Fifteen years have passed since the World Trade Center attacks of September 11, 2001, and there are still many unanswered questions surrounding that fateful day.

In 2011, experts and scientists from around the world gathered in Toronto, Canada to present new and established evidence that questions the official story of 9/11. This evidence was presented to a distinguished panel of experts over a 4 day period.

Through their analysis and scientific investigations, they hope to spark a new investigation into the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Press For Truth and The International Center for 9/11 Studies Present:

The Toronto Hearings on 9/11: Uncovering Ten Years of Deception


Price: $22.95

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Produced by: Steven Davies, Dan Dicks, Bryan Law

Over 5 hours of footage, with comprehensive coverage of the 4 day Toronto Hearings from September 2011.

Featuring expert witness testimony from:

David Ray Griffin
Richard Gage
David Chandler
Michel Chossudovsky
Kevin Ryan
Niels Harrit
Barbara Honegger
Peter Dale Scott
Graeme MacQueen
Jonathan Cole
Cynthia McKinney
…and many more!

The Toronto Hearings on 9/11: Uncovering Ten Years of Deception

Produced By:

Press for Truth


Over 5 hours!

Release Date: April 2012

Price: $22.95

(+ S&H)


September 8, 2016 saw heavy action for the Islamic State in eastern Qalamoun, Damascus. Faylaq al-Rahman, the Alabdo Martyr brigade and the Islamic State exchanged fire near the capital on Thursday. The Islamic State was reported to have lost a 23 mm gun to a TOW missile strike from Faylaq al-Rahman during combat.

The so-called ‘Free Syrian Army’ captured Qunra, Mirzah and Tel Ali from the Islamic State. Aided by Turkish airstrikes, the rebel factions wrested control of the Turkish border region from Daesh’s grasp.

Turkey reinforced its border forces by deploying 43 Armored Personnel Carriers with 180 fresh troops to Gaziantep. In Islahiye, north of Afrin, a Turkish army convoy deployed a number of T-155 Fırtına self-propelled howitzers.

The Kurdish People’s Defense Force (YPG) engaged Turkish forces at the border post in Hatay provincewith machine gun fire—and were in turn, engaged themselves. Five Rojava fighters and a single Asayish police force member were killed in the ensuing conflict.

While Kurdish forces have retreated from Manbij, they have not withdrawn East of the Euphrates River, as Turkey has demanded.

In Aleppo, a Nour al-Din al-Zinki missile team used a Kornet Anti-Tank Guided Missile against an alleged group of Hezbollah fighters.

Abu Umar Homsi, Head of Military Operations for Jabhat Fateh al-Sham was killed during airstrikes on the terrorist faction’s operations room in Aleppo.

Although rebels reported the demolition of a building occupied by Syrian government forces in Ramouseh, the Minister of Defense would later confirm that pro-Government forces had secured the entire district.

Iranian troops arrived in the countryside of southern Aleppo to help bolster pro-government forces for further offensives.

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The northern city of Aleppo has been one of the most greatly misreported-on cities in the Syrian Arab Republic, with Western and Gulf media and NGOs continuously ignoring the realities of life in the city of over 1.5 million civilians, instead launching coordinated propaganda campaigns against the Syrian government and army, and in favour of terrorists labelled as “rebels”, and ignoring their firing of an array of missiles, rockets, Hell Cannon-fired gas canister bombs, explosive bullets, and more onto the civilians of greater Aleppo.

Terrorists factions occupying areas of Aleppo include Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham, the so-called “Free Syrian Army”, and child-beheading Nour el din Zinki mercenaries.

In July and in August, 2016, I traveled by car to Aleppo, to meet with doctors and ordinary civilians, and to hear their testimonies of life in a city which has many times been under terrorists’ siege and is always under terrorists’ bombings and snipings.

I was also able to visit Nubl, adjacent to Zahra’a, two villages just north of Aleppo which were under a devastating 3.5 year siege by terrorist factions until SAA and allies lifted it in February 2016. Residents endured prolonged periods of hunger, were targeted by terrorists’ bombings, and for want of medicines, medical treatment, and sanitary conditions suffered diseases that could otherwise have been treated.

The main highway to Aleppo runs through Idlib and Aleppo governorates. Due to the occupation of their countrysides by terrorists, the sole means of entering the city has only been via the Khanasser road and onto southern Ramouseh road, a roughly 500 metre stretch of which was risky due to terrorists’ sniping and shelling.

By August, the Ramouseh road had been closed due to terrorists’ increased shelling and sniping, and subsequently due to their occupation of districts in and near Ramouseh.

North of the city, the Castello road—much of which is a bumpy dirt path framed by the landscape of destroyed vehicles during the fight against terrorism—is now the only way into the city. Although secured by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and allies, the road is nonetheless targeted by mortars from terrorists occupying areas outside of Aleppo, as was the case the morning I was leaving Aleppo.

During the August trip, I visited the liberated areas of Bani Zeid and the Lairamoun Industrial district, both scenes of devastation in the fight against terrorists who were finally defeated.

Following are photos from the two visits.

Driving up the Khanasser road, one passes the shells of trucks and cars, destroyed in one of Da’esh and other terrorists’ attacks on the road.

On many sections of the Khanasser road, as well as the east-west road leading to Ithriya, Da’esh terrorists flank one side of the highway, just 2 or 3 km away, and the so-called FSA, al-Nusra and other factions flank the other side.

Entering Aleppo via the southern Ramouseh road, stacked barrels, then embankments of sand and earth, screen cars from terrorist snipers’ bullets. Five of the driver’s were killed by snipers on this stretch of road in Ramouseh. This alternative road was the main means of entering Aleppo. Civilians in trucks, buses and cars on the road are all potential targets for Western-backed terrorists.

Passing a cement factory roughly 400 metres from the road, beyond which, are terrorists occupying Sheikh Saeed, the driver explained, “here many mortars fall”, and opened a window so that it would not shatter from pressure. He then explained that for the next 500 metres, the risk of snipers’ bullets was high.

Aleppo resident: “If you go straight 200 metres from this point, it is the no-man’s land, in both directions. There are still people living there, but it’s dangerous for them because of the mortars and snipers. At the borders, they put large pieces of cloth to hide the vision of the snipers.” That said, snipers could still randomly shoot through the cloth if they want.

Aleppo resident: “Aleppo was a very beautiful city, but now its ugly. People who lost their shops in the Old City came here and put their shops on the sidewalks. Now, pedestrians have to walk on the street because the sidewalk is full of shops. Everywhere there are electrical cables from the private generators, we don’t have normal power supply.”

The power plant lies in areas controlled by terrorist factions. For years, Aleppo residents have suffered from a lack of power, and compensate by purchasing generator-supplied electricity. Not cheap, some opt to buy just 1 ampere worth, which according to Aleppo resident Nabil Antaki costs around 4000 Syrian pounds a month (roughly US$8) . Two amperes will run a small television. Four amperes, a fridge, small television and a few bulbs.

Beyond the historic Aleppo citadel, signs of the fight against terrorists who have bunkered deeply underground, as they did when occupying Homs and elsewhere in Syria. Aleppo’s old city has suffered immense destruction from the war that Syria did not ask for. Aleppo under government protection hosts thousands of refugees who have fled terrorist-occupied areas of the city.

Ramadan prayers in the Rowda mosque, where Grand Mufti Hassoun used to give sermons. According to his assistant, before the war on Syria about 500 women regularly came to pray at the mosque. “Six or so months ago, a mortar hit the mosque. It bounced off the dome and fell outside in the courtyard. There were about 400 children here learning the Quran. If it had gone through the roof, it would have killed a lot of children,” he said. The worshippers at this mosque are predominately Sunni, in a city secured by the Syrian government. This is notable in that it contradicts the Western media’s blatant propaganda about a sectarian war, a “Sunni uprising against the government”.

From Aziziya district, on July 4, half a kilometer away, the explosion of a terrorist-fired bomb. Around 5 pm, this is a busy time when streets are packed with cars and pedestrians; terrorists know they can kill and maim more civilians when attacking at these busy hours. Minutes later, an anti-aircraft explosive bullet landed roughly 15 metres away from my Aziziya venue. Had it landed on one of the parked cars, there would have been many casualties. A day later, such an explosive bullet killed the mother of an Aleppo friend, at her home.

Hell Cannon-fired gas canister bombs litter the countryside around Aleppo and on the route to Nubl and Zahra’a. These, and larger variations, are what Western-backed terrorists have rained down on the city of Aleppo, as well as besieged Foua and Kafarya in Idlib governorate. Manufactured locally, fired upon civilians daily, gas canister bombs get virtually no mention in corporate media, although their impact is deadly.

The roughly 65,000 people of Nubl and Zahra’a villages, under siege from terrorist factions of the so-called FSA, al-Nusra, and affiliated factions for three and a half years, were on February 3, 2016, liberated from the choke-hold which strangled them. Zeinab Sharbo, 25, and Mounthaher Khatib, 26, each have young children who suffered for want of food and basic elements of life, and who were traumatized by the terrorists’ bombing of the villages. Although corporate media, when deigning to mention the villages, usually focused on their predominately Shia composition, Sunnis also live in the villages. According to Zeinab, “Sectarianism wasn’t a problem before, we were brothers and sisters, we intermarried with neighbouring villages.”

Abdul Karim Assad, 7, has painful face disfiguration from a terrorist-fired mortar which burned his face. Under siege at the time, the boy was only treated with basic medical care in a barebones hospital in Zahra’a. The boy is not originally from Nubl, but from Idlib, from which his grandfather fled when terrorists invaded. He is another poster child for the terrorism inflicted upon Syria.

Boy with early stages of what is believed to be Leishmania, a garbage and sewage-related disease spread by sandfly bites, which causes painful lesions. If not treated, can worsen to permanent facial disfigurement.

Aleppo’s over 1.5 million residents are depending on trucks from outside of the city to bring in the basics of life. Unable to use the main highway, and now unable to use the paved Ramouseh road, trucks travel an extended distance over many rough dirt roads to enter Aleppo from its north.

The Aleppo Central Prison, besieged at varying times by terrorists of Ahrar al-Sham, Jabhat al-Nusra, and Da’esh (ISIS) for over 1.5 years, liberated in May 2014. Prisoners fought next to the Syrian Arab Army against the terrorists attacking them. According to al-Akhbar, “830 prisoners died from starvation and tuberculosis” during the siege.

Gate to Sheikh Najjar Industrial City, a large district whose factories were systematically looted and taken to Turkey. Footage taken in November, 2012, shows large trucks ferrying away equipment and machinery looted by the so-called Free Syrian Army. Thousands of factories have been looted from Aleppo by terrorists occupying industrial districts.

Until July, 2016, the northern Castello road and areas nearby were occupied by terrorists. Now, the liberated, mostly bumpy, dirt road, is the only way to enter Aleppo.

Moving along the Castello road, a soldier stops the car to warn, “Don’t be close to the cars around you, leave space.” In case one of our cars is attacked, leaving space minimizes the casualties. In the distance, the wasteland of Bani Zeid’s buildings, destroyed, but no longer occupied by terrorists.

The former supply route for terrorists occupying areas in northern Aleppo, littered with destroyed terrorsts’ vehicles from the battle to secure Castello road and surrounding areas. While secure, terrorists from areas beyond still fire mortars towards Castello, as was the case on the morning I left Aleppo, when a Syrian soldier waved at cars, urgently telling drivers, “mortars are falling, go quickly.”

The destruction in Bani Zeid and Lairamoun industrial area was vast, with terrorists holed up in the district since 2012, firing their rockets, missiles, mortars, gas canisters, and explosive bullets on Aleppo civilians from these and other areas they still infest. Fars News reports: “Terrorist groups have been looting machinery and production lines of over 1,000 factories and workshops in al-Lairamoun industrial zone since 2012 and have transferred them to Turkey, the Head of Aleppo chamber of commerce said.”

While the cleanup and rebuilding will be a long process, these liberated districts are at least no longer a source of terrorism. (See “Manufacturers determined to rebuild factories in Aleppo“)

Building used as a base for terrorists of the 16th Brigades, of the so-called FSA. Barrel lines served as snipers bunkers.

In terrorist headquarters, writing on one pillar: “Yousef Hayani”. Hayani was leader of the 16th Brigades, of the so-called FSA.

In liberated north Aleppo districts, in addition to the destruction, sore reminders of the presence of terrorists. This flag is representative of the some worst terrorism the world has known.

Aleppo civilian who volunteers as a soldier to protect liberated Lairamoun Industrial district. Representative of the defenders of Syria, this man also has three sons in army, and a brother martyred protecting Syria.

Ahmed likewise sleeps in Lairamoun, protecting it, and has been a volunteer soldier for 4 years. “We were civilians but we volunteered to protect our country.”

Civil Defense in Aleppo lack proper equipment due to terrorists stealing 12 of their firetrucks and 3 ambulances, and due to the criminal Western sanctions on Syria. The rescuers need small and large fire trucks, ambulances, rescue equipment, and proper masks. One of their team of volunteers, Mohammed Ahmed Dabbish, was killed on August 2 when terrorists attacked their rescue mission with toxic gas.

Dr. Zaher Buttal, head of the Aleppo Medical Association, confirmed there are over 4,100 registered and active doctors in Aleppo, including nearly 800 specialists doctors and surgeons (see: “Western corporate media ‘disappears’ over 1.5 million Syrians and 4,000 doctors“). “Civilians are targeted. The only aim of terrorists was to kill civilians, especially children. They aren’t attacking the army.” According to Dr. Buttal, since July 31 and as of our August 15 meeting, 143 civilians (including 23 women, 54 children) were killed by terrorists’ attacks on the city.

The Dabeet maternity hospital, the inside destroyed and outside badly damaged on May 3, 2016, by terrorist rocket fire, is one of numerous hospitals targeted by terrorists in Syria. The May 3 attack killed three women. A week later, the hospital was hit by terrorist mortar fire. Aleppo’s Kindi hospital, destroyed by terrorists, was one of the largest cancer hospitals in the region. “In just the first three years of this war, before ISIS came to Syria, the NATO and Gulf monarchy-backed armed groups had systematically attacked more than two thirds of Syria’s public hospitals, and had murdered, kidnapped or injured more than 300 health workers,” wrote Professor Tim Anderson.

Small public park in Aziziya. People who are displaced frequent such parks, to get out of the small apartments or government-supplied shelters they live in. On July 22, in another of Aleppo’s parks, “five civilians including a child and a woman were killed and 27 others were injured due to a rocket shell fired by terrorists on the Public Park”, SANAreported (photo here).

Taxi of an Armenian driver who lamented that the war on Syria is sending the country 100 years into the past. This is a commonly expressed sentiment in Syria, whose ancient cities and relics have been destroyed or stolen by terrorists from all factions, whose infrastructure has been systematically targeted by terrorists, and whose economy has been shattered by the combination of the war on Syria and the savage Western sanctions on the people of Syria.

Items for sale at a roadside shop north of Aleppo. Amid the military style clothing, Syrian flags and other items, are Palestinian pendants and scarves. Western media and deceitful supporters of Palestine have lied for years about the Palestinian-Syrian relationship, ignoring the presence of numerous units of Palestinian soldiers who fight alongside the Syrian Arab Army in defending Syria.

“We didn’t deal with them as refugees, didn’t put them in camps. They were given all their rights and freedom to stay where they want. They have the same rights to free education, health care and professional work. They work like Syrians, and are treated like Syrians, and are considered Syrians.” (See related: “Stealing Palestine: Who dragged Palestinians into Syria’s conflict?“)

Eva Bartlett is a freelance journalist and rights activist with extensive experience in the Gaza Strip, where she lived a cumulative three years (from late 2008 to early 2013), arriving by boat as a part of the Free Gaza missions. She documented the 2008/9 and 2012 Israeli war crimes and attacks on Gaza while riding in ambulances and reporting from hospitals. Eva accompanied Palestinian fishers and farmers as they came under intensive fire from the Israeli army. She has been to Syria four times since April 2014 and works to convey the voices of a people suffering under the foreign war on Syria. Her writings can be found on her blog, In Gaza.

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United Nations investigators encountered evidence that alleged chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian military were staged by jihadist rebels and their supporters, but still decided to blame the government for two incidents in which chlorine was allegedly dispersed via improvised explosives dropped by helicopters.

In both cases, the Syrian government denied that it had any aircraft in the areas at the times of the purported attacks, but the U.N. team rejected that explanation with the curious argument that Syria failed to provide flight records to corroborate the absence of any flights. Yet, if there had been no flights, there would be no flight records.

The controversial map developed by Human Rights Watch and embraced by the New York Times, supposedly showing the flight paths of two missiles from the Aug. 21 Sarin attack intersecting at a Syrian military base.

The controversial map developed by Human Rights Watch and embraced by the New York Times, supposedly showing the flight paths of two missiles from the Aug. 21, 2013 sarin attack intersecting at a Syrian military base. The analysis was later discredited when aeronautical experts found that the one missile carrying sarin had only one-fourth the necessary range.

Another problem with the U.N. team’s findings is that the home-made chlorine bombs had minimal military value, inflicting relatively few casualties and only a handful of deaths.The U.N. team also dismissed out of hand the possibility that jihadist rebels who had overrun some air bases and thus had operational helicopters at their disposal might have used them as part of a staged event designed to incriminate the Damascus regime and thus justify U.S. or other outside military intervention.

Why the Syrian government, which was under intense international pressure regarding alleged chemical weapons use and was in the process of surrendering its stockpile of such weapons, would have jerry-rigged a handful of homemade bombs and dropped them for no discernible military effect makes little sense.

However, since Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been thoroughly demonized over his harsh reaction to an uprising that began in 2011, pretty much any accusation against him – no matter how unlikely or implausible – is widely accepted in the mainstream Western media and political circles. In other words, the U.N. team was under pressure to reach a guilty verdict.

Accusations of Staging

Yet, the evidence from at least one of the incidents examined by the U.N. team suggests that an attack on Al-Tamanah on the night of April 29-30, 2014, might well have been staged by rebels and then played up by activists through social media.

“Seven witnesses stated that frequent alerts [about an imminent chlorine weapons attack by the government] had been issued, but in fact no incidents with chemicals took place,” the U.N. report stated. “While people sought safety after the warnings, their homes were looted and rumours spread that the events were being staged. … [T]hey [these witnesses] had come forward to contest the wide-spread false media reports.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Aug. 30, 2013, claims to have proof that the Syrian government was responsible for a chemical weapons attack on Aug. 21, 2013, but that evidence failed to materialize or was later discredited. [State Department photo]

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Aug. 30, 2013, claims to have proof that the Syrian government was responsible for a chemical weapons attack on Aug. 21, 2013, but that evidence failed to materialize or was later discredited. [State Department photo]

Accounts from other people, who did allege that there had been a government chemical attack on Al-Tamanah, provided suspect evidence, including data from questionable sources, according to the U.N. report.

The report said, “Three witnesses, who did not give any description of the incident on 29-30 April 2014, provided material of unknown source. One witness had second-hand knowledge of two of the five incidents in Al-Tamanah, but did not remember the exact dates. Later that witness provided a USB-stick with information of unknown origin, which was saved in separate folders according to the dates of all the five incidents mentioned by the FFM (the U.N.’s Fact-Finding Mission).

“Another witness provided the dates of all five incidents reading it from a piece of paper, but did not provide any testimony on the incident on 29-30 April 2014. The latter also provided a video titled ‘site where second barrel containing toxic chlorine gas was dropped tamanaa 30 April 14’”

Some other witnesses alleging a Syrian government attack offered curious claims about detecting the chlorine-infused “barrel bombs” based on how the device sounded in its descent.

The U.N. report said, “The eyewitness, who stated to have been on the roof, said to have heard a helicopter and the ‘very loud’ sound of a falling barrel. Some interviewees had referred to a distinct whistling sound of barrels that contain chlorine as they fall. The witness statement could not be corroborated with any further information.”

As in other cases that were investigated, the U.N. team demanded that the Syrian government provide flight records to support its denial that any of its aircraft were in the air in that vicinity at the time of the attack.

“The Government of the Syrian Arab Republic stated that no military activities were conducted from land or air in Al-Tamanah on the dates of the incidents, but did not provide any records of flight operations to support this statement,” the U.N. report said.

In the Al-Tamanah case, the U.N. team judged the evidence insufficient to reach a firm judgment regarding who was responsible. However, in two other cases, in Talmenes in April 2014 and Sarmin in March 2015, the U.N. team accused the Syrian military of dropping chlorine-infused “barrel bombs.”

Investigative Limitations

Yet, regarding all eight cases that were examined, the U.N. team acknowledged significant limitations on its ability to investigate.

Map of Syria, showing Golan Heights in the lower left corner.

Map of Syria, showing Golan Heights in the lower left corner.

“Visits to certain locations would have facilitated the ability of the Mechanism to (a) confirm and access specific locations of interest; (b) collect comparative environmental samples; (c) identify new witnesses; and (d) physically evaluate the material of interest to the Mechanism (e.g., remnants).The report said, “As was the case with the Fact-Finding missions, the lack of access to the locations under investigation due to the dire security situation on the ground affected the manner in which the Mechanism [a committee from the U.N. and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] was able to conduct its investigation.

“Other challenges and constraints include the following factors: (a) the time period that had elapsed since the incident (i.e. in some cases, more than two years since the incident); (b) the lack of chain of custody for some of the material received; (c) the source of information and material was of secondary or tertiary nature; (d) some of the information material, including those depicting the size and nature of the incident, were misleading; (e) finding independent sources of information that could provide access to individuals and information material proved difficult; and (f) the impact locations were not preserved and were compromised by the time they were recorded (e.g., the videos and photographs of the impact locations were taken days after the incident and in many cases after the remnants had been removed from the impact location).”

In other words, the U.N./OPCW investigation was compromised by its inability to conduct an effective on-the-ground assessment and was forced to rely on witnesses who were often allied with the rebel forces or sympathetic to the political opposition to President Assad.

This problem is reminiscent of what happened inside the U.S. Intelligence Community in the run-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq when some 18 witnesses – supposedly “defectors” from Saddam Hussein’s regime – became “walk-ins” who presented claims about the Iraqi government’s supposed weapons of mass destruction.

CIA analysts debunked some of these bogus claims and traced some of the deceit to the machinations of the pro-invasion Iraqi National Congress (INC), but – given the political-and-media hatred of Saddam Hussein – the CIA analysts were under intense pressure to accept some of the dubious accounts that were then incorporated into U.S. intelligence products and used to justify a war under false pretenses.

As with Iraq – where the U.S. government had helped fund anti-regime groups such as the INC – a similar situation exists inside Syria where U.S. officials have assisted the “opposition” in organizing politically and mastering propaganda skills. So, the means and opportunity for depicting regime “atrocities” through social media are there, along with the motive.

These activists – as well as the radical jihadists and other armed rebels – have become increasingly desperate to induce the United States to intervene militarily against the Syrian army and thus make their desired “regime change” possible.

Obama’s Red Line

The emphasis on creating a chemical weapons casus belli increased when President Barack Obama set the Syrian government’s possible use of such weapons as a “red line” that might cause him to intervene directly with U.S. forces.

President Barack Obama delivers a statement on confronting the terrorist group ISIL in Syria, on the South Lawn of the White House prior to departure for New York, N.Y., Sept. 23, 2014.  (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

President Barack Obama delivers a statement on confronting the terrorist group ISIL in Syria, on the South Lawn of the White House prior to departure for New York, N.Y., Sept. 23, 2014. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

In the ensuing days, Obama came to the edge of authorizing a retaliatory military strike before hearing from U.S. and other Western intelligence services that they had doubts about who had actually pulled off the attack.That comment and the political pressure for instituting another Mideast “regime change” were the backdrop for the sarin gas attack outside Damascus on Aug. 21, 2013, which anti-Assad activists, the mainstream U.S. press, and the U.S. State Department immediately blamed on government forces.

Since then, the sarin case against Assad has largely collapsed (although to defuse the crisis he agreed to a Russian plan for Syria to surrender all its chemical weapons). The evidence now appears to indicate that radical jihadists released the sarin with the goal of goading Obama into joining the war on their side, i.e., a false-flag operation.

As the sarin case fell apart in 2014, the U.S. government shifted its emphasis toward chlorine-gas allegations. I first encountered this bait-and-switch tactic when I pressed a senior State Department official to back up or back off the increasingly discredited sarin gas claims.

While sidestepping the sarin case, the official asserted that the Syrian government almost surely was responsible for the more recent chlorine-gas incidents, citing the bombs’ delivery by helicopter and arguing that only the Syrian government possessed such aircraft.

According to the U.N. report, however, that belief regarding the government’s monopoly of helicopters may not be true, since rebel forces had captured air bases where operational helicopters were present. That means, at least theoretically, the jihadists could have staged the night-time attacks – complete with prior alarms spread by activist first-responders, known as “white helmets,” about the imminent arrival of “government” helicopters with chlorine bombs.

But the more nettlesome question, which the U.N. report does not address, is why would the Syrian government launch these strange attacks while realizing that any chemical weapons incident could prompt U.S. military intervention that could tip the war in favor of the jihadists and other rebels, especially since the chlorine attacks had virtually no military value.

Few Fatalities

While the makeshift chlorine bombs may have sent scores of civilians to get medical attention, very few of the casualties were fatal, according to the U.N. report. By contrast, the Aug. 21, 2013 sarin attack killed hundreds, with the U.S. government putting out an even higher (and almost surely exaggerated) number of 1,429 dead.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The U.S. State Department and various anti-Assad non-governmental organizations also had a strong motive to play up any accusations of Syrian chemical weapons use. Obama’s critics still hope to push him into an increased military intervention to remove Assad from power.In both these cases – the sarin and chlorine investigations – U.N. officials were under enormous pressure from the U.S. State Department and Western governments to come up with something that could be used to justify “regime change” in Damascus.

Significantly, the recent U.N. report was initially leaked to The New York Times, which has been at the forefront of agitating for another “regime change” operation in Syria. Not unexpectedly, the Times produced an article on Aug. 24 that applied no skepticism to the accusations and simply blamed the Assad government for two of the chlorine attacks.

The U.N. report wasn’t officially available until the end of August, but even then it was extremely difficult to access at the U.N.’s Web site. This week, I finally reached a U.N. press representative who walked me through the maze of links required to get to the right page, but it turned out that the page had been off-line since last Friday, the press aide said. Finally, on Tuesday, I was sent a link that worked.

Though these technical glitches may well have been coincidental, the effect was to delay any critical review of the U.N.’s report. By the time its evidentiary and logical gaps could be examined by the public, the conventional wisdom had already solidified regarding the Syrian government’s guilt.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and

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Pentagon officials are confirming that another round of US ground troops has been deployed to Iraq this week, adding to an already substantial number of combat troops in a war that the Obama Administration has repeatedly promised would be “no boots on the ground.”

The “official” deployment is said to be 400 more troops,bringing the official number of US troops in Iraq to 4,460. This is only a fraction of the overall deployment, however, which is believed to be in excess of 6,000 troops now, with the rest as “temporary” troops of indefinite period.

These latest troops are part of the planned invasion of Mosul, the largest city held by ISIS. DIA chief Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart says that the invasion will begin in the next two or three months, adding that it’s going to be a difficult urban battle.

ISIS has held Mosul for over two years now, and while officials have tried to present ISIS as on the ropes, it is doubtless this will be by far the largest fight in the ISIS war in Iraq, and despite them nominally being “advisers” US troops look to be right in the middle of things.

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The United States has begun moves to develop what amounts to a new international control regime on the proliferation and use of armed drones.  US officials presented details of a ‘Proposed Joint Declaration of Principles for the Export and Subsequent Use of Armed or Strike-Enabled Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)’ to international export control officials during the arms trade treaty review conference in Geneva this week.

US officials told Defense News, who first revealed the initative, that the joint declaration – to be signed by as many nations as possible – is the first of a two-stage process.  The declaration, official stated, would addresses “the misperceptions” about the use of armed drones, as well as “the complicated, sensitive and controversial aspects”.  Although the draft joint declaration has not been made public, it appears to echo the US’ own policy guidance on the export of armed drones put in place in Spring 2015.  Defense News reports that the current draft

“lays out five key principles for international norms, including the “applicability of International law” and human rights when using armed drones; a dedication to following existing arms control laws when considering the sale of armed unmanned systems; that sales of armed drone exports take “into account the potential recipient country’s history regarding adherence to international obligations and commitments”; that countries who export unmanned strike systems follow “appropriate transparency measures” when required; and a resolution to continue to “ensure these capabilities are transferred and used responsibly by all States.”

The second stage of the process is the establishment of an international working group on armed drones for those who sign the declaration, which will devise “a voluntary Code of Conduct for exporting and importing nations.”

Why is this happening?

Over the past three years, as we have written previously, there has been a real rise in the proliferation of drones by Israel, the US and in particular by China.  Iraq, Nigeria, and apparently Egypt have all gone on to launch drone strikes over the past two years utilising armed drones bought from China.

On the one hand US drone industry lobbyists have long argued that their industry is hampered by the US membership of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) which controls the export of larger drones as neither China nor Israel are members (although Israel says it abides by its rules voluntarily).  The drone industry has argued that the MTCR rules need to be ‘relaxed’ in order for the US to gain its fair share of the market.  This new initiative seemingly therefore arises in part from drone industry lobbying to put in place a process which they want to see as levelling the playing field.

On the other hand, the outgoing Obama administration is also legacy shopping.  Stung by international criticism of its use of armed drones over the past decade it wants at least the appearance of putting in place international rules to restrict the proliferation and use of such technology

It seems these two disparate and contrary ideas have come together in this new process.

Prospects for success?

Although a number of countries are working individually or jointly to develop an advanced drone industry, currently the US, Israel and China are the market leaders.  While China is unlikely to be involved in this new US-led initiative, US officials apparently believe that they can persuade Israel to join.  Israel has never even confirmed that it operates armed drones, so Israeli officials often refuse to talk on the record about the issue but early reports indicate a great deal of scepticism and alarm from Israel about the initiative.

Israel and China however will not be the only nations suspicious of any drone control initiative led by US, fearing that it is simply about the US promoting its own commercial and political interests.  Campaigners and the human rights community too will need convincing that such an initiative is a genuine attempt to curb proliferation and use beyond the bounds of international law.  After all, we have spent the last decade watching the US “interpret” (i.e. bend and break) international law in this area in its own interests.

However, despite genuine suspicions, the seeming acceptance of the need for an international control regime on the proliferation and use of armed drones is to be welcomed.  Armed drones are a real and genuine danger to international peace and security. While there is a long, long way to go and many – if not most – will need to be convinced, that this is the right process, failure will also play into the hands of those who argue that there should not and cannot be such controls.

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We bring to the attention of our readers the video transcript of Michel Chossudovsky’s presentation at the 2012 9/11 Conference organized by the Perdana Global Peace Foundation, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The tragic events of September 11, 2001 constitute a fundamental landmark in American history. a decisive watershed, a breaking point. Millions of people have been misled regarding the causes and consequences of 9/11. 

September 11 2001 opens up an era of crisis, upheaval and militarization of American society. 

A far-reaching overhaul of US military doctrine was launched in the wake of 9/11. Endless wars of aggression under the humanitarian cloak of “counter-terrorism” were set in motion.  

9/11 was also a stepping stone towards the relentless repeal of civil liberties, the militarization of law enforcement and the inauguration of “Police State USA”. 

September 11, 2001 marks the onslaught of the “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT), used as a pretext and a justification by the US and its NATO allies to carry out a “war without borders”, a global war of conquest.  

At eleven o’clock, on the morning of September 11, the Bush administration had already announced that Al Qaeda was responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) and the Pentagon. This assertion was made prior to the conduct of an indepth police investigation.


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Cadiz, provincial capital in the autonomous community of Andalusia in the Spanish state, has become the latest municipality to pass a motion supporting the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights and declaring itself an Israeli “Apartheid Free Zone”.

With a population of 120,000, Cadiz joins more than 50 cities and towns across the Spanish state which have voted to declare themselves spaces free from Israeli apartheid. Other famous Apartheid Free municipalities include Gran Canaria, Santiago de Compostela, Xixón-Gijón, Sevilla, Córdoba and Santa Eulària in Ibiza.

Inspired in part by a similar campaign during the struggle against apartheid in South Africa in the 1980s, the Israeli Apartheid Free Zone campaign, led by the Solidarity Network Against the Occupation of Palestine (RESCOP), seeks to create ‘islands of political consciousness’ and to break local ties with Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid, as well as with international corporations and institutions that are complicit in the maintenance of Israel’s violations of international law.

The campaign, which is supported  by  social movements, businesses, schools, media and public institutions from across the Spanish state, has created a map indicating spaces free from Israeli apartheid.

By declaring themselves Israeli Apartheid Free Zones, local authorities agree to boycott corporations complicit in violations of international law and the rights of Palestinians as well as break ties with the Israeli regime and its complicit institutions. They will also support local awareness raising efforts and commit to conscientious procurement policies based on the human rights of the Palestinian people.

Riya Hassan, European coordinator for the Palestinians BDS National Committee (BNC), said:

“The Israeli Apartheid Free Zones campaign across the Spanish state is inspiring similar efforts in other countries.  The fact that these declarations have been voted by democratically elected municipalities reflect  the growing support for the BDS movement for Palestinian rights, not just at the grassroots level but also within governments. This will eventually steer public opinion in favor of comprehensive sanctions on Israel until it end its systematic oppression of Palestinians.“

“Local councils in the Spanish state are leading the way with a powerful model of  solidarity with the Palestinian people and our struggle for self-determination. We salute all councillors and activists involved in proposing and defending the motions and those involved in the implementation of the Israeli apartheid-free zones.”

“At a time of a growing democratic deficit across the European continent, it is empowering to witness how citizens are integrating solidarity with Palestinians with  domestic agendas that promote social, economic and environmental justice.”

Attacks on a movement for freedom, justice and equality

Growing public support for the BDS movement for Palestinian human rights has prompted Israel and its allies to launch an unprecedented, well-funded and anti-democratic attack against everyone seeking to hold Israel accountable to international law and UN resolutions, especially through BDS advocacy.

The Israeli-sponsored attacks on the BDS movement aim to put pressure on governments, legislators and officials to curtail BDS civic actions and adopt repressive measures that infringe upon their respective citizens’ civil and political liberties at large.

In the Spanish state, attempts to silence the BDS movement, particularly on an institutional level, have been led by ACOM, a pro-Israeli Madrid-based lobby group.

ACOM has launched a number of legal appeals against local councils that have declared themselves Israeli Apartheid Free Zones.

However, ACOM’s strategy of intimidation has not been successful. Targeted cities have defended the democratic outcome of the votes, and informed courts, such as  the First Administrative Court of Gijon, refused to accept ACOM’s complaints.

Similar legal charges were lodged against three local councils in the UK by the  so-called Jewish Human Rights Watch, a London based Israel lobby group. Also there, the UK High Court rejected the complaints and ruled in favour of the three local councils which had passed resolutions in support of targeted boycotts of Israel’s occupation.

RESCOP commented in a statement: :

“It is intolerable that a foreign entity defending a system of apartheid, such as ACOM, should interfere in the democratic sovereignty of our municipalities, dictating what we can vote for and what not, and preventing our institutions from being committed to human rights.”

This latest decision by the city of Cadiz to join the inspiring wave of other Spanish cities and towns in declaring themselves zones free from Israeli apartheid is a sign that citizens and elected representatives are not intimidated by ACOM’s legal threats.

“By supporting the BDS movement for Palestinian rights and choosing not to engage with institutions and corporations directly involved in Israel’s egregious crimes against the Palestinian people, people of conscience and municipalities across the Spanish state are taking a concrete step to hold Israel accountable  for its crimes against the Palestinian people,” Riya Hassan concluded.



Diputación de Sevilla

Ayuntamiento de La Roda

Ayuntamiento Castro del Río

Ayunamiento de Montoro

Ayuntamiento de Mairena del Aljarafe

Ayuntamiento Los Corrales

Ayuntamiento Alhaurín de la Torre

Ayuntamiento de Campillos

Ayuntamiento de Casares

Diputación de Córdoba

Ayuntamiento de Velvez-Málaga

Ayuntamiento de San Roque

Ayuntamiento de San Fernando


Ajuntament de Artés

Ajuntament de Sant Pere de Ruidebitlles

Ajuntament de Molins de Rei

Ajuntament de Sant Cebriá de Vallalta

Ajuntamnet de Badalona

Ajuntament de Sant Celoni

Ajuntament de Ripollet

Ajuntament de Sant Feliu de Llobregat

Ajuntament de Abrera

Ajuntament de Sant Boi de Llobregat

Ajuntament de Terrasa

Ajuntament de Olesa de Montserrat

Ajuntament de Sant Adrià de Besòs

Ajuntament de Sant Quirze del Vallès

Ajuntament de Barberá del Vallès

Ajuntament de Viladamat


Ayuntamiento de Navalafuente

Ayuntamiento de Rivas-Vaciamadrid


Ayuntamiento de Corvera

Ayuntamiento de Castrillón

Ayuntamiento de Gijón

Ayuntamieno de Llangreu



O Concello de Compostela

Concello de Oleiros

Islas Canarias

Cabildo de Gran Canaria

Ayuntamiento de Telde


Ayuntamiento de Sabiñánigo

País Valencià

Ajuntament de Alcoi

Ajuntament de Muro

Ajuntament de Onda

Ajuntament de Concentaina

Ajuntament de Catarroja

Ajuntament de Xeraco

Ajuntament de Benlloch

Ajuntament de Petrer

Castilla y León

Ayuntamiento de Viloria del Henar

Illes Balears

Ajuntament de Santa Euràlia

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The Syrian army, the National Defense Forces (NDF) and the Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, supported by the Russian Aerospace Forces, have captured the Khan Tuman depots and deployed in the outskirts of this strategic town in southern Aleppo.

The Syrian government forces have also encircled Jaish al-Fatah militants at the disputable town of Qarassi southeast from Khan Tuman.

In a separate development, the Syrian army and Hezbollah have set control of the Ramosueh Garages in southwestern Aleppo that allows them to control the strategic Ramouseh Roundabout in the area.

Meanwhile, reports have appeared that Brigadier General Tamer al-Dakhil from the Republican Guard has been appointed as a new chief of the Military Security Committee of Aleppo city.

After the recent advances of pro-government forces, the strategic situation of Jaish al-Fatah operation room in the area of Aleppo has become awful. If militants are not able to defend Khan Tuman and restore pressure on the Syrian army and its allies in the Ramouseh Artillery Base, they will likely lost all their territories in and near Aleppo city.

A commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Maj General Qasem Soleimani, has been spotted at frontlines in southern Aleppo. A photo of the commander of the pominent Iranian special force unit was released at various pro-government social media accounts on September 6. Soleimani was reported among the Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba (Iraqi Shia paramilitary) fighters that support the Syrian army in clashes against Al Nusra Front and its allies in southwestern Aleppo.

Pro-government sources say that Soleimani arrived Syria in order to discuss the ongoing offensive in Aleppo. Major Duraid Abu ‘Ammar of the Syrian Arab Army’s “Tiger Forces” was likely his most important meeting.

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Israeli occupation authorities in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, on Wednesday, for the first time demolished a home, claiming it was built without permission. The demolition and claims the house was built without permission violates Israel’s obligations under international law, according to which an occupying power must assure that administration in occupied territories adhere, to the greatest possible degree, to the law of the occupied country’s territory.

