Top defense officials from Hanoi and Washington met Monday to discuss the role of the US in the region and how Vietnam would respond to American “intervention” in Asia and the Pacific.

As the presidency of Barack Obama winds down, there are lingering concerns over whether the new administration will give proper attention to the US’ Asian pivot — notably, the increasingly aggressive posture taken by Beijing in the South China Sea.

Cara Abercrombie, US deputy assistant secretary of defense for South and Southeast Asia, met with Vietnamese Senior Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh, who told Ambercrombie that Vietnam would support a positive US presence in the region.

In August Vietnam quietly outfitted several of its islands within the embattled South China Sea area with mobile rocket launchers poised to strike Chinese military installations, if necessary.

Deputy Defence Minister, Senior Lieutenant-General Nguyen Chi Vinh said at the time, “It is within our legitimate right to self-defense to move any of our weapons to any area at any time within our sovereign territory.”

The US tried to cool tensions and encourage diplomacy, with one defense official saying, “We continue to call on all South China Sea claimants to avoid actions that raise tensions, take practical steps to build confidence, and intensify efforts to find peaceful, diplomatic solutions to disputes.”

The Japan Times quotes a statement released by the Vietnamese Defense Ministry after the meeting, saying that Vinh “affirmed that Vietnam will support the US and other partners to intervene in the region as long as it brings peace, stability and prosperity,” adding that the US does not intend to shift its “rebalance” efforts which seeks to expand Washington’s presence in the Pacific.

Some the traditional US partnerships in the region are also in flux, as President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has been vocally critical of Washington, and relations with Thailand have been strained since the 2014 coup.

Meanwhile the relationship between Washington and Hanoi has become closer since May, when the US lifted its lethal arms embargo on the southeast Asian country. BBC quoted Obama remarking at the time that the embargo decision was “based on our desire to complete what has been a lengthy process of moving towards normalisation with Vietnam… this change will ensure that Vietnam has access to the equipment it needs to defend itself.”

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School districts are notoriously short of funding – so short that some California districts have succumbed to Capital Appreciation Bonds that will cost taxpayers as much is 10 to 15 times principal by the time they are paid off. By comparison, California’s Prop. 51, the school bond proposal currently on the ballot, looks like a good deal. It would allow the state to borrow an additional $9 billion for educational purposes by selling general obligation bonds to investors at an assumed interest rate of 5%, with the bonds issued over a five-year period and repaid over 30 years. $9 billion × 5% × 35 equals $15.75 billion in interest – nearly twice principal, but not too bad compared to the Capital Appreciation Bond figures.

However, there is a much cheaper way to fund this $9 billion school debt. By borrowing from its own state-chartered, state-owned bank, the state could save over $10 billion – on a $9 billion loan. Here is how.

A Look at the Numbers

First it would need to charter a bank. In California this can be done with an initial capitalization of $20 million; but for our purposes, assume an initial capitalization of $1 billion.

Where to get this money? The state’s public pension funds are always seeking good investments. Today they are looking for a return of about 7% per year (although in practice they are getting less), and they have wide leeway in the sorts of things in which they can invest. So assume the capital comes from the pension funds, which are promised a 7% annual dividend and the return of principal after 35 years.

At a 10% capital requirement, $1 billion in capitalization is sufficient to back $10 billion in new loans, assuming the bank has an equivalent sum in deposits to provide liquidity.

Where to get the deposits? One possibility would be the California Pooled Money Investment Account (PMIA), which contains $68.3 billion earning a modest 0.61% as of the quarter ending September 30, 2016. This huge pool of rainy day, slush and investment funds is invested 46% in US Treasuries, 20% in certificates of deposit and bank notes, 11% in commercial paper, and 8% in time deposits, along with some other smaller investments. $10 billion of this money could be deposited into a savings account at the state-owned bank, on which the bank could pay 0.61% interest, the same average return the PMIA is getting now.

At a 10% reserve requirement, $1 billion of this money would need to be held by the bank as reserves. The other $9 billion could be lent or invested – a sufficient sum to provide the funds sought by Prop. 51.

The annual cost of financing this $9 billion loan would thus be $1 billion × 7% = $70 million for the pension funds, and $10 billion × 0.61% = $61 million for the PMIA. So the total cost of funds would be $131 million annually × 35 years = $4.585 billion. That is less than one-third of the $15.75 billion in interest anticipated under Prop. 51 – a savings of $11.165 billion over 35 years on a loan of $9 billion.

If at the end of the 35 year period, the bank repays the pension funds their $1 billion initial capital investment, the net savings will be $10.165 billion – a huge sum.

What about the other costs of setting up a bank – buildings, staff and the like? These would actually be minimal. Like the Bank of North Dakota (BND), currently the nation’s only state-owned depository bank, the California state bank would not need to advertise, would not need multiple branches or tellers, and would not need ATMs. It would be a “bankers’ bank” or “money center bank,” providing capital and liquidity for local banks and large institutional investors.

For purposes of funding this one infrastructure loan, the bank could arguably be run by one man sitting in an office in the statehouse, shuffling numbers around on a computer screen. Bonds would not even need to be issued. The state could just make the loan to itself.

What about Risk?

The objection typically raised by legislators is, “We can’t afford to lend our deposits. We need our revenues for our state budget.” But those concerns assume that banks actually lend their deposits. They don’t. In March 2014, in a bombshell report titled “Money Creation in the Modern Economy,” the Bank of England officially set the record on this issue straight. The BOE economists wrote that many common assumptions about how banking works are simply wrong. Banks are not merely intermediaries that take in money and lend it out again. They actually create the money they lend in the process of making loans:

The reality of how money is created today differs from the description found in some economics textbooks: Rather than banks receiving deposits when households save and then lending them out, bank lending creates deposits.

. . . Whenever a bank makes a loan, it simultaneously creates a matching deposit in the borrower’s bank account, thereby creating new money. [Emphasis added.]

The BOE report said that private banks now create nearly 97 percent of the money supply in this way. David Graeber, writing in The UK Guardian, underscored the dramatic implications:

. . . [M]oney is really just an IOU. The role of the central bank is to preside over a legal order that effectively grants banks the exclusive right to create IOUs of a certain kind, ones that the government will recognise as legal tender by its willingness to accept them in payment of taxes. There’s really no limit on how much banks could create, provided they can find someone willing to borrow it.

If money is just an IOU, governments do not need to sell off public assets and slash public services in order to pay their debts. They can create money in the same way private banks do, simply with accounting entries on their books. That is the secret power of banking, a power that governments to date have given away to a private banking cartel. Federal governments could reclaim this power by simply issuing the money they need, as the American colonists did in the 18th century. State and local governments could reclaim the money power by forming their own banks and creating the money they lend on their books, as all depository banks do.

When deposited in its own state-owned bank, the state’s revenues would be just as safe, liquid and available as they would be if deposited in a Wall Street bank. All banks attempt to be “fully loaned up,” lending a sum equal to 90% of their deposits – or they did before the central bank started paying interest on “excess reserves” held on their books. The way they deal with a lack of liquidity when depositors and borrowers all come for their money at once is to borrow “wholesale” deposits from other banks or the money market. This borrowing is quite cheap – currently 0.39% from other banks overnight – and the loans can be rolled over and over until new deposits are acquired to balance the books.

In the case of our proposed California state-owned bank, if it comes up short of liquidity, a portion of the remaining $60 billion in the PMIA fund could be shifted into the bank as deposits. The bank could again pay 0.61% interest on these funds, the same return the PMIA is getting now.

The Model of the Bank of North Dakota

This proposal is not pie-in-the-sky. North Dakota has been doing it for decades, very profitably. In November 2014, the Wall Street Journal reported that the BND was more profitable even than J.P. Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs. The author attributed this remarkable performance to the state’s oil boom; but the boom has now become an oil bust, yet the BND’s profits continue to climb. In its 2015 Annual Report, published on April 20th, it boasted its most profitable year ever. In fact the BND has had record profits for the last 12 years, each year outperforming the last. In 2015 it reported $130.7 million in earnings, total assets of $7.4 billion, capital of $749 million, and a return on equity of a whopping 18.1 percent. Its lending portfolio grew by $486 million, a 12.7 percent increase, with growth in all four of its areas of concentration: agriculture, business, residential, and student loans.

By increasing its lending into a state struggling with a collapsing oil market, the BND helped prop the economy up. In 2014, it was lending money for school infrastructure at 1%. In 2015, it introduced new infrastructure programs to improve access to medical facilities, remodel or construct new schools, and build new road and water infrastructure. The Farm Financial Stability Loan was also introduced to assist farmers affected by low commodity prices or below-average crop production, and the BND helped fund 300 new businesses.

Those numbers are particularly impressive considering that North Dakota has a population of only about 750,000. California, the largest state in the nation, has 50 times that many people and 50 times the profit potential.

A general rule for government bonds is that they double the cost of projects, once interest has been paid. By leveraging its massive revenue base through its own state-owned bank, California could fund its infrastructure needs at half the cost.

Another Look at Prop. 51

The San Jose Mercury News says of Prop. 51:

The $9 billion initiative would lock in a costly, outdated and inequitable program that benefits builders at taxpayers’ expense. . . . Bankrolled by $7 million mostly from the construction industry, Prop. 51 is an end run around calls from Jerry Brown and the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office to reform school bond provisions.

While waiting for those reforms, voters could encourage their representatives to back a bill for a state-owned bank. Several California legislators are working on that possibility now.

Ellen Brown is an attorney and author of twelve books, including the best-selling Web of Debt. Her latest book, The Public Bank Solution, explores successful public banking models historically and globally. Her 300+ blog articles are at EllenBrown.com. She can be heard biweekly on “It’s Our Money with Ellen Brown” on PRN.FM.

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During the final Presidential candidates’ debate, on October 19th, Hillary Clinton said that workers’ “social security payroll contribution will go up” if she becomes President, and she went on to add, “as will Donald’s — assuming he can’t figure out how to get out of it.”

The “Social Security payroll contribution” is the phrase policymakers customarily use to refer to what ordinary people refer to simply as “the Social Security tax,” which is currently 6.2% of the employee’s wages, and an additional 6.2% of the employer’spayment of those wages, thus amounting to 12.4% of total payroll (wages) that are paid by the employer.

Trump ignored what she had just said there, and responded simply with “Such a nasty woman” — referring to her demeaning reference to himself: he utterly failed to indicate what he would do as President in order to, as Clinton had stated her reason for hiking those taxes: “replenish the Social Security Trust Fund.”

The way that the former candidate Bernie Sanders had proposed to deal with this problem was to eliminate the Social Security payroll cap, which is $118,500, above which amount any income is received free of any Social Security tax — on either the worker or the employer.

Trump has never, on any occasion, said what his policy on this matter would be, other than a vague “It’s my intention to leave Social Security the way it is. Not increase the age and to leave it as is.” In other words: he has no proposal to address the long-term problem of Social Security.

So: Hillary Clinton has already said that she will raise Social Security taxes on people who make less than $118,500 per year, but Donald Trump has not indicated whether he will impose Social Security taxes on income above $118,500 per year.

Other proposals that have been pushed in order to “replenish the Social Security Trust Fund” — or to achieve the long-term stability of the Social Security system — mainly focus on three approaches:

One is privatizing Social Security, as Wall Street wants, and which proposal is based on private gambles that the assets that are purchased by the Wall Street firm for the individual investor will continually increase in value, never plunge, and never be reduced by annual charges to pay Wall Street’s fees for management and for transactions, throughout the worker’s career until retirement.

Another approach is gradually reducing the inflation-adjuster for benefits, the inflation-adjusted value of the benefits that Social Security recipients will be receiving. President Obama had been trying to get congressional Republicans to agree with him to do that (which some call “the boiling-frog approach” because it’s applied so gradually), but they continued to hold out for privatizing Social Security, and thus nothing was done.

And the third option is to increase the retirement-age, as Obama also wanted to do (and which is really just another form of “boiling-frog approach”), but also couldn’t get congressional Republicans to accept that. (Trump’s comment to “Not increase the age and to leave it as it is” is a clear repudiation by him of this approach. And his promise to not increase taxes would, if taken seriously, also prohibit him from endorsing Hillary Clinton’s approach.)

Consequently, if Trump is a traditional Republican, then his policy would be to privatize the Social Security system, but if he is a Bernie Sanders progressive — someone in the pre-Bill-Clinton, FDR Democratic Party, mold — then his policy would instead be to eliminate the Social Security payroll cap. Those two are really his only major options.

Trump had the opportunity during the debate to make clear what his own policy would be on this important matter, and whether (and presumably that) it would be different from Clinton’s, and if so, how and why it would be different; but, instead, he ignored what she had said her policy as President will be on this matter, and he responded only to her demeaning personal reference against himself. He could have gone in for the policy-kill against her proposal on this, but instead took her personalizing bait and merely insulted her personally right back.

That was one of the two major opportunities Trump had in this debate to attack Ms. Clinton’s positions on the issues. The other was when she said, “I’m going to continue to push for a no-fly zone” in Syria. She has stated this position consistently throughout her campaign, and it would mean that she would warn both the Syrian government and the Russian government that unless they halt, by some specified date, their bomber-flights over Syrian territory, the United States will shoot those planes out of the sky, and the U.S. will then be at war against both Syria and Russia, over Syrian territory — a U.S. invasion. This does not necessarily mean that the war there would escalate to nuclear conflict, but it does mean that in order to avoid such World War III, either the U.S. or else both Syria and Russia would need to capitulate to the opponent (U.S. capitulate to Russia and Syria, or else Russia and Syria capitulate to U.S.) — which is highly unlikely to occur (probably less likely than nuclear war would be).

In other words: Trump also missed his opportunity — which he has had many times throughout his campaign against her — to point out that, if Ms. Clinton becomes the U.S. President, then nuclear war, WW III, will be the likely outcome of her election.

Instead, the main issue that likely will determine the outcome of this Presidential election is rape — the personal charges that have been alleged against (this time not Bill Clinton, but) Donald Trump. The fate of our planet, within just a year or two, might depend on whether the U.S. electorate focus mainly on that issue, in 2016. Consequently: the long-term problem of Social Security might actually be a moot point, anyway.

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

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The third and last of the Clinton-Trump presidential debates was just as false and intellectually degraded as the first two, characterized by lying by both candidates and mutual mudslinging.

This latest chapter in the spectacle of reaction of the 2016 elections had a certain aura of political exhaustion.

The American political system, in which two right-wing corporate-controlled parties have long enjoyed a monopoly, is staggering toward the finish line under conditions of a global crisis so deep that no one can be certain what the world will look like when the votes are counted on November 8.

In the 2016 elections, the US two-party system has achieved a certain negative culmination: in Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, it has presented the American people with a choice between not only the two most unpopular candidates, but also the two most reactionary candidates in modern history.

Trump, the billionaire product of the semi-criminal world of New York real estate speculators, promoted and cultivated for decades by the corporate media and the political establishment, appeals to widespread economic distress only in order to direct social anger into the channels of racism, anti-immigrant bigotry, economic nationalism and militarism.

Clinton has become the consensus candidate of Wall Street and the military-intelligence apparatus, and, increasingly, of the Republican as well as the Democratic wing of the political establishment. It is significant that Trump never identified himself as a Republican or made any reference to the Republican Party during the debate, while Clinton repeatedly invoked the names of Republican presidents, including Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, and contrasted them to Trump.

Clinton’s apparent aim in the third debate was to keep totally concealed what is coming after the election if, as polls now suggest, she wins the vote on November 8 and becomes the next president in January 2017.

On every issue of domestic policy raised in the course of the 90-minute debate—democratic rights, immigration, economic policy, social spending—Clinton employed liberal rhetoric, claiming to defend abortion rights, the legalization of most undocumented workers, government-funded job-creation, a rise in the minimum wage, equal pay for women workers, and an increase in Social Security benefits.

Neither Trump nor Fox News moderator Chris Wallace pointed out that in the flood of documents released by WikiLeaks over the past week, Clinton aides openly discuss the need to make such bogus promises in order to fool the American people and stave off the primary election threat of the Bernie Sanders campaign, and Clinton herself reassures her Wall Street paymasters that they should take her campaign promises with a very large grain of salt.

As she told a landlords association, which coughed up her usual six-figure speaking fee, “you need both a public and a private position” to be effective in politics. The public position, of course, is pie in the sky for the voters, while the private position, delivered to one’s financial backers, is what really counts.

It was only on national security issues that she gave a glimpse of the genuine Clinton, the arch militarist who sought to close the deal with the US ruling elite by demonstrating her hard-line defense of imperialist interests around the world.

When questioned about the WikiLeaks revelations concerning her remarks to private meetings of bankers, Clinton launched a calculated diversion, declaring that the central issue raised by the WikiLeaks documents was “Russian espionage,” and citing claims by US intelligence agencies that the Russian government had hacked Democratic Party emails and supplied them to WikiLeaks.

She then demanded that Trump admit the Russian role—for which no actual evidence has been presented—and condemn it, calling the supposed intervention by Putin “unprecedented in an American election” and declaring that Trump would be “a puppet for president” who would “spout the Putin line.” Moderator Wallace joined Clinton in this neo-McCarthyite smear, demanding, “Do you condemn this interference by Russia in the US elections?”

Clinton went on to advocate a wider war in the Middle East while concealing her plans after taking office, claiming she would “not support putting American troops back into Iraq as an occupying force.” This leaves the door wide open for the dispatch of American troops for some other purpose—i.e., fighting ISIS—rather than as an “occupying force.”

For the first time in any of the debates, the question of a US-Russian conflict in Syria was broached when Wallace asked Clinton directly about her support for a no-fly zone over Aleppo and other contested Syrian cities. He pointed out that General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had said a no-fly zone meant war with Syria and Russia, then asked, “If a Russian plane violates the no-fly zone, does President Clinton shoot it down?”

Clinton simply ducked the question, claiming that the no-fly zone, an act of war against Syria and its allies, Russia and Iran, would be the subject of “negotiation.” Trump said nothing about either ground troops or more aggressive intervention in Syria, contenting himself with denunciations of Iran and the deal between the Obama administration and Iran on its nuclear program.

Both candidates gave themselves the widest possible latitude for escalating the US military aggression throughout the Middle East in the name of fighting “terrorism.”

Trump touched a number of ultra-right talking points in the course of the debate, calling for the appointment of Supreme Court justices who would reverse Roe v. Wade and outlaw abortion, reiterating his signature demand to build a wall along the US-Mexico border and deport millions of undocumented workers, and pointing out, correctly, that the Obama administration has deported many millions already.

He appealed to the economic grievances of working people only to give them a right-wing expression, declaring that expelling immigrant workers, renegotiating trade agreements to bar foreign imports and slashing taxes on the wealthy and the corporations would generate an unprecedented economic boom, with annual GDP growth of six or seven percent. At the same time, he rejected suggestions that cuts were required in Social Security or Medicare, because this runaway economic growth would supposedly resolve all federal budget issues.

The political perspective underlying Trump’s effort to combine appeals to economic distress and ultra-right, nationalistic policies emerged most clearly in the section of the debate devoted to each candidate’s “fitness to be president,” as Wallace put it.

Trump and Clinton replied with mutual mudslinging, first about the allegations of sexual harassment by Trump which have been the focus of a week-long media barrage, then the charges of “pay to play” at the Clinton State Department, with donors to the Clinton Foundation receiving special access.

It was at this point that Wallace raised Trump’s claim that “the election is rigged and Clinton is trying to steal it.” Pointing out that Mike Pence, Trump’s running mate, and even his daughter Ivanka Trump, had said they would respect the outcome of the vote on November 8, Wallace asked for a similar assurance from Trump himself.

The candidate flatly refused, saying he would wait to decide until the results were in. He declared that “millions of people are registered to vote that should not be allowed to vote,” then added that Clinton herself “should never have been allowed to run for president because of what she did with emails and so many other things.”

While media commentary after the debate declared that Trump had irrevocably lost the election by telling voters he would not respect their decision, there was no discussion of the real significance of this statement. It only underscores that Trump’s purposes go beyond the election: he is laying the basis for the development of a fascistic movement.

The final election debate only confirmed the fact that, whatever happens on November 8, the next administration will be the most right-wing in American history, and will take office under conditions of unprecedented economic, social and geopolitical crisis.

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When Wasn’t it Rigged? Donald Trump and US Presidential Races

October 21st, 2016 by Dr. Binoy Kampmark

Hideousness is only one word that covers the third and last presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. But prior to that, as a warm up of mischief, Trump was insisting that he would find accepting a public vote for Clinton hard to stomach at the electoral level.  The only way he would accept any electoral result would be, in fact, if he won.

The Trump train is already finding tasks to occupy itself in that direction, promising to garner its own exit polls to combat the “rigging” disease.  Roger Stone has been crowned with that role, hoping to focus on 600 different precincts in nine Democrat cities with considerable minority populations.  He will have the assistance of 1,300 volunteers from the Citizens for Trump coalition.[1]

Visions of political spoliation more commonly associated with burdened African powers or unstable pacific states come to mind: well fought over electoral result, followed by a swift, incisive coup, and banishment of the elected leader.

The point was already alluded to by Zimbabwean opposition leader Tendai Biti in the aftermath of Trump’s pseudo-dictatorial marks.  On questioning the 2008 election result that yielded President Robert Mugabe yet another victory, Biti was detained for a month and charged with treason for questioning the result. He duly suffered a good bout of deprivation and hardship.

“Donald Trump is a gift to all tin-pot dictators on the African continent. He is giving currency and legitimacy to rigging because if it can exist in America, it can exist anywhere.”  Trump, in other words, had “no idea what he’s talking about, absolutely no idea.”[2]

While idealising the US electoral system as a wonder to emulate, Biti had missed the more sophisticated features in its limiting features.  Trump’s remarks remind one, rather than deflect interest, from the fundamental rot at the centre of US politics, and the system that assures the perpetuation of special interests.

The “rigging” notion was certainly familiar to the rhetoric of Bernie Sanders, and it was one that Clinton was desperate to stomp upon. What has happened is a blurring of the rigging debate with that of fraud, which not necessarily the same thing.

The point about rigging is its permanent political appeal, and central to any political system that treats plutocrats, or some variant of elitism, as essential to stability.  Democracy, ripe and raw, is always feared for its lynching excesses, a point made with clinical clarity at numerous points by the Founding Fathers.  The American colonies may well have rid themselves of a monarch, but retained an aristocratic form which elevated private property, including slaves, to the levels of the sacred.

Alexander Hamilton, that great centralist of the union, provided food for thought in a June 1788 speech defending the necessary ratification of the US Constitution: “That a pure democracy if it were practicable would be the most perfect government.  Experience has proved that no position is more false than this. The ancient democracies in which the people themselves deliberated never possessed one good feature of government.  Their very character was tyranny; their figure, deformity.”[3]

James Madison, who did the most cerebral ventilating on the Constitution, considered that a “pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and minister the government in person, can admit no cure for the mischiefs of faction.  A common passion or interest will be felt by a majority, and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party.”[4]

The nature of the US political system is to ensure a decent, governing class jigging of the vote.  Representative democracy – or as we tend to see these days, distinctly unrepresentative questionably democratic figures – came to be the hallmark, monitored and tinkered with by party machines and the cohorts of pollsters and focus group priests.  Electioneering became more science fiction than science, occasionally tempered by rhetorical flourishes.

So Trump is not far off in his bellyaching observations, even if they have a characteristic crudeness that denies political sophistication.  The system is rigged, but not merely against him. Nor is it because of his folly, carelessness and buffoonery in letting his competition, Hillary Clinton, get away with some of the more notable smudges on the US republic.

No other candidate has been permitted a sliver of debate at the national level, despite the real prospect of Jill Stein of the Greens gaining a share of the Bernie Sanders vote, or a confused, news-averse Gary Johnson of the Libertarians causing some disruption.  Since the infant days of the Republic, impediments against having such alternatives reach what constitute the self-appointed mainstream of media and public discussion have been in place.

Stacked the presidential system is: against anybody not favoured by the coalescing connivance of the establishment, the same establishment, more empire than democracy, that indulges in the whims and fancies of wars, financial collapses and, shall we say, ruin?

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

Notes

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/oct/20/citizens-for-donald-trump-exit-poll-roger-stone-rigged-election-claim
[2] http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-trump-rigging-africa-idUSKCN12K23D
[3] http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/alexander-hamilton-speech/
[4] http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa10.htm

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One of the strangest incidents of the Syrian conflict took place on 18th October 2016.

According to the Russians two Belgian F-16 aircraft, after having taken off from an air base in Jordan, and after having been refuelled in the air over Syria by US aircraft, carried out a bombing raid on the Kurdish village of Hasajek in Syria’s northern Aleppo province, killing 6 civilians.

On the same day there were reports that the ‘Syrian Defence Forces’ – an umbrella organisation dominated by the Kurdish militia the YPG – has captured this village from ISIS.

The Russians say that they were not told of this bombing raid by the US led anti ISIS coalition despite the agreement between the US and Russian militaries that they would inform each other of such raids.

The Belgians categorically deny that the raid took place.  In order to lend force to their denials, they summoned the Russian ambassador to the Belgian Foreign Ministry to complain personally to him about the Russian claims.

Given the routine way allegations go continuously backwards and forwards in this conflict, this Belgian reaction in a situation where a mere denial would have sufficed, looks hyper-sensitive and strange in itself.

The Russians have responded to the Belgian denials by claiming that they have radar data which proves conclusivelythat the raid took place, and that it was carried out by the Belgian F16s as they say.

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I do not know the truth about this affair.  I would however say that it is not on the face of it implausible that NATO aircraft, whether from Belgium or from some other NATO country, carried out a raid on Hasajek on 18th October 2016.

Hasajek is located in territory contested in a bitter three-cornered fight by ISIS, the Turkish military and the YPG.  On 20th October 2016 the Turkish air force also carried out bombing raids on Kurdish militia in this area, provoking threats from Damascus to shoot down Turkish aircraft intruding into Syrian air space to carry out such raids.

It is certainly possible that Belgian aircraft forming part of the anti-ISIS coalition might have carried out a bombing raid in this area.  Possibly the raid was carried out to support the attack on Hasajek by the YPG, with NATO wanting to avoid disclosing the fact so as not to anger the Turks, who are in conflict with the YPG.

Assuming that the raid actually took place, that still does not explain why the Russians are making such a fuss about it, when it was by the standards of the Syrian war only a small raid, and one which did not involve the Syrian army.  Nor does it explain why the Belgians in turn are reacting so strongly.

A guess is that the Russians want the West to know that with the advanced radar and surface to air missiles now they now have in Syria they can track the movement of all NATO aircraft flying there. In that way the Russians are able to show the extent of their knowledge of what is going on – and by extension the extent of their control – of Syrian air space.  Indeed General Igor Konashenkov, the Russian Defence Ministry’s spokesman, has actually said as much

“Russia has effective air defence measures capable of round-the-clock monitoring of the sky above almost all of Syria. In addition to ours, the airspace is also controlled by Syrian air defences, which have been restored during the past year.”

That however may not be the only or even the major reason for the Russian action.

Russian disclosure that they are able to track the movement of every NATO aircraft in Syrian airspace may be intended to show to the West that the Russians can disprove Western claims of Russian responsibility for civilian deaths when these were actually caused by raids carried out by NATO aircraft.

Importantly the Russians are now saying that they know of many raids carried out in Syria by NATO aircraft which have gone unreported, and which have caused civilian casualties.  This is what Konashenkov is reported to have said about that

“I’d like to stress that this was not the first time when the international coalition conducted airstrikes against civilian targets and later denied responsibility for them,” he said. “Coalition warplanes have hit weddings, funerals, hospitals, police stations, humanitarian convoys and even Syrian troops fighting Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL] terrorists.”

This is a strong clue of what this incident is probably all about.  It looks like a warning to NATO that the Russians will in future start publishing details of NATO bombing raids, and will start identifying the nationality of the aircraft carrying them out, if blanket attributions of Russian responsibility for civilian deaths in Syria and of Russian war crimes continue.

Moreover if both the Russians and the Belgians know of unreported bombing raids carried out by Belgian aircraft in the past which resulted in heavy civilian loss of life, that might explain Belgium’s sensitivity, and the strength of the Belgian reaction.

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The Aleppo / Mosul Riddle

October 21st, 2016 by Pepe Escobar

There’s no question Baghdad needs to take back Mosul from ISIS/ISIL/Daesh. It could not do it before. In theory, the time is now.

The real question is the conflicting motivations of the large “who’s who” doing it; the Iraqi Army’s 9th Division; the Kurdish Peshmerga, under the baton of wily, corrupt opportunist Barzani; Sunni tribal lords; tens of thousands of Shi’ite militias from southern Iraq; operational “support” from US Special Forces; “targeted” bombing by the US Air Force; and lurking in the background, Turkish Special Forces and air power.

Now that’s a certified recipe for trouble.

Much like Aleppo, Mosul is – literally – the stuff of legend. The successor of ancient Nineveh, settled 8000 years ago; former capital of the Assyrian Empire under Sennacherib in the 7th century B.C.; conquered by Babylon in the 6th century B.C.; a thousand years later, annexed to the Muslim empire and ruled by the Umayyads and the Abbasids; the key hub, from the 11th to the 12th century, of the Atabegs medieval state; a key Ottoman hub in a 16th century post-Silk Road spanning the Indian Ocean all the way to the Persian Gulf, the Tigris valley, Aleppo and Tripoli in the Mediterranean.

After WWI, everyone craved Mosul – from Turkey to France. But it was the Brits who managed to dupe France into letting Mosul be annexed to the British Empire’s brand new colony: Iraq. Then came the long Arab nationalist Ba’ath party domination. And afterwards, Shock and Awe and hell; the US invasion and occupation; the tumultuous Shi’ite-majority government of Nouri al-Maliki in Baghdad; and the ISIS/ISIL/Daesh takeover in the summer of 2014.

Mosul’s historic parallels could not but have a special flavor. That 11th/12th century medieval state happened to have roughly the same borders of Daesh’s phony “Caliphate” – incorporating both Aleppo and Mosul. In 2004, Mosul was de facto ruled by disgraced, failed “presidential material” Gen. David Petraeus. Ten years later, after Petraeus’s phony “surge”, Mosul was ruled by a phony Caliphate born in a US prison near the Kuwaiti border.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of residents fled Mosul. The population may be as much as halved compared to the original 2 million. That’s a mighty lot to be properly “liberated”.

Aleppo “falls”

The hegemonic narrative about the ongoing Battle of (East) Aleppo is that an “axis of evil” (as coined by Hillary Clinton) of Russia, Iran and “the Syrian regime” is relentlessly bombing innocent civilians and “moderate rebels” while causing a horrendous humanitarian crisis.

In fact, the absolute majority of these several thousand-strong “moderate rebels” is in fact incorporated and/or affiliated with Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (Conquest of Syria Front), which happens to be none other than Jabhat al-Nusra, a.k.a. al-Qaeda in Syria, alongside a smatter of other jihadi groups such as Ahrar al-Sham (Al-Nusra’s goals – and who supports them – are fully documented here).

Meanwhile, few civilians remain trapped in eastern Aleppo – arguably no more than 30,000 or 40,000 out of an initial population of 300,000.

And that brings us to the crux of the matter explaining the Pentagon sabotage of the Russia-US ceasefire; those fits of rage by Samantha Batshit Crazy Power; the non-stop spin that Russia is committing “war crimes”.

If Damascus controls, apart from the capital, Aleppo, Homs, Hama and Latakia, it controls the Syria that matters; 70% of the population and all the important industrial/business centers. It’s practically game over. The rest is a rural, nearly empty back of beyond.

For the headless chicken school of foreign policy currently practiced by the lame duck Obama administration, the ceasefire was a means to buy time and rearm what the Beltway describes as “moderate rebels”. Yet even that was too much for the Pentagon, which faces a determined Syria/Iran/Russia alliance fighting all declinations of demented Salafi-jihadis, whatever their terminology, and committed to keep a unitary Syria.

So reconquering the whole of Aleppo has to be the top priority for Damascus, Tehran and Moscow. The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) will never have enough military to reconquer the rural, ultra hardcore Sunni back of beyond. Damascus may also never reconquer the Kurdish northeast, the embryonic Rojava; after all the YPG is directly backed by the Pentagon. Whether an independent Rojava will ever see the light of day is an interminable future issue to be solved.

The SAA, once again, is tremendously overextended. Thus, the method to reconquer East Aleppo is indeed hardcore. There is a humanitarian crisis. There is collateral damage. And this is only the beginning. Because sooner or later the SAA, supported by Hezbollah and Iraqi Shi’ite militias, will have to reconquer East Aleppo with boots on the ground as well – supported by Russian fighter jets.

The heart of the matter is that the former “Free Syrian Army”, absorbed by al-Qaeda in Syria and other Salafi-jihadis, is about to lose East Aleppo. Regime change and/or “Assad must go” – the military way – in Damascus is now impossible. Thus the utter desperation exhibited by the Pentagon’s Ash “Empire of Whining” Carter, neocon cells implanted all across lame duck Team Obama, and their hordes of media shills.

Enter Plan B; the Battle of Mosul.

Fallujah remixed?

The Pentagon plan is deceptively simple; erase any signs of Damascus and the SAA east of Palmyra. And this is where the Battle of Mosul converges with the recent Pentagon attack on Deir Ezzor. Even if we have an offensive in the next few months against Raqqa – by the YPG Kurds or even by Turkish forces – we still have a “Salafist principality” from eastern Syria to western Iraq all mapped up, exactly as the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) was planning (dreaming?) in 2012.

London-based Syrian historian Nizar Nayouf, as well as unnamed diplomatic sources, have confirmed that Washington and Riyadh closed a deal to let thousands of phony Caliphate jihadis escape Mosul from the west, as long as they head straight to Syria. A look at the battle map tells us that Mosul is encircled from all directions, except west.

But what about Sultan Erdogan in all this? He’s been spinning that Turkish Special Forces will enter Mosul just as they entered Jarablus in the Turkish-Syrian border; without firing a shot, when the city will be cleaned of jihadis.

Meanwhile, Ankara is preparing its spectacular entrance in the battlefield, with Erdogan in full regalia shooting at random. For him, “Baghdad” is no more than “an administrator of an army composed of Shi’ites”; and the YPG Kurds “will be removed from the Syrian town of Manbij” after the Mosul operation. Not to mention that Ankara and Washington are actively discussing the offensive against Raqqa, as Erdogan has not abandoned his dream of a “safe zone” of 5,000 km in northern Syria.

In a nutshell; for Erdogan, Mosul is a sideshow. His priorities remain a fractured, fragmented Syria, “safe zone” included; and to smash the YPG Kurds (while working side by side with the Peshmerga in Iraq).

As far as the US Plan B is concerned, Hezbollah’s Sheikh Nasrallah has clearly seenthrough the whole scheme; “The Americans intend to repeat the Fallujah plot when they opened a way for ISIL to escape towards eastern Syria before the Iraqi warplanes targeted the terrorists’ convoy.” He added that “the Iraqi army and popular forces” must defeat ISIS/ISIL/Daesh in Mosul; otherwise, they will have to chase them out across eastern Syria.

It’s also no wonder that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has also clearly seen The Big Picture: “As far as I know, the city is not fully encircled. I hope it’s because they simply couldn’t do it, not because they wouldn’t do it. But this corridor poses a risk that Islamic State fighters could flee from Mosul and go to Syria.”

It’s clear Moscow won’t sit idly by if that’s the case;“I hope the US-led coalition, which is actively engaged in the operation to take Mosul, will take it into account.”

Of course Mosul – even more than Aleppo – poses a serious humanitarian question.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) estimates as many as 1 million people may be affected. Lavrov goes straight to the point when he insists “neither Iraq nor its neighbors currently have the capacity to accommodate such a large number of refugees, and this should have been a factor in the planning of the Mosul operation.”

