kind of ideology has always been around in one form or another, in other words. It’s a way of deflecting the problem of capitalism itself by saying we’re going to reform capitalism and you can all be capitalists. In other words you’re all going to make more money. It’s an ideological response to a crisis of the system itself in my view. You know, it’s a phrase, sounds nice: inclusive. You don’t have to be a worker and worry about whether you’ve got a job or you can feed your family, you can be a capitalist too. How that actually works, I don’t know. It’s more a way of deflecting discontent than any realistic solution.

I: What do you think is the real solution here, because people are proposing the sharing of the economy which is new.

DJR: Yeah, the sharing economy, or the gig-economy, whatever you want to call it, this is one of the new business models at the leading edge of capitalism. Whether or you talk about Uber or Airbnb or all the other “sharing”. What is the essence of the sharing economy? Well it’s a way of capitalist businesses to figure out how to pass their cost of production off to the work themselves. Let’s take Uber. It’s model makes them more profitable than other businesses models. With the changes of technology, we’re getting new business models. Uber is an example of a new business model of the gig-economy. Amazon is an example of a new kind of business model as well.

Artificial intelligence, and the businesses and industries they will spin off, are the ‘next generation’ of the shift to new capitalist business models. The old industrial business model where you make things, make goods, where you have a chain of suppliers and you hire workers to make the things… that is dying. It is not dead by any means, but the leading edge of capitalist evolution are the new business models. Take the Uber business model. Think about it right, Uber has software and Uber has control of the customer, but instead of Uber building a physical infrastructure or investing in physical capital, i.e. the transport equipment, it gets their worker to use his physical capital, his car and to use his working capital meaning paying for insurance and gasoline and so forth. So they are making the worker bear the cost of the physical and working capital, which reduces the money wage Uber pays the worker. It’s a form of intensifying exploitation. Uber sits back, and it controls the cost, it has no cost of goods. It’s a service that doesn’t have to produce anything physical. It doesn’t have to pay the worker a higher union wage, in fact the laws prevent the workers from organising as workers because they’re supposedly small businesses themselves you see. It’s a new form of more intense exploitation of the working class, that result in greater profits for Uber. Why do you think Uber is able to raise billions of dollars? Because investors know the business model is so profitable. And this is what all the sharing economy is about, whether it’s Airbnb or whatever. In Airbnb, you get the homeowner to use his own physical capital, his home, as the hotel. The sharing economy company has the software that identifies the customers and puts the customer in connection with the ‘worker’, whether he is the car-driver or the homeowner, and reaps super profits off the top. You see it’s a much more efficient, much more profitable business model and that’s why it’s booming.

We’re going to see the same thing happen with Amazon where you’ve got a new business model as well. Where you don’t have brick and mortar and no worries of the cost of facilities and so forth. You just have transport and moving goods around, that’s another new business model that’s already wiping out other big box retail stores and small retailers everywhere in the cities it does business. It will soon destroy millions of trucking jobs as well and automate out its warehouse jobs. That’s a new business model. Then we’re going to see newer business models with AI, because it’s all software manipulation and eliminating the cost of production, the cost of goods, and putting that cost on the backs of workers, who are hired as small businesspeople. That’s the AI model.

I: Exactly, so it is in other terms the person who is involved in that kind of sharing economy is in some way a capitalist.

DJR: Yeah, In other words you make the worker assume the worst part of being a capitalist, in other words, the costs. You don’t let the worker, who becomes a kind of blended worker, part worker/part small businessperson, share in the profits. It’s the company sitting on top of it all, the Uber, the Airbnb, whatever that skims off the lion’s share of the profits, and you don’t even allow the new worker businessperson to organize collectively amongst themselves to negotiate a share of the super profits for themselves. You use the laws to prevent that. Maybe that’s what this other person meant by inclusive capitalism. The worker becomes a businessperson in the view of the law, and his exploitation is intensified in the process. You know it’s simply a justification for the intense exploitation these new business models represent.

I: So what is the solution here for this sharing economy, to be shareholder of Airbnb or other platform or whatever it is, I’m not just a worker who is involved with Airbnb, I am a shareholder of this stock of this company, maybe this is the solution if you know what I mean?

DJR: Yeah, well I know what you mean but individual share holding of stock of a company doesn’t give you any control over their business practices and strategies and policies of that company. It just means you’ve given some of your money to someone else to invest somewhere. You need to have sufficient control of the stock, 5 or 10 percent to affect the business policies of the company. So just owning stock, if you’re a small stockholder, doesn’t provide any control, it’s control that we should be talking about not ownership of a piece of paper and a formal, infinitesimal share of a company.

What needs to happen is that the laws need to change so that the worker-employee/small businessperson, whatever this new blend of worker is in the labour market, can organize collectively to get a collective voice to defend themselves. That hasn’t happened yet, and you’re not going to stop this new business model of capitalism, but the question is how vulnerable do you leave those whose are being exploited by it. I really think they need to unionize in a new form of union. Not the old form of union based on the old company structures, but some kind of new form. But the capitalist states are making sure that they block that by legal means. And as far as the rest of society is concerned, what we got in the 21st century here is the state, and the government, engaging increasingly in subsidizing business and capital incomes. Both with monetary and fiscal policy. With monetary policy they’ve bailed out the banks and investors, then they’ve given them free money for ten years now. Everywhere in the advanced economies, and especially in Japan, and to some extent in Europe, they’re propping up bond and stock markets by central banks buying private securities. That increases the demand for bonds and stocks that keeps up the price of both that protects the wealth of investors.

Financial assets like stocks and bonds keep rising, but it’s all artificial. They’re being subsiding more and more by the state. Fiscal policy in the form of tax cuts for corporations, investors, and the rich more and more. In the U.S in 2018 they’ve passed four trillion dollars in tax cuts for businesses and investors. So the state, fiscal and monetary policy and other forms of policy, like trade policy, are being employed by states to subsidize capital incomes like never before. we now see a trade war with Trump who is trying to restructure the global trading system for that purpose. The state is increasing propping up the capitalist economy and capital incomes.

Before, state policies would share with labor, and small businesses, but now you’ve got capital, big capital, particularly finance capital which has absorbed more and more political control, and thus we see fiscal monetary policies more and more reflecting the interest of corporations, professional investors, and the wealthy at the expense of the rest, until you get an eruption like the yellow vests in France. There the government had to back off a little, Macron backed off a little, threw a few crumbs to pacify it. Teresa May backs off a little bit, reduces austerity just a little, and throws a few crumbs, to the working classes of Britain. These responses are temporary responses, however, to relieve the pressure while the main policies continue to subsidize with monetary and fiscal measures, i.e. subsidize the business class. How long can that go on, well history will tell.

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Dr. Rasmus is author of the just published book, ‘The Scourge of Neoliberalism: US Economic Policy from Reagan to Trump‘, Clarity Press, October 2019, available for purchase at discount from this blog. Click on the book icon.

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The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ (MFAT) tweet on 12 November condemning rocket fire from Gaza while failing to condemn the Israeli extrajudicial assassinations and civilian killings that generated Islamic Jihad’s rocket-fire in defensive response, reveals the hypocrisy at the heart of New Zealand’s so-called “even-handed” foreign policy and practice towards Palestine.

The message of the MFAT tweet is clear – Palestinian lives do not matter to the current New Zealand government. The Gazan lives lost in the past week are somehow considered less worthy of protection or comment than the Muslim lives lost the in Christchurch mosque attacks which were so rightly mourned, and condemned throughout the country, and the world.

Our Prime Minister garnered much positive PR mileage nationally and internationally for her principled response to that terrorist attack by an individual – but the MFAT tweet suggests that state terrorism is a different kettle of fish.

It wasn’t always so.

Given the threat that atmospheric nuclear testing in the Pacific posed to Pacific citizens’ health and rights, NZ’s third labour government led by Norman Kirk bravely took on the French government not only in the International Court of Justice, but also by sending a NZ navy frigate into the nuclear testing zone with a Cabinet Minister on board in 1973. (France ceased atmospheric testing the following year.)

Such warrior-like behaviour was not without fallout – the French government blew up Greenpeace anti-nuclear protest ship The Rainbow Warrior in Auckland harbour twelve years later. This time it was the fourth NZ Labour government that stood strong, exerted our right to an independent foreign policy even against some of our closest allies, and again held France to account. (Two French agents served time, however comfortably, and our exports to Europe were protected.)

Twenty years later it was Israeli muscle most publicly and notably felt in NZ when, in 2004, two Mossad agents, Uriel Kelman and Eli Cara, were caught attempting to fraudulently obtain New Zealand passports.

These more recent gross violations of both New Zealand sovereignty and international law were met with both anger and diplomatic sanctions by Prime Minister Helen Clark and the fifth NZ Labour government, as well as earning six-month jail sentences from the courts for the two captured agents – and another soon-to-be-broken Israeli promise to cease the faking and misuse of foreign passports for its terrorist activities (following as it did a previous promise after the 1997 incident in which Mossad agents used fake Canadian passports in an assassination attempt in Jordan on Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, resulting in the Israeli ambassador being ordered out of Canada. Similarly, the promise to NZ to desist was soon broken in 2010, with the assassination in Dubai of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh by Mossad agents using fake British, Irish, French, German and Australian passports… Israeli misuse-of-passport promises are seemingly as reliable as their word on ceasefire agreements…)

This week, even more blatant Israeli violations of international law and the right to life have taken place in Gaza. But instead of the condemnations we became accustomed to from NZ governments when the aforementioned serious breaches of human rights and international law occurred, this week’s response more resembles that of a cowed Israelophile, than that of a country upholding the rule of law without fear or favour.

It reflects the type of intimidation that almost every New Zealand broadcasting or media outlet informally reports having been subjected to by the Zionist lobby, in the form of endless vexatious, frivolous or trivial complaints designed to deter coverage of any and every Palestinian issue, an intimidation also familiar to potential political candidates, politicians, academics, activists and ordinary citizens everywhere when supporting Palestinian self-determination, or criticising Israeli government policy or practice.

It accepts and ignores the brutality experienced daily by Palestinians going about their lives in the West Bank and Jerusalem, the brutality confronting each Gazan daring to protest along the fence, to resist, or to exercise their legitimate right to self-defence.

Every Gazan home right now has children cowering in fear, along with their families, unsure where the next bomb will fall and who it will take with it. There are no shelters in Gaza; NOWHERE is safe.

It is now up to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Adern to step up to that tweet, and demonstrate the sort of leadership we rightly expect – to show us that donning the hijab after the Christchurch mosque attacks was not just the type of senseless and theatrical gimmick the NZ government’s 1973 frigate protest was accused of being.

Gazans are people.

Most, if not all, of those killed in Gaza this week were Muslims. Over 30% were women and children.

Come on, Jacinda Adern – show that their lives matter, too.

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Julie Webb-Pullman is a journalist and war crimes investigator based in Gaza. She has lived and worked in Latin America the Middle East, and Australasia publishing in Prensa Latina, Dissident Voice, MEMO, Palestine Chronicle, AlRay, SCOOP, and Green Left Weekly among others.

Featured image is from The Straits Times

Bolivia Proves that Latin America Cannot Exit the American Empire

November 19th, 2019 by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

UPDATE: Racist statements come out of the mouth of Bolivia’s self-declared president

Jeanine Anez, one of the Bolivian Spanish elite, has declared herself the President of Bolivia. She is one of the elite allied with Washington who accused Evo Morales of rigging his reelection. But the CIA’s Bolivian lackeys who forced Morales to resign his presidency don’t bother with elections. They just declare themselves president like Juan Guaido, the CIA creep in Venezuela, who hoped to unseat Maduro, the elected president, by declaring himself president. Neither Anez nor Guaido ran for the office. They just self-appointed themselves president. The organization of American States, a CIA front organization, accepted the unelected presidents as rightful rulers. President Trump declared the CIA coup to be an increase in freedom and democracy.

As Trump approves of the attempted coup against Venezuela’s Maduro and the successful coup against Bolivia’s Morales, how can he complain about the CIA/DNC ongoing coup against him? Live by the sword and die by the sword.

The whores that constitute the Western “media” pretend that self-declared “presidents” are the real presidents, and those elected by the people are not. Every Latin American election that does not elect Washington’s candidate is reported by the Western presstitutes as a “disputed election.” It doesn’t matter if the winning candidate gets 85% of the votes. As he is the wrong candidate from Washington’s standpoint, his election is disputed and illegitimate.

Washington paid the corrupt Bolivian military to unseat Morales, the elected president. This has always been the way Washington has ruled the entirety of Latin America. Buy the corrupt military. They will prostitute their wives for money.

In Latin America everyone is accustomed to being bought. Only Cuba and Venezuela and perhaps Nicaguara have avoided this subservience to Washington. With the pressures on them mounting, how long these three progressive regimes can hold out against Washington remains to be seen. I wouldn’t bet my life on their survival as independent countries. Even Russia and China are threatened by regime change, and both governments seem to be in self-denial about it.

It is a mystery why any Latin American country or any country that hopes to be independent would permit any US presence in the country. US presence in a Latin American country or any country precludes any independence on the part of the country’s government. I suppose it is the money. Latin Americans would rather have Washington’s money than their independence.

In order to have an American presence in Russia, the Russian government accepts all sorts of humiliations. China is the same. Look at what Washington has done to China in Hong Kong. It is extraordinary that the Chinese government was so insouciant that China set itself up for this embarrassment.

Russia’s sizeable investments in Bolivia will now be lost. With the Spanish elite put back in control by the CIA, Russia’s investments will be appropriated by US firms. One wonders why Russia didn’t do more to protect Morales, the legitimate President. If Putin had sent Morales a regiment of Russian troops, the Bolivian military would have stood down, and democracy, instead of American Imperialism, would still exist in Bolivia.

What has happened everywhere in the world is that nothing is any longer important but money. Therefore, everything is sacrificed for money. There is no shame, no honor, no integrity, no truth, no justice.

Maybe the biblical prophesies are true, and Armageddon is our future. Who can say we don’t deserve it.

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Dr. Paul Craig Roberts writes on his blog, Paul Craig Roberts Institute for Political Economy, where this article was originally published. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image: Deputy Senate speaker Jeanine Anez speaks from the balcony of the government Quemado Palace in La Paz after proclaiming herself the country’s interim president (Source: AFP / Aizar RALDES)

NATO terrorism was unleashed throughout Syria, on 16 November, beginning with the bombing in Al-Bab that martyred 15. While transatlantic Mockingbird teams oiled their spectator egos, watching the Schitt Show impeachment hearings, their adored ‘freedom fighters’ were busy slaughtering more Syrians.

Fifteen Syrian civilians were murdered, and an undisclosed number were injured, on Saturday, when savage cowards remotely detonated a vehicle in Al-Bab City, in Aleppo countryside. There was huge damage to people’s homes, businesses, and other properties from this heinous atrocity.

bombing in Al-Bab city northern Aleppo countryside - Turkey - Kurds

Al Bab City, Aleppo governate, 16 November

Take a look at the aftermath, and imagine your children bearing witness to some 45 liters of blood and various body parts in your streets:

NATO terrorists were not as successful in sating their blood lust in al Ra’e village, northeastern Aleppo countryside, as they were in Al-Bab, though. The remote detonation of a vehicle left near the al Waqef roundabout merely injured one person.

Also on Saturday, al Qaeda gangs in Idlib — beloved by the criminal clique running the UN — fired multiple rocket bombs on the towns of al Jid and al Rasif in Hama northwest countryside. There was material damage to homes, farmlands — what ‘freedom fighter’ does not wish to destroy essential farms? — with no reports of casualties.

Again on 16 November, lineman Bassam Abu al Hawa was injured in a landmine explosion between al-Sheik Maskin and Ibta’a towns in northern Daraa countryside. Landmines are the gifts left behind by NATO terrorists fleeing the Syrian Arab Army; they continue to be a brutal problem, despite sporadic mouth noises from the UN. Injured by flying shrapnel while working on “the rehabilitation of [a] low voltage power line in the area” (courtesy of other terrorist destruction of infrastructure), Mr. al Hawa was admitted to Daraa National Hospital (a real hospital, not a cave for al Qaeda weapons). We refer our readers to Syria News report on The Syria Electricity Army, whose soldiers fight to re-electrify their country, despite illicit sanctions, death, dismemberment, and other injuries, courtesy of NATO terrorists & US taxpayers.

syria

Syrian linemen re-electrify 30 towns in Quneitra.

NATO weapons do not fall, like manna from the heavens, into al Qaeda killer arms, in Syria. They are delivered illicitly, through criminal corridors which breach Syria’s borders, from Turkey, from Iraq, from the Israeli occupied Syrian Golan.

Tens of millions of US taxpayer dollars have been spent to arm al Qaeda in Syria. These monies are spent on carnage and infrastructure destruction, while American cities suffer explosions of homelessness and mass occurrences of contagious diseases such as cholera, Hepatitis A, typhus, Group A Strep, and antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis — while hospital universities such as Philly’s Hahnemann are closed.

n 16 November, the Trump regime occupation forces again illegally entered Syria, to deliver yet another convoy of trucks, and military equipment into Qamishli. These criminal deliveries have been ongoing since early August. This one illegally arrived from Iraq and included cement blocks for fortifications of foreign, illegal military bases in the Syrian Arab Republic.

qamishli

Trump illegals deliver military supplies & trucks to its terrorist SDF militia in Qamishli, 6 August.

This war criminal shipment involves the use of the tattered remnants of the US created SDF separatist/ traitorous/ cannon fodder not amenable to reconciliation with its country, instead preferring betrayal and submission to betrayers.

It is unlikely armchair specialists enjoying the Schitt show will pull themselves away to become cognizant of the massive carnage in Al-Bab, and of other war crimes by NATO terrorists in Syria on 16 November.

Shameless.

UPDATE: New reports claim the person who carried out the cowardly remote detonation bombing in Al-Bab is an alleged former member of the Hamzat terror gang, loyal to that other unindicted NATO war criminal, Erdogan. The reports further claim that he was ‘captured’ by his brethren of the Orwellian-named “National Army” wetworkers militia which operates under Turkish ”intelligence” occupation troops, that the mass-murderer was handed over to them with the call to Erdogan’s criminals to execute him.

They have refused.

Perhaps they will give him an award, instead.

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All images in this article are from Syria News unless otherwise stated

It can also be revealed that Lady Arbuthnot has received gifts and hospitality in relation to her husband, including from a military and cybersecurity company exposed by WikiLeaks. These activities indicate that the chief magistrate’s activities cannot be considered as entirely separate from her husband’s.

Lord Arbuthnot of Edrom, a former defence minister, is a paid chair of the advisory board of military corporation Thales Group, and was until earlier this year an adviser to arms company Babcock International. Both companies have major contracts with the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD).

The revelations highlight concerns about conflicts of interest. Lady Arbuthnot began presiding over Assange’s legal case in 2017 and ruled this June that a full hearing would begin next February to consider the request for extradition from the UK made by the Trump administration.

British judges are required to declare any potential conflicts of interests to the courts, but it is our understanding that Lady Arbuthnot has not done so.

Lady Arbuthnot has recently appointed a district judge to rule on Assange’s extradition case, but remains the supervising legal figure in the process. According to the UK courts service, the chief magistrate is “responsible for… supporting and guiding district judge colleagues”.

Assange is currently being held in Belmarsh maximum security prison in London in conditions described by UN special rapporteur on torture, Nils Meltzer, as “psychological torture”. If transferred to the US, Assange faces life in prison on espionage charges.

Lady Arbuthnot financially benefited from organisations exposed by WikiLeaks

At a time when Lady Arbuthnot was in her former position as a district judge in Westminster, she personally benefited from funding together with her husband from two sources which were exposed by WikiLeaks in its document releases.

The British parliament’s register of interests shows that in October 2014, Lady Arbuthnot was provided with tickets worth £1,250 to the Chelsea Flower Show in London along with her husband. The tickets were provided by Bechtel Management Company Ltd, part of the major US military corporation, Bechtel, whose contracts with the UK’s Ministry of Defence include a project worth up to £215m to transform its Defence Equipment & Support Organisation, the body that buys and supports all the equipment used by the British armed forces.

Another of Bechtel’s business lines is “industrial cybersecurity”, a term which is often a euphemism for cyber warfare and surveillance technology.

WikiLeaks’ releases on Bechtel have shown the company’s close connections to US foreign policy. Cables published in 2011, for example, show that the US ambassador to Egypt, Margaret Scobey, pressured the Ministry of Electricity and Power to award a tender for technical consultancy and design of Egypt’s first nuclear plant to Bechtel.

In another personal benefit declared to parliament, Lady Arbuthnot, again together with her husband, had flights and expenses worth £2,426 paid for a visit to Istanbul in November 2014. This was “to promote and further bilateral relations between Britain and Turkey at a high level”, according to Lord Arbuthnot’s declaration to the register of interests.

These expenses were paid by the British-Turkish Tatlidil, a forum established in 2011 during the visit to London of Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and announced with then prime minister David Cameron. Tatlidil describes its objectives as “facilitating and strengthen [sic] relations between the Republic of Turkey and the United Kingdom at the level of government, diplomacy, business, academia and media”.

Its main role is to hold an annual two-day conference which is attended by the president of Turkey, and Turkish and British ministers. Lord Arbuthnot also attended the Tatlidil in Wokingham, a town just outside London, in May 2018.

As subjects of unwanted leaks, both Bechtel and Tatlidil have reason to oppose the work of Assange and WikiLeaks. Although the payments were entered into the parliamentary register of interests, the parties in the court case were not informed about them. Although Assange’s trial has attracted significant criticism around the world, Lady Arbuthnot did not consider it necessary to mention these payments to the parties, public and media.

The Turkey connection

In a key legal judgment in February 2018, Lady Arbuthnot rejected the argument of Assange’s lawyers that the then warrant for his arrest should be quashed and instead delivered a remarkable ruling.

She rejected the findings of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention—a body composed of international legal experts—that Assange was being “arbitrarily detained”, characterised Assange’s stay in the embassy as “voluntary” and concluded Assange’s health and mental state was of minor importance.

Lady Arbuthnot became involved in the Assange legal case around September 2017 and presided over the hearing on 7 February 2018, before delivering her judgment a week later. During some of this period — 29 January to 1 February — her husband was again in Turkey visiting Erdoğan and other senior Turkish government officials.

Some of these officials had been specifically exposed by WikiLeaks and had reason to oppose Assange’s release. There is no suggestion that Lord Arbuthnot was asked to, or did, exert any pressure on Lady Arbuthnot, nor that she succumbed to any such pressure, but there is an appearance of bias which could have been avoided had this connection been revealed and had Lord Arbuthnot avoided meeting those individuals at that time.

Arbuthnot was part of a four-member delegation, the others being Baroness Neville-Jones, a former chair of the British joint intelligence committee, which co-ordinates GCHQ, MI5 and MI6; Lord Polak, the president of Conservative Friends of Israel; and Lord Trimble.

Among those who Arbuthnot and the other Lords met on the trip were foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and energy minister Berat Albayrak, Erdoğan’s son-in-law. In 2016, WikiLeaks had published 57,934 of Albayrak’s personal emails, of which more than 300 mentioned Çavuşoğlu, in its “Berat’s Box” release.

Thus at the same time Lady Arbuthnot was presiding over Assange’s legal case, her husband was holding talks with senior officials in Turkey exposed by WikiLeaks, some of whom have an interest in punishing Assange and the WikiLeaks organisation.

The ramifications of Assange’s exposure of Berat Albayrak and the ruling AKP Party, which had occurred just over a year before, were ongoing at the time of the Lords’ meetings in Turkey. WikiLeaks’ publications led to a crackdown on the media in Turkey reporting it, including the imprisonment of journalists and an all-out ban on access to WikiLeaks in the country.

The visit of Lord Arbuthnot and other British lords to Turkey was paid for by the Bosphorus Centre for Global Affairs which describes itself as an NGO monitoring the accuracy of news on Turkey. However, WikiLeaks’ “Berat’s Box” files revealed that the centre was financed by Berat Albayrak and acted as a government front to suppress reporting critical of the government. The centre has also been exposed as running a number of pro-government troll accounts.

It is not known what was discussed on Lord Arbuthnot’s trip to Turkey, or if the issue of Assange was raised. However, the contacts that the husband of Assange’s judge had with powerful political figures who had recently been exposed by WikiLeaks raises concerns about conflicts of interest and whether these should have been declared by Lady Arbuthnot if they have not been.

Lord Arbuthnot’s military and intelligence connections

Lord Arbuthnot is a member of the House of Lords and was the defence procurement minister in the Conservative government from 1995-97. He later served as chief whip during William Hague’s leadership of the party. Arbuthnot was a strong supporter of David Cameron’s war in Libya in 2011 and it was Cameron who proposed the then James Arbuthnot MP for a peerage in 2015.

Lord Arbuthnot also has connections to former officials in the UK intelligence services which WikiLeaks has exposed in its publications and which have conducted intelligence operations in the UK against WikiLeaks.

Until December 2017, Lord Arbuthnot was one of three directors of a private security firm, SC Strategy, along with the former director of MI6, Sir John Scarlett, and Lord Carlile. Until June 2019, Arbuthnot remained a “senior consultant” to SC Strategy. Scarlett is mentioned in WikiLeaks releases and has largely remained out of public debates around privacy and surveillance.

Little is known of SC Strategy, which does not have a website, but Companies House lists an address in Watford. Carlile states on his register of interests that SC Strategy was formed by him and Scarlett in 2012 “to provide strategic advice on UK public policy, regulation, and business practice”. It lists one client as the Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Investment Authority.

It has been reported that SC Strategy “appears to maintain a degree of clout in Whitehall” and that in 2013 and 2104 the company had a private meeting with the cabinet secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood.

Lord Arbuthnot’s former partner at SC Strategy, Lord Carlile, was the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation in 2001-11 and is a prominent public defender of the intelligence services.

Lord Arbuthnot was also until February 2019 an “adviser” to the military corporation, Babcock International, on whose board sits the former head of GCHQ, Sir David Omand.

Until November 2018, Arbuthnot was a member of the advisory board of Information Risk Management, a cybersecurity consultancy based in Cheltenham, the home of GCHQ, one of whose “experts” is Andrew France, a former deputy director for cyber defence operations at GCHQ.

Before becoming a peer, Lord Arbuthnot was a member of the parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee from 2001-06. He is also currently an officer of the all party parliamentary group on cybersecurity which is administered by the Information Security Group (ISG) at Royal Holloway, University of London. The ISG manages a project worth £775,000 that is part-funded by GCHQ.

Lord Arbuthnot himself appears in documents published by WikiLeaks, including two confidential US diplomatic cables. A December 2009 US confidential cable notes Arbuthnot telling an official in the US embassy in London that he supported President Obama’s speech on US strategy towards Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Member of the British military establishment

Lord Arbuthnot’s past and present positions make him firmly a part of the British military industrial community. One of his profiles states that “he has a long history of involvement at the top of UK defence and political life”. WikiLeaks has styled itself as an adversary of the military community, with many of its releases focusing on the milieu in which people like Lord Arbuthnot operate.

Arbuthnot is a former chair of the parliamentary defence committee – a position he held for nine years between 2005 and 2014 – during which time WikiLeaks gained worldwide attention through its publishing of files on the Iraq and Afghan wars, in which the UK military was involved. He is also a former member of the national security strategy joint committee and the armed forces bill committee.

Arbuthnot’s parliamentary profile states: “From time to time the member receives hospitality from the UK defence forum, the all-party parliamentary group for the armed forces and the all-party parliamentary group on defence and security issues”.

Lord Arbuthnot is also the chair of the advisory board of arms corporation Thales Group which has been exposed by WikiLeaks in various releases.

