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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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September 8th, 2012 by Global Research

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Important article first publish on September 24, 2019

The 5G danger can’t be overstated. 

5G (5th Generation) is now being actively rolled out in many cities around the world. Simultaneously, as awareness over its horrific health and privacy impacts is rising, many places are issuing moratoriums on it or banning it, such as the entire nation of Belgium, the city of Vaud (Switzerland) and San Francisco (USA). Radiofrequency radiation (RF or RFR) and electromagnetic fields (EMF) are being increasingly recognized as new types of pollution – environmental pollution. Here are 13 reasons exposing the 5G danger, which could turn into an unmitigated health and privacy catastrophe if enough people don’t rise up to stop it.

1. 5G Danger: Hijacking Your Sweat Duct Antennae

The 5G network uses and broadcasts frequencies which affect our sweat ducts, which act as antennae. In other words, our largest organ, the skin, can be influenced and manipulated by 5G. As I reported in this the article 5G and IoT: Total Technological Control Grid Being Rolled Out Fast, scientist Dr. Ben-Ishai exposed the connection between 5G and our body’s sweat ducts in this video:

“[The 5G frequencies] will zap [us] with wavelengths that will interact with the geometrical structure of our skin We found that sweat ducts work like helical antennas … the sweat duct was an integral part of the mechanism for the absorption of energy, electromagnetic, between 75-100 GHz, and that if you changed the character of the sweat duct, i.e. made it work, you could actually change that absorption at some point, and if you could do that you could trace how a person is under stress.

2. 5G Danger: 5G Amplifies EMF Damage via VGCCs

Wireless radiation and EMF scientist Dr. Martin Pall has done groundbreaking research in explaining exactly how EMFs cause premature aging and injury to the human body, including damage to fertility, brains, hearts and even DNA! He pioneered research showing how EMFs activate the body’s VGCCs (Voltage-gated calcium channels) which causes them to release excess calcium ions into the cell. This then leads to nitric oxide (NO) and superoxide which react nearly instantaneously to form peroxynitrite and free radicals. Many studies like this show peroxynitrite damages DNA. Dr. Pall has stated unequivocally that the “5G rollout is absolutely insane.” 

3. 5G Danger: Pulsed Wave Far More Damaging than Continuous Wave Radiation

A significant and unique feature of Smart Meters is that they emit pulsed wave radiation not continuous wave radiation. In other words, they run in start-stop cycles of emitting a burst of EMF then going temporarily inactive. This happens an incredibly high amount of times per day; court documents with testimony from utility companies (like Pacific Gas and Electric Company of California) reveal that smart meters send pulsed waves between 9,600 and 190,000 times per day!

In this 2018 video, Dr. Pall states there are 13 studies which show that pulsed wave EMFs are more active (and dangerous) than continuous wave EMFs. You can read the evidence here.

4. 5G Danger: 5G Promotes Deep EMF Penetration

The main reason why cell or mobile phones are more dangerous for children than adults (apart from the fact that radiation absorption is cumulative over a lifetime) is due to EMF penetration.

 

Dr. Pall writes:

“The industry has also made claims that more conventional microwave frequency EMFs are limited in effect to the outer 1 cm of the body. We know that is not true, however because of the effects deep in the human brain, on the heart and on hormone systems. Perhaps the most important two studies demonstrating effects deep within the body are the studies of Professor Hässig and his colleagues in Switzerland on cataract formation in newborn calves. These two studies clearly show that when pregnant cows are grazing near mobile phone base stations (also called cell phone towers), the calves are born with very greatly increased incidences of cataracts.”

Hässig wrote in his 2009 study:

“Of 253 calves, 79 (32%) had various degrees of nuclear cataract, but only 9 (3.6%) calves had severe nuclear cataract. Results demonstrate a relation between the location of veals calves with nuclear cataracts in the first trimester of gestation and the strength of antennas. The number of antennas within 100 to 199 meters was associated with oxidative stress and there was an association between oxidative stress and the distance to the nearest MPBS (Mobile Phone Base Station).”

5. 5G Danger: 5G is a Weapons System Disguised as a Consumer Convenience

Mark Steele has been very outspoken against 5G and has now been widely interviewed, including by Project Camelot and also by Sacha Stone in his documentary 5G Apocalypse: The Extinction Event. Steele claims that although widespread reports state that 5G is operating in the 24-100 GHz range, it is actually sub-gigahertz (meaning under the GHz threshold, so still measured in MHz). He says 5G is a weapons system like long-range radar, phased array radar and directed energy (DEW was used in 9/11 and various fires like the Paradise fires). He claims that when you examine 5G hardware, it has a dielectric lens which is proof it is a weapons system. Autonomous vehicles can use 5G to shine in mirrors of other drivers (which is so strong and damaging it is equivalent to assault). Mark talks about how 5G is powerful enough to kill babies in wombs. He states:

“5G is a weapons system, nothing more, nothing less. It’s got nothing to do with telecommunications for humans. 5G is a machine to machine connection for autonomous vehicles.”

6. 5G Danger: LA Firefighters Develop Ailments After Being Too Close to Towers

In this video a 25 year veteran firefighter from Los Angeles compares cell towers to cigarettes. He calls for a stop to the cell/mobile phone base stations being built on or near fire stations. Firefighters are not the only ones suffering the effects; it was reported that hundreds of birds fell from the sky in the Netherlands during a 5G test.

7. 5G Danger: Same Frequencies as used for Crowd Dispersal

5G purportedly uses millimeter wave (MMW) frequencies, so called because the frequencies are so high (in the 24-100 GHz range). Since 1 GHz = 1 billion GHz, we are talking about frequencies with very very short wavelength (the distance between the peak of one wave and the next). The distances are so tiny they are measured in millimeters, hence the term millimeter wave. These are the exact same frequencies used by the military for their non-lethal weapons such as Active Denial Systems for crowd dispersal. These weapons have the capacity to cause tremendous injury. Dr. Paul Ben-Ishai said, “If you are unlucky enough to be standing there when it hits you, you will feel like your body is on fire.”

8. 5G Danger: Mutagenic (Causing DNA Damage) and Carcinogenic (Causing Cancer)?

The MMW frequencies of 5G cause mitochondrial DNA damage – which is then passed down generations. 5G is mutagenic. These mutations are inherited by the next generation! This has grave implications for genetic purity. How many people are thinking about this when they can’t stop looking at their screens? This website lists many studies showing the mitochondrial damage that occurs after exposure to EMF radiation.

With mutagenesis usually comes carcinogenesis. In other words, once something is powerful and dangerous enough to cause DNA damage, chances are high it will lead to cancer. Mark Steele says 5G is a class 1 carcinogen, although the WHO (World Health Organization) very conservatively classifies cell phone towers as a class 2b possible carcinogen. It’s important to note, however, that the WHO is an agency of the UN which was set up by the Rockefellers, an illustrious NWO Illuminati family who plan to use the UN as a vehicle to usher in a One World Government.

5G is being rushed out without the proper safety testing done, so we don’t have much data on how 5G specifically causes cancer, but there is an abundance of evidence showing how 2G, 3G and 4G EMFs are implicated in many kinds of cancer, including brain cancer. This website has a good collection of the many studies done.

9. 5G Danger: Phased Array Densification

5G requires significantly more transmitters or broadcasters than earlier generations. It is a plan of massive infrastructure creation, with stations, towers and bases planned to be put almost everywhere, including in the heart of residential neighborhoods. The effects of this kind of densification could be disastrous.

5G is powerful enough to 3D map the inside of your home and other buildings. Mark Steele specifically highlights the 868 MHz frequency, previously used for battlefield interrogations and which can travel with ease through bricks and concrete. He claims this frequency can single out specific people … interesting given all the electronic harassment and gang stalking which occurs against TIs (Targeted Individuals).

5G infrastructure will consist of small phased array antennas shooting out radiation at their targets like a bullet. The rays of microwaves they produce will be strong enough to pass through walls and human bodies. We will be blanketed with this 24/7/365, and what’s worse, the coverage area is slated to be broader than the current 4G, eventually encompassing every square inch of Earth.

10. 5G Danger: Killing All the Insects?

Insects, birds and children are the most vulnerable to 5G due to their body size. Claire Edwards is a former UN staff editor who brought the EMF/5G issue to their attention of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. She stated in an anti-5G rally speech in Stockholm:

“It’s interesting to note that in the last 20 years we have lost 80% of our insects. And if we get 5G, we’re going to lose 100% of our insects.  When the insects go, we go too.”

Both insects and 5G need antennas: insects use them, among other things, in their sense of smell, while 5G uses them to propagate waves. Not surprisingly, insects are sensitive to 5G EMF waves; this recent study showed that insects exposed to 5G radiation experienced an increase in their body temperature.

“Studies have shown that the frequencies used by 5G increase the body temperature of insects. This phenomenon was not observed with 4G or WiFi.”

Meanwhile the study Exposure of Insects to Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields from 2 to 120 GHz concludes:

“Future wavelengths of the electromagnetic fields used for the wireless telecommunication systems will decrease and become comparable to the body size of insects and therefore, the absorption of RF-EMFs in insects is expected to increase.”

11. 5G Danger: Space-Based 5G

5G is planned to be an inescapable grid – with plans afoot to beam it down from space! This ties into the Space Fence agenda as I discussed in my article Space Fence: Connecting the Surveillance and Transhumanist Agendas. The organization International Appeal Stop 5G on Earth and in Space writes:

“At least five companies are proposing to provide 5G from space from a combined 20,000 satellites in low- and medium-Earth orbit that will blanket the Earth with powerful, focused, steerable beams. Each satellite will emit millimetre waves with an effective radiated power of up to 5 million watts from thousands of antennas arranged in a phased array.”

It is vital to understand the bigger picture of the grand conspiracy here. All these disruptive and hazardous technologies – 5G, wi-fi, wireless radiation, HAARP, ionospheric heating, geoengineering, GMOs, etc. – are going to be woven into one giant integrated system of surveillance, command and control. Just as one small example, geoengineering involves the spraying of chemtrails loaded with metal particulates – which 5G can use.

12. 5G Danger: Re-Radiation Inside the Body

Way back in 2002, RF researcher Arthur Firstenberg published an analysis of 5G long before the technology was approved. He explained how, due to 5G EM pulses being extremely short and delivered in bursts, they actually replicate inside the body – and end up creating tiny new 5G antennas internally. Firstenberg wrote:

“… when extremely short electromagnetic pulses enter the body, something else happens: the moving charges themselves become little antennas that re-radiate the electromagnetic field and send it deeper into the body …”

“These re-radiated waves are called Brillouin precursors … They become significant when either the power or the phase of the wave changes rapidly enough … This means that the reassurance we are being given – that these millimeter waves are too short to penetrate far into the body – is not true.”

This echoes a previous point made – that 5G penetration is a serious danger.

13. 5G Danger: Insurance Companies Refuse to Underwrite Big Wireless. What Do They Know?

Insurance companies (the most famous of which is Lloyds of London) have made headlines by refusing to insure Big Wireless (the telecommunication corporate conglomerate) against wi-fi and 5G-related illnesses and claims:

“Well, Lloyd’s November 2010 Risk Assessment Team’s Report gives us a solid clue: the report compares these wireless technologies with asbestos, in that the early research on asbestos was “inconclusive” and only later did it become obvious to anyone paying attention that asbestos causes cancer. Keep in mind that Lloyd’s Risk Assessment study of wi-fi was published over 8 [now 9 – Ed.] years ago. Even back then, however, their Risk Assessment Team was smart enough to realize that new evidence just might emerge showing that the various wi-fi frequencies do cause illness.”

Conclusion: 5G Grid Part of Larger Command, Control, Surveillance and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Agenda

5G is qualitatively and quantitatively different to 4G. It is much more than just the next step up from 4G. 5G will not only beam tens to hundreds times more radiation than 4G, but the introduction of MMW technology means a whole new host of hazards. History repeats itself. Just like it took some time for real science to catch up with tobacco/cigarettes, and just like it took some time for real science to catch up with the monstrosity that are GMOs (now rebranded as BioEngineered Foods), so too will real science catch up with 5G. In the meantime, you can expect all sorts of junk science to be put forth to justify it, including misdirections and distractions like only focusing on the thermal effects of wireless (and ignoring the evidence of dangerous non-thermal effects).

Ultimately, 5G is part of the NWO agenda to set up a giant, inescapable command and control grid that eliminates all privacy and allows the manipulators to surveil every single person on the planet all the time. If there was ever a time for activists to step up in the name of freedom, truth, health, privacy and sovereignty, now is the time.

*****

Makia Freeman is the editor of alternative media / independent news site The Freedom Articles and senior researcher at ToolsForFreedom.com, writing on many aspects of truth and freedom, from exposing aspects of the worldwide conspiracy to suggesting solutions for how humanity can create a new system of peace and abundance. Makia is on Steemit and FB.

Sources:

*http://freedom-articles.toolsforfreedom.com/5g-iot-technological-control-grid/

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuVtGldYXK4

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBsUWbUB6PE

*https://www.emfacts.com/2018/08/martin-palls-book-on-5g-is-available-online/

*http://emfsafetynetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/PGERFDataOpt-outalternatives_11-1-11-3pm.pdf

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBsUWbUB6PE

*https://s3.amazonaws.com/nghl-ntge/pall-to-eu-on-5g-harm-march-2018.pdf

*https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19780007

*https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4712174/

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ol3tAxnNccY

*https://everydayconcerned.net/2019/02/15/5g-is-a-weapons-system-nothing-more-nothing-less-technical-weapons-expert-mark-steele-issues-wake-up-call-to-all-uk-residents-on-5g-led-street-lights-rollout-in-gateshead/

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-x_xv6dg9E

*https://thetruthrevolution.net/hundreds-of-birds-fall-from-the-sky-during-5g-test-in-the-netherlands

*https://jnlwp.defense.gov/About/Frequently-Asked-Questions/Active-Denial-System-FAQs/

*https://mdsafetech.org/mitochondrial-effects/

*https://www.powerwatch.org.uk/health/braintumours.asp

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hayxz_GEha8 (stockholm)

*http://emrabc.ca/?p=15174

*https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-22271-3

*http://freedom-articles.toolsforfreedom.com/space-fence-surveillance-transhumanism/

*https://www.5gspaceappeal.org/the-appeal

*https://www.cellphonetaskforce.org/5g-from-blankets-to-bullets/

*https://principia-scientific.org/lloyds-insurers-refuse-to-cover-5g-wi-fi-illnesses/

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Important article by John Whitehead first published by the Rutherford Institute and Global Research on April 24, 2019

Children are being targeted and sold for sex in America every day.”—John Ryan, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

Children, young girls—some as young as 9 years old—are being bought and sold for sex in America. The average age for a young woman being sold for sex is now 13 years old.

This is America’s dirty little secret.

Sex trafficking—especially when it comes to the buying and selling of young girls—has become big business in America, the fastest growing business in organized crime and the second most-lucrative commodity traded illegally after drugs and guns.

As investigative journalist Amy Fine Collins notes,

“It’s become more lucrative and much safer to sell malleable teens than drugs or guns. A pound of heroin or an AK-47 can be retailed once, but a young girl can be sold 10 to 15 times a day—and a ‘righteous’ pimp confiscates 100 percent of her earnings.”

Consider this: every two minutes, a child is exploited in the sex industry.

According to USA Today, adults purchase children for sex at least 2.5 million times a year in the United States.

Who buys a child for sex? Otherwise ordinary men from all walks of life.

They could be your co-worker, doctor, pastor or spouse,” writes journalist Tim Swarens, who spent more than a year investigating the sex trade in America.

In Georgia alone, it is estimated that 7,200 men (half of them in their 30s) seek to purchase sex with adolescent girls each month, averaging roughly 300 a day.

On average, a child might be raped by 6,000 men during a five-year period of servitude.

It is estimated that at least 100,000 children—girls and boys—are bought and sold for sex in the U.S. every year, with as many as 300,000 children in danger of being trafficked each year. Some of these children are forcefully abducted, others are runaways, and still others are sold into the system by relatives and acquaintances.

“Human trafficking—the commercial sexual exploitation of American children and women, via the Internet, strip clubs, escort services, or street prostitution—is on its way to becoming one of the worst crimes in the U.S.,” said prosecutor Krishna Patel.

CREDIT: SHUTTERSTOCK

This is an industry that revolves around cheap sex on the fly, with young girls and women who are sold to 50 men each day for $25 apiece, while their handlers make $150,000 to $200,000 per child each year.

This is not a problem found only in big cities.

It’s happening everywhere, right under our noses, in suburbs, cities and towns across the nation.

As Ernie Allen of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children points out,

The only way not to find this in any American city is simply not to look for it.”

Don’t fool yourselves into believing that this is merely a concern for lower income communities or immigrants.

It’s not.

It is estimated that there are 100,000 to 150,000 under-aged child sex workers in the U.S. These girls aren’t volunteering to be sex slaves. They’re being lured—forced—trafficked into it. In most cases, they have no choice.

In order to avoid detection (in some cases aided and abetted by the police) and cater to male buyers’ demand for sex with different women, pimps and the gangs and crime syndicates they work for have turned sex trafficking into a highly mobile enterprise, with trafficked girls, boys and women constantly being moved from city to city, state to state, and country to country.

For instance, the Baltimore-Washington area, referred to as The Circuit, with its I-95 corridor dotted with rest stops, bus stations and truck stops, is a hub for the sex trade.

No doubt about it: this is a highly profitable, highly organized and highly sophisticated sex trafficking business that operates in towns large and small, raking in upwards of $9.5 billion a year in the U.S. alone by abducting and selling young girls for sex.

Every year, the girls being bought and sold gets younger and younger.

The average age of those being trafficked is 13. Yet as the head of a group that combats trafficking pointed out,

“Let’s think about what average means. That means there are children younger than 13. That means 8-, 9-, 10-year-olds.

“For every 10 women rescued, there are 50 to 100 more women who are brought in by the traffickers. Unfortunately, they’re not 18- or 20-year-olds anymore,” noted a 25-year-old victim of trafficking. “They’re minors as young as 13 who are being trafficked. They’re little girls.”

Where did this appetite for young girls come from?

Look around you.

Young girls have been sexualized for years now in music videos, on billboards, in television ads, and in clothing stores. Marketers have created a demand for young flesh and a ready supply of over-sexualized children.

“All it takes is one look at MySpace photos of teens to see examples—if they aren’t imitating porn they’ve actually seen, they’re imitating the porn-inspired images and poses they’ve absorbed elsewhere,” writes Jessica Bennett for Newsweek. “Latex, corsets and stripper heels, once the fashion of porn stars, have made their way into middle and high school.”

This is what Bennett refers to as the “pornification of a generation.”

“In a market that sells high heels for babies and thongs for tweens, it doesn’t take a genius to see that sex, if not porn, has invaded our lives,” concludes Bennett. “Whether we welcome it or not, television brings it into our living rooms and the Web brings it into our bedrooms. According to a 2007 study from the University of Alberta, as many as 90 percent of boys and 70 percent of girls aged 13 to 14 have accessed sexually explicit content at least once.”

In other words, the culture is grooming these young people to be preyed upon by sexual predators. And then we wonder why our young women are being preyed on, trafficked and abused?

Social media makes it all too easy. As one news center reported,

“Finding girls is easy for pimps. They look on MySpace, Facebook, and other social networks. They and their assistants cruise malls, high schools and middle schools. They pick them up at bus stops. On the trolley. Girl-to-girl recruitment sometimes happens.”

Foster homes and youth shelters have also become prime targets for traffickers.

Rarely do these girls enter into prostitution voluntarily. Many start out as runaways or throwaways, only to be snatched up by pimps or larger sex rings. Others, persuaded to meet up with a stranger after interacting online through one of the many social networking sites, find themselves quickly initiated into their new lives as sex slaves.

Debbie, a straight-A student who belonged to a close-knit Air Force family living in Phoenix, Ariz., is an example of this trading of flesh. Debbie was 15 when she was snatched from her driveway by an acquaintance-friend. Forced into a car, Debbie was bound and taken to an unknown location, held at gunpoint and raped by multiple men. She was then crammed into a small dog kennel and forced to eat dog biscuits. Debbie’s captors advertised her services on Craigslist. Those who responded were often married with children, and the money that Debbie “earned” for sex was given to her kidnappers. The gang raping continued. After searching the apartment where Debbie was held captive, police finally found Debbie stuffed in a drawer under a bed. Her harrowing ordeal lasted for 40 days.

While Debbie was fortunate enough to be rescued, others are not so lucky. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, nearly 800,000 children go missing every year (roughly 2,185 children a day).

With a growing demand for sexual slavery and an endless supply of girls and women who can be targeted for abduction, this is not a problem that’s going away anytime soon.

For those trafficked, it’s a nightmare from beginning to end.

Those being sold for sex have an average life expectancy of seven years, and those years are a living nightmare of endless rape, forced drugging, humiliation, degradation, threats, disease, pregnancies, abortions, miscarriages, torture, pain, and always the constant fear of being killed or, worse, having those you love hurt or killed.

Peter Landesman paints the full horrors of life for those victims of the sex trade in his New York Times article “The Girls Next Door”:

Andrea told me that she and the other children she was held with were frequently beaten to keep them off-balance and obedient. Sometimes they were videotaped while being forced to have sex with adults or one another. Often, she said, she was asked to play roles: the therapist patient or the obedient daughter. Her cell of sex traffickers offered three age ranges of sex partners–toddler to age 4, 5 to 12 and teens–as well as what she called a “damage group.” “In the damage group, they can hit you or do anything they want to,” she explained. “Though sex always hurts when you are little, so it’s always violent, everything was much more painful once you were placed in the damage group.”

What Andrea described next shows just how depraved some portions of American society have become.

“They’d get you hungry then to train you” to have oral sex. “They put honey on a man. For the littlest kids, you had to learn not to gag. And they would push things in you so you would open up better. We learned responses. Like if they wanted us to be sultry or sexy or scared. Most of them wanted you scared. When I got older, I’d teach the younger kids how to float away so things didn’t hurt.”

Immigration and customs enforcement agents at the Cyber Crimes Center in Fairfax, Va., report that when it comes to sex, the appetites of many Americans have now changed. What was once considered abnormal is now the norm. These agents are tracking a clear spike in the demand for harder-core pornography on the Internet. As one agent noted,

“We’ve become desensitized by the soft stuff; now we need a harder and harder hit.”

This trend is reflected by the treatment many of the girls receive at the hands of the drug traffickers and the men who purchase them. Peter Landesman interviewed Rosario, a Mexican woman who had been trafficked to New York and held captive for a number of years. She said:

“In America, we had ‘special jobs.’ Oral sex, anal sex, often with many men. Sex is now more adventurous, harder.”

A common thread woven through most survivors’ experiences is being forced to go without sleep or food until they have met their sex quota of at least 40 men. One woman recounts how her trafficker made her lie face down on the floor when she was pregnant and then literally jumped on her back, forcing her to miscarry.

Holly Austin Smith (image on the right) was abducted when she was 14 years old, raped, and then forced to prostitute herself. Her pimp, when brought to trial, was only made to serve a year in prison.

Barbara Amaya was repeatedly sold between traffickers, abused, shot, stabbed, raped, kidnapped, trafficked, beaten, and jailed all before she was 18 years old.

“I had a quota that I was supposed to fill every night. And if I didn’t have that amount of money, I would get beat, thrown down the stairs. He beat me once with wire coat hangers, the kind you hang up clothes, he straightened it out and my whole back was bleeding.”

As David McSwane recounts in a chilling piece for the Herald-Tribune:

“In Oakland Park, an industrial Fort Lauderdale suburb, federal agents in 2011 encountered a brothel operated by a married couple. Inside ‘The Boom Boom Room,’ as it was known, customers paid a fee and were given a condom and a timer and left alone with one of the brothel’s eight teenagers, children as young as 13. A 16-year-old foster child testified that he acted as security, while a 17-year-old girl told a federal judge she was forced to have sex with as many as 20 men a night.”

One particular sex trafficking ring catered specifically to migrant workers employed seasonally on farms throughout the southeastern states, especially the Carolinas and Georgia, although it’s a flourishing business in every state in the country. Traffickers transport the women from farm to farm, where migrant workers would line up outside shacks, as many as 30 at a time, to have sex with them before they were transported to yet another farm where the process would begin all over again.

This growing evil is, for all intents and purposes, out in the open.

Trafficked women and children are advertised on the internet, transported on the interstate, and bought and sold in swanky hotels.

Indeed, as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the government’s war on sex trafficking—much like the government’s war on terrorism, drugs and crime—has become a perfect excuse for inflicting more police state tactics (police check points, searches, surveillance, and heightened security) on a vulnerable public, while doing little to make our communities safer.

So what can you do?

Educate yourselves and your children about this growing menace in our communities.

Stop feeding the monster: Sex trafficking is part of a larger continuum in America that runs the gamut from homelessness, poverty, and self-esteem issues to sexualized television, the glorification of a pimp/ho culture—what is often referred to as the pornification of America—and a billion dollar sex industry built on the back of pornography, music, entertainment, etc.

This epidemic is largely one of our own making, especially in a corporate age where the value placed on human life takes a backseat to profit. It is estimated that the porn industry brings in more money than Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Yahoo.

Call on your city councils, elected officials and police departments to make the battle against sex trafficking a top priority, more so even than the so-called war on terror and drugs and the militarization of law enforcement.

Stop prosecuting adults for victimless “crimes” such as growing lettuce in their front yard and focus on putting away the pimps and buyers who victimize these young women.

Finally, the police need to do a better job of training, identifying and responding to these issues; communities and social services need to do a better job of protecting runaways, who are the primary targets of traffickers; legislators need to pass legislation aimed at prosecuting traffickers and “johns,” the buyers who drive the demand for sex slaves; and hotels need to stop enabling these traffickers, by providing them with rooms and cover for their dirty deeds.

That so many women and children continue to be victimized, brutalized and treated like human cargo is due to three things: one, a consumer demand that is increasingly lucrative for everyone involved—except the victims; two, a level of corruption so invasive on both a local and international scale that there is little hope of working through established channels for change; and three, an eerie silence from individuals who fail to speak out against such atrocities.

But the truth is that we are all guilty of contributing to this human suffering. The traffickers are guilty. The consumers are guilty. The corrupt law enforcement officials are guilty. The women’s groups who do nothing are guilty. The foreign peacekeepers and aid workers who contribute to the demand for sex slaves are guilty. Most of all, every individual who does not raise a hue and cry over the atrocities being committed against women and children in almost every nation around the globe—including the United States—is guilty.

*

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Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People  (SelectBooks, 2015) is available online at www.amazon.com. Whitehead can be contacted at [email protected].

America’s Enemies, Who’s On the List?

November 16th, 2019 by Prof. James Petras

This article was originally published by GR in November 2017.

For almost 2 decades, the US pursued a list of ‘enemy countries’ to confront, attack, weaken and overthrow. 

This imperial quest to overthrow ‘enemy countries’ operated at various levels of intensity, depending on two considerations:  the level of priority and the degree of vulnerability for a ‘regime change’ operation.

The criteria for determining an ‘enemy country’ and its place on the list of priority targets in the US quest for greater global dominance, as well as its vulnerability to a ‘successfully’ regime change will be the focus of this essay.

We will conclude by discussing the realistic perspectives of future imperial options.

Prioritizing US Adversaries

Imperial strategists consider military, economic and political criteria in identifying high priority adversaries.

The following are high on the US ‘enemy list’:

1) Russia, because of its military power, is a nuclear counterweight to US global domination.  It has a huge, well-equipped armed force with a European, Asian and Middle East presence.  Its global oil and gas resources shield it from US economic blackmail and its growing geo-political alliances limit US expansion.

2) China, because of its global economic power and the growing scope of its trade, investment and technological networks.  China’s growing defensive military capability, particularly with regard to protecting its interests in the South China Sea serve to counter US domination in Asia.

3) North Korea, because of its nuclear and ballistic missile capability, its fierce independent foreign policies and its strategic geo-political location, is seen as a threat to the US military bases in Asia and Washington’s regional allies and proxies.

4) Venezuela, because of its oil resources and socio-political policies, challenge the US centered neo-liberal model in Latin America.

5) Iran, because of its oil resources, political independence and geo-political alliances in the Middle East, challenge US, Israeli and Saudi Arabia domination of the region and present an independent alternative.

6) Syria, because of its strategic position in the Middle East, its secular nationalist ruling party and its alliances with Iran, Palestine, Iraq and Russia, is a counterweight to US-Israeli plans to balkanize the Middle East into warring ethno-tribal states.

US  Middle-level Adversaries :

1)  Cuba, because of its independent foreign policies and its alternative socio-economic system stands in contrast to the US-centered neo-liberal regimes in the Caribbean, Central and South America.

2) Lebanon, because of its strategic location on the Mediterranean and the coalition government’s power sharing arrangement with the political party, Hezbollah, which is increasingly influential in Lebanese civil society in part because of its militia’s proven capacity to protect Lebanese national sovereignty by expelling the invading Israeli army and helping to defeat the ISIS/al Queda mercenaries in neighboring Syria.

3) Yemen, because of its independent, nationalist Houthi-led movement opposed to the Saudi-imposed puppet government as well as its relations with Iran.

Low Level Adversaries

1) Bolivia, because of its independent foreign policy, support for the Chavista government in Venezuela and advocacy of a mixed economy;  mining wealth and  defense of indigenous people’s territorial claims.

2) Nicaragua, because of its independent foreign policy and criticism of US aggression toward Cuba and Venezuela.

US hostility to high priority adversaries is expressed through economic sanctions military encirclement, provocations and intense propaganda wars toward North Korea, Russia, Venezuela, Iran and Syria.

Because of China’s powerful global market linkages, the US has applied few sanctions.  Instead, the US relies on military encirclement, separatist provocations and intense hostile propaganda when dealing with China.

Priority Adversaries, Low Vulnerability and Unreal Expectations

With the exception of Venezuela, Washington’s ‘high priority targets’ have limited strategic vulnerabilities. Venezuela is the most vulnerable because of its high dependence on oil revenues with its major refineries located in the US, and its high levels of indebtedness, verging on default.   In addition, there are the domestic opposition groups, all acting as US clients and Caracas’ growing isolation within Latin America due to orchestrated hostility by important US clients, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico.

Iran is far less vulnerable: It is a strong strategic regional military power linked to neighboring countries and similar religious-nationalist movements.  Despite its dependence on oil exports, Iran has developed alternative markets, like China, free from US blackmail and is relatively safe from US or EU initiated creditor attacks.

North Korea, despite the crippling economic sanctions imposed on its regime and civilian population, has ‘the bomb’ as a deterrent to a US military attack and has shown no reluctance to defend itself.  Unlike Venezuela, neither Iran nor North Korea face significant internal attacks from US-funded or armed domestic opposition.

Russia has full military capacity – nuclear weapons, ICBM and a huge, well-trained armed force – to deter any direct US military threat.  Moscow is politically vulnerable to US-backed propaganda, opposition political parties and Western-funded NGO’s.  Russian oligarch-billionaires, linked to London and Wall Street, exercise some pressure against independent economic initiatives.

To a limited degree, US sanctions exploited Russia’s earlier dependence on Western markets, but since the imposition of draconian sanctions by the Obama regime, Moscow has effectively counteredWashington’s offensive by diversifying its markets to Asia and strengthening domestic self-reliance in its agriculture, industry and high technology.

China has a world-class economy and is on course to become the world’s economic leader.  Feeble threats to ‘sanction’ China have merely exposed Washington’s weakness rather intimidating Beijing.  China has countered US military provocations and threats by expanding its economic market power, increasing its strategic military capacity and shedding dependence on the dollar.

Washington’s high priority targets are not vulnerable to frontal attack: They retain or are increasing their domestic cohesion and economic networks, while upgrading their military capacity to impose completely unacceptable costs on the US for any direct assault.

As a result, the US leaders are forced to rely on incremental, peripheral and proxy attacks with limited results against its high priority adversaries.

Washington will tighten sanctions on North Korea and Venezuela, with dubious prospects of success in the former and a possible pyrrhic victory in the case of Caracas. Iran and Russia can easily overcome proxy interventions.  US allies, like Saudi Arabia and Israel, can badger, propagandize and rail the Persians, but their fears that an out-and-out war against Iran, could quickly destroy Riyadh and Tel Aviv forces them to work in tandem to induce the corrupt US political establishment to push for war over the objections of a war-weary US military and population. Saudi and Israelis can bomb and starve the populations of Yemen and Gaza, which lack any capacity to reply in kind, but Teheran is another matter.

The politicians and propagandists in Washington can blather about Russia’s interference in the US’s corrupt electoral theater and scuttle moves to improve diplomatic ties, but they cannot counter Russia’s growing influence in the Middle East and its expanding trade with Asia, especially China.

In summary, at the global level, the US ‘priority’ targets are unattainable and invulnerable.  In the midst of the on-going inter-elite dogfight within the US, it may be too much to hope for the emergence of any rational policymakers in Washington who could rethink strategic priorities and calibrate policies of mutual accommodation to fit in with global realities.

Medium and Low Priorities, Vulnerabilities and Expectations

Washington can intervene and perhaps inflict severe damage on middle and low priority countries.  However, there are several drawbacks to a full-scale attack.

Yemen, Cuba, Lebanon, Bolivia and Syria are not nations capable of shaping global political and economic alignments.  The most the US can secure in these vulnerable countries are destructive regime changes with massive loss of life, infrastructure and millions of desperate refugees . . . but at great political cost, with prolonged instability and with severe economic losses.

Yemen

The US can push for a total Saudi Royal victory over the starving, cholera-stricken people of Yemen.  But who benefits?  Saudi Arabia is in the midst of a palace upheaval and has no ability to exercise hegemony, despite hundreds of billions of  dollars of US/NATO arms, trainers and bases.  Colonial occupations are costly and yield few, if any, economic benefits, especially from a poor, geographically isolated devastated nation like Yemen.

Cuba

Cuba has a powerful highly professional military backed by a million-member militia.  They are capable of prolonged resistance and can count on international support.  A US invasion of Cuba would require a prolonged occupation and heavy losses.  Decades of economic sanctions haven’t worked and their re-imposition by Trump have not affected the key tourist growth sectors.

President Trump’s ‘symbolic hostility’ does not cut any ice with the major US agro-business groups, which saw Cuba as a market. Over half of the so-called ‘overseas Cubans’ now oppose direct US intervention.

US-funded NGOs can provide some marginal propaganda points but they cannot reverse popular support for Cuba’s mixed ‘socialized’ economy, its excellent public education and health care and its independent foreign policy.

Lebanon

A joint US-Saudi economic blockade and Israeli bombs can destabilize Lebanon.  However, a full-scale prolonged Israeli invasion will cost Jewish lives and foment domestic unrest.  Hezbollah has missiles to counter Israeli bombs.  The Saudi economic blockade will radicalize Lebanese nationalists, especially among the Shia and the Christian populations.  The Washington’s ‘invasion’ of Libya, which did not lose a single US soldier, demonstrates that destructive invasions result in long-term, continent-wide chaos.

A US-Israeli-Saudi war would totally destroy Lebanon but it will destabilize the region and exacerbate conflicts in neighboring countries – Syria, Iran and possibly Iraq.  And Europe will be flooded with millions more desperate refugees.

Syria

The US-Saudi proxy war in Syria suffered serious defeats and the loss of political assets.  Russia gained influence, bases and allies.  Syria retained its sovereignty and forged a battle-hardened national armed force.  Washington can sanction Syria, grab some bases in a few phony ‘Kurdish enclaves’ but it will not advance beyond a stalemate and will be widely viewed as an occupying invader.

Syria is vulnerable and continues to be a middle-range target on the US enemy list but it offers few prospects of advancing US imperial power, beyond some limited ties with an unstable Kurd enclave, susceptible to internecine warfare, and risking major Turkish retaliation.

Bolivia and Nicaragua

Bolivia and Nicaragua are minor irritants on the US enemy list. US regional policymakers recognize that neither country exercises global or even regional power.  Moreover, both regimes rejected radical politics in practice and co-exist with powerful and influential local oligarchs and international MNC’s linked to the US.

Their foreign policy critiques, which are mostly for domestic consumption, are neutralized by the near total US influence in the OAS and the major neo-liberal regimes in Latin America.  It appears that the US will accommodate these marginalized rhetorical adversaries rather than risk provoking any revival of radical nationalist or socialist mass movements erupting in La Paz or Managua.

Conclusion

A brief examination of Washington’s ‘list of enemies’ reveals that the limited chances of success even among vulnerable targets.  Clearly, in this evolving world power configuration, US money and markets will not alter the power equation.

US allies, like Saudi Arabia, spend enormous amounts of money attacking a devastated nation, but they destroy markets while losing wars.  Powerful adversaries, like China, Russia and Iran, are not vulnerable and offer the Pentagon few prospects of military conquest in the foreseeable future.

Sanctions, or economic wars have failed to subdue adversaries in North Korea, Russia, Cuba and Iran.  The ‘enemy list’ has cost the US prestige, money and markets – a very peculiar imperialist balance sheet.  Russia now exceeds the US in wheat production and exports.  Gone are the days when US agro-exports dominated world trade including trade with Moscow.

Enemy lists are easy to compose, but effective policies are difficult to implement against rivals with dynamic economies and powerful military preparedness.

The US would regain some of its credibility if it operated within the contexts of global realities and pursued a win-win agenda instead of remaining a consistent loser in a zero-sum game.

Rational leaders could negotiate reciprocal trade agreements with China, which would develop high tech, finance and agro-commercial ties with manufacturers and services.  Rational leaders could develop joint Middle East economic and peace agreements, recognizing the reality of a Russian-Iranian-Lebanese Hezbollah and Syrian alliance.

As it stands, Washington’s ‘enemy list’ continues to be composed and imposed by its own irrational leaders, pro-Israel maniacs and Russophobes in the Democratic Party – with no acknowledgement of current realities.

For Americans, the list of domestic enemies is long and well known, what we lack is a civilian political leadership to replace these serial mis-leaders.

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The initial purpose of what began as Operation Overcast was to plunder Germany of all its scientific and industrial knowledge after World War Two. The plan was to steal documents and working samples, but the depth and breadth of German industrial knowledge proved much too complex to be usefully understood from a simple examination of documents. In spite of the immense trove of scientific, technical, and industrial knowledge confiscated from Germany, the US failed to benefit due to a lack of know-how. It became quickly apparent that the process would require an extensive debriefing of German scientists and technicians to obtain adequate working knowledge of German industrial and scientific theory and processes.

This realisation led to the immediate creation of vast internment camps containing all the scientists and technicians the Americans could take into custody where these people could be debriefed over time. When it became apparent that both plundering and debriefing would be insufficient, Operation Overcast became Operation Paperclip which involved the forcible transfer of countless thousands of these same individuals to the US.

Operation Overcast has been described as being “as massive a logistical enterprise as that of any major war campaign, involving enormous pre-planning and coordination that included literally dozens of government agencies and departments, ancillary groups like the Library of Congress, hundreds of US corporations and countless thousands of individuals.” It has been downplayed as a simple post-war immigration of German scientists and military personnel to the US, but it extended far beyond this. As in virtually every other area, American history has been revised, deleted, sanitised and Photoshopped to prevent the truth from escaping into the world at large.

Germany had been thoroughly looted after the WWI, including the confiscation of nearly all foreign assets belonging to German companies, (1) and plans were well under way to repeat the process long before the Second War ended. This time, instead of simply seizing German assets and stealing their patents throughout the world, the Americans concocted a grand plan with an almost savage determination to plunder the entire nation of Germany itself, to the maximum extent possible. This was Operation Overcast, the planning for which was completed at least two years before the war ended.

When Germany surrendered and the Americans entered the country in force, hundreds of teams of scientists and industrialists, military and other specialists, were often only minutes or meters behind the troops, in their determined effort to confiscate everything useful lest it be destroyed before their arrival. These hundreds of groups had been selected and prepared in advance, with experts in every specialised scientific, industrial, and military area, those who were best qualified to judge what material was useful or valuable in their fields. A few groups focused on military items, but by far the largest effort was by the TIIB, the Technical Industrial Intelligence Branch of the US Department of Commerce, whose task was to examine every possible segment of German industry and to collect any and all information including documents, patents, processes, prototypes, models, working samples, anything that might be of interest or use to American industrial firms. The TIIB sent many hundreds of commercial investigating groups to Germany, with each group reportedly confiscating millions of pages of documents and countless tons of equipment and product samples. Even the Library of Congress had its own specialised group, tasked with locating and confiscating all German books and journals that might be in any way useful to American corporations.

Every kind of German company of every size was targeted in this enterprise if it might possibly contain research or products of potential use to American companies. Further, all universities, research institutes, patent offices, laboratories of every kind, all government agencies, research councils, were stripped bare, as were every kind of library. This latter included not only public libraries but all those inside German corporations like I. G. Farben, Volkswagen, Dornier, Messerschmitt, Hoescht, and thousands of others. And not only the libraries, but the internal research facilities of these thousands of firms were emptied of all their research documents, publications, and proprietary information. Entire factories and physical production facilities were combed for anything of commercial value.

It was reported that even the Steiff stuffed animal factory was emptied of its patterns, proprietary books and documents, production methods, patents, and samples of teddy bears. The Americans literally took everything, reportedly coming in waves with one wave taking whatever the prior waves left behind, until factories, warehouses, libraries, universities, patent offices, were simply empty. The document haul alone was in the tens of thousands of tons. No one counted the number of samples, prototypes, working models, of vehicles, aircraft, military appliances, and vast numbers of commercial items, and the number of books stolen was likely in the millions.

Secrets by the Thousands

One of the few recorded instances of public documentation and acknowledgement of this massive theft was an article written by C. Lester Walker and titled, “Secrets by the Thousands”. (2) His article begins with the following:

“Someone wrote to Wright Field recently, saying he understood this country had got together quite a collection of enemy war secrets, that many were now on public sale, and could he, please, be sent everything on German jet engines. The Air Documents Division of the Army Air Forces answered: “Sorry – but that would be fifty tons (of documents)”.

Moreover, that fifty tons was just a small portion of what is today undoubtedly the biggest collection of captured enemy war secrets ever assembled. The collection is today chiefly in three places; Wright Field (Ohio), the Library of Congress, and the Department of Commerce. Wright Field is working from a documents mother lode of fifteen hundred tons. In Washington, the Office of Technical Services reports that tens of thousands of tons of material are involved. It is estimated that over a million separate items must be handled, and that they, very likely, contain practically all the scientific, industrial, and military secrets of Germany. One Washington official has called it the greatest single source of this type of material in the world, the first orderly exploitation of an entire country’s brainpower.”

Walker confirms that the US organised a colossal search for what it euphemistically termed “war secrets” but which was simply a treasure hunt for military, commercial and scientific knowledge that the US lacked. “To accomplish this task, various US agencies formed more than 500 intelligence groups, ranging in size from a few to a dozen or more individuals, which closely followed the invading US army into Germany with the intent of confiscating everything of value before the other Allied forces arrived. Most of these Joint Intelligence Objectives search teams were ordered to locate and confiscate industrial and scientific secrets in particular. According to Walker, these US heroes “performed prodigies of ingenuity and tenacity” in accomplishing their task. To some extent, he was correct. In one case the German Patent Office put some of its most secret patents down a sixteen-hundred-foot mine shaft, but the Americans found it and confiscated the entire contents as US “war reparations”.”

German citizens were forced by the Americans to sign documents testifying that they had turned over “all scientific and trade data, and if not, would accept the consequences” – which meant execution, and these were staff of commercial enterprises totally unrelated to military items. The US had photo crews and microfilm recording teams working 24 hours a day to document German inventions. Walker stated that at Hoechst alone, the Americans had more than 100 researchers who would “struggle feverishly to keep ahead of the forty OTS document-recording cameras which route to them each month over one hundred thousand feet of microfilm”. To put this into measurable perspective, the US was extracting several million pages of documents each month from Hoechst alone. Such was the scale of the US theft of German scientific and commercial secrets.

Walker then proceeds to give readers “some outstanding examples from the war secrets collection” which included 1,000-watt micro-miniature vacuum tubes made of porcelain rather than glass, that were virtually indestructible, and a tenth the size of the best the US could make. He listed an apparently miraculous magnetic recording tape, and infrared devices for perfect night vision and a “remarkable diminutive generator which operated it”. He states that German infrared technology was so advanced that, according to US military sources, “German cars could drive at any speed in a total black-out, seeing objects clear as day two hundred meters ahead. Tanks with this device could spot targets two miles away. As a sniperscope it enabled German riflemen to pick off a man in total blackness. …It stepped up current from an ordinary flashlight battery to 15,000 volts.” Prior to these discoveries the Americans had no idea these items even existed, much less of how to design or manufacture them.

Walker listed an array of electronic items including remarkable condensers that appeared to be magic to American scientists, the manufacture of large sheets of synthetic mica, which was important for many manufacturing processes and which the Americans had never been able to make, in any size, but which immediately increased American cold steel production by 1,000%. The Germans had perfected the process of cold metal extrusion, which the Americans also could never do, and which now permitted US manufacturers to increase the production speed of many items by ten times.

Walker stated that the head of a military communications unit told him this one “war secret” alone would totally revolutionise dozens of American metal fabrication industries. He went on to state that “In textiles the war secrets collection has produced so many revelations that American textile men are a little dizzy.”

He relates discoveries of a German rayon-weaving machine (“discovered” by the American Knitting Machine Team that was scouring Germany) that increases production by 150%. There were looms that produced seamless hosiery for ladies, textile needle-making machinery that the American firms had never dreamt possible, a patented way to separate the wool from sheepskin leaving a perfect hide surface. One American dye authority declared, “It includes the production know-how and the secret formulas for over fifty thousand dyes. Many of them are faster and better than ours. Many are colors we were never able to make. The American dye industry will be advanced at least ten years.”

Walker continues:

“In matters of food, medicine, and branches of the military art the finds of the search teams were no less impressive. And in aeronautics and guided missiles they proved to be downright alarming. … the Germans had discovered was a way to sterilize fruit juices without heat. Milk pasteurization by ultra-violet has always failed in other countries, but the Germans had found how to do it …”

His sources told him the Germans had invented a continuous butter-making machine, something the Americans had always wanted but couldn’t figure out how to do it.

Samples of the machines were immediately confiscated and shipped to the US dairy companies. The Germans had invented remarkable new ways of preserving food, and air conditioning and water reclamation so efficient that “German submarines could travel from Germany to the Pacific, operate there for two months, and then return to Germany without having to take on fresh water for the crew.”

Walker tells us as well that a US Army surgeon claimed German medical secrets, many of which were startling and revolutionary, would save American medicine “years of research”, items that included a process for producing synthetic blood plasma on a commercial scale, and substitutes for both blood liquid and adrenaline. These were also areas where the Americans had tried for years, and failed, but Walker then crowed, “Today we have the secret of manufacture.” And let’s not forget these were all categorised by the Americans as “war secrets”, this categorisation somehow justifying their theft. The Germans also had developed methods of reviving bodies in cases of complete standstill of heart and cessation of respiration, Walker noting that “Before our war with Japan ended, this method was adopted as the treatment for use by all American Air-Sea Rescue Services, and it is generally accepted by medicine today.” Likewise, the Germans had already discovered the medical importance of negatively-ionised air and methods of creating it.

Walker further proceeds to tell us,

“But of highest significance for the future were the German secrets in aviation and in various types of missiles. The V-2 rocket which bombed London, an Army Air Force publication reports, was just a toy compared to what the Germans had up their sleeve. When the war ended, we now know, they had 138 types of guided missiles in various stages of production or development, using every known kind of remote control and fuse: radio, radar, wire, continuous wave, acoustics, infra-red, light beams, and magnetics, to name some; and for power, all methods of jet propulsion for either subsonic or supersonic speeds. Jet propulsion had even been applied to helicopter flight. The fuel was piped to combustion chambers at the rotor blade tips, where it exploded, whirling the blades around like a lawn sprinkler or pinwheel.”

Walker goes on to mention supersonic rockets with speeds of almost 6,000 miles per hour with intercontinental range that could reach New York from Germany in about 40 minutes. He tells us, “Little wonder, then, that today Army Air Force experts declare publicly that in rocket power and guided missiles the Germans were ahead of us by at least ten years.”

Walker completes his article with examples of how “the American public”, i.e. American companies “are eating up” all this information, with hundreds of thousands of requests for documents on every conceivable commercial application. American companies like Bendix, Pillsbury, Pioneer, Pacific Mills, requested German patent and process information on record player changers, flour and bread production methods, insect repellent compounds, crease-resistant finishes for spun rayon. And of course Polaroid, the great American camera company obtained all its information from the exploitation of German photography and optics documents, as did Kodak after World War I, without which the company would have amounted to nothing.

Daniel W. Michaels wrote a series of informative and excellently-researched articles on this matter, one titled “The Great Patents Heist”, which is filled with detail and background. (3) Michaels was for decades employed as a translator of German for the US Department of Defense and the Naval Maritime Intelligence Center, and has much personal experience of the extent of this theft. John Gimbel also wrote a treatise titled, “Science, Technology, and Reparations. Exploitation and Plunder in Postwar Germany”, which was published by the Stanford University Press in 1990.

Michaels begins by stating,

“It is quite acceptable to American pride to acknowledge that immigrants have contributed to our prosperity and greatness. It’s a little harder to swallow that a good deal of our scientific lead and prosperity has come from simply seizing German patents and inventions after World War I, and far more so after World War II.”

He notes that the most creative period in world history may have occurred in Germany between 1932 and 1945, and that it was the theft of this German scientific research that fueled America’s post-war technology boom. It was Truman’s Executive Order 9604 – which, he notes, was also known as the “License to Steal” – that constituted what was perhaps the greatest robbery in the history of the World, the theft of all German intellectual property, products, processes and patents existing to that time.

The US today makes a great show of protecting intellectual property while disclaiming any past or present efforts to obtain by clandestine or dishonest measures the IP of other nations, desperately insisting its espionage and other efforts deal only with ‘terrorism’ or national security issues. These denials can be easily dismissed as outright lies when faced with these revelations and the subsequent Project Echelon. Truman’s Executive Order 9604 provided for the seizure of “scientific and industrial information, including all information concerning scientific, industrial and technological processes, inventions, methods, devices, improvements and advances” discovered in Germany, and “regardless of its origin”.

“One of the largest hauls of classified information harvested by the Allies came from laboratories and plants of IG Farben, whose vaults contained secret industrial information on, among others, liquid and solid fuels, metallurgy, synthetic rubber, textiles, chemicals, plastics, drugs and dyes. Several U.S. Army officers stationed in the Farben Building after the war commented that the value of the files and records confiscated would (from that source alone) have been sufficient to finance the war.”

Michaels also noted that among the great aeronautical discoveries were “the papers describing the sweptback wing and providing considerable wind-tunnel data which showed clearly that the sweptback plane had superior speed properties near the speed of sound. These data were the first of their kind.

Schairer (a Boeing engineer) quickly wrote to his Boeing associates to stop work on the Mach 1 transonic plane with the straight wing which they had designed, telling them of his find. He microfilmed the data and used them when he got back to Seattle to design the B-47, the first U.S. sweptback bomber….”

Michaels again:

“The theft of intellectual property is not new, but the extent and ruthlessness of what the “wannabe” superpowers did in Germany from 1945 to 1948 was unprecedented. The United States … literally stole the entire extant store of German patents, designs, inventions and trademarks. Germans, who were not forthcoming in informing the U.S. Occupation Forces of the existence and location of such records could be imprisoned, punished and even threatened with death for “insufficient reporting”. When World War II ended, America’s elite determined that the United States would not lapse back into its prewar depressed state, but rather would revitalize its economy and have a first-class military and industrial establishment. To this end, Germany’s advanced military hardware, aeronautical and industrial secrets would simply be confiscated and transplanted in America … reinvented and stamped “Made in the U.S.A.”.

To ensure that the Allies would have an insurmountable head start in exploiting the patents, the Germans were even forbidden to use or refer to their own inventions after they were confiscated. The German Patent Office was closed by the Allies and (when it reopened), the first number assigned was 800,001, indicating that some 800,000 original patents had been looted by the Allies.

Germany had been deprived of all prior IP in existence to that point and, by its deliberate exclusion from the international Patent Union, could not patent or exploit any new discoveries. All new German inventions or scientific discoveries were simply confiscated by the US and, thanks to the massive and overwhelming infiltration of the US’ Project Echelon embedded in Germany (and throughout Europe), American espionage would quickly discover any new German inventions. To make the situation permanent, in May of 1955, the Americans, “aware of the improprieties involved in their seizure of German industrial secrets”, forced Germany to sign the ‘Paris Agreement’ and “to renounce all claims or objections to Allied actions during the occupation”. The so-called “agreement” stated:

“The [German] federal government shall in the future raise no objections against the measures which have been, or will be, carried out with regard to German external assets or other property, seized for the purpose of reparation or restitution, or as a result of the state of war, or on the basis of agreements concluded, or to be concluded by the Three Powers with any other Allied countries, neutral countries or former allies of Germany.”

The Second Wave – Forcible Emigration

The original intent was to steal documents and working samples, and to debrief scientists wherever necessary to obtain working knowledge of theory and processes. Since the extent of necessary debriefing could not reasonably be known in advance, the plan was to gather up all German scientists, technicians, and skilled workers and, to prevent their dispersion, to imprison them in concentration camps until they could be fully debriefed and all useful information extracted. However, German knowledge was far in advance of anything imagined by the Americans, and it was realised almost at the beginning that simple confiscation and debriefing would be hopelessly insufficient. As one example, the US military located and shipped home the components for more than 100 newly-manufactured but still unassembled V-2 rockets, but discovered they had no idea how to assemble the pieces nor any understanding of either the scientific principles or the mechanics of how the rockets functioned.

From this one dilemma and so many others in so many industrial areas, the Americans realised that, just as occurred after World War One, they were so far behind Germany they weren’t able to even understand, much less utilise, much of what they had stolen. They then realised they had no choice but to relocate to the US many thousands of captive scientists, engineers and technicians, and eventually a great many skilled craftsmen as well. As one author noted,

“The American experience of virtual hopelessness in deciphering Germany’s wartime rocket program alone, quickly led to the solution of confiscating not only the documentation and products but the people as well, for hundreds of other scientific, military and commercial processes.”

This was when Operation Overcast morphed into Operation Paperclip. It hasn’t received notice in the historical narrative, but these deportations were forcible. The alternative presented was a trial and probable execution as war criminals, the US having essentially full authority and discretion to make these determinations and thus leaving the victims with little choice. These relocations were not only forcible, but abrupt, with only one day’s notice in many cases:

“On orders of Military Government you are to report with your family and baggage as much as you can carry tomorrow noon at 1300 hours (Friday, 22 June 1945) at the town square in Bitterfeld. There is no need to bring winter clothing. Easily carried possessions, such as family documents, jewelry, and the like should be taken along. You will be transported by motor vehicle to the nearest railway station. From there you will travel on to the West. Please tell the bearer of this letter how large your family is.”

The first personnel transfers were of military specialists, but all subsequent waves were of purely commercial interest, the Americans forcibly importing scientists, technicians, skilled workmen and specialist craftsmen in virtually every industry, including steel, metal fabrication, glass, porcelain, printing, dyes and fabrics, electronics, musical instruments, auto manufacturing, aircraft design. The list is almost endless.

In 1987, Tom Bower wrote a book titled “The Paperclip Conspiracy” (4) in which he detailed the extent, and the value, to the US military alone, of the importation of these German scientists. He listed scores of dramatic German achievements that had been far beyond the ability of the US at the time: advanced aircraft power plants, guided missile control, in-flight refueling, high-temperature alloys, precision optics, infra-red detectors, new diesel engines, new fuels and lubricants, a wind tunnel running at Mach 8, which was three times the speed and ten years ahead of the best American effort, high-altitude reconnaissance and mapping, acoustic weapons. He further noted the American military opinion that the Germans had “made contributions of an unusual and fundamental nature” in the realms of equipment design and development, generators, microwave techniques and crystal structures. In a review of this book, Publisher’s Weekly wrote, “Bower’s revelations are individually shocking and cumulatively devastating . . . will appall readers.”