Israel has, however, enforced new Hebrew as official administrative language, denies building permits and engages in other violations of international law that aim at oppressing the Arab population and culture and Syrian administration in the occupied Golan.

Al Marsad, which is the only human rights organization that operates in the Golan, reported that hundreds of Israeli police accompanied by bulldozers demolished the home of Bassam Ibrahim in Majdal Shams, the largest town in the Israeli occupied Golan. In a statement, Al Marsad said:

“This is the first time that the Israeli authorities have demolished a home in Majdal Shams. … The destruction of this home marks the adoption of a new systematic policy of home demolitions by the Israeli authorities in the remaining Syrian villages in the Occupied Syrian Golan. The Syrian owners of dozens of other homes have been threatened with similar action. … As a result of the severe restrictions imposed by Israeli planning and construction committees, it is close to impossible for the Syrian population to obtain the necessary building permits. Therefore, the Syrian population is forced to build homes without building permits, as this is the only way to meet their housing needs given unprecedented levels of overcrowding,”

Golan Heights_Syria_2016

The rights organization accused Israel of preventing the Syrian population from building in their cities while encouraging and facilitating the construction and expansion of illegal Israeli settlements in the Golan Heights. Israel occupied the Syrian Golan Heights after the June 1967 war. 

Israel’s continued occupation violates international law and has been opposed by several UN General Assembly resolutions. None of the UN Security Council’s five permanent members (P5), however, has taken any tangible steps that would be consistent with their mandate and obligation to end the illegal occupation.

The failure of UN Security Council and the UN system as a whole has emboldened Israel to declare that “Israel and the Golan are part and parcel”. In June 2013 an Austrian United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) officer explained that Israel was maintaining a joint intelligence and operations room with “Syrian rebels”. Warnings by Syrian UN Envoy Dr. Al-Hamwi, in July 2013, to the effect that Israel commits methodical crimes in the Golan were ignored by the UN Security Council (UNSC).

By mid-2013, reports about the Israeli involvement in the war on Syria via the Israeli occupied Syrian Golan and in the UNDOF controlled neutral zone slowly made it to some of the Western and Arab media. The administration of Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu transformed that, what could have developed into a PR nightmare, into a propaganda success when Netanyahu visited an Israeli field hospital for “Syrian opposition fighters”.

Netanyahu told Israeli TV viewers and international press that the field hospital showed the true, humanitarian face of Israel. The PM did not mention a word about Israel’s direct and indirect military support of Jabhat al-Nusrah and other al-Qaeda associated brigades. (see video)

Israel opens 12 – 16 kilometer wide corridor for Syrian Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusrah after Displacement of UNDOF Troops – “International Community” stands by or pays lip service

Image: The UNDOF withdrawal leaves a 12 – 16 km wide corridor uncontrolled by the UNDOF. In 2013 it transpired that Israel is providing support for Jabhat al-Nusrah, which includes a joint intelligence and military operations room in the Israeli occupied Golan, logistic support, weapons, field hospitals, and direct combat support. (Map plotting by Christof Lehmann) Click on map to view full size.

Image: The UNDOF withdrawal leaves a 12 – 16 km wide corridor uncontrolled by the UNDOF. In 2013 it transpired that Israel is providing support for Jabhat al-Nusrah, which includes a joint intelligence and military operations room in the Israeli occupied Golan, logistic support, weapons, field hospitals, and direct combat support. (Map plotting by Christof Lehmann) Click on map to view full size.

The corridor facilitated direct logistic support of Islamist insurgents in Syria via this corridor. Russia’s DeputyPermanent Representative to the United Nations, Pyotr Ilyichev, urged the international community to use its influence on anti-Syrian militants in the Golan Heights to prevent the phase-down of the UNDOF peacekeeping mission.Also in 2013, Israeli machinations and cooperation with Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusrah, resulted in the withdrawal of UNDOF troops from a 12 – 16 kilometer wide corridor in the disengagement zone. (see map below)

However, the lip-service of the deputy representative did not manifest in a Russian sponsored UN Security Council resolution.

In February 2014 then Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman publicly called for “settling the Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights within the framework of the Israeli – Palestinian negotiations” adding that “part of this comprehensive bargain has to cover an understanding between Israel, the international community and the USA”and adding that “the Golan is part and parcel with Israel”.

Wednesday morning, March 5, 2014, Israeli troops launched military attacks against Syria from the Israeli occupied Syrian Golan Heights. Several Syrian Internal Security Forces and civilians were injured. On March 7, mass protests in Syria denounced Israel’s aggression.

In May 2014 Israel denied Syrians in the occupied Golan Heights voting rights during Syrian elections. Again, the United Nations failed to respond.

In 2015 Israel intensified its annexation programinspired by the discovery of substantial hydrocarbon resources in the Golan Heights. US interests involving Genie Energy and celebrities including Dick Cheney are involved in plans to develop the resources.

Prior to talks between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin, in April 2016, Netanyahu asserted that “Israel will never relinquish the Golan Heights”.

Putin, the President of a permanent UN Security Council member State was spectacularly silent about Israel’s “red lines”. In June, 2016 Syrians in the occupied Golan launched protests against Israel’s annexation plans. The international press was spectacularly silent. None of the fiver permanent UNSC member States officially responded to the first “home demolition”.

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September marks 15 years since the US state turned the tragedy of the World Trade Centre attacks into a justification for years of brutality and horror inflicted on the population of the Middle East.

The “war on terror”, launched by the administration of president George W. Bush in the weeks following 9/11, revealed the naked barbarity of US imperialism. It extended far beyond the borders of Afghanistan, where the US first invaded, to subject the populations of Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan and beyond to sickening violence.

This war was never about delivering democracy or protecting human rights; it was always about expanding US power. The US state saw an opportunity to occupy and reshape the Middle East in order to control its oil reserves, thereby obtaining leverage against economic rivals and ensuring the future profitability and dominance of the US economy.

The Iraqi city of Fallujah is testament to the human toll of the project. It has been razed three times since the US first occupied in 2003. Once home to a bustling population of 300,000, it was reduced to rubble in 2004, when US troops twice laid siege to the city, unleashing a wave of brutal repression on its civilians. Troops indiscriminately shot and killed protesters, conducted weeks of aerial bombardment and bathed the city in white phosphorus.

Exposure to the depleted uranium employed in US weapons resulted in a fourfold increase in the cancer rate in the years between 2004 and 2010, and a 12-fold increase in cancer for children, according to a study by doctor Chris Busby entitled Cancer, infant mortality and birth sex-ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005-2009. Busby’s extensive research led him to conclude that the toxic fallout of the US assault on the city is worse than that suffered by the survivors of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (another crime of US imperialism).

In 2013, paediatricians at the Fallujah General Hospital told Al Jazeera journalists that, frequently, children were born with birth defects so numerous, rare and extreme that doctors do not even have a medical name for the conditions they cause.

The atrocities once committed by US troops in Fallujah are now being carried out by the client regime it installed after the fall of Saddam Hussein. In June, Fallujah again became the scene of mass devastation, this time stormed by Iraqi government forces and the militias it commands. This time it was in the name of saving civilians from ISIS, a force that arose out of the sectarian divisions stoked by years of US intervention in the region.

Five years after Obama declared the US occupation of Iraq over and troops were “officially withdrawn”, Human Rights Watch reports that Fallujah’s remaining population is currently starving and barely subsisting on date-seed bread and grass soup. Most of its residents have been forced to flee and now languish in refugee camps. In the commemorations for the victims of 9/11, it is unlikely that the victims of Fallujah will be asked to give their account of the war. Sabah Hassan, an elderly refugee from Fallujah in a refugee camp outside Baghdad, recently told Al Jazeera: “Civilians are the only ones who pay the price of the conflict. What is happening to us is unfair, we have done nothing”.

It has not been enough to kill and maim; the US also tried to break a population besieged and terrorise them into subordination. It sought to crush resistance to the occupation by torturing thousands in prisons such as the now notorious Abu Ghraib.

The Death Toll

In March 2015, Physicians for Social Responsibility calculated that the war on terror has, directly or indirectly, murdered around 1 million people in Iraq, 220,000 in Afghanistan and 80,000 in Pakistan – a total death count of 1.3 million. That is a conservative estimate; the researchers concluded that the real casualty rate is probably much closer to 2 million.

Obama’s election in 2008 was promoted as bringing an end to US wars in the Middle East. Instead, the Nobel Peace Prize winning president has overseen a troop influx into Afghanistan and authorised further military operations in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Syria and Libya, extending the theatre of war and escalating the use of drone warfare.

According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, since 2002, drone strikes have killed more than 7,000 people. This doesn’t take into account drone strikes in Iraq and Syria – which are on the rise as the US seeks to maintain its military presence in the region without the further deployment of troops on the ground.

Despite this expansion, the US has not been able to accomplish its objectives. In fact, after 15 years of war, the US global position is weakened.

Worldwide Offensive Against Civil Liberties

Justifying these crimes against humanity required the creation of a hysterical climate of fear. The stoking of Islamophobia and demonising and criminalising of Muslims have become the key means by which the US and its Western allies excuse both imperialist interventions and a mass offensive against civil liberties.

Guantánamo Bay in Cuba, where the US has detained and tortured accused terror suspects, is the embodiment of this. Within its walls, almost 800 people have been incarcerated. Of these, 674 have never been charged. These people are victims of the war on terror, their lives destroyed by US imperialism.

The Bush administration introduced draconian anti-terror laws such as the Patriot Act – passed in 2001 in part to intimidate domestic opposition to war. Governments around the world followed suit, seizing on an opportunity to increase state powers and further spy on and repress their own citizens under the guise of “fighting terrorism”. The Obama administration has expanded the domestic US security state, and rabidly pursues whistleblowers, such as Chelsea Manning, who have heroically exposed the depravity of US imperialism.

Inside the Belly of the Beast

Capitalism’s wars have always gone hand in hand with class war against workers in the belligerent countries. The war on terror is a case in point. A partial costing by Neta C. Crawford, a professor of political science at Boston University and co-director of the Costs of War project, suggests that to date, the war on terror has cost a whopping US$1.8 trillion to prosecute.

Meanwhile, since the global financial crisis of 2007-08, US workers have been bearing the brunt of the crisis, even as the Wall Street bankers were being bailed out. As the populations of cities such as Detroit, beset by mass unemployment, are left to rot, and funding for public schools and infrastructure is cut, the US military budget expands. There is always money for imperial slaughter.

Resistance to War

No retrospective of the past 15 years would be complete without also remembering that the war on terror has provoked unprecedented protest. The world’s largest single day of anti-war protest that has ever occurred took place in February 2003, before the bombs started to fall on Iraq. All over the world, millions saw through the rhetoric and lies of their pro-war leaders and took to the streets to demand “No blood for oil!”

The largest rallies took place in Europe. In Australia, 250,000 marched in Melbourne, and half a million rallied in Sydney’s Hyde Park, with protests also held in almost every other city in the country. These mobilisations were larger than the famed anti-Vietnam War moratoriums of the 1970s.

Despite their size, a few mass protests were never on their own going to stop an empire hell bent on war to enforce its rule around the globe. Bush and his Western cronies were able to dismiss the global opposition to war and bomb and invade Iraq anyway. Nonetheless, the protests indicated the immense capacity of people to show international solidarity in spite of the considerable divide and rule efforts of our governments. They also demonstrate that, for all the horrors capitalism inflicts, people are more than capable of resisting the system. Our rulers can lie, scapegoat and repress, but inevitably the brutality of capitalism, always made most concrete at times of war, inspires rebellion.

More than anything, what the last 15 years of war have demonstrated is that imperialism has to be resisted.

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Israel’s continued settlement activity—whether retroactively approving ‘unauthorized’ outposts or advancing plans for new units as was recently announced—represents yet another nail in the coffin of the peace process. The settlements have become nothing but Israel’s self-entrapment, threatening its very existence. Prime Minister Netanyahu and his coalition partners, however, are not concerned about the prospective dire repercussions of settlement activity. They put the sanctity of the land above any other consideration, and view the settlement enterprise as the prerequisite to repossessing the entire historic ‘land of Israel.’

Netanyahu is not deterred by the criticism and condemnation from the international community. He takes the position that building new housing units is largely in settlements that will eventually be part of a final status deal in exchange for land swaps, as if he has the right to unilaterally decide which settlements will be incorporated to Israel proper without an agreement with the Palestinians.

As he sees it, Israel has been building settlements for nearly five decades, and in spite of that it has not suffered any adverse consequences for its defiance of the international consensus against the settlements. Why should he worry about it now, when the international community is preoccupied with so many other conflicts in the Middle East and is unlikely to take any punitive measure against Israel other than expressing the usual indignation?

Netanyahu is even less concerned about the Palestinians’ claim that Israel’s creeping annexation of their territory creates irreversible facts on the ground that would deny them a state of their own under a two-state solution.

Netanyahu counters this argument by repeating his slogan that Israel is prepared to enter negotiations unconditionally, and that the settlements do not represent any obstacle to peace. In the same breath, however, he publicly and repeatedly states that the Jews have an inalienable historic right to the entire “land of Israel,” especially the West Bank. As such, Israel is not an occupying power and has the inherent right to establish settlements on any part of its historic land.

Netanyahu is also not bothered by the reaction of the Arab states, particularly Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, as on the surface settlement activity puts them on the defensive precisely when they are reaching out to Israel.

This is not the case, Netanyahu insists. The Arab states are more concerned about Islamic radicalization and in particular the prospective Iranian nuclear threat. In fact, he claims the Arab states are seeking cooperation with Israel in spite of ongoing settlement expansion. They share a common cause with Israel and are focused on their own problems, viewing the Palestinians as nothing but an added burden.

Netanyahu’s message to the Israelis, especially the settlers, is that the construction of illegal outposts will retroactively be legalized, thereby signaling that they can continue this practice with impunity.

It takes Netanyahu’s typical chutzpah to call for demolishing Palestinian villages like Susiya and other housing units built on their own land while retroactively legalizingillegal Jewish settlements on Palestinian land that were expropriated by Israel, which is nothing less than a travesty.

What message does that send to the international community, and how does that square with Israel’s presumed moral standing among the community of nations? This does not seem to bother him in the least.

Netanyahu dismisses the prospect that his policy would inadvertently lead to one state, as Israel will then face two choices: one, maintain its democratic form of government by granting the Palestinians full citizenship, but in the process lose its Jewish majority and its national identity as a Jewish state; or two, deny the Palestinians citizenship, whereby Israel becomes a de-facto apartheid state, reviled and potentially sanctioned by the international community.

This, however, is not how Netanyahu and company see it. From their perspective, settling a million Jews in Israel will indeed create irreversible facts on the ground, but this is precisely what they want to realize as that would not translate to giving Palestinians Israeli citizenship and equal political rights.

What Netanyahu has in mind is for the Palestinians to establish their own cantons in Ramallah, Bethlehem, Jenin, Jericho, and other cities, governing themselves as they see fit as long as they accept their lot quietly while Israel maintains overall security throughout the West Bank.

In so doing, Israel will indefinitely remain in control of the West Bank, managing the conflict on a day-to-day basis and dealing with Palestinian violence as it occurs. For him, a state of constant tension is preferred over relinquishing the land.

Netanyahu, however, is totally blinded by his messianic mission, ruling out the possibility that the Palestinians will sooner than later rise, as they are willing to die because they have little left to lose.

In his illuminating new book The Suicide of the Jews (a must read), the futurist Tsvi Bisk describes how the various Zionist branches rationalized the occupation and eventual annexation of all Palestinian land because they truly believe “…that compromise on the land issue would not only endanger Jewish redemption but the redemption of all humanity… For religious Zionists, fidelity to the land was a divine directive and even talk about dividing the land with another people was sacrilegious.”

Netanyahu is a willing hostage to coalition partners he assembled that include staunch proponents of the settlements, such as Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

Leave it to him to use his coalition government to provide him with the perfect excuse to continue with his policy; tragically, he is inviting disaster by putting the land above Israel’s national security, if not its very existence.

Repeated polls strongly suggest that a vast majority of Israelis and Palestinians want to end their conflict based on a two state solution.

As long as the opposition political parties cannot unite with a specific and coherent political framework based on the Arab Peace Initiative to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Likud may well form the next government in 2019.

Likewise, as long as the Palestinians remain divided, with many of their leaders steeped in corruption, they play directly into Netanyahu’s hand. They, more than anyone else, will destroy their own prospect of realizing a statehood.

To be sure, unless Israel’s opposition parties coalesce and create a popular movement for peace, and the Palestinians organize their political affairs and negotiate with Israel in unison, it may well be too late to save them both from their own self-inflicted deadly wounds.

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September 9, 2001: Two Days Before 9/11, Global Research was Born…

September 9th, 2016 by Prof Michel Chossudovsky

On the 9th of September 2001, the Global Research website at was born, two days before the tragic events of September 11.

We started up in late August with a handmade web design in FrontPage.  A student in philosophy gave me a hand in drafting the home page and putting the project online.

On the morning of September 8, I took a two hour “crash course” on the use of file transfer FTP software from a young software specialist, who taught me how to upload articles to the website.


Among our first articles was a coverage of the events surrounding 9/11 and the subsequent invasion of Afghanistan on October 7.

From these modest beginnings, with virtually no resources, the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) has evolved into a dynamic research and independent media group.

We revamped the website in 2005. From an initial bilingual English-French template, a separate French language website,  was established. We subsequently launched Spanish, Portuguese, German, Arabic, Italian and Serbian pages.

In 2005, we started a book publishing program and in 2008, the CRG moved from makeshift premises to a small office located in the historical quarter of Le Vieux Montreal (Old Montreal).

In 2010, we launched The Global Research TV (GRTV) website, which features selected videos as well as commentary, analysis and news coverage.

In 2012,  we launched our Radio program: The Global Research News Hour in collaboration with CKUW 95.9 FM (University of Winnipeg, Manitoba).

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Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, when asked in an MSNBC interview (Morning Joe9/8/16) what he would do about the battle raging over the Syrian city of Aleppo, responded, “What is Aleppo?”

That’s troubling, that a presidential candidate would be unaware of one of the main battlefields in one of the world’s deadliest conflicts. But even more troubling is that the New York Times, the US paper of record, can’t seem to figure out what Aleppo is, either.

As FAIR contributor Ben Norton noted in a piece for Salon (9/8/16), theTimes‘  Alan Rappeport (9/8/16) wrote a  piece about Johnson’s gaffe that described Aleppo as “the de facto capital of the Islamic State,” or ISIS. That’s wrong; the de facto capital of ISIS is Raqqa, a city halfway across Syria from Aleppo.

Gary Johnson on Morning Joe

Media mocked Gary Johnson for his Aleppo ignorance, but some attempts to inform him weren’t much better.

This was then changed in an edit to describe Aleppo as “a stronghold of the Islamic State.” That’s also wrong; the main rebel faction in Aleppo is Jabhat al-Nusra, better known as the Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria—a bitter rival of ISIS. ISIS itself has little presence in the city.

New York Times Aleppo corrections

The New York Times‘ embarrassing correction of an embarrassing correction.

The New York Times ran a correction on its misidentification of Aleppo. But then it had to run a correction on the correction—because the first correction misidentified Aleppo as the capital of Syria. The actual capital of Syria is Damascus.

If history and the polls are any guide, Gary Johnson will probably not be elected president in November. But the New York Times is and will likely continue to be the country’s most influential newspaper—so its gaps in knowledge are far more worrisome.

Jim Naureckas is the editor of You can follow him on Twitter at@JNaureckas.

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In the two months leading up to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to issue to the Dakota Access pipeline project an allotment of Nationwide 12 permits (NWP) — a de facto fast-track federal authorization of the project — an army of oil industry players submitted comments to the Corps to ensure that fast-track authority remains in place going forward.

This fast-track permitting process is used to bypass more rigorous environmental and public review for major pipeline infrastructure projects by treating them as smaller projects.

Oil and gas industry groups submitted comments in response to the Corps’ June 1 announcement in the Federal Register that it was “requesting comment on all aspects of these proposed nationwide permits” and that it wanted “comments on the proposed new and modified NWPs, as well as the NWP general conditions and definitions.” Based on the comments received, in addition to other factors, the Corps will make a decision in the coming months about the future of the use of the controversial NWP 12, which has become a key part of President Barack Obama’s climate and energy legacy.

Dakota Access oil pipeline installation between farms, as seen from 50th Avenue in New Salem, North Dakota.

Photo Credit: Tony Webster | Flickr

Beyond Dakota Access, the Army Corps of Engineers (and by extension the Obama Administration) also used NWP 12 to approve key and massive sections of both Enbridge’s Flanagan South pipeline and TransCanada’s southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline known as the Gulf Coast Pipeline. Comments submitted as a collective by environmental groups, such as the Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation, several local chapters, the Center for Biological Diversity, WildEarth Guardians, Corporate Ethics International, and others, allege NWP 12 abuses by the Obama administration.

Image Credit:

The groups say NWP was never intended to authorize massive pipeline infrastructure projects and that that kind of permitting authority should no longer exist. Instead, they argued in their August 1 comment, federal agencies should be required to issue Clean Water Act Section 404 permits and do a broader environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

“Simply put, the Congress did not intend the NWP program to be used to streamline major infrastructure projects like the Gulf Coast Pipeline, the Flanagan South Pipeline, and the Dakota Access Pipeline,” reads their comment. “For the reasons explained herein, we strongly oppose the reissuance of NWP 12 and its provisions that allow segmented approval of major pipelines without any project-specific environmental review or public review process.”

Oil companies have been using this antiquated fast-track permit process that was not designed to properly address the issues of mega-projects such as the Dakota Access pipeline,” Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Networkstated in the environmental groups’ press release at the closing of the NWP 12 comment period. “Meanwhile, tribal rights to consultation have been trampled and Big Oil is allowed to put our waters, air and land at immense risk. This cannot continue, it’s time for an overhaul.

Industry groups, on the other hand, made their own arguments for the status quo.

Industry: Keep NWP 12 Alive, Presidential Campaign Ties

Many industry groups chimed in on the future of NWP 12. They included the American Petroleum Institute (API)Ohio Oil and Gas AssociationWest Virginia Oil and Natural Gas AssociationLouisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association, the Baker Botts Texas Industry Project (a who’s who of petrochemical corporations such as Halliburton, ExxonMobil, Shell Oil, Chevron, Marathon Petroleum, Kinder Morgan, and BP, as of 2008), coal and natural gas utility company Southern Company, and others.

One of those other commenters was the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance (DEPA), a lobbying and advocacy consortiumspearheaded by Harold Hamm, founder and CEO of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) giant Continental Resources, as well asenergy aide to the Donald Trump presidential campaign and potential future U.S. Secretary of Energy.

Continental Resources, as reported by DeSmog, will send some of its oil through Dakota Access and previously signed a shipping contract for the Keystone XL pipeline.

DEPA applauds the Corps for its efforts to reissue the NWPs as they are an important regulatory vehicle to authorize activities that have minimal individual and cumulative adverse environmental effects under the Clean Water Act, Section 404 Program,” wrote DEPA. “These permits are critical to DEPA’s members in their day to day operations.

Another commenter was Berkshire Hathaway Energy, a “most of the above” energy sources utility company (including coal and natural gas) owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway holding company. Buffett serves as a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

“Berkshire Hathaway Energy supports the Corps’ intention to issue NWPs,” wrote Berkshire Hathaway Energy. “The continued implementation of the NWPs is essential to the ongoing operation of Berkshire Hathaway Energy’s businesses — particularly in circumstances when timely service restoration is critical.”

Obama “Climate Test” Guidelines

On August 1, 2016, the day the commenting period closed for the future of NWP 12 and just days after the Army Corps issued a slew of NWP 12 determinations for Dakota Access, the Obama White House’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued a 34-page guidance memorandum, which could have potential implications for the environmental review of projects like Dakota Access.

That memo, while non-binding, calls for climate change considerations when executive branch agencies weigh what to do about infrastructure projects under the auspices of NEPA.

“Climate change is a fundamental environmental issue, and its effects fall squarely within NEPA’s purview,” wrote CEQ. “Climate change is a particularly complex challenge given its global nature and the inherent interrelationships among its sources, causation, mechanisms of action, and impacts. Analyzing a proposed action’s GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions and the effects of climate change relevant to a proposed action — particularly how climate change may change an action’s environmental effects — can provide useful information to decision makers and the public.”

NWP 12 does not receive mention in the memo. Neither does Dakota Access, Keystone XL, nor Flanagan South.

The non-binding guidance, which some have pointed to as an example of the Obama White House applying the “climate test” to the permitting of energy infrastructure projects, has been met with mixed reaction by the fossil fuel industry and its legal counsel.

The Center for Liquefied Natural Gas, a pro-fracked gas exports group created by API, denounced the CEQ memo. So too did climate change denier U.S. Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), as well as U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY).

Industry attorneys, however, do not view the guidance with the same level of trepidation, at least not across the board. On one hand, the firms Holland & Knight and K&L Gates — both of which work with industry clients ranging from Chevron and ExxonMobil to Chesapeake Energy and Kinder Morgan — have pointed to the risk of litigation that could arise as a result of the NEPA guidance. On the other end of the spectrum, the firms Squire Patton Boggs and Greenberg Traurig LLP do not appear to be quite as alarmed.

Greenberg Traurig — whose clients include Duke Energy, BP, Arch Coal, and others — jovially pointed out in a memo thatCEQ’s NEPA guidance does not take lifecycle supply chain greenhouse gas emissions into its accounting. The firm also points out that, with agency deference reigning supreme throughout the memo, “agencies should exercise judgment when considering whether to apply this guidance to the extent practicable to an on-going NEPA process.”

Francesca Ciliberti-Ayres, one of the Greenberg Traurig memo co-authors, formerly served as legal counsel for pipeline giant El Paso Corporation.

Similar to Greenberg Traurig, the firm Patton Boggs attempted to quell its clients’ fears in its own memo written in response to the CEQ guidance memo. Patton Boggs’ clients also have included a number of oil and gas energy companies and lobbying groups, such as API, ConocoPhillips, Halliburton, Marathon Oil, and others.

“The new guidance has the potential to add substantial time and expense to all environmental reviews for companies and other entities currently undergoing the NEPA process — and for future actions,” Patton Boggs’ attorneys wrote.

However, it will likely take some time for agencies to acclimate their review processes to the new requirements. Interested persons and companies would help themselves both by developing internal off the shelf information to accommodate the new review requirements and by working with federal agencies to develop efficient methodologies to expedite consideration on this issue, minimize any additional review time and add clarity to the process.

J. Gordon Arbuckle, a Patton Boggs memo co-author, has previously worked on permitting projects such as the massive Trans-Alaska Pipeline, the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, and others.

Using NWP 12 to permit major pipeline projects in a quiet and less transparent manner made its debut in the Obama White House. However, it remains unclear whether its use, or the somewhat contradictory NEPA guidelines from CEQ, will ultimately shape Obama’s climate legacy in the years to come.

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What was the New York Times thinking in making the suggestion? Evidently, its patriotic sense has been affronted by the disclosures from WikiLeaks that have sprinkled more than a bit of dust on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. In doing so, Julian Assange and the organisation, so claimed the paper, had wangled its way into the Kremlin’s agenda.

Easy to ignore is the fact that the Clinton campaign remains sordidly compromised, a derelict reminder of political atrophy in an already miserable desert of options. When reality television populism starts looking good, we know how cruelly empty that desert has become.

This fearful Grey Lady of the fourth estate, self proclaimed paper of record, has tended to bungle at crucial points in its long history. While it has to be credited with a role in the fall of President Richard Nixon and Watergate, it has also moved into the realm of chest beating (at or least patting) and judgment, when deemed necessary.

Two forces have featured in this chest thumping, though neither can be said to be equivalent. Russia and WikiLeaks have both been mentioned in the context of US politics, supposedly keeping company.  The analysis of this connection firstly makes the rather trite assumption that Russia might be involved in manipulating the scene, which then follows with questions about the WikiLeaks “connection”.

This connection was supposedly consecrated by the release of 20,000 emails belonging to the Democratic National Committee timed to perfection. The DNC Chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, tendered her resignation in light of its revelations.  “To say that this is an unflattering portrayal of Team Clinton,” observed John R. Schindler, “is like saying the Titanic had issues with ice” (Observer, Jul 25).

What Schindler went on to assume was that the source of those leaks had been Russian intelligence.  “[I[ndependent cybersecurity experts easily assessed [this] as being the work of Russian intelligence through previous known cutouts.”  Callouts were given to COZY BEAR or APT 29, and FANCY BEAR or APT 28, hacking groups assumed to have a Kremlin connection, if not drive.  Schindler makes the rather silly point that signing off a hack with a Russian name in Cyrillic suggests anything at all.  How shallow the monolingual world is, by nature.

Schindler’s analytical imagination then falters in attempting to link the dots.  In releasing material that has a provenance to Russian hackers, “WikiLeaks is doing Moscow’s bidding and has placed itself in bed with Vladimir Putin.”

The language is a neat libel assuming that an organisation that releases material provided to it by an individual, or entity, is then doing that body’s bidding, all body and consciousness, as a subservient political instrument. WikiLeaks has, in fact, shown itself to be very much independent, much to the irritation of governments and in certain instances its supporters.  The devil’s work is often trying.

At the New York Times, the strategy and outlook adopted by Schindler is replicated.  The first is demonising Russia as a disinformation giant, weaponising information to weaken opponents.  Neil MacFarquhar is certainly one captivated with the notion that Russia has that “powerful weapon” which he calls “the spread of false stories.”  (How frightfully original.)

One particular suggestion, pitched on Aug 28, was that the Swedish debate about whether it should join NATO was corrupted by Moscow-driven disinformation, among them suggestions that the state might become custodian of nuclear weapons; or that Russia might be attacked from Swedish soil “without government approval”.[1]  These contentions are never directly addressed.

Even MacFarquhar had to accepting that finding the provenance in the rich undergrowth of networks and information over such claims was nigh impossible. The Swedish defence minister had not made an official statement about it, but that did not stop the remark that “numerous analysts and experts in American and European intelligence point to Russia as the prime suspect”.

Imbuing networks of information with personality, notably of the negative sort, has become something of a pastime.   Alex Gibney personifies this pattern. Not that he is entirely being the mad hatter towards Wikileaks.  His relationship, like many with Julian Assange, is thorny.  And it shows.

While conceding that much was appropriate in leaking the documents on the DNC, he finds imputing darker aims to Assange irresistible.  Incapable of accepting that the salient criterion here should be what the material reveals, he has to go to motive, imputing the sinister and the calculating. When it came to the dance of manipulations taking place in the DNC, Gibney could only obsess about why WikiLeaks did it.

Rather than worrying about the US as sick patient, bacterially infected by an environment that has produced a Clinton-Trump race, he ponders the motives of Assange.  Was the Australian national in bed with Russian intelligence?

“We still don’t know who leaked the DNC archive, but given Mr. Assange’s past association with Russia, it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that it was a Russian agent or an intermediary.”[2]  What we don’t know can always be a nice precursor to pure, post-factoid speculation.  Slander comes easily to Gibney, as it does to the other coterie of analysts who have attempted to understand Assange’s world.

All doubts about the New York Times on this interpretation were alleviated by a piece (Aug 31) authored by Jo Becker, Steven Erlanger and Eric Schmitt, that suggested that “Russia often benefits when Julian Assange reveals the West’s secrets.”

Here, the slander is drawn that converts Assange into an anti-Western force, with an agenda that dovetails with that of the Kremlin.  Forget how rotten the state of the union is – focus on Assange and his motives, that he does not criticise other powers – such as Russia.  As WikiLeaks retorted, the organisation “has published more than 650,000 documents about Russian [sic] & president Putin, most of which is critical.”

Perhaps it might be better to keep referring back to the content of the material released, with all its onerous implications, rather than the imaginary motivations of the man releasing it. The proof lies in the released, rather hot pudding, not the individual who released the recipe.

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





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Ms. Clinton, Stop Russian ‘Bear Hunting’!

September 9th, 2016 by Andre Vltchek

It is now September 2016, just two months before the Presidential elections, and both political camps have already managed to disgust a great number of the US voters, by offering almost no comprehensive political or economic program, by offering… close to nothing!

While Donald Trump is lashing out at the ‘enemy within’, during his dark moments that are increasingly resembling an advanced stage of delirium tremens (complete with a mad chase after white mice and promises to cleanse society from some imaginary and filthy rapists and social benefits guzzlers, that are constantly pouring from the south), Ms. Clinton is saddling her horse, and preparing the West for yet another crusade, this time against Russia.

The more exposed Ms. Clinton’s colorful corruption scandals become (mainly those that are pegged to her and her husband’s Clinton Foundation), the more obvious it gets that the Democratic Primaries were shamelessly rigged. The more empty the words and promises she keeps regurgitating at the citizens of the country that she is aspiring to lead become, the more aggressive her attacks against that big creature which lives far-far away become; the one somewhere behind the horizon: the Russian Bear!

Ms. Clinton’s campaign is literally degenerating into crude anti-Russian propaganda. It is hard not to recall the original iconic 1962 Cold War conspiracy thriller movie The Manchurian Candidate, full of those “Dirty commie tricks”. Just as in Senator McCarthy’s era (1947-57), Ms. Clinton’s aides and supporters are spreading irrational fears and ludicrous paranoia. Listen to them, and you would soon get convinced that something ‘evil’, ‘monstrous’ and ‘thoroughly unacceptable’ is crawling out from the Russian ‘beast’ on the daily basis.

The images are often Chagall-esque, with Russian spies and hackers flying magically on some huge fairy-tale beds or carpets, levitating right above all the major American cities.

Russian cartoons and animated films are brainwashing American children (therefore they should be banned), Russian television and radio stations are spreading vitriolic anti-Western propaganda, and therefore should be censored.

Russia and its President were first presented by the Western ideologues as a continuation of ‘that evil and Communist Soviet Union’. When that hype clearly failed to work (most people all over the world are actually increasingly sympathetic towards socialist, and even Communist ideals), the ‘strategy’ changed, got turned upside down, and the Russians were now suddenly accused of supporting ‘extreme right-wing movements and politicians’, including the US Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump.

In countless propaganda fables, President Putin is depicted in the darkest colors imaginable. He is a strongman who is threatening Ukraine, the West and the rest of the world. His ‘apparatus’ is successfully infiltrating the US establishment, and derailing ‘democratic’ elections.

Whatever Russia does (or doesn’t do), it is being smeared within an instant by the ‘liberal’ pro-Clinton mass media, which is behaving in an increasingly servile and disciplined manner.

It all clearly resembles those dark, distant days of the ‘Grand Communicator’ Ronald Reagan, with some additional à la Barry Goldwater seasoning.

The Russian government and almost all Russian media outlets are trying to stay calm. They are trying to argue in a rational manner. They are coming up with countless initiatives in order to defuse the tension. But the goodwill emanating from Moscow (or Beijing) only further infuriates the Western propagandists.

It is becoming clear that Ms. Clinton and her team of indoctrinators, as well as her media outlets, are trying to do something that is not only appalling and idiotic, but also extremely dangerous and imprudent – they are sticking a long iron rod with a sharp end into a hole inhabited by an enormous, peacefully hibernating bear!

Nothing good can come out of such a scenario.

When provoked and threatened, when awoken from its deep winter slumber, a bear reacts in a predictable and fully justifiable manner: it dashes out from its hiding place, outraged and ready to defend itself.

Whoever terrorizes the creature – be it some stupid stars and stripes covered donkey or elephant – he or she can expect a bloody and fierce fight.

Patience has its limits. There is no reason why one country or one group of aggressive, thuggish countries (predominantly the United States and its European allies, plus Japan) should be treated differently, with greater tolerance, then the rest of the world. For more than 500 years the world had been burning, suffering from continuous and brutal onslaughts coming from the West. Hundreds of millions of innocent people have been destroyed, murdered.

Russia, like Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the South Pacific, have been attacked, again and again, with horrifying regularity, and for no logical reason reduced to ashes.

Not surprisingly, most of the Russian people that I recently spoke to (be it in its West, in Moscow or St. Petersburg, or in the East, in Vladivostok, Khabarovsk or Petropavlovsk in Kamchatka) do not find the situation amusing at all, just as no one is finding it amusing in China, which is another historical victim of Western colonialist terror. Both great enormous nations are now being targeted by propaganda and military provocations instigated by NATO, but mainly from Washington, London and Tokyo.

Both North America and Europe have plenty to clean up at home!

While optimism and great progress is clearly visible in Chinese and Russian cities and countryside, there is hardly any joy detectable inside the Empire. In the US, Germany, France and Japan, people appear to be depressed, confused, even resigned. Deep sarcasm and nihilism abound everywhere. Despite long centuries of plundering the world, the West is deteriorating; its political and economic system, and its hypocritical ‘democracy model’, are all collapsing.

Ms. Clinton (and her husband) should actually roll up their sleeves, immediately! They should grab a shovel and broom, and begin cleaning the house. Then they should get rid of their security dudes and do what all great Chinese and Russian emperors and tsars used to do – go humbly and undercover into the streets of their cities, and listen to their people! And then: serve them, the people, instead of assisting the greedy traders and (to borrow the words of a great Czech poet František Halas) those “pigs of the markets”!

To attack the Great Russian Bear or/and Great Chinese Dragon will only lead to destruction, grief and death. Even the North Americans and Europeans would gain absolutely nothing from such action.

This time the creatures will not back up. They will and should, most likely side-by-side, fight against those who would dare to come to their lands with the sword.

Would killing of millions be worth it, Ms. Clinton? What would be the reason for this bloodletting: to defend that monstrous and defunct system that is ruling over the West and all of its colonies? Do you really believe in the merits of this system? Or are you fighting for it simply by inertia? You don’t do it for money, do you? You are already so rich, Ms. Clinton… How much more do you really need? Should we try to set up an account, a global collection? And if we collect a certain amount, would you agree to retire and play table tennis or go jogging around some gold-pated fishpond?

I don’t really understand you, Ms. Clinton. I don’t understand you, or your cohorts. And perhaps that is good. It is almost as if we belong to two different universes.

I hope you will come to your senses: I hope you will not cross the line. But if you do, if you insist on going hunting, if you really dare to attack the Bear, or the Dragon, or both, no neutrality will be possible, anymore. You will force people all over the world to take sides. And you know where most of this poor Planet scarred and brutalized by the West for centuries, will stand! And this time, seriously, the survival of this damned, dear Planet of ours would be at stake, you know… The era of gentle sarcasm would be over. It would be the final struggle for survival, against Western imperialism.

But there is still time to stop. Please do!

Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His latest books are: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” and  Fighting Against Western Imperialism.  Discussion with Noam Chomsky: On Western TerrorismPoint of No Return is his critically acclaimed political novel. Oceania – a book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about Indonesia: “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. Andre is making films for teleSUR and Press TV. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and the Middle East. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.

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Since the February ceasefire in Syria, which was broken by U.S. supported Jihadis, Russia tried to press the U.S. into fulfilling the UN Security Council resolution 2254. The resolution signs off on the ceasefire but demands that all nations continue to fight the Islamic State and al-Qaeda.