It may not have been. After all, for the “US-led” (from behind?) coalition, the number one priority is to ensure the phony Caliphate survives, somewhere in eastern Syria. Over 15 years after 9/11, the song remains the same, with the war on terra the perennial gift that keeps on giving.

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The Siege of Mosul and the Crimes of US Imperialism

October 21st, 2016 by Bill Van Auken

The US-led offensive against the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, begun this week, is part of the protracted and unfolding US war crimes that have killed, maimed and displaced millions across the Middle East.

Once again, a horrific humanitarian catastrophe is being unleashed upon a civilian population that suffered more than its share of death and destruction during the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the subsequent eight years of American occupation.

This occupation relied on the age-old oppressor’s tactic of divide and rule, stoking sectarian conflicts that had a particularly bitter character in Mosul with its broad intermingling of different ethnic and religious groups, including Sunni Arabs, Kurds, Turkmens, Yazidis, Armenians and others.

The sectarianism promoted by the US occupiers created fertile ground for the growth of the Islamic State (ISIS), which the present offensive is ostensibly directed at crushing. The Shia-dominated government installed in Baghdad persecuted the Sunni majority of Mosul and Anbar province, jailing and killing prominent Sunni leaders, suppressing the population and treating all opposition to its rule as “terrorism.”

ISIS, an offshoot of Al Qaeda, is itself a direct product of US imperialism’s interventions in the region, utilizing Al Qaeda-linked Islamist militias, first in Libya and then in Syria, as proxy forces in Washington’s wars for regime change.

When it stormed into northern Iraq from Syria in June of 2014, ISIS exposed the rot within the government and military created by Washington through a war that cost the US nearly 5,000 soldiers and trillions of dollars. In the face of a far smaller force, the Iraqi security forces disintegrated, throwing down their weapons and tearing off their uniforms, while a substantial layer of the population welcomed the Islamist militia as preferable to the rule of the sectarian regime in Baghdad.

This history is a closed book as far as the US media is concerned. Once again, its reporters are embedded with the US-led forces, enthusiastically promoting their advances, as if the bloody events that began in 2003 had never happened.

The US-led assault on Mosul is being portrayed as a battle to “liberate” the city from the clutches of ISIS, which is accused of exploiting the population and using civilians as “human shields.” Such allegations, also leveled against the Iraqi government in 2003, have always served as an advance alibi for the slaughter of civilians in US bombardments.

Curiously, 300 miles to the west, where Russian-backed Syrian government forces are attempting to wrest the eastern part of the city of Aleppo from similar Islamist militias, the media speaks in terms of “war crimes” rather than liberation, and no one suggests that the “rebels” could be making use of the civilian population, much less employing “human shields.”

The grotesque double standard only underscores the fact that the real objective of Washington’s intervention in both Iraq and Syria is not the eradication of terrorism, much less the promotion of human rights, but rather the assertion of US hegemony over the Middle East at the expense of and in preparation for conflicts with American imperialism’s larger rivals, particularly Russia and China.

To that end, Washington is prepared to employ both military sieges, as in Mosul, in the name of combating terrorism, and the arming of Al Qaeda-connected militias in Syria in the name of promoting human rights. There are credible reports that the operation in Mosul may involve both, with the US and Saudi Arabia working to funnel ISIS fighters out of the Iraqi city and back into Syria to fight against the government and its principal ally, Russia.

No doubt the Pentagon also sees the assault on Mosul as an important exercise in testing out its doctrine for urban military operations in what are seen as coming major wars. These bloodthirsty theories were spelled out in a report titled “The Future of the Army” issued last month by the influential US think tank the Atlantic Council.

Drafted by a retired major general who served as the commander of US forces in Afghanistan and a military adviser to several US administrations, the report projects a coming world of intense social inequality and class conflict in which “urban operations will increasingly dominate land warfare,” and US armies will operate “in densely packed metropolitan areas where civilian populations are a part of the battlefield.”

The people of Mosul, including an estimated 600,000 children, will be treated as human guinea pigs in this operation, which could drag on for months, entailing not only relentless US air strikes and artillery bombardment, but also the systematic starvation of the population. All of this will unfold under the watchful eyes of the US military command.

The bloody operation in Mosul has been launched less than three weeks before the US presidential election. It is a massive escalation of US military intervention in the Middle East, with US Special Forces troops accompanying Iraqi government and Kurdish units into battle, and US warplanes and artillery units providing the bulk of the siege’s firepower. Yet, there is no public discussion, nor even a hint of questioning of US policy by the candidates of the two major parties.

President Barack Obama, who was elected in 2008 in large measure due to the false perception that he was an opponent of the Iraq war and other crimes of the Bush administration, has not even bothered to make a public statement to the American people explaining this new escalation. Asked about it at a press conference Tuesday, he acknowledged that the offensive would produce “heartbreaking circumstances.” Concluding with what amounted to a chilling acknowledgement that the city will be reduced to smoking rubble, he declared, “It’s hard when you leave your home.”

All of this is supposed to be accepted by the American people as just another episode in a state of unending and continuously escalating global war.

From the media and the entire political establishment, there is not a single note of criticism of US war policy. Moreover, 13-1/2 years after millions took to the streets in the US and across the globe to oppose the impending 2003 invasion of Iraq, there is not even verbal opposition from the pseudo-left organizations and tendencies that trace their origins back to the middle-class anti-war protest movement of the 1960s and 1970s. This socio-political layer, including organizations such as the International Socialist Organization in the US, the Left Party in Germany and the New Anti-Capitalist Party in France, reflects the interests of privileged sections of the middle class. They have all moved far to the right, becoming today one of the principal constituencies for “human rights” imperialist interventions, as in Libya and Syria.

The siege of Mosul, a new and bloody US crime in the Middle East, is part of a far broader escalation of military interventions in that region and around the globe that threaten to coalesce into another world war, involving the major nuclear powers. The fight against this mounting threat requires the building of a new mass anti-war movement based upon the working class and the youth and directed against the capitalist system.

As a critical step in building a movement against imperialist war, the Socialist Equality Party and the International Youth and Students for Social Equality are holding a November 5 conference in Detroit Socialism vs. Capitalism and War. We urge all of our readers and supporters to register for and attend this vitally important event.

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Belgium’s region Wallonia has dealt a severe blow to European Union’s hopes to sign a free trade deal with Canada. The region’s President-Minister said he would not support the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement or CETA by the Friday deadline.

The deal has to be ratified by all EU’s 28 member states. However, Belgium cannot sign the agreement without the consent of its regional parliaments.

Radio Sputnik discussed the CETA agreement with Michel Chossudovsky Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa, Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

“This is not a bilateral agreement between Canada and the EU. It is a […] mechanism for the integration of NAFTA and the European Union into what might be called the North Atlantic trade and investment organization which would literally integrate North America and the European Union from the point of view of trade and investment,” Chossudovsky told Sputnik.

CETA is said to offer better business opportunities for EU firms in Canada and create more jobs. However opponents of the deal say that CETA as well as TTIP, which is another trade deal that EU is negotiating with the US, will lower the bloc’s food, health and safety standards, while at the same time allow American and Canadian corporations to sue EU governments for alleged discriminatory practices under ISDS or Investor dispute settlement.

According to Chossudovsky, US and Canadian economies are closely intertwined and therefore CETA can be considered a “proxy” of TTIP.

“It is not only a Canada-EU project. It is also a Washington project,” the expert said. “TTIP and CETA were implemented jointly, they weren’t separate initiatives, it’s one initiative,” he added.

In Chossudovsky’s opinion, if the TTIP fails to reach consensus because people would say “We don’t want to be a colony of the United States,” and prefer CETA, it wouldn’t change much in terms of the EU dependence on Washington.

“CETA is a proxy. This Canada-EU comprehensive economic agreement in fact is a TTIP in disguise,” the expert noted. “We have to be very careful about what it implies politically. These trade agreements are not [made] for people, they are part of the corporate agenda.”

According to the expert, both agreements would mean integration of NAFTA and the EU into a kind of Atlantic trading block and thus have serious geopolitical implications.

“The European Union has certain dynamics. But once it is integrated to NAFTA, it may not be Brussels anymore. It might be just Washington which will be calling the shots,” the expert concluded.

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The candidates are not the first to blame for this.

The first to blame are the moderators of such debates, the alleged journalists (and their overlords) who do not ask questions that are relevant for the life of the general votes and who do not intervene at all when the debaters run off course.

The second group to blame are the general horse-race media who each play up their (owner’s) special-interest hobbyhorses as if those will be the decisive issue for the next four years. The candidates fight for the attention of these media and adopt to them.

I didn’t watch yesterday’s debate but every media I skimmed tells me that Clinton was gorgeous and Trump very bad. That means she said what they wanted to hear and Trump didn’t. It doesn’t say what other people who watched though of it. Especially in the rural parts of the country they likely fear the consequences of climate change way more than Russia, ISIS and Iran together.

Another reason why both candidates avoided to bring up the issues low in the list above is that both hold positions that are socially somewhat liberal and both are corporatists. None of those low ranked issues is personally relevant to them. No realistic answer to these would better their campaign finances or their personal standing in the circles they move in. Personally they are both east coast elite and don’t give a fu***** sh** what real people care about.

As far as I can discern it from the various reports no new political issues were touched. Clinton ran her usual focus group tested lies while Trump refrained from attacking her hard. A huge mistake in my view. He can beat her by attacking her really, really hard, not on issues but personality. Her disliked rate (like Trump’s) is over -40%. She is vulnerable on many, many things in her past. Her foreign policy is way more aggressive than most voters like.  Calling this back into mind again and again could probably send her below -50%. Who told him to leave that stuff alone? Trump is a major political disruption. He should have emphasized that but he barely hinted at it for whatever reason.

The voters are served badly -if at all- by the TV debates in their current form. These do not explain real choices. That is what this whole election circus should be about. But that is no longer the case and maybe it never was.

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SAY NO TO CETA TRADE AGREEMENT: Millions of Europeans Against CETA

October 21st, 2016 by European United Left Nordic Green Left European Parliamentary Group

The European Union’s trade ministers were unable to reach consensus on the EU-Canada trade agreement at today’s Council meeting, as Belgium has stood in opposition to the deal.

Belgium was unable to agree on CETA today as the French-speaking Walloon Region’s Parliament voted last week to oppose the deal. The national trade minister was unable to go ahead with the agreement without the consent of its regional parliaments.

Millions of Europeans support the Walloon Parliament standing up against CETA

In addition, Bulgaria, Romania and Slovenia are still making the trade deal a matter of reaching final agreement with Canada on visa regulation for their citizens, equal to those with all other EU member states.

GUE/NGL Shadow on CETA, Anne-Marie Mineur, supports Wallonia in its position: “I am very pleased to see that the Walloon Government has stood up against this agreement. They are courageously standing up for what is best for Belgians and all Europeans.”

Mineur also raises concerns over the pressure that Belgium now faces: “They have been given three more days to find a way to agree on CETA. Millions of people across Europe will be watching anxiously and I sincerely hope that Belgium will be able to stay strong and resist the pressure to cave in to the neoliberal demands of this agreement.

“It is astounding that so much pressure is being put on Belgium over an agreement that has so little public support. This highlights the huge divide between the neoliberal people in power in the European Commission and the broader European public who largely oppose the agreement.”

GUE/NGL Coordinator on the International Trade Committee, Helmut Scholz, calls for “the signing of the CETA, which was scheduled for October 27, to be cancelled.”

“CETA, TTIP, TiSA and other new generation trade agreements will have dramatic consequences not only for consumer and labour standards and social and environmental protection, they will also intervene deeply in member states legal systems through the investment court system. If passed, these agreements’ definitions of ‘regulatory co-operation’, would set in concrete a world trade architecture in which the multinational companies have their way.

“The insistence of the European Commission and the overwhelming majority of member state governments to complete CETA show that they have absolutely no regard for the critical opinions expressed by large sections of civil society.

“Not only has the Walloon Parliament in Belgium stood up against this agreement, tens of thousands of people all over Europe protested against it on September 17. Now the Commission and member states must listen,” concludes Scholz.

GUE/NGL Press Contact:

Nikki Sullings  +32 22 83 27 60 / +32 483 03 55 75

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20

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The third US presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was an awkward affair that probably did little to alter existing perceptions.

Trump entered the debate with critical and urgent tasks:

-Head off the existential threat of a nuclear war with Russia over Syria; a war the Hillary Clinton would start.
-Expose Hillary Clinton as a criminal and a terrorist, with such force and detail that she would be removed as a presidential candidate, and removed from public service entirely.
-Clearly and convincingly articulate an agenda for reform and world peace that can disrupt the entrenched New World Order oligarchy.

In this final opportunity to educate and convince an international mainstream television audience, within a limited format, Trump failed.

Stylistically, Trump came in seemingly unprepared. He did not bring enough new material to this performance, failed to utilize dozens of new Wikileaks revelations. He repeated too many routines from the previous debate. His glancing, roundabout speaking patterns did him no favors. He went off on tangents, squandering countless opportunities. Trump is not a trained politician who knows how to jam talking points into two minute segments full of “zingers”, and it showed.

Hillary Clinton, by contrast, had the easier job of staying upright and merely surviving. She gave a typical rehearsed politician’s performance. She lied with the assurance of an experienced criminal and sociopath. She absorbed Trump’s attacks (without effectively deflecting many of them), only losing her composure a few times, and spouted lies and half-truths that sounded factual. She was nasty. Hillary Clinton was Hillary Clinton: typically unlikeable and vicious, but proudly so.

But it was Trump’s failures on substance that were most problematic.

The Russian “threat”

Trump did not effectively counter the aggressive “Russia did it” propaganda and war agenda. Hillary called him a Russian puppet who has “encouraged espionage against the United States of America”.

When Hillary bombastically declared everything from Wikileaks and Trump himself as agents of a massive Russian espionage operation of Putin to “infiltrate the US election” “from the highest levels of the Kremlin”, “proven by 17 government agencies”. Trump shot back “No puppet, you’re the puppet”, but failed to immediately attack Clinton’s idiotic rhetoric and her claims of proof. He declared that Clinton doesn’t actually know who is responsible for the cyberhacks and is blowing hot air.

The “17 agencies proof” is a  total lie manufactured by US intelligence on behalf of Clinton. The “17” is actually one man, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who committed perjury over NSA surveillance. Trump did not point out that Clinton’s “proof” via her own people—officials of the Obama administration, Obama’s intelligence apparatus, including the compromised FBI Director (and longtime Clinton/Bush co-conspirator) James Comey—is not “proof”.

The mainstream media has parroted these same claims of “evidence” of Russian espionage and cyberattacks as if fact. Debate moderator Chris Wallace even tossed this so-called “proof” of Russian meddling at Trump. Trump failed to counter that there is no proof to back the claim of Russian hacking and espionage. Perhaps because he actually believes that there is.  Worse, Wallace got Trump to say that he condemns Russian interference in the election. “Of course I condemn it”. This condemnation of non-existent Russian interference was perhaps the most embarrassing and dangerous failure of the night on Trump’s part.

Trump instead retreated to the same simplistic denials from the last debate: “I don’t know Putin”, “He says nice things about me” but “We’re not best friends”.  He failed to turn it back on Clinton, failed to state clearly that the entire anti-Russia agenda is not only McCarthyist propaganda, but dangerous rhetoric that is provoking a world war, thus the fanatical Hillary Clinton is the danger to humanity. Trump could have won over any human being interested in not only world peace but planetary survival, with just a few such lines. He didn’t do it.

Trump failed to channel, of all people, Joe Biden. Recall in the 2012 vice presidential debate, Biden famously shamed Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan for his hotheaded desire to “take out” Syria and Assad. To which Biden pointedly asked Ryan, “Do you want a war? Is that what you want?” That is all Trump had to do with Hillary Clinton: “Hillary, do you want nuclear war? Is that what you want?” Or: “Hillary, do you think there are any winners in a nuclear war? Are you insane?”  (Ironically, it is Joe Biden who today is planning the coming war against Russia. So he indeed is the one who “wants it”. )

When Clinton said that she intends to “take back Syria from the Russians”, Trump failed to expose her lie.  Syria is being invaded by US/NATO terrorists, and Russia is helping a sovereign nation defend itself from the illegal conquest at the bloody hands of Clinton and the New World Order. Trump should simply be calling for an end to the criminal US/NATO operation: “give Syria back to Syria”, and get out of the region. He has not done so.

Instead of defusing the provocative anti-Russia rhetoric, Trump even added to it non-sequiturs about competing nuclear stockpiles. Scary Iranian nuclear ambitions, scary Russian aggression, scary Assad—not that different a viewpoint than Clinton’s.

Trump did not defend Wikileaks, and did not counter the charge that Wikileaks and Julian Assange is not a Russian espionage operation. Worse, Trump failed to state that no matter the source, the substance of what Wikileaks is exposing—the truth—is something Clinton cannot hide from. That substance absolutely exposes Hillary Clinton and the Clinton machine is criminal and treasonous. She and her operatives should be answer to this evidence and be punished for all of it.

Trump did not differ with the Clinton/New World Order narrative that Russia, Iran and Syria are enemies that have outsmarted and disrespected Clinton and Obama, and must be opposed by someone better, and “make them respect us”.

On Syria and the Middle East

Trump repeated, as he did in the previous debate, that the US and Russia “should be fighting  ISIS” together. But he said nothing about the fact that ISIS is a creation of CIA and the Obama administration, and Hillary Clinton directly. He has made suggestions about this in previous speeches, but his failure to do so on this important mainstream appearance squandered a final chance to use the new Wikileaks evidence exposing Hillary’s funding of ISIS. Trump therefore failed to address the source of the problem. Was this conscious avoidance, or does he not “get it”?

Trump did not disavow the “war on terrorism”, has said nothing about getting out of the Middle East. He only says it is a “disaster” caused by Clinton and Obama.  Instead of nailing Hillary Clinton for war crimes (for which she orchestrated and carried out with intent, enthusiasm and relish—Libya, Benghazi, ISIS, Syria, etc.—Trump continued with soft criticism of her “ineffectiveness”; accused her State Department and the Obama foreign policy of being “stupid”.

Trump repeated the line that ISIS grew out of the “vacuum” left by the Clinton/Obama in Iraq. In fact, it was not a “vacuum”. ISIS and Islamic terrorism are not “outside enemies”. ISIS is a creation of the CIA and NATO that was not just “allowed to happen” but is the leading military-intelligence force of NATO and the United States in the region. Numerous sources expose Clinton and Obama as creators of terrorism. Trump said nothing about this. As for the CIA, illegal covert operations, and the CIA’s running of Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra and ISIS, Hillary Clinton is front and center in the middle of these atrocities. Trump has never gone there.

Trump invited a Benghazi widow to attend the debate, but failed to attack Clinton for her ruthless and cold-blooded Libya operation, or for the fourth deaths that were meaningless to “What difference does it make?” Hillary.

Trump repeated a stale point from the previous debate, about what he believes is a failure to take Mosul with a sneak attack.  Trump entirely misses the point, avoiding the fact that ISIS fighters are being repositioned, on US/NATO/CIA orders from Mosul into Syria. Trump failed to talk about the reality that ISIS and jihadists are run by the CIA and NATO. If he knows this, he is not saying.

On Aleppo, Trump stated, ignorantly or intentionally, that the US at present “doesn’t know who the rebels are”, but “we’re backing rebels”.  This represents some of Trump’s most brain-dead rhetoric. The US and NATO know exactly who the rebels are. The rebels are NATO’s “freedom fighters”. The US, NATO and the CIA created Islamic terrorists, manage/fund/arm/guide Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra, and ISIS, all of which are military-intelligence forces operating openly on behalf of Washington and NATO, on orders from the CIA, the Pentagon, the White House, the State Department.  By refusing to state these indisputable (and now even commonly accepted) facts, Trump left an ignorance excuse loophole, through which Hillary Clinton and the powers that be can slither through safely. Instead of nailing these criminals, Trump essentially gives them plausible denial.

When Hillary Clinton predictably went into a favorite propaganda spiel about the “poor bleeding Aleppo Boy”, did Trump point out the Aleppo Boy is most likely  a propaganda hoax,  at least a blatant piece of propaganda being used to justify war, just as certainly as the “incubator baby” propaganda hoax was used to justify the Gulf War? No. Did Trump mention that there would be no “poor bleeding Aleppo Boy” at all, were it not for the foreign policy of Obama and Hillary Clinton? No. And Hillary Clinton’s contempt for humanity and war criminality, her responsibility for the deaths of thousands, including untold numbers of “poor Aleppo Boys” all over the world was also not mentioned.

When Clinton repeated her desire for a no-fly zone over Syria, Trump failed to point out that it would be an overt act of war, leading directly to nuclear conflict with Russia. Her lie about establishing “peacekeeping safe zones” is the classic charade used to justify all previous criminal wars under a “humanitarian” pretext. And that the “negotiations” under Hillary Clinton are never “negotiations”, but intimidations leading quickly to bombing and killing. Trump said nothing about this.

On Clinton’s corruption

Trump did call the Clinton Foundation a criminal organization but did not go into specifics that could have blown it wide open. He mentioned connections to Saudi Arabia and Qatar, but utterly failed to talk about how Hillary Clinton is a terrorist, who has funded ISIS with Saudi Arabia and Qatar through her foundation.

He mentioned the Clintons’ virtual rape of Haiti, but did not go into adequate detail. Trump used the Clinton Foundation’s ties with Saudi Arabia to point out that the Clintons support cultures that are misogynistic and anti-gay, to show that the Clintons are therefore hypocrites. But this is weak. Trump should be attacking the Clintons for the countless other crimes for which they were directly responsible, including political murders, the intimidation of women, their sexual perversions and rape. His use of a treasure trove of Clinton history has been anemic.

Trump went after Clinton on the emails, stating correctly that Hillary should not be allowed to run for president because of the crimes she committed, but did not go into new specifics, even though new information has surfaced.

Trump failed to fully exploit the Wikileaks in which Hillary Clinton spoke of her desire for “open borders” as an example of pure, unadulterated globalism, in the most toxic and large scale form. He did not attack Clinton when she lied that her comment being taken out of context, that “I was talking about energy”.

A right-wing agenda

Trump also did nothing to alleviate concerns about some of the right-wing agenda he is pushing seriously. He wants a conservative Supreme Court (actually, so does Clinton).  Trump is pro-life (pro-birth), pandering to the Christian fundamentalists. With a conservative Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade will be overturned, Trump would leave abortion rights “to the states” (no mention of the fact that many states are already destroying Roe v. Wade protections). Trump wants “law and order”, and is not averse to police state mobilizations, and has not articulated how such “law and order” can be applied peacefully. He advocates guns and the strengthening of the Second Amendment of the Constitution. He wants to cut taxes, but does not articulate how his proposed tax ideas, including tax cuts, benefit the majority of Americans besides the wealthy (Clinton’s tax plan also benefits the wealthy). He wants to blow up Obamacare, but has offered no specifics on a better, more equitable option. His stance on immigration is well known.

Trump wants to build a wall to keep illegal immigrants out, and most notably criminal elements.  Clinton herself also advocated a wall (but altered her stance for political reasons), and Trump does differ with Clinton’s “open borders” agenda, but he failed to expose the extent to which the Clinton/New World Order plan is intentionally (not merely as a by-product) facilitates CIA drug trafficking and the movement of intelligence assets.

Trump is against trade deals like NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, that Hillary Clinton supports (she did, in fact, call the TPP a “gold standard” but is now lying and backing off). Trump wants to bring jobs back to the United States, but again, failed to give specifics beyond broad strokes. “You’re gonna love it, believe me.”

On fitness for office and character

Clinton predictably attacked Trump for being a sexual predator and a misogynist. He effectively rebutted the accusations as best he could, stating flatly that the nine accusers were plants of the Clinton/corporate media sleaze machine, and that there was no basis for the charges.

Clinton accused Trump of “patterns of divisiveness” and for “inciting violence”. Trump said nothing in response, when he could easily have countered that she is the one who is actively inciting violence, and engaging in a myriad of activities that are not only “divisive” but knowingly so, and lying about it.

According to Larry Nichols, former Clinton insider/fixer and an original creator of much of the Clinton dirty tricks play book, reality is always the opposite of what the Clintons say, and that when the Clintons accuse others of something, they themselves are guilty of it. Why hasn’t Trump figured this out? Why hasn’t Trump recruited the likes of Nichols and other former Clinton insiders, staffers, and whistleblowers who know the Clinton dirty tricks game, who know how genuinely terrifying psychopathology of Hillary Clinton better than anyone?

Trump repeated the familiar old line about Hillary Clinton being “ineffective” in thirty years of “bad experience”.  But he did not accurately depict Clinton as a criminal who has very effectively used public office to further the criminal activities of her syndicate.

Clinton called Trump a Russian puppet, but Trump failed to call Hillary Clinton what she is: the puppet of the New World Order, and the crime partner of the Bushes. He did not mention of any of the biggest Clinton crimes, including massive drug trafficking using government resources (Iran-Contra, etc.), massive financial fraud and trillions of dollars of looting, terrorism, and major corruption that is far beyond garden variety “pay for play”.  And no mention of the murders connected to the Clintons, including Vince Foster, and the recent murders of Seth Rich and others who were poised to rat out the Hillary and the DNC.

Trump has not made clear, or he is not aware that the combined syndicate of the Bushes and Clintons control virtually all of Washington, a huge segment of the world economy, and that they must be stopped from cementing their power for many generations to come.

Trump did deliver a memorable aside towards Clinton: “What a nasty woman”. Factually correct, but not nearly enough.

Donald Trump left Hillary Clinton intact. For that, the world will suffer.

The few positives for Trump

What did Trump do effectively? He brought up the rigging of the election. He called attention to the undercover operation of James O’Keefe and Project Veritas catching top Clinton/Democratic operatives on camera brazenly fomenting violence at political events, brazenly plotting and planning election fraud with orders from the Clintons and the Democrats.

The clips and a post-debate interview with O’Keefe can be seen here:

Part 1

Part 2

Interview with James O’Keefe (Infowars)

Trump did warn about the likely election theft: “Be careful, people are going to walk in and they’re going to vote ten times maybe, who knows?”

“Accepting election outcomes” and simpleminded American ignorance

Trump has gotten lambasted for not adhering to the “grand tradition” of committing to accepting the election results, if he loses. “I’ll keep you in suspense.” This seems to be the big “shocking” negative takeaway headline from the debate; that Trump is a sore loser.

The mainstream corporate media will attack Trump for this aggressively.

Clinton’s counter—“that’s what Donald does”, complain when he loses—will also register with those of infantile “playground” thinking, who do not bother to look at the Project Veritas clips showing the Clintons already rigging the election. Or they do not care. It smacks of the same treatment Al Gore and Joe Lieberman received when the 2000 election was contested: “Sore/Loserman”.

The naïve, ignorant American still believes in the kindergarten fairy tale version of reality; that America is a “good” country (Hillary’s nauseating line about “America is great because it is good”), and that everything is fair and wonderful, and in the end, “we must all come together”.

Utter nonsense.

This psychosis is exactly how the corrupt elite controls and manipulates its vassals.

Why should anyone accept the outcome of a criminally stolen election? Why should anyone accept injustice and tyranny?  It is asinine. Trump should say exactly that, and fight to the bitter end, if he truly is a champion for the people.

Podiumgate redux

Did Clinton cheat again?

It must be noted that Clinton’s podium was lit, suggesting that she again had the benefit of a teleprompter, as in the first debate. If Clinton was wired and/or prompted again, it would explain the “good performance” from a woman with known neurological problems, seizures, and lapses in thinking, as exposed in the Podesta emails.

Seen in footage, Clinton operative Brady Williamson, the white-haired bespectacled mustached who rigged the podium in the first debate and hid the evidence, was also present for this third debate.  Williamson, a Democratic Party strategist and lawyer, and a man who has worked for the Clintons for decades once again lurked about the podium this time, snatching away notes used by Hillary.

(Also present was the bald-headed African-American security agent who shadows Clinton for medical support, who carries pens of diazepam anti-seizure medication.)

Who was in charge of the stage for this debate? Why was Hillary once again given a “lit” podium, when Trump was not?

Where was Trump’s security detail? Why wasn’t the podium checked?

Why hasn’t Trump said a word about the Clintons cheating in the first debate, and possibly this one as well? Why wasn’t anyone arrested?

In the second debate, the Clintons demanded that the audience be prevented from using flash bulb cameras, to prevent Hillary from getting seizures. The same arrangement applied to this event. Why?

Trump half-jokingly wanted Hillary drug-tested for this debate. Why didn’t he push harder for this reasonable demand?

Towards the abyss

Much was riding on this event. There will be tragic consequences to Trump’s failure to stop Hillary Clinton, and his failure to further distinguish himself  to a mainstream international audience (one that may not be versed in the news on alternative media, Wikileaks, the Clinton history, or the details of recent events).

Both sides are furiously spinning the debate. Some of Trump’s supporters somehow came away believing that he did well. Some even think it was his best debate performance of the three. Clinton’s supporters, and the corporate media that the Clintons control, are ecstatic. No doubt, her corporate media will blare headlines declaring that she “trounced” Trump and added to her “insurmountable lead” via rigged polls. The vicious anti-Trump noise continues unabated. Realities remain upside down, thanks to the near total media control of the New World Order.

Undecided voters remain confused and undecided. The “average American” still doesn’t get it.

There is nowhere to turn.

A Hillary Clinton presidency promises a planetary cataclysm and a New World Order triumph of genuine evil and unimaginable criminality. The Clinton/Bush criminal apparatus will control even more of Washington, even more of the judicial system, and their reign of terror will flourish into the distant future. Political enemies will be find their lives in jeopardy. It will be Mein Kampf, applied on a planetary scale that not Hitler could possibly have dreamed of. The conquest of the Eurasian subcontinent begun with 9/11 will culminate in its murderous end game: nuclear war with Russia, and mutually assured destruction.

A Donald Trump presidency, at best, would bring chaos and uncertainty. One inexperienced and unpredictable man, alone in an entrenched criminal apparatus, surrounded by dangerous criminals who still control things, will not be a salvation. Change must begin somewhere, with someone, but is the flawed and unreliable Trump the man to do it?

This most critical of elections lumbers towards a doomsday scenario with humanity literally at stake. It could lead to a genuine civil war within the United States. The election could be cancelled by a false flag operation leading to a war with Russia, before the Obama administration leaves office. This and other large scale atrocities are possible at any time.  Even tomorrow.

It is all, as Trump says, rigged.  At least Trump issued the warning.

These next weeks could very well be the final ones, of the world which we know. Prepare yourselves.

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Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said she believes the US presidential campaign is not worthy of the nation’s people, calling it a “catastrophe” and “simply some sort of a global shame” during a meeting with students on Tuesday.

Commenting on the heated 2016 presidential race in the US, Zakharova lamented that by accusing Moscow of mounting cyber-attacks with an alleged aim of meddling in American politics, Washington has turned Russia into a “real, serious factor of pre-election rhetoric.” 

“They are constantly saying that Russia is carrying out cyber-attacks on certain US facilities,” she said. Zakharova stressed that the US side provided no proof or any other data on the alleged hackers’ links to Moscow, which she says makes the allegations appear to be a “smokescreen” to cover up serious domestic issues.

According to the spokeswoman, this “public bickering on Russia” as well as “locker-room jokes” are “unworthy of a great power, [and] great people” of America.

“I simply believe that this campaign is not worthy of their people. As a person who was engaged in information technologies when studying at the university, I believe that this is a catastrophic campaign. May the colleagues of all kinds and countries forgive me, but I believe that this is simply some sort of a global shame,” Zakharova said at a meeting with students at the Moscow Aviation Institute, Life.ru reported.

Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump listens as Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton (not pictured) speaks during their presidential town hall debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., October 9, 2016. © Lucy Nicholson

Earlier in October, the US government claimed it was “confident” that Russia was behind the hacking attacks on US officials and organizations, alleging that revelations by WikiLeaks, DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0. were directly authorized by the Russian government with the intention to “interfere with the US election process.”

“We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities,” read the report, published by the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. The accusations were based on the fact that attacks “in most cases originated from servers operated by a Russian company.”

Moscow, for its part, completely dismissed the allegations, denying any involvement in the attacks. Commenting on the report, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov labeled the accusations “yet another fit of nonsense,” adding that while many cyber-attacks Russia faces on a daily basis can be traced back to US services, Russia refrains from calling US government responsible for cybercrimes.

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The 2016 U.S. Election: A Possible Repeat of the 1964 Election?

October 20th, 2016 by Prof Rodrigue Tremblay

This incisive article by Prof Rodrigue Tremblay first published in June 2916, has predicted with foresight the unfolding crisis surrounding the US presidential campaign opposing Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton…

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I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. Barry Goldwater (1909-1998) US Senator (R-Arizona) and 1964 Republican Presidential candidate, (in his Acceptance speech as the 1964 Republican Presidential candidate, in San Francisco, July 16, 1964)

Sometimes, I think this country would be better off if we could just saw off the Eastern Seaboard and let it float out to sea. Barry Goldwater (1909-1998) US Senator (R-Arizona) and 1964 Republican Presidential candidate, (in a December 1961 news conference)

We’re going to hit them and we’re going to hit them hard. I’m talking about a surgical strike on these ISIS stronghold cities using Trident [nuclear] missiles. Donald Trump (1946- ), Republican presidential candidate, (in an interview with ‘Meet the Press’, NBC News, August 9, 2015)

They asked me the question [about torture], ‘What do you think of waterboarding?’ —Absolutely fine. But we should go much stronger than waterboarding. Donald Trump (1946- ), Republican presidential candidate, (in a statement during a campaign event at a retirement community, in Bluffton, S. C., Feb. 17, 2016)

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The way this 2016 American presidential election is unfolding, there is a good chance that it could be a repeat of the 1964 U.S. election. In both instances, a Democratic presidential candidate is facing a flawed and frightening Republican presidential candidate who multiplies provocative and reckless statements and off-hand comments.

Politicians sometimes forget that, once elected, they are expected to serve all the people, not their narrow base of fanatical partisans. In that regard, their public statements are very important because they give a clue about what type of public servant a candidate would be. A candidate can easily self-destruct if he or she forgets that, when talking to partisans, the entire electorate is listening. Strong statements, good or bad, remain in people’sconsciousness when time comes to vote.

Let us look back 52 years to the 1964 U.S. election. Seeking election in his own right was sitting Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973), who had taken office in 1963 following President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, and who was about to escalate the Vietnam War, which ended up costing the lives of 58,000 Americans and the lives of more than a million Vietnamese. His Republican opponent was Senator Barry Goldwater (1909-1998) of Arizona, who had fought against the party establishment and succeeded in winning the Republican nomination over New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller.

In 1964, Republican candidate Barry Goldwater (right) soon developed an image as an extremist on many issues with a series of reckless and ill-thought out statements. For instance, in foreign policy, he advocated using ‘low-yield’nuclear weapons in Vietnam and in Europe. Domestically, he wanted to make Social Security voluntary. He even suggested that the United States would be better off if the entire East Coast of the country were cut off and sent out to sea!

Goldwater was never able to shake off his image as an extremist on many issues, and he was never in a position to unmask the Democratic candidate’s war plans. This was a key factor in his crushing defeat in November 1964: Lyndon B. Johnson (image left below) won about 61 percent of the vote to Goldwater’s 39 percent, and took all but six states.

Therefore after the election, President Johnson had a free hand in escalading the Vietnam War, especially considering that the U.S. Congress had already adopted the infamous Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, on August 7, 1964. The disastrous war would last ten more years, until 1975.

There is a good chance that history might repeat itself next November.

Indeed, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has been acting as if he doesn’t really care whether he wins the election or not, drawing attention to himself with outlandish statements and reckless comments, presumably designed to shock and create free “publicity” for his candidacy.