Thales also has major contracts with the MOD including a £700m drone project and a £600m deal to maintain the royal navy’s warships. One of Thales’ lucrative business lines is “cybersecurity” and its website disparagingly refers to WikiLeaks and Assange personally as being able to “steal” information.

Thales produces “watchkeeper” drones used by the British military in Afghanistan which have been exposed in WikiLeaks releases. Arbuthnot is a strong supporter of drones: he was the chair of the defence committee when it produced a report highly supportive of British operations in 2014 which recommended“bringing watchkeeper to full operating capability”.

Lord Arbuthnot’s parliamentary profile also listed Babcock International as being a “personal client” in his role as consultant with SC Strategy until February 2019. Babcock has more than £22bn worth of contracts with the MOD and is its largest supplier of support services, supporting more than 70% of all MOD flying training hours.

Like Thales, Babcock has a business line in “cyber intelligence and security”. Arbuthnot was the procurement minister in 1996 when the government announced the sale of the controversial privatised Rosyth naval dockyard to Babcock.

Lord Arbuthnot is also chair of the Information Assurance Advisory Council, a body whose sponsors have included US arms corporations Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, and which also works on cybersecurity, among other digital information issues. Raytheon is extensively exposed in WikiLeaks releases.

A Thales Watchkeeper WK450 drone on display at the Paris Air Show. Lord Arbuthnot is a strong supporter of drones and chair of the advisory board of Thales which has been exposed by WikiLeaks in various releases. (Photo: Wiki Commons)

Conflict of interest

Lord Arbuthnot’s links to the British military establishment constitute professional and political connections between a member of the chief magistrate’s family and a number of organisations and individuals who are deeply opposed to the work of Assange and WikiLeaks and who have themselves been exposed by the organisation.

UK legal guidance states that “any conflict of interest in a litigious situation must be declared.” Judicial guidance to magistrates from the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice is clear:

“Members of the public must be confident that magistrates are impartial and independent. If you know that your impartiality or independence is compromised in a particular case you must withdraw at once… Nor should you hear any case which you already know something about or which touches upon an activity in which you are involved”.

Our understanding is that Lady Arbuthnot has failed to disclose any potential conflicts of interest in her role as judge or chief magistrate.

Lady Arbuthnot is known to have stepped aside from adjudicating two other cases due to potential conflicts of interest, but only after investigations by the media. In August 2018, as the judge at the heart of tech giant Uber’s legal battle to operate in London, she recused herself to avoid any perceived conflict of interest with her husband.

Lady Arbuthnot reinstated Uber’s London licence after it had been judged not a “fit and proper” private car hire operator. She eventually withdrew from hearing further appeals by the company after an Observer investigation raised questions about links between her husband’s work and the company.

Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the country’s sovereign wealth fund, is a major investor in Uber. QIA was also a client of SC Strategy, where Lord Arbuthnot was a director and then consultant. Lady and Lord Arbuthnot claimed that neither knew QIA invested in Uber, despite it being one of the company’s largest shareholders.

In 2017, Lady Arbuthnot also stepped aside from adjudicating a case concerning the broadcast of “offensive” material on the Holocaust when the defendant’s legal team raised the issue of “reasonable apprehension of bias” on the part of the judge. This was related to her husband’s involvement with Conservative Friends of Israel, a body of which Arbuthnot is a former chair and which had in the past paid for at least one visit to Israel.

Neither Lady nor Lord Arbuthnot returned requests for comment.

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Featured image: Lord James Arbuthnot of Edrom is the husband of the chief magistrate presiding over Julian Assange’s US extradition case. A long-standing Conservative Party politician, he has significant links to the British military and intelligence establishment. (Photo: UK Parliament)

The Fallujah Educational Hospital for Women and Children has one of the most sought-after maternity facilities in Iraq’s Anbar province.

The lack of quality maternity care in the region means the hospital is overloaded, with patients coming from as far afield as Karbala, 85km to the south, to make use of its already stretched facilities.

Amid the country’s numerous conflicts, Fallujah itself has changed hands numerous times – in January 2014, the city was captured by Islamic State (IS), prior even to the group’s capture of Mosul in northern Iraq.

While the city was taken back from IS in June 2016, the recovery process has been slow, and there has been little improvement in local services.

Lack of investment from central government has left the maternity hospital reliant on foreign donors for equipment.

The exterior of the Fallujah Educational Hospital for Women and Children (MEE/Alex MacDonald)

The exterior of the Fallujah Educational Hospital for Women and Children (MEE/Alex MacDonald)

To make matters worse, for years now, babies born in Fallujah have suffered disproportionately high levels of birth defects, including congenital heart disease, gastroschisis (where the digestive system is found outside the baby’s body) and spina bifida.

Paediatrician Sameera Alani says that she generally sees around 30 cases a month of children suffering from birth defects.

Since 2009, Alani has been the leading force in documenting the cases.

On Facebook and Twitter, she and others run the the Fallujah Birth Defects group, which posts imagery of the shocking array of problems that foetuses in the region develop in the womb.

“Environmental pollution is an important cause, but we can’t say which case is related to what cause,” she told Middle East Eye

Alani explained that a lack of facilities in the hospital meant that it was difficult to determine the direct cause.

The last time a team came to Fallujah to examine the levels of environmental pollution in the local area had been in 2011, when a team of analysts from London had documented pollution in the “trees, soil and water”.

“Since then, the subject has been totally neglected and forgotten – by chance or intentionally, I don’t know,” Alani said.

Uranium exposure

Although the causes are numerous, one of the most documented reasons has been the lingering impact of uranium in the local environment, a remnant of the brutal bombardment of the town by US-led forces in 2004, as well as previous conflicts, including the 1991 Gulf War.

A 2011 report produced by Alani and British doctor Christopher Busby found that “enriched uranium exposure is either a primary cause or related to the cause of the congenital anomaly and cancer increases” in Fallujah.

A baby with heart problems brought in for treatment at the hospital (MEE/Alex MacDonald)
A baby with heart problems brought in for treatment at the hospital in Fallujah (MEE/Alex MacDonald)

Alani said that the lack of a clear registration system meant that there were no official statistics before 2003 on the number of birth defects emerging in Fallujah, and so she could only go by her own experience.

“We noticed that there are many, many cases that we didn’t see before. I have been working in this hospital since 1997 –  I used to see maybe one or two cases per month,” she explained.

In the last month, Alani said she had documented around 33 cases of birth defects and 35 the month before.

One recent case she had seen involved a woman giving birth to premature twins.

“Out of the two babies, one was born with mermaid-like legs, a condition called sirenomelia, and the other baby was born with gastroschisis, spina bifida and congenital heart disease,” she said.

She said the parents had been “hysterical and nervous” at the time of the birth.

“The father started shouting,” she said.

Despite the serious problems her department has to manage, there is little in the way of cash flow from the government’s coffers.

“The government has no budget,” she said.

“We have two important pieces of equipment in this department – one is the ultra-sound machine, which was donated from a French organisation, and an echocardiogram machine, which was a donation from a group of activists [from Japan and Sweden].”

Alani said an upcoming conference in the northern city of Erbil had been set to take place in June to encourage donations but had been postponed indefinitely.

“Nothing here is from the government – maybe only the tables and chairs!” she said, adding that the problems were not unique to Fallujah.

“Why would the protests be happening if it’s different in other areas? It’s all the same.”

Sunnis stay indoors

The inability of the government to provide basic services has sparked widespread anger across Iraq and led to more than a month of mass demonstrations.

The problems afflicting the maternity hospital at Fallujah are reproduced across the country – with activists accusing the political classes of pocketing the profits from Iraq’s vast oil reserves and allowing the country’s infrastructure to crumble.

But while corruption, poverty, unemployment and lack of services has seen protesters in Baghdad, Karbala, Basra, Nasiriyah and other provinces of Iraq take to the streets, the residents of Fallujah – like most of the Sunni-majority regions of Iraq – have stayed in doors.

At least 330 people have been killed so far in the clashes between security forces and protesters, with thousands more wounded.

Activists have also been kidnapped, tortured and repeatedly threatened for their involvement.

But while the largely Shia protesters have all these obstacles to face, for Sunnis there are even bigger concerns.

Sitting outside a garage in Fallujah, a group of men discussed their concerns about the protest movement with MEE.

“Protests are not good for the people,” said Yasser, the owner of the garage.

“They hinder economic life and many people die or become kidnapped because of these protests.”

He added that the last major protests in Anbar, beginning in 2012, had preceded the rise of IS, which no-one wanted to see again.

During the war on IS, Yassir said, his shop had been hit by an explosive barrel, destroying it. He had applied to the government for compensation, but received nothing.

‘We suffered so much when we last protested’

As Yassir was speaking, another man interceded saying people in Fallujah had “learned the lesson” from the 2012 protests, which had begun as demonstrations against unemployment and anti-Sunni discrimination by the government of then Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, but were later hijacked by militant groups.

“People have the right to go protest, they have a good motive, but the politicians, they don’t care. They have the post, they don’t care,” he said.

“We want to go out and protest because the people are suffering – but we cannot go out and protest because we suffered so much when we last protested… so we’re not going to do any protests here.”

Human Rights Watch has documented incidents of Anbaris being targeted simply for voicing support for the latest protest movement online.

One case documented by the US-based rights group saw a young man putting a frame around a profile picture on Facebook, showing support for demonstrators, on 26 October.

According to a relative, four police cars soon turned up at his door, beat him, accused him of “inciting protests” and then handcuffed him and took him away.

He was held incommunicado until 31 October when he was released without charge.

On 24 October, just a day before the beginning of major planned protests, a statement from Anbar Police Command warned residents against joining demonstrations.

“Anbar governorate calls upon its citizens to head to work and continue with construction, preserving security, supporting security forces, and benefitting from past lessons, from which the province has only gotten destruction, killings and displacement,” it read.

‘The rivers are also poisoned’

Fallujah has suffered greatly in a relatively short period of time and, despite promises of investment for reconstruction, the city’s ongoing health crisis is still being left unaddressed.

Yassir’s brother, Nader, said there were serious medical issues in Fallujah as a result of the white phosphorous that the US had used during the war, but said that health facilities had degraded in the city.

“Before IS came, just outside Fallujah there was a Jordanian hospital providing some very good care, but now they are closed down,” he said.

“The rivers are also poisoned – about a year or two ago, many fish suddenly surfaced dead. I was suspicious it was sabotage.”

However, so far, despite the major problems, there has been little evidence that Iraq’s Sunnis are willing to risk further violence and demonisation by publicly backing the protests.

Having barely recovered from IS’s rule, their position is still too precarious.

“If we go out protesting, they will give us terrorism charges, they will say ‘you are with IS’,” said Nader.

“We in the Sunni areas, we suffer most.”

*

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Featured image: Paediatrician Sameera Alani, right, in the Fallujah Educational Hospital for Women and Children (MEE/Alex MacDonald)

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The Destabilization of Haiti

November 19th, 2019 by Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Note: Minor editorial corrections were made to the original draft since its publication on February 29th 2004

Of relevance to recent events: This article was written in the last days of February 2004 in response to the barrage of disinformation in the mainstream media. It was completed on February 29th, the day of President Jean Bertrand Aristide’s kidnapping and deportation by US Forces.

 

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Double standards

The White House has called into question Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s “fitness to continue to govern his country”. According to the official White House statement released one day before Aristide’s departure for the Dominican Republic:

“His failure to adhere to democratic principles has contributed to the deep polarization and violent unrest that we are witnessing in Haiti today… His own actions have called into question his fitness to continue to govern Haiti. We urge him to examine his position carefully, to accept responsibility, and to act in the best interests of the people of Haiti”

Now should we not apply the same standards to President George W. Bush who has lied to the American people, violated international law and waged a criminal war based on a fabricated pretext?

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The armed insurrection which contributed to unseating President Aristide on February 29th 2004 was the result of a carefully staged military-intelligence operation.

The Rebel paramilitary army crossed the border from the Dominican Republic in early February. It constitutes a well armed, trained and equipped paramilitary unit integrated by former members of Le Front pour l’avancement et le progrès d’Haiti (FRAPH), the “plain clothes” death squadrons, involved in mass killings of civilians and political assassinations during the CIA sponsored 1991 military coup, which led to the overthrow of the democratically elected government of President Jean Bertrand Aristide

The self-proclaimed Front pour la Libération et la reconstruction nationale (FLRN) (National Liberation and Reconstruction Front) is led by Guy Philippe, a former member of the Haitian Armed Forces and Police Chief. Philippe had been trained during the 1991 coup years by US Special Forces in Ecuador, together with a dozen other Haitian Army officers. (See Juan Gonzalez, New York Daily News, 24 February 2004).

The two other rebel commanders and associates of Guy Philippe, who led the attacks on Gonaives and Cap Haitien are Emmanuel Constant, nicknamed “Toto” and Jodel Chamblain, both of whom are former Tonton Macoute and leaders of FRAPH.

In 1994, Emmanuel Constant led the FRAPH assassination squadron into the village of Raboteau, in what was later identified as “The Raboteau massacre”:

“One of the last of the infamous massacres happened in April 1994 in Raboteau, a seaside slum about 100 miles north of the capital. Raboteau has about 6,000 residents, most fishermen and salt rakers, but it has a reputation as an opposition stronghold where political dissidents often went to hide… On April 18 [1994], 100 soldiers and about 30 paramilitaries arrived in Raboteau for what investigators would later call a “dress rehearsal.” They rousted people from their homes, demanding to know where Amiot “Cubain” Metayer, a well-known Aristide supporter, was hiding. They beat people, inducing a pregnant woman to miscarry, and forced others to drink from open sewers. Soldiers tortured a 65-year-old blind man until he vomited blood. He died the next day.

The soldiers returned before dawn on April 22. They ransacked homes and shot people in the streets, and when the residents fled for the water, other soldiers fired at them from boats they had commandeered. Bodies washed ashore for days; some were never found. The number of victims ranges from two dozen to 30. Hundreds more fled the town, fearing further reprisals.” (St Petersburg Times, Florida, 1 September 2002)

During the military government (1991-1994), FRAPH was (unofficially) under the jurisdiction of the Armed Forces, taking orders from Commander in Chief General Raoul Cedras. According to a 1996 UN Human Rights Commission report, FRAPH had been supported by the CIA.

Under the military dictatorship, the narcotics trade, was protected by the military Junta, which in turn was supported by the CIA. The 1991 coup leaders including the FRAPH paramilitary commanders were on the CIA payroll. (See Paul DeRienzo, See also see Jim Lobe, IPS, 11 Oct 1996). Emmanuel Constant alias “Toto” confirmed, in this regard, in a CBS “60 Minutes” in 1995, that the CIA paid him about $700 a month and that he created FRAPH, while on the CIA payroll. (See Miami Herald, 1 August 2001). According to Constant, the FRAPH had been formed “with encouragement and financial backing from the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency and the CIA.” (Miami New Times, 26 February 2004)

The Civilian “Opposition”

The so-called “Democratic Convergence” (DC) is a group of some 200 political organizations, led by former Port-au-Prince mayor Evans Paul. The “Democratic Convergence” (DC) together with “The Group of 184 Civil Society Organizations” (G-184) has formed a so-called “Democratic Platform of Civil Society Organizations and Opposition Political Parties”.

The Group of 184 (G-184), is headed by Andre (Andy) Apaid, a US citizen of Haitian parents, born in the US. (Haiti Progres) Andy Apaid owns Alpha Industries, one of Haiti’s largest cheap labor export assembly lines established during the Duvalier era. His sweatshop factories produce textile products and assemble electronic products for a number of US firms including Sperry/Unisys, IBM, Remington and Honeywell. Apaid is the largest industrial employer in Haiti with a workforce of some 4000 workers. Wages paid in Andy Apaid’s factories are as low as 68 cents a day. (Miami Times, 26 Feb 2004). The current minimum wage is of the order of $1.50 a day:

“The U.S.-based National Labor Committee, which first revealed the Kathie Lee Gifford sweat shop scandal, reported several years ago that Apaid’s factories in Haiti’s free trade zone often pay below the minimum wage and that his employees are forced to work 78-hour weeks.” (Daily News, New York, 24 Feb 2004)

Apaid was a firm supporter of the 1991 military coup. Both the Convergence démocratique and the G-184 have links to the FLRN (former FRAPH death squadrons) headed by Guy Philippe. The FLRN is also known to receive funding from the Haitian business community.

In other words, there is no watertight division between the civilian opposition, which claims to be non-violent and the FLRN paramilitary. The FLRN is collaborating with the so-called “Democratic Platform.”

The Role of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED)

In Haiti, this “civil society opposition” is bankrolled by the National Endowment for Democracy which works hand in glove with the CIA. The Democratic Platform is supported by the International Republican Institute (IRI), which is an arm of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Senator John McCain is Chairman of IRI’s Board of Directors. (See Laura Flynn, Pierre Labossière and Robert Roth, Hidden from the Headlines: The U.S. War Against Haiti, California-based Haiti Action Committee (HAC)).

G-184 leader Andy Apaid was in liaison with Secretary of State Colin Powell in the days prior to the kidnapping and deportation of President Aristide by US forces on February 29. His umbrella organization of elite business organizations and religious NGOs, which is also supported by the International Republican Institute (IRI), receives sizable amounts of money from the European Union. (See this).

It is worth recalling that the NED, (which overseas the IRI) although not formally part of the CIA, performs an important intelligence function within the arena of civilian political parties and NGOs. It was created in 1983, when the CIA was being accused of covertly bribing politicians and setting up phony civil society front organizations. According to Allen Weinstein, who was responsible for setting up the NED during the Reagan Administration: “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.” (‘Washington Post’, Sept. 21, 1991).

The NED channels congressional funds to the four institutes: The International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), and the American Center for International Labor Solidarity (ACILS). These organizations are said to be “uniquely qualified to provide technical assistance to aspiring democrats worldwide.” See IRI)

In other words, there is a division of tasks between the CIA and the NED. While the CIA provides covert support to armed paramilitary rebel groups and death squadrons, the NED and its four constituent organizations finance “civilian” political parties and non governmental organizations with a view to instating American “democracy” around the World.

The NED constitutes, so to speak, the CIA’s “civilian arm”. CIA-NED interventions in different part of the World are characterized by a consistent pattern, which is applied in numerous countries.

The NED provided funds to the “civil society” organizations in Venezuela, which initiated an attempted coup against President Hugo Chavez. In Venezuela it was the “Democratic Coordination”, which was the recipient of NED support; in Haiti it is the “Democratic Convergence” and G-184.

Similarly, in former Yugoslavia, the CIA channeled support to the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) (since 1995), a paramilitary group involved in terrorist attacks on the Yugoslav police and military. Meanwhile, the NED through the “Center for International Private Enterprise” (CIPE) was backing the DOS opposition coalition in Serbia and Montenegro. More specifically, NED was financing the G-17, an opposition group of economists responsible for formulating (in liaison with the IMF) the DOS coalition’s “free market” reform platform in the 2000 presidential election, which led to the downfall of Slobodan Milosevic.

The IMF’s Bitter “Economic Medicine”

The IMF and the World Bank are key players in the process of economic and political destabilization. While carried out under the auspices of an intergovernmental body, the IMF reforms tend to support US strategic and foreign policy objectives.

Based on the so-called “Washington consensus”, IMF austerity and restructuring measures through their devastating impacts, often contribute to triggering social and ethnic strife. IMF reforms have often precipitated the downfall of elected governments. In extreme cases of economic and social dislocation, the IMF’s bitter economic medicine has contributed to the destabilization of entire countries, as occurred in Somalia, Rwanda and Yugoslavia. (See Michel Chossudovsky, The globalization of Poverty and the New World Order, Second Edition, 2003)

The IMF program is a consistent instrument of economic dislocation. The IMF’s reforms contribute to reshaping and downsizing State institutions through drastic austerity measures. The latter are implemented alongside other forms of intervention and political interference, including CIA covert activities in support of rebel paramilitary groups and opposition political parties.

Moreover, so-called “Emergency Recovery” and “Post-conflict” reforms are often introduced under IMF guidance, in the wake of a civil war, a regime change or “a national emergency”.

In Haiti, the IMF sponsored “free market” reforms have been carried out consistently since the Duvalier era. They have been applied in several stages since the first election of president Aristide in 1990.

The 1991 military coup, which took place 8 months following Jean Bertrand Aristide’s accession to the presidency, was in part intended to reverse the Aristide government’s progressive reforms and reinstate the neoliberal policy agenda of the Duvalier era.

A former World Bank official Mr. Marc Bazin was appointed Prime minister by the Military Junta in June 1992. In fact, it was the US State Department which sought his appointment.

Bazin had a track record of working for the “Washington consensus.” In 1983, he had been appointed Finance Minister under the Duvalier regime, In fact he had been recommended to the Finance portfolio by the IMF: “President-for-Life Jean-Claude Duvalier had agreed to the appointment of an IMF nominee, former World Bank official Marc Bazin, as Minister of Finance”. (Mining Annual Review, June, 1983). Bazin, who was considered Washington’s “favorite”, later ran against Aristide in the 1990 presidential elections.

Bazin, was called in by the Military Junta in 1992 to form a so-called “consensus government”. It is worth noting that it was precisely during Bazin’s term in office as Prime Minister that the political massacres and extra judicial killings by the CIA supported FRAPH death squadrons were unleashed, leading to the killing of more than 4000 civilians. Some 300,000 people became internal refugees, “thousands more fled across the border to the Dominican Republic, and more than 60,000 took to the high seas” (Statement of Dina Paul Parks, Executive Director, National Coalition for Haitian Rights, Committee on Senate Judiciary, US Senate, Washington DC, 1 October 2002). Meanwhile, the CIA had launched a smear campaign representing Aristide as “mentally unstable” (Boston Globe, 21 Sept 1994).

The 1994 US Military Intervention

Following three years of military rule, the US intervened in 1994, sending in 20,000 occupation troops and “peace-keepers” to Haiti. The US military intervention was not intended to restore democracy. Quite the contrary: it was carried out to prevent a popular insurrection against the military Junta and its neoliberal cohorts.

In other words, the US military occupation was implemented to ensure political continuity.

While the members of the military Junta were sent into exile, the return to constitutional government required compliance to IMF diktats, thereby foreclosing the possibility of a progressive “alternative” to the neoliberal agenda. Moreover, US troops remained in the country until 1999. The Haitian armed forces were disbanded and the US State Department hired a mercenary company DynCorp to provide “technical advice” in restructuring the Haitian National Police (HNP).

“DynCorp has always functioned as a cut-out for Pentagon and CIA covert operations.” (See Jeffrey St. Clair and Alexander Cockburn, Counterpunch, February 27, 2002) Under DynCorp advice in Haiti, former Tonton Macoute and Haitian military officers involved in the 1991 Coup d’Etat were brought into the HNP. (See Ken Silverstein, Privatizing War, The Nation, July 28, 1997)

In October 1994, Aristide returned from exile and reintegrated the presidency until the end of his mandate in 1996. “Free market” reformers were brought into his Cabinet. A new wave of deadly macro-economic policies was adopted under a so-called Emergency Economic Recovery Plan (EERP) “that sought to achieve rapid macroeconomic stabilization, restore public administration, and attend to the most pressing needs.” (See IMF Approves Three-Year ESAF Loan for Haiti, Washington, 1996).

The restoration of Constitutional government had been negotiated behind closed doors with Haiti’s external creditors. Prior to Aristide’s reinstatement as the country’s president, the new government was obliged to clear the country’s debt arrears with its external creditors. In fact the new loans provided by the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the IMF were used to meet Haiti’s obligations with international creditors. Fresh money was used to pay back old debt leading to a spiraling external debt.

Broadly coinciding with the military government, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) declined by 30 percent (1992-1994). With a per capita income of $250 per annum, Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere and among the poorest in the world. (see World Bank, Haiti: The Challenges of Poverty Reduction, Washington, August 1998).

The World Bank estimates unemployment to be of the order of 60 percent. (A 2000 US Congressional Report estimates it to be as high as 80 percent. See US House of Representatives, Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources Subcommittee, FDHC Transcripts, 12 April 2000).

In the wake of three years of military rule and economic decline, there was no “Economic Emergency Recovery” as envisaged under the IMF loan agreement. In fact quite the opposite: The IMF imposed “stabilization” under the “Recovery” program required further budget cuts in almost non-existent social sector programs. A civil service reform program was launched, which consisted in reducing the size of the civil service and the firing of “surplus” State employees. The IMF-World Bank package was in part instrumental in the paralysis of public services, leading to the eventual demise of the entire State system. In a country where health and educational services were virtually nonexistent, the IMF had demanded the lay off of “surplus” teachers and health workers with a view to meeting its target for the budget deficit.

Washington’s foreign policy initiatives were coordinated with the application of the IMF’s deadly economic medicine. The country had been literally pushed to the brink of economic and social disaster.

The Fate of Haitian Agriculture

More than 75 percent of the Haitian population is engaged in agriculture, producing both food crops for the domestic market as well a number of cash crops for export. Already during the Duvalier era, the peasant economy had been undermined. With the adoption of the IMF-World Bank sponsored trade reforms, the agricultural system, which previously produced food for the local market, had been destabilized. With the lifting of trade barriers, the local market was opened up to the dumping of US agricultural surpluses including rice, sugar and corn, leading to the destruction of the entire peasant economy. Gonaives, which used to be Haiti’s rice basket region, with extensive paddy fields had been precipitated into bankruptcy:

“By the end of the 1990s Haiti’s local rice production had been reduced by half and rice imports from the US accounted for over half of local rice sales. The local farming population was devastated, and the price of rice rose drastically ” ( See Rob Lyon, Haiti-There is no solution under Capitalism! Socialist Appeal, 24 Feb. 2004).

In matter of a few years, Haiti, a small impoverished country in the Caribbean, had become the World’s fourth largest importer of American rice after Japan, Mexico and Canada.

The Second Wave of IMF Reforms

The presidential elections were scheduled for November 23, 2000. The Clinton Administration had put an embargo on development aid to Haiti in 2000. Barely two weeks prior to the elections, the outgoing administration signed a Letter of Intent with the IMF. Perfect timing: the agreement with the IMF virtually foreclosed from the outset any departure from the neoliberal agenda.

The Minister of Finance had sent the amended budget to the Parliament on December 14th. Donor support was conditional upon its rubber stamp approval by the Legislature. While Aristide had promised to increase the minimum wage, embark on school construction and literacy programs, the hands of the new government were tied. All major decisions regarding the State budget, the management of the public sector, public investment, privatization, trade and monetary policy had already been taken. They were part of the agreement reached with the IMF on November 6, 2000.

In 2003, the IMF imposed the application of a so-called “flexible price system in fuel”, which immediately triggered an inflationary spiral. The currency was devalued. Petroleum prices increased by about 130 percent in January-February 2003, which served to increase popular resentment against the Aristide government, which had supported the implementation of the IMF economic reforms.

The hike in fuel prices contributed to a 40 percent increase in consumer prices (CPI) in 2002-2003 (See Haiti—Letter of Intent, Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies, and Technical Memorandum of Understanding, Port-au-Prince, Haiti June 10, 2003). In turn, the IMF had demanded, despite the dramatic increase in the cost of living, a freeze on wages as a means to “controlling inflationary pressures.” The IMF had in fact pressured the government to lower public sector salaries (including those paid to teachers and health workers). The IMF had also demanded the phasing out of the statutory minimum wage of approximately 25 cents an hour. “Labour market flexibility”, meaning wages paid below the statutory minimum wage would, according to the IMF, contribute to attracting foreign investors. The daily minimum wage was $3.00 in 1994, declining to about $1.50- 1.75 (depending on the gourde-dollar exchange rate) in 2004.

In an utterly twisted logic, Haiti’s abysmally low wages, which have been part of the IMF-World Bank “cheap labor” policy framework since the 1980s, are viewed as a means to improving the standard of living. In other words, sweatshop conditions in the assembly industries (in a totally unregulated labor market) and forced labor conditions in Haiti’s agricultural plantations are considered by the IMF as a key to achieving economic prosperity, because they “attract foreign investment.”