In a BBC news article on 21 November 2005 titled, “Project Paperclip – Dark side of the Moon” (5), Andrew Walker detailed how 60 years ago these imported German scientists provided the US with cutting-edge technology in which it still leads today. In addition to the items covered in Tom Bower’s book,

Walker lists “supersonic rockets, nerve gas, jet aircraft, guided missiles, stealth technology and hardened armor” as just a few. Walker argues, as do most others, that Germany’s Horten Ho 229 was the first stealth aircraft, complete with radar-absorbing skin and single-wing shape, and that the US-based Northrop B-2 stealth bomber (at $2 billion each) is virtually a clone of the German design from 1944.

After the uncounted tens of thousands of the most useful knowledge candidates had been transferred to the US, there was still an enormous remainder being maintained in these concentration camps – widely known as “Eisenhower’s Death Camps” – individuals who had been debriefed and for whom the Americans had no further need. I believe it was Michaels who noted there was at one point a plan by American General R. L. Walsh, known as the German “Urwald-Programm” or jungle program, which was a massive plan to scatter and resettle these Germans in small numbers as widely as possible anywhere and everywhere in the Third World, as one way to prevent Germany from ever again forming a critical mass of industrial knowledge. (6) In the end, those ‘debriefed and not especially valuable’ millions were either executed outright or starved to death, totaling some 12 million Germans, a large part of the content of Bacque’s “Other Losses”. (7) It should be noted, as Bacque has done, that the death by starvation of the many millions of German civilians was a planned and deliberate process. (8) (9)

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Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He can be contacted at: [email protected]

Notes

(1) The US military entered every country with a German corporate presence and claimed ownership of all German assets.

(2) Harper’s Magazine, October, 1946. I would note here that I have seen several claims that this issue of Harper’s is unavailable publicly in print form, that even in libraries or other collections that contain every issue of Harper’s since inception, this one issue is missing. I was told this article is available online from Harper’s, for a price, if you know the title and publication date. The issue is of course that there are few people alive who would be aware of the existence of this article and even fewer who could specify the precise title and date of publication.

(3) The Great Patents Heist

(4) The Paperclip Conspiracy: The Hunt for the Nazi Scientists

(5) BBC: “Project Paperclip – Dark side of the Moon”

(6) This was part of the Deep State’s Morgenthau Plan, meant to complete the total destruction of Germany by permanently deindustrialising the country, to turn Germany into Europe’s dairy farm and potato patch. The intent was to forever deprive the country of not only its best scientific minds, but also of this entire second and third tier of scientific intellectuals, technicians and skilled workers, to prevent a German attempt to rebuild itself after the war.

(7) Bacque was a popular Canadian author, his short stories, novels and articles appearing regularly in all the prominent media but, after publishing “Other Losses”, he was blacklisted and destroyed in Canada. No newspaper or magazine would return his calls, and all publishers refused contact with him. He was excoriated in the US media as a fraud, even though his research was impeccably detailed and his book carried an introduction and testimony from prominent and high-ranking American military officers. Almost no one in North America is aware of his extraordinary historical discovery since his books have been virtually banned on the continent. By contrast, his many books on this subject have been a major hit in Europe, having been translated into I believe now 15 languages, documentary movies have been made of his discovery and he is widely recognised in Europe as a prominent and respected historian.

(8) It now seems that the popular photos we have all seen, of piles of emaciated dead bodies, were not of Jews killed by Germans (as we have been told) but of Germans killed by the Americans. An undetermined number of those incarcerated and killed were women, and more than a few were children.

(9) The only shortage of food in Germany was caused by the Americans who forbade all external food shipments to Germany after the war, and it was widely announced that anyone attempting to smuggle food into the camps would be shot on sight.

Featured image is from InfoRos

“Greater Israel”: The Zionist Plan for the Middle East

November 16th, 2019 by Israel Shahak

Introduction

The following document pertaining to the formation of “Greater Israel” constitutes the cornerstone of powerful Zionist factions within the current Netanyahu government,  the Likud party, as well as within the Israeli military and intelligence establishment. 

President Donald Trump has confirmed in no uncertain terms, his support of Israel’s illegal settlements (including his opposition to UN Security Council Resolution 2334, pertaining to the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank). In recent developments, the Trump administration has expressed its recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. 

“Greater Israel” is de facto part of the election campaign.  Netanyahu has pledged to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank if he wins in the forthcoming September 17 elections.

Netanyahu, who is fighting for his political life after an inconclusive vote in April [2019], said that Israel will “apply Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea immediately” if he secured a fifth term in the September 17 polls. (Al Jazeera, September 11, 2019

Trump’s “Deal of the Century” is supportive of the “Greater Israel” project, which also consists in the derogation of Palestinians’ “right of return” by “naturalizing them as citizens of Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere regionally where they reside”.

Bear in mind: The Greater Israel design is not strictly a Zionist Project for the Middle East, it is an integral part of US foreign policy, its strategic objective is extend US hegemony as well as fracture and balkanize the Middle East.

Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is intended to trigger political instability throughout the region.  

According to the founding father of Zionism Theodore Herzl, “the area of the Jewish State stretches: “From the Brook of Egypt to the Euphrates.”  According to Rabbi Fischmann,  “The Promised Land extends from the River of Egypt up to the Euphrates, it includes parts of Syria and Lebanon.”

When viewed in the current context, including the siege on Gaza, the Zionist Plan for the Middle East bears an intimate relationship to the 2003 invasion of  Iraq, the 2006 war on Lebanon, the 2011 war on Libya, the ongoing wars on Syria, Iraq and Yemen, not to mention the political crisis in Saudi Arabia.  

The “Greater Israel” project consists in weakening and eventually fracturing neighboring Arab states as part of a US-Israeli expansionist project, with the support of NATO and Saudi Arabia. In this regard, the Saudi-Israeli rapprochement is from Netanyahu’s viewpoint a means to expanding Israel’s spheres of influence in the Middle East as well as confronting Iran. Needless to day, the “Greater Israel” project is consistent with America’s imperial design. 

“Greater Israel” consists in an area extending from the Nile Valley to the Euphrates. According to Stephen Lendman, “A near-century ago, the World Zionist Organization’s plan for a Jewish state included:

• historic Palestine;

• South Lebanon up to Sidon and the Litani River;

• Syria’s Golan Heights, Hauran Plain and Deraa; and

• control of the Hijaz Railway from Deraa to Amman, Jordan as well as the Gulf of Aqaba.

Some Zionists wanted more – land from the Nile in the West to the Euphrates in the East, comprising Palestine, Lebanon, Western Syria and Southern Turkey.”

The Zionist project supports the Jewish settlement movement. More broadly it involves a policy of excluding Palestinians from Palestine leading to the eventual annexation of both the West Bank and Gaza to the State of Israel.

Greater Israel would create a number of proxy States. It would include parts of Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, the Sinai, as well as parts of  Iraq and Saudi Arabia. (See map).

According to Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya in a 2011 Global Research article,   The Yinon Plan was a continuation of Britain’s colonial design in the Middle East:

“[The Yinon plan] is an Israeli strategic plan to ensure Israeli regional superiority. It insists and stipulates that Israel must reconfigure its geo-political environment through the balkanization of the surrounding Arab states into smaller and weaker states.

Israeli strategists viewed Iraq as their biggest strategic challenge from an Arab state. This is why Iraq was outlined as the centerpiece to the balkanization of the Middle East and the Arab World. In Iraq, on the basis of the concepts of the Yinon Plan, Israeli strategists have called for the division of Iraq into a Kurdish state and two Arab states, one for Shiite Muslims and the other for Sunni Muslims. The first step towards establishing this was a war between Iraq and Iran, which the Yinon Plan discusses.

The Atlantic, in 2008, and the U.S. military’s Armed Forces Journal, in 2006, both published widely circulated maps that closely followed the outline of the Yinon Plan. Aside from a divided Iraq, which the Biden Plan also calls for, the Yinon Plan calls for a divided Lebanon, Egypt, and Syria. The partitioning of Iran, Turkey, Somalia, and Pakistan also all fall into line with these views. The Yinon Plan also calls for dissolution in North Africa and forecasts it as starting from Egypt and then spilling over into Sudan, Libya, and the rest of the region.

“Greater Israel” requires the breaking up of the existing Arab states into small states.

“The plan operates on two essential premises. To survive, Israel must 1) become an imperial regional power, and 2) must effect the division of the whole area into small states by the dissolution of all existing Arab states. Small here will depend on the ethnic or sectarian composition of each state. Consequently, the Zionist hope is that sectarian-based states become Israel’s satellites and, ironically, its source of moral legitimation…  This is not a new idea, nor does it surface for the first time in Zionist strategic thinking. Indeed, fragmenting all Arab states into smaller units has been a recurrent theme.” (Yinon Plan, see below)

Viewed in this context, the war on Syria and Iraq is part of  the process of Israeli territorial expansion. 

In this regard, the defeat of US sponsored terrorists (ISIS, Al Nusra) by Syrian Forces with the support of Russia, Iran and Hizbollah constitute a significant setback for Israel.  

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, September 06, 2015, updated September 13, 2019


The Zionist Plan for the Middle East 

Translated and edited by

Israel Shahak

The Israel of Theodore Herzl (1904) and of Rabbi Fischmann (1947)

In his Complete Diaries, Vol. II. p. 711, Theodore Herzl, the founder of Zionism, says that the area of the Jewish State stretches: “From the Brook of Egypt to the Euphrates.”

Rabbi Fischmann, member of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, declared in his testimony to the U.N. Special Committee of Enquiry on 9 July 1947: “The Promised Land extends from the River of Egypt up to the Euphrates, it includes parts of Syria and Lebanon.”

from

Oded Yinon’s

“A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties”

Published by the

Association of Arab-American University Graduates, Inc.

Belmont, Massachusetts, 1982

Special Document No. 1 (ISBN 0-937694-56-8)

Table of Contents

  Publisher’s Note1

The Association of Arab-American University Graduates finds it compelling to inaugurate its new publication series, Special Documents, with Oded Yinon’s article which appeared in Kivunim (Directions), the journal of the Department of Information of the World Zionist Organization. Oded Yinon is an Israeli journalist and was formerly attached to the Foreign Ministry of Israel. To our knowledge, this document is the most explicit, detailed and unambiguous statement to date of the Zionist strategy in the Middle East. Furthermore, it stands as an accurate representation of the “vision” for the entire Middle East of the presently ruling Zionist regime of Begin, Sharon and Eitan. Its importance, hence, lies not in its historical value but in the nightmare which it presents.

2

The plan operates on two essential premises. To survive, Israel must 1) become an imperial regional power, and 2) must effect the division of the whole area into small states by the dissolution of all existing Arab states. Small here will depend on the ethnic or sectarian composition of each state. Consequently, the Zionist hope is that sectarian-based states become Israel’s satellites and, ironically, its source of moral legitimation.

3

This is not a new idea, nor does it surface for the first time in Zionist strategic thinking. Indeed, fragmenting all Arab states into smaller units has been a recurrent theme. This theme has been documented on a very modest scale in the AAUG publication,  Israel’s Sacred Terrorism (1980), by Livia Rokach. Based on the memoirs of Moshe Sharett, former Prime Minister of Israel, Rokach’s study documents, in convincing detail, the Zionist plan as it applies to Lebanon and as it was prepared in the mid-fifties.

4

The first massive Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1978 bore this plan out to the minutest detail. The second and more barbaric and encompassing Israeli invasion of Lebanon on June 6, 1982, aims to effect certain parts of this plan which hopes to see not only Lebanon, but Syria and Jordan as well, in fragments. This ought to make mockery of Israeli public claims regarding their desire for a strong and independent Lebanese central government. More accurately, they want a Lebanese central government that sanctions their regional imperialist designs by signing a peace treaty with them. They also seek acquiescence in their designs by the Syrian, Iraqi, Jordanian and other Arab governments as well as by the Palestinian people. What they want and what they are planning for is not an Arab world, but a world of Arab fragments that is ready to succumb to Israeli hegemony. Hence, Oded Yinon in his essay, “A Strategy for Israel in the 1980’s,” talks about “far-reaching opportunities for the first time since 1967” that are created by the “very stormy situation [that] surrounds Israel.”

5

The Zionist policy of displacing the Palestinians from Palestine is very much an active policy, but is pursued more forcefully in times of conflict, such as in the 1947-1948 war and in the 1967 war. An appendix entitled  “Israel Talks of a New Exodus” is included in this publication to demonstrate past Zionist dispersals of Palestinians from their homeland and to show, besides the main Zionist document we present, other Zionist planning for the de-Palestinization of Palestine.

6

It is clear from the Kivunim document, published in February, 1982, that the “far-reaching opportunities” of which Zionist strategists have been thinking are the same “opportunities” of which they are trying to convince the world and which they claim were generated by their June, 1982 invasion. It is also clear that the Palestinians were never the sole target of Zionist plans, but the priority target since their viable and independent presence as a people negates the essence of the Zionist state. Every Arab state, however, especially those with cohesive and clear nationalist directions, is a real target sooner or later.

7

Contrasted with the detailed and unambiguous Zionist strategy elucidated in this document, Arab and Palestinian strategy, unfortunately, suffers from ambiguity and incoherence. There is no indication that Arab strategists have internalized the Zionist plan in its full ramifications. Instead, they react with incredulity and shock whenever a new stage of it unfolds. This is apparent in Arab reaction, albeit muted, to the Israeli siege of Beirut. The sad fact is that as long as the Zionist strategy for the Middle East is not taken seriously Arab reaction to any future siege of other Arab capitals will be the same.

Khalil Nakhleh

July 23, 1982

Foreward

by Israel Shahak

1

The following essay represents, in my opinion, the accurate and detailed plan of the present Zionist regime (of Sharon and Eitan) for the Middle East which is based on the division of the whole area into small states, and the dissolution of all the existing Arab states. I will comment on the military aspect of this plan in a concluding note. Here I want to draw the attention of the readers to several important points:

2

1. The idea that all the Arab states should be broken down, by Israel, into small units, occurs again and again in Israeli strategic thinking. For example, Ze’ev Schiff, the military correspondent of Ha’aretz (and probably the most knowledgeable in Israel, on this topic) writes about the “best” that can happen for Israeli interests in Iraq: “The dissolution of Iraq into a Shi’ite state, a Sunni state and the separation of the Kurdish part” (Ha’aretz 6/2/1982). Actually, this aspect of the plan is very old.

3

2. The strong connection with Neo-Conservative thought in the USA is very prominent, especially in the author’s notes. But, while lip service is paid to the idea of the “defense of the West” from Soviet power, the real aim of the author, and of the present Israeli establishment is clear: To make an Imperial Israel into a world power. In other words, the aim of Sharon is to deceive the Americans after he has deceived all the rest.

4

3. It is obvious that much of the relevant data, both in the notes and in the text, is garbled or omitted, such as the financial help of the U.S. to Israel. Much of it is pure fantasy. But, the plan is not to be regarded as not influential, or as not capable of realization for a short time. The plan follows faithfully the geopolitical ideas current in Germany of 1890-1933, which were swallowed whole by Hitler and the Nazi movement, and determined their aims for East Europe. Those aims, especially the division of the existing states, were carried out in 1939-1941, and only an alliance on the global scale prevented their consolidation for a period of time.

5

The notes by the author follow the text. To avoid confusion, I did not add any notes of my own, but have put the substance of them into this foreward and the conclusion at the end. I have, however, emphasized some portions of the text.

Israel Shahak

June 13, 1982


 

A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties

by Oded Yinon

This essay originally appeared in Hebrew in KIVUNIM (Directions), A Journal for Judaism and Zionism; Issue No, 14–Winter, 5742, February 1982, Editor: Yoram Beck. Editorial Committee: Eli Eyal, Yoram Beck, Amnon Hadari, Yohanan Manor, Elieser Schweid. Published by the Department of Publicity/The World Zionist Organization, Jerusalem.

1

At the outset of the nineteen eighties the State of Israel is in need of a new perspective as to its place, its aims and national targets, at home and abroad. This need has become even more vital due to a number of central processes which the country, the region and the world are undergoing. We are living today in the early stages of a new epoch in human history which is not at all similar to its predecessor, and its characteristics are totally different from what we have hitherto known. That is why we need an understanding of the central processes which typify this historical epoch on the one hand, and on the other hand we need a world outlook and an operational strategy in accordance with the new conditions. The existence, prosperity and steadfastness of the Jewish state will depend upon its ability to adopt a new framework for its domestic and foreign affairs.

2

This epoch is characterized by several traits which we can already diagnose, and which symbolize a genuine revolution in our present lifestyle. The dominant process is the breakdown of the rationalist, humanist outlook as the major cornerstone supporting the life and achievements of Western civilization since the Renaissance. The political, social and economic views which have emanated from this foundation have been based on several “truths” which are presently disappearing–for example, the view that man as an individual is the center of the universe and everything exists in order to fulfill his basic material needs. This position is being invalidated in the present when it has become clear that the amount of resources in the cosmos does not meet Man’s requirements, his economic needs or his demographic constraints. In a world in which there are four billion human beings and economic and energy resources which do not grow proportionally to meet the needs of mankind, it is unrealistic to expect to fulfill the main requirement of Western Society, 1 i.e., the wish and aspiration for boundless consumption. The view that ethics plays no part in determining the direction Man takes, but rather his material needs do–that view is becoming prevalent today as we see a world in which nearly all values are disappearing. We are losing the ability to assess the simplest things, especially when they concern the simple question of what is Good and what is Evil.

3

The vision of man’s limitless aspirations and abilities shrinks in the face of the sad facts of life, when we witness the break-up of world order around us. The view which promises liberty and freedom to mankind seems absurd in light of the sad fact that three fourths of the human race lives under totalitarian regimes. The views concerning equality and social justice have been transformed by socialism and especially by Communism into a laughing stock. There is no argument as to the truth of these two ideas, but it is clear that they have not been put into practice properly and the majority of mankind has lost the liberty, the freedom and the opportunity for equality and justice. In this nuclear world in which we are (still) living in relative peace for thirty years, the concept of peace and coexistence among nations has no meaning when a superpower like the USSR holds a military and political doctrine of the sort it has: that not only is a nuclear war possible and necessary in order to achieve the ends of Marxism, but that it is possible to survive after it, not to speak of the fact that one can be victorious in it.2

4

The essential concepts of human society, especially those of the West, are undergoing a change due to political, military and economic transformations. Thus, the nuclear and conventional might of the USSR has transformed the epoch that has just ended into the last respite before the great saga that will demolish a large part of our world in a multi-dimensional global war, in comparison with which the past world wars will have been mere child’s play. The power of nuclear as well as of conventional weapons, their quantity, their precision and quality will turn most of our world upside down within a few years, and we must align ourselves so as to face that in Israel. That is, then, the main threat to our existence and that of the Western world. 3 The war over resources in the world, the Arab monopoly on oil, and the need of the West to import most of its raw materials from the Third World, are transforming the world we know, given that one of the major aims of the USSR is to defeat the West by gaining control over the gigantic resources in the Persian Gulf and in the southern part of Africa, in which the majority of world minerals are located. We can imagine the dimensions of the global confrontation which will face us in the future.

5

The Gorshkov doctrine calls for Soviet control of the oceans and mineral rich areas of the Third World. That together with the present Soviet nuclear doctrine which holds that it is possible to manage, win and survive a nuclear war, in the course of which the West’s military might well be destroyed and its inhabitants made slaves in the service of Marxism-Leninism, is the main danger to world peace and to our own existence. Since 1967, the Soviets have transformed Clausewitz’ dictum into “War is the continuation of policy in nuclear means,” and made it the motto which guides all their policies. Already today they are busy carrying out their aims in our region and throughout the world, and the need to face them becomes the major element in our country’s security policy and of course that of the rest of the Free World. That is our major foreign challenge.4

6

The Arab Moslem world, therefore, is not the major strategic problem which we shall face in the Eighties, despite the fact that it carries the main threat against Israel, due to its growing military might. This world, with its ethnic minorities, its factions and internal crises, which is astonishingly self-destructive, as we can see in Lebanon, in non-Arab Iran and now also in Syria, is unable to deal successfully with its fundamental problems and does not therefore constitute a real threat against the State of Israel in the long run, but only in the short run where its immediate military power has great import. In the long run, this world will be unable to exist within its present framework in the areas around us without having to go through genuine revolutionary changes. The Moslem Arab World is built like a temporary house of cards put together by foreigners (France and Britain in the Nineteen Twenties), without the wishes and desires of the inhabitants having been taken into account. It was arbitrarily divided into 19 states, all made of combinations of minorites and ethnic groups which are hostile to one another, so that every Arab Moslem state nowadays faces ethnic social destruction from within, and in some a civil war is already raging. 5 Most of the Arabs, 118 million out of 170 million, live in Africa, mostly in Egypt (45 million today).

7

Apart from Egypt, all the Maghreb states are made up of a mixture of Arabs and non-Arab Berbers. In Algeria there is already a civil war raging in the Kabile mountains between the two nations in the country. Morocco and Algeria are at war with each other over Spanish Sahara, in addition to the internal struggle in each of them. Militant Islam endangers the integrity of Tunisia and Qaddafi organizes wars which are destructive from the Arab point of view, from a country which is sparsely populated and which cannot become a powerful nation. That is why he has been attempting unifications in the past with states that are more genuine, like Egypt and Syria. Sudan, the most torn apart state in the Arab Moslem world today is built upon four groups hostile to each other, an Arab Moslem Sunni minority which rules over a majority of non-Arab Africans, Pagans, and Christians. In Egypt there is a Sunni Moslem majority facing a large minority of Christians which is dominant in upper Egypt: some 7 million of them, so that even Sadat, in his speech on May 8, expressed the fear that they will want a state of their own, something like a “second” Christian Lebanon in Egypt.

8

All the Arab States east of Israel are torn apart, broken up and riddled with inner conflict even more than those of the Maghreb. Syria is fundamentally no different from Lebanon except in the strong military regime which rules it. But the real civil war taking place nowadays between the Sunni majority and the Shi’ite Alawi ruling minority (a mere 12% of the population) testifies to the severity of the domestic trouble.

9

Iraq is, once again, no different in essence from its neighbors, although its majority is Shi’ite and the ruling minority Sunni. Sixty-five percent of the population has no say in politics, in which an elite of 20 percent holds the power. In addition there is a large Kurdish minority in the north, and if it weren’t for the strength of the ruling regime, the army and the oil revenues, Iraq’s future state would be no different than that of Lebanon in the past or of Syria today. The seeds of inner conflict and civil war are apparent today already, especially after the rise of Khomeini to power in Iran, a leader whom the Shi’ites in Iraq view as their natural leader.

10

All the Gulf principalities and Saudi Arabia are built upon a delicate house of sand in which there is only oil. In Kuwait, the Kuwaitis constitute only a quarter of the population. In Bahrain, the Shi’ites are the majority but are deprived of power. In the UAE, Shi’ites are once again the majority but the Sunnis are in power. The same is true of Oman and North Yemen. Even in the Marxist South Yemen there is a sizable Shi’ite minority. In Saudi Arabia half the population is foreign, Egyptian and Yemenite, but a Saudi minority holds power.

11

Jordan is in reality Palestinian, ruled by a Trans-Jordanian Bedouin minority, but most of the army and certainly the bureaucracy is now Palestinian. As a matter of fact Amman is as Palestinian as Nablus. All of these countries have powerful armies, relatively speaking. But there is a problem there too. The Syrian army today is mostly Sunni with an Alawi officer corps, the Iraqi army Shi’ite with Sunni commanders. This has great significance in the long run, and that is why it will not be possible to retain the loyalty of the army for a long time except where it comes to the only common denominator: The hostility towards Israel, and today even that is insufficient.

12

Alongside the Arabs, split as they are, the other Moslem states share a similar predicament. Half of Iran’s population is comprised of a Persian speaking group and the other half of an ethnically Turkish group. Turkey’s population comprises a Turkish Sunni Moslem majority, some 50%, and two large minorities, 12 million Shi’ite Alawis and 6 million Sunni Kurds. In Afghanistan there are 5 million

Shi’ites who constitute one third of the population. In Sunni Pakistan there are 15 million Shi’ites who endanger the existence of that state.

13

This national ethnic minority picture extending from Morocco to India and from Somalia to Turkey points to the absence of stability and a rapid degeneration in the entire region. When this picture is added to the economic one, we see how the entire region is built like a house of cards, unable to withstand its severe problems.

14

In this giant and fractured world there are a few wealthy groups and a huge mass of poor people. Most of the Arabs have an average yearly income of 300 dollars. That is the situation in Egypt, in most of the Maghreb countries except for Libya, and in Iraq. Lebanon is torn apart and its economy is falling to pieces. It is a state in which there is no centralized power, but only 5 de facto sovereign authorities (Christian in the north, supported by the Syrians and under the rule of the Franjieh clan, in the East an area of direct Syrian conquest, in the center a Phalangist controlled Christian enclave, in the south and up to the Litani river a mostly Palestinian region controlled by the PLO and Major Haddad’s state of Christians and half a million Shi’ites). Syria is in an even graver situation and even the assistance she will obtain in the future after the unification with Libya will not be sufficient for dealing with the basic problems of existence and the maintenance of a large army. Egypt is in the worst situation: Millions are on the verge of hunger, half the labor force is unemployed, and housing is scarce in this most densely populated area of the world. Except for the army, there is not a single department operating efficiently and the state is in a permanent state of bankruptcy and depends entirely on American foreign assistance granted since the peace.6

15

In the Gulf states, Saudi Arabia, Libya and Egypt there is the largest accumulation of money and oil in the world, but those enjoying it are tiny elites who lack a wide base of support and self-confidence, something that no army can guarantee. 7 The Saudi army with all its equipment cannot defend the regime from real dangers at home or abroad, and what took place in Mecca in 1980 is only an example. A sad and very stormy situation surrounds Israel and creates challenges for it, problems, risks but also far-reaching opportunities for the first time since 1967. Chances are that opportunities missed at that time will become achievable in the Eighties to an extent and along dimensions which we cannot even imagine today.

16

The “peace” policy and the return of territories, through a dependence upon the US, precludes the realization of the new option created for us. Since 1967, all the governments of Israel have tied our national aims down to narrow political needs, on the one hand, and on the other to destructive opinions at home which neutralized our capacities both at home and abroad. Failing to take steps towards the Arab population in the new territories, acquired in the course of a war forced upon us, is the major strategic error committed by Israel on the morning after the Six Day War. We could have saved ourselves all the bitter and dangerous conflict since then if we had given Jordan to the Palestinians who live west of the Jordan river. By doing that we would have neutralized the Palestinian problem which we nowadays face, and to which we have found solutions that are really no solutions at all, such as territorial compromise or autonomy which amount, in fact, to the same thing. 8 Today, we suddenly face immense opportunities for transforming the situation thoroughly and this we must do in the coming decade, otherwise we shall not survive as a state.

17

In the course of the Nineteen Eighties, the State of Israel will have to go through far-reaching changes in its political and economic regime domestically, along with radical changes in its foreign policy, in order to stand up to the global and regional challenges of this new epoch. The loss of the Suez Canal oil fields, of the immense potential of the oil, gas and other natural resources in the Sinai peninsula which is geomorphologically identical to the rich oil-producing countries in the region, will result in an energy drain in the near future and will destroy our domestic economy: one quarter of our present GNP as well as one third of the budget is used for the purchase of oil. 9 The search for raw materials in the Negev and on the coast will not, in the near future, serve to alter that state of affairs.

18

(Regaining) the Sinai peninsula with its present and potential resources is therefore a political priority which is obstructed by the Camp David and the peace agreements. The fault for that lies of course with the present Israeli government and the governments which paved the road to the policy of territorial compromise, the Alignment governments since 1967. The Egyptians will not need to keep the peace treaty after the return of the Sinai, and they will do all they can to return to the fold of the Arab world and to the USSR in order to gain support and military assistance. American aid is guaranteed only for a short while, for the terms of the peace and the weakening of the U.S. both at home and abroad will bring about a reduction in aid. Without oil and the income from it, with the present enormous expenditure, we will not be able to get through 1982 under the present conditions and we will have to act in order to return the situation to the status quo which existed in Sinai prior to Sadat’s visit and the mistaken peace agreement signed with him in March 1979. 10

19

Israel has two major routes through which to realize this purpose, one direct and the other indirect. The direct option is the less realistic one because of the nature of the regime and government in Israel as well as the wisdom of Sadat who obtained our withdrawal from Sinai, which was, next to the war of 1973, his major achievement since he took power. Israel will not unilaterally break the treaty, neither today, nor in 1982, unless it is very hard pressed economically and politically and Egypt provides Israel with the excuse to take the Sinai back into our hands for the fourth time in our short history. What is left therefore, is the indirect option. The economic situation in Egypt, the nature of the regime and its pan-

Arab policy, will bring about a situation after April 1982 in which Israel will be forced to act directly or indirectly in order to regain control over Sinai as a strategic, economic and energy reserve for the long run. Egypt does not constitute a military strategic problem due to its internal conflicts and it could be driven back to the post 1967 war situation in no more than one day. 11

20

The myth of Egypt as the strong leader of the Arab World was demolished back in 1956 and definitely did not survive 1967, but our policy, as in the return of the Sinai, served to turn the myth into “fact.” In reality, however, Egypt’s power in proportion both to Israel alone and to the rest of the Arab World has gone down about 50 percent since 1967. Egypt is no longer the leading political power in the Arab World and is economically on the verge of a crisis. Without foreign assistance the crisis will come tomorrow. 12 In the short run, due to the return of the Sinai, Egypt will gain several advantages at our expense, but only in the short run until 1982, and that will not change the balance of power to its benefit, and will possibly bring about its downfall. Egypt, in its present domestic political picture, is already a corpse, all the more so if we take into account the growing Moslem-Christian rift. Breaking Egypt down territorially into distinct geographical regions is the political aim of Israel in the Nineteen Eighties on its Western front.

21

Egypt is divided and torn apart into many foci of authority. If Egypt falls apart, countries like Libya, Sudan or even the more distant states will not continue to exist in their present form and will join the downfall and dissolution of Egypt. The vision of a Christian Coptic State in Upper Egypt alongside a number of weak states with very localized power and without a centralized government as to date, is the key to a historical development which was only set back by the peace agreement but which seems inevitable in the long run. 13

22

The Western front, which on the surface appears more problematic, is in fact less complicated than the Eastern front, in which most of the events that make the headlines have been taking place recently. Lebanon’s total dissolution into five provinces serves as a precendent for the entire Arab world including Egypt, Syria, Iraq and the Arabian peninsula and is already following that track. The dissolution of Syria and Iraq later on into ethnically or religiously unqiue areas such as in Lebanon, is Israel’s primary target on the Eastern front in the long run, while the dissolution of the military power of those states serves as the primary short term target. Syria will fall apart, in accordance with its ethnic and religious structure, into several states such as in present day Lebanon, so that there will be a Shi’ite Alawi state along its coast, a Sunni state in the Aleppo area, another Sunni state in Damascus hostile to its northern neighbor, and the Druzes who will set up a state, maybe even in our Golan, and certainly in the Hauran and in northern Jordan. This state of affairs will be the guarantee for peace and security in the area in the long run, and that aim is already within our reach today. 14

23

Iraq, rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other, is guaranteed as a candidate for Israel’s targets. Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria. Iraq is stronger than Syria. In the short run it is Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest threat to Israel. An Iraqi-Iranian war will tear Iraq apart and cause its downfall at home even before it is able to organize a struggle on a wide front against us. Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist us in the short run and will shorten the way to the more important aim of breaking up Iraq into denominations as in Syria and in Lebanon. In Iraq, a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in Syria during Ottoman times is possible. So, three (or more) states will exist around the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, and Shi’ite areas in the south will separate from the Sunni and Kurdish north. It is possible that the present Iranian-Iraqi confrontation will deepen this polarization. 15

24

The entire Arabian peninsula is a natural candidate for dissolution due to internal and external pressures, and the matter is inevitable especially in Saudi Arabia. Regardless of whether its economic might based on oil remains intact or whether it is diminished in the long run, the internal rifts and breakdowns are a clear and natural development in light of the present political structure. 16

25

Jordan constitutes an immediate strategic target in the short run but not in the long run, for it does not constitute a real threat in the long run after its dissolution, the termination of the lengthy rule of King Hussein and the transfer of power to the Palestinians in the short run.

26

There is no chance that Jordan will continue to exist in its present structure for a long time, and Israel’s policy, both in war and in peace, ought to be directed at the liquidation of Jordan under the present regime and the transfer of power to the Palestinian majority. Changing the regime east of the river will also cause the termination of the problem of the territories densely populated with Arabs west of the Jordan. Whether in war or under conditions of peace, emigration from the territories and economic demographic freeze in them, are the guarantees for the coming change on both banks of the river, and we ought to be active in order to accelerate this process in the nearest future. The autonomy plan ought also to be rejected, as well as any compromise or division of the territories for, given the plans of the PLO and those of the Israeli Arabs themselves, the Shefa’amr plan of September 1980, it is not possible to go on living in this country in the present situation without separating the two nations, the Arabs to Jordan and the Jews to the areas west of the river. Genuine coexistence and peace will reign over the land only when the Arabs understand that without Jewish rule between the Jordan and the sea they will have neither existence nor security. A nation of their own and security will be theirs only in Jordan. 17

27

Within Israel the distinction between the areas of ’67 and the territories beyond them, those of ’48, has always been meaningless for Arabs and nowadays no longer has any significance for us. The problem should be seen in its entirety without any divisions as of ’67. It should be clear, under any future political situation or military constellation, that the solution of the problem of the indigenous Arabs will come only when they recognize the existence of Israel in secure borders up to the Jordan river and beyond it, as our existential need in this difficult epoch, the nuclear epoch which we shall soon enter. It is no longer possible to live with three fourths of the Jewish population on the dense shoreline which is so dangerous in a nuclear epoch.

28

Dispersal of the population is therefore a domestic strategic aim of the highest order; otherwise, we shall cease to exist within any borders. Judea, Samaria and the Galilee are our sole guarantee for national existence, and if we do not become the majority in the mountain areas, we shall not rule in the country and we shall be like the Crusaders, who lost this country which was not theirs anyhow, and in which they were foreigners to begin with. Rebalancing the country demographically, strategically and economically is the highest and most central aim today. Taking hold of the mountain watershed from Beersheba to the Upper Galilee is the national aim generated by the major strategic consideration which is settling the mountainous part of the country that is empty of Jews today. l8

29

Realizing our aims on the Eastern front depends first on the realization of this internal strategic objective. The transformation of the political and economic structure, so as to enable the realization of these strategic aims, is the key to achieving the entire change. We need to change from a centralized economy in which the government is extensively involved, to an open and free market as well as to switch from depending upon the U.S. taxpayer to developing, with our own hands, of a genuine productive economic infrastructure. If we are not able to make this change freely and voluntarily, we shall be forced into it by world developments, especially in the areas of economics, energy, and politics, and by our own growing isolation. l9

30

From a military and strategic point of view, the West led by the U.S. is unable to withstand the global pressures of the USSR throughout the world, and Israel must therefore stand alone in the Eighties, without any foreign assistance, military or economic, and this is within our capacities today, with no compromises. 20 Rapid changes in the world will also bring about a change in the condition of world Jewry to which Israel will become not only a last resort but the only existential option. We cannot assume that U.S. Jews, and the communities of Europe and Latin America will continue to exist in the present form in the future. 21

31

Our existence in this country itself is certain, and there is no force that could remove us from here either forcefully or by treachery (Sadat’s method). Despite the difficulties of the mistaken “peace” policy and the problem of the Israeli Arabs and those of the territories, we can effectively deal with these problems in the foreseeable future.

Conclusion

1

Three important points have to be clarified in order to be able to understand the significant possibilities of realization of this Zionist plan for the Middle East, and also why it had to be published.

2

The Military Background of The Plan

The military conditions of this plan have not been mentioned above, but on the many occasions where something very like it is being “explained” in closed meetings to members of the Israeli Establishment, this point is clarified. It is assumed that the Israeli military forces, in all their branches, are insufficient for the actual work of occupation of such wide territories as discussed above. In fact, even in times of intense Palestinian “unrest” on the West Bank, the forces of the Israeli Army are stretched out too much. The answer to that is the method of ruling by means of “Haddad forces” or of “Village Associations” (also known as “Village Leagues”): local forces under “leaders” completely dissociated from the population, not having even any feudal or party structure (such as the Phalangists have, for example). The “states” proposed by Yinon are “Haddadland” and “Village Associations,” and their armed forces will be, no doubt, quite similar. In addition, Israeli military superiority in such a situation will be much greater than it is even now, so that any movement of revolt will be “punished” either by mass humiliation as in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, or by bombardment and obliteration of cities, as in Lebanon now (June 1982), or by both. In order to ensure this, the plan, as explained orally, calls for the establishment of Israeli garrisons in focal places between the mini states, equipped with the necessary mobile destructive forces. In fact, we have seen something like this in Haddadland and we will almost certainly soon see the first example of this system functioning either in South Lebanon or in all Lebanon.

3

It is obvious that the above military assumptions, and the whole plan too, depend also on the Arabs continuing to be even more divided than they are now, and on the lack of any truly progressive mass movement among them. It may be that those two conditions will be removed only when the plan will be well advanced, with consequences which can not be foreseen.

4

Why it is necessary to publish this in Israel?

The reason for publication is the dual nature of the Israeli-Jewish society: A very great measure of freedom and democracy, specially for Jews, combined with expansionism and racist discrimination. In such a situation the Israeli-Jewish elite (for the masses follow the TV and Begin’s speeches) has to be persuaded. The first steps in the process of persuasion are oral, as indicated above, but a time comes in which it becomes inconvenient. Written material must be produced for the benefit of the more stupid “persuaders” and “explainers” (for example medium-rank officers, who are, usually, remarkably stupid). They then “learn it,” more or less, and preach to others. It should be remarked that Israel, and even the Yishuv from the Twenties, has always functioned in this way. I myself well remember how (before I was “in opposition”) the necessity of war with was explained to me and others a year before the 1956 war, and the necessity of conquering “the rest of Western Palestine when we will have the opportunity” was explained in the years 1965-67.

5

Why is it assumed that there is no special risk from the outside in the publication of such plans?

Such risks can come from two sources, so long as the principled opposition inside Israel is very weak (a situation which may change as a consequence of the war on Lebanon) : The Arab World, including the Palestinians, and the United States. The Arab World has shown itself so far quite incapable of a detailed and rational analysis of Israeli-Jewish society, and the Palestinians have been, on the average, no better than the rest. In such a situation, even those who are shouting about the dangers of Israeli expansionism (which are real enough) are doing this not because of factual and detailed knowledge, but because of belief in myth. A good example is the very persistent belief in the non-existent writing on the wall of the Knesset of the Biblical verse about the Nile and the Euphrates. Another example is the persistent, and completely false declarations, which were made by some of the most important Arab leaders, that the two blue stripes of the Israeli flag symbolize the Nile and the Euphrates, while in fact they are taken from the stripes of the Jewish praying shawl (Talit). The Israeli specialists assume that, on the whole, the Arabs will pay no attention to their serious discussions of the future, and the Lebanon war has proved them right. So why should they not continue with their old methods of persuading other Israelis?

6

In the United States a very similar situation exists, at least until now. The more or less serious commentators take their information about Israel, and much of their opinions about it, from two sources. The first is from articles in the “liberal” American press, written almost totally by Jewish admirers of Israel who, even if they are critical of some aspects of the Israeli state, practice loyally what Stalin used to call “the constructive criticism.” (In fact those among them who claim also to be “Anti-Stalinist” are in reality more Stalinist than Stalin, with Israel being their god which has not yet failed). In the framework of such critical worship it must be assumed that Israel has always “good intentions” and only “makes mistakes,” and therefore such a plan would not be a matter for discussion–exactly as the Biblical genocides committed by Jews are not mentioned. The other source of information, The Jerusalem Post, has similar policies. So long, therefore, as the situation exists in which Israel is really a “closed society” to the rest of the world, because the world wants to close its eyes, the publication and even the beginning of the realization of such a plan is realistic and feasible.

Israel Shahak

June 17, 1982 Jerusalem

About the Translator

Israel Shahak is a professor of organic chemistly at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the chairman of the Israeli League for Human and Civil Rights. He published The Shahak Papers, collections of key articles from the Hebrew press, and is the author of numerous articles and books, among them Non-Jew in the Jewish State. His latest book is Israel’s Global Role: Weapons for Repression, published by the AAUG in 1982. Israel Shahak: (1933-2001)

Notes

 1. American Universities Field Staff. Report No.33, 1979. According to this research, the population of the world will be 6 billion in the year 2000. Today’s world population can be broken down as follows: China, 958 million; India, 635 million; USSR, 261 million; U.S., 218 million Indonesia, 140 million; Brazil and Japan, 110 million each. According to the figures of the U.N. Population Fund for 1980, there will be, in 2000, 50 cities with a population of over 5 million each. The population ofthp;Third World will then be 80% of the world population. According to Justin Blackwelder, U.S. Census Office chief, the world population will not reach 6 billion because of hunger.

 2. Soviet nuclear policy has been well summarized by two American Sovietologists: Joseph D. Douglas and Amoretta M. Hoeber, Soviet Strategy for Nuclear War, (Stanford, Ca., Hoover Inst. Press, 1979). In the Soviet Union tens and hundreds of articles and books are published each year which detail the Soviet doctrine for nuclear war and there is a great deal of documentation translated into English and published by the U.S. Air Force,including USAF: Marxism-Leninism on War and the Army: The Soviet View, Moscow, 1972; USAF: The Armed Forces of the Soviet State. Moscow, 1975, by Marshal A. Grechko. The basic Soviet approach to the matter is presented in the book by Marshal Sokolovski published in 1962 in Moscow: Marshal V. D. Sokolovski, Military Strategy, Soviet Doctrine and Concepts(New York, Praeger, 1963).

 3. A picture of Soviet intentions in various areas of the world can be drawn from the book by Douglas and Hoeber, ibid. For additional material see: Michael Morgan, “USSR’s Minerals as Strategic Weapon in the Future,” Defense and Foreign Affairs, Washington, D.C., Dec. 1979.

 4. Admiral of the Fleet Sergei Gorshkov, Sea Power and the State, London, 1979. Morgan, loc. cit. General George S. Brown (USAF) C-JCS, Statement to the Congress on the Defense Posture of the United States For Fiscal Year 1979, p. 103; National Security Council, Review of Non-Fuel Mineral Policy, (Washington, D.C. 1979,); Drew Middleton, The New York Times, (9/15/79); Time, 9/21/80.

 5. Elie Kedourie, “The End of the Ottoman Empire,” Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 3, No.4, 1968.

 6. Al-Thawra, Syria 12/20/79, Al-Ahram,12/30/79, Al Ba’ath, Syria, 5/6/79. 55% of the Arabs are 20 years old and younger, 70% of the Arabs live in Africa, 55% of the Arabs under 15 are unemployed, 33% live in urban areas, Oded Yinon, “Egypt’s Population Problem,” The Jerusalem Quarterly, No. 15, Spring 1980.

 7. E. Kanovsky, “Arab Haves and Have Nots,” The Jerusalem Quarterly, No.1, Fall 1976, Al Ba’ath, Syria, 5/6/79.

 8. In his book, former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin said that the Israeli government is in fact responsible for the design of American policy in the Middle East, after June ’67, because of its own indecisiveness as to the future of the territories and the inconsistency in its positions since it established the background for Resolution 242 and certainly twelve years later for the Camp David agreements and the peace treaty with Egypt. According to Rabin, on June 19, 1967, President Johnson sent a letter to Prime Minister Eshkol in which he did not mention anything about withdrawal from the new territories but exactly on the same day the government resolved to return territories in exchange for peace. After the Arab resolutions in Khartoum (9/1/67) the government altered its position but contrary to its decision of June 19, did not notify the U.S. of the alteration and the U.S. continued to support 242 in the Security Council on the basis of its earlier understanding that Israel is prepared to return territories. At that point it was already too late to change the U.S. position and Israel’s policy. From here the way was opened to peace agreements on the basis of 242 as was later agreed upon in Camp David. See Yitzhak Rabin. Pinkas Sherut, (Ma’ariv 1979) pp. 226-227.

 9. Foreign and Defense Committee Chairman Prof. Moshe Arens argued in an interview (Ma ‘ariv,10/3/80) that the Israeli government failed to prepare an economic plan before the Camp David agreements and was itself surprised by the cost of the agreements, although already during the negotiations it was possible to calculate the heavy price and the serious error involved in not having prepared the economic grounds for peace.

The former Minister of Treasury, Mr. Yigal Holwitz, stated that if it were not for the withdrawal from the oil fields, Israel would have a positive balance of payments (9/17/80). That same person said two years earlier that the government of Israel (from which he withdrew) had placed a noose around his neck. He was referring to the Camp David agreements (Ha’aretz, 11/3/78). In the course of the whole peace negotiations neither an expert nor an economics advisor was consulted, and the Prime Minister himself, who lacks knowledge and expertise in economics, in a mistaken initiative, asked the U.S. to give us a loan rather than a grant, due to his wish to maintain our respect and the respect of the U.S. towards us. See Ha’aretz1/5/79. Jerusalem Post, 9/7/79. Prof Asaf Razin, formerly a senior consultant in the Treasury, strongly criticized the conduct of the negotiations; Ha’aretz, 5/5/79. Ma’ariv, 9/7/79. As to matters concerning the oil fields and Israel’s energy crisis, see the interview with Mr. Eitan Eisenberg, a government advisor on these matters, Ma’arive Weekly, 12/12/78. The Energy Minister, who personally signed the Camp David agreements and the evacuation of Sdeh Alma, has since emphasized the seriousness of our condition from the point of view of oil supplies more than once…see Yediot Ahronot, 7/20/79. Energy Minister Modai even admitted that the government did not consult him at all on the subject of oil during the Camp David and Blair House negotiations. Ha’aretz, 8/22/79.

 10. Many sources report on the growth of the armaments budget in Egypt and on intentions to give the army preference in a peace epoch budget over domestic needs for which a peace was allegedly obtained. See former Prime Minister Mamduh Salam in an interview 12/18/77, Treasury Minister Abd El Sayeh in an interview 7/25/78, and the paper Al Akhbar, 12/2/78 which clearly stressed that the military budget will receive first priority, despite the peace. This is what former Prime Minister Mustafa Khalil has stated in his cabinet’s programmatic document which was presented to Parliament, 11/25/78. See English translation, ICA, FBIS, Nov. 27. 1978, pp. D 1-10.

According to these sources, Egypt’s military budget increased by 10% between fiscal 1977 and 1978, and the process still goes on. A Saudi source divulged that the Egyptians plan to increase their militmy budget by 100% in the next two years; Ha’aretz, 2/12/79 and Jerusalem Post, 1/14/79.

 11. Most of the economic estimates threw doubt on Egypt’s ability to reconstruct its economy by 1982. See Economic Intelligence Unit, 1978 Supplement, “The Arab Republic of Egypt”; E. Kanovsky, “Recent Economic Developments in the Middle East,” Occasional Papers, The Shiloah Institution, June 1977; Kanovsky, “The Egyptian Economy Since the Mid-Sixties, The Micro Sectors,” Occasional Papers, June 1978; Robert McNamara, President of World Bank, as reported in Times, London, 1/24/78.

 12. See the comparison made by the researeh of the Institute for Strategic Studies in London, and research camed out in the Center for Strategic Studies of Tel Aviv University, as well as the research by the British scientist, Denis Champlin, Military Review, Nov. 1979, ISS: The Military Balance 1979-1980, CSS; Security Arrangements in Sinai…by Brig. Gen. (Res.) A Shalev, No. 3.0 CSS; The Military Balance and the Military Options after the Peace Treaty with Egypt, by Brig. Gen. (Res.) Y. Raviv, No.4, Dec. 1978, as well as many press reports including El Hawadeth, London, 3/7/80; El Watan El Arabi, Paris, 12/14/79.

 13. As for religious ferment in Egypt and the relations between Copts and Moslems see the series of articles published in the Kuwaiti paper, El Qabas, 9/15/80. The English author Irene Beeson reports on the rift between Moslems and Copts, see: Irene Beeson, Guardian, London, 6/24/80, and Desmond Stewart, Middle East Internmational, London 6/6/80. For other reports see Pamela Ann Smith, Guardian, London, 12/24/79; The Christian Science Monitor 12/27/79 as well as Al Dustour, London, 10/15/79; El Kefah El Arabi, 10/15/79.

 14. Arab Press Service, Beirut, 8/6-13/80. The New Republic, 8/16/80, Der Spiegel as cited by Ha’aretz, 3/21/80, and 4/30-5/5/80; The Economist, 3/22/80; Robert Fisk, Times, London, 3/26/80; Ellsworth Jones, Sunday Times, 3/30/80.

 15.  J.P.  Peroncell  Hugoz,  Le  Monde,  Paris  4/28/80;  Dr.  Abbas  Kelidar,  Middle  East  Review,  Summer  1979;

Conflict Studies, ISS, July 1975; Andreas Kolschitter, Der Zeit, (Ha’aretz, 9/21/79) Economist Foreign Report, 10/10/79, Afro-Asian Affairs, London, July 1979.

 16. Arnold Hottinger, “The Rich Arab States in Trouble,” The New York Review of Books, 5/15/80; Arab Press Service, Beirut, 6/25-7/2/80; U.S. News and World Report, 11/5/79 as well as El Ahram, 11/9/79; El Nahar El Arabi Wal Duwali, Paris 9/7/79; El Hawadeth, 11/9/79; David Hakham, Monthly Review, IDF, Jan.-Feb. 79.

 17. As for Jordan’s policies and problems see El Nahar El Arabi Wal Duwali, 4/30/79, 7/2/79; Prof. Elie Kedouri, Ma’ariv 6/8/79; Prof. Tanter, Davar 7/12/79; A. Safdi, Jerusalem Post, 5/31/79; El Watan El Arabi 11/28/79; El Qabas, 11/19/79. As for PLO positions see: The resolutions of the Fatah Fourth Congress, Damascus, August 1980. The Shefa’amr program of the Israeli Arabs was published in Ha’aretz, 9/24/80, and by Arab Press Report 6/18/80. For facts and figures on immigration of Arabs to Jordan, see Amos Ben Vered, Ha’aretz, 2/16/77; Yossef Zuriel, Ma’ariv 1/12/80. As to the PLO’s position towards Israel see Shlomo Gazit, Monthly Review; July 1980; Hani El Hasan in an interview, Al Rai Al’Am, Kuwait 4/15/80; Avi Plaskov, “The Palestinian Problem,” Survival, ISS, London Jan. Feb. 78; David Gutrnann, “The Palestinian Myth,” Commentary, Oct. 75; Bernard Lewis, “The Palestinians and the PLO,” Commentary Jan. 75; Monday Morning, Beirut, 8/18-21/80; Journal of Palestine Studies, Winter 1980.

 18. Prof. Yuval Neeman, “Samaria–The Basis for Israel’s Security,” Ma’arakhot 272-273, May/June 1980; Ya’akov Hasdai, “Peace, the Way and the Right to Know,” Dvar Hashavua, 2/23/80. Aharon Yariv, “Strategic Depth–An Israeli Perspective,” Ma’arakhot 270-271, October 1979; Yitzhak Rabin, “Israel’s Defense Problems in the Eighties,” Ma’arakhot October 1979.

 19. Ezra Zohar, In the Regime’s Pliers (Shikmona, 1974); Motti Heinrich, Do We have a Chance Israel, Truth Versus Legend (Reshafim, 1981).

 20. Henry Kissinger, “The Lessons of the Past,” The Washington Review Vol 1, Jan. 1978; Arthur Ross, “OPEC’s Challenge to the West,” The Washington Quarterly, Winter, 1980; Walter Levy, “Oil and the Decline of the West,” Foreign Affairs, Summer 1980; Special Report–“Our Armed Forees-Ready or Not?” U.S. News and World Report 10/10/77; Stanley Hoffman, “Reflections on the Present Danger,” The New York Review of Books 3/6/80; Time 4/3/80; Leopold Lavedez “The illusions of SALT” Commentary Sept. 79; Norman Podhoretz, “The Present Danger,” Commentary March 1980; Robert Tucker, “Oil and American Power Six Years Later,” Commentary Sept. 1979; Norman Podhoretz, “The Abandonment of Israel,” Commentary July 1976; Elie Kedourie, “Misreading the Middle East,” Commentary July 1979.

 21. According to figures published by Ya’akov Karoz, Yediot Ahronot, 10/17/80, the sum total of anti-Semitic incidents recorded in the world in 1979 was double the amount recorded in 1978. In Germany, France, and Britain the number of anti-Semitic incidents was many times greater in that year. In the U.S. as well there has been a sharp increase in anti-Semitic incidents which were reported in that article. For the new anti-Semitism, see L. Talmon, “The New Anti-Semitism,” The New Republic, 9/18/1976; Barbara Tuchman, “They poisoned the Wells,” Newsweek 2/3/75.

 

Image: George W. Bush’s Grandfather, Senator Prescott Bush

Of relevance to an understanding of America’s insidious role in supporting Nazi Germany.This article was first published on GR in March 2016.

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“A  famous American family” made its fortune from the Nazis, according to John Loftus’ documented historical analysis.    

The Bush family links to Nazi Germany’s war economy were first brought to light at the Nuremberg trials in the testimony of Nazi Germany’s steel magnate Fritz Thyssen. Thyssen was a partner of George W. Bush’s grandfather Prescott Bush: 

From 1945 until 1949 in Nuremberg, one of the lengthiest and, it now appears, most futile interrogations of a Nazi war crimes suspect began in the American Zone of Occupied Germany.

Multibillionaire steel magnate Fritz Thyssen-the man whose steel combine was the cold heart of the Nazi war machine-talked and talked and talked to a joint US-UK interrogation team.

… What the Allied investigators never understood was that they were not asking Thyssen the right question. Thyssen did not need any foreign bank accounts because his family secretly owned an entire chain of banks.

He did not have to transfer his Nazi assets at the end of World War II, all he had to do was transfer the ownership documents – stocks, bonds, deeds and trusts–from his bank in Berlin through his bank in Holland to his American friends in New York City: Prescott Bush and Herbert Walker [father in law of Prescott Bush]. Thyssen’s partners in crime were the father and [grandfather] of a future President of the United States [George Herbert Walker Bush]. (John Loftus, How the Bush family made its fortune from the Nazis: The Dutch Connection, Global Research, February 2002, edit by GR)

The American public is not aware of the links of the Bush family to Nazi Germany because the historical record has been carefully withheld by the mainstream media.

In September 2004, however, The Guardian revealed that:

George Bush’s grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany.

The Guardian has obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in the US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a director was involved with the financial architects of Nazism.

His business dealings, which continued until his company’s assets were seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act, has led more than 60 years later to a civil action for damages being brought in Germany against the Bush family by two former slave labourers at Auschwitz and to a hum of pre-election controversy.

The evidence has also prompted one former US Nazi war crimes prosecutor to argue that the late senator’s action should have been grounds for prosecution for giving aid and comfort to the enemy. ( Ben Aris and Duncan Campbell, How the Bush’s Grandfather Helped Hitlers Rise to Power,   Guardian, September 25, 2004)

 

The more fundamental question is not whether Prescott Bush helped Adolph Hitler (image below). From a historical perspective, what is important is how the rise to power of Adolph Hitler was supportive of  US business interests in Germany.

US  Presidential Elections

The Guardian article was published on September 25, 2004 at the height of the US election campaign which led to the reelection of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney on Tuesday November 2nd 2004.

Deafening silence. The US media provided no coverage of GWB’s family history. Had the American people known that the Bush family had links to Nazi Germany, John Kerry would have won the presidency in 2004 in a landslide.

Similarly, Michael Dukakis would have won the presidency in 1989 against George Herbert Walker Bush. In fact, had this been revealed to the American people in the wake of the Nuremberg trials (1945-1949), Bush Senior would never have entered politics and his father Prescott Bush would never have become Senator.

Is there a pattern?  Do you have to be a wealthy war criminal to accede to high office?