One day candidate Trump wants to adopt torture as a public policy. The next day, he wants to prevent Muslims from entering the United States and build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico to stop illegal Mexican immigration. Later on, he advocates using nuclear missiles against Islamist terrorists in the Middle East, and—throwing away any humanitarian principle—even kill their families.

Domestically, he wants to abolish Obamacare, but so far, he has not spelled out any replacement. Etc. etc. etc!

Moreover, he doesn’t mind contradicting himself. Sometimes, he rebuts the pro-Israel lobby, professing not to need its money. But then, he lets his Middle East advisor state that a Trump administration would give the Israeli government a free hand in expropriating the Palestinians.

Since Mr. Trump has no government experience of any kind, one would think that he would consult about policy issues he knows little about, before issuing a statement. This does not seem to be the case. He even jokes: “my primary consultant is myself.” That is a sobering thought. The candidate does not seem to have an overall plan; everything seems to be left to improvisation.

This indicates a lack of discipline. Indeed, candidate Trump seems to be his own worst enemy. As a businessman, Mr. Trump may have great qualities. As a politician, he seems to be lacking in political instincts, self-control and restraint.

As a result of his flippancy and inconsistencies, Mr. Trump’s poll numbers are slipping badly, not because people necessarily like the alternative Democratic choice, but mainly because they become increasingly disillusioned by the lack of seriousness on candidate Trump’s part. They sense that he is unstable and unpredictable, that he has no plan and no program.

All this is a free gift to Democratic presidential Hillary Clinton who has to defend 40 years of political involvement. Unless an unexpected event occurs, and unless Mr. Trump changes profoundly his approach, the choice in the U.S. next November will be between two main candidates with net negative approval ratings, and the candidate with the lowest net negative rating will win, by default.

One would think that the American electorate deserves better.

Prof. Rodrigue Tremblay is the author of the book “The Code for Global Ethics, Ten Humanist Principles”, and of “The New American Empire”.

Please visit the book site at:

http://www.thecodeforglobalethics.com/

and his blog at:

http://www.thenewamericanempire.com/blog.htm

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“The Kremlin’s Playbook”: Washington Views Russia-EU Cooperation, A Threat to US National Security

By Fort Russ, October 20 2016

Europe is dependent on financial and energy resources of Moscow, according to a report by the Washington Center for strategic and international studies. On October 13 in Washington, a study was published, “The Kremlin’s Playbook: Understanding the Russian Influence in Eastern and Central Europe”, which on the example of five countries – Latvia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Serbia, explains the mechanisms of the workings of the Kremlin with the economies of European states.

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Has World War III Already Started? German Tanks Once Again Advancing towards Russia’s Border

By Nick Giambruno, October 20 2016

Recently… for the first time since Operation Barbarossa, German tanks are once again advancing on Russia’s border.You probably haven’t heard this extraordinary piece of news. That’s because the mass media has basically ignored and obscured it. They’ve been busy covering far more important things… like transgender issues and Kim Kardashian’s latest stunt. That’s why I want to tell you about Operation Anaconda 2016. It’s the largest war game in Eastern Europe since the end of the Cold War. It’s essentially a rehearsal to secure a quick NATO victory in the event of war with Russia.

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Washington Moves To Silence WikiLeaks

By Bill Van Auken, October 19 2016

The cutting off of Internet access for Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, is one more ugly episode in a US presidential election campaign that has plumbed the depths of political degradation. Effectively imprisoned in the Ecuadorian embassy in London  for over four years, Assange now is faced with a further limitation on his contact with the outside world.

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US Congress’s Take on the Heroin Epidemic. 6400 tons Produced in US-Occupied Afghanistan…

By William Edstrom, October 20 2016

A heroin epidemic is on fire all across America. Heroin deaths shot up from 1,779 in 2001 to 10,574 in 2014 as Afghan opium poppy fields metastasized from 7,600 hectares in 2001 (when the War in Afghanistan began) to 224,000 hectares currently. The Taliban outlawed opium in Afghanistan in 2000 and within a year it was all but gone, demonstrating that Afghan opium can be eradicated quickly for any administration that chooses to do so. Afghanistan is, by far, the number one source globally of both opium and heroin.

isisThe US-Turkey “Escape Corridor” out of Mosul: ISIS-Daesh Terrorists “Transferred” From Iraq into Syria To Fight Syrian, Russian and Iranian Forces

By Moon of Alabama, October 19 2016

The imminent fight over Mosul might be the reason why John Kerry dialed down his hypocritical howling over east-Aleppo in Syria which is under attack from Syrian and Russian forces. The attack on Mosul proceeds on three axes. From the north Kurdish Peshmerga under U.S. special force advisors lead the fighting. Iraqi forces attack from the east and south. The way to the west, towards Syria, is open. The intend of the U.S. is to let ISIS fighters, several thousand of them, flee to Deir Ezzor and Raqqa in Syria. They are needed there to further destroy the Syrian state.

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Video: Interview of Syria’s First Lady Asma Al-Assad

By Asma al-Assad and Russia-TV24, October 19 2016

Syria’s First Lady, Asma al-Assad delivers her first public interview with foreign media. We bring to the attention of Global Research readers her interview with Russia’s Channel 24 TV. It is important that Americans across the land take cognizance of the voice of Syria’s First Lady, acknowledge her humanitarian mandate and commitment outside the realm of mainstream media propaganda. While Obama and the US media have persistently described the war in Syria as the result of sectarian conflicts opposing the Allawite minority and the Sunni majority, they fail to acknowledge that the First Lady Asma Al Assad is Sunni.

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Do you know that the Parliament Of Canada has the power to create all of the money necessary to meet our country’s legitimate needs for healthcare, education, the arts and infrastructure but stubbornly refuses to use that power?

Come and Hear THE HONOURABLE PAUL HELLYER, Former minister of national defense, explains how the Canadian prosperity train came off the rails, and exactly how  to put it back on again.

Western Canada Tour Dates:

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Winnipeg: October 20, 7:00PM –  U of W Campus  Centennial Hall  (EG Hall-3rd Flr) – 515 Portage Ave
Calgary: October 24, 7:00PM – John Dutton Theatre Library  –  616 Macleod Trail SE
Edmonton: October 26, 7:00PM – Central Lions Recreation – 11113 113 Street
Victoria: October 28 – 7:00PM –  Camosun College  Lansdowne Campus  (Fisher 100) – 3100 Foul Bay Road
Vancouver: November 1 –  7:-00PM UBC Campus  (Buchanan A201) – 1866 Main Mall
For additional inquires regarding the tour, please email [email protected] and we will try our best to respond to you promptly.

Stop the Press!

Our government wants to sign CETA at a CANADA-EU summit on OCT. 27, 2016

That will be the kiss of death for any worthwhile banking reform that would make Canada prosperous again, and prevent us from using the Bank of Canada creatively as we did from 1939 to 1974 with such amazing success.

CETA is both illegal and immoral because it unilaterally transfers power from parliament to international bankers and transnational corporations, and reverses a thousand years of progress in establishing government of by and for the people since the Magna Carta was signed).

Listen to this urgent message from Paul Hellyer:

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This article provides a critical discussion of Okinawa’s role in serving American and Japanese strategic interests. Since the end of World War II Okinawa has been a mostly unhappy host of American military bases, and the issue has been prominent at times on the agenda of the Japanese peace movement. The interplay of overseas bases and U.S. foreign policy is a crucial and often hidden dimension of the global projection of American power, which gives rise to friction with and opposition from the peoples living in the vicinity of the bases. This has certainly been the case in relation to Okinawa. This essay offers reflections on thisunderlying reality, as well as the linkage between the network of foreign military bases and the emergence of the first global state in history, a new political phenomenon that distinguishes it from ‘empires’ of the past.

When President Barack Obama visited Hiroshima in May of 2016 there was an effort to persuade him to put Okinawa on his travel itinerary, but as has happened frequently throughout the long tortured history of Okinawa, the request was ignored. In an important sense, Okinawa is the most shameful legacy of Japan’s defeat in World War II, exceeding even the sites of the atomic attacks by its daily reminders of a continued colonialist encroachment on Okinawan national dignity and wellbeing.

Okinawa is being victimized by overlapping exploitations with that of the United States reinforced and legitimized by mainland Japan since the reversion of Okinawa to Japanese rule in 1972. For the United States Okinawa serves as a hub for its strategic military operations throughout the Pacific, with 32 military bases on the Ryukyu Islands including more than 20 on the main island of Okinawa.

The Okinawa bases occupy about 20% of the island, with Kadena Air Base having been used for B-29 bombing missions during the Korean War more than a half century ago and the island serving as a major staging area throughout the Vietnam War. It was also a secret site for the deployment of as many as 1,000 nuclear warheads as acknowledged by the US decades later together with the claim that the nuclear warheads were removed prior to the reversion of Okinawa to Japanese rule in 1972. In recent years Okinawa rarely receives global news coverage except when a sex crime by American servicemen provokes local outrage and peaceful mass demonstrations followed by the strained apologies of local American military commanders.

After a series of military incursions, Japan finally conquered Okinawa and the Ryukyu island chain of which it is a part in 1879, and then imposed its rule in ways that suppressed the culture, traditions, and even the languages of the native populations of the islands. What is little remembered in the West is that Okinawa was the scene of the culminating catastrophic land battle between the United States and Japan in the spring of 1945 that resulted in the death of an astounding one-quarter to one-third of the island’s civilian population of then 400,000, and its subsequent harsh military administration by the United States for the next 27 years until the island was finally turned back to Japan with the US military presence intact. Despite an estimated 60-80% of Okinawans being opposed to the U.S. bases, figures confirmed by the recent election of a governor and Diet members from the prefecture united in opposition to plans for the construction of a new base at Henoko in Northern Okinawa, the government in Tokyo, currently headed by a dangerous militarist, Abe Shinzo, is comfortable with the status quo, which situates most of the unpopular American military presence outside of mainland Japan, hence not a serious political irritant to the majority population.

The plight of Okinawans exemplifies the tragic ordeal of a small island society, which because of its small population and size, entrapment within Japan, and geopolitical significance, was excluded from the decolonizing agenda that was pursued around the world with considerable success in the last half of the 20thcentury. This tragic fate that has befallen Okinawa and its people leaves it a ‘colony’ in a post-colonial era, a fate shared with Micronesia.Its small current population (1.4 million) combined with its position as a Japanese prefecture and its continuing role in pursuing the Asian strategic interests of the United States, as well as joint military operations with Japan, make it captive of a US-Japan relationship in which both parties refuse to acknowledge the supposedly inalienable right of self-determination, an entitlement of all peoples according to common Article 1 of both human rights covenants. In this respect Okinawa, from a global perspective, is a forgotten remnant of the colonial past, which means it is subjugated and irrelevant from the perspective of a state-centric world order. In this respect, it bears a kinship with such other forgotten peoples as those living in Kashmir, Chechnya, Xinjiang, Tibet, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Palau, Marianas Islands, among many others, as well as among such minorities in the United States as native Americans, Hispanics, African Americans, and, of course, Muslims.

US military bases in Japan and Okinawa

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click image to enlarge

There are other ways of being forgotten. I have for many years been concerned about the Palestinian ordeal, another geopolitical and historical casualty of Euro-American priorities and the colonialist legacy. Here, too, the indigenous population of Palestine has endured decades of suffering, denials of basic rights, and a dynamic of victimization initiated a century ago when the British Foreign Office issued the Balfour Declaration pledging support to the world Zionist movement for the establishment of a Jewish Homeland in historic Palestine, later placed under the tutorial role of the United Kingdom with the formal blessings of the League of Nations until the end of World War II.

Whereas Japan plays the intermediate role in Okinawa and the Western Pacific, it is Israel that pursues its own interests and teams with the United States and Europe as a strategic partner to carry forward shared geopolitical goals throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Of course, there are crucial differences. Japan is constrained as a partner by its postwar peace constitution, which Abe is keen to circumvent and dilute, while Israel has become a military powerhouse in the region, enjoying a special relationship with the United States that includes the incredible assurance by Washington of a military capability sufficient to defeat any foreseeable combination of Arab adversaries. Also, unlike Okinawa, there are no American military bases in Israel. There is no need for them. Israel acts as an American surrogate, and sometimes even vice versa. Yet the result is the same—force projection unconnected with self-defense, but vital for upholding regional strategic interests that involves maintaining a visible military presence and offering allies in the region credible promises of protection.

To raise questions about the future of Okinawa is to come face to face with the role and responsibility of global civil society. The Palestinian goals appear to remain more ambitious than those of most Okinawans, although such an impression could be misleading. The Palestinian movement is centered upon realizing the right of self-determination, which means at the very least an end to occupation and a diplomacy that achieves a comprehensive, sustainable, and just peace. For Okinawans, integrated into the Japanese state since 1879 and again since 1972, earlier dreams of independence seem to have faded, and the focus of political energy is currently devoted to the anti-bases campaign, in particular to preventing the expansion of US bases anywhere in Okinawa. Taking moral globalization seriously means conceiving of citizenship as borderless with respect to space and time, an overall identity I have described elsewhere under the label ‘citizen pilgrim,’ someone or some group on a life journey to build a better future by addressing the injustices of the present wherever encountered.

In this respect, acting as citizen pilgrims means giving attention to injustices that the world as a whole treats as invisible except when an awkward incident of lethal abuse occurs. Okinawa has been effectively swept under the dual rugs of statism (Okinawa is part of the sovereign state of Japan) and geopolitics (Okinawa offers the United States indispensable military bases), and even the Japanese peace movement may have grown fatigued and distracted, being currently especially preoccupied with its opposition to the revival of Japanese militarism under Abe’s leadership, although the anti-base movement on Okinawa has always been primarily an Okinawan movement, with mainland involvement more pronounced at some times than others.

Whether attention to the plight of Okinawa will give rise to false hopes is a concern, but the aspiration is to produce an empowering recognition throughout the world that for some peoples the struggle against colonialism remains a present reality rather than a heroic memory that can be annually celebrated as an independence-day holiday. Until we in the United States stand in active solidarity with such victims of colonialist governance in which we play a crucial role through the hegemonic position of military bases on the island, we will never know whether more can be done to improve prospects of their emancipation. This awareness and allegiance is the very least that we can do if we are to act in the spirit of a citizen pilgrimage.

An earlier version of this article appeared in Japanese in the Okinawan newspaper,Ryukyu Shimpo on August 22, 2016.

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The offensive by the US-led coalition to retake Mosul continued Tuesday, as leading participants acknowledged the fighting could take months, and aid organizations issued dire warnings of the impact on the more than 1 million civilians living in Iraq’s second largest city.

Since ground operations were launched at dawn on Monday by the Iraqi army, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters under the control of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) and various ethnic-based irregular militias, advancing troops have captured 20 villages from Islamic State (also known as ISIS). Peshmerga forces captured part of the road connecting Irbil, the KRG capital, to Mosul Tuesday.

The US-led military operation is preparing the ground for a war crime of enormous proportions. An assault is to be waged on a city with an estimated population of 1.3 million, including 600,000 children, by some 30,000 ground force, backed up by aircraft from the US and other imperialist powers, among them France, Britain, Germany and Canada. For those lucky enough to survive the initial onslaught, virtually no plans have been made to deal with the 1 million expected to be turned into refugees, let alone how Mosul and its ethnically diverse surroundings will be governed following its recapture from ISIS.

US President Barack Obama made his first public comments on the Mosul offensive yesterday, acknowledging at a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi that “Mosul will be a difficult fight and there will be advances and setbacks.” Ignoring the destruction wrought by previous anti-ISIS operations, such as the sieges of Ramadi and Fallujah, which left both cities largely in ruins, he remarked blandly on the impact on civilians, “Executing will be difficult and no doubt there will be instances where we see some heartbreaking circumstances. … It’s hard when you leave your home.”

The wall-to-wall coverage in the Western media about ISIS’s use of civilians as human shields conceals the fact that the humanitarian catastrophe developing in Mosul is of the imperialist powers’ own making. The US-led invasion of 2003 and Washington’s subsequent fomenting of ethnic divisions between Shia and Sunni cost the lives of hundreds of thousands and created the conditions in which ISIS could flourish and claim to be liberating Sunni areas of western Iraq. The US and its coalition allies are now dropping leaflets on Mosul urging civilians to flee under conditions where the Iraqi government is said to be suspecting any male aged 14 or over leaving the city as a potential ISIS supporter.

Beyond Iraq, the US-led intervention in Syria and the Saudi-led military operations Washington has backed in Yemen have deepened regional conflicts and plunged the Middle East into a bloodbath that threatens to draw in the major powers in a wider war.

These conflicts are being exacerbated by the Mosul offensive. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Syrian army sources charged the US-led coalition with planning to enable thousands of ISIS fighters based in Mosul to flee across the border into Syria. Noting that the west of the city remained unguarded, Lavrov warned that Russia would be forced to adopt “political and military” measures if this eventuality came to pass. “As far as I know, the city is not fully encircled,” Lavrov said. “I hope it’s because they simply couldn’t do it, not because they wouldn’t do it. But this corridor poses a risk that Islamic State fighters could flee from Mosul and go to Syria.”

While other sources have reported that Shia militias kept out of the offensive due to the fear of sectarian reprisals have been deployed to the west of Mosul to cut off the escape route, it can by no means be excluded that the US has reached such an arrangement. Washington worked closely with Islamist extremists in 2011 to topple the Gaddafi regime in Libya, and many of these elements were later transported to Syria with the help of the CIA before going on to form ISIS. Moreover, the Obama administration has shown its readiness to collaborate with Jihadi forces in the five-year civil war to oust the Assad regime in Damascus.

As well as potentially inflaming the war in Syria, the retaking of Mosul threatens to deepen already bitter ethnic, regional and religious divisions within Iraq itself.

Many of the ethnically based militias that have been armed and trained by Western powers engaged in bloody sectarian fighting in the wake of the 2003 US invasion and are pursuing antagonistic interests that could well result in the ethnic partition of Iraq, which would have devastating consequences for the already desperate population.

Even commentators in the bourgeois media have been compelled to note that the retaking of Mosul will resolve none of the problems that have led to Iraq’s essential partition into Kurdish, Shia and Sunni enclaves and could in fact prepare a new wave of bloodletting.

David Gardner writing in the Financial Times observed that Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s hope that Iraqis would unite around the capture of Mosul was “optimistic.” He described the various militias involved in the offensive as being “at each others’ throats” and warned that the battle for control of the region, which is rich in energy reserves and is home to an ethnically diverse population including Sunnis, Shia, Kurds and Christians, could be “explosive.”

The Peshmerga fighters, who have previously been accused of atrocities against Sunni villagers, are to be kept outside of Mosul in a bid to avoid ethnic violence, but the KRG is determined to use their involvement in the offensive to strengthen its position with the central government in Baghdad. This was the message contained in an interview published Tuesday by al-Jazeera with KRG Foreign Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir. “We have a stake in Mosul,” he stated when asked about the role of the KRG after its recapture. “Mosul is important and has a direct impact on Irbil and Dohuk, and the KRG as a whole, in terms of security, the economy, a social impact. Therefore, we need to be there.”

He also left no doubt that the KRG would give little quarter to civilians fleeing the fighting because everyone would be suspected of carrying ISIS sympathies. “Having talked about IDPs [internally displaced persons] coming in, we have a security concern,” Bakir told al-Jazeera. “Those who have lived under ISIL come with baggage. Some have been recruited, therefore we have to be able to distinguish between real and genuine IDPs and those who come in disguised as IDPs.”

Sharp divisions also exist between Baghdad and Ankara. The Turkish government has deployed roughly 700 troops to the northeast of Mosul and also trained a local Turkmen militia to support it. The Shia-dominated Iraqi government has denounced Ankara’s presence, and a demonstration of several thousand supporters of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr was held in front of the Turkish embassy in Baghdad yesterday. Some of the Shia militias, which are heavily backed by Iran, have vowed to fight a Turkish intervention.

Turkey has refused to back down, insisting that it has a right to participate in the Mosul operations and subsequent talks over its final status. In so doing, it is aiming to restrict the activities of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq and extend Ankara’s influence in Sunni areas. Noting Turkey’s 350-kilometer border with Iraq, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday, “We will not be responsible for the negative consequences that will emerge from any operation that doesn’t include Turkey. We will be involved both in the operation and at the [negotiating] table afterward. It is not possible for us to stay excluded.”

Primary responsibility for the disastrous state of affairs in Iraq lies with American imperialism, which laid waste to the country in its reckless pursuit of regional and global hegemony.

But the involvement of all of the major imperialist powers in the region will only exacerbate the sectarian conflicts and increase inter-imperialist rivalries. Alongside approximately 5,000 US special forces involved in the onslaught on Mosul, troops from Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany and Italy are also deployed to Iraq. French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who has been at the forefront in charging Russia with war crimes over its involvement in Aleppo over the past month, announced a planned meeting jointly hosted with the Iraqi government October 20 to discuss plans for Mosul’s future.

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As Liz Goodwin and Michael Isikoff noted on 11 October 2016 regarding a recent wikileak:

The Clinton email states: “We need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.”

That email from Hillary Clinton, was sent on 17 August 2014.

Any reference to the Saudi government is a reference to the Saudi royal family, who own the Saudi government — it’s their fiefdom.

I reported on 17 February 2016 that:

On 30 December 2009, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent a cable (subsequently released to the public by wikileaks) to America’s Ambassadors in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, and Pakistan, headlined, “Terrorist Finance: Action Request for Senior Level Engagement on Terrorism Finance.”

She told those Ambassadors to make clear to the given nation’s aristocrats that, under the new US President, Barack Obama, there would no longer be any allowance for continuation of their donations to Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups that attack the United States.

It opened, “This is an action request cable,” meaning that the operations of the local US Embassy in the given nation would be monitored for compliance with the Secretary of State’s “request.”

Despite her assertion, there was no accountability; yet she has continued to complain to them in private about those royals’ financing of terrorist groups.

On 11 February 2015, I headlined “Al Qaeda’s Bookkeeper Spills The Beans” and reported, with links to the US courtroom documentation, that:

Zacarias Moussaoui was the bookkeeper and bagman (money-collector) for Al Qaeda, but the US intelligence services have been keeping this fact secret as much as they can, because what he knows about the crucial financial backers of Al Qaeda can be very damaging to the US aristocracy, which is heavily oil-based and closely allied with the Saudi royal family, which created Al Qaeda in order to please the Saudi clerics, who are Wahhabist Muslims who constantly threaten the royals with exposure of their economic and sexual corruption unless the royals finance the spread of the Wahhabist sect (such as by Al Qaeda), and thereby finance the spread of those clerics’ own international influence and power.

Or, so says the former bookkeeper of Al Qaeda, who was selected by Al Qaeda’s military chief, Abu Hafs (also known as “Mohammed Atef”), to serve Osama bin Laden in that capacity: Zacarias Moussaoui. This is his testimony, in brief.

Moussaoui swore in court, that he collected multimillion-dollar cash donations to Al Qaeda from “Waleed — Waleed bin Talal, Prince — Prince Turki Al Faisal Al Saud, Prince — Prince Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud, Prince Mohammed Al Faisal Al Saud” and other Saudi royals. He was asked how important this was to Al Qaeda, and he replied: “It was crucial. I mean, without the money of the — of the Saudi you will have nothing.” This courtroom testimony remains suppressed to the present day, virtually entirely ignored in the press — and without the 9/11 families having pushed the legal issue, this testimony never would even have occurred at all.

On 10 September 2016, I reported on ‘the missing 28 pages’, which were actually 29 pages, which till recently were kept secret, expurgated actually, from the congressional study on the origin of the 9/11 attacks, and noted that:

what that document actually showed, and proved (and cited FBI investigators who could then have testified in public, if requested), was the opposite of unimportant: that the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud (who was known in Washington as “Bandar Bush,” because of his closeness to the Bush family), had secretly been paying the Saudi handlers of at least two of the 15 Saudis among the 19 9/11 hijackers, and that Bandar’s wife and other relatives were also paying those hijackers-to-be, and their families — thus enabling the future hijackers to obtain the necessary pilot-training etc., for the 9/11 attacks.

Why, then did US President Barack Obama, who is oath-bound to the US Constitution and to the American people, veto a bill that Congress finally passed allowing the 9/11 families to sue the Saudi government — the Saudi royal family — for 9/11?

Whom is Obama protecting, and why? Does anyone publicly ask this question of him?

NOTE: This same person, Obama, who protects the Sauds, says as follows about the non-sectarian, separation-of-church-and-state committed, anti-jihadist, leader of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, whom the US and Saudi governments back Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups in Syria in order to overthrow: As the Wall Street Journal headlined on 19 November 2015, “Obama Says Syrian Leader Bashar al-Assad Must Go” and they reported his argument:

“It is because it is unimaginable that you can stop the civil war here when the overwhelming majority of people in Syria consider him to be a brutal, murderous dictator… He cannot regain legitimacy.”

Obama says that Al Qaeda in Syria and other such jihadists (whom he calls ‘moderate rebels’) there should overthrow Assad (and would presumably be more ‘legimate’ there).

But, in reality, even Western-sponsored polls have consistently shown that Assad is the only person in Syria whom more than 50% of the Syrian people actually want to be their leader, and that the US itself is loathed there because it is viewed by 82% of Syrians as being to blame for the tens of thousands of jihadists who have been imported into Syria (paid for by the Sauds and militarily trained by the Americans) causing immeasurable misery there for the Syrian people.

Why are American Presidents impeached for extramarital sex but not for being traitors and for supporting America’s actual enemies, against the interests of the 9/11 victims and of the rest of the American people? Is America’s government against the interests of the American people? If so, whom does it really represent? And why?

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“For any minimally conscious American citizen, it is absolutely evident that Donald Trump is not only facing the mammoth Clinton political machine, but, also the combined forces of the viciously dishonest Mainstream Media.” -Boyd D. Cathey, “The Tape, the Conspiracy, and the Death of the Old Politics”, Unz Review

“The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary.” -Donald Trump, Twitter

When was the last time the media threw 100% of its support behind one party’s presidential candidate? What does that say about the media?

Do you feel comfortable with the idea that a handful of TV and print-news executives are inserting themselves into the process and choosing our leaders for us? Is that the way democracy is supposed to work?

Check out this blurb from The Hill:

“The broadcast evening news programs ABC, NBC and CBS covered allegations against Trump by several women who claim he sexually assaulted them for more than 23 minutes on Thursday night. But revelations in the WikiLeaks dump of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta which included…sympathy for Wall Street, advocation for open borders and blatant examples of media collusion ….got a whole 1 minute and 7 seconds combined.”

Ratio of negative coverage of Trump to Clinton: 23:1

In print on Thursday, it was no better. The New York Times had 11 negative stories on Trump…But zero on Clinton/WikiLeaks.

Ratio: 11:0.” (Media and Trump bias; Not even trying to hide it anymore, The Hill)

The article in The Hill also refers to a survey by the Washington Post and ABC News that asks participants six questions about allegations of sexual misconduct by Trump, but zero questions about Podesta’s incriminating emails.

Is that what you call “balance”?

I should state out-front, that I don’t plan to vote for either candidate, Trump or Clinton, so my claims of “bias” are not grounded in support for one candidate or the other. I am simply ticked-off by the fact that the media honchos have pulled out all the stops and are inserting themselves in the process to produce the outcome they want.

That’s what you call “rigging” an election. When you turn on Washington Week (Gwen Ifil) on public TV and see an assembled panel of six pundits–three conservatives and three liberals–and all six turn out to love Hillary and hate Trump; you can be reasonably certain that the election is rigged, because that’s what rigging is. Rather than providing background information about the candidate’s position on the issues so voters can make an informed decision, the media uses opinionmakers to heap praise on one candidate while savagely denigrating the other. The obvious goal is to shape public opinion in the way that best suits the interests of the people who own the media and who belong to the establishment of rich and powerful elites who run the country, the 1 percent. In this case, the ruling class unanimously backs Hillary Clinton, that much is obvious.

Fortunately, the tide is turning on the mainstream media as people look to other, more reliable sources for their information. It should come as no surprise that people are more distrustful of media than ever before and that that a great many feel that the media is conducting a brutal class war against ordinary working people. Surely, anyone who has followed economic developments at all in the last seven years, knows that the policies of the Fed have created a yawning chasm between rich and poor that is only getting worse as long as the levers of power stay in the hands of establishment politicians. Hillary Clinton is certainly the worst of these establishment politicos. Aside from being the most widely-reviled candidate the Democrats have ever nominated, she is the embodiment of political corruption and cronyism. How is it, you may ask, that someone like Clinton was able to nab “upwards of $225,000 per speech” from Goldman Sachs if she wasn’t influence peddling?

Does it really matter what she said in these speeches?

Not to me. The huge sums of money prove beyond any reasonable doubt that Clinton is selling access, tacitly agreeing to “go easy” on the big Wall Street investment banks provided they keep her foundation’s coffers overflowing. What other possible explanation could there be?

Do as many Americans know about Hillary’s sordid dealings with Wall Street as know about Trump’s “alleged” sexual dalliances?

Of course not. It’s not even close.

Do they know that Clinton was the driving force behind the intervention in Libya and Syria, where hundreds of thousands of civilians have died and seven million have been internally displaced? Do they know she was involved in the toppling of a democratically-elected government in Honduras or that a number of prominent neocons, who dragged the US into war in Iraq based on WMD lies, now support her?

Nope.

Do people know that Hillary had proof that ISIS –America’s arch enemy– was being funded and supported by our allies, Saudi Arabia and Qatar and, yet, she never reported the news to the American people??

Here’s a damning clip from one of the Podesta emails:

“We need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to Isis and other radical groups in the region.”

Remember when George W. Bush said that ‘We will treat the terrorists and the people who support the terrorists the same”?

Hillary must not have gotten that memo or we would have bombed Riyadh by now.

Do people know that there has never been a war that Hillary didn’t support, a job-killing “free trade” bill she didn’t back, or a civil liberties-eviscerating piece of legislation (Clinton voted for the original USA PATRIOT Act in 2001, as well as the revised version in 2006.) she wasn’t eager to sign?

Oh, but she does support “women’s reproductive rights” which makes her a big champion of personal freedom among her narrow demographic of successful, educated, white women. Excuse me, for not doing handstands.

Here’s another short clip from the WSWS:

“Hillary and Bill Clinton have accumulated a total of $153 million in speaking fees since Bill Clinton left the White House. Only the very naïve could believe that these vast sums were paid for the speeches themselves. They were payment for services rendered to the American financial aristocracy over a protracted period.” (In secret Goldman Sachs speeches, Clinton explains why the rich should rule, World socialist Web Site)

Get the picture? Hillary Clinton isn’t a candidate, she’s a franchise, a walking ATM machine. And her shady Foundation is nothing more than a vast recycling bin for illicit funds that pour into the political sausage-making machine in the form of contributions and magically transform themselves into special favors for the billionaire class.

Is the system rigged?

You’re damn right it is! Check this out from Zero Hedge under the heading of “73% Of Republicans Say Election Could Be “Stolen” As Trump Slams “Rigged Elections”:

“A Politico/Morning Consult Poll found that 41% of registered voters say that the election cold be stolen from Trump while 73% of Republicans fear the same.

The American electorate has turned deeply skeptical about the integrity of the nation’s election apparatus, with 41 percent of voters saying November’s election could be “stolen” from Donald Trump due to widespread voter fraud.

The new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll — conducted among 1,999 registered voters Oct. 13 through Oct. 15 — shows that Trump’s repeated warnings about a “rigged” election are having effect: 73 percent of Republicans think the election could be swiped from him. Just 17 percent of Democrats agree with the prospect of massive fraud at the ballot box.” (Zero Hedge)

Should we be worried about the election being rigged? Should we be concerned that a significant number of Americans no longer trust the “integrity of the electoral process”?

And how are these allegations (that the election was stolen) going to impact Hillary’s ability to govern?

It’s going to impact it dramatically, in fact, it could stop her dead in her tracks. It could even precipitate a Constitutional crisis. And that’s where all this is headed, isn’t it?

Consider this: Maybe Trump isn’t really trying to win any more. Maybe he knows he can’t overcome a 12 point deficit this late in the game, so he’s going to pull a Samson. He’s going to shake the pillars and bring the whole rotten temple crashing down around him. He’s going use all his influence to discredit this fake democratic system the elites have painstakingly put together to control the public, he’s going to grow his throng of angry supporters into a small army, and he’s going to spearhead a (mainly) right wing populist movement that is going impose gridlock on Washington, deepen the political divisions, acrimony and polarization across the country, and make Clinton’s tenure as president a living hell.

That’s the gameplan. He’s going to marshal enough grassroots support that Clinton will spend her entire four years bogged down in endless investigations, fending off charges of criminal misconduct, and leap-frogging from one seedy scandal to the next.

No, Trump isn’t planning on winning. He doesn’t want to be president. He wants to be a modern-day Braveheart leading the peasants into battle against a thoroughly-corrupt and heinous ruling class establishment. That’s what he wants, and that’s why political has-beens like Gingrich and Giuliani have attached themselves to him like the plague. They see an opening for resurrecting their own dismal careers.

In any event, Hillary’s going to win the election, that’s for sure. But don’t count Trump out just yet. He’s just getting warmed up.

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

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A heroin epidemic is on fire all across America. Heroin deaths shot up from 1,779 in 2001 to 10,574 in 2014 as Afghan opium poppy fields metastasized from 7,600 hectares in 2001 (when the War in Afghanistan began) to 224,000 hectares currently.

The Taliban outlawed opium in Afghanistan in 2000 and within a year it was all but gone, demonstrating that Afghan opium can be eradicated quickly for any administration that chooses to do so. Afghanistan is, by far, the number one source globally of both opium and heroin.

In 2014, 7,554 tons of raw opium were produced worldwide, including 6,400 tons in US-occupied Afghanistan and 173 tons from Mexico and Colombia. Opium plus chemicals (like acetic anhydride) produce heroin. US-occupied Afghanistan produces 85% of the world’s heroin. Mexico and Colombia produce only 2% of the world’s heroin. Mexico and Colombia produce enough heroin for only 115,000 heroin addicts.

Other countries such as Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam produce the remaining 13% of the world’s heroin. Heroin from Southeast Asian (Golden Triangle) countries go along heroin trade routes to other parts of Asia, Australia and Europe.

Most heroin in the US is coming from US-occupied Afghanistan. There is no other mathematical possibility. There is no other physical possibility.

There were 189,000 heroin users in the US in 2001, now there are 4,500,000 (2.5 million heroin addicts and 2 million casual users).

The heroin epidemic is big enough now for Congressional Hearings to be called. Congressional Hearings can be authorized by Chairs of various committees. Senator Johnson, Chair of the Homeland Security Committee, for example, can call hearings. There is no greater threat to national security at the moment than tons of Afghan heroin flooding into US each week, killing over 10,000 Americans a year.

Senator Grassley, Chair of the Judiciary Committee can also call hearings.

Basic questions can be asked like 1) how did Afghan opium spread from 7,600 hectares to 224,000 hectares, 2) why did US heroin deaths shoot up from 1,779 in 2001 to 10,574 in 2014, 3) how did the Taliban eradicate Afghan opium (from 93,000 hectares in 1999 to 7,600 hectares in 2001), 4) why hasn’t the current Administration done likewise, and 5) why did President Obama stop all US opium eradication efforts in US-occupied Afghanistan in 2009, effectively green lighting the Afghan opium and heroin trade.

I contacted all 535 US Congresspeople and several hundred opposition candidates to find out Congress’s take on this deadly epidemic.

Seven incumbents responded as did thirty-three opposition candidates. Answers varied from “close the CIA” to ‘beef up the border with Mexico’ to ‘decriminalize drugs’ to ‘more treatment’ to ‘eradicate Afghan opium crops.’

In a show of bipartisan unity not seen for a long time, the US Senate passed S.524, The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016, by a vote of 94-1 in 2016. This bill proposes modest improvements in treatment and prevention efforts.