But the U.S. continued to support al-Qaeda and its various front group in Syria like Ahrar al-Sham and Jund al-Aqsa. “Moderate rebels” were armed with modern weapons by the U.S. and trained in camps in Turkey and Jordan. They were sent to Syria to integrated with al-Qaeda and made it impossible to fight one group without hitting the other. The U.S. used this ploy to protect al-Qaeda from Russian and Syrian attacks. Such attacks, it claimed, would break the ceasefire as they would also hit its “moderate rebels”.

To gain some negotiating advantage Russia and its Syrian allies closed all access to east-Aleppo which is held by Jihadis. The U.S. sponsored rebels and al-Qaeda responded with an attack in south Aleppo which then broke the new established siege.

But that move was a hail-Mary pass. “Rebels” from all fronts were pulled together to support the attack. MANPADs were delivered to deny Russia the use of attack helicopters. With the help of an al-Qaeda mass suicide attack the “rebels” took the artillery college and adjacent areas in south Aleppo and managed to open a corridor into east-Aleppo. This was a serious set back for the Russian plans.

The response was constant bombing of the hinterlands of the “rebel” held parts of Aleppo and Idleb governate which made any supply of their front difficult. The Russian and Syrian air forces destroyed the “rebel’s” infrastructure, supply sites and their command and control elements. This took some time to show the inevitable effect. But today the Syrian army and its allies reconquered the artillery college and the Jihadi path into east-Aleppo is again closed.

It is likely that the now failed plan of lifting the siege on east-Aleppo was so costly, with over a 1,000 rebels dead, that a repeat of any such attack is no longer possible.

But the Russian pressure to commonly fight al-Qaeda has still not resulted in an agreement. Late in June some hawks in the U.S. administration leaked “conditions” under which the U.S. would agree to Russia’s demands. Those conditions were ridiculous. The Syrian government would have to ground its airforce and would have to stop fighting its immediate enemies while Russia would only be allowed to targets the U.S. agreed to. The negotiations had only onepurpose:

The plan, if it was correctly “leaked” to the WaPo author, is nothing but additional delaying and obfuscation. The U.S. has no interest in ending the fighting in Syria. It wants to keep the conflict going as long as possible to “bleed” Syrian, Iran and Russia as much as it can.

But Russia insisted. Recently it seemed that the U.S. would finally agree to separate its “moderate rebel” Jihadis from al-Qaeda but it continued to demand that Ahrar al-Sham and Jund al-Aqsa should also be excepted from attacks. This as even U.S. experts acknowledge that these are mere front groups for al-Qaeda itself:

The United States risks losing the war against extremism in Syria if it continues to allow Ahrar al-Sham and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham to be seen by the Syrian people as the victors in Aleppo. Ahrar al-Sham is as much a part of al Qaeda’s long game in Syria as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham. It shares the same goal to shape Syria’s population in a way that facilitates global jihad, and its pragmatic approach advances al Qaeda’s aim to build a durable safe haven in the Levant.

Today the Russian-U.S. negotiations failed again. The U.S. accused Russia, without any specifics, of backtracking on already agreed parts of the deal while Russia says the U.S. insists on continued protection of al-Qaeda elements.

The Obama administration does not want a deal at all. It wants to kick the can down the road for the next administration to pick up while all parties in Syria continue to bleed.

It also has no interest at all to subdue or eliminate radical Jihadis. It continues to support and supply these.  A London Times reporter recently found that one rebel commander, Hakim Anza, who shot the reporter point blank while he was handcuffed and imprisoned by rebels in Syria, is now the leader of a “vetted” and CIA supported “moderate rebel” group:

Two of his brothers joined the al-Qaeda affiliate the Nusra Front. One of them spoke on record about his loyalty to al-Qaeda to The Times. Meanwhile The New York Times ran a story about a war crime committed by Hakim Anza in 2012.

Last month, however, video surfaced of Hakim Anza proving that he was not only free, but was also serving in a CIA-vetted Syrian rebel group, First Regiment (al-Fawj al-Awwal), which was receiving US weaponry, including Tow missiles, as well as air strikes in support of their operations.

Hakim Anza is one of the “moderate rebels” the U.S. wants to protect from Syrian and Russian attacks. There is no reason to assume that any other “rebel” the U.S. supports in Syria is a less dangerous man. These brutes are the people the Obama administration wants to empower to rule that country.

One hopes that Russia has sufficient plans to eliminate them even while the U.S. continues to block any cooperation.

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Noting the many shortcomings in Bažant’s analysis, which have been studied and criticized extensively since 2001, Korol and his colleagues set out to apply a much more rigorous methodology for analyzing WTC 7, which, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), collapsed from normal office fires.

Korol and his colleagues set out to apply a much more rigorous methodology for analyzing WTC 7

Dr. Robert Korol, professor emeritus of civil engineering at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and a fellow of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering, has led a team of academic researchers in preparing two peer-reviewed scientific papers on the destruction of World Trade Center Building 7. Both papers were published in the Challenge Journal of Structural Mechanics — the first one in July 2015, the second in February 2016.

Prior to publishing these papers, the team of researchers carefully reviewed the work of Zdeněk Bažant, a professor of Civil Engineering and Materials Science at Northwestern University, who had published a paper shortly after 9/11 focusing on the collapses of WTC 1 and 2. Entitled “Why Did the World Trade Center Collapse?—Simple Analysis,” Bažant’s paper presented “a simplified approximate analysis of the overall collapse of the towers of World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001.”

Noting the many shortcomings in Bažant’s analysis, which have been studied and criticized extensively since 2001, Korol and his colleagues set out to apply a much more rigorous methodology for analyzing WTC 7, which, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), collapsed from normal office fires. As Korol explains, “WTC 7 is a particularly useful example, because there isn’t the concern about trying to predict the amount of heat generated by spewing jet fuel and having it ignited within a building. It’s the materials within the building that generate the heat release.”

The greater certainty about the material properties involved would allow the team to evaluate whether WTC 7 could have collapsed as a result of burning materials being ejected from WTC 1 and igniting fires on the 12th and 13th floors. The team’s analysis eventually led them to conclude that even with very high estimates for the amount of combustible materials present in office buildings — using the maximum amounts allowed in the building codes — and making many other generous assumptions, such as having two floors “totally ablaze with raging inferno fires,” WTC 7 still would not collapse.

NIST could not have been correct in claiming that such a failure mechanism could have resulted in the collapse.

Korol’s July 2015 paper, “Performance-based fire protection of office buildings: A case study based on the collapse of WTC 7,” used accepted equations associated with thermodynamics and heat transfer to determine how much heat could be generated from office fires. Studying the type of fire that would occur in a typical office arrangement with cubicle partitions, he and his fellow researchers derived the temperature that would have been reached based on the heat release rate of combustible materials identified by NIST and others.

Given that high burn rates do not generally last longer than about 30 minutes and that fires in office buildings do not occur over entire floors simultaneously, Korol says that the assumption of having the entire area of the 12th and 13th floors ablaze was “a ridiculously conservative estimate for the purposes of determining the consequences to the building.” Even then, the researchers showed the temperatures to be insufficient to push a girder off its seat near Column 79, thus disproving NIST’s claim that such a failure mechanism initiated the collapse of the building.

In the subsequent February 2016 paper, “The collapse of WTC 7: A re-examination of the “simple analysis” approach,” Korol considered the “virtually impossible circumstance” that the building experienced an inferno on two adjacent stories simultaneously. Noting that collapses do not occur instantaneously, Korol explains that even if two-thirds of the columns in a building are somehow “wiped out by virtue of the high heat, then the remaining one-third would still be sufficient to prevent collapse.”

According to Korol, Bažant assumed that any possible collapse would only be localized in the form of a plastic hinge; however, Korol’s team went further in terms of assessing the capacity of the columns. “Whereas Bažant assumed that there was only bending energy, we say these columns were resisting load axially — and Bažant ignored that.”


Robert Korol 2

Dr. Korol has done extensive research on the axial loading properties of steel columns and beams.
He appeared in the documentary “9/11 in the Academic Community,” and is seen here in his laboratory in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Korol’s team painstakingly analyzed what would happen if WTC 7 experienced fire-induced failures of more than two-thirds of the columns on both floors 12 and 13. The researchers performed lab tests to determine the amount of resistance for the upper block of WTC 7 to come down to the floor level of story 13. Assuming that the floor slabs of floors 12 and 13 were so hot that the concrete was pulverized without any applied load (an unrealistically generous assumption), the only energy associated with the structure in those two stories would have been that of the 26 columns that had not yet failed. Accounting for the remaining amount of resistance in the building, Korol et al. found that while the 11th story would collapse, there was still enough remaining energy in the building that the structure would not fail below that point.

“There is no way the building is going to come down.” ~ Dr. Korol

Korol and his colleagues also undertook tests at McMaster University with regard to pulverization of concrete that is typically specified for floors incorporating ductile steel to restrain lateral motion. He explains, “Crushing is not an effective way of transforming brittle material into pulverized material. When you combine that with the 82 columns, there is no way the building is going to come down.”

Dr. Korol and his team are not yet done with their work. They are now conducting a study of the potential for fire-induced collapse of steel-framed office buildings in general, using a 50-story building as an example. The study will examine eight different fire scenarios, four of which will consider 4 adjacent stories experiencing raging fires as might be conceived from airplane strikes at various height locations. This work builds on the research described in the two papers discussed here — and none of the scenarios being studied has resulted in a complete building collapse.

The question that remains to be answered is whether Korol’s peers in their engineering community will begin to pay attention — or if they will, instead, continue to accept on blind faith NIST’s fantastical explanation for the destruction of WTC 7.

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G4S, a U.K.-based security multinational, admitted to having personnel deployed at “remote sites” where Native Americans are defending their lands from the planned US$3.8-million Dakota Access pipeline that they say would pollute the drinking water of millions.

The actions have brought together over 200 tribes in solidarity and faced a heavy offensive by private security companies and state officers deployed under a state of emergency.

The security company has been under fire for providing services to Israeli prisons and settlements, expanding across the Middle East including Afghanistan and Iraq and operating juvenile detention centers and handling deportations from the U.S.

In an email to teleSUR, G4S Communications Director Monica Lewman-Garcia wrote, “G4S Secure Solutions is providing fewer than 10 security officers, assigned to remote sites, providing limited short-term unarmed patrol services.”

G4S recently published a new job opening for an armed custom protection security officer in Mandan, North Dakota—next to the campsites—which was reposted on Facebook by Lakota Sioux Tribe member Olowaan Plain.

Lewman-Garcia said that “there are other names” of security companies but failed to name any others. She would not answer other questions and was not available to speak by phone.

Organizers told teleSUR that 10-Code LLC, a local veteran-run company, is also providing security, but they were not able to be reached.

A direct action to stop construction on Saturday ended in security deploying dogs, who bit six people including a pregnant woman and a child. The private security forces also maced 30 people, activists said. G4S officers “were not present and not involved at the location where the incident occurred,” wrote Lewman-Garcia.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which set up the Sacred Stone Camp in April, was denied a request for a temporary restraining order against the companies behind the pipeline Tuesday. It filed the request after construction workers bulldozed “burial sites, prayer sites and culturally significant artifacts,” said tribal chairman David Archambault II in a press statement.

Over 200 tribes and First Nations and over 100 organizations and businesses, including an Ohio mosque, have signed statements of solidarity with the protests, which are said to be the largest Native American mobilization in almost 150 years.

The state has mobilized armed patrols and requested the help of federal officials following an emergency declaration and a state of emergency, justified by claims of “hundreds of criminal acts” and “outside agitators,” according to North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple—a claim that protesters deny.

The state homeland security director also pulled out state-owned water and medical services to punish “unlawful” protesters and ensure “equipment is secure.”

The FBI has also been sent to investigate “laser strikes” against a surveillance aircraft circling the camp. Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said the planes were there to ensure public safety, but people at the site said they were used to disrupt cell phone signals. Occupiers also complained about limited freedom of movement, with armed military checkpoints restricting entrance to the camps.

Meanwhile, the Red Warrior Camp has been continuing its direct actions at construction sites, which led the Army Corps of Engineers to support Tuesday’s temporary halt to some construction work on the basis of “ensuring peace.”

Two week-long solidarity protests have started across the country, targeting other companies benefiting from the pipeline, like Citibank and TD Securities.

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In a few days it will be the 15th anniversary of 9/11, and this November 22 will be the 53rd anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas. These two state crimes against democracy destroyed American democracy, accountable government, and the Constitution’s protections of civil liberty.

Years after the damage done by these events the American people no longer believe the official stories. Neither does the government, but the government will never validate the distrust that Americans now share of the oligarchs’ government by acknowledging the truth.

The official explanation of the assassination of President Kennedy never made any sense. Videos of the assassination contradicted the official story, as did witnesses, and many credible people challenged the government’s story. The CIA was faced with the official explanation becoming unglued and launched its media program stigmatizing doubters as “conspiracy theorists.”


The CIA’s psych warfare against the public succeeded at the time and for a number of years during which witnesses had mysterious deaths and the trail grew cold. But by the late 1970s there was so much public skepticism of the official story that the US Congress took the risk of being labeled “conspiracy kooks.” The House Select Committee on Assassinations reopened the inquiry into JFK’s murder. The House Committee concluded that the Warren Commission’s investigation was seriously flawed, that there was more than one person firing at President Kennedy and that there was a conspiracy to assassinate JFK.

The corrupt US Department of Justice (sic) contradicted the House Select Committee’s report. However, the American people believed the Select Committee and not the corrupt Justice (sic) Department, which never tells the truth about anything.

By 2013 polls showed that most Americans are “conspiracy kooks” who do not believe the official government line on JFK’s assassination. So with regard to JFK’s assassination, the “conspiracy theorists” are in the majority. The minority are the Americans who cannot escape their brainwashing.

In a few days it will be the 15th anniversary of the alleged al Qaeda attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, and we are witnessing the fading protection that the charge of “conspiracy theorist” provides for the officlal government story. Indeed, the official 9/11 story is collapsing before our eyes.

Europhysics, the respected publicaton of the European physics community has pubished an article by scientists who conclude that

“the evidence points overwhelmingly to the conclusion that all three [World Trade Center] buildings were destroyed by controlled demolition.”

Few American scientists can admit this, because their careers depend on US government and military/security complex research contracts. Independent scientists in the US are a vanishing breed, an endangered species.

The scientists say that in view of their findings, “it is morally imperative” that 9/11 “be the subject of a truly scientific and impartial investigation by responsible authorities.”

So now we are faced with a peculiar situation. The scientifically ignorant two-bit punk American presstitutes claim to know more than the editors of the journal of the European physics community and the scientists who did the investigation. Don’t you think it farfetched that ignorant, corrupt, and cowardly American journalists who lie for money know more than physicists, chemists, 2,700 high-rise architects and structural engineers who have called on the US Congress to launch a real investigation of 9/11, firefighters and first responders who were on the WTC scene, military and civilian pilots and former high government officials, all of whom are on record challenging the unbelievable and physically impossible official story of 9/11? What kind of a moron does a person have to be to believe that the United States government and its media know better than the laws of physics?

The ability of the presstitutes to influence Americans seems to be on the decline. The media ganged up on Donald Trump during the Republican primaries, intending to deny Trump the nomination. But the voters ignored the presstitutes. In the current presidential campaign, Hillary is not the run-away winner that the presstitutes are trying to make her. And despite the propaganda ministry, the legs under the official 9/11 story are wobbly, to say the least.

Indeed, the official 9/11 story already has lost credibility with the American public. Last April a Rasmussen Poll found that “Americans doubt they’ve been told all the facts about the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States and strongly believe the government should come clean.”

A YouGov poll in 2013 found that 50 percent of Americans “have doubts about the government’s account of 9/11,” which shows that the public is far more intelligent and less corrupt than the presstitutes who are paid to lie to the public. This poll also found that as a consequence of the cover-up job performed by the American presstitutes, 46 percent of Americans were not even aware that a third WTC building, Building 7, collapsed on September 11. After viewing films of WTC 7’s collapse, 46 percent saw it as a controlled demolition. By a margin of two to one, poll respondants support a new investigation of Building 7’s collapse.

So, in America today “conspiracy kooks” outnumber those who believe the official lies. As the official lies are themselves conspiracy theories, Americans who disbelieve the official conspiracy theories outnumber Americans who believe official conspiracy theories. The question is: who are the real conspiracy kooks, the majority who disbelieve the official lies or the minority who believe the official lies?

It is curious that the CIA’s psych-op mind-control has broken down in the cases of the JFK assassination and 9/11, but is still effective in more recently orchestrated events, such as San Bernardino, Orlando, Paris, and Nice. Perhaps this is because not enough time has passed for the public to pay attention to the vast difference between the stories and the evidence.

The Internet offers many refutations of the official accounts. With regard to Nice, France, the Nice police officials themselves are having problems with the official story. The French Anti-Terrorist Sub-Directorate in Paris has ordered the public authorities in Nice to delete the video recordings from security cameras of the “Nice Terror Truck Attack.” The Nice authorities refused on the grounds that this would be destruction of criminal evidence. This story has disappeared from the news. I have asked friends in France how this conflict was resolved and have not heard anything. The French like to live life well and faced with the refugees from Washington’s wars, they seem to be focused on living life well while it can be done. If I hear anything, I will pass it on.

Apparently, the order to delete the video evidence of the “attack” was not sufficient for the French Ministry of the Interior. According to a senior Nice police officer, Sandra Bertin, the Interior Ministry pressured her to falsify her police report on the Nice “truck massacre.” Officer Bertin told the Journal du Dimanche that “he ordered me to put in [the report] the specific positions of the national police which I had not seen on the screen.”

The Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve is suing the Nice police official for “defamation,” as if it is possible to defame any politician anywhere in the corrupt West. 

Moreover, why would a senior Nice official make up a story about being ordered to change a report? It doesn’t make any sense, does it? Clearly, the central government is trying to hide the evidence against the official story.

It seems that the French media is disposing of the Nice police official by branding her a rightwing racist opposed to the current government.

Watch this video and ignore the narrator’s four-letter vocabulary. What you will learn is that all those people you saw running in the presstitute TV reports had no idea why they were running. The presstitutes created the impression that they were running away from the truck. However, as the interviews show, they were running because other people were running, because the police told them “terrorists, run,” and because they heard shots (apparently police firing blanks). Those interviewed reported, “You run with them even though you have no idea what you are running from. You can’t help it, you run with them.” None of those running away ever saw a truck.

According to the foul-mouthed narrator, the film of the people running away was taken prior to the time the truck allegedly mowed down 185 people, killing 85 of them. The narrator appears to be correct if the time stamps on videos are correct. The narrator says the streets needed to be cleared for the crisis actors to put on their show that is used to control our minds about what happened.

I have pointed out that a truck that hit 185 people, killing 85 of them would be covered in blood and that bodies would be splattered all over the street with blood everywhere. Yet, the photos and videos that we are shown show no such evidence. The stopped truck on which police are directing gunfire is as white as snow.

Independently of the vast analysis online of the video evidence of the alleged “Nice attack,” I suspect the Nice “terror attack” for the same reason that the Pentagon attack is suspect. Despite all the contrary evidence against the official stories, the authorities refuse to release the video evidence that, if it shows what the authorities claim, would shut up the skeptics and prove the official story.

When a government claims it has video evidence that proves its official story but refuses to release it, indeed, demands the destruction of the video evidence, we know for an absolute fact that the video evidence totally contradicts the official story. That is the only possible conclusion.

My readers will write to me asking how the government expects to get away with its faked, and in the case of 9/11 false flag, terror orchestrations? The answer, perhaps, is that just as it took a long time for the JFK assassination and 9/11 lies to catch up with the government, the recent orchestrations will also take some time for a slowly awakening public to catch on. In the meantime the orchestrated events will serve the agendas that they are intended to serve, and by the time that the public sees through the orchestrations, a new situation will be in place with new orchestrations.

Keep in mind that the public thinks it is shown evidence. Newspapers need photos to give a visual dimension to their coverage, and TV needs videos of the events. News organizations are under a time pressure, and they have to use what they are handed or what is at hand. There is no time to scrutinize the visual material or to raise questions about it. Most of the public thinks that the photos and videos shown to them are evidence or would not be shown and accepts the visual evidence without question. In an earlier column I linked to the vast array of Nice photos provided in the UK Daily Mail. The photos show a calm situation. There are a few people lying in the street without any sign of bodily damage or blood and there are covered objects that the public assumes are dead people.

But the streets are devoid of the splattered blood and mangled bodies that would be the consequence of a truck hitting 185 people. Similarly, we have been shown very few videos and their origin is unknown except for the one attributed to Richard Gutjahr who was apparently pre-positioned to film inconclusively both the Nice and German “terror attacks.” Online analysis of the videos shows that the videos are not evidence for the storyline. The real question is why the French Interior Minister has prevented the release and demanded destruction of the security camera videos that filmed the entire event, an order that brought the central government in Paris in conflict with the public authorities in Nice. There has been no US media interest whatsoever in this very strange event. It is not a “conspiracy theory” to ask why the public cannot see the video evidence that shows what actually happened.

What agenda is served by the Paris and Nice attacks? This is the question everyone should be asking and the media, if we had one, should be investigating. With the information currently available to me, my answer is this. Of all the peoples of Western Europe, the French are the most independently minded. French independence has taken a number of recent hits from Washington:

The largest French bank was forced to hand over $9 billion to Washington for doing business with a country on Washington’s disapproval list.

Washington forced France to cancel a lucrative ship-building program for Russia, to the detriment of French companies and shipyard workers.

Washington has forced France into a diplomatic conflict with Russia that the French do not want and into a looming military conflict which the French want even less, as the conflict would mean the vaporization of France. As one Russian SS-18 can wipe out three-fourths of the state of New York, how many do you think it would take to wipe France off of the face of the Earth? Not even a handful.

Keep in mind that in 1966 President Charles de Gaulle pulled France out of NATO on the grounds that it was necessary to preserve French independence in world affairs. France did not again submit to Washington’s control until 2009 when Washington-owned Nicolas Sarkozy, put into the French presidency by Washington’s money, followed his orders and rejoined NATO.

The Paris and Nice orchestrated events serve to scare France back into Washington’s arms. Dreams of independence become nightmares when independence leaves the French people at the mercy of both terrorists and Russians. Washington, who owns Sarkozy, who is once again Washington’s candidate for president of France, intends to keep France in NATO.

The article in Europhysics pointing out the impossibility of the official 9/11 story could possibly lead to a rebirth of skepticism among Europeans. Only a skeptical media willing to investigate government storylines can bring a halt to the staged terror events that serve secret agendas.

Keep in mind that the US government has plentiful video evidence of the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon but refuses to release the evidence that it says support its story. Similarly, the French federal government has prohibited Nice authorities from releasing the security camera videos of the Nice truck attack and has ordered the video evidence destroyed. How can we believe governments that refuse to show us the hard evidence?

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the WestHow America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order. was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the WestHow America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

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The team of former British PM Tony Blair issued a statement after the media reported that the keynote speech of the foreign politician in Bucharest was paid by a businessman that was looking to get elected in the Romanian Parliament.

According to anti-graft prosecutors at the DNA, the businessman paid EUR 220,000 so that the foreign politician [Blair] could come to Romania at a conference. In exchange, the businessman was put off the candidates list of left wing party PSD, which was led in 2012 by former PM Victor Ponta.

The DNA said the businessman is Sebastian Ghita, a close friend of Ponta who became deputy in the Parliament four years ago.

“Mister Blair was invited in Romania to hold a speech about the future of Europe, responding to an invite of the Multimedia Foundation for Democracy. The amount that Mr. Blair got from the foundation was fully donated for the charity activity of Tony Blair”, said the communication team of the ex-British PM in a statement, quoted by Antena 3 TV station.

Prosecutors said that the payment was made through intermediaries so that nobody would suspect Ponta that he came up with the idea of inviting Blair into the country.

The British politician held his speech in March 2012, months before the elections for Parliament. In the summer of 2012, a political coalition led by Victor Ponta was able to suspend president Traian Basescu following a vote in Parliament, but his impeachment was rejected in a popular referendum vote due to insufficient turnout.

Ghita is prosecuted for complicity to money laundering, while Ponta is investigated for use of influence for gaining for himself or others money, goods or other undue benefits and for complicity to money laundering.

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Large-scale political and economic challenges are confronting the US multi-national corporate elite.  Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Pfizer and scores of other multinational tax evaders are facing the triple threat of multi-billion dollar fines, the redistribution of their wealth and the possible reintroduction of equitable socio-economic programs, which could undermine their power.

Washington-backed exporters and financiers, eager to impose free trade agreements on European and Asian business classes, have been faced with stiff resistance and outright rejection.

In Latin America, the Obama administration recently installed neo-liberal regimes in Argentina and Brazil, provoking massive opposition from small and medium sized firms driven into bankruptcy by their harsh policies.

Intense intra-capitalist rivalries are no longer confined to the conference table:  Open warfare, involving large-scale transfers of capital, has undermined the foundation of international capitalist class solidarity.  While working class movements and mass protests still occur, the fundamental internal capitalist antagonism toward the US Empire has become the driving force of the current upheavals.

We will identify the alignment of forces and the implications of these challenges to the power and wealth of the multi-national corporations.  We will then highlight the break-up of the free trade treaties and the demise of US dominance in Europe and Asia. In the final section, we will focus on the rise and decline of the latest US interventions to subordinate Latin America to its domination, starting with the legislative  coup in Brazil and the conflicts in Argentina.

The European Commission and Apple ‘s Tax Evasion

The European Commission (EC) imposed an initial $13 billion penalty on the Apple Corporation for tax evasion – with tens of billions of more fines to come.  The EC announced that Apple’s ridiculous 0.005% corporate tax rate in Ireland was a form of theft, exposing its phony posture as a defender of human rights and a paragon of corporate social responsibility.  Scores of the biggest US multi-nationals have set-up overseas operations, especially in Ireland, specifically to avoid paying taxes.  These include Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Pfizer and scores of others among the   ‘Fortune five hundred’.

Apple’s multi-billion-dollar tax scams were possible because of support from the US Treasury, Commerce and Trade Departments.  Indeed, Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew, launched a tirade against the European Commission, threatening retaliation, claiming that these US tax swindles were vital to the security of world trade.  Wall Street flunky, Senator Charles Schumer called the EU penalty ‘a cheap money grab’ and threatened to start a trade war with Europe if the Democrats regain power in the upcoming Senatorial and Congressional elections.

The entire US imperial edifice operates through corrupt multi-national corporate tax swindlers who control and direct their politician stooges who, in turn, intimidate, submissive European regimes (like Ireland).  The system is now being challenged by rival European economic powers intent on reducing the US tax advantages to increase their competitiveness.  The growing competition over profits, markets and tax receipts has important political implications as the US dominance of Europe depends on the supremacy of its multi-nationals.

US taxpayers subsidize the US multi-nationals even when they relocate jobs abroad to cheap labor markets and move their corporate head offices to low-tax countries.  The result is that the US government has to increase the tax burden on wage- salaried workers and small businesspeople to finance social programs and critical infrastructure because the US multinationals have moved their ‘addresses’ to tax havens.

As Europe tightens the squeeze on the US billionaire tax fraudsters, Washington will retaliate by mobilizing its own stable of European flunkies and the ever-compliant US Senators.  Capitalist warfare may increase ‘nationalist’ rancor and undermine Atlantic trade treaties.

The End of Atlantic and Pacific Trade Agreements

In demanding an end to negotiations with the US over the trans-Atlantic trade deal, the French minister for foreign trade summed up his country’s position: “There is no political support from France for those negotiations. . . the Americans give nothing or just crumbs”.  Throughout Europe politicians of the Left and Right have pointed out that closer ties with the US undermine their business deals with Russia and China, dilute environmental protection and abolish workers’ rights.

Parallel developments are taking place in Asia with regard to the trans-Pacific trade deal: The US has failed to convince Asian countries to sign bilateral and multilateral trade pacts designed to exclude China.

Asia’s increasing use of China’s currency (the renminbi) shows that the Anglo-American bloc has declined as the center of foreign exchange markets and trade.  The US no longer dominates Asia:  Even its former colony, the Philippines, has made overtures to China.   Cambodia has granted China extended use of a deep-water port, strengthening Beijing’s position as the dominant maritime power in Asia.  The US ally, Australia increasingly depends on trade with Beijing.  China’s mix of public-private capitalism has out-muscled the US in Asian markets while deepening its trade links with Russia, Iran, the Gulf States, Africa and Latin America.

To the extent that international capitalism has ‘recovered’ from the economic crisis of the recent past, it is thanks to Chinese–Asia capitalism.  The policy failures of the US Treasury, Commerce and Trade departments have led to calls for protectionism – domestically with the Trump campaign – and growing militarism among both candidates.

Increasingly the struggle for world markets among regional capitalist blocs- Anglo-American, European and Sino-Asian –defines the nature of global instability.

Latin America:  The Rebellion of the Middle Class

On the surface, Washington and Wall Street have gained some important political victories:  In Argentina, the Mauricio Macri regime has imposed an economic agenda totally in line with Washington’s free trade demands.  In Brazil, Washington successfully promoted the legislative coup impeaching the center-left government of President Dilma Rousseff and installing the corrupt Vice President Temer .The proxy regime is dedicated to de-nationalizing and privatizing strategic, lucrative sectors of the economy.

In Venezuela, Washington’s proxies who have gained control of the congress are organizing to oust the left-of-center Maduro government through street protests, sabotage and the hoarding of vital commodities.

Nevertheless the image of middle class and local capitalist support for Washington’s agenda is proving ephemeral.  Once installed at the top, the US-backed local proxies are rapidly imposing brutal austerity policies that undermine middle class and, of course, working class support.

After merely nine months in power, Argentine President Macri and his Washington backers face open opposition from the entire range of small and medium size businesses.

Inflation and deflation, utility price increases of 400% to 1000% have bankrupted at least a fourth of small-scale commercial and medium-size business firms in Argentina.  Thousands have massed in the streets.  On September 2, a broad based multi-class demonstration of several hundred thousand took over the famous Plaza de Mayo in the center of Buenos Aires to denounce Macri’s devastating neo-liberal agenda.

Similar mass actions are erupting in Brazil, as the US-backed Temer regime slashes government budget subsidies, credit and public investments.  His public approval rating (never high because of his own corruption) has dropped to a single digit.

In a short time the business class has become deeply divided between the top tier, linked to international capital, and the middle and lower tiers.  The initial consensus opposing the left-populist government has rapidly disintegrated while the unity of the capitalist class has collapsed.


In the current phase of global capitalism, the most striking socio-economic dynamics are located in the deepening intra-capitalist conflicts between regions, nations and among segments of the capitalist class.  The ideologues of capitalist globalization and  regional integration are finally exposed as false prophets.  Attempts by the US to impose a new world order that subordinates Europe and Asia have failed; the US now faces internal dissension, notably in US Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s ‘American First’ campaign, pressing for ‘national solutions’.

The European capitalist elite is now only willing to collaborate with Washington where US-Europe trade agreements can be mutually beneficial – they openly reject being reduced to ‘reaping crumbs.’  National capitalism has emerged as the new reality on both sides of the Atlantic and across the globe in Asia, as China emerges as the dominant economic force in the region.  China’s quest to secure global markets and investment sites has set in motion rival nationalist alignments, which threaten US regional power.

Rebellions by capitalist political elites are the ‘new norm’ everywhere.  Multi-national rivalries over tax evasion and its consequences are leading to ‘tit-for-tat’ reprisals, which can rupture historical ties.

Latin American capitalist triumphs over the left are short-lived, as the different segments engage in violent divisions and realignments.

The ultra-militarist US is incapable of establishing a stable world capitalist order under its direction.  Instead, we now find a multiplicity of capitals and competing state regimes with subordinate and divided segments of the capitalist class.  Trans-Atlantic and Pacific unity fractures, and each sub-region seeks its own socio-economic partners.  Trade talks cease and acrimony reigns.

Given the US total reliance on military-driven empire building, this post-imperial emergence of national and class rivalries is more likely to lead to war than to a new just social order. 

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Beni Territory sits in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC’s) North Kivu Province, bordering Rwanda and Uganda. Rich in oil, timber, gold, diamonds, wolfram, coltan and cassiterite, Beni is a vivid example of the phrase, “Everybody wants a piece of Congo.” Now the indigenous people of Beni are being massacred for their land and its riches. 

The massacres in Beni Territory began in 2014. Estimates are that 60 people are killed every month. After the Aug. 13, 2016 massacres, the number of victims rose above 1,200.

There is little doubt that the massacres are occurring because Beni is so rich in resources essential to the manufacture of modern life in the industrialized nations. However, Boniface Musavuli, Congolese human rights defender and author of Congolese Genocides from Léopold II to Paul Kagame, says that the aggression has been falsely attributed to Ugandan Islamist rebels. The truth is, he said, that the killers are Rwandans and Ugandans who want to eliminate indigenous Congolese people.

“In reality, killers in Beni are individuals who are coming from Rwanda and neighboring Uganda. Their goal is to severely eliminate indigenous peoples in order to take ownership of their land, which is rich in resources.”

Longstanding U.S. allies and military partners Rwanda and Uganda have long been accused of trying to annex the resource rich portions of eastern Congo across their borders. U.S. policymakers and pundits have advocated carving independent states out of eastern Congo as South Sudan was carved out of Sudan despite the war and human catastrophe that ensued. Advocates of partition have included Herman Cohen, a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Johnnie Carson, another former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, and John Prendergast, humanitarian militarist crusader and co-founder of the corporate funded ENOUGH Project to End Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity.  ENOUGH operates under the umbrella of the Democratic Party’s corporate funded propaganda and influence peddling operation, The Center for American Progress (CAP).

Beginning in 2014, Reuters, AP, and VOA wires reported that the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), a phantom Ugandan Islamist group with alleged ties to Al Qaeda, Al Shabab, Boko Haram and even the Taliban, was responsible for the massacres in Beni. Many scoffed at the idea that this militia had suddenly reappeared after years of inactivity and recent reports by UN investigators have finally proven the Islamist militia theory to be a fraud.

Musavuli said that the Congolese government may have used the Islamist extremist explanation to appeal to Western sympathizers and hide the fact that its own military officers were complicit in attacks on the indigenous people of Beni Territory. “We always wonder why the Congolese government continues to attribute the killings in Beni to Islamist terrorism. Perhaps, for the government of Kinshasa, it is a way to attract the sympathy of Western countries which are facing the Islamist terrorism themselves. But what is true is that several reports have claimed that the killings in Beni are the acts of individuals operating with the complicity of the authorities, including mainly military officers.”

Many Congolese believe that the Congolese government of President Joseph Kabila is complicit in Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s attempts to annex portions of eastern Congo, and that Kabila needs Kagame and Museveni’s support to cling to power beyond presidential term limits. They point to new massacres in Beni that occurred shortly after recent meetings between the three presidents.

Neither the U.S. government nor its NATO allies have chosen to add the indigenous people of Beni to their list of worthy victims crying out for humanitarian military intervention.  MONUSCO, the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in DR Congo (DRC), has been either uninterested or ineffective in stopping the massacres.
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hillary clinton1

Fabricated Claims About Russian “Covert Plot” to Disrupt US Elections

By Stephen Lendman, September 08 2016

Hillary is so irreparably tainted and unfit to serve, her key strategy is diverting attention from her wrongdoing two ways – bashing Trump beyond customary campaign jousting and spreading misinformation and Big Lies about Russia, using the media as press agents to do her dirty work.


A Lousy Dancer: Putin’s Getting Blamed for All of Hillary’s Problems

By Israel Shamir, September 08 2016

A lousy dancer blames the uneven floor, and Mme Clinton had proven to be an unexpectedly lousy dancer in the competition for the presidency against the blundering New York tycoon. We would expect her to win or lose graciously, as befits a former First Lady, but gosh, she is clumsy – and blames her lack of grace on poor Mr Putin.

Hillary Clinton, a katz /

Hillary Clinton, a Neocon and a War Hawk. Would the World Survive a “Killary Presidency”?

By Steven MacMillan, September 08 2016

“There has never been a man or a women – not me, not Bill, nobody – more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as the President of the United States of America” – Barack Obama speaking at the Democratic National Convention. There he goes… the liar in chief is at it again: inverting reality and spouting some of the most transparent BS in modern history. The fact that Obama can stand up there and give such an outlandish endorsement of Killary is truly emblematic of his main strength: his ability to deceive.


China Challenges US Dollar Hegemony, Seeks New Global Financial Order

By Ariel Noyola Rodríguez, September 08 2016

During the first Annual Summit organized by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in Beijing, China has shown her intention to take over the global leadership in infrastructure investment. By the end of this year, AIIB would have more than 100 members, making it the first lending institution in multilateral loans in history, under the control of the most important emerging countries. Yet, it is expected that she makes the decision of dropping off the Dollar, as it is the only way to break away from US hegemony in international finance.


Islamic State, Lone Wolf Attacks, and Australia

By Dr. Binoy Kampmark, September 08 2016

Those imaginative creatures scribbling for Rumiyah, an Islamic State publication that combines wishful thinking with equally wishful views of the world, decided to shine a spotlight on Australia.  Well done indeed. “Light the ground beneath them aflame and scorch them with terror.” This agitated language had been motivated, in part, by the death of Ezzit Raad, an Australian jailed in connection with the 2005 plot to blow up the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Raad left Australia with brother Majed in 2013, months after his release. Islamic State subsequently announced that Raad was killed in July in the Syrian city of Manbij or, as Rumiyah preferred, when “a piece of shrapnel struck him and tore his chest open.”

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The EU migration crisis is still at the top of the agenda. Various political forces are trying to use this problem for their own benefit, often forgetting that most of the refugees from the Middle East and Africa who arrived in the EU in the last two years did so out of fear for their lives. They traded their modest but stable and predictable lives for chaos, loss of loved ones, poverty of refugee camps, criminality of city outskirts, and ostracism by the EU populace.

In reality, the second decade of the 21st century, which only a quarter century ago was predicted to be socially progressive and technologically creative, saw millions of people displaced from their homelands due to their desire to simply survive physically.

The EU saw the arrival of 1,353,000 migrants in 2015. Germany received 539 thousand, Sweden 152 thousand, Hungary 149 thousand, and Italy and Austria 90 thousand apiece, according to Eurostat. Over 3,700 migrants have perished on the way to Europe in 2015.

Meanwhile, Germany will not reconsider its migration policies even after the series of terrorist attacks, according to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s statement on July 28. She emphasized that Germany will do everything possible to ensure security in a way consistent with humanitarian values.

Moreover, she stated that “Germany will continue to adhere to its principles and offer shelter to all who deserve it regardless of whether they come before September or after. There are enough volunteers and helpers to help everyone who wishes to live in peace in Germany. However, our understanding of freedom and security is being tested. We once again have to find balance among them. Terrorists want us to discard our key beliefs. They want to divide our society, our cooperation, they want to attack our way of life, our openness, and they want to prevent us from meeting others. They are sowing hatred among peoples. We are finally taking measures against them. I have told this to the entire German government and security services, including federal authorities.” Merkel added that the FRG will accelerate the deportation of those whose refugee status was denied.

In normative terms, Merkel was referring to the 1951 Geneva Convention on Refugees which states that practically all unlawful migrants arriving in the EU have the right to refugee status. Refugees may not be deported if they are in danger in countries from which they arrived.  Moreover, the Convention views any individual who “due to justified concerns of becoming a victim of persecution due to race, faith, citizenship, social group membership, or political beliefs, has found himself outside one’s country of citizenship and can’t use that country’s protection or does not wish to use that protection due to concern for safety” as a refugee.