Prescott Bush had links to Nazi Germany, Bush Senior and George W. Bush had links to the Bin Laden Family…

What must be ensured  to “protect American democracy” is that none of these “awkward truths” which reveal the crimes committed by prominent politicians be the object of media coverage. Needless to say, propaganda is essential to uphold the legitimacy of presidential candidates in the eyes of public opinion.

War Crimes. Crimes against Humanity

Nazi war crimes with the complicity of Wall Street and the Bush family?

US war crimes committed by Bush Junior in Iraq (2003), Bush Senior (the Gulf War, 1991), Is there a relationship?

What was the role of the late senator Prescott Bush in his dealings with Nazi Germany:

While the president’s [George W. Bush]  father had dealings with the bin Ladens, his grandfather [Prescott Bush] made a considerable share of the family fortune through his dealings with Nazi Germany. Some have suggested that the Bushes’ assets have their ultimate source, in part, in the exploitation of slave labor at Auschwitz itself.

Loftus argues that this money—a substantial sum at that time—included direct profit from the slave labor of those who died at Auschwitz.

In an interview with journalist Toby Rogers, the former prosecutor said:

“It is bad enough that the Bush family helped raise the money for Thyssen to give Hitler his start in the 1920s, but giving aid and comfort to the enemy in time of war is treason. The Bush bank helped the Thyssens make the Nazi steel that killed Allied solders. As bad as financing the Nazi war machine may seem, aiding and abetting the Holocaust was worse. Thyssen’s coal mines used Jewish slaves as if they were disposable chemicals. There are six million skeletons in the Thyssen family closet, and a myriad of criminal and historical questions to be answered about the Bush family’s complicity.” (emphasis added)

Prescott Bush was by no means unique, though his financial connections with the Third Reich were perhaps more intimate than most. Henry Ford was an avowed admirer of Hitler, and together GM and Ford played the predominant role in producing the military trucks that carried German troops across Europe. After the war, both auto companies demanded and received reparations for damage to their German plants caused by allied bombing. (Bill Venn, A presidential visit to Auschwitz, The Holocaust and the Bush family fortune, WSWS.org,  5 June 2003)

Evidence of the Bush family’s  links to Nazism was available well before George Herbert Walker Bush (Senior)  and George W. Bush entered politics. According to John Buchanan (New Hampshire Gazette, 10 October 2003):

After 60 years of inattention and even denial by the U.S. media, newly-uncovered government documents in The National Archives and Library of Congress reveal that Prescott Bush, the grandfather of President George W. Bush, served as a business partner of and U.S. banking operative for the financial architect of the Nazi war machine from 1926 until 1942, when Congress took aggressive action against Bush and his “enemy national” partners.

The documents also show that Bush and his colleagues, according to reports from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, tried to conceal their financial alliance with German industrialist Fritz Thyssen, a steel and coal baron who, beginning in the mid-1920s, personally funded Adolf Hitler’s rise to power by the subversion of democratic principle and German law. Furthermore, the declassified records demonstrate that Bush and his associates, who included E. Roland Harriman, younger brother of American icon W. Averell Harriman, and George Herbert Walker, President Bush’s maternal great-grandfather, continued their dealings with the German industrial tycoon for nearly a year after the U.S. entered the war.

While Prescott Bush’s “company’s assets were seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act, George W. Bush’s grandfather was never prosecuted for his business dealings with  Nazi Germany.

“In 1952, Prescott Bush was elected to the U.S. Senate, with no press accounts about his well-concealed Nazi past. There is no record of any U.S. press coverage of the Bush-Nazi connection during any political campaigns conducted by George Herbert Walker Bush, Jeb Bush, or George W. Bush, with the exception of a brief mention in an unrelated story in the Sarasota Herald Tribune in November 2000 and a brief but inaccurate account in The Boston Globe in 2001.” (John Buchanan, op. cit)

Up until Pearl Harbor (December 1941), Wall Street was trading with the enemy. In the wake of Pearl Harbor, Standard Oil continued to sell oil to Nazi Germany through the intermediation of so-called “neutral countries” including Venezuela and Argentina.

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research March 6, 2016

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On November 14, the Syrian Army backed up by the Russian Aerospace Forces launched a limited offensive on positions of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and its Turkish-backed allies in southern Idlib. Government forces liberated the town of Luwaybidah and the nearby Khaznah hill after a series of clashes with militants. Then, army troops supported by artillery and air strikes advanced on the town of Misherfah.

Clashes are now ongoing in the area.

HTS and its allies have been violating Greater Idlib ceasefire on a daily basis for months. The new ground operation is aimed at deterring these attacks or even expanding a buffer zone in order to push militants’ back from the government-controlled area and further.

On November 13, Syrian and Russian warplanes reportedly carried out over 50 strikes on positions of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and other radical groups in southern and western Idlib. In particular, militant positions were hit in Shnan, al-Najeya, Furaykah, al-Mshairfeh, Kafr Nabl, Rakaya Sijneh, Fatterah, Sutuh al-Din, Tramla, Kafar Sijnah, Ma’aret Hurmah, Jbala, Hizareen and Karsaa.

Watch the video here.

Clashes between the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Turkish-backed militants are ongoing in northern al-Hasakah. On November 13, the SDF advanced on positions of pro-Turkish forces in the villages of al-Qasimiyah and al-Rihaniyah. At least 6 Turkish-backed militants were reportedly killed in the SDF advance.

The Russian military has deployed Mi-8 and Mi-35 helicopters and Pantsir-S air-defense systems air defense systems at the al-Qamishly airbase in northeastern Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry’s Zvezda TV reported on November 14. Mi-8 and Mi-35 helicopters are currently involved in the patrols along the Turkish border. The patrols are ongoing in the framework of the Turkish-Russian safe-zone agreement.

Earlier reports appeared, that Russia may have been planning to establish a constant military presence, or even a military base in al-Qamishly. The recent developments demonstrate that even if these particular reports were wrong, the Russians are already using the airport for military purposes.

On the same day, Russian troops took control of the abandoned US military facility in Sarrin in eastern Aleppo. At least 5 Russian armoured vehicles entered the facility and a Mi-35 helicopter was spotted flying in the area.

Following the US troop withdrawal from the north, the Russians took control of their garrisons. Most widely covered such cases happened in Manbij and Ain Issa.

The US military is expanding its presence in the towns of al-Qahtaniyah and Heemo near Qamishly. Recently a US military convoy of approximately 20 trucks loaded with military equipment and several armored vehicles entered northeastern Syria from Iraq. These forces will likely be deployed near Qamishly in order to secure the US control of the oil-rich area east of it.

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Where the Vulture Funds Nest in Brexit Britain

November 16th, 2019 by True Publica

The UK economy has seen a spike in corporate insolvencies, particularly in the retail, manufacturing and travel sectors since the EU referendum, and the heavy debt burden imposed by private equity has often been a factor. Vulture funds are now circling in search of freshly weakened targets, soon there will be plenty to choose from.

Vulture funds work a bit like this. A vulture fund is a hedge fund, private equity fund or distressed debt fund, that invests in debt considered to be very weak or in default, known as distressed securities.

They profit by buying up troubled firms, pile on substantial new debt, fiddle with the balance sheets, then restructure and sell the relaunched entity as if it’s in good health. Private equity firms regularly benefit from tax breaks and are often based offshore – and it’s this bit that is important. They contribute next to nothing to economies, very often seeing the result of collapses falling into the laps of government. If not, many employees are left without work and end up on welfare.

Thomas Cook is a good example. It was in trouble 10 years ago, but successive financial restructures by ‘intermediaries’ such as private equity firms, has seen a debt spike being handled like some sort of overly stuffed pass-the-parcel. After several acquisitions and loading of debt – the company was weighed down with £3.1 billion around its neck. In its last 12 months, the company needed to sell three million holidays a year just to cover interest payments (not the capital).

And another 900 million pound restructuring plan wasn’t enough to save the 178-year-old travel industry icon from bankruptcy. At the last minute, the firm’s bankers demanded an extra 200 million pounds in funding to pre-pay for next year’s package holidays.

Wash, rinse, repeat

The same happened to another of Britain’s best-known high street brands, Debenhams. It announced in April the largest loss in its 206-year history, a pre-tax loss of 491 million pounds. From there it entered a Corporate Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) which allows firms to continue trading while restructuring and now has well over £1 billion in restructured debt. Profits are sucked into debt interest payments, very often requiring more loans to pay for the shortfall.

Fellow department store House of Fraser entered a CVA in May 2018 after struggling to rid itself of a debt pile worth 1 billion pounds which had built up since a private equity purchase in 2006.

Music and film retailer HMV went into administration for the second time in six years. Again, private equity firms were implicated in the downfall of the 98-year-old brand.

Another excellent example is luxury British carmaker Aston Martin, which confirmed it will pay 12% interest on an extra £120m of borrowings. If orders for its new DBX model don’t hit targets in 2020, the firm’s interest rate could spike to 15% as part of its financial restructuring package. The intermediaries make the money and walk – the company is left to the risk.

Don’t forget, these companies can take advantage of record long-term low-interest rates.

How bad is it overall? According to the Luxembourg-based Link Asset Services, total corporate debt in the UK climbed to record levels in 2019, hitting £638.3 billion, following eight consecutive years of rises.

Nest of vultures

Over to Ireland and focusing on a nest of just 15 Irish subsidiaries of global vulture funds where it was found that they pay just €250 a year in tax. This is despite the companies having in their control €10.3 billion worth of loans and debt located in Ireland, where in total, the 15 companies have paid just €8,000 in tax between them in a year. It is estimated that the loss to the Irish Exchequer is up to €500 million in just two years.

The analysis comes from the UCD School of Social Policy two years ago.

In another study at the same time, 24 Irish subsidiaries of so-called vulture funds had paid less than €20,000 in corporation tax over the previous two years.

This is despite the companies controlling almost €20 billion in distressed assets.

That analysis found that the 24 companies, as well as their Irish subsidiaries, will be able to make profits of 33% to 50% on their initial investment.

Circling

From Jonathan Compton – Money Week: “Since Brexit, UK economic growth has been sub-par, moving from being nearly the best among the larger economies to becoming one of the worst.” Compton reminds us why the vultures are circling. Britain was badly affected by the global financial crisis but was still suffering when Brexit came along. It continues to suffers from:

  • growth in wages outside the top 20% of earners is weak – real take-home pay for these workers remains below the 2009 level
  • a steady slowdown in car sales, new mortgage approvals and big-ticket items (items not affected by internet sales)
  • growth in consumer credit has waned noticeably since 2016
  • personal savings are near their lowest level since 1968
  • capital expenditure and business confidence are flatlining.
  • profit margins are being squeezed

“Until 2015 the UK ranked third in the world both in terms of the total stock and of net FDI investment inflows. The gross stock, at over $2trn, is enormous and, relative to GDP, far higher than the two global leaders, the EU and US. In terms of inflows, net annual FDI has also been gigantic, beaten only by the world’s two economic superpowers, China and the US. This foreign appetite for British assets has been the key factor in allowing us to live a lifestyle that we could not otherwise afford. Until 1995, FDI was relatively minor at 1%-2% of GDP. Since then it has soared, often to 4%-8% of GDP. The UK is a world favourite for well-known reasons: an impartial legal system, good contractual laws and property rights, and relatively mild bureaucracy. You may not like Russian hoods buying top properties or Kraft taking over a “national jewel” in Cadbury Schweppes, but foreign investors have been the economic paymasters for nearly a generation. Yet since 2016, these flows have abated dramatically – hence the feeble growth numbers. In the UK equity markets, the outflows have continued – hence the relative underperformance.”

The more savvy foreign investors clearly sense opportunity in our under-performing market, currency and government, and are moving fast. Approaches, bids or break-up threats have been made recently to well-known (listed) index giants. The trend is rising. The Vultures are circling looking for weakened companies to pick off. After Christmas this year, there will be a feast waiting for them for two reasons. Many struggling companies die after the December spending spree and then we have this December’s election. If Boris Johnson is elected with a workable majority – the currency will plummet and confidence will drain as he pushed his version of Brexit. If Corbyn is elected – it’s another year of uncertainty, even if the outcome is better. Either way, government debt will soar – from there, its anyone’s guess – but the vultures will still be flying in from Ireland looking for easy prey.

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Trump Weakens Protections for Toxic Pyrethroid Pesticides

November 16th, 2019 by Center For Biological Diversity

Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency proposed today to weaken protections for 23 pyrethroids, a class of insecticides linked to autism, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and known to be highly toxic to bees and fish.

These reduced safeguards were requested by a consortium of sticide companies called the Pyrethroid Working Group. The neurotoxins are widely used on fruits and vegetables and in bug sprays and pet shampoos.

The EPA had initially considered a 66-foot-wide buffer of permanent vegetation between fields sprayed with the pesticides and any water body, as well as a 10 mph wind-speed cutoff for spraying. But the new proposal includes only a 10- to 25-foot-wide buffer and a wind-speed cutoff of 15 mph.

Today’s proposal follows the EPA’s August announcement that it would grant a pesticide industry request to end long-running safeguards meant to protect small children from pyrethroids, which have been shown to cause learning deficiencies.

“There’s no floor on how low this administration will stoop to appease the pesticide industry,” said Nathan Donley, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Ignoring independent science in favor of whatever pesticide companies want is par for the Trump course. In their relentless push to cripple pesticide protections, EPA officials are shrugging off huge threats to children’s health and the survival of bees and other environmentally crucial creatures.”

Today’s announcement included the proposed reapproval of five of the 23 pyrethroids.

Proposals regarding the approval of the other 18 are pending.

A compelling body of independent research has documented the many harms posed by pyrethroids.

A 2016 EPA scientific analysis found that continued pyrethroid use will likely cause a “reduction in survival, growth and reproduction to non-target aquatic animals” and a potential risk to pollinators. The EPA also estimated that some pyrethroids would exceed water concentrations known to harm aquatic insects for up to 89 percent of the year.

The EPA’s August announcement that it plans to increase threefold the amount of pyrethroid exposure considered safe for children relied almost exclusively on confidential pesticide-industry studies and a model developed by an entity called CAPHRA, which is a working group of pesticide companies that sell pyrethroids. The agency ignored contradictory evidence from peer-reviewed studies and advice from two separate scientific advisory panels.

Independent research has shown that repeated exposure to pyrethroid insecticides can cause learning deficiencies and neurodegenerative effects associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, among others.

Epidemiological data has also revealed higher incidences of autism spectrum disorders and developmental delay among children whose mothers were living within about 1 mile of sites of pyrethroid applications during the third trimester of pregnancy.

“Small children and the environment are sacrificial pawns in the profit schemes of this disgustingly anti-science administration,” said Donley. “We should be following the research and increasing protections from harmful pesticides, not ditching them at the request of a morally bankrupt industry.”

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In late October 2019, House Democrats adopted a resolution regarding the rules and procedures “for the public phase  of an impeachment inquiry into President Trump”. H. Res. 660 focusses on “how the impeachment inquiry will move forward against President Donald Trump”.

The complaint alleged Trump abused the office of the president during a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in July. Trump’s White House released a transcript of the call shortly after Pelosi made her announcement; the full complaint was released the next day.

The resolution pertains to procedures in assessing the UkraineGate complaint. It sets the rules for an impeachment process but it does not formally address the issue of an impeachment motion. 
.
What media reports fail to mention, which is of utmost significance, is that a formal impeachment motion — formulated and introduced before the Zelensky-Trump affair–  is already on the table. It was first introduced in July 2017, revised in January 2019. 
 
The Article of Impeachment (H. Res. 438) against President Donald J. Trump points to “High Crimes and Misdemeanors”. July 12, 2017 (115th Congress).
A second resolution H. Res 13 introduced in the 116th Congress (First session) in January 2019) constitutes a revised version of H. Res 438. (also by Sherman and Green)
The problem is that H. Res. 13  (revised version of H. Res 438) is predicated on RussiaGate, i.e. alleged Russian election meddling in  support of Trump’s candidacy in the November 2016 elections.
In contrast, H.Res H. Res. 660 (voted upon in late October) is predicated on UkraineGate. i.e setting the basis for “an impeachment inquiry” against Trump in relation to the Trump-Zelensky affair. what this means is that the H. Res 13 is totally dysfunctional. Moreover, it is unlikely that H.Res 660 will succeed in leading towards a formal Impeachment motion.
See details below in my article dated July 13, 2017 pertaining to impeachment resolution H. Res 438 introduced on July 12, 2017. 
Michel Chossudovsky, November 2, 2019

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An impeachment motion against President Donald John Trump was introduced on July 12, 2017 in the US House of Representatives by Rep Brad Sherman (D-CA) and  Rep Al Green (D-TX).

The Article of Impeachment (H. Res. 438) against President Donald J. Trump points to “High Crimes and Misdemeanors”. 

According to Rep. Brad Sherman, “the Article is based on Article 1, dealing with “Obstruction of Justice,” which was passed by the Judiciary Committee on a bipartisan vote on July 27, 1974, regarding Richard M. Nixon.”

Sherman accuses Trump of “obstructing investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election”.

Article H RES. 438 calls for the removal of President Trump from office.

According to reports: “The effort is likely to stall in the Republican-controlled congress…” (Al Jazeera).

There is no indication at this stage that Republicans would support an Impeachment procedure.

Read Sherman’s statement below, he refers to a resolution which will put Mike Pence into the White House.

“I served with Mike Pence in Congress for twelve years and I disagree with him on just about everything. I never dreamed I would author a measure that would put him in the White House” 

The “Russia Probe” is central to the Impeachment procedure: one does not go without the other.

Moreover, reference to the Donald Trump Jr. encounter with a Russian lawyer (which borders on ridicule) is being used as a justification. According to Rep.Sherman: “Recent disclosures by Donald Trump Jr. indicate that Trump’s campaign was eager to receive assistance from Russia.” The NYT candidly states without a shred of evidence that the Russian lawyer is “connected the Russian government” intimating that she is a stooge of the Kremlin.

Below is the statement of  Rep. Brad Sherman

I am pleased that Congressman Al Green (D-TX) has joined me in filing Articles of Impeachment against Donald J. Trump. We now begin the effort to force the House Judiciary Committee to hold hearings on Obstruction of Justice and Russian interference in our election.

Recent disclosures by Donald Trump Jr. indicate that Trump’s campaign was eager to receive assistance from Russia. It now seems likely that the President had something to hide when he tried to curtail the investigation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and the wider Russian probe. I believe his conversations with, and subsequent firing of, FBI Director James Comey constitute Obstruction of Justice.

Every day Democrats, Republicans, and the entire world are shocked by the latest example of America’s amateur President. Ignorance accompanied by a refusal to learn. Lack of impulse control, accompanied by a refusal to have his staff control his impulses. We’re no longer surprised by any action, no matter how far below the dignity of the office—and no matter how dangerous to the country.

But the Constitution does not provide for the removal of a President for impulsive, ignorant incompetence. It does provide for the removal of a President for High Crimes and Misdemeanors.

As the investigations move forward, additional evidence supporting additional Articles of Impeachment may emerge. However, as to Obstruction of Justice, as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 1512 (b)(3), the evidence we have is sufficient to move forward now. And the national interest requires that we do so.

Introducing Articles of Impeachment will have two possible outcomes. First, I have slight hope it will inspire an ‘intervention’ in the White House. If Impeachment is real, if they actually see Articles, perhaps we will see incompetency replaced by care. Perhaps uncontrollable impulses will be controlled. And perhaps the danger our nation faces will be ameliorated.

Second, and more likely, filing Articles of Impeachment is the first step on a very long road. But if the impulsive incompetency continues, then eventually—many, many months from now—Republicans will join the impeachment effort.

I author Articles of Impeachment not to change our national policy. I served with Mike Pence in Congress for twelve years and I disagree with him on just about everything. I never dreamed I would author a measure that would put him in the White House. I am introducing Articles of Impeachment to begin a long process to protect our country from abuse of power, obstruction of justice, and impulsive, ignorant incompetence.”​ Brad Sherman (emphasis added)

The Article (H. R. 438) concludes with the following statement:

Full text of  Article of Impeachment (H. Res. 438)

For further details click Rep. Brad Sherman’s Congressional website

 

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Wither Democrats; Enter Hillary

November 15th, 2019 by William Stroock

For a generation, American political reformers have been obsessed with the idea of ‘money in politics.’ According to reformers, political organizations that bundle money and donate it to campaigns are corrupting politicians. So, the theories go, campaign finance reform would ‘get the money’ out of politics so politicians wouldn’t be bound to special interest groups and be free to vote their conscience. In this case, politicians voting their conscience coincides with the wish list of campaign finance reformers who are almost universally on the political left.

For all the talk of campaign finance reform, perhaps the biggest flaw in American politics today is the primary system by which the two parties select their candidates. The party primary campaigns unofficially begin after the midterm elections, more than a year before the New Hampshire Primary and Iowa Caucus. The system is easily manipulated by a candidate with money and organization. Such a candidate can portray themselves as the frontrunner and the inevitable nominee. George W. Bush, the GOP establishment’s pick in 2000, did this.

Hillary Clinton did so as well, though Obama beat her anyway in 2008 and Sanders would have won the nomination if the Democratic National Committee hadn’t rigged the system in Clinton’s favor.

But this year, after nearly a year of campaigning, there is no obvious Democrat frontrunner. According to the latest Morning Consult Poll, taken the first week of November, former Vice President Joe Biden leads the race at 31%. Composed of African American voters and what moderates remain among the Democrat party base, Biden’s support is broad but not deep. Trailing Biden are Socialist Bernie Sanders (20%), Senator Elizabeth Warren (18%), Mayor Pete Buttigieg (8%), and Senator Kamala Harris (6%). None of these candidates has appeal wide enough to lock up the Democrat Party nomination. Were they operating in the Westminster system, the Democrats would have a hung parliament.

Which brings us to Hillary Clinton. Since her husband announced his candidacy in 1991, Hillary has plotted her own path to the White House. Hillary took her first step in 2000 with her successful senate bid. She easily won reelection in 2006.  In 2008, Hillary was the Democrat frontrunner. No one could stop her, except for the junior senator from Illinois, Barrack Obama. Hillary had no answer for Obama’s youth, charisma, and biography, and she lost the close and bitterly contested nomination. At least Hillary was able to pad her resume by serving as Obama’s Secretary of State. In 2016, no serious potential candidate dared enter the race, the field was cleared and the process rigged by DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Even so, insurgent candidate Bernie Sanders almost beat Hillary. Then came Donald Trump and Hillary went home at the end of another bruising campaign.

Usually when losing an election, the nominee returns to his old political job, like Senator John Kerry in 2004 or John McCain in 2008, or retire from politics altogether, as Jimmy Carter did after 1980 and Walter Mondale after 1984. Not Hillary. Since 2016, Hillary Clinton has remained very much in the public eye. She published What Happened, her self-serving and whiney account of the 2016 campaign in which she blames everyone for her loss but herself. Hillary’s long list of grievances includes the press, the FBI, even the Russians. She has since toured the United States and the west slamming President Trump and repeating her conspiracy theories about Russian collusion, refusing to move on or let go.

In fact, even at this late date, Hillary refuses to rule out a third presidential run. In an interview with the BBC this week, Clinton claimed that ‘a lot of people are pushing hard’ for her to run again. She also said, “I, as I say never, never, never say never. I will certainly tell you. I’m under enormous pressure from many, many, many people to think about it.’ Given her two failed presidential bids, this is unlikely. But, it is very likely that Hillary wants to run for president a third time.

And why not? Hillary won the popular vote in 2016. In the eyes of the Democrat party faithful Trump is an illegitimate president and Hillary should sit in the Oval Office. Besides, the Democrat Party field is weak. Elizabeth Warren is a product of the elite, a college professor with a lot of ideas that appeal to affluent, coastal liberals. Bernie Sanders is an elderly socialist. Joe Biden is a relic. None of these candidates appeal to Midwestern working class voters that voted for Trump and gave him the election.

Hillary has been part of American political life longer than Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Everything she’s touched from the beginning of her political career to the end she has mess up, Arkansas land development, healthcare reform, Benghazi and Libya.

Yet still she refuses to retire quietly and enjoy her fortune. We’ll never be rid of her.

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This article was originally published on InfoBrics.

William Stroock is an author of military fiction.

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Karma: British “White Helmets” Co-Founder Dead in Turkey

November 15th, 2019 by Tony Cartalucci

Former British military officer James Le Mesurier suspected of ties to MI6 and the co-founder of the so-called “White Helmets” front was found dead this month in Turkey from an apparent fall from his residence.

The Western media wasted no time linking it to claims Russia had recently made that he was an intelligence asset involved in sowing instability worldwide – attempting to portray Russia as somehow likely responsible for Le Mesurier’s death.

Not a Rescue Org 

In actuality, the “White Helmets” were an extension of Western armed and funded terrorist organizations operating in Syria with the “White Helmets” specifically serving the purpose of war propagandists thinly disguised as “rescue workers” or local “civil defense.”

They found themselves repeatedly at the center of alleged chemical attacks the US accused the Syrian government of – indicating their likely involvement in carrying out false flag operations – many of which may have actually killed real people.

The deceptive manner in which the “White Helmets” operated has already been extensively exposed and their credibility rendered moot – not least because the terrorist organizations they augment are nearing extinction – surrounded in Syria’s northern governorate of Idlib.

Cui Bono? 

Le Mesurier’s continued existence as the co-founder of a now irrelevant propaganda arm to a defeated proxy army makes no difference to Syria and its Russian allies.

Le Mesurier’s continued existence – however – did pose the perpetual threat of the knowledge he had of covert US operations in Syria including the use of the “White Helmets” in staging chemical attacks and other atrocities and their role in manipulating international organizations like the OPCW eventually becoming public.

It is obvious that his death – whatever the cause – benefited the US and UK which backed him and his faux humanitarian relief organization – meaning that whatever secrets he harbored are now taken to the grave with him.

Work for Horrible People, Meet a Horrible End

Finally, let Le Mesurier’s end serve as a warning for those serving the agenda of global aggressors particularly in the targeting and destruction of a sovereign nation like Syria.

Even upon death, the establishment that bank rolled him and propped him up used his corpse as a prop in their public relations campaigns. The truth of his death may never emerge. With the possibility that he was terminated by his own employers – pause for thought will hopefully reverberate across the peripheral operations created to prop up and promote the “White Helmets.”

Anyone who finds themselves in possession of facts and willfully distorts them for profit in the employ of nations willing to lie to promote death and destruction on a global scale cannot possibly believe they are ever safe or will perpetually be more useful alive than dead.

Regardless of the actual cause of Le Mesurier’s death, he was  certainly useful to the system that created him and whom he served. We must also acknowledge that he had accumulated 8 years of top secrets which were liable to spill out.

 

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Tony Cartalucci is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer. He writes on his blog site, Land Destroyer Report, where this article was originally published. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Time and again, Russia stressed that it supports the sovereign independence and territorial integrity of other countries.

On Monday, its Foreign Ministry denounced the toppling of Bolivia’s Evo Morales, a statement saying:

“We are alarmed by the dramatic developments in Bolivia, where a wave of violence, unleashed by the opposition, has prevented President Evo Morales from completing his tenure of office,” adding:

“We are deeply concerned that the government’s readiness to search for constructive dialogue-based solutions, voiced during the domestic political crisis in the country, was wiped out by developments typical of a well-orchestrated coup d’etat.”

Russia clearly knows it was made in the USA, Trump regime hardliners OKing it, CIA dirty hands all over events leading up to Bolivia’s October presidential election and its violent aftermath, toppling democratically elected Evo Morales, forcing him to resign and seek refuge in Mexico to avoid assassination.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said it supports “guaranteeing the rights of all (Bolivian) citizens and ensuring the socioeconomic development of that country.”

Time and again, Moscow voiced strong opposition to interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states by foreign powers — clearly what happened in Bolivia.

CIA dirty hands orchestrated the coup, co-opting key military and police officials to abandon support for Morales, conspiring with Bolivian fascists to force democratically reelected Evo Morales from office, replacing him with a self-declared, unelected, political nobody, coup d’etat president.

Bolivia’s usurpation regime has no legitimacy, unconstitutionally installed by brute force.

There was no constitutionally required legislative quorum in session when Jeanine Anez swore herself into power — illegally usurping it.

She got scant support in Bolivian legislative elections. Most people in the country knew nothing about her. Morales’ Movement for Socialism MPs were warned not to show up for the parliamentary usurpation, unconstitutionally anointing her president.

Her power grab with support from the US, Bolivia’s military, and fascist politicians is what despotism is all about.

Despite calling what happened in the country a coup d’etat, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said the following on Thursday:

“(I)t is clear that (Anez) will be perceived as the head of Bolivia until a new president is elected, and this is the internal affair of Bolivia.”

Moscow has commercial interests in the country. In March 2016, it signed an agreement with Morales’ government to build a $300 million nuclear center in El Alto, a city near La Paz, Bolivia’s political capital.

Reportedly it’ll include a research reactor, a cyclotron for radio-pharmaceuticals, and a multi-purpose gamma irradiation plant, along with facilities for research in energy, medicine, and agriculture.

At the time, Morales said

“(o)ur brother President Vladimir Putin has promised me the transfer of Russian know-how and technology.”

Russian energy giant Gazprom invested around $500 million in Bolivian oil and gas projects.

In February, Bolivian firm YLB signed a lithium industrialization agreement with China’s Xinjiang Tbea Group, a joint “financing and implementation venture.”

Uyuni, Bolivia salt flats reportedly have one of the world’s largest lithium reserves, an estimated nine millions tons.

According to mining.com, Bolivia has “around 25% of the known (lithium) reserves, but so far it has done nothing with it.” Other estimates indicate a greater percentage of world reserves in the country, an invaluable resource if developed.

The mineral has numerous industrial applications (including batteries), along with its use in producing a mood-stabilizing drug in treating bipolar disorders.

The coup toppling Morales came days after he cancelled a lithium joint agreement with Germany’s ACI Systems Alemania (ACISA)  to develop electric batteries — reportedly because of unfairly low royalities.

At the time, his government said it “invested huge amounts to ensure that lithium is processed within the country to export it only in value-added form, such as in batteries.”

With Trump regime-supported anti-Morales hardliners in charge, Bolivian agreements with Russia and China could be scrapped in favor of US business interests.

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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.

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Commanders of Bolivia’s military and police helped plot the coup and guaranteed its success. They were previously educated for insurrection in the US government’s notorious School of the Americas and FBI training programs.

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The United States played a key role in the military coup in Bolivia, and in a direct way that has scarcely been acknowledged in accounts of the events that forced the country’s elected president, Evo Morales, to resign on November 10.

Just prior to Morales’ resignation, the commander of Bolivia’s armed forces Williams Kaliman “suggested” that the president step down. A day earlier, sectors of the country’s police force had rebelled.

Though Kaliman appears to have feigned loyalty to Morales over the years, his true colors showed as soon as the moment of opportunity arrived. He was not only an actor in the coup, he had his own history in Washington, where he had briefly served as the military attaché of Bolivia’s embassy in the US capital.

Kaliman sat at the top of a military and police command structure that has been substantially cultivated by the US through WHINSEC, the military training school in Fort Benning, Georgia known in the past as the School of the Americas. Kaliman himself attended a course called “Comando y Estado Mayor” at the SOA in 2003.

At least six of the key coup plotters are alumni of the infamous School of the Americas, while Kaliman and another figure served in the past as Bolivia’s military and police attachés in Washington.

Within the Bolivian police, top commanders who helped launch the coup have passed through the APALA police exchange program. Working out of Washington DC, APALA functions to build relations between U.S. authorities and police officials from Latin American states. Despite its influence, or perhaps because of it, the program maintains little public presence. Its staff was impossible for this researcher to reach by phone.

It is common for governments to assign a small number of individuals to work at their country’s embassies abroad as military or police attachés. The late Philip Agee, a one-time CIA case officer who became the agency’s first whistleblower, explained in his 1975 tell-all book how US intelligence traditionally relied on the recruitment of foreign military and police officers, including embassy attachés, as critical assets in regime change and counter-insurgency operations.

As I found from the more than 11,000 FOIA documents I obtained while writing my book on the paramilitary campaign waged in the lead up to the February 2004 ouster of Haiti’s elected government and the post-coup repression, U.S. officials worked for years to ingratiate themselves and establish connections with Haitian police, army, and ex-army officials. These connections as well as the recruitment and information gathering efforts eventually paid off.

In Bolivia, too, the role of military and police officials trained by the US was pivotal in forcing regime change. U.S. government agencies such as USAID have openly financed anti-Morales groups in the country for many years. But the way that the country’s security forces were used as a Trojan Horse by US intelligence services is less understood. With Morales’s forced departure, however, it became impossible to deny how critical a factor this was.

As this investigation will establish, the coup plot could not have succeeded without the enthusiastic approval of the country’s military and police commanders. And their consent was influenced heavily by the US, where so many were groomed and educated for insurrection.

Leaked audio exposes School of the Americas grads plotting a coup

Leaked audio reported on Bolivian news website La Época, and by elperiodicocr.com and a range of national media outlets, reveals that covert coordination took place between current and former Bolivian police, military, and opposition leaders in bringing about the coup.

The leaked audio recordings show that former Cochabamba mayor and former presidential candidate Manfred Reyes Villa played a central role in the plot. Reyes happens to be an alumnusof WHINSEC (formerly known as the School of the Americas), who currently resides in the United States.

The other four who are introduced or introduce themselves by name in the leaked audio are General Remberto Siles Vasquez (audio 12); Colonel Julio César Maldonado Leoni (audio 8 and 9); Colonel Oscar Pacello Aguirre (audio 14), and Colonel Teobaldo Cardozo Guevara (audio 10). All four of these ex-military officials attended the SOA.

Cardozo Guevara, in particular, boasts about his connections amongst active officers.

The identities of these individuals are confirmed by cross-checking the data of the School of Americas Watch lists of alumni with Facebook and local Bolivian news articles and the leaked audio recordings.

The School of the Americas is a notorious site of education for Latin American coup plotters dating back to the height of the Cold War. 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.

For many years, anti-war protesters have staged a protest vigil outside the SOA’s headquarters at the Fort Benning military base near Columbus, Georgia.

A protest vigil outside the School of the Americas at Fort Benning

The leader of those protests, Father Roy Bourgeois, has described the SOA as “a combat school. ” He continued:

“Most of the courses revolve around what they call counter insurgency warfare. Who are the insurgents? We have to ask that question. They are the poor. They are the people in Latin America who call for reform. They are the landless peasants who are hungry. They are health care workers, human rights advocates, labor organizers, they become the insurgents, they’re seen as ‘el enemigo’ — the enemy. And they are those who become the targets of those who learn their lessons at the School of the Americas.”

Bourgeois was deported from Bolivia in 1977 when he spoke out against the human rights abuses of Gen. Hugo Banzer, a right-wing dictator who rose to power through a US-backed coup that toppled a leftist government. History repeats itself today as Banzer’s ideological heirs drive another socialist leader from power through time-tested destabilization tactics.

In the recently leaked audio recordings, coup plotters discuss plans to set ablaze government buildings, get pro-business unions in the country to carry out strikes, as well as other tactics – all straight out of the CIA playbook.

Also alluded to in the leaked audio is that the coup attempt would be supported by various evangelical groups as well as by Colombian President Iván Duque, ex-Colombian President Álvaro Uribe, and most notably Brazil’s neo-fascist President Jair Bolsonaro.

The plotters also mention the strong support of ultra-right U.S. senators Ted Cruz, Bob Menéndez, and Marco Rubio, who is said to have the ear of President Donald Trump when it comes to U.S. foreign policy in the Western Hemisphere.

Military and Police Attachées in DC: A breeding ground for U.S. intelligence networking

As tensions built over recent weeks, it was the commanding general of the Bolivian Police, Vladimir Yuri Calderón Mariscal, who broke the stalemate by leading large parts of the police force to revolt on November 9th, just a day prior to the resignation of Morales.

Then-Col. Vladimir Yuri Calderón Mariscal (third on the left) with other APALA officials in 2018.

In 2018 Calderón Mariscal served as President of Police Attachés of Latin America in the United States of America (APALA), which is based in Washington, DC.

APALA has been described as a “multidimensional security” program that works to build relations and connections between U.S. authorities and police officials from many of the Organization of American States members.

At APALA’s founding in 2012, then-OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza (center in photo below) met with the group’s leadership.

Today APALA hosts police attachés from 10 countries: Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Panama, Peru, Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

According to its Facebook page, the group “was created, with the objective of generating, promoting, and strengthening ties of solidarity, friendship, cooperation and support between the members of the group and their families through social, cultural activities, which allow to generate integral development.”

It claims to be facilitating the “integration and exchange of the police institutions that comprise it, in addition to promoting the exchange of successful experiences developed by the different police forces of Latin America.”

Photo of Calderón Mariscal (center-right) at the FBI training academy that is 36 miles outside of Washington, DC

A mysterious organization, APALA has shut down its website ApalaUSA.com and does not answer phone calls. It functions in some capacity as an arm of U.S. federal agencies as its social media platform and now defunct website showcase numerous meetings and photos of APALA officials and participants alongside FBI, DEA, ICE, and other U.S. officials.

As Philip Agee explained in his book Inside the Company, the CIA often uses other U.S. government agencies such as the FBI and USAID, as well as various front-organizations, to carry out its clandestine activities without leaving fingerprints.

Below: APALA participants at the FBI headquarters in Washington DC

One of APALA’s key local members is Alex Zunca, a police officer in Baltimore who is the director of international affairs for the Hispanic National Law Enforcement Association, which is based in Washington, DC.

APALA’s street address listed on its now defunct website is the same address as the embassy of Mexico in Washington, DC. The group was apparently run out of the Mexican Embassy, at least between 2017 and 2018 when its website was active during the administration of the US friendly former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Interestingly, a colleague of Calderón Mariscal’s and also a former President of APALA is an associate minister of the Federal Police of Mexico named Nicolás González Perrin.

Below, he can be seen seated beside a Mexican national flag and an FBI hat.

In a 2017 interview with the Washington Hispanic, a DC-based Spanish language newspaper, González Perrin declared

“that APALA holds meetings, permanently, with the most significant federal agencies in the United States, ‘from INTERPOL to DEA, ICE and the FBI, who work with us, based on mutual needs.’”

Another important APALA participant is Hector Ivan Mejia Velasquez, the former General Commissioner of Honduras’s National Police, who has led brutal operations against protesters in his own country, and regularly posts anti-leftist screeds on social media.

Calls to APALA’s public contact, whose name appears to be Alvaro Andrade, went unanswered. My calls to his number, which is listed as being located in Rockville, Maryland, went straight to a voicemail stating that it was restricted. The webmaster of APALA’s former website is Mario Ruiz Madrigal, a system’s engineer in Mexico.

APALA, whose Facebook page Andrade appears to operate, has worked with other Bolivian police officials as well, such as Bolivian police attaché Heroldina Henao.

The other key official that helped to bring about the November 10th coup is General Williams Kaliman (image below), the current head of Bolivia’s military. He served as a military attaché for his country’s embassy in Washington, D.C. in 2013. A decade prior, he had taken part in training at the SOA.  Little is known about his time in the United States.

At different times both Kaliman and Calderón Mariscal appear to have either been loyal to or feigned loyalty to the constitutional government, but ultimately split from it or were convinced over time to carry out a military putsch.

For his part, deposed President Morales has claimed that a member of his own security team was offered $50,000 to betray him.

The November 10 coup d’état did not materialize out of thin air. Events that have transpired inside Bolivia are intimately connected to U.S. efforts to influence military and police forces abroad through programs like SOA and APALA.

While U.S. President Donald Trump cheers on a “a significant moment for democracy in the Western Hemisphere,” Bolivians are suddenly under the control of a de facto military regime.

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Jeb Sprague is a Research Associate at the University of California, Riverside and previously taught at UVA and UCSB. He is the author of “Globalizing the Caribbean: Political economy, social change, and the transnational capitalist class” (Temple University Press, 2019), “Paramilitarism and the assault on democracy in Haiti” (Monthly Review Press, 2012), and is the editor of “Globalization and transnational capitalism in Asia and Oceania”(Routledge, 2016). He is a co-founder of the Network for the Critical Studies of Global Capitalism. Visit his blog at: http://jebsprague.blogspot.com

All images in this article are from The Grayzone unless otherwise stated

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“Crime Against Democracy”: U.S. Backed Fascist Coup in Bolivia

November 15th, 2019 by Timothy Alexander Guzman

Bolivia’s legitimate President, Evo Morales now in exile in Mexico said that the “The OAS is in the service of the North American empire” and that he “could not understand” how his military leaders betrayed Bolivia. “That confirms that my great crime is to be indigenous. It’s a class problem” rt.com reported.

Regardless, Morales still has the support of the majority of the Bolivian people. Morales’ made history as Bolivia’s first indigenous president who was a poor farmer and without a college education.

“The exiled president said that after freeing itself from the International Monetary Fund, the Bolivian economy was doing better” the report said.

Historically speaking, many Bolivian presidents before Morales were aligned with Washington’s interests and were oppressive against the poor and indigenous peoples. They had murdered workers who were on strike and they even sold off Bolivia’s mineral wealth to U.S. and European corporations. The Bolivian people remained poor for decades under right-wing dictatorships who joined forces with the U.S. and even militarized coca producing regions where Morales experienced firsthand tyranny according to an Al Jazeera story from 2014 on Evo Morales’s rise to power titled ‘Bolivia: Has Evo Morales Proven His Critics Wrong? “One event vividly stuck out for Morales after moving to the coca-growing region: In Chipiriri, a cocalero (coca farmer) was killed by the military for refusing to plead guilty to trafficking drugs.

“Without any contemplation, [the military] covered his body in gasoline and, in front of many people, burned him alive” Morales said.

However, the story also mentioned Morales’s success

“The GDP has steadily grown from 2009 to 2013, and the UN reports that Bolivia has the highest rate of poverty reduction in Latin America, with a 32.2 percent drop from 2000 to 2012. Employment rates and wages have also gone up, with a notable 20 percent minimum wage raise last year.” Morales’s economic plan turned out to be successful as stated by Al Jazeera “Morales approach of putting various industries under state control, from mines to telecommunications companies, has generated enormous funds for the government, which it is using for infrastructure – only 10 percent of the country’s roads are paved – and social programmes to lift children, mothers and the elderly out of poverty. Thanks to a successful literacy programme, UNESCO has declared the country free of illiteracy.”

When Morales was declared the winner in the October 20th elections, violent right-wing protests soon followed. The leaders of the opposition led by mostly fascist elements of Bolivian society including Luis Fernando Camacho who Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton of The Grayzone described him as “a powerful multi-millionaire named in the Panama Papers, and an ultra-conservative Christian fundamentalist groomed by a fascist paramilitary notorious for its racist violence, with a base in Bolivia’s wealthy separatist region of Santa Cruz.”

No surprise that Camacho has the support of the right-wing governments of Colombia and Brazil along with the Venezuelan opposition leaders who are still trying to overthrow Nicolas Maduro after their recent failures to do so. The violent protests that has erupted against the Morales government has led to extreme violence resulting in deaths, beatings of politicians which forced the resignation of Morales and his vice president García Lineran and others in his administration on the advice of army officials and police chiefs who were bought and paid for by Washington.

The Morales government called it a coup by U.S. backed opposition forces. Morales did propose dialogue with the opposition parties, but was flatly rejected. It was reported that Morales even accepted Washington’s lackey, the ‘Organization of American States’(OAS) advice to set up new elections, but was ignored.

The violent protests were directed at leaders of the Movement To Socialism (MAS) which is Morales’s political party and journalists who were beaten by right-wing mobs.

The BBC reported that the mayor of a small town in Bolivia was dragged from her home and then they covered her in red paint and cut her hair.

“Patricia Arce of the governing Mas party was handed over to police in Vinto after several hours. It is the latest in a series of violent clashes between government supporters and opponents in the wake of controversial presidential elections” the report said. In wake of the chaos, Evo Morales and others in his administration decided to resign to end further bloodshed. On Friday Morales said that “I would like to tell you, brothers and sisters, as well as entire Bolivia and the whole world. I will not give up (the presidency). We have been elected by the people, and we respect the constitution.”

Trump Claims That Latin America Is On Its Way to Democracy, Prosperity and Freedom 

On Monday, President Trump praised the coup as a “significant moment for democracy.” Trump said that

“after nearly 14 years and his recent attempt to override the Bolivian constitution and the will of the people, Morales’s departure preserves democracy and paves the way for the Bolivian people to have their voices heard.”

Trump also threatened Venezuela and Nicaragua because it will “send a strong signal to the illegitimate regimes in Venezuela and Nicaragua that democracy and the will of the people will always prevail. We are now one step closer to a completely democratic, prosperous, and free Western Hemisphere.” Washington supports its current right-wing puppets in Ecuador with Lenin Moreno and Chile’s own billionaire President, Sebastián Piñera. Perhaps, Trump should ask the Ecuadorian and Chilean people about democracy and economic prosperity under those two fascist governments. Do you remember what Trump said when he was a presidential candidate and then, president-elect in December 2016? He said that

“We will stop racing to topple foreign regimes that we know nothing about, that we shouldn’t be involved with.”

Trump’s attitude was obviously going to change given the fact that the Pentagon and Washington’s deep state insiders are in charge of Trump’s foreign policy. Recently, The Trump regime tried to topple Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, but failed. Now Trump is on board with the deep state and the right-wing opposition in Latin America to re-establish U.S. dominance by carrying out the same strategy of regime change in Venezuela, Nicaragua and others despite the rising pink tide with Lula Da Silva of Brazil who was just released from prison. Lula was sent to prison after a July 2017 conviction for allegedly accepting $1.2 million bribe from a Brazilian construction company called OAS for helping them obtain lucrative government contracts. Lula Da Silva has always denied the false allegations. However, Washington’s influence along the wealthy right-wing oligarchs played a role in Lula’s imprisonment. One of Lula’s attorneys at the time, Valeska Texeira Zanin Martin said that

“This politically motivated judgement attacks Brazil’s rule of law, democracy and Lula’s basic human rights. It is of immense concern to the Brazilian people and to the international community.”

Lula along with leaders from Argentina, Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela have condemned the coup in support of Morales.

Why Washington Wanted Evo Morales Out of Power

Morales was targeted for a number of reasons. Back in 2013, Morales kicked out one of Washington’s main tool for regime change operations ‘USAID’. on May 1st, 2013 Reuters’ reported that

“Morales said he was kicking out the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) as a “protest” after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry recently referred to Latin America as Washington’s “backyard.” Morales had said that “today we’re only going to nationalize … the dignity of the Bolivian people,” Morales said. “USAID is leaving Bolivia.”

That was a blow to Washington’s agenda in its “backyard.” However, the CIA influenced National Endowment for Democracy (NED) which it has funded Right-wing causes with millions of dollars of grants since Morales was elected.

Morales is also a critic of U.S. foreign policy in general no matter who is the President of the United States. Although Washington and its military-industrial complex including the CIA had planned to remove Morales from power before Trump was in office, however, Trump was criticized at the U.N. security meeting in 2018 when Morales said that

“I would like to say to you, frankly and openly here, that in no way is the United States interested in upholding democracy’’ and that the U.S. under the Trump regime “could not care less about human rights or justice.” Morales added that “If this were the case, it would have signed the international conventions and treaties that have protected human rights,” he said. “It would not have threatened the investigation mechanism of the International Criminal Court, nor would it promote the use of torture, nor would it have walked away from the Human Rights Council. And nor would it have separated migrant children from their families, nor put them in cages.’’

Sensitive Trump did not like that, his alter-ego was crushed at the U.N. security council meeting and that’s why he praised the coup.

As For Bolivia’s Natural Resources, The American Establishment Wants It All

It’s well known that Bolivia has the largest reserves of lithium in the world. As reported by Bloomberg News last year in ‘Bolivia’s Almost Impossible Lithium Dream’ based on Bolivia’s lithium reserves:

Demand for lithium is expected to more than double in 2025. The soft, light mineral is mined mainly in Austria, Chile and Argentina. Bolivia has plenty-9 million tons that have never been mined commercially, the second-largest amount in the world-but until now, there’s no practical way to mine and sell it

One major economic development for the Bolivian government is when they chose Xinjiang TBEA Group Co Ltd,  a Chinese consortium for its lithium production projects which is also a threat to U.S. economic interests and its waning dominance in Latin America. As reported by Reuters earlier this year “China’s Xinjiang TBEA Group Co Ltd will hold a 49 percent stake in a planned joint venture with Bolivia’s state lithium company YLB, the Bolivian firm said.” As for China and Bolivia working together to produce lithium in America’s Backyard? Both Democrats and the Republicans including the neocons who are in both parties in Washington will not tolerate such a joint venture especially when China is involved.  The report said that

“Bolivia estimates that development of the projects will cost at least $2.3 billion. The Chinese firm will provide initial investment and YLB will pay its share with future lithium production, YLB’s executive manager Juan Carlos Montenegro said by phone.” Morales was quoted as saying “Why China? he continued “There’s a guaranteed market in China for battery production,” Bolivian President Evo Morales said in broadcast comments at a signing ceremony in the highland city of Oruro. China, the biggest global consumer of lithium, will need 800,000 tonnes of the metal per year by 2025 to support its booming electric car industry, China’s Ambassador to Bolivia Liang Yu said at the same event, hailing the deal as “historic.” Lithium is a key component in batteries that will power the next generation of new electric cars.

From the time that Evo Morales was elected, Washington had plans to oust him especially when Morales joined forces with the late Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and other anti-US left-wing governments that were rising throughout Latin America. The Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that Morales had tweeted “It pains me to leave the country for political reasons, but I will always be watching. I will be back soon with more strength and energy.” With Lula coming back to politics and with Venezuela, Mexico, Nicaragua, Cuba and now Argentina with the President-elect Alberto Fernández who was the Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers during Néstor Kirchner’s presidency and for a short time for Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s presidency. It’s starting to look like the fight for Latin America to free itself from the claws of the American Empire, has just begun.

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The Coup in Bolivia: Five Lessons

November 15th, 2019 by Atilio A. Boron

The Bolivian tragedy teaches us various lessons that our people and the peoples social and political forces must learn from and record in our consciences forever. Here is a brief list, jotted down quickly, and as a prelude to a more detailed analysis in the future.

First: despite the exemplary economic administration of the Government of Evo which guaranteed growth, redistribution, flow of investments and improvements in the macro and micro economic indicators, the right-wing and imperialist forces will never accept a government that does not lend itself to the services of its interests.

Second: it is necessary to study the manuals published by diverse agencies of the US and it’s spokespersons disguised as academics and journalists in order to perceive, in time, the warning signs of the offensive.

These texts invariably highlight the necessity of destroying the reputation of the popular leader, what in specialized slang they call “character assassination”, classifying him as a thief, corrupt, dictator and ignorant.

This is the task entrusted to social communicators, self-proclaimed “independent journalists,” that in favor of their almost monopoly control of the media, hammer this defamation into the mind of the population, accompanied by, in the case we are dealing with, messages of hate directed against the Indigenous people and the poor in general.

Third: once the prior is completed, the time comes for the political leadership and the economic elite to demand “a change,” to put an end to “the dictatorship” of Evo that, as the disgraceful Vargas Llosa wrote a few days ago is “a demagogue that wants to eternalize his power”.

I bet he was toasting and drinking champagne in Madrid when he saw the images of the hoards of fascists looting, burning, chaining up journalists to a post, shaving the head of a female mayor and painting her red, and destroying the ballots of the last election, to carry out the mandate of Don Mario and to liberate Bolivia of an evil demagogue.

I mention him as an example because it is the immoral flag bearer of this vile attack, of this limitless felony that crucifies people’s leaders, destroys democracy and installs a reign of terror led by bands of hit men hired to punish a dignified people that had the audacity of wanting to be free.

Fourth: the “security forces” enter the scene. In this case we are talking about the institutions controlled by numerous agencies, military and civic, of the government of the United States.

They train them, arm them, do joint exercises and they educate them politically. I had the opportunity to witness this when, at the invitation of Evo, I inaugurated a course “Anti-imperialism” for officers of the three armed forces.

In this opportunity I was astonished by the degree of penetration of the most reactionary North American slogans inherited from the era of the Cold War and due to the undisguised irritation caused by the fact that an indigenous person would be president of the country.

What these “security forces” did was withdraw themselves from the scene and give free range for the uncontrolled actions of the fascist hoards -as they acted in Ukraine, in Libya, in Iraq, in Syria to overthrow, or try to do so in this last case, leaders that bother the empire- and as such intimidate the population, the militant sectors, and the figures of the government themselves.

So it’s a new socio-political concept: military coups “by omission”, allowing the reactionary groups, recruited and financed by the right, to impose their law. Once terror reigns and with the defenselessness of the government, the outcome was inevitable.

Fifth: The security and public order should never have been entrusted in Bolivia to institutions like the police and the army, colonized by imperialism and it’s lackeys of the local right-wing.

When the offensive was launched against Evo, he opted for a policy of appeasement and of not responding to the fascist provocations.

This served to embolden them and allow them to increase their bets: first, demand a second round run-off election; then, fraud and new elections; shortly after, elections but without Evo (like in Brazil without Lula).

Then, they demanded the resignation of Evo; finally, due to his reluctance to accept blackmail, they instilled terror with the complicity of police and military and to force Evo to resign. Straight from the manual, everything. Will we learn from these lessons?

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This article was first published in Spanish at Atilio Boron.com.ar.

Atilio Boron is an Argentine political scientist and sociologist. He has been a professor of political and social theory on the Social Sciences Faculty at the University of Buenos Aires since 1986. He is a senior researcher at CONICET (Argentina’s National Council for Scientific and Technical Research). He blogs at AtilioBoron.com.ar, and tweets at @atilioboron.

Featured image is from Peoples Dispatch

The founder of the White Helmets, James Le Mesurier, was found dead on November 11 in suspicious circumstances after falling off a two-story apartment building in downtown Istanbul. He was a former British army veteran and a private security contractor from 2008 to 2012 working for Good Harbor [1], run by Richard Clarke, the former Bush administration counter-terrorism czar.

Much like Erik Prince of the Blackwater fame, Le Mesurier’s work included training several thousand mercenaries for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) oil and gas field protection force, and designing security infrastructure for the police state of Abu Dhabi.

Although the police in Istanbul are treating the incident as suicide, it’s obvious that a person of his background and training would never attempt suicide by jumping off a two-story building. Because such a fall might have fractured a few bones but it was highly unlikely to cause death.

The assassination of James Le Mesurier should be viewed in the backdrop of the killing of the Islamic State’s chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on October 27 in a US special-ops raid. It’s important to note in the news coverage of the killing of al-Baghdadi that although the mainstream media has been trumpeting for the last several years that the Islamic State’s fugitive leader was hiding somewhere on the Iraq-Syria border in the east, he was found hiding in the northwestern Idlib governorate, under the control of Turkey’s militant proxies and al-Nusra Front, and was killed while trying to flee to Turkey in Barisha village five kilometers from the border.

The reason why the mainstream media scrupulously avoided mentioning Idlib as al-Baghdadi’s most likely hideout in Syria was to cover up the collusion between the militant proxies of Turkey and the jihadists of al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State. Unsurprisingly, the White Helmets area of operations is also Idlib governorate in Syria where they are allowed to conduct purported “rescue operations” and “humanitarian work” under the tutelage of al-Nusra Front.

In fact, the corporate media takes the issue of Islamic jihadists “commingling” with Turkey-backed “moderate rebels” in Idlib so seriously – which could give the Syrian government the pretext to mount an offensive in northwest Syria – that the New York Times cooked up an exclusive report [2] a couple of days after the special-ops night raid, on October 30, that the Islamic State paid money to al-Nusra Front for hosting al-Baghdadi in Idlib.

The morning after the night raid, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported [3] on Sunday, October 27, that a squadron of eight helicopters accompanied by warplanes belonging to the international coalition had attacked positions of Hurras al-Din, an al-Qaeda-affiliated group, in Idlib province where the Islamic State chief was believed to be hiding.

Despite detailing the operational minutiae of the special-ops raid, the mainstream news coverage of the raid deliberately elided over the crucial piece of information that the compound in Barisha village five kilometers from Turkish border where al-Baghdadi was killed belonged to Hurras al-Din, an elusive terrorist outfit which has previously been targeted several times in the US airstrikes.