The corresponding bill in the US House of Representatives is still pending in the Judiciary Committee as is allocation of $725 million in funding for this bill.

Senator Ron Johnson (REP – WI) responded to inquiries with facts about work he has done as Chair of the Homeland Security and Government Oversight Committee to beef up border security to more effectively combat drug trafficking and on getting the Addiction and Recovery Act passed and funded.

Senator Johnson has also taken a lead in the fight against sex trafficking, a predicament many heroin users find themselves in, stating that “the degradation is sick.” Senator Johnson added amendments onto the Addiction and Recovery Act “aimed at helping Veterans, the Tribes in Wisconsin, and others.”

Former Senator Feingold (DEM – WI) declined to comment.

Heroin from Afghanistan has killed more people than the 55,000 Americans killed in the Vietnam War. An American now gets killed every 32 minutes by Afghan heroin. With US heroin deaths tripling every four years, an American will get killed by heroin every 16 minutes by 2020. Since 2009, American policy has been to permit Afghan opium growing and the heroin trade, to minimize US troop casualties in Afghanistan and to maximize US civilian heroin casualties here in the USA.

Senator John Cornyn (REP – TX) spoke candidly about how:

the abuse of heroin and prescription painkillers is devastating families and communities. The truth is, the problem is getting worse. Deaths due to heroin overdoses and prescription drug overdoses have even surpassed car accidents as the #1 cause of injury-related deaths nationwide. So it’s time for Congress to do something significant to begin to address this disturbing trend. This (Addiction and Recovery Act) bill is a good example of how Republicans and Democrats working on a bipartisan basis can zero-in on a problem that’s harming our nation and work together to address it, and I’m proud to cosponsor this legislation.

While this bill touches on how to battle drug addiction, we need to do more to cut the source of drugs off and to keep them from getting into our country in the first place. Unfortunately, even while the production and demand of these illegal drugs has been growing, we have simply not done enough to combat it.

Senator Cornyn:

introduced several amendments that would help focus our resources to interdict these shipments and to help stem the growing tide of illicit drugs entering the U.S. I’m glad that we are making some progress on this legislation. I’m optimistic that we will be able to complete it in a bipartisan fashion, which is the only way you get things done around here. 

Senate Chuck Grassley (REP-IA), who marshaled the bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act to final passage, stated:

The heroin and opioid epidemic is taking lives and shattering families in Iowa and across our country, so I’m grateful that my colleagues have come together to pass the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. This bill will help to combat the scourge that affects all walks of life through expanded access to life-saving overdose reversal drugs, increased prevention education, a renewed focus on addiction recovery. Fighting addiction is a bipartisan issue, and requires bipartisan consideration, which is why we included the viewpoints and amendments of many senators. The House of Representatives should now move swiftly to get this bill to the President’s desk so we can begin to provide relief for American families.

Senator Grassley added:

More than 120 Americans die each day from drug overdoses. The Addiction and Recovery Act would help to stem these tragedies by expanding law enforcement and first responders’ access to naloxone, a fast-acting medication that can reverse the deadly effects of opioid overdoses … to treat addiction and assist in recovery, the bill launches an evidence-based opioid and heroin treatment and intervention program to expand the use of best practices nationwide. It also establishes a medication assisted treatment demonstration program, and helps to identify and treat non-violent individuals struggling with addiction who encounter the criminal justice system.

Senator Grassley (REP-IA), Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and the Caucus on International Narcotics Control and Senator Feinstein (DEM-CA), Co-Chair of the Caucus on International Narcotics Control, both praised Senate passage of their Fight Transnational Drug Trafficking bill. The US Senate passed the bill in Fall 2015 by unanimous consent.

“Since drug cartels are continually evolving, this legislation ensures that our criminal laws keep pace,” said Grassley, adding “the bill closes a loophole abused by drug traffickers who intend for drugs to end up in the United States, but supply them through an intermediary. The Justice Department needs every legal tool to help crack down on those who ship these substances into our country.”

“International drug traffickers continue to find new ways to circumvent our laws,” said Feinstein “to reduce the flow of drugs into the US, the federal government needs the legal authority to aggressively pursue transnational criminal organizations and drug kingpins in any country. This bill gives law enforcement the authority they need to go after these criminals.”

Senators Johnson and Grassley have not yet responded to a follow up inquiry asking when their Committees will hold hearings about the surge of Afghan opium since opium growing was permitted by American policy in 2009, leading to an increase to 224,000 Afghan opium hectares, simultaneous with the surge in American heroin deaths from 3,036 in 2010 to 10,574 in 2014 and the surge in heroin users from 189,000 Americans in 2001 to 4,500,000 Americans in 2015, how all that Afghan heroin is getting to US, what (if anything) Congress will do about the role of people working for the federal government in trafficking heroin, what can be done about it, how the Taliban eliminated opium growing in Afghanistan within a year (mid-2000 to mid-2001) and why hasn’t the current Administration done likewise.

“Close the CIA” was one of the first responses I got from an opposition candidate, Scott Jameson, a Libertarian Congressional candidate in Texas’s 3rd Congressional District (CD). In a previous election, Mr. Jameson earned 20.9% of the vote in a State Senate campaign.

Chris Aguayo, Veteran’s Party candidate for US Senate in Illinois, stated:

First, we as a country need to accept the fact that we have a growing epidemic. We also have to be honest about how the drugs are actually making it into the country past customs. We have to hold those in charge and involved accountable. So how do we do that? We already know that the CIA and DEA are involved. We also know that the CIA uses Mexican cartels to funnel drugs into the US. The CIA involvement with cartels isn’t new knowledge. When elected I will push for legislation to end the CIA involvement with cartels and terrorist organizations. I would also push to have the Afghanistan government outlaw opium like they did in the past. We have to stop the issue at the source. When I say that I am going to put a target on my back for my constituents and take a stand for them in Washington DC I mean ever word.

Second, I firmly believe communities need more resources to help those with addictions. I’m appalled at how many mental health treatment facilities have been shut down. This has forced an over-growth in our prison systems without the proper treatment for those in need. The big question is where is that funding going to come from? How are we going to pay for it without raising taxes? We need the State of Illinois to pass a balanced and Constitutional budget. We need to look into cutting funding for unnecessary programs. We also need to provide law enforcement with the tools necessary to find drug smugglers and dealers providing the heroin on the streets of our cities. Community leaders and their communities need to come together to find possible solutions as well. Ending this epidemic will take the combined effort of the federal government, states, and local communities.

Mike Kolls, a Libertarian candidate in Texas implored that:

Government should not act to supply currently illegal drugs, or anything else. Government officials and other influential people should not personally benefit financially from government action. Private organizations and concerned citizens should provide recovery programs, provide necessary assistance to the addicted, and distribute informational materials. Parents and guardians should teach their values to the children. Each person must then choose.

Mr. Kolls added if indeed government officials are proven to be part of the international drug trade then “stop its operations and involvement, force officials and their friends who benefited to give back their ill-gotten booty, seek felony charges and damages from officials whose action directly caused a death or a disabling medical condition and give the sovereign states the regurgitated booty for recovery programs, assistance and public service announcements.”

Billy Hart, a candidate in the Texas Republican Primary election for Congressional candidates, declared:

I am fully aware that the U.S. Government is behind drug trafficking via big pharma companies that elected politicians own stock in. With opiates being purchased worldwide by publicly traded companies in which elected officials are invested in; seemingly the only time there is a war on drugs is when elected officials are not profiting off of it. My opponent (Congressman) Will Hurd is a backbone in this corruption and this activity is the reason I am running against him.

Mr. Hart added that:

Under Oath, former Secretary State Clinton did admit that ISIS was created by the CIA; and knowing Hurd was in Afghanistan, he (epitomizes) the reason we have a war on terror. This is not a party issue to me being that with peace, elected officials cannot profit off of their invested stock in Dept. of Defense funded companies. Our own Democratic Secretary of State Kerry is the largest profiteer off of war earning hundreds of millions of dollars off of seeding international conflict via the CIA, then selling weapons and soldiers overseas as bullet sponges in the name of terror … every one of our elected politicians is driven by the greed of money and corruption.

In conclusion, Mr. Hart described his candidacy against Congressman Hurd (a self-described former CIA operative in Afghanistan) as “a David and Goliath story considering my opponent is sitting on over a million dollars in special interest campaign funds.”

Michael Coblenz, a Democrat campaigning for Congress in Kentucky cited “the increased use of heroin is due to authorities limiting prescriptions of opioid painkillers. So addicts have turned to heroin.” Mr. Coblenz added “drug use tends to increase as the economy sours and that price of heroin has decreased dramatically.”

Mr. Coblenz, if elected, would “improve the economy. The recent recovery has been very uneven across the country and some areas have barely recovered. Invest in improving our crumbling infrastructure as one way to pump money into the economy” and he added “increase drug treatment, treat users as people with a problem and not as criminals. Obviously some are and should be treated as such, but the vast majority are not and should not have their future destroyed with a criminal conviction or prison sentence.”

Mr. Coblenz concluded “improve border control, improve the economic conditions of those regions of the country that produce heroin, allow farmers to return to growing other crops. I would certainly do what I could to examine allegations (of government involvement in the heroin trade) and if true to stop this behavior.”

Geoff Young, another Democratic candidate in Kentucky’s 6th District stated:

America’s military-industrial complex needs to be reduced significantly. Fund infrastructure, not useless weapons. 50% of our military and “intelligence” budgets could be carefully cut in such a way that our nation’s security would actually improve. We would then be able to afford investments in infrastructure, health care, and education that would benefit all Americans.

Mr. Young added:

It’s possible that I would propose cuts of more than 50% in the annual secret budgets of the CIA and NSA. I believe that such cuts would reduce the supply of heroin being produced in Afghanistan and would improve our national security and the stability of our financial system. I would also demand the immediate and permanent withdrawal of all US troops and CIA agents in Afghanistan.

Matt Maxwell, a Republican candidate in Connecticut stated “corruption is at the heart of it. We must root out those entities that facilitate the status quo.” Mr. Maxwell added that he has had “a number of friends who died from overdosing.”

Bob Fitrakis, Green Party candidate for Franklin County, Ohio Public Prosecutor said:

It is a well established fact that the CIA has long allowed narcotics trafficking among US allies in order to finance so-called covert operations. The massive flow of opium which is processed into heroin is a direct result of the US military, the CIA and covert operations being stationed in Afghanistan. This is the famed “Golden Crescent.” As Professor McCoy established in “The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia” the CIA did the same thing during the Vietnam War in Laos. It’s well documented that there was a long-standing agreement between the OSS-CIA and the Mafia to look the other way on organized crime narcotics running into the US. This was done in exchange for intelligence concerning espionage on US docks, information on the invasion of Sicily in WWII and cooperation against the Soviets during the Cold War.

The so-called French Connection was another obvious example of the CIA allowing the Corsican Brotherhood to traffic heroin into New York City in exchange for aiding CIA activities against Communists in France.

The first thing we need to do to stop heroin trafficking is to invest in scanning all cargo coming into the US, particularly by air and ship. Estimates are as low as only 3% of the custom sealed containers being scanned. We clearly need to search all flights coming into military bases like Rickenbacker here in Columbus.

We need to revoke the CIA’s de facto license to be the Cocaine-Importing Agency. Any commercial fronts be they textile companies or fruit importers that are involved in bulk trafficking of heroin need to have their assets confiscated.

I would end all prosecution for personal possession of narcotics and move resources away from street level dealers and focus all resources on the major distributors flooding our streets with heroin. I would use the criminal justice system to assist in getting treatment for those addicted who will accept treatment.

Bob is an attorney, a college professor, a journalist and a superhero crime fighter.

Darryl Cherney, a Green Party primary candidate for President, had this to say:

The war in Afghanistan is a continuation of the opium wars commenced by the British and US back in the 1800’s and continuing on right through World War 2 and Vietnam. Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s father, William Delano, was an opium trader as was Robert Forbes. The Taliban came down on the opium trade (in 2000). This could have been one of the many reasons to restart warfare in the land known as “The Graveyard of Empires.”

Afghanistan has had the name Graveyard of the Empires from the time Alexander the Great’s empire was ended there long ago through the ending of the Soviet empire in 1991 to present. One way or another the Afghani people figure out how to destroy empires that have attacked them.

Mr. Cherney, a Fordham University graduate (as is CIA Director John Brennan), added:

We know that nations throughout history have funneled drugs into civilizations they want to conquer, such as our nation’s supplying tribes with alcohol and the aforementioned opium into China by the British, primarily. It’s a tactic of warfare. Which brings us to what I call “the war on people” in this country.

While I (Cherney) fully believe the articles uncovering drug funneling into communities across our nation, I have also seen it first hand. I’ve watched first-hand the cops stop a meth or heroin dealer and then let them go, only to watch one deal to a 10 year old five minutes later. I watched our local DA in Eureka, CA release on no bail an undocumented foreign national who was caught with 2 pounds of methamphetamine, never to be seen again. I see the cops and military occasionally get caught with large quantities of these hard drugs in their possession. In other words, law enforcement allows these drugs into our community and even becomes part of the problem. It serves the powerful to have the middle class terrified by the drug addicted class, which I do see as becoming their own class.

The prison industrial state compliments this nightmare. People coming out of prison destitute with no job possibilities, leaving behind families with the same plight, are more likely to turn to substance abuse and dealing. Pardoning all non-violent drug offenders is in my purview. Working to end unnecessary sentencing will assist as well. It’s a holistic approach.”

Cherney then added:

The culture of corruption and the money involved is colossal, with the banks playing roles laundering money for the cartels. Dismantling and rebuilding the DEA might be in order. Border checks are important, but many hard drugs are made in the USA, one of the last things we actually make here, besides weaponry. Delisting cannabis will be necessary, because falsely labeling it as a Schedule I dangerous drug contributes to the cartels and even small time dealer’s profit margins. Drug rehabilitation and education is a start. There’s no discernible media campaign to address this epidemic. It’s one easy place to start – taking out television, radio, internet and print ads, as well as billboards and posters. Before and after pictures of addicts, I believe, could be helpful. We won’t know until we try.

What I (Cherney) do know is that the streets of towns large and small are filled with the “walking dead,” people who have essentially lost their souls or at least their personalities, not to mention their health, to meth and heroin. Crime and violence that accompanies that, are making even small town America, where you used to not need to lock your car or your doors, more dangerous. Ending these wars is key. We fight some of them, in part, to keep the opium trade going.

David (Dew) Williams III, an Independent Congressional candidate in Illinois’s 9th District had this to say:

It’s becoming common knowledge that drugs such as heroin magically do not appear on U.S. soil, or just because of the Mexican drug cartels and Islamic terrorist cells. The CIA in the past have been caught in purposely allowing the drugs into Black communities such as in Los Angeles in the early 1990s to continue their cycle of incarceration for the prison industrial complex. I feel that as Americans, we need to hold our government accountable for their corrupt actions from the local to federal level – from investigations to prosecuting those involved in such illegal activities that are ruining our moral structure.

Mr. Williams, a Veteran, added:

We have enough laws as it is when it comes to heroin. People will still find ways to break those laws. I feel we as a nation should take a holistic approach by caring for those with over coming such bad habits. Rehabilitation and education is the key to defeat this heroin epidemic, while we’re at it, I firmly believe it starts at home too. Parenting needs to be stronger, and the parents speaking to their children about the real world is a start.

Sean Jackson, a Republican candidate in Maryland’s 1st Congressional District, is both a Veteran and a Police Officer. Mr. Jackson stated:

“I would address the heroin drug war as a “health issue” that is plaguing Americans and a “national security issue”:

Domestically – The U.S. spends billions of dollars each year combating illegal drugs. We need to concentrate our drug prevention efforts on poisonous illegal drugs (e.g. heroin, meth, etc.) that destroy the body (resulting in overdose deaths), tied to the increase in crime (robberies, thefts, etc. … desperation to seek money for withdrawal needs) and devastates families and communities. As long as there is a demand for heroin, drug cartels (some with ties to governments and/or terrorist organizations) will supply. The U.S. needs to re-focus our war on drugs. The legalization of marijuana is a start. The U.S. will never stop the insatiable demand for marijuana. The U.S. can address the issue as fiscal benefit by regulation and taxation of marijuana. The taxation proceeds can be earmarked directly towards health education and treatment programs dealing with heroin. All forms of governments are woefully inept to combat the heroin epidemic. According to health reports, once an individual becomes a heroin addict, only 3% are successful at recovery. During recovery, the addict will spend the rest of their life in turmoil to avoid recidivism.

National Security/International Involvement – Afghanistan is the largest producer of heroin in the world. The U.S. can not take on this battle alone. IF, the World (including the U.S.) is truly serious about combating heroin, they need to convene and strategize a unified military effort (to include economic sanctions) to permanently destroy those organizations/governments/countries that condone the manufacturing/distribution of this poison for financial gain and ultimately the self-destruction of western society. The unified front should include U.S. allies in the region (Israel & India) that book-end the Middle East to stem the distribution routes out of the region.

The U.S. (with its Allies) may need to consider a military invasion or military strikes against Mexican drug cartels that are strategically and safely positioned along the U.S./Mexico. According to intel, the cartels have concentrated their efforts in producing heroin and meth (rather than marijuana) due to the increased profit margin and user demand.”

Many opposition candidates, such as Mr. Jackson, had the most detailed and insightful (proposed) solutions to the problem.

Johnny Slavens, a Republican candidate in Texas said:

The only chance we really have to beat things like this is to inspire people to believe in something bigger than themselves. Our founding fathers called that God and so do I.

Mr. Slavens added:

We also need to secure our border. The federal government has a constitutional obligation to secure our border of which they are dramatically failing. Career politicians don’t care about securing the border. The Democrats see it as votes and the Republicans see it as cheap labor (i.e. crony capitalism). The drug trafficking, human trafficking, sex trafficking, the threat to our national security, we must secure the border as our highest priority.

Chris Mason, a Republican candidate in Maryland and a Veteran  declared “we simply need to secure our borders and all these problems are solved.” Simon Winston, a Republican candidate in Texas’s 1st District, echoed “that a more secure border would be a good step in the right direction.”

Darrel Smith, Jr., the Green Party candidate in Texas’s 6th District stated:

We should be focusing on rehabilitation programs with proven track records and expand them. We should look at local programs like Los Angeles County’s Substance Abuse Prevention and Control and the Massachusetts Opioid Abuse Prevention Collaborative, and implement their successes nationwide while also understanding and modifying those programs to work with specific communities.

Joe Demare, Green Party candidate for US Senate in Ohio, said “heroin sucks” and added two points:

First, massive increases in addiction treatment, drug abuse prevention, and education funding and second, follow the strategy put forward by Bob Fitrakis, Green Party candidate for Franklin County Prosecutor. He points out that in most cases, the identity of the largest regional heroin importers are known to authorities. However, they are not pursued for prosecution because of fear. I would support prosecutions and work to ensure that there is enough federal support to protect our judges and law enforcement officials pursuing heroin importers.

A former Congressional Staffer, who is not campaigning for public office, and who did not want to be identified for this article, stated that “it’s an open secret on the Hill that the CIA prompted the spread of narcotics in Afghanistan and is flying it into the USA. They made Afghanistan a narco state. It’s killing Americans in droves, no doubt. It’s just, most everyone on the Hill is too afraid of the CIA to do much of anything about it.”

Ed Rankin, a Texas Libertarian candidate (32nd CD) began:

The system is totally corrupt. It’s indeed interesting that opium production has risen so dramatically in Afghanistan following the US invasion isn’t it?

He then added:

First, in order to address the drug addiction problem, we need to stop the drug war and begin to treat addiction as a social problem and not a criminal one. If we’re going to seriously continue the drug war, then we should prosecute executives of the banks laundering the drug money not simply fine the institutions a relatively paltry amount. Longer term, stopping US military interventionism is the key to addressing many of our domestic and international problems. The trillions of dollars wasted on our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq could certainly be used to address issues like drug addiction at home. I’d introduce legislation repealing all federal drug laws. That would eliminated drug laundering. Prohibition has never worked. Legalize drugs and it all goes away.

Ruben Corvalan, another Texas Libertarian candidate (23rd CD) echoed Mr. Rankin, stating:

I would legalize all drugs, including heroin, cocaine, marijuana, etc.

Then he added:

Once legalized, we can control it, tax it, and distribute it in approved retailers. The money collected in purchase taxes would be used in an aggressive educational campaign (similar to cigarettes). Americans are adults, they should be responsible for their actions. The government is not and should not be the caretakers of adults. Adults should have the dignity of free choice. Free choice comes with a price. The price of freedom is responsibility and accountability.

Dorian Myrickes, a Democratic Party candidate in Illinois (2nd CD) advocates legalization. Mr. Myrickes stated:

The reality of the drug industry in America is that it provides thousands of jobs through law enforcement, social services, and rehabilitation programs, unfortunately. These drugs destroy our communities and America has never had a true plan on the war of drugs. It is disheartening to think America may never have a divisive plan on the war on drugs. Until legislators come with real sensible bills and laws, sentencing drug transporters, and rehabilitation for heroin users, the problem will remain. People are going to consume, transport and sell drugs regardless of laws, bills, etc. The heroin epidemic is not new. Alcohol, cocaine, lottery, and marijuana at one point were all illegal vices. I say educate, legalize and tax drugs, this will remove the mystique of any illegal activity and perhaps close the gap on America’s debt ceiling. Distributors, facilities and customers should pay a premium tax of 35% on drugs. Those tax funds could be utilized to rejuvenate the proper monetary disbursements and reopen hospitals, rehab’s and educational facilities.

Dominique Michelle Garcia, a Democratic candidate in Texas (29th CD) said:

Drug use and abuse is a mental illness. As a society we need to stop treating the symptoms and start nipping at the cause. Our current method of declaring war on everything is flawed and outdated. We are treating people who are victims as if they are criminals. We need to decriminalize drugs and use the money for treatment.

Jeff Kender, a Democratic candidate for US Senate in Kentucky, stated “First it needs to be stopped at its core. Rehabilitation to help users, who are non-violent.”

Calvin Sidle, a Democratic candidate in Kentucky (4th CD), stated:

The heroin epidemic is one of the biggest challenges facing this area. We absolutely must put a stop to any imports of heroin, regardless of the source. We must step up efforts to limit supply at the same time as we learn new strategies to curb demand. We need to make a stronger push for medically-assisted treatment to help those people who are caught in a deadly cycle of addiction.

Joe Sestak, a former Congressman, Admiral, Anti-Terrorism Director and currently in a tight re-match with Senator Toomey in Pennsylvania referred me to his ‘opiate contrast’ pdf file. Sestak supports R & D for a new generation of non-addictive painkillers, drug courts which send non-violent users to rehab, V.A. funding for substance abuse programs, requiring all health insurance to cover substance abuse recovery programs, more prevention efforts and a greater availability of treatment for drug users. Senator Toomey’s record shows he voted against V.A. budgets, against drug courts, against more prevention and against more treatment.

Sestak prefaced his statements with a heartfelt acknowledgment that ‘1 of every 4 families has a loved one suffering from addiction and that the opiate epidemic touches all types of communities, large and small, rich and poor.’

Senator Toomey (REP-PA) declined to comment for this article.

Sestak did not reply to follow up emails asking what, if elected, he would do about the source of most heroin, US-occupied Afghanistan.

Bill Fraser, an Independent candidate in Illinois (8th CD) is campaigning on a platform of Swiss style direct democracy so voters can vote directly on issues and spending. Mr. Fraser, a high school teacher, stated “the constituency would be called upon to vote on all legislation and I would vote the way the majority wants me to vote.”

Direct voting on legislation and spending or at least nationwide ballot referendums would be a giant leap forward towards democracy in the USA. In international rankings, the USA currently ranks #62 for democracy and #49 for freedom of the press.

Andrew Straw, an attorney and Republican candidate in Illinois (8th CD) stated:

Afghanistan has always grown poppies. We must think about the other uses for this substance besides heroin, which is a scourge, despite the fact that President Obama admitted using it in his autobiography.

Mr. Straw added:

My brother was a critical care trauma nurse and he served in Afghanistan. He patched together and saved the lives of our soldiers who were blown up and amputees. They used a lot of morphine.

Mr. Straw concluded:

There is a worldwide shortage of morphine. Morphine is made from opium. The world community should be buying the opium and using it to create morphine. Morphine is a very important drug needed in every country, every community, every hospital. While the United States has a presence in Afghanistan, it needs to regulate the opium and purchase it for use in making vital pharmaceutical drugs, there is no reason the opium has to turn into heroin illegally or destroyed. It has other, legitimate uses.

An opium crop buying program may be a win win situation, although it might also spark bidding wars for raw opium and higher prices leading to an even greater expansion of Afghan opium crops.

Rob Shaver, a Republican Congressional candidate in New York and a Veteran, stated:

I feel NY State is entirely at the crossroads of devastation in our rural area’s to inner cities from this epidemic. Worse then crack cocaine was in the 1980s and early 1990s. Children and adults are loosing their lives both in reality and figuratively by the addictions they face from the first time shooting up.

Mr. Shaver added “to the victims, I do believe they are victims from a weakened border and policy we allowed for decades now.” Mr. Shaver mentioned “the dark world of funding off book operations” and elaborated “it’s been around for a long while as we the USA been the main drug trafficker for decades to fund National Security operations and other agendas we the people wouldn’t understand in their minds.”

If elected, Mr. Shaver would:

Create bills that amend or repeal current international drug enforcement statues to put pressure on the US government to stop this destruction to our citizens. Most of the tribal leaders and members of Afghan Parliament are in on the illegal sale of opium so we have corruption to deal with as the first task. The US Congress needs to do some reform on our foreign appropriations spending and the Executive branch with Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense focusing on the stop of distribution with the current Minister of Interior and President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and his executive branch members of justice in joint task force we have trained and jointly funded now for a decade. DEA and ATF has been tasked with this for years now making small dents, but not enough to stop the sale of heroin in the western world. The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs who oversees this work will again be on the new POTUS and Executive Branch to propose appropriations and Congress to approve the funding that warrants stronger US Border enforcement and trafficking that many politicians do not want to support. Case in point Senator Kristen Gillibrand (NY) when Congresswoman supported stronger borders and now as US Senator has flip flopped under Senator Chuck Schumer and her DNC associates to vote against Sen McCain’s amendment to H.R. 4899, the 2010 Emergency Supplemental bill to send National Guard troops to add more Right of Entry guards into Arizona to stop drug trafficking levels that were scorching our southwestern front.

Mr. Shaver concluded by stating:

New York State and the Department of Justice needs to be proactive with more ear marked funding to develop county task forces with both State and Federal support to not only make arrest and prosecutions but treatment faculties and half-way homes with vocational training to get all victims of this drug back into society with our support.

Dr. Donald May, a former Air Force Major and Republican primary candidate in Texas (19th CD) highlighted the Democratic Party’s role for entry into war after the September 11th terrorist attacks. Dr. May began by stating:

Due to Obama, the U.S troops have no control over much of anything in Afghanistan, our border is wide open to anything and everything, guns have been supplied to the Mexican drug criminals, and drug dealers plead down their cases and go free. You really need to blame the evilDemocrats for starting the rumors that led to the invasion of Iraq. The Democrats claimed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction (WMD’s) and a nuclear weapons program. It was Bill Clinton who repeatedly warned George W. Bush of Saddam’s WMDs.

Dr. May then supplied 16 quotes from Democratic Party officials such as Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Madeline Albright, Sandy Berger, Nancy Pelosi, Al Gore, Ted Kennedy, Henry Waxman, Jay Rockefeller, Robert Byrd and others.

For example, Dr. May stated that then Senator Hillary Clinton (DEM-NY) said on October 10, 2002:

In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.

The reasons for entry into wars, the lingering 15+ year occupation of Afghanistan and the flood of Afghan heroin devastating America all have roots that need to be better investigated and reported on.

99% of incumbents and close to 95% of opposition candidates contacted did not respond to inquiries.

A few incumbents, 1%, did reply, but refused to answer any questions about the heroin epidemic, the devastation being caused by the epidemic or about Afghanistan.

Sam Carpenter’s campaign for Senate in Oregon replied a few times to ask which outlet the report would be published in and if Senator Wyden (DEM-OR) had responded, but he refused to answer any questions about Afghanistan or the heroin epidemic.

[email protected]_rotanes (email not signed) responded on March 1, 2016 “You will be receiving a more detailed response via email in the near future.” That was months ago and a detailed response via email has not been sent. I followed up with both of these Senate candidates, but they didn’t respond. Neither appeared to have any sense of urgency regarding the heroin epidemic killing an American every 32 minutes.

Congressman Lee Zeldin’s Press Secretary replied to ask about the article’s deadline. I replied then never heard back again. I followed up several times, but there was no further response from anyone in Zeldin’s office to questions about the heroin epidemic or the explosive spread of Afghan opium since 2001 simultaneous with the mushrooming increase in US heroin fatalities from 1,779 in 2001 to 3,036 in 2010 to 10,574 in 2014.

Zeffin Hardin, a Republican candidate in Texas (28th CD), emailed a couple times to state he would not be commenting or answering any questions about the heroin crisis.

Many of these candidates, incumbents and non-incumbents alike, might as well have auto-replied “let them eat cake” because that’s how many of their non-responses seemed.

The House can vote this week, if they care to, to pass HR953, the companion bill to S.524 to make a baby step forward of more treatment possible. Amy Bos in Congressman Senserbreener’s Office stated that “the bill is still pending in multiple committees. We’ve been told the bill is a priority for leadership but have been given no indication on timing for a vote.”

Current treatment cannot provide for even 1/8th of the surge in drug abusers. If both the Senate and House bills were passed and funded, they would not provide enough for even 3% of current need.

$25 billion, however, would construct 100,000 new in-patient treatment beds and $10 billion annually would provide another 1,000,000 seats in out-patient treatment. $35 billion is needed immediately for treatment. The opiate problem has gotten that big in the USA since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

The Senate and House bills both call for less than $1 billion in funding.

Congress can also call Congressional hearings into how Afghan opium fields have spread from 7,600 hectares to 224,000 hectares as US heroin deaths shot up from 1,779 in 2001 to 3,036 in 2010 to 10,574 in 2014.

Why is it that the Taliban administration in 2000 outlawed opium and within a year it was all but gone (from 93,000 hectares in 1999 to 7,600 hectares in 2001) and why exactly has the current administration not done that too? What have different agencies (e.g. DEA, FBI, CIA, DoD) been doing in Afghanistan since 2001? The AOK’ing for Afghans to grow opium and the transporting of Afghan heroin into the US “green lighted” in 2009 was for what exactly?

I contacted the DEA several times in Spring 2016, for answers about how Afghan opium metastasized to 224,000 hectares, what has the DEA been doing since 2001, why have American heroin deaths mushroomed to 10,574 a year and continue to spiral up out of control? What arrangements does the DEA have with the CIA regarding CIA agents (officers, contractors, etc.) dealing drugs? What has been done since 2001 to interdict acetic anhydride into Afghanistan?

Barbara Carreno and Russell Baer, who has top secret clearance, dodged most of my questions, but did answer a few questions about acetic anhydride stating that was the job of Afghanistan’s government to deal with.

Mexico with 10,500 hectares of opium could not possibly supply even 1/20th of the heroin demand in the US.  What has the DEA been doing about the vast majority of heroin which is coming in from Afghanistan?

Congresspeople can demand the various agencies come clean and tell all about Afghan heroin, 2001 to present.

Harold Pfleiderer at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police stated that 90% of the heroin in Canada comes from Afghanistan.

Barbara and Russell at the DEA claimed, incredibly, that only 4% of the heroin in the US is from Afghanistan and they refused to answer any questions about why they claim most heroin is coming from Mexico since Mexico cannot produce enough heroin for 1/20th of the US heroin demand. Every opium producing nation on Earth, except Afghanistan, cannot produce enough heroin for even 1/2 of the heroin demand in the USA.

Barbara and Russell refused to answer most questions. Barbara and Russell at the DEA emailed on April 1st, 2016:

Unfortunately, we are a small press office with many queries to answer, and your line of questioning is expanding. I’m sorry to have to say that we will not able to assist you further on these stories.

Is the heroin epidemic, which is killing over 10,000 Americans a year, an April Fools Day joke to these DEA people?

Looking at facts and figures regarding the heroin epidemic, it becomes obvious that the DEA has been a colossal failure and they refuse to answer most questions asked of them. Perhaps, the DEA would answer questions (or plead the 5th) at Congressional Hearings.

Since Afghan opium spread to 224,000 hectares in 2014, since heroin deaths in the US shot up to 10,574 in 2014, several narratives have been rolled out to try to draw attention away from where most heroin comes from (US-occupied Afghanistan) and how most of that heroin gets to US.

First, ‘the Mexicans did it” which is to say that the 173 tons of raw opium from Latin America (from 10,500 hectares in Mexico and 1,500 hectares in Colombia) were converted into 17.3 tons of heroin and all 17.3 tons were imported into the US, where it would not supply even 5% of the US heroin demand.

If all countries on Earth growing opium, except Afghanistan, were to convert their opium to heroin and send it to the US, it wouldn’t be enough for even half of the current US heroin demand.

Most heroin in the US is coming from US-occupied Afghanistan.  There is no other mathematical possibility possible.  There is no other physical possibility possible.

Second, ‘Myanmar did it’. Myanmar does grow 50,000 hectares of opium, not even 1/4th of what Afghanistan does. Myanmar heroin could not provide even half of the US heroin demand and most heroin from Myanmar is known (e.g. by the UN) to travel heroin trade routes to Europe, Asia and Australia.

Thirdly, ‘Fentanyl did it’. Fentanyl accounts for less than 15% of total opioid deaths in the US. The heroin epidemic is not due to Fentanyl. The heroin epidemic is due to heroin.

Fourthly, ‘doctors did it’. Doctors prescribe painkillers then patients ramp up to heroin. Only 3.6% of people who abuse prescription painkillers then go on to heroin. Doctors prescribing painkillers did not cause the heroin epidemic. The flood of Afghan heroin since 2001 has caused the heroin epidemic.

Fifthly, the false claim that there are only 250,000 heroin users in the USA so back to 1) ‘the Mexicans did it’. (If there were only 250,000 US heroin addicts, then Mexico’s puny 10,500 hectares of opium still couldn’t provide most of the heroin demand in the US.)

There are many more American heroin addicts than 250,000. The White House stated there were 1,500,000 heroin addicts in the US in 2010. That figure has shot up since 2010, to 2,500,000 regular heroin users currently plus another 2 million casual users.

Mexico cannot supply even 1/20th of the heroin demand in the US. All nations on Earth that grow opium combined, except Afghanistan, could not physically provide even half of the heroin used in the US. Only Afghanistan grows enough opium to provide the current US demand for heroin.

And only eradication of Afghan opium crops will stop the heroin epidemic. The Taliban outlawed opium in 2000 and within a year it was all but gone, so we know that eradication of Afghan opium is totally doable within a year.

Before writing this article, I hadn’t gotten “no comments” by email before. I’ve gotten “no comments” in person. I’ve gotten “no comments” on the phone. But, not by email. Usually, when someone doesn’t want to comment, by email, they simply ignore the email (i.e. about 99% of incumbents and 95% of opposition candidates). 

On March 14th, I got an email from David Nunes (DEM-CA), the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee stating: “I’m sorry, we have no comment on this one.”

The following day, March 15th, came this email from Brad Wenstrup (REP-OH) in one of the states hardest hit by the heroin epidemic, Ohio: “Thank you for your email. Congressman Wenstrup does not have a comment at this time.”

With an American getting killed every 32 minutes by heroin, when will the Members of House Intelligence Committee feel like responding to this highly lethal epidemic of Afghan heroin flooding into the USA?