The treatment of refugees is moreover enshrined in the UN Declaration of Human Rights which likewise speaks to the individuals right to seek asylum, cross borders in search of protection from persecution, and seek preservation of individual freedoms and dignity, etc. These lofty ideals are increasingly being challenged by the facts on the ground in the form of the steadily deteriorating situation both in the EU (including Germany) and the EU’s politically relevant immediate neighborhood from which the refugees, thanks to “regime change” and “color revolution” policies supported by EU’s member states, originate.

Since the situation in the Middle East and North Africa is not improving, and will generate new waves of migration which will likewise be beyond German or EU bureaucracy’s ability to cope, due to their inability to rethink their approaches to the problem. This will lead to the worsening of migrants’ welfare, and to further splits within the society.

Given the dire circumstances among the displaced persons, their societal marginalization and inability or unwillingness to assimilate, humanitarian efforts are failing. Crime and inter-ethnic conflict is on the rise, and terrorists’ appeals are finding willing recruits among the youth.

Organized crime groups in large German cities are trying to recruit the refugees living in shelters into their ranks. They are mainly interested in young, strong, and fit males who are to perform the dirty work, such as drug trade, robberies, and burglaries. According to the German police labor union head Bodo Pfaltzgraff, there are reports that as soon as a new refugee camp is opened, a few days later large black limos arrive there to begin recruitment. Berlin chief prosecutor for organized crime Sjors Kamstr explains that the migrants’ lack of knowledge of German pushes them into the arms of those who speak their native language. Large German cities, in particular Berlin, Bremen, and Essen, are experiencing serious problems with Arab criminal family clans. Police estimate Berlin is the home to 15-20 such clans which have participated in unlawful activities, which up to 9 thousand members, according to several sources in Germany.

Moreover, European media are worried by the mass kidnappings of children who arrived in Europe as refugees. Authorities can’t account for thousands of children who arrived in the EU. According to Interpol, up to 10 thousand adolescents disappeared without a trace since the crisis began. There is a possibility organized crime groups are deliberately targeting them for exploitation of various types.

EU law enforcement is convinced that unlawful human trafficking is a quick-profit multi-billion-dollar business controlled by over 40 thousand members of various criminal syndicates, says the Financial Times. Europol has described a broad spectrum of criminal activities revolving around the migration crisis: document forgeries, bribes, sexual exploitation of children, prostitution, slave labor. Moreover, organized crime is exploiting migrants in restaurants and underground workshops. In southern Italy, local syndicates are forcing migrants to work in agriculture. The organizers have arrived in the EU from the same countries as the current refugees, and already had residence permits or passports by the time the crisis began. The ongoing migration crisis is not only useful to the crime syndicates, but also criminal  bankers since they are engaged in money laundering associated with trafficking. According to a Europol report, last year criminal groups earned up to $6 billion on the migration wave that flooded Europe. Nine out of 10 migrants arriving in the EU in 2015 used the services far-flung criminal networks operating along migrant movement routes. In 2015 alone, approximately 1 million migrants arrived in the EU, and most of them paid between 3 and 6 thousand Euro. Thus the human traffickers’ profit is estimated to have reached somewhere in the vicinity of 5-6 billion dollars.

Indicative of the general state of denial, the German Federal Criminal Police claim that native Germans commit no fewer crimes than the migrants, and perhaps even more. “The existing trends show that the migrants are no more crime-prone than other population groups in Germany. The majority of migrants don’t violate laws, they came to our country hoping for protection and peace,” says the FRG Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere.

If this situation is not to get worse, it would require the adoption of a revised approach, namely a unified, well-funded and comprehensive EU-level migration policy, consisting of protecting the rights of migrants, combating organized crime among ethnic groups, screening new arrivals, guaranteeing access to social services and labor markets, etc.  Otherwise the EU is risking a massive social explosion provoked by growing inter-ethnic and inter-religious conflict, and the constant perception of a growing terrorist threat. Unless addressed rapidly, these problems could be sufficient to destroy the already fragile EU common security framework.

The other increasingly plausible alternative is the “palestinianization” of the refugees on EU’s territory, which would actually represent a mere extension of the “no-go” zones increasingly in evidence in various major European urban agglomerations.

The original “no-go” zone, Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon are a classic ghetto, a state within a state. Neither the army not police venture there. Formally they are under UN jurisdiction, but they lead to a trapped, self-contained existence with all the seeming attributes of independence: armed forces, ideology, population, and even social policies, with only sovereign territory being absent.

According to UN, 2/3 of the 400 thousand refugees registered in Lebanon live in poverty, with unemployment reaching 70%. Palestinians themselves claim these numbers are even higher, 90% and 80%, respectively.

The sad state of the local Palestinian diaspora is due to the country’s government policies which are not aimed at assimilating these “guests.” Palestinians in Lebanon are de-facto prohibited from working, there is a “ban list” of 67 professions which they may not engage in no matter what. The remainder (mainly consisting of physical labor jobs) are open to the Palestinians, but only with the individual permit of the Ministry of Labor. These permits are all but impossible to obtain. Palestinians are also forbidden to do many other things. Some camps forbid repairing or building housing. However, since it can’t be enforced, army checkpoints around the camps simply stop anyone trying to bring in construction materials.

All Palestinians without exception are banned from buying real estate outside the camps. That law was adopted only in 2001, prior to which many managed to acquire an apartment or a plot of land. Recognizing that fact, Lebanese government adopted a law making it impossible to pass real estate from generation to generation. Once the owner dies, the property reverts to the Lebanese government.

After several Arab-Israeli wars, by the mid-1970s Lebanon and the UN lost control over all of the 15 camps which then came under control of armed movements which comprised the PLO under Yasser Arafat. As was expected, the PLO soon provoked a conflict with the Lebanese government. The ensuing civil war saw Palestinians take active part in the fighting. In 1982, the PLO’s existence outside UN’s control was used by Israel as an excuse to invade and to occupy Beirut. Saving themselves from Israeli forces, the leadership and many thousands of armed PLO fighters left for Tunisia. The unprotected camps fell victim to mass slaughter.

The surviving camps function under a “primeval” self-government, consisting of collegial structures such as people’s committees. They include the representatives of 12 influential Palestinian parties, the elders, and respected inhabitants of the camps. There is no tax collection. The committees only deal with questions of security, for which a small sum is collected from the camp’s inhabitants.

While it may seem that, at the moment, nothing of the sort could spring within the borders of the EU, the presence of practically permanent refugee camps and the growing number of the refugees mean that, unless action is taken soon, the “palestinianization” of EU’s refugees will take place by default, given the EU’s inability to take concerted action and financial constraints imposed by the European Central Bank and the EU Stability Pact. But the natural consequence of the “palestinianization” of the refugees will be the “lebanization” of the EU, which would spell the end of the European integration project and of the very idea for decades if not centuries to come.

Therefore what is left for the EU to do? The most obvious answers are:

  • The EU must quickly and honestly acknowledge the problem’s existence and its magnitude, as well as the failure of earlier policies.
  • It must quickly change its approach toward forming a unified migration policy and reaching out to migrants, ensuring their rights, and combating ethnic organized crime groups.
  • It must implement effective screening of the new arrivals, in order to quickly determine whether the individual is to be let in or sent back.
  • Those who are allowed to remain should gain access to social and medical services and the legal labor market.
  • Migrants ought to be ensured basic living conditions, similar to what was provided to the mass migration from USSR to Germany or to the Turkish labor migrants to Germany in late 20th century.

Can all that be done? Will it be done in time? Will that be enough? These are the most pressing questions of our time.

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At the end of July 2016 the US Peace Council delegation entered Syria on a very successful fact finding mission to support their campaign for an end to the universal suffering of the Syrian people perpetuated by the US and NATO member state military and propaganda war against Syria. A UK Peace delegation has followed hard on their heels led by Revd Andrew Ashdown and including members of the House of Commons and Lords, religious and academic emissaries.

The following is a report from SANA [Syrian Arab News Agency] on the meeting between Syrian President Bashar al Assad and the UK Peace delegation:

President Bashar al-Assad highlighted the importance of the visits paid by foreign delegations to Syria to the effect of exposing the falsification practiced by the Western media.

His remarks came during a meeting with the visiting British delegation that includes members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords and religious and academic figures.

The President elaborated that such visits and the opportunity of getting acquainted with the situation and facts on the ground would contribute to clearing the image and laying bare the falsification practiced by some Western media outlets against the people of their countries, especially that these media have political agendas that are in the interest of the governments and not the people.

As the talks focused on the terrorist war in Syria and the growing dangers of the terrorism and extremism on the region and the world, President al-Assad affirmed that the gravest danger facing the world now is that of the extremist mentality pervading the societies inside the region and beyond.

This mentality, the President said, is the underpinning of terrorism that has started recently to strike in many areas inside Europe and the Western countries in general.

He made it clear that in order to eliminate terrorism, one needs not only fighting it on the ground, but also confronting the ideology underlying it, which just knows no borders.

The British delegation members, for their part, said that having visited Syria and got to meet many Syrian officials and citizens, they can now work on conveying the truth and correcting the wrong vision which the British government and a large swath of the British public have on Syria, in addition to conveying the great deal of suffering the Syrians have to put with due to the terror crimes.

The series of Revd Andrew Ashdown’s reports from inside Syria prior to this important delegation can be found at 21st Century Wire: Voices from Syria


Prayers for Peace in War-torn Aleppo

A prayer for peace in Syria was held on Monday at the Armenian Evangelical Bethel Church in Aleppo city with the participation of the British delegation which is currently visiting Syria.

The participants prayed to God to preserve Aleppo and all Syria and restore safety and security to it.

For his part, Aleppo Governor Mohammad Marwan Olabi pointed out that Syria and Aleppo, in particular, have suffered a lot due to the crimes of terrorist organizations that are backed by Western countries, adding that the unjust terrorist war against Syria is accompanied by a dirty media warfare in which most of the Western media outlets have contributed through the falsification the reality and changing facts to serve the terrorist plan that is targeting Syria and its people.

In turn, the delegation members said that the visit aims at finding out more about the reality of the situation in Syria and forming a comprehensive picture far from what Western media outlets have published about Syria.

The British delegation includes parliamentary, academic and religious figures. ~ SANA


Meeting Dr Bouthaina Shaaban,  Political and Media Advisor to President Assad

Presidential Political and Media Advisor Bouthaina Shaaban said Thursday that the western media has become a hindrance between us and Western societies rather than a bridge of the fact, considering the European actions today are contrary to their words.

During a meeting with a British delegation comprising parliamentarians, academics and clergymen, Shaaban pointed out that the West should listen directly to the viewpoint of the Syrians since they are the owners of the land and not to what is circulated by the Western media and to convey Syria’s voice to the Western decision makers, especially in the European and British political establishment.

Dr. Shaaban said that it has become clear that the French and British governments are adopting and supporting what Saudi Arabia and Qatar are circulating through their media outlets, affirming in another context that Syria has been the cradle of tolerance and convergence between the heavenly religions.

The Advisor reaffirmed that the basis of the ongoing conflict is the Arab-Israeli conflict and that Israel is the main beneficiary of the Syrian and Arab bloodbath.

In turn, head of the delegation Father Andrew Ashdown said that the visit aims at getting acquainted with the reality of situation in Syria through talking to the Syrians themselves and away from what has been circulated by the Western media.

For their part, members of the delegation’s questions focused on the political solution to the crisis in Syria, the return of the displaced to their homeland and the role of European countries, especially Britain and France in what is happening in Syria.

They stressed their desire to convey the voice of the Syrians and shed light on the fact of what is happening in Syria to their people and their media outlets.
The delegation comprises members from the House of Lords, House of Commons, and researchers.” ~ SANA

Message from Andrew Ashdown

I did not imagine our ‘cover’, for security reasons, would be blown by the BBC 10 o’clock news! The vilification of our visit in the British media has already begun! We have had a remarkable visit meeting with numerous people from across the faith, community and political spectrum throughout Syria, and have safely returned from making the dangerous journey to visit Aleppo.. the first British group to do so since the start of the conflict.

We shall be making a Press Release tomorrow, and I will be posting online in full thereafter sharing our experiences and the multiple voices that we have heard.” ~ Andrew Ashdown

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Islamic State, Lone Wolf Attacks, and Australia

September 8th, 2016 by Dr. Binoy Kampmark

Australia’s distance from various centres of power has been called a tyranny.  But flip that tyranny over, and you have an assortment of benefits for local development, the mighty laboratory that bred a middle class experiment supposedly egalitarian and oiled by principles of social justice.

These days, such distance is said to have been overcome, the effects of instant communication, rapid travel, and transport. People still think Australia might be somewhere in Europe, but that mistake does not get away from assumptions that a wandering finger on a globe would be able to land safely on Sydney or Melbourne.

Those imaginative creatures scribbling for Rumiyah, an Islamic State publication that combines wishful thinking with equally wishful views of the world, decided to shine a spotlight on Australia.  Well done indeed. “Light the ground beneath them aflame and scorch them with terror.”

This agitated language had been motivated, in part, by the death of Ezzit Raad, an Australian jailed in connection with the 2005 plot to blow up the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Raad left Australia with brother Majed in 2013, months after his release. Islamic State subsequently announced that Raad was killed in July in the Syrian city of Manbij or, as Rumiyahpreferred, when “a piece of shrapnel struck him and tore his chest open.”

Childish exhortations to target “a land cloaked in darkness and corrupted by kufr, fornication and all forms of vice” follow in the heated note.  “Kill them on the streets of Brunswick, Broadmeadows, Bankstown and Bondi.  Kill them at the MCG, the SCG, the Opera House, and even in their backyards.”  Like many ideologues steering the wheel, the authors mistake hyperbolic desperation for substance.  “Stab them, shoot them, poison them, and run them down with your vehicles.”

Such a piece might well have been dismissed as the fantastic meanderings of a mind not only addled but lazy. Islamic State is getting a battering in a territorial sense, losing ground in Syria and northern Iraq.

Much of this is pure non sequitur stuff – Islamic State is merely a manifestation of circumstance.  Here today, replaced tomorrow by something similar. The entire hot house of Middle Eastern politics needs to be disassembled before any genuine work can be done.

Incapable of creating and organising military units on a global scale, the frazzled ideologues have opted for recruitment on the cheap: words, words, words.   Messages relayed globally to incite, to enrage, to even titillate. Draw them out of the rooms; turn couch potatoes into assault rifle bearing, virgin seeking converts.

In so doing, the security services of various countries are put in a bind.  Ignore the rant, or hunker down for the inevitable rise of the crazies?  The obvious equation of idiocy is that it takes one to know one, and the State apparatus is always going to supply credence where none should be given. To play the terrorist game, the line between mere reaction and becoming reactionary is a fine one indeed.

Australia’s prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, deemed the message worthy of extensive public comment.  Speaking inLaos, Turnbull’s prognostication was grim.  “As Daesh comes under more and more pressure on the battlefield in Syria and in Iraq – as it is rolled back, as its territory is being taken back – it will resort to terrorist activities outside of the Middle East” (ABC News, Sep 7).

The gold dust here lay in the solitary attacker, that convenient confection of security studies.  Australians, urged Turnbull, “have to be very alert to the actions of these lone actors – individuals who, as I’ve described in the national security statement last week, for a variety of reasons, may be radicalised.”

Others did not see that same urgency, let alone gravity. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews made little fuss about it, despite taking “every threat… very seriously.”  The Victorian Police Chief Commissioner, Graham Ashton, noted that “the only new content is essentially a poem making reference to a number of Australian locations.”  It had also been released in other languages (German, French, Indonesian) with threatened targets accordingly adjusted.  What to make of it?  Propaganda, he calmly, suggested.

Other outlets were similarly lukewarm about any impending calamity.  The Sydney Morning Herald did not feel an increased sense of urgency, noting that “there has not been any chatter by counter-terrorism authorities.”[1]  Nor did staff at the Sydney Opera House.

The Turnbull government has already demonstrated that speculation is a far better milch cow in the making of security policy than evident threat. It promises police state measures, extensive detention periods for those convicted of terrorist charges (even the flimsier ones).Assessing intelligence generally demands dull, hallucinatory free sobriety; the reactionary posture, all the hallucinatory visions needed. All it takes these days is a threatening word to change the world, to command attention.  Forget the actual value of the evidence, the value, in other words, of action.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. 




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On Tuesday, the New York Times published as its front-page lead article a piece, written by longtime military/intelligence insider David Sanger, reporting internal White House discussions that the Obama administration is planning on maintaining the United States’ “first strike” nuclear weapons policy.

In recent months, the Washington Post and Times had published reports that President Obama had considered formally adopting a policy of not using nuclear weapons unless the US was attacked by such weapons first.

On July 10, The Washington Post reported, “The Obama administration is determined to use its final six months in office to take a series of executive actions to advance the nuclear agenda the president has advocated since his college days,” including the possible adoption of a “no first use” policy.

But Tuesday’s report in the Times declared that Obama “appears likely to abandon the proposal after top national security advisers argued” that it would “embolden Russia and China.”

The move takes place amidst a series of US provocations against both countries, including the deployment of thousands of troops on Russia’s border in Eastern Europe and ongoing “freedom of navigation” operations in the South China Sea. In their statements to the Times, White House and military officials were sending a clear signal that it will abide no scaling back of the US threat to kill millions of people to facilitate its geopolitical aims.

The White House decided ultimately to agree to the demands of Commander of Strategic Command Admiral Haney, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, Secretary of State John Kerry and others who declared, according to theTimes, that “new moves by Russia and China, from the Baltic to the South China Sea, made it the wrong time to issue the declaration.”

Both before and during his presidency, Obama had postured as a proponent of nuclear non-proliferation. In his April 2009 speech in Prague, Obama declared that “as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon,” the US is committed “to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons,” and that “to put an end to Cold War thinking, we will reduce the role of nuclear weapons.”

Earlier this year, Obama visited Hiroshima, Japan, becoming the first sitting US president to do so since President Truman made the decision to incinerate the city with an atomic weapon at the end of the Second World War. Despite ruling out any apology for this war crime, Obama hypocritically called on countries that possess nuclear weapons to “have the courage to escape the logic of fear and pursue a world without them.”

Yet Obama’s real “nuclear legacy” is something else entirely. Over his eight years in office, the White House has initiated one of the most sweeping expansions of its nuclear capabilities in US history.

The Pentagon has embarked upon a $1 trillion nuclear modernization program, seeking to make US nuclear weapons smaller, faster, more maneuverable and easier to use on the battlefield. The effect of this program is, as General James E. Cartwright, a retired vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Timesearlier this year, “to make the weapon more thinkable.”

At a cost of some $97 billion, the Navy is on track to replace its Ohio-class submarines, each of which is by itself equivalent to the world’s fifth-ranking nuclear power, with a new generation of ballistic missile submarines.

The Air Force, meanwhile, has contracted Northrop Grumman to build up to 100 next-generation B-21 nuclear-capable bombers, at a cost of nearly $60 billion. It is also in the midst of developing, at the cost of $20 billion, the so-called Long-Range Stand-Off Missile, which is capable of maneuvering at high speeds to deliver a nuclear payload behind enemy air defenses.

Experts have warned that the development of such a “dual use” nuclear-capable cruise missile makes the potential for a catastrophic miscalculation substantially greater, as countries attacked by these weapons, in addition to having little time to respond, have no way of knowing whether their payload is “conventional” or nuclear.

On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported that the Air Force also plans to spend another $85 billion to develop a set of new intercontinental ballistic missiles. The Pentagon is moving ahead with plans to buy some 642 of the new ICBMs “at an average cost of $66.4 million each to support a deployed force of 400 weapons.”

The dizzying pace of the US nuclear modernization program comes in the context of a deepening global geopolitical crisis, at the center of which is the ever expanding war drive of American imperialism.

Beginning with economic crises of the late 1960s and early 1970s, the American ruling class sought to offset the economic decline of US capitalism through the naked use of military force. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, this process went into overdrive, kicking off a quarter century of intensifying war around the globe. Now, US-led regional wars and proxy conflicts, particularly in Syria, are metastasizing into ever-more direct conflicts with larger competitors, including Russia and China.

With the crisis-ridden US election dominated by allegations from the Clinton campaign of Russian cyberattacks and political subversion, together with ongoing and deepening tensions with China, the United States is sending a clear signal that it is thinking about the “unthinkable.”

Eighty years ago, Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky warned, “In the period of crisis the hegemony of the United States will operate more completely, more openly, and more ruthlessly than in the period of boom.” Anyone who believes that the US would never again use nuclear weapons is underestimating not only the extent of the internal and external crisis confronting American imperialism, but the level of violence and criminality of which the American ruling class is capable.


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America and the Plague of ‘Moral Idiocy’

September 8th, 2016 by Prof. Lawrence Davidson

When it comes to applying rules of international law and ethics, the U.S. government and its mainstream media operate with stunning hypocrisy, what might be called “moral idiocy,” says Lawrence Davidson.

It was on Aug. 12, 1949, that the nations of the world, with Nazi atrocities still in mind, updated what are known as the Geneva Accords. This constituted an effort to once again set limits on the wartime behavior of states and their agents.

Among other things, the accords set the range of acceptable behavior toward prisoners of war, established protections for the wounded and the sick, and the necessary protections to be afforded civilian populations within and approximate to any war-zone. Some 193 countries, including the United States, have ratified these agreements. Now, as of August 2016, they are 67-years-old. Have they worked? The answer is, in all too many cases, no.

In just about every major conflict since 1949 the Geneva Accords have been partially or completely ignored. Certainly that was the case in the Vietnam War, where civilian deaths came close to 1.5 million people. The treaties have had minimal impact in Afghanistan (during both the Russian and U.S. invasions), Iraq, the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, Russia’s military activity in Chechnya, and various conflicts in Africa and Asia.

The International Red Cross, which oversees observance of the accords, has not been able to do much more than shine lights on the breaches of the law and pick up the bloody pieces in the aftermath. At the rate our nation-states slaughter the innocent, it is a wonder there is an overpopulation problem.

Honored Only In the Breach

There are likely two main reasons why the Geneva Accords have had so little influence on behavior: hypocrisy and ignorance.

As to hypocrisy, it is the case that, except in rare instances, there are no serious consequences for violating the law. Particularly, if you are agents of a strong state, or the ally (like Israel) of a strong state, the chances of state leaders or agents being arrested for war crimes or crimes against humanity is exceedingly low.

One wonders why nations bothered writing and enacting the Geneva Accords in the first place. The reason might have been specific to the moment. Faced with the atrocious behavior of leaders and soldiers (it is most often the behavior of the defeated party that is pointed to, so think here of the Holocaust), and the immediate outcry this behavior produced, the pressure for some sort of reaction carried the world’s leaders forward to make and ratify agreements to prevent future repetitions of such crimes.

Yet, as it turns out, these were not serious efforts except when applied to the defeated and the weak. For the strong, it is one thing to enact an international law, it is another thing altogether to apply it to oneself or other strong states.

As to ignorance, to date it is obvious that the politicians and soldiers who wage war, or who are responsible for the arming and training of allies who do so, do not regard seriously, and in some cases are not even familiar with, the Geneva Accords. In my experience, they often cannot, or will not, discuss them when asked, and regard statements referencing the disobeying of illegal orders in the Uniform Code of Military Justice, to be rightfully honored only in the breach.

And that is the important point. We can safely say that when it comes to waging war, or for that matter, aiding and abetting others doing so, the accepted behavior of both soldiers, statesmen, and diplomats is that called moral idiocy.

Moral Idiocy

Moral Idiocy is not something this writer, creative as he is, has simply made up. It is a real concept in psychology that has been around for over a century. However, in our increasingly relativistic societies, it has fallen into disuse.

Briefly, it means the “Inability to understand moral principles and values and to act in accordance with them, apparently without impairment of the reasoning and intellectual faculties.” The key word here is “understand.” It is not that moral idiots do not know, intellectually, that something called morality exists, but rather they cannot understand its applicability to their lives, particularly their professional lives.

At best they think it is a personal thing that operates between friends or relatives and goes no further – a reduction of values to the narrowest of social spaces. This is paralleled by the absence of such values as guiding principles for one’s actions in the wider world.

There are innumerable examples of such apparent moral idiots acting within the halls of power. The following short list specific to the U.S. reflects the opinion of this writer: George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, John Bolton, Oliver North, Richard Nixon and, my favorite, Henry Kissinger. Those reading this both in and outside of the United States can, no doubt, make a list of their own.

A particular incident related to Henry Kissinger’s behavior gives us an excellent example of this moral failing. The story is told by Stephen Talbot, a journalist and documentary producer, who in the early 2000s interviewed Robert McNamara, who had been U.S. Secretary of Defense for much of the Vietnam War years and was, by the 1990s, full of remorse and feelings of guilt for his behavior while in office.

Then, shortly thereafter, Talbot interviewed Kissinger, who had been Richard Nixon’s Secretary of State and National Security Advisor during the Vietnam War’s final years. Here is how Talbot describes what, for us, is the relevant part of his interview with Kissinger:

I told him I had just interviewed Robert McNamara in Washington. That got his attention. . . . and then he did an extraordinary thing. He began to cry. But no, not real tears. Before my eyes, Henry Kissinger was acting. ‘Boohoo, boohoo,’ Kissinger said, pretending to cry and rub his eyes. ‘He’s [McNamara] still beating his breast, right? Still feeling guilty.’ He spoke in a mocking, singsong voice and patted his heart for emphasis.

Kissinger obviously held McNamara and his feelings of guilt in utter disdain. He had actually committed greater crimes than McNamara – crimes documented in Christopher Hitchens’s 2001 book, The Trial of Henry Kissinger – and yet apparently felt no remorse at all. How does one get like that?

A Learning Deficiency

Let’s start our speculation in this regard by stating that none of us is born with a gene that tells us right from wrong. Those notions are cultural, though some basic principles (say, seeing murder within one’s tribal or clan network as morally wrong) come close to being universal.

Nonetheless, because we are not dealing with something genetic, it is quite possible that all of us have a potential for this moral failing. That being said, the vast majority of folks do successfully learn from their cultures that moral indifference is wrong and that committing what their society deems bad behavior should result in remorse and feelings of guilt.

It also seems that a minority does not learn this, or learn it only superficially. Most of this minority, realizing that such indifference is viewed negatively, keeps it hidden as much as they can. Yet when, on occasion, these closet moral idiots reach positions of power and influence, they can cause enormous damage.

There is a corollary to this. One can get socially sanctioned subgroups within which one is expected, at least temporarily, to act without reference to moral values. The military is a good example of this environment. And, under certain circumstances, so is the State Department or other foreign offices. In such a situation, most people “go with the flow” even if they know better, and then, in later life, some suffer from the trauma of the experience.

Moral idiocy can be seen as a very long-standing cultural flaw that often gives license to the violence that law and cultural mores are, simultaneously, trying to control. And, who are those who most often take advantage of this loophole? Ironically, it is the very people who lead our societies and those assigned to defend the culture and enforce the law. Lack of accountability makes for very poor public hygiene.

Lawrence Davidson is a history professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He is the author of Foreign Policy Inc.: Privatizing America’s National InterestAmerica’s Palestine: Popular and Official Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli Statehood; and Islamic Fundamentalism.

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A Portrait of War: Returning Home to Yemen

September 8th, 2016 by Ahmed Hezam Al-Yemeni

Peace Direct’s Local Peacebuilding Expert for Yemen is Ahmed Al-Yemeni. He recently returned home after 12 months abroad. In this harrowing dispatch, he describes the trail of devastation he followed, all the way to his family village.

Travelling to Sana’a

So many times, these ‘smart’ missiles have lost their way. I have been abroad for the last year, travelling – stranded – in Germany, Poland, Turkey and Jordan. But it was time to go home. My journey back to Yemen took me first through the hardship and the blockade of the coalition forces. There is a no fly zone all over Yemen, and a total sea blockade. No commercial or humanitarian shipments, aid, food, basic need or fuel supplies can enter the country without permission.

An air strike in Sana’a. Bridges, roads and other infrastructure have been destroyed across Yemen during the current conflict. Image credit: Ahmed Hezem Al-Yemeni.

The only airline operating is Yemenia. It runs very limited flights in and out the country, which are frequently suspended. This an ugly, proxy war, and most airports are closed. But I was lucky enough to get in before the current suspensions and make it to Sana’a International Airport, the only pair of lungs for 20 million Yemenis.

I had to wait for more than a month to catch my flight back to Sana’a, passing through Bisha in Saudi Arabia to undergo the famous security check, along with the elderly, sick, students and others who have been stranded across the world.

When I got to Sana’a, the destruction that the airstrikes have caused at the airport was clear. Civilian and military planes were lying, burnt and destroyed on the ground. Driving out, I was horrified by the sheer scale of the damage. Military and security buildings, schools, factories, traffic departments, gardens, TV and radio, and my poor city neighbourhood, which I finally reached.

At first, I had thought I was unlucky to live near Nuqum Mountain, east of the capital, as it has been suffering from almost daily airstrikes. But the reality is it does not matter where you live in Yemen. So many times, those ‘smart’ western guided missiles, rockets, planes and drones have somehow lost their way, and found themselves in neighbourhoods across the country. I wonder, as many Yemenis here joke about, if they will ever find and destroy the nuclear or other military facilities supposed to be hidden under this or that mountain or village.


Most people neither know nor care about the war and its politics. They care about their lives

It was dark at home. There has been no electricity since the war started. Everything was covered in thick dust, and the windows and doors were broken because of the shockwaves from air strikes. I wondered what we would do. But next morning, I realised that many of my neighbours were still there, refusing to leave. Local figures and charities were working together, reopening old wells in the city. They started to put small public water tanks in the different neighbourhoods for people to drink and use. These people are not even thinking of leaving. Where will they go? They have begun to assemble simple solar systems, which most people now depend on. What a daily struggle – and resistance.Most people neither know nor care about the war and its politics. They care about their lives, and finding food for their children. Although I been constantly amazed and terrified of the air strikes, which seem never to stop, those who have been here longer do not even look up any more. They are trying to lead their normal lives.

Shops, restaurants, schools, markets, students, and common hand labour are all attempting to do the same. The carpenter’s machinery is still loud and annoying. The sound of children playing fills the streets, regardless of the garbage everywhere.

On my way to my family’s home town, in Ibb Governorate, I heard, followed and saw the crazy, deadly airstrikes on MSF hospitals in Hajjah Province. It was not the first time MSF hospitals and clinics had been targeted. The images and reports of the civilians killed make me so angry and frustrated; the awful photos of workers burned to death by the airstrike on the Al-Aqel Kids Food Factory.

Yemenis taking care of Yemenis

One airstrike can destroy half a town. This is how the innocent die

Driving through the mountains, I thought more about the civilians and children killed. I have taken photos, but they are too shocking to publish. How will this end? It is amazing that the coalition forces, who are attempting to save Yemen from something, are destroying it instead. Even the chicken farms, which is the biggest joke in the midlands. But this has serious consequences; prices have increased dramatically. Last week, they targeted camel farms, which is another joke for Yemenis.

The first day in my village it was quiet. We are in a rural midland area. The day after, I began to visit all the areas that have been targeted nearby. The airstrikes are targeting the personal houses of assumed leaders. But the houses in these ancient villages are so close to each other. One airstrike can destroy half a town. This is how the innocent die. Rural areas, humble water projects, farms, public building and schools have all been targeted, again and again and again. I am starting to question UNICEF statistics about how many schools and universities have been destroyed. Villagers in the midlands told me they even targeted public gatherings, weddings and football matches, as happened in the famous Makha case, which HRW documented, and the Sanabani wedding party in Thamar.

Ibb Governorate is the quietest compared with other areas, which is why it has become a safe haven for hundreds of thousands of IDPs. I was so happy and glad when I heard about how my town and village has been receiving and welcoming IDPs from all over Yemen. Welcoming them, making them feel at home, and integrating them in society so quickly, based on real Yemeni values. I saw the same thing in Thamar Province. In both cases they do not even call them IDPs. They think of them as common Yemeni citizens and brothers, being guests first, then sharing and having common public duties and responsibilities like all.

Media ignorance?

The only thing that gives me hope is that the towns and villages are full of energy, and a desire to live.
What the international and regional media report about sectarian divisions in Yemen makes me and the people I meet laugh. They never hear the term Sunni and Shia. They act and behave as they have done for hundreds of years. Yemenis are friends, neighbours, cousins, and brothers across the assumed lines that many are trying to inflame.

Regardless of small religious differences, they all still pray in the same mosques. Many wonder if the propaganda games will win in the end. I hope not, because on the ground, things are different.

I was so happy to see the last remaining bridge in Wadi Bana still holding up. I thought it was the prayers of poor farmers as they depend on it for so many things, especially in the flood seasons and for medical emergencies. But the day after, a pilot must have received an order to destroy it. And he did. This bridge, other bridges, and all the roads in the area.

I can’t help thinking what will be achieved with such massive destruction in a country of already poor infrastructure. What do they hope to achieve by targeting civilians? I questioned all the international press, human rights and even UN reports, until I saw and lived it myself.

The only thing that gives me hope for tomorrow is when I wake up in the morning and open my windows, and see normal Yemenis walking and driving around. The towns and villages are full of energy, and a desire to live, to continue their daily lives regardless of the almost limitless obstacles in this humanitarian catastrophe. They are my real heroes in this portrait of war. I am proud to be in it, and to be one of them.

Ahmed Hezam Al-Yemeni is Insight on Conflict’s Local Peacebuilding Expert for Yemen. He is a frequent commentator on Yemeni politics, including foreign policy, youth radicalisation and terrorism issues, and has more than a decade’s experience engaging with international organisations and NGOs.

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A lousy dancer blames the uneven floor, and Mme Clinton had proven to be an unexpectedly lousy dancer in the competition for the presidency against the blundering New York tycoon. We would expect her to win or lose graciously, as befits a former First Lady, but gosh, she is clumsy – and blames her lack of grace on poor Mr Putin.

He is sure hell of a guy; visitors to Berlin’s AltesMuseum queue up to witness his similarity to the marble bust of Caesar. This is so uncanny that Ms Clinton may be forgiven for claiming the almighty KGB switched the first-century original for a Russian-made fake. You know Putin served in Berlin in his early years.

Caesar was renowned for his multitasking; he could dictate seven letters at once, wrote Pliny. But even Caesar lookalike Putin can’t play the role prepared for him by Ms Clinton and other mainstream Western politicians, that is to bear blame for all their shortcomings.

Last week Frau Merkel had lost an election in her native state of Mecklenburg to a new nationalist party. An honest politician (if such a creature can be envisaged) would confess that by inviting hordes of refugees (however deserving) to Germany and by surrendering German sovereignty to the secretive TTIP rules, she had landed a double blow upon German workers, and they voted against her. Instead, she blamed her defeat on Mr Putin.

Ms Clinton decided to blame her spectacular lack of success on Putin, as well. If she were honest, she’d admit that she is unpopular, even among her own milieu. The scandals around the reptile—sorry Clinton—Foundation do not die but multiply daily, as it seems that the greedy couple charged per meeting and per government contract.

Did Putin ask her to rake millions of dollars from Haim Saban, the Zionist billionaire, or from Wal-Mart, the scrooge of American trading companies? Did Putin beseech her to use a private email server and to mix official and personal business? Did Putin force her to swear she will destroy American coal mines if and when elected? Did Putin convince her to open America’s gates to one and a half billion Muslims, as she said?

Did Putin falsify the Democratic primaries to bring Hillary Clinton her victory over Sanders? Did Putin write the fiery speeches of Sanders unmasking Clinton’s alliance with the “giant vampire squid” of Goldman Sachs and hundreds of thousands dollars they paid her for her “talks”?

Did Putin organise Clinton’s diary in such a way that even the partisan newspaper, the New York Times said she spends her pre-election time with the ultra-rich instead of speaking to her voters? She goes to the places where people pay $250,000 per person to meet her – by Putin’s advice?

Did Putin push her to call people who consider vote for Trump “racists and bigots”? Did he tell her that will scare them rather expectedly annoy them?

No, he’s a great guy, but such a feat is well above his abilities. Clinton should be afraid of the American people who do not want to take her lip, her greed and her chutzpah for granted. And apparently she is. That’s why she blames her own mistakes on Putin.

Clinton’s supporters, her tame intelligence officials and senators say they are worried that Russians will meddle in the election process and “sow public distrust”. Russians are not needed for this job. Their work – if that is what they want – is being done by Clinton and her supporters.

How can the public trust Clinton who, while being a Secretary of State, solicited Qatar for private donations, and then authorised shipment of American weapons to Qatar’s client terrorists? How can the public trust Sanders, who condemned the Clinton Foundation as a source of corruption, and now has endorsed Clinton while establishing his own foundation under the same rules he condemned?

The claims that Putin is likely to interfere with the results of the US elections are ostensibly based on some obscure hacking incidents in Arizona and Illinois. There is no tangible proof of anything, less of all of Russian involvement, but such a possibility is discussed. My bet is that the establishment wants to prepare Americans for voiding or overturning the election results in the likely case of Trump’s victory. If Trump wins, Clinton’s gang (including the incumbent) will scream “Putin did it!”, they will void the results and pass the buck to the Supreme Court where Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her colleagues will proclaim La Clinton the winner.

“Nobody ever meddled in the US elections, before Putin came” – this claim of Clinton and her supporters in the media and the intelligence community sounds as improbable as a harlot’s protestation of virginity. Putin has no tools or opportunities to meddle. Putin’s Russia has the GDP of Italy, Julian Assange correctly explained when he was asked why he does not attack Russia. Russia is just not in the same league as the US (or China) – though this thought is very painful for a Russian who remembers the greatness of the Soviet Union.

Russians do not meddle in the US elections, and Putin did his best stressing his non-preference: we’ll work with whoever will be elected by the American people, he said in the tense interview with Bloomberg’s Micklethwait. “We are ready to work with any president, but, of course to the extent that the future administration is ready. If someone says that they want to work with Russia, we’ll welcome it. And if someone wants to get rid of us, that will be a completely different approach.”

Putin really does not want to meddle and interfere in what he considers “internal affairs” of another country. He is too much of a gentleman. He famously did not interfere in the Ukrainian affairs in February 2014 when he could have the whole of Ukraine by supporting the overthrown president Yanukovich. He did not interfere in the Georgian affairs when his troops stood at the doorstep of Tbilisi in 2008. He is even less likely to interfere in the US elections.

It is the US that usually meddles in other states’ elections by promoting pro-American politicians, and often successfully. In Europe, from Sweden to Italy, in South Korea and Japan, in Israel and Saudi Arabia, – pro-American politicians lead ruling parties and opposition parties, as well. Only new far-right parties had remained relatively free and that is their key to success.

It is less well known, but the election (or selection) of Mikhail Gorbachev to the post of Communist Party leader in 1985 was achieved by successful US and British “meddling”. His main competitor Mr Grigory Romanov’s plane was delayed until Gorbachev had been enthroned, while Gorbachev’s visit to London was been presented as the sign of universal approval.

The US leaders meddled in the Russian elections in 2011, when VP Biden called upon Putin to remove himself from the race, the US Ambassador McFaul had met with the opposition and Hillary Clinton encouraged the rioters on Moscow streets.