Although Hurras al-Din is generally assumed to be an al-Qaeda affiliate, it is in fact the regrouping of the Islamic State jihadists under a different name in northwestern Idlib governorate after the latter terrorist organization was routed from Mosul and Anbar in Iraq and Raqqa and Deir al-Zor in Syria and was hard pressed by the US-led coalition’s airstrikes in eastern Syria.

According to “official version” [4] of Washington’s story regarding the killing of al-Baghdadi, the choppers took off from an American airbase in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, flew hundreds of miles over the enemy territory in the airspace controlled by the Syrian and Russian air forces, killed the self-proclaimed “caliph” of the Islamic State in a Hollywood-style special-ops raid, and took the same route back to Erbil along with the dead body of the “caliph” and his belongings.

Although Washington has conducted several airstrikes in Syria’s Idlib in the past, those were carried out by fixed-wing aircraft that fly at high altitudes, and the aircraft took off from American airbases in Turkey, which is just across the border from Syria’s northwestern Idlib province. Why would Washington take the risk of flying its troops at low altitudes in helicopters over the hostile territory controlled by myriads of Syria’s heavily armed militant outfits?

In fact, several Turkish journalists, including Rajip Soylu, the Turkey correspondent for the Middle East Eye, tweeted [5] on the night of the special-ops raid that the choppers took off from the American airbase in Turkey’s Incirlik.

As for al-Baghdadi, who was “hiding” with the blessing of Turkey, it now appears that he was the bargaining chip in the negotiations between Trump and Erdogan, and the quid for the US president’s agreeing to pull out of Syria was the pro quo that Erdogan would hand Baghdadi to him on a silver platter.

It’s worth noting that although Idlib governorate in Syria’s northwest has firmly been under the control of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) led by al-Nusra Front since 2015, its territory was equally divided between Turkey-backed rebels and al-Nusra Front.

In a brazen offensive in January, however, al-Nusra Front’s jihadists completely routed Turkey-backed militants, even though the latter were supported by a professionally trained and highly organized military of a NATO member, Turkey. And al-Nusra Front now reportedly controls more than 70% territory in the Idlib governorate.

The reason why al-Nusra Front has been easily able to defeat Turkey-backed militants appears to be that the ranks of al-Nusra Front have now been swelled by highly motivated and battle-hardened jihadist deserters from the Islamic State after the fall of the latter’s “caliphate” in Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria.

In all likelihood, some of the Islamic State’s jihadists who joined the battle in Idlib in January were part of the same contingent of thousands of Islamic State militants that fled Raqqa in October 2017 under a deal brokered [6] by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

The merger of al-Nusra Front and Islamic State in Idlib doesn’t come as a surprise, though, since the Islamic State and al-Nusra Front used to be a single organization before a split occurred between the two militant groups in April 2013 over a leadership dispute. In fact, al-Nusra Front’s chief Abu Mohammad al-Jolani was reportedly appointed [7] the emir of al-Nusra Front by Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the leader of Islamic State, in January 2012.

Finally, regarding the assassination of the founder of the White Helmets, James Le Mesurier, in downtown Istanbul, it’s worth pointing out that Turkey has been hosting 3.6 million Syrian refugees and myriad factions of Ankara-backed militant proxies. It’s quite easy for the jihadists of al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State to intermingle with Syrian refugees and militants in the Turkish refugee camps.

Evidently, one of the members of the White Helmets operating in al-Nusra’s territory in Syria’s Idlib betrayed his patrons for the sake of getting a reward, and conveyed crucial piece of information to Le Mesurier who then transmitted it to the British and American intelligence leading to the October 27 special-ops raid killing al-Baghdadi. In all likelihood, the assassination of the founder of the White Helmets was the Islamic State’s revenge for betraying its slain chief.

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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

[2] ISIS Leader Paid Rival for Protection but Was Betrayed by His Own

[3] Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi killed in US raid

[4] Official story of the night raid killing al-Baghdadi

[5] Trump Confirms ISIS Leader Al-Baghdadi Killed In US Raid

[6] Raqqa’s dirty secret: the deal that let Islamic State jihadists escape Raqqa

[7] Al-Jolani was appointed as the emir of al-Nusra Front by al-Baghdadi

Featured image: FILE – In this image taken from file video, showing James Le Mesurier, founder and director of Mayday Rescue, talks to the media during training exercises in southern Turkey, March 19, 2015.  Turkey’s state-run news agency report Monday Nov. 11, 2019, that a former British army officer who helped found the “White Helmets” volunteer organisation in Syria, has been found dead in Istanbul. (AP Photo, FILE)

South Korea has historically paid an unusually large percentage of the cost of keeping US forces there, and under pressure from President Trump, agreed earlier this year to a substantial increase, with South Korea agreeing to pay $924 million annually.

Since then, Trump had suggested a few times that he wanted more, and that South Korea could easily afford it. His new demand, however, shocked everyone on both sides as he is demanding over five times what South Korea is paying, $4.7 billion annually.

This is raising a lot of questions in South Korea about the viability of keeping the US around, but the bigger task is for US officials, who are trying to somehow justify a $4.7 billion price tag that seemingly came out of nowhere.

South Korea, after all, was paying a lot of the cost of US forces already, then agreed to pay more. It is going to take massive amounts of creative math to even argue that the US presence costs what Trump is now demanding. Early indications are that officials will try to argue that South Korea’s relative economic prosperity is because of the US presence and that the US deserves to take a cut.

But some officials are also worrying that this isn’t an isolated matter, and that what Trump is doing now in South Korea could be a bellwether for upcoming demands in Germany and Japan, other nations Trump has long been keen to get more money out of.

Though Trump seems to believe these nations have no choice but to pay up, they may ultimately decide the US troop presence simply isn’t affordable, and that other arrangements make more sense.

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Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

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In Bolivia, the American Empire Strikes Back

November 15th, 2019 by Danny Haiphong

Evo Morales’ fourth term was over before it began. After winning the latest presidential election by over 600,000 votes, a flurry of violence on the part of the U.S.-backed opposition in Bolivia pressured Evo to step down. Evo’s home was vandalized and several party members of the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) threatened with violence. The coup in Bolivia, which was solidified by recommendation from the military, is the latest of dozens of military coups spearheaded by the United States over the last century and a half. U.S. imperialism has viewed Latin America as its backyard since 1823 when it declared the “right to protect” the region in the Monroe Doctrine. It was at this time that the American Empire replaced the Spanish Empire as the foreign power responsible for keeping Latin America in a state of oppression, dependency, and poverty.

After over a century of U.S. imperial aggression, Evo Morales arose as one of the most revolutionary leaders of the movement for socialism in the 21st century in Latin America—a movement that gained significant traction after the election of former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez in 1998. MAS has been in power since 2006. The MAS has acted as a vehicle for workers and peasants to assert their dignity and self-determination. Trade union, indigenous, and women’s organizations have all played a major role in the implementation of social policy under Evo’s leadership. Economic growth in Bolivia has increased by an average of five percent per year, with many of the gains distributed to the indigenous populations formally dispossessed by centuries of colonial and neocolonial rule. Extreme poverty has been cut in half over the same period.

U.S. imperialism sought to dispose of Evo Morales and his indigenous-led movement even before it came to power. A FOIA request found that in 2002, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) had earmarked 97 million dollars to assist “regional autonomy” projects and right-wing opposition political parties in Bolivia. These funds helped develop a U.S.-aligned political infrastructure in Bolivia responsible for the coup. The USAID has acted as the political arm of the IMF, World Bank, CIA, and the Bolivian elites who do their bidding. One of the “protest leaders” of the right-wing opposition, Luis Fernando Camacho, is the son of the founder of Sergas, a gas corporation which owes over two million USD to the Bolivian state for tax evasion and fraud. Under U.S. leadership, petty capitalists such as the Camacho family have used NGOs funded by USAID to overthrow Evo and his nationalization decree that placed petroleum, electricity, telecommunications, and mining sectors under the direction of the state.

The coup being waged by the right-wing opposition has been labeled a “protest movement” by the U.S. corporate media. Coup plotters such as oligarch and former Bolivian President Carlos Mesa have alleged that their protests have come in response to election fraud. According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, no evidence of irregularities or fraudulent activities were found in the election results. The baseless claim was used by the imperialist corporate media to provide cover for the violent military coup. MAS politicians have been forced to flee their homes, government buildings have been burned, and the Bolivian economy has been ground to a halt. The oligarchy in Bolivia is out for blood and it has the police and military on its side.

This is not the first time that the American Empire has waged a violent coup in Bolivia. The CIA provided military and technical support to right-wing military dictator René Barrientos. Barrientos took power by way of military coup in 1964. His brutal suppression of the peasant uprising to his rule led to the assassination of Che Guevara. In 1971, the U.S. backed right-wing general Hugo Bánzer Suárez with the help of the U.S. Air Force. Hundreds of leftists and political activists would be murdered by his regime.

The coup of Evo Morales comes as the left in Latin America was making a resurgence amid countless attempts by the American empire to destroy their social democratic project. In late October, Argentina elected Alberto Fernandez and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner as president and vice president, effectively ending the right-wing and neoliberal rule of Mauricio Macri. Tens of thousands took to the streets in Ecuador and forced Lenin Moreno to back away from an IMF deal which would have imposed harsh austerity measures on workers, students, and peasants. Lula Da Silva was released from prison to begin November. Lula’s freedom represented a concrete victory for a Brazilian left currently facing enormous challenges under the rule of former officer of the fascist military dictatorship, Jair Bolsonaro.

The American Empire has struck back against the left in Latin America with a devastating blow in Bolivia. There are many lessons to learn from the U.S.-backed coup. For one, too few in the belly of the U.S. empire are prepared to come to the defense of the peoples’ struggle in Latin America or anywhere else. The corporate media has placed a national blinder on the host of coups staged by the American empire in the last ten years alone, whether we are talking about the Clinton-Obama coup in Honduras in 2009 or the ouster of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in 2016.  Awash in white supremacist ideology and confined to the most unrestrained form of capitalism on the planet, workers and poor people in the U.S. have few avenues from which to express concrete solidarity with the Bolivian masses.

Another lesson of the U.S.-backed coup in Bolivia is that the so-called “end of history” proclaimed by the American empire after the fall of the Soviet Union was a complete and utter lie. The American empire is “capitalist to the bones” and its rulers believed the world would remain under its thumb indefinitely. Evo Morales and the rest of the socialist left in Latin America, while unable to completely expropriate the property and power of the oligarchs, were able to lead a mass movement toward the dignity and self-determination of the oppressed. This path required that the seeds of socialism were sewn into the fabric of governance throughout Latin America. Whether it’s called “Chavismo,” “21st century socialism,” or the “pink tide,” this movement has empowered workers and peasants to unify across borders to alleviate poverty, underdevelopment, and imperial dependency.

Evo Morales was at the forefront of Latin America’s burgeoning internationalism. He was a huge supporter of Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA).  Furthermore, Evo challenged the American empire on the military front by advocating for the development of a continental military united in defending the sovereignty of Latin America. The so-called “end of history” was thus nothing more than an arrogant display of American imperial hubris that only clouded its true interests abroad. Socialism has remained the American empire’s public enemy number one even after the end of the so-called Cold War. The American Empire does not respect democracy or elections, just the profits of the few. Evo’s Bolivia is paying the price for placing the needs of poor Bolivians ahead of the riches of the elite.

Perhaps the most important lesson from the coup in Bolivia is that the struggle for socialism and self-determination is far from over. The oligarchs seeking to wrestle control of Bolivia and the entire continent back from the workers and peasants will stop at nothing to lynch Evo Morales. A warrant is out for his arrest even though he has committed no crime. The oligarchs want to bring the working class back into a state of total misery. While the ouster of Evo Morales is indeed a significant defeat, the socialist movement in Latin America will no doubt fight back. The people of Bolivia will fight back. Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and other allied nations will do everything they can to support the MAS through a difficult transition. It is important that the left living in the belly of the American empire find a way to do the same.

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Danny Haiphong is the co-author of the book American Exceptionalism and American Innocence: A People’s History of Fake News-From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror.

Featured image is from RT/Youtube

¡Chile despertó!
¡Piñera, renuncia!
¡Piñera ya fue!
¡Que se vayan los milicos! 

Chile Has Woken Up!
Piñera Resign!
Piñera Has Gone!
Let the “Milicos” leave! (“Milicos” is a derogatory word for police and military personnel)

These are some the powerful chants that have echoed throughout the streets of cities small and large in Chile during mass protests that began in October 2019. Poor, working and oppressed people and students have united to demand dignity and human rights – in one word, an end to neo-liberalism in Chile.

This movement began following the October 6 announcement by the government of Chile that there would be a 30-peso transit system fare hike. This increase, which amounts to about $0.04 USD, was enough added pressure to an already tight household budget for many Chileans to bring millions of people out into the streets.

“It’s not about the 30 pesos. It’s about 30 years” 

For the first two weeks, protests were organized by high school students who called on people to refuse to pay transit fares. By October 18 the President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera had not responded to the students’ demands – and instead declared a State of Emergency and deployed the military and riot police to attack the students.

Despite the extreme repression and curfew, people in Chile continued to demonstrate. Then, on October 21, President Piñera, extended the State of Emergency, declaring,

“We are at war against a powerful enemy, who is willing to use violence without any limits.”

With these words, Piñera displayed outright contempt for the people of Chile, and his true colours as an ally of the U.S. and staunch supporter of neo-liberalism in Chile at the same time. By then, protests which had largely been contained to the capital city of Santiago, spread to other cities. At least 10,500 police and soldiers had been deployed by October 21 (BBC).

Protests against the government and neoliberalism have continued to grow and spread throughout the country and into the most oppressed sectors of society. The Indigenous Mapuche people of Chile, who make up about 10% of the population, have also organized and led protests demanding their self-determination and land rights.

Despite the severe repression, on October 25, 2019, 1.2 million people marched in Santiago, representing diverse sectors of Chilean society including social movements, Indigenous people, women, retired people, unions, students and more. The protests have continued since then, and the repression and cruelty of the Piñera government and his military and police goons has reached a severity not seen in Chile since the bloody Pinochet dictatorship ended over 30 years ago.

As reported by the National Institute of Human Rights (Instituto Nacional de Derechos Humanos – INDH), a nongovernmental organization in Chile, at least 177 people have faced severe eye injuries or lost their vision after being deliberately hit in the face by tear-gas canisters and rubber bullets. The same organization has also investigated possible torture sites, and documented cases of un-uniformed police or military throwing people into car trunks and vans. As of October 30, 2019, at least 19 people have been killed and over 1,200 people have been wounded. INDH has also filed 18 cases of sexual violence, including rape, and 92 cases of torture, against police and soldiers.

Why are People in Chile Protesting?

So, how is it that in the face of so much violence, people in Chile have continued their mass protests? What started with a transit fare increase has led to a revolt against Chile’s neoliberal government and institutions – and even demands to change the constitution. As Alan Vicencio, a 25-year-old call-center worker told Time Magazine, “The whole constitution makes me angry, the constitution allowed the privatization of every aspect of our lives and it’s being doing it for more than 30 years.”

Often hailed as “business friendly” and the prime example of the “success” of a free market system, Chile is the most unequal of the 36 countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In 2017, the United Nations released a report “Unequal. Origins, changes and challenges in Chile’s social divide,” which explained how the richest 0.1% of the people in Chile control 19.5% of the wealth.

Privatization runs rampant in Chile through all sectors of life including water, roads, energy, healthcare and the pension system. Although some education is public, there is a great divide between the public and private school systems.

The minimum wage in Chile is not enough for a dignified life – especially as everything is privatized, making everyday life in Chile very expensive. For example, if someone in Chile made minimum wage the cost of transit to and from work would eat up 21% of their paycheque (NACLA.org).

Protestors in Chile are fighting for their dignity. They are fighting against inequality. They are fighting against police and military brutality. These are all symptoms of neoliberalism, which is the economic policy expression of the agenda of imperialism around the world.

One only must look towards to the United States’ relationship with the government of Chile to understand just how Chile has become such a good ally to the U.S. With regard to the violence against protestors, the White House stated that,

”The United States stands with Chile, an important ally, as it works to peacefully restore national order,” and “President Trump denounced foreign efforts to undermine Chilean institutions, democracy, or society.”

More broadly, as President Trump put it in a press conference a year ago,

“There are so many issues that we have to discuss because Chile and the United States are likeminded countries. We share the most important things, which are values — democracy, human rights, freedom. But Chile is really something special. If you look at what they’ve done, how far they’ve come. You look at how well run the country is.”

This is what is sounds like when a government in Latin America is following the orders of the U.S. government and their financial institutions.

Clearly, behind the repression in Chile is the support of the United States, but also the support of many of their imperialist allies, including the government of Canada. In fact, Prime Minister Trudeau had a phone call with Piñera in the midst of severe police and military repression and didn’t say one word to him – as reported by CTV News,

“A summary from the Prime Minister’s Office of Trudeau’s phone call with Pinera made no direct mention of the ongoing turmoil in Chile, a thriving country with which Canada has negotiated a free trade agreement.”

This is no surprise given that, as reported by the government of Canada, 14% of Canada’s mining assets are in Chile including copper, gold and silver mines. This includes Barrick Gold, which had to shut down a $429 million gold mine earlier this year due to severe human rights and environmental violations.

Both the governments of the U.S. and Canada also want to hold up the repressive Piñera government because having a neo-liberal “success story” and a staunch ally in Chile serves them well in their drive to re-establish imperialist hegemony in Latin America. Having a U.S.-supported government in Chile puts imperialists in a better position for their continued attacks against the sovereign and independent countries of Cuba and Venezuela.

Chile – Target of Imperialist Aggression and Exploitation 

The modern history of Chile is a history of colonization, imperialist domination and exploitation. Although Chile won independence from Spain in 1818, it wasn’t until 150 years later that the people of Chile had the opportunity to be truly independent from colonial and imperialist rule. In 1970, the people of Chile chose to reverse their history of colonization and exploitation, and elected Salvador Allende, who had a progressive and popular agenda to improve the life and oppose imperialist exploitation of Chile.

However, only three years after his election, in 1973, the United States and their imperialist allies orchestrated a bloody coup d’état, murdering Allende and installing a bloody military dictatorship. In just the first 5 years of his brutal rule, the U.S-backed dictatorship of General Agosto Pinochet imprisoned and tortured at least 30,000 people and disappeared 3,000 people. A constitution written under the dictatorship, which is the same one that enshrines privatization, is still in place in Chile today.

Reviewing the modern history of Chile also helps to explain the continued determination of the people of Chile to continuing protesting in mass in the streets until their demands are met. Despite some concessions that Piñera has been forced to give, such as the increases to monthly pensions or the minimum wage, a cabinet shuffle, or agreeing not to raise the transit fare, people are not leaving the streets.

As, Vilma Alvarez, a leader of the Jumbo Union (Jumbo is a chain of grocery stores in Chile) explained in an interview with the Argentinian news agency Pagina 12, the concessions that Pinera has offered to the protesters are not enough. They are, “another way to continue transferring money to the financial sectors and not giving any relief to the population,” and “The demand is for Piñera to resign and for a Constituent Assembly to be held.” The people of Chile have had enough.

Building Solidarity with the People of Chile 

Why should working and oppressed people in Canada support the struggle of people in Chile? For one, the people of Chile are facing a criminal and violent repression of their basic human rights. They are being arrested, tortured, raped and killed because they have taken to the streets in the millions to oppose inequality and austerity and to struggle for their basic dignity.

As Isabel Sanchez stated to Aljazeera news on October 26,

“We are of the generation that began our lives in the dictatorship, and we had no youth. We lost friends; we saw people slaughtered. We lived with fear, but now the young people have blossomed, they have lost that fear.”

It is time also for us, as poor, working and oppressed people in Canada and the United States to recognize the courage and struggle of the people of Chile, stand with them, and echo their voices.

Also, as people living in the United States and Canada, we have the added responsibility to stand in solidarity with the people of Chile because the governments of Canada and the U.S. are supporting the brutality and repression of the Piñera government.

Chile Diaspora Supports the Struggle

In the U.S. and Canada, members of the Chilean community and their allies have also taken to the streets to call for human rights for people in Chile and denounce the indiscriminate violence waged against protestors by the Piñera government. There have been solidarity protests organized in major cities across the United States, and in Canada, including in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Vancouver and Victoria. These solidarity actions have not only brought together people from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, but also many generations of Chileans – from those that fled during the Pinochet dictatorship, to young people from Chile who are in the Canada and the U.S. to study.

In Vancouver, the Chilean diaspora has come together with others living in Canada in a new group named Van4Chile. Van4Chile has organized protests and public demonstrations in solidarity with the people of Chile, including an energetic protest in front of the CBC in downtown Vancouver on November 2, 2019. At this action, more than 200 people, from all walks of life, came together to demand that the CBC cover the protests in Chile. They also called out the government of Canada’s complicity in the repression of people’s human and democratic rights in Chile. To get involved and follow the work of Van4Chile find them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @Van4Chile.

Don’t Boycott Chile

It is also important to say that within the movement in solidarity with the people of Chile, there has been calls for a boycott against Chilean wine or other products produced in Chile. While this call for boycott may have been made with good intentions, the most important action that we, as peace-loving people in Canada and the U.S. can take for the courageous people of Chile is not to boycott them, but to support them. Perhaps, we must think more critically about what boycotting Chilean wine will do for people in Chile.

Today in Chile the working class and oppressed people are under brutal attack, economically, politically and socially, by the Sebastian Piñera government and imperialist exploitation. So, it is possible that a boycott that targets Chile’s economy has the potential to damage their movement and to reinforce the austerity which they are already living under. Any damage to the economy of Chile will surely be passed on from Chile’s richest families and capitalist class (they have billion dollars to survive) to poor and working people in Chile, increasing the austerity, pressure and inequality that they face. And Chile is not only a wine producer! Do we want also to boycott the mining, metal, mineral companies whose products amount to 60%, or $40 billion, of all of Chile’s exports, making up 20 percent of Chile’s GDP? The wine industry exports only $2 billion of the $70-77 billion of total exports from Chile.

That being said, do we really want the wine industry in Chile go bankrupt? Who is benefiting from that? Working people? Of course not. Do we want workers and people who work in wine industry to lose their jobs, or do we want to help the capitalist class to find excuses to lay-off workers and impose downsizing and overtime? Aren’t these the very policies of neoliberalism that Chilean people, and we, are opposing? Isn’t this shooting ourselves in the foot?

Furthermore, it is also important to consider the alternative – if people around the world are asked to boycott Chilean wine because the government of Chile is reactionary – is drinking wine from the U.S., Canada, France, Spain, England, Australia, Italy, or Germany, who are responsible for the slaughter of tens of millions of people around the world (including Chile’s coup September 11,1973), really any better? The difference is that Chile is an oppressed country, a third-world country. Chile is not an imperialist country with vast finances and industrial resources. Chile as a country struggles within the world market which is overwhelmingly dominated by imperialist countries and their corporations (including wine companies).

Applying any given tactic to any struggle could be very damaging to the struggle itself if it is not well thought out. In the history of the struggle for a better world, a boycott movement has never been the most effective way to build solidarity. The only effective boycott movement was one that was demanded by the people within the country being boycotted, and this was the successful boycott movement against apartheid South Africa.

If we can take all the energy that could go into a boycott, and instead use it to raise sympathy and solidarity with Chilean people in Canada and the U.S. through street actions, petitioning, educational events, and more, our impact will be much greater.

As poor, working and oppressed people in Canada/U.S., and around the world we must raise the question of human rights, torture, rape, execution, repression and yes, neoliberalism and austerity measures in Chile. We need to expose the atrocities of Piñera, and the complicity of governments like the U.S. and Canada in this brutality.

Sebastian Piñera must go!

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This article was originally published as Volume 13, Issue 11 of Fire This Time newspaper.

Alison Bodine is a social justice activist, author and researcher in Vancouver, Canada. She is the Chair of Vancouver’s antiwar coalition, Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO). Alison is also on the Editorial Board of the Fire This Time and is the author of “Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Venezuela” (Battle of Ideas Press, 2018). @alisoncolette

Syria’s Opposing Parties

November 15th, 2019 by Mark Taliano

A Canadian political commentator and author of “Voices from Syria” said if a new constitution is approved by the Syrian Constitutional Committee, the foreign-backed “unelected” opposition cannot guarantee to adhere to it.

“Unelected opposing parties cannot guarantee anything,” Mark Taliano said in an interview with Tasnim.

“Their (opposing parties’) masters are not Syrian,” he said, adding, “Ultimately they will have no say in substantive matters.”

The following is the full text of the interview.

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Tasnim: The United Nation’s envoy for Syria said recently that first talks in the Swiss city of Geneva on the country’s constitution involving Syrian opposition, government and civil society representatives have “gone much better” than many would have expected. Geir Pedersen said the two co-chairs of the constitutional committee from President Bashar al-Assad’s government and the leading opposition have agreed to meet again on November 25, and that delegations would in coming weeks “hopefully come up with a work plan”. Representatives of both sides met to discuss a future constitution, part of plans for a political settlement to end eight and a half years of war. Expectations for the talks have been low, with Damascus and its allies having made gains on the battlefield that left them few reasons to grant concessions. What do you think about the developments? How possible is it for the Constitutional Committee to reach an agreement given the deep differences and lack of trust between its members?

Taliano: “Opposition” members may become more pliant as time passes and Syrian victories become more entrenched. “Opposition” members will likely be given an opportunity to “save face”. In substantive matters, the Syrian state will remain ascendant as the spectacle continues.

Tasnim: The Syrian Constitutional Committee was established with the aim of paving the way for a political settlement in Syria. If a new constitution is approved by the committee, how practical will it be?  How can the opposing parties guarantee to adhere to the new constitution?

Taliano: Unelected opposing parties cannot guarantee anything. Their masters are not Syrian. Ultimately they will have no say in substantive matters.

Tasnim: Given Turkey’s military operation against Kurds in northern Syria and the presence of Ankara-backed extremist groups in the area, what do you think about the negative impacts of foreign intervention on the political settlement of the Syrian crisis?

Taliano: Turkey and its NATO (terrorists) will be reined in, but on-going imperial war crimes and occupations will slow negotiations and continue to be enemies to Peace. Terrorism will be a challenge for as long as Empire illegally occupies Syrian territory.  The head of the Opposition’s “Syrian Negotiation Commission (SNC)”, Nasr al-Hariri, will find that on-going terrorism will hinder rather than advance his foreign-influenced agenda.

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Mark Taliano is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) and the author of Voices from Syria, Global Research Publishers, 2017. Visit the author’s website at https://www.marktaliano.net where this article was originally published.


Order Mark Taliano’s Book “Voices from Syria” directly from Global Research.

Mark Taliano combines years of research with on-the-ground observations to present an informed and well-documented analysis that refutes  the mainstream media narratives on Syria. 

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Author: Mark Taliano

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As the military coup continues to entrench itself in Bolivia, the first goal of the perpetrators is to appear to be following the constitutional process. But the façade is not enough to hide the real disaster of yet another self-proclaimed president in Latin America. When you thought that the Juan Guaido experiment in Venezuela was a total failure in every respect, Bolivia repeats the same pathetic tragedy.

The main character is Jeanine Añez, the second vice-president of the Bolivian Senate who proclaimed herself to be the “president” of Bolivia supposedly according to the constitution. She declared, “I immediately take the presidency of the State.” She is a senator for the rightwing party Democratic Unity and has been an adamant opponent of Evo Morales who was forced into exile in Mexico by the Bolivian armed forces top brass, who now have enthusiastically recognised the new “president”.

A couple of farcical moments maybe first, when Añez stood in the middle of an almost empty Senate hall. At least Juan Guaido had a small crowd when he self-proclaimed in January 23. The second moment may have been when she walked into the presidential palace barely able to carry up high an oversized bible and declaring,

“The bible returns to the [presidential] palace”. Later she added, “our power is God, the power is God.”

Her religiosity is apparently very prominent.

But more seriously, what makes this a tragedy is that she appointed herself  “president” in an almost empty Senate because the majority of senators are members of the government party, Movimiento Al Socialismo (MAS), and they were not present. Consequently there was no required quorum for the “vote” to take place. Prior to that, she quickly had to appoint herself president of the Senate because the MAS president and first vice-president were not present. So she skipped quite a few steps of the hierarchy breaking the constitution in order to appear to be entitled to the presidency…according to the constitution.

Evo Morales from Mexico twitted:

“This self-proclamation is against articles 161, 169 and 410 of the State Political Constitution [Constitución Política del Estado– CPE] that determine the approval or rejection of a presidential resignation, the constitutional succession from the Senate or Deputy [Assembly] presidents and the higher authority of the CPE. Bolivia suffers an assault to the power of the people.”

In fact, Article 161 has two functions relevant in this case, one is “accept or deny the resignation of the President and of the Vice President of the State.” This has not been done. And secondly, “receive the oath of the President and the Vice President of the State.” We have not heard if the new “president” has done so, but regardless, all has to take place when “The [Senate and Deputy] Chambers will meet in Plurinational Legislative Assembly.” As we know, no such assembly is functioning.

Article 169 is crucial: “In case of impediment or definitive absence of the President of the State, the Vice President will replace him/her, and in case of his/her absence [in turn] the President of the Senate will replace him/her, and in case of his/her absence, the President of the Chamber of Deputies will replace him/her. In the latter case, new elections will be called within the maximum deadline of ninety days.” We have just indicated that this process has not been followed because the presidents of the two Chambers were not even present.

Article 410 states who will have to abide by the constitution. “All people, natural and legal, as well as public bodies, public functionaries and institutions, are all subject to this Constitution.” This clearly applies to all the coup perpetrators without exception. But they have not.

To invalidate even more this absurd unconstitutional scenario is that when the legitimate president of the Senate, Adriana Salvatierra, representing the MAS government Party, attempted to enter into the Senate to claim to be elected president of Bolivia according to the constitution she was not even allowed to enter. Admittedly she had resigned but her resignation was never formally accepted.

To conclude, we have to note that constitutions are written to lay down basic fundamental rights, guarantees and rules of the State. Everything else, including clarifications of any constitutional matter, is the attribution, in the case of Bolivia, of the Plurinational Constitutional Court. But this court in turn is composed of elected members who are now literally dysfunctional or disbanded, or nor legitimate.

But what is really important to note is that constitutions are written assuming normal circumstances in the country and that those normal circumstances will continue indefinitely. The reality is that there is nothing normal following a coup. All standard basic definitions and notions of democracy, independence, sovereignty and foreign intervention break down creating a vacuum that is immediately filled with ideology and interests. What really makes the whole event in Bolivia tragic is that it is triggered by a foreign induced Hybrid War not for the benefit of Bolivians.

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This article was originally published on OneWorld.

Nino Pagliccia is an activist and freelance writer based in Vancouver. He is a retired researcher from the University of British Columbia, Canada. He is a Venezuelan-Canadian who follows and writes about international relations with a focus on the Americas. He is the editor of the book “Cuba Solidarity in Canada – Five Decades of People-to-People Foreign Relations” (2014). 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)

The Democrats Have the Country on a Slippery Slope

November 15th, 2019 by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

The fake “whistleblower’s name— Eric Ciamerella—has been known for a long time, but not officially. Now it is official. Senator Rand Paul has officially released his name. Funny, isn’t it, that only the Republicans want Ciamerella to testify. The Democrats won’t hear of it. See this.

If the American people are paying attention, the Democrats are in trouble. When Russiagate fizzled out on them, Adam Schiff (D,CA) orchestrated a fake “whistleblower” whom the Democrats cannot risk putting on the stand to testify. The Democrats’ focus shifted to sleazy State Department types who could offer nothing but second or third hand hearsay followed by a hearsay second telephone call that cannot be confirmed.

Why are the Democrats out on a limb like this? They can rely on the presstitutes to cover up for them in every respect and to continue to repeat endlessly without any verification their charges against Trump, but after going through the hoax of Russiagate are the American people stupid enough to fall for the replacement hoax?

Some analysts believe that the House Democrats are using the so-called impeachment not to produce any evidence, as they have none, but to gin up hatred of Trump especially among the youth who are known to want to be included in whatever is cool. The Democrats’ project is to make hating Trump cool and to convince young people to base their vote on being cool and hating Trump.

I recently asked where are Attorney General Barr’s indictments of Obama regime officials for the attempted Russiagate coup against Trump. Some Republicans explained that Barr is waiting until closer to the election in order to get maximum impact on the voting public. If so, this is a mistake. The longer Barr waits, the longer the presstitutes and Democrats have to discredit the indictments in advance as Trump’s effort to produce a countervailing news story. The longer Barr waits, the more of Trump’s presidency is given up to the impeachment circus. The longer Barr waits, the longer Republicans have to become demoralized by the complete absence of integrity among the American media and House Democrats. It is really very disgusting for anyone not caught up in the emotion of hating Trump at all costs. Honest people with integrity don’t want to be associated with such dirty business.

There actually are a lot of Americans who have been conditioned to hate Trump so completely that they would accept his removal by a coup.

They are so emotional that they are unable to think about the consequences for democracy of a coup. This is the slippery slope the Romans went down. Once an emperor was removed by a coup, every emperor could be, and often was, removed by a coup. The subsequent internal disorder contributed greatly to the fall of Rome.

There are many issues on which Democrats could legitimately challenge Trump in the forthcoming presidential election that would resonate with many honest Americans.

Democrats could challenge Trump for the coup against Bolivian President Morales.

They could challenge Trump for dismantaling environmental protections and for permitting mining and energy companies to loot national monuments and wildlife refuges.

They could challenge Trump for persecuting Julian Assange for practicing traditional journalism.

They could challenge Trump for serving Israeli instead of American foreign policy interests.

These and other issues would make a real campaign, one worthy of a democracy. Instead, we get hoax scandals.

What this tells us is that there is not enough integrity in the Democratic Party and American media for democracy to survive. When the political process consists of nothing but lies and hatred, democracy is not possible. Why are the House Democrats and the American media destroying democracy?

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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 is from Shutterstock/cunaplus

On October 20, celebrations in honor of the 192nd anniversary of the Battle of Navarino (1827) (against the Ottoman Empire) with the participation of President P. Pavlopoulos were held in Greece. The President, in particular, addressed his speech on the importance of unity in protecting international law to the EU and Turkey. In addition, during the celebrations, he met with the Russian Ambassador to Greece Andrey Maslov.

It is worth noting that Russia, not being an EU member, has the greatest opportunities to influence Turkey’s policy towards Greece and Cyprus while the negotiations on Turkey’s accession to the Union were frozen on February 20, 2019.

As it is known, the first independent Greek state in modern history – the Septinsular Republic, was established with the participation of the Russian Admiral Fyodor Ushakov (image below), later venerated as a saint in the Russian Orthodox Church.

AdmFFUshakoffByBazhanoff-e.jpg

The trust that existed between the Russians and the Greeks at that time is evidenced, for example, by the long-term friendship of Admiral Ushakov and the Greek captains Sarandinakis and Alexianos who were the best in his squadron. Thanks to his skill, captain Stamatis Sarandinakis (“Yevstafiy Pavlovich”, as he was called by the Russians), a son of an archon from Monemvasia who died for the freedom of Greece, took charge of Ushakov’s flagship, and aboard this ship he bravely fought against Turkey and France. At the same time, their relationship was not limited to service and joint combat operations: Ushakov’s respect and trust in his Greek friend was so great that he entrusted him with the education of his nephew Ivan, whom Stamatis personally taught the art of navigation. In 1803, the hero of the Greek Liberation War, captain Sarandinakis retired and settled in the Crimea: he grew grapes, headed the provincial court of conscience (which used to perform the same functions as ombudsmen and human rights activists nowadays), but he certainly did not forget his homeland – he bequeathed most of his fortune to charity in Greece.

It is not surprising that later it was Ushakov’s figure, his role in the liberation of the Ionian Islands and the openness of the Russians to the co-religionist Greek people, as seen in the example of Stamatios Sarandinakis, that led Ioannis Kapodistrias, the future Secretary of State of the Republic, to the conviction that without reliance on Russia as the only Orthodox Empire, Greece would not be able to gain real independence from the Ottomans.

Russia definitely wanted to liberate the Orthodox Greeks from the Ottoman rule by creating an independent state. For some time Russia had neither opportunities nor resources to directly support the heroic efforts of the Pontic Greek Alexander Ypsilantis, but sympathized with him and made every effort to stop the violence against the Greek people. Thus, when the Ottoman Porte restricted the vital freedom of navigation for the Greeks and began cruel repressions, the Russian Ambassador Grigory Stroganov, with the consent of the Tsar, repeatedly met with the Grand Vizier, issued an ultimatum against the violent treatment of Orthodox Christians, and then left the country in protest and in sign of the rupture of relations.

The Russian Emperor Nicholas I, who succeeded Alexander I, was aware of the various opinions of the advisers inherited from his predecessor, and generally held the same position. Taking into account its then military capabilities, he considered impossible Russia’s unilateral participation in the war with the Ottoman Empire, because it would have to fight both with the Turkish and Egyptian fleets. And the Greek people, in view of the fierce and uncompromising reaction of the Porte to the rising liberation movement, needed only victory.

To stop the atrocities against the Greek population by the Porte, in the spring of 1826, Russia and Great Britain signed the Protocol of St. Petersburg on joint actions for the settlement of the Greek War of Independence. According to this document, it was supposed to work together to the autonomy of Greece under the supreme authority of the Ottoman Empire.

In 1827, taking the St. Petersburg Protocol as a basis, representatives of Russia, Great Britain, and France concluded the Treaty of London to assist Greece and to outline its future structure. As it is known, Britain and France sought to weaken the influence of the Ottoman Empire in Europe. Therefore, assuming Russia had the same goals, they also feared that Russian influence will increase as a result of the country’s participation in the war on the side of Greece. However, Russia was so willing to help the co-religionist Greece that in order to attract the necessary allies, it defiantly refused commercial benefits, which was recorded in the Treaty.

In the end, the capitulation of the Porte and the subsequent establishment of a completely independent Greek state (not autonomy) were the result of the Russo-Turkish war of 1828-1829: in September, 1829, the Russian army stood 40 km from the Sultan’s Palace.

Meanwhile, in the fight between the different parties (“Russian”, subsequently “National” and constitutionalist “English” or “French” parties supported by the Phanariots) in the years of liberation war, the only respected figure who could lead the young state was Ioannis Kapodistrias, a former Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, brilliant diplomat and humanist, one of the genius creators of the Swiss Constitution, honorary citizen of Lausanne, and a close friend of the greatest Russian poet Alexander Pushkin.

Ioannis Kapodistrias did not fear for his position and was perhaps the only one who truly cared for the welfare of the nation, while his opponents were only capable of imprisoning the heroes of the Greek Revolution. It was Kapodistrias who insisted, though unsuccessfully, that the Greek people should choose their own king at people’s assemblies. He fought international corruption that had infiltrated Greece along with the influence of other European powers. He refused his salary and gave his estate to the needs of the young Greek state. To him the British Admiral Edward Codrington, who had also taken part in the Battle of Navarino, said that England intended to look after its own interests only in Greece; but Ioannis continued to defend what mattered to the Greek people.

The case of the Ioannis Kapodistrias’ murder is still classified in the British Foreign Office. However, it is clear that when the Western liberating powers sought to force their influence upon the young independent Greece, such a faithful son as he could hardly expect any other future than to give his life for his Homeland.

No wonder the German diplomats said that Kapodistrias could not be bribed, and that elimination of him was the only way to stop him. Today, anyone can come to the place where he was murdered – the Church of Agios Spyridon in Nafplio– and make sure of it. At the same time, it’s a chance to think whether nowadays we have got politicians about whom we could say the same. And can we, looking at the figures of Kapodistrias and Ushakov, doubt the sincere love and sympathy for Greece from the Russian people?

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Christos Athanasiou is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in History and Politics at the University of York. His main area of interest is Regionalism In World Politics.

On July 17, 2014, a Malaysian Boeing 777-200ER aircraft was conducting a scheduled passenger flight (MH17) from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. During a transit flight over the territory of Ukraine, the Ukrainian air traffic control charted the plane directly over the conflict zone between government forces and units of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.

At 13:20 UTC, the aircraft was shot down as a result of a fire damage from unidentified forces.

The Ukrainian side, with Western support, immediately blamed Russia for the incident. In turn, Malaysia, expresses deep concerns over the accusations against Russia and the course of the investigation.

On June 27, 2019, Ukrainian special services detained the ex-commander of one of the air defense units of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic Vladimir Tsemakh in Snejnoe, on the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic. Ukraine’s State Security Service claimed that he was involved in the MH17 incident. Later, his status was changed to the “witness”. On September 7, 2019, Tsemakh was transferred to the Russian side as a part of the 35 for 35 exchange of the detained persons.

We present to your attention an exclusive interview with Vladimir Tsemakh (original in Russian) (English Transcript below) that reveals many interesting details.

Watch the video here.

***

Kirill Vyshinsky: Greetings. This is the second interview in the People of Donbass series. This man is not used to speaking on camera. He‘s giving the first interview in his life. In 2014, Vladimir Tsemakh was defending his home in Snejnoe in the region of Donbass. After 3 years, he returned to a peaceful life. In the summer of this year, he appeared in Kiev under strange circumstances, where he was arrested under even stranger circumstances. In September, thanks to the exchange of detained persons, Vladimir Tsemakh returned home.

Kirill Vyshinsky (KV): Vladimir Borisovich, good day!

Vladimir Tsemach (VT): Good day.

KV: We flew in the same plane in September, I saw you very briefly. We didn’t have time to say a word, but you were one of the most famous passengers and I really wanted to know your story, because you were made almost the main witness in the case of the downed Boeing.

KV: But this is not the beginning. Let’s start with your background. Tell us a few words about yourself.

VT: I was born in 1961. In 1978, I entered the Poltava Higher Anti-Aircraft Missile Command Red Banner College named after Army General Nikolai Fedorovich Vatutin. In 1982 I graduated. After that, I got to serve in the 40th Army, meaning in Afghanistan. I was there for three and a half months, after which I was sent to the Far East under an experience share (program), where I served until 1992 and went into reserve in 1992 on Victory Day.

KV: And after?

VT: After that, I returned to my hometown. Until 2019, I lived safely, with the exception of 2014, of course.  I had quite a few different jobs. I didn’t sit in any one place very long.

KV: But nothing related to the army?

VT: No, absolutely not.

KV: You were made almost the main witness in the Boeing case only because you had headed Snezhnoy’s air defense since 2014. Tell us how you got there, what it was; what the weaponry was.

VT: I asked the city commandant, ”Am I needed?“ “Yes.” he said, “The anti-aircraft guns are gathering dust.

KV: When did this take place?

VT: It was June 26th, 2014. When I realized that this circus in Kramatorsk and Slavyansk would not easily end. Semenovka… I realized that they would not calm down.

KV: The authorities?

VT: The Ukrainian authorities didn’t want to talk with the people. They decided to talk from a position of strength. If you think that my grandchildren will not think in my language, that they could be forced to think in Ukrainian, this is wrong, I think. So, I had to go to the militia and after Ukrainian aviation attacked the city center, I got people together immediately. On that same day, I had a lot of people there. The armaments we had consisted of two anti-aircraft guns and two man-portable air defense systems.

KV: Tell me. What did you know then -about this downed Boeing?

VT: I knew as much as the general population knew. I found out either in the evening or the next morning about what happened.

KV: And tell me. In 2019, were you still serving in the army, in the People’s Militia?

VT: No. I finished my service in 2017. I had a compression fracture of the spine. So, my health didn’t allow me to serve.

KV: You were detained on June 27th. Right?

VT: Yes.

KV: On the 28th you were in Kiev. That’s actually the next day. You were detained in Snezhnoye which is around 60 kilometers from the separation line. Right?

VT: It’s further away by road. Turns out the city is only 78 kilometers to Donetsk.

KV: They detained you on the 27th. On the 28th you were already in Kiev, and on the 29th you were in court, where a preventive measure of restraint was chosen. How, under what circumstances, did you end up on the territory of Ukraine in such a short time?

VT: They took me straight away to the separation line. There he constantly kept in touch with the other side.

KV: He? Who’s “he”?

VT: The driver. He participated in the abduction. There were two people. Mortars were fired from the other side. They said they would shell five times for cover fire. They started pushing the wheelchair, and then a sixth shell was fired. I said, “Hey! If you want me dead, why don’t you just get on with it and bury me right here? Why drag this on?” That sixth shell almost hit us. I was even covered with dirt. It seems that it was before the shelling. Was it our people responding so quickly? You can understand the condition I was in. Under tranquilizers, I couldn’t perceive what was happening around me very well. We sat around and waited for the shelling to end, then they put a bag over my head. They kept me in a basement for about 20 minutes.

KV: Did this happen on the other side or here?

VT: On the other side, literally across the Creek. Their position was just 20 meters away -not far away it turns out. With a bag on my head, we ran for about half a kilometer to a minivan. They measured my blood pressure as 190 to 110. They said, “Ok,” the insect is healthy, normal. My head was bandaged and I was immediately sent in a minivan to Kiev.

KV: Were you transported through the separation line in a wheelchair?

 VT: I was transported to the creek in the wheelchair and then was put on my feet. My legs buckled and they shoved me in the back. I fell to my hands. That’s all.

KV: So, you were in such a condition that you couldn’t walk?

VT: My legs buckled. Even when I was put in the wheelchair, I couldn’t put my feet on the step.

KV: But why?

VT: I couldn’t. They had to lift my legs, no more than 5 centimeters.

KV: Why did you feel like that? What happened?

VT: They injected two tranquilizers in me at home and a third, in front of Donetsk.

KV: What condition were you in when they brought you to Kiev?

VT: I began feeling normal about a week later. I’m not used to drugs like that.

KV: Was it something strong?

VT: Well, yes. I feel most rested when I sleep 7-8 hours. But I usually only sleep 6 or 7. When I was detained, I was always woken up at 6 AM; then I kept dozing off until around 10 AM.

KV: You said they took every document you had in your house and on your person?

VT: Yes.

KV: They attached them to the case file. Were they classified as secret?

VT: Yes.

KV: They fell under the stamp of secrecy with the consequence, in theory, of improving the case.

VT: That’s what happened.

KV: Nevertheless, in mid-July, your military ID appeared on some kind of investigative web site, it seems, Bellingcat. How can you explain this?

VT: It turns out the Security Service of Ukraine provided this information.

KV: Did it turn out to be a “classified” investigation?

VT: There was no secret. Collaboration was happening as if it was normal. There were no secrets.

KV: Where were you detained in Kiev, in what conditions? What was it like?

VT: At Askold’s detention center. The cell was two by five meters, with two bunks. I was alone there, literally. Just before being freed, a man was put in the cell with me. So, I was constantly alone. For the first two weeks I didn’t even have a bar of soap. I asked, “Give me at least a little piece of soap.“ But, “No”. They didn’t give me anything. For such a serious structure, you would think they could spend some money, at least for a bar of soap. It didn’t happen. As far as nutrition goes -you’ll live. You won’t die of hunger. For hours, it was lights out at 10 PM and rise at 6 AM.

KV: Were the lights turned off?

VT: No. The lights were on all the time. It was dim, but one light was always on. I was allowed to walk in the courtyard between 2 PM and 5 PM, always alone.

KV: Were you always under surveillance?

VT: Yes. The toilet was in the cell.

KV: How were the interrogations?

VT: If the Australians and the Dutch came, then this took place on the premises of the pre-trial detention center and if the SBU investigators conducted it, then I was brought to them.

KV: Were you subjected to polygraph testing?

VT: No. There weren’t any. The representative of the Prosecutor General’s office for some reason really “loved” me -constantly threatened me with a life sentence. But then, it was interesting. When the second interrogation was taking place, with alleged Australian or Dutch representatives, it was very obvious that they were brought up in Slavic families. The representative of Holland Ara Khataryan (I don’t remember the last name. It was like Armenian.) But she spoke the language exclusively. She spoke without an accent. She knew the language perfectly.

With the representative from Australia, Sergey, it was apparent that he was either an immigrant or that he was brought up in a Slavic family. He also spoke Russian well. But at that time, before the second interrogation, Ara was the only one present. The representative of the Prosecutor General’s Office told me, “Look. You’re not being exchanged. You’re going to get a life sentence, but a lot will depend on what answers you give to these comrades.” The camera is immediately turned on. Standard procedure. They asked, “Were there any threats?“ I answered, “If life imprisonment is not a threat, then everything is fine, good.“

KV: Do you treat this in a humorous light? Although, naturally, there was no way to have fun at that moment.

VT: I am a military man, after all.

KV: Can you tell us, in more detail, about these people, these foreigners?

VT: Representatives of the Australian police and the Netherlands police.

KV: Just them? Were there any Americans, or British, somebody else?

VT: No. No. Constantly, if the English-speaking comrade is sitting on the Dutch side, then the Russian-speaking one is Australian. And during the last interrogation -Ara and Sergey were both Russian speakers.

KV: Did they coerce you?

VT: They offered me to go into witness protection. They offered citizenship and a home in the Netherlands. I wondered why there and not in Australia, but I didn’t try to bargain. laughs

KV: Maybe you could have lived in the Netherlands?

VT: No. I’m used to living where I was born. If I came back to Khabarovsk I would still be closer to my native places. Nevertheless, they didn’t offer native places. In 2014, I was told that, for my Afghanistan service, a Moscow communal apartment is paid for and that I should live in it. How could I be cruel by leaving the elderly and the kids behind? Running away is always easy.

KV: Was there any “physical means of interrogation”?

VT: When they put me on the minivan, they struck my kidneys “a little bit.”

KV: Why did you talk to them at all, and not refer to the 63rd article of the Constitution, which allows you to not testify against yourself and relatives? This is a standard procedure. By the way, they should have introduced you to it.

VT: I know of the article. But why should I be afraid? I don’t consider myself a terrorist. I protected my home. Who am I afraid of? I believe that these comrades and I don’t deserve judgments. This is how I feel on the inside.

KV: The case against you, as I understand correctly, is the 258th, second part. Meaning the creation of a terrorist organization or group. Has the case not been closed yet?

14:04 VT: Yes. It turns out I’ve been released on bail.

KV: What do you think awaits you in Ukraine?

VT: Nothing good is waiting for me, especially if such comrades are in the Prosecutor General’s office. They start slobbering -probably over the thought of putting me away for life.

KV: Are you ready to talk in court about what happened to you, about the abduction, tranquilizers, forced detention, and interrogations? Are you going to appeal to international courts?

VT: I’m considering such a possibility.

KV: What’s your assessment of everything that has happened to you?

VT: I consider it an act of terrorism against me on the part of the Ukrainian state -trying to hang me. Well, I was the head of air defense. I explained to them that, for the most part, I did scare off their aircraft. Once the planes flew over and then didn’t fly any more in the area of Snezhnoye, I told my people, “Guys, bring me empty pipes.“ We filled them with sand, made triggers out of tin, painted them, and I had eight groups of “actors” which showed that we really did have MANPADS -and a lot of them too. Although we actually only had two Zu-23 guns and two MANPADS. And with just that we held the defense of such a territory! It’s just a title I had, “the head of air defense”. You could hardly even call it a platoon -by any stretch.

KV: Do you consider yourself a victim of terrorism?

VT: Of course. But this is a bigger mess because they really have nothing on me now or in the future. Maybe, because I didn’t like the events, he was trying to use me, the bigger man, for some sort of scape-goat absolution. It will be interesting to see how they try to hold their ridiculous stories together.

KV: Obviously, your attitude towards Ukraine has changed after what happened to you.

VT: For me it’s still my homeland. It’s bitter and insulting to look at everything happening there. For some reason, people religiously believe in help from the West. But I say it‘s probably necessary to read Taras Bulba. Everything is clearly explained there.

KV: Lyakhi (Poles/Polish) did not help?

VT: Right. They didn’t help. Such ideas are somehow new to this faith. It’s time to live, listening to your own head.

KV: Tell me, please, what is the nature of Donetsk character?

VT: During service in the Soviet army, if people from Donetsk came to serve, some of the gentlemen officers would clutch their heads. It’s a separate caste of people. We have a multinational side. More than two hundred nationalities live in the Donbass. The whole world built it in due time. So there you find friendship and camaraderie and cuisine -something like a special symbiosis.

KV: Did this help in 2014?

VT: Of course, it helped. There was no time to mobilize any forces. People were taught how to fight in literally three to four days. As subsequent events show, some can’t even learn this in two years -let alone three to four days.

KV: Thank you very much.

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Selected Articles: The Costs of Post 9/11 Wars: $6.4 Trillion

November 15th, 2019 by Global Research News

Lying is a money making activity and lies are commodities. There is a profitable global market for media and public figures committed to spreading disinformation.

Needless to say, “Telling the Truth”, on the other hand, Is Not a Money-Making Proposition. The monthly deficit we have been faced with over the past year is proof of this concept.

With this in mind, can you spare a dollar a day to keep disinformation away? Your support could make the difference and ensure that GlobalResearch.ca is here for a long time to come!

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The Strategic Battle for Lithium. Huge Reserves in Bolivia, Argentina, Chile

By Enzo Pellegrin, November 14, 2019

On March 15, 2018, Maurizio Stefanini, reporter of an italian right think-tank, complained that the huge reserve of Lithium present in Bolivia was in the hands of the State“” and of the bad example“” of Evo Morales. (1) In the same article it was pointed out that, on the contrary, Chile and Argentina, the other two Saudi Arabian”of Lithium, had generated a real race for lithium”, as in romantic Yukon era.

In Chile, according to 2016 data, 68,874 metric tons ™ of lithium carbonate equivalent (cle) were extracted by private companies Albemarle and Sociedad Química de Minerales de Chile (SGM). The latter is owned 29 percent by billionaire Julio Ponce Lerou, who ranked 422 on the Forbes chart of the rich planetary planets, thanks to the Lithium boom. At that time, Chile had a 33% share of the Lithium world market.

The Boom in US Shale Oil? The US is the Largest Oil Producer in the World

By Nick Cunningham, November 14, 2019

Forecasts from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), along with those from its Paris-based counterpart, the International Energy Agency (IEA), are often cited as the gold standard for energy outlooks. Businesses and governments often refer to these forecasts for long-term investments and policy planning.

In that context, it is important to know if the figures are accurate, to the extent that anyone can accurately forecast precise figures decades into the future. A new report from the Post Carbon Institute asserts that the EIA’s reference case for production forecasts through 2050 “are extremely optimistic for the most part, and therefore highly unlikely to be realized.”

The Rights of Undocumented Immigrants: DACA Arguments in US Supreme Court Leave Outcome in Doubt

By Prof. Marjorie Cohn, November 14, 2019

After the arguments before the Supreme Court in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) case, it is difficult to predict the outcome. Justices often play devil’s advocate when questioning the lawyers, so reading the tea leaves about how a case will ultimately be decided can be a dicey proposition. But the justices’ questions appeared to indicate that right-wing Justices Alito, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh favor affirming Donald Trump’s termination of DACA, and liberal Justices Kagan, Ginsburg and Sotomayor want to uphold DACA. Justice Thomas, who almost never asks a question during arguments, invariably sides with the right-wingers. Chief Justice Roberts, who generally takes the conservative position, and Justice Breyer, who more often votes with the liberals, were harder to read. Roberts, who appeared to lean toward the government’s position, will likely cast the deciding vote.

Western Terrorists Are Coming Home to Roost

By Steven Sahiounie, November 14, 2019

Turkey has criticized Western countries for refusing to take back their citizens who were members of ISIS, also known as Daesh, and stripping them of their citizenship, although the 1961 New York Convention made it illegal to leave people stateless. Since 2010, the UK has stripped more than 100 people of British citizenship. One of the first deported terrorists was an American, unnamed, who was deported to the USA via Greece.  However, he refused to go into Greece, and returned to Turkey, upon which the Turks refused him re-entry and pushed him back to Greece.  Finally, when he asked to enter Greece, they refused which has left him in ‘limbo’ in a buffer space between Turkey and Greece.  The US State Department acknowledges they are aware of the situation but offer no further details about the man who has been photographed and was shown on Turkish TV.