What can be done about the heroin epidemic? Eradicate Afghan opium as the Taliban administration did in 2000-2001, search US government (and US government chartered) planes and ships, ban precursor chemicals to make heroin, buy crops not yet eradicated (then sell those crops to make medical morphine), hold Congressional hearings to find out how Afghan opium spread more than 25 fold since the US invasion in 2001 (from 7,600 hectares to 224,000 hectares), how it’s getting to US and why hasn’t eradication been done (as the Taliban did in 2000-2001), $25 billion for 100,000 more in-patient treatment beds, $10 billion a year for 1,000,000 more outpatient treatment slots, decriminalize personal possession and focus on the big dealers (i.e. dealers of Afghan heroin).

Without cutting off (i.e. eradicating) the source of most heroin, Afghan opium, the heroin epidemic will get worse to over 20,000 American heroin deaths a year, crime levels not experienced since the 1980’s (or worse), deadly infections (e.g. HIV, HCV) shooting up, way up, costing taxpayers an extra $25 billion a year or so (e.g. Medicaid, Medicare, Obamacare subsidies) to care for the increases in diseased people.

Congress needs to know where the heroin is coming from. Congress also needs to acknowledge where most of the heroin is coming from (i.e. US-occupied Afghanistan), how it is getting from US-occupied Afghanistan to US and they need to investigate (e.g. Congressional Hearings), then act in their capacity to do oversight, to adjust budgets and to legislate.

Senator Moynihan (DEM-NY) introduced a bill, in 1991 and again in 1995, to abolish the CIA and to give their tasks to the State Department.

The Taliban outlawed opium in Afghanistan in 2000 and within a year it was all but gone. Outlaw opium in Afghanistan just like the Taliban did in 2000 and within a year Afghan opium will be all but gone and the American heroin epidemic will be all but gone as well.

William Edstrom graduated from Columbia University in 2003 and has worked since as a scientist, educator and writer. He’s co-authored book chapters, journal reports (e.g. Nature, Journal of Biological Chemistry) and articles with independent media outlets like Counterpunch, Truth-Out, Pravda, Global Research and the Mott Haven Herald. Will was the Green Party candidate for US Congress in 2014 in New York’s 15th Congressional District. He’s also a member of the Educational Writers Association (EWA).

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Russia’s very able Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said that the US presidential campaign is “simply some sort of a global shame” unworthy of the American people.

She certainly hit the nail on the head.  https://www.rt.com/news/363245-us-election-shame-zakharova/

Clinton’s criminal record had to be suppressed by the Obama regime in order to move the oligarchs’ candidate in the direction of the White House.  So here we are on the verge of nuclear war with Russia and China, and the important issue before the American people is Trump’s “lewd” comments with Billy Bush about sexually attractive women.

I mean really.  Men’s talk about women is like their fish and hunting stories. It has to be taken with a grain of salt.  But this aside, why is lewd talk about women more important than military conflict with Russia, which could mean nuclear war and the end of life on earth?

Trump has declared that he sees no point in conflict with Russia and that he sees no point in NATO a quarter century after the demise of the Soviet Union.

Is Trump’s lewd talk about women worse than Hitlery’s provocative talk about Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom Hitlery calls “the new Hitler”?  What kind of utter fool would throw gratuitous insults at the President of a country that can wipe the US and all of Western Europe off of the face of the earth in a few minutes?

Would you rather face a situation in which a few women were groped, or be vaporized in nuclear war?  If you don’t know the correct answer, you are too stupid to be alive.

Are the American women really going to elect Hillary as a rebuff to Trump’s lewd talk?  If so, they will confirm that it was a mistake to give women the vote, although there will be no one left alive to record the mistake in the history books.

Clinton, with the aid of the media presstitutes— who lie for a living and who constitute the American print and TV media—have succeeded in focusing America’s election of a president on issues irrelevant to the dangerous situation with which Hitlery and her neoconservative colleagues confront the world.

For Killary-Hillary, the Russian issue is the unsupported and false allegation that the Russian government, in league with Donald Trump, hacked her emails and released them to WikiLeaks.

The purpose of this absurd claim is to focus voters’ attention  away from the damning contect of the emails.

The real issue is that the idiots in Washington have convinced the Russian government that Russia is going to be the target of a pre-emptive nuclear strike.

Once a nation is convinced of this, it is unlikely that they will just sit there waiting, especially a powerful nuclear power like Russia, which appears to have a strategic alliance with another major nuclear power—China.

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Libya: Five Years After Gaddafi’s Brutal Murder

October 20th, 2016 by Abdus Sattar Ghazali

Five years after the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s overthrow and brutal murder (on October 20, 2011) the situation is now far worse than it was five years ago, as rival militias fighting for control.

Libya has been split between rival parliaments and governments, each backed by a loose array of militias and tribes. Now five years on, Libya is caught between two rival governments, with the western recognized parliament forced into exile in the eastern city of Tobruk in 2014, following a military uprising from the opponent group known as ‘Libyan Dawn’, who have since set up parliament in the capital, Tripoli.

While accurate figures are hard to ascertain, estimates suggest tens of thousands have died in Libya as a result of the conflict since 2011.

Libya’s conflict has left 1.9 million people with serious health needs in a country that lacks medical professionals, medicines and vaccines, according to the World Health Organization.

CIA-Backed General Khalifa Haftar Seizes Control Of Libyan Oil Fields (The African Globe)

In a dramatic development, on September 12, 2016, forces loyal to CIA-backed General Khalifa Haftar took control of two key oil ports. His troops seized Al Sidra and Ras Lanuf terminals on Libya’s Mediterranean coast and hoped to seize a third terminal, Al Zueitina, said Brigadier General Ahmed Al Mosmary, a spokesman for General Haftar’s forces.

General Haftar, has refused to endorse a UN-backed national unity government in Tripoli and remains loyal to the rival administration based in the east of the country.

His forces took the Ras Lanuf and Al Sidra terminals, together capable of handling 700,000 barrels of oil per day, from a militia loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA). The majority of Libya’s oil exports went through the three terminals before the militia, known as the Petroleum Facilities Guards, seized them more than two years ago.

If the terminals are operational again and oil exports resume, the revenues, together with a continuing political impasse, could provide the eastern region an extra incentive to declare self-rule.

Following the capture of the oil ports, the House of Representatives has promoted Haftar from general to field marshal.

General Haftar was a military chief under Muammar Gaddafi before turning against him and calling for his overthrow from exile in the United States. In 2011, General Haftar returned to Libya and commanded some of the rebel units that defeated Gaddafi, aided by Nato air power.

According to The New Yorker, as military commander of the Salvation Front, he plotted an invasion of Libya—but Gaddafi outflanked him. The C.I.A. had to airlift Haftar and three hundred and fifty of his men to Zaire and, eventually, to the United States. Haftar was given citizenship, and remained in the U.S. for the next twenty years.

Leaked tapes expose Western support for renegade Libyan general

General Haftar enjoys the support of several Arab nations, including Egypt, the UAE and Jordan, as well as others in the West.

General Haftar’s air force commander, Saqr Geroshi, was quoted as saying by the UAE newspaper The National in July, that along with 20 French personnel, small units of British and American Special Forces were also deployed with the Tobruk army at Benghazi’s Benina airport.

A multinational military operation involving British, French and US forces is coordinating air strikes in support of a renegade general battling militia groups from a base near Benghazi in eastern Libya, according to air traffic recordings obtained by Middle East Eye reveal.

The leaked tapes appear to confirm earlier reports suggesting the existence of an international operations centre that is helping General Khalifa Haftar in his campaign to gain control of eastern Libya from groups he has declared to be “extremists”.

The leaked tapes feature pilots and air traffic controllers speaking in Arabic and English. British, American, French and Italian accents can be heard.

The presence of foreign special forces in Libya has been known for several months, but until now they were thought to be working only with the western recognized Government of National Accord (GNA). In May, the Pentagon confirmed it had units advising local forces. Pro-GNA militias from Misurata have said British special forces were helping them to capture the extremist group’s main base in the town of Sirte. What is new is that western Special Forces are also on the ground supporting General Haftar.

The French connection

In July last, it was reported that three French special forces operatives killed in Libya were working with General Khalifa Haftar.

France first admitted that its units were in the country. Hours later president Francois Hollande said three operatives on a “dangerous reconnaissance mission” had been killed in a helicopter crash there the previous.

French newspaper Le Monde has reported that the three men were not soldiers but agents from its elite intelligence service, Direction Generale de la Securite Exterieure (DGSE).

The Associated Press reported that France had launched air strikes on the militia that claimed to have shot down the helicopter, the Benghazi Defense Brigades, killing at least 14 fighters.

Five years after Muammar Gaddafi’s brutal murder the situation is now far worse than it was five years ago. While accurate figures are hard to ascertain, estimates suggest tens of thousands have died in Libya since 201,1as a result of the NATO’s intervention to depose Gaddafi.

The militants attack on the US diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012 remains a burning issue among Republicans, who hold the former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, partially responsible for the deaths of four Americans, including the ambassador John Christopher Stevens.

Libyan strongman met an undignified and horrific end that was deliberate to send a strong message to the western client leaders in the Muslim world that they can meet the same fate as Gaddafi and the Iraqi President Saddam Hussain who was hanged on the first day of Eid ul-Adha, December 30, 2006

Abdus Sattar Ghazali is the Chief Editor of the Journal of America (www.journalofamerica.net) email: asghazali2011 (@) gmail.com

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Judge Françoise Tulkens is the chair of the Monsanto Tribunal, which opened in The Hague this weekend. Interviewed by journalist Rémi Barroux in Le Monde, Tulkens explains the legal context of the Tribunal and its potential consequences. English translation: GMWatch

The chair of the Monsanto Tribunal, Judge Françoise Tulkens, who heard witnesses in The Hague on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 October, hopes to contribute to the development of international law by the inclusion of new issues, in particular ecocide.

Tulkens was a judge for fourteen years at the European Court of Human Rights – she was even the Vice President – and was appointed in September 2012 to the Human Rights Advisory Panel of the United Nations in Kosovo.

What is the purpose of this Monsanto Tribunal that you have agreed to chair?

Françoise Tulkens: We will hear witnesses for two days, familiarise ourselves with the many items in the file, including scientific studies, and we five judges will deliberate amongst ourselves in order to issue an “advisory opinion”. Six questions have been put to us regarding rights that are recognized by international law, such as the right to food, the right to a better state of health, and the right to the freedom that is indispensable for scientific research.

These rights are notably enshrined in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, as well as the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Other international instruments also exist, such as the UN Principles and Guidelines on Business and Human Rights, as approved by the Council of Human Rights in a resolution of June 2011.

Does this mean that you have the legal tools to condemn Monsanto?

We will not pronounce judgment. We will give an advisory opinion. Specifically, we will check if Monsanto’s activities are in compliance with the laws as they exist in the UN legal instruments that I mentioned. We are therefore not a court that condemns a criminal nor one that judges a fault in civil law.

Monsanto, in an open letter, denounced the tribunal as a “masquerade” with a “pre-determined outcome”. What do you think?

I read this open letter and what it suggests is incorrect. Monsanto will not be condemned in advance, since it will not be condemned at all. This is not the place for that. There will not even be a moral condemnation, because a court does not deal in morality. It is an educational tribunal, which I hope will influence international human rights law and allow openings for victims.

I only regret the absence of Monsanto, even if its absence is both understandable and predictable. It is important to point out that Monsanto was invited several times to participate, and that all facilities were offered to allow it to argue its point of view.

But if Monsanto is not really being tried, what is the scope of this tribunal?

The Monsanto Tribunal is a way for civil society to take the initiative to give a voice to witnesses, to enable the public to understand the impacts of Monsanto’s activities, and to help advance international law by offering new ideas, such as the responsibilities of business regarding human rights, or new concepts. This is a difficult but essential education.

The Russell Tribunal [also known as the International War Crimes Tribunal], made in the context of the Vietnam War in 1966, was also a tribunal of opinion. It is important to refer to this history. Our opinion, which we will try to deliver before 10 December, International Human Rights Day, will be sent to Monsanto and the United Nations. From this legal opinion, other jurisdictions can be involved and other judges will step in. As for us, we have seen, heard, taken note, and deliberated. And without doubt, new questions, such as those concerning ecocide, could be taken into account by international law.

What do you mean by “ecocide”?

This offence still does not exist and in order for that to happen, it first has to be precisely defined. Genocide is a crime against humanity aimed at the partial or total destruction of a group of persons because of their national, ethnic, racial or religious characteristics. Ecocide would be a “genocide” committed against the environment, environmental damage that would alter in a serious and long-lasting way the ecosystems upon which human life depends. The International Criminal Court here in The Hague has just decided, on 15 September, to include concerns about the environment in its field of investigation, so that is evolving.

The issues of access to water and to a healthy diet are old. They are not new issues generated in the minds of angry activists. And these issues, such as the right to a healthy environment, are likely to become increasingly important with climate change. It is our duty to put the legal tools in place to deal with these problems. The Monsanto Tribunal is a step and a tool in this process. 

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Europe is dependent on financial and energy resources of Moscow, according to a report by the Washington Center for strategic and international studies.

On October 13 in Washington, a study was published, “The Kremlin’s Playbook: Understanding the Russian Influence in Eastern and Central Europe”, which on the example of five countries – Latvia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Serbia, explains the mechanisms of the workings of the Kremlin with the economies of European states.

The study notes that when the countries of Eastern and Central Europe joined NATO and the EU in 2004, the expectations of European and American politicians were aimed at the “continuation by regional states of positive democratic and economic transformation”. However, analysts believe that more than ten years later, “the region has experienced a steady decline in democratic standards, while its economic cooperation with Russia has expanded significantly”.

“Over the last 10 years the share of Russia in the global trading system increased by almost four times: from $210 billion in 2003 to $730 billion in 2014, and Russia’s trade relations with the European Union accounted for 44% of the total,” — said the preamble of the report.

According to analysts, the work of Russia in Latvia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Serbia, is aimed at consolidating around itself the sympathetic politicians, dominance on energy markets and providing the most favorable economic partnerships. [How dare you Putin? – FR]

“In some countries, Russian influence has reached such proportions that it jeopardized their pro-Western orientation and Euro-Atlantic stability, as such,” reads the report.

According to the study, Latvia has a high dependence on the Russian economy (higher only in Bulgaria). “Latvia is 100% dependent on the energy sector of the Russian Federation, which, moreover, is the third largest market of the republic, and 11% of Latvian GDP comes from the transport sector, where the main flow of transit is provided by Russia”, — analysts say.

The report states that entrepreneurs are dependent on the Russian economy and the normal functioning of relations with Russia. Measures to prevent Russian influence proposed by the researchers, are analysis of financial flows coming from Russia and improvement of assistance programs to Eastern European governments. [More American/European tax-payer handouts! – FR]

“The United States can no longer be indifferent to these negative processes. All members of NATO and the European Union must collectively recognize that Russia’s influence is not only internal challenge to control, but a threat to national security,” – point US analysts.

The report was prepared by the Center for Strategic and international studies (CSIS) in collaboration with the Center for the Study of Democracy in Sofia. CSIS was created in Washington in 1962 at the initiative of the director of the CIA with the aim of “finding ways to sustain American prominence and prosperity as a force for peace”. Today, CSIS conducts research on policy issues and strategic analysis of political and economic challenges, with a particular focus on issues concerning international relations, trade, technology, finance and energy.

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The Great CETA Swindle – Signing Of Trade Deal Hits Last Minute Glitch

October 20th, 2016 by Corporate Europe Observatory

Today, Belgium followed a ‘no’ vote by two of its regional Parliaments on the controversial EU-Canada trade deal CETA, temporarily blocking the first step towards the treaty’s ratification in a meeting of EU trade ministers. A close look at the CETA – and a recent declaration designed by Brussels and Ottawa to reassure critics and gain support for its ratification – shows that concerns over CETA are well-founded.

Behind the PR attempts by the Canadian Government and the European Commission to sell CETA as a progressive agreement, it remains what it always has been: an attack on democracy, workers, and the environment.

truepublica.org.uk

As the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada has entered the ratification process, the controversial deal has faced massive waves of protest. A record 3.5 million people across Europe signed a petition against CETA and its twin agreement TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership). More than half a million took to the streets in opposition. And European and Canadian trade unions, as well as consumer, environmental and public health groups have called for the rejection of CETA.

The controversy has also reached governments and parliaments. More than 2,000 local and regional governments in 13 EU countries have declared themselves TTIP/CETA free zones, often in cross-party resolutions. National and regional parliaments, too, worry about CETA, for example in Belgium, France, Slovenia, Luxembourg, Ireland, and the Netherlands.

Last week, two Belgian Parliaments denied their federal government the authorisation to sign CETA, mentioning a long list of concerns ranging from threats to farmers and banking regulation to public services (see here and here). This is why Belgium could not sign CETA in today’s meeting of EU trade ministers as had been planned. For now, this puts the symbolic CETA signing, which was planned for next week’s EU-Canada summit, in limbo.

truepublica.org.uk

Whitewashing CETA, smearing critics

Over the past weeks, to salvage CETA’s ratification process, the European Commission, the Canadian Government as well as some EU governments and MEPs had gone into a massive propaganda mode. They have framed CETA as “a very progressive trade agreement” (European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström) which will “shape globalisation” along the principles of “fair trade” and in the interest of workers (Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier). The deal’s critics have been stigmatised as “trade hooligans” (European Council President Donald Tusk) who are “fuelling concerns and fears, which have no bearing on the actual CETA text” (Conservative MEPs Daniel Caspary and Elmar Brok). Parts of the media have joined the CETA cheerleading, claiming that “much of the criticism, which might be justified for TTIP, does not apply to CETA” (German news site Spiegel Online).

Let us now have a look at both key passages of the joint declaration as well as the actual text of the CETA deal, so that you can see through the big swindle, which the CETA supporters are currently staging to win support for what is actually a major assault on democracy, workers and the environment.

Swindle #1: CETA protects workers’ rights

The European Commission praises CETA’s “strong rules on the protection of labour rights”.

But the actual labour protections in CETA are poor. Chapter 23 on trade and labour is full of good intentions, such as that “a Party shall not… fail to effectively enforce its labour law and standards to encourage trade or investment” (article 23.4.3). But there is no penalty if EU countries, Canada, or companies operating there violate a provision like this. A violation of CETA’s labour rights would only result in a non-binding process of discussions and recommendations.

European and Canadian trade unions have proposed a protocol – to make CETA’s labour rules effectively enforceable. The issue is important for them as they fear that CETA would put labour standards at risk (as employers can more easily shift capital to locations where standards are weak and laxly enforced).

Many CETA rules are actually detrimental to the interests of working people: CETA’s intellectual property provisions will drive up drug prices; the rules on public procurement could lead to legal challenges when public authorities link their buying practices to social criteria such as the minimum wage or compliance with collective agreements; the market access rules in CETA’s services chapter may impair efforts to establish adequate staffing levels in hospitals or nursing homes; CETA’s foreign investor privileges could lead to expensive lawsuits against states when they don’t interfere in long-lasting strikes. The list goes on and on (see Making Sense of CETA for an analysis of CETA’s different chapters).

Finally, CETA is likely to lead to significant job losses. According to a September 2016 study from Tufts University, 200,000 jobs would be lost in the EU and 30,000 in Canada. The researchers also predict a politically dangerous rise in inequality on both sides of the Atlantic as the gains from CETA would overwhelmingly flow to owners of capital. Both forecasts reflect the experience under previous trade deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement NAFTA (see the assessmentof the US trade union confederation AFL-CIO).

So, rather than protecting workers as its cheerleaders claim, CETA promotes the wealth and power of a very few at the expense of workers. They get nothing but inconsequential feel-good rhetoric. The additional declaration does nothing to change that.

Swindle #2: CETA is a good deal for the environment

According to the European Commission, CETA contains “strong rules on the protection of… the environment”.

But the actual protections in the CETA text are weak. Like the chapter on labour, chapter 22 on sustainable development and chapter 23 on trade and environment contain sweet-sounding language on “trade supporting sustainable development”, “trade favouring environmental protection” and so on.

But like the labour chapter, CETA’s environmental provisions cannot be enforced through trade sanctions or financial penalties if they are violated. Victims of environmental abuse cannot bring a claim.

Also, CETA does not include provisions that would allow urgently needed environmental and climate policies to overrule, or otherwise be exempt from CETA rules that might endanger them.

There are many rules in CETA which will make it more difficult to fight climate change and protect the environment: CETA’s investor rights could trigger costly lawsuits from polluting companies when governments ban or regulate toxic dirty mines or want to phase-out fossil fuels; CETA’s liberalisations in the agricultural sector and the thin protections for high food production standards would expand an industrial model of farming that is already destroying the planet;  (See Making Sense of CETA for an analysis of the different CETA chapters.)

In short, the pro-environment rhetoric around CETA is pretty empty and meaningless. It is nothing but an attempt to greenwash a deal which poses real threats to the environment and strong action to save the planet from climate disaster.

truepublica.org.uk

Swindle #3: CETA’s investor rights do not endanger regulations to protect the environment, health and other public interests

According to the European Commission, CETA’s investment chapter “guarantees the right of EU governments to regulate in the interest of their citizens, while still encouraging foreign investors by protecting their investments”.

The critical point missing in this statement, as Canadian trade expert Scott Sinclair has explained at length, “is that while parties retain the right to regulate, they must do so in conformity with their CETA obligations and commitments”. And CETA’s chapter eight on investment contains the same wide-ranging ‘substantive’ rights for foreign investors as existing international treaties, which have been the legal basis for hundreds of investor lawsuits against states – including against regulations to protect health, the environment, and other public interests.

CETA’s investor rights could make politicians reluctant to enact desirable safeguards if those are opposed by big business. Examples of such regulatory chill include the above mentioned settlement between Germany and Vattenfall and the delayed implementation of anti-smoking rules in Canada and New Zealand, following lawsuit threats and actual claims by big tobacco.

So, rather than safeguarding the right to regulate as its proponents claim, CETA will force governments to pay when they regulate – whether it is to protect the environment, health or other public interests. And this threat alone is a sure-fire way to bully decision-makers, potentially curtailing desirable policymaking (particularly in combination with CETA’s domestic regulation and regulatory cooperation chapters, analysed in Making Sense of CETA).

Swindle #4: CETA protects public services like healthcare and water

In September, European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström assured the Austrian Parliament (and in nearly identical wording also the Belgian one): “What about public services – known here as “Daseinsvorsorge” – like healthcare? This agreement protects them. Unambiguously. Public authorities – local, regional and national – will continue to have full freedom to organise public services as they wish. There is no obligation on anyone to privatise anything. And if services have already been privatised they can be renationalised.”

The actual CETA text, however, is pretty dangerous for public services.

Probably the biggest threat to public services comes from the far-reaching foreign investor rights in CETA’s chapter eight.  This makes regulations in sensitive public service sectors such as education, water, health, social welfare, and pensions prone to all kinds of expensive investor claims.

Around the world, public service regulations have been targets of investor-state claims. When, in response to its 2001-2002 economic crisis, Argentina froze utility rates to secure people’s access to energy and water, it was hit by numerous lawsuits. Estonia is currently defending a €90 million claim over its refusal to increase water rates. (See Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing.

So, when Commissioner Malmström claims that “if services have already been privatised they can be renationalised” under CETA, she misses the point. Because governments could end up paying billions in compensation to foreign investors in return. The decision would be taken by a panel of for profit arbitrators (rather than independent judges), would be based on CETA’s extreme investor rights (rather than a country’s constitution, which balances the rights of property holders) and could include compensation for loss of expected future profits (which would not be compensable under most constitutions). Facing such an incalculable risk, governments might not go ahead with their plans to take services back into public hands – even when past privatisations have been failures.

CETA severely limits governments’ ability to create, expand, restore, and regulate public services. This threatens people’s rights to access services like water, health care, and energy, as well as labour conditions in these sectors. Claiming that CETA protects public services without changing the deal’s provisions that work to the contrary is wishful thinking, at best.

Swindle #5: CETA establishes an independent court to settle investor-state disputes

The European Commission claims that CETA establishes an investment court system (transformed into a proper “investment court” by parts of the media), which is “independent” and will settle disputes between investors, Canada, the EU and its member states in an “impartial manner”.

CETA’s chapter 8, section F on the “resolution of investment disputes between investors and states” grants corporations the right to bypass national courts and directly file highly enforceable multi-billion euro compensation claims against states in international tribunals. But the tribunals are not judicially independent. Rather, they have a built-in, pro-investor bias.

Under CETA, investor-state lawsuits would be decided by a tribunal of three for-profit arbitrators with vested interests. Unlike judges, they would not have a fixed salary, but be paid per case US$3,000 per day. In a one-sided system where only the investors can sue, this creates a strong systemic incentive to side with them – because as long as the system pays out for investors, more claims and more money will be coming to the arbitrators.

So, while CETA proponents praise its “independent court”, what the agreement actually does is establish a dispute settlement process which is heavily slanted in favour of foreign investors – and has very little to do with a court.

Swindle #6: CETA will uphold standards to protect people and the environment

According to European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, CETA will “fully uphold Europe’s high standards”. On its website, the Commission even claims that “standards and regulations related to food safety, product safety, consumer protection, health, environment, social or labour standards etc. will remain untouched” (emphasis added).

But several chapters in CETA directly contradict those empty words designed to reassure.

Take electronic waste for instance. In 1998, a proposal from the European Commission backed by the European Parliament included plans to ban hazardous substances in electronic waste. Through a dialogue process bearing all the traits of regulatory cooperation under CETA, US officials and business lobbyists attacked the proposal, referring to its much vaunted negative impacts on transatlantic trade. In 2002, when the waste directive was adopted, the hazardous substances part had been significantly weakened. It took a court case by the Danish government and the European Parliament to finally take one substance which was to be banned in the original proposal (deca-BDE) off the EU market – ten years after it was first proposed. This is the power of regulatory cooperation. (For this and other examples from the EU-US context, see the report Dangerous Regulatory Duet and the analysis of CETA’s regulatory cooperation chapter in Making Sense of CETA.)

Ellen Gould from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has pictured how CETA would “exert enormous pressures on governments to never take… important initiatives”. Referring to the 1997 French ban on hazardous asbestos, she writes: “If CETA had been in place, Canada and its asbestos industry would have had many powerful tools to keep the French ban from ever coming into being. The asbestos industry could have threatened a CETA investor-state suit demanding billions in compensation; the ban could have been opposed by companies using asbestos arguing it had not been established in advance of when they got their licenses;… through CETA’s regulatory co-operation provisions, Canada would have been able to attack the ban in closed door meetings even before French citizens were advised it was being considered. And finally, if these efforts had failed, as a CETA party Canada could have demanded delays in implementation of the ban, giving the asbestos lobby more time to fight it.”

So, rather than upholding social, environmental, or health standards, CETA poses a real risk of lowering them. It results in heavy additional burden on regulators and strengthens the role of business lobbyists in the development of regulations, potentially undermining not only the development of much needed regulations, but also our democracies.

A top draw for corporations

The European Commission and the Canadian Government are pitching CETA as “the most forward-looking free trade agreement that Canada or the EU have ever negotiated”. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has called it “our best and most progressive trade agreement”.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

CETA is a long list of what governments and parliaments are not allowed to do. For example, if they want to fight climate change. Or social inequality. Or regulate banks. Or reverse failed privatisations. Or tackle any other of the pressing problems of our times. In fact, CETA will worsen many of these problems. And CETA can force governments to pay when they choose to press ahead with pro-people and environmental policies for which they have been elected by their citizens.

Rather than the “best” trade agreement for the citizens of Canada and the EU, CETA clearly is a top draw for corporations on both sides of the Atlantic. With CETA, they get ample new ammunition to bully governments and local authorities over regulations which could hamper their profits.

By Corporate Europe Observatory. The above article is summarized version. Read the full article HERE

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It took 3 million soldiers, 3,000 tanks, 7,000 artillery pieces, and 2,500 aircraft…

“Operation Barbarossa” was the code name for Nazi Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941.

It was the largest military operation in human history.

The Nazis had already conquered most of Europe. Hitler had grown overconfident from his recent military victories.

Now he was hunting for big game… Stalin’s USSR.

Throughout history, many European invaders, including Napoleon, suffered monumental defeats when they took on Russia. Despite this, Hitler thought he could succeed where they had failed.

The idea was to inflict a total defeat on the Soviets in a matter of months, before the notoriously brutal Russian winter began.

At first, it looked like the Germans might succeed. The Soviets were taken by surprise and were disorganized.

But those initial victories wouldn’t be enough. Thanks to stubborn resistance and a large number of Soviet troops, Operation Barbarossa stalled.

The Germans didn’t make it to Moscow before winter. The ruthless cold weather would prove to be a far more effective weapon than anything in the Soviet arsenal. Hitler’s hopes of quickly taking out the USSR perished in the brutal cold. It ultimately turned the tide of the war against Germany.

But the Soviet victory cost millions of lives. By the end of the war, the Soviets had lost over 20 million people. Some estimate they lost many millions more. By comparison, the U.S. lost around 400,000 people.

So, it shouldn’t be surprising that the Russians get a little prickly when a foreign military starts marching toward their borders.

And recently… for the first time since Operation Barbarossa, German tanks are once again advancing on Russia’s border.

You probably haven’t heard this extraordinary piece of news. That’s because the mass media has basically ignored and obscured it. They’ve been busy covering far more important things… like transgender issues and Kim Kardashian’s latest stunt.

That’s why I want to tell you about Operation Anaconda 2016.

It’s the largest war game in Eastern Europe since the end of the Cold War. It’s essentially a rehearsal to secure a quick NATO victory in the event of war with Russia.

It was launched from Warsaw, Poland, recently and involves 31,000 NATO troops.

Operation Anaconda 2016 is one of the most important stories you’re not hearing about. It shows how perilously close the world is to another global war.

I found out about Operation Anaconda 2016 while in Warsaw with Doug Casey earlier this year.

Operation Anaconda 2016 is controversial even within NATO. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier recently said:

“Whoever believes that a symbolic tank parade on the alliance’s eastern border will bring security is mistaken. We are well advised to not create pretexts to renew an old confrontation.”

Although Steinmeier said Operation Anaconda 2016 is symbolic, he failed to mention exactly what it symbolizes.

First, an Anaconda is a giant snake. It kills its prey by squeezing it. From the Russian perspective, they’re the ones who feel squeezed. This is precisely what the U.S. has been doing by fomenting so-called colored revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia (both on Russia’s periphery) and trying to absorb them into NATO.

Second, this unprecedented “tank parade” on Russia’s borders symbolizes nothing less than World War III.

According to Doug Casey:

It’s provocative, and actually quite insane. The Western media paints the Russians as the aggressors, which—let me shock you by saying this—is the opposite of the truth.

Russia is an economic minnow, producing nothing but oil and gas, and mostly unprofitably, at current prices. Its population is in permanent decline, and it’s actually a disintegrating empire with a dozen secession movements. Its only serious industrial sector is manufacturing weapons, but even the most advanced Sukhois and MiGs (like the F-22 and F-35) are artifacts of a bygone era.

The Russians aren’t in a position to threaten anyone—entirely apart from the fact that conquering neighboring countries no longer makes sense. In today’s world, you’re no longer acquiring an asset to be looted, but taking on a liability.

As for NATO, it’s outlived its usefulness by over 25 years. The huge military bureaucracy is just a hammer in search of a nail. It should be abolished before it gets everyone in a lot of trouble.)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has reacted to Operation Anaconda 2016 with alarm. At a recent press conference, he warned Western mainstream media journalists that the world is sleepwalking into World War 3, saying:

We know year by year what’s going to happen, and they know that we know. It’s only you that they tell tall tales to, and you buy it, and spread it to the citizens of your countries. Your people in turn do not feel a sense of the impending danger—this is what worries me.

How do you not understand that the world is being pulled in an irreversible direction? While they pretend that nothing is going on. I don’t know how to get through to you anymore.

U.S. politicians like to use Putin as a piñata to show how tough they are. Hillary Clinton has declared Putin to be the new Hitler. This is the kind of thinking that fueled Operation Anaconda 2016.

Now, we’re not referees charged with deciding which political players are good guys and which are bad guys.

However, the portrait of Putin as a Hitler or a crazy man leading his country toward disaster—the picture you get from the mainstream media and from many politicians—is suitable only for propaganda posters.

I don’t give two you-know-whats about what happens in Eastern Europe, except to the extent it might spark World War 3 and cause us to get vaporized in a nuclear exchange.

Albert Einstein once said,

“I know not with what weapons World War 3 will be fought, but World War 4 will be fought with sticks and stones.”

IM Editor’s note:

It’s always been true, as Bourne said, that “war is the health of the State.” But it’s especially true when economic times get tough. That’s because governments like to blame their problems on outsiders; even an imagined foreign threat tends to unify opinions around those of the leaders.

Since economies around the world are all weakening, and political leaders are all similar in essential mindset, there’s good reason to believe the trend toward World War 3 is accelerating.

Unfortunately, there’s little any individual can do to practically change the trajectory of this trend in motion. The best you can and should do is to stay informed so that you can protect yourself in the best way possible and even profit from the situation.

That’s exactly why New York Times best-selling author Doug Casey and his team just released an urgent video. Click here to watch it now.

Nick Gianbruno is Doug Casey’s globetrotting companion and is the Senior Editor of Casey Research’s International Man. He writes about economics, offshore banking, second passports, value investing in crisis markets, geopolitics, and surviving a financial collapse, among other topics. He is a CFA charterholder. In short, Nick’s work helps people make the most of their personal freedom and financial opportunity around the world. To get his free video crash course, click here.

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As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton led a team committed to delegitimizing the politics of the late Hugo Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution.

While Hillary Clinton publicly welcomed improved relations with Venezuela as secretary of state, she privately ridiculed the country and continued to support destabilization efforts, revealed her emails leaked by WikiLeaks.

In 2010, Clinton asked Arturo Valenzuela, then assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs, how “to rein in Chavez.” Valenzuela responded that, “We need to carefully consider the consequences of publicly confronting him but ought to look at opportunities for others in the region to help.”

His answer was in line with the U.S. embassy strategy in 2006, also revealed in WikiLeaks intelligence cables: “Creative U.S. outreach to Chavez’ regional partners will drive a wedge between him and them,” said the confidential cable from the embassy. “By refusing to take each of Chavez’s outbursts seriously, we frustrate him even more, paving the way for additional Bolivarian miscalculations. We also allow room for other international actors to respond.”

Spain was among the countries willing to help the U.S. in its subversive foreign relations strategy. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright passed on a message from the administration of conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in 2012 expressing intentions “to re-orient Spanish foreign policy so that it can work with the U.S. in Latin America, especially on Venezuela and Cuba … As a transition in Cuba and something significant in Venezuela (and possibly the Andes) loom, a stronger working relationship between the U.S. and Spain could be very helpful.”

When keeping an eye on regional meetings, Clinton was especially concerned with Venezuela. Responding to a United Nations statement against the coup in Honduras in 2009—that she supported—Clinton shifted the attention to Venezuela: “Ok—but have they ever condemned Venezuela for denying press freedom?” she wrote to Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan.

He responded “I highly doubt it. And that is just the tip of the iceberg,” to which Clinton wrote, “Ah, the proverbial iceberg.”

Clinton was cautious not to respond to all of Hugo Chavez’s “antics,” but her staff insisted that Venezuelan politics were a threat to U.S. interests.

An email advising how to spend USAID funds strongly suggested refraining from backing leftist states like Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Cuba because the money “could undermine real democratic development to hand over ‘ownership’ to populist centralizers.”

Clinton should use language like “‘local ownership’ in a nuanced way” to avoid having her words “used against her by demagogues and kleptocrats,” said the email. Any funds channeled into such unreliable states, it added, must be accompanied by “(h)uman behavioral changes.”

International aid to Venezuela was siphoned off, but broadcasts to counter local “propaganda” were amplified.