It goes without saying that modern Russia is quite unable to meddle in the US internal affairs with any chance of success.

The claim that Russian hackers provided fodder to the Wikileaks has no basis: now we know that the damning DNC correspondence was leaked by a DNC staffer, the late Mr Seth Rich, who was subsequently assassinated by persons unknown. I would not believe in the story of state-employed Russian hackers for two reasons: Russians are sticklers for rules, and besides, they are forever watched by the NSA, as we learned from Mr Snowden’s revelations.

However, meddling is a normal and usual thing. Israel always “meddles” in the US elections; remember a few months ago the candidates competed about who would be the best at licking AIPAC’s boot (or whatever they are supposed to lick), and Hillary won, hands down. You can read the fascinating Unz story how the British agents successfully “meddled” in the US Presidential race of 1940 ensuring re-election of President Roosevelt and eventually pushing the unwilling US into the Second World War. This story could be supplemented by the Jewish-American meddling in the British politics in favour of the pro-war Mr Winston Churchill.

As for Clinton vs. Trump, in the beginning of the election campaign Kremlin had no preference indeed. Many Kremlin officials preferred Ms Clinton as a familiar face, while they viewed Mr Trump as a dark horse. The pro-Western camp within the Kremlin walls (yes, it exists and it is quite strong) tried to build bridges with Clinton campaign, using Ms Elizaveta Osetinskaya of RBC as their envoy in Washington.

However, the violently anti-Russian propaganda churned by Clinton’s campaign and by Hillary personally changed the mood in Moscow. Anti-Russian hysteria of such magnitude has not been seen even at the height of the Cold War, in the Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan era (notably Republican politicians). The campaign against Putin’s Russia mirrors the campaign against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, and we remember that the newspaper columns were followed by columns of tanks.

Now the prominent US newspapers and sites publish aggressive anti-Russian philippics. Putin is the 21st century’s Hitler –says Newsweek. “President” Vladimir Putin of Russia should not be trusted . I put “President” in quotes as in 2012 he was not properly and freely elected and so does not deserve the respect that the term gives.” – fumes Forbes.

What would you do, if you were a Russian president? Mind you, Clinton people passed a message to Kremlin saying: this is just a PR campaign, take it easy. Still, Putin has all reasons in the world to be worried.

Some American strategists of neocon vintage – and some generals, too – believe they can destroy Russian missiles by a sudden nuclear first strike. They call it “pre-emptive”, though what is it supposed to pre-empt, is a riddle.

Russians must consider that the media campaign may prepare the Western populace for such a strike. President Obama is aware of this consideration, and that is why he proposed declaring a No First Use Nuclear Policy. However, his proposal has been assailed by the U.S. cabinet officials and allies, reported WSJ.

In the last month, the Russian military has experienced sudden high alerts, checks and inspections. Forces of the Southern Military District, as well as parts of the forces of the Western and Central Military Districts, the North Fleet, the High Command of the Aerospace Forces, the command of the Airborne Troops were set on full combat readiness.

A general feeling is that the world war is possible, if not imminent. President Putin has strong nerves, but no system is totally foolproof. It is possible that the present Clinton-led anti-Russian campaign is aimed at the US voter. But it is equally possible that these calming messages should facilitate a powerful nuclear strike at unprepared Russia.

Perhaps what we think is a replay of 1939 is a replay of 1941, when Germany suddenly attacked Russia, despite their non-aggression treaty. In 1941, the attack had been preceded by many calming and comforting messages from Berlin. A Russian leader must consider such a possibility, for such campaigns of hate can find dynamics of their own.

Israel Shamir can be reached at [email protected]

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The No Fly Zone issue comes up every now and again in regards to the war in Syria, and was recently proposed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The No fly zone is a deceptive concept normally pushed by Western think tanks and used by NATO  as a way to further their war efforts – without appearing to be the aggressor.

In fact, they frequently try to paint themselves as a reluctant savior of an oppressed people while actually invading a sovereign country. The no fly zone has many euphemistic synonyms such as buffer zonesafe zone, safe havenhumanitarian corridor and other innocent sounding terms. 

Often it is suggested as the only way to protect the invaded nation’s civilians from a horrible dictator (usually a duly elected leader who refuses to go along with US “national interests” [i.e. geopolitical ambitions] and let his or her nation be overtaken by NWO banks, corporations and military forces). However, despite their fuzzy sounding names, the creation of no fly zones by legal definition is an act of war, since they require the use of force to be developed and imposed. Naturally, they also contain the potential for escalation. We saw this happen in Libya right before the tragic assassination of Muammar Gaddafi, who had boosted Libya to prosperity. We have seen it proposed already many times in Syria since the foreign meddling escalated into a war in 2011. Clearly, it is a central part of the geopolitical psy op and NWO war strategy, and needs to be broadly understood so people don’t keep falling for it.

No Fly Zones: We’ve Been Through This Before …

The US, in league with the UN, has previously used a No Fly Zone in many of its wars in the last 2-3 decades. It used them in Iraq (both in 1991 and 2003), in Bosnia Herzegovina (1993–1995) and of course in Libya (2011).

The calls for a Syria No Fly Zone have been coming from various quarters for years also. US think tanks have promoted it, such as the FPI (Foreign Policy Initiative, a continuation of Zionist neocon PNAC) and the Brookings Institute, as well as many Western or Western-allied politicians and government officials such as Hillary Clinton, Obama, Trump, Erdogan, Nicholas Burns (US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs from 2005 to 2008), James Jeffrey (US Ambassador to Iraq from 2010 to 2012), former UK PM Cameron, and numerous others. Clearly the No Fly Zone is a key part of modern warfare strategy, in an age where the NWO controllers have to find and feed different excuses to the public to justify their ongoing plans for war.

Why the Syria No Fly Zone when ISIS Has No Air Force?

The next obvious point to consider when you hear the likes of Erdogan, Obama and others calling for a no fly zone to fight ISIS (Daesh, ISIL, Islamic State) is this: why do we need one when ISIS has no airforce? If ISIS has no planes, exactly whose planes are you trying to ground? The answer to that can only be the planes of the official Syrian, Iranian and Russian Armies – in other words, the planes of the very nations the US is trying to dominate in line with the Wolfowitz doctrine. The No Fly Zone is a sneaky way not to fight ISIS but to protect ISIS, to give ISIS air cover so it can go about its disruptive, terroristic and murderous ways, to the delight of its US-Israeli creators. Remember, this has all happened before with Libya, as Tony Cartalucci writes:

“Readers should recall that precisely the same prescription was applied to Libya in 2011. “Moderate rebels” were also armed, funded, and given aircover amid a NATO-enforced no-fly zone in order to overthrow the government. What resulted was an orgy of genocidal mass murder and then the subsequent fracturing and destruction of the nation-state that was Libya.”

These same Libyan freedom fighters or terrorists later become part of the “moderate rebels” and even joined ISIS!

No Fly Zone: a Preamble to A Full Scale Ground Invasion?

The No Fly Zone tactic is part of a larger strategy to gradually overtake a country, but to do it in such short steps that no one notices, like the frog slowly getting boiled in the pot. It’s a trick many tyrants have used: push through an unpalatable agenda slowly, making each unpopular step short enough that it can be rhetorically defended, and hope that no one notices the bigger picture. Securing a No Fly Zone in a country requires a lot of personnel, technology, money and effort, as this article states:

“Enforcing a no-fly zone usually requires a large amount of military forces, including aircraft, the operators who fly them, and support personnel to protect and maintain them. Unless the no-fly zone is relatively small, it will take multiple flying units operating different kinds of aircraft. This includes air-to-air fighters that can intercept adversary aircraft. Specialized aircraft are also required for suppressing or destroying the enemy air defenses that could shoot our aircraft down … In addition to these forces, we need bases to house and protect them, infrastructure to support them, and secure logistics lines for the flow of supplies and people. In the past, the United States has typically used a combination of land bases and aircraft carriers to support no-fly zone operations. It’s good to have several bases from which to fly, as a runway problem or bad weather could close a base and halt the operation.”

A No Fly Zone is not a small endeavor. Given all of the above, it can be seen as just another step along the way to a full scale ground invasion. Remember, Russia was invited by the Syrian Government and Bashar Assad to be there; the US and friends were not. They are already there illegally, and a Syria No Fly Zone would be yet another way in which the US flagrantly ignores international law in the pursuit of hegemonic empire.

Divide and Rule: No Fly Zone a Precursor to Partitioning

The word “balkanization” has become an unfortunate addition to the English language, thanks to the strategy of US-NATO forces in the 1990s of splitting, separating and dividing the Slavic nations into smaller states, so they could more easily be conquered and controlled. Already there have been many calls for the same thing to occur in Syria, such as this one by Israel who proposed sectarian partitioning of Syria into smaller autonomous regions. This partitioning is divide and rule, plain and simple, and the No Fly Zone is often a precursor to such an event.

NGOs and No Fly Zones

It is important to remember that modern war is fought on many fronts, including the informational and psychological fronts. In my article NGOs: Choice Tool of Subversion for the New World Order, I discussed how NGOs are being used for subversion, particularly when you consider the George Soros connection. One of Soros’ NGOs is Avaaz, which called for a No Fly Zone over Libya exactly in alignment and conjunction with US-UK military operations which ultimately succeeded in overthrowing and replacing the Libyan Government. Look what Avaaz said about Libya:

“As Qaddafi’s jets drop bombs on the Libyan people, the UN Security Council will decide in 48 hours whether to impose a no-fly zone to keep the government’s warplanes on the ground … Together, we’ve already flooded the Security Council with messages, “overwhelming” the President’s office and helping win targeted sanctions on the Libyan regime.

If Qaddafi can’t dominate the air, he loses a key weapon in a war in which civilians are paying the heaviest price. Enforcing a no-fly zone involves risks, but if it’s done correctly … then it could prevent tremendous bloodshed.”

No evidence for their claims about Qaddafi, of course. It was pure propaganda and lies. Now look what it said about Syria:

“The Syrian air force just dropped chlorine gas bombs on children. Their little bodies gasped for air on hospital stretchers as medics held back tears, and watched as they suffocated to death. But today there is a chance to stop these barrel bomb murders with a targeted No Fly Zone. The US, Turkey, UK, France and others are right now seriously considering a safe zone in Northern Syria. Advisers close to President Obama support it, but he is worried he won’t have public support. That’s where we come in.

One humanitarian worker said ‘I wish the world could see what I have seen with my eyes. It breaks your heart forever.’ Let’s show that the world cares — sign to support a life-saving No Fly Zone.“

It’s all about playing on your emotions to entice you into outrage and into not evaluating the veracity of the words by asking who is really causing all of it. The manipulation is really quite sickening. A “Life-saving No Fly Zone” which further entrenches a military incursion? Talk about a Satanic inversion of the truth.

Beware of the No Fly Zone Scam

As always, be on the lookout for deceptive propaganda, especially surrounding war. More often than not, the no fly zone or humanitarian corridor is about as humanitarian as the Orwellian doublespeak term humanitarian intervention. This isn’t about saving lives or promoting freedom and democracy, no matter how many heart-pulling tear-jerking images they conjure of bloodied children’s faces. They don’t care about civilian deaths – they are causing civilian deaths! The same NWO controllers pushing for war are the same ones controlling the think tanks, politicians and NGOs pushing for no fly zones. Time to wake up to the scam.

Makia Freeman is the editor of alternative news / independent media site The Freedom Articles and senior researcher at (FaceBook here), 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. 



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Jeremy Corbyn is investigating claims that the Labour leadership contest is being rigged against his supporters through arbitrary voting bans.

The Labour leader has demanded the name of every person who has been disenfranchised, telling The Guardian:

I’m surprised at the numbers of people who’ve been denied a vote and I’m surprised at the lack of reason that’s been given to people.

Shehab Khan, political columnist for The Independentestimates that Labour could have banned over 200,000 members.

Corbyn expressed concern about the democratic cost of silencing so many voices:

I’m concerned about that because surely in a democratic process everyone should be entitled to vote unless there is some very good reason against them.

Many Labour members appear to have been banned for not very good reasons at all.

An 82-year-old lifelong Labour voter and member was expelled by the party for merely encouraging democracy – retweeting a post on social media a year ago which called for Green Party leaders to be included in TV debates. For the Compliance Unit, that single retweet justified expelling the deep-rooted party member for five years, because it supposedly signified support for the Greens.

One Twitter user’s membership application was apparently rejected for her social media posts on Palestine.

Perhaps the most incredible so far was the member disenfranchised for tweeting “I f*cking love the Foo Fighters”.

Expressing apparent support for the Green Party or Liberal Democrats seems to be one of the predominant reasons why people are being banned.

Double standards

Another member was barred for a single retweet. Chris Devismes joined Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell in pointing out the apparent double standards of the Compliance Unit:

Additionally, a number of supporters have written to The Guardian condemning “double standards over abuse in the Labour party”.

McDonnell responded after Ronnie Draper, the General Secretary of the baker’s union (BFAWU), became one of the disenfranchised. He stated the decision was:

shocking, and appears to be part of a clear pattern of double standards.

The Shadow Chancellor gave the following examples:

While Ronnie, a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, has been denied his say in Labour’s election, no action is being taken over the Labour peer, Lord Sainsbury, who has given more than £2 million to support the Liberal Democrats.

And no action has been taken against Michael Foster, the Labour party member who abused Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters and staff as Nazi stormtroopers in the Daily Mail.

Speaking for the Labour coup, Alan Johnson MP retorted:

What is surprising is that John McDonnell has decided to attack Labour’s biggest ever donor for the ring fenced £2.1m he gave to the Liberal Democrats to aid the remain campaign.

With regard to Johnson’s response, it’s important to remember that the Labour Party had its own Remain campaign – chaired by Johnson himself. So why did he not question Sainsbury’s decision not to give all his referendum-related money to Labour?

On the one hand, the Compliance Unit bans people for tweeting support for the Green Party. On the other, it allows a £2m donation to a neoliberal Lib Dem Remain campaign that looked vastly different from Labour’s.

Considering that Conservative MPs can defect to the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP), people will be confused as to why they cannot defect from the Greens to Labour (for example) and be welcomed for doing so rather than expelled, suspended or disenfranchised.

In spite of the apparent purge, Corbyn said he remained confident that large numbers of his supporters would still be allowed to vote for him. Last week, a YouGov poll placed Corbyn at 62% and Owen Smith at 38%, suggesting the incumbent will only increase his mandate of 59.5% from last year.

Labour’s ban hammer reaches beyond the leadership election

It’s worth noting that if the contest were successfully rigged, it would be against Labour supporters. Voters would be getting an undemocratic outcome at the behest of top-down officials. If proven, Smith’s mandate would fall apart because it would have been orchestrated by a handful of officials rather than a representation of the will of supporters.

And as Mark Anthony France writes, the mass disenfranchisement is bigger than the outcome of the leadership election. It also works against the party as a whole and social democracy as a cause:

When the apparatus of the Labour Party exclude a member they not only take away the voice of a local champion but foster resentment, create confusion and spread demoralisation. The only people to benefit from these ridiculous witch hunts are Labour’s political opponents. The Tory Party and UKIP are probably laughing their heads off.

Abandoning post-Brexit Britain, some Labour MPs launched a coup against their democratically elected leader. Instead of ensuring working people were protected, they tried to unseat Corbyn through a series of carefully coordinated resignations and PR stunts.

Now, the Labour machine is alienating large numbers of the electorate with arbitrary voting bans. Appearing to purge Corbyn supporters would tarnish Smith’s victory, if he did win.

But the bans go beyond the leadership election. Disenfranchising members of the community electorally damages the party as a whole. And it suppresses the movement for greater democracy in Britain.

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Newly released internal NSA missives from the early days of the Iraq war show how quickly the agency’s priorities shifted from providing wartime intelligence to coalition troops to being a “pervasive” part of the “intelligence-driven” global war on terror.

The documents, which have surfaced for the first time, outline how the NSA asked its employees for “unprecedented degrees of cooperation” to set up the global surveillance infrastructure revealed by Edward Snowden with the stated aim of combating terrorism worldwide.

The documents, called WARgrams, were newsletter-style messages sent in 2003 and 2004 by then-NSA Director Michael Hayden to what seems to be a large contingent of NSA employees. (Motherboard has reached out to the NSA to learn more about who, exactly, received the WARgrams.)

The first WARgram pitched Operation Iraqi Freedom as “an intense attack of relatively short duration intended to overwhelm the Iraqi ability to respond.” It was sent sometime in the days or weeks leading up to the March 20, 2003 start of the war. Hayden wrote WARgrams were “designed to keep us all ‘in the loop’ with the latest developments during the campaign.”

At least 68 WARgrams followed that first one. The documents were released last month in response to a 2008 Freedom of Information Act Request and were published online Tuesday on Government Attic, a repository of FOIA-ed federal documents. Prior to the release of these documents, WARgrams had never been publicly acknowledged by the NSA. WARgrams are referenced in one document released in Edward Snowden’s stash of files, but are not included in any of those dumps.

Many of the documents are misdated as having come from 1998, but the events detailed in them correspond with and explicitly mention various events in the Iraq War, such as the April 2003 toppling of a statue of Saddam Hussein in Firdos Square, Baghdad. “Watching a statue of Saddam being destroyed and its head rolling down the street brings with it a certain sense of accomplishment,” Hayden wrote.

WARgrams 7, 8, and 9 describe the role of NSA agents embedded with American soldiers and are keen to show the NSA’s ability to serve as the eyes and ears of coalition troops. Hayden discusses using intelligence as a “force multiplier” on the battlefield. These wartime, on-the-ground operations continued for several dozen WARgrams, which span from early 2003 to fall of that year. Other early WARgrams discuss the role NSA encryption was playing in safely communicating messages on the battlefield, mental health programs available for overworked NSA agents, and the portrayal of the war in the US media.

“We approached the war with Iraq as a corporate activity—with [US intelligence] linked in planning and executing. The results are stunning,” Hayden wrote in WARgram 24.

WARgram 27 included this dispatch from an embedded NSA agent:

“Daily life is Spartan. The hours are long. We’re hot. We’re dirty. Some of us smell pretty bad. There is no water for showers today. Chicken is being served for chow—again. I’ve asked team members if they’d rather be doing what they are doing or working another job in a nicer place. All agreed they’d rather be here.”

The NSA set up something called the “Iraq Battle Bridge,” the details of which are largely redacted and which has never been publicly discussed by any NSA leaders. In unredacted portions of the WARgrams, Hayden describes it as a plan to make parts of the NSA’s 24/7 surveillance operations center—called the National Security Operations Center—available to those involved in fighting the war. Announced in WARgram 6, Hayden said it was a plan to “exercise command and control over the global cryptologic system for Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.”

But as the war moved on, he decided to “transition” Iraq Battle Bridge into “Phase IV,” which Hayden called the “post-hostility period.”

“The lessons we learned from the Iraq Battle Bridge will help shape and inform our response to the next crisis,” he wrote in WARgram 37, published sometime in April 2003. By WARgram 58, which was released in early 2004, Hayden began to demand “unprecedented cooperation” and “innovation” from NSA agents in what was expected to be “pervasive” surveillance exercises around the world.

In that missive, Hayden’s emphasis changed from one of battlefield support to one of increasing surveillance both abroad and in the United States. “Because the Operations Against al Qa’ida Senior Leadership [sic] will be an intelligence-driven operation, we will become a pervasive and integral part of the fight,” he wrote.

“The successful conclusion of this planned offensive will make our country safer by severely degrading al Qa’ida’s ability to reconstitute/and conduct future operations,” he added. “I expect unprecedented degrees of cooperation and innovation in all we do to support this critical effort.”

In WARgram 61, titled “Confronting the Current Threat to the Homeland,” he noted that NSA surveillance was absolutely necessary to prevent an imminent al-Qaeda attack planned for before the 2004 presidential election for which “preparations … are almost complete.”

“While U.S. and Allied facilities and citizens around the world remain tempting targets for a great number of terrorist groups and movements, the current threat to the Homeland is indeed real, and the clock is ticking,” he wrote. “Our response is not an exercise about the future security of the nation, it’s about doing all we can right now to protect our homes and loved ones from another round of massive attacks. We must not fail.”

We know from Snowden’s documents, of course, that the NSA’s “innovation” in surveillance techniques extended far beyond suspected terrorists. These WARgrams show the early expansion of the US’s surveillance apparatus, which was enabled by the 2001 passage of the PATRIOT Act. Section 215 of that law allowed the bulk collection of American communications.

Being an intelligence agency, the NSA was of course involved in surveillance prior to 2004. Documents leaked by Snowden show that NSA surveillance was integral in the initial decision to invade Iraq. Similarly, WARgrams was just one of many internal newsletters, emails, and memos that were distributed widely and spoke in frank terms of the NSA’s wartime goings-on. For example, SIDToday, a classified newsletter leaked by Snowden once noted that “SIGINT support to the US Mission to the United Nations has enabled and continues to enable the diplomatic campaign against Iraq.”

At times, the WARgrams released by the NSA related the relatively mundane slog of war. At others, it telegraphs the fact that the main role of the agency was slowly shifting to the one revealed by Snowden.

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Turkey Prepares Joint Action with US against Syria

September 8th, 2016 by Bill Van Auken

The Turkish government is prepared to carry out a joint assault with the US on the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) “capital” in Raqqa, Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has told the Turkish media.

Erdogan made the remarks to journalists on board his plane returning from the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China, where he said US President Barack Obama had proposed the joint action.

“Obama particularly wants to do something together [with us] about Raqqa,” Erdogan said, according to the daily Hurriyet. “We have told him that this is not a problem for us.” He added that top level military commanders from both sides should meet and “then what is necessary will be done.”

Turkey launched what it has dubbed “Operation Euphrates Shield” two weeks ago, sending troops and tanks across its border to attack both ISIS positions and those of the Syrian Kurdish separatists of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG). The Kurdish forces have been employed as the Pentagon’s main proxy forces in terms of ground operations against ISIS, receiving weapons, funding, training and support from US special operations units on the ground in Syria.

Turkey has backed its own “rebels,” comprised of Sunni Turkmen and Arab Islamist militias, to not only attack ISIS but drive the Kurdish forces out of areas that they had wrested from ISIS with US backing. From the outset of the intervention, it has been evident that these forces are Turkey’s main target. Ankara fears that continued military successes by the YPG could consolidate an autonomous Kurdish region on its border and encourage Turkey’s own Kurdish separatist movement, the PKK, with which the Syrian Kurdish movement is politically aligned.

Turkey’s deputy prime minister, Nurettin Canikli, told the media that Turkish forces had so far killed a combined total of 110 ISIS and Kurdish fighters. Three Turkish soldiers were reportedly killed in an ISIS rocket attack on Tuesday, while another died at the outset of the offensive in clashes with the YPG.

The Turkish official added that, after having secured the border area, Turkish forces could push further into Syria.

It appears that is what the Turkish military is preparing. Syrian sources reported Wednesday that Turkish warplanes struck targets in the ISIS-held town of Al-Bab, which is 180 kilometers northeast on the highway leading to Raqqa. At least 14 civilians were reportedly killed in the Turkish bombardment.

A battle for control of Al-Bab could prove particularly bloody and involve multiple antagonists in addition to ISIS. Turkish forces and Turkish-backed Islamist militias are advancing on the town from the west, the Russian-backed Syrian army is within striking distance from the south and US-backed Kurdish forces are approaching from the north and east. The main Turkish objective appears to be to prevent the Kurdish militia from taking Al-Bab, which would allow them to join their main enclave in northeastern Syria with territory they control in the northwest.

Turkish officials are already speaking of the latest incursion carving out a “de facto safe zone” that would divide Syrian Kurdish controlled areas in the east and west of the border area and leave Turkey in a more or less permanent occupation of a swathe of Syrian territory.

A spokesperson for the YPG said that the group had asked US forces to take a stand in their defense against the Turkish offensive. “They replied that a decision will be made in Washington,” he said.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement Wednesday expressing concern over Turkey’s offensive into Syria. “This calls into question the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic,” it said, adding, “We call on Ankara to refrain from any steps which can further destabilize the situation in Syria.” It pointed out that the Turkish operation had been launched without either the permission of the Syrian government or authorization by the United Nations.

Turkey renewed relations with Moscow last month in the wake of the abortive July 15 coup, which was widely seen as having been backed by Washington. The de-escalation of tensions played a significant role in freeing Ankara’s hand to launch its Syrian operation. After an incident in November of last year in which Turkish warplanes ambushed and shot down a Russian jet in the border area, relations were broken and the threat of a major armed conflict between Russia and Turkey, a member of the US-led NATO alliance, rose sharply.

The Erdogan government now appears to be disposed to pursuing its own interests by playing off Washington and Moscow, whose strategic objectives Syria—under the veneer of a common struggle against terrorism—are diametrically opposed.

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are set to meet in Geneva on Thursday and Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported. Washington has demanded the implementation of an immediate ceasefire, particularly in the area of Aleppo, where a government offensive has thrown back the Al Qaeda-linked militias that Washington and its allies have backed in the five-year-old war for regime change in Syria.

“We’re not going to take a deal that doesn’t meet our basic objectives,” US deputy national security advisor Benjamin Rhodes told reporters during a stop by President Obama in Laos.

These “objectives” were spelled out Wednesday in a 25-page “transition plan” issued by the so-called High Negotiations Committee, a front representing the Islamist militias and Syrian exile politicians aligned with various powers and their intelligence agencies that was cobbled together by the Saudi monarchy. It demands the ouster of “Bashar al-Assad and his clique” within six months and the installation of a “transitional governing body” that would rule the country for 18 months leading up to elections.

How such a body would be selected is not specified, but the transparent aim is to impose a regime in Damascus that would be aligned with Washington and its allies, thereby achieving US imperialist aims of furthering hegemony over the oil-rich Middle East and further isolating Russia and China.

The insistence on these objectives coupled with the increasing weakness of US-backed forces on the ground in Syria and the new aggressive intervention by NATO member Turkey are creating an extremely volatile situation in which the threat of a direct confrontation between the world’s two foremost nuclear powers, the US and Russia, is growing.

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“There has never been a man or a women – not me, not Bill, nobody – more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as the President of the United States of America” – Barack Obama speaking at the Democratic National Convention.

There he goes… the liar in chief is at it again: inverting reality and spouting some of the most transparent BS in modern history. The fact that Obama can stand up there and give such an outlandish endorsement of Killary is truly emblematic of his main strength: his ability to deceive.

Killary should be immediately disqualified from being eligible to run for President, considering the fact she had highly classified information on multiple unsecured private servers. Killary should be in jail, not running for the highest office in one of the most powerful countries on earth.

Even the thought of a Killary presidency should terrify everyone not only in the US, but everyone on the planet. Make no mistake about it: she is a neocon and a war hawk. Killary is not just a puppet of Wall Street, but of the military-industrial complex. She has received over $300,000 from war contractors in her presidential bid so far, the second highest amount (after Bernie Sanders) out of all the candidates who initially ran for President.

Killary was instrumental in NATO’s 2011 war in Libya, which resulted in the ousting of Muammar al- Qaddafi and the complete destruction of Libya – a country that previously had the highest standard of living on the African continent. She famously remarked after Qaddafi was murdered that “we came, we saw, he died” (before demonically laughing). I would question the mental sanity of anyone who paraphrases Julius Caesar in such circumstances.

With Killary at the helm, we can expect the total escalation of the Syrian conflict in addition to the very real potential of war with Iran. Killary is also a zealous supporter of Israel (along with Trump), and we can expect the continued support for Israel’s genocidal policies against the people of Palestine no matter who is elected.

Would the World Survive a Killary Presidency?

And now for the most dangerous aspect of a Killary administration: the very real danger of nuclear war with Russia. Although Vladimir Putin and the Russian leadership will try to work with Clinton in a bid to reduce tensions, her close relationship with the neocons and her warmongering attitude would most probably drive the world towards war.

In 2014, when referring to the Ukrainian conflict, Killary actually compared Putin to Hitler in one of the most disrespectful and ludicrous remarks that a Western politician has made in recent years. It becomes even more absurd when you consider the fact that the West overthrew the Ukrainian government, using and supportingneo-Nazis in the process.

A Clinton administration staffed with neocons and war hawks would continue the policy of encircling Russia, and of putting missile facilities in Eastern Europe. With tensions between NATO and Russia already great, the last thing the world needs is a Killary administration.

Putin: “The World is Being Pulled in an Irreversible Direction”

 I will leave you with the warning Putin issued to foreign journalists at the end of the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum on the 17th of June, regarding how NATO and the US are driving the world towards nuclear war, yet the Western public is absolutely oblivious to this reality considering the complete blackout in the mainstream media:

“The Iranian threat does not exist but the NATO missile defense system is being positioned in Europe… Now the system is functioning and being loaded with missiles… So, these are being loaded with missiles that can penetrate territories within a 500km range; but we know that technologies advance, and we even know in which year the US will accomplish the next missile. This missile will be able to penetrate distances of up to 1000km, and then even further; and from that point on, they will start to directly threaten Russia’s nuclear potential.”

Putin continues:

“We know year by year what’s going to happen, and they know that we know; it’s only you [the journalists] that they tell tall-tales too and you buy it, and spread it to the citizens of your countries. Your people in turn do not feel the sense of impending danger – this is what worries me. How do you not understand that theworld is being pulled in an irreversible direction? While they pretend that nothing’s going on. I don’t know how to get through to you anymore.”

Steven MacMillan is an independent writer, researcher, geopolitical analyst and editor of  The Analyst Report, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”

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Los bancos centrales del G-7 perdieron la brújula

September 8th, 2016 by Ariel Noyola Rodríguez

Es indudable, a los bancos centrales de los países industrializados se les agotó la artillería para combatir la crisis. Reunidos con motivo del encuentro anual de Jackson Hole, los responsables de la política monetaria escucharon aterrados el discurso pronunciado por la presidenta de la Reserva Federal de Estados Unidos, Janet Yellen, quien en lugar de despejar las dudas en torno a la recuperación de la economía global, alimentó todavía más el pánico: es imposible seguir confiando en que la economía norteamericana será la locomotora que saque del bajo crecimiento a las naciones industrializadas.

A punto de cumplirse ocho años de la quiebra de Lehman Brothers, los bancos centrales del Grupo de los 7 (G-7, integrado por Alemania, Canadá, Estados Unidos, Francia, Italia, Japón y Reino Unido) todavía no consiguen que sus economías registren tasas de crecimiento superiores a 3 por ciento. En un primer momento, la política monetaria sirvió como una poderosa herramienta para evitar una depresión en escala mundial, no obstante, hoy prácticamente está agotada: los bancos centrales de los países industrializados no tienen ninguna posibilidad de revertir por sí solos el ciclo a la baja de la economía global.

La economía estadounidense refleja cómo la política monetaria “no convencional” fracasó rotundamente en su intento por resolver las secuelas más profundas de la crisis de 2008. Según el Departamento del Trabajo de Estados Unidos, la tasa de desempleo se ubica muy cerca de 5 por ciento desde agosto de 2015.

No obstante, a la vez que buena parte de la gente ha dejado de buscar trabajo ante la falta de oportunidades, muchas de las personas que sí tienen un empleo en estos momentos estarían dispuestas a trabajar más tiempo para mejorar su nivel de ingreso. Así las cosas, la tasa U-6 (“subempleo”), que toma en cuenta tanto a los desempleados como a los que trabajan a tiempo parcial por razones económicas sigue estancada en 9.7 por ciento, es decir, representa casi el doble de la tasa de desempleo oficial (4.9 por ciento).

Cabe destacar, adicionalmente, que la generación de empleo en Estados Unidos no ha logrado convertirse hasta el momento en un incentivo para que los empresarios incrementen las remuneraciones salariales de modo significativo. Por esa razón la tasa de inflación interanual sigue por debajo de 2 por ciento, que es el objetivo de la Reserva Federal (FED).

La caída de los precios del petróleo por su parte, si bien sí ha tenido un impacto positivo en los bolsillos de las familias estadounidenses, ya que ha favorecido la disminución de los precios de los combustibles, también es cierto que el desplome de los precios de los hidrocarburos no deja de fortalecer las tendencias deflacionarias (caída de precios) que, dicho sea de paso, también se han visto apuntaladas por efecto de la apreciación del dólar.

Es así como la esperanza que el G-7 tenía puesta en la locomotora estadounidense para dejar atrás el bajo crecimiento se está diluyendo. El discurso que la presidenta de la FED, Janet Yellen, pronunció a finales de agosto en Jackson Hole, donde año tras año las autoridades monetarias mundiales se reúnen para intercambiar sus puntos de vista sobre los desafíos que enfrenta la economía global, lejos de despejar la incertidumbre, incrementó la desconfianza entre los bancos centrales.

Fiel a su estilo, Yellen puso de manifiesto su optimismo exacerbado, volvió a presumir que el sombrío panorama económico internacional no le ha impedido a Estados Unidos dirigirse hacia el “pleno empleo”. Pero, paradójicamente, Yellen se resistió a lanzar cualquier expresión que permitiera anticipar una nueva subida de la tasa de interés de los fondos federales (‘federal funds rate) en la próxima reunión del Comité Federal de Mercado Abierto (FOMC, por sus siglas en inglés), a realizarse a finales de septiembre. La presidenta de la FED quiso dejar claro que, aunque el proceso de recuperación de la economía norteamericana sigue tomando fuerza, aún no es concluyente.

Por ello, si bien el escenario de elevar la tasa de interés de referencia parece cada vez más cercano, todo parece indicar que, si la economía evoluciona de favorablemente, será hasta la reunión de diciembre cuando quizás se ejecute el segundo aumento del costo del crédito, esto es, un año después de haberse llevado a cabo el primero. Es que para el Gobierno de Barack Obama sería desastroso enfrentar un nuevo temblor financiero justo antes de concluir su mandato, a tan sólo unos meses de realizarse la elección presidencial, situación que sería aprovechada por el candidato del Partido Republicano, Donald Trump.

De cualquier manera, lo cierto es que la FED ha perdido toda credibilidad, tanto entre los bancos centrales del G-7 como en el plano interno. Luego de que el mercado de trabajo sufrió un descalabro en mayo pasado, las cifras del mes de agosto distan mucho de ser promisorias: la nómina no agrícola añadió únicamente 151 mil empleos en tanto que los inversionistas del mercado bursátil esperaban un incremento superior a las 180 mil plazas.

En definitiva, los multimillonarios son quienes han resultado más beneficiados de la presunta recuperación de la economía estadounidense, son ellos quienes a través de la especulación en la bolsa de valores, han ganado enormes sumas de dinero gracias a las políticas de crédito barato de la FED. Mientras tanto, el ingreso continúa concentrándose en el 1 por ciento de la población, con lo cual, crece el descontento social.

Según un sondeo realizado por Gallup en abril, sólo 28 por ciento de los estadounidenses tenía mucha confianza en las políticas que ha puesto en marcha la FED, mientras que 35 por ciento tenía poca o ninguna. En contraste, en los tiempos en los que Alan Greenspan estuvo a cargo, la confianza en la FED estaba por encima de los 70 puntos porcentuales.

Los bancos centrales del G-7 perdieron la brújula. Janet Yellen, en lugar de presentar respuestas fiables a los graves problemas de la economía mundial, cae en el descrédito una y otra vez. En los años recientes, los bancos centrales de los países industrializados provocaron que la economía mundial se volviera adicta a la acumulación de deuda y a las operaciones de alto riesgo en los mercado bursátiles, por eso el estallido de una nueva crisis de dimensiones colosales es inevitable, solamente es cuestión de tiempo. El gran peligro es que esta vez los responsables de la política monetaria ya no tienen artillería para combatirla…

Ariel Noyola Rodríguez



Ariel Noyola Rodríguez : Economista egresado de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).


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China Challenges US Dollar Hegemony, Seeks New Global Financial Order

September 8th, 2016 by Ariel Noyola Rodríguez

During the first Annual Summit organized by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in Beijing, China has shown her intention to take over the global leadership in infrastructure investment. By the end of this year, AIIB would have more than 100 members, making it the first lending institution in multilateral loans in history, under the control of the most important emerging countries. Yet, it is expected that she makes the decision of dropping off the Dollar, as it is the only way to break away from US hegemony in international finance.

China is already ahead of the US in the race of financing infrastructure at the global level. International Finance is going through transformation, in spite of the strong resistance by the powerful American controlling power. Last year, high officials from Washington had tried to sabotage the launch of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank – AIIB, but failed to do so.

In fact, countries that had formerly declared their allegiance to the US government, namely Germany, France, Italy, UK, had, at the end of the day, taken the decision to join the new multilateral lending institution promoted by Beijing. President Barack Obama could not imagine that the AIIB would have got the support of more than fifty countries within a few months.

Without a doubt, China is accelerating US decline across the globe. In April 2015, Larry Summers, former Secretary of Treasury under Bill Clinton, declared that the successful call made by the AIIB represented the most dreadful blow to the US hegemony. « Last month will be remembered as the time where US have lost their role as gatekeeper of the World Economic System », he said.

Beijing is delaying its major attack against the Dollar

However, until now, China has been proceeding with the uttermost caution. As a result, the majority of G-7 countries – Germany, Canada, USA, France, Japan, Italy and UK – have hailed the launch of AIIB. Nonetheless, in spite of the extraordinary power of attraction of Beijing’s offer which reduced the influence of Washington over the Global Infrastructure Investment Finance, AIIB is holding itself back from rejecting the Dollar. And while many had speculatedthat AIIB loans would be issued in Yuan, or possibly in local currencies, to this date, all loans have been issued in USD currency.

Furthermore, we should also take note that three out of the four loans which have been approved by AIIB this year, amounting to USD 509 million, are investments which are linked to the traditional World financial institutions , built after World War II Washington’s model. In my view, Chinese investors want to make use of shares that have been invested in World Bank and Asian Development Bank, as well as of the excellent relations already established with Europe.

At present, AIIB is co-financing, together with World Bank, a Housing Project in Indonesia, through a loan of USD 216,5 million; she also co-finances a Road Construction Project in Pakistan of USD 100 million, together with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and UK’s International Development Department ; Another loan amounting to USD 27,5 millions, financed by the European for Reconstruction and Development, is supporting the Road Upgrading Project in Tadjikistan; The only project which AIIB finances itself is a loan of USD 165 million to support the Power Plant Project in rural Bangladesh.

The Asian Bank’s mission as Global Investor in Infrastructure

Above all, AIIB’s launch marks a significant threshold in the history of multilateral credit institutions as the first bank – in addition to the new BRICS Development Bank – to be owned mainly by emerging economies.

The financial contribution of the super economies of the BRICS Eastern countries are important: Chinese shares occupy 29,78%, followed by Indian shares with 8,36%, and Russian shares come third with 6,53%. The twenty (20) remaining shareholders come from other regions represent only ¼ (25%) of the authorized registered capital amounting to USD 100 billion.

Initially, AIIB was conceived to support mainly Asian economies, yet, China seems to consider upgrading it into an institution with global reach, capable of assembling aspirations of the rest of the emerging economies. In this perspective, during the launch of the first Annual Summit in Beijing last June, AIIB president, Jin Liqun, a Chinese national, announced that he was considering adding 24 more countries to the existing list.