The country was in the straightjacket of a spiraling external debt. In a bitter irony, the IMF-World Bank sponsored austerity measures in the social sectors were imposed in a country which has 1,2 medical doctors for 10,000 inhabitants and where the large majority of the population is illiterate. State social services, which were virtually nonexistent during the Duvalier period, have collapsed.

The result of IMF ministrations was a further collapse in purchasing power, which had also affected middle income groups. Meanwhile, interest rates had skyrocketed. In the Northern and Eastern parts of the country, the hikes in fuel prices had led to a virtual paralysis of transportation and public services including water and electricity.

While a humanitarian catastrophe is looming, the collapse of the economy spearheaded by the IMF, had served to boost the popularity of the Democratic Platform, which had accused Aristide of “economic mismanagement.” Needless to say, the leaders of the Democratic Platform including Andy Apaid –who actually owns the sweatshops– are the main protagonists of the low wage economy.

Applying the Kosovo Model

In February 2003, Washington announced the appointment of James Foley as Ambassador to Haiti. Foley had been a State Department spokesman under the Clinton administration during the war on Kosovo. He previously held a position at NATO headquarters in Brussels. Foley had been sent to Port au Prince in advance of the CIA sponsored operation. He was transferred to Port au Prince in September 2003, from a prestige diplomatic position in Geneva, where he was Deputy Head of Mission to the UN European office.

It is worth recalling Ambassador Foley’s involvement in support of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in 1999.

Amply documented, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) was financed by drug money and supported by the CIA. (See Michel Chossudovsky, Kosovo Freedom Fighters Financed by Organized Crime, Covert Action Quarterly, 1999)

The KLA had been involved in similar targeted political assassinations and killings of civilians, in the months leading up to the 1999 NATO invasion as well as in its aftermath. Following the NATO led invasion and occupation of Kosovo, the KLA was transformed into the Kosovo Protection Force (KPF) under UN auspices. Rather than being disarmed to prevent the massacres of civilians, a terrorist organization with links to organized crime and the Balkans drug trade, was granted a legitimate political status.

At the time of the Kosovo war, the current ambassador to Haiti James Foley was in charge of State Department briefings, working closely with his NATO counterpart in Brussels, Jamie Shea. Barely two months before the onslaught of the NATO led war on 24 March 1999, James Foley had called for the “transformation” of the KLA into a respectable political organization:

“We want to develop a good relationship with them [the KLA] as they transform themselves into a politically-oriented organization,’ ..`[W]e believe that we have a lot of advice and a lot of help that we can provide to them if they become precisely the kind of political actor we would like to see them become… “If we can help them and they want us to help them in that effort of transformation, I think it’s nothing that anybody can argue with..’ (quoted in the New York Times, 2 February 1999)

In the wake of the invasion “a self-proclaimed Kosovar administration was set up composed of the KLA and the Democratic Union Movement (LBD), a coalition of five opposition parties opposed to Rugova’s Democratic League (LDK). In addition to the position of prime minister, the KLA controlled the ministries of finance, public order and defense.” (Michel Chossudovsky, NATO’s War of Aggression against Yugoslavia, 1999)

The US State Department’s position as conveyed in Foley’s statement was that the KLA would “not be allowed to continue as a military force but would have the chance to move forward in their quest for self government under a ‘different context'” meaning the inauguration of a de facto “narco-democracy” under NATO protection. (Ibid).

With regard to the drug trade, Kosovo and Albania occupy a similar position to that of Haiti: they constitute “a hub” in the transit (transshipment) of narcotics from the Golden Crescent, through Iran and Turkey into Western Europe. While supported by the CIA, Germany’s Bundes Nachrichten Dienst (BND) and NATO, the KLA has links to the Albanian Mafia and criminal syndicates involved in the narcotics trade. (See Michel Chossudovsky, Kosovo Freedom Fighters Financed by Organized Crime, Covert Action Quarterly, 1999)

Is this the model for Haiti, as formulated in 1999 by the current US Ambassador to Haiti James Foley?

For the CIA and the State Department the FLRN and Guy Philippe are to Haiti what the KLA and Hashim Thaci are to Kosovo.

In other words, Washington’s design is “regime change”: topple the Lavalas administration and install a compliant US puppet regime, integrated by the Democratic Platform and the self-proclaimed Front pour la libération et la reconstruction nationale (FLRN), whose leaders are former FRAPH and Tonton Macoute terrorists. The latter are slated to integrate a “national unity government” alongside the leaders of the Democratic Convergence and The Group of 184 Civil Society Organizations led by Andy Apaid. More specifically, the FLRN led by Guy Philippe is slated to rebuild the Haitian Armed forces, which were disbanded in 1995.

What is at stake is an eventual power sharing arrangement between the various Opposition groups and the CIA supported Rebels, which have links to the cocaine transit trade from Colombia via Haiti to Florida. The protection of this trade has a bearing on the formation of a new “narco-government”, which will serve US interests.

A bogus (symbolic) disarmament of the Rebels may be contemplated under international supervision, as occurred with the KLA in Kosovo in 2000. The “former terrorists” could then be integrated into the civilian police as well as into the task of “rebuilding” the Haitian Armed forces under US supervision.

What this scenario suggests, is that the Duvalier-era terrorist structures have been restored. A program of civilian killings and political assassinations directed against Lavalas supporter is in fact already underway.

In other words, if Washington were really motivated by humanitarian considerations, why then is it supporting and financing the FRAPH death squadrons? Its objective is not to prevent the massacre of civilians. Modeled on previous CIA led operations (e.g. Guatemala, Indonesia, El Salvador), the FLRN death squadrons have been set loose and are involved in targeted political assassinations of Aristide supporters.

The Narcotics Transshipment Trade

While the real economy had been driven into bankruptcy under the brunt of the IMF reforms, the narcotics transshipment trade continues to flourish. According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Haiti remains “the major drug trans-shipment country for the entire Caribbean region, funneling huge shipments of cocaine from Colombia to the United States.” (See US House of Representatives, Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources Subcommittee, FDHC Transcripts, 12 April 2000).

It is estimated that Haiti is now responsible for 14 percent of all the cocaine entering the United States, representing billions of dollars of revenue for organized crime and US financial institutions, which launder vast amounts of dirty money. The global trade in narcotics is estimated to be of the order of 500 billion dollars.

Much of this transshipment trade goes directly to Miami, which also constitutes a haven for the recycling of dirty money into bona fide investments, e.g. in real estate and other related activities.

The evidence confirms that the CIA was protecting this trade during the Duvalier era as well as during the military dictatorship (1991-1994). In 1987, Senator John Kerry as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Narcotics, Terrorism and International Operations of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee was entrusted with a major investigation, which focused on the links between the CIA and the drug trade, including the laundering of drug money to finance armed insurgencies. “The Kerry Report” published in 1989, while centering its attention on the financing of the Nicaraguan Contra, also included a section on Haiti:

“Kerry had developed detailed information on drug trafficking by Haiti’s military rulers that led to the indictment in Miami in 1988, of Lt. Col. Jean Paul. The indictment was a major embarrassment to the Haitian military, especially since Paul defiantly refused to surrender to U.S. authorities.. In November 1989, Col. Paul was found dead after he consumed a traditional Haitian good will gift—a bowel of pumpkin soup…

The U.S. senate also heard testimony in 1988 that then interior minister, Gen. Williams Regala, and his DEA liaison officer, protected and supervised cocaine shipments. The testimony also charged the then Haitian military commander Gen. Henry Namphy with accepting bribes from Colombian traffickers in return for landing rights in the mid 1980’s.

It was in 1989 that yet another military coup brought Lt. Gen. Prosper Avril to power… According to a witness before Senator John Kerry’s subcommittee, Avril is in fact a major player in Haiti’s role as a transit point in the cocaine trade.” ( Paul DeRienzo, Haiti’s Nightmare: The Cocaine Coup & The CIA Connection, Spring 199)

Jack Blum, who was Kerry’s Special Counsel, points to the complicity of US officials in a 1996 statement to the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Drug Trafficking and the Contra War:

“…In Haiti … intelligence “sources” of ours in the Haitian military had turned their facilities over to the drug cartels. Instead of putting pressure on the rotten leadership of the military, we defended them. We held our noses and looked the other way as they and their criminal friends in the United States distributed cocaine in Miami, Philadelphia and New, York.” (See this)

Haiti not only remains at the hub of the transshipment cocaine trade, the latter has grown markedly since the 1980s. The current crisis bears a relationship to Haiti’s role in the drug trade. Washington wants a compliant Haitian government which will protect the drug transshipment routes, out of Colombia through Haiti and into Florida.

The inflow of narco-dollars –which remains the major source of the country’s foreign exchange earnings– are used to service Haiti’s spiraling external debt, thereby also serving the interests of the external creditors.

In this regard, the liberalization of the foreign-exchange market imposed by the IMF has provided (despite the authorities pro forma commitment to combating the drug trade) a convenient avenue for the laundering of narco-dollars in the domestic banking system. The inflow of narco-dollars alongside bona fide “remittances” from Haitians living abroad, are deposited in the commercial banking system and exchanged into local currency. The foreign exchange proceeds of these inflows can then be recycled towards the Treasury where they are used to meet debt servicing obligations.

Haiti, however, reaps a very small percentage of the total foreign exchange proceeds of this lucrative contraband. Most of the revenue resulting from the cocaine transshipment trade accrues to criminal intermediaries in the wholesale and retail narcotics trade, to the intelligence agencies which protect the drug trade as well as to the financial and banking institutions where the proceeds of this criminal activity are laundered.

The narco-dollars are also channeled into “private banking” accounts in numerous offshore banking havens. (These havens are controlled by the large Western banks and financial institutions). Drug money is also invested in a number of financial instruments including hedge funds and stock market transactions. The major Wall Street and European banks and stock brokerage firms launder billions of dollars resulting from the trade in narcotics.

Moreover, the expansion of the dollar denominated money supply by the Federal Reserve System , including the printing of billions of dollars of US dollar notes for the purposes of narco-transactions constitutes profit for the Federal Reserve and its constituent private banking institutions of which the most important is the New York Federal Reserve Bank. See (Jeffrey Steinberg, Dope, Inc. Is $600 Billion and Growing, Executive Intelligence Review, 14 Dec 2001)

In other words, the Wall Street financial establishment, which plays a behind the scenes role in the formulation of US foreign policy, has a vested interest in retaining the Haiti transshipment trade, while installing a reliable “narco-democracy” in Port-au-Prince, which will effectively protect the transshipment routes.

It should be noted that since the advent of the Euro as a global currency, a significant share of the narcotics trade is now conducted in Euro rather than US dollars. In other words, the Euro and the dollar are competing narco-currencies.

The Latin American cocaine trade –including the transshipment trade through Haiti– is largely conducted in US dollars. This shift out of dollar denominated narco-transactions, which undermines the hegemony of the US dollar as a global currency, largely pertains to the Middle East, Central Asian and the Southern European drug routes.

Media Manipulation

In the weeks leading up to the Coup d’Etat, the media has largely focused its attention on the pro-Aristide “armed gangs” and “thugs”, without providing an understanding of the role of the FLRN Rebels.

Deafening silence: not a word was mentioned in official statements and UN resolutions regarding the nature of the FLRN. This should come as no surprise: the US Ambassador to the UN (the man who sits on the UN Security Council) John Negroponte. played a key role in the CIA supported Honduran death squadrons in the 1980s when he was US ambassador to Honduras. (See San Francisco Examiner, 20 Oct 2001)

The FLRN rebels are extremely well equipped and trained forces. The Haitian people know who they are. They are Tonton Macoute of the Duvalier era and former FRAPH assassins.

The Western media is mute on the issue, blaming the violence on President Aristide. When it acknowledges that the Liberation Army is composed of death squadrons, it fails to examine the broader implications of its statements and that these death squadrons are a creation of the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency.

The New York Times has acknowledged that the “non violent” civil society opposition is in fact collaborating with the death squadrons, “accused of killing thousands”, but all this is described as “accidental”. No historical understanding is provided. Who are these death squadron leaders? All we are told is that they have established an “alliance” with the “non-violent” good guys who belong to the “political opposition”. And it is all for a good and worthy cause, which is to remove the elected president and “restore democracy”:

“As Haiti’s crisis lurches toward civil war, a tangled web of alliances, some of them accidental, has emerged. It has linked the interests of a political opposition movement that has embraced nonviolence to a group of insurgents that includes a former leader of death squads accused of killing thousands, a former police chief accused of plotting a coup and a ruthless gang once aligned with Mr. Aristide that has now turned against him. Given their varied origins, those arrayed against Mr. Aristide are hardly unified, though they all share an ardent wish to see him removed from power.” (New York Times, 26 Feb 2004)

There is nothing spontaneous or “accidental” in the rebel attacks or in the “alliance” between the leader of the death squadrons Guy Philippe and Andy Apaid, owner of the largest industrial sweatshop in Haiti and leader of the G-184.

The armed rebellion was part of a carefully planned military-intelligence operation. The Armed Forces of the Dominican Republic had detected guerrilla training camps inside the Dominican Republic on the Northeast Haitian-Dominican border. (El ejército dominicano informó a Aristide sobre los entrenamientos rebeldes en la frontera, El Caribe, 27 Feb. 2004)

Both the armed rebels and their civilian “non-violent” counterparts were involved in the plot to unseat the president. G-184 leader Andre Apaid was in touch with Colin Powell in the weeks leading up to the overthrow of Aristide; Guy Philippe and “Toto” Emmanuel Constant have links to the CIA; there are indications that Rebel Commander Guy Philippe and the political leader of the Revolutionary Artibonite Resistance Front Winter Etienne were in liaison with US officials. (See BBC, 27 Feb 2004).

While the US had repeatedly stated that it will uphold Constitutional government, the replacement of Aristide by a more compliant individual had always been part of the Bush Administration’s agenda.

On Feb 20, US Ambassador James Foley called in a team of four military experts from the U.S. Southern Command, based in Miami. Officially their mandate was “to assess threats to the embassy and its personnel.” (Seattle Times, 20 Feb 2004). US Special Forces are already in the country. Washington had announced that three US naval vessels “have been put on standby to go to Haiti as a precautionary measure”. The Saipan is equipped with Vertical takeoff Harrier fighters and attack helicopters. The other two vessels are the Oak Hill and Trenton. Some 2,200 U.S. Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, at Camp Lejeune, N.C. could be deployed to Haiti at short notice, according to Washington.

With the departure of President Aristide, Washington, however, has no intention of disarming its proxy rebel paramilitary army, which is now slated to play a role in the “transition”. In other words, the Bush administration will not act to prevent the occurrence of killings and political assassinations of Lavalas and Aristide supporters in the wake of the president’s kidnapping and deportation.

Needless to say, the Western media has not in the least analyzed the historical background of the Haitian crisis. The role played by the CIA has not been mentioned. The so-called “international community”, which claims to be committed to governance and democracy, has turned a blind eye to the killings of civilians by a US sponsored paramilitary army. The “rebel leaders”, who were commanders in the FRAPH death squadrons in the 1990s, are now being upheld by the US media as bona fide opposition spokesmen. Meanwhile, the legitimacy of the former elected president is questioned because he is said to be responsible for “a worsening economic and social situation.”

The worsening economic and social situation is largely attributable to the devastating economic reforms imposed by the IMF since the 1980s. The restoration of Constitutional government in 1994 was conditional upon the acceptance of the IMF’s deadly economic therapy, which in turn foreclosed the possibility of a meaningful democracy. High ranking government officials respectively within the Andre Preval and Jean Bertrand Aristide governments were indeed compliant with IMF diktats. Despite this compliance, Aristide had been “blacklisted” and demonized by Washington.

The Militarization of the Caribbean Basin

Washington seeks to reinstate Haiti as a full-fledged US colony, with all the appearances of a functioning democracy. The objective is to impose a puppet regime in Port-au-Prince and establish a permanent US military presence in Haiti.

The US Administration ultimately seeks to militarize the Caribbean basin.

The island of Hispaniola is a gateway to the Caribbean basin, strategically located between Cuba to the North West and Venezuela to the South. The militarization of the island, with the establishment of US military bases, is not only intended to put political pressure on Cuba and Venezuela, it is also geared towards the protection of the multibillion dollar narcotics transshipment trade through Haiti, from production sites in Colombia, Peru and Bolivia.

The militarisation of the Caribbean basin is, in some regards, similar to that imposed by Washington on the Andean Region of South America under “Plan Colombia’, renamed “The Andean Initiative”. The latter constitutes the basis for the militarisation of oil and gas wells, as well as pipeline routes and transportation corridors. It also protects the narcotics trade.

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“Michael Hudson is the best economist in the world. Indeed, I could almost say that he is the only economist in the world. …If you have not heard of Michael Hudson it merely shows the power of the Matrix. Hudson should have won several Nobel prizes in economics, but he will never get one.” – Paul Craig Roberts (February, 2016) [1] .

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While many people understandably look to military force as the factor that maintains an empire’s grip on the territories in its domain, there are some seemingly more subtle ways in which power can be sustained.

Throughout the post World War II period a number of former colonies established independence, yet thanks to financial instruments, these seemingly autonomous districts would find themselves serving the interests of far away economies at the expense of their own citizens.

Key tools by which the United States in particular came to dominate the post-war world was through the Bretton Woods institutions, namely the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).[2]

In the last two decades and particularly since the stock market crisis of 2008, the pre-eminent global super-power is in crisis, with collapse on the horizon. This coinciding with the rise of China which is becoming an influential player threatening the autonomy of the U.S. superstate. [3]

To provide a primer on the historical trajectory that has taken the world to the current set of economic relations and options for alternative economic modes, the Global Research News Hour is privileged to benefit form the expertise and understanding of pre-eminent financial economist Michael Hudson.

Having built up his understanding based not only on his academic research, but on years of experience as a Wall Street analyst and as a balance of payments economist for both Chase Manhattan Bank and Arthur Andersen, he is among the most highly respected economic thinkers in the world. In his 1972 book  Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire, he became the first writer in the world to explain the impact of America’s departure from the gold-standard, and the use of U.S. Treasury bonds in foreign central bank reserves to finance U.S, military adventures in Vietnam and elsewhere.  [4]

In an exclusive, wide-ranging interview, recorded in the summer of 2019 while visiting Winnipeg, Canada, Professor Hudson explains how the Bretton Woods institutions came to be an instrument of the U.S. empire, the similarities and differences behind the paths to Chinese and US economic prosperity, the virtual impossibility of electing a genuine reformer to the White House, the case of Canada, and more.

A transcript of this interview can be found here.

This program includes an excerpt from a talk given at the University of Manitoba as part of the  14th Forum of the World Association for Political Economy (WAPE).


(video credit Paul S Graham)

Michael Hudson is a prominent U.S. critical economist and President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET). A Wall Street Financial Analyst and Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, Dr. Hudson has acted as an economic adviser to governments worldwide, including Iceland, China, Latvia and Canada.

Dr. Hudson’s books include Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Destroy the Global Economy (2015), J Is for Junk Economics – A Guide to Reality in an Age of Deception (2017), and his seminal work – Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire (1972), a critique of how the United States exploited foreign economies through the IMF and World Bank. His website is www.michael-hudson.com

(Global Research News Hour Episode 277)

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Notes:

  1. https://www.counterpunch.org/2016/02/03/why-michael-hudson-is-the-worlds-best-economist/
  2. Michael Hudson (2003), p. 31, ‘Superimperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire’, 2nd ed., published by Pluto Press 
  3. https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-new-global-economy-rise-of-china-decline-of-the-united-states/5426933
  4. https://www.famouseconomists.net/michael-hudson
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Cuba’s President, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, presided the 20th anniversary celebration of the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM), which he described as “a visionary project founded to improve the quality of life of those who were born and died without having the opportunity to see a doctor.”

Minister of Public Health José Ángel Portal Miranda recalled that, since ELAM opened its doors, the staff has welcomed thousands of low-income youth, who were able to realize their dreams of becoming excellent health professionals.

Portal presented an overview of Cuban medical collaboration and highlighted the work of the more than 400,000 professionals who have provided services in 164 countries over 55 years, and the more than 29,000 working in 65 nations today. He recalled the emergence, in 2003, of the Barrio Adentro program in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Operation Miracle, to return sight to more than three million people in 35 countries; the cooperation provided to Haiti following the 2010 earthquake, and the confrontation with cholera; as well as the work of 28 Brigades from the Henry Reeve Contingent in 21 countries, including the struggle against Ebola in West Africa.

Students and staff celebrate ELAM’s 20th anniversary. Photo: Jose M. Correa

He continued highlighting,

“The social impact of programs like the effort to care for victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, with more than 26,000 patients treated, mostly children; the genetic and psycho-social study to evaluate more than 1,200,000 individuals with disabilities, in six ALBA member countries; and the Mas Medicos program in Brazil, which ensured access to health services for more than 60 million people.

”ELAM rector, Dr. Antonio José López Gutiérrez, in his remarks, said that the institute of higher learning is an example of solidarity and internationalism, which promotes the concept that “the patient is not a client, nor is medicine a commodity.

”Party Political Bureau members Roberto Morales Ojeda, a Council of Ministers vice president, and Ulises Guilarte de Nacimiento, secretary general of the Federation of Cuban Workers (CTC), also attended the event, during which Dr. José Miyar Barruecos was awarded an honorary doctorate, for his dedication to projects that have made medicine a life-defending science, and the university was granted the CTC’s 80th anniversary commemorative distinction.

In context

  • The ELAM was founded by Fidel on November 15, 1999.
  • Over 20 years, 29,749 students from 115 nations have graduated as doctors.- Some 6,848 graduates have earned advanced degrees in Comprehensive General Medicine and 2,135 in other specialties.
  • Graduates have provided support in the wake of many natural disasters including those in Haiti, Mexico, Guatemala, Chile, and the Amazon.
  • An important group of graduates have participated in Operation Miracle in several nations, in conjunction with Cuban medical brigades.
  • ELAM has been recognized by the Pan American Health Organization.- Sixty percent of the faculty hold advanced degrees, and 35% have science doctorates.

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Featured image: Díaz-Canel congratulated José Miyar Barruecos for his Honoris Causa. Photo: Jose M. Correa

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A 70-year-old cleaner died Thursday night after being struck with a brick thrown by rioters during a Wednesday street clash. He was the first Hong Kong resident directly killed from street clashes since the unrest was sparked by the since-withdrawn extradition bill. A black-clad person in a mask attacked him, but Western public opinion has generally kept silent. This is in sharp contrast to the brouhaha caused by a besieged police officer shooting a mob trying to grab his gun.

Around the same time, politicians in Washington are accelerating their move to promote the tool they can use to intervene in Hong Kong affairs to be passed. The US Senate on Thursday initiated a process, known as a hotline, to speed up passing the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act in the Senate as early as next Monday. The measure allows the bill to bypass normal procedure if there is a unanimous consensus. On the same day, the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, in an annual report, recommended that Congress enact legislation stating the US will suspend Hong Kong’s special trade status if the People’s Liberation Army or People’s Armed Police “engage in armed intervention in Hong Kong.”

These US moves have displayed its clear attitude: Hong Kong radical protesters can do whatever they want – kill people with bricks, set fire to or beat people who disagree with them, and throw dangerous debris from bridges – while regarding all actions taken by the governing authorities to stop violence and end chaos in accordance with the law as a crackdown on democracy and freedom.

This is the most shameless insult to and hijack of justice and morality. Democracy and freedom must be based on the rule of law. When rampage plagues Hong Kong, Washington’s support for violent protesters has become a crime against the city and its 7 million people. The US Congress wants to ruin Hong Kong’s prosperity and turn the city into a mess to drag China’s development.

Washington condones mobs’ vandalism to destroy Hong Kong and views efforts by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government as suppression on democracy and freedom. How ruthless and hypocritical it is. Politics, like poison, kills the humanity of some US politicians, making them desperate to create trouble for China at the cost of life and the future of Hong Kong people.

Nonetheless, American politicians cannot dominate the development of the Hong Kong situation. Where the city is headed depends on the attitude of the Hong Kong public and the Basic Law.

More and more Hongkongers are tired of the destruction to lives caused by violence. They cannot stand seeing their homes ruined by rioters and Western forces and have realized that Hong Kong has reached an unprecedented critical juncture. Many residents voluntarily clean up roadblocks these days, voicing their opposition to the mobs. The silent majority will not be silent any more.

The HKSAR government and police are determined to stop violence and end chaos according to law, and the central government is offering unwavering support to them. The Chinese government will firmly safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests and resolutely oppose any intervention by external forces in Hong Kong affairs.

We call on all peace-loving and development-cherishing forces around the world to condemn Hong Kong rioters, intervention in Hong Kong affairs by countries such as the US and Britain and their support to the mobs. If the West’s interventionist acts are indulged, this will be a long-term threat to world peace and stability and constitute a common challenge to the emerging countries.

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Hardline US Senators Call for Combatting China

November 18th, 2019 by Stephen Lendman

On November 12, a joint press release by US Senate Foreign Relations Committee hardliners Chris Coons, Jeff Merkley, Marco Rubio, and Todd Young called for combatting China.

The so-called Global Economic Security Strategy Act of 2019 (GESS) is all about wanting China marginalized, weakened, contained, and isolated.

It’s part of the US imperial strategy to undermine China’s economic, financial, technological, and military development.

It calls for requiring Trump and future presidents “to regularly produce and submit to Congress a Global Economic Security Strategy.”

Falsely claiming national security depends on unchallenged US economic growth, the measure calls for “respond(ing) in the most effective manner possible to international predatory economic practices (sic).”

These “practices” are a US specialty in dealings with other nations, seeking an advantage by fair or foul means — notably by wars of aggression and economic terrorism, wanting all nations subservient to its interests.

Young falsely claimed “(p)redatory economic practices by China and other strategic competitors has the potential to weaken America’s national security and our standing in the world (sic),” adding:

“We must combat these predatory practices (sic) by working together with our likeminded partners and allies around the globe.”

According to Merkley’s disinformation, the GESS “would help ensure that America has a plan in place to respond to other countries’ predatory economic strategies (sic), so we can ensure a level playing field and help working families thrive for generations to come (sic).”

Rubio notably is hostile to virtually everything just societies hold dear. Militantly hostile to China, he said the following:

“The (capitalist to the bone) Chinese Communist Party is undertaking a patient effort to reorient the global order to reflect their values and their interests at the expense of ours (sic), including using subsidies and protectionism to build up their capabilities in various key industries while destroying American competitors (sic),” adding:

“This bipartisan legislation recognizes the importance of combatting the threat China poses to US national and economic security by upholding the US-led global order (sic).”

According to Coons, GESS aims to “reduce threats to our nation’s economy (sic) and promote fair competition for American workers and families (sic).”

Introduced on November 7, the the measure’s full text hasn’t been released.

It has nothing to do with promoting “free, fair and reciprocal economic relationships” with other nations, everything to do with dominating them.

In April 2018, similar legislation was introduced without mention of China in it.

In October, neocon hardliner Mike Pence slammed Beijing, falsely saying “far too many American multinational corporations have kowtowed to the lure of (its) money and markets by muzzling not only criticism of the Chinese Communist Party, but even affirmative expressions of American values (sic).”

Separately on Tuesday, hardline Senator Josh Hawley falsely accused Beijing of building its own political and economic power on the backs of our working class, devastating” US manufacturing (sic).

China and other low-wage countries benefit from offshored manufacturing and other jobs by corporate America.

They’re to blame for what’s gone on for decades, not recipient countries.