The Broadcasting Board of Governors—which runs the Marti stations, Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks—requested more funding in a 2010 email forwarded to Clinton to “combat the public diplomacy efforts of America’s ‘enemies,’ which he (chairman Walter Isaacson) identifies as Iran, Venezuela, Russia, and China.”

 The BBG, with a US$700 million annual budget—now increased to over US$750 million, though not because of Clinton—was “facing increased competition from other governments’ forays into international broadcasting … including Venezuela’s teleSUR.”

A month later, when the board was facing cuts, Cuban-born Florida Senator Ileana Ros-Lehtinen suggested focusing resources on high-priority countries like Cuba, Venezuela and Ecuador.

“Let the fun begin—and let’s keep going w(ith) our plans,” responded Clinton.

Another leaked email from Stratfor described the BBG as “responsible for the radio and TV aggressions against Cuba,” which received its own category of state funding of nearly US$40 million. The board separated from State Department control in 1999, officially becoming an independent agency. “Congress agreed that credibility of U.S. international broadcasting was crucial to its effectiveness as a public diplomacy tool,” according to Congress’s 2008 budget on foreign operations.

While giving the cold shoulder to Venezuela, Clinton was cozy with Latin American players that opposed the country’s leftist politics.

Her counselor and chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, forwarded her a recommendation for Mari Carmen Aponte to be appointed as U.S. ambassador to El Salvador. Aponte, noted the email, “has consistently fought Cuba and Venezuela’s efforts to gain influence in Central America and as a result of her negotiating skills, the U.S. and El Salvador will open a new, jointly-funded, electronic monitoring center that will be an invaluable tool in fighting transnational crime.”

She won the appointment and later became assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs.

Clinton also drew fire for saying, “We’re winning!” when the Venezuelan opposition won a majority of seats in parliament in 2015 and for serving as secretary of state while the National Security Administration regularly spied on Venezuela.

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Canadá: La colonización continúa

October 20th, 2016 by Mario R. Fernández

Es mucho el peso que acarrean sobre sus espaldas, en sufrimientos y abusos,  los pueblos aborígenes de toda América y los pueblos de África y de Asia. La pesadilla comenzó cuando una perspectiva de dominar el mundo bajo el ideario del cristianismo se hizo ideología dominante en Europa a comienzos del primer milenio de la nueva era. Este proyecto de dominación que se tomó casi 500 años en hacerse realidad tiene marca fundamental en 1492 porque comienza allí el genocidio y el terror contra los pueblos aborígenes de América, genocidio que aún no termina y que parece envenenar a la civilización occidental. Esta reflexión viene al caso por la reciente celebración del día de gracias, que así se le llama en Canadá a la celebración que junta a los amigos y a las familias alrededor del pavo tradicional el 12 de octubre cada año y que en España se celebra como el Día de la Hispanidad, que ya queda subido de tono llamarle como antes el Día de la Raza.Canadá, a la vez colonizado y colonizador, no es ajeno al genocidio de los pueblos aborígenes ni a la opresión de gentes de otros pueblos en su propio territorio y fuera de él.  En estas últimas décadas el gobierno federal canadiense ha tratado de pedir disculpas y pagar indemnizaciones por muchos de esos maltratos, no parece que esto alcance para deshacer el daño hecho en particular en el caso de la población aborigen, que en Canadá es de más 1,4 millones de personas (es decir el 4,3 por ciento la población del país) siempre de acuerdo a las definiciones de la constitución canadiense de Nativos o miembros de la Primera Nación, Mètis o descendientes mezclados de esta, y Inuit (Esquimales). Existen más de 615 comunidades de la Primera Nación, 53 asentamientos Mètis y 8 comunidades Inuit, que hablan 60 idiomas aborígenes de una familia de 11 lenguas y de más de 50 grupos culturales. El gobierno reconoce a todas las culturas aborígenes y que estos han ocupado ancestralmente las tierras hoy conocidas como Canadá y que lo han hecho de tiempos inmemorables, pero esto no impide que haya cientos de reclamos territoriales sin resolver, o mal resueltos, desde hace mucho tiempo y tampoco impide que a pesar de este reconocimiento legal estos pueblos originarios hayan vivido, incluso durante el auge en los años sesenta del Estado de Bienestar Social canadiense, una realidad muchas veces cruel y que esta realidad se continúe en nuestros días.

Los pueblos aborígenes son quienes más sufren la pobreza, el racismo y la discriminación en Canadá. Es tanto que incluso muchos inmigrantes se muestran racistas frente a los aborígenes. La policía, ambas las federales y las de cada ciudad muestran diferentes grados de racismo y el racismo también existe a nivel del poder judicial.  Los aborígenes en las reservas, que son el 44 por ciento del total, como los que viven en centros urbanos sufren de problemas de salud serios que van desde la diabetes, a la tuberculosis y la cirrosis, y de adicciones  al alcohol y otras drogas que afectan al 70 por ciento de ellos. La violencia familiar es una realidad que enfrentan las mujeres aborígenes adultas y las niñas; el 50 por ciento de esposas o convivientes con hijos sufren violencia familiar y muchos de los afectados son casos serios que terminan en homicidios y en suicidios. Los suicidios se han transformado en epidémicos entre los aborígenes. Los asesinatos a mujeres aborígenes también son epidémicos; entre 1980 y el año 2012 fueron asesinadas y/o desaparecidas 1.181 mujeres aborígenes en este país y se sospecha que en la mayoría de estos casos sufrieron violencia a manos de esposos o convivientes. En términos de educación la población aborigen canadiense también es afectada, sabemos que el 20 por ciento de todos los aborígenes canadienses no completa su educación secundaria. Sabemos también que son más afectados por el desempleo, en parte porque viven en zonas de mayor tasa de desempleo, por lo que sufren índices de más del 20 por ciento de desempleo. Los aborígenes, hombres y mujeres, están sobre representados en cárceles y prisiones de Canadá; hay más de 5000 aborígenes presos y presas, constituyendo el 26 por ciento de todos los presos y presas canadienses. Las mujeres aborígenes representan el 36 por ciento de las presas del país, mientras que los hombres aborígenes representan el 24 por ciento de los presos del país. Hace tres décadas el numero era el 10 por ciento, el incremento se debe según la justicia canadiense al aumento del consumo de alcohol y drogas.  En las reservas aborígenes el 20 por ciento de las casas están sobre pobladas y la mayoría de ellas requieren reparaciones, se necesitan más de 5000 viviendas nuevas para acomodar las necesidades de habitación de la población aborigen en las reservas.

El gobierno federal de Canadá reconoció hace unas semanas atrás los daños y abusos que le causara hace ya 60 años a una comunidad de Sayisi Dene, un grupo  de las Primeras Naciones, y les pidió disculpas oficialmente. Esta comunidad Sayisi Dene vivía desde tiempos ancestrales en su lugar llamado Little Duck Lake al norte de la provincia de Manitoba; en 1956 y por orden del gobierno canadiense los Sayisi Dene fueron sacados de su lugar en donde vivían con suficientes alimentos, agua y familiaridad, y fueron reubicados en la bahía de Churchill lugar para ellos no familiar y donde sufrieron hambre, falta de vivienda y apoyo, racismo, violencia y desolación. La excusa del gobierno de entonces era que los Sayisi Dene eran responsables del declive de la población del reno o caribú, argumento que más tarde se probara totalmente falso. En este traslado, que fue forzoso ya que no se les consultó a ellos en nada antes de tomar la decisión, fue causa de la muerte de un tercio de la población Sayisi Dene.  El gobierno federal de entonces no cumplió las promesas que les hizo a los Sayisi Dene de ayudarlos en forma suficiente para facilitar el traslado impuesto, el apoyo que les dio fue tan mínimo e insuficiente que se repitió el genocidio histórico que ha ilustrado a la colonización. En todos los medios de comunicación canadienses la noticia de la disculpa oficial del gobierno federal de Canadá y su indemnización a los Sayisi Dene por un monto de 33,6 millones de dólares canadienses fue notable, indemnización que los Sayisi Dene pueden utilizar en desarrollo económico de su comunidad, que desde 1973 han regresado a su lugar de origen en Little Duck Lake, ilustra una reacción clásica en este país: algunos canadienses no aborígenes no están de acuerdo en que se le paguen indemnizaciones a los aborígenes, otros lo ven como algo necesario para curar el pasado de opresión de la sociedad blanca sobre los grupos originarios de este país, y los menos están  de acuerdo en la necesidad de tomar responsabilidad por los abusos y crímenes del pasado pero entienden que se requieren cambios más radicales que ayuden a generar una sociedad libre de opresión, racismo, discriminación,  explotación o tendremos que pasar toda la vida disculpándonos de los atropellos que continuamos generando.

En septiembre del 2007, el gobierno de Canadá aceptó su responsabilidad y pidió disculpas, pagó indemnización a los niños y niñas aborígenes por la imposición vergonzosa, el abuso y el crimen que sufrieron en las Escuelas Residenciales Indias (internados) desde 1840 que, aunque administradas por las iglesias Anglicana, Prebisteriana, Baustista, Católica y la Iglesia Unida de Canadá, que fueron contratadas por el gobierno federal de entonces para reeducar a niños y niñas aborígenes sacados de sus comunidades a la fuerza para que atendieran estas escuelas donde se les prohibía el uso de su lengua materna (nativa) y sus costumbres culturales, se los separaba de sus familias y se los sometía a un genocidio cultural y a abuso emocional, y muchas veces físico y sexual, e incluso a asaltos que se transformaron en homicidios. Estos establecimientos llegaron a ser 80 en número para 1931, y por ellos pasaron más de 150.000 niños y niñas. Fueron finalmente clausurados en 1996 pero dejaron generaciones de aborígenes traumatizados y de familias aborígenes destruidas; muchos de estos niños y niñas fueron dañados para el resto de sus vidas.  El Papa Benedicto XVl se disculpó en el 2009 por el daño que su Iglesia Católica  causara a estos menores. En realidad los abusos han sido tan ofensivos y dolorosos que las disculpas y las indemnizaciones son solamente un primer paso en lidiar con ellos, no como muchos canadienses quieren creer una solución final y definitiva.  En realidad se requiere un cambio mucho más fundamental de actitud en occidente. Se trata de respetar a otros seres humanos con diferentes perspectivas,  conductas y creencias que las judeo-cristianas (que occidente favorece); de respetarlos también en su visibilidad cuando eligen vivir con perspectivas diferentes a la judeo-cristiana. La actitud de respeto tiene que incluir además varios ejes, lo que se entiende por cultura, lo que se entiende por estatus socio económico, lo que se entiende por sexualidad, lo que se entiende por género, todos los ejes en que los seres humanos explicitamos diversidad.

El sujeto colonizador ha también cambiado, y se sigue generando atropello y opresión no solamente a los pueblos aborígenes sino que a todos los que sufren explotación  y se les trata  con desprecio.  Desde hace 30 años ha emergido en Canadá un nuevo sujeto colonizador que son las compañías mineras canadienses; estas elevadas a casi santidad y alabadas por los medios de prensa en Canadá como “creadores” de oportunidades y riquezas. Los nuevos conquistadores son simplemente explotadores de recursos mineros en, principalmente, países del Tercer Mundo, muchos con altos índices de pobreza y de poblaciones aborígenes y campesinas dominadas por oligarquías nacionales focalizadas en su propio beneficio y que en nada respetan ni el bienestar de sus compatriotas ni la defensa del patrimonio nacional. Estas oligarquías simplemente favorecen la explotación que llevan a cabo estas corporaciones, las dejan libre de hacer lo que quieran con el lugar explotado y su gente y las eximen de toda responsabilidad por el daño que hacen. Canadá se ha convertido en el más importante centro de corporaciones mineras, el 75 por ciento de todas las compañías mineras del mundo tiene su base en Canadá; se trata de más de 1200 corporaciones que operan en 100 países, de estas 1200 solamente 60 tienen categoría de grandes, la mayoría explotan el mineral del oro, luego el cobre y el níquel. Los valores de estas compañías suman más 130.000 millones de dólares, internacionalmente tienen una propiedad del 90 por ciento de las minas explotadas, los principales países donde operan son México, Chile y Estados Unidos.

Las corporaciones colonizadoras mineras canadienses disfrutan no sólo de un amplio renombre en la sociedad canadiense, que algunos con absurdo patriotismo las entienden como muy valerosas, sino que también cuentan con apoyo tecnológico, excepciones de impuestos y regalías de parte del gobierno federal de Canadá y de los gobiernos provinciales canadiense. La mayoría de los gastos de relaciones públicas, la propaganda que las corporaciones hacen, las hacen a través de agencias estatales como CIDA y CIIEID y de Organizaciones No Gubernamentales, que contribuyen creando programas “sociales” y “educacionales” de corta duración y focalizados a mejorar la imagen de estas corporaciones en el Tercer Mundo donde operan, que de invasoras, depredadoras y usurpadoras pasan a verse como vehículos de progreso y creadoras de trabajo.  A pesar de la efectiva estrategia usada, han existido focos de resistencia al despojo, la explotación y la contaminación que estas empresas generan en varios países. Por ejemplo, en Guatemala en la mina de Marlín, donde hubo implicaciones de homicidios contra activistas dentro de territorios aborígenes, como también en Honduras, en el Valle de Siria, donde se han violado los derechos humanos y hay continuas amenazas de asesinatos contra activistas en defensa de la tierra.  En África los crímenes de las compañías mineras canadiense no ha sido poca cosa, por ejemplo una compañía canadiense que opera en Eritrea ha sido demandada en la corte suprema de la provincia de British Columbia (Canadá) por someter a tres personas a la esclavitud. En otra situación en R.D. del Congo, en la localidad de Kilwa un puerto usado por una compañía minera canadiense, el ejército congoleño en el 2004 fue llamado a contener una pequeña protesta en contra de la minera y esto resultó en una masacre, donde se empleó la ejecución, la tortura, numerosas violaciones y saqueos contra los habitantes de este pueblo, tanto que las Naciones Unidas concluyeron que el 70 por ciento de los habitantes del lugar fueron asesinados, y la compañía tuvo que reconocer haberle brindado apoyo logístico al ejército congoleño (con vehículos y aviones de transporte de su propiedad) para que este realizara la masacre, todo documentado por el CCIJ (Canadian Centre for International Justice).

Incluso en territorio canadiense, se hace evidente el colonialismo de las compañías mineras y de las compañías de la industria del petróleo y del gas, que violan territorios aborígenes y los tratan de comprar para realizar sus proyectos, lo que se ha convertido en una pesadilla para los pueblos aborígenes que enfrentan continuo hostigamiento de corporaciones que cuentan con el apoyo de las autoridades administrativas y políticas del país. Y a pesar de que aborígenes y otros activistas que solidarizan con ellos  han sufrido represión y cárcel, la lucha continúa. En realidad estas comunidades en lucha en Canadá están no sólo protegiendo sus tierras sino la salud del medio ambiente, lo que nos afecta a todos.  En Canadá las corporaciones también actúan de mala fe y gestionan en contra de los mismos trabajadores que hacen posible la explotación y producción de minerales –ver por ejemplo el artículo titulado “Canada´s Mining Industry and Popular Resistance” del Socialist Project  publicado por Global Research que muestra varios videos ilustrando  esta situación.

Los primeros conquistadores en América tenían que pagar tributos, o parte de lo que saqueaban, a la Corona pero los conquistadores de hoy, por ejemplo las mineras canadienses, se lo llevan todo, no sólo no contribuyen nada al estado ni a la sociedad canadiense sino que por el contrario estas las subvencionan, o sea que nos quitan. Han pasado cientos de años en que los agresores y ricos occidentales  se han beneficiados de las conquistas, aunque estas han implicado genocidio, opresión y explotación contra pueblos aborígenes u originarios y contra trabajadores. Pero, en el transcurso de todo este tiempo la mentalidad de los conquistadores convertidos en corporaciones no ha cambiado, su desprecio por la vida y el medio ambiente es el mismo.  Durante un período del siglo 20, los movimientos  sindicales, políticos y revolucionarios pusieron en alerta a los conquistadores del mundo de que no podían siempre imponerse por la fuerza. En el siglo 21, sin embargo, los conquistadores se sienten nuevamente libres de ejercer su oficio y de hacerlo sin que nadie los responsabilice, o los haga pagar, por sus abusos. Se demuestra claramente que el avance civilizatorio no aplica a ellos.

 Mario R. Fernández

 

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Video: Interview of Syria’s First Lady Asma Al-Assad

October 19th, 2016 by Asma al-Assad

Syria’s First Lady, Asma al-Assad delivers her first public interview with foreign media.

We bring to the attention of Global Research readers her interview with Russia’s Channel 24 TV.

It is important that Americans across the land take cognizance of the voice of Syria’s First Lady, acknowledge her humanitarian mandate and commitment outside the realm of mainstream media propaganda. 

While Obama and the US media have persistently described the war in Syria as the result of sectarian conflicts opposing the Allawite minority and the Sunni majority, they fail to acknowledge that the First Lady Asma Al Assad is Sunni.

The war on Syria is the result of US-NATO aggression and support of terrorist organizations.

With the ongoing U.S. presidential election campaign, an increasingly large number of Americans consider that what is required is “Regime Change” in the USA, rather than in Syria. (M.Ch. GR Editor) 

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The Iraqi army started a large operation to liberate Mosul from Islamic State jihadists. But the forces, in total some 40,000, are still several dozen kilometers away from the city limits. They will have to capture several towns and villages and pass many IED obstacles before coming near to the center and house to house fighting. It might take many month to eliminated the last stay-behind ISIS cells in Mosul.

About one million civilians live in Mosul. Many, many more than in east-Aleppo. Many of them were sympathetic with the new overlords when ISIS stormed in two years ago. French, American, Kurdish, Iraqi and Turkish artillery are pounding them now. Airstrikes attack even the smallest fighting position. When the city will be conquered it will likely be destroyed. The imminent fight over Mosul might be the reason why John Kerry dialed down his hypocritical howling over east-Aleppo in Syria which is under attack from Syrian and Russian forces.

The attack on Mosul proceeds on three axes. From the north Kurdish Peshmerga under U.S. special force advisors lead the fighting. Iraqi forces attack from the east and south. The way to the west, towards Syria, is open. The intend of the U.S. is to let ISIS fighters, several thousand of them, flee to Deir Ezzor and Raqqa in Syria. They are needed there to further destroy the Syrian state.

We pointed out here that this move will create the “Salafist principality” the U.S. and its allies have striven to install in east-Syria since 2012. The “mistake” of the U.S. bombing of Syrian army positions in Deir Ezzor was in support of that plan. Other commentators finally catch up with that conclusion.

The Turks are openly talking about such an escape plan for ISIS in Mosul. The Turkish news agency Anadolu published this “sensitive” operations plan. Point 4 says:

An escape corridor into Syria will be left for Daesh so they can vacate Mosul

Two points in the Turkish plan will not come true.

  • The Iraqi government has ordered that no Turkish troops take part in the Mosul operation and will designate them as enemies should they try.
  • The Sunni “Nineveh Guard”, trained by Turkey, paid by the Saudis and led by the former Anbar governor Atheel al-Nujaifi, will also be excluded.

It was the Saudi proxy al-Nujaifi who practically handed Anbar over to ISIS by ordering his troops to flee when ISIS attacked. He and his Saudi and Turkish sponsors want to create an independent Sunni statelet in west Iraq just like the Kurds created their own entity within north Iraq.

The U.S. hopes that the influx of ISIS fighters into Syria will keep the Russians and Iranians trapped in the “quagmire” Obama prescribed and finally destroy the Syrian state. It seems to have mostly given up on other plans. The U.S. military now acknowledges that fighting the Russian air defense in Syria would be a real challenge:

“It’s not like we’ve had any shoot at an F-35,” the official said of the next-generation U.S. fighter jet. “We’re not sure if any of our aircraft can defeat the S-300.”

There is a “no-fly zone” over west-Syria and it is the Russians who control it. All U.S. and Turkish talk about such a zone is moot. The Obama administration has for now also given up on other plans. The recent National Security Council meeting deferred on further decisions:

Consideration of other alternatives, including the shipment of arms to U.S.-allied Kurdish forces in Syria, and an increase in the quantity and quality of weapons supplied to opposition fighters in Aleppo and elsewhere, were deferred until later, officials said. U.S. military action to stop Syrian and Russian bombing of civilians was even further down the list of possibilities.

The only U.S. “hope” for its Syria plans is now the facilitation of another ISIS influx. That and the CIA coordinated actions of its allies. The Saudis Foreign Minister announced that his country will increase weapons flow to its al-Qaeda proxies in Syria. The “rebels” are still receiving TOW anti-tank missiles and other heavy weapons.

Turkish proxy forces, some Syrians, some “Turkmen” from Chechnya and elsewhere, have taken Dabiq from ISIS. The village is said to become a focal point of a future apocalyptic Christian-Muslim battle. A lot of “western” commentators pointed to that as a reason why ISIS would fight for it. But that battle is only predicted for the period after the return of the Mahdi which has not been announced. The current ideological value of Dabiq is therefore low and, like in Jarablus, ISIS cooperated well and moved out before the Turkish proxies moved in.

The Russians had allowed Turkey to enter Syria only within a limit of some 15 kilometers south of the Turkish border. Heavy artillery would have to stay on the Turkish side. The sole original purpose of the Turkish invasion was to prevent a Kurdish corridor from the eastern Kurdish areas in Syria to Afrin in the west. Such a corridor would have limited ISIS access to Turkey.

The Kurdish corridor has been prevented and ISIS access to Turkish controlled areas and Turkey itself is as open as ever. The Turkish military sees this as sufficient for its aims:

Taking control of Dabiq had eliminated the threat to Turkey from rockets fired by the jihadists, the Turkish Armed Forces said in a written statement.

The Turkish military wants to halt the operation. But Erdogan and his proxies forces want to go further south and west to attack the Syrian army encirclement of east-Aleppo:

President Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Sunday Dabiq’s liberation was a “strategic and symbolic victory” against Islamic State.He told Reuters it was important strategically that the Turkey-backed forces continue their advance toward the Islamic State stronghold of al-Bab.

To move to al-Bab Turkish artillery, with its units relying on conscripts, would have to move south of the Turkish-Syrian border. Any attack on them by the Syrian or Russian forces would thus become legal. Kurdish guerilla would be a constant threat. This explains the new split between the Turkish military and political forces. It will be interesting to watch how that dispute develops.

For Thursday the Russian command announced a unilateral temporary ceasefire in east-Aleppo to let the Jihadis move out. British and other special forces, said to be embedded with al-Qaeda, will be happy for the chance to leave.

In Iraq some Shia militia are moving towards Tal Afar to cut of the ISIS path to the west. Russia promised to take political and military measures should it detect an ISIS move. In east-Syria the Russian and Syrian air-forces, Hizbullah and more Shia militia from Iraq are now preparing surprises for the expected ISIS influx from Mosul. How much can they risk when the U.S. provides further air-support for the ISIS move?

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Washington Moves To Silence WikiLeaks

October 19th, 2016 by Bill Van Auken

The cutting off of Internet access for Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, is one more ugly episode in a US presidential election campaign that has plumbed the depths of political degradation.

Effectively imprisoned in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for over four years, Assange now is faced with a further limitation on his contact with the outside world.

On Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry of Ecuador confirmed WikiLeaks’ charge that Ecuador itself had ordered the severing of Assange’s Internet connection under pressure from the US government. In a statement, the ministry said that WikiLeaks had “published a wealth of documents impacting on the US election campaign,” adding that the government of Ecuador “respects the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states” and “does not interfere in external electoral processes.” On that grounds, the statement claimed, the Ecuadorian government decided to “restrict access” to the communications network at its London embassy.

This statement from the bourgeois government of Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa is a study in hypocrisy and cowardice. By abetting the US government’s suppression of WikiLeaks, Quito has intervened in the US elections on the side of the ruling establishment and against the rights of the American people. If Correa expects that his professed sensitivity toward the “principle of non-intervention” will be reciprocated, he should recall the fate of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, who was toppled in a coup orchestrated by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2009.

WikiLeaks cited reports that Secretary of State John Kerry had demanded that the government of Ecuador carry out the action “on the sidelines of the negotiations” surrounding the abortive Colombian peace accord last month in Bogota. The US government intervened to prevent any further exposures that could damage the campaign of Clinton, who has emerged as the clear favorite of the US military and intelligence complex as well as the Wall Street banks.

Whether the State Department was the only entity placing pressure on Ecuador on behalf of the Clinton campaign, or whether Wall Street also intervened directly, is unclear. The timing of the Internet cutoff, in the immediate aftermath of the release of Clinton’s Goldman Sachs speeches, may be more than coincidental.

In the spring of 2014, the government of Ecuador agreed to transfer more than half of its gold reserves to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. for three years, in an attempt to raise cash to cover a growing deficit brought on by the collapse in oil prices. It reportedly sent 466,000 ounces of gold to Goldman Sachs, worth about $580 million at the time, in return for “high security” financial instruments and an anticipated profit on its investment. It is hardly a stretch of the imagination to believe that such a relationship would give Goldman Sachs considerable leverage in relation to the Ecuadorian government.

In any case, it is evident that the US ruling establishment is growing increasingly desperate to stanch the flow of previously secret emails and documents that are exposing the real character not only of Clinton, but of capitalist politics as a whole. While WikiLeaks has released over 17,000 emails from the account of Clinton campaign manager and top establishment Democrat John Podesta, it is believed that there are more than 33,000 still to come.

The transcripts of Clinton’s speeches to Goldman Sachs and other top banks and employers’ groups, for which she was paid on average $200,000 per appearance, are the most incriminating. They expose the workings of the oligarchy that rules America and the thinking and actions of a politician prepared to do anything to advance the interests of this ruling stratum, while simultaneously accruing ever greater riches and power for herself.

While on the campaign trail, Clinton has postured as a “progressive,” determined to hold Wall Street’s feet to the fire. But in her speeches to Goldman Sachs, she made clear her unconditional defense of the banks and financial houses. Under conditions of popular outrage against the bankers and their role in dragging millions into crisis in the financial meltdown of 2008, Clinton gave speeches praising the Wall Street financiers and insisting that they were best equipped to regulate themselves. She apologized to them for supporting the toothless Dodd-Frank financial regulatory law, saying that it had to be enacted for “political reasons.”

In front of her Wall Street audiences, Clinton made clear she had no inhibitions about ordering mass slaughter abroad. While telling her public audiences that she supports a “no-fly zone” in Syria as a humanitarian measure to save lives, she confidentially acknowledged to her Goldman Sachs audience that such an action is “going to kill a lot of Syrians” and become “an American and NATO involvement where you take a lot of civilians.” In the same speech she declared her willingness to bomb Iran.

The emails have laid bare the nexus of corrupt connections between the State Department, the Clinton Foundation, her various campaigns and her network of financial and corporate donors, which together constitute a quasi-criminal influence-peddling enterprise that could best be described as “Clinton, Inc.”

The revelations contained in the WikiLeaks material have been ignored or downplayed by the corporate media, which instead has focused unrelentingly on the charges of sexual misconduct leveled against Clinton’s Republican rival, Donald Trump.

The Clinton camp itself has sought to deflect any questions regarding what the candidate said in her speeches or the corrupt operations of her campaign by claiming, with no evidence whatsoever, that the material released by WikiLeaks had been hacked by the Russian government and therefore cannot be trusted.

This line of argumentation serves not only to divert attention from the WikiLeaks material, but also to further the Clinton campaign’s neo-McCarthyite claims of Kremlin intervention on behalf of Trump and advance a propaganda campaign aimed at preparing popular opinion for a direct military confrontation with Russia.

There is an air of desperation in the attempt to quash the WikiLeaks material. CNN news anchor Chris Cuomo, an open supporter of Clinton, went so far as to lie to his audience, claiming it was illegal for them to access the emails and insisting they could obtain any information on them only through the filter of the corporate media.

Well before the release of documents related to the Democratic Party, the determination of ruling circles to suppress WikiLeaks had found repeated and violent expression. State Department officials have come forward with a report that in 2010, in the midst of WikiLeaks’ mass release of State Department cables exposing US imperialist operations around the world, Clinton, then secretary of state, asked subordinates, “Can’t we just drone this guy?” She recently said she could not remember the remark, but if she made it, it was a joke.

During the same period, however, Clinton supporter and longtime Democratic campaign operative Bob Beckel declared in a television interview in relation to Assange: “A dead man can’t leak stuff. This guy’s a traitor, he’s treasonous, and he has broken every law of the United States… there’s only one way to do it: illegally shoot the son of a bitch.”

To this point, the American ruling class has limited itself to judicial frame-ups and character assassination, counting on the help of its servants within both the media and the pseudo-left, large sections of which have either joined the witch-hunt against Assange or downplayed his victimization.

The principal vehicle for this campaign of persecution had been fabricated allegations of sexual misconduct pursued by Swedish authorities acting in league with the US and British governments. Earlier this year, the UN’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention issued findings that Assange had been “deprived of his liberty in an arbitrary manner,” meaning the body had reached the conclusion that the Swedish case constituted a politically motivated frame-up.

In the midst of the current attempt to silence Assange, an even more bizarre and filthy frame-up has been concocted, attempting to smear the WikiLeaks founder with charges of taking Russian money as well as pedophilia.

At the center of these allegations is a little known online dating service, Toddandclare.com, which first attempted to lure Assange into a supposed deal to film an ad for the site, for which he supposedly would be paid $1 million, to be provided by the Russian government. When WikiLeaks rejected this preposterous provocation, the same site claimed that Assange had been charged with inappropriate contact through the site with an eight-year-old Canadian child visiting the Bahamas. This accusation was then invoked in an attempt to pressure the UN to drop its demand for an end to the persecution of Assange.

Even a cursory investigation makes clear that these allegations constitute a grotesque fabrication. Bahamian police have stated that there are no charges or any case whatsoever against Assange. The dating service has no business address, working phone number or corporate presence anywhere in the US, having all the earmarks of a dummy company created by US intelligence for the purpose of hounding Assange.

The use of such tactics is a measure of how terrified the US ruling class has become in the face of growing mass hostility to both major political parties and their two abhorrent candidates. Their fear is that the relentless exposure of the inner workings of a government of the rich, by the rich and for the rich is robbing the existing political setup of what little legitimacy it had left within the population, and creating the conditions for a political radicalization within the working class and social upheavals, whoever is elected on November 8.

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When the United States announced that it would be abandoning “peace talks” with Russia regarding the ongoing conflict in Syria, many had already dismissed them as disingenuous.

The Washington Post in an article titled, “U.S. abandons efforts to work with Russia on Syria,” would claim:

U.S.-Russia relations fell to a new post-Cold War low Monday as the Obama administration abandoned efforts to cooperate with Russia on ending the Syrian civil war and forming a common front against terrorists there, and Moscow suspended a landmark nuclear agreement.

The Washington Post would also admit however, in regards to Russian allegations that the US categorically failed to separate militants it has been backing in the 5 year long conflict and universally-designated foreign terrorist organisations, that:

Russia’s version of the sequence of events mandated by the deal is “explicitly not true,” a senior administration official said. “Separation was not step one,” but was supposed to occur after seven days without major violence. The Russians, the official said, have “constantly tried to move the goal posts.” 

This admission made by US policymakers, politicians and the Western media all but admits that the US has never prioritised confronting terrorism in Syria and has been using the presence of terrorist organisations merely as a pretext for more direct Western military intervention. In fact, by acknowledging that Western-backed militant groups are indistinguishable and inseparable from designated terrorist organisations including Al Qaeda’s Syrian franchise, Jabhat Al-Nusra, the US is all but admitting it is intentionally arming and equipping the terrorists themselves.

This explains the apparently inexhaustible resources terrorist organisations like Al-Nusra possess and why they have risen to prominence above so-called “moderate rebels” the US and its allies have repeatedly claimed they were funding hundreds of billions of dollars throughout the conflict.

It appears that the answer to the question as to how Al-Nusra could rise to prominence in Syria despite “moderates” receiving hundreds of billions in aid from the US and its allies is that there were never any moderates to begin with, and that the US and its allies were arming and funding terrorist organisations, including Al-Nusra, since the conflict began.

It also appears to be no coincidence that this scenario now openly unfolding in Syria fulfils warnings published by Western journalists as early as 2007 (Seymour Hersh, The Redirection) in which it was revealed that the US was already at that time providing material support to extremist organisations“sympathetic to Al Qaeda” toward the end goal of overthrowing the governments of both Iran and Syria.

While the US now claims Russia has sabotaged US efforts to bring an end to hostilities in Syria, Washington is also illogically attempting to argue that the failure of its feigned “peace talks” has also somehow prevented the US from targeting terrorists organisations in Syria, the alleged pretext of America’s presence in Syria to begin with.

Despite strained relations with Russia, the US is still cooperating with Moscow regarding the use of Syrian airspace to avoid unintentional confrontations. While the cessation of hostilities may have collapsed, is there really any excuse as to why separating designated terrorist organisations from militant groups the US and its allies are providing billions in weapons and equipment to is still not an absolute and urgent priority?

The answer is, no — there is no excuse. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say, it is simply an excuse for the US to continue funnelling men and materiel into Syria Washington knows with absolute certainty will end up in the ranks of Al Qaeda, whom the US admittedly intended to use as early as 2007 to overthrow the Syrian government with.

What Washington Really Wants in Syria 

Beginning in 2001, the United States has systematically destroyed the nations of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, while either directly or indirectly laying waste to the nations of Sudan and Somalia. The nation of Iran was also subjected to multiple attempted provocations and US-driven subversion since 2001.

While the United States has created narratives for the public to serve as apparently “unique” and independent justifications for each and every one of these conflicts, often predicated on averting a “humanitarian disaster” or pursuing “terrorists” and even preventing “weapons of mass destruction” from being used against the West and its allies, America’s serial blitzkrieg across North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia are part of a singular, admitted agenda.

US Army General Wesley Clark, in a 2007 Flora TV talk titled, “A Time to Lead,” would reveal this singular agenda by relating a conversation he had as far back as 1991 with then US Under Secretary of Defence for Policy, Paul Wolfowitz, by stating (our emphasis):

I said Mr. Secretary you must be pretty happy with the performance of the troops in Desert Storm. And he said, well yeah, he said but but not really, he said because the truth is we should have gotten rid of Saddam Hussein and we didn’t. And this was just after the Shia uprising in March of 91′ which we had provoked and then we kept our troops on the side lines and didn’t intervene. And he said, but one thing we did learn, he said, we learned that we can use our military in the region in the Middle East and the Soviets wont stop us. He said, and we have got about five or ten years to clean up those all Soviet client regimes; Syria, Iran, Iraq, – before the next great super power comes on to challenge us. 

And indeed, even from 1991 onward, the goal of US intervention across the planet has been to establish deeply-entrenched global hegemony before another rising world power could balance American geopolitical domination.

Fast forward to today, with the US on the brink of war with Russia in Syria, and with China in the South China Sea, the United States has run out of time and finds the leading edge of its hegemonic ambitions chaffing against a reemerging Russia and a rising China.

So while Washington has concocted an array of excuses as to why it is involved in Syria’s conflict, running the full gambit from  fearing “weapons of mass destruction” to fighting terrorists to addressing humanitarian concerns, the reality of America’s involvement in Syria boils down to the pursuit of the latest and most desperate leg of its rush to dominance before emerging world powers reintroduced balance and limits to Western hegemony.

It is therefore incumbent upon the world to reject Washington’s various excuses for intervening in Syria, expose the truth driving its involvement in (and responsibility for) the conflict, confront Washington regarding its state sponsorship of terrorist organisations it itself has designated as such and bring the Syrian conflict as well as America’s latest “growth spurt” to an abrupt end.

Global peace and stability depends on bringing this decades-long global power-grab to an end, in an atmosphere of conflict and confrontation many fear may even lead to a direct confrontation between nuclear-armed states.