The Costs of Post 9/11 Wars: $6.4 Trillion

By Prof. Neta C. Crawford, November 14, 2019

One of the major purposes of the Costs of War Project has been to clarify the types of budgetary costs of the US post -9/11 wars, how that spending is funded, and the long-term implications of past and current spending. This estimate of the US budgetary costs of the post-9/11 wars is a comprehensive accounting intended to provide a sense of the consequences of the wars for the federal budget. Since the 9/11 attacks, the Department of Defense appropriations related to the Global War on Terror have been treated as emergency appropriations, now called Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO).[3] When accounting for total war costs, the Department of Defense and other entities often present only Overseas Contingency Operation appropriations.

Can the EU’s New Sanctions Against Turkey Force the Cyprus Issue to Finally be Resolved?

By Paul Antonopoulos, November 14, 2019

The Eastern Mediterranean remains a strategic point for trade due to its proximity to the Suez Canal, transportation and more recently, natural resources. It is this very drive for exploiting the natural resources that in January, the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum was convened as a means for Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Jordan, Israel, Italy and the Palestinian Authority to develop a regional natural gas market. Notably, Turkey was missing from this Forum, which would have agitated Ankara as only a month later ExxonMobil announced a new gas discovery in offshore Cyprus that has more than doubled Cyprus’s estimated offshore resources. This is why Turkey has been in a desperate rush to exploit oil belonging to another internationally recognized sovereign country.

‘They Choked Me. They Threw Me Down.’: CodePink’s Medea Benjamin Assaulted by Right-Wing Venezuelan Opposition and Threatened with Arrest

By Jake Johnson, November 14, 2019

Benjamin and other members of CodePink protested the event while backers of the effort to overthrow Venezuela’s elected President Nicolás Maduro rallied in support of the new pro-regime change caucus, which was launched by Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), Mario Díaz-Balart (R-Fla.), and other lawmakers.

During the press conference, Benjamin shouted for an end to punishing U.S. sanctions in Venezuela and held a sign that read “No Coups in Venezuela or Bolivia.”

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The waves of protests breaking out in country after country around the world beg the question: Why aren’t Americans rising up in peaceful protest like our neighbors? We live at the very heart of this neoliberal system that is force-feeding the systemic injustice and inequality of 19th century laissez-faire capitalism to the people of the 21st century. So we are subject to many of the same abuses that have fueled mass protest movements in other countries, including high rents, stagnant wages, cradle-to-grave debt, ever-rising economic inequality, privatized healthcare, a shredded social safety net, abysmal public transportation, systemic political corruption and endless war.

We also have a corrupt, racist billionaire as president, who Congress may soon impeach, but where are the masses outside the White House, banging pots and pans to drive Trump out? Why aren’t people crashing the offices of their congresspeople, demanding that they represent the people or resign? If none of these conditions has so far provoked a new American revolution, what will it take to trigger one?

In the 1960s and 1970s, the senseless Vietnam War provoked a serious, well-organized antiwar movement. But today the U.S.’s endless wars just rage on in the background of our lives, as the U.S. and its allies kill and mutilate men, women and children in distant countries, day after day, year after year. Our history has also witnessed inspiring mass movements for civil rights, women’s rights and gay rights, but these movements are much tamer today.

The Occupy Movement in 2011 came closest to challenging the entire neoliberal system. It awakened a new generation to the reality of government of, by, and for the corrupt 1%, and built a powerful basis for solidarity among the marginalized 99%. But Occupy lost momentum because it failed to transition from a rallying point and a decentralized, democratic forum to a cohesive movement that could impact the existing power structure.

The climate movement is starting to mobilize a new generation, and groups like School Strike for the Climate and Extinction Rebellion take direct aim at this destructive economic system that prioritizes corporate growth and profits over the very survival of life on Earth. But while climate protests have shut down parts of London and other cities around the world, the scale of climate protests in the U.S. does not yet match the urgency of the crisis.

So why is the American public so passive?

Americans pour their energy and hopes into electoral campaigns. Election campaigns in most countries last only a few months, with strict limits on financing and advertising to try to ensure fair elections. But Americans pour millions of hours and billions of dollars into multi-year election campaigns run by an ever-growing sector of the commercial advertising industry, which even awarded Barack Obama its “Marketer of the Year” award for 2008. (The other finalists were not John McCain or the Republicans but Apple, Nike and Coors beer.)

When U.S. elections are finally over, thousands of exhausted volunteers sweep up the bunting and go home, believing their work is done. While electoral politics should be a vehicle for change, this neoliberal model of corporate “center-right” and “center-left” politics ensures that congresspeople and presidents of both parties are primarily accountable to the ruling 1% who “pay to play.”

Former President Jimmy Carter has bluntly described what Americans euphemistically call “campaign finance” as a system of legalized bribery. Transparency International (TI) ranks the U.S. 22nd on its political corruption index, identifying it as more corrupt than any other wealthy, developed country.

Without a mass movement continually pushing and prodding for real change and holding politicians accountable – for their policies as well as their words – our neoliberal rulers assume that they can safely ignore the concerns and interests of ordinary people as they make the critical decisions that shape the world we live in. As Frederick Douglass observed in 1857, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has and it never will.”

Millions of Americans have internalized the myth of  the “American dream,” believing they have exceptional chances for social and economic mobility compared with their peers in other countries. If they aren’t successful, it must be their own fault – either they’re not smart enough or they don’t work hard enough.

The American Dream is not just elusive – it’s a complete fantasy. In reality, the U.S. has the greatest income inequality of any wealthy, developed country. Of the 39 developed countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), only South Africa and Costa Rica exceed the U.S.’s 18% poverty rate. The United States is an anomaly: a very wealthy country suffering from exceptional poverty. To make matters worse, children born into poor families in the U.S. are more likely to remain poor as adults than poor children in other wealthy countries. But the American dream ideology keeps people struggling and competing to improve their lives on a strictly individual basis, instead of demanding a fairer society and the healthcare, education and public services we all need and deserve.

The corporate media keeps Americans uninformed and docile. The U.S.’s corporate media system is also unique, both in its consolidated corporate ownership and in its limited news coverage, endlessly downsized newsrooms and narrow range of viewpoints. Its economics reporting reflects the interests of its corporate owners and advertisers; its domestic reporting and debate is strictly framed and limited by the prevailing rhetoric of Democratic and Republican leaders; its anemic foreign policy coverage is editorially dictated by the State Department and Pentagon.

This closed media system wraps the public in a cocoon of myths, euphemisms and propaganda to leave us exceptionally ignorant about our own country and the world we live in. Reporters Without Borders ranks the U.S. 48th out of 180 countries on its Press Freedom Index, once again making the U.S. an exceptional outlier among wealthy countries.

It’s true people can search for their own truth on social media to counter the corporate babble, but social media is itself a distraction. People spend countless hours on facebook, twitter, instagram and other platforms venting their anger and frustration without getting up off the couch to actually do something—except perhaps sign a petition. “Clicktivism” will not change the world.

Add to this the endless distractions of Hollywood, video games, sports and consumerism, and the exhaustion that comes with working several jobs to make ends meet. The resulting political passivity of Americans is not some strange accident of American culture but the intended product of a mutually reinforcing web of economic, political and media systems that keep the American public confused, distracted and convinced of our own powerlessness.

The political docility of the American public does not mean that Americans are happy with the way things are, and the unique challenges this induced docility poses for American political activists and organizers surely cannot be more daunting than the life-threatening repression faced by activists in Chile, Haiti or Iraq.

So how can we liberate ourselves from our assigned roles as passive spectators and mindless cheerleaders for a venal ruling class that is laughing all the way to the bank and through the halls of power as it grabs ever more concentrated wealth and power at our expense?

Few expected a year ago that 2019 would be a year of global uprising against the neoliberal economic and political system that has dominated the world for forty years. Few predicted new revolutions in Chile or Iraq or Algeria. But popular uprisings have a way of confounding conventional wisdom.

The catalysts for each of these uprisings have also been surprising. The protests in Chile began over an increase in subway fares. In Lebanon, the spark was a proposed tax on WhatsApp and other social media accounts. Hikes in fuel tax triggered the yellow vest protests in France, while the ending of fuel subsidies was a catalyst in both Ecuador and Sudan.

The common factor in all these movements is the outrage of ordinary people at systems and laws that reward corruption, oligarchy and plutocracy at the expense of their own quality of life. In each country, these catalysts were the final straws that broke the camel’s back, but once people were in the street, protests quickly turned into more general uprisings demanding the resignation of leaders and governments.

They have the guns but we have the numbers. State repression and violence have only fueled greater popular demands for more fundamental change, and millions of protesters in country after country have remained committed to non-violence and peaceful protest – in stark contrast to the rampant violence of the right-wing coup in Bolivia

While these uprisings seem spontaneous, in every country where ordinary people have risen up in 2019, activists have been working for years to build the movements that eventually brought large numbers of people onto the streets and into the headlines.

Erica Chenoweth’s research on the history of nonviolent protest movements found that whenever at least 3.5% of a population have taken to the streets to demand political change, governments have been unable to resist their demands. Here in the U.S., Transparency International found that the number of Americans who see “direct action,” including street protests, as the antidote to our corrupt political system has risen from 17% to 25% since Trump took office, far more than Chenoweth’s 3.5%. Only 28% still see simply “voting for a clean candidate” as the answer. So maybe we are just waiting for the right catalyst to strike a chord with the American public.

In fact, the work of progressive activists in the U.S. is already upsetting the neoliberal status quo. Without the movement-building work of thousands of Americans, Bernie Sanders would still be a little-known Senator from Vermont, largely ignored by the corporate media and the Democratic Party. Sanders’ wildly successful first presidential campaign in 2016 pushed a new generation of American politicians to commit to real policy solutions to real problems, instead of the vague promises and applause lines that serve as smokescreens for the corrupt agendas of neoliberal politicians like Trump and Biden.

We can’t predict exactly what catalyst will trigger a mass movement in the U.S. like the ones we are seeing overseas, but with more and more Americans, especially young people, demanding an alternative to a system that doesn’t serve their needs, the tinder for a revolutionary movement is everywhere. We just have to keep kicking up sparks until one catches fire.

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Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK for Peace, is the author of “Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran” and  “Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S.-Saudi Connection.” 

Nicolas J. S. Davies is a freelance writer, a researcher for CODEPINK and the author of “Blood on Our Hands: The American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq.”

Featured image is from The Bullet

What does an Israeli peace activist do when the rockets are flying and the bombs are falling?

I have been going to demonstrations since I was 12 years old – that was 51 years ago. I can easily say that I have participated in hundreds of demonstrations. But I hate demonstrations. They frustrate me. I think in all of these years, there was only one demonstration that I recall that left me feeling empowered – that was after the Sabra and Shatilla massacres in 1982.

I have demonstrated for peace and human rights. I have demonstrated against war and military adventurism. I have demonstrated for social justice and I have demonstrated for a better environment. At demonstrations, I meet a lot of people that I know and it is often nice to catch up with old friends and colleagues, but when it is over, I usually feel that nothing has changed and the demonstration had no impact. More often than not, I go because if it is an important cause, then it is essential that the number of demonstrators be significant. But to feel empowered and to have political and social efficacy, I need to do something more concrete.

During recent years, in the absence of any peace process and any chance of helping to create a peace process, I have focused on building successful, cross-boundary Israeli-Palestinian partnerships. That, too, has become increasingly difficult with the passing of time and the constant deterioration in the state of affairs between the two peoples. Nonetheless, I push on and do what I believe in.

I suppose I live in a kind of schizophrenic reality. Just yesterday I met one of my Palestinian partners in Halhoul, just north of Hebron. I parked my car in front of the Halhoul city hall and joined him in his car. The streets were filled with young kids getting out of school early after ceremonies were held in the schools to commemorate their founding father Yasser Arafat. Many of the kids had the famous black and white keffiyeh draped around their shoulders.

We continued from there to the new industrial area in the city of Tarkumiya where we visited eight large factories to spark their interest in integrating solar energy into their enterprises. Most of these factories spend a fortune on electricity. They pay the Tarkumiya municipality, which buys the electricity from the Israel Electricity Company. We can sell them clean energy that will save them a lot of money, helping the Palestinian economy and increasing Palestinian independence. This work is built on partnership, trust and improving the lives of real people.

From Tarkumiya, after about five hours of visiting the factories, we went for a late lunch in Hebron. On the way from Hebron back to Halhoul, I bought some freshly made flat bread. My car was waiting for me in the now empty Halhoul city hall parking lot. We stopped at a bicycle shop on the way out of Halhoul that I visited last week, because my youngest son is shopping for a new mountain bike and the shop owner said that he expected to have some new models by the end of this week. He didn’t get them yet.

THIS IS ALL so normal – except that nothing about it here is normal. Israelis don’t go wandering about Hebron and Halhoul, or eating lunch in a new shwarma place in the middle of the Hebron business district, or visiting factories in Tarkumiya. The abnormality of it all was driven home while driving home to Jerusalem. As I passed the Al Aroub refugee camp, I saw the deployment of a large number of Israeli soldiers gearing up to enter the camp. Before I reached Jerusalem, I heard that the soldiers killed a young, unarmed Palestinian man in the camp. I saw the video footage later and heard both sides of the story of what happened, and how the young Palestinian man was killed. Tragedy in a tragic reality.

This morning, I drove to Givat Haviva in the North, where I was invited to lecture to a group of high schools students at the Givat Haviva International School. This school is made up of 11th and 12th graders – 25% from Israel, 25% from Palestine and 50% from about 20 other countries. Truly a remarkable group of young people. This week, they are engaging in a several day intensive seminar about the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Today’s panel, in which I participated, was organized by an Israeli and a Palestinian student together. The panel included four Israeli experts – two from the Right and two from the Left (you can guess which side I was on).

On my way to Givat Haviva, as soon as I got in my car leaving Jerusalem, I heard the news of the Israeli assassination of the Islamic Jihad commander and his wife in Gaza, the attempted assassination of the Islamic Jihad commander in Damascus (not succeeding in killing the target, but killing his son) and the barrage of rockets from Islamic Jihad once again falling on Israel. I heard about all of the schools and places of work in Israel from Tel Aviv southward being closed as a precautionary measure taken by the Israeli army and government. And I had to go to speak to high school students about peace.

A COUPLE of nights before, I spoke at the annual Rabin memorial event at the Beit Yisrael pre-army academy in Gilo, Jerusalem, composed of a large group of pre-army religious and secular Jews. There I spoke on a panel with the head of the academy, an Orthodox rabbi who served as a combat officer in the army for decades, and a well-known right-wing political activist who has lived his whole life in the settlement of Kiryat Arba next to the Palestinian city, Hebron. It was a very challenging task to speak about peace with our Palestinian neighbors in that context with that group of young Israelis.

This evening, I concluded by speaking to a group of American Jews from Vermont on an Israel Experience trip with their synagogue. Tonight was their last night after a 10-day intensive trip all around the country. Today, they were supposed to visit the communities around Gaza, but that was canceled because of the “security situation.” As I am writing this column, the Red Alert keeps flashing on my phone as rockets are being shot at Israel from Gaza, and I see on my Facebook and Twitter feed that my friends in Gaza are being bombed by Israel.

A close friend in Gaza just chatted with me that she is scared – she lives on the eighth floor of a 10-story building in Gaza City. The noise of the exploding Israeli bombs is frightening and she said that she doesn’t know what she will do if she has to run – there is no safe place to run to in Gaza. Without any ability to allay her fears, I said that I wished she could stay with me in Jerusalem where she would be safe. She replied “some day!” I said “inshallah.”

This is the definition of insanity. Someone from the Vermont group asked me as the final question to give a one-sentence line – the most important thing they should take back with them from my talk. I thought for a moment and said – we are all not going anywhere. Millions of Israelis and millions of Palestinians are not picking up and leaving. We will also continue to live here, and eventually we will get back to the table and talk. When we do that, I hope that we will have learned the lessons from all of the mistakes we have all made that got us to this situation. Until then, I will continue to work to build partnerships across these conflict lines in the interests of all of us – on both sides of the lines.

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Gershon Baskin is a political and social entrepreneur who has dedicated his life to the State of Israel and to peace between Israel and her neighbors. His latest book In Pursuit of Peace in Israel and Palestine was published by Vanderbilt University Press and is now available in Israel and Palestine.

Featured image is from Mondoweiss

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A 2018 Pew Survey found that 89% of Greeks found their culture to be superior to others, by far the highest amount of people in Europe where it reached as low as 26% in Sweden, 23% in Estonia and Belgium, and 20% in Spain. The Greeks are by far the oldest civilization on the European continent, giving them the moniker as the founders of Western civilization, and a slight arrogance at times over other Europeans.

However, it was this very ancient civilizational pride that Chinese President Xi Jinping capitalized on during his extremely productive visit to Greece this week where 16 agreements were made that firmly puts the Mediterranean country into the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Xi’s final day in Greece on Tuesday was spent at the Acropolis Museum where the Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos asked whether Greece can rely on China to help pressure the British Museum in London to return the Parthenon Marbles they hold. Not only did Xi enthusiastically pledge that China would help Greece’s position against the United Kingdom, but he also empathized that China too has many of its ancient treasures outside of its borders against its will.

As Greece occupies a strategic space in the Eastern Mediterranean and has one of the largest merchant navies in the world, it was always going to be in the interests of Beijing to maintain close ties with Athens, even with issues over ancient artefacts. Over two thousand years of contact between the Greeks and Chinese, and the famous Silk Road connecting Xi’an with Constantinople, has ensured there are long and deep connections between the two countries today.

During the visit, 16 agreements were signed. Many of these are not so significant, but there were certainly some important ones.

The Port of Pireus

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told Xi on Monday during their visit to Piraeus Port that Greece has come to a deep understanding on the meaning of “friends” through the cooperation with China at the port. China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO) acquired a majority stake in the port in 2016, creating direct and indirect employment for over 10,000 locals, and making it the largest port in the Mediterranean region and one of the fastest growing container terminals in the world.

This port has been a keynote feature for the BRI in Europe and Xi’s visit to Athens ensures Greece’s goal of turning Piraeus Port into the biggest commercial harbor in Europe can become a reality. Piraeus Port is strategically located in the Eastern Mediterranean, putting it at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa, which will be of significant interest to China as it continues to channel goods to the region.  Effectively, the upgraded port helps Chinese products enter European markets more easily and at cheaper prices

“We want to strengthen Piraeus’ transhipment role and further boost the throughput capacity of China’s fast sea-land link with Europe,” Xi said after meeting Mitsotakis, recognizing that access in the Mediterranean is best done through Greece because of its thousands of years of seafaring history, its strategic location and its large mercantile navy.

Chinese investment banks to open in Greece

Directly connected to the investment of Piraeus Port, lenders’ Bank of China and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) will open branches in Athens to not only develop the maritime industry further, but also at a time when Chinese investors have become increasingly interested in Greek real estate.

The Chinese banks will not only create business opportunities in Greece and help develop the maritime industry, but it will also help finance renewable energy projects. This comes as for the past 10 years Western countries have done little to alleviate Greece’s economic crisis. It is expected that the Bank of China, the world’s fourth largest lender, and ICBC will invest in renewable energy to help develop Greece’s clean energy infrastructure and bring cheaper energy prices to Greeks.

Energy

Although Greece opened its domestic projects, such as wind farms, to Chinese investors, China has expressed no immediate interest in Greece’s heavily indebted Public Power Corporation despite speculation that the Asian country is interested in investing in Greece’s electricity distribution networks.

However, the State Grid Corporation of China, the world’s biggest utility, agreed to invest in a new electricity interconnector between mainland Greece and the island of Crete. It is hoped that Crete can become an even bigger solar energy hub as Greece aims to stop using coal energy by 2028.

Conclusion

By taking a soft power approach with Athens and not embroiling itself in regional issues, China has every advantage to deepen the BRI in the Balkans, Middle East, North Africa and Mediterranean Europe via Greece. There is little doubt that China sees Greece, specifically through the 2,500-year-old Piraeus Port, as a hub for its BRI expansion in the region.

The agreements between Greece and China come at a time when only in September the Mediterranean country allowed the U.S. to open three new military bases and Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow last week where “a new chapter” in Greek-Russian relations was announced. It is beginning to appear that perhaps Athens is not so much the U.S.-puppet as first suspected, but perhaps is masterfully balancing its relations with Washington, Moscow and Beijing in the Age of Multipolarity as its highly successful recent meetings with the Great Powers demonstrates.

At the minimum, whether Greece successfully balances its relations with the Great Powers or not, the Great Powers have certainly identified the importance of the Aegean country in the 21st Century and are all aiming to gain a foothold in it. It remains to be seen where Greece will show allegiance when push comes to shove, but it is likely to be a balance on its economic reliance on China against its military reliance on the U.S. With China having a strong foothold in the Eastern Mediterranean, it remains to be seen whether the Asian country will want to expand its military presence into the region too.

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This article was originally published on InfoBrics.

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

Featured image is from InfoBrics

On March 15, 2018, Maurizio Stefanini, reporter of an italian right think-tank, complained that the huge reserve of Lithium present in Bolivia was in the hands of the State“” and of the bad example“” of Evo Morales. (1) In the same article it was pointed out that, on the contrary, Chile and Argentina, the other two Saudi Arabian”of Lithium, had generated a real race for lithium”, as in romantic Yukon era.

In Chile, according to 2016 data, 68,874 metric tons ™ of lithium carbonate equivalent (cle) were extracted by private companies Albemarle and Sociedad Química de Minerales de Chile (SGM). The latter is owned 29 percent by billionaire Julio Ponce Lerou, who ranked 422 on the Forbes chart of the rich planetary planets, thanks to the Lithium boom. At that time, Chile had a 33% share of the Lithium world market.

In 2016, the Argentinean companies FMC Corporation and Orocobre produced 30,340 tm of cle, reaching a 16 percent share of the world market.

The article reported the opinion of an alleged expert in the field, named Joe Lowry, nicknamed in the branch as “Mr. lithium”. According to Lowry, the mineral mining industry would require large and adequate investments to achieve discrete extractive values.

The subordinate position of the Argentinean companies was precisely due to the absence of investment, due to the “conflicts with the Kirchner”, contrasts which would evidently have ceased with the establishment of the neoliberal government of Macri.

The global capital wants to put its hands on lithium, a strategic element for the production of batteries, not only for the mobile phone market, but especially for the new business of electric car industry.

Andamento cobalto e litio

Price indexes of Lithium Carbonate, Lithium Oxide and Cobalt (Source: Pricepedia)

In recent years, the “lithium rush” has generated a significant increase in prices of mineral, and, consequently, in the profits of mining companies. The price of lithium, in the form of carbonate, in 2015 was around 5 euro/kg, while in 2018 it reached 12 euro/kg (+140%). Lithium oxide increased from 7.5 to 12 euro/kg (+61%).  “Currently the Li-Ion accumulators are the most used and according to a report of the Chilean Chemical and Mining Society (SQM), one of the largest lithium producers in the world, The demand for key components for the production of this type of accumulator will also increase significantly in the coming years (2).

The important question we should ask ourselves is this: has this Lithium Rush brought wealth to popular classes of Argentina and Chile, as well as to the pockets of speculators?

The answer is obviously negative. This is demonstrated by the history of recent events in Chile and Argentina.

In the first of the two countries, a great popular riot has broken out against the neoliberal Pinera government, which has given rise to a bloody repression of demonstrators, on which there has been the complete disregard of the Western world.

Likewise in Argentina, a large popular opposition has decreed the end of the neoliberal government and the election of a government once again close to Kirchnerian popular politics.

Underlying both popular protests are extreme poverty, the indecent level of wages, privatisations, the high cost of living and services – largely owned by private companies – the subtraction of the nation’s wealth by monopolistic enterprises, in comparison with the high salaries of police soldiers and all government officials and bureaucrats who help to maintain the order of neoliberal autocracy.

In short, the money of the Lithium Rush has filled the pockets of monopolists.

From these pockets – now absolutely hermetic – despite neoliberal fables, no wealth poured in favour of popular classes.

Otherwise, what happened in Bolivia?

The government of Evo Morales had placed its attention on Lithium. In the Salar of Uyumni, the country boasts the most important reserve of lithium in the world. In 2018, its production amounted to around 120 tons of cle per year: a small share for the interests of speculators. The government of Evo Morales recalled that projects developed in Bolivia have tried to take account of environment. More importantly, the government had chosen a social route for the development of this mining industry. The aim of the projects was not only to export, but to manufacture the finished product (batteries) in Bolivia, reserving the monopoly of extraction and subsequent production to industries wholly owned by the State, such as the mining industry, entrusted exclusively to the Yacimientos de Litio Bolivia.

Evo Morales applied the recipe of reserving to community the means of production, in order to decide what, how, where to produce, in accordance with the conservation needs of the environment.

The goals achieved in recent years by the Bolivian State, the elections always won by its President, including the last, show that there has been a fair distribution of wealth in favor of the popular classes of the country.

Against this socialist path, in recent years almost all mainstream and all think-thanks of neoliberalism have been hurled.

The production sector of electric cars is also at the heart of great financial manoeuvres that are taking place in the green economy sector. There has been an undoubted massive investment of resources in the promotion of cultural hegemony within the Western mainstream, towards the need for massive investments in“technologies considered green”, even if these are not so “green” such as the production of battery-powered cars, which become impacting hazardous waste after a few years of operation.

These great manoeuvres were well explained by F. William Engdahl, in an article recently appeared in Global Research (3).

Engdahl notes that the mega-corporations and mega-billionaires behind the globalisation of world economy, whose pursuit for shareholder value and cost reduction has caused so much damage to our environment both in the industrial world and in the underdeveloped economies of Africa, Asia and Latin America, are the main supporters of the decarbonisation movement.

Engdahl also affirms:

“In 2013 after years of careful preparation, a Swedish real estate company, Vasakronan, issued the first corporate “Green Bond.” They were followed by others including Apple, SNCF and the major French bank Credit Agricole. In November 2013 Elon Musk’s problem-riddled Tesla Energy issued the first solar asset-backed security. Today according to something called the Climate Bonds Initiative, more than $500 billion in such Green Bonds are outstanding. The creators of the bond idea state their aim is to win over a major share of the $45 trillion of assets under management globally which have made nominal commitment to invest in “climate friendly” projects.” […] “In 2016 the TCFD along with the City of London Corporation and the UK Government initiated the Green Finance Initiative, aiming to channel trillions of dollars to greeninvestments. The central bankers of the FSB nominated 31 people to form the TCFD. Chaired by billionaire Michael Bloomberg of the financial wire, it includes key people from JP MorganChase; from BlackRock–one of the world’s biggest asset managers with almost $7 trillion; Barclays Bank; HSBC, the London-Hong Kong bank repeatedly fined for laundering drug and other black funds; Swiss Re, the world’s second largest reinsurance; China’s ICBC bank; Tata Steel, ENI oil, Dow Chemical, mining giant BHP Billington and David Blood of Al Gore’s Generation Investment LLC. In effect it seems the foxes are writing the rules for the new Green Hen House.

Bank of England’s Carney was also a key actor in efforts to make the City of London into the financial center of global Green Finance. The outgoing UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, in July 2019 released a White Paper, “Green Finance Strategy: Transforming Finance for a Greener Future.” The paper states, “One of the most influential initiatives to emerge is the Financial Stability Board’s private sector Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), supported by Mark Carney and chaired by Michael Bloomberg. This has been endorsed by institutions representing $118 trillion of assets globally.” There seems to be a plan here. The plan is the financialization of the entire world economy using fear of an end of world scenario to reach arbitrary aims such as “net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.” (3).

This important concentration of financial forces, as also demonstrated by Cory Morningstar, author and environmental activist, have strongly supported that investment in cultural hegemony represented by the apparitions of Greta Thunberg and the Fridays for Climate. Both this phenomena has been reproduced and amplified by the mainstream media, just as the size of these economic interests is great.

Follow the money trail, people say in USA about politics and media.

This economic path is now quite clear: the crisis of over-production needs new financial outlets: raising money from funds to invest in prospects that become credible and also necessitated, such as the decrease of CO2 in the atmosphere, presented as the last opportunity before the Apocalypse.

To give a concrete dimension to these investments, however, they also need neoliberal domination of raw materials needed: lithium is among them.

From the neo-liberal point of view, their management must be taken away from the bad examples of “nationalization”. Thinking about extracting and producing lithium for the needs of the people and in respect for the environment, outside of speculative ambitions, is an attack at heart of globalized capitalist economy.

This is the reason why a freely elected President who enjoys the granite consensus of the popular masses of Bolivia should be ousted and forced to resign and flee the Country.

It becomes also clear which is the main enemy of the self-determination of peoples: in Bolivia there is not a song much different from the one played by the United States, NATO and the European Union in Syria, trying to break up an oil-producing country in order to throw it into easy hands to run.

Italian main press agency, ANSA, reported a few days ago that an order of capture was allegedly issued against Evo Morales. The source were statements of Mr. Camacho, who is none other than the leader of that opposition which challenged without substantiated reason the President’s legitimate election. No official charge was held by Mr Camacho at the time of that statement.

This says a lot about how West Governments and European Union are aligned with the NATO imperialistic agenda, and with the interests of finance and globalized industry.

The enemy is naked, we have just to refuse to cover him up and start fighting.

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Notes

(1) M. Stefanini, Chi ha il litio non ha i denti, Il Foglio, 15.3.2018

(2) C. Ranocchia, I prezzi del litio su livelli da record, Pricepedia, 29.5.2019

(3) F William Engdahl, Climate and The Money Trail, Globalresearch, 25.9.2019

The prevailing wisdom that sees explosive and long-term potential for U.S. shale may rest on some faulty and overly-optimistic assumptions, according to a new report.

Forecasts from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), along with those from its Paris-based counterpart, the International Energy Agency (IEA), are often cited as the gold standard for energy outlooks. Businesses and governments often refer to these forecasts for long-term investments and policy planning.

In that context, it is important to know if the figures are accurate, to the extent that anyone can accurately forecast precise figures decades into the future. A new report from the Post Carbon Institute asserts that the EIA’s reference case for production forecasts through 2050 “are extremely optimistic for the most part, and therefore highly unlikely to be realized.”

The U.S. has more than doubled oil production over the past decade, and at roughly 12.5 million barrels per day (mb/d), the U.S is the largest producer in the world. That is largely the result of a massive scaling-up of output in places like the Bakken, the Permian and the Eagle Ford. Conventional wisdom suggests the output will steadily rise for years to come.

It is worth reiterating that after an initial burst of production, shale wells decline rapidly, often 75 to 90 percent within just a few years. Growing output requires constant drilling. Also, the quality of shale reserves vary widely, with the “sweet spots” typically comprising only 20 percent or less of an overall shale play, J. David Hughes writes in the Post Carbon Institute report.

After oil prices collapsed in 2014, shale companies rushed to take advantage of the sweet spots. That allowed the industry to focus on the most profitable wells first, cut costs and scale up production. But it also pushed off a problem for another day. “Sweet spots will inevitably become saturated with wells, and drilling outside of sweet spots will require higher rates of drilling and capital investment to maintain production, along with higher commodity prices to justify them,” Hughes says in his PCI report.

In addition, this form of “high-grading” does allow for rapid extraction, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that more oil is ultimately going to be recovered when all is said and done.

The same might be true for all of the highly-touted productivity gains, Hughes says. The industry has boosted productivity by drilling longer laterals, intensifying the use of water and frac sand, as well as increasing the number of fracking stages. These productivity improvements are “undeniable,” Hughes writes.

However, the “limits of technology and exploiting sweet spots are becoming evident, however, as in some plays new wells are exhibiting lower productivities,” Hughes says. “More aggressive technology, coupled with longer horizontal laterals, allows each well to drain more reservoir area, but reduces the number of drilling locations and therefore does not necessarily increase the total recovery from a play—it just allows the resource to be recovered more quickly.”

Already, some shale plays have seen production plateau while others are in decline.

In short, Hughes says that of the 13 major shale plays analyzed in the PCI report, the EIA has “extremely optimistic” outlooks for nine of them. Of the remaining four, three of them are “highly optimistic,” and only one – the Woodford Play in Oklahoma – is ranked as “moderately optimistic.”

He notes that in some instances, the EIA’s forecasts are so optimistic that the production volumes exceed the agency’s own estimates for proven reserves plus unproven reserves. The EIA also assumes that every last drop of proven reserves is produced, along with a high percentage of unproven reserves by 2050.

“Although the ‘shale revolution’ has provided a reprieve from what just 15 years ago was thought to be a terminal decline in oil and gas production in the U.S.,” Hughes writes, “this reprieve is temporary, and the U.S. would be well advised to plan for much-reduced shale oil and gas production in the long term.”

Regardless of the geology, climate policy and waning investor interest will likely result in a lot of oil being left in the ground. Hughes says that the EIA’s figures are optimistic, even without considering any mandates to cut greenhouse gas emissions. “If U.S. energy policy actually reflected the need to mitigate climate change…the EIA’s forecasts for tight oil and shale gas production through 2050 make even less sense.”

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Nick Cunningham is an independent journalist, covering oil and gas, energy and environmental policy, and international politics. He is based in Portland, Oregon. 

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After the arguments before the Supreme Court in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) case, it is difficult to predict the outcome. Justices often play devil’s advocate when questioning the lawyers, so reading the tea leaves about how a case will ultimately be decided can be a dicey proposition. But the justices’ questions appeared to indicate that right-wing Justices Alito, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh favor affirming Donald Trump’s termination of DACA, and liberal Justices Kagan, Ginsburg and Sotomayor want to uphold DACA. Justice Thomas, who almost never asks a question during arguments, invariably sides with the right-wingers. Chief Justice Roberts, who generally takes the conservative position, and Justice Breyer, who more often votes with the liberals, were harder to read. Roberts, who appeared to lean toward the government’s position, will likely cast the deciding vote.

On November 12, the justices heard arguments in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California, a case that is testing whether Trump’s rescission of DACA was lawful.

DACA was created by Barack Obama in 2012 to encourage undocumented people who arrived in the U.S. as children to come out of the shadows and register for temporary protection from deportation. They are called “Dreamers,” inspired by the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which Congress has failed to pass. Nearly 800,000 Dreamers have work permits and other benefits. Many are lawyers, doctors, engineers and military officers. According to one study, over 90 percent of them are employed and 45 percent are enrolled in school.

To qualify for DACA, a person must be a current student, a high school graduate, have a GED or an honorable discharge from the military. Applicants cannot have prior convictions of serious crimes or be considered a national security threat. The program provides a renewable two-year period of deferred immigration action for people who came to the U.S. as children and continuously lived in the U.S. for at least five years before June 15, 2012.

In September 2017, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump administration would rescind DACA, saying, “Such an open-ended circumvention of immigration laws was an unconstitutional exercise of authority by the Executive Branch.”

Several states, DACA recipients and organizations challenged the termination of DACA in the federal courts, successfully arguing it was unlawful. The repeal of DACA was put on hold pending the Supreme Court’s decision.

The two issues facing the Supreme Court are: (1) whether the courts have jurisdiction to review the decision to end DACA; and (2) whether the rescission of DACA was legal.

Do Courts Have Authority to Review Legality of DACA Rescission?

The government is arguing that the decision of whether to enforce the immigration laws is solely within agency discretion of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and not subject to judicial review. Ginsburg pointed out the contradiction in that position: On the one hand, the government says the decision is not subject to judicial review because DHS has sole discretion to end DACA, but on the other hand, it claims that DHS had no discretion because it was illegally established.

Kagan cited another contradiction in the government’s argument, in which it “suggest[s] that the original DACA is reviewable, but the rescission of DACA is not.” She called that “an asymmetry in what’s reviewable.”

Gorsuch said, “I hear a lot of facts, sympathetic facts,” and “they speak to all of us,” but like Alito, he did not seem to think the case was reviewable.

Breyer appeared to be on the fence. “I’m saying honestly I am struggling,” he said. But Breyer also challenged the government’s argument that it has prosecutorial discretion to decide whether to enforce the immigration laws. Breyer distinguished a prosecutor’s decision whether to charge an individual from the policies of an agency.

Is Trump’s Rescission of DACA Lawful?

If the Supreme Court finds it has authority to review the government’s decision to rescind DACA, it must then decide whether the rescission was lawful.

Those challenging the DACA rescission argued that DHS did not sufficiently consider the Dreamers’ reliance interests when it decided to terminate DACA. People outed themselves as undocumented to apply for DACA in reliance on its promise of protection from deportation. Theodore Olson, the lawyer for the individual challengers, said, “Those reliance interests were engendered by the decision of the government that caused people to come forward.”

Breyer cited a Justice Scalia opinion saying that when an agency’s “prior policy has engendered serious reliance interests, it must be taken into account.” Breyer added, “That’s this case, I think.” He mentioned 66 health care organizations, three labor unions, 210 educational institutions, six military organizations, three home builders, five states, 108 municipalities and cities, 129 religious organizations and 145 businesses, most of which, Breyer said, listed reliance interests. In other words, these groups are relying on the Dreamers whose study and work they depend upon.

There was also discussion of the Dreamers’ reliance on Trump’s statements that they would be protected. Trump praised the Dreamers in February 2017, calling most of them “absolutely incredible kids.” He promised, “We are gonna deal with DACA with heart.”

Last fall, Trump tweeted, “Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!”

When Sessions announced that DACA would be repealed, Trump delayed enforcement for six months, giving Congress time to act to protect the Dreamers. But immigration reform has eluded Congress for years.

“There’s a whole lot of reliance interests that weren’t looked at, including … the current president telling DACA-eligible people that they were safe under him and that he would find a way to keep them here,” Sotomayor noted. But the administration’s position is tantamount to “I’ll give you six months to destroy your lives,” Sotomayor said.

Roberts told Olson, however,

“the whole thing was about work authorization and these other benefits. Both administrations have said they’re not going to deport the people. So, the deferred prosecution or deferred deportation, that’s not what the focus of the policy was.”

When questioning Michael Mongan, an attorney for the state challengers, Roberts mentioned the 2016 case in which he voted with right-wing justices to block another Obama order, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA). Since Scalia had just died, the case deadlocked 4 to 4, leaving in place a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision ending DAPA.

“Look,” Roberts said, “I’ve got a decision from the Fifth Circuit that tells me this is illegal, it’s been affirmed by the Supreme Court by an equally divided vote.”

In 2017, Elaine Duke, acting director of the DHS, issued a cursory memo announcing the end of DACA. It included no policy reasons. The following year, Kirstjen Nielsen, the new DHS director, issued another memo affirming the Duke memo and stating policy reasons.

Breyer cited “a foundational principle of administrative law that a court may uphold agency action only on the grounds that the agency invoked when it took the action,” concluding therefore that the court should only consider the Duke memo. By contrast, Kavanaugh invoked the Nielsen memo, which he said contains “sound reasons of enforcement policy to rescind the DACA policy.”

Ginsburg called the Nielsen memo “infected” by the view that the program was illegal, arguing that Nielsen would not necessarily have come to the same conclusion if there had been “a clear recognition that there was nothing illegal about DACA.”

Roberts Will Likely Be the Swing Vote

Roberts, who cast conflicting votes in two recent immigration cases, is the wild card here. Together with the four other right-wing justices, he provided the fifth vote to uphold Trump’s Muslim Ban. But he sided with the four liberals to halt Trump’s use of the citizenship question on the 2020 census, writing for the majority that the government’s stated reason for including it was “contrived.”

Roberts wrote, “Altogether, the evidence tells a story that does not match the explanation the [Commerce] Secretary gave for his decision.” He could adopt the same reasoning in the DACA case and agree with Olson and Mongan that the case should be sent back to DHS to determine the actual cost of ending DACA and provide a reasoned legal analysis.

The chief justice must be mindful of the legacy of his court, which would include stripping DACA protection from nearly a million members of society if he votes with the right-wing justices.

The Supreme Court will announce its decision by the end of June 2020.

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Western Terrorists Are Coming Home to Roost

November 14th, 2019 by Steven Sahiounie

Turkey is deporting terrorists to their country of origin. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Tuesday,

“Some countries have started panicking after we began the repatriation process of foreign Daesh terrorists. Turkey has been worrying about this issue for years, let others worry now,” He added, “The American Daesh terrorists stranded in the buffer zone on Greece border is none of Turkey’s concern, deportations will continue regardless.”

The Turkish Interior Minister, Süleyman Soylu, said last week that Ankara would start sending ISIS terrorists back to their country of origin even if they had been stripped of their citizenship, adding that Turkey was not a ‘hotel’ for foreign jihadists.

“There is no need to try to escape from it; we will send them back to you. Deal with them how you want,” said Soylu.

Turkey has criticized Western countries for refusing to take back their citizens who were members of ISIS, also known as Daesh, and stripping them of their citizenship, although the 1961 New York Convention made it illegal to leave people stateless. Since 2010, the UK has stripped more than 100 people of British citizenship. One of the first deported terrorists was an American, unnamed, who was deported to the USA via Greece.  However, he refused to go into Greece, and returned to Turkey, upon which the Turks refused him re-entry and pushed him back to Greece.  Finally, when he asked to enter Greece, they refused which has left him in ‘limbo’ in a buffer space between Turkey and Greece.  The US State Department acknowledges they are aware of the situation but offer no further details about the man who has been photographed and was shown on Turkish TV.

Plans to deport eleven French citizens and seven Germans, along with three from Denmark and two from Ireland, were forming, according to Turkish Interior Ministry spokesman Ismail Catakli. A spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry, Christofer Burger, announced in Berlin that ten people were to be deported to Germany suspected of ISIS involvement, including women and children.  The Germans were due to be flown home on November 14th.

Turkey has deported 7,500 ISIS members, with another 1,149 ISIS terrorists in Turkish prisons. Turkish state media reported Turkey planned to repatriate about 2,500 militants, most going home to European Union nations.

Erdogan will meet with Trump today at the White House.  Erdogan will present documentation that Ferhat Abdi Sahin, who is known to the US military as ‘General’ Mazloum Kobani, is a PKK terrorist.  Recently, Trump spoke with Mazloum, who is the military leader of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), and spoke highly of Mazloum and had invited him to the White House.  Trump ordered the withdrawal of US troops from northeastern Turkey, which paved the road for Erdogan to order an invasion on October 9th, to remove the SDF. The US military partnered with the SDF in the fight to defeat ISIS in Syria.  However, the fight was over and Trump had promised his citizens to ‘bring the troops home’.  Many felt this was a betrayal of the SDF, who had fought and died in the fight to stop ISIS, alongside US troops.  However, Erdogan views the SDF, and Mazloum, as part of the internationally recognized terrorist group, PKK, who has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years, resulting in the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.

Not every terrorist is being deported from Turkey, only the ones they don’t want.  The mercenary militia Free Syrian Army (FSA) is on the Turkish government payroll and fighting inside Syria today on behalf of Erdogan.

The ground troops used in ‘Operation Spring Peace’ are Syrian terrorists who are now mercenary soldiers employed by Turkey.  We first heard of the FSA in 2011 when Obama and Sen. John McCain called them ‘freedom fighters’ and funded them through covert CIA programs, as well as through Congressional funding, lobbied by McCain and others.  McCain made a personal trip to meet with the FSA near Idlib and the photos his office posted online were controversial. The FSA ended up a failure in Syria, while their ‘brother’s in arms’, Al Qaeda, arrived and were successful, with the FSA either switching uniforms to Al Qaeda or their ‘brother’ ISIS.  Erdogan continued to support them as the remnants of the FSA re-grouped in Turkey, and he rebranded them as the “Syrian National Army”; however, the new name never stuck and they are still called FSA.

Since the FSA have invaded northeast Syria, about 200,000 people have been displaced, according to the UN. Families are scattered across the area, and it is the FSA who are blamed for beatings, rapes, looting, kidnappings, and executions.

The FSA invokes the name of God in every action they take.  If they kill innocent civilians or armed SDF soldiers, they do so by invoking the name of God.  Their shouts of “Allahu Akbar” are remembered from their first appearance in 2011 in Homs, when the carried banners which read, “Christians to Beirut, Alowis to the grave.”  They were followers of the Muslim Brotherhood ideology which gave them the Islamic authority to slaughter in the name of God and to judge who is a ‘heathen’ or not.

“Those people are filled with hatred and a lust for blood,” said Fateh, a barber from Ras al-Ayn.  “They do not distinguish between Arab and Kurdish, Muslim and non-Muslim. They contacted me before the offensive and said that as an Arab Muslim, it is my duty to rise up against the Kurds and help Turkey invade my city.”

He refused and left the area.

“Someone called me and simply said ‘we want your head’ as if stealing my home and driving me out of my city merely for being Kurdish was not enough.” said Mohammad Aref, a radiologist from Tal Abyad.

He said he was reminded of how ISIS acted when they invaded his town in 2013.  The FSA terrorists “destroyed a lion stonework at the entrance of our building, thinking it was idolatry”, he said. “They took our carpets and threw them on the street to prostrate themselves on them during public prayers that they were holding.”

“Let’s be clear, Tal Abyad is not under the control of Turkey. It’s under the control of Turkey’s mercenaries.  They have taken over the houses of us Kurds and made them their own.  Each one of those mercenaries acts as if he was in charge of the town.  They walk into houses and proclaim them theirs. They kidnap and execute people for being ‘atheists’ or ‘blasphemers’. And they are looting people’s properties in broad daylight.” said Mikael Mohammad, the Kurdish owner of a clothing shop in Tal Abyad.

The FSA terrorists “believe that taking your life is doing God’s work and that stealing your property is their reward for it,” said a Kurdish aid worker from Ras al-Ayn, now displaced in Qamishli.

Graphic videos uploaded by the FSA showed them executing captives along a highway near Tal Abyad.  On October 12th the Syrian Kurdish politician, Hevrin Khalaf, was tortured, murdered and dismembered after the FSA ambushed her car.  The videos of her body and the mutilations of the corpse went viral online.  Her mother said after receiving the body for burial, the only thing she could recognize was a portion of her chin.

Speaking to journalists recently, Erdogan defended his Syrian allies, saying they were not “terrorists” but Islamic holy warriors who were “defending their land there, hand in hand, arm in arm, shoulder to shoulder with my soldiers”.

In 2012, Daniel Wagner, the author of “Virtual Terror”, wrote about the FSA, at a time when the Obama administration and the US media were supporting the FSA regardless of the war crimes and atrocities they were committing. He wrote, “The West should not be surprised if an Islamic state results from an FSA victory.”  That was written seven years ago, while Turkey today, a US ally and NATO member, is using the same terrorists to murder in northeast Syria, and there is no international outcry, as they had all supported them before. Interestingly, the only international outcry is that their terrorists are coming home to roost.

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This article was originally published on Mideast Discourse.

Steven Sahiounie is a political commentator. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image is from Mideast Discourse

Bolivia’s Evo Morales Receives Support from South Africa

November 14th, 2019 by BDS South Africa

BDS SA, COSATU, SACP, SSN, FOCUS-SA and others join South Africa’s ruling party, the ANC, in pledging solidarity with the Nelson Mandela of Latin America, President Evo Morales of Bolivia.

Over the weekend, in a shock to all peace loving people, Morales was removed from his position following a coup supported by the local oligarchy with ties in US-interest. This sentiment has been expressed by several Latin American leaders including the president and presidents-elect of Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Argentina and several others from across the globe.

We welcome the protection provided to Morales by the Government of Mexico and concur with their Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard who has explained that “Military coups never bring anything positive and that is why we are worried.”

We as South Africans are concerned by the interference by the USA and their allies as well as related structures in Latin America and other parts of the world.

We fondly recall Morales’ visit to our country in 2006 where he met our former President Thabo Mbeki, his successor President Kgalema Mothlante, our current President Cyril Ramaphosa as well as other senior South Africa leaders including the leadership of the ANC, SACP and COSATU.

Morales was one of the first indiengous people to be elected as President in Bolivia (where the indigenous people account for over 63% of the population. Having been born into a poor Aymarayan family from the township of El Alto (one of seven children, only three of whom survived beyond the age of one) Morales never betrayed his roots, having actively insured that racial discrimination against indigenous people and other injustices were confronted head on.

The leadership of Morales also saw greater economic prosperity for all people of Bolivia. According to the Washington Post:

“it’s indisputable that Bolivians are healthier, wealthier, better educated, living longer and more equal than at any time in this South American nation’s history…under Morales, data shows, Bolivia’s economy is closing the gap with the rest of the continent, growing faster than most neighbors over the past 13 years.”

An internationalist, Morales has also come under pressure from the USA for his support of the Palestinian struggle against Israeli Apartheid. In 2008 Evo Morales recalled Bolivia’s ambassador from Israel stating that “what is happening in Palestine is genocide”. In 2014 Morales, together with the late Cuban President Fidel Castro and others issued a statement in support of BDS. They wrote:

“We encourage you to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against the terrorist state of Israel, as it is time for active and creative solidarity that goes beyond statements of condemnation.”

We will urgently be consulting with our partner organizations involved in international solidarity efforts to arrange urgent protests and others actions against the US-backed coup in Bolivia and to support the Bolivian people’s democratically elected president, Comrade Evo Morales. We call for an end to the hybrid wars waged on progressive states in Latin America which are undermining democracy and the will of the people.

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Europe Has Developed Thanks to Africa’s Wealth

November 14th, 2019 by Mamadou Mansaré

“You must know a great fighter, he is a personality in his country” – the French worker of North African origin who introduced him to me told me. It was rigorously true. For many years Mamadou Mansaré has embodied the voice of the Guinean workers’ movement in the National Confederation of Guinean Workers (CNTG). We are at an obligatory stop in French trade unionism: a mansion in the middle of a natural habitat given to the Nazi occupants to be used as a brothel, and that the first resisters who entered Paris with their rifles took away from their former owners, and then converted it into a training centre for class struggle.

Because internationalism is acts and not words, Mansaré was being gratuitously hosted by the CGT, “the union whose comrades were by my side in my country, during the gun battles”. He was undergoing medical treatment. His pleasant voice did not allow us to guess that long trajectory in the front line of battle. Despite his fragile state of health, we agreed to an interview that finally lasted more than two hours. We barely noticed.

Mansaré had recently returned to Guinea. And only a few days ago he left us, on October 6. He was 64 years old and fought until the last moment for the humble of that plundered continent. His return is a message for the new generations: a whole life dedicated to social combat is worth living. Chapeau bas, monsieur !

We leave you with this interview published as a tribute. In it, Mansaré breaks into a thousand pieces the story of national history based on the work of a few individuals, restores the true history of African Independence and points out without cover those responsible for this deadly capitalist machinery.

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Alex Anfruns: How did Guinea’s independence come about?

Mamadou Mansaré: Guinea gained its independence on 2 October 1958. It was the first country of the French colonial empire to say “No” and to obtain independence in a referendum. That “No” of September 28 was perceived by De Gaulle and the whole West as a snub. My country had to pay a high price for having made this choice, for having said that “we prefer freedom in poverty to opulence in slavery”.

AA: How important is Guinea in the region?

MM: Guinea is the third largest bauxite producer after Australia, but it is the largest reserve in the world. And they are also quality reserves. We have the best iron, with extraordinary deposits. We have uranium, gold, diamonds, large expanses of arable land, our waters are abundant with fish… It is said that Guinea is the “Water Tower” of Africa, because all the great rivers of West Africa have their origin in Guinea. We have the Senegal River, the Niger River and the Gambia River, which originate in Guinea. It is as if we were talking about the importance of the Nile for Egypt.

AA: Guinea was on the right path to development. What happened then?

MM: What happened is that France withdrew all its teachers, destroyed all the documentation of the colonial administration, including our birth certificates that were burned. They left us nothing. Those who came to replace them to teach us in Guinea were Russian, Bulgarian, Haitian and Dahomey teachers – at that time already called Beninese. So I was educated by Russian professors throughout my cycle, until I graduated from university. Our first president, Sékou Touré, came from the union that made the country independent. He was also a deep Pan-Africanist.

AA: In the context of the “wave of independence”, what were the relations between the different liberation movements in West Africa?

MM: The company in which I worked, the SBK (Société de Bauxite de Kindia), was created especially to reimburse the Russians for the weapons that the Russians and other Soviet bloc countries sent to us for use in the various national liberation movements.

Our first contribution was to the FLN in Algeria. The weapons that arrived in Guinea passed through Bamako and then through the desert to finally deliver them to Boumédienne.

Then there was the liberation movement of the Portuguese-speaking countries, with Guinea Bissau very close to us. It was our own troops who fought there.

AA: What kind of cooperation was there?

MM: It was Guinea that provided the aid to Guinea Bissau. The weapons were bought from the Soviet bloc, landed in the port of Conakry, and then transported by road. The PAIGC, which had been formed by Amilcar Cabral, was based in Guinea. PAIGC combatants were trained in Guinea by the Guinean army and Cuban teachers, because in the 1960s there was military and health cooperation between Guinea and Cuba. The first combined intervention of both was in the Congo, where Guinean and Cuban troops were found. Che Guevara had gone to the Congo to help the Lumumbista movement in April 1965. But it was too late. That failure still explains today the current destabilization of the Congo.

PAIGC fighters were not only trained in Conakry, they were also given accommodation. Amilcar Cabral, Nino Vieira and the entire staff were there. And our troops also disguised themselves as PAIGC fighters to fight alongside them.

AA: In that unequal balance of power with the colonial powers, Pan-African unity was necessary…

MM: Yes, the Portuguese first attacked Guinea and then assassinated Cabral on January 20, 1973. On November 22, 1970, ships arrived in Guinea that landed mercenaries to carry out a coup d’état, but it failed. All the people participated in its defeat because everyone was obliged to have a militia formation. By the time we graduated from university, we had all completed a year of military training. We joined the company, but in case we were needed, if a war was declared we had to be prepared.

Fortunately, the war never happened. There were attacks, such as the incursion of mercenaries from Sierra Leone who came to attack us in 2000. But it only took us a month, we threw them out!

Then we had Angola. The first Angolan president was Agustinho Neto. He was very popular, he did his military training in Guinea. Weapons were also transported in the same way from Guinea to Angola.

AA: How do you explain this important welcome to Pan-African leaders in Guinea?

MM: Let us remember the coup d’état against the President of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah. When that coup took place, we welcomed Nkrumah to Guinea. He was even appointed co-president of Guinea! Since independence, Guinea has been a country that has really wanted this unity. First we started by bringing together Guinea, Mali and Ghana. But it didn’t work in Mali, because of the coup against Modibo Keita. Then unity was also impeded by the dismissal of Nkrumah. In fact, Guinea is the only one of the three countries that was able to take on the Pan-African task.

The South African leader of the African National Congress (ANC) Thabo Mbeki, as well as President Nelson Mandela, completed their training in our country. Mandela’s first passport was Guinean! It was thanks to his Guinean diplomatic passports that all these leaders mentioned were able to travel, whether from Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe as Robert Mugabe or Mozambique as their first president Samora Machel from 1975 to 1986. Machel led his country to independence after a war of liberation against the Portuguese. After his death, his wife Graça Machel became the First Lady of South Africa at the second marriage to Nelson Mandela in 1998.

All these countries received aid from the Guinean Government through bauxite mining companies. We sent our bauxite via Russian ships to Ukraine. There was a factory that was built especially for our bauxite. The Nikolaev company was the base on which today’s Russal group was founded. It is a large mining group, but during the period of the Soviet empire, Nikolaev belonged to the state. Nikolaev was built especially to transform bauxite into alumina and pay off the debt to the Soviet bloc: the weapons, the teachers, the doctors who sent us, as well as the infrastructure we were building.

AA: Those efforts of pan-African unity were subjected to containment by the colonial powers. It is hard to imagine that Guinea, the heart of the resistance, could be saved from the storm. How did they proceed?

MM: As I said, Guinea has made a significant contribution to the liberation of the other West African countries. That is why it has been the victim of many coups d’état. In some writings, we can read that Sékou Touré was a dictator, a bloodthirsty man, who killed this and that… As always, it is very easy to distort reality by those who have the power of communication.

Let’s see how Françafrique was under De Gaulle, with the businesses of the Foccart network. They themselves have recognized all the coups d’état they organized in Guinea. They admitted to being behind so many coup attempts… but they did not succeed. Never. Until the natural death of President Sékou Touré, no coup d’état succeeded… because his people were with him!