So are bipartisan US policies that facilitate offshoring. Paul Craig Roberts explained that offshored US jobs weren’t “stolen by China,” adding:

“…America is not losing jobs to foreign competition but to our own corporations moving the work abroad in order to lower their labor costs and raise capital gains and bonuses for owners and executives.”

His book titled “The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism” explains it and related issues in detail.

“(J)obs were taken to China (and other low-wage countries) by US global corporations, along with the technology and business know-how, for the sole reason of maximizing US corporate profits,” he stressed.

The problem lies in the US, not abroad. Politicians from both right wings of the one-party state blame other countries for their abuses of power, betrayal of the public trust, and other wrongdoing.

Roberts explained that “(t)he way to bring jobs home” isn’t by tariffs on China or other countries, a wrongheaded policy.

Its by “tax(ing) corporations on the basis of the geographical location in which they add value to their products.”

“If US corporations produce in the 50 states for their US market, the tax rate would be low.”

“If they produce abroad in China or elsewhere for sale in the US, the tax rate would be high.”

Winston Churchill once said: “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.”

We’re still waiting after all these years. “The right thing” isn’t in the vocabulary of majority US hardliners, wanting things their way and for interests they support — at the expense of everyone else.

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Featured image is from Stansberry Churchouse

It’s an open secret. The deep state is working hand in hand with Silicon Valley social media giants like Twitter, Facebook and Google to control the flow of information. That includes suppressing, censoring and sometimes outright purging dissenting voices – all under the guise of fighting fake news and Russian propaganda. 

Most recently, it was revealed that Twitter’s senior editorial executive for Europe, the Middle East and Africa is an active officer in the British Army’s 77th Brigade, a unit dedicated to online warfare and psychological operations.

In other words: he specializes in disseminating propaganda.

The news left many wondering how a member of the British Armed Forces secured such an influential job in the media.

The bombshell that one of the world’s most influential social networks is controlled in part by an active psychological warfare officer was not covered at all in the New York Times, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC or Fox News, who appear to have found the news unremarkable.

But for those paying attention and for those who have been following ’MintPress News’ extensive coverage of social media censorship, this revelation was merely another example of the increasing closeness between the deep state and the fourth estate.

Amazon owner, and one of the world’s most richest, Jeff Bezos was paid $600 million by the CIA to develop software and media for the agency, that’s more than twice as much as Bezos bought the Washington Post for, and a move media critics warn spells the end of journalistic independence for the Post.

Meanwhile, Google has a very close relationship with the State Department, its former CEO Eric Schmidt’s book on technological imperialism was heartily endorsed by deep state warmongers like Henry Kissinger, Hillary Clinton and Tony Blair. 

In their book titled, The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business,Eric Schmidt and fellow Google executive Jared Cohen wrote:

What Lockheed Martin was to the twentieth century…technology and cyber-security companies [like Google] will be to the twenty-first.”

Another social media giant partnering with the military-industrial complex is Facebook. The California-based company announced last year it was working closely with the neoconservative think tank, The Atlantic Council, which is largely funded by Saudi Arabia, Israel and weapons manufacturers to supposedly fight foreign “fake news.”

The Atlantic Council is a NATO offshoot and its board of directors reads like a rogue’s gallery of warmongers, including the notorious Henry Kissinger, Bush-era hawks like Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, James Baker, the former head of the Department of Homeland Security and author of the PATRIOT Act, Michael Chertoff, a number of former Army Generals including David Petraeus and Wesley Clark and former heads of the CIA Michael Hayden, Leon Panetta and Michael Morell.

39 percent of Americans, and similar numbers of people in other countries, get their news from Facebook, so when an organization like the Atlantic Council is controlling what the world sees in their Facebook news feeds, it can only be described as state censorship on a global level.

After working with the council, Facebook immediately began banning and removing accounts linked to media in official enemy states like Iran, Russia and Venezuela, ensuring the world would not be exposed to competing ideas and purging dissident voices under the guise of fighting “fake news” and “Russian bots.”

Meanwhile, the social media platform has been partnering with the U.S. and Israeli governments to silence Palestinian voices that show the reality of life under Israeli apartheid and occupation. The Israeli Justice Minister proudly revealed that Facebook complied with 95 percent of Israeli government requests to delete Palestinian pages. At the same time, Google deleted dozens of YouTube and blog accounts supposedly connected to the government of Iran.

In the last week alone, Twitter has purged several Palestinian news pages, including Quds News Network — without warning or explanation.

Electronic Intifada co-founder Ali Abunimah wrote, 

This alarming act of censorship is another indication of the complicity of major social media firms in Israel’s efforts to suppress news and information about its abuses of Palestinian rights.”

Alternative voices not welcome

The vast online purge of alternative voices has also been directed at internal “enemies.”

Publishers like Julian Assange and whistleblowers like Chelsea Manning are still being held in solitary confinement in conditions that international bodies and human rights groups call torture, for their crime of revealing the extent of the global surveillance network and the control over the media that Western governments have built.

As attempts to re-tighten the state and corporate grip over our means of communication increases, high-quality alternative media are being hit the hardest, as algorithm changes from the media monoliths have deranked, demoted, deleted and disincentivized outlets that question official narratives, leading to huge falls in traffic and revenue.

The message from social media giants is clear: independent and alternative voices are not welcome.

One causality in this propaganda war is Daniel McAdams, Executive Director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, a public advocacy group that argues that a non-interventionist foreign policy is crucial to securing a prosperous society at home. McAdams served as Senator Paul’s foreign affairs advisor between 2001 and 2012. Before that, he was a journalist and editor for the Budapest Sun and a human rights monitor across Eastern Europe.

McAdams, who spent much of his time on Twitter calling out the war machine supported by both parties, was recently permanently banned from the platform for so-called “hateful conduct.” His crime? Challenging Fox News anchor Sean Hannity over his hour-long segment claiming to be against the “deep state,” while simultaneously wearing a CIA lapel pin. In the exchange, McAdams called Hannity “retarded,” claiming he was becoming stupider every time he watched him.

Yes, despite that word and its derivatives having been used on Twitter over ten times in the previous minute, and often much more aggressively than McAdams used it – only McAdams fell victim to Twitter’s ban hammer. Something didn’t make sense about this ban. One only needs to read the replies under any of President Trump’s tweets to see far more hateful speech than what McAdams displayed to suspect foul play.

I spoke with McAdams about the ban and began by asking him if he accepts the premise of the ban, or if he believes something else was afoot.

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Mnar Muhawesh is founder, CEO and editor in chief of MintPress News, and is also a regular speaker on responsible journalism, sexism, neoconservativism within the media and journalism start-ups.

Featured image is from Spirit Boom Cat | Shutterstock

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In a largely unreported but hugely important story that played out this week in the Balkans, Washington is putting immense pressure on Serbia to shelve future plans for acquiring Russia’s advanced S-400 air defense missile systems.

The controversy began Wednesday when Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told a public television broadcaster in an interview that he had a desire to purchase the S-400 but lacked the funding to do so, and at one point said “Serbia was ready to accept S-400s from Russia as a gift,” according to TASS.

You know, when you have such a weapon, no one would attack you. Neither US nor any other pilots fly where S-400s are operational: Israeli pilots do not fly either over Turkey or Syria, except for the Golan Heights. We have aviation, which the strongest than ever before. We will be strengthening the air defense with Pantsyr systems and other things, which are not on the sanctions list,” Vucic said in the interview.

This after Serbia is still reeling from what Belgrade and much of the public considers the ‘illegal’ US-NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, and later formal recognition of breakaway Kosovo as a republic under the Bush administration.

The president explained that he had attended the Slavic Shield-2019 Russian-Serbian drills in order to personally inspect the Russian systems and view their capabilities, which included Pantsyr-S anti-aircraft missiles.

Prior to the interview at least one notable Serbian newspaper reported that Belgrade was mulling purchase of the S-400 anti-air systems on long-term credit, with rumors that Serbian officers had even already begun limited training on the systems.

But as Russia’s TASS reported, all of this was enough to trigger US diplomatic threats and intervention:

The US was quick to respond to Vucic’s statement. US Special Representative for the Western Balkans Matthew Palmer warned in an interview with the Macedonian television during his visit to Skopje that the purchase of S-400 systems from Russia would entail US sanctions against Belgrade.

The sanctions threat worked, according to some Russian sources; however, the spat appears to be ongoing, given Reuters reported Friday that a US diplomat was promptly dispatched to meet with Serbian authorities over the issue.

Per the Reuters report:

U.S. concerns grew last month when Russia sent its S-400 missile defense system and Pantsir launchers to Serbia for a military drill. The move underlined Moscow’s wish to keep a traditional Slavic ally on side as Belgrade pursues links with NATO and tries to join the European Union.

Matthew Palmer, a U.S. envoy for the Balkans, said last week that Serbia could risk sanctions over its arms deals with Russia. Under the sanctions, Serbia could face punishments ranging from visa bans to denial of export licenses.

However, late in the week President Aleksandar Vucic had publicly addressed the country, telling Serbs “not to fear broad sanctions would be imposed on Serbia similar to those of the 1990s during the Balkan wars,” according to Reuters.

Serbia officially has a stance of “military neutrality” with regards to NATO, but joined its Partnership for Peace program in 2015, and remains a traditional close Slavic Balkan ally of Moscow.

Washington has of late actively sought to prevent the proliferation of Russian S-400s and its next generation S-500, especially after Turkey began receiving deliveries in the past months, which has brought US-Turkey relations near breaking point.

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Featured image: Vladimir Putin and Aleksandar Vučić, via EWB

After weeks of increasing right-wing protests, the Bolivian military demanded on Sunday that President Evo Morales resign. The protests had reached a fever pitch, with the police joining the side of the right-wing in the streets demanding the president’s ouster.

After the police, the military and the Organization of American States (OAS) united against Morales, he resigned. Shortly thereafter, his house was ransacked, and Morales went into hiding. President Trump along with other right-wing leaders tweeted his support for the ouster. The elites of the eastern city of Santa Cruz (the richest sector of the country, linked to agribusiness), among the right-wing opposition and Catholic Church, celebrated Morales’ resignation.

Protesters burned indigenous flags. Policemen cut the indigenous symbol off their uniform holding Bibles and claiming to defend “democracy.” The coup leaders Fernando Camacho and Carlos Mesa started a furious political persecution against the MAS party and the workers and indigenous people who rejected the coup. They burned their homes, detained people and brutally repressed the anti-coup demonstrations.

We should make no mistake: This is a coup organized by the Bolivian capitalists, agribusiness, the church and the armed forces. It is supported by U.S. imperialist interests organized in the OAS, and it has a deeply racist, homophobic, anti-worker and anti-indigenous perspective. Trump is using it to threaten Cuba and Venezuela;after the failed coup of Venezuela’s Juan Guaidó, U.S. imperialism is trying to support a puppet government to support its interests.

Morales has since fled the country, having been offered exile in Mexico. On Tuesday night, despite not having quorum in Congress, right-wing leader Jeanine Áñez proclaimed herself president of Bolivia. She walked to Congress holding an oversized Bible over her head, declaring, “The Bible will come back to the presidential palace.”

In the midst of this crisis, there is strong resistance on the ground in the city of El Alto, on the outskirts of La Paz. This area, which has a strong working-class mainly of Aymara origin, is organized in neighborhood councils that played a key role in ousting the noeoliberal government of Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada in 2003, and also confronting the failed coup against Morales in 2008. Now El Alto is on the front line again.

The Resistance

The day after the coup, Bolivians spontaneously came to the streets chanting “Now it’s time for civil war” and “Camacho, Mesa, we want your heads”—referring to the ultra-right-wing leaders of the coup. They set fire to a police station and burned the police in effigy in the streets, causing the police to retreat. They blocked highways and roads, closing schools and businesses. They rejected the racism and misogyny showed by the coupists against the wiphala (an indigenous flag) and “the women who wear the pollera,” in reference to the Andean traditional skirt worn by cholas (Aymara women). They suffer not only coup violence but also the structural racism of the Bolivian bourgeoisie.

They built assemblies to discuss next steps and self-defense. Indeed, the assembly concluded that it was necessary to “form self-defense committees, blockades, permanent and forceful mobilization.” As one protester said, “The police will no longer be in El Alto. We will take care of security within the community.” The Federación de Juntas Vecinales (Fejuve), the neighborhood organization that leads the protests, issued a statement calling for daily mobilizations. They demanded that the leaders of the coup abandon their posts within 48 hours and called on the military and government to obey the law. If they don’t, the Fejuve said, they will form “a Trade Union-Civilian Police Force” to resist the coup leaders’ violence and persecution.

These indigenous workers face harsh repression: tear gas and rubber bullets. There are images of children being carried to safety after protests, badly injured by the police and of indigenous people on the ground being kicked by the cops.

Faced with this resistance, the chief of the armed forces called for joint operations with the police in the places where the demonstrations are taking place. That is to say, a hardening of the repressive operations in the region of El Alto. But they still could not suffocate the resistance, and on Wednesday, the population of El Alto marched to La Paz (the seat of government) and held a massive cabildo (popular assembly) to reject the self-proclaimed president and continue the struggle until the coup falls.

A Rebellion in El Alto Is No Small Thing

El Alto is the largest city in Bolivia, with almost a million residents. It is a primarily indigenous city full of displaced peasants who come to work in the city. They have been the epicenter of radical resistance in the past, such as in 2003, when the neighborhood played a central role in overthrowing Sánchez de Lozada. Indeed, El Alto occupies a strategic position in Bolivia—all the major highways go through it, which means they can be blocked. The airport is also located there, as well as several gasoline plants.

In addition to playing a role in the overthrow of Lozada, El Alto has been central in other struggles, such as the struggle against privatization and multinational companies. Because of this combative history, a rebellion in El Alto is no small thing.

These neighborhoods tend to be sympathetic to Evo Morales—in fact it is because of their huge struggle in 2003 that Bolivia elected Morales as its first indigenous president. Morales integrated many of the leaders of the movement in El Alto into the government, and the movements have become increasingly co-opted—making excuses for and keeping people from struggling against Morales’ austerity policies and repression of the working class.

Despite this, there exists a small workers’ vanguard with independent unions and a sector of indigenous people among whom Morales lost support for his environmental policies. But, this loss of support doesn’t mean siding with the right. In El Alto, people have also protested Morales’ austerity policies, most notably in 2010 when he increased the price of gas. Some even participated in the initial mobilizations against the election results starting on October 20.

And the indigenous activists are clear on what they are fighting. As an indigenous woman in El Alto said, “The right wing that is in Santa Cruz is taking our territory and our riches. That’s why they want to humiliate us and step on us, as if they were the only citizens…. We say no more to being stepped on and humiliated by the transnational companies who have always stepped on us and humiliated us.”

Another woman says, “They have always killed us in the name of the Bible. The Spanish who showed up with their Bible and their sword. Now they want to kill us again, and we won’t allow it.”

Where Is Morales?

In the meantime, the right-wing is grabbing power. While they put on the facade of defending democracy until Morales was ousted, they have now shed that facade. Áñez, an ultra-religious right-wing leader of Congress, proclaimed herself interim president in a half-empty Congress. The Constitution says that votes can take place only with quorum. Áñez and the coup-plotters discarded that pesky detail and declared her president.

And just as the indigenous people in El Alto have begun a combative struggle against the coup, Morales left the country. As Bolivian socialists write in La Izquierda Diario, “The decision of Evo Morales to travel at this moment implies, objectively, to weaken that resistance to the coup.”

And it has been weakened further by Morales’ own rhetoric. Rather than encouraging the resistance, he tweeted, “I ask my people with great care to respect the peace and not fall into the violence of groups that seek to destroy the rule of law. We cannot fight among Bolivian brothers. I make an urgent call to resolve all differences with dialogue and discussion.”

This is a continuation of the Morales’ politics during the entire process of the right-wing coup: He sought dialogue with those who wanted to overthrow him. He urged patience and faith in the imperialist Organization of American States. And finally, he did not seek and encourage the mobilization of his indigenous base, or of the labor unions that are run by his own political party. The right-wing has done the exact opposite, going on the offensive in the streets, demanding the president’s overthrow—which they eventually won this week.

Morales came to power in 2006, expressing the enormous social rejection of the neoliberal policies implemented in Bolivia. Once in power, however, he co-opted and nationalized the mass organizations. This weakened their capacity for resistance and disarmed them in the face of possible attacks from the right. The right-wing maintained its economic, political and social power, in accordance with the agreements reached with the Morales government in 2008.

As Violeta Tamayo, a revolutionary socialist in Bolivia writes, “Far from socialism, Evo Morales encouraged capitalist profits and strengthened the right and the businesses who for years have been great friends of Evo. He attacked and violated the self-determination of the indigenous people, as well as attacking the student movement. I have been arrested three times under the MAS government for mobilizing.” Thus, the Morales government was not able to fight back against the rise of the extreme right which will create worse conditions for indigenous people, students and the working class.

Where Is This Going?

The emboldened far-right is trying to consolidate the coup by repression of El Alto with the support of imperialist powers. Far from upholding democracy, as they claim, they are attacking Morales’supporters and left activists, indigenous and working-class people. We have already seen right-wing attacks—including dragging a MAS party mayor through the streets, dousing her with red paint and cutting her hair. Now the anti-coup demonstrators say that the armed forces have killed and wounded protesters, and detained several of them.

The right-wing is trying to bring back the most retrograde, patriarchal and homophobic church to the center of Bolivian politics: The Catholic Church of the colonizers who committed genocide against indigenous people and continue to hate them.

They want a country run by agro-business interests, seeking to further plunder Bolivian lands and hyper-exploit the environment for their profit to the detriment of the native population of these lands. They want a government at the beck and call of the United States and their interests—opening the country to multinational corporations from the United States to plunder its labor and its resources. In fact, the imperialist governments of Donald Trump and Boris Johnson, as well as Jair Bolsonaro, have recognized Áñez as president of Bolivia.

This is what makes the protests in El Alto so important: It points toward a way to defeat the right wing, as the people of El Alto already did in 2003. Worker, indigenous and peasant self-organization and self-defense can defeat the right-wing coup and open the door to discuss an independent way out for the working class and popular sectors of Bolivia. We have to surround the resistance of the heroic people of Bolivia with the broadest international solidarity—down with the coup! For the triumph of the working class and the indigenous people against the far right!

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Tatiana Cozzarelli is a former middle school teacher and current Urban Education PhD student at CUNY.

Featured image is from Natacha Pisarenko, AP

Long seen as a strategic partner, Russia has opened a new chapter and started building better relations with Africa, and most significantly made its move by writing off Africa’s debts accumulated from the Soviet era. After the Soviet collapse, Russia first attempted at collecting its debts. Indeed, these Soviet-leaning debt-trapped African countries were unable to pay them (these debts) back to Russia.

During the Soviet era, Moscow forged alliances with African countries, especially those that supported its communist idealogy, and supplied them with military equipment and offered technical assistance on bilateral basis. In particular, supplied arms  went to Angola, Algeria, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Namibia, Mozambique, Morocco and South Africa. That Soviet-era form of diplomatic engagement left many African countries indebted to an amount of US$20 billion, according to official documents.

In an interview with TASS, Russian State News Agency, ahead of the first Russia-Africa Summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin explained Soviet’s role in the liberation of the continent, support for the struggle of its peoples against colonialism, racism and apartheid. In addition, the enormous help offered Africans to protect their independence and sovereignty, gain statehood, support for national economies, and created capable armed forces for Africa.

“Our African agenda is positive and future-oriented. We do not ally with someone against someone else; and we strongly oppose any geo-political ‘games’ involving Africa,” he said during the interview before referring the debts write-off to Africa. “Let me point out that in the post-Soviet period, at the end of the 20th century, Russia cancelled US$20 billion of African countries’ debts to the Soviet Union. This was both an act of generosity and a pragmatic step, because many of the African states were unable to service those debts. We, therefore, decided that it would be best for everyone to start our cooperation from scratch,” said President Putin during that interview.

On October 23, 2019, President Vladimir Putin and President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, African Union Chairman and Co-Chairman of the Russia-Africa Summit Abdel Fattah el-Sisi took part in the Russia-Africa Economic Forum. During the plenary session held under the theme “Russia and Africa: Uncovering the Potential for Cooperation” and attended by top officials, politicians and business leaders, and almost 2,000 Russian and foreign companies, the debts write-off as as basis for economic growth and for developing long-tern relations featured prominently. (See this)

“Economic issues are an integral part and a priority of Russia’s relations with African countries. Developing close business ties serves our common interest, contributes to the sustainable growth, helps to improve quality of life and solve numerous social problems,” President Putin said, and then added, “Russia provides systematic assistance to developing the African continent. Our country is participating in an initiative to ease the African countries’ debt burden. To date, the total amount of write-offs stands at over US$20 billion. Joint programmes have been launched with a number of countries involving the use of debts to finance national economic growth projects.”

On September 5, 2017, President Vladimir Putin attended a meeting of BRICS leaders with delegation heads from invited states, including the Heads of State and Government of Egypt, Tajikistan, Mexico, Guinea and Thailand. The meeting discussed the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and prospects for further developing their partner relations. Before the meeting, the BRICS leaders and delegation heads form invited states had a joint photo session, President Putin informed that “Russia has been working actively to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We have written off over US$20 billion of African countries’ debts through the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative.” (See this)

On January 30, 2015, President Putin sent his greetings to the 24th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union Heads of State and Government. The message stated in part: The Russian Federation’s relations with our African partners are developing positively. We have established a substantial political dialogue and work actively together in international affairs. Russia’s decision to write off much of African countries’ debt and the preferential conditions we offer the majority of Africa’s traditional export goods open up new possibilities for trade, economic and investment cooperation. (See this)

On March 27, 2013, in Durban, South Africa, in a speech at meeting with Heads of African states, President Putin explicitly noted “Over the course of many decades, Russia has provided direct assistance to the African continent. I would like to note that we have written off over 20 billion dollars in debt; we have written off far more than any other G8 nation. We plan to take additional measures to ease the debt burden.”

According to the Russian leader, the BRICS group’s companies are working actively in the African market; there is a growing influx of investments into various sectors in Africa’s economies, from traditional mineral extraction and farming to high technologies and banking. He added BRICS countries are championing the rights and interests of Africa and other nations with emerging economies, speaking out in favour of increasing their role and influence in the global governance system, particularly international financial and economic organizations. (See this)

On June 28, 2002, in Kananaskis, Canada, there was a media conference after the G8 Summit. There was one specific question regarding Africa. The G8 approached the plan submitted by African countries in a creative way. What can be Russia’s role and place in addressing the global problem of combating poverty?

President Vladimir Putin answered:

“As regards Russia, it has traditionally had very good relations with the African continent. We are very perceptive of the problems on the African continent. I must say that Russia has been making a very tangible contribution to solving Africa’s problems. Suffice it to say Russia is making a big contribution to the initiative adopted here, a multi-lateral initiative, including the writing off part of African debts. Of all the African debts that are to be written-off, 20% are debts to the Russian Federation. That is US$26 billion.”

On May 21, 2007, The Kremlin made available Excerpts of the Transcript of the Cabinet Meeting. Finance Minister Aleksei Kudrin on the meeting of G8 finance ministers. The issue about supporting and helping African countries. Minister Kudrin told the cabinet meeting;

“We discussed the implementation of a number of initiatives that should improve the management and transparency of public finances in those countries, including by better employing revenues from the extraction of mineral resources in Africa to fight against poverty.”

“We discussed responsible lending and relations with countries that have benefited from debt relief. We are writing off debt, reducing these countries’ debt burden, and meanwhile their opportunity to incur new debts is increasing simultaneously. And a number of countries are starting to make huge loans to these countries, taking advantage of the fact that they are no longer in debt and lending to them at such a rate that these countries will once again require help. These instances exist. In fact, this practice is liable to be perceived in a negative way. A number of leading countries in the world are engaged in this practice,” he said.

At Sochi summit, Putin’s announcement about “debt write-off” was, therefore, nothing new. The Africa’s debts write-off debt has been played for years. It re-occurred in Foreign Minister Lavrov speeches, at least between 2007 and 2015, as indicated here from the official website of the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Remarks by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the UN Summit for the Adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda, New York, September 27, 2015 (1814-27-09-2015).

He said:

“Russian development assistance is invariably aimed at solving the most pressing challenges faced by the countries in need. In these efforts, we are neither trying to lecture our partners on how they should build their lives, nor impose political models and values. Poverty eradication is the key objective of Russia’s state policy in the area of international development assistance at the global level.”

Debt relief is an effective tool in this regard. Under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC), our country has written off over 20 bn US dollars of the principal debt owed by African countries alone. Russia also contributes to reducing the debt burden of the poorest countries beyond the HIPC through debt-for-aid swaps. We also take other steps towards the settlement of debt owed to Russia, both within multilateral and bilateral formats, he added.

Speech by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the reception on the occasion of Africa Day, Moscow, 22 May 2014 (1243-22-05-2014). As it is known, Russia has written off over 20 billion US dollar debt of African states. We are undertaking steps to further ease the debt burden of Africans, including through conclusion of agreements based on the scheme “debt in exchange for development”according to the Foreign Minister.

In April, 2014, the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, approved the new State policy concept of the Russian Federation in the area of contribution to international development. Its practical implementation will contribute to the build-up of our participation in the area of assistance to the development of states of the African continent, according to the report posted to the website.

Transcript of Remarks by Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov at Reception on Occasion of Africa Day, Moscow, May 26, 2008 (751-26-05-2008).

“Russia has done a great deal to alleviate the debt burden, particularly in the framework of the Enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative, and in writing off multilateral debts to the IMF and the International Development Association. The overall amount of the African countries’ indebtedness cancelled by us, including on a bilateral basis, exceeds 20 billion dollars, of which about one-half in the last two years,” Lavrov told the gathering on Africa Day in 2008.

As far back as May 2007, the Foreign Ministry showed interest in Africa’s debts.

“We are helping our African partners reduce the burden of foreign debt. We have written off African debt within the framework of the initiative to reduce the indebtedness of the poorest nations,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at May 25 gathering of a group of ambassadors, diplomats and ministry officials marking Africa Day.

The move signaled Russia’s intention to fulfill its commitments made at that time Group of Eight (G8) meetings as well as paving the way to increased trade with the African continent. It was then, signed into law March 10 ratifying the agreement between Russia and African countries it aided during the Soviet era. Russia continued discussions on a full debt write-off on bilateral basis, African countries owed nearly US$20 billion. The debt was primarily through weapon deliveries, according to the official transcript.

“The most important aspect of economic cooperation in our foreign policy is to encourage African countries to trade with us and to not only depend on development aid. Always looking for aid makes these countries less productive and funds for projects end up in foreign banks at the expense of the suffering population,” Lavrov said.

In March 2019, President Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting of the Commission for Military-Technical Cooperation with Foreign States and Kremlin’s website transcript pointed to the geographic reach of military-technical cooperation as constantly expanding, with the number of partners already in more than 100 countries worldwide.

Since then, President Putin has repeatedly called for renewed efforts, not only, in preserving, but also, in strengthening Russia’s leading position on the global arms market, primarily in the high-tech sector, amid tough competition. He further called for reliance on the rich experience in this sphere and building up consistently military technology cooperation with foreign states.

“We strictly observe international norms and principles in this area. We supply weapons and military equipment solely in the interests of security, defence and anti-terrorism efforts. In each case, we thoroughly assess the situation and try to predict the developments in the specific region. There are no bilateral contracts ever targeted against third countries, against their security interests,” he explained.

According to the Kremlin website, Russia targeted global export contracts worth 50 billion dollars in 2018. Russia’s export priority is to expand its scope and strengthen its position on the market.

Over the past years, strengthening military-technical cooperation has been a strong part of the foreign policy of the Russian Federation. Russia has signed bilateral military-technical cooperation agreements with many African countries. On the other hand, Moscow’s post-Cold War relations with Africa, undoubtedly, lean toward military support and arms trade. Analysis by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) indicates that between 2014 and 2018, Russia accounted for 49% of arms imports to North Africa and 28% to Sub-Saharan Africa.