In Latin America, Chile, Columbia, Venezuela are now applying. In Africa, Algeria, Libya, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan already signed up. It is useful to note the application of Canada, who is member to the North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA), just as Mexico and USA are. In Europe, Cyprus, Greece, and Ireland are highly interested to join in. If all goes well as it does until now, it is possible that by the end of this year, AIIB will have gathered more than 100 member countries, i.e. at least 34 more members than the Asian Development Bank itself, although it still has a long way to go to reach the level of World Bank whose membership reaches 183.

Opting for a multipolar world

AIIB has still a lot to do on its agenda. Indeed, although the Asian region has registered a high level of GDP growth during the last two decades, she has not managed to set up a first class infrastructure yet. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of the United Arab Emirates, stated that in the Asia Pacific region, around 1,500 million people are still lacking basic sanitary installations, 260 million still have no access to drinking water, and at least 500,000 have no current electricity in their home.

In conclusion, AIIB first Annual Summit showed China’s determination to be part of International Finance “Premier League”. Through its commitment in the construction of the “Silk Road”, AIIB is a power counterbalance to the geo-economic influence of the US and Japan in Asia. Nonetheless, in order to speed up the construction of a multipolar world order, it is imperative that AIIB Executives make the decision to drop the Dollar, and, more importantly, to keep up their promises on improving standards of living of the people.

Ariel Noyola Rodriguez is an economist graduated from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

Source: Russia Today (Spanish). Translation: Current Concerns (Switzerland).

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Fidel Castro, héroe de los desheredados

September 8th, 2016 by Salim Lamrani

Personaje controvertido en Occidente, donde es fuertemente criticado, Fidel Castro es admirado en cambio por los pueblos de América Latina y del Tercer Mundo, que lo consideran un símbolo de la resistencia a la opresión y un defensor de la aspiración de los países del Sur a la independencia, a la soberanía y a la autodeterminación. Rebelde mítico que entró en vida en el Panteón de los grandes libertadores del continente americano, el antiguo guerrillero de la Sierra Maestra ha visto su prestigio superar fronteras continentales para convertirse en el arquetipo del antiimperialismo del siglo XX y el vector de un mensaje universal de emancipación.

Los medios occidentales, por sus crispaciones ideológicas y una condescendencia obvia hacia los pueblos del Sur, no han logrado entender la importancia histórica de Fidel Castro para Cuba, América Latina y el Tercer Mundo. Desde José Martí, el héroe nacional cubano, ningún otro personaje ha simbolizado con tanta fuerza las aspiraciones del pueblo cubano a la soberanía nacional, a la independencia económica y a la justicia social.

Fidel Castro es un símbolo de orgullo, de dignidad, de resistencia y de lealtad a los principios y su prestigio ha superado las fronteras de su tierra natal para irradiar el mundo. El líder histórico de la Revolución Cubana tomó las armas a favor de los oprimidos y reivindicó sus derechos a una vida decente. Procedente de una de las familias más adineradas del país, renunció a todos sus privilegios de clase para defender a los sin voces, abandonados a su suerte e ignorados por los pudientes.

Fidel Castro dispone de una legitimidad histórica. Armas en mano luchó contra la sangrienta dictadura de Fulgencio Batista durante el ataque al cuartel Moncada en 1953 y durante la insurrección en la Sierra Maestra de diciembre de 1956 a diciembre de 1958. Triunfó contra un régimen militar brutal dotado de un impresionante poder de fuego y apoyado por Estados Unidos. En un contexto de hostilidad extrema ha realizado el sueño de José Martí de una Cuba independiente y soberana y ha guiado a su pueblo en el camino de la emancipación plena y definitiva oponiendo una resistencia a toda prueba frente a las pretensiones hegemónicas de Washington.

Fidel Castro también dispone de una legitimidad constitucional. Cada uno tiene derecho a pensar lo que quiera sobre el sistema electoral cubano pero fue elegido, cada cinco años, de 1976 a 2006. Antes de esa fecha sólo era primer ministro y no presidente de la República. En efecto, contrariamente a una idea preconcebida, Cuba ha tenido a no menos de cuatro presidentes de la República desde 1959: Manuel Urrutia de enero de 1959 a julio de 1959, Osvaldo Dorticós de julio de 1959 a 1975, Fidel Castro de 1976 a 2006 y Raúl Castro desde 2006, cuyo gobierno terminará en 2018 tras la reforma constitucional que limita el número de mandatos a dos.

Ningún dirigente puede permanecer a la cabeza de un país durante treinta años, en un contexto de guerra larvada con Estados Unidos, sin un apoyo mayoritario del pueblo. Obviamente, como en toda sociedad, existen insatisfechos, críticos y decepcionados. La Revolución Cubana, obra de mujeres y hombres, es por definición imperfecta y jamás ha tenido la pretensión de erigirse en ejemplo. Pero la inmensa mayoría de los cubanos tiene mucho respeto hacia Fidel Castro y jamás ha puesto en tela de juicio sus nobles intenciones. Estados Unidos siempre se ha mostrado muy lúcido al respecto. Así, el 6 de abril de 1960, Lester D. Mallory, subsecretario adjunto de Estado para los Asuntos Interamericanos, recordó en un memorándum a Roy Rubottom Jr., entonces subsecretario de Estado para los Asuntos Interamericanos, el prestigio del líder cubano: “La mayoría de los cubanos apoya a Castro. No hay oposición política eficaz […]. El único medio posible para aniquilar el apoyo interno [al gobierno] es provocar el desencanto y el desaliento por la insatisfacción económica y la penuria”.[1] Washington siguió ese consejo y dio prueba de una hostilidad encarnizada contra los cubanos imponiendo sanciones económicas sumamente severas que duran hasta hoy. Pero la empresa no ha sido coronada de éxito. En efecto, cerca de medio siglo después, la popularidad de Fidel Castro sigue viva. Es lo que ha podido constatar Jonathan D. Farrar, entonces jefe de la diplomacia estadounidense en La Habana quien no ha dejado de enfatizar “la admiración personal significativa para Fidel” por parte de los cubanos, recordando que “sería un error subestimar […] el apoyo del cual dispone el gobierno, particularmente entre las comunidades populares y los estudiantes”.[2]

Tres facetas caracterizan al personaje de Fidel Castro. En primer lugar es el arquitecto de la soberanía nacional que ha realizado el sueño del Apóstol y Héroe Nacional José Martí de una Cuba independiente y ha devuelto su dignidad al pueblo de la Isla. Después es el reformador social que se ha ubicado al lado de los humildes y los humillados creando una de las sociedades menos injustas del Tercer Mundo. Finalmente es el internacionalista que ha tendido una mano generosa a los pueblos necesitados y que ha ubicado la solidaridad y la integración en el centro de la política exterior de Cuba.


Salim Lamrani

Fidel Castro, héros des déshérités

Paris, Editions Estrella, 2016

Prix : 20€

272 pages.





[1]Lester D. Mallory, « Memorandum From the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Mallory) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (Rubottom) », 6 de abril de 1960, Department of State, Central Files, 737.00/4-660, Secret, Drafted by Mallory, in Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS), 1958-1960, Volume VI, Cuba: (Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1991), p. 885.

[2]Jonathan D. Farrar, « The Speculation on Fidel’s Health », United States Interests Section, 9 de enero de 2009, cable 09HAVANA35, (sitio consultado el 18 de diciembre de 2010).

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Since September 7, the Russian Aerospace Forces have delivered about 50 air strikes on terrorist targets in the Idlib and Aleppo countrysides, with special attention to the Ramouseh-Khan Tuman road and the Aleppo-Damascus highway. Local sources say that the air strikes resulted in deaths of 70 militants and destruction of a number of military equipment belonged to the Jaish al-Fatah operation room.

Meanwhile, clashes continued in the Ramouseh Neighborhood and at Ameria Neighborhood of Aleppo city that the Syrian army and its allies were seeking to secure in order to tighten the siege of militant-controlled areas.

The Syrian Army’s Tiger Forces and Hezbollah have continued military operations in the province of Hama in order to regain the areas that had been captured by the local terrorist alliance led by Jund Al-Aqsa. Recently, the loyalists regained Ma’ardes, Iskenderiyah, Khirbat Al-Hajamah and Talet Al-‘Abadah. The strategic village of Souran is expected to become the next target of the pro-government forces’ counter-attacks in the area.

On September 8, over 1000 of cadets reportedly completed a 6 month training cycle for the Syrian Marines, graduating in front of a group of Russian advisors in the Latakia Governorate. Reports said that this grouping have been deployed to northern Latakia under the control of the Syrian Marines commander Aymen Al-Jaber. There is no confirmed information where these reinforcements are set to be sent.

The Syrian Marines, Liwa Suqur al-Sahara and the Tiger Forces are some of the most effective, well-trained and well-equipped parts of the Syrian ground forces. In February 2016, SouthFront released the video titled “Russian Military Advisers in Syria” with detailed analysis of the Russian advise-and-assist missions in the Arab country and a full-scale military aid program in the Arab country. Since then, the Russians have continued the quiet work behind the scenes, transforming the Syrian military into the force that is ready to turn the tide of the war.

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Continental Resources — the company founded and led by CEO Harold Hamm, energy adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and potential U.S. Secretary of Energy under a Trump presidency — has announced to investors that oil it obtains via hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) from North Dakota’s Bakken Shale basin is destined for transport through the hotly-contested Dakota Access pipeline.

The company’s 37-page September 2016 Investor Update presentation walks investors in the publicly-traded company through various capital expenditure and profit-margin earning scenarios. It also features five slides on the Bakken Shale, with the fifth one named “CLR Bakken Differentials Decreasing Through Increased Pipeline Capacity” honing in on Dakota Access, ETCOP and how the interconnected lines relate to Continental’s marketing plans going forward.

In a section of that slide titled, “Bakken Takeaway Capacity” a bar graph points out that the opening of Dakota Access would allow more barrels of Continental’s Bakken fracked oil to flow through pipelines.

Dakota Access is slated to carry the fracked Bakken oil across South Dakota, Iowa and into Patoka, Illinois. From there, it will connect to the company’s Energy Transfer Crude Oil Pipeline (ETCOP) line, which terminates in Nederland, Texas at the Sunoco Logistics-owned refinery.

From Keystone XL to Dakota Access

Previously, Harold Hamm was as an outspoken supporter of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline, deploying the lobbying group he founded named the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance to advocate for KXL and a Bakken on-ramp which would connect to it. Once he realized the northern leg was doomed politically, Hamm began singing a different tune on Keystone.

“We’re supporting other pipelines out there, we’re not waiting on Keystone. Nobody is,” Hamm, also an energy adviser to Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, told Politico in November 2014. “That thing … needed action on it six years ago. I just think it’s too late and we need to move on.”

One of those ‘other pipelines’ Hamm appears to have taken an interest in is Dakota Access (DAPL). Although to date, neither Hamm nor Trump have commented publicly on the DAPL project. Continental Resources told DeSmog that it does not comment on pipeline shipping contracts.

As The Intercept’s Lee Fang pointed out in a recent article, some oil from Dakota Access could feed export markets, despite Energy Transfer’s claims in a presentation that it will feature “100% Domestic produced crude” that “supports 100% domestic consumption.”

Hamm’s Domestic Energy Producers Alliance, as revealed in a December 2015 DeSmog investigation, led the successful public relations and lobbying campaign charge for lifting the crude oil export ban.

The battle over the fate of Dakota Access has pitted Native American Tribes, environmentalists and libertarian private property rights supporters against Energy Transfer Partners and state- and federal-level agencies which have permitted the project.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe awaits a decision by a Judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in its lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, set for September 9.

“Hamm is an oil profiteer exploiting the health of the water, farmland, and communities in the Dakotas and all downstream,” Angie Carter of the Women, Food and Agriculture Network — one of the over 30 groups comprising the Iowa-based Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition — told DeSmog. “In Iowa, we’ve called upon both Trump and Clinton to speak out against the pipeline.”

Like Trump, Clinton has yet to comment on the pipeline.

Image Credit: Continental Resources

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On September 5, the Fatah Halab militant group that is a part of the Al Nusra Front-led operation room called “Jaish al-Fatah” announced an advance on the Al-Amiriyah Neighborhood of Aleppo City. By September 6, the militants claim to have already captured about 80% of the neighborhood. Pro-militant sources also claimed that Jaish al-Fatah resized the town of Qarassi. This cannot be confirmed. The Syrian government forces and the terrorist alliance control some parts of the town.

The Russian Aerospace Forces have been pounding the Aleppo-Idlib countryside, destroying terrorist targets along the Aleppo-Damascus Highway. Air strikes were reported at Khan Tuman, Saraqib, Hikma School, Qarassi in the Aleppo neighborhoods of Ramouseh and Al-Amiriyah and in the areas south of the Ramouseh Artillery Base. The goal of the air strikes is to allow the Syrian army, Hezbollah and other pro-government units to consolidate the recent gains and contribute to further operations to set control of the Ramouseh Industrial District.

If the pro-government forces are able to secure Ramouseh and Al-Amiriyah neighborhoods, they will be able to reopen the southern supply line to western Aleppo.

In the province of Homs, the Syrian army and the National Defense Forces have recaptured the Tal Sawwan hill, the village of Huwaysis and the Al-Mahr Gas Fields that they had lost to the ISIS terrorist group earlier. This allowed the pro-government forces to stabilize front-line in the area amid heavy clashes at other frontlines.

Russia and the United States may reach an agreement on resolving the Syrian crisis, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on September 5. The statement was made following a meeting with US President Barack Obama.

According to Putin, the two leaders have come to a common understanding. Putin said that he had “grounds to believe” that the first results may be achieved “within the next few days.”

Obama described his meeting with Putin as “candid” and “blunt” focusing mainly on Syria and Ukraine. He noted that an agreement with Russia on ending the violence in Syria is being hampered by “gaps of trust” between the two governments. Obama called the discussion on Syria “productive” but noted that the gaps have not been closed in negotiations between Russia and the US in a way that they think would “actually work.” In other words the sides will continue negotiations till they are able to reach a consensus or the situation on the ground in Syria will give an upper hand to one of the sides.

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U.S. Denies Entry to former British Ambassador Craig Murray

September 8th, 2016 by World Beyond War

The U.S. government, for no stated reason, and after having approved his entry in the past, has denied Craig Murray the usual approval to enter the United States without a visa that is given to UK citizens. Craig Murray was British Ambassador to Uzbekistan from 2002 to 2004.

Murray was forced out of the British public service after he exposed the use of torture by Britain’s Uzbek allies. Murray is scheduled to chair the presentation of this year’s Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence to CIA torture whistleblower John Kiriakou, and to speak about diplomacy as an alternative to war at a World Beyond War conference planned for September 23-25 in Washington, D.C.

Please sign this petition to the State Department.

In 2006 Murray was himself awarded the Sam Adams Award, and the citation included the following: “Mr. Murray learned that the intelligence authorities of the UK and the US were receiving and using information extracted by the most sadistic methods of torture by Uzbek authorities. He protested strongly to London, to no avail. He was forced out of the British Foreign Office, but has no regrets. There are more important things than career…Mr. Murray’s light has pierced a thick cloud of denial and deception. He has set a courageous example for those officials of the ‘Coalition of the Willing’ who have first-hand knowledge of the inhuman practices involved in the so-called ‘war on terror’ but who have not yet been able to find their voice.”

Shocked by the denial of approval to enter the United States without a visa, Murray stated: “I shall apply for a visa via the State Department as suggested but I must be on a list to be refused under the ESTA system, and in any event it is most unlikely to be completed before the conference.”

“It is worth noting,” Murray added,” that despite the highly critical things I have published about Putin, about civil liberties in Russia and the annexation of the Crimea, I have never been refused entry to Russia. The only two countries that have ever refused me entry clearance are Uzbekistan and the USA. What does that tell you?

“I have no criminal record, no connection to drugs or terrorism, have a return ticket, hotel booking and sufficient funds. I have a passport from a visa waiver country and have visited the USA frequently before during 38 years and never overstayed. The only possible grounds for this refusal of entry clearance are things I have written against neo-liberalism, attacks on civil liberties and neo-conservative foreign policy. People at the conference in Washington will now not be able to hear me speak. Plainly ideas can be dangerous. So much for the land of the free!”

The following joint statement has been signed by members of the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence listed below:

News that former British Ambassador Craig Murray has been denied entry to the United States under the regular visa waiver program is both shocking and appalling. We Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII) had invited Craig to be Master of Ceremonies at our award ceremony honoring John Kiriakou, the CIA torture whistleblower (more details at ), this September as part of the ‘No War 2016’ conference. 

Now we’re wondering which agency’s long arms have reached out to disrupt our ceremony and to try to silence Craig. 

Whatever they intend, it will be bound to backfire, since it only makes the US government look like some sort of monolithic repressive apparatus out to mimic the world’s worst despotic regimes. Ambassador Murray notes in his blog that Uzbekistan — whose government apparatchiks are notorious for torturing its citizens — is the only other country to have barred his entry. Even Russia – which Ambassador Murray criticizes freely – allows him to travel there trouble-free. What are the implications for US democratic values?

We strongly urge the State Department to reverse its decision and allow Ambassador Murray freedom of travel and freedom of expression without hindrance in the United States of America.

William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA
Thomas Drake, former Senior Executive, NSA
Philip Giraldi, CIA, Operations Officer (ret.)
Matthew Hoh, 
former Capt., USMC, Iraq & Foreign Service Officer, Afghanistan
Larry Johnson, CIA and State Dept. (ret.)
John Brady Kiesling, former US diplomat
John Kiriakou, Former CIA Counterterrorism Officer
Karen Kwiatkowski, Lt. Col., US Air Force (ret.)
David MacMichael Ph.D., CIA, US Marine Corps captain (ret.)
Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East, CIA (ret.)
Todd E. Pierce, MAJ, JA, USA (ret.)
Diane Roark, former staff, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (ret.)
Coleen Rowley, retired FBI agent and former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel
Peter Van Buren, U.S. Department of State, Foreign Service Officer (ret.)
J. Kirk Wiebe, Senior Analyst, NSA (ret.)

World Beyond War has created a petition appealing to the State Department 

World Beyond War, the organization behind the No War 2016 conference at which Murray is scheduled to speak, has created an online petition to the State Department.

David Swanson, Director of World Beyond War, said “This attempt to prevent a truth-teller from speaking in support of nonviolence is absolutely shameful. This is not a policy created to represent any view of the U.S. public, and we are not going to stand for it.”

Sign the Declaration of Peace.

Find events all over the world that you can take part in.

Join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Support World Beyond War’s work by clicking here.

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Hillary is so irreparably tainted and unfit to serve, her key strategy is diverting attention from her wrongdoing two ways – bashing Trump beyond customary campaign jousting and spreading misinformation and Big Lies about Russia, using the media as press agents to do her dirty work.

Neocon Washington Post editors and staff one-sidedly support her, one of many examples of how low US media scoundrels have sunk – transforming themselves into disgraceful laughing stocks.

The way to stay misinformed and brainwashed is by following their reports. WaPo’s latest anti-Russia harangue is claiming a potential covert plot to disrupt November elections.

Guilt by accusation suffices, no verifiable evidence needed, WaPo saying “US intelligence and law enforcement agencies are investigating what they see as a broad covert Russian operation in the United States to sow public distrust in the upcoming presidential election and in US political institutions, (unnamed) intelligence and congressional officials said.”

When sources remain unnamed, speaking on condition of anonymity, automatic red flags are raised – especially when Russia is irresponsibly bashed, practically a daily affair by media scoundrels and rogue government officials.

Nothing suggest Russia or its predecessor the Soviet Union ever attempted to interfere with America’s political process – nor does evidence exist indicating it’s now happening.

One unnamed US source admitted America’s intelligence community has no “definitive proof” or anything suggesting a Russian plot to manipulate or otherwise disrupt the nation’s electoral process.

So why is WaPo reporting rubbish, vicious Russia-bashing propaganda, while ignoring how America interferes in numerous elections abroad to assure officials in charge serve its interests?

Press agent journalism operates this way, Hillary picking up on WaPo’s report, claiming nonexistent Russian interference in America’s electoral process is “a threat from an adversarial foreign power.”

She outrageously accused Trump of encouraging Moscow to spy on her, saying “(w)e’ve never had a foreign adversarial power be already involved in our electoral process, (and) we’ve never had a nominee of one of our major parties urging the Russians to hack more.”

Irresponsibly bashing Russia and Trump diverts attention from her own high crimes, a deplorable record at least since the 1990s. Media scoundrels serve her interests, going all-out to assure she succeeds Obama – humanity’s fate hanging in the balance if successful.

Russia bashing is part of longterm strategy heading inevitably toward East/West confrontation – the unthinkable possibility of nuclear war.

Bipartisan neocon lunatics infesting Washington could attack anytime at their discretion, inventing a pretext for global war – the greatest risk with Hillary in power, why stopping her is urgent.

According to WaPo, administration officials are “weighing their response” to baseless anti-Russian allegations.

Are they preparing for war once Hillary in all likelihood assumes power next year? Humanity’s survival is more at risk than ever with her finger on the nuclear trigger.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]

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

Visit his blog site at Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

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Obama and the US Secret War in Laos

September 8th, 2016 by Peter Symonds

Barack Obama arrived Monday night in the Laotian capital of Vientiane, becoming the first US president to return to the scene of one of US imperialism’s bloodiest crimes, even as his administration is preparing new wars on a far greater scale.

Obama will attend the East Asian Summit where rising tensions with China over the South China Sea are set to dominate following a ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in favour of a US-backed Philippine challenge to China’s territorial claims.

In a pre-recorded CNN interview aired on Sunday, Obama signalled his intent to deliver a blunt message to Chinese President Xi Jinping to abide by the court’s decision. “When we see them violating international rules and norms, as we have seen in some cases in the South China Sea, or in some of their behaviour when it comes to economic policy, we’ve been very firm,” he said, warning: “We’ve indicated to them that there will be consequences.”

What utter hypocrisy! As with every other international rule and norm, the US insists that others abide by rulings under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) which it has not even ratified. Over the course of his two terms in office, Obama has transformed the long-running regional disputes in the South China Sea into a dangerous international flashpoint that threatens to trigger war.

Obama routinely declares that China must abide by the “international rules-based order”—that is, the post-World War II order that enshrined American global hegemony and empowered Washington to write the rules for others. He also boasts that it was US military might in the Asia Pacific that ensured “peace” and underwrote the region’s massive economic expansion over the past 40 years.

American dominance in Asia, however, was only established through a series of criminal neo-colonial wars—in particular in Korea and Indochina—that cost the lives of millions, as well as countless diplomatic intrigues and CIA-backed coups. The bloodiest coup, in Indonesia in 1965-66, involved the slaughter of at least a half million workers, peasants and members of the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI).

The CIA’s secret war in Laos ranks among American imperialism’s worst war crimes. Between 1964 and 1973, the US conducted 580,000 missions and dropped more than two million bombs on a country less than the size of New Zealand. That is equivalent to one planeload of bombs every eight minutes, 24 hours a day, or roughly one tonne of explosives for every man, woman and child in Laos at the time. Laos remains the most heavily bombed country per capita in history.

The US took over from the French in attempting to suppress the anti-colonial movement throughout Indochina—Vietnam and Cambodia as well as Laos—that was dominated by Stalinist parties and backed by the Soviet Union and China. The CIA used every dirty trick in the book to prop up the Royal Lao Government and disrupt North Vietnamese soldiers and supplies from passing down the so-called Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos and Cambodia into South Vietnam.

The CIA was centrally involved, as the war did not have congressional approval and was kept under a cloak of secrecy by the American political and media establishment. As the Royal Laotian army crumbled, CIA operatives recruited, armed and trained an anti-communist guerrilla force estimated at 30,000 from among hill tribes, largely the Hmong. These were bolstered by a secret army of mercenaries from Thailand and US-trained soldiers from South Vietnam, Taiwan, South Korea and the Philippines.

Some 350,000 men, women and children were killed in the carnage, and a tenth of the country’s population was displaced by the fighting. The CIA’s Hmong allies lost so many fighters that they turned to the forcible recruitment of child soldiers as young as eight. To fund the war, the Hmong, assisted by the CIA, grew and sold opium, helping to fuel a global heroin epidemic. The CIA company, Air America, flew the drugs out of land-locked Laos.

The secret war devastated the country. According to one account, “Village after village was levelled, countless people burned alive by high explosives, or by napalm and white phosphorus, or riddled by anti-personnel bomb pellets.” Vast quantities of unexploded ordnance cover nearly a third of the country and have killed or maimed at least 20,000 people since the end of the war. More than 12,000 survivors are in need of ongoing medical care and rehabilitation.

A pittance in US aid—just $118 million—has been provided to deal with unexploded bombs. An estimated 1 percent of contaminated land has been cleared. The Obama administration has increased the amount from $5 million in 2010 to $19.5 million this year, not out of any concern for the Laotian people, but rather as part of its efforts to bully and bribe the Vientiane regime to loosen its ties with Beijing and reorient towards Washington.

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War has not led to peace but to an escalating succession of wars over the past 25 years, as American capitalism has sought to offset its decline through military might. As was the case in Laos and more broadly Indochina and Korea, whole countries—Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya—have been devastated in an effort to shore up American global hegemony.

As the global economic breakdown worsens, the United States is actively and aggressively preparing for war against major powers—above all, China and Russia. Washington’s diplomatic efforts in Vientiane are part of Obama’s far broader “pivot to Asia” over the past five years aimed at undermining, weakening and militarily encircling China. As a result, the South China Sea is just one of the flashpoints in Asia that Obama has deliberately inflamed and that could set off a conflict between the two nuclear-armed powers.

Only the working class can halt the slide into another catastrophic world war. This underscores the necessity of the political fight being waged by the International Committee of the Fourth International to build an international anti-war movement uniting workers in the US, China, throughout Asia and the world to put an end to capitalism and to reconstruct society on socialist foundations.

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Much of the power of the New York Times derives from its ability to declare what the serious center is and who is relegated to the dismissible margins. You can see that power being exercised in a recent Times report (9/4/16) on British politics by Steven Erlanger.

The story focused on Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn—or “its left-wing leader, Jeremy Corbyn,” in the Times‘ formulation. The point of the piece is to blame Corbyn for the fact that “the Labour Party is in shambles: Its leader and its members of Parliament are in a virtual civil war, and it is deeply unpopular with the broader electorate.”

Labour’s unpopularity is easy to exaggerate;  its projected national share of the vote in the last local elections, held in May 2016, was 31 percent, a percentage point ahead of the Conservatives; this is considered unpromising, as opposition parties that are soon to become governing parties generally do better than that, but it’s an improvement over May 2015 (four months before Corbyn assumed leadership), when Labour trailed by 6 percentage points.

Corbyn’s responsibility for Labour’s woes, however, is taken for granted by the Times—because he’s just too far left:

Mr. Corbyn, a man of the hard left who also wants to renationalize the utilities and make Britain non-nuclear, is deeply skeptical of the United States and considers NATO an outdated, aggressive alliance…. First elected to Parliament in 1983, Mr. Corbyn had always been on Labour’s fringe. He supported Hugo Chávez, the leftist Venezuelan strongman; has pushed hard for more spending for the poor; and has been a persistent critic of Israel and supporter of Palestinian statehood.

The thing is, some of these “hard left” positions are widely popular in the United Kingdom. A 2013 YouGov poll  (11/4/13), for example, found 68 percent of UK voters in favor of nationalizing energy companies, and 66 percent supporting railroad nationalization. When recognition of Palestinian statehood was considered by the UN in 2011, a BBC poll (9/19/11) found 53 percent of Britons in favor, only 26 percent opposed.

As for pushing for more spending on the poor, given a choice between “Labour should offer more for people in poverty” and “Labour should offer more for people on middle incomes” in a poll sponsored by the Trades Union Congress (5/20/15), 44 percent of UK citizens picked the former, vs. 29 choosing the latter.

The British public is more mixed on the UK’s nuclear force, with 51 percent expressing support for the nation’s submarine warheads in an ORB poll and 49 percent advocating scrapping them (Independent1/24/16). I couldn’t find any polling on how the British public felt about Corbyn’s attitude toward Hugo Chávez, perhaps because no one thought that this issue was a particularly vital one for the UK electorate.

It’s probably true that Corbyn is more skeptical of the United States and NATOthan the average Brit. But it’s hard not to get the impression that certain positions are identified by Erlanger as problematic not because they’re unpopular with Corbyn’s constituents—but because they’re unpopular with the New York Times.

Jim Naureckas is the editor of You can follow him on Twitter at @JNaureckas.

You can send a message to the New York Times at [email protected]  (Twitter:@NYTimes). Please remember that respectful communication is the most effective.

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If the reader is looking for the ‘indispensable’ nation and its ‘exceptionalism’, this is the book for you.  Michael Mandelbaum, whose credentials include a PhD in Political Science from Harvard (which speaks volumes about initial bias in itself) and writes in association with another true believer – Thomas Friedman of the New York Times – wrote Mission Failure as an acknowledgement that U.S. foreign policy has failed in some areas, but not because it was their fault.  The ‘fault’ lines I have to qualify, as he does accept blame for NATO’s expansion eastward as a mistake, but counters as if it is the dictatorship and aggressiveness of Russia that truly mattered.

It is, essentially, the mainstream media message concerning the United States and current events mainly from the Clinton era through to the Russian “invasion” of Ukraine.  The arguments presented have many faults that anyone reading alternate materials – rather than those derived from CNN, FOX, or any other U.S. corporate based media production – could recognize.

The big one, the mind numbing one, the oftly reiterated one (as if the Big Lie, when told often enough, becomes the truth) is that U.S. intentions are always good, and that all that was intended was to establish democracy and freedom throughout the world.  Fine and noble sentiments but essentially all rhetoric and hubris covering over the quest for global hegemony for other ignored reasons.

The work starts with China and Russia, then transfers over to the Middle East, then returns to China and Russia at the end.  The mission in China was human rights, followed by capitalism leading towards democracy (always the conflation of the decidedly non-democratic structures of capitalism with the the promotion of democracy – probably taught at Harvard poli-sci).  In China the policy failed “Because the United States did not have the power to enforce it.”  Well of course, China has nuclear weapons and would use them to defend itself – as well as owning a large segment of U.S. debt and harboring many U.S. corporate endeavours.

With Russia the writing concerns its opening up under Yeltsin and then its aggressive, hostile and non-democratic stance under the evil Putin.   In reference to NATO, Mandelbaum establishes his only realistic acceptance of U.S. screwups.   “Russia accepted NATO expansion because it had no choice [short of nuclear war],” and “for no gain at all”  the “NATO expansion [was] one of the greatest blunders in the history of American foreign policy.”

After reading the first parts of the book I had almost given up and decided it was not worth reading, but after this statement I continued on.  There was no redemption. The writing continued in its very narrow sighted scope of interpretation (very similar in style to Friedman’s) with the fault for the problems always being the other guy.

It is not worth referencing many of the canards, dissimulations, conflations, and outright lies that abound in the book.  What is noteworthy, as usual, is what is not presented.

“Western interests”

Mandelbaum does discuss briefly the Washington consensus institutions such as the IMF, WTO, World Bank, et al, but never digs deep enough to consider that they are an essential part of the U.S.  corporate/military drive towards global hegemony (recall Friedman’s “hidden glove” of the military protecting U.S.interest abroad – at least he had that part right).  That need/desire for power comes from these institutions doing their best to protect the sanctity of the US$ as the global fiat reserve currency.  There is no discussion of this and its relationship with the Saudis and that the global trade in oil – re the petrodollar – is done via the US$.

Nor is there any mention of the ideas presented in John Perkins “Confessions of an Economic Hitman”(Berrett-Koehler Publishers (Nov. 9 2004))  concerning how these institutions attempted and mostly succeeded into bringing many countries into the world of debt (and thus control) being owed to the central monetary powers of the west (and such “western interests” as frequently stated by Mandelbaum without truly being defined).  Another good read along this line should be Michael Hudson’s “Killing the Host” (CounterPunch (August 26, 2015)) that outlines how the current financial structures supercede sovereignty and control the countries of the world through debt obligations. Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine” (Vintage/Random House, 2007) examines the highly predatory negative impacts of corporate/financial doctrines around the world.

In other words, “western interests” are very poorly aligned with freedom and democracy and much more in tune with corporate/military/political hegemony for the ruling small percentage of those in power generally behind the scenes.

Tribalism et al

Mandelbaum’s writing concerning the greater Middle East takes a different angle.  For this large area the main problem is the backwardness, the clannish nature, the religious differences, and the tribalism that permeates the region.   I will always find it ironic that many western writers deride Arab tribalism when Michael Oren, former ambassador to the U.S., takes pride in his Jewish  “tribe.”

This of course makes the Arabs unsuitable for the noble quest of national reform towards democracy and free markets.  What is not discussed is, partly as above, the quest for global $ hegemony based on the petrodollar.

But here it spreads out into a denial of anything critical of Israel.  Perhaps Mandelbaum does not wish to lose his tenure or withstand any criticism about what could be criticized about Israel, but he accepts wholeheartedly the mainstream Israeli narrative about the country being the only democracy in the Middle East.   There is little discussion of the historical setting for Israel and what is presented is a conflation implying causation (e.g. the UN Partition Plan idea, being followed by a statement about Israel fighting for independence as if the former was a legal basis for the latter – which it isn’t).

As always in similar indispensable/exceptional discourses, Israel is a democracy and a “shining light” for the region.   The history of settler-colonialism is not discussed, nor its ongoing patterns of settlement and repression within the remnant Palestinian territories.  And as always Hamas is the super bad guy that won the election but then attacked Fatah to retain the Gaza strip as their domain.  More lies, more dissimulation of Israeli and US activities.

Also within this context, the main discussion for Mandelbaum focusses on the so called “peace process” as a US foreign policy failure, but again only because the Arabs were a recalcitrant, reluctant, tribal bunch of ignorant people not ready for democracy and freedom.  What is missing  of course is the whole history of colonial conquests from the Ottomans through to the European divisions of the area into areas of interest and influence, setting the stage for many of today’s problems in the region.

A wide set of readings that discusses the true situation in the Middle East should include anything by Ilan Pappe, Neve Gordon, Jonathan Cook, Robert Fisk, Miko Peled, Tanya Rinehart, Noam Chomsky among many others.

Covert operations

Another large miss in this work is the lack of any look at U.S. covert operations, either through the CIA/NSA networks or through various NGO networks of the kind funded by George Soros.  These covert actions are global and range from military actions to staged protests and economic influence peddling.  Further reading in this area should include Brzezinski’s “The Grand Chessboard” ( Basic Books; 1St Edition (September 18, 1998)) outlining a plan for global domination by the U.S.   More reading should include something from the Project for a New American Century, “Rebuilding America’s Defences,”  written by a variety of neocons/pro-Israeli chicken hawks that included expectations of a “new Pearl Harbor”.

There are many other authors that discuss and highlight U.S. intentions for ‘full spectrum dominance’ within a new “pax Americana,” Andrew J. Bacevich being one of the more authoritative, with several books on the “American empire” in print.

The “new Pearl Harbor” did happen after all, 9/11.  Mandelbaum accepts the official version of the story wherein a bunch of tribal misfits managed to defeat all security measures surrounding the Pentagon, and all flight security measures in order to fly planes into two World Trade Center towers.  Mandelbaum, as with many others, writes about two towers “falling”, but says nothing of the third tower that ‘fell’ that day, nor anything about the evacuation of the Saudis on the first no-fly day.  Interesting how those tribal Saudi’s seem capable of avoiding U.S. scrutiny ever since Roosevelt visited King Abdul Aziz on the U.S. cruiser USS Quincy in 1945.

All of the above –

When examining U.S. global enterprises, all of the above considerations need and must to come into consideration.  Global currency/economic policies, military overt and covert operations, political determinations of global dominance, the historical context of empirical projects, sequestering of resources, the power of the elites:  all need to be considered as warp and woof of the same fabric – U.S. global domination and supremacy.

Democracy and freedom make wonderful domestic fodder, and are good mainstream media  fodder for foreign governments fallen into a state of sycophancy towards the U.S. (the “western interests”).  The reality behind U.S. failures stems not from a rejection of these ideas in particular, but in a rejection of the U.S. as a global militarized hegemon.  Democracy and freedom cannot arrive from the barrel of a gun, nor from the pork-barrel of the Washington consensus.

Mandelbaum’s Mission Failure is a failed mission.  To those only familiar with mainstream news, and/or those who are looking for quotable quotes to misrepresent their preconceived notions of U.S. supremacy, this would be a good read.  If after this you decide to read it, then try also the other authors indicated (and there are many more) for – not a “balanced” picture, as that is a mainstream meme – for a critical, analytical, and much more accurate view of the imperial hegemon.

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I Am A Syrian Living in Syria: “It was Never a Revolution nor a Civil War. The Terrorists are sent by your Government”

By Mark Taliano, September 07 2016

Two years ago, “Majd” wrote these words on a Facebook posting: “ I am Syrian… living in Syria in the middle of everything. We have seen horrors. It was never a revolution nor a civil war. The terrorists are sent by your goverment. They are al Qaeda Jabhat al Nusra Wahhabi Salafists Talibans etc and the like extremists jihadists sent by the West and the Saudis and Qatar and Turkey. Your Obama and whoever is behind him or above him are supporting al Qaeda and leading a proxy war on my country. We thought you are against al Qaeda and now you support them.


Video: The Dirty War on Syria – Prof. Tim Anderson on GRTV

By Prof. Tim Anderson and James Corbett, September 06 2016

Government propaganda and NGO misinformation have coloured the story of the war on Syria from its inception. Stepping in to set the record straight, Dr. Tim Anderson explores the real beginnings of the conflict, the players behind it, and their agenda


Good News for the People of Europe: The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Is Dead. Negotiations have Failed.

By Peter Koenig, September 07 2016

The German Minister of Economy and Vice-Chancellor, Mr. Sigmar Gabriel, a few days ago has declared that the European Union should not submit to the demands of the United States, referring to the negotiations on the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investments Partnership). He said the negotiations failed. By saying so, he joined French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, as well as French Secretary of State for External Trade, Mr. Matthias Fekl.


September 11, 2001: The 15th Anniversary of the Crime and Cover-up of the Century

By Dr. Gary G. Kohls, September 07 2016

WTC Building exploding into fine dust (it is not burning down) by pre-planted explosives in an obvious controlled demolition. The arrow points to a “squib” of exploding gas which is commonly seen with controlled demolitions. Some of the “splinters” seen (the only solid objects that did not pulverize into dust) are actually chunks of steel beams that were being exploded upward and laterally. The nicely-sectioned steel beams and girders were soon ordered by New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to be trucked away and shipped to China – an order that constitutes disturbing a crime scene – which is a federal crime.


The Plight of Southern Africa: Drought, Food Insecurity, Violent Unrest, Economic Instability

By Abayomi Azikiwe, September 07 2016

A regional summit of the heads-of-state of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was held in late August in Mbabane, Swaziland. This was the 36th annual gathering of the organization which was founded in 1980. King Mswati III was elected as the leader of the regional grouping which consists of 15 member-states. South African President Jacob Zuma was chosen as rotating chair and  the governments of Tanzania and Angola were also elected to the rotating posts of chair and vice chair, respectively, of the SADC organs of co-operation in the domains of politics, defense and security.