AA: How did you get involved in the union?

MM: At that time everyone was organized. When a young man finished his studies, he didn’t have to look for three feet for the cat, but simply started to work. Automatically and whatever his level was. You could choose between three companies. When I graduated from college, I chose SBK. I said to myself, “Well, if this company is paying our debt, I’d rather work there than at CBG, which serves the American imperialists of Alcan (Alcoa and Rio Tinto). I made my own decision.

The union played a very important role, at least for me, in raising awareness among the black African population. It was the first to begin to explain the injustices we were suffering. The West has never acknowledged the black genocide! One can hardly imagine what the triangular traffic between Africa and Europe is like. America alone, the “slave trade”, represents more than 200 million deaths. In Nantes there is a memorial with all the names of the captains of the ships that took part in that “slave trade”. Blacks used to be put on ships in Africa… And from then on, they were distributed and sold like wild animals. Women were separated…

Under that system alone, 200 million people died. Isn’t that genocide, not to mention the blacks who died in America! Not to mention those who died in the raids! And how many Africans died just because of the rubber harvest, Michelin companies…? Isn’t it colonization, isn’t it genocide?

If Europe has developed, it is thanks to the richness of Africa. Today we are told that we are immigrants. The colonialists came and imposed their law on us. They have taken the wealth of our continent. They don’t need a visa, they continue to loot us!

AA: You say that companies from imperialist countries were also present to exploit Guinea’s resources. Can you go deeper into that?

MM: Yes, at the time of Sékou Touré there was the CBG, the Compagnie de Bauxite de Guinée, of which 45% belonged to the Guinean state and 55% to the Alcan group. There was Pechiney, a French group in Fria. It is the first alumina plant in Africa, built by the French. After the death of Sékou Touré at the time of Lassana Conté, it was sold to the Americans. Today, this factory belongs to the Russal group.

Let’s compare the price of bauxite, for example, with the price of aluminum, which is the final element of bauxite…It’s with aluminum that we make cans, flasks, etc. When you compare the price of a ton of aluminum and a ton of bauxite, it’s the difference between a stream and an ocean! The maximum they’ll give you is maybe $28 or $30 for a ton of bauxite. While aluminum reaches up to $2,000 or $3,000 per ton.

AA: In the 1960s, groups of countries in the South came together to defend their economic rights, their sovereignty over the price of raw materials…

MM: Yes, the case of bauxite in Guinea is an example of this. At the time of the First Republic, it was a Guinean who held that position. But everything stopped after the death of the President. They wanted to follow the example of OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries), do the same to regulate the price of bauxite. But the mining multinationals are very powerful and it was not possible. Today, those multinationals are Alcan (Alcoa and Rio Tinto), Vale, Russal, the Chinese… They come and take control of the concessions. There is no difference between them, but they copy each other.

AA: How does concessions work?

MM: To attract multinationals to your country, a country is forced to make many concessions. For example, let’s say that a country offers a concession of 20,000 dollars and the multinational answers “it’s too much, I can’t pay more than 10,000”. Then the government says: “Do you want me to exempt you from port taxes for ten years? You will not pay income taxes. Your expatriates will not contribute to social security”… Well, that’s a lot of taxes! In the meantime, the multinational uses the roads, the rivers, it pollutes with its various products! People and communities are deprived of the lands they occupied since their ancestors. And as compensation, they are not given any other working tool.

Let’s say that two countries have the same mineral, for example. Well, one country considers that it should give all those facilities to attract a multinational, because the neighboring country would also like it to come. Everyone wants him to come. So the multinational decides according to who has the best ore and the best advantages they offer. So Africa is fighting itself!

AA: How can one escape this vicious circle?

MM: Former South African President Thabo Mbeki’s report on illicit financial flows shows that the exemptions that countries granted multinational mining companies from various taxes were 10 times greater than the bilateral aid provided by Western countries.

Instead of providing us with this “aid”, our different countries could agree on a single, identical mining code, imposing the same requirements on the multinationals. In that case, there would no longer be competition between African countries.

AA: Today countries like the United States or France are very present in Africa. For example, with cooperation programmes in the “fight against corruption”. Are these their real objectives?

MM: Ridiculesness doesn’t kill! Instead of sending NGOs… may they help us recover our funds through mining tax havens! New Jersey is a mining tax haven. Toronto, in Canada, is a hub! The stock exchanges in England and Singapore are also centres of operations!

In Europe they have brought out a whole arsenal to fight against these tax havens from the financial point of view. But they never talk about mining tax havens. What are mining companies doing? They are all recovering their money in the places I have just mentioned. Even Chinese companies are trading in New Jersey. Everything they steal, they take there to launder, to make it clean money. We don’t even know how much real tonnage of ore is mined in our countries!

If you look at the map of Guinea, you can find Boké, next to the port and Guinea Bissau. The border near Boké was precisely where the main battlefields were located during the fight against the Portuguese army… The whole area of Boké is very rich in bauxite. Today, there are more than fifty multinationals of all nationalities in that small area of Boké-Boffa. Whether they are Chinese, Australian, Russian or American multinationals… Imagine the pressure that exists in my country! And if you look at the population, it’s very poor! So when I hear about NGOs… Why don’t they investigate where wealth goes?

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Media Support for the CIA Coup in Bolivia

November 14th, 2019 by Stephen Lendman

Without establishment media support, US planned aggression, color revolutions, old-fashioned coups, and other hostile to peace, equity and justice actions wouldn’t get out of the starting gate.

Propaganda support is crucial, manipulating the public mind. Media operate as gatekeepers, proliferating the official narrative, suppressing vital hard truths essential for everyone to know.

Orwell called it “reality control,” substituting managed news misinformation and disinformation for truth-telling.

Discussing the coup in Bolivia, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) said the following:

Bolivian “(a)rmy generals appearing on television to demand the resignation and arrest of an elected civilian head of state seems like a textbook example of a coup,” adding:

“And yet that is certainly not how corporate media are presenting the weekend’s events in Bolivia. No establishment outlet framed the action as a coup,” concealing reality, exclusively reporting state-approved propaganda, saying the following:

NYT: An “infuriated population” was angry about “election fraud” — ignoring Bolivia’s free, fair and open process, Evo Morales elected and reelected four times.

Fox News falsely called his government a “full-blown dictatorship” — ignoring Bolivian democratic rule under his leadership.

When establishment media refer to a “coup,” Morales and his government are falsely accused of the made-in-the-USA plot to topple him.

FAIR: “The New York Times did not hide its approval at events, presenting Morales as a power-hungry despot who had finally ‘lost his grip on power,’ ” adding:

Removing him from office marked “the end of tyranny.”

CNN highlighted the Big Lie of “election fraud,” proving again why it’s the most distrusted name in so-called television news.

Across the board, establishment media suppressed how Morales was “forced (from office) at gunpoint by the military,” FAIR stressed.

CBS News falsely said Morales resigned over “election fraud and protests.”

FAIR: “Delegitimizing foreign elections where the ‘wrong’ person wins, of course, is a favorite pastime of corporate media.”

FAIR: “No mainstream outlet warned its readers (or viewers) that the OAS is a Cold War organization, explicitly set up to halt the spread of leftist governments.”

USAID earlier said the organization “promotes US interests in the Western hemisphere, countering the influence of” sovereign independent governments in Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Bolivia under Morales.

The same script followed the US 2016 presidential election, establishment media furious about Trump’s triumph over Hillary.

Russiagate and Ukrainegate scams are all about wanting him delegitimized and weakened for winning an election he was supposed to lose.

Over-entertained, uninformed Americans are so out of touch with reality they’re easy to fool no matter how many times they were duped before.

Famed imperial state critic Gore Vidal once said:

“We are the United States of Amnesia, which is encouraged by a media that has no desire to tell us the truth about anything, serving their corporate masters who have other plans to dominate us.”

Noted oral historian Studs Terkel responded to Vidal, saying:

“Gore, it’s not the United States of Amnesia. It’s the United States of Alzheimer’s.”

Information passes through the public mind like water through a sieve — understanding something today, erased from memory when new or dissimilar information replaces it.

Vidal railed against establishment media, calling them “bandits,” adding “(t)he infantilizing of the republic is one of the triumphs of American television.”

“Everybody with an IQ above room temperature is onto the con act of our media. They are obeying bigger, richer interests than informing the public—which is the last thing that corporate America has ever been interested in doing.”

Commenting on the nation’s ruling class, Vidal said he was “around (its members) all (his) life,” stressing his awareness of “their total contempt for the people of the country” — serving their own interests exclusively, supported by dominant media.

In its latest edition, the NYT falsely claimed self-declared, unelected, coup d’etat president in Bolivia Anez aims “to reconstruct democracy.”

Like other establishment media, it failed to explain that toppling Morales was all about eliminating democratic rule under his leadership, wanting pro-Western puppet rule replacing him.

The Times and likeminded media support what demands denunciation. No election “fraud” occurred as falsely reported.

General Carlos Orellana Centellas replaced Williams Kaliman as Bolivian military chief, both officials and other key ones in their chain of command trained at the infamous School of the Americas at Fort Benning, GA.

According to Bolivia’s Ombudsman’s Office, street violence since October 20 resulted in eight deaths, over 500 injuries, and hundreds arrested.

On Wednesday, Telesur reported that “legitimate” Senate President Adriana Salvatierra “was violently assaulted by the police as she was trying to enter the Senate on Wednesday in order to comply with the constitutional rule that automatically proclaims the head of the upper chamber the Interim President when the President steps down, after Evo Morales was forced to resign on Sunday.”

During a Wednesday press conference, she said that she’s ready to convene parliament and assume the presidency as constitutionally mandated, adding:

“After the attack, we can observe that we have no guarantee for us to fulfill our legislative mandate.” Separately, she tweeted:

“#Bolivia | Senate President Adriana Salvatierra was assaulted and her entrance to the senate was blocked by police officials and coup supporters.”

Telesur tweeted:

“After a violent attack by coup supporters and police, Bolivian President of the Senate suffered minor injuries, but she was not able to go back to work and fulfill her mission at congress.”

On Wednesday, Pompeo issued a statement, expressing support for Bolivia’s coup d’etat president Anez, saying:

The Trump regime “applauds (her) for stepping up…to lead her nation through this democratic transition” — what the CIA orchestrated coup went all out to eliminate.

In response to events in Bolivia, the anti-imperial Black Alliance for Peace expressed solidarity with its population, urging that “people of conscience in the West join us to defeat the US/EU/NATO Axis of domination for the good of humanity,” adding:

“People of Bolivia, you are not alone.”

Note: On November 16, anti-imperial demonstrations are planned in Washington, New York, and other US cities against the CIA orchestrated coup in Bolivia — in coordination with similar actions abroad.

They’re all about wanting legitimate Bolivian President Evo Morales restored to the office he democratically won.

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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

The Costs of Post 9/11 Wars: $6.4 Trillion

November 14th, 2019 by Prof. Neta C. Crawford

Since late 2001, the United States has appropriated and is obligated to spend an estimated $6.4 Trillion through Fiscal Year 2020 in budgetary costs related to and caused by the post-9/11 wars—an estimated $5.4 Trillion in appropriations in current dollars and an additional minimum of $1 Trillion for US obligations to care for the veterans of these wars through the next several decades.[2]

The mission of the post-9/11 wars, as originally defined, was to defend the United States against future terrorist threats from al Qaeda and affiliated organizations. Since 2001, the wars have expanded from the fighting in Afghanistan, to wars and smaller operations elsewhere, in more than 80 countries — becoming a truly “global war on terror.” Further, the Department of Homeland Security was created in part to coordinate the defense of the homeland against terrorist attacks.

These wars, and the domestic counterterror mobilization, have entailed significant expenses, paid for by deficit spending. Thus, even if the United States withdraws completely from the major war zones by the end of FY2020 and halts its other Global War on Terror operations, in the Philippines and Africa for example, the total budgetary burden of the post- 9/11 wars will continue to rise as the US pays the on -going costs of veterans’ care and for interest on borrowing to pay for the wars. Moreover, the increases in the Pentagon base budget associated with the wars are likely to remain, inflating the military budget over the long run.

Overview

One of the major purposes of the Costs of War Project has been to clarify the types of budgetary costs of the US post -9/11 wars, how that spending is funded, and the long-term implications of past and current spending. This estimate of the US budgetary costs of the post-9/11 wars is a comprehensive accounting intended to provide a sense of the consequences of the wars for the federal budget. Since the 9/11 attacks, the Department of Defense appropriations related to the Global War on Terror have been treated as emergency appropriations, now called Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO).[3] When accounting for total war costs, the Department of Defense and other entities often present only Overseas Contingency Operation appropriations.

The Costs of War Project takes a broader view of war expenses because budgetary costs of the post -9/11 wars are not confined to military spending. Table 1 summarizes post-9/11 war-related costs and the categories of spending. Numbers and occasionally categories are revised in the Costs of War estimates when better information becomes available. For example, this year’s report uses newer interest rate data in calculating the estimated interest on borrowing for OCO spending. Additionally, this report revises the estimate of increases to the Pentagon base budget given new information, described below, on patterns of military spending and the relations between the OCO budget and base military spending. Further, the Department of Defense budget for FY2020 included new categories, denoting OCO spending intended for the base military budget, reflected in a separate line in Table 1.

Table 1. Summary of War Related Spending, in Billions of Current Dollars, FY2001FY2020 Rounded to the nearest $billion.

Full ReportClick here to read the carefully documented report by Professor Neta C. Crawford of Boston University.

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Neta C. Crawford is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at Boston University and a co-director of the Costs of War Project at Brown University’s Watson Institute and Boston University’s Pardee Center.

Featured image is from Jared Rodriguez / Truthout

 

Every year, on the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, references are made with the Cypriot capital of Nicosia, the last divided capital city of Europe. In Berlin, the wall fell under the weight of a political cosmogony and pressure from citizens, who dismantled the wall with their hands, hammers and other tools until Berlin was once again united.

However, the partition of Germany and the division of Cyprus did not have the same starting point. Germany was divided between a communist east and a capitalist west after the Nazis were defeated by Soviet forces after the Battle of Berlin, while Cyprus was occupied in 1974 after Turkey invaded the northern portion of the island, established a de facto state only recognized by Ankara, and displaced the entirety of the native Greek population while replacing them with colonizers from Turkey.

Regarding the handling of the occupation, the status quo in Cyprus is controlled. Unfortunately, adapting to Turkish aspirations also goes through the deterioration of Ankara’s actions. The choice is between accepting the perpetrators or preventing them from overturn.

Ankara has relentlessly advanced into waters controlled by the Republic of Cyprus, the internationally recognized country.

Why? Oil and gas of course. Billions and billions of dollars’ worth.

The Eastern Mediterranean remains a strategic point for trade due to its proximity to the Suez Canal, transportation and more recently, natural resources. It is this very drive for exploiting the natural resources that in January, the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum was convened as a means for Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Jordan, Israel, Italy and the Palestinian Authority to develop a regional natural gas market. Notably, Turkey was missing from this Forum, which would have agitated Ankara as only a month later ExxonMobil announced a new gas discovery in offshore Cyprus that has more than doubled Cyprus’s estimated offshore resources. This is why Turkey has been in a desperate rush to exploit oil belonging to another internationally recognized sovereign country.

It is for this reason that on Monday, on Nicosia’s request last month, the EU Council of Foreign Affairs adopted sanctions, including travel bans and freezing assets of individuals and entities involved in Turkey’s illegal drilling Cypriot natural resources.  The sanctions also prohibit persons and entities from the European Union from making funds available to those on the list of sanctions.

The sanctions come as last week, Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Dönmez boldly announced that his country had started illegal oil-drilling with Yavuz ship off Cyprus, noting that the Fatih vessel was also preparing for a new drilling.

In response to the sanctions, the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu claimed that

“We will not give up our rights under international law, despite European steps,” adding that the EU “cannot grasp the reality and make the right decisions based on international law and justice.”

This is a strange position for Turkey to adopt when considering there is absolutely no international law that validates its illegal drilling of oil and gas that belongs to Cyprus. In actual international law, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea stipulates that a state’s territorial waters can only extend 12 nautical miles out to sea. However, Cyprus has its own internationally recognized Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), meaning Nicosia can claim fishing, mining, and drilling rights a further 200 miles unless the distance between two countries is less than 424 miles, they must determine an agreed dividing line between their EEZ’s.

Source: InfoBrics

Although Turkey claims it is upholding international law, without citing which international law exactly, it is unsurprising that Turkey is one of only 15 UN members, out of 193, that has not signed up to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, demonstrating it has no interest in international law.

Simon Henderson, an energy specialist at the Washington Institute, explains that “Turkey has not signed up to the convention because the document grants significant rights to island territories” and that “Ankara instead claims rights based on its continental shelf, a perspective that severely limits Cypriot rights.”

However, what Turkey wants, and what Turkey gets are two different things.

Although Ankara continues to send colonizers to Northern Cyprus, the rest of the world recognises Cyprus as one country, with the government in Nicosia having sovereignty. The refusal of international states, including traditional allies like Albania and Azerbaijan, to recognize the illegal “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” infuriates Ankara. Only last month, EU Member States had reiterated their full support for Cyprus, demanding that the European Commission submit proposals for restrictive measures against Turkey.

The sanctions will be a major blow to Turkey as it does not have the technology or knowhow to exploit the significant gas and oil deposits in the EEZ, and it is highly unlikely that multinationals will be willing to extract Cyprus’ natural resources on behalf of Turkey and risk sanctions and punishment.

Although Çavuşoğlu continually insists that Turkey operates under the tenants of international law, this strange ‘adherence’ to international law sees Turkey violating Greek air space on a daily basis, continues to violate Cypriot territory on a near daily basis outside of the areas they already occupy, threats to invade the rest of Cyprus, and illegally invade northern Syria and Iraq. Turkey on a daily basis illegally operates in Greece, Cyprus, Syria and Iraq without permission or jurisdiction, yet continually claims it wants peace and operates under international law.

Therefore, Turkey certainly does not appear ready to participate in a five-day meeting on the Cyprus Issue in December. The initial goal was to pursue an informal five-day meeting with the UN Secretary-General following an informal three-day meeting, in search of unifying the island again.

At the same time UN Special Envoy Jane Hol Lut is expected to arrive in Cyprus for preparations for the informal trialogue meeting in Berlin on November 25 and Cypriot President Anastasiadis will also meet with Lut on November 16. However, President Anastasiadis goes to Paris on Monday to participate in the international Forum on Peace organized by the French Presidency. Before Berlin, President Anastasiadis will also travel to Zagreb to attend a conference of the European People’s Party hosted in the Croatian capital on November 20 and 21.

It certainly appears that Cyprus is making every diplomatic effort to force the issue of the divided island to be resolved. Although Turkey continues to act in a defiant manner, it is yet to realize that its efforts to become the regional hegemon has only weakened its position. It’s reversal of its responsible “Policy of Zero Problems with our Neighbors,” that was completed destroyed with Turkey’s support of jihadists against Syria in 2011 despite Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan once describing his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad as “his brother”, has only seen the country experience more problems with increased terrorist attacks, the re-emergence of the PKK in Syria and a destroyed economy.

And now in Cyprus, with its continued efforts to ‘legitimize’ the invasion of the rest of the country or illegally extract its natural resources, Turkey will now be put in an even weaker position as it risks its economy further. With the U.S. already applying pressures and sanctions on Turkey for acquiring the Russian S-400 and invading northern Syria, the EU will now likely go on the offensive against Ankara as it continues to occupy a part of an EU member.

Although the EU has taken a more-or-less balanced and patient approach to resolving Cyprus, it appears it is now becoming increasingly impatient with Turkey’s aggression towards neighboring EU members. With the EU and Nicosia attempting to push ahead negotiations in resolving the Cyprus issue but Turkey illegally extracting natural resources, occupying a part of an EU member and indirectly threatening to invade the rest of the island along with Greece’s eastern Aegean islands, the EU is beginning to realize that time is being wasted in negotiations and patience and that a more aggressive approaches like sanctions needs to be taken.

Severe sanctions against Turkey would be devastating to its already fragile economy. Will this be enough to force Turkey to the negotiating table remains to be seen, but it is highly unlikely as Erdoğan has already demonstrated he is willing to sacrifice the wellbeing of his people and the economy by prioritizing military operations in Syria and Iraq, and pressuring the Greek and Cypriot militaries on a daily basis with the constant war games, costing the Turkish economy billions upon billions of dollars.

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This article was originally published on InfoBrics.

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

“This intimidation shows how the U.S. security forces work hand-in-glove with the right-wing forces in Latin America who are trying to stop progressive movements that empower the poor.”

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Medea Benjamin, co-founder of anti-war group CodePink, said she was assaulted Wednesday by supporters of the right-wing Venezuelan opposition during a Capitol Hill press conference announcing the creation of the bipartisan Congressional Venezuela Democracy Caucus.

Medea Benjamin is a frequent contributor to Global Research

Benjamin and other members of CodePink protested the event while backers of the effort to overthrow Venezuela’s elected President Nicolás Maduro rallied in support of the new pro-regime change caucus, which was launched by Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), Mario Díaz-Balart (R-Fla.), and other lawmakers.

During the press conference, Benjamin shouted for an end to punishing U.S. sanctions in Venezuela and held a sign that read “No Coups in Venezuela or Bolivia.”

At one point, Benjamin was standing just outside the circle of lawmakers when she was grabbed and choked from behind by an unidentified individual CodePink said was a supporter of the Venezuelan opposition.

“When Debbie Wasserman Schultz was speaking, I was standing right next to her, and every once in a while I would say something like, ‘Lift the Sanctions!’ ‘This is all about the votes, Debbie, isn’t it? In Florida!’,” Benjamin told journalist Ford Fischer following the event.

“I was pulled by people behind me,” she added. “They grabbed me. They choked me. They threw me down, and I was very upset and shaken.”

CodePink posted a clip of part of the incident on Twitter:

Hours after the event, Capitol police—with five vehicles—arrived at Benjamin’s home and threatened to arrest her on accusations of assaulting Wasserman Schultz, which Benjamin adamantly denied.

In one clip, it appears that Benjamin grabbed the Florida congresswoman in an effort to maintain balance as she was pulled from behind.

“Debbie Wasserman Schultz was there. I was standing by the side of her, and the right-wing Venezuelans were dragging me down,” Benjamin told a Capitol police officer outside of her home. “I grabbed on to whatever I could find, and now they’re saying that I assaulted a congresswoman. I didn’t assault anybody.”

Shortly after Benjamin demanded that the Capitol police produce a warrant for her arrest, the officers told her she was “free to go” following a review of the video footage.

“Apparently, the Capitol Police had an allegation, did not know if they could substantiate the allegation, but because it involved a congresswoman, it did not matter,” reported ShadowProof‘s Kevin Gosztola. “They sought to quickly coerce a political activist into submitting to their authority, even if there was no basis for that activist to do so before the allegation was corroborated by police.”

In a statement following the incident, Benjamin said “this intimidation shows how the U.S. security forces work hand-in-glove with the right-wing forces in Latin America who are trying to stop progressive movements that empower the poor.”

CodePink Latin America coordinator Leonardo Flores, who attended the press conference with Benjamin, said the event “was almost like a microcosm of U.S. policy towards Venezuela.”

“We saw U.S. government representatives, flanked by Venezuelan elites, deciding on policy for Venezuela as police silenced the voices of people  speaking out about the coup and sanctions,” said Flores. “I saw Medea Benjamin get assaulted and shoved to the ground, while I was threatened with physical violence.”

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Featured image: “I saw Medea Benjamin get assaulted and shoved to the ground, while I was threatened with physical violence,” said CodePink Latin America coordinator Leonardo Flores. (Photo: Screengrab via Common Dreams)

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The Geostrategic Consequences of the Hybrid War on Bolivia

November 14th, 2019 by Andrew Korybko

The successful regime change operation that was just carried out in Bolivia throughout the course of the country’s ongoing US-backed Hybrid War could have some game-changing geostrategic consequences if the coup “authorities” renege on the previous agreements that President Morales signed with Russia and China, especially in the lithium industry, as well as if they enable their new American patron to use their centrally positioned state in the continental heartland as a platform for spreading its divide-and-rule influence all throughout the rest of South America.

A Divide-And-Rule Domino Effect?

The Hybrid War On Bolivia Succeeded In Carrying Out Regime Change” against democratically re-elected and legitimate President Morales, and the geostrategic consequences of this military coup could potentially be far-reaching. It first of all represents the belated success of the “Guaido Model” whereby a previously little-known politician (in the Bolivian context, Second Vice Speaker of the Senate Jeanine Añez) declares themselves “president” before, during, or after a Color Revolution and is installed in power with the help of military forces that betrayed the constitution, which didn’t work in Venezuela because of that country’s strong civic-military union but was pulled off in Bolivia precisely because the latter lacked the aforesaid, according to Venezuelan-Canadian freelance writer and activist Nino Pagliccia. Regional states much weaker than Venezuela could therefore fall victim to this regime change scenario, meaning that any potential gains that genuine grassroots forces might make in the ongoing so-called “South American Spring” could turn out to be temporary and possibly reversed so long as US spy agencies retain control of the military-intelligence faction of their “deep states”.

Hybrid War In The South American Heartland

The author earlier identified Bolivia as the most strategically positioned state in South America in his June 2017 analysis about the continent’s geopolitics, pointing out how the Andean nation is integral for any regional integration initiatives to succeed. This holds true not only for institutions such as Mercosur, but also for connectivity projects such as the Chinese-backed “Trans-Oceanic Railroad” (TORR) that’s planned to cut through the country in linking the Brazilian Atlantic coast with the Peruvian Pacific one. The US, especially under the Trump Administration, is adamantly opposed to all of the New Silk Roads being built under the umbrella of China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI), so it can’t be discounted that the pro-American coup “authorities” might renege on their previous agreements with the People’s Republic in this respect and possibly even go as far as “recognizing” Taiwan instead. That dramatic diplomatic pivot could be encouraged by the US in order to capsize China’s $2.3 billion lithium deal that was clinched with Bolivia earlier this year, as well as to undermine their space and security cooperation since Beijing couldn’t continue these strategic projects in that scenario.

The Lithium Link

Russia also stands to lose some of its influence in the event that the coup-imposed “authorities” renege on their previous cooperation agreements with it too. The Eurasian Great Power has strategic interests in Bolivia’s lithium resources just like China does, which the author analyzed in his piece for Global Research over the summer about how “Russia’s Bolivia Gambit Is A Bold Economic Move”. The developing Russian-Chinese condominium over Bolivia’s lithium resources could have seen both multipolar leaders collectively asserting their technological independence in the forthcoming era of electric vehicles and thus preventing the West from becoming the dominant force in this industry. Lithium, it should be pointed out, is a required component of the batteries that store the electric power in those vehicles, and it’s actually much more important than cobalt (some of which is extracted by 35,000 Congolese child slaves) since the latter is being progressively phased out and replaced by other minerals that are more ethical, less costly, and more reliable from a supply chain standpoint. As it so happens, Bolivia has one of the world’s largest lithium reserves, thus making it disproportionately strategic.

Hindsight Is 20/20

The author drew attention to this back in August 2016 in one of his Context Countdown analyses for Sputnik that was transcribed and republished by Global Research under the title “Lithium, A Strategic Resource: Here’s Why The US Wants To Break Bolivia To Bits With Hybrid War“, which presciently predicted some of the domestic fault lines that would later be exploited by the US during the latest Hybrid War in pursuit of obtaining control over this strategic resource. That piece came several months after the author first identified Bolivia as a likely victim of the US’ global Hybrid War campaign in a March 2016 forecast for Oriental Review about “Predicting The Next Hybrid Wars“, which was the third chapter in his “Law Of Hybrid Warfare” e-book series covering both the Eastern Hemisphere and Western Hemisphere. In hindsight, it therefore wasn’t surprising whatsoever that the US would target Bolivia for regime change since it always wanted to dominate the global lithium industry and create a geostrategic wedge for perpetuating its historic divide-and-rule policy in South America, both of which are in the process of being accomplished after the recent military coup.

Russia & China’s Diplomatic Dilemma

As such, it remains to be seen whether the Russian and Chinese governments will recognize the de-facto results of this regime change operation despite its outcome being totally illegal by both domestic and international standards. On the one hand, they might believe that recognizing the coup-imposed “authorities” could prevent them from reneging on the aforementioned strategic agreements that these two Great Powers reached with Bolivia, while on the other, doing so might weaken their case for taking these same “authorities” to international court in the event that they do indeed renege on those deals. Russia and China are therefore in a very tricky position because the new “authorities” might use those agreements as blackmail for receiving those two’s recognition (as well as threatening to “recognize” Taiwan unless China bestows them recognition in the near future first), which would greatly “legitimize” the US’ Hybrid War on Bolivia as well as any forthcoming ones in the region and elsewhere that it successfully wages. From the Russian and Chinese positions, however, there’s no guarantee that those “authorities” will keep their word and won’t ditch the deals right afterwards.

From Great Powers To Passive Observers

Objectively speaking, the US has much more influence over the current Bolivian “authorities” than either Russia or China do, so it would ultimately come down to whether Washington has the “goodwill” to “allow” La Paz to respect those agreements or not, which is extremely unlikely. Neither of those two Great Powers could realistically reverse their prospective recognition of the coup “authorities” if the latter pull out of the agreements because it would then reveal their intentions in recognizing them in the first place to have been entirely self-serving and therefore harm their soft power standing across the world. Considering this, the optimal approach that they might choose to apply could be to maintain pragmatic working contacts with the new “authorities” but withhold recognition until the outcome of UN-recognized free and fair elections. The “politically inconvenient” fact is that neither Russia nor China have the capability to influence the course of events in Bolivia in one way or the other even if they had the political will to do so, so they’re essentially powerless to intervene and are thus nothing more than passive observers, albeit ones who stand to lose a whole lot if everything continues to go awry.

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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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Boris Johnson has declared that Britain can have a “super Canada-plus” free trade agreement with the EU and achieve that by the end of 2020 and that “there is no need” for political alignment. That’s wrong – it’s not realistically possible.

Not too many hurdles to achieve this are there eh? Leaving aside winning an election – and winning it with a good majority first, and having done so, throw in a bit of parliamentary scrutiny (and that’s gone well so far), Boris would need to convince everyone he has the ability to bend time itself.

Negotiations with countries outside of the EU are not supposed to be started until Britain has formally left the EU. And only then, can negotiations formally start. It should be noted that it took the Canadians seven years of intense meetings to get their deal done – and importantly, it is emphatically worse than the deal we currently have under the umbrella of the EU.

So, if Canada is the benchmark deal to be looked up to, which Boris says it should be – it’s only a small inconvenience to know that it is worse than our current arrangement – by a long, long way. To make it sound a bit better a few months ago, the swashbuckling Brexiteers took it from the ‘Canada deal’ to – ‘Canada Plus’ but that idea was trashed by economic experts and so now its called ‘Super Canada Plus.’ In a few months, Boris will be referring to it as the Super-Duper-Spiffngly-Excellent-Canada-Plus-Plus’ deal – but the reality is that this is little more than an economic cul-de-sac going towards the dead-end of nowhere in particular.

Let’s take a small point. The current Canada deal with the EU has almost no provision for the financial and services industries – the largest industry Britain has to offer. Another small problem – there are the customs checks Boris keeps promising will never happen – but will.

There is another issue that the arch Brexiteers keep brushing under the carpet. Regulatory alignment. It’s all boring and complicated I know but it is important to understand that if Britain is to do a deal with the EU it must adhere to their regulations – not the other way around. The only way to agree a deal with Canada and the EU is to restrict the goods we currently send to the EU as our own standards will have fallen to meet that of Canada’s or America’s and so on.

The political declaration defines the type of future relationship with the EU and is designed to make it unambiguous. It says:

Given the Union and the United Kingdom’s geographic proximity and economic interdependence, the future relationship must ensure open and fair competition, encompassing robust commitments to ensure a level playing field. The precise nature of commitments should be commensurate with the scope and depth of the future relationship and the economic connectedness of the Parties. These commitments should prevent distortions of trade and unfair competitive advantages. (Paragraph 77).

What this means, in essence, is that Britain needs to toe-the-line with the EU on regulatory alignment – and if Boris doesn’t then the only free trade agreement he can get will be disadvantageous to Britain. Of course.

And here is another important small detail. Boris Johnson knows all of this because he is laying claim to the fact that the current deal that has been negotiated has his signature on it. He owns it. And yet, he is saying something different to the deal that has been done. Either he’s lying (again) or doesn’t understand the deal he’s done – in which case, he should be in charge of it.

This is the problem with Brexit. It’s not just a dichotomy – it’s a political Catch22. We can’t win. Throw the dice as many times as you like – the numbers don’t fall in Britain’s favour.

Look at the words highlighted in that paragraph again. He can’t get the same deal that Canada has – because of what was built into the deal, the “geographic proximity and economic interdependence”. In other words, we’re next door, not 4,000 miles away and we have ties to each other that if broken would cause immense economic damage.

Talking of Canada – these are the opening words of Boris Johnson’s new stable mate Nigel Farage in a document published January 2016 on the EU –  “Leaving the EU will have significant geopolitical and economic consequences. But we believe it is unrealistic to expect a clean break, immediately unravelling forty years of integration in a single step.” At the time, Farage was promoting a separation project from the EU taking two decades and then a second referendum to approve his recommendation of a Norway plus deal. How the wind blows!

It was Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, in 1538 who wrote to Thomas Cromwell, and coined the term “a man can not have his cake and eat his cake.” Ironically, Cromwell was an English lawyer and statesman who served as chief minister an advisor to King Henry VIII of England from 1532 to 1540. It was he who advised on new powers for the king, referred to today as “Henry VIII Powers’. These are the same executive powers Boris Johnson has given himself in the current Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

As a side note and not particularly relevant right now – the advisor was beheaded.

Britain cannot simultaneously have the benefits of the EU cake as it does right now and eat it without being one of its bakers. If that were possible, what would be the point of the EU as a union of trading countries? There is no such thing as a ‘super Canada Plus’ deal because it’s not super, nor will it ever be. It’s a bit like producing a packet of crisps and telling everyone it’s as nutritious as a tuna, avocado and quinoa salad. It just isn’t.

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First posted on July 21, 2016

So far, lithium has been the hottest metal of 2016, beating out gold, with exponential demand expected over the coming years. Although the price trajectory of the metal has been subdued in recent months, the fundamentals behind the long-term trajectory suggest strong potential for long-term growth. Price doubling from 2014/2015 was first seen in China and is now being felt worldwide, with lithium hydroxide prices from $16-20 and carbonate prices from $12-14 thousand USD per ton. 

[Both Bolivia and Afghanistan have very large deposits of lithium which in the current context constitutes a strategic mineral. M. Ch. GR Editor]

The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe.

Automotive Thrust

There is no doubt as to the push that Tesla has given the current automotive transition to electric vehicles (EVs). As the company’s mission statement outlines, it hopes “to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass market electric cars to market as soon as possible.

However, since 2014, when Tesla first announced the Gigafactory with Panasonic, other manufacturers have begun to take notice and take action. Volkswagen AG announced last week that it was considering LG Chem Ltd. or Panasonic Corp. as partners for several US$2-billion factories, according toBloomberg, with confirmation expected later in the year.

Previous announcements of billion-dollar investments in battery factories by Volkswagen were largely brushed off by investors as deflections from their ‘Dieselgate’ scandal. But with LG and Panasonic in the picture, concrete plans appear to be crystalizing.

Combined with Daimler putting US$550 million into tripling its battery production capacity in Germany, Nissan’s planned investments in the UK for its third generation Leaf, and GM’s joint venture with LG Chem to produce batteries in Holland, Michigan, for its Volt and Bolt, it is clear that auto manufactures are beginning to shift to electric—and in a very big way.

Serbian Scientist Nicolas Tesla

Given this new investment, plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) sales are expected to experience 62 Percent Year-over-Year Growth in 2016, 60% in 2017, and likely 100% in 2018. This translates into over 600,000 in PEV sales expected in 2018, creating a new level of demand for which the market will need two new lithium mines in operation to even begin to satiate.

“Looking at the full picture here, the future demand for lithium is truly staggering,” says Michael Kobler, CEO and director ofAmerican Lithium Corp., one of the ambitious new explorers shaking up the lithium mining scene in Nevada.

Electrical Grid Connections

While future demand from the automotive industry is significant, the real game changer for the lithium industry may be electrical grid storage. Grid storage is designed on a variety of scales, each with a different price point. Already price-competitive with diesel fuel for stand-alone renewables and remote locations, home storage applications with devices like Tesla’s powerwall, and grid frequency modulation applications are now making major inroads in the grid storage market.

In some locations, grid-scale peaking applications have already been implemented, often in old coal power plants, re-using the building and grid connections.

Grid-scale storage battery demand can easily eclipse the need for automotive batteries. Battery experts note that although different battery chemistries exist, the energy density of lithium is far superior to other chemistries.

No new battery chemistry will supplant lithium in battery cathodes for decades, and lithium cathodes are the centerpiece of several leading chemistries which are already available.

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Lithium mines are divided into two main types, with most resources currently coming from lithium brines.

Although commercial production of lithium from brine started after mineral production, it has proved to be more important economically; brine contribution to world production is twice that of minerals.

The concentration of lithium in most brines range 200 to 700 ppm. To compete with brines, mineral deposits have had many advanced technologies applied to reduce costs. However, brines can also benefit from technologies such as electro-dialysis, adsorption, and reverse osmosis to enrich or extract lithium in less time. Although lithium brine is often cheaper to develop than hard rock deposits, with the application of new technologies, brine processing can be sped up, and costs can be further reduced.

Demand Response: A Wild Ride

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Up until two years ago, the so-called “big three – Albermarle (NYSE:ALB) in Chile and Nevada; SQM (NYSE:SQM) in Chile; FMC (NYSE:FMC) in Argentina – controlled 89% of the world’s lithium production. This group of lithium players has recently evolved into the “big five,” as Sichuan Tianqi and Ganfeng in China have become significant players.

At the start of this year, the de facto big five was still a reality, with FMC repeatedly stating that supply and demand are in line–an assessment akin to sticking its head in the sand, as lithium prices rise exponentially.

This also ignores fundamental production challenges within the “big five” itself.

Albermarle has had significant difficulties with its brine expansion that will most likely contribute to decreased production in 2016. In fact, SQM is the only “big 3” producer with a clear strategy for future growth, with partnerships such as its recent 50% acquisition of an Argentinian Lithium Americas Corporation property (TSX:LAC), which could prove to be successful years for down the road.

New Entrants: Where It Gets Really Interesting

In January 2016, the big five controlled 90% of the market, with no significant producers outside these sources. However, 2016 can be considered the year the lithium oligopoly came to an end.

Orocobre Limited is commissioning their Olaroz project in Argentina, and is currently at 68% of its 17,500 TPA full capacity. It aims to be at capacity in September. Though it has been shipping slightly sub-bar product, demand is so high that it has nonetheless been highly successful. General Mining and Galaxy Resources announced the commencement of production from the Mt Cattlin mine and processing operations and Galaxy are targeting nameplate production rates of 15,000 TPA of lithium carbonate by the end of 2016.

Apart from these two mines, no new developments are expected in 2016, though 2017 may bring further new entrants. A previously defunct mine, Quebec Lithium, has recently seen interest from a Chinese operator. Although uneconomical at 2014 prices, the current price doubling has made this an interesting property to be further developed. Another mine in Quebec, Nemaska Lithium (TSX:NMX), is being developed, though only 500 TPA are expected next year.

Where it gets the most interesting is with the new explorers, and this is where the lithium tide will turn.

The timing of the Orocobre and Galaxy developments have eased the price increases in the near term. This combined with the old adage “sell in May and walk away” for prospective companies have sent many juniors sideways or downwards since May. With the consistent long-term demand trajectory, two mines coming into operation provide a significant buying opportunity for those looking to enter the lithium market.

Lithium Explorers in the Spotlight

Although markets have been satiated by Orocobre and Galaxy for the summer, investors will be looking again in the early fall and now is the perfect time to enter before the next wave.

“Battery demand is rising at the rate of 1-2 new lithium mines per year, growing to 2-3 mines per year by 2020, and current demand will not only absorb all new mine developments in the pipeline, but will require fresh high quality deposits to be investigated for development,” says American Lithium’s Kobler. American Lithium raised capital in early May 2016 and bought prospective brine land in Nevada USA on a previously operating Boron mine in late May 2016.

Juniors such as American Lithium (TSXV:LI), Pure Energy Minerals (TSXV:PE), Nevada Sunrise Gold (TSXV:NEV), Alix Resources (TSXV:AIX), Nevada Energy Metals (TSXV:BFF), Lithium X (TSXV:LIX), Ashburton Ventures (TSXV:ABR), Cypress Development (TSXV:CYP), Sienna Resources (TSXV:SIE), Noka Resources (TSXV:NX), Matica Enterprises (CSE:MMJ) all have claims in the Clayton valley. Other companies that have projects in the state are Dajin Resources (TSXV:DJI), Eureka Resources (TSXV:EUK), and Ultra Lithium (TSXV:ULI).

Since the start of the year, the lithium industry has gained access to over $330 million in funding, whether from private placements, government grants, stock options, or other investment vehicles. The summer drilling season is upon us, and any lithium junior that doesn’t have a drilling program in place by this time is simply not worth looking at. Buying land in highly prospective areas is easy; completing a successful drill program with results takes more expertise.

The best strategy for exploration stage companies coming into this field is to:

– Raise capital for land purchases and drilling. The key for sustained growth during a capital raise is to limit share dilution.
– Seek out land that is highly prospective, either adjacent to operating mines, on previously operating mines, or in land that is analogous to existing development land.
– Prove to the markets that the management team is worthwhile through flawless execution of good land acquisitions, execution of drilling campaigns, with strategic drilling done to move forward into economic assessments

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Nevada at the Epicentre of New Lithium Development

With Albermarle’s new mine in Nevada and Tesla’s forecast 2018 demand of between 25,000 and 35,000 TPA, the U.S. Southwest is becoming a new hotbed for the lithium industry.

Hoping to capitalize on the new lithium rush, juniors in Nevada alone have raised over US$60 million for exploration and delineation in 2016.

With two mines recently coming online and investors leaving the markets for the summer, a slight cooling off has been seen in the lithium realm. However, a keen investor will note that prices will start to move again with demand constantly increasing, and investors looking to enter the markets again in the fall.

Our thanks to James Stafford for this incisive article

Link to original article: http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Why-Lithium-Will-See-Another-Price-Spike-This-Fall.html

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Image: Adolph Hitler together with Prescott Bush, grandfather of former President George W. Bush.

Prescott Bush was a partner of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co and director of Union Banking Corporation which had close relations with German corporate interests including Thyssen Steel, a major company involved in the Third Reich’s weapons industry. 

“…[N]ew documents, declassified [in 2003], show that even after America had entered the war [December 8, 1941] and when there was already significant information about the Nazis’ plans and policies, he [Prescott Bush] worked for and profited from companies closely involved with the very German businesses that financed Hitler’s rise to power. It has also been suggested that the money he made from these dealings helped to establish the Bush family fortune and set up its political dynasty” (The Guardian, September 25, 2004)

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Without US support to Nazi Germany, the Third Reich would not have been able to wage war on the Soviet Union. Germany’s oil production was insufficient to wage a major military campaign. Throughout the war, the Third Reich relied on regular shipments of crude oil  from US Standard Oil owned by the Rockefeller family.

The main producing countries in the early 1940s were: the United States (50% of global oil production), the Soviet Union, Venezuela, Iran, Indonesia, and Romania.

Without a steady supply of oil, Germany would not have been able to conduct Operation Barbarossa which was launched on June 22, 1941. The invasion of the Soviet Union was intent upon reaching and taking control of the oil resources of the Soviet Union in the Caucasus and Caspian sea regions: the oil of Baku.

The Unspoken Question. Where did Germany get its oil from?

Prior the December 1941, Texas oil was shipped on a regular basis to Nazi Germany.

While Germany was able  to transform coal into fuel, this synthetic production was insufficient. Moreover, Romania’s Ploesti oil resources (under Nazi control until 1944) were minimal. Nazi Germany largely depended on oil shipments from US Standard Oil.

The Attack on Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941) occurred barely six months after the launching of Operation Barbarossa (July 1941). The United States enters World War II, declaring  war on Japan and the axis countries.

Trading with the Enemy legislation (1917) officially implemented following America’s entry into World War II did not  prevent Standard Oil of New Jersey from selling oil to Nazi Germany. This despite the Senate 1942 investigation of US Standard Oil.

While direct US oil shipments were curtailed, Standard Oil would sell US oil through third countries. US oil was shipped to occupied France through Switzerland, and from France it was shipped to Germany:

“… for the duration of the Second World War, Standard Oil, under deals Teagle had overseen, continued to supply Nazi Germany with oil. The shipments went through Spain, Vichy France’s colonies in the West Indies, and Switzerland.”

It should be noted that a large share of Nazi Germany’s oil requirements was met by shipments out of Venezuela which at the time was a de facto US colony.

Venezuela’s US sponsored (War-time) president General Isaías Medina Angarita (May 1941 – October 1945) was there to protect US oil interests as well as “trade with the enemy” from the onset of America’s entry into World War II in December 1941:

John D. Rockefeller Jr. owned a controlling interest in the Standard Oil corporation, but the next largest stockholder was the German chemical company I. G. Farben, through which the firm sold $20 million worth of gasoline and lubricants to the Nazis. And the Venezuelan branch of that company sent 13,000 tons of crude oil to Germany each month, which the Third Reich’s robust chemical industry immediately converted into gasoline.

While Medina Angarita’s government pressured by Washington in the immediate wake of Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941) remained officially neutral (de facto aligned with the US, while breaking its relations with Nazi Germany), oil shipments out of Venezuela to Germany were not discontinued. In a rather unusual twist (bordering on ridicule) Venezuela declared war on Germany in February 1945, when the war was almost over.

Without those oil shipments instrumented by Standard Oil and the Rockefellers, Nazi Germany would not have been able to implement its military agenda. Without fuel, the Third Reich’s eastern front under Operation Barbarossa would most probably not have taken place, saving millions of lives. The Western front including the military occupation of France, Belgium and The Netherlands would no doubt also have been affected.

The Franklin D. Roosevelt administration could have taken adopted severe sanctions against Standard Oil with a firm decision to enforce a blockade against Nazi Germany.

The US was not committed to peace: Washington’s unspoken objective was not only to destroy the Soviet Union, it also consisted in undermining Britain’s role  as an imperial power.

Let us be under no illusions. Without the oil shipments instrumented by US Standard Oil and its subsidiaries, Nazi Germany’s imperial design could not have been undertaken.

You cannot wage a war without fuel.

America had been “sleeping with the enemy” throughout World War II.

America’s objective was to destroy the Soviet Union.

Flash Forward to 2019

The European Union has recently adopted a resolution  entitled “Importance of European Remembrance Day for the Future of Europe which reinforces an earlier declaration (September 23, 2008),

The resolution contends that the Second World War:

“was started as an immediate result of the notorious Nazi-Soviet Treaty on Non-Aggression of 23 August 1939, … and its secret protocols, whereby two totalitarian regimes that shared the goal of world conquest divided Europe into two zones of influence”

This is an absurd statement which distorts history. It intimates that Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union were allies.

It denies the fact that the Soviet Union was the object of Nazi aggression resulting in more than 25 million people killed (more than 10 percent of the population).

The resolution turns the realities of history upside down. The Soviet Union played a central role in defeating both Nazi Germany and Japan, Moreover, there is ample evidence that the US was sleeping with the enemy largely with a view to destroying the USSR and killing its population.

US oil shipments to Nazi Germany (until 1944) were intended to support Hitler’s Operation Barbarossa resulting in millions of deaths. In this regard, the US was complicit is extensive war crimes by supporting Nazi Germany’s military endeavors.

The broader picture of US-Nazi Cooperation

Selling fuel to Nazi Germany was one among several strategies envisaged by the US.

American business interests continued to cooperate with Nazi corporations after Pearl Harbor.

No attempt was made to prevent Ford from retaining its interests for the Germans in Occupied France, nor were the Chase Bank or the Morgan Bank expressly forbidden to keep open their branches in Occupied Paris. It is indicated that the Reichsbank and Nazi Ministry of Economics made promises to certain U.S. corporate leaders that their properties would not be injured after the Führer was victorious. Thus, the bosses of the multinationals as we know them today had a six-spot on every side of the dice cube. Whichever side won the war, the powers that really ran nations would not be adversely affected.

“Wiping the Soviet Union of the Map”

As early as 1942 (at the height of World War II), a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union had been envisaged. According to a secret document (declassified) released on September 15, 1945 (5 weeks after Hiroshima):

the Pentagon had envisaged blowing up the Soviet Union  with a coordinated nuclear attack directed against major urban areas. … The Pentagon estimated that a total of 204 atomic bombs would be required to “Wipe the Soviet Union off the Map”. The targets for a nuclear attack consisted of sixty-six major cities. (For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, December 10, 2017)

A single atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 resulted in the immediate death of more that 100,000 people.

Imagine what would would happen if 204 atomic bombs had been dropped on all major urban areas of the Soviet Union. This diabolical project formulated while the US and the Soviet Union were allies was tantamount to genocide.

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Several South American nations have been rocked by the sudden explosion of intense street protests over the past month aimed at removing their internationally recognized governments from power, and while these developments are split between being genuine people-driven protests and externally supported Color Revolutions, the question on everyone’s mind is whether they’ll eventually spread to Brazil and pose a threat to Bolsonaro’s rule.

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South America is in the throes of revolutionary fervor, both its genuine people-driven and weaponized Color Revolution forms, and the question on everyone’s mind is whether it’ll eventually spread to Brazil and pose a threat to Bolsonaro. Venezuela has been successful in withstanding the US’ incessant Hybrid War for the past few years already, but Washington’s weaponization of mass protests for regime change purposes inadvertently led to the proliferation of this political technology all throughout the continent and its use by forces that are inimical to the US’ interests. The first example of this in practice occurred on the last day of September when protesters streamed into the streets to support Peruvian President Vizcarra against the pro-US congress’ temporary putsch against him, which quickly led to his reinstatement in office since the military and police had already declared that they still recognized him as their country’s legitimate leader.

This event was overshadowed by the much more violent protests that broke out in neighboring Ecuador just a few days thereafter following President Moreno‘s cancellation of fuel subsidies as part of the deal that he had earlier reached with the IMF. The population was so incensed that the government had to relocate to the port city of Guayaquil while it attempted to negotiate with the protesters. The eventual outcome was that the state agreed to rescind its controversial order, though some observers believe that another round of unrest is guaranteed since the structural issues underlying the recent crisis haven’t been addressed whatsoever. They are, however, being tackled head-on in nearby Chile where the citizens of that country are still protesting several weeks after they first decided to take direct action in response to the government’s metro fare increase, which was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back and provoked the latest unrest.

What’s so special about Chile is that it’s one of the most developed countries in the world, at least according to macroeconomic standards, though it’s also the one with the greatest socio-economic disparity among its OECD peers. The protesters want to rectify the structural wrongs that have been imposed upon the population through the continuation of Pinochet’s Old Cold War-era constitution into the present day, hence why their movement is still going strong and has since evolved to the point of outright demanding a new people’s-drafted constitution that removes the inequalities that are institutionalized into the current one. In the midst of this ongoing revolution, neighboring Argentina removed its hyper-neoliberal incumbent in the latest elections and returned former President Cristina Fernandez Kirchner to power as their Vice President following her running mate’s successful campaign at the end of October.

Thus far, all of the developments that were described in this analysis (except for Venezuela’s) have been detrimental to the US’ grand strategic interests because they represent a rebirth of the “Pink Tide” sentiment from the 2000s that’s pushing back against Trump’s “Fortress America” vision of restoring his country’s historic hegemony over the continent. Peru’s inclusion in this categorization is somewhat debatable since the country is still an American ally, though it’s also a very close trading partner of China’s too and is therefore always susceptible to being victimized by US-backed destabilization plots in order to pressure its government to gradually reduce its ties with the People’s Republic. In any case, there’s no doubt that the US is against the latest turn of events in Ecuador, Chile, and Argentina, all three of which it had taken for granted as its regional proxies, which explains why it worked so hard to subvert the democratic process in Bolivia recently.

That lithium-rich landlocked socialist state (Bolivia) just fell victim to a Hybrid War regime change operation that risks embroiling the country in a more intense civil war than it already unofficially is in. Considering the possibility that any worsening of the crisis there could lead to similarly disastrous socio-economic consequences as the years-long one in Venezuela, it can’t be ruled out that a significant number of refugees might flee into neighboring Brazil, which could destabilize that already sharply divided country even more. This takes on a greater importance than ever before following former President Lula’s surprise temporary release from custody over the weekend and the challenge that his reinvigorated supporters might soon pose to Bolsonaro if they organize en masse and make their peaceful demands for his resignation felt by all members of society through forthcoming nationwide strikes. Now is the perfect time too since the ruling party is crumbling after internal divisions that just culminated in Bolsonaro reportedly deciding to quit and form his own party next year.

It shouldn’t be forgotten that Bolsonaro’s resounding electoral victory last year was made possible only because the US’ Hybrid War on Brazil removed former President Rousseff from office and then saw the jailing of her predecessor Lula after it became obvious that he’d easily return to power if a free and fair vote was held. Bolsonaro’s presidency is therefore the direct result of extensive US meddling in Brazilian institutions and the country’s democracy in general, but the regional spirit of the times and Lula’s surprise temporary release might serve to inspire the millions of malcontent citizens there to peacefully organize themselves in replicating the regime change movements that they’re observing in action all across South America right now. The key, however, is not to resort to violence and give Bolsonaro an excuse to impose a “Brazilian Patriot Act” like geopolitical analyst Pepe Escobar has warned. The US let the genie out of the bottle through its long-running Hybrid War on Venezuela, and although it’s solidifying its newly established control over Bolivia right now, it lost control of the protest dynamics in Peru, Ecuador, and Chile, and its man in Argentina just lost reelection.

Assessing the larger pattern at play — be it pro-American Color Revolutions or genuine people-driven movements — it’s obvious that a “South American Spring” has entered into effect, not only climatologically given that most of the continent is in the Southern Hemisphere and therefore literally in the middle of springtime right now, but also politically in the sense that many governments are coming under bottom-up pressure (whether externally exploited from abroad or genuinely grassroots in their form) and one of them has already fallen by democratic means at the ballot box while the other was just overthrown by a military coup. It’s difficult to imagine why Brazil would be immune to this trend considering that it’s already so sharply divided and even the slightest spark might set into motion very similar events as elsewhere in the region, which is why Bolsonaro must be anxiously sweating right now praying that he won’t become the most prominent example of the US’ Hybrid War blowback in the hemisphere.

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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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Poetry and Political Struggle: The Dialectics of Rhyme

November 13th, 2019 by Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin

“When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.” from John F. Kennedy

Introduction

Poetry is often associated with genteel people and laid-back lifestyles, yet over the decades since the Enlightenment many poets have been actively involved in the most radical of political and art movements. Setting up a solid foundation for such attitudes was the poet extraordinaire, Alexander Pope. In this essay I shall look at the connection between poetry and socio-political struggles over the centuries. From Pope to the Chartists, and from the Irish revolutionary poets to the postcolonial writers writers of Africa, poetry has played an important part in social change. The recent explosion of global demonstrations and rallies has also been connectioned with radical poetry as will be seen in Chile for example.

The New Augustans v Medievalism – ‘shall not Britain now reward his toils?’