Africa has started accumulating debts. For example, Johan Burger’s article details crucial information in relation to Russia’s military interests in Africa. Russia has established or intends to establish military bases in Sudan along the Red Sea Coast, Somaliland, and Egypt. Another publication highlights Russia’s military bases in Madagascar, Mozambique, and Guinea. Lately, the Central African Republic intends to host a Russian military base.

Last October, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, African Union Chairman and Co-Chairman of the Russia-Africa Summit, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, noted in his speech at the plenary session of the Russia-Africa Economic Forum: Africa welcomes the efforts to encourage an open door policy and cooperation with its partners with a view to making a breakthrough in developing its economy. Russia and other foreign countries as well as international financial organizations have to develop cooperation and invest in Africa.

Further, the Egyptian leader urged international and regional financial organizations to take part in funding Africa’s economic growth and to give it financial guarantees on consolidating its economic potential. This would help promote trade and investment. Further urged foreign countries to grant African states generous terms for their projects and development programmes, which will help Africa reach its dream – to embark on the road of progress, modernization and sustainable development.

Before concluding his speech, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi emphasized that cooperation with Africa must be based on common interests, on the protection of African property, which would allow Africa to promote comprehensive sustainable development by carrying out three major goals.

First, it is necessary to accelerate economic reforms and create a businesslike atmosphere by establishing close partnership with the private sector. Second, it is essential to implement social justice principles with the broad participation of society. Third, it is necessary to consolidate peace and stability in accordance with the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and Sustainable Development Goals 2030.

Significantly noting that African Union officials have repeatedly urged African leaders to prioritize Africa’s Agenda 2063 – a strategic framework for delivering on Africa’s goal for inclusive and sustainable development – and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 15-member UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution welcoming AU initiatives for infrastructure development and pledging support for “African solutions to African problems” in an attempt to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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Kester Kenn Klomegah is an independent researcher on Russia, Africa and BRICS. He is the author of the Geopolitical Handbook titled “Putin’s African Dream and The New Dawn: Challenges and Emerging Opportunities” devoted to the first Russia-Africa Summit 2019.

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In July 2015, the security officials of Afghanistan and Pakistan were holding an important meeting in Islamabad to initiate a dialogue process with the Taliban when the Afghan National Directorate of Intelligence publicly announced that Taliban chief Mullah Mohammed Omar had died two years ago in 2013.

Though the Taliban immediately announced Mullah Akhtar Mansour as Mullah Omar’s successor, who was also killed in an American drone strike a year later in May 2016 while returning to Pakistan from a visit to Iran, it transpired that for two years prior to the revelation of Mullah Omar’s death, the affairs of the Taliban were being managed by a Shura Council – an advisory council of the top cadres of the Taliban.

Similarly, confirming the deaths of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the Islamic State spokesman Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, who was killed in a US airstrike in northern Syria a day after the killing of al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State’s Amaq news agency announced Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Quraishi as the new caliph of the terrorist organization on October 31.

Al-Quraishi is such an obscure jihadist that even national security analysts tracking the details of militant movements in the Middle East don’t have an inkling about his origins or biography. Even his name appears to be a nom de guerre rather than a real name. Abu Ibrahim basically means the “father of Ibrahim” in Arabic whereas Banu Hashem was Prophet Mohammad’s family and Quraishi means the tribe of Quraish. Both are common surnames in the Islamic World.

Some security analysts surmise that Amir Mohammad Sa’id Abdal Rahman al-Mawla, who is also known by the alias Haji Abdullah and Abdullah Qardash, is the new chief of the Islamic State, as the US State Department has announced a $5 million reward for information leading to him. Haji Abdullah Qardash is from Tal Afar, a city in northwestern Iraq, and has previously served as an army officer during Saddam Hussein’s regime.

In any case, identifying individual militant leaders by name is irrelevant because as in the case of the Taliban and several other regional jihadist groups, the decisions are collectively taken by the Shura Council of the Islamic State. The title caliph of the Islamic State is simply a figurehead, which is obvious from the fact that al-Baghdadi remained in hiding for several years before being killed in a special-ops raid on October 27, and the terrorist group kept functioning autonomously without any guidance or directives from its purported chief.

Regarding the creation and composition of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, apart from training and arms which were provided to Syrian militants in the training camps located in the Turkish and Jordanian border regions adjacent to Syria by the CIA in collaboration with Turkish, Jordanian and Saudi intelligence agencies, another factor that contributed to the success of the Islamic State when it overran Raqqa in Syria in 2013 and Mosul and Anbar in Iraq in 2014 was that its top cadres were comprised of former Baathist military and intelligence officers from the Saddam era.

Reportedly, hundreds of ex-Baathists constitute the top- and mid-tier command structure of the Islamic State who plan all the operations and direct its military strategy. The only feature that differentiates the Islamic State from all other insurgent groups is that its command structure which is comprised of professional ex-Baathists and its state-of-the-art weaponry that was provided to all militant outfits fighting in Syria by the intelligence agencies of the Western powers, Turkey, Jordan and the Gulf states.

In fact, Washington exercised such an absolute control over Syria’s theater of proxy war that although the US openly provided the American-made antitank (TOW) weapons to Syrian militant groups, it strictly forbade its clients from providing anti-aircraft weapons (MANPADS) to the militants, because Israel frequently flies surveillance aircrafts and drones and occasionally carries out airstrikes in Syria, and had such weapons fallen into the wrong hands, they could have become a long-term security threat to the Israeli Air Force.

Last year, a report by the Conflict Armament Research (CAR) on the Islamic State’s weapons found in Iraq and Syria was prominently featured in the mainstream media. Before the story was picked up by the corporate media, it was first published [1] in the Wired News in December 2017, which has a history of spreading dubious stories and working in close collaboration with the Pentagon and DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency).

The Britain-based Conflict Armament Research (CAR) is a relatively unknown company of less than 20 employees. Its one-man Iraq and Syria division was headed by a 31-year-old Belgian researcher Damien Spleeters.

The main theme of Spleeters’ investigation was to discover the Islamic State’s homegrown armaments industry and how the jihadist group’s technicians had adapted the East European munitions to be used in the weapons available to the Islamic State. Spleeters had listed 1,832 weapons and 40,984 pieces of ammunition recovered in Iraq and Syria in the CAR’s database.

But Spleeters had only tangentially touched upon the subject of the Islamic State’s weapons supply chain, documenting only a single PG-9 rocket found at Tal Afar in Iraq bearing a lot number of 9,252 rocket-propelled grenades which were supplied by Romania to the US military, and mentioning only a single shipment of 12 tons of munitions which was diverted from Saudi Arabia to Jordan in his supposedly ‘comprehensive report.’

In fact, the CAR’s report was so misleading that of thousands of pieces of munitions investigated by Spleeters, less than 10% were found to be compatible with NATO’s weapons and more than 90% were found to have originated from Russia, China and the East European countries, Romania and Bulgaria, in particular.

By comparison, a joint investigation by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) uncovered [2] the Pentagon’s $2.2 billion arms pipeline to the Syrian militants.

It bears mentioning that $2.2 billion was earmarked only by Washington for training and arming the Syrian militants, and tens of billions of dollars [3] that Saudi Arabia and the oil-rich Gulf states pumped into Syria’s proxy war have not been documented by anybody so far.

More significantly, a Bulgarian investigative reporter, Dilyana Gaytandzhieva, authored a report [4] for Bulgaria’s national newspaper, Trud News, in August 2017 which found that an Azerbaijan state airline company, Silk Way Airlines, was regularly transporting weapons to Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Turkey under diplomatic cover as part of the CIA covert program to supply weapons to militant groups in Syria.

Gaytandzhieva documented 350 such ‘diplomatic flights’ and was subsequently fired from her job for uncovering the story. Not surprisingly, both these well-researched and groundbreaking reports didn’t even merit a passing mention in any mainstream news outlet.

Notwithstanding, Damien Spleeters of the Conflict Armament Research (CAR) authored another report [5] in November last year, in which he stated that South Sudan’s neighbors, Uganda in particular, had breached an arms embargo by funneling East European weapons to the South Sudan conflict.

South Sudan is the world’s youngest nation which gained independence from Sudan in 2011. The United States is often said to have midwifed South Sudan by leading the negotiations for its independence from Sudan, because South Sudan is an oil-rich country and produces about half a million barrels crude oil per day.

But a civil war began in 2013 between Dinka tribal group of South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and Nuer rebels led by warlord and former Vice President Riek Machar, and has triggered one of the world’s largest humanitarian emergencies. Millions of South Sudanese have sought refuge in displacement camps in South Sudan and neighboring countries.

The Conflict Armament Research’s report on the weapons found in South Sudan notes: “One of the most astonishing findings is that 99 percent of the ammunition tracked by CAR is of Chinese origin. Some of it was legally transferred to South Sudan, but much of it was delivered secretly to the opposition via Sudan in 2015 and is still being used.”

Unsurprisingly, the Britain-based monitoring group has implicated China, East European countries and South Sudan’s neighbors for defying the embargo and providing weapons to the belligerents, and has once again given a free pass to the Western powers for creating the catastrophe in its supposedly ‘comprehensive and credible’ report.

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Nauman Sadiq is an Islamabad-based attorney, columnist and geopolitical analyst focused on the politics of Af-Pak and Middle East regions, neocolonialism and petro-imperialism. He is a regular contributor to Global Research.

Notes

[1] Tracing Islamic State’s weapons supply chain

[2] The Pentagon’s $2.2 billion Soviet arms pipeline to Syria

[3] Mark Curtis’ book review, Secret Affairs: How Britain Colluded with Radical Islam

[4] Journalist Interrogated, Fired For Story Linking CIA And Syria Weapons Flights

[5] Uganda breached arms embargo in funneling European weapons to South Sudan

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Post-coup Bolivia is at risk of Croatian-style ethnic cleansing and South African-like apartheid unless the protesters succeed in putting substantial international pressure on the new “authorities” and ensuring that genuinely free and fair elections are held as soon as possible as the most realistic attempt to reverse the recent regime change.

Far From Over

The Hybrid War on Bolivia succeeded in carrying out regime change and could potentially have far-reaching geostrategic consequences, but its most devastating impact might be domestic if the new “authorities” are allowed to carry out their socio-economic agenda. Post-coup Bolivia is at risk of Croatian-style ethnic cleansing and South African-like apartheid unless the protesters succeed in putting substantial international pressure on Jeanine Anez and her military backers in order to ensure that genuinely free and fair elections are held as soon as possible as the most realistic attempt to reverse the recent regime change. “Former” President Morales’ Movement For Socialism (MAS) reached an agreement with the the self-professed “president” on Thursday night to work towards new elections, during which time lawmakers also voted to approve a member of MAS as the new Senate head. Although there are still protests and the death toll continues to rise, the latest political developments are somewhat encouraging, but that doesn’t mean that the Hybrid War itself is over, or even close to it.

A Christian Supremacist As The “Head Of State”

Anez is a Christian supremacist who harbors extremely racist views towards her country’s indigenous population. She wrote in a now-deleted tweet from 14, April, 2013 that “I dream of a Bolivia free of satanic indigenous rites. The city is not for the Indian: they should go to the highlands or the Chaco”. She also dramatically declared herself president while brandishing a gigantic bible and stating that “the bible has returned to the palace“, which was meant to imply that President Morales wasn’t really a Christian like he claimed but a paganist because of his previous support of indigenous religions. It’s also extremely symbolic that her so-called “cabinet” doesn’t include a single indigenous person, and it shouldn’t be forgotten that the capital was convulsed in an orgy of violence against Morales’ many indigenous supporters the night that the coup succeeded. Taken together, it convincingly appears that one of the hyper-nationalist coup plotters’ agendas is to ethnically cleanse the indigenous population out of the cities and back to the countryside where their racist supporters believe that they “belong” so that the “civilized” parts of the state can become “purely” Christian.

The Roots Of Racist Rage

President Morales’ 13 years in office saw the massive influx of indigenous people to the cities as this demographic became empowered through his socio-economic policies and finally began to more actively play their rightful role in the country’s affairs. This shift upset some of the mestizos who felt that their comparatively privileged positions were being challenged with the connivance of the state, which contributed to their rising anger against the long-serving leader and the racist-fascist views that some of them started to more openly embrace as a result of perceiving this to be a “civilizational struggle”. Investigative journalists Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton exposed the dark social trends behind the Bolivian coup in their piece last week titled “Bolivia coup led by Christian fascist paramilitary leader and millionaire — with foreign support“, which also drew attention to the shadowy role played by Bolivian-Croatian oligarch Branko Marinkovic, who they wrote “has long been dogged by rumors that his family members were involved in the country’s powerful fascist Ustashe movement.” It’s a well-known fact that many former fascist fighters from all over Europe fled to South America after the war, so it wouldn’t be surprising if those rumors about his family are true.

The Croatian Connection

Considering that those journalists’ investigation revealed that Marinkovic shares Anez’s Christian fundamentalist views which also not-coincidentally align with the Ustashe’s, the case can be put forth that some of the former fascist fighters who fled to South America (of which Marinkovic’s family might have been a part) fertilized the social soil over the past seven decades and made the revival of World War II-like fascism possible in present-day Bolivia. Modern-day Croatia, it should be reminded, is the partial geopolitical revival of a Nazi puppet state and carried out the largest ethnic cleansing in Europe since 1945 during 1995’s US-backed “Operation Storm” against over 200,000 members of its indigenous Serbian minority. History has an odd way of repeating itself, and while that same scenario probably won’t unfold the exact same way in post-coup Bolivia, its ethnic cleansing end game could potentially be pursued by pressuring the indigenous population to leave the cities en masse following a forthcoming campaign of state-supported intimidation against them.

“Clever” Ethnic Cleansing

This could be “cleverly” conducted away from the watchful eye of the international community through “plausibly deniable” means such as turning a blind eye towards fascist mob violence, the de-facto imposition of discriminatory hiring practices by coup-sympathizing mestizos, and the dismantlement of the plurinational state promulgated under President Morales on the basis of “removing societal divisions”. The latter isn’t just purely speculative either since Anez said that “We want to be a democratic tool of inclusion and unity…We leave behind those times in which ethnic and class resentments which divide Bolivians are used as an instrument of political control”, which could be interpreted as a dog whistle to her supporters that the coup “authorities” intend to reverse the hard-earned socio-economic and political gains that the indigenous population received during President Morales’ tenure. Affirmative action programs could therefore be rolled back on the basis that they were “polarizing the country along ethnic and class lines” in a way inimical to Anez’s “inclusive and unifying” vision, potentially even making them restricted to specific territories instead of demographics so as to encourage indigenous migration back to the countryside as a first step towards apartheid.

“Bolivian Bantustans”

After all, to crudely paraphrase the feelings that many of the coup’s mestizo supporters have towards their indigenous compatriots, they believe that they’re “uncivilized heathens” who “deserve” to live in ethnic “reservations” that would de-facto function as a Bolivian form of South Africa’s notorious “Bantustans”. Putting pressure on this enormous segment of the population to “return to their rightful homes” for both physical safety and social security after being intimidated to leave the cities and having their affirmative action rights stripped from them unless they live in specific territorial zones could eventually accomplish the dual goals of Croatian-style ethnic cleansing and the imposition of South African-like apartheid. All the while, these people would also risk becoming slaves to the neoliberal-globalist system that the coup plotters are planning to impose upon the country, therefore becoming second-class citizens once again after almost a decade and half of finally experiencing freedom. It’s therefore incumbent upon them to do everything within their power to put substantial international pressure on the new coup “authorities” and ensure that genuinely free and fair elections are held in order to avert this worst-case scenario before it’s too late and the world stops caring.

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This article was originally published on OneWorld.

Andrew Korybko is an American Moscow-based political analyst specializing in the relationship between the US strategy in Afro-Eurasia, China’s One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity, and Hybrid Warfare. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image is from OneWorld

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Selected Articles: US Sanctions and Regime Change

November 18th, 2019 by Global Research News

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Washington Threatens Egypt with Sanctions Over Russian Su-35 Fighter Jet Purchase

By Sarah Abed, November 18, 2019

Washington’s latest attempt to dissuade an ally from making arms deals with Russia came in the form of a letter sent on last Wednesday to Egyptian officials warning them that they could face sanctions if they continued with their $2 billion dollar Su-35 fighter jets contract.

In addition to sanctions, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper warned Egyptian Defense Minister Mohamed Ahmed Zaki that “Major new arms deals with Russia would — at a minimum — complicate future U.S. defense transactions with and security assistance to Egypt,” in Wednesday’s letter. The United States sends Egypt $1.3 billion annually in military assistance.

Bolivia’s U.S.-backed Coup Government Has Given the Military a License to Kill Protestors

By Paul Antonopoulos, November 18, 2019

The de facto and unelected president of Bolivia, Jeanine Áñez, signed a decree that exempts all military personnel from being criminally responsible, even in the cases of murder, in the midst of demonstrations against the coup d’etat that ousted democratically elected first Indigenous President of Bolivia, Evo Morales. Effectively, Bolivian security forces have a license to kill now.

Since the decree was signed last Thursday, it has inevitably caused controversy with demonstrators and social media users alike. And it very well should – it is a blatant U.S.-orchestrated coup against Moraleswho helped his country reduce unemployment, poverty and illiteracy by at least 50% from 2006 to 2018, and liberated his country from strangling neoliberal policies of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

Why Is Thailand Buying Russian Helicopters? Are They Better than “Made in America”?

By Joseph Thomas, November 17, 2019

Beginning in 2011, the Kingdom of Thailand began replacing aging US helicopters not with newer US-built models, but with Russian and Italian systems instead.

This includes Russian Mi-17 medium twin-turbine transport helicopters and several AgustaWestland AW149’s and AW139’s (for transporting VIPs).

Bolivia – A Color Revolution – or a New Surge for Latin American Independence?

By Peter Koenig, November 17, 2019

It’s become a classic. It’s being called a Color Revolution, and it’s been taking place on all Continents. The list of victim-countries includes, but is not exhaustive – Colombia, Honduras, Argentina, Paraguay, Ecuador, Chile, Brazil, in some ways also Uruguay (the current left-leaning government is powerless and has to remain so, otherwise it will be “changed”… that’s the name of the game) – and now also Bolivia. – Then there are Georgia, Ukraine, Iraq, South Sudan, Libya, Afghanistan, Indonesia; and the lawless rulers of the universe are attempting to “regime change” North Korea, Syria, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua – and on a larger scale China and Russia (I just returned from China – where the Government and people are fully aware what Washington’s intentions are behind every move they make).

Operation Northwoods. False Flag Attacks and Regime Change. US Intervention in India

By Great Game India, November 17, 2019

Operation Northwoods was a proposed false flag operation against the Cuban government that originated within the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) of the United States government in 1962. The proposals called for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or other U.S. government operatives to commit acts of terrorism against American civilians and military targets, blaming them on the Cuban government, and using it to justify a war against Cuba.

The Role of Russia’s Military Police in Syria. The Deal between Russia and Turkey?

By Steven Sahiounie, November 17, 2019

Turkey and Russia began joint patrols in the northeast conflict zone in Syria beginning November 1.  The Russian military police, formed in 2012, is tasked with convoy protection, area security, restoring law and order, and resettlement operations. Russia recently sent about 300 more military police and more than 20 armored vehicles to Syria. Russia landed attack helicopters and troops at a sprawling air base at Qamisli in northeast Syria, recently vacated by US forces.

Evo Overthrown, But Bolivian Socialism Will be Victorious!

By Andre Vltchek, November 17, 2019

They pledged to do it, and they did – Bolivian feudal lords, mass media magnates and other treasonous “elites” – they overthrew the government, broke hope and interrupted an extremely successful socialist process in what was once one of the poorest countries in South America.

One day, they will be cursed by their own nation. One day they will stand trial for sedition. One day, they will have to reveal who trained them, who employed them, who turned them into spineless beasts. One day! Hopefully soon.

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The mining industry continues to be at the forefront of colonial dispossession around the world. It controls information about its intrinsic costs and benefits, propagates myths about its contribution to the economy, shapes government policy and regulation, and deals ruthlessly with its opponents.

Brimming with case studies, anecdotes, resources, and illustrations, Unearthing Justice exposes the mining process and its externalized impacts on the environment, Indigenous Peoples, communities, workers, and governments. But, most importantly, the book shows how people are fighting back. Whether it is to stop a mine before it starts, to get an abandoned mine cleaned up, to change laws and policy, or to mount a campaign to influence investors, Unearthing Justice is an essential handbook for anyone trying to protect the places and people they love.

So reads the announcement by MiningWatch Canada, the Ottawa-based mining watchdog organization founded in 1999 with Joan Kuyek as its first full-time staff person. In this book, Kuyek brilliantly combines her extensive knowledge of the mining industry and its sweeping control of government policy with the valuable lessons she and her colleagues have learned in fighting environmental depredation and community disruption by the industry, starting with the 30 years she spent as a community activist and organizer in the Ontario mining centre of Sudbury.

As Kuyek reports, Canada is a world mining power. Its two key stock exchanges, the TSX and TSX Venture account for almost 20 percent of the total mining equity raised globally.

“In 2015, the TSX and TSXV listed 57 percent of the world’s publicly traded mining companies, which together traded more than $148 billion of equity; 32 percent of the total number of mining and exploration companies in the world were headquartered in Canada.

“According to Natural Resources Canada, Canadian mining companies operate in more than one hundred countries around the world. In 2017, Canada had $62.6 billion worth of mining investment abroad. Its exports in minerals and metals reached $91.7 billion in 2015, 56 percent of this to the United States.”[1]

According to the Mining Association of Canada, the industry employs more than 426,000 workers across the country in mineral extraction, smelting, fabrication and manufacturing, and indirectly employs an additional 206,000. Canada ranks in the top five countries in global production of 16 major minerals and metals.[2]

The industry benefits from Canada’s taxation and royalties regimes, which are among the most lax in the world. Abroad, Canadian mining companies are protected and promoted by the “economic diplomacy” practiced by Ottawa’s embassies and financed by Canadian banks and the federal government’s Export Development Corporation.

Kuyek describes and analyzes all aspects of the industry: its structures and financing, its social and environmental impact, the role of Canadian laws and regulations in furthering mining investment, and Canada’s international mining presence now coming under increasing challenge in Latin America and Africa.

Special attention is given to the industry’s “ecological economics.” Kuyek documents how mining companies consistently ignore or underestimate the social and environmental costs of mining operations, the “externalities” not covered by profit and loss accounting of projects. “One of the places where ecological economics becomes strategically important,” she writes, “is in environmental assessment — the government process of looking at environmental effects before it licenses large projects to proceed.” She lists many of the crucial questions ignored by classical economics, and cites a growing movement to enlarge the system of public accounts to keep track of the depletion of natural capital, and the health of the people, the cultures, and the social services of our communities.” At the same time, she recognizes the limitations of this approach.

“Ecological (or social or Gaian) accounting is the development of ledgers for projects that measure the estimated real impacts of the activity on the individual, the household, the community, and the ecosystem. There is a serious risk to putting an economic value on nature, given how the dominant economy is capable of making everything a commodity. Any economic valuation of ecological services is going to be inaccurate. Such things are priceless and cannot be adequately compensated for once lost.”

Throughout, Kuyek illustrates her account with vivid examples drawn from the struggles of communities, many of them Indigenous, to stop prospecting on their lands or limit the damages resulting from the installation, operation, and closing of mining ventures.

Especially valuable is a final chapter proposing ways to “put mining in its place.” Among the many suggestions she offers, a key regulatory proposal is to force mining firms to pay the full monetary costs of their extraction of metals and gems. Although, as Kuyek said above, that alone cannot compensate the full cost to nature and human society, she maintains that “Forcing companies to internalize even some of their costs will make most mines uneconomic.”

More fundamentally, she says, “We all want stable economies that heal the environment and do not pollute the waters, land and air.…We want livelihoods that sustain the planet and communities.” Mining

“is a short-term, waste management industry with long-term consequences. It is not sustainable; it depletes the very resources upon which it depends. We need to reduce our consumption of metals, conserve, reuse and recycle them. We do not need more gold, silver, uranium, coal or diamonds. Only as a last resort, should we contemplate new mines. And those mines should be created in the most cautious way possible.”[3]

Also important are measures to help employees to “move from the extraction economy to a sustainable one….” Kuyek notes that out of the hundreds of thousands of workers employed in Canadian mining, only a relatively small proportion are working in actual mining and quarrying, and a smaller number are in scrap metal recycling. “Shifting from extraction to reusing and recycling would be unlikely to jeopardize the downstream jobs in smelters, refineries, or manufacturing.”[4]

Surveying the activities of MiningWatch and other organizations working in solidarity with mining-affected communities, both in Canada and abroad, Kuyek says that for her, “our experience raises more questions than it provides answers….

“How might we resist getting caught in the bureaucratic management wheel, and have more control over the process? How can organizations like MiningWatch best use their scarce resources? How do we reconcile the demands from communities that want us to rein in Canadian mining companies, with demands from movements—like that in El Salvador—to stop all large-scale mining? Should we resist reducing the ‘ask’ and instead make the demands of our government more profound and inspiring?

“Movements are made up of many different organizations and, by their nature, struggle on different levels and in different ways. At least some of the organizations in the movement need to engage with governments on regulation and face the power of the industry lobby. But we can do nothing without a sustained, audible outcry from communities and people on the ground. We can do nothing without a movement.”

This book is an outstanding contribution to that movement, a vital addition to every activist’s library. Read it, and apply its lessons.

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Richard Fidler is a member of Solidarity Ottawa and a member of Québec solidaire. He blogs at Life on the Left.

Notes

[1] Unearthing Justice, p. 126.

[2] Mining Association of Canada, Facts & Figures 2018.

[3] Unearthing Justice, p. 309. The quotation is from a statement of Ontarians for a Just Accountable Mineral Strategy, a coalition formed in response to the provincial government’s draft Mineral Development Strategy, released in 2015.

[4] Unearthing Justice, p. 141.

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Any human being who values justice and freedom would condemn the coup that ousted the Bolivian president Evo Morales on the 10th of November 2019.

Morales obtained 47.08 % of the vote to secure a fourth term as president in the election held on the 20th of October. Since his vote was more than 10% of what his closest rival had harnessed, there was no need for a second round of voting according to the Bolivian Constitution. However his opponents did not want to accept the result. Neither did the Organisation of American States (OAS) nor the United States of America (USA) nor the European Union (EU).  They alleged “electoral fraud” without providing any tangible evidence. It should be emphasised that international observers from a number of countries testified to the legitimacy of the polls.

To protest Morales’s re-election, his adversaries organised strikes and boycotts. They disrupted public order and even resorted to violence.  The police allowed this to happen because like the military it was also opposed to the president. Indeed, the military and the police played a critical role in undermining Morales.

It was partly because of the failure of the military and police to protect the Constitution and the rule of law that chaos escalated accompanied by the intensification of violence. Morales did not want the situation to deteriorate further and decided to resign as president. A number of other top leaders also chose to quit. Mexico offered Morales political asylum. An opposition politician with the full backing of the military, Jeanine Anez, declared herself interim president of Bolivia. Anez had garnered only 1.7% of the votes cast in the October elections.

It would be naïve to believe that the ouster of Morales and the installation of a new president was the result of the dynamics of internal politics alone. The US had a huge role in the entire episode. Some members of the US elite not only colluded with elements in the Bolivian military but also helped to engineer the convulsions that forced Morales out of office. The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), an appendage of the US establishment with a reputation for orchestrating ‘regime change’ in  a number of countries all over the world was allegedly heavily involved in Bolivian political and civil society activities long  before the October elections.