Canonising Mother Teresa: The Selling of the Catholic Church

By Dr. Binoy Kampmark, September 07 2016

The question is: was a woman who preached virtue in suffering rather than trying to alleviate it and took money from dictators really that saintly at all? Douglas Robertson, The Independent, Sep 5, 2016 In looking at the antics surrounding saintliness, George Orwell’s remarks about the important presumption of sinning is all important.  It is axiomatic that all saints be presumed sinners. The greater they are in achievement, heavy in the miracles department and achievement, the less likely they are to be the purest of pure.

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New York Times and the New McCarthyism

September 7th, 2016 by Robert Parry

Traditional U.S. journalism and the American people are facing a crisis, as the preeminent American newspaper, The New York Times, has fully lost its professional bearings, transforming itself into a neoconservative propaganda sheet eager for a New Cold War with Russia and imposing a New McCarthyism on public debate.

The crisis is particularly acute because another top national newspaper, The Washington Post, is also deeply inside the neocon camp.

The Times’ abandonment of journalistic principles has become most noticeable with its recurring tirades about Russia, as the Times offers up story after story that would have embarrassed Sen. Joe McCarthy and his 1950s Red-baiters.

Operating without any actual evidence, a recent Times article by Neil MacFarquhar sought to trace public challenges to official U.S. government narratives on world events to a massive “disinformation” campaign by Russian intelligence. Apparently, it is inconceivable to the Times that independent-minded people might simply question some of the dubious claims made by Official Washington.

Lawyer Roy Cohn (right) with Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

Image: Lawyer Roy Cohn (right) with Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

Perhaps most stunningly, the Times sought to prove its point by citing the slogan of Russia’s English-language television network, saying: “RT trumpets the slogan ‘Question More.’”

So, now, presumably if someone suggests questioning a claim from the U.S. government or from the NATO alliance, that person is automatically a “Russian agent of influence.” For a major newspaper to adopt such a position is antithetical to the tenets of journalism which call on us journalists to question everything.

The Times’ position is particularly outrageous because many key claims by the U.S. government, including some used to justify aggressive wars against other countries, have turned out to be false. Indeed, the Times has been caught peddling some of these bogus claims, often fed to the “newspaper of record” by U.S. government officials or from think tanks funded by American military contractors.

Disinformation Conduit

Most memorably, in 2002, the Times pushed disinformation about the Iraqi government reconstituting its nuclear weapons program, a lie that was then cited by Vice President Dick Cheney and other senior officials to help stampede the American people behind the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

The controversial map developed by Human Rights Watch and embraced by the New York Times, supposedly showing the flight paths of two missiles from the Aug. 21 Sarin attack intersecting at a Syrian military base.

Image: The controversial map developed by Human Rights Watch and embraced by the New York Times, supposedly showing the flight paths of two missiles from the Aug. 21 Sarin attack intersecting at a Syrian military base.

Lesser known moments of the Times serving as a disinformation conduit include a discredited assertion about the 2013 sarin attack in Syria, in which the Times purported to show how the flight paths of two missiles traced back to a Syrian military base, only later to grudgingly acknowledge that aeronautical experts judged that the one missile found to be carrying sarin had a maximum range of about one-fourth the required distance.

During the 2014 Ukraine crisis, the Times accepted photographs from the U.S. State Department which purported to show Russian military personnel in Russia and then later inside Ukraine, except that it turned out that the photograph supposedly taken in Russia was actually taken in Ukraine, destroying the premise of the Times article.

Photograph published by the New York Times purportedly taken in Russia of Russian soldiers who later appeared in eastern Ukraine. However, the photographer has since stated that the photo was actually taken in Ukraine, and the U.S. State Department has acknowledged the error.

Image: Photograph published by the New York Times purportedly taken in Russia of Russian soldiers who later appeared in eastern Ukraine. However, the photographer has since stated that the photo was actually taken in Ukraine, and the U.S. State Department has acknowledged the error.

Yet, the Times holds itself out as some paragon of objectivity. This delusion further underscores how out of control and indeed dangerous the Times has become as a source of U.S. government disinformation, while accusing others of spreading Russian disinformation which often isn’t disinformation at all.

In its recent article, the Times cites reasonable questions raised by Swedish citizens about a proposal for the country entering into a military association with NATO and dismisses these concerns as proof of Russian government propaganda and lies:

“The claims were alarming: If Sweden, a non-NATO member, signed the deal, the alliance would stockpile secret nuclear weapons on Swedish soil; NATO could attack Russia from Sweden without government approval; NATO soldiers, immune from prosecution, could rape Swedish women without fear of criminal charges.”

Yet, all these worries raised by Swedish citizens – and cited by MacFarquhar in the Times – are not unreasonable concerns since nuclear weapons often are stored in NATO countries, NATO members are obliged to go to war to protect allies, and there have been problems with rape cases in countries with NATO or other foreign bases.

How those realities might affect a country agreeing to a NATO military association are reasonable concerns for Swedes to raise, but instead these worries are dismissed as Russian disinformation without any evidence to support the charge.

No Evidence

MacFarquhar even concedes the point that his lead allegation lacks evidentiary support, writing: “As often happens in such cases, Swedish officials were never able to pin down the source of the false reports.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin, following his address to the UN General Assembly on Sept. 28, 2015. (UN Photo)

Image: Russian President Vladimir Putin, following his address to the UN General Assembly on Sept. 28, 2015. (UN Photo)

MacFarquhar then adds:

“But they, numerous analysts and experts in American and European intelligence point to Russia as the prime suspect, noting that preventing NATO expansion is a centerpiece of the foreign policy of President Vladimir V. Putin, who invaded Georgia in 2008 largely to forestall that possibility.”

Though MacFarquhar cites the Russian “invasion” of Georgia supposedly to thwart its entrance into NATO as a flat fact to support his thesis, that historical reference is a far more complicated issue since it was Georgia that launched an attack on South Ossetia, a breakaway province, and killed Russian peacekeepers stationed there.

An investigation by the European Union laid most of the blame on Georgia for initiating the conflict, with the Russians then reacting to the Georgian assault. A 2009 report on the E.U. mission led by Swiss diplomat Heidi Tagliavini rejected Georgian claims about self-defense, finding that Georgia, not Russia, started the conflict.

“None of the explanations given by the Georgian authorities in order to provide some form of legal justification for the attack lend it a valid explanation,” Tagliavini said.

The E.U. report stated:

“There was no ongoing armed attack by Russia before the start of the Georgian operation. Georgian claims of a large-scale presence of Russian armed forces in South Ossetia prior to the Georgian offensive could not be substantiated by the mission. It could also not be verified that Russia was on the verge of such a major attack.”

In other words, Putin’s military did not “invade” Georgia in 2008 “largely to forestall” Georgia’s entrance into NATO, but as a reaction – arguably an over-reaction – to Georgia’s violent offensive into South Ossetia.

Yet, MacFarquhar cites this dubious point as some sort of indirect “evidence” that Putin is responsible for questions posed by Swedish citizens about what a NATO association would mean for them.

After acknowledging no real evidence and citing a historical “fact” that really isn’t a fact, MacFarquhar expands his conspiracy theory into more recent events claiming that Putin

“has invested heavily in a program of ‘weaponized’ information, using a variety of means to sow doubt and division. …

“The fundamental purpose of dezinformatsiya, or Russian disinformation, experts said, is to undermine the official version of events — even the very idea that there is a true version of events — and foster a kind of policy paralysis.”

The MH-17 Case

As an example, MacFarquhar cites the case of the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, claiming “Russia pumped out a dizzying array of theories.” The Times correspondent then asserts as flat fact that “The cloud of stories helped veil the simple truth that poorly trained insurgents had accidentally downed the plane with a missile supplied by Russia.”

The Dutch Safety Board's reconstruction of where it believed the missile exploded near Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on July 17, 2014.

Image: The Dutch Safety Board’s reconstruction of where it believed the missile exploded near Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on July 17, 2014.

But, according to official investigations that have been underway for more than two years, MacFarquhar’s claim is not “the simple truth,” as he put it. Last year’s report by the Dutch Safety Board reached no conclusion about who was responsible for shooting down the plane, killing 298 people.

Indeed, the DSB’s report included a statement by Dutch intelligence (reflecting NATO’s intelligence data) that the only powerful anti-aircraft-missile systems in eastern Ukraine on that day – capable of hitting MH-17 at 33,000 feet – were under the control of the Ukrainian military. (Though an official document, this Dutch intelligence report has never been mentioned by The New York Times, presumably because it conflicts with the favored Russia-did-it narrative.)

The U.S. government, which in the five days after the crash did rush to a judgment blaming ethnic Russian rebels supposedly using a Russian-supplied Buk missile, then went silent on the issue after CIA analysts had a chance to examine the evidence in more detail.

Despite appeals from the families of Dutch victims, including the father of the one young American citizen who died in the crash, the U.S. government has refused to release its radar, satellite images and other intelligence information that presumably could establish exactly who was responsible.

Why the U.S. government would obstruct the investigation into this tragedy if indeed the evidence proved Putin’s responsibility doesn’t make any sense. Indeed, it is the kind of question that a responsible journalist would press the U.S. government to answer, but MacFarquhar and the Times take the pressure off by simply reaffirming the impression that the U.S. government wants the public to have: the Russkies did it.

In the weeks after the crash, I was told by a source briefed by U.S. intelligence analysts that the secret U.S. data points the finger of guilt at a rogue Ukrainian military operation, which would fit with the statement by Dutch intelligence. But whatever the ultimate finding, it is simply bad journalism to state as flat fact something that remains seriously in doubt, a professional failure reminiscent of how the Times and Post treated Iraq’s WMD as a certainty in 2002-2003.

More Insidious

But there is something even more insidious about what The New York Times and The Washington Post have been up to. They are essentially saying that any questioning of the official U.S. government narrative on any international topic puts you in league with Moscow in its purported attempt to “weaponize” information, whatever that is supposed to mean.

The two newspapers are engaging in a breathtaking form of McCarthyism, apparently in some twisted effort to force a neoconservative ideological conformity on the American people in support of the New Cold War.

There is also a stunning lack of self-awareness. While MacFarquhar sees a Russian desire to portray U.S. life as “hellish,” including RT’s decision to show protest demonstrations – rather than some speeches – during the Republican and Democratic conventions, he and other writers who have picked up this theme consistently present the situation in Russia in the darkest possible terms.

Relatively innocent actions, such as the Kremlin seeking to make its case to the world, are transformed into evil deeds, using buzzwords like “weaponized” information and “hybrid war.”. Yet, there is no reference to the billions upon billions of dollars that the U.S. government has invested in disseminating propaganda and funding political activists around the world.

NATO has even established what it calls a “Strategic Communications Command,” or Stratcom, in Riga, Latvia, which – as veteran war correspondent Don North has written – views “the control and manipulation of information as a ‘soft power’ weapon, merging psychological operations, propaganda and public affairs under the catch phrase ‘strategic communications.’

“This attitude has led to treating psy-ops manipulative techniques for influencing a target population’s state of mind and surreptitiously shaping people’s perceptions as just a normal part of U.S. and NATO’s information policy. …

“And, as part of this Brave New World of ‘strategic communications,’ the U.S. military and NATO have now gone on the offensive against news organizations that present journalism which is deemed to undermine the perceptions that the U.S. government seeks to convey to the world.”

In other words, the U.S. government and NATO are engaged in what psychologists call “projection,” accusing someone else of one’s own behavior. Yet The New York Times has never investigated Washington’s and NATO’s involvement in “strategic communications.” Only the Russians do such dirty deeds.

A Darker Side

But there is even a darker side to the Times’ recent propaganda barrage about Russian propaganda. On the heels of MacFarquhar’s indictment of Russia for questioning Washington’s official narratives, the Times published a vicious attack on WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, entitled “How Russia Often Benefits When Julian Assange Reveals the West’s Secrets.”

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at a media conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo credit: New Media Days / Peter Erichsen)

Image: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at a media conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo credit: New Media Days / Peter Erichsen)

The article portrays Assange as a participant, wittingly or otherwise, in Russia’s allegedly nefarious scheme to release truthful information, such as the Democratic National Committee’s emails confirming what many had long suspected, that some party officials were favoring Hillary Clinton over her rival, Bernie Sanders. No one has suggested that the emails aren’t real.

However, without presenting any real evidence proving that Russian intelligence was responsible for the hack, the Times and the rest of the mainstream U.S. news media have made that assumption conventional wisdom based on the opinions of some unnamed U.S. officials.

Or as the Times’ takedown of Assange wrote,

“United States officials say they believe with a high degree of confidence that the Democratic Party material was hacked by the Russian government. …That raises a question: Has WikiLeaks become a laundering machine for compromising material gathered by Russian spies? And more broadly, what precisely is the relationship between Mr. Assange and Mr. Putin’s Kremlin? …

“Among United States officials, the emerging consensus is that Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks probably have no direct ties to Russian intelligence services. But they say that, at least in the case of the Democrats’ emails, Moscow knew it had a sympathetic outlet in WikiLeaks, where intermediaries could drop pilfered documents in the group’s anonymized digital inbox.”

Though it’s nice that some U.S. officials acknowledge a lack of evidence proving an operational relationship between Assange and Russian intelligence, the fact that a high-profile journalistic institution, such as WikiLeaks, has been under that sort of U.S. government investigation should be troubling to the Times and other news organizations.

However, instead the newspaper appears disappointed that it cannot declare outright that Assange is a “Moscow stooge.” (Also note that in the last passage, the Times treats the suspicion that Russian intelligence hacked the Democratic emails as flat fact when U.S. intelligence officials say they don’t know for sure.)

Verify, Don’t Moralize

The usual rule of thumb for journalists is to accept and verify information regardless of where it comes from. While occasionally you get a selfless leaker, it’s more common to get leaks from interested parties seeking to undermine their rivals. We see that in legal proceedings when lawyers supply documents helpful to their cases and in political contests when campaigns dig up dirt on their opponents.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders. (NBC photo)

Image: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders. (NBC photo)

Yet, journalists don’t throw away newsworthy information because it may be self-serving. We check it out and – if it checks out – we use it. The only real problem would be if you run the material as flat fact, without caveats, and it turns out to be false, as has happened repeatedly with material that the U.S. government has leaked to the Times and the Post.

What is particularly unprofessional about how the Times is treating Assange is that no one is saying that the Democratic Party emails are disinformation; they appear to be quite real and reflect a newsworthy concern, which is: Did the Democratic National Committee seek to throw the presidential nomination to Hillary Clinton?

But the Times’ unprofessional treatment of truthful information from WikiLeaks as well as the Times’ disdain for legitimate debate about the New Cold War with Russia has contributed to another dangerous development – a McCarthyistic launching of official U.S. government investigations into people who question the official Washington narratives.

An Official Investigation

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that

“U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies are investigating what they see as a broad covert Russian operation in the United States to sow public distrust in the upcoming presidential election and in U.S. political institutions. …

The Washington Post building. (Photo credit: Daniel X. O'Neil)

Image: The Washington Post building. (Photo credit: Daniel X. O’Neil)

“The aim is to understand the scope and intent of the Russian campaign, which incorporates cyber-tools to hack systems used in the political process, enhancing Russia’s ability to spread disinformation. … A Russian influence operation in the United States ‘is something we’re looking very closely at,’ said one senior intelligence official,”

while admitting that there is no “definitive proof” of such a Russian scheme.

The danger of this investigation – and what a normal news media would focus on – is the U.S. government taking an unfocused look at how Russia supposedly influences the U.S. public debate, a probe that could easily cross the line into questioning the loyalty of Americans who simply dispute what the U.S. government is claiming about current events.

The Post reported,

“U.S. intelligence officials described the [Russian] covert influence campaign here as ‘ambitious’ and said it is also designed to counter U.S. leadership and influence in international affairs. …

“Russia has been in the vanguard of a growing global movement to use propaganda on the Internet to influence people and political events, especially since the political revolt in Ukraine, the subsequent annexation of Crimea by Russia, and the imposition of sanctions on Russia by the United States and the European Union. …

“‘Our studies show that it is very likely that [the influence] operations are centrally run,’ said Janis Sarts, director of the NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence, a research organization based in Riga, Latvia.”

Yes, that is the same NATO Stratcom complex that, as Don North reported, blends psychological operations with traditional public relations. Yet, you wouldn’t know that from reading The Washington Post’s article, which cites Stratcom as a source for accusing Russia of running influence operations.

A Vast Conspiracy

According to the Post, Sarts

“also said there is ‘a coordinated effort involving [groups using] Twitter and Facebook and networks of bots to amplify their message. The main themes seem to be orchestrated rather high up in the hierarchy of the Russian state, and then there are individual endeavors by people to exploit specific themes.’

“Sarts said the Russian propaganda effort has been ‘successful in exploiting the vulnerabilities within societies.’ In Western Europe, for instance, such Russian information operations have focused on the politically divisive refugee crisis.”

In other words, any reporting or commenting on significant foreign policy issues could open a journalist or a citizen to a U.S. government investigation into whether you are part of some nefarious Russian propaganda/disinformation scheme.

This McCarthyistic investigative style has already begun to have a chilling effect on public debate in the United States where dissident views on Russia, Syria or other hot topics are quickly disparaged as enemy propaganda. Almost anyone who questions whether a new, costly and dangerous Cold War is necessary is immediately tagged as a “Russian agent of influence,” a “Putin apologist,” or a “Moscow stooge.”

In this case, the Democrats have been particularly aggressive in playing the Joe McCarthy role by denouncing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in such overheated terms, even suggesting his disloyalty for suggesting that he could, as President, get along with Putin.

During the McCarthy era of the 1950s, defense of freedom of thought required courageous journalists, most notably Edward R. Murrow, to stand up to the often unfounded smears against the patriotism of Americans. In 2016, however, it is the prestige news media, particularly The New York Times and The Washington Post, that have been leading the rush into the New Cold War and into the New McCarthyism.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon

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Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton this week publicly accused the Russian government of intervening in the American election on behalf of her Republican opponent Donald Trump.

She cited an investigation by US intelligence agencies, first reported Monday night by the Washington Post, into alleged Russian government hacking into the computer systems of the state election officials in the United States.

Clinton told a press conference Monday there were now “credible reports about Russian interference in our elections,” adding, “I want everyone—Democrat, Republican, Independent—to understand the real threat that this represents.”

Clinton referred both to the Post report about hacking into state government computers in Arizona and Illinois, and to the alleged Russian hacking of the emails of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), which revealed backroom efforts by top DNC officials to ensure Clinton’s victory.

Clinton’s suggestion of a Trump-Putin axis was followed up Tuesday in a speech in North Carolina by her vice-presidential running mate, Senator Tim Kaine, which was billed as a “major national security address” by the Democratic campaign.

Kaine contrasted Clinton’s going “toe-to-toe with Putin” as US secretary of state, to Trump’s suggestion that NATO was outmoded and that he could negotiate more successfully with Russia. He then raised the question “why Trump seems to support Russian interests at the expense of American ones,” suggesting that the billionaire real estate speculator was keeping his tax returns secret because they might shed light on his financial ties to Russia. He concluded by citing the claim of former acting CIA Director Michael Morell that Trump is an “unwitting agent” of the Russian intelligence services.

Clinton appeared Monday at several Labor Day rallies, but she chose to focus her attack on Trump on national security issues, where she has consistently attacked the billionaire real estate speculator from the right.

Asked by a reporter if the alleged Russian actions amounted to a cyberwar, Clinton replied, “I’m not comfortable using the word ‘war’.” This demurral was only to disguise her intentions from the American people. However, in a speech last week to the American Legion convention, Clinton declared that cyberattacks on the United States should be answered by military force.

Clinton claimed that Putin had all but confirmed Russia’s role in the hacking of the DNC—a flat-out lie—adding, “The team around him certainly believe that there is some benefit to them to doing this.” She then declared that the prospect of additional hacking into the state government systems used to conduct the November 8 elections represented “a threat from an adversarial foreign power.”

The Democratic candidate also criticized the role of the Russian government in Syria, in backing the regime of President Bashar al-Assad against Islamist forces armed and financed by the United States and the Gulf monarchies. She denounced “the refusal of the Russians and the Iranians to put the kind of pressure on Assad that is necessary …”

Clinton reiterated her support for imposing a no-fly zone over parts of Syria held by the US-backed “rebels,” which would require US air strikes against Syrian anti-aircraft positions and could lead to confrontations between Russian and American warplanes, which both conduct air strikes in the country.

“I think we need leverage,” she said. “I’ve always believed that if that were on the table and it were clear we were going to pursue it, that would give us the leverage we don’t have now.” Coming just after the well-publicized failure of talks last weekend between Obama and Putin at the G20 summit in China, Clinton was clearly seeking to stake out a more aggressive position on Syria than that of the Obama administration.

The Democrat’s claim to have discovered a Trump-Putin axis has two purposes: first, to cement Clinton’s standing as the consensus choice of the US military-intelligence apparatus; and second, to integrate the election campaign itself into the war preparations by US imperialism, both in the Middle East and against Russia (as well as China).

If Clinton wins the November 8 election over Trump, she will claim this to be a mandate for the escalation of US military operations in Iraq and Syria, as well as the continued NATO military buildup throughout Eastern Europe, openly aimed at preparing for war with Russia, a country with the world’s second-largest nuclear arsenal.

In her complaints about Russian interference in the US elections, Clinton is joining in the campaign waged by the Pentagon and CIA to prepare US public opinion for such a conflict.

The article published Monday by the Washington Post is little more than a handout from the intelligence agencies. It reports that the CIA, FBI, National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security have started an investigation, led by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, into a “broad covert Russian operation in the United States to sow public distrust in the upcoming presidential election and in US political institutions.”

In addition to discrediting the election among the American people—hardly necessary given that the entire political system is deeply despised and the two main candidates hated—Russian officials allegedly seek to “provide propaganda fodder to attack US democracy-building policies around the world,” the Post claimed.

As in previous reports by the Post and the New York Times about alleged Russian hacking of the DNC, no evidence of any kind is cited in the article, only the unsupported claims of intelligence officials, who even the Post reporters admit lack “definitive proof” of either cyberattacks or even plans for cyberattacks.

Apparently the public is expected to treat such claims as the gospel, despite the decades of lying by these agencies to cover up assassinations, coup plots and other conspiracies abroad, and the systematic violation of the democratic rights of the American people at home.

Meanwhile, the claims of Russian hacking are being used to whip up a crisis atmosphere about the administration of the election itself. Earlier this summer the FBI issued a “flash” alert to election officials in all 50 states over the threat of cyber intrusions. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson suggested that the entire US election system, including 9,000 polling places and 50 separate state election authorities, should be declared “critical infrastructure” subject to the same counterterrorism efforts as nuclear power plants and electrical power grids.

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On Tuesday, the New York Times published as its front-page lead article a piece, written by longtime military/intelligence insider David Sanger, reporting internal White House discussions that the Obama administration is planning on maintaining the United States’ “first strike” nuclear weapons policy.

In recent months, the Washington Post and Times had published reports that President Obama had considered formally adopting a policy of not using nuclear weapons unless the US was attacked by such weapons first.

On July 10, The Washington Post reported, “The Obama administration is determined to use its final six months in office to take a series of executive actions to advance the nuclear agenda the president has advocated since his college days,” including the possible adoption of a “no first use” policy.

But Tuesday’s report in the Times declared that Obama “appears likely to abandon the proposal after top national security advisers argued” that it would “embolden Russia and China.”

The move takes place amidst a series of US provocations against both countries, including the deployment of thousands of troops on Russia’s border in Eastern Europe and ongoing “freedom of navigation” operations in the South China Sea. In their statements to the Times, White House and military officials were sending a clear signal that it will abide no scaling back of the US threat to kill millions of people to facilitate its geopolitical aims.

The White House decided ultimately to agree to the demands of Commander of Strategic Command Admiral Haney, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, Secretary of State John Kerry and others who declared, according to theTimes, that “new moves by Russia and China, from the Baltic to the South China Sea, made it the wrong time to issue the declaration.”

Both before and during his presidency, Obama had postured as a proponent of nuclear non-proliferation. In his April 2009 speech in Prague, Obama declared that “as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon,” the US is committed “to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons,” and that “to put an end to Cold War thinking, we will reduce the role of nuclear weapons.”

Earlier this year, Obama visited Hiroshima, Japan, becoming the first sitting US president to do so since President Truman made the decision to incinerate the city with an atomic weapon at the end of the Second World War. Despite ruling out any apology for this war crime, Obama hypocritically called on countries that possess nuclear weapons to “have the courage to escape the logic of fear and pursue a world without them.”

Yet Obama’s real “nuclear legacy” is something else entirely. Over his eight years in office, the White House has initiated one of the most sweeping expansions of its nuclear capabilities in US history.

The Pentagon has embarked upon a $1 trillion nuclear modernization program, seeking to make US nuclear weapons smaller, faster, more maneuverable and easier to use on the battlefield. The effect of this program is, as General James E. Cartwright, a retired vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Times earlier this year, “to make the weapon more thinkable.”

At a cost of some $97 billion, the Navy is on track to replace its Ohio-class submarines, each of which is by itself equivalent to the world’s fifth-ranking nuclear power, with a new generation of ballistic missile submarines.

The Air Force, meanwhile, has contracted Northrop Grumman to build up to 100 next-generation B-21 nuclear-capable bombers, at a cost of nearly $60 billion. It is also in the midst of developing, at the cost of $20 billion, the so-called Long-Range Stand-Off Missile, which is capable of maneuvering at high speeds to deliver a nuclear payload behind enemy air defenses.

Experts have warned that the development of such a “dual use” nuclear-capable cruise missile makes the potential for a catastrophic miscalculation substantially greater, as countries attacked by these weapons, in addition to having little time to respond, have no way of knowing whether their payload is “conventional” or nuclear.

On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported that the Air Force also plans to spend another $85 billion to develop a set of new intercontinental ballistic missiles. The Pentagon is moving ahead with plans to buy some 642 of the new ICBMs “at an average cost of $66.4 million each to support a deployed force of 400 weapons.”

The dizzying pace of the US nuclear modernization program comes in the context of a deepening global geopolitical crisis, at the center of which is the ever expanding war drive of American imperialism.

Beginning with economic crises of the late 1960s and early 1970s, the American ruling class sought to offset the economic decline of US capitalism through the naked use of military force. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, this process went into overdrive, kicking off a quarter century of intensifying war around the globe. Now, US-led regional wars and proxy conflicts, particularly in Syria, are metastasizing into ever-more direct conflicts with larger competitors, including Russia and China.

With the crisis-ridden US election dominated by allegations from the Clinton campaign of Russian cyberattacks and political subversion, together with ongoing and deepening tensions with China, the United States is sending a clear signal that it is thinking about the “unthinkable.”

Eighty years ago, Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky warned, “In the period of crisis the hegemony of the United States will operate more completely, more openly, and more ruthlessly than in the period of boom.” Anyone who believes that the US would never again use nuclear weapons is underestimating not only the extent of the internal and external crisis confronting American imperialism, but the level of violence and criminality of which the American ruling class is capable.

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Community Doctors: Cuba’s Commitment to Health Care for All

September 7th, 2016 by Global Research News

On August 10th, Kunle Ekunkonye arrived in Boston from his home in Miami to promote his new documentary, “Community Doctors.” The film highlights Cuba’s medical scholarship program for young people from around the world, but especially focuses on U.S. students at the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM). Kunle wrote, directed and filmed the documentary. His brother, Akin Ekunkonye, graduated from ELAM in July and is credited as the producer of the film.

Kunle is a software engineer and this is his first film. Visiting his brother at ELAM awakened such passion and interest that he decided to dedicate a period of four years to making a documentary that would help inform the world about this valuable project that has graduated 24,000 doctors from some 120 countries.

“I wanted to show that this program trains very high-level professionals, people who are doing very good work in the United States. It is an opportunity for very low-income people who cannot afford to enter medical schools and in Cuba have the opportunity to become good doctors for free,” Kunle Ekunkonye states.

Over 24,000 doctors from some 120 countries have graduated from ELAM. Photo: Yaimí Ravelo

I am grateful for the ELAM program and I hope that people understand the humanism of Cuba when they watch the documentary and accept it as something great. Cuba has demonstrated what can be done without much technology or money; what can be achieved with education.”While in Boston, Kunle was interviewed by Yadires Nova-Salcedo on WBZ’s weekly CBS program “Centro” which focuses on issues of importance to the Latino community in New England. The entire interview with excerpts from the film is available HERE

Kunle was also featured in an interview on WZBC Radio at Boston College for the Truth and Justice Radio show.

He answered questions following the screening of “Community Doctors” in a large auditorium at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Many prospective medical students attended the program which was co-sponsored by Science for the People, the July 26th Coalition, the International Committee for Peace, Justice and Dignity and the National Network on Cuba.

The film can be seen in its entirety at:

You can also watch it here

Community Doctors | Official Documentary (2016) ELAM – Cuba’s Latin American School of Medicines

Support the students:…


Although it is a resource-poor country Cuba has developed a highly effective medical system. Their health outcomes are on par with those of the United States. Cuba has provided thousands of doctors to work in medically underserved areas in countries around the world to restore those communities from the impact of natural disasters, epidemics and the widespread lack of medical care.

In 1999 Cuba opened the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM) to give medical scholarships to the brightest from poor areas around the world so that they may become doctors that will eventually return and serve the communities from which they came.

Due to decades of political animosity between the United States and Cuba, of which have only recently began to normalize, information about Cuba has been relatively scant. Despite the impasse in diplomatic relations, Cuba provided the offer of free medical scholarships for students in the United States.

The film tells the story of the medical scholarship program and the young Americans, many from poor and underserved communities in the United States, who were awarded full scholarships to study medicine at the Latin American School of Medicine in Havana, Cuba. The program is a 6-7 year, fully Spanish, hands-on experience that prepares students to become doctors that are skilled at preventing diseases and treating patients in low-resource conditions with an interwoven focus on community building. At a time when Cuba itself remained off-limits to most Americans, the students and graduates of ELAM share their experiences, challenges, lessons and hopes as they are fully immersed in a new culture while learning a unique and radically different approach to medicine and healthcare

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has set up an online database of financial horror stories that shows what happens when an average American interacts with one of the financial supermarkets (a/k/a universal banks) that grew out of the repeal of the investor protection legislation known as the Glass-Steagall Act. The complaints are concentrated against the biggest Wall Street banks.

If you are one of the lucky Americans who has not already been mugged in the shopping aisles of the financial supermarkets, you should carefully browse through the database to see what awaits the unwary. Just go to the complaint archive, and place the name of any bank you want to examine in the upper right-hand search box. Searching under the name Citibank (part of the Wall Street behemoth Citigroup) will bring up 29,000 rows of complaints. A search under Chase, part of the mega Wall Street bank, JPMorgan Chase, brings up 37,000 rows of complaints. After years of being charged by Federal regulators for abusing their customers and the public trust, both U.S. banks became felons on May 20 of last year when they admitted to felony charges related to rigging foreign currency markets.

Wall Street banks are intended to function as efficient allocators of capital to grow new businesses and industries in America. But since the Glass-Steagall Act was repealed in 1999 under pressure from Citigroup, Wall Street’s biggest banks increasingly function as legalized loan sharking operations – targeting the poor, minorities and financially unsophisticated. In what has become a highly efficient, wealth transfer mechanism, billions of dollars each month move from the pockets of those least able to protect themselves from financial abuse to the coffers of the one percent in America who sit in the executive offices of these banks.

Under the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, banks holding insured deposits were not allowed to be affiliated with Wall Street investment banks and brokerage firms — which have a storied history of stock frauds, abusing their customers, and blowing up. That protection was removed when President Bill Clinton signed into law the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act on November 12, 1999, the legislation that repealed the Glass-Steagall Act. After protecting the nation for 66 years, it took just 9 years after its repeal for Wall Street to implode, taking the U.S. economy with it.

Bill Clinton and his Treasury Secretary, Robert Rubin, ushered in the era of the financial supermarket that has trapped America in a time warp of 1920s-style abuses on Wall Street and the income and wealth inequality that it has spawned. Rubin had the audacity to head straight for Citigroup’s Board after stepping down as U.S. Treasury Secretary, collecting $126 million in compensation over the next decade.

This year Senator Bernie Sanders’ supporters were able to pressure the Democrats to include the restoration of the Glass-Steagall Act into this year’s Democratic Party Platform, but political watchers were shocked that it also ended up in the Republican Party’s Platform as well. The financial atrocities coming out of the publicly accessible database set up by the CFPB has sent a chill through both parties. Behind the scenes, both Democrats and Republicans believe there could be another epic crash like that of 2008 and neither wants the other party pointing the finger and saying, you blocked us from restoring the Glass-Steagall Act.

Read complete article on Wall Street on Parade

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Arab Spring: The Fall of All Freedom

September 7th, 2016 by Phil Butler

The United States of America leads western allies in an unholy war on not just the Arab world, but against any nation that stands in the way of total domination. The evidence of an underlying master plan grows more prevalent each day. No one seems to have characterized what the ends of this campaign will look like, but the stunningly diabolical strategy the Bush and Obama presidencies undertook are there for all to see. Here is a window into the greatest power play in history.

I was a bit surprised this morning, when I came to the realization Libya’s Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi was among the richest men who ever lived. Experts now claim that Gaddafi was worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $200 billion dollars when US backed rebels tortured and killed him in October of 2011. Though I understood how Obama and Hillary Clinton had played a role in his death, I had originally discounted rumors and speculation he was killed over his billions, and over his leaning away from the dollar as a preferred international exchange medium were boundless.

Today I discover Executive Order 13566 for the first time, and Gaddafi’s death makes all the more sense in the overall context. As it turns out, the Libyan leader was among the richest on Earth, and the plan to do away with him originated at the highest levels of world leadership. What’s more, a clear and systematic sequence of events can be linked, a chain of evidence leads to the White House and beyond. Executive Order 13566 was executed February 25th, 2011, just eight days after major protests broke out against Gaddafi’s government. The order reads in part:

BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, find that Colonel Muammar Qadhafi, his government, and close associates have taken extreme measures against the people of Libya, including by using weapons of war, mercenaries, and wanton violence against unarmed civilians.  I further find that there is a serious risk that Libyan state assets will be misappropriated by Qadhafi, members of his government, members of his family, or his close associates if those assets are not protected.

On this same day Stuart Levey, the Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence who drafted Executive Order 13566, put in action the plan to sequester billions stored in banks around the U.S. Once US embassy personnel had been evacuated from Libya, Obama’s people sprung into action with the help of bank employees who had been waiting through the night. In all, some $30 billion in cash and liquid assets were seized. As of the Summer of 2015, Gaddafi assets in the amount of $60 billion had been seized by banks in the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

These funds are now in limbo, as a nebulous leadership of the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) hides amid a shadowy world of global financiers. To be blunt, the Gaddafi billions pay no benefit to the people of Libya, but only to the bankers and speculators who leveraged the funds originally. $60 billion in “loans” let’s say, may never be called in.

At least this is a layman’s way of understanding what is going on. Today multi-billion dollar lawsuits against the likes of Hillary Clinton supporters Goldman Sachs, infighting over who is in control of the LIA, and countless under the table dealings further darken what was and is a monumental stain on US international relationships. If this were the 1930s and mafia land, there would be newspaper headlines accusing Barack Obama of committing a heist on behalf of Wall Street. And the more evidence that crosses WikiLeaks wires, the more clear Arab Spring’s real goals become. In one of the most bizarre geo-political catastrophes ever, a British court may well decide who is in charge of Gaddafi’s billions. The horde that the Obama White House said belonged to the people of Libya, currently belongs on bankers’ balance sheets. These banking and investment ties betray the more militaristic geo-policy being played by the Obama White House.

The American, British, and EU leadership have been busy as bees fueling chaos in the Arab world. As a by product, the refugee and west versus east mess that blazes now further inhibit peace and prosperity. It took me all of 10 seconds to find linkages and curiosities via WikiLeaks. This cable from 2008 reveals the UK government sanctioning three Libyan Islamists from an organization known as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), a group known to have attempted the assassination of Gaddafi, in order to install a more fundamentally extremist regime.

Interestingly, the US was not sought as a co-sponsor for labeling three members terrorists under United Nations Security Council resolution 1267. Of particular interest is a man named Maftah Mohamed ElMabruk, a key member of LIFG, now an Al Qaeda cell group, who was protected by the British previously. The names and alleged complicity in terror in this document stand in stark contrast to the fact three Libyan terrorists were later found to be supplying arms to the Syrian opposition of the regime of Bashar al-Assad. As it turned out, the LIFG, working on behalf of the Libyan Islamist Abel Hakim Belhadj, was being run by none other than Britain’s Blair and MI6.

It was the LIFG that MI6 used to carry out several operations inside Libya, including the 1996 attempt to assassinate Colonel Qaddafi. The group originated alongside al-Qaeda inside Afghanistan, about the time US policymakers lured the USSR into that country in what Carter administration National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski bragged:

“We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war.”

American policy having come full circle, it’s crystal clear the American people have been totally misled. The useless struggles of the past are now ushered into the spotlight. What’s even more contemptible is the fact the EU is moving to restore valididity for these jihadists. This story tells of one UN sanctioned LIFG operative named Abdulbasit Abdulrahim being supported by the same EU refugees now pour into. Whether or not Abdulrahim was a member of the LIFG or not, the idea the US can make someone a terrorist one minute, and that the same terrorist is redeemed by the EU the next, it speaks volumes for any argument against paranoid security states. The Bush and Obama administrations have pushed the boundaries of believability into the stratosphere.

The overthrow of Gaddafi by the American administration, with the help of the United Nations, will go down in history as the kindling of the most catastrophic foreign policy scheme in history. The evidence surfacing now can only lead us to one conclusion. Take the fact the former head of the LIFG, Norman Benotman is currently the president of Quillam Foundation in London, and the fact he was in Tripoli working with the British government at the time of Gaddafi’s demise, attest to the dastardly and deep game of subterfuge affecting us all.

Benotman Tweets today, in prolific and cryptic 140 characters that appear insane, or at best unbalanced. Without delving into this character’s mysterious past, suffice it to point out that Quilliam was established in 2007 by Ed Husain, Maajid Nawaz and Rashad Zaman Ali, three former members of the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. Named for the controversial  William Quilliam, the society is based on the concept of a global caliphate, its namesake having sworn allegiance to the Ottoman Empire.

Though the Quilliam organization appears outwardly to be a shill puppet of Britain’s anti-extremist Islam operation, some experts wonder if the organization is not operating in a “duality” of purpose. Either way, the intended goals of LIFG have been well served by Benotman and other assets. From my perspective as a dissenter to the mainstream propaganda, simply discovering Quilliam’s founding father is Maajid Nawaz, Op-Ed master at the ubiquitous tabloid The Daily Beast, is enough to categorize the organization as part of the problem, and no the solution to world chaos. Ties in between Nawaz, the Next Gen Foundation Quilliam shares offices with in the US, and ultimately former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, they whisper “double agent” to me. This is only speculative on my part though. I won’t start connecting the dots that lead to Google, the Clinton Foundation, and the neoconservative lifelines holding up Clinton for President either. Our whole systembecomes suspect, as certainly it must.