Imagine being one of the generation of poets to follow Shakespeare. The Enlightenment poets response to Shakespeare was that they believed that Shakespeare was good but not perfect and so looked back to Roman times, to that of Augustus for a more political and satirical model for their poetry. Alexander Pope (1688–1744) was highly influenced by the poet Horace (65 BC–8 BC) whose work was created during a momentous time when Rome changed from a republic to an empire. Pope’s poem Epistle to Augustus (addressed to George II of Great Britain) initiated The New Augustans, as they were known, and they created new and bold political work in all genres as well as sharp and critical satires of contemporary events and people. Pope’s best know works The Rape of the Lock, The Dunciad, and An Essay on Criticism made him famous in his own time for their biting criticism and wit. Equally satirical but with more emphasis on prose than poetry was his contemporary Jonathan Swift (1667–1745), the Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, pamphleteer, poet and cleric whose A Tale of a Tub (1704), An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity (1712), Gulliver’s Travels (1726), and A Modest Proposal (1729) led to the creation of the term ‘Swiftian’ for such sharp satire.

The Augustan era was also know by other names such as the age of neoclassicism and the Age of Reason. It was a time of increased availability of books and a dramatic decrease in their cost. This in turn meant that education was less confined to the upper classes and that writers could hope to make more money through the sale of their works and therefore be less dependent on patrons.

Image on the right: Alexander Pope, painting attributed to English painter Jonathan Richardson, c.?1736, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The greatest patron of the arts throughout the Middle Ages was the Church. Patronage was also used by nobles, rulers, and very wealthy people to endorse their political ambitions, social positions, and prestige. Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, William Shakespeare, and Ben Jonson all looked for and received the support of noble or ecclesiastical patrons.

The sales from Pope’s works allowed him to live a life less determined by other peoples’ wealth, and this independence is reflected in his lines from Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot:

“Oh let me live my own! and die so too!
(‘To live and die is all I have to do:’)
Maintain a poet’s dignity and ease,
And see what friends, and read what books, I please.”

While Pope read a lot of philosophy, his concerns were mainly poetic. As David Cody writes:

“Like many of his contemporaries, Pope believed in the existence of a God who had created, and who presided over, a physical Universe which functioned like a vast clockwork mechanism. Important scientific discoveries by men like Sir Isaac Newton, who explained, in his Principia, the nature of the laws of gravitation which helped to govern that universe, were seen as corroborating that view. “Nature, and Nature’s Laws lay hid in Night,” Pope wrote, in a famous couplet intended as Newton’s epitaph, but “God said, Let Newton be ! and All was Light.” This view of the universe as an ordered, structured place was an aspect of the Neoclassical emphasis on order and structure which also manifested itself in the arts, including poetry.”

Pope was famous for his biting criticism which spoofed the mores of society or mocked his literary rivals. His critical political savvy was also on show in lines like:

“’T is George and Liberty that crowns the cup,
And zeal for that great House which eats him up.
The woods recede around the naked seat,
The sylvans groan—no matter—for the fleet;
Next goes his wool—to clothe our valiant bands;
Last, for his country’s love, he sells his lands.
To town he comes, completes the nation’s hope,
And heads the bold train-bands, and burns a pope.
And shall not Britain now reward his toils,
Britain, that pays her patriots with her spoils?
In vain at court the bankrupt pleads his cause;
His thankless country leaves him to her laws.”

Pope’s poetry reflected the Enlightenment popularisation of science through scientific and literary journals, the development of the book industry, the promulgation of encyclopedias and dictionaries, and new ideas spread like wildfire through learned academies, universities, salons and coffeehouses. The Enlightenment period can be dated from the beginning of the reign of Louis XV (1715 ) until the turn of the 19th century but was soon followed by the Romantic period from about 1800 to 1860.

Chartism v Romanticism – ‘How comes it that ye toil and sweat?’

The Romantics preferred intuition and emotion to the rationalism of the Enlightenment and placed a high value on the achievements of “heroic” individualists and artists. They turned inwards, seeing art as an individual experience and emphasising such emotions as apprehension, horror and terror, and awe. Romanticism looked backwards to folk art, ancient customs and medievalism. As the bourgeoisie achieved their main aims of wresting control of land and power from the aristocracy, the responsibility for continuing the struggle for the principles of ‘liberté, égalité, fraternité’ fell upon the organisations of the working classes.

In England, Chartism was a major working class movement called after the People’s Charter of 1838 and was a movement for political reform in Britain until 1857. The movement’s strategies were constitutional and they used petitions and mass meetings to put pressure on politicians to concede manhood suffrage. The Charter demanded: a vote for every man twenty-one years of age, secret ballots, payment of Members (so working people could attend without loss of income), equal constituencies, and annual Parliamentary elections. The Chartist movement was a reaction to the passing of the Reform Act 1832, which failed to extend the vote beyond those owning property. The political leaders of the working class felt that the middle class had betrayed them.

In conjunction with Chartist demonstrations and strikes, the Chartist press as the voice of radicalism existed in the form of The Poor Man’s Guardian in the 1830s and was succeeded by the Northern Star and Leeds General Advertiser between 1837 and 1852. The press covered news, editorials, and reports on international developments while becoming the best-selling provincial newspaper in Britain with a circulation of 50,000 copies. It also became an organ for the publication of working class poets and poems.

Front page of The Northern Star and Leeds General Advertiser, 1837

With such a wide circulation, it was no wonder that so many sent their poems in for consideration. According to Mike Sanders:

“The Northern Star’s poetry column was not an attempt to impose ‘culture’ from above, rather it was a response to a popular demand that poetry could and should speak to working-class desires and needs. From the start, literally hundreds of Chartists sent in their poems and quite a few appear to have pestered the editor with enquiries as to when their work would appear.”

It is believed that up to 1,000 poems by up to 400 Chartist and working-class poets were published in the Northern Star between 1838 and 1852. Michael Sanders notes that:

“Most have names, but a high percentage are published either under initials, under a pseudonym or anonymously, presumably by writers who would fear reprisals, such as dismissal or blacklisting, if they were known to be writing for the Northern Star. By and large, we know nothing of these people. They are permanently lost to history. But these poems show us that poetry was once central to the way working-class communities expressed themselves both politically and otherwise.”

Ordinary people used poetry as a way of demonstrating their humanity in the face of grinding poverty and dehumanising industrial capitalism. By composing poetry they showed they could produce ‘beauty’ as well as surplus value.

An example of an anonymous poet’s endeavour is AW’s poem To The Sons Of Toil published in 1841:

“How comes it that ye toil and sweat
And bear the oppressor’s rod
For cruel man who dare to change
The equal laws of God?
How come that man with tyrant heart
Is caused to rule another,
To rob, oppress and, leech-like, suck
The life’s blood of a brother?”

Image below: Photo of  Ernest Charles Jones (1819–1869)

We still don’t know anything about AW but he or she is an example of many men and women who turned to poetry to express their desires for social justice. However, several important poets did arise out of the Chartist movement such as Ernest Charles Jones (1819–1869) novelist and Chartist. In 1845, Jones ‘joined the Chartist agitation, quickly becoming its most prominent figure, and vigorously carrying on the party’s campaign on the platform and in the press. His speeches, in which he openly advocated physical force, led to his prosecution, and he was sentenced in 1848 to two years’ imprisonment for seditious speeches. While in prison he wrote, it is said in his own blood on leaves torn from a prayer-book, The Revolt of Hindostan, an epic poem.’; Thomas Cooper (1805–1892) poet, leading Chartist and known for his prison rhyme the Purgatory of Suicides (1845); Gerald Massey (1828–1907) was an English poet and only twenty-two when he published his first volume of poems, Voices of Freedom and Lyrics of Love (1850); George Binns (1815–1847) was a New Zealand Chartist leader and poet.

There was Ebenezer Elliott (1781–1849) who was an English poet, known as the Corn Law rhymer for his leading the fight to repeal the Corn Laws which were causing hardship and starvation among the poor. Though a factory owner himself, his single-minded devotion to the welfare of the labouring classes won him a sympathetic reputation long after his poetry ceased to be read; and John Bedford Leno (1826–1894) was a Chartist, radical, poet, and printer who acted as a “bridge” between Chartism and early Labour movements, he was called the “Burns of Labour” and “the poet of the poor” for his political songs and poems, which were sold widely in penny publications, and recited and sung by workers in Britain, Europe and America.

The Poets’ Revolution v Modernism – ‘Viewing human conflict from a social perspective’

The connection between the radical poets and the working class continued into the twentieth century even as Romanticist modernism took hold. Modernism rejected the ideology of realism, while promoting a break with the immediate past, technical innovation, and a philosophy of ‘making it new’. As such:

“Modernist poetry in English is generally considered to have emerged in the early years of the 20th century with the appearance of the Imagist poets. In common with many other modernists, these poets were writing in reaction to what they saw as the excesses of Victorian poetry, with its emphasis on traditional formalism and overly flowery poetic diction. […] Additionally, Modernist poetry disavowed the traditional aesthetic claims of Romantic poetry’s later phase and no longer sought “beauty” as the highest achievement of verse. With this abandonment of the sublime came a turn away from pastoral poetry and an attempt to focus poetry on urban, mechanical, and industrial settings.”

Modernist poets moved further away from Realism as they developed literary techniques such as stream-of-consciousness, interior monologue, as well as the use of multiple points-of-view, undermining what is meant by realism. Thereby moving further away from the kind of narrative and descriptions of external reality that seekers of political change and social justice use as an art form to create and propagate awareness of their social conditions.

Image on the right: Photo of James Connolly, c. 1900

The Chartist tradition of radical politics associated with radical content in poetry was continued in Ireland whose revolutionary radicals perceived in the First World War and opportunity encapsulated in the slogan, “England’s difficulty is Ireland’s opportunity”. The culmination of nationalist and radical politics of the previous centuries was demonstrated in the Easter Rising of 1916. Indeed it is often described as the The Poets’ Revolution as three of the men who signed the Proclamation in 1916, Pearse, MacDonagh, and Plunkett, were published poets, while many other participants were also writers of plays, songs and ballads. The leader of the Irish Citizens Army, James Connolly wrote:

“Our masters all a godly crew,
Whose hearts throb for the poor,
Their sympathies assure us, too,
If our demands were fewer.
Most generous souls! But please observe,
What they enjoy from birth
Is all we ever had the nerve
To ask, that is, the earth.”

The leaders of the Irish revolution were generally a young, artistic group of revolutionaries and their executions by the British colonists sent shock waves throughout Ireland leading to the War of Independence (1919-1921) and the Civil War (1922–1923).

Later in the 1920s and 1930s a more politically conscious working class poetry developed. In the United States the combination of influences from the Soviet Union and the Great Depression led to the growth of many new leftist political and social discourses. Milton Cohen summarised the aesthetic, stylistic, and political concerns being debated at the time. He noted that poets were expected to:

“(1) View human conflict from a social perspective (as opposed to personal, psychological, or universal) and see society in terms of economic classes.

(2) Portray these classes in conflict (as Marx described them): workers versus bosses, sharecroppers versus landowners, tenants versus landlords, have-nots versus haves.

(3) Develop a “working-class consciousness,” that is, identify with the oppressed class in these conflicts, rather than maintaining objective detachment.

(4) Present a hopeful outcome to encourage working-class readers. Other outcomes are defeatist, pessimistic, or “confused.”

(5) Write simply and straightforwardly, without the aesthetic complexities of formalism.

(6) Above all, politicize the reader. Revolutionary literature is a weapon in the class struggle and should consciously incite its readers if not to direct action then to a new attitude toward life, ‘to recognize his role in the class struggle.'”

These ‘proscriptions’ ran straight in the face of every tenet of Modernist poetry which emphasised the personal imagination, culture, emotions, and memories of the poet. Major poets of the radical movement in the United States include Langston Hughes (1902–1967), Kenneth Fearing (1902–1961), Edwin Rolfe (1925-1954), Horace Gregory (1898–1982), and Mike Gold (1894–1967).

Post colonial poetry v postmodernism – ‘The bitter taste of liberty’

As the United States suffered under the heightened political repression of McCarthyism in the 1950s the mantle of radical culture moved to the countries who wrestled themselves out of British colonial stranglehold in the form of postcolonial literature. The English language was imposed in many colonised countries yet came to be the language of radical anti-colonial poets during the liberation struggles and afterwards in the independence era. African poets, for example, were able to use poetry to communicate to the world not only their “despairs and hopes, the enthusiasm and empathy, the thrill of joy and the stab of pain … but also a nation’s history as it moved from ‘freedom to slavery, from slavery to revolution, from revolution to independence and from independence to tasks of reconstruction which further involve situations of failure and disillusion’.”

David Diop’s poem Africa weighs up past and present political complexities:

Africa, my Africa

Africa of proud warriors in ancestral savannahs ….
Is this you, this back that is bent
This back that breaks under the weight of humiliation
This back trembling with red scars
And saying yes to the whip under the midday sun…..
That is Africa your Africa
That grows again patiently obstinately
And its fruit gradually acquires
The bitter taste of liberty.”

The development of the postcolonial in the South paralleled the development of the postmodern in the West. However, the philosophical bases of postmodernism would not sit easily with the practical contingencies of newly achieved nationhood. Postmodernism rejected the grand narratives and ideologies of modernism, and like modernism, called into question Enlightenment rationality itself. The tendencies of postmodernism towards self-referentiality, epistemological and moral relativism, pluralism, and irreverence would make it an uncomfortable bedfellow with the socialist and revolutionary nationalist exigencies of the newly decolonised. As the Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o notes:

“Literature does not grow or develop in a vacuum; it is given impetus, shape, direction and even area of concern by the social, political and economic forces in a particular society. The relationship between creative literature and other forces cannot be ignored especially in Africa, where modern literature has grown against the gory background of European imperialism and its changing manifestations: slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism. Our culture over the last hundred years has developed against the same stunting, dwarfing background.”

In a way the radical political changes wrought by anti-colonial struggles kept the culture tied down and anchored to the values and aspirations of the masses. Postcolonial ideology was relevant to society in a way that postmodernism was not. It could be argued that postmodernism actively sought to remove itself from political relevance by decrying grand narratives and elevating relativism.

Radical poetry today? – ‘only injustice and no resistance?’

Until relatively recently it seemed that the sentiments of Bertolt Brecht’s (1898-1956) poem To Posterity had become almost universally true in the 21st century:

“For we went,changing our country more often than our shoes.
In the class war, despairing
When there was only injustice and no resistance.”

However, there has been a sea change in attitude with people demonstrating on the streets in many cities globally in only one year: the Yellow Vests in France (October/November, 2018), Sudanese Revolution (19 December, 2018), Haiti Mass Protests (7 February, 2018), Algeria: Revolution of Smiles (6 February, 2019),  Gaza economic protests (since Mar, 2019), Iraq: Tishreen Revolution (1 October, 2019), Puerto Rico: Telegramgate (8 July 2019), Ecuador Protests (3 October, 2019), Bolivian protests (since Oct, 2019), Chile Protests (14 October, 2019), Lebanon Protests (7-18 October, 2019).

Protests in Plaza Baquedano, downtown Santiago

The eruption of protest and violence in Chile started with students demonstrating against the proposal to raise the subway fares. This was unexpected as Sofía del Valle noted:

“Economists have long called Chile’s economy “the miracle” of Latin America, where GDP per capita has noticeably grown from $2,500 in 1990 to $15,346 in 2017. However, these numbers hide a fundamental problem: they do not account for inequality. Chile’s late poet Nicanor Parra said it best: “There are two pieces of bread. You eat two. I eat none. Average consumption: one bread per person.”

She also states that the people themselves are starting to participate in political activity with the “proliferation of “cabildos ciudadanos,” or self-organized participatory meetings of citizens that have gathered to discuss problems and solutions for the country we dream to be.”

This has led to the connection between the masses and poetry, similar to Chartist times, being restored to Chile. According to Vera Polycarpou, the people on the streets are “singing the songs of Victor Jara, listening to symphonic music in the squares, making street theatre and reciting the poems of Pablo Neruda, declaring that it will not tolerate military rule, repression and injustice again.”

Pablo Neruda (1904–1973) was a Nobel Prize winning Chilean poet-diplomat who wrote in a variety of styles, including surrealist poems, historical epics, overtly political manifestos, a prose autobiography, and passionate love poems from a very young age. Neruda was living in Madrid at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War (1936 to 1939) and with some friends had formed the Alliance of Anti-Fascist Intellectuals bringing popular theater to the people, plays from Cervantes to Lorca. The assassination of the Spanish poet Federico García Lorca (1898–1936), a friend of his, a month into the war had a profound affect on Neruda. According to Mark Eisner:

“Beyond the horror of a friend’s assassination, Lorca’s death represented something more: Lorca was the embodiment of poetry; it was as if the Fascists had assassinated poetry itself. Neruda had reached a moment from which there was no turning back. His poetry had to shift outwardly; it had to act. No more melancholic verse, love poems dotted with red poppies, or metaphysical writing, all of which ignored the realities of rising Fascism. Bold, repeated words and clear, vivid images now served his purpose: to convey his pounding heart and to communicate the realities he was experiencing in a way that could be understood immediately by a wide audience.”

This shift away from Romanticism can be seen clearly in Neruda’s poem I Explain Some Things:

“You will ask why his poetry
doesn’t speak to us of dreams, of the leaves,
of the great volcanoes of his native land?

Come and see the blood in the streets,
come and see
the blood in the streets,
come and see the blood
in the streets!”

The demonstrations in Chile have also seen the return of the ‘cacerolazo’ or ‘casserole’ a form of popular protest used globally consisting of people making noise by banging pots, pans, and other utensils at demonstrations. The Chilean rapper Ana Tijoux brought out a song about this form of protest, called ‘Cacerolazo’ (on YouTube) where she raps about cacerolazos as a form of massive protest in defiance of police and military violence describing them as “[w]ooden spoons against your shooting”:

“Vivita, guachita, Chile despierta
Cuchara de palo frente a tus balazos
Y al toque de queda, ¡cacerolazo!
No somos alienígenas ni extraterrestres
No cachai na’, es el pueblo rebelde
Sacamos las ollas y nos mataron
A los asesinos ¡cacerolazo!

(Vivita, guachita, Chile wake up
Wooden spoon in front of your bullets
And at the curfew, cacerolazo!
We are not aliens or extraterrestrials
Don’t shit, it’s the rebel people
We took out the pots and they killed us
To the killers cacerolazo!)”

Conclusion

The Chartists may not have had the access to the internet or video production of Ana Tijoux but their newspapers achieved large distributions and sales, spreading a similar culture of revolt and opposition. Since the time of Alexander Pope, poetry has played an important part in the struggle for change and social justice and the potential for poetry to consolidate people’s feelings, aspirations and desires has remained strong. The decision by poets themselves to participate and apply their art to the issues at hand has reinforced and inspired people the world over.

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Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin is an Irish artist, lecturer and writer. His artwork consists of paintings based on contemporary geopolitical themes as well as Irish history and cityscapes of Dublin. His blog of critical writing based on cinema, art and politics along with research on a database of Realist and Social Realist art from around the world can be viewed country by country here. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. 

All images in this article are from Wikimedia Commons

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Selected Articles: Political Disruption in Latin America

November 13th, 2019 by Global Research News

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Lula Free, Bolsonaro in Rage

By Danica Jorden, November 13, 2019

Last Friday, November 8, 2019, former President of Brazil Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva walked out of a prison in Curitiba and was greeted by throngs of supporters, many of whom had camped out since he was sent to jail more than a year and a half ago. The next day, hoarse from the ordeal and past throat cancer surgery, Lula spoke for 45 minutes before thousands gathered in São Bernardo do Campo, São Paulo, Brazil’s automotive capital and the heart of labor activity in the country. It was a sea of red, as many wore the crimson t-shirts of the Metal Workers Union, whose offices provided the backdrop to the speech.

Demands from the Workers of Chile

By Trade Union Block of Social Unit, November 13, 2019

The uprisings that continue in Chile began as a student protest against a proposed fare increase for public transport. It quickly evolved into a general wave of protest against the government of Sebastián Piñeraand all the mounting grievances of neoliberalism – horrible working conditions, social inequalities, privatizations, a negligible welfare state, and more. The government declared a state of emergency and curfew, deployed the military and unleashed a wave of fierce violence against the protests, killing many and detaining thousands. The Chilean national trade union movement, Central Unitaria de Trabajadores de Chile (CUT-Chile), has been part of broad fronts of groups aligned against the government. Its so-called Union Bloc has produced the following set of demands. For further information see “The Awakening of Chile” and on Facebook and Twitter.

Cuba Was Never a Threat to “National Security”

By Jacob G. Hornberger, November 13, 2019

Of all the ludicrous aspects of the Cold War, among the most ridiculous was the notion that Cuba posed a threat to U.S. “national security.” For some 30 years, the U.S. deep state (i.e., the Pentagon, CIA, and NSA) maintained that Cuba was a communist “dagger” pointed at America’s neck and, therefore, was a grave threat to “national security.”

Through it all, hardly anyone ever asked a very simple but important question: What did they mean when they said that Cuba was a threat to “national security”?

Bolivia Coup Led by Christian Fascist Paramilitary Leader and Millionaire – with Foreign Support

By Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton, November 13, 2019

When Luis Fernando Camacho stormed into Bolivia’s abandoned presidential palace in the hours afterPresident 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.”

Bolivia: The OAS and US Help Overthrow Another Latin American Government

By Leonardo Flores, November 13, 2019

The United States and the Organization of American States can add another coup to their scorecards, even if U.S. media refuses to recognize it as such. This time it was in Bolivia, where President Evo Morales was forced to step down on November 10, following weeks of pressure and extremist violence. Morales resigned under duress in order to avoid bloodshed, and emphasized that his “responsibility as an indigenous president of all Bolivians is to prevent the coup-mongers from persecuting my trade unionist brothers and sisters, abusing and kidnapping their families, burning the homes of governors, of legislators, of city councilors… to prevent them from continuing to harass and persecute my indigenous brothers and sisters and the leaders and authorities” of the MAS (Movement towards Socialism, Morales’ political party).

Dilma Rousseff

Lula’s Release Will Only Reinvigorate the Pink Tide Against U.S. Hegemony in Latin America

By Paul Antonopoulos, November 12, 2019

The Workers Party (PT) ruled Brazil, mostly under the leadership of the charismatic Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, or simply known as Lula, from 2003 until his successor’s impeachment in 2016. This period saw Brazil undergo major changes and advancements with an emphasis on educating the poor, providing access to healthcare for all Brazilians, poverty reduction and Latin American integration. Although the PT did not challenge the capitalist system entirely, there was an emphasis on reducing the neoliberal model that has exploited South America since Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet allowed his country to be economically ruled by this U.S.-endorsed system since the 1970’s.

Released Lula in for Greatest Fight of His Life

By Pepe Escobar, November 12, 2019

Only two days after his release from a federal prison in Curitiba, southern Brazil, following a narrow 6×5 decision by the Supreme Court, former President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva delivered a fiery, 45-minute long speech in front of the Metal Workers Union in Sao Bernardo, outside of Sao Paulo, and drawing on his unparalleled political capital, called all Brazilians to stage nothing short of a social revolution.

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James Le Mesurier, the founder of the Al-Qaeda affiliated White Helmets, known as an “aid organization” in the West but known everywhere else for fabricating chemical weapon provocations in Syria, was found dead in Istanbul on Monday under dubious and confusing circumstances, and many question marks are being raised about his own death. 

Journalist Ramazan Bursa claims that the suspicious death clearly demonstrates the White Helmet’s connection with intelligence organizations, particularly Britain’s MI6.

The connection between the M16 and the White Helmets is often overlooked by the Western media, but on Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry made a startling revelation. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova revealed that

“The White Helmets co-founder, James Le Mesurier, is a former agent of Britain’s MI6, who has been spotted all around the world, including in the Balkans and the Middle East. His connections to terrorist groups were reported back during his mission in Kosovo.”

A few days later he was found dead…

Of course, Karen Pierce, the UK Permanent Representative to the UN, denied the Russian allegation, claiming that they were “categorically untrue. He was a British soldier,” before describing the mercenary as a “true hero.” The claim he is a “true hero” is a curious choice of words considering he has a long history of working alongside terrorists, as Zakharova correctly highlighted.

He served in the NATO war against Serbia to defend the ethnic-Albanian terrorist Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in 2000, who have now turned Kosovo into a heroin ‘smugglers paradise,’ and a hub for human trafficking, organ harvesting and arms trafficking in the attempt to create an anti-Russian “Greater Albania.” However, it was not in Kosovo where he achieved his fame, but rather his dubious work in Syria.

Not only did he establish and develop the White Helmets, but he secured significant funding from the UK, U.S., Turkish, German, Qatari, Dutch, Danish and Japanese governments, and helped raise money on Indiegogo. His deep connections to the British military and his expansive experience as a mercenary serving Gulf dictatorships made him the perfect figure to establish a “rescue group” aimed at legitimizing terrorists operating in Syria and to push for a regime-change intervention.

Along with the White Helmet’s ties to terrorist organizations and faking chemical weapon incidences, the group also has a role in the execution of civilians and using children in their propaganda campaigns. Mesurier was without a doubt a man with deep connections and deep pockets, with every resource available to him from international intelligence agencies and significant experience in supporting terrorists in conflict zones.

The argument that the White Helmets are not a civil defense team, especially as they never operated in government-held areas despite claiming to be neutral in the war, can easily be made. Despite the constant colonial media claims that the White Helmets are a true civilian rescue organization without terrorist links, Syrian film producer Kareem Abeed was not allowed to attend the Academy Awards to support his movie about the White Helmets, “Last Men in Aleppo,” as his visa application was officially denied by the U.S. government as he was “found ineligible for a visa under Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.” The very fact that the U.S. found White Helmets members nominated for the Academy Awards to be a risk in the country shows that the White Helmets are just another classic example of Washington weaponizing terrorists to advance their own agendas, just as the KLA were used against Serbia or the mujahideen that morphed into Al-Qaeda were used against the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan.

Although the White Helmets played a pivotal role in the propaganda campaign against Syria from 2013 onwards, they now have nothing to defend or any purpose to serve as they only operate in areas that are undeniably controlled by Al-Qaeda affiliated groups and other radical elements, in a very, very small area of Syria. They can no longer portray themselves as an innocent organization that only helps civilians, as there is now endless evidence of their ties to terrorism, foreign intelligence agencies and doctoring of footage.

If we consider that the founder of the White Helmets and the deceased in Istanbul is a former British Intelligence officer, we can clearly see that it is a network of civil defense organizations, in which British Intelligence is involved, and supported by other intelligence agencies. The dubious death of a former British intelligence member living in Istanbul with his family is thought provoking and must raise serious questions.

It is also thought-provoking that this person is based in Istanbul. The death of Mesurier could have been reported as the death of a British citizen or the death of a former member of the British intelligence, however, Turkish media reported it as the death of the founder of the White Helmets. In other words, the Turkish media seems to have tacitly admitted that White Helmets are not an innocent non-governmental organization. Of course, after Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria, there were some changes in the Damascus-Ankara relationship. The West’s approach to the Turkish invasion of northern Syria may have also played a role in changing the attitude towards the White Helmets.

A security source claimed that Mesurier had fallen from the balcony of his home office with his death being treated as a suspected suicide, with a third person – a diplomat – claiming the circumstances around his death were unclear, according to The Sun. This also comes as BBC journalist Mark Urban said in a series of now-deleted tweets that it would not “have been possible” to fall from Le Mesurier’s balcony, with him also Tweeting that “there’s a good deal of suspicion it may be murder by a state actor, but others suggest he may have taken his own life.”

Essentially, no one knows just yet whether it was murder, suicide or an accident. This has not stopped the British media from alluding that there may be a connection to the “Russian smear campaign” made on Friday and his death on Monday. However, when we look at the way the incident took place, there is every suggestion that this incident was murder, given that there were cuts on his face, fractures on his feet and that he was found dead on the street, according to Turkish media. The probability of murder becomes stronger.

The question then shifts to who might have done? It is too early to say who did it, and anything forth said can only be considered speculation, but the West does have a rich history of making their assets disappear when they are no longer needed.

The White Helmets no longer have a purpose to serve in Syria with the inevitable victory of government forces over the Western-backed terrorists. Rather, the danger the White Helmets pose is a full-scale revelation on how deep their ties with Western and Gulf intelligence agencies and terrorist organizations go. Although revelations are slowly beginning to emerge, Mesurier no doubt had a wealth of knowledge on many dirty secrets related to Syria and the imperialist war against it.

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This article was originally published on InfoBrics.

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

Featured image is from AP

Bolivia’s Self-Declared/Unelected Coup d’Etat President

November 13th, 2019 by Stephen Lendman

On Tuesday, right-wing extremist senator Jeanine Anez Chavez illegitimately self-declared herself Bolivia’s leader, saying:

“I assume the presidency immediately and will do everything necessary to pacify the country” — by brute force, she failed to explain.

Leadership is earned, not seized. Evo Morales is Bolivia’s four-time democratically elected and reelected president.

He stepped down to avoid blood in the streets and possible assassination after the country’s military and police sold their souls to US imperial interests for whatever financial and/or other benefits gotten from the CIA.

He denounced Anez’s usurpation as illegitimate, saying she acted “without legislative quorum, surrounded by a group of accomplices and supported by the armed forces and the police, which repress the people.”

She’s Bolivia’s US-designated puppet/usurper, similar to Venezuela’s Guaido, figures contemptuous of democracy, the rule of law, equity and justice, pseudo-leaders with no legitimacy, traitors to their nations.

Under Bolivia’s constitutional line of succession, lower parliamentary house president Victor Borda, upper house president Adriana Salvatierra, and her deputy Ruben Medinaceli were in line to succeed Morales.

They stepped down, likely forced out by internal and external dark forces to avoid assassination, clearing the way for political nobody Anez to seize power — announced before a legislative assembly session boycotted by pro-Morales lawmakers.

A senator since 2010, she’s allied with hard-right Bolivian fascist elements. She’s notoriously pro-business, anti-populist, anti-Morales, shamefully calling him a “tyrant.”

She, her co-conspirators, and the OAS falsely claimed Morales’ reelection was marred by vote-rigging.

Independent analysis proved the process was open, free and fair, Morales defeating lead challenger Carlos Mesa by a double-digit margin.

Bolivia’s supreme court backed her usurpation as the highest ranking politician in the line of succession left standing.

No one supporting the coup resulting in his resignation has legitimacy, the popular will sabotaged by what happened.

Anez is unlikely to calm Morales’ supporters. After her usurpation, members of Morales’ Movement for Socialism (MAS) said they intend convening legislatively on Wednesday to nullify her illegitimate self-designation as president.

Following his forced resignation and departure for Mexico, thousands of his supporters took to the streets of the political capital La Paz and other Bolivian cities.

Reportedly they confronted military and police/pro-coup security forces, blocked highways, erected barricades, and set police stations ablaze — even though attacked by live fire and other hostile actions.

Ahead of Morales’ resignation, CIA rent-a-mobs took to Bolivian streets against democratic rule, committing violence and vandalism, notably against Morales supporters, including MAS politicians and indigenous people.

On Tuesday, he urged supporters to challenge Anez’s illegitimate usurpation of power.

Bolivia remains in turmoil. The struggle against the CIA-orchestrated fascist power grab continues.

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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.

Demands from the Workers of Chile

November 13th, 2019 by Trade Union Block of Social Unit

The uprisings that continue in Chile began as a student protest against a proposed fare increase for public transport. It quickly evolved into a general wave of protest against the government of Sebastián Piñera and all the mounting grievances of neoliberalism – horrible working conditions, social inequalities, privatizations, a negligible welfare state, and more. The government declared a state of emergency and curfew, deployed the military and unleashed a wave of fierce violence against the protests, killing many and detaining thousands. The Chilean national trade union movement, Central Unitaria de Trabajadores de Chile (CUT-Chile), has been part of broad fronts of groups aligned against the government. Its so-called Union Bloc has produced the following set of demands. For further information see “The Awakening of Chile” and on Facebook and Twitter.

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Chile faces the deepest social and political crisis since the return to democracy. All who celebrated the end of the Dictatorship in the streets, celebrated not only the exit of the dictator, but the hope of moving toward a full democracy with more rights and social justice. However, after more than 30 years of waiting for this process, they have ended up transforming hope into rage, with the obvious distance that has gone generating between the so-called ‘citizenship’ and the ‘politicians’, with electoral processes less and less participatory and with massive mobilizations that have not implied changes in the lives of Chileans.

The demonstrations lived in 2006 (Penguin Revolution) and 2011 for the right to education, managed to mobilize millions; mobilizations that were replicated, years later, in the massive marches for the end of the AFPs (Administradoras de Fondos de Pensiones). However, today we continue to fight to ensure the right to free and quality education, and is being discussed in Parliament a bill that, instead of ending the current pension system, deepens and strengthens it. In addition to this is discontent in the face of abuse, corruption and inequalities, not only of income, but also of privileges and of treatment millions of workers live every day.

The crisis in Chile is not about ‘public order’, it is a crisis of social fracture, expectations and unkept promises. It is a crisis before a deeply unequal economic system. The State’s response cannot only be social control and security, there are required political responses that defeat the logic of Neoliberalism and commodification in order to recover trust.

The trade union organizations, grouped in Social Unit, urge political parties and parliamentarians to gather approaches of the social movement and face in an effective way the social and political crisis in progress.

Chile is not at war, Chile wants peace, but a true and lasting peace can only be with social justice and defending the democracy that cost us so much to recover.

We also call on the National Congress not to continue with the processing of the Law projects promoted by the Government. You cannot say that there is a will to dialogue and force parliament to legislate, without debate, the bills that have been permanently rejected by trade union and social organizations, included therein, our call not to ratify by the Senate the TPP 11.

Today is the minute for the opposition, which has a majority in parliament, to act accordingly to the institutional crisis we are facing.

Before authorities that do not measure the serious crisis we face, as a union bloc of social unity we summon them to pronounce them over a fundamental rights agenda that really represent the people of Chile. This is not about asking apologies for years of deafness, nor for assuming payment of fair wages. Years of abuse and collusion, are not resolved only with good intentions. It is about advancing in effective social justice.

1. Immediate discussion of a national minimum wage of $500,000 liquid funds for public and private workers.

For years we have demanded the designing of a Salary Policy for Chile that effectively allow each family to live on their salary. In addition to setting a cap to high incomes and to end the wage gaps between men and women.

This is a complementary mechanism to advance in the reduction of inequality of income for our country, but cannot replace the full and effective right to negotiate by branch, which is the mechanism par excellence to contain and overcome the economic inequality. Regarding the public sector, this demand does not replace the negotiation of the public sector table that year after year negotiates with the authority.

The minimum wage must be enough to get workers and their families out of poverty. According to Casen 2017, poorest households in the country are characterized by families where one person works and lives on average 6 people, in the first decile and 4 people in the second decile. If we want to get this population out of poverty through work, it is appropriate to use 5 lines of poverty, which is equivalent to $510,000 liquid funds.

2. Full Recognition of Freedom of Association: Collective Bargaining by branch and Respect for the Right to Strike as a fundamental right.

If we assume as the great conflict in Chile the social fracture, product of the contribution that we make the workers to the development of Chile versus the remuneration to this contribution in terms of salaries and social protection, it is clear that we are very far. We do not intend for everything to be resolved by the State. Therefore, to advance in mechanisms of effective redistribution of wealth, we must strengthen the Collective Bargaining at all levels, being the counterparts of the world of work the ones called to build effective social dialogue. End of all limitations to the effective exercise of the right to strike (strategic companies, minimum services and necessary adjustments).

Terminate outsourcing as a form of precarious employment.

3. Minimum pension equivalent to the minimum wage we propose

The decent pension debate cannot be limited only to the increase in Basic Pension Solidarity (financed by the State). The true Security System that is required today is represented in the proposal of the Coordinator No + AFP, which immediately ensures – through a bill – a minimum pension that is not less than the minimum wage of $500,000 we propose.

4. Basket of protected basic services (water, electricity, gas, telephone, cable, internet)

Facing inequalities and abuses does not only mean paying off the debt you have with workers in income matters. It is necessary to set a cap for tariffs of essential services. This must assure that no expenses in paying services, must be greater than 15% of the minimum wage. Whereas companies are the main water consumers (95%), the cost of that consumption must be higher in order to finance, with that difference, part of domestic consumption. This, as an immediate measure, while discussing a new constitution that resolves whether essential services such as those mentioned in this basic basket can continue in private hands or must be controlled by the State.

5. Transportation

We need a unique transportation system, which considers all means: roads, highways, buses, subway and trains. We are near the end of the concession contracts of highways and roads, with the possibility that your administration returns to the State and, therefore, the social benefit is imposed over profits. In addition, we need an integrated transport system, which ensures quality, reliability, mobility and tariff to all Chileans.

Public transport must be considered a right, within the framework of territorially unequal cities. In front of the millionaire subsidies that the State gives, it is necessary that these resources have an impact on the reduction of the transport rate.

  • Fair Social Rate that allows users easy access to public transport.
  • Free tickets for seniors.
  • Gratuity in the TNE and in student passage.
  • Elimination of the TAG, return of the roads to the hands of the State.

6. Reduction of the Working Day

In relation to working hours, we believe that Chile is in a position to reduce the working day to 40 hours or less, because the social and labour effects are widely beneficial for our country.

International experience and widely known studies support the fact that the working hours are too long in our country and that developed countries tend to work 36 hours.

However, the reduction of the working day cannot be a way for flexible labour (precariousness) proposed by the Government, so the National Congress should approve such reduction without any element of flexibility.

7. Health, Education, Housing: Social rights

The full right and access to health, education and housing for the entire population must be the first priority of the State. This must be done through the prioritization of public systems with adequate financing and allowing free access. Immediately, you must end the profit and business with these social rights and must establish real spaces for participation in their management. A similar logic must be established for all fundamental social rights.

8. Human Rights

Permanent demilitarization of the national territory. Investigation, trial and punishment of human rights violations that have been exercised during the so-called ‘State of exception’, a state of emergency widely transgressed at the time with the twenty deaths that we have reported, the more than 3,000 arrests, and the more than one hundred compatriots and migrants with eye injuries and loss of vision, from the excessive use of force. Chile can no longer afford to transform the violation of human rights into the mechanism to inhibit the difference and impose policies, as occurred in the dictatorship.

9. Fiscal Budget 2020

The year 2020 is foreseen as one of the most difficult years since the great crisis of 2008; the commercial war unleashed internationally will lower world growth expectations by 1 per cent and that of Chile by 0.5 per cent, but we must also add to this the nation’s budget that does little and nothing to revive the economy. Thus, we call for the 2020 public budget to be discussed with an eye on the protection of social rights of Chileans. We need a budget with social and economic priorities, to reduce the country’s inequality.

The budget presented this year has the least growth since 2003, it is necessary to at least double the growth to 6 per cent, and concentrate this increase, in public investment with high impact on the creation of employment and public goods.

10. New Political Constitution via Constituent Assembly

Chile’s debt to the workers is not just a debt over rights, it is also of minimum democratic guarantees. We are invited to participate in the electoral processes such as the great space to exercise our voice and sovereignty, but over the most relevant projects for the future of our lives – such as education, health, housing, pensions, salaries – we have no direct participatory space. Today it is necessary to deepen democracy with more rights, but also with mechanisms of effective participation, that enhances citizenship with politics.

To build a New Social Pact, it is not enough to achieve ‘agreements’. Discussing a New Social Pact is to build a new Constitution among all, considering the most wide participation. And the only mechanism that allows us to open the doors to all feeling called and challenged is through a Constituent Assembly.

We are aware that no actor, social or political, can and should not attribute the representativeness or spokesperson of the mobilized social majorities, but with that same clarity we point out that we will not allow agreements between four walls to be imposed, shielded in which there are no clear ‘proposals’ after social mobilization.

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The original Spanish version “Pliego delos Trabajadores y Trabajadores de Chile.”

Featured image is from The Bullet

Ruling Stops Colorado Coal Mine Expansion Threatening Climate, National Forest

November 13th, 2019 by Center For Biological Diversity

A federal judge blocked the 2,000-acre expansion of a coal mine in the wildlands of Colorado’s Gunnison National Forest today, ordering the Trump administration to consider limiting methane emissions and address potential harm to water and fish.

In today’s ruling U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson said the Interior Department violated federal law by failing to consider an alternative that would require flaring methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and by ignoring new information about the potential effects to perennial streams in the project area. The mining plan approved 8.4 miles of new roads and 43 new methane venting wells, anticipated to release almost 12 million tons of methane into the atmosphere.

“Only a remedy that prevents new mining in the expansion area will avoid subjecting conservation groups’ valid objections to the ‘bureaucratic steamroller,’ ” Jackson wrote.

In July five conservation groups sued the Trump administration and asked the court to block approval of Arch Coal’s West Elk mine expansion, which would invade roadless areas of western Colorado’s Gunnison National Forest.

“This ruling is a major victory for Colorado’s climate, clean energy, and public lands, said Jeremy Nichols, climate and energy program director at WildEarth Guardians. “More importantly, it’s a resounding rebuke of the Trump administration’s attempts to sidestep our environmental laws to appease the coal industry.”

The previous environmental analysis for the coal leases said flaring would be considered at a later stage and, the judge said, lacked rigorous evaluation of the alternative and was rather a “mere kicking the can down the road,” requiring the Interior Department to undertake this analysis at the mine-planning stage.

“Today’s decision validates over a decade’s worth of advocacy on behalf of the Sunset Roadless Area’s irreplaceable wildlife and habitat,” said Matt Reed, public lands director at High Country Conservation Advocates. “It also validates the decision to challenge climate change pollution head-on. As the largest source of industrial methane pollution in Colorado, the West Elk coal mine has long treated our public lands and air with impunity. The court’s decision halts the mine expansion, including further road-building and well-drilling in pristine roadless forest in Gunnison County, and High Country Conservation Advocates will continue to battle this expansion every step of the way.”

Located in the iconic West Elk Mountains just east of the town of Paonia, the West Elk mine is one of the largest coal mines in Colorado. It covers more than 20 square miles of the Gunnison National Forest next to the West Elk Wilderness Area.

“Methane pollution is a climate-killer, and we hope this decision will spell the end of unlimited emissions from this coal mine,” said Allison Melton, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The West Elk expansion threatens to derail Colorado’s transition to clean, renewable energy. We’ll continue to fight the Trump administration’s destructive policies and projects.”

The West Elk mine is the single-largest industrial source of methane pollution in Colorado. In 2017 it released more than 440,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, equal to the annual emissions from more than 98,000 cars.

“It is ridiculous for agencies to rubber stamp this damaging fossil fuel development in a spectacular roadless area, especially without considering impacts to streams or alternative plans that would reduce climate pollution,” said Peter Hart at Wilderness Workshop. “The case highlights how damaging our fossil fuel addiction is to public lands and to our shared climate. The court was right to demand that the agency take a harder look at protecting such important public resources.”

In March the Interior Department approved the 2,000-acre expansion, allowing Arch Coal to mine nearly 18 million tons of new coal over three years in the Sunset Roadless Area, an undeveloped tract of the Gunnison National Forest.

“Today’s decision to protect our public lands is a victory for all Colorado communities who are struggling with the harmful impacts of a changing climate,” said Jim Alexeee, director of the Colorado Sierra Club. “Our lands belong to all of us — not billionaire coal executives. Sierra Club will continue to fight for our lands and our climate, and to keep fossil fuels where they belong: in the ground.”

“We’re pleased that the federal government’s practice of rubber-stamping new coal development regardless of its impacts on special places like the Sunset Roadless area has been stopped in its tracks,” said Daniel Timmons, WildEarth Guardians’ staff attorney who represented Guardians in the case. “This decision is a victory for everyone who values public lands and a healthy climate.”

The conservation groups are also challenging the federal coal leases before the U.S. Court of Appeals.

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It has stood in this spot near Bethlehem longer than Christianity and Islam, since before the time of the prophets of the Holy Land.

Circling slowly round this ancient olive tree, Salah Abu Ali carefully inspects every inch of it, before settling back on his chair in its shade.

Beside him, balanced on a log, is a plate of fruit he has freshly picked from his farm. Also within arms reach is a large bottle of water and the pot of hot coffee he prepares every day to offer visitors to the spot that has become his sanctuary.

Every morning at 6.30am, the 46-year-old walks to the site where the tree is located on his family’s plot of land. For the past ten years, he has been tasked with a grave responsibility: guarding the oldest and largest olive tree in Palestine.

The tree, which belongs to the Abu Ali family, lies in the Wadi Jwaiza neighbourhood of Al-Walaja village in Bethlehem, southwest of occupied Jerusalem.

Despite spending most of his time by the olive tree, Abu Ali says he is still awed by it.

“The beauty and size of this tree are really special, it captivates the mind – it is the most beautiful tree in Palestine,” he tells Middle East Eye.

oldest olive tree in Palestine

‘The beauty and size of this tree are really special, it captivates the mind – it is the most beautiful tree in Palestine,’ Abu Ali says (MEE/Abdulrahman Yunis)

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture, the tree is estimated to be around 5,000 years old. It extends over 250 sq m, stretches to around 13 metres in height, and its roots extend some 25 meters into the earth.

Over the years, the tree has been given a variety of nicknames; Abu Ali calls it “the fortress,” though it has also been dubbed “the old woman,” “the mother of olives,” and “Palestine’s bride.”

From their experience of farming, Palestinians know that the older the tree, the better the quality and taste of the olives – and the olive oil they produce. The head of the governmental Palestinian Olive Oil Council, Fayyad Fayyad, tells MEE that, while the olives of the oldest tree are no different to those of other trees, research shows that the larger and older the tree, the richer the olive oil.

“The age of the tree factors greatly into the taste and quality. The Al-Walaja tree produces very high-quality oil,” he says, adding that an investigation is ongoing into whether it could in fact be the oldest olive tree in the world.

oldest olive tree in Palestine

The tree used to produce half a tonne of olives each year, out of which 600 kilograms of olive oil could be made (MEE/Abdulrahman Yunis)

According to Abu Ali, droughts over the years and climate variability as a whole have had a negative impact on the tree, leading to a reduction in its produce, which has become more volatile. “In the past, about 10 to 15 years ago, the tree would produce half a tonne of olives, from which we would extract some 600 kilograms of olive oil.

“Last year, however, the olives only came up to 250 kilograms of oil. There have even been times when the tree did not produce anything.”

Another problem, Abu Ali says, is water:

“The tree is thirsty. It is in need of large amounts of water due to its size, but these amounts are not available. The water spring is insufficient.”

He has taken it upon himself to quench the tree’s thirst by extending a hose from the water spring nearby. But the supply there is dependent on rainfall and is particularly dry in summer. Over the past few years, he says the water has been decreasing.

“I try to sustain it by adding manure to the ground and tending to its surroundings. It hurts me to see it like this.”

Israeli expansionist policies

The tree stands just 20 meters from the Israeli separation and annexation wall, which was built over several phases starting from 2007.

Al-Walaja village is historically part of Jerusalem, and residents would regularly travel back and forth for their shopping, and for work. When Israel occupied east Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1967, it annexed large parts of Al-Walaja’s fields and lands.

oldest olive tree in Palestine

A view of Israel’s separation wall which was built just 20 metres from the olive tree, sparking protests (MEE/Abdulrahman Yunis)

In 2010, the village became the site of weekly protests against the construction of the Israeli separation and annexation wall that was to run through it.

“[When the wall was erected], the Israeli occupation forces used a large number of explosives, without caution to the tree. We were very afraid that it would be effected, but it persisted, as it has for thousands of years – an occupation that has been around for tens of years will not uproot it,” says Abu Ali.

In October , the Israeli army’s wing responsible for civilian life in the occupied West Bank posted a message on Facebook about the tree, calling it the “oldest olive tree in Judea and Samaria”. The post angered activists, who saw it as an attempt to appropriate Palestinian history and heritage.

Fayyad says that the Israeli authorities, including both civil and military personnel, have visited the tree in the past, and that they took samples and measurements, which stirred fear among the families of Al-Walaja. The families then requested the PA’s agricultural ministry to intervene by securing someone to guard the tree at all times.

While Abu Ali was already spending much of his week guarding it, the PA now pays him a monthly salary of around $410 to guard the tree every day.

‘Part of our identity’

Olive trees have long been at the forefront of Israel’s expansionist policies through its military occupation and settler-colonial project. The Al-Walaja olive tree is one of around 11 million olive trees in Palestine, according to the PA’s official information website.

The trees face a double threat to their existence, with the Israeli army systematically cutting down trees and Jewish settlers regularly carrying out acts of violence, including vandalism, against Palestinian towns and fields.

Oldest olive tree in Palestine

In the first six months of 2019, the UN recorded the uprooting, burning or vandalising of more than 4,100 trees by Israeli settlers (MEE/Abdulrahman Yunis)

In the first six months of 2019, the UN recorded the uprooting, burning or vandalising of more than 4,100 trees by Israeli settlers – a marked 126 percent increase on a monthly average compared with 2018.

Such attacks increase during the olive harvest season between the months of October and November. In June 2019, the UN documented the cutting down of close to 400 Palestinian-owned trees in the same area during one incident of property demolition by the Israeli army.

“The occupation and Israel’s policies are built on fear,” says Abu Ali, explaining that such acts by Israel and its settlers are intended to drive Palestinians from their lands in fear of attacks. “We either defend our lands or we give up. This tree is a trust.”

Inheriting love for the tree

The families of al-Walajah call it the “al-Badawi tree” – a reference to the Egyptian Sufi spiritual guide, Sheikh Ahmad al-Badawi, who was said to have visited the tree and to have tended to it for some years.

Abu Ali too considers the tree to hold spiritual significance. “If we do not preserve this tree,” he says, “we will be held accountable. This tree is no less important than the al-Aqsa or Ibrahimi mosques.”

The residents of Al-Walaja also consider the tree to be a source of good luck and blessings. According to Abu Ali, women would collect its fallen leaves to protect them from the evil eye. Every year, families sacrifice their sheep during the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha in the shade of the tree.

guarding Palestine's oldest olive tree

Abu Ali is paid $410 a month by the PA to guard the tree, which has been visited by Israeli officials in recent years (MEE/Abdulrahman Yunis)

“I wish I could turn this tree and the area surrounding it into a flourishing heaven,” Abu Ali says. “But the economic situation here is difficult – I’m doing what I can, but it’s not enough.”

And despite the fact that he says his salary is barely enough to make ends meet, Abu Ali insists on guarding the tree, which he regards as symbolic of Palestinian perseverance.

“If this tree remains, then we will remain. This tree is part of our identity, and part of the conflict over which we fight the [Israeli] occupation.”

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Featured image: The ancient tree belongs to Salah Abu Ali’s family, and lies in Al-Walaja village in Bethlehem, southwest of occupied Jerusalem (MEE/Abdulrahman Yunis)

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Lula Free, Bolsonaro in Rage

November 13th, 2019 by Danica Jorden

A ruling by the Constitutional Court provisionally released Lula. An important part of the Brazilian people welcomed the news with joy and hope. But Bolsonaro reacted with rage and called him “guilty scum”.

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Last Friday, November 8, 2019, former President of Brazil Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva walked out of a prison in Curitiba and was greeted by throngs of supporters, many of whom had camped out since he was sent to jail more than a year and a half ago. The next day, hoarse from the ordeal and past throat cancer surgery, Lula spoke for 45 minutes before thousands gathered in São Bernardo do Campo, São Paulo, Brazil’s automotive capital and the heart of labor activity in the country. It was a sea of red, as many wore the crimson t-shirts of the Metal Workers Union, whose offices provided the backdrop to the speech.

The Supreme Court of Brazil was finally compelled to admit that Lula had been wrongly imprisoned before his appeal had been heard, in conflict with the country’s constitution. The former president had been accused of accepting a beachfront penthouse apartment as a bribe, just as he announced his candidacy for a return to the presidency. He was swiftly convicted and sentenced to twelve years for corruption, with ultra-conservative Jair Bolsonaro becoming president.

But the penthouse had not even been built and Lula had bought a simpler apartment in a building behind it, away from the beach. Nevertheless, Judge Sérgio Moro found Lula guilty. Moro was subsequently appointed Justice Minister by President Bolsonaro. In June 2019, Glenn Greenwald and David Miranda of Intercept Brasil released“an enormous trove of secret documents” showing “improper and unethical plotting” between chief prosecutor Deltan Dallagnol and Moro.

Lula said that he felt energized about continuing to fight. On Friday night, he said on social media,

“I am free to help liberate Brazil from the insanity that is happening in this country.”

On Saturday, he displayed the congeniality that endears him to his supporters and also, he said, helped him “make friends” in prison and “spiritually prepare” himself for his return.

Switching between two failing microphones with a hand that lost a finger in a work accident, he described his humble roots in Brazil’s impoverished Northeast and the opportunities the union and worker solidarity afforded him.

“I was born in the city of Garanhuns. I left there and came to Sao Paulo when I was seven years old. I was raised by a mother and father who were born and died illiterate. I have always said, since 1979, that my political evolution was the product of the political evolution of the working men and women of this country…. I owe everything to my mother, who died illiterate, and to this union,” pointing to the Metalworkers Union headquarters, where he was offered courses in political science and economics.

“For 580 days in solitary confinement, I prepared myself spiritually” to free himself from hate and the need for vengeance. “I doubt that Moro can sleep with as clear a conscience as I do. I doubt that Bolsonaro can sleep with as clear a conscience as I do. I doubt that the minister in charge of demolishing dreams, destroying jobs and destroyer of the Brazilian people’s corporations, whose name is Guedes, can sleep with as clear a conscience as I do. And I want to tell them that I’m back!”

University of Chicago-educated Minister of the Economy Paulo Guedes has been under investigation for fraud since 2018 concerning his investment and loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in state pension funds.

Lula also called for a proper investigation into the assassination of Rio councillor Marielle Franco and clarified that

“Bolsonaro needs to understand that he was elected to govern for the Brazilian people, not for the military men in Rio de Janeiro. We must not allow these military men to wreck our country.”

Current President Bolsonaro reminded his supporters that Lula has yet to be exonerated, admonishing them to not “give ammunition to this momentarily free but still guilty scum.”

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Featured image is from teleSUR

Cuba Was Never a Threat to “National Security”

November 13th, 2019 by Jacob G. Hornberger

Of all the ludicrous aspects of the Cold War, among the most ridiculous was the notion that Cuba posed a threat to U.S. “national security.” For some 30 years, the U.S. deep state (i.e., the Pentagon, CIA, and NSA) maintained that Cuba was a communist “dagger” pointed at America’s neck and, therefore, was a grave threat to “national security.”

Through it all, hardly anyone ever asked a very simple but important question: What did they mean when they said that Cuba was a threat to “national security”?

Did they mean that the Cuban army was about to invade Florida, conquer the state, move up the Eastern Seaboard, and end up forcibly taking over the reins of the federal government, thereby enabling it to control the IRS and HUD?

If so, that’s absolutely ridiculous. Cuba has always been an impoverished Third World country, one with a very small military force. Even if it could have scrounged up a few transport boats to get a few dozen troops to Miami, they would have been quickly smashed by well-armed private American citizens. Anyone who really thinks that Cuba could have invaded and conquered the United States needs a serious dose of reality.

So, then what did they mean when they repeatedly told us that Cuba was a threat to “national security”?

Maybe they meant that Cuban leader Fidel Castro would export socialist ideas to the United States, where they would then infect the minds of the American people.

If so, that’s ridiculous because socialism was already taking over the minds of the American people, and long before Fidel Castro took power in Cuba. That’s what President Franklin Roosevelt’s Social Security scheme was all about — bringing socialism to America. That was some 25 years before Castro came to power!

Let’s not forget, after all, that Social Security did not originate with James Madison or Patrick Henry. It originated among German socialists near the end of the 1800s and then came to the United States in the 1930s. That’s why the Social Security administration has a bust of Otto von Bismarck, the Iron Chancellor of Germany, prominently displayed on its website. Bismarck introduced Social Security to Germany. He got the idea from German socialists.

When President Lyndon Johnson enacted Medicare and Medicaid into law in the 1960s, it would be safe to say that he hadn’t gotten the idea from Fidel Castro. Socialism was gripping the minds of Americans independently of what was happening in Cuba. The fact is that the entire world was moving toward socialism. 

What about the Cuban Missile Crisis, when Castro invited the Soviet Union to install nuclear missiles in Cuba aimed at the United States? They were defensive in nature. The Pentagon and the CIA were pressuring President Kennedy to wage a war of aggression against Cuba, with the aim of installing another pro-U.S. dictator into power, such as Fulgencio Batista, the brutal and corrupt Cuban dictator who preceded Castro. A prime example was Operation Northwoods, the false and fraudulent scheme that the Joint Chiefs of Staff unanimously presented to Kennedy after the CIA’s Bay of Pigs disaster, with the aim of securing regime change in Cuba. (To Kennedy’s everlasting credit, he rejected it.)