Why is the US elite so determined to control and direct Bolivia?  It is partly because Bolivia since Evo Morales came to power in 2006 has sought to be a truly independent and sovereign nation. As the first president from an indigenous community (the indigenous constitute 63% of the population) Morales is deeply committed to protecting Bolivia’s wealth and resources and ensuring that they are utilised for the well-being of the people. It is widely recognised that he has succeeded to a great extent to reduce poverty, improve the standard of health of the people, especially the rural folk, and expand educational opportunities for the disadvantaged. Morales has also tried to curb the power of mega corporations in the economy.

In this regard, just before he was ousted, Morales , it is reported, decided to partner with Chinese firms to develop Bolivia’s lithium deposits since Western mining companies were not prepared to comply with the terms that the Bolivian government laid out. For Morales, the exploitation of lithium had to benefit the Bolivian people before anyone else.  Western companies and the US elite saw the Bolivian president as a hurdle.  They were convinced that Morales had to go.

In passing, it has to be highlighted that lithium is in great demand in the world battery market today. It is crucial for the electric car which is predicted to play a significant role in transportation in the near future. Bolivia claims to have 70% of the world’s lithium reserves.

Will Bolivia’s partnership with China in lithium mining come to an end with Morales’s overthrow? It is very likely. But the larger trend towards change in Latin America and the Caribbean in which Morales’s contribution was pivotal will continue. Opposition to the military backed coup in Bolivia is strong and sustained.

Though at least 23 Morales’ supporters have been killed so far by the new regime, the protest against the usurpation of power by an unpopular elite remains unabated.  In Venezuela all attempts, both external and internal, to crush a leadership that is determined to protect the nation’s independence have failed. A right-wing government in Brasilia has not been able to extinguish the Brazilian people’s desire for justice. In Argentina some of the progressive elements have returned to power through the ballot-box.  Ecuador is another example of a country where those with a progressive orientation are prepared to resist the retrogressive forces that seek to re-shape the nation.  The leadership of Nicaragua remains committed to people based policies in spite of all the challenges. The new president of Mexico is attempting to introduce reforms that matter to the people. Most of all, there is Cuba 60 years after a Revolution steadfast as ever in its pursuit of human dignity and national sovereignty and serving as a pioneer of that monumental transformation that awaits Latin America and the Caribbean.

All this has to be located within a broader tapestry – a tapestry in which US and Western power is declining significantly and new centres of power are emerging and becoming more assertive.

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Dr Chandra Muzaffar is the President of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST). Malaysia. He is Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).

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Washington’s latest attempt to dissuade an ally from making arms deals with Russia came in the form of a letter sent on last Wednesday to Egyptian officials warning them that they could face sanctions if they continued with their $2 billion dollar Su-35 fighter jets contract.

In addition to sanctions, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper warned Egyptian Defense Minister Mohamed Ahmed Zaki that “Major new arms deals with Russia would — at a minimum — complicate future U.S. defense transactions with and security assistance to Egypt,” in Wednesday’s letter. The United States sends Egypt $1.3 billion annually in military assistance.

Russia has become one of Egypt’s major arms suppliers. This particular arms between Egypt and Russia for ten fighter jets was signed at the end of 2018, with delivery of the Su-35 Flanker-E air superiority fighter aircrafts as well as weapons for the planes starting in 2020-2021.

In order to counter Russia’s expanding military influence in the Middle East and dissuade countries from buying Russian-made arms, the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) was signed by President Donald Trump in August 2017. Countries that are trading with Russia’s defense or intelligence sectors could face secondary sanctions.

Russia estimates that since 2014 it has lost $760 million dollars in potential weapons sales due to the international sanctions sealing off the U.S. market.

However, the CAATSA is not limited to sanctioning Russia and those who purchase Russian-made weapons, this U.S. Federal law also imposes economic sanctions on Iran and North Korea.

The first case for secondary sanctions under CAATSA took place in September 2018 when sanctions were imposed by the Trump administration on the Chinese military for purchasing 10 Su-35 aircrafts and S-400’s from Russia, also 33 people and entities were blacklisted due to links to Russian military and intelligence.

The second case would be Turkey’s purchase of Russia’s S-400 air defense system with the first delivery of its components having taken place in July of this year. As a result of going through with their purchase and delivery, Turkey was also suspended from participating in the F-35 program and the F-35 air systems it had already purchased are now under U.S. control.

Although requirements have been met for CAATSA to be enforced there is a gray area as to how, and to what extent the sanctions should be applied. A waiver is also in place that the president can use. Also, both the U.S. executive and legislative branches play a role in determining the action that would be taken against Turkey for doing business with Russian personnel targeted by sanctions.

India is paying close attention to how the US is reacting to Turkey’s purchase as they too have purchased Russia’s S-400 SAMS system which would put them in conflict with the CAATSA as well. However, relations between India and the United States are strong and the likelihood that a waiver will be used to avoid making India suffer collateral damage is likely.

For the past decade Russia has been expanding its military influence in the Middle East, much to the dissatisfaction of the United States. Russia and Egypt’s military and technical cooperation has been deepening and expanding for years.  Both nations have repeatedly held joint naval and airborne counterterrorism exercises since 2015. From October 27th till November 7th of this year the Egyptian air force’s tactical training center near Cairo hosted joint Russian/Egyptian military drills dubbed Arrow of Friendship-1.

There’s even been speculation about the prospect of Russia setting up a military base in Egypt, due to the increase of Russian activity on Egyptian grounds. Just two years ago a draft agreement which would “allow each side to use the other’s airspace and air bases” was approved by Moscow and Cairo. Even though it didn’t specify setting up a military base it did set the ground for significant expansion in military cooperation between the two countries.

While the US fumbles around in the Middle East leaving death and destruction in its tracks, Russia has become the main peace broker. While maintaining good relations with all the major players in the region, Russia intervened militarily in Syria at the request of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad to fight terrorism and derail a strong regime-change plan by the Obama administration. Relations and business with Iran and Turkey have also increased.

Moscow knows that security in neighboring countries directly impacts its own and standing by allies will only help grow its influence and positive image in the Middle East and beyond.

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This article was originally published on InfoBrics.

Sarah Abed is an independent journalist and political commentator. Focused on exposing the lies and propaganda in mainstream media news, as it relates to domestic and foreign policy with an emphasis on the Middle East. Contributed to various radio shows, news publications and spoken at forums. For media inquiries please email [email protected].

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Brazil’s Amazon Guardians Respond to Killing of Paulo Paulino

November 18th, 2019 by Native News Online

We’ve lost a great warrior in our fight. They murdered our friend, our brother, our tireless companion in the defence of the forest, Paulo Paulino “Lobo” Guajajara.

We’re mourning and our hearts are hurting.

Lobo was killed because he defended our land. Our forest that gives us everything. Our forest without which we cannot live. Lobo was killed for defending life.

There is so much evil in this world. The loggers want to kill us to steal our trees and make money. We are not violent to them, but they are heavily armed. They threaten us. They kill us. They killed our friends, our fellow Guardians Cantidi, Assis and Afonso. And now they’ve killed Lobo.

But his death will not be in vain. It makes us sad and angry, but it gives us strength. One more warrior has been planted in the soil. It will give us the strength to keep fighting to protect our forest for our families, and for the survival of our uncontacted Awá relatives. We will never give up.

We cannot give up because we have a great battle ahead. The government has declared itself our enemy. President Bolsonaro said he will not protect indigenous lands. He and others want to open our land to agribusiness. We will never accept that!

We want the government to fulfil its duty to help us defend our forest from illegal invaders and destruction. We want proper security for our land and our lives.

We want the government to investigate Lobo’s murder, and the attack on him and our fellow Guardian Tainaky. We want the killers and the logging mafias behind bars.

We’ve been denouncing the threats and crimes against us for a long time. Lobo and all of us Guardians had often warned the authorities that we could be attacked and killed at any time. Nothing was done. And Lobo was murdered.

Where is justice? We demand justice!

We will continue our struggle to rid our land of loggers. We know it’s working. We’re managing to greatly reduce the destruction.

The protection of our land and its biodiversity has always been our struggle and always will be. It does not depend on politics or money. It is simply a matter of life and death for us, our relatives and future generations.

While we are alive, we will fight for Lobo. We will fight to the last drop of our blood. And we will win. The health of the planet depends on this struggle.

We ask everyone to support our work to defend the lungs of the planet and to defend life. For Lobo, and for everyone, let’s fight to the end.

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Featured image: Paulo Paulino Guajajara was killed in an ambush by loggers. © Survival

The de facto and unelected president of Bolivia, Jeanine Áñez, signed a decree that exempts all military personnel from being criminally responsible, even in the cases of murder, in the midst of demonstrations against the coup d’etat that ousted democratically elected first Indigenous President of Bolivia, Evo Morales. Effectively, Bolivian security forces have a license to kill now.

Since the decree was signed last Thursday, it has inevitably caused controversy with demonstrators and social media users alike. And it very well should – it is a blatant U.S.-orchestrated coup against Morales who helped his country reduce unemployment, poverty and illiteracy by at least 50% from 2006 to 2018, and liberated his country from strangling neoliberal policies of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

The decree was immediately denounced by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), by Morales, and by regional leaders such as the newly elected president of Argentina, Alberto Fernández.

Although the decree is dated November 14, it was only made public on Saturday, a day after an anti-government march of coca growers in the department of Cochabamba left at least nine dead and 115 injured, according to the Office of the Ombudsman. For its part, the United Nations High Commissioner, Michel Bachelethas expressed concern about the growing violence in the Andean country and the actions taken by the unelected government.

There is “information that at least seventeen people have died in the context of the protests, including fourteen only in the last six days,” Bachelet said in a statement from Geneva, adding that “while the first deaths occurred as a result of violent clashes between rival protesters, the most recent seem to derive from an unnecessary or disproportionate use of force by police or military personnel.”

However, this should not even be the least bit surprising for the UN commissioner since the U.S. has a long history of violent regime change in Latin America. It was revealed in a report by the Gray Zone that at least six of the main coup plotters were alumni of the infamous School of the Americas (SOA) at Fort Benning, a notorious training center that since the times of the Cold War has orchestrated regime operations against anti-U.S. Latin American leaders.  The report explained that “brutal regime change and reprisal operations from Haiti to Honduras have been carried out by SOA graduates, and some of the most bloodstained juntas in the region’s history have been run by the school’s alumni.” While U.S. President Donald Trump cheered on a “a significant moment for democracy in the Western Hemisphere,” the U.S.-trained Bolivian military have now killed at least 23 people, mostly Indigenous.

Although the U.S. espouses the endless mantra of ‘freedom and democracy’, it has continuously demonstrated, such as in Venezuela and Syria, that it is willing to move away from its ‘peaceful’ liberal ideology and utilize reactionary forces when its political and economic interests are under threat. Morales managed to re-found the country politically and economically by embracing the Multipolar World, where the U.S. is no longer the sole power in the world, by improving ties with China and Russia, and by nationalizing natural resources and strategic companies.

Evo Morales said during an interview in June 2016:

“We had a beggar state in 2005. In the economic part everything was imposed by the International Monetary Fund. The Fund had its office in the Central Bank of Bolivia. The CIA was a parasite that had its offices in the National Palace. The U.S. military group had its own at the headquarters of the Armed Forces in the Great Barracks General Miraflores. When there was political conflict and the parties on the right fought, the United States ambassador was the godfather… We had an agreed democracy. Everything was pact. It was legal, but there was no legitimacy.”

Although Morales ran Bolivia, one of Latin America’s poorest countries, mostly uninterrupted for 13 years unlike Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro and Brazil’s Lula, the discovery of massive amounts of lithium was a gamechanger. The precious resource is necessary to power all batteries, a demand that is ever increasing for our technological world.

Although Morales’ impressive records speaks for itself, as he never prioritized the indoctrination of the Bolivian military, the SOA-trained officers were able to remain dormant until called upon by the U.S. to conduct a coup in the South American country. Two days before the Gray Zone report, in a previous article I already made the argument that former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez had radicalized and ideologized the military to the constitutional national ideology and built a people’s militia capable of defending the government from internal and external, which is why even to this day, Maduro has not been ousted in a coup despite endless U.S.-backed attempts. This is something Morales did not do, allowing the U.S. to gain a strong foothold in the Bolivian military.

Morales created the Anti-Imperialist Command School in 2016. Completing several courses related to the ideology of the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas (ALBA), as well on geopolitics and imperialism, became the only way to become a Captain in the Bolivian military. However, this is only a recent initiative, that began a decade after he became president, not even nearly enough time for him to reform the military ideology, especially since he never expelled pro-U.S. officers from the military, opting to wait for their retirements.

And now that Áñez is running the country with the military’s blessing, the years of advancements in Indigenous rights and living standards made by Morales will surely be reversed, especially as she considers their culture to be “Satanic” that is not compatible with modern life and should remain in the mountains or swamplands. Áñez criticizes socialism and expresses her fear that one day Bolivia will become like “Cuba” – this is mostly influenced by her adherence to radical Christian Evangelicalism that believes socialism to be the work of the devil.

Guided by her Evangelical beliefs, she is now an ally of Evangelical Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a staunch supporter of the Brazilian dictatorship and has said that “too bad the Brazilian cavalry was not as efficient as the American cavalry that exterminated the Indians,” in reference to the American Indian genocide. Supporting reactionary pro-U.S. forces in Latin America has always meant a contempt and hatred of the Indigenous people – and it has often been the Evangelicals that were used in Latin Americaalongside paramilitaries or coup plotters to carry out U.S. interests in this region.

Although Bolsonaro dreams of a Brazil that is purged of most of its native population, like what was achieved in the U.S., Áñez has begun her own U.S.-backed campaign against the Indigenous populations by already greenlighting the murder of Morales supporters, who are overwhelmingly Indigenous just as the population of Bolivia is.

Her license to kill has not just seen many Indigenous murdered, but it will mean we will continue to see the Indigenous being murdered by the Bolivian military as they continue their peaceful mass demonstrations in support of the exiled Morales.

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Paul Antonopoulos is a Research Fellow at the Center for Syncretic Studies.

Featured image is from Massoud Nayeri

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Scientists call on the World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer to re-evaluate the carcinogenicity of cell phone radiation after the Ramazzini Institute and US government studies report finding the same unusual cancers.

Watch Dr. Belpoggi describe the results of the study.

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Listen to to the March 22, 2018 press conference below.

Researchers with the renowned Ramazzini Institute (RI) in Italy announce that a large-scale lifetime study of lab animals exposed to environmental levels of cell tower radiation developed cancer. A $25 million study of much higher levels of cell phone radiofrequency (RF) radiation, from the US National Toxicology Program (NTP), has also reported finding the same unusual cancer called Schwannoma of the heart in male rats treated at the highest dose. In addition, the RI study of cell tower radiation also found increases in malignant brain (glial) tumors in female rats and precancerous conditions including Schwann cells hyperplasia in both male and female rats.

The study findings are making headline news. Read the Corriere Di Bologna article “Cellulari, a study by Ramazzini: “They cause very rare tumors.” Scientific American  ran a story on the study entitled “New Studies Link Cell Phone Radiation with Cancer.”

“Taken together, the findings “confirm that RF radiation exposure has biological effects” in rats, some of them “relevant to carcinogenesis,” says Jon Samet, a professor of preventive medicine and dean of the Colorado School of Public Health, who did not participate in either study.” – Scientific American  

“Our findings of cancerous tumors in rats exposed to environmental levels of RF are consistent with and reinforce the results of the US NTP studies on cell phone radiation, as both reported increases in the same types of tumors of the brain and heart in Sprague-Dawley rats. Together, these studies provide sufficient evidence to call for the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) to re-evaluate and re-classify their conclusions regarding the carcinogenic potential of RFR in humans,” said Fiorella Belpoggi PhD, study author and RI Director of Research.

The Ramazzini study exposed 2448 Sprague-Dawley rats from prenatal life until their natural death to “environmental” cell tower radiation for 19 hours per day (1.8 GHz GSM radiofrequency radiation (RFR) of 5, 25 and 50 V/m). RI exposures mimicked base station emissions like those from cell tower antennas, and exposure levels were far less than those used in the NTP studies of cell phone radiation.

“All of the exposures used in the Ramazzini study were below the US FCC limits. These are permissible exposures according the FCC. In other words, a person can legally be exposed to this level of radiation. Yet cancers occurred in these animals at these legally permitted levels. The Ramazzini findings are consistent with the NTP study demonstrating these effects are a reproducible finding,” explained Ronald Melnick PhD, formerly the Senior NIH toxicologist who led the design of the NTP study on cell phone radiation now a Senior Science Advisor to Environmental Health Trust (EHT). “Governments need to strengthen regulations to protect the public from these harmful non-thermal exposures.”

“This important article from one of the most acclaimed institutions of its kind in the world provides a major new addition to the technical literature indicating strong reasons for concern about electromagnetic radiation from base stations or cell towers,” stated Editor in Chief of Environmental Research Jose Domingo PhD, Professor of Toxicology, School of Medicine at Reus University, Catalonia, Spain.

“The US NTP results combined now with the Ramazzini study, reinforce human studies from our team and others providing clear evidence that RF radiation causes acoustic neuromaa (vestibular schwannoma) and gliomas, and should be classified carcinogenic to humans,” stated Lennart Hardell MD, PhD, physician-epidemiologist with the Department of Oncology, University Hospital, Örebro, Sweden, who has published extensively on environmental causes of cancer including Agent Orange, pesticides and cell phone radiofrequency radiation.

“The evidence indicating wireless is carcinogenic has increased and can no longer be ignored,” stated University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health Professor Emeritus Anthony B. Miller MD, Member of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of Canada and the UK, and Senior Medical Advisor to EHT who is also a long-term advisor to the World Health Organization.

“This study raises concerns that simply living close to a cell tower will pose threats to human health. Governments need to take measures to reduce exposures from cell tower emissions. Cell towers should not be near schools, hospitals or people’s homes. Public health agencies need to educate the public on how to reduce exposure from all sources of wireless radiofrequency radiation—be it from cell towers or cell phones or Wi-Fi in schools,” stated David O. Carpenter MD, former Dean of the School of Public Health at the University at Albany. “This is particularly urgent because of current plans to place small 5G cell towers about every 300 meters in every street across the country. These 5G ‘small cell’ antennas will result in continuous exposure to everyone living nearby and everyone walking down the street. The increased exposures will increase risk of cancer and other diseases such as electro-hypersensitivity.”

Ramazzini Institute investigators have completed nearly 500 cancer bioassays on more than 200 compounds, and their study design is unique in that animals are allowed to live until their natural deaths in order to allow detection of late-developing tumors. Eighty percent of all human cancers are late-developing, occurring in humans after 60 years of age. This longer observation period has allowed the RI to detect such later-occurring tumors for a number of chemicals, and their published research includes studies of benzene, xylenes, mancozeb, formaldehyde and vinyl chloride.

The Ramazzini research results come in the wake of similar findings from the US National Toxicology Program (NTP) large-scale experimental studies on cell phone radiation. Both studies found statistically significant increases in the development of the same type of very rare and highly malignant tumor in the heart of male rats—schwannomas.

“This publication is a serious cause for concern,” stated Annie J. Sasco MD, DrPH, SM, MPH, retired Director of Research at the INSERM (French NIH) and former Unit Chief at the International Agency for Research on Cancer/World Health Organization, France, who commented that, “some of the results are not statistically significant due to the relatively small number of animals involved. Yet, that does not mean they should be ignored. Larger studies could turn out statistically significant results and in any event statistical significance is just one aspect of evaluation of the relation between exposure and disease. Biological significance and concordance of results between humans and animals clearly reinforces the strength of the evidence of carcinogenicity. The facts that both experimental studies found the same types of rare tumors, which also have pertinence to the human clinical picture, is striking,”

“Such findings of effects at very low levels are not unexpected,” stated Devra Davis PhD, MPH, president of EHT, pointing to a Jacobs University replication animal study published in 2015 that also found very low levels of RFR promoted tumor growth. “This study confirms an ever growing literature and provides a wake-up call to governments to enact protective policy to limit exposures to the public and to the private sector to make safe radiation-free technology available.”

In January 2017 at an international conference co-sponsored by Environmental Health Trust and the Israel Institute for Advanced Study at Hebrew University, Fiorella Belpoggi PhD, Director of Research at the Ramazzini Institute, presented the study design and the findings that RFR-exposed animals had significantly lower litter weights. Belpoggi’s presentation and slides are available online. The Ramazzini findings of lower litter weights are consistent with the NTP study, which also found lower litter weights in prenatally exposed animals. At that time, the  Italian journal Corriere published an article about the presentation of the Ramazzini study and quoted Belpoggi’s recommendation of “maximum precaution for children and pregnant women.”

Noting that “current standards were not set to protect children, pregnant women, and the growing numbers of infants and toddlers for whom devices have become playthings,” Davis, who is also Visiting Professor of Medicine of Hebrew University Medical Center and Guest Editor in Chief of the journal Environmental Research, added, “Current two-decade old FCC limits were set when the average call was six minutes and costly cell phones were used by very few. These important, new, game-changing studies show that animals develop the same types of unusual cancers that are being seen in those few human epidemiological studies that have been done. In light of these results, Environmental Health Trust joins with public health experts from the states of California, Connecticut and Maryland, as well as those in France, Israel and Belgium to call on government and the private sector to carry out major ongoing public health educational campaigns to promote safer phone and personal device technology, to require and expedite fundamental changes in hardware and software to reduce exposures to RFR/microwave radiation throughout indoor and outdoor environments, and to institute major monitoring, training and research programs to identify solutions, future problems and prevention of related hazards and risks.”

“More than a dozen countries recommend reducing radiofrequency radiation exposure to children, and countries such as China, Italy, India and Russia have far more stringent cell tower radiation regulations in place when compared to the United States FCC. However, this study provides scientific evidence that governments can use to take even further action,” stated Theodora Scarato, Executive Director of EHT.

The article is Report of final results regarding brain and heart tumors in Sprague-Dawley rats exposed from prenatal life until natural death to mobile phone radiofrequency field representative of a 1.8 GHz base station environmental emission” by L. Falcioni, L. Bua, E.Tibaldi, M. Lauriola, L. De Angelis, F. Gnudi, D. Mandrioli, M. Manservigi, F. Manservisi, I. Manzoli, I. Menghetti, R. Montella, S. Panzacchi, D. Sgargi, V. Strollo, A.Vornoli, F. Belpoggi .  It appears in Environmental Research published by Elsevier.

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US Dirty Hands Escalate Hong Kong Violence

November 18th, 2019 by Stephen Lendman

Months of violence and chaos in Hong Kong have US dirty hands all over them.

Orchestrated by the CIA in cahoots with other anti-democratic US agencies and anti-government Chinese hooligans, there’s nothing spontaneous about what’s going on endlessly.

Days earlier, the Trump regime’s State Department (up to its ears in what’s happening) expressed phony grave concern about violence and chaos in the city — ignoring US responsibility for what’s ongoing.

Pompeo threatened China, saying all options are on the table, including direct US intervention, if Beijing’s military intervenes to quell what’s unacceptable and must be stopped.

Over the weekend, masked hooligans clashed with police at Hong Kong’s Polytechnic University.

On Sunday, police surrounded the campus, warning elements involved in rioting and vandalism to leave or be dealt with harshly.

The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported that a “sedan without license plates tried to ram a group of police officers,” a live round and rubber bullet fired at the vehicle.

“(M)asked radicals” occupying the campus clashed violently with police, dozens arrested, hundreds more involved.

Highly inflammable “dangerous materials” that can be used for explosives were seized from elements arrested — “stolen” from the university’s labs, adding:

“(R)adicals shot arrows and hurled petrol bombs and bricks (at police) – sometimes from catapults mounted on the roof of campus buildings.”

“Police fired a large quantity of tear gas and deployed two water cannons and armored vehicles.”

Clashes raged for hours, a police statement saying: “Anyone who enters or stays on the campus and assists the rioters in any way will risk committing the offense of ‘taking part in a riot.’ ”

Hooligans arrested were not university students.Police called them outsiders. On Monday, classes at all Hong Kong universities were suspended — a Polytechnic Univ. statement saying in part:

“All classes have been forced to be suspended and all operations on the campus have been halted,” adding:

“The University is gravely concerned that the spiraling radical illicit activities will cause not only a tremendous safety threat on campus, but also class suspension over an indefinite period of time.”

“They are concerned about the safety on the campus, and they do not want to see the campus being destroyed further.”

A commentary published by Beijing’s official People’s Daily broadsheet on Monday said ending months of violence and chaos in Hong Kong “is a critical matter,” adding:

In multiple parts of the city, “rioters have been rampantly committing acts of vandalism and arson, paralyzing public transport, trashing rail tracks, hurling petrol bombs at running trains, indiscriminately causing bodily harm to civilians and even turning campuses into battlefields.”

If what’s going on isn’t stopped and the rule of law restored, “there would be no guarantee for the peaceful life of residents, to say nothing of Hong Kong’s future development.”

On Monday, SCMP’s deputy executive editor Zuraidah Ibrahim said the following:

“Hardcore mobs upped their violent game when they took over tertiary campuses last week, as bureaucrats came under fire for doing little and the police warned the city was on the brink of total breakdown,” adding:

“In the north, radicals occupying Chinese University took over the Tolo Highway. At Polytechnic University, they have shut down the Cross-Harbour Tunnel for five days, the longest forced closure ever.”

“The mobs broke into the campuses’ chemical laboratories and set up petrol bomb mills overnight and practiced throwing fire bombs with catapults and arrows.”

“Fiery battles between protesters and police spread across several universities, as mainland and international students evacuated.”

“The radicals finally withdrew, except at PolyU where a stand-off continues as I write this. Last week, the People’s Liberation Army soldiers took to the streets with brooms – not guns – to clean up, as did volunteers fed-up with the violence and their pockmarked streets. We still don’t see an end in sight.”

US dirty hands are all over months of violence, vandalism, chaos in the city, attacking China’s soft underbelly, trying to destabilize and weaken the country.

Beijing knows what it’s up against — US imperial rage challenging China’s sovereign independence.

Failure to curb what’s going on encourages more of it, Hong Kong’s future at stake.

Ruling authorities nowhere should tolerate what’s happening, orchestrated from abroad, following the CIA’s color revolution playbook — thuggish pro-Western 5th column elements involved.

Tougher tactics appear necessary to counter the threat posed by US imperial rage against China — toughness the only language its hardliners understand.

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Featured image is from New Eastern Outlook

Western Media Whitewash Bolivia’s Far-Right Coup

November 18th, 2019 by Lucas Koerner

Bolivia has a new US-backed puppet leader, and the Western media can hardly conceal their adulation.

Jeanine Áñez declared herself “interim president” in a near-empty Senate chamber on November 12, proceeding to don the presidential sash with the assistance of uniformed soldiers. Despite a lack of quorum rendering the move nakedly unconstitutional, Áñez was immediately recognized by the Trump administration and 10 Downing Street.

Tuesday’s scene seemed like a parody of January’s events in Venezuela, in which a virtually unknown lawmaker, invoking highly dubious constitutional arguments, proclaimed himself “interim president” to the delight of Washington.

For all the supposed threat Trump represents and the enthusiasm sparked by his possible impeachment, Western media continue to march lockstep behind his administration’s coups in Latin America.

Áñez has been sympathetically described as a “qualified lawyer” (BBC, 11/13/19), a “proud Christian” (France 24, 11/13/19) as well as a “women’s rights activist and television presenter” (Time, 11/12/19). Reuters (11/13/19) called her “Bolivian Interim President Jeanine Áñez,” AP(11/13/19) had her as “Bolivia’s newly declared interim president,” whereas for the BBC (11/13/19) she was simply “President Áñez.” AFP (published in France 24, 11/13/19) described her as “the South American country’s 66th president and the second woman to hold the post.”