Finally, this WikiLeaks revelation further amplifies the Obama administration’s duplicity in Gaddafi’s remise. Hillary Clinton’s staff was closely monitoring the effects the Obama bank seizures were having on the Gaddafi government. Now that the greater interest in Gaddafi billions by the likes of Clinton fans Goldman Sachs has come to light, one has to wonder at the former Secretary of State’s interests. Were these billions earmarked like other Clinton business focused directives? WikiLeaks is an evidence treasure trove on Clinton opportunism, one that only recently showed her conflict of interest where places like Libya and corporate business are concerned. It seems fair to predict that these American leaders, their counterparts in London, may soon be under indictment for more than just illegal email servers. Clinton appeared more interested in Gaddafi gold than in a peaceful resolution for Libya. I quote from her communiqué of April 1, 2011, just after President Obama seized upwards of $60 billion:

“On April 2, 2011 sources with access to advisors to Salt al-Islam Qaddafi stated in strictest confidence that while the freezing of Libya’s foreign bank accounts presents Muammar Qaddafi with serious challenges, his ability to equip and maintain his armed forces and intelligence services remains intact. According to sensitive information available to this these individuals, Qaddafi’s government holds 143 tons of gold, and a similar amount in silver. During late March, 2011 these stocks were moved to SABHA (south west in the direction of the Libyan border with Niger and Chad); taken from the vaults of the Libyan Central Bank in Tripoli.”

Is the United States of America assuming the role of Imperialist super-nation? Based on what I’ve learned in the last three years, this was always our role. Spreading democracy and the “American Way” was once something most of my countrymen would have been proud to live, work, fight and die for. Unfortunately for the brave souls interred at Arlington Cemetery, democracy had nothing whatever to do with our leadership’s goals. Gaddafi was portrayed for us, from the Potomac to studios in Hollywood, as an arch villain US Navy Seals should snuff out. Libya was always he rogue, with Tom Clancy novels and blockbuster movies tightly focused, so Americans would turn a blind eye when the time came.

Well, the time has come. The Middle East is a hornet’s nest, one overflowing onto the shores of once peaceful and prosperous nations. Russia is being forced to rearm, China has gone from a touted globalization partner into a big red scary enemy again. In Europe the rightist rational is being fed a new human fodder, Muslims who can take the place of Jews as the next holocaust is set in motion. Barack Obama won the Novel Peace Prize as a joke, as a test, for the elites to jab at their protectorate – and when we did not laugh out loud they knew for sure – the world was ripe for the picking. Is Barack Obama to blame for a coming World War III? He is until those really underneath are brought to justice.

We are witness to the fall, the fall of the ideal of freedom.

Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.


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The US presidential election just keeps getting faker

The more it goes on. Yes, it’s bread and circus time again in America, but this time around the rulers are putting on an entertainment show which has lost its ability to convince and persuade. It’s just too damn fake.

We know the US and many other Western “democracies” are rigged one-party states where all the major candidates are controlled, bribed and/or blackmailed. We know that US presidents are selected, not elected. In the 2016 US presidential election, we’ve witnessed all sorts of fakery right from the start. Hillary blatantly rigged the Democratic Primaries in several states (IowaNevadaArizona andCalifornia just to name a few). She colluded with the DNC board, led by the disgraced Wasserman-Schultz, to keep Bernie out of the nomination. Then, at the DNC convention, she pulled out all the stops with a grand display of riggery and fakery, including paying people to sit there to hold her signs, playing white noise machines to drown out protests, having DNC officials turn off the lights above Bernie supporters to plunge them into darkness and all sorts of other dirty tricks.

Hillary’s Fake Health and Fake Transparency

The fakery continued after Clinton’s nomination coronation as queen at the DNC. Ever since the topic of Hillary’s health has come to light, Hillary has been in damage control mode, trying to convince a skeptical public she is well enough for the office of president, despite her coughing fits, bouts of dizziness and confusion, struggling to walk up stairs, tripping and falling, bouts of inappropriate laughter, wild crossed-eyed looks and her public seizures (see The Real Hillary Clinton for more info). Wikileaks apparently discovered that Hillary was searching online for adult diapers. Maybe she currently wears them.

Meanwhile, corrupt Hillary continues her campaign without conducting press conferences, which is highly unusual for a US presidential candidate. Zero Hedge reports it has been 273 days (absolute zero) since her last press conference! Clearly we can deduce from this that Hillary is scared of being asked some tough questions, given how flooded she is with scandal after scandal (Clinton Foundation fraud and corruption, email deletions, foreign bribery, pay to play shenanigans, the growing Clinton Body Count, etc.). There’s nothing open and transparent about her; she’s barely holding on, keeping quiet and hoping Trump will shoot himself in the foot some more between now and November 8th.

US presidential election Clinton rally vs Trump rally

Trump rallies vs Clinton rallies

US presidential election Sanders rally vs Clinton rally

Sanders rally vs Clinton rally

Clinton vs. Trump Rallies: Spot the Fakery Anyone?

Take a look at the above images. The same thing that was happening with Bernie is happening with Trump – they have both been attracting large crowds and filling up stadiums. Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign relies on several forms of fakery to give the false impression that Hillary is actually popular. They have produced blatantly photoshopped images of a Hillary rally (see below). They constantly make it look like Hillary is speaking to a large room by keeping the camera at one angle, putting bleachers or rows of people behind her, and never panning the camera around the room. They have been busted over and over for camera trickery and fakery, but unless you are tuned into the alternative media, you probably won’t see it.

US presidential election Hillary's fake photoshopped rally

Hillary’s fake photoshopped rally. This is a collage of images. It’s fake!

Was She Even There? Hillary Takes Fakery to a New Depth

It was somewhat stunning, even for someone as fake and fraudulent as Hillary Rodham Clinton, to release a video of a purported rally which is entirely faked (embedded above). Look carefully at the video. There are at least 3 separate people holding smartphones pointed at her, yet when she finishes and exits off the stage, the images reflected in the smartphone screens are not what they should be! They show different images entirely. Was the entire rally “made up”? Is anything about this woman true at all, or are we living in a Wag the Dog/Truman Show movie set?

Election Fraud Through Fractionalized Voting

Bev Harris of has done tireless work to expose election fraud over the years. She has recently come out warning the American public of the latest technique in election rigging, which is to fractionalize votes, i.e. make them only worth a fraction (e.g. one fifth, one third, one tenth, etc.) of what they should be (one whole vote). She writes in her article FRACTION MAGIC – PART 1: VOTES ARE BEING COUNTED AS FRACTIONS INSTEAD OF AS WHOLE NUMBERS:

The results of this study demonstrate that a fractional vote feature is embedded in each GEMS application which can be used to invisibly, yet radically, alter election outcomes by pre-setting desired vote percentages to redistribute votes. This tampering is not visible to election observers, even if they are standing in the room and watching the computer. Use of the decimalized vote feature is unlikely to be detected by auditing or canvass procedures, and can be applied across large jurisdictions in less than 60 seconds.

This means that with just a little computer code, someone can flip the vote and make, for example, all of the whole votes for Donald Trump suddenly worth only one quarter (0.25) instead of one (1). Vote rigging like this has already happened in the past. The system is already in place. Welcome to the USA, champion of democracy! Can you see now how other nations feel about the US enforcing democracy down the barrel of gun, when things are so utterly subverted and fake at home?

Trump’s Connections to the Shadow Rulers

Although this article has so far highlighted the fraud surrounding Hillary, the point here is not to support Trump. The Donald himself has a myriad ofconnections and associations with NWO agents such as the head of the Rockefeller CFR (Council on Foreign Relations) Tommy Haas. Trump is also close to Paypal founder, millionaire and transhumanist Peter Thiel, CIA asset and Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, as well as Louis Lesser partner of CIA Asset Meyer Lansky (who was involved the JFK assassination). To what degree Trump is influenced or controlled by these men is an open question, however we know enough to say that he has tyrannical tendencies, is an ardent Zionist and a possible or probable pedophile – hardly the choice you want to be given in a free and open society.

DHS and UN to Take Control of US Presidential Elections?

The issues of voter fraud and election rigging have become large enough that Obama was recently asked about it. Not long after this, Jeh Johnson, the head of the DHS (Department of Homeland Security), let slip that his department is considering taking control of the US presidential election (problem-reaction-solution). Johnson tried to claim that elections may have become part of “critical infrastructure”. The DHS is the very same department that was created right after the 9/11 false flag with a fast bill slammed through Congress that no-one had time to read. It’s also the same department that oversees the TSA, which gives airline passengers the choice of molestation or radiation. It’s funny how almost all governmentally-proposed solutions have the characteristic of centralizing more power in the government. Perhaps this 2016 US presidential election will be hard to rig for Hillary (given her massive unpopularity) so her controllers want more power over the election process to ensure she gets in.

Top Conservatives and Neocons Bust the Two-Party Illusion by Openly Declaring Support for Hillary

As if all the fakery listed above isn’t enough, consider the fact that many top Republicans, neocons and conservatives have openly come out and stated that they would rather vote for Clinton than Trump. Why? Almost certainly because she’s more likely to start foreign wars (against China and Russia), more likely to continue the corrupt status quo and more likely to advance the New World Order agenda in line with the ambitions of these shadow rulers. Those at the top know the fake left-right paradigm is a facade designed to fool the masses into thinking they have a choice. Look at the cosy relationship between George Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton, supposed opponents on opposite sides of the aisle (nothing like some CIA Mena cocaine and Satanic ritual to bond over). However, the 2016 US presidential election is unique in that it appears that some of these guys aren’t even trying to maintain the illusion of freedom.

May 2016 be the Year the Masses Awaken to the Fakery of the US Presidential Election

There’s enough fakery to fill a few hundreds football stadiums with this US presidential election. Hopefully we are about to see it reach a tipping point where a critical mass of people simply refuse to buy into at all. Once enough people see the “bread and circus” show for what it truly is – a distraction, a fanciful ruse, a facade and a silly game of no real consequence – they will lose confidence in the whole system and begin dreaming of new, better and fairer systems. This, of course, is the worst nightmare of the NWO controllers.

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Makia Freeman is the editor of alternative news / independent media site The Freedom Articles and senior researcher at (FaceBook here), 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.
























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Saudi foreign minister’s private meeting with MPs branded a ‘lobbying visit’ amid growing evidence UK-made weapons used on Yemeni civilians

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister is to visit the UK on Wednesday to “privately” brief British MPs over concerns that Britain could start restricting arms sales to the kingdom.

According to a House of Commons spokesman, Adel al-Jubeir is set to meet MPs in a private meeting in Portcullis House in London, just hours before the convening of a select committee to debate whether to call for a ban on arms sales to the Saudis.

Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, center, arrives to speak at a news conference at the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Washington, Friday, June 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, center, is due to brief MPs in London on Wednesday.

The select committee on arms export controls meeting is also set to be held in private, but it is expected there will be a cross-party push during the meeting for the UK to suspend its multibillion-dollar arms sales to the kingdom.

The UK has sold billions of dollars of weapons to Saudi Arabia as it has prosecuted a war in Yemen against the Houthi movement, and amid claims UK-made weapons have been used in the indiscriminate bombing of civilians, hospitals and factories.

A spokeswoman from the Campaign Against the Arms Trade said the group would be staging a protest outside parliament over the meeting, which she described as a “clear lobbying visit”.

“They’re obviously concerned about the pressure [over arms sales],” she said, speaking to Middle East Eye.

The meetings will come two days after the British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, has defended UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia, saying the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen was not “in serious breach” of international humanitarian law.

Johnson said a report produced by Riyadh into eight separate allegations of indiscriminate bombing of civilians showed there was no such breach, which was the “key test” on deciding whether weapons sales should continue.

“The key test for our continued arms exports to Saudi Arabia in relation to international humanitarian law is whether those weapons might be used in a commission of a serious breach of international humanitarian law,” he said.

“Having regard to all the information available to us, we assess this test has not been met.”

During a debate in parliament on Monday, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Tobias Ellwood called on MPs critical of the Saudi campaign in Yemen to attend the meeting on Wednesday.

“I invite the right hon. Gentleman to join me when the Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister comes to this place on Wednesday to address any questions that are put by parliamentarians,” he said to MP Hillary Benn inresponse to a question over whether the government would be suspending arms sales.

I will make sure, because I will be moderating the event, that he is able to put some of these questions to the Foreign Minister.

In July, a Human Rights Watch report showed what was described as “compelling evidence” that British-made weapons had been used in attacks on civilians in Yemen.

CAAT said it would use the report as part of its court challenge against the British government to end weapons sales to Saudi Arabia.

“We’ve had 500 days of bombing, UK weapons have been used throughout – there’s been clear evidence from the beginning that they’re being used against civilian targets,” said the CAAT spokesperson.

CAAT earlier this year won the right to a judicial review of arms exports to Saudi Arabia, arguing that the British government could not guarantee UK-made weapons were not being used by Saudi Arabia against Yemeni civilians.

Johnson’s statement relies heavily on a report produced in Riyadh on 4 August, which investigated eight alleged attacks on Yemeni civilians, including the bombing of hospitals.

The report defends the bombing on the basis that the Saudis had received credible intelligence that enemy Houthi forces were in the area. In one case it offered compensation to the victims.

Johnson defended the cedibility of the report, saying the Saudis had “the best insight into their own procedures and will be able to conduct the most thorough and conclusive investigations”.

It will also allow the coalition forces to work out what went wrong and apply the lessons learned in the best possible way. This is the standard we set ourselves and our allies.

The UN last week said that at least 10,000 people have been killed in the 18-month Yemeni war.

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The German Minister of Economy and Vice-Chancellor, Mr. Sigmar Gabriel, a few days ago has declared that the European Union should not submit to the demands of the United States, referring to the negotiations on the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investments Partnership). He said the negotiations failed. By saying so, he joined French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, as well as French Secretary of State for External Trade, Mr. Matthias Fekl.

Negotiations started in 2013. After 14 ‘rounds’ of talks dealing with 27 points, no agreement has been reached, none whatsoever, leading to the conclusion that the deal is dead. Even though Mme. Merkel defended the treaty with all her heart up to the end of July 2016, both Germany and France now request a definite end to the negotiations.

The collapse of the TTIP is one of the best news for Europe – and I mean the people of Europe – in recent times; an initiative of the two major players in the EU. This decision has several meanings:

1. European countries are gradually taking back their sovereignty from Brussels and decide for themselves what is good for them and for Europe;

2. With a failed TTIP Europe escapes, or avoids, being enslaved by US corporatism, financial institutions – and US legislation;

3. Europe may now continue making its proper policies on socioeconomy, environment, food safety, agriculture — and

4. Europe is now freer to pursue its own monetary policy. Under the grip of the TTIP, it would have been difficult, say impossible, to adopt a monetary policy outside of the Euro which many countries would like, openly or covertly – some without making a lot of noise for fear of being ‘reprimanded’ by Brussels.

The fact that authorities of both, France and Germany, stated in unison that the negotiations failed, is a sign that there is still a spirit of autonomy in Europe. What is called ‘negotiations’ were never really negotiations – a give and take between equal partners. It was from the beginning a one-way street, where the exceptional nation imposed its rules. There was no way of getting the slightest concession from them – not an iota.

No doubt Washington had no intention to share any of the benefits of this ‘Free Trade Agreement’ with Europe. The exceptional people wanted it all. For example, the term ‘Appelation Contrôlée’ for wine and cheese in France and other European countries, used to protect the farmers of a given region – would have disappeared. The US wanted everything to be open for the ever dictating ‘market’. Nothing was to be clearly defined, as far as Europe was concerned. No transparence – just a vast base for cheating, consumers and nations.

TTIP talks were held in top secret, behind closed doors. Not even politicians, let alone the public at large which eventually would have had to bear the consequences of the deal, had access to the documents being ‘negotiated’. – It showed the Machiavellian nature of empire at its best.

China knew very well why they were not even interested in participating in the TPP (Transpacific Partnership), a similar trade agreement with eleven Pacific nations and the US.

Let’s recall the key point that would have meant disaster for Europe:

– A private corporate tribunal that would have had supremacy over sovereign government legislation. For example, the tribunal could have imposed ‘sanctions’ or fines on governments, whose legislation, say for health, environmental protection and other social reasons, would have reduced corporations’ profit margins.

– Similar in the banking sector, monetary policy would have been firmly dictated by the FED, Wall Street (i.e. Goldman Sachs – see Greece and the head of the ECB, a former GS exec) and the European Central Bank. This for now is still the case, but with an unsustainable and unreformable EU and Euro, both are destined to disappear sooner or later. It is likely that many countries are already quietly and clandestinely arranging for “Plan B” – preparing exit strategies. Indeed, since BREXIT, there are numerous political movements to this effect under way – and this not only in the most devastatingly affected southern European countries, but also in northern Europe.

– Agriculture policy would have been dictated by Washington, especially with regard to GMOs and ag-subsidies. Monsanto and the like would have had free access to all of Europe, and none of the EU members could have passed legislation prohibiting genetically modified seeds.

– Standards for health and nutrition would have been imposed by Washington, i.e.  by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Most of these standards are considerably weaker than European equivalents, potentially exposing European citizens to greater health risks than current EU standards foresee.

– Labor laws would have been weakened in according to US standards which foresee virtually no protection for workers. The Brussels imposed new labor law in France, dubbed as the ‘El Khomri law’, after the French Minister of Labor, Myriam El Khomri, would reduce significantly French labor rights, fought for and attained with decades of efforts – literally sweat and tears – by French workers and unions. The new French labor law, signed as a decree by PM Manuel Valls under a dubious special provision in the Constitution (instead of being passed through Parliament), was a precursor for things to come in the rest of Europe – had the TTIP gone forward. This controversial law is currently at the demand of more than 60 French Parliamentarians being reviewed by the French Conseil d’Etat (equivalent to other countries’ Supreme Court) and may quite possibly be either canceled or sent to Parliament for a decision. Now that the TTIP is dead, it is possible that the law will be repealed.

The day the TTIP died was a great day for Europe. Although Europe is far from being out of the woods. Her own problems keep piling up, many of them also a direct or indirect consequence of empire.

To mention just a few –

  • immigration from US-NATO war-destroyed countries;
  • the never ending financial cum economic crisis;
  • the complete absence of solidarity among EU nations;
  • the lack of EU countries’ sovereignty; the missing EU Constitution giving member countries a common perspective and political agenda;
  • the increasing (‘false flag’) terror attacks throughout Europe; – and not least NATO – which through its aggression towards Russia is increasingly becoming a risk of war – of WWIII – that would for the third time in 100 years devastate Europe.

This time the rest of the world would very likely not be spared. Many countries are conscious of this danger and would like to get out of NATO, but don’t dare say so, because of fear from the boots of Washington.

Let’s hope the death of the TTIP will bring a new breeze of fresh air and ideas into European sovereignty.

This article is in part based on an TV debate sponsored by PressTV, French Edition.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik, PressTV, The 4th Media, TeleSUR, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.
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WTC Building exploding into fine dust (it is not burning down) by pre-planted explosives in an obvious controlled demolition.

The arrow points to a “squib” of exploding gas which is commonly seen with controlled demolitions. Some of the “splinters” seen (the only solid objects that did not pulverize into dust) are actually chunks of steel beams that were being exploded upward and laterally. The nicely-sectioned steel beams and girders were soon ordered by New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to be trucked away and shipped to China – an order that constitutes disturbing a crime scene – which is a federal crime.

I just received the latest PBS (Public Broadcasting System) monthly schedule for September and discovered that PBS’s newest documentary, entitled “9/11: Inside the Pentagon” will be broad-casting and the re-broadcasting the program a total of 8 times over the week surrounding 9/11/16!

I tried but was unable to view the documentary in its entirety online, but in the trailer there was breathless, tear-jerking testimony from several of the Pentagon employees that survived the professed crash of Flight 77.

However, researchers and true investigative reporters have long known that it wasn’t flight 77 that hit the Pentagon that day, since the damage to the various walls of the Pentagon could only have been done by a much smaller aircraft, such as a missile (or perhaps a $222, 000,000 USAF Global Hawk surveillance drone). Also there was no evidence of debris from the aluminum body, wings and tail section of a 100 ton Boeing 757.

The only so-called evidence for Flight 77 hitting the Pentagon that the DOD eventually produced were five ridiculously unconvincing and obviously photo-shopped images that supposedly showed a plane in one frame and fiery explosions in three of the frames. (For information on the crime and cover-up at the Pentagon and a detailed expose of the infamous, obviously doctored still pictures that, interestingly, were dated 9/12/01, 17:37 (5:37 pm) rather than 9/11/01, 9:37 (9:37 am)  the actual time of the hit), go to:

And of course there was no plane debris from a 100 ton plane lying around outside of the  re-enforced concrete walls at the Pentagon. There are no indestructible titanium jet engines, no luggage, no passenger seats, no indestructible black boxes and no passenger body parts that always litter the scene of passenger plane crashes.

If you aren’t smelling a rat by now, you’re not paying attention. Don’t expect PBS to raise any uncomfortable questions about 9/11 in their documentary.

Sadly, NPR, MPR and WPR – my usually respected regional public radio stations (that regularly ask me for money) – have resolutely refused to interview any of the multitude of scientists, researchers, scholars and authors who have amassed mountains of court-of-law-ready evidence that 9/11 was a criminal false flag operation. All the evidence points to it being an inside job.

The unwelcome, provable facts documenting the conspiracies and the subsequent cover-ups (that are conspiracy theories no longer) thatreally happened on 9/11/01 is obviously a taboo subject that the mainstream media is terrified of, even among the many supposedly trustworthy investigative journalists that are on the staffs of those stations. They apparently have received orders from above to censor the truth, are afraid of losing their jobs or for some other reason can’t handle the truth.

Similarly, the usually-honorable PBS seems to keep subtly mis-informing its viewers with various slanted Frontline documentaries that, for just one example, has promoted the alleged safety and efficacy of Big Pharma’s toxic drugs and Big Vaccine’s neurotoxic and autoimmunity-inducing infant vaccines. It also has continued accepting the sponsorship of NOVA from David Koch and then squashed an expose of the nefarious agendas of the Koch Brothers.

PBS has never screened any of the multitudes of powerful and irrefutable 9/11 Truth documentaries that are already out there (see a list of my personal best ones further below). And now, with the Pentagon on 9/11, PBS has produced what looks like another human interest pablum puff piece that will certainly get most undiscerning PBS viewers to look the other way.

And they are showing it EIGHT TIMES IN ONE WEEK! Outrageous!

But readers should be reminded about the fact that those who willingly and knowingly cover-up crimes are themselves guilty of criminal conduct, and they can be prosecuted. Most people regard the horrendous events of 9/11/01 as the Crime of the Century; so those who knowingly cover up those crimes are technically guilty of crimes themselves. Should that standard apply to editors and publishers (and their reporters) of the TV, radio and print media outlets that inform us (or mis-inform or dis-inform us)? I think so.

And, despite their supposed crime-fighting reputation, the FBI collaborated in – and covered-up the Crime at the Pentagon by almost instantaneously confiscating private video surveillance cameras from nearby businesses. And the Pentagon never released the evidence that would have proved or disproved what many eyewitnesses observed: that no commercial jet hit the Pentagon on 9/11/01. (If the videos had actually showed an airliner, the Cheney/Bush administration would surely have flaunted those videos.) .

So the Cover-up of the Crime of the Century (a prosecutable offense) continues, and PBS and NPR (and every other corporate-controlled mainstream media outlet that one can think of) could be prosecuted for their parts in the cover-up because of their decisions to withhold vital information from the public and the American taxpayers.

But what bothers me the most is that most of the soon-to-vote young adults (that were infants, toddlers or naïve children back in 2001) may never have had the opportunity to see the evidence that implicates their own government, their own politicians, their own FBI, their own CIA and their own DOD in the Crime AND/OR the Cover-up. What is needed is complete transparency.

And so a sizable proportion of a new generation of manipulated and brain-washed Americans are  unaware that its nation’s perpetual war agenda and the diabolical military and economic destabilizations of weaker nations around the world is actually understandable if one understands what really happened on 9/11.

9/11 was the justification for 1) stupidly invading Afghanistan and Iraq. 9/11 was also the justification for 2) the formation of the Gestapo-like Department of Homeland Security and the new 3) Surveillance State, both of which have gutted the Constitution. Without the orchestrated events of 9/11, the 4) controversial Patriot Act [as well as 5) every National Defense Authorization Act since then] and the 6) perpetual, enemy-producing ever-lasting “War on Terror” would not be realities. Without coming clean about the truth of 9/11, neither the nation’s credibility nor the planet can be sustained.

Powerful media-perpetrated Big Lie propaganda has justified in the minds of most citizens the corrupt Cheney/Bush administration claims that the “attacks” were orchestrated by Osama bin Laden and not by our own Crony Capitalist system that worships at the alters of Mammon and Mars.

The evidence for the above assertions is overwhelming and is easily available for confirmation for anybody with internet access and the ability to overcome their blind patriotism, their cognitive dissonance and their willingness to courageously search for the truth. My colleagues in the 9/11 Truth community only hopes for an honest appraisal of the established facts and that readers will start reading between the lines and start thinking critically.

Twenty-six Questions That Deceived Americans Need to ask  


1) Did you know that a third World Trade Center high-rise building also fell on September 11th? WTC Building 7 was a 47-storey, steel-framed skyscraper located a full block away from the Twin Towers and it was not even hit by any plane. Nonetheless, it fell at near free-fall speed straight down into its own footprint at 5:20 p.m. that afternoon.

2) Did you know that the owner of Building 7, Larry Silverstein, said “We’ve had such a terrible loss of life that maybe the smartest thing to do is “pull it” [Building 7] and they made that decision – to pull – and then we watched the building collapse”? And yet The 9/11 Commission Report never mentioned a thing about Building 7 [“Pull” is an industry term for using controlled demolition.]

3) Did you know that “Lucky” Larry Silverstein was awarded 4.68 billion dollars in insurance claims for the Twin Towers which he had just leased six weeks before 9/11 from the Port Authority of New York. The Port Authority had previously declined to spend the multi million dollars necessary to remove the asbestos and bring the Towers up to code required by law?

4) Did you know that – in the history of architecture – fire has never caused any steel-frame building to collapse, except on 9/11 when three skyscrapers fell at near free-fall speeds despite the fact that there were scores of massive steel columns in the core of each of the Twin Towers?

5) Did you know that almost every one of the WTC steel beams and girders were quickly shipped overseas – before any independent investigation – and melted down? (This is unprecedented and contrary to federal crime scene laws, making Rudy Giuliani indictable for those federal crimes.)

6) Did you know that fighter jets routinely are scrambled the minute any airplane loses contact with the FAA or deviates from its flight path and the jets usually only take 20 minutes to get in the air?

7) Did you know that in the nine months preceding 9/11 there were 67 jet fighter scrambles of wayward airplanes and that on average 100 intercepts occur each year?

8) Did you know that the Secret Service broke established protocols by allowing President Bush to remain in a well-publicized classroom photo op for at least 8 minutes after it was revealed to him that “America was under attack” (when Andy Card informed him that the second plane had hit the second tower)?

9) Did you know that the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has never revealed the unidentified traders who made millions of dollars in profits by short-selling the stocks of American and United airlines that were impacted by the attacks?

10) Did you know that there were countless warnings of “impending terrorist attacks” from at least 11 countries prior to 9/11 and that the threat level for such an attack was ‘blinking red’ according to the Director of the CIA George Tenet?

11) Did you know that Attorney General John Ashcroft, San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, author Salmon Rushdie and (according to Newsweek) a group of high-ranking generals at the Pentagon were warned not to fly on 9/11 but never revealed who told them?

12) Did you know that in September of 2000 a NeoConservative group of Republicans known as The Project for A New American Century (PNAC, many of whom would become key officials in the Bush administration the next year) wrote that their proposed massive military buildup would proceed slowly “absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor”?

13) Did you know that at least 6 of the alleged 9/11 hijackers were reported to be still alive according to BBC and UK print media reports in the weeks following 9/11?

14) Did you know that the FBI has said that there is no evidence to link Osama bin Laden to 9/11 and that Osama was never wanted for the crime of 9/11 on its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list?

15) Did you know that the leading scholar of Osama bin Laden (Bruce Lawrence) stated that the December 2001 confession tape, which the Bush White House flaunted, was a fake?

16) Did you know that Secretary of State Colin Powell promised a White Paper proving that Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda were responsible for 9/11 back in 2001 – but never produced it?

17) Did you know that the Bush administration resisted the formation of the 9/11 Commission for 441 days? Or that similar investigations, such as those for Pearl Harbor, the JFK assassination and the space shuttle disasters, all started within one week?

18) Did you know that “The Jersey Girls” – four courageous 9/11 widows – finally forced the 9/11 Commission into existence and presented many questions, 70% of which were ignored? Or that under the leadership of Bush administration insider, Philip Zelikow, the final report failed to address any of the evidence pointing to official complicity? (And the 9/11 Commission Report never said word one about WTC 7?)

19) Did you know that no official agency (the FAA, FBI or the airlines) has ever released a list of the 9/11 passengers – including the names of the supposed hijackers, but within hours after the attacks, the FBI unbelievably released a definitive list of the 19 so-called hijackers?

20) Did you know that multiple air defense drills (war games) were planned for the morning of 9/11 and that these exercises left only a few pairs of fighter jets available to protect the entire North East Air Defense Sector of the United States leaving Washington and NYC vulnerable to an attack?

21) Did you know that there was no visible airplane debris where Flight 93 supposedly crashed near Shanksville, PA. There was only a small smoking hole in the ground, much like a bomb crater, with a pile of planted scrap metal, but that there was debris from the aircraft found 8 miles away at New Baltimore? And that Shanksville Mayor Ernie Stull said three different times in an interview (for a 2003 German documentary) that there was “no airplane”?

22) Did you know that office furniture burns at low temperatures of 600 to 800°F, and that jet fuel (kerosene), an ordinary hydrocarbon, has a maximum burning temperature of 1200°F, but that steel doesn’t start melting until temperatures reach 2750°F?

23) Did you know that tests have shown that cellphone calls – back in 2001 – could not have been made at altitudes over 8,000 feet for any meaningful duration and that, more significantly, United Airlines Flight 93 was proven to be 35,000 to 40,000 feet when calls were said to have been made?

24) Did you know that bombs went off in the North Tower in the sub-basement a few seconds before the first plane hit – according to Willie Rodriguez, a janitor who became known as the last man out and who was awarded a medal by President Bush for his bravery in rescuing dozens of people from the North Tower before it collapsed? Rodriguez testified that he and fellow workers heard multiple explosions coming from various locations in the floors above.

25) Did you know that alleged hijacker Hani Hanjour was known as an incompetent pilot to his trainers and yet he supposedly pulled off an unprecedented 270° turn at 500 mph, diving 7,000 feet in less than 3 minutes? And then supposedly crashed Flight 77 into the least populated, most reinforced section of the Pentagon?

26) Did you know that the mainstream media (MSM) in the US is owned and controlled by five or six major corporate conglomerates and that there has been very limited and sporadic coverage of alternative views about 9/11? Any time the issue of 9/11 is raised, the MSM accuses the questioner of being a conspiracy theorist or even a traitor.

Seventeen of the Best 9/11 Truth Exposes for Truth-seekers who Might Have Limited Amounts of Time for Their Research

Compiled by Gary G. Kohls, MD, past member, Health Professionals for 9/11 Truth

1) “DOD Secretary Donald Rumsfeld Has No Clue About WTC7” (3 Minutes):

2) “9/11 – The Truth in 5 Minutes” – (From the Corbett Report):

3) “The Five Dancing Israelis (Mossad) on 9/11” (7 Minutes):

4) “25 Hard Facts About 9/11” (10 Minutes):

5) “Rumsfeld on 9/10/01: Pentagon is Missing $2.3 Trillion” (11 Minutes):

6) “Who Benefited From 9/11?” (16 Minutes):

7) “Exposing the fraud of 9/11” (22 Minutes):

8) “CIA Insider Tells 9/11 Truth” (23 Minutes):

9) Richard Gage (of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth): “The World Is Ready! (ie, for the truth)” (42 Minutes):

10) “911 What Really Happened?” (25 Minutes):

11) James Corbett’s “9/11 Trillions: Follow the Money” (60 Minutes):

12) “9/11: A Scientific Look at the Evidence” (63 Minutes):

13) “9/11 – Anatomy of a Great Deception” (90 Minutes):

14) David Ray Griffin’s Presentation – “9/11 The Myth and The Reality” (100 Minutes):

15) Massimo Mazzucco’s “September 11 – The New Pearl Harbor” (115 Minutes)

16) “Under Occupation: 9/11 Reality” (Canadian – 120 minutes): “9/11: Explosive Evidence – Experts Speak Out” (Full Film from

Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (AE911Truth – 140 Minutes):

A Selection of 911 Truth Websites:

Dr Kohls is a retired physician from Duluth, MN, USA. In the decade prior to his retirement, he practiced what could best be described as “holistic (non-drug) and preventive mental health care”. Since his retirement, he has written a weekly column for the Duluth Reader, an alternative newsweekly magazine. His columns mostly deal with the dangers of American fascism, corporatism, militarism, racism, and the dangers of Big Pharma, psychiatry, America’s over-vaccination agenda and other movements that threaten American democracy, civility and longevity and the future of the planet. Many of his columns are archived at, or at

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A regional summit of the heads-of-state of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was held in late August in Mbabane, Swaziland. This was the 36th annual gathering of the organization which was founded in 1980.

King Mswati III was elected as the leader of the regional grouping which consists of 15 member-states. South African President Jacob Zuma was chosen as rotating chair and  the governments of Tanzania and Angola were also elected to the rotating posts of chair and vice chair, respectively, of the SADC organs of co-operation in the domains of politics, defense and security.

This summit approved measures dealing with greater co-operation in the financial markets sector. Other actions consisted of amendments to article 3 of the protocol on commercial exchange in SADC, the accord on the materialization of the Regional Development Fund, as well as the draft agreement that amends the SADC protocol on gender and development.

Southern Africa is facing numerous difficulties in the present period with the region experiencing the worst drought in several decades. The lack of adequate water resources has resulted in power outages, a shortage of foreign exchange revenue and a decline in agricultural production.

It has been estimated that 27 million people, approximately nine percent of the sub-continental population, are food insecure as a result of the decline in the performance of the 2015-16 farming season. The El Niño-induced drought in the region is the worst in three-and-a-half decades.

The regional drought response team has developed an appeal for international assistance.  SADC outgoing chairperson, President Ian Khama of Botswana, initiated the appeal to the tune of $2.7 billion.

According to the official website of the Southern African grouping, “The SADC region is experiencing a devastating drought episode associated with the 2015/2016 El Niño event which is negatively affecting livelihoods and the quality of lives across the region. Four Member States have already declared national drought emergencies (Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland and Zimbabwe). South Africa has declared a drought emergency in 7 of the country’s 9 provinces.” (

This same report goes on to note that, “Mozambique declared a 90-day institutional red alert for some southern and central areas. Member States are currently conducting their annual vulnerability assessments and results were expected in early June 2016. These results will provide the effect of drought on food and nutrition security and vulnerability situation as a whole.”

Consequently, the summit was held under the theme, ‘Resource Mobilization for Investment in Sustainable Energy Infrastructure for an Inclusive SADC Industrialization for the Prosperity of the Region’. Prior to the convening of the heads-of-state summit the Council of Ministers received reports on the progress towards the implementation of the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP). The report focused specifically on the 2016-2017 Action Plans which reviewed the implementation of decisions agreed upon since March 2016.

Council members heard analyses on the political and economic development in the region, along with the implementation of programs aimed at regional co-operation and integration, continental integration and co-operation, among others issues.

Election of Swazi King Spurs Controversy

With the ascendancy of King Mswati III as the SADC chair, a flurry of criticism was launched over the decision. Swaziland is a monarchy that has been accused of thwarting democratic practice.

The King has denied these allegations saying that the small landlocked state of 1.2 million is a democracy although the prime minister and government are chosen by the monarch.

Opposition parties in neighboring Botswana, whose government relinquished the SADC chair to Swaziland, said this “is a matter on great concern to us,” according to Vice President of the Botswana Congress Party Kesitegile Gobotswang who was quoted in the Botswana Guardian stressing, “the country [Swaziland] has thus far refused to embrace the values of democracy. This is an indication that the regional body [SADC] is not committed to democratic values.”

“Mswati does not qualify to hold that position at all … he is a corrupt leader who sees nothing wrong with abusing public resources while people starve,” added President of the Botswana People’s Party, Motlatsi Malapis. (Swazi Media Commentary, Aug. 17)

Other Regional Problems of Instability

Three other major states in the region have been the focus of economic and political problems over the last several months. In Zimbabwe, a coalition of 18 oppositional political parties known as the National Electoral Reform Agenda (NERA), have called for the resignation of the democratically-elected government of President Robert Mugabe, the First Secretary of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union Patriot Front (ZANU-PF).

Violent unrest erupted in late August when protesters in the capital of Harare threw stones at police, set fire to police vehicles and looted stores. Zimbabwe has been subjected to over fifteen years of economic sanctions by Britain, the United States, European Union (EU) and other imperialist states. The opposition parties are blaming the current economic crisis exclusively on the ruling ZANU-PF party ignoring the role of sanctions and deliberate destabilization tactics carried out against the government by western countries.

In South Africa, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) is dealing with the most formidable challenge to its rule since the transition to national independence and democracy in 1994. Impacted by the drought and the decline in commodity prices prompting a drop in the values of the rand and investment bonds, the center-right opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party and the supposed ultra-left Economic Freedom Fighters have teamed up to attack the ANC preventing the ruling organization from securing majorities in several key municipalities including Tshwane, Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay.

The ANC is also dealing with internal criticism and disaffection as elements within the party are calling for the holding of an elective conference to discuss the possibility replacing President Jacob Zuma and the National Executive Committee (NEC). A demonstration led by the ANC Youth League on September 5 attempted to deliver a memorandum to Secretary General Gwede Mantashe. The small group was prevented from getting near the entrance of Luthuli House by members of the Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) who vowed to defend the Zuma government at all costs.

Eventually Mantashe surrounded by military-clad veterans accepted the memorandum from the demonstrators. Mantashe said the process was reflective of the internal democracy inside the party while other suggested it revealed an organization in crisis.

Also at the recently-held 7th Congress of the ruling MPLA-Workers Party of Angola in Luanda, a wide-ranging discussion on the economic crisis took place. President Eduardo dos Santos was re-elected as party leader while in the aftermath of the gathering, the finance minister was removed from this portfolio within the government.

Quartz news agency said of the current economic situation inside the oil-producing state which won its national independence through a protracted armed struggle and civil war waged against U.S.-backed interests, that “Angola’s president José Eduardo dos Santos has fired the country’s finance minister, according to a statement from the government. Dos Santos gave no explanation for his Sept. 5 replacement of Armando Manuel with Archer Mangueira, the head of Angola’s Capital Markets Commission, according to Reuters.” (Sept. 6)

This publication reported as well saying “Manuel was appointed in 2013, just before the oil price tanked, and since then he has presided over an economy battered by weakened oil exports. Angolan newspapers have reported that Manuel’s replacement is directly linked to the country’s stalled talks with the International Monetary Fund over medium-term emergency funding. Mangueira, also known as Augusto Archer de Sousa Hose, was recently elected to the ruling MPLA’s central committee, bringing him closer into dos Santos’s political inner circle. He is also a familiar face to international investors.”

These developments in Southern Africa point to the necessity of closer regional integration and economic independence from the western industrialized states which have trimmed down considerably their trade in oil and other resources with the 15-member body. Until alternative sources of economic generation and vitality can be developed SADC will be plagued by further uncertainty and political instability.


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