Joseph Thomas is chief editor of Thailand-based geopolitical journal, The New Atlas and contributor to the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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This edition of The Global Research News Hour was originally broadcast in December 2013:

I voted against CAFTA, never supported NAFTA, and will not support NAFTA-style trade agreements in the future. NAFTA’s shortcomings were evident when signed and we must now amend the agreement to fix them. While NAFTA gave broad rights to investors, it paid only lip service to the rights of labor and the importance of environmental protection.[1]  Presidential Candidate Senator Barack Obama, February 28, 2008

To boost American exports, support American jobs, and level the playing field in the growing markets of Asia, we intend to complete negotiations on a Trans-Pacific Partnership.  And tonight, I am announcing that we will launch talks on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union – because trade that is free and fair across the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying American jobs.[2]  President Barack Obama, February 12, 2013

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Webster’s dictionary defines the term ‘Trojan Horse’ as follows:

“…someone or something intended to defeat or subvert from within usually by deceptive means.”[3]

The term has been applied by critics to any number of so-called free trade deals that Canada, the United States and other countries around the world are embracing.

In Canada, the Harper government recently extolled the virtues of opening up new markets for Canadian goods, services and investment in the European Union and Asia as critical to the nation’s prosperity. Hence, determined efforts to secure free trade deals with these regions through the Canadian – European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) respectively are hailed by the government and pundits alike as centrepieces of the Harper government’s agenda going into 2014.

Interesting that the details of these agreements are largely hidden from public scrutiny.

The TPP in particular, as noted by Global Research author Kevin Zeese, has been drafted with an unprecedented degree of secrecy.

The campaign ‘FLUSHTHETPP.org‘ claims that the gift horse that is increased trade and investment, conceals a corporate assault on food safety, the environment, worker rights, access to health care, and basically every facet of our lives as free citizens.

A recent release of the Intellectual Property Rights Chapter from Wikileaks confirmed the fears of trade liberalization critics that the reach of patents, copyrights, and trade secrets will be extended at the expense of consumer rights and safeguards.[4]

To quote Wikileaks editor in Chief Julian Assange:

“If instituted, the TPP’s IP regime would trample over individual rights and free expression, as well as ride roughshod over the intellectual and creative commons. If you read, write, publish, think, listen, dance, sing or invent; if you farm or consume food; if you’re ill now or might one day be ill, the TPP has you in its crosshairs.”[5]

The TPP secured third place among Project Censored’s most censored stories of 2012-2013. The Sonoma State University media research program describes the TPP as “an enforceable transfer of sovereignty from nations and their people to foreign corporations.”

Dr. Margaret Flowers is a congressional fellow with Physicians for a National Health Program and a pediatrician based in Baltimore, Maryland. She has written extensively on the topic of the TPP, and has championed efforts to stop it in its tracks. Dr. Flowers joins the Global Research News Hour in the fist half of the programme to describe the onerous aspects of this deal, update us on the recent twelve nation talks in Singapore, America’s ‘Fast-Track’ legislation, and the realistic prospects of grassroots people to bring an end to this deal.

CETA, likewise is cloaked in secrecy. Critics like Stuart Trew of the Council of Canadians argue the deal extends drug patents and makes community economic development initiatives such as ‘buy local’ policies subject to legal challenges under new procurement rules. Trew will fill out the second half of the programme with a comprehensive look at what we know about the CETA, and how that deal can be stopped.

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The Global Research News Hour, hosted by Michael Welch, airs on CKUW 95.9FM in Winnipeg Fridays at 1pm CDT. The programme is also broadcast weekly (Monday, 5-6pm ET) by the Progressive Radio Network in the US, and is available for download on the Global Research website.

Community Radio Stations carrying the Global Research News Hour:

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

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

 

Notes

1) Ohio Conference on Fair Trade, February 28, 2008, http://www.citizenstrade.org/ctc/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/OCFT_-PresPrimaryTradeQuestionnaire_Obama_022008.pdf
2) Barack Obama, State of the Union Address, Tuesday, February 12, 2013; Washington, DC; http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/02/12/president-barack-obamas-state-union-address
3) http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/trojan%20horse
4) Peter Sayer, Nov.14, 2013, “Leaked treaty draft shows US at loggerheads with Pacific states on copyright”; http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/news/internet/3489259/leaked-treaty-draft-shows-us-at-loggerheads-with-pacific-states-on-copyright/#ixzz2niYnuQil
5) ibid
6)http://www.projectcensored.org/3-trans-pacific-partnership-threatens-regime-corporate-global-governance/

Selected Articles: Washington’s Global Economic Wars

October 19th, 2016 by Global Research News

usa-eagle

Washington’s Global Economic Wars

By Prof. James Petras, October 19 2016

During most of the past two decades Washington has aggressively launched military and economic wars against at least nine countries, either directly or through its military aid to regional allies and proxies. US air and ground troops have bombed or invaded Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon. More recently Washington has escalated its global economic war against major economic rivals as well as against weaker countries.  The US no longer confines its aggressive impulses to peripheral economic countries in the Middle East, Latin America and Southern Asia:  It has declared trade wars against world powers in Asia, Eastern and Central Europe and the Gulf states.

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On the Edge of Nuclear World War? Clinton Propaganda Distracts from Criminality and Imminent Attack on Russia

By Larry Chin, October 19 2016

As nuclear war with Russia over Syria is being planned in earnest and craved by New World Order fanatics including the Clintons, the Obama administration and the Bushes, a “civil war” is being waged ahead of the US presidential election. The future of the entire planet is at stake.

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Does Hillary Clinton Have The Temperament To Have Her “Finger On The Nuclear Button”?

By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, October 18 2016

Until I viewed the video in the URL below, I had concluded from my time spent with Republicans that the Republican Party was more corrupt than the Democratic Party.  But after watching this 16 minute video report, which seems too much to be faked, the Democratic political establishment—not necessarily the Americans who vote Democrat—seem to be corrupt beyond the meaning of the word.  Make up your own mind.

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Digital Information Warfare: WikiLeaks, Assange and the US Presidential Elections

By Dr. Binoy Kampmark, October 19 2016

In all disproportion to size and physical heft, WikiLeaks has managed to throw bombs of digital worth into various political processes with marked effect.  While its critics and detractors deny and attempt to dispel its influence, the authorities are still concerned.  So concerned, in fact, that they have attempted, over the years, to curb the reach and access to the website, and its chief publisher, Julian Assange.

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Generating Hate against Russia: The Absurd New Anti-Russian Propaganda From The New York Times

By Robert Parry, October 18 2016

The New York Times is so determined to generate hate against Russia that it has lost all journalistic perspective, even portraying Russia’s military decoys – like those used in World War II. If the dangers weren’t so great – a possible nuclear war that could exterminate life on the planet – The New York Times over-the-top denunciation of all things Russian would be almost funny, like the recent front-page story finding something uniquely sinister about Russia using inflatable decoys of military weapons to confuse adversaries.

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Los BRICS plantan cara a la guerra financiera de Estados Unidos

October 19th, 2016 by Ariel Noyola Rodríguez

Para hacer frente a la guerra financiera de Estados Unidos, es urgente que los BRICS fortalezcan sus vínculos de cooperación en los ámbitos de la economía y las finanzas. El nuevo banco de desarrollo de los BRICS debe aumentar su volumen de créditos, lo mismo el Acuerdo Contingente de Reservas. Adicionalmente, los BRICS deben poner en marcha lo más pronto posible su propia agencia de calificación. Para intensificar su cohesión económica, la implementación de un área de libre comercio echaría abajo las barreras arancelarias y, con ello, incrementaría sustancialmente los intercambios comerciales entre ellos. En definitiva, si no se toman cuanto antes las medidas pertinentes, los BRICS corren el riesgo de naufragar durante el próximo huracán financiero.

El 15 y 16 de octubre se llevó a cabo en el estado de Goa (India) la octava cumbre de los BRICS, acrónimo de Brasil, Rusia, India, China y Sudáfrica. Hay que reconocer que el encuentro se desarrolló en medio de una situación profundamente crítica para la economía mundial. Sin embargo, los BRICS pusieron de manifiesto, una vez más, su extraordinaria capacidad para transformar un mal momento en una oportunidad para profundizar los vínculos entre ellos desde una perspectiva estratégica.

Después de que las economías de los BRICS gozaran de una ‘época dorada’, en los últimos años sus tasas de crecimiento han sufrido una drástica desaceleración. Frente a esta difícil coyuntura, hoy más que nunca los BRICS necesitan echar mano de las instituciones financieras que presentaron ante el mundo hace un par de años en Fortaleza (Brasil) durante su sexta cumbre.

En abril pasado, su nuevo banco de desarrollo realizó sus primeros préstamos por más de 800 millones de dólares y para 2017 se calcula que los créditos otorgados podrían alcanzar los 2,500 millones de dólares. Asimismo, esta entidad financiera llevó a cabo en julio de este año una histórica emisión de ‘bonos verdes’ (‘green bonds’) en yuanes por un monto equivalente a 450 millones de dólares. Estos títulos financieros, a la vez que incrementan la influencia de la moneda china a escala mundial, sirven para el financiamiento de grandes proyectos de inversión.

Por su parte, el Acuerdo Contingente de Reservas (CRA, por sus siglas en inglés), dotado de 100,000 millones de dólares, ya está listo para otorgar sus primeras líneas de crédito con el objetivo de estabilizar las balanzas de pagos de los BRICS, según anunció el ministro de Finanzas de la India, Arun Jaitley. Toda vez que la Reserva Federal (FED) de Estados Unidos amaga permanentemente con subir la tasa de interés de los fondos federales (‘federal funds rate’) y, con ello, detonar una nueva turbulencia financiera mundial, urge que los BRICS incrementen cuanto antes los recursos monetarios de su fondo de estabilización pues, de lo contrario, corren el riesgo de padecer serios estragos por las apuestas especulativas de los grandes bancos de inversiones.

De forma simultánea, los BRICS necesitan abrir nuevos frentes de batalla que desafíen de modo abierto la hegemonía de Estados Unidos y el dólar en el sistema financiero mundial, no solamente a través de los intercambios comerciales en monedas locales sino, por ejemplo, a través de la acumulación de reservas en yuanes entre sus bancos centrales, más todavía luego de que ‘la moneda del pueblo’ (‘renminbi’, en chino) ingresó oficialmente el pasado 1º de octubre en los Derechos Especiales de Giro (‘Special Drawing Rights’), la canasta de divisas de élite creada por el Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI) a finales de la década de los 60.

Por añadidura, los BRICS tienen la capacidad de articular una gran alianza financiera con poderosos eslabonamientos geopolíticos entre América Latina, Asia, África y el Medio Oriente. Los bancos regionales de desarrollo, que están conformados en su mayoría por los países periféricos, bien pueden servir a este objetivo: el Banco Asiático de Inversiones en Infraestructura (AIIB, por sus siglas en inglés), el banco del ALBA (Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América) e incluso el Banco del Sur que, finalmente, arrancará antes de que termine este año.

Asimismo, se ha vuelto una imperiosa exigencia para los BRICS la puesta en marcha de una agencia de calificación propia que rompa con el predominio aplastante que Estados Unidos mantiene a través de Fitch, Moody’s y Standard & Poor’s. Estas tres agencias de calificación, más que realizar evaluaciones que se guíen por criterios de tipo técnico, actúan fundamentalmente bajo impulsos de carácter político; esto es, como auténticas máquinas de guerra: degradan las notas de los bonos de deuda soberana y, con ello, elevan dramáticamente los costos de financiamiento de países como Grecia, Rusia o Venezuela.

La cohesión económica es otro de los grandes retos, si bien es indudable que se ha venido intensificando de forma sustantiva durante los años recientes: entre 2001 y 2015, el comercio entre los BRICS como proporción de sus intercambios totales se duplicó del 6 al 12%. China es, por mucho, la economía que está más integrada con los demás BRICS. En contraste, los vínculos entre países como la India y Sudáfrica son marginales. Lo mismo sucede entre Brasil y Rusia. Por eso es muy pertinente la próxima implementación de un área de libre comercio entre los BRICS. Sin embargo, además de echar abajo las barreras arancelarias entre ellos, los BRICS necesitan promover la construcción de cadenas de valor de forma conjunta; esto es, integrar sus aparatos productivos para incentivar la industrialización de las economías menos aventajadas.

En conclusión, son muchos los desafíos en el horizonte para estas cinco potencias emergentes. Estoy convencido de que, en lo sucesivo, el éxito de los BRICS dependerá de la capacidad que tengan para reinventarse, de su creatividad para articular nuevas dimensiones de cooperación con vistas a cumplir metas de más largo alcance. Frente a la nueva guerra financiera que prepara Estados Unidos, es momento de que los BRICS vuelvan a la carga…

 Ariel Noyola Rodríguez

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

Fuente: Russia Today.

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Apesar do forte boicote econômico que enfrenta, e contrariando a velha retórica da raivosa e retrógrada ultra-direita latino-americana a qual prega que ações sociais são gasto e não investimento, o governo da República Bolivariana da Venezuela aprovou para 2017 aplicação de 73,6% do orçamento nacional, estimado em 8,4 bilhões de bolívares (847.9 milhões de dólares), em projetos sociais, fazendo avançar o socialismo do século XXI anualmente premiado pela ONU pelas singulares conquistas sociais e garantia dos direitos humanos, iniciadas por Hugo Chávez e seguidas atualmente pelo presidente Nicolás Maduro.
“Estamos falando de 50 por cento do total dos recursos dirigido ao setor de saúde, educação e direitos sociais, tudo o que corresponde à pensão, programas sociais. E 24 por cento adicional ao desenvolvimento de infraestrutura, equipamento urbano e obras públicas”, pontuou no último dia 15 o vice-presidente de Planificação e Conhecimento da Venezuela, Ricardo Menéndez, quem ainda ressaltou que o orçamento venezuelano não depende mais da renda petroleira, já que 83% dos recursos nacionais do próximo ano advirão da arrecadação de impostos, e apenas 3,2% da exportação do petróleo considerando o preço médio do barril venezuelano de 30 dólares. “Através da ruptura do modelo rentista petroleiro, construindo outro modelo, de maior justiça. (…) Diante do modelo neoliberal, edificamos um modelo de construção, e essa construção fazemos com nosso povo”.A prioridade de Miraflores às Missões e Grandes Missões Bolivarianas, que incluem combate à pobreza, construção de moradias populares e programas de educação, saúde, cultura, direitos humanos, ciência e meio ambiente, é internacionalmente reconhecida. Em pouco mais de quatro anos, o governo já entregou mais de 1 milhão de moradias (quase mesmo número da oposição, em mais de 40 anos no poder) onde as comunidades desfrutam de centros de recreação e de serviços de saúde gratuitos – que incluem remédios grátis, além das consultas médicas.

A Revolução Bolivariana está próxima de erradicar a pobreza extrema, já eliminou o analfabetismo (fato declarado pela Unesco em 2005) e a fome (reconhecido pela FAO), além de ter universalizado a educação e a saúde, fatos que levam a Venezuela, antes da Revolução Bolivariana entre as mais desiguais da América Latina, a ser a nação menos desigual e possuir o melhor Índice de Desenvolvimento Humano da região hoje, segundo a Cepal (Comissão Econômica para a América Latina e o Caribe).

A educação venezuelana é gratuita e acessível a todos, do ensino básico ao universitário. Com o maior número de universidades públicas da região, a Venezuela é o segundo país latino-americano e quinto no mundo com a maior proporção de estudantes universitários, aumentados em mais de 800% no governo bolivariano, com cerca de 75% da educação superior pública. Os estudantes têm computadores portáteis e tabletes de uso gratuito, e 60% dos professores venezuelanos pertencem à rede pública, com salário elevado na última década.

Em janeiro e fevereiro deste ano, o índice de desemprego na Venezuela baixou para 8,1% e 7,3% respectivamente, menores patamares em 20 anos. O salário mínimo, para calafrios das classes dominantes locais, têm subido acima da inflação: reajustado 34 vezes durante a Revolução Bolivariana, apenas o presidente Maduro, desde que foi eleito em abril de 2013, o elevou 13 vezes. Na última vez, em agosto deste ano, aumentou em 50%.

Tudo isso fruto dos investimentos sociais, cujos valores já subiram 11 vezes durante a Revolução Bolivariana que rompeu com os ditames do FMI e reverteu os ganhos petrolíferos em favor da sociedade venezuelana, tratando hoje de buscar alternativas especialmente diante da guerra econômica que gera desabastecimento relativo de produtos básicos, inflação e microfocos de violência programada. A título comparativo, o Brasil investe 23,5% do PIB em políticas sociais, o Chile 15%, Colômbia 14%, México 19,5%, e Peru 9%.

O Império de turno e as elites não toleram políticas sociais – consideradas “gastos”, enquanto sua pilhagem se trata de “negócio”. E as sociedades internacionais raramente tiram lição da história, repleta de manipulações por parte da mídia predominante promotora de crises artificiais e de golpes, em defesa de seus interesses oligárquicos. Tais fatos podem muito bem explicar o porquê da generalizada inversão de papeis quando o assunto é Revolução Bolivariana, uma ignorância societária com a forte dose de agressividade necessária para que os usurpadores poder sigam adiante com sua agenda mesquinha.

Edu Montesanti
______

Edu Montesanti é comunicador, escritor, professor de idiomas e tradutor. Autor do livro Mentiras e Crimes da “Guerra ao Terror” (2012), escreve para a revista Caros Amigos, para Jornal Pravda e Pravda Report (Rússia), para Global Research (Canadá), Truth Out (Estados Unidos). É tradutor do sítio na Internet das Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (Argentina), e foi tradutor do sítio na Internet da escritora, ativista pelos direitos humanos e ex-parlamentar afegã injustamente expulsa do cargo, Malalaï Joya. Escreveu para Diário Liberdade (Galiza), Observatório da Imprensa (TV Brasil) e Nolan Chart (Estados Unidos). Contato: [email protected] / www.edumontesanti.skyrock.com
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WikiLeaks on Sunday called attention to remarks made by CNN anchor Chris Cuomo in which he appeared to warn viewers that it was “illegal” for those outside of the media to look at emails from Hillary Clinton‘s campaign chairman.

“Also interesting is, remember, it’s illegal to possess these stolen documents. It’s different for the media. So everything you learn about this, you’re learning from us,” Cuomo told viewers.

The broadcast aired on Wednesday, but began circulating more widely after being highlighted by WikiLeaks Sunday.

WikiLeaks has made more than 12,000 emails obtained from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta available on its website over the last week. Members of the public can easily browse the stash of documents using a search function provided by the site.

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This article was originally published on September 26, 2016.

The ratification of the CETA agreement is imminent, with far-reaching economic and social implications. France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls is currently in Canada for meetings with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

CETA is the object of protests in both Canada and the EU. It was also the object of a legal procedure in Germany. 

The logic of the agreement must be understood. It constitutes the first step towards the integration of  NAFTA and the EU. This integration would create an North Atlantic political entity broadly coinciding with NATO.

NAFTA-EU integration would modify the political architecture of the European Union. 

EU-NAFTA integration is a part of Washington’s neoliberal agenda.

Towards the formation of a North Atlantic Trade and Investment Area (NATIA), a trading block broadly coinciding (geographically) with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)? .

The geopolitical implications are far-reaching with Washington overshadowing Brussels. 

IT IS IMPORTANT THAT THE RATIFICATION OF THIS AGREEMENT BE BLOCKED 

Michel Chossudovsky, October 13, 2016

*      *      *

In less than a month from now, an important and far-reaching “trade agreement” between Canada and the European Union is slated to be signed and ratified by the House of Commons in Ottawa and the European Parliament. 

The Canada and European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is described by the media as “a high quality agreement that reinforces Canada’s fundamental relationship with the European Union.”

But there more than meets the eye.

The CETA agreement –presented to public opinion as an innocuous “bilateral” EU-Canada trade deal– constitutes a TTIP in disguise.

It includes the entire neoliberal policy gamut: commodity trade,  trade in services, investment, intellectual property, financial services provisions, all of which are contained in the US sponsored TTIP agreement. It is a de facto “carbon copy” of the controversial  Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the European Union and the United States, which has been temporarily “blocked” by both the European Parliament and the US Congress.

Global Trade is part of an Imperial Agenda

In turn the TTIP, CETA, TISA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are the building blocks of a global “imperial” trading structure. The NAFTA-Asia Pacific  Trading Block hinges upon the adoption of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

“Regulatory convergence” is the talking point of global trade negotiations. It has nothing to do with free trade. Quite the opposite: it requires conformity and similarity in the formulation of national rules and provisions, on behalf of powerful multinational conglomerates: regulatory convergence implies “removal of impediments” to trade and investment coupled with homogenous and “friendly” provisions (e.g. austerity measures, curtailment of social programs, the toning down of labor laws, corporate friendly environmental clauses and consumer protection laws, “national treatment” for foreign investors, no subsidies to farmers, etc.)

Needless to say, national sovereignty is seen by Washington as an impediment to “regulatory convergence”.

Treaties

CETA and the TTIP

While the  devastating economic and social consequences of the Transatlantic US-EU trade deals (TTIP and TISA) including the loss of national sovereignty of EU member states have been the object of persistent public protest, the CETA agreement (which has similar neoliberal underpinnings) is going ahead largely unopposed, without debate, minimal protest, no firm opposition at the political level.

The [EU] ministers themselves are expected now to convene an extraordinary meeting on October 18, allowing the [CETA] deal to be signed during the visit of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Brussels on October 27. It could enter force next year.
But as CETA came closer to approval, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Program (TTIP), a free-trade agreement with the US, suffered a new blow ahead of the meeting when Austrian Economy Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner urged his EU counterparts to end the talks.

…. “TTIP has become a metaphor for the exuberant dealings of big corporations. That has a negative connotation. We hope for a good deal, but it has to be approached differently,” he added.

Mitterlehner echoed comments by French Trade Minister Matthias Fekl last month that he would request a halt to TTIP negotiations after German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel declared that talks were “de facto dead.”

Fekl said the United States had demanded too much and not compromised enough.

“A crazy machine is moving here, the negotiations are a failure, nobody believes that they will come to a successful conclusion,” he told the German business daily Handelsblatt.

TTIP would create the world’s biggest free trade area with a market of 850 million consumers stretching from Hawaii to Helsinki.

But the deal, under negotiation since 2013, has become a hot potato as key elections approach in the United States, France and Germany. Washington and Brussels are officially committed to sealing the free trade deal before President Barack Obama leaves office in January.

There are deep-seated fears in Europe that the deal would undercut the 28-nation bloc’s standards in key areas such as public health and welfare.

(Deutsche Welle,  September 23, 2016)

The US-EU TTIP is viewed by the protest movement as a mechanism of  appropriation of Europe’s economic landscape by corporate America.

Has the Atlantic TTIP Trade Deal Negotiated behind Closed Doors been Blocked?

In this regard, it would appear that EU politicians are playing a deceptive double game: “Urged to end the talks”, they have reluctantly put the TTIP “on hold” in response to public pressure and the protest movement, while pushing ahead the CETA back-door deal with Canada, The adoption of CETA would in practice validate the eventual de facto implementation of the US sponsored TTIP (or its formal adoption at a later stage and/or under a different label, see below).

What analysts and politicians fail to acknowledge is that Canada is heavily integrated (politically and economically) into the US. The US-Canada corporate and financial establishment is also integrated. A trade agreement by a NAFTA member state, namely Canada with the European Union (EU) would inevitably lead to de facto integration of the EU into the trading structures of NAFTA which are controlled by Washington and Wall Street.

This US-Canada integration does not solely pertain to trade and investment under NAFTA, it also encompasses foreign policy, military affairs, law enforcement and Homeland Security, intelligence, oil and gas pipelines, road transportation, immigration and national borders, strategic waterways and maritime rights, etc.

CETA is Washington’s Backdoor Mechanism

The TTIP would be imposed de facto rather than de jure “via Canada”.

At the outset, instead of launching a single process of trade negotiations between NAFTA and the EU  which would have been the object of widespread opposition, Canada and Mexico were called upon by Washington to launch parallel “bilateral” trade deals with the EU, which would eventually create conditions for the integration of NAFTA and the EU, constituting thereby the core of the US empire’s Atlantic Trading block.

Trade and militarization go hand in hand. The proposed Atlantic Trading Block would also coincide with the structures of NATO and the Atlantic alliance (which in practice are also controlled by the US).

CETA is a “copy and paste”: it was formulated during the Harper government, starting in 2009 in close consultation with Washington and Brussels. The Harper government was entrusted by Washington “to expedite resolution of the agreement [CETA] talks to avoid losing the European’s focus to the TTIP, and to prevent delay due to increasing debate surrounding contentious elements.” 

While the US, Canada and  Mexico are member states of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Washington’s ultimate endgame is to create an integrated  North American Union: i.e. the United States and Provinces of North America.  The latter is in many regards already functional.

The CETA agreement is a back-door initiative which was developed in close coordination with the TTIP. It’s adoption would trigger the de facto (rather than de jure) adoption of the broader TTIP agreement, leading to the eventual integration of the trading structures of the “North American Union” and the European Union. It would create a fait accompli which would contribute to furthering the TTIP negotiations most probably under a different label.

It is a corporate take-over, in both the EU and North America: it will serve to destroy and undermine the economy at the local level, destroy the family farm, precipitate small and medium sized enterprises into bankruptcy, undermine social programs, etc.

It is important that people in the US, Canada and the European Union, across the land firmly oppose the signing and ratification of The Canada and European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). 

In Canada, Hon Paul Hellyer, former defense minister and deputy prime minister during the Pierre Trudeau government is taking the lead in the campaign against the signing of the CETA agreement by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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A Brief History of Fascism in the United States

October 19th, 2016 by Shawn Hamilton

“We could become the first country to go fascist through free elections.” — William Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

Generally, we avoid using the word “fascism” in polite company, and until recently, a person pointing out parallels between Nazi Germany and the current United States would invite elevated eyelids along with the outworn charge of sounding like a “conspiracy theorist“. The current electoral cycle seems to be changing that, so I will trust that now is the right time to convey some ideas I’ve been marinating regarding fascism in my US Homeland. The ruling plutocrats are clearly ferrying the ship of State along that current, so if fascism is destined to be a part of our lives, perhaps we should quit pretending we can’t see the ugly elephant in the room and somehow respond to it.

In discussing fascism as it exists in the United States, an accurate definition is in order. If we can see past lurid images of swastikas, jackboots, and death camps, we might realize that some elements of fascism, such as presumed racial superiority, have existed in the US since its inception and are more pervasive than we have so far acknowledged.

While the historical racism responsible for the US slave trade, the ongoing genocide of American aborigines, and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazism all reflect symptoms included in the fascist impulse, I am using the term “fascism” in its post-World War 2 context, which involves the rise of the Corporation as amoral tyrant.

While Benito Mussolini is often credited with defining fascism as the merger of corporate and state power, there is no evidence I can find that he actually said it. In the 1932 edition of Enciclopedia Italiana Mussolini did write that “Fascism reaffirms the State as the true reality of the individual,” which may be the heart of the matter, for it raises the ethical question: Are we, as human beings, subordinate to any “State”? It seems to me our traditional American value favoring individualism argues against it.

When he was leaving office, President Dwight D. Eisenhower addressed the influence of powerful corporations in his 1961 farewell speech, during which he warned of what he called the “military-industrial complex” although he didn’t call it fascism:

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

a fascis (image by Shawn Hamilton)

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

I’m glad Eisenhower said something although I note that he waited until he was leaving office to say it.

The Oxford Unabridged English Dictionary defines fascism as “a system of government characterized by rigid one-party dictatorship, forcible suppression of the opposition, the retention of private ownership of the means of production under centralized governmental control, belligerent nationalism and racism, glorification of war.”

The root of the word is the Latin “fascis”, meaning a bundle or packet.

The symbol’s history is murky.

It was perhaps first used by Etruscans–and later by ancient Romans–to symbolize power and authority. In a fascis, individual sticks combine into a stronger unit, an idea similar to “E Pluribus, Unum”, a US national motto, which means “Out of Many, One”. In that context we may understand why fasces appear on each side of the rostrum in the US House of Representatives:

Fasces in US House of Representatives, Capitol

The Italian word “fascismo” stems from the same root and refers to “a political group, an organization, a club”. In 1919 Mussolini instituted the Fascisti at Milan, intending to suppress “radical” groups” by which he meant socialists. Interestingly, Mussolini’s father had been a socialist–he named his son after Benito Juarez, the leftist Mexican president. Benito Mussolini even wrote for socialist journals while he lived in Switzerland, but he apparently was kicked out of the party for supporting involvement in WWI, and he soon transmogrified into a committed Fascisti.

Hatred of “Communists” or “Socialists” appears to be a primary religious tenet of modern fascism although other groups can be included and interchanged in the category of despised others as we saw in Nazi Germany–homosexuals, dark-skinned people, immigrants, pacifists, radicals, Slavs, Jews, and gypsies as well as conscientious journalists, academics, and citizens of any background who opposed (or threatened) the absolute power of the State. People could qualify on one or several points, each making them targets of the Order.

The Nazis called themselves Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, or National Socialist German Workers’ Party, a billing that exploited the popular socialist ideology to gain initial public acceptance rather than offering a sincere socialist platform. The Nazis were just one of many variations of the fascist mentality, with its racist assumptions, that has manifested throughout history.

German-American Bund Summer Camp, Long Island New York, 1938

German-American Bund Summer Camp, Long Island New York, 1938 (image by Holocaust History Museum)

In 1933 when Hitler became chancellor, Deputy Fuhrer Rudolph Hess granted Heinz Spanknobel, who had entered the United States as a Christian minister, approval to create an American Nazi organization called the “Friends of New Germany”. By 1936 this group had become known as the “German-American Bund”, a US group devoted to advocating for Nazi Germany and Hitler.

The German-American Bund, which conducted a summer youth camp on Long Island, New York for its members, reached its zenith in 1939 with about 25 thousand members. Nearly 22 thousand of them gathered at Madison Square Garden, ostensibly to celebrate the birthday of George Washington, who Bund leaders considered “America’s first fascist”. Several thousand Bund members were also members of Hitler’s paramilitary “Sturmabteilung” (SA), the so-called “Brownshirts”. At the start of World War 2, many Bund members were placed in internment camps, and some were deported at the end of the war, but many remained in the US.

German-American Bund parade; New York City; East 86th St.; Oct. 30, 1939

German-American Bund parade; New York City; East 86th St.; Oct. 30, 1939 (image by Wikimedia)

When Hitler assumed power in 1933, the Fuhrer hired a prominent New York City public relations firm, Carl Byoir & Associates, to improve his US image. The firm’s clients included the American Tobacco Company, Proctor and Gamble, General Motors, and many others. One of the firm’s associates was Edward Bernays–Sigmund Freud’s son-in-law who public relations (PR) flaks today generally consider the “father” of PR and spin.

Most people have never heard of him or his books, Crystallizing Public Opinion (1923) and Propaganda (1928), yet Life magazine named Bernays one of the most influential people of the 20th century. As a relative of the famous German psychoanalyst, Bernays had developed insight into the dynamics of the “Unconscious” and subliminal motivation, and he quickly and deftly exploited that knowledge to fleece the Americans by persuading them to buy junk they didn’t need, to adopt habits like smoking (and later a campaign persuading them to stop), and, politically, by coaxing them to accept policies harmful to their own interests.

He called it “engineering consent” and deemed it crucial to democracy (it was certainly important to the Third Reich). Some just call it “propaganda”, and it was pitched as the way to control populations when direct force is “ill-advised”. American advertising, largely based on Bernays’ persuasive techniques, embodies racist and elitist assumptions along with a paternalistic, yet unsympathetic, view that people are too dumb to manage their own affairs and must be guided. Using similar techniques whether selling the public hamburgers or wars, this self-appointed class of ubermensch presumed to “guide” the People using devious and deceptive means derived from the new “science” of Psychology, relieving them of money and liberties in the process.

Bernays had engineered a political propaganda campaign in the early 1950s on behalf of the United Fruit Company to destroy the popular president of Guatemala, Jacobo Arbenz Guzman, by traducing the reformer as a godless Communist and paving the way for US supported coups d’e’tat. The term “banana republic” originated in reference to United Fruit’s control of corrupt governments in Guatemala and other Central American countries where the company extracted profits. The company’s brutal policies and inhumane treatment of workers resulted in cheaper bananas for US consumers and poverty for the country’s peasants. Arbentz, for trying to lessen the disparity between the extremely wealthy elite and the poor in Guatemala– on whose backs the elite’s wealth was founded– was deposed in a 1954 CIA-arranged coup. This episode revealed to many that multinational corporations, with greed and treachery in their hearts and military power behind them, can make life hell for anyone opposing the Order.

Daniel Kurtz-Phelan, in his 2008 New York Times book review of Peter Chapman’s Bananas, How the United Fruit Company Shaped the World, describes the company as “more powerful than many nation states … a law unto itself.” He said:

United Fruit defined the modern multinational corporation at its most effective — and, as it turned out, its most pernicious. At home, it cultivated clubby ties with those in power and helped pioneer the modern arts of public relations and marketing. After a midcentury makeover by the ‘father of public relations,’ Edward Bernays, the company started pushing a cartoon character named Senorita Chiquita Banana [based on Carmen Miranda]. Abroad, it coddled dictators while using a mix of paternalism and violence to control its workers.

As for repressive regimes, Chapman writes in Bananas, United Fruit was their best friend–, with coups d’e’tat among its specialties. Kurtz-Phelan noted that “United Fruit had possibly launched more exercises in ‘regime change’ on the banana’s behalf than had ever been carried out in the name of oil,” and he pointed out that the company’s successor, Chiquita Brands International, has admitted to paying nearly $2 million to right-wing death squads in Colombia.” Edward Bernays’ persuasive techniques were key to manufacturing the consent necessary to make the US public ignore reports of atrocities and support government policy conducive to profit-making.

German Propaganda: Joseph Goebbels 

Joseph Goebbels

Joseph Goebbels (image by Holocaust History Museum)

Germany’s propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, admired Bernays and followed his work despite Bernays being s Jew; the techniques were too useful to ignore. It was from Bernays that Goebbels learned the propaganda techniques he used to market fascist ideology to the German public.

An undercurrent of US fascism had come to the astute attention of Major General Smedley Butler, a decorated United States marine who in 1935 wrote a book called War is a Racket . He testified before a congressional committee that a group of powerful industrialists, who had tried to recruit him, were planning to form a fascist veterans’ group that intended to assassinate Franklin Roosevelt and overthrow the government in a coup. While news media at the time belittled Butler and called the affair a hoax, the congressional committee determined that Butler’s allegations were credible although no-one was prosecuted. A similar scenario played out successfully nearly thirty years later when President John Kennedy was ambushed and killed under highly suspicious circumstances. There were many reasons for his assassination, but his threatening to dismantle the CIA, home base for so many Nazis, may have been a primary reason.

President John Kennedy and Allen Dulles ca. 1962 (image by Holocaust History Museum)

A key figure in the Kennedy assassination and cover-up was Allen Welsh Dulles (1893–1969). An icon of US Intelligence, Dulles mingled with Nazi elites, embraced fascism, lived in neutral Switzerland during the war, and knew for far too long what was happening to Jews and other unfortunates in Germany while doing nothing to stop it. After the war Dulles worked tirelessly to cut deals for his Nazi connections, especially those on trial for war crimes at Nuremburg, and he actively facilitated the transfer of Nazi technology (and ideology) to the United States after World War 2. By most definitions, Dulles was a traitor. Instead, he is remembered as an elder statesman and diplomat.

Reinhardt Gehlen

Reinhardt Gehlen (image by Holocaust History Museum)

In 1947 Congress instituted the National Security Act, which allowed the creation of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Dulles established the CIA essentially changing the name of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and subsuming into the former OSS operation the entire Nazi spy apparatus of Reinhardt Gehlen, Germany’s General of Foreign Armies East. Through Gehlen, Dulles inherited an expansive, ready-made spy network already poised against the Soviet Union, ushering in the National Security State we don’t understand or love today.