This language mirrors corporate media profiles of Venezuelan coup leader Juan Guaidó (FAIR.org, 7/23/19), who was depicted as a “freedom fighter” (Fox Business, 1/29/19) and a “salsa-loving baseball fan” (Reuters, 1/23/19) who had “captured the heart of the nation” (New York Times, 3/4/19). References to Guaidó as “president,” however, have dwindled in the face of his repeated failure to seize power (FAIR.org, 7/23/19).

Meanwhile, corporate outlets have euphemistically labeled Áñez as “conservative” (Guardian, 10/13/19; New York Times, 10/12/19; Reuters, 10/13/19), eliding any mention of her far-right, virulently anti-indigenous politics. Áñez is a member of the right-wing Democratic Social Movement from the eastern lowland region of Santa Cruz, historically a bastion of separatist groups and home to some of the most powerful Bolivian oligarchic families. She has a history of making glaringly racist remarks, tweeting in 2013 (6/20/13) that the “Aymara New Year,” an indigenous holiday, was “Satanic”: “There is no replacement for God.” Just days before seizing power, she questioned on Twitter(11/6/19) whether some people being interviewed could really be Indigenous—because they were wearing shoes. For all of liberal journalists’ virtue-signaling concerning minority rights in the global North, the silence is deafening when it comes to blatant racism from pro-US elites in Latin America.

Áñez has another scandal brewing, which has yet to be reported in the English-speaking press: Her nephew was arrested for drug trafficking in 2017. According to EFE (10/20/17), Carlos Andrés Áñez Dorado was arrested in Brazil on October 15, 2017, in possession of 480 kilograms of cocaine—more than half a ton.

Given the extensive coverage corporate journalists gave to the arrest and conviction of Venezuelan first lady Cilia Flores’ “narco-nephews” in 2015–17 (e.g. Business Insider, 10/31/16; Miami Herald, 12/13/17; Daily Beast, 12/15/17), one could expect equally damning exposés in the case of Áñez. Readers shouldn’t hold their breath.

In addition to whitewashing Áñez, corporate journalists have sought to sanitize the image of the figure widely considered to be the real force behind the coup: Christian fundamentalist multimillionaire Luis Fernando Camacho.

Camacho is quite literally a fascist who got his political start in the sieg-heiling Santa Cruz Youth Union, an ultra-right paramilitary outfit that was instrumental in the Santa Cruz oligarchy’s 2008 US-backed secessionist plot which ultimately failed.

But none of this appears to matter to the Western media, which have portrayed Camacho as a “conservative protest leader” (BBC, 11/13/19), “a firebrand Christian” (Financial Times, 11/12/19) and a “civic leader” (Reuters, 11/7/19).

Also notoriously absent from mainstream coverage of the Bolivia coup are references to the fascist tactics employed by the opposition. Images and reports on social media showed MAS leaders attacked by mobs, tied to trees, their houses set on fire and several being forced to resign by opposition violence. Instead, corporate journalists innocuously described the increasingly violent right-wing mobilizations as “mass protests” (BBC, 10/31/19), “dissent” (AP, 11/8/19) and “civil disobedience” (New York Times, 10/31/19).

The right-wing violence was framed as “clashes” (DW, 11/8/19; France 24, 11/8/19) over “controversial” or “disputed” electoral results (Washington Post, 11/07/19; BBC, 11/7/19) enabling the US-backed opposition to don the mantle of pro-democracy protesters. To bolster this “fraud” narrative, Western journalists uncritically repeat the US-financed OAS’ claims of “irregularities,” and largely ignore a CEPR report that found no evidence discrediting the results.

Once Evo Morales was forced to resign, the switch was immediately flipped. State security forces, which had stepped aside to let Camacho’s fascist gangs wreak havoc and attack opponents, were now deployed to crush the inevitable resistance from indigenous MAS supporters. But now the media could resort to their tried and tested technique of criminalizing the anti-coup protests as “violence by looters or by Mr. Morales’ supporters” (New York Times, 11/12/19), just like was done in the case of anti-neoliberal rebellions in Chile and Ecuador (FAIR.org, 10/23/19). In some cases, journalists seemed to be preemptively justifying repression, for example writing that “violence erupted” after Morales’ resignation (Financial Times, 11/11/19), or that security forces were being deployed to “quell violence” (Reuters, 11/11/19). AP (11/13/19) asserted, perhaps wishfully, that “a sense of normalcy returned to the capital on Wednesday.”

Backed by Washington, the coup that the Western media deny is a coup (FAIR.org, 11/11/19) appears successful, at least for the time being. However, as in the short-lived 2002 coup in Venezuela, the media blackout and savage repression have not stopped multitudes of Bolivians from taking to the streets to restore democracy. Only time will tell if the pueblo will triumph.

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Featured image: Jeanine Anez receiving the presidential sash from a representative of the Bolivian military (photo: EFE).

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Shut Down the School of the Americas/ WHINSEC

November 18th, 2019 by Dévora González

On November 16, 1989, the US-trained and funded Salvadoran Atlacatl Battalion entered the grounds of El Salvador’s Central American University (UCA) and brutally murdered six Jesuit priests, sixteen-year-old Celina Ramos, and her mother, Elba Ramos. Nineteen of the twenty-five Atlacatl Battalion soldiers were graduates of the US Army School of the Americas (SOA) — a combat training institution with the ostensible aim of instructing Latin American militaries in control tactics over armed counterinsurgent groups.

SOA was founded in the Panama Canal Zone in 1946 and expelled from Panama to Fort Benning near Columbus, Georgia, in 1984. The slain Jesuit priests worked in solidarity with El Salvador’s poor and marginalized and were outspoken critics of the country’s military dictatorship. They are among the 75,000 civilians murdered during the US-backed war in El Salvador between 1980 and 1992.

The SOA has trained more than 83,000 Latin American security forces since its founding. Notorious graduates of the SOA — including nearly a dozen dictators and some of the worst human rights violators in the continent — are guilty of using torture, rape, assassination, forced disappearance, massacres, and forced displacement of communities to wage war against their own people. Former Panamanian president Jorge Illueca stated that the School of the Americas was the “biggest base for destabilization in Latin America.” US-led and supported state violence abroad has ravaged and devastated communities in Central and South America, many of whose people are forced to migrate north.

On September 20, 1996, under intense public scrutiny, the Pentagon released the SOA training manuals, which advocated torture, extortion, blackmail, and the targeting of civilian populations. The release of these manuals proved that US taxpayer money was used to teach Latin American state forces how to torture and repress civilian populations.

A US congressional task force reported that those responsible for the 1989 UCA massacre in El Salvador were trained at the US Army School of the Americas, and as public pressure mounted to close the SOA, the Department of Defense responded by replacing the School of the Americas with the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) in January 2001. The measure passed when the House of Representatives defeated a bipartisan amendment to close the school and conduct a congressional investigation by a narrow ten-vote margin. The opening of WHINSEC is not grounded in any critical assessment of the training, procedures, performance, or consequences of the training program it copies. Further, it ignores congressional concerns and the public outcry over the SOA’s past and present links to human rights atrocities.

To this day, WHINSEC continues to train Latin American security officers — including immigration officials.

In 2015, the first US Border Patrol agent graduated from the infamous training facility. On October 24 of this year, a contract between Border Patrol and Winchester Ammunition became public, confirming that Border Patrol purchased 33 million rounds of bullets and could purchase more than 330 million additional rounds over the next five years. Training of Border Patrol staff at Fort Benning coupled with their increased firepower is setting the stage for US state agents to wage war against undocumented migrants and refugees at border crossings and within the United States.

Over the past fifteen years, nearly one hundred people have been killed by US Border Patrol as a direct result of their excessive use of force, including the cross-border killings of fifteen-year-old Sergio Adrián Hernández Güereca in 2010 and sixteen-year-old José Antonio Elena Rodríguez in 2012. Both teenagers were on Mexican soil when they were shot at and killed by US Border Patrol agents located on US soil. Not a single Border Patrol agent has ever been held legally accountable for these crimes. According to a recent internal government report obtained by Quartz, criminal misconduct by border officers is at a five-year high.

In addition to US Border Patrol agents now being trained at the location notorious for instructing Latin American security forces in civilian-targeted warfare, on September 9 of this year, an unredacted Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) report revealed that ICE agents will also begin training there. The report divulged that ICE contracted New Mexico training systems company Strategic Operations for almost $1 million to build realistic models of US cities at Fort Benning. This will be a training facility meant to simulate raids that ICE teams would carry out in places like Chicago and Arizona, and the ICE Special Response Teams will be trained to deal with immigrants crossing the border.

There are already extremely detailed designs of buildings meant to imitate the kinds of places that ICE teams will raid, such as a two-story brick residential building typical of Chicago and a single-family six-room home typical of Arizona, complete with “set props” such as furniture, clothing, and toys. According to the contract, the plans include expansion for the future, with as many as fifty more buildings to be added to the training facility.

ICE agents have carried out violence against immigrants across the country. In July, video surfaced of ICE officers in Kansas City assaulting a man named Florencio Millan-Vazquez in front of his children and girlfriend; they smashed his car window and dragged him out to arrest him after claiming there was a warrant for his arrest, despite not providing evidence of this. More recently, an immigrant man was shot by ICE agents in Nashville, Tennessee, this past September and had to be hospitalized. ICE remains a human rights threat across the United States.

The United States is directly implicated in training and financing the perpetrators of gross human rights violations. In South and Central America, this violence is marked by military, economic, and political intervention, in addition to training proxy fighters at the SOA/WHINSEC. Now, US Department of Homeland Security agents are being trained at the same location in the same tactics of civilian-targeted warfare. The results are already clear: lethally trained and heavily militarized state security forces that target civilian populations, specifically communities of color, without meaningful oversight or accountability.

On the thirtieth anniversary of the UCA massacre, human rights organizations are continuing to call for the closure of the SOA/WHINSEC training facility at Fort Benning. The school’s crimes aren’t just evident in the atrocities of the past — they’re also still found in the horrors along the US-Mexico border and through the atrocious violence of ICE today. Those who are horrified by the crimes of the Border Patrol and ICE should join the call to shut down the SOA/WHINSEC and similar training centers.

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Featured image: Students from the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (formerly School of the Americas) and students from the Naval Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School conduct a joint assault on a simulated narcotics camp during a field training exercise. US Navy photo

Yemen: Letter from a Father Who Calls for Justice

November 18th, 2019 by Abraham AbdulKarim

It’s been a year and half since you left us but for your father and mother, it seems like forever. We miss hearing your beautiful baby voice in the morning that made us feel like the luckiest parents in the world. It’s hard to explain our feelings after you. We really really miss you…

Baby Zainab, we had big dreams and high ambitions for you. But you left us as a baby and we did not have a chance to see you succeed. Today, we can only sit and look at your photos wearing your beautiful dresses. We imagine your beautiful smile that melted us everyday. We imagine hugging you with love after you wake up from your sleep. Me and your mom can only wish to cuddle you again to keep you warm during those cold night.

Our life changed forever after the criminal Saudis attacked our family home. Those moments changed our life and cost us our beautiful baby girl. After the airstrike on our home, I screamed in pain telling my self “what just happened? Where is my family? Where is my baby Zainab?”

I never imagined I would find my baby Zainab under rubble of our home.

I removed rocks from on top of you and picked up your small body from beneath rubble and rushed to the nearest hospital hoping to save you but they said it was too late. I did not give up, and with your blood was dripping on my clothes as I ran to a second Hospital hoping to see your smile again. Doctors were trying to bring you back but it was too late. I fainted to the floor when medics told me you did not make it.

Hours later me and your mom almost followed you and medics were trying to save our lives. Later that night we were up on our feet again still trying to find you. We did not care about our health conditions because life without you was useless for us.

What value do we have for our lives after we lost your smile? You laid dead in the hospital and I couldn’t save you. You were smiling as you lay dead the same way you smiled when you were at home. Me and your mom were in tears from your smile as we tried to cover your smile that broke our hearts when we looked at your dead body.

Even on your funeral day, I couldn’t believe you were gone forever. I couldn’t believe your time with your family is over. I needed to hold you one last time hoping to get you back. Before we buried you, I picked up your dead body wanting one last picture with you. Your family was pushing me away but I insisted to have the photo taken. I wanted to vow to you that I will seek justice and promise you that the criminals behind your death will not be forgiven. I hugged you for the last time and took the photo with you that shook millions around the world who joined my call for your justice. Just yesterday, you were sleeping in your small bed at home but Saudi, the killers of civilians, wanted you dead. And because of them, that today was your last and you will be sleeping in your grave.

Me and your mom are in tears as we write you this letter knowing we will never see our baby girl again.

Your family’s tragedy did not end after you funeral. Your mom was still in serious condition laying on hospital bed getting treated for wounds from the airstrike on our home. Your death took our lucky charm with it. We were sick, homeless and poor but don’t worry life is not over. It won’t be over until justice is served. Don’t be sad for us, because we are thousands of other families are suffering like us since you were not the only child killed by Saudi airstrikes. Your family is only one of thousands in Yemen who lost a child as result of Saudi attacks.

Your mom just left the room and couldn’t finish the letter so I need to go help her. One last thing we want you to know, due to the war imposed blockade on Yemen, I am still trying to find a good international lawyer and bring your case in front of international courts. We will never give up. You will never be forgotten. Your killers will pay the price, I promise you that. You will be alive in our hearts forever.

Your loving father.

Abraham AbdulKarim

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Today Wednesday, the deputy president of the National Assembly in contempt and “self-proclaimed” Juan Guaidó congratulated the president in charge – and also “ self-proclaimed ” – of Bolivia, Jeanine Áñez, after the coup d’etat was consummated in that country and Evo Morales was forced to resign from the presidency.

The message was published in his official twitter account where he added

“From the legitimate government of Venezuela we recognize @ JeanineAnez as the interim president of Bolivia, her mission is to guide a constitutional transition towards a presidential election. They are an inspiration to our country, we have the conviction that we will achieve freedom”.

However, for Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro,

”Evo Morales is still president of Bolivia because the resignation letter has not been formally received by the Senate and as they have not officially received it and approved it,” said the head of state yesterday regarding the suspension of the Parliament meeting due to lack of quorum.

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This article was translated from Spanish to English by JRE/EF and published on Orinoco Tribune.

Hasakah: The Syrian Arab Army continues its swift deployment in the northeastern province along the borders with NATO member state Turkey to protect the Syrians living there from the aggression by the Turkish Army, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Wahhabi terrorists loyal to Recep Tayib Erdogan.

The following video report by the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen news channel details further about the SAA deployment.

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Transcript of the English translation of the above video report

Marijat, Al Bustan, Swedieh West, Shamsiyah, Hob Al-Hawa and Ain Dewar, six new locations where the Syrian army has deployed to complete the deployment on the northern border strip of Hasakah, from the northeastern countryside of Ras al-Ain to Ain-Dewar with a 200-kilometer stretch.

The deployment of the army in these areas aims to link the Syrian-Iraqi border with the Syrian-Turkish border at the Ain Dewar site. It is the first deployment in seven years in cities and towns that are a reservoir of oil and gas resources, this allows the Syrian government to invest later in the event of an agreement with the Kurdish self-administration.

The deployment on the Syrian-Turkish border is one task to secure the area from Turkish infiltration and attack on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic.

This is the first time in seven years that we have reached this region, and, God willing, we will raise the flag of the Syrian Arab Army and remain high and protect our country, our families and our people.

The deployment of the army means full implementation of the terms of the Sochi Agreement signed between the Russian and Turkish presidents; it protects an important border area of tens of thousands of civilians who have been threatened with displacement under the weight of continued Turkish incursions into northern Syria.

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Soon enough the Trump mercenary forces he sent to ‘secure the oil’ from its owners will be encircled and he would need to call on the Russians to negotiate with Syria how to rescue them.

Meanwhile and on the Idlib front, northwest of Syria, the Syrian Arab Army units cleaned towns from NATO’s Nusra Front terrorists.

The Syrian Army recaptured the western village of Weibdeh and Tal Khazna in the southeastern countryside of Idlib, Army units carried out artillery and rocket launches on Jabhat al-Nusra fortifications in the area, followed by fierce clashes against armed groups deployed there. Meanwhile, army units carried out operations focused on militant gatherings in the village of Musheirqa in the southeastern countryside of the city.

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Featured image is from Syria News

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Beginning in 2011, the Kingdom of Thailand began replacing aging US helicopters not with newer US-built models, but with Russian and Italian systems instead.

This includes Russian Mi-17 medium twin-turbine transport helicopters and several AgustaWestland AW149’s and AW139’s (for transporting VIPs).

According to a January 2019 article in Jane’s 360:

The RTA [Royal Thai Army] already operates five Mi-17V-5 platforms. In March 2008 the service ordered the first three such rotorcraft from Russia, which were delivered in March 2011, followed by the remaining two in November 2015 under a contract signed in July 2014. 

The article also noted that 2 more have recently arrived in Thailand, bringing the total number up to 7:

The Royal Thai Army (RTA) has received two more Russian-made Mil Mi-17V-5 ‘Hip-H’ medium transport helicopters, an RTA source told Jane’s on 8 January.

Russia’s embassy in Bangkok would note during the delivery of several Mi-17’s in 2015 that:

This model of the famous Russian MI-17 helicopter can be used not only for transportation purposes but also in combat circumstances as well as for civil needs, in particular for rescue operations and forest fire extinguishing.

Indeed, far from just new toys resulting from a military spending spree as US-backed opposition figures in Thailand claim, Russian-built Mi-17s have already been seen in action, most notably during the spectacular cave rescue incident last year where 12 children and their football coach made it out of flooded caves alive.

Mi-17’s could be seen bringing in heavy equipment and other supplies to aid in search and rescue operations, just as Russian representatives had promised they could. The rescued children were also in fact flown to safety on Thailand’s Mi-17’s.

While these initial 7 Mi-17’s sound insignificant, it should be noted that Thailand operates only 12 US-built UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters. While it has a much larger number of much older US-built UH-1 and UH-212 Huey helicopters (78 and 51 respectively) only 20 UH-1’s are being modernised along with 48 UH-212’s.

Interestingly enough, the resources needed to upgrade Thailand’s aging US helicopter fleet was so extensive it prompted Thai policymakers to look into and eventually decide to begin transitioning over to Russia’s Mi-17, using funds from the upgrade programme to do so.

Defense Industry Daily would report in its January 2019 article, “Thais Go Russian, Buy Mi-17 Helicopters – Now to Pay with Rubber,” that (my emphasis):

The Bangkok Post reports that Russia had offered to sell Mi-17s to Thailand at 168 million baht each in 2006, but the price has gone up. The first 3 helicopters will now cost 950 million baht, with another 50 million baht for pilot training and ground equipment (1 billion baht currently = $29.1 million). The other 3 helicopters will reportedly be paid for by funds diverted from the Huey upgrade program.

The article would also quote Thai representatives regarding cost and performance considerations over buying more US helicopters versus new Russian alternatives:

“We are buying three Mi-17 helicopters for the price of one Black Hawk. The Mi-17 can also carry more than 30 troops, while the Black Hawk could carry only 13 soldiers. These were the key factors behind the decision.”

This should hardly come as a surprise and is about more than just shifting geopolitics.

Even the US Agrees: Russian Helicopters are Better 

The US itself in the midst of its now 2 decade-long occupation of Afghanistan even at one point began buying Russian Mi-17’s to equip the Afghan military to save money both in initial purchases and maintenance as well as in terms of training mechanics and pilots.

The Washington Post in a 2013 article titled, “Congress fuming over U.S. purchase of Russian helicopters for Afghanistan,” would claim:

By the end of 2016, Afghanistan’s air force is due to have 86 Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters. Most of them will have been purchased by the United States from Rosoboronexport, the same state weapons exporter that continues to arm the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad.

The article also admits:

The Pentagon says that there is no better, cheaper helicopter than the Mi-17 to operate in Afghanistan’s desert expanses and high altitudes, and that it is the aircraft the Afghans know best.

Later, a purely politically-motivated transition toward US-built UH-60 Blackhawks precipitated predictable problems, as Defense News would report in its 2018 article, “Afghans are switching from Russian to US helicopters, but senators are concerned over the approach,” noting:

As the Afghans transition from the Mi-17 to the UH-60, several operational challenges have cropped up regarding the Black Hawk’s capability related to the Mi-17. 

The IG report said that the Black Hawk does not have the lift capacity comparable to Mi-17s and is unable to take on some of the larger cargo an Mi-17 carries, which requires two UH-60s to carry the load of one Mi-17. 

Additionally, the Black Hawks can’t fly at the same high elevations as an Mi-17. As a result, the former cannot operate in remote areas of the country.

UH-60 Blackhawks cost 2-3 times as much as Mi-17’s, with less lift and a much smaller passenger and cargo capacity while being unable to perform across the same extensive environments as Mi-17’s.

For any policymaker, cost and performance considerations alone are enough to make a case for “going Russian.”

While political considerations in Washington have directed policy toward wasting money on inferior technology, in capitals elsewhere around the globe chaffing under US interference in their internal affairs and the US’ disruptive foreign policy in general, bolstering Russian industry (or China’s for that matter) at Washington’s expense can only help tip the balance of global power further in favour of a more equitable multipolar world.

Considering the success of Russia’s Mi-17, with even Washington itself having at one point bought them in great quantities, it should be no surprise that nations particularly in Asia are receptive to greater collaboration with Russian helicopter manufacturers.

Early in 2019, Russian Helicopters carried out a demonstration in Thailand and other Southeast Asian states to showcase their rotary-wing aircraft for civilian uses. The Bangkok Post in its article, “Russian Helicopters begins Asian offensive,” would note:

The demonstration is part of Russian Helicopter’s business strategy to break into the civil aviation market in Southeast Asia and China. The company already has many military contracts in the region, but would like to expand into civilian uses like medical emergencies, policing and VIP transport.

The article also notes that the company is already in the process of delivering several Ka-32A11BC helicopters (used for search and rescue) to Thailand.

Also earlier this year, it was reported that Russian Helicopters was interested in building a factory in Thailand. The Bangkok Post in its article, “Russian Helicopters keen on setting up Thai plant,” would report:

Russian Helicopters is seeking to form a joint venture with a Thai company to enter the country’s flagship Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), aiming to establish production of helicopter parts for aviation companies.

All of this is just one part of Russia’s wider interest in investing in and partnering with Thailand and other nations in the region.

Not Just Selling Helicopters, But Building Enduring Relations 

It should be noted that the purchase of complex systems like aircraft or naval vessels entails more than just the transfer of money and equipment.

It also requires closer ties between the two nations involved, with Russia now committed to training Thai pilots and mechanics in how to operate and maintain their growing collection of Russian aircraft. With such collaboration comes closer ties in general and helps further reduce Thailand’s dependence on and vulnerability to US interests, influence and interference. It also aids in doing so, however incrementally, for the rest of Southeast Asia.

A similar process is taking place between Thailand and China where Thailand is replacing the vast majority of its aging US armoured vehicles with modern Chinese alternatives as well as the purchase of several significant naval vessels including the Kingdom’s first modern submarine.

Because Russia and China create superior technology at a fraction of the cost of US alternatives, nations are faced with an easy, commonsense decision to make. While US pressure in the past was often able to coerce nations into making decisions contra to their best interests, this is no longer the case. Thus we are witnessing the tipping off of irreversible momentum against Washington’s favour.

It is not as if American engineers are incapable of creating comparable technology at competitive costs, it is a concentrated collection of special interests who monopolise the required physical and political resource, preventing them from doing so, all in pursuit of unrealistic ambitions of global hegemony. The desire to rule over the world’s nations rather than fairly do business among them appears to be costing America the ability to do either.

Until this part of the equation is solved in the United States, Russian helicopters and likely a wider range of technology and services across other industries, hold a bright future across Eurasia, including Southeast Asia and particularly in Thailand.

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Joseph Thomas is chief editor of Thailand-based geopolitical journal, The New Atlas and contributor to the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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Like Túpac Katari, indigenous Aymara leader more than 200 years ago, confronting the Spaniards, Evo Morales was betrayed and ‘dismembered’ by his own people, recruited and paid by the agents of the most destructive, nefarious and murderous dark elite that governs and has governed for over two hundred years our planet, the United States of America. With their worthless fiat-Ponzi-pyramid money, the made-out-of-thin-air US dollar, they create poverty throughout the globe, then buy off the weak and poor to plot against the very leaders that have worked for years to improve their social conditions.

It’s become a classic. It’s being called a Color Revolution, and it’s been taking place on all Continents. The list of victim-countries includes, but is not exhaustive – Colombia, Honduras, Argentina, Paraguay, Ecuador, Chile, Brazil, in some ways also Uruguay (the current left-leaning government is powerless and has to remain so, otherwise it will be “changed”… that’s the name of the game) – and now also Bolivia. – Then there are Georgia, Ukraine, Iraq, South Sudan, Libya, Afghanistan, Indonesia; and the lawless rulers of the universe are attempting to “regime change” North Korea, Syria, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua – and on a larger scale China and Russia (I just returned from China – where the Government and people are fully aware what Washington’s intentions are behind every move they make).

In Africa, Africom, the US military Africa Command, buys off almost every corrupt African leader put in place by Africa’s former and new European colonialists, so they may continue sucking the riches out of Africa. These African leaders backed by Africom keep the African population in check, so they will not stand up. In case they won’t quite manage, “they” created the fear-squad called, Boko Haram, an off-spring of ISIS / IS – the Islamic State, created by the same creator, the CIA, Pentagon and NATO. The latter represents the European US-puppet allies; they keep raping Africa and reaping the benefits of her plentiful natural resources, and foremost, make sure that Africans stay subdued and quiet. Those who don’t may easily be “disappeared”. It’s Arica. But, have “they” noticed, Africa is moving, is gradually waking up?

And yes, not to forget, the “developed” and industrialized Europe, where sophisticated “regime change” over the years has subdued a largely well-off population, numbed and made apathetic by endless pro-capitalist propaganda and consumerism – Germany, UK, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, France, Italy, Spain – look what they have done to Greece! – Greece has become a red-flag warning for every EU nation that may dare to step out of US-dictated lockstep, of what might happen to them.

The list goes on with Eastern European EU countries, mostly former Soviet republics or Soviet satellites. They are EU members thanks to the UK, Washington’s mole in the EU, or as I like to call it – the European non-union – no Constitution, no solidarity, no common vision. They are all fiercely anti-Russia and most are also anti-Europe, but are made to – and love to eat and drink from the bowl of the EU-handouts, compliments of EU taxpayers. That’s about the state of the affairs we are in. There is, of course, much more coercion going on, but you get the picture. US interference is endless, merciless, reckless, without scruples and deadly.

Bolivia is just the latest victim. The process of Color Revolution is always more or less the same – a long preparation period. The coup d’état against Evo has been under preparation for years. It began already before Evo was first elected, when Washington realized that after the Bolivian people’s purging of two of Washington’s imposed “stooges” Presidents, in 2003 and 2005, Bolivia needed a respite. But the empire never gives up. That is a golden rule written in their unofficial Constitution, the PNAC (Plan for a New American Century), the writing of which has begun just after WWII, is regularly adjusted and updated, even name-changed (from Pax Americana to PNAC), but is still very much alive and ticking.

The coup against Evo Morales’ Government is not only because Washington does not tolerate any socialist government, and least in its “backyard”, but also – and maybe foremost – because of Bolivia’s riches in natural resources, gas, oil, a long list of minerals and metals – and lithium, the use of which is expected to triple over the next ten years, as it is used in electric cars and batteries. And as we know from the rapidly growing Green Movement, the future is out of hydrocarbon-driven into electric cars. No matter how the electricity is produced and how much environmental damage is done in producing the new flag, but still individual ‘mobility’. As neoliberal economists would say, “that’s just an externality”.