To deter another U.S. attack or to defend against such an attack, Castro sought assistance from the Soviets. If the Pentagon and the CIA had not been pressuring Kennedy to attack Cuba, Castro would never have invited the Soviets to install those missiles. This was confirmed by the fact that once Kennedy promised that he would not permit the deep state to attack Cuba again, the Soviets took their missiles home.

Today, 30 years after the end of the Cold War, the U.S. deep state steadfastly maintains that Cuba continues to pose a threat to U.S. “national security.” That’s what the decades-old economic embargo that targets the Cuban populace with impoverishment and death is all about. 

But the fact is that Cuba has never posed a threat to U.S. “national security,” whatever definition one puts on that nebulous, meaningless term. The truth is that it has always been the U.S. government that has posed a threat to Cuban “national security,” as manifested by such illegal and wrongful actions as the CIA invasion at the Bay of Pigs, the decades-long cruel and brutal economic embargo against the Cuban people, the false and fraudulent Operation Northwoods, state-sponsored assassinations attempts against Castro, and acts of terrorism and sabotage within Cuba.

The truth is that the entire decades-long anti-Cuba campaign has always been nothing more than a fear-mongering racket by the U.S. deep state, one designed to assure ever-increasing budgets and power for the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA.

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Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch.

Theresa May decided against allowing the UK to crash out of the EU without a deal after being warned about the potential for terrorism in Northern Ireland, her de facto deputy has said.

Former Cabinet minister Sir David Lidington, who is standing down as an MP, revealed that the ex-prime minister effectively ruled out a no-deal Brexit after a meeting with police chiefs and community groups in Belfast in February.

He told the Sunday Times:

“What really struck her was how the prospect of no-deal was driving them towards actively supporting a united Ireland, rather than being content to let sleeping dogs lie.”

“Anything on the border itself – even cameras – was certain to produce an increase in tension. I sat in meetings in Londonderry and in Newry and County Fermanagh, and I was told that in no uncertain terms.”

Britain was due to leave the EU on March 29, but Mrs May twice requested an extension to Article 50 – resulting in her being offered a “flexible extension” to Brexit until October 31.

Last August – the assistant chief constable Barbara Gray, who heads up the counter-terrorism response unit for the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), warned Brexit could become a motivating factor for extremists in the event of a disorderly exit. “We will be prepared and we will be very ready for any potential upsurge in violence that may happen after Brexit,” she told the PA news agency. “We predict that a six- to 12-month period, if there’s a no-deal Brexit, that there could be an upsurge in violence.”

Two months later – appearing in front of the House of Commons’ exiting the European Union committee, Chief Constable of Police Service Northern Ireland Greg Clarke said the agency would “go back into suboptimal” operations if the U.K. loses access to the European Arrest Warrant and is unable to share criminal data with the EU in a crashout exit scenario.

There is a potential for opportunities to exist for them to carry terrorist crimes and activities, depending on what [border checks] infrastructure, for example, would look like,” Clarke told MPs.

“It is really important for us to emphasize that we are currently operating within a severe threat.”

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Bolivian coup leader Luis Fernando Camacho is a far-right multi-millionaire who arose from fascist movements in the Santa Cruz region, where the US has encouraged separatism. He has courted support from Colombia, Brazil, and the Venezuelan opposition.

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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.”

“Pachamama will never return to the palace,” he said, referring to the Andean Mother Earth spirit. “Bolivia belongs to Christ.”

Luis Fernando Camacho Bolivia palacio dios

Far-right Bolivian opposition leader Luis Fernando Camacho in Bolivia’s presidential palace with a Bible, after the coup

Bolivia’s extreme right-wing opposition had overthrown leftist President Evo Morales that day, following demands by the country’s military leadership that he step down.

Virtually unknown outside his country, where he had never won a democratic election, Camacho stepped into the void. He is a powerful multi-millionaire named in the Panama Papers, and an ultra-conservative Christian fundamentalist groomed by a fascist paramilitary notorious for its racist violence, with a base in Bolivia’s wealthy separatist region of Santa Cruz.

Camacho hails from a family of corporate elites who have long profited from Bolivia’s plentiful natural gas reserves. And his family lost part of its wealth when Morales nationalized the country’s resources, in order to fund his vast social programs — which cut poverty by 42 percent and extreme poverty by 60 percent.

In the lead-up to the coup, Camacho met with leaders from right-wing governments in the region to discuss their plans to destabilize Morales. Two months before the putsch, he tweeted gratitude: “Thank you Colombia! Thank you Venezuela!” he exclaimed, tipping his hat to Juan Guaido’s coup operation. He also recognized the far-right government of Jair Bolsonaro, declaring, “Thank you Brazil!”

Camacho had spent years leading an overtly fascist separatist organization called the Unión Juvenil Cruceñista. The Grayzone edited the following clips from a promotional historical documentary that the group posted on its own social media accounts:

While Camacho and his far-right forces served as the muscle behind the coup, their political allies waited to reap the benefits.

The presidential candidate Bolivia’s opposition had fielded in the October election, Carlos Mesa, is a “pro-business” privatizer with extensive ties to Washington. US government cables published by WikiLeaks reveal that he regularly corresponded with American officials in their efforts to destabilize Morales.

Mesa is currently listed as an expert at the Inter-American Dialogue, a DC-based think tank funded by the US government’s soft-power arm USAID, various oil giants, and a host of multi-national corporations active in Latin America.

Evo Morales, a former farmer who rose to prominence in social movements before becoming the leader of the powerful grassroots political party Movement Toward Socialism (MAS), was Bolivia’s first Indigenous leader. Wildly popular in the country’s substantial Native and peasant communities, he won numerous elections and democratic referenda over a 13-year period, often in landslides.

On October 20, Morales won re-election by more than 600,000 votes, giving him just above the 10 percent margin needed to defeat opposition presidential candidate Mesa in the first round.

Experts who did a statistical analysis of Bolivia’s publicly available voting data found no evidence of irregularities or fraud. But the opposition claimed otherwise, and took to the streets in weeks of protests and riots.

The events that precipitated the resignation of Morales were indisputably violent. Right-wing opposition gangs attacked numerous elected politicians from the ruling leftist MAS party. They then ransacked the home of President Morales, while burning down the houses of several other top officials. The family members of some politicians were kidnapped and held hostage until they resigned. A female socialist mayor was publicly tortured by a mob.

Following the forced departure of Morales, coup leaders arrested the president and vice president of the government’s electoral body, and forced the organization’s other officials to resign. Camacho’s followers proceeded to burn Wiphala flags that symbolized the country’s Indigenous population and the plurinational vision of Morales.

The Organization of American States, a pro-US organization founded by Washington during the Cold War as an alliance of right-wing anti-communist countries in Latin America, helped rubber stamp the Bolivian coup. It called for new elections, claiming there were numerous irregularities in the October 20 vote, without citing any evidence. Then the OAS remained silent as Morales was overthrown by his military and his party’s officials were attacked and violently forced to resign.

The day after, the Donald Trump White House enthusiastically praised the coup, trumpeting it as a “significant moment for democracy,” and a “strong signal to the illegitimate regimes in Venezuela and Nicaragua.”

Emerging from the shadows to lead a violent far-right putsch

While Carlos Mesa timidly condemned the opposition’s violence, Camacho egged it on, ignoring calls for an international audit of the election and emphasizing his maximalist demand to purge all supporters of Morales from government. He was the true face of the opposition, concealed for months behind the moderate figure of Mesa.

A 40-year-old multi-millionaire businessman from the separatist stronghold of Santa Cruz, Camacho has never run for office. Like Venezuelan coup leader Juan Guaidó, whom more than 80 percent of Venezuelans had never heard of until the US government anointed him as supposed “president,” Camacho was an obscure figure until the coup attempt in Bolivia hit its stride.

He first created his Twitter account on May 27, 2019. For months, his tweets went ignored, generating no more than three or four retweets and likes. Before the election, Camacho did not have a Wikipedia article, and there were few media profiles on him in Spanish- or English-language media.

Camacho issued a call for a strike on July 9, posting videos on Twitter that got just over 20 views. The goal of the strike was to try to force the resignation of Bolivian government’s electoral organ the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE). In other words, Camacho was pressuring the government’s electoral authorities to step down more than three months before the presidential election.

It was not until after the election that Camacho was thrust into the limelight and transformed into a celebrity by corporate media conglomerates like the local right-wing network Unitel,Telemundo, and CNN en Español.

All of a sudden, Camacho’s tweets calling for Morales to resign were lighting up with thousands of retweets. The coup machinery had been activated.

Mainstream outlets like the New York Times and Reuters followed by anointing the unelected Camacho as the “leader” of Bolivia’s opposition. But even as he lapped up international attention, key portions of the far-right activist’s background were omitted.

Left unmentioned were Camacho’s deep and well-established connections to Christian extremist paramilitaries notorious for racist violence and local business cartels, as well as the right-wing governments across the region.

It was in the fascist paramilitaries and separatist atmosphere of Santa Cruz where Camacho’s politics were formed, and where the ideological contours of the coup had been defined.

UJC Union Juvenil Cruceñista Bolivia

Cadres from the Unión Juvenil Cruceñista (UJC), the Bolivian fascist youth group that Luis Fernando Camacho got his start in

Cadre of a Francoist-style fascist paramilitary

Luis Fernando Camacho was groomed by the Unión Juvenil Cruceñista, or Santa Cruz Youth Union (UJC), a fascist paramilitary organization that has been linked to assassination plots against Morales. The group is notorious for assaulting leftists, Indigenous peasants, and journalists, all while espousing a deeply racist, homophobic ideology.

Since Morales entered office in 2006, the UJC has campaigned to separate from a country its members believed had been overtaken by a Satanic Indigenous mass.

The UJC is the Bolivian equivalent of Spain’s Falange, India’s Hindu supremacist RSS, and Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov battalion. Its symbol is a green cross that bears strong similarities to logos of fascist movements across the West.

And its members are known to launch into Nazi-style sieg heil salutes.

Even the US embassy in Bolivia has described UJC members as “racist” and “militant,” noting that they “have frequently attacked pro-MAS/government people and installations.”

After journalist Benjamin Dangl visited with UJC members in 2007, he described them as the “brass knuckles” of the Santa Cruz separatist movement. “The Unión Juvenil has been known to beat and whip campesinos marching for gas nationalization, throw rocks at students organizing against autonomy, toss molotov cocktails at the state television station, and brutally assault members of the landless movement struggling against land monopolies,” Dangl wrote.

“When we have to defend our culture by force, we will,” a UJC leader told Dangl. “The defense of liberty is more important than life.”

Armed members of the Unión Juvenil Cruceñista

Armed members of the Unión Juvenil Cruceñista

Camacho was elected as vice president of the UJC in 2002, when he was just 23 years old. He left the organization two years later to build his family’s business empire and rise through the ranks of the Pro-Santa Cruz Committee. It was in that organization that he was taken under the wing of one of the separatist movement’s most powerful figures, a Bolivian-Croatian oligarch named Branko Marinkovic.

In August, Camacho tweeted a photo with his “great friend,” Marinkovic. This friendship was crucial to establishing the rightist activist’s credentials and forging the basis of the coup that would take form three months later.

Camacho’s Croatian godfather and separatist powerbroker

Branko Marinkovic is a major landowner who ramped up his support for the right-wing opposition after some of his land was nationalized by the Evo Morales government. As chairman of the Pro-Santa Cruz Committee, he oversaw the operations of the main engine of separatism in Bolivia.

In a 2008 letter to Marinkovic, the International Federation for Human Rights denounced the committee as an “actor and promoter of racism and violence in Bolivia.”

The human rights group added that it “condemn[ed] the attitude and secessionist, unionist and racist discourses as well as the calls for military disobedience of which the Pro-Santa Cruz Civic Committee for is one of the main promoters.”

In 2013, journalist Matt Kennard reported that the US government was working closely with the Pro-Santa Cruz Committee to encourage the balkanization of Bolivia and to undermine Morales. “What they [the US] put across was how they could strengthen channels of communication,” the vice president of the committee told Kennard. “The embassy said that they would help us in our communication work and they have a series of publications where they were putting forward their ideas.”

In a 2008 profile on Marinkovic, the New York Timesacknowledged the extremist undercurrents of the Santa Cruz separatist movement the oligarch presided over. It described the area as “a bastion of openly xenophobic groups like the Bolivian Socialist Falange, whose hand-in-air salute draws inspiration from the fascist Falange of the former Spanish dictator Franco.”

The Bolivian Socialist Falange was a fascist group that provided safe haven to Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie during the Cold War. A former Gestapo torture expert, Barbie was repurposed by the CIA through its Operation Condor program to help exterminate communism across the continent. (Despite its antiquated name, like the German National Socialists, this far-right extremist group was violently anti-leftist, committed to killing socialists.)

The Bolivian Falange came into power in 1971 when its leader, Gen. Hugo Banzer Suarez, ousted the leftist government of Gen. Juan Jose Torres Gonzales. The government of Gonzales had infuriated business leaders by nationalizing industries and antagonized Washington by ousting the Peace Corps, which it viewed as an instrument of CIA penetration. The Nixon administration immediately welcomed Banzer with open arms and courted him as a key bulwark against the spread of socialism in the region. (An especially ironic 1973 dispatch appears on Wikileaks showing Secretary of State Henry Kissinger thanking Banzer for congratulating him on his Nobel Peace Prize).

The movement’s putschist legacy persevered during the Morales era through organizations like the UJC and figures such as Marinkovic and Camacho.

The Times noted that Marinkovic also supported the activities of the UJC, describing the fascist group as “a quasi-independent arm of the committee led by Mr. Marinkovic.” A member of the UJC board told the US newspaper of record in an interview, “We will protect Branko with our own lives.”

Marinkovic has espoused the kind of Christian nationalist rhetoric familiar to the far-right organizations of Santa Cruz, calling, for instance, for a “crusade for the truth” and insisting that God is on his side.

The oligarch’s family hails from Croatia, where he has dual citizenship. Marinkovic has long been dogged by rumors that his family members were involved in the country’s powerful fascist Ustashe movement.

The Ustashe collaborated openly with Nazi German occupiers during World War Two. Their successors returned to power after Croatia declared independence from the former Yugoslavia – a former socialist country that was intentionally balkanized in a NATO war, much in the same way that Marinkovic hoped Bolivia would be.

German Fuhrer Adolph Hitler meets Ustashe founder Ante Pavelić in 1941

Marinkovic denies that his family was part of the Ustashe. He claimed in an interview with the New York Times that his father fought against the Nazis.

But even some of his sympathizers are skeptical. A Balkan analyst from the private intelligence firm Stratfor, which works closely with the US government and is popularly known as the “shadow CIA,” produced a rough background profile on Marinkovic, speculating, “Still don’t know his full story, but I would bet a lot of $$$ that this dude’s parents are 1st gen (his name is too Slavic) and that they were Ustashe (read: Nazi) sympathizers fleeing Tito’s Communists after WWI.”

The Stratfor analyst excerpted a 2006 article by journalist Christian Parenti, who had visited Marinkovic at his ranch in Santa Cruz. Evo Morales’ “land reform could lead to civil war,” Marinkovic warned Parenti in the Texas-accented English he picked up while studying at the University of Texas.

Today, Marinkovic is an ardent supporter of Brazil’s far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro, whose only complaint about Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was that he “didn’t kill enough.”

Marinkovic is also a public admirer of Venezuela’s far-right opposition. “Todos somos Leopoldo” — “we are all Leopoldo,” he tweeted in support of Leopoldo López, who has been involved in numerous coup attempts against Venezuela’s elected leftist government.

While Marinkovic denied any role in armed militant activity in his interview with Parenti, he was accused in 2008 of playing a central role in an attempt to assassinate Morales and his Movement Toward Socialism party allies.

He told the New York Times less than two years before the plot developed, “If there is no legitimate international mediation in our crisis, there is going to be confrontation. And unfortunately, it is going to be bloody and painful for all Bolivians.”

An assassination plot links Bolivia’s right to international fascists

In April 2009, a special unit of the Bolivian security services barged into a luxury hotel room and cut down three men who were said to be involved in a plot to kill Evo Morales. Two others remained on the loose. Four of the alleged conspirators had Hungarian or Croatian roots and ties to rightist politics in eastern Europe, while another was a right-wing Irishman, Michael Dwyer, who had only arrived in Santa Cruz six months before.

Image on the right: Alleged assassination plotter Michael Dwyer with his weapons

The ringleader of the group was said to be a former leftist journalist named Eduardo Rosza-Flores who had turned to fascism and belonged to Opus Dei, the traditionalist Catholic cult that emerged under the dictatorship of Spain’s Francisco Franco. In fact, the codename Rosza-Flores assumed in the assassination plot was “Franco,” after the late Generalissimo.

During the 1990s, Rosza fought on behalf of the Croatian First International Platoon, or the PIV, in the war to separate from Yugoslavia. A Croatian journalist told Time that the “PIV was a notorious group: 95% of them had criminal histories, many were part of Nazi and fascist groups, from Germany to Ireland.”

By 2009, Rosza returned home to Bolivia to crusade on behalf of another separatist movement in Santa Cruz. And it was there that he was killed in a luxury hotel with no apparent source of income and a massive stockpile of guns.

The government later released photos of Rosza and a co-conspirator posing with their weapons. Publication of emails between the ringleader and Istvan Belovai, a former Hungarian military intelligence officer who served as a double agent for the CIA, cemented the perception that Washington had a hand in the operation.

Marinkovic was subsequently charged with providing $200,000 to the plotters. The Bolivian-Croatian oligarch initially fled to the United States, where he was given asylum, then relocated to Brazil, where he lives today. He denied any involvement in the plan to kill Morales.

Image below: Rosza and Dwyer with their arms cache in Bolivia

As journalist Matt Kennard reported, there was another thread that tied the plot to the US: the alleged participation of an NGO leader named Hugo Achá Melgar.

“Rozsa didn’t come here by himself, they brought him,” the Bolivian government’s lead investigator told Kennard. “Hugo Achá Melgar brought him.”

The Human Rights Foundation destabilizes Bolivia

Achá was not just the head of any run-of-the-mill NGO. He had founded the Bolivian subsidiary of the Human Rights Foundation (HRF), an international right-wing outfit that is known for hosting a “school for revolution” for activists seeking regime change in states targeted by the US government.

HRF is run by Thor Halvorssen Jr., the son of the late Venezuelan oligarch and CIA asset Thor Halvorssen Hellum. The first cousin of the veteran Venezuelan coup plotter Leopoldo Lopez, Halvorssen was a former college Republican activist who crusaded against political correctness and other familiar right-wing hobgoblins.

After a brief career as a firebrand right-wing film producer, in which he oversaw a scandalous “anti-environmentalist” documentary financed by a mining corporation, Halvorssen rebranded as a promoter of liberalism and the enemy of global authoritarianism. He launched the HRF with grants from right-wing billionaires like Peter Thiel, conservative foundations, and NGOs including Amnesty International. The group has since been at the forefront of training activists for insurrectionary activity from Hong Kong to the Middle East to Latin America.

Though Achá was granted asylum in the US, the HRF has continued pushing regime change in Bolivia. As Wyatt Reed reported for The Grayzone, HRF “freedom fellow” Jhanisse Vaca Daza helped trigger the initial stage of the coup by blaming Morales for the Amazon fires that consumed parts of Bolivia in August, mobilizing international protests against him.

At the time, Daza posed as an “environmental activist” and student of non-violence who articulated her concerns in moderate-seeming calls for more international aid to Bolivia. Through her NGO, Rios de Pie, she helped launch the #SOSBolivia hashtag, which signaled the imminent foreign-backed regime-change operation.

Courting the regional right, prepping the coup 

While HRF’s Daza rallied protests outside Bolivian embassies in Europe and the US, Fernando Camacho remained behind the scenes, lobbying right-wing governments in the region to bless the coming coup.

In May, Camacho met with Colombia’s far-right President Ivan Duque. Camacho was helping to spearhead regional efforts at undermining the legitimacy of Evo Morales’ presidency at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, seeking to block his candidacy in the October election.

Camacho with Colombian President Ivan Duque in May

That same month, the rightist Bolivian agitator also met with Ernesto Araújo, the chancellor of Jair Bolsonaro’s ultra-conservative administration in Brazil. Through the meeting, Camacho successfully secured Bolsonaro’s backing for regime change in Bolivia.

This November 10, Araújo enthusiastically endorsed the ouster of Morales, declaring that “Brazil will support the democratic and constitutional transition” in the country.

Then in August, two months before Bolivia’s presidential election, Camacho held court with officials from Venezuela’s US-appointed coup regime. These included Gustavo Tarre, Guaido’s faux Venezuelan OAS ambassador, who formerly worked at the right-wing Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) think tank in Washington.

After the meeting, Camacho tweeted gratitude to the Venezuelan coup-mongers, as well as to Colombia and Brazil.

Mesa and Camacho: a marriage of capitalist convenience

Back in Bolivia, Carlos Mesa occupied the spotlight as the opposition’s presidential candidate.

His erudite image and centrist policy proposals put him in a seemingly alternate political universe from fire-breathing rightists like Camacho and Marinkovic. For them, he was a convenient front man and acceptable candidate who promised to defend their economic interests.

“It might be that he is not my favorite, but I’m going to vote for him, because I don’t want Evo,” Marinkovic told a right-wing Argentine newspaper five days before the election.

Indeed, it was Camacho’s practical financial interests that appeared to have necessitated his support for Mesa.

The Camacho family has formed a natural gas cartel in Santa Cruz. As the Bolivian outlet Primera Linea reported, Luis Fernando Camacho’s father, Jose Luis, was the owner of a company called Sergas that distributed gas in the city; his uncle, Enrique, controlled Socre, the company that ran the local gas production facilities; and his cousin, Cristian, controls another local gas distributor called Controgas.

According to Primera Linea, the Camacho family was using the Pro-Santa Cruz Committee as a political weapon to install Carlos Mesa into power and ensure the restoration of their business empire.

Mesa has a well-documented history of advancing the goals of transnational companies at the expense of his own country’s population. The neoliberal politician and media personality served as vice president when the US-backed President Gonzalo “Goni” Sanchez de Lozada provoked mass protests with his 2003 plan to allow a consortium of multinational corporations to export the country’s natural gas to the US through a Chilean port.

Bolivia’s US-trained security forces met the ferocious protests with brutal repression. After presiding over the killing of 70 unarmed protesters, Sanchez de Lozada fled to Miami and was succeeded by Mesa.

By 2005, Mesa was also ousted by huge demonstrations spurred by his protection of privatized natural gas companies. With his demise, the election of Morales and the rise of the socialist and rural Indigenous movements behind him were just beyond the horizon.

US government cables released by WikiLeaks show that, after his ouster, Mesa continued regular correspondence with American officials. A 2008 memo from the US embassy in Bolivia revealed that Washington was conspiring with opposition politicians in the lead-up to the 2009 presidential election, hoping to undermine and ultimately unseat Morales.

The memo noted that Mesa had met with the chargé d’affaires of the US embassy, and had privately told them he planned to run for president. The cable recalled: “Mesa told us his party will be ideologically similar to a social democratic party and that he hoped to strengthen ties with the Democratic party. ‘We have nothing against the Republican party, and have in fact gotten support from IRI (International Republican Institute) in the past, but we think we share more ideology with the Democrats,’ he added.”

wikileaks bolivia carlos mesa

Today, Mesa serves as an in-house “expert” at the Inter-American Dialogue, a neoliberal Washington-based think tank focused on Latin America. One of the Dialogue’s top donors is the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the State Department subsidiary that was exposed in classified diplomatic cables published on Wikileaks for strategically directing millions of dollars to opposition groups including those “opposed to Evo Morales’ vision for indigenous communities.”

Other top funders of the Dialogue include oil titans like Chevron and ExxonMobil; Bechtel, which inspired the initial protests against the administration in which Mesa served; the Inter-American Development Bank, which has forcefully opposed Morales’ socialist-oriented policies; and the Organization of American States (OAS), which helped delegitimize the Morales’s re-election victory with dubious claims of irregular vote counts.

Finishing the job

When Carlos Mesa touched off nationwide protests in October by accusing the Evo Morales government of committing electoral fraud, the right-wing firebrand hailed by his followers as “Macho Camacho” emerged from the shadows. Behind him was the hardcore separatist shock force that he led in Santa Cruz.

Mesa faded into the distance as Camacho emerged as the authentic face of the coup, rallying his forces with the uncompromising rhetoric and fascist symbology that defined the Unión Juvenil Cruceñista paramilitary.

As he declared victory over Morales, Camacho exhorted his followers to “finish the job, let’s get the elections going, let’s start judging the government criminals, let’s put them in jail.”

Back in Washington, meanwhile, the Trump administration released an official statement celebrating Bolivia’s coup, declaring that “Morales’s departure preserves democracy.”

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Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and author, and the founder and editor of The Grayzone.

Ben Norton is a journalist, writer, and filmmaker, and the assistant editor of The Grayzone.

All images in this article are from The Grayzone

Come you masters of war / You that build the big guns

You that build the death planes / You that build all the bombs

You that hide behind walls / You that hide behind desks

I just want you to know / I can see through your masks….

You fasten all the triggers / For the others to fire

Then you sit back and watch / When the death count gets higher

You hide in your mansion / While the young people’s blood

Flows out of their bodies / And is buried in the mud.

— Bob Dylan, “Masters of War”

War drives the American police state.

The military-industrial complex is the world’s largest employer.

War sustains our way of life while killing us at the same time. As Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent and author Chris Hedges observes:

War is like a poison. And just as a cancer patient must at times ingest a poison to fight off a disease, so there are times in a society when we must ingest the poison of war to survive. But what we must understand is that just as the disease can kill us, so can the poison. If we don’t understand what war is, how it perverts us, how it corrupts us, how it dehumanizes us, how it ultimately invites us to our own self-annihilation, then we can become the victim of war itself.

War also entertains us with its carnage, its killing fields, its thrills and chills and bloodied battles set to music and memorialized in books, on television, in video games, and in superhero films and blockbuster Hollywood movies financed in part by the military.

Americans are fed a steady diet of pro-war propaganda that keeps them content to wave flags with patriotic fervor and less inclined to look too closely at the mounting body counts, the ruined lives, the ravaged countries, the blowback arising from ill-advised targeted-drone killings and bombing campaigns in foreign lands, or the transformation of our own homeland into a warzone.

Nowhere is this double-edged irony more apparent than during military holidays, when we get treated to a generous serving of praise and grandstanding by politicians, corporations and others with similarly self-serving motives eager to go on record as being pro-military.

Yet war is a grisly business, a horror of epic proportions.

In terms of human carnage alone, war’s devastation is staggering. For example, it is estimated that approximately 231 million people died worldwide during the wars of the 20th century. This figure does not take into account the walking wounded—both physically and psychologically—who “survive” war.

Many of those who have served in the military are among America’s walking wounded.

Despite the fact that the U.S. boasts more than 20 million veterans who have served in World War II through the present day, the plight of veterans today has become America’s badge of shame, with large numbers of veterans impoverished, unemployed, traumatized mentally and physically, struggling with depression, suicide, and marital stress, homeless, subjected to sub-par treatment at clinics and hospitals, and left to molder while their paperwork piles up within Veterans Administration offices.

According to a recent report by the Department of Veterans Affairs, at least 60,000 veterans died by suicidebetween 2008 and 2017.

On average, 6,000 veterans kill themselves every year, and the numbers are on the rise.

As Brené Brown, research professor at the University of Houston, observed, “For soldiers serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, coming home is more lethal than being in combat.”

Unfortunately, it’s the U.S. government that poses the greater threat to America’s military veterans, especially if they are among that portion of the population that exercises their First Amendment right to speak out against government wrongdoing.

Consider: we raise our young people on a steady diet of militarism and war, sell them on the idea that defending freedom abroad by serving in the military is their patriotic duty, then when they return home, bruised and battle-scarred and committed to defending their freedoms at home, we often treat them like criminals merely for exercising those rights they risked their lives to defend.

The government even has a name for its war on America’s veterans: Operation Vigilant Eagle.

As first reported by the Wall Street Journal, this Department of Homeland Security (DHS) program tracks military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and characterizes them as extremists and potential domestic terrorist threats because they may be “disgruntled, disillusioned or suffering from the psychological effects of war.”

Coupled with the DHS’ dual reports on Rightwing and Leftwing “Extremism,” which broadly define extremists as individuals, military veterans and groups “that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely,” these tactics bode ill for anyone seen as opposing the government.

Yet the government is not merely targeting individuals who are voicing their discontent so much as it is taking aim at individuals trained in military warfare.

Don’t be fooled by the fact that the DHS has gone extremely quiet about Operation Vigilant Eagle.

Where there’s smoke, there’s bound to be fire.

And the government’s efforts to target military veterans whose views may be perceived as “anti-government” make clear that something is afoot.

In recent years, military servicemen and women have found themselves increasingly targeted for surveillance, censorship, threatened with incarceration or involuntary commitment, labeled as extremists and/or mentally ill, and stripped of their Second Amendment rights.

An important point to consider, however, is that under the guise of mental health treatment and with the complicity of government psychiatrists and law enforcement officials, these veterans are increasingly being portrayed as threats to national security.

In light of the government’s efforts to lay the groundwork to weaponize the public’s biomedical data and predict who might pose a threat to public safety based on mental health sensor data (a convenient means by which to penalize certain “unacceptable” social behaviors), encounters with the police could get even more deadly, especially if those involved have a mental illness or disability coupled with a military background.

Incredibly, as part of a proposal being considered by the Trump Administration, a new government agency HARPA (a healthcare counterpart to the Pentagon’s research and development arm DARPA) will take the lead in identifying and targeting “signs” of mental illness or violent inclinations among the populace by using artificial intelligence to collect data from Apple Watches, Fitbits, Amazon Echo and Google Home.

These tactics are not really new.

Many times throughout history in totalitarian regimes, such governments have declared dissidents mentally ill and unfit for society as a means of disempowering them.

As Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anne Applebaum observes in Gulag: A History: “The exile of prisoners to a distant place, where they can ‘pay their debt to society,’ make themselves useful, and not contaminate others with their ideas or their criminal acts, is a practice as old as civilization itself. The rulers of ancient Rome and Greece sent their dissidents off to distant colonies. Socrates chose death over the torment of exile from Athens. The poet Ovid was exiled to a fetid port on the Black Sea.”

For example, government officials in the Cold War-era Soviet Union often used psychiatric hospitals as prisons in order to isolate political prisoners from the rest of society, discredit their ideas, and break them physically and mentally through the use of electric shocks, drugs and various medical procedures.

Insisting that “ideas about a struggle for truth and justice are formed by personalities with a paranoid structure,” the psychiatric community actually went so far as to provide the government with a diagnosis suitable for locking up such freedom-oriented activists.

In addition to declaring political dissidents mentally unsound, Russian officials also made use of an administrative process for dealing with individuals who were considered a bad influence on others or troublemakers.

Author George Kennan describes a process in which:

The obnoxious person may not be guilty of any crime . . . but if, in the opinion of the local authorities, his presence in a particular place is “prejudicial to public order” or “incompatible with public tranquility,” he may be arrested without warrant, may be held from two weeks to two years in prison, and may then be removed by force to any other place within the limits of the empire and there be put under police surveillance for a period of from one to ten years. Administrative exile–which required no trial and no sentencing procedure–was an ideal punishment not only for troublemakers as such, but also for political opponents of the regime.

Sound familiar?

This age-old practice by which despotic regimes eliminate their critics or potential adversaries by declaring them mentally ill and locking them up in psychiatric wards for extended periods of time is a common practice in present-day China.

What is particularly unnerving, however, is how this practice of eliminating or undermining potential critics, including military veterans, is happening with increasing frequency in the United States.

Remember, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) opened the door for the government to detain as a threat to national security anyone viewed as a troublemaker. According to government guidelines for identifying domestic extremists—a word used interchangeably with terrorists—technically, anyone exercising their First Amendment rights in order to criticize the government qualifies.

It doesn’t take much anymore to be flagged as potentially anti-government in a government database somewhere—Main Core, for example—that identifies and tracks individuals who aren’t inclined to march in lockstep to the government’s dictates.

In fact, as the Washington Post reports, communities are being mapped and residents assigned a color-coded threat score—green, yellow or red—so police are forewarned about a person’s potential inclination to be a troublemaker depending on whether they’ve had a career in the military, posted a comment perceived as threatening on Facebook, suffer from a particular medical condition, or know someone who knows someone who might have committed a crime.

The case of Brandon Raub is a prime example of Operation Vigilant Eagle in action.

Raub, a 26-year-old decorated Marine, actually found himself interrogated by government agents about his views on government corruption, arrested with no warning, labeled mentally ill for subscribing to so-called “conspiratorial” views about the government, detained against his will in a psych ward for standing by his views, and isolated from his family, friends and attorneys.

On August 16, 2012, a swarm of local police, Secret Service and FBI agents arrived at Raub’s Virginia home, asking to speak with him about posts he had made on his Facebook page made up of song lyrics, political opinions and dialogue used in a political thriller virtual card game.

Among the posts cited as troublesome were lyrics to a song by a rap group and Raub’s views, shared increasingly by a number of Americans, that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were an inside job.

After a brief conversation and without providing any explanation, levying any charges against Raub or reading him his rights, Raub was then handcuffed and transported to police headquarters, then to a medical center, where he was held against his will due to alleged concerns that his Facebook posts were “terrorist in nature.”

Outraged onlookers filmed the arrest and posted the footage to YouTube, where it quickly went viral. Meanwhile, in a kangaroo court hearing that turned a deaf ear to Raub’s explanations about the fact that his Facebook posts were being read out of context, Raub was sentenced to up to 30 days’ further confinement in a psychiatric ward.

Thankfully, The Rutherford Institute came to Raub’s assistance, which combined with heightened media attention, brought about his release and may have helped prevent Raub from being successfully “disappeared” by the government.

Even so, within days of Raub being seized and forcibly held in a VA psych ward, news reports started surfacing of other veterans having similar experiences.

“Oppositional defiance disorder” (ODD) is another diagnosis being used against veterans who challenge the status quo. As journalist Anthony Martin explains, an ODD diagnosis

“denotes that the person exhibits ‘symptoms’ such as the questioning of authority, the refusal to follow directions, stubbornness, the unwillingness to go along with the crowd, and the practice of disobeying or ignoring orders. Persons may also receive such a label if they are considered free thinkers, nonconformists, or individuals who are suspicious of large, centralized government… At one time the accepted protocol among mental health professionals was to reserve the diagnosis of oppositional defiance disorder for children or adolescents who exhibited uncontrollable defiance toward their parents and teachers.”

Frankly, based on how well my personality and my military service in the U.S. Armed Forces fit with this description of “oppositional defiance disorder,” I’m sure there’s a file somewhere with my name on it.

That the government is using the charge of mental illness as the means by which to immobilize (and disarm) these veterans is diabolical. With one stroke of a magistrate’s pen, these veterans are being declared mentally ill, locked away against their will, and stripped of their constitutional rights.

If it were just being classified as “anti-government,” that would be one thing.

Unfortunately, anyone with a military background and training is also now being viewed as a heightened security threat by police who are trained to shoot first and ask questions later.

Feeding this perception of veterans as ticking time bombs in need of intervention, the Justice Department launched a pilot program in 2012 aimed at training SWAT teams to deal with confrontations involving highly trained and often heavily armed combat veterans.

The result?

Police encounters with military veterans often escalate very quickly into an explosive and deadly situation, especially when SWAT teams are involved.

For example, Jose Guerena, a Marine who served in two tours in Iraq, was killed after an Arizona SWAT team kicked open the door of his home during a mistaken drug raid and opened fire. Thinking his home was being invaded by criminals, Guerena told his wife and child to hide in a closet, grabbed a gun and waited in the hallway to confront the intruders. He never fired his weapon. In fact, the safety was still on his gun when he was killed. The SWAT officers, however, not as restrained, fired 70 rounds of ammunition at Guerena—23 of those bullets made contact. Apart from his military background, Guerena had had no prior criminal record, and the police found nothing illegal in his home.

John Edward Chesney, a 62-year-old Vietnam veteran, was killed by a SWAT team allegedly responding to a call that the Army veteran was standing in his San Diego apartment window waving what looked like a semi-automatic rifle. SWAT officers locked down Chesney’s street, took up positions around his home, and fired 12 rounds into Chesney’s apartment window. It turned out that the gun Chesney reportedly pointed at police from three stories up was a “realistic-looking mock assault rifle.”

Ramon Hooks’ encounter with a Houston SWAT team did not end as tragically, but it very easily could have. Hooks, a 25-year-old Iraq war veteran, was using an air rifle gun for target practice outside when a Homeland Security Agent, allegedly house shopping in the area, reported him as an active shooter. It wasn’t long before the quiet neighborhood was transformed into a war zone, with dozens of cop cars, an armored vehicle and heavily armed police. Hooks was arrested, his air rifle pellets and toy gun confiscated, and charges filed against him for “criminal mischief.”

Given the government’s increasing view of veterans as potential domestic terrorists, it makes one think twice about government programs encouraging veterans to include a veterans designation on their drivers’ licenses and ID cards.

Hailed by politicians as a way to “make it easier for military veterans to access discounts from retailers, restaurants, hotels and vendors across the state,” it will also make it that much easier for the government to identify and target veterans who dare to challenge the status quo.

After all, no one is spared in a police state.

Eventually, as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, we all suffer the same fate.

It stands to reason that if the government can’t be bothered to abide by its constitutional mandate to respect the citizenry’s rights—whether it’s the right to be free from government surveillance and censorship, the right to due process and fair hearings, the right to be free from roadside strip searches and militarized police, or the right to peacefully assemble and protest and exercise our right to free speech—then why should anyone expect the government to treat our nation’s veterans with respect and dignity?

Here’s a suggestion: if you really want to do something to show your respect and appreciation for the nation’s veterans, why not skip the parades and the flag-waving and instead go exercise your rights—the freedoms that those veterans swore to protect—by pushing back against the government’s tyranny.

It’s time the rest of the nation did its part to safeguard the freedoms we too often take for granted.

Freedom is not free.

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This article was originally published on The Rutherford Institute.

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People  is available at www.amazon.com. Whitehead can be contacted at [email protected].

Water Water Everywhere…

November 13th, 2019 by Philip A Farruggio

I just interviewed former World Bank staff member and  geopolitical analyst Peter Koenig via telephone at his home in Geneva. Koenig had just returned from South America, a place where he has travelled to many times. One of the issues that he is very passionate about is the agenda by (so called) world health and finance organizations to privatize water… especially drinking water!  He understands how dangerous it is to allow private for profit companies to control our drinking water, whereupon the old saying of ‘Profit over People’ rings so true.

This all made this writer think of when I turned  on C-Span a few short years ago and caught the congressional hearing on the Flint water crisis.

It made me so angry that I  wanted to scream out loud!: ‘You morons! Why is there no one there who will connect the dots!?’ ‘You had the former Mayor of Flint, the former EPA regional exec and the former ‘Emergency City Mgr. all under the gun from those diligent bulldog congress people. The blame game was in full swing, and to some extent it was and is justified. The  mayor and the other band of bureaucrats did get early on information as to the harm the river water and lead filled pipes was doing to the citizens of Flint. Yet, there is a much more diabolical aspect of this story, and it filters out to many other municipalities throughout America. Part A of this aspect was shared by Mr. Early, the former Emergency Mgr. of Flint when he told anyone who would listen that “We did not have the $ 18 million it would cost”. He was referring to the charges made by almost everyone at that hearing as to why he did not heed the complaints he was receiving and switch back to the much safer Detroit Water Systems’ water for Flint. Early was no saint, not at all. He, like the EPA exec and the Mayor, ignored the mountain of resident complaints and fears (and the whistleblower’s warnings) as to the lack of safety in the river water (and of course the lead in the pipes). Part B of this is why the Governor did nothing to help out the city of Flint from this horror. When push comes to shove, though, it was really about Da Money or lack of it. Why?

My Florida congressman, John Mica, really took the mantle and lashed into the group of bureaucrats for ignoring the warnings etc. Yet, as with I am sure most and most likely all of those others on the committee (and in the whole damn Congress) Mica had continued to support any military spending proposal that came his way. It matters not, and it mattered not, whether it be under the Republican Bush Jr. or the Democrat Obama, Mica and the rest of those hypocrites allowed over 50% of your federal tax money to go towards military spending! They supported the illegal invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq and the illegal U.S. led NATO carpet bombing and regime change in Libya. Of course, they voted to support most, if not all, of the Pentagon’s new weapons systems, nuclear subs and attack aircraft which are, in plain English, Overkill on steroids! These hypocrites and phony patriots voted to support our 1000 + bases worldwide and finance to the tune of over $ one million dollars yearly to keep one soldier in Afghanistan (of course the cost of private mercenaries.. oh sorry .. private contractors is another add on to that cost). Imagine, if you would, that keeping 18 U.S. service people in Afghanistan for one year equals the $ 18 million Flint needed to stay with the clean water in the first place!

We have many more cities like Flint all over our great nation. We have bridges and roads that are in disrepair. Our train system pales in comparison to any other one in any other of the industrialized nations. This is just for starters. This writer belongs to a non partisan nationwide group that demands that 25% of our current military spending be cut and sent back to our states and cities for use on infrastructure and other local emergency needs. One would speculate that having safe and secure drinking water should be on top of any such list. Apparently,  John Mica and his fellow hypocritical  Two Party colleagues did not agree with that. No, they continued and still continue to allow this Military Industrial Empire to chug along over the worn out and wounded majority of us. Sad.

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Philip A Farruggio is a contributing editor for The Greanville Post. He is a frequent contributor to 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].

Featured image is from The Ecologist

The United States and the Organization of American States can add another coup to their scorecards, even if U.S. media refuses to recognize it as such. This time it was in Bolivia, where President Evo Morales was forced to step down on November 10, following weeks of pressure and extremist violence. Morales resigned under duress in order to avoid bloodshed, and emphasized that his “responsibility as an indigenous president of all Bolivians is to prevent the coup-mongers from persecuting my trade unionist brothers and sisters, abusing and kidnapping their families, burning the homes of governors, of legislators, of city councilors… to prevent them from continuing to harass and persecute my indigenous brothers and sisters and the leaders and authorities” of the MAS (Movement towards Socialism, Morales’ political party). 

His resignation has yet to take effect, as it must be approved by the legislature. This did not stop opposition party member Jeanine Añez, the Senate’s second vice president, from declaring herself interim president, further proving that what’s happened is a coup. MAS legislators, who have a majority in both chambers, have been unable to attend parliamentary sessions as security forces have not guaranteed their safety.

Currently, indigenous and labor movements are on the streets in several Bolivian cities, demanding that President Morales be reinstated. Meanwhile, police forces are ripping the Wiphala flag (a flag that represents the indigenous peoples of the Andes) from their uniforms and from government buildings. Coup leader Luis Camacho entered the government palace with a Bolivian flag and a bible; upon leaving, one of his supporters, a Christian pastor, declared that “Pachamama will never return to the palace… Bolivia belongs to Christ.” (Pachamama is an Andean goddess representing Mother Earth.) The coup and its aftermath are not just a rejection of President Morales, but of Bolivia’s indigenous majority and the social gains of the last 13 years.

Morales’ resignation came hours after the head of the armed forces and the chief of Bolivia’s police “suggested” that he resign. The head of the army, General Williams Kalimán Romero, was Bolivia’s military attaché in Washington from 2013 to 2016. The chief of police, General Vladimir Calderón, was Bolivia’s police attaché in Washington until December 2018. As attachés they would have been in constant communication with the Pentagon and other agencies; it is no stretch of the imagination to wonder if they were still in contact with their U.S. counterparts as the overthrow of the Morales government unfolded.

The coup was carried out over three weeks after the October 20 elections, but it was months, if not years in the making. The United States first began targeting Evo Morales in 2001 – five years before being elected president – when the US Embassy in La Paz warned that his political base needed to be weakened. Afterwards, USAID began funding right-wing political parties and “civil society” organizations that would feature heavily in attempts to overthrow President Morales.

The first such attempt came in 2008, two years after Morales was first elected president and days after he survived a recall referendum with 67.4% of the vote. On that occasion, coup plotters in eastern Bolivia, a region rich in minerals where the white minority population is concentrated, attempted to secede from the country. According to the International Federation for Human Rights, the opposition in eastern Bolivia “promoted separatism and ethnically and socially based hatred through the Civic Committees (Comités Civicos), in particular the Pro-Santa Cruz Civic Committee.” Luis Camacho, the millionaire coup leader with ties to paramilitaries, is the current president of this committee, which has received U.S. funding in the past.

The desire to overthrow Morales has existed for years, but more immediate plans were finalized in the weeks before the election. Bolivian media outlet Erbol published leaked audio of conversations held from October 8 and 10 between civic leaders, former military officials and opposition politicians who discussed “a plan for social unrest, before and after the general elections, with the aim of preventing President Evo Morales from remaining” in office. One opposition politician mentioned being in close contact with Senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Bob Menendez.

The OAS also played an important role in stoking protests and ensuring that the coup was successful. On October 21, a day after the election, it issued a statement casting doubt on the process due to an “inexplicable” change in the trend of the vote count. This statement was thoroughly debunked by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), which found that trend did not change and that Morales widened the gap over his rivals due to late reporting rural precincts, where he enjoys a tremendous advantage. A later statistical analysis by CEPR found that there was “no evidence that the election results were affected by irregularities or fraud.” However, the damage was done: protestors took to the streets decrying electoral fraud. These claims were echoed by the State Department and Senator Rubio on Twitter.

After being invited by President Morales to conduct an audit, the results of which he promised to respect, the OAS instead opted to destabilize the country. The full electoral audit was initially due by November 12, but on November 10, a day after Morales announced that a coup was taking place and amid political violence throughout the country, the OAS decided to issue a preliminary audit. This report, which did not include data that could be independently verified, repeated the false claims of the October 21 statement and called for new elections. In response, Morales agreed to new elections and to replacing the board of the electoral body, yet this offer was rebuffed by coup leaders.

Rather than denounce the coup and insist that Morales be allowed to finish out his term (which ends in January), the OAS held a vote that refused to call it a coup, although several countries dissented. Mexico criticized the OAS for being “surprisingly quiet” given the violation of constitutional order, while Uruguay condemned the body’s “double standard depending on antipathy or sympathy” for the government in question. Earlier in the day, Argentinian president-elect Alberto Fernández said “what happened in Bolivia is a shame, the behavior of the OAS is shameful because the audit the OAS held is significant in its flimsiness and has conclusions that are absolutely manipulated.”

It should be noted that the 2008 coup was neutralized in part because of the role played by UNASUR, the Union of South American Nations. This regional bloc has been severely debilitated in recent years as a direct result of State Department pressure and the willingness of right-wing Southern American presidents to give up on long-term regional integration plans for short-term political benefits. The decline of UNASUR and CELAC (the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States – another target of the State Department), coupled with the OAS’s bias, leaves the region with no credible multilateral organization.

This is important, because the only way forward for Bolivia is to hold new elections, which will require independent electoral observation. Given that the OAS is unfit for such a role, the region should insist that the United Nations send an electoral mission. It is the only body that can carry this role out in an impartial manner.

Bolivia is at a flash point and measures have to be taken to reduce tensions. Its legislature must be allowed to function normally, which in practical terms means that  the safety of MAS legislators and their families must be ensured. A gesture for MAS supporters would be to reinstate the president and vice president of the Senate and the president of the Chamber of Deputies (should they desire to be reinstated); all three resigned under duress during the weekend of the coup. Only then can the legislature decide whether to accept Morales’ resignation. Finally, the MAS presidential candidate, whoever that ends up being, needs to receive guarantees for their safety and assurances from the international community that a MAS victory will be respected.

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Leonardo Flores is a Latin American policy expert and campaigner with CODEPINK.

Featured image: A demonstration in El Alto, Bolivia against the 2019 Bolivian coup d’etat. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

It should be obvious by now what the plan is for Julian Assange—psychological torture resulting in either a total breakdown or an untimely death, the latter supported by the psychopaths who claim they are our leaders. This psychological torture was noted, with standard corporate media disinterest, by Nils Melzer, an internationally recognized expert on torture treatment.

“Unless the UK urgently changes course and alleviates his inhumane situation, Mr. Assange’s continued exposure to arbitrariness and abuse may soon end up costing his life,” Melzer, UN special rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, said in a statement last week. 

Melzer demanded “that London immediately take measures to protect Assange’s health and dignity… However, what we have seen from the UK Government is outright contempt for Mr. Assange’s rights and integrity… Despite the medical urgency of my appeal, and the seriousness of the alleged violations, the UK has not undertaken any measures of investigation, prevention and redress required under international law.”

In America, the UK, and much of Europe, the financial elite and its political class consider truth-telling a cardinal sin, a crime punishable by death—not by lethal injection, but slowly and sadistically under a torture system tweaked by the CIA and put into action in rendition dungeons scattered around the world. 

An article at Strategic Culture Foundation summarizes:

Assange has provided vital information to the international public which demonstrates systematic corruption by Washington and its allies. For telling the truth, he is now being persecuted, just as his whistleblowing colleagues, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden are. Manning has been repeatedly imprisoned in the US, while Snowden has had to seek asylum in Russia for fear of being summarily incarcerated as a “traitor” if he returns to the US.

In fact, all of us, those who look beyond the headlines and ferret out the truth, are half a dozen steps away from suffering Julian Assange’s fate. 

The national security state and its political class plan to kill Assange, keep Chelsea Manning in prison and find a way to return Snowden to the US for a show trial and life behind bars (or execution). 

It must, however, first salt the earth where truth is harvested. Thousands of blogs, similar to this one, and websites contradicting and disassembling approved narratives, will be targeted for extinction. 

The Mueller investigation did not result in dethroning Donald Trump. The Clinton-DNC attack on a duly elected president, however, resulted in millions of easily duped Americans believing Russia somehow meddled in the 2016 election and will do it again in 2020. 

According to corporate entities in “partnership” with the state (the true nature of fascism), Russia is not alone in its supposed hatred of democracy and the self-proclaimed exceptional nation-state. 

“There is an undeclared war that Russia and China are waging against the United States and the West,” Jim Sciutto,  CNN’s chief national security correspondent and co-anchor of CNN Newsroom, told the Poynter Fellowship in Journalism Speaker Series in October. “China and Russia, over the last 10 years, have done a remarkably good job at this.” 

This alleged manipulation of American voters, according to the state and its corporate propaganda media, is assisted by Russian agents and a countless number of mindless dupes unaware of Vladimir Putin’s desire to destroy America. 

In 2016, Max Blumenthal wrote:

A shady website that claims “Russia is Manipulating US Opinion Through Online Propaganda” has compiled a blacklist of websites its anonymous authors accuse of pushing fake news and Russian propaganda. The blacklist includes over 200 outlets, from the right-wing Drudge Report and Russian government-funded Russia Today, to Wikileaks and an array of marginal conspiracy and far-right sites. The blacklist also includes some of the flagship publications of the progressive left, including Truthdig, Counterpunch, Truthout, Naked Capitalism, and the Black Agenda Report, a leftist African-American opinion hub that is critical of the liberal black political establishment.

“You can see in the current atmosphere, where anti-Russia hysteria has spread like typhoid, how readily-accepted such a notion would be by many. The reds are under our beds and the Russkies have taken over our airwaves,” wrote Daniel McAdams of The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity wrote in 2017. 

The Washington Post, owned by billionaire Jeff Bezos, rolled out the red carpet for the shadowy group, PropOrNot, and its baseless fact-devoid accusations of alternative media treason and complicity with Russia. 

Bezos is working closely with the CIA on a $600 million internet-cloud deal to get the NSA, DoD, the National Reconnaissance Office, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and other government snoop-and-subvert operations interconnected. 

The Alliance for Securing Democracy’s Hamilton 68 effort to destroy alternative media also has roots in the 2016 election loss of Hillary Clinton. Hamilton 68 is a project supported by the US State Department, the German Marshall Fund, and NATO. Neocon William Kristol and DNC operative John Podesta sit on its advisory board. The organization leans heavily on the Russian collusion fairy tale, thus lending to the conclusion alternative media is a Trojan horse that will help the “New Hitler” Putin destroy democracy. 

timeline-landscape-web1

I certainly don’t have a crystal ball to gaze into and read the future. However, it seems rather obvious what the outcome of all this feverish work to demonize truth-tellers and install gatekeepers on the internet will be. 

First, high visibility “fake news” websites will feel the heat. This is already well underway with the persecution of Alex Jones for the crime of questioning Sandy Hook and promoting the Pizzagate conspiracy theory. Lawsuits aimed at Jones are intended to drive his operation into bankruptcy and hold him criminally responsible for questioning official narratives. 

The takeaway here—questioning official narratives and positing counter-narratives is a risky business and you are advised not to engage in treasonous behavior with Russian agents if you value your freedom, ability to earn a living, and want to stay off a government terror list. 

Second, the concerted effort to sanitize social media of heretical political expression is moving along at a fairly robust clip. Numerous activists and alternative websites and individuals—including the above mentioned McAdams—have been scrubbed since Hillary Clinton declared war on freedom of political expression, which she fallaciously and absurdly chalked up to malfeasance by Russia and the misbehavior of Deplorables. 

Third, there will be “meddling by Russia” in the 2020 election regardless of the winner of the presidential teleprompter reader sweepstakes. This will be considered a national emergency and the floodgates will fly open to suffuse the population with scary stories of democracy lost to the autocrat Putin. Radical measures to stem the tide of subversion will be put forward and turned into law by the political class. 

I have no idea what the outcome of this will be except to say many of us will be prevented from posting counter-narratives and unearthing hidden truths—historical, political, and economic. Earlier this year the FBI designated alternative media commentary as domestic terrorism. 

“The FBI assesses these conspiracy theories very likely will emerge, spread, and evolve in the modern information marketplace, occasionally driving both groups and individual extremists to carry out criminal or violent acts,” the document states. It also goes on to say the FBI believes conspiracy theory-driven extremists are likely to increase during the 2020 presidential election cycle.

The FBI’s not talking about flat-earthers and UFOologists. It is targeting alternative media. The historical record—ignored by the propaganda media—of the FBI’s COINTELPRO operation to destroy political movements in the 1960s and 70s should be revisited. It is paradigmatic of the state and its subversion of opposition. For the FBI, terror is truth unshackled. 

Again, I have no idea what will happen, but considering the emphasis placed on the destruction of the First Amendment—along with the Second and Fifth—and the manufactured hysteria of insidious Russian (and Chinese) subversion, and the credulity (or indifference) of the American people, it now appears the alternative media is in danger of extinction, at least on the internet. 

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Kurt Nimmo writes on his blog, Another Day in the Empire, where this article was originally published. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image is from the author

On the heels of a successful emergency demonstration held Monday, November 11th at cities throughout the US against Washington’s sponsored coup in Bolivia, a second larger event is scheduled for Saturday afternoon on November 16th to coincide with worldwide actions in support of Evo Morales rightful presidency. 

On Sunday, November 10th, Evo Morales and members of his administration were forced to resign under death threats directed not only at them but also at their families. 

Former president Evo Morales is now safely in Mexico but vows to return to Bolivia with strength. Anti-imperialist groups in the US support him in his efforts and join with him and the indigenous Bolivian people, that are now persecuted by the right-wing racist coup and its fascist mobs, in their struggle for justice, autonomy and self-determination.

As of this writing, NYC’s protest against the Trump administration’s coup in Bolivia is planned for 1PM at Columbus Circle. In Washington DC, the protest is scheduled for 12PM at the White House.  It is expected that other cities will also hold actions and additional groups will sign on. 

Presently, the following groups are sponsoring Saturday’s action: Struggle La Lucha, ANSWER Coalition, CODE PINK, International Action Center, and Honduran Resistance. Updates and more detailed information can be found on their websites and Facebook pages. 

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