The modern CIA then, is a direct outgrowth of Nazi intelligence–modeled after Gehlen’s Nazi spy network, and staffed with many Nazi agents. Consider that Dulles was appointed to the Warren Commission to “investigate” (or squelch) the inquiry into the death of President John Kennedy in 1963. This may have been what accused Oswald killer, Jack Ruby, meant when he said “Nazis” were involved in the assassination. Allen Dulles, however, didn’t have any problem with Gehlen’s past. “He’s on our side,” Dulles once said chuckling, “and that’s all that matters.”

In October 2015, Democracy Now host Amy Goodman interviewed David Talbot, whose book, The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government, sheds much needed light on the secretive Allen Dulles. Goodman had asked Talbot about Nazis:

DAVID TALBOT: “The Nazis, well, they have a very tight relationship, many Nazi businessmen, with the Dulles brothers. And when Allen Dulles was in Switzerland, supposedly working for our side, the OSS, during the war, he was actually using that to meet with a lot of Nazis and to cut separate deals with them. He did indeed finally cut a separate peace deal with the Nazi forces in Italy against FDR’s wishes. FDR had a policy of unconditional surrender. Don’t–AMY GOODMAN: “This was Operation Paperclip?”

DAVID TALBOT: “This was Operation Sunrise, was this deal that he made. And then he set up these rat-lines, so-called, where Nazis, leading Nazi war criminals, escaped after the war through the Alps in Switzerland, down into Italy and then overseas to Latin America and even in the United States. One of the key Nazis he saved was Reinhard Gehlen, Hitler’s former chief of intelligence, who he installed, Dulles, as head of West German intelligence after the war, a man who should have stood trial at Nuremberg.”

Considering that the CIA was getting its information about Russia from the very Nazis who the Russians had defeated during the war–US intelligence assessments of Russia are likely to have been highly biased and perilously skewed in that post-war period of rising tensions during the Cold War. The US had been naively accepting Nazis’ characterizations of the Russians as demons–the Russians, our former allies who should have been thanked rather than blamed. They won WW2 after all, at huge cost. Was it really wise to form opinions of Russia and its leaders from “intelligence” delivered by its former enemy?

I suggest this absurd arrangement helps explain much of the incomprehensible and fascistic postwar US policy, official and clandestine, that we’ve glimpsed with horror over the last 65 years–the Communist witch hunts of the 1950s; covert mind control experimentation (MK-ULTRA); the 1960s political assassinations of both Kennedy brothers, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Black Panthers Hampton and Clark; the mechanized slaughter of the Vietnam War (the Vietnamese called it the “American War”); the overthrow and murder of democratically elected foreign leaders such as Diem and Allende in the 1970s; the rise of the Corporation as tyrant, and the false flag operations we’ve heard of and those we haven’t. These events had in common the goal of reducing liberty and increasing control in order to institute the “New World Order” that George H.W. Bush arrogantly bragged would succeed in a speech he delivered on September 11th 1991.

Richard Nixon and Prescott Bush (Bush’s lackey Nixon got himself a hat like his boss!) (image by Holocaust History Museum) 

Be this Guy! (image by Holocaust History Museum)

The United States’ decades long irrational hatred and fear of “Communism” and “Communists” can largely be explained as a predictable side-effect of the large-scale importation of Russia-hating, unrepentant Nazis after the war–hundreds of them and their families through Operation Paperclip, which Dulles ran. An influx of these Nazis into positions of high rank and influence in the US national security state, as intentional as it was illegal, allowed known Nazi sympathizers–like Prescott Bush, patriarch of two US presidents–to join forces with the financial architects of Nazism. It explains much regarding pathological postwar US policy and numerous inexplicable events, including assassinations, coups, false flag attacks, and illegal wars.

In a subsequent segment, I will offer more information regarding some famous Nazis and Nazi admirers including Hitler’s second-in-command, Martin Bormann, car maker Henry Ford, aviator Charles Lindbergh, animator Walt Disney, Prescott Bush, and NASA director Wehner Von Braun among others.

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How Israel seeks to Erase the Region’s History

October 19th, 2016 by Jonathan Cook

It was presumably intended as an Israeli history lesson to the world. A video posted to social media by Israel’s foreign ministry shows an everyday Jewish couple, Jacob and Rachel, in a home named the “Land of Israel”. A series of knocks on the door brings 3,000 years of interruptions to their happiness. First it’s the Assyrians, followed by the Babylonians, Hellenists, Arabs, Romans, Crusaders, Mamluks, and Ottomans – all straight out of Monty Python central casting.

Jacob and Rachel are forced by the warring factions to relocate to ever smaller parts of their home until finally they have to pitch a tent in the garden. Their fortunes change only with the arrival of a servant of the British Empire, who returns the title deeds. A final knock disturbs their celebrations. On the doorstep are a penniless Palestinian couple, craning their necks to see what goodies await them inside.

The chauvinism in portraying Jacob and Rachel as the only normal folk, stoicly enduring barbarians butchering each other in their living room, is ugly enough. But it is harder still to take seriously an account in which the Palestinians suddenly appear out of nowhere in 1948, as Britain departs.

A mile from my home in Nazareth are the ruins of Saffuriya, a centuries-old Palestinian town until the Israeli army expelled the inhabitants in 1948 and blew up their homes. More than 500 villages were similarly razed.

In places where buildings were left untouched, it is Jews – not Palestinians – who squat in someone else’s home. But the falsification runs deeper.

Next to the rubble of Saffuriya lies the much older Roman city of Sephoris, where Jews settled nearly 2,000 years ago after their failed revolts against the Roman empire. A surviving synagogue’s mosaic floor reveals that the Jews of Sephoris worshipped the sun, so close had they grown to the area’s pagan population.

Other entanglements abound. In Nazareth’s old city is the world’s only “synagogue church”, where Jesus reputedly delivered his first sermon. It is a reminder that many local Jews would soon be calling themselves Christians, and later Muslims. Farther north, in the town of Bokaya, an ancient synagogue can be found next to churches and mosques. For centuries the Abrahamic faiths lived alongside each other in a communal harmony unknown in Europe.

In fact, contrary to Israel’s version of history, the most violent clashes – aside from the Jewish revolts – coincided with invasions by Europeans, whether the aggressive sectarianism of the Crusaders, or the British-backed creation of an ethno-religious “Jewish state” by Zionists. More usually, Palestine’s past was marked by cultural tolerance and genetic diversity. Conversions and intermarriages meant the region was a melting pot of identities and beliefs.

Israel, of course, prefers to obscure that history, because it leads to an obvious conclusion: the region needs less, not more, tribalism and dogma of the sort Israel favours.

The Jewish majority in Israel lives almost entirely apart from the Palestinians who stayed on their land and are today nominally citizens. Meanwhile, in the West Bank – known to Israelis as the Biblical kingdoms of “Judea and Samaria” – Jewish settlers lord it over a ghettoised Palestinian population subject to military rule.

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been drafting a basic law defining Israel as belonging to a globalised “Jewish nation”, not the country’s citizens. And he insists that peace talks take place only once the Palestinians under occupation recognise Israel as such a Jewish state – a condition that, once viewed as risible, has now been adopted by Washington.

In a sign of the prevailing mood, Israel’s education ministry has recently banned from the curriculum two novels featuring romantic attachments between Jews and Arabs. At the same time, the “green line” that once demarcated the occupied Palestinian territories has been erased from Israeli classroom maps, implying instead that it is all Greater Israel.

Faced with Israel’s zero-sum policies and diplomacy, Palestinians have grown increasingly anxious about the future.

Last week a resolution from Unesco, the UN’s scientific and cultural body, gave voice to their concerns. It highlighted Israeli threats to the most important Muslim and Christian heritage sites under occupation.

Recognising the importance of Jerusalem “for the three monotheistic religions”, the resolution nonetheless warned that Israel was exploiting its illegal control to erase the Palestinians’ connection to such sites, especially Al Aqsa mosque.

Hoping to deflect attention away from these criticisms, Israel railed against the UN for denying primacy to its narrative. Al Aqsa must be billed equally as Temple Mount, Mr Netanyahu insisted, referring to a long-lost Jewish temple believed to be buried under the Jerusalem mosque.

But the ruined temple’s likely location leads to the opposite conclusion Mr Netanyahu has reached: not that the Jews have a stronger claim to sovereignty, but that the region’s peoples and religions are impossibly intertwined.

That should be the chief lesson for the current Jacobs and Rachels, many of them living in armed and relentlessly expanding colonies on stolen Palestinian territory.

This land was always shared, and there will be no peace until it is again.

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Is “Postcapitalism” On the Horizon?

October 19th, 2016 by Andrew Jackson

Paul Mason is a leading British economic journalist, currently a columnist for The Guardian. He is also a long time left political activist. His new book, Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future (Farrar, Strauss and Giroux. New York, 2015) is a challenging, sometimes obscure, sometimes brilliant, eminently worthwhile read, and an optimistic take that the left might, once again, be marching in tune with the forces of history.

Mason is, to say the least, highly original and idiosyncratic. His book is partly addressed to the orthodox Marxist left, endorses and builds upon the labour theory of value, takes seriously the possibility of a planned, non market economy, and pays tribute to the traditions of radical working-class socialism. At the same time, he is emphatically non Leninist, sees networked knowledge workers as the key contemporary agents of social change, and draws heavily on pro capitalist thinkers from Schumpeter, to management theorist Peter Drucker, to contemporary cheerleaders for the supposedly transformative knowledge and network based new knowledge economy.

The argument begins with the crisis of contemporary neoliberalism dating back to the financial and global crisis of 2008. Together with many left economists, Mason envisages a dismal future of secular stagnation, ever more extreme income inequality, massive job losses due to technological change, unsustainably high levels of public and private debt, and chronic global trade imbalances. He argues that capitalism faces an acute impasse due to catastrophic climate change and pending massive defaults on debt.

Mason argues that capitalism has periodically radically mutated and morphed into new forms in response to crises, but that this is unlikely to recur given that political opposition to neoliberalism has been so weak due to the decline of the labour movement. Further, new technology and new relations of production this time around will not boost profits or revive investment. Neither a Schumpeterian style new wave of innovation nor a social democratic style fix are on the horizon of plausibility.

The most original part of his argument is that the info tech revolution and the emerging network information economy (the changing forces and social relations of production in Marxist terms) are not ultimately compatible with a capitalist economy, Capital is doomed to crisis, decline and decay since it increasingly cannot capture the value created by the emerging new knowledge economy.

Four Key Strands to the Argument

First, the new economy has seen the emergence of goods and services that have zero or very low marginal costs. Information can be readily copied and shared. For example, Apple provides most of the world’s digital music (more than 70 per cent) and could in principle provide almost all existing recorded music to everybody in the world at near zero marginal cost. Pricing power only exists by virtue of low prices applied to a monopoly share of the market and fragile and contestable intellectual property rights.

The major digital economy companies which have disrupted major economic sectors survive by creating inherently unstable and vulnerable monopolies such as Google (search engines), Apple (music and other digital media within a corporate walled garden), and Facebook (social media). They may be profitable today, but the economic logic they are based upon tends toward zero prices and zero profits (hence, one can add, as the author does not, the stress of corporate interests on securing intellectual property rights in new investment agreements such as the TPP.)

Second, the new economy has seen the autonomous, non commercial rise of free and almost free goods and services. A mobile phone with an internet connection provides near zero price access to knowledge (farewell to many commercial media) and access to non commercial products such as Wikipedia and open source software which are produced to be shared rather than as a source of profit. The network economy enables individuals to produce and widely circulate blogs, music, works of art, movies, e-books and to generally share free knowledge largely outside the commercial sphere and the price system. Wikipedia is a key example of gift exchange and peer to peer production growing relative to market exchange.

Third, less and less labour is needed to produce goods and services in the age of the intelligent machine and robots. This ultimately undermines profitability since direct labour input is (on Marxist grounds) the ultimate source of value. In any case, automation and the displacement of workers by machines polarizes a shrinking workforce between knowledge workers and low paid workers in “bullshit jobs” (a useful new technical term.) Changes in production relations undermine effective demand, and emerging info- capitalism cannot resolve the increasingly chronic labour displacement/underconsumption problem.

Fourth, production is increasingly driven by knowledge, and knowledge is free and shared through networks. This stands in fundamental contradiction to the hierarchical control of knowledge within the capitalist corporation. “The main contradiction of modern capitalism is between the possibility of free, abundant socially produced goods and a system of monopolies, banks and governments struggling to maintain control over power and information. That is, everything is pervaded by a fight between network and hierarchy.”

Transition to Socialism

Mason envisages a long transition to socialism analogous to the gradual emergence of capitalism and markets within the shell of feudalism. He rejects Stalinist style central planning, and makes much of the ability of sophisticated computer technology and networks to plan in a relatively decentralized way, perhaps eventually moving beyond market allocation. The key institutions of a socialist economy will be a socialized financial system and socialized large monopolies combined with decentralized forms of social ownership such as co-ops and networked small producers. There will be a radical reduction of working time due to automation and a gradual shift to a non scarcity economy in which allocation of goods and services takes place outside of the labour market through some form of universal income.

All of this is presented with great brio, punctuated by penetrating insights and a remarkably eclectic marshalling of obscure debates and texts such as Marx on knowledge and machines in the Grundrisse.

An intellectual influence is Alexander Bogdanov, the Bolshevik economist and author of the science fiction novel Red Star featuring a socialist Mars where knowledge workers manage a totally automated economy providing abundance for all. They choose to destroy Earth on the grounds that its inhabitants are too stupid to embrace socialism. (Definitely next on my reading list.)

But the whole is less convincing than many of the parts.

Mason fails entirely to engage with the argument of Robert Gordon that the networked information technology/automation revolution is too small to drive the economy as a whole, as shown in part by dismal labour productivity growth. In effect, he presents us with a socialist gloss on the myriad techno-optimists. That said, it is hard to contest the fact that knowledge based corporate monopolies which operate at or near zero marginal costs indeed make up an increasing share of the economy and have a growing impact on how the overall economy functions

Mason also fails to elaborate any political strategy for transformation. He writes off the traditional working-class in an almost elegiac chapter devoted to the history of the labour movement, stressing past attempts to build islands of worker power in factories and communities. But he says little or nothing about political movements of precarious workers or about how networked knowledge workers might indeed be won to socialism. He says rather little about the impact of new technologies on work. But info capitalism is very far from displacing socially necessary labour, even if it may be tending in that direction, and it is hard to imagine universal displacement of labour by knowledgeable machines.

None of these criticisms detract from a very provocative and engaging attempt to engage with contemporary capitalism and to assess the prospects for radical change. •

Andrew Jackson is the former Chief Economist at the Canadian Labour Congress and is a Senior Policy Advisor at the Broadbent Institute.

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As nuclear war with Russia over Syria is being planned in earnest and craved by New World Order fanatics including the Clintons, the Obama administration and the Bushes, a “civil war” is being waged ahead of the US presidential election. The future of the entire planet is at stake.

The efforts to control the narrative, and the eventual outcome, are desperate and unprecedented, as has been the resistance to the imperial propaganda effort.

A Hillary Clinton presidency is being pushed down the collective throats of humanity with massive psy-op, a global “wag the dog”. The end game of the elites—nuclear war with Russia, the long-awaited conquest of the Eurasian subcontinent, and a criminal succession must not be derailed. A Trump victory and a popular revolt pose threats to this end game, and must be thwarted at all costs.

Aligned against the New World Order is an unprecedented anti-establishment resistance, represented by Trump and his movement, exemplified by Wikileaks, DC Leaks, Anonymous, the alternative media, and the urgent warnings of whistleblowers and seasoned observers who know the Clintons, and individuals such as Cindy Sheehan and Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, who warn that a Hillary Clinton presidency poses and immediate threat of world war.

Tensions are reaching the breaking point. Within the US, there is intense volatility on all fronts, and divisions at every level.

The Clintons’ dirty propaganda tidal wave

The Clinton/Bush/New World Order forces and their worldwide corporate media apparatus have concocted a propaganda construct of massive proportions—an alternative reality made up of smoke and mirrors, false narratives.

The entire mainstream media, from the international and national to the local levels, is functioning as nothing more than a propaganda bull horn for Clinton, a weapon of around-the-clock mouth-foaming character assassination against Trump, and an all-out propaganda attack against Russia. In lockstep, the Washington criminal establishment led by the Clinton and Bush factions, and the corporate media that they own, pummel the war drums around the clock, demanding collective obedience and surrender.

Trump is the immediate target, but Russia is the larger and more important one.  Russia must be set up as the justifiable target for war. Russia is being systematically blamed for Donald Trump and “interference” with the election, for a total infiltration of America. Russia is blamed for Wikileaks and all counter-Clinton resistance.

It does not get more Orwellian than this, or more dangerous. Reality has been turned upside down. Trump is portrayed as a fascist madman. The headline of a recent editorial penned by former Clinton official Robert Reich, typical of what is found across the mainstream media today, screams: “Failing to vote for Clinton puts our future in jeopardy. This nonsense spews forth, when in fact Hillary Clinton is the neocon, the war criminal, the fanatic who is demanding for nuclear war with Russia. In fact, Hillary Clinton puts all of humankind in jeopardy immediately. In fact, there will be no future at all when nuclear war breaks out. 

The degree and depth of the collusion, the bald-faced nature of the deception, has never been more evident. The sheer number of Clinton/Bush surrogates, mouthpieces and gatekeepers, astounding. Hollywood and the entertainment world, controlled by the same forces and CIA assets as the news media, are also is out in force. The Trump-bashing, the “Trump as pervert” allegations, the pro-Clinton cover-up and fantasy spinning is around the clock, from snarky pro-Clinton Saturday Night Live skits to the glib talk show hosts and entertainment “reporters”.  An upcoming episode of the TV series Law and Order, to be shown before the election, is being specially produced to depict a Trump-like sexual predator who is running for office.

The Clintons destroyed Bernie Sanders and stole the Democratic Party nomination using a variety of criminal means.  What Sanders suffered is nothing compared to what is being dealt to Trump.  The combined forces of the Clintons and Bushes—virtually the entire New World Order and its networks—are aiming their weapons at Trump. The dissent and resistance that he represents is to be smashed and silenced. They will stop at nothing.

Destroying Trump

Days before the second presidential debate, it seemed that Donald Trump’s campaign had been neutralized by the Hillary Clinton sleaze machine.

Following a first debate in which the Clintons blatantly and criminally cheated, the Clintons went directly to what they do best: more dirty tricks. The “bombshell” designed to end Trump was a mysteriously recorded audio clip from 2005 in which Donald Trump was caught using “lewd locker room” language about women. The actual source of the leak is not known. Suspects could include any number of Clinton-connected CIA assets within NBC and/or Republican operatives (connected to Paul Ryan or the Bushes) working with the Clintons to remove Trump from the presidential race.

NBC executive producer Rob Silverstein claims that he was not the leak, while acknowledging that he knew about the tape. What is known is that Washington Post asset David Fahrenthold, a fervent anti-Trump pro-Clinton attack dog who was responsible for creating the furor over alleged improprieties within Trump’s charities, somehow obtained the clip from the leaker.  The Washington Post, like much of the corporate media, is an Establishment propaganda organ, rife with CIA assets, dominated by Clinton and Bush plants, and devoid of “journalism”.

Trump’s private conversation (likely illegally taped) was with Billy Bush, host of NBC’s Access Hollywood and host of Miss Universe pageants. Billy Bush is the nephew of George H.W. “Poppy” Bush. He is the cousin of Jeb Bush, son of Jonathan Bush, who is the brother of “Poppy”, and a manager of some of the Bush family’s many banking interests, including the CIA-connected Riggs Bank, which specialized in money laundering.

It is not known if Billy Bush was directly and knowingly involved in setting the trap on Trump, or if he has any played any direct political role from his convenient position within NBC. The tape’s release was no surprise. Bush not only remembered the recording but bragged about it to NBC colleagues during the Rio Olympic Games in August 2016. Given the enduring connection between the Clintons and Bushes, and their shared hatred of Trump, a Bush presence in the middle of an anti-Trump operation does not appear to be a coincidence. Billy Bush is in the process of leaving NBC (after being “suspended” for having laughed along with Trump), and is negotiating a lucrative severance package. The rest of the Bush family, however, is no doubt chortling with glee over Trump’s demise, and proud of Billy for playing the fall guy. Here was one manifestation of the Bush “throat cut” warning to Trump. There will be more to come.

So desperate is the New World Order for a Hillary Clinton White House that the Republicans, led by Paul Ryan, are willing to risk their own political seats to get rid of Trump. Some fifty Republicans immediately withdrew support for Trump.

The furor over this original Trump tape has been followed by an onslaught of other Trump-as-pervert-sexual predator accusations that the media and its legions of operatives have dutifully and aggressively trumpeted and repeated.

The accusations are transparently deceptive, the accusers likely paid off by Clinton operatives. They are baseless, unwitnessed, out of nowhere claims from decades ago, some by individuals who have already been proven to be liars. Although the Trump campaign has responded to each smear with legal action, the corporate media has continued to apply overwhelming pressure, endless air time, endless ink, and an endless parade of accusers.

As exposed in the Wikileaks dump of emails to John Podesta, longtime Clinton operative Bill Ivey wrote that “we’ve all been content to demean government, drop civics and in general conspire to produce an unaware and compliant citizenry”.

Distract a dumbed-down and brainwashed American populace, occupy them with salacious tabloid garbage, imprison them sex gossip from which they never emerge. Make sure they stay dumb and don’t look up facts or read book. Make sure the warnings about Clinton are not heard.

Facts are rendered meaningless, while fakery, illusion and propaganda rule. The magnitude and scope of the deception is unprecedented.

With just one month until the election, the nightmare is just beginning, not only for Trump but for all who oppose the New World Order. This writer predicts that in the coming weeks, the Clinton sleaze machine will dredge up new and more outlandish material to scandalize Trump. And worse.

The resistance strengthens

Inside the confines of the Clinton/Bush propaganda bubble, it would seem that things are in order. The election is over already. Donald Trump is a sexual predator. Hillary Clinton’s lead is “insurmountable”. Hillary is the “overwhelming” champion of debates (that she did not win), the “overwhelming” leader in polls (that are rigged and compiled deceptively by pro-Clinton media and services that purposely oversample pro-Clinton voters). The election will be stolen, regardless, but thanks to manufactured reality, Trump is gone, resistance is squashed. It’s over.

But in reality, the deception has not worked. In many ways, it has backfired.

The smear campaign did not work. Trump is not only fighting back with even more pointed attacks but he has more popular support than ever.  He is in full attack mode.

In reality, Trump leads Hillary. According to a Rasmussen poll (that is, unlike the Hillary-rigged polls of CNN, NBC, etc. fairly sampled and more accurate)  Trump led Clinton even after the release of the Trump tape. According to a more recent Daybreak poll taken at the time of this writing, Trump’s lead is growing.

Wikileaks has unleashed bombshells about Hillary Clinton on a daily basis, with more to come.

Daily releases have exposed Hillary Clinton from all angles as a criminal.  Any one of the revelations should have the power destroy her politically, indict her as a criminal, send her to prison, and remove her from public life.

Hillary Clinton has now been caught funding the Islamic State. This evidence proves that she, her State Department, the Clinton Foundation, the CIA, the Obama administration literally created ISIS terrorism, in collusion with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, to destabilize the Middle East and topple Syria, towards the nuclear war with Russia that she wants to wage. It is pure treason. Hillary Clinton is a terrorist. The abuse of power at the State Department, Benghazi, the emails, the Clinton Foundation, election fraud, the —all of it is treason. And add to that the host of criminal lies about Hillary’s health and documents exposing illegal Machiavellian operations of Clinton operatives.

Trump is attracting support, his events are attended in the thousands. While Clinton’s support is smoke and mirrors and illusion: thinly-attended, staged, rigged, and even faked for the cameras. The Clinton campaign even struggles to employ campaign workers.

There is a good reason why Wikileaks, DC Leaks, Anonymous and other sources of genuine investigative journalism and truth have almost exclusively focused their efforts to stop Hillary Clinton and not Trump.  It is because Clinton and the criminal establishment she represents is the genuine threat to humanity.

Even Cindy Sheehan and Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein have declared that Hillary Clinton is more dangerous than Donald Trump, and warn that Hillary Clinton could start a nuclear war.

The Trump smears may also be backfiring on the Clintons. It has opened the door for Trump to address expose Bill Clinton’s known history as a sexual predator and a rapist, and Hillary ‘s history of intimidation against Bill’s victims.  Four of Bill Clinton’s rape victims came to Trump’s defense. Many more victims of the Clintons are coming forward. The “Bill Clinton is a rapist” counter-movement is not going away.

Hillary herself is a sexual predator, and a deviant, according to many. There is plenty of rich material exposing Hillary’s personal history, such as the accounts of former Clinton insiders, Secret Service agents, and rape victims such as former CIA asset Cathy O’Brien, who claims to have been raped by Hillary as a young girl.

(The O’Brien story holds the potential for utterly destroying Hillary Clinton, but has not been mentioned by the Trump forces, nor has it made it into any corporate media reporting. It has not even been prominent in the alternative media. This writer believes that the O’Brien story is too dangerous to be wielded in a mass public fashion, because it not only exposes the Clintons, but also the Bushes, CIA criminal covert operations, and Iran-Contra.)

The New World Order is desperate to force their trickery but they have not been able to shut down the Internet, where the resistance thrives. The Internet is at present too open, too fast, too democratic, too “dangerous”, and offer too many avenues to the truth. This is why the government and its corporate fronts are engaged in efforts to eventually shut down the Web. Google and YouTube, for example, are currently engaging in outright censorship of political content but have not fully shut down all dissent.

While much of America remains dumbed down and brainwashed, more people are waking up. This scenario is unacceptable to the elites.

Surviving the smear, winning the debate

Trump won the second presidential debate, in spite of the fact that the Clintons rigged it, in spite of the clear and aggressive attacks by “moderators” Anderson Cooper of Clinton-controlled CNN (and a CIA intern) and ABC’s Martha Raddatz (White House correspondent in the George W. Bush administration).

They attempted to make the event a referendum on Trump’s behavior. They constantly interrupted Trump, but let Hillary filibuster. They refused to let Trump finish sentences. Cooper went after Trump, accusing him of being a sexual predator. “Do you deny that you groped women?” (laying the groundwork for the accusations of rape that would follow after the debate).

Raddatz inserted herself into the argument for Syrian regime change, demanding Trump to address (what she believes is) the need for an “armed humanitarian occupation of Syria. She argued with Trump, and squealed in anger at his statements.

Their assistance to Hillary was so blatant that Trump said, “it’s one on three”.

Hillary robotically went about her talking point presentation. She badgered Trump on “character”, pronouncing herself “good”, and took every opportunity to launch unfounded attack Russia and Putin. She blamed Russia for the Syrian crisis, terrorism and cyberattacks, blamed Russia as the force behind Wikileaks and Trump. While stating that as president, she would not deploy “ground forces” in Syria, but promised to send Special Forces, and covert operations (therefore contradicting herself cleverly), and promised a no-fly zone (at act of war).

But Trump owned the most memorable moments of the night (“You’d be in jail”) and unnerved Clinton by promising to appoint a special prosecutor to go after her.

Trump:

  • Exposed Bill Clinton as a rapist
  • Went after Hillary’s emails
  • Went after Benghazi
  • Addressed Clinton and Obama as the creators of ISIS and a “disastrous” Middle East full of terrorism (but did not mention the CIA, or Anglo-American management of Al-Qaeda, Al Nusra, ISIS)
  • Addressed how Clinton wants open borders that allow jihadists to move about freely and enter the United States (but again, no mention of CIA agenda that purposely allows its assets to be moved around strategically)
  • Mentioned Wikileaks but did not go into specifics
  • Slammed Clinton for 30 years of ineffectiveness (but did not mention her specific crimes)
  • Successfully deflected attacks on his tax returns by pointing out that Hillary and her Wall Street friends including Warren Buffett and George Soros also evade taxes
  • Mentioned Bill Clinton colluding with Loretta Lynch to shut down the investigation into Hillary
  • Correctly stated that Hillary has “ lot of hate” but did not go into detail, failed to mention Clinton’s known history of mental instability and poor character

Trump’s most important exchange was about Russia, in which he openly disagreed with the anti-Russia stance of his running mate Mike Pence.

“It would nice to be friendly with Russia so we can fight ISIS together. Russia is killing ISIS, Syria is killing ISIS, Iran is killing ISIS.”

He also clarified that he “doesn’t know Putin”, has no business dealings with Russia. “The reason you keep blaming Russia is to attack me”.

Trump trounced Clinton, took the lead over Clinton after the debate, but Clinton’s media machine pronounced her the overwhelming winner via numerous fake polls and fake focus groups.

The criminal past

The Clintons’ criminal history also offers a treasure trove of damning material. The “elephant in the living room” is this legacy. Their criminal activities in Arkansas, their Iran-Contra/CIA drugs collaboration with the Bushes, their enduring relationships with the neocons and the CIA, the long string of political murders stretching back to the 1980s, their many financial swindles, the White House scandals of the 1990s, the war crimes.  The partnership of Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton is notorious and blood-soaked.

There are countless individuals who know in specific detail what the Clintons are about. There are the former Clinton operatives and insiders, the staffers, the bodyguards and the Secret Service agents who were there to witness their crimes. Many, who remain among the living, have spoken out and continue to speak out. There are the political colleagues who were betrayed, the insiders and whistleblowers who have been marginalized. Many of these individuals have spoken out and written books, and their stories are readily available.

The question is how far Trump and his operatives dare go into this history, if they dare let Cathy O’Brien speak out, and if the truth galvanizes a resistance among the knowing—a revolution that not even a massive criminal apparatus can control.

October Surprise: World War III?

While the popular anti-New World Order/anti-Clinton movement aligned with Trump continues surge in the reality not reflected by the corporate media fantasy world, all hopes could be rendered a moot, if the criminal forces have their way.

The greater danger comes from those in power right now, who, unlike either presidential candidate, hold the power to create immediate chaos and calamity.

full blown nuclear war with Russia would change everything. It would result in the literal destruction of the planet. Fanatics are on the marchThe resistance knows it.

A false flag event on the magnitude greater than even 9/11 may be in the works.

The Obama administration has declared that it will retaliate against a fake non-existence cyberattack by Russia, against a fake non-existent Russian infiltration of the US presidential election. A massive financial crisis, coinciding with a world war, is also a possibility, given the collapse of Deutsche Bank, a major criminal (CIA-connected) bank and lynchpin of the world financial system, and the inability of the New World Order to maintain control of its “vassals”, as evidenced by Brexit.

The more successful the anti-Clinton efforts of Trump, Wikileaks and resistance movements, the more likely the empire resorts to violence and humanity-ending calamity.

The Obama administration might choose to start the war before the election, to cancel the election.

Or with a Trump win, start the war before Obama leaves office, preventing Trump from taking office. Or with a Hillary win, start the war in a more “orderly” sequence, when the “queen” takes the throne.

A genuine nightmare scenario is upon us. It is no longer “unthinkable”, it is happening.

Those who refuse to passively accept the possible end of the world must act now, with what little time is left.

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Nauru, Refugees and Australia’s “Torture Complex”

October 19th, 2016 by Dr. Binoy Kampmark

Two items of interest have tickled the airwaves and triggered some commentary over the last few days. The first was an ABC Four Corners program covering the fate of refugees in the detention facility on Nauru, known euphemistically as a “processing centre” costing $35.3 million a year to the Australian tax payer.

The Four Corners program was, in turn, informed by a significant Amnesty International report, aptly titled Island of Despair, which was released on Monday night.[1]  That report examined the rather ghoulish extent the Australian government, with its Nauru satraps, has been going about the business of “processing” boat arrivals.

In the sobering words of the report, Australia’s government had furthered “a policy to deter people arriving by boat” calculated to inflict “intolerable cruelty and the destruction of the physical and mental integrity of hundreds of children, men and children,” an approach “chosen as a tool of government policy.”

As the author and research director for Amnesty, Anna Neistat, noted, attendance by refugee children in local schools was poor for one obvious, abysmal point: “No matter how horrible the detention was – and the conditions in detention were – quite a few families and children themselves told me that now they’re in the community, they feel less safe because they’re subjected to attacks by the local population.”[2]

Material had also been supplied by the contractor, Broadspectrum, formerly of Transfield fame, to an Australian Senate select committee citing 67 allegations of child abuse in Nauru, 12 of which found their way to the Nauru police.  The police, true to form, have dragged their feet on the issue.

Australia’s morally impervious Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, remains rigidly opposed to any suggestion that Nauru has become an exemplar of torture for refugees, a continuum that stretches from the camp itself to the community that despises them.  “I reject the claim totally,” claimed the prime minister in fully rehearsed Newspeak.  “It is absolutely false.  The Australian government’s commitment is compassionate and it’s strong.”[3]

Turnbull, along with his counterparts in Parliament, has taken a vaccine against refugee processing on Australian shores.  The vaccine operates across the board, against incriminating reports, against ghastly revelations, and, generally, against any alternative that is not purposely cruel.  The point is not to save lives but make the lives of the living unbearable.

The Republic of Nauru, bought and complicit in the entire venture, decided to attack the entire premise of the investigative report, using its propaganda arm (the “media and public information” unit) to argue that the children had been “coached” and interviewed in a “stage-managed” way.

What the statement from the same unit insisted upon was the conclusiveness of appearances, the triumph of embalmed truths.  What you saw was what you, without doubt, got.  “[V]iewers could clearly see that the refugees were well dressed, well-groomed and healthy.”  Where, went the suggestion, was the squalor, the degradation, the hostility?

A closer look at the spectacle that is Nauru’s processing facility suggests a few illusions which the propaganda preachers have been at pains to engender. The pedantic will draw upon the point that those in the facility are not technically detained, being allowed, like protected animals in an enclosed safari park, to wander around – within reason.

Nauru authorities have insisted that the children are not held in any case, being allowed to live with families in appropriately safe accommodation, close to shops and decent amenities, including a new school and the “new $27 million state-of-the-art medical facility to which refugees have unrestricted and free access”. The environment is near idyllic, free of violence, or at any rate less violent than Australia.

With insistent smugness, the statement goes on to sociologically dump on Australian conditions, a reverse psychological approach that deems Terra Australis the place of nightmares: “There are fights in Australian schools on a daily basis and there is crime in Australia.  The Australian news shows acts of crime each night that are far more violent than anything Nauru has experienced.”

Having raised the Nauru wilderness to the status of a welcoming refugee utopia, the unit statement goes on to aim at the Four Corners program, which it claims “should be campaigning for no refugees to be allowed into such a violent society as Australia.”

With cruel perversion, an indigent, pseudo-colonial entity like Nauru becomes more appropriate than the funder of this grandiosely macabre vision, the Australian government.  The journalists of Four Corners had refused to play along, instead falsely portraying “Nauru as an unsafe nation, which it is not.”

Nauru had, effectively, been taking up a heavy, dark man’s burden, while in the mind of its officials, a scurrilous ABC had been promoting “biased political propaganda and lies” disseminating a report that was, “From start to finish… denigrating, racist, false and pure political activism.”

While this turn of the comic absurd will make some in Canberra squeamish, disturbing the odd conscience, the points on this clownishly brutal episode are clear: the torture facility that is Nauru is here to stay, a defiant reminder that humanitarianism towards the stateless and the fleeing is a fiction advanced by those who trumpet it as they deny it.   

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

Notes

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Is the US Election Rigged?

October 19th, 2016 by Barry Grey

The US media and political establishment have been consumed over the past two days with denunciations of Republican candidate Donald Trump’s allegations that the presidential election is “rigged” in favor of his rival, Hillary Clinton.