The first of the two US-imposed Presidents at the turn of the century, was Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, also called “Goni”, who privatized Bolivia’s rich hydrocarbon resources to foreign, mostly US, petro-corporations for a pittance. He was “elected” in 2002 against the indigenous, Aymara candidate, Evo Morales. When Goni was disposed of in a bloody people’s coup (about 60 dead) in 2003, he was replaced by his Vice-President, Carlos Mesa, the very key opponent of Evo’s, in the 20 October 2019 elections – who, following the same line of Goni’s privatization policies, was also overthrown by the Bolivian people in 2005. This led to a new election late in 2005 – and that’s when Evo finally won by a landslide and started his Presidency in January 2006.

What he has achieved in his almost 14 years of Presidency is just remarkable – more than significant reductions of poverty, unemployment, analphabetism, increase in health indicators, in national reserves, in minimum wages, pension benefits, affordable housing – in general wellbeing, or as Evo calls it, “living well”.

That’s when Washington decided to step back for a while – and regroup, to hit again in an appropriate moment. This moment was the election three weeks ago. Preparation for the coup intensified a few months before, when Bolivia’s Vice-President, Álvaro Marcelo García Linera, told the media that every day there were reports that US Embassy agents were interfering in the country’s internal and local affairs.

The manipulated election in 2002 is recorded in an outstanding film, “Our Brand is Crisis”, a 2005 American documentary by Rachel Boynton on American political campaign marketing tactics in Bolivia by Greenberg Carville Shrum (GCS) – James Carville was previously President Clinton’s personal assistant – the documentary.

Then, like today, the coup was orchestrated by the CIA via the “legitimate” body of the Organization of American States (OAS). The US Ambassador to the OAS openly boasts paying 60% of OAS’ budget – “so, better don’t mess with us”.

Less than a week before the October 20 election, Carlos Mesa was trailing Evo Morales with 22 against 38 points. Under normal circumstances it’s is virtually impossible that in a few days a candidate picks up that much of a difference. The election result was Mesa 37% and Morales 47% which would give Morales a first-round win, as the winning candidate needs a margin of ten points. However, already before the final tally was in, the OAS, the US and the usual puppets, the European Union, complained about election ‘irregularities’ – when the only irregularities were manufactured in the first place, namely the drastic increase in Mesa’s percentage from 22 to 37 points.

Evo declared himself the winner on 20 October, followed immediately by violent anti-Evo riots throughout the country, but mostly in the oil-rich Santa Cruz area – home of Bolivia’s oligarchs and elite. The protests lasted for about three weeks during which at least three people died, when last Sunday, November 10, Evo was “suggested” by the military brass, supported by the OAS (US) to step down with his entire entourage, or else. He resigned, because he wanted the riots to stop and his countrymen to continue living in peace. But violence hasn’t stopped, to the contrary, the opposition has become fiercer in their racist attacks on indigenous people, targeting them with live ammunition. The dead toll as of today has reached at least 20.

President Morales asked for, and was granted political asylum in Mexico. The Vice-President, Alvaro Linera, and most of Morales’ cabinet members followed him to Mexico. The President of the Senate, Ms. Adriana Salvatierra, also of the MAS party, according to the Constitution, would have been the legitimate interim-President. But she was also forced to resign, and so were Victor Borda, the leader of the Chamber, and Rubén Medinaceli, First Vice President of the Senate. They all had to resign. In total some 20 high-ranking officials of Evo’s Government took refuge in the Mexican Embassy in La Paz, before they flew to Mexico.

Evo has since said he wants to return to Bolivia, to be there for the millions of his supporters. Yes, still a sizable majority of Bolivians support Evo and his Movement towards Socialism (MAS). There is a mass of peaceful unarmed Evo supporting demonstrators, growing every day. They are being brutally beaten by US trained and “bought” police and military forces. Indeed, the commander of Bolivia’s armed forces, Williams Kaliman, served in earlier days as a military attaché at the Bolivian Embassy in Washington. During that time he was secretly ‘recruited’ to be trained by what then was called the School of the Americas, and which is now the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, located at Fort Benning near Columbus, Georgia. Apparently Kaliman was not the only one of high-ranking Bolivian military and police officers having been subjected to this torturer and coup plotter training.

On Tuesday, 12 November, an extraordinary session of both chambers (Deputies and Senate) of the Plurinational Legislative Assembly (Parliament) was convened, to officially accept President Morales’ resignation, but the representatives of the Movement to Socialism (MAS), which are the majority in both chambers, did not attend because they were told by the opposition that their safety and that of their families could not be guaranteed. As a consequence, Parliament had suspended its session due to the lack of quorum.

Nevertheless, Jeanine Añez, an opposition senator, declared herself interim-President, and even though her nomination is illegal and unconstitutional, the Constitutional Court confirmed the legality of the transfer of power. But who could blame the judges of the Constitutional Court? They want to be on the right side of the fence, now that the Americans are soon expected to rule the country. Ms. Añez is from the right-wing Social Democrat Movement (not to confuse with MAS = movement towards socialism), and she is known to be fiercely anti-Morales. If her coronation looks and sounds like the one of Juan Guaidó in Venezuela, it is because her self-nomination is like Juan Guido’s, a US-supported farce. Washington has immediately recognized Ms. Jeanine Añez as (interim) President of Bolivia. She, as well as Carlos Mesa, have been groomed to become the next Bolivian leaders, when new elections are held – probably sometime in January 2020. Especially, Carlos Mesa is well known as a US-supporter from his earlier failed stint at the Bolivian Presidency (2003 – 2005).

Earlier, Jeanine Añez, tweeted, “I dream of a Bolivia free of satanic indigenous rites, the city is not for the Indians who should stay in the highlands or the Chaco”. That says it all, where Bolivia is headed, unless – unless another people’s revolution will stop this nefarious course. Ms. Añez apparently has since removed the tweet.

One of the internal drivers of the ‘golpe’ is Luis Fernando Camacho, a far-right multi-millionaire, from the Santa Cruz region, where the US have supported and encouraged separatism. Camacho, a religious bible fanatic, received support from Colombia, Brazil and the Venezuelan opposition – and, of course, he is the US henchman to lead the ‘coup’ internally.

As Max Blumenthal from “The Grayzone” reports,

When Luis Fernando Camacho stormed into Bolivia’s abandoned presidential palace in the hours after President Evo Morales’s sudden November 10 resignation, he revealed to the world a side of the country that stood at stark odds with the plurinational spirit its deposed socialist and Indigenous leader had put forward. – With a Bible in one hand and a national flag in the other, Camacho bowed his head in prayer above the presidential seal, fulfilling his vow to purge his country’s Native heritage from government and “return God to the burned palace.” Camacho added “Pachamama will never return to the palace,” referring to the Andean Mother Earth spirit. “Bolivia belongs to Christ.”

Still, there is hope. Bolivians are known to be sturdy and staunch defenders of their rights. They have proven that best in the overthrow of two foreign-imposed successive Presidents in 2003 and 2005, “Goni” and Carlos Mesa respectively. They brought their Aymaran Evo Morales to power in 2006, by an internationally observed, fully democratic election.

There are other signs in Latin America that things are no longer the way they used to be for decades. Latin Americans are sick and tired of their status of US backyard citizens. There is movement in Brazil, where Lula was just released from Prison, against the will of Brazil’s fascist also foreign, i.e. US-imposed, Jair Bolsonaro. Granted, Lula’s release from prison is temporary, but with the massive people’s support he musters, it will be difficult for Bolsonaro to put him back in prison – and preserve his Presidency.

Social upheavals in Chile for justice and equality, against a racist Pinochet era Constitution, violently oppressed by President Piñera’s police and military forces, have lasted for weeks and will not stop before a new Constitution is drafted, in which the protesters demands are largely integrated. That too is a sign for an awakening of the people. And the enduring resistance against North America’s aggression by Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, are all positive vibes for Bolivia – not to be trampled over.

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Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research; ICH; RT; Sputnik; PressTV; The 21st Century; Greanville Post; Defend Democracy Press, TeleSUR; The Saker Blog, the New Eastern Outlook (NEO); 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. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

Featured image is from Massoud Nayeri

Operation Northwoods was a proposed false flag operation against the Cuban government that originated within the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) of the United States government in 1962. The proposals called for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or other U.S. government operatives to commit acts of terrorism against American civilians and military targets, blaming them on the Cuban government, and using it to justify a war against Cuba.

The possibilities detailed in the document included the possible assassination of Cuban émigrés, sinking boats of Cuban refugees on the high seas, hijacking planes, blowing up a U.S. ship, and orchestrating violent terrorism in U.S. cities.

Operation Northwoods

Fidel Castro taking power in Cuba in 1959, aroused the concern of the U.S. military due to the Cold War. The Operation Northwoods proposed creating public support for a war against Cuba by blaming it for terrorist acts that would actually be perpetrated by the U.S. Government. To this end, Operation Northwoods proposals recommended hijackings and bombings followed by the introduction of phony evidence that would implicate the Cuban government. It stated:

The desired resultant from the execution of this plan would be to place the United States in the apparent position of suffering defensible grievances from a rash and irresponsible government of Cuba and to develop an international image of a Cuban threat to peace in the Western Hemisphere.

Operation Northwoods - The Cuba Project

Operation Northwoods – The Cuba Project

Several other proposals were included within Operation Northwoods, including real or simulated actions against various U.S. military and civilian targets. The operation recommended developing a “Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington”. The plan was drafted by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, signed by Chairman Lyman Lemnitzer and sent to the Secretary of Defense.

Top Secret Cuba Project

The main proposal for Operation Northwoods was presented in a document titled “Justification for U.S. Military Intervention in Cuba (TS),” a top secret collection of draft memoranda written by the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). The document was presented by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara on 13 March 1962 as a preliminary submission for planning purposes. The Joint Chiefs of Staff recommended that both the covert and overt aspects of any such operation be assigned to them.

Lyman L. Lemnitzer, who was in charge as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Image on the right: Lyman L. Lemnitzer, who was in charge as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who signed Operation Northwoods

The previously secret document was originally made public on 18 November 1997, by the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board, a U.S. federal agency overseeing the release of government records related to John F. Kennedy’s assassination. A total of 1,521 pages of once-secret military records covering 1962 to 1964 were concomitantly declassified by said Review Board.

The Plan

In response to a request for pretexts for military intervention by the Chief of Operations of the Cuba Project, Brig. Gen. Edward Lansdale, the document listed methods, and outlined plans, that the authors believed would garner public and international support for U.S. military intervention in Cuba. According to the documents, the plan called for the following:

    1. Since it would seem desirable to use legitimate provocation as the basis for U.S. military intervention in Cuba, a cover and deception plan, to include requisite preliminary actions such as had been developed in response to Task 33 c, could be executed as an initial effort to provoke Cuban reactions. Harassment plus deceptive actions to convince the Cubans of imminent invasion would be emphasized. Our military posture throughout execution of the plan will allow a rapid change from exercise to intervention if Cuban response justifies.
    2. A series of well coordinated incidents will be planned to take place in and around Guantanamo to give genuine appearance of being done by hostile Cuban forces.
    3. United States would respond by executing offensive operations to secure water and power supplies, destroying artillery and mortar emplacements which threaten the base.
    4. Commence large scale United States military operations.

Although part of the U.S. government’s anti-communist Cuban Project, Operation Northwoods was never officially accepted; it was authorized by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but then rejected by President John F. Kennedy. According to currently released documentation, none of the operations became active under the auspices of the Operation Northwoods proposals.

A similar project was initiated in Syria for the overthrow of the Assad regime.

Operation Timber Sycamore

Operation Timber Sycamore is the codename of a covert operation officially authorized by Obama in June 2013 to train and equip the anti-Assad rebellion, but which actually started in October 2011, when the CIA was operating via Britain’s MI6 to avoid having to notify Congress that it was arming the rebels in Syria. Originally, the CIA and MI6 (the British foreign intelligence service) set up a rebel arms supply network in Syria from Libya — a plan that involved intelligence agencies of 15 countries.

Intervention in India

The Pentagon project Operation Timber Sycamore that spawned ISIS was the brainchild of former CIA Director General David Petraeus. It is now coordinated by the investment fund KKR, established by Henry Kravis and whose military activities are led by Petraeus.

Role of Gen David Petraeus

KKR where Petraeus sits as Chairman belongs to the equity partners who owns 80% stake in NXP Semiconductors who supplied chips for the Electronic Voting Machines in India – the integrity of which is being investigated by Indian agencies. Gen Petraus is also credited to have trained former United States National Security Advisor Herbert Raymond McMaster who is responsible for pulling India into the Anglo-American orbit as a “major defense partner” implemented through ‘Washington’s Man in New Delhi’.

Gen Petraeus is also the key player in the ongoing plot for an Anglo-American Airbase in Kashmir under the trusteeship of the United Nations – a policy drafted by Mountbatten himself. When asked about US intervention in Kashmir, then US Central Command Chief Gen Petraeus disclosed in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Kashmir: “Together with my great diplomatic wingman Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, this effort actually has started”.

As per intel with GreatGameIndia, Petraeus is the pointman for Deep State in India. In 2018, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and former CIA Director David Petraeus together formed strategies for the “dramatic transition of India in the New World Order” at a six-day Raisina Dialogue also attended by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Recently, a high-level conference was organized in London to chart our the strategies for this transition. Needless to say the key speaker for this UK-India Summit 2019 was Petraeus. The event is well known in intelligence circles to be organized by British intelligence.

It were such meeting, albeit secret that took place in London in the late 90s where the blueprint for the return of East India Company was drafted. Called Vision 2020 the scheme was a brainchild of an American consultancy firm born out of US military, McKinsey and the Big Four. Fortunately the project was met with a lot of opposition and as a result was stopped in its tracks. Since then they have their eyes set on Kashmir now.

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Turkey and Russia began joint patrols in the northeast conflict zone in Syria beginning November 1.  The Russian military police, formed in 2012, is tasked with convoy protection, area security, restoring law and order, and resettlement operations. Russia recently sent about 300 more military police and more than 20 armored vehicles to Syria. Russia landed attack helicopters and troops at a sprawling air base at Qamisli in northeast Syria, recently vacated by US forces.

Armed Russian military police flew into the Syrian airbase in northern Aleppo province near the border with Turkey and fanned out to secure the area.  The facility is used as a distribution center for humanitarian aid for local residents.

“We entered the base and took the inner and external perimeter under control,” said a senior Russian military police inspector. “Now sappers are looking and going through every building to make sure there aren’t some kind of explosive substances left behind or some kind of surprises here for us,” he said.

Russia has two permanent military bases in Syria, an airbase in Latakia province, and the decades’ old naval facility at Tartus. On October 24, a column of Russian military police patrolled the Syrian-Turkish border. The patrol route was from the city of Qamishli to the settlement of Abouda. The Russian military police, from the southern Russian region of Chechnya, also helped to remove some of the Kurdish militias and their weapons 30 km away from the Syrian-Turkish border.

“The deployment of our forces and hardware, as well as the forces and hardware of the Syrian border guards, is currently taking place in the delineated zones,” the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Under the terms of the deal, Russian and Turkish forces will start to patrol a narrower, 10-km strip of land on the Syrian side of the border where US troops had been deployed for years alongside their former Kurdish allies.  The arrival of the Russian police marks a shift in the regional balance of power just weeks after Trump began pulling US forces out of northeast Syria. Major General Yuri Borenkov, head of the Russian Defence Ministry’s Reconciliation Centre in Syria, said the Russian military police will continue to patrol communities in the northeast of Syria.

The deal between Russia and Turkey

Russia has emerged as a major power who maintains loyalty to its allies, and who has served as an honest broker between opposite sides in a conflict.  On October 22, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a deal concerning northeast Syria. According to the deal, Russian military police and Syrian border guards started to monitor the withdrawal of Kurdish military formations to the depth of 30 km from the border.

On Oct. 9, Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring, in which Erdogan will clear the border zone of the northeast of Syria of Kurdish militias, such as SDF, YPG/PKK, which Turkey views as terrorists.   Previously, Ankara halted its assault under a US-brokered ceasefire, and the Putin-Erdogan deal built on that agreement, while highlighting a growing security relationship between Russia, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and NATO member Turkey.

The role of the Syrian Arab Army

On October 13, SANA reported that Damascus had struck a deal with Kurds and sent troops to northern Syria to protect civilians from the Turkish army. In the next few days, the Syrian army took control over some cities and towns in Kurdish regions without any fighting, including Al-Tabqah, Manbij, Raqqa, and Kobani. On October 17, Syrian army units reached the Turkish border.

The Syrian Arab Army and Russian forces have entered two border cities, Manbij and Kobani, which lie within Turkey’s planned ‘safe-zone’ but are west of recent Turkish military invasion. The Syrian Arab Army’s frontlines are several kilometers from Qirat village on the Sajur River. Once the US forces left the northeast region, the Syrian Arab Army dispersed in all directions, taking up positions across a very large region.

President Putin’s statements

“When it comes to Russia’s own interests, they lay first and foremost in preventing many trained and prepared militants with combat experience from infiltrating Russian territory. In this sense, we cannot say that we resolved 100% of tasks, but in general we did. We have fulfilled the task that we had set for ourselves in Syria,” Putin said on November 14 from Brazil.  Putin stressed that after Russia started supporting the legitimate government in Damascus, 90% of the country’s territory was liberated from terrorists. “Not only liberated, but also returned under the control of the legitimate government. We have achieved what we had set out to do,” he noted.

The Russian leader has called on other countries to join efforts in the fight against terrorism.

“There is a threat of infiltration for all countries, a threat that militants will leave Syria and go to other places,” Putin said. “Everyone is in danger, that’s why we need to join efforts. I hope we will work together in a constructive manner,” he added.

The Nobel Peace prize

The 1988 Nobel Peace prize was awarded to the UN peacekeepers, who had served as observers and soldiers from 1948 to 1988, including over 500,000 persons, of which 733 had died.  Their task wasto report on the situation in crisis areas, set up buffer zones, keep up contacts between conflicting parties, monitor armistice agreements, maintain calm and good order, and give humanitarian aid.

The Russian military police in Syria are doing a similar job, which began in late 2016 in East Aleppo when a battalion was deployed and their mission was not to engage in frontline fighting, but rather to restore law and order and win the trust and confidence of a civilian population.  The Russian military police performed well and soon had earned a reputation of being fair administrators in the many cease-fire agreements brokered through the political process.  They have policed buffer zones between warring sides, escorted convoys of terrorists and their families to a safe-zone, guarded humanitarian corridors for civilians to flee a conflict area, providing temporary shelter, food and medical care to civilians fleeing to safety, and they provided security for OPCW inspectors.

The Russian military police are deserving of recognition as humanitarian peacekeepers, and were part of a multifaceted effort by Russian leaders and diplomats, as they sought to end a conflict that could have engulfed not only the entire Middle East but the world.

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This article was originally published on Mideast Discourse.

Steven Sahiounie is a political commentator.

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CIA Installed Dictatorship Replaces Democracy in Bolivia

November 17th, 2019 by Stephen Lendman

Evo Morales is Bolivia’s democratically elected and three-times reelected Bolivian president.

In cahoots with Bolivian fascists, military and police, along with US imperial tool Organization of American States (OAS), CIA forces toppled Morales for not subordinating the country’s sovereign rights to US interests.

Morales’ majority Movement for Socialism (MAS) legislators were intimidated and threatened not to interfere with the coup.

In response to the OAS’ Big Lie about electoral fraud, none occurring, Pompeo congratulated the organization for serving US interests over the rights and welfare of Bolivia and its people.

Separately, he thanked self-declared, unelected, illegitimate usurper president Jeanine Anez for “lead(ing) her nation through this democratic transition (sic)” the Trump regime went all-out to eliminate, CIA-installed fascist tyranny replacing it.

An unnamed senior state department official called transition to despotism in Bolivia “a significant moment for…democracy in our hemisphere” — a notion both extremist right wings of the US one-party state abhor, especially at home.

Anti-Morales Bolivians in the streets post-election, “standing up for (the) legitimacy of their electoral process,” were CIA-recruited thugs.

Key Bolivian military and police officials were enlisted to support the coup. At first, majority pro-Morales legislators couldn’t enter parliament because security forces refused to guarantee their safety.

Days later, they formed a legislative quorum, swearing in MP Monico Eva Copa as Senate president and Sergio Choque as lower house Chamber of Deputies president.

Pro-Morales supporters control of Bolivia’s Legislative Assembly for now, tenuous at best without military and police support.

Anez illegally self-declared herself president, breaching the constitutional requirement for a parliamentary quorum to be in session for approval.

She breached articles 161, 169 and 410 of the Constitution.

Article 161 lists the Legislative Assembly’s functions, a quorum required for them to be performed. They include “accept(ing) or reject(ing) the resignation of the president (and) vice president.”

Article 169 states the following:

“In the event of an impediment or definitive absence of the President, he or she shall be replaced by the Vice President and, in the absence of the latter, by the President of the Senate, and in his or her absence by the President of the Chamber of Deputies. In this last case, new elections shall be called within a maximum period of ninety days.”

“In case of temporary absence, the Vice President shall assume the Presidency for a term not to exceed ninety days.”

Article 410 states:

“Every person, natural and legal, as well as public organs, public functions and institutions, are subject to the present Constitution.”

“The Constitution is the supreme norm of Bolivian law and enjoys supremacy before any other normative disposition.”

Anez is a US-anointed hard-right political nobody, elected to Bolivia’s Senate in 2014 with 91,895 votes – 1.7% of 5,171,428 ballots cast.

Until the CIA coup, most Bolivians knew little or nothing about her. Telesur noted that “Latin America recorded a new ‘self-swearing’ in coup script that, without a doubt, seems familiar,” adding:

“Violence in the country continues by radical opposition groups that have burned indigenous population symbols.”

“Meanwhile in La Paz, (the country’s political capital) thousands of supporters of Evo Morales are being mobilized in rejection of the coup d’etat and its discriminatory and racist acts.”

“Over 4,500 Twitter accounts (were) created to legitimize (the illegitimate) coup (with) almost no followers,” Telesur reported, citing Menta Communication’s Luciano Galup, adding:

“These action have scant effect on domestic politics…But worldwide they can function as (pro-coup) propaganda” — a way for dictatorships and their sponsors to legitimize what’s illegitimate.

Calling Twitter’s action “a scandal,” Galup noted that 3,612 accounts have “between zero and one follower,” adding:

“(T)he most scandalous thing is there are 4,492 accounts that were created between yesterday and today to participate in the (coup). They created 4,492 accounts in two days.”

Images released support it. On Friday, illegitimate coup d’etat regime communications minister Roxana Lizarraga threatened independent journalists reporting accurately on what’s going with “sedition,” saying:

“Law will be fully enforced against those journalists or pseudo-journalists who are seditious, whether they are nationals or foreigners (sic),” warning:

The (illegitimate) interior ministry is compiling a list of journalists opposed to the coup d’etat regime.

Arrests were made, more likely to follow. The coup d’etat regime cut diplomatic ties to Venezuela, ordered its embassy staff to leave the country — one day after Anez usurped power, likely acting on orders from Washington.

Separately, she warned that if Morales returns to Bolivia, his legal right, he’ll face charges, falsely saying:

“He knows he has to answer to justice (sic). There is an electoral crime (sic). Nobody has thrown him out, but yes, there’s a need for him to respond regarding electoral fraud (sic), in addition to many allegations of corruption (sic).”

Earlier she said her (illegitimate) foreign ministry will file an official complaint with Mexico’s Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s government for granting Morales asylum.

Coup d’etat regime foreign minister Karen Longaric announced Bolivia’s withdrawal from the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA).

Established in 2004 by Venezuela and Cuba, other regional nations joining the alliance. The international organization is all about cooperative social, political and economic integration of Latin American and Caribbean nations.

Large-scale pro-Morales protests continue in La Paz and elsewhere — demanding Anez resign, calling for reinstatement of Morales as Bolivia’s legitimate president.

CIA-installed usurpers control things. Resistance continues. The US got another imperial trophy if its dark forces can keep it — no guarantee given Bolivia’s long history of resisting tyranny.

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Featured image is from OneWorld

Time to Change Canadian Policy Towards Haiti

November 17th, 2019 by Marie Dimanche

Protesters recently threw a Molotov cocktail and burnt tires in front of the Canadian Embassy in Port-au-Prince. At another rally demonstrators hurled rocks at Canada’s diplomatic representation in Haiti and a protester was filmed holding a sign saying: “Fuck USA. Merde la France. Fuck Canada.”

While jarring for most Canadians, these acts reflect the anger of an impoverished people fed up with foreign governments dictating their affairs.

For more than a year Haitians have been engaged in a remarkable popular uprising against a corrupt and repressive foreign-backed president. Since September schools and businesses in Port-au-Prince have largely been shuttered in protests challenging the president, racism and economic inequality. But, Haitians are also rejecting Canadian foreign policy.

Jovenel Moïse remains president because he has the backing of Ottawa, France, Washington and other members of the so-called “Core Group”. Canada provides the unpopular president with important  financialpolicing and diplomatic support.

During the past decade and a half Haitians have increasingly identified Canada with the country’s historic influencers. On January 31, 2003, Ottawa hosted a secret meeting – revealed by prominent Québec journalist Michel Vastel – to discuss Haiti’s future. No Haitian representative was invited to the summit where high level US, Canadian, French and Organization of American States officials discussed overthrowing elected president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, putting the country under international trusteeship and resurrecting Haiti’s dreaded military.

13 months after that meeting the US, France and Canada ousted Aristide. For the next two years they imposed a government responsible for thousands of deaths. The coup also ushered in a UN military force whose reckless sewage disposal caused a cholera epidemic that took 10,000 lives.

After the country was struck by a deadly earthquake in 2010, Canadian officials continued their inhumane and antidemocratic course. According to internal government documents the Canadian Press examined a year after the disaster, officials in Ottawa feared a post-earthquake power vacuum could lead to a “popular uprising.” One briefing note marked “secret” explained:

“Political fragility has increased the risks of a popular uprising, and has fed the rumour that ex-president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, currently in exile in South Africa, wants to organize a return to power.”

The documents also explained the importance of strengthening the Haitian authorities’ ability “to contain the risks of a popular uprising.” To police Haiti’s traumatized and suffering population 2,050 Canadian troops were deployed alongside 12,000 US soldiers and 1,500 UN troops (8,000 UN soldiers were already there).

A year after the earthquake the US and Canada forced third place presidential candidate, Michel Martelly, into the runoff of an election that barred Aristide’s party. The central figure in the multi-billion dollar corruption scandal that has spurred recent protests, Martelly is Moïse’s mentor.

It’s no wonder Haitian are angry with the Canadian government. But, an alternative Canadian position is also being put forward. On October 31 Québec’s National Assembly unanimously endorsed a motion declaring “our unreserved solidarity with the Haitian people and their desire to find a stable and secure society.” It urges “support for any peaceful and democratic exit from the crisis coming from Haitian civil society actors.”A week earlier the Concertation pour Haïti, a collection of Québec NGOs and unions, called for “Canada to make the right choice and use its influence in the international community to support” a presidential transition. Last week David Suzuki, Amir Khadir, Roger Waters, Maude Barlow, Yann Martel and more than 100 other writers, musicians, activists and professors signed an open letter calling on “the Canadian government to stop backing a corrupt, repressive and illegitimate Haitian president.”

It is time for a change to Canadian policy in Haiti.

On November 17 Solidarité Québec-Haiti is holding a demonstration in solidarity with the popular uprising in Haiti.

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Marie Dimanche is founder of Solidarité Québec-Haiti #Petrochallenge 2019.

Frantz André is with Comité d’action des personnes sans statut and Solidarité Québec-Haiti.

Yves Engler is a member of Solidarité Québec-Haiti and author of 10 books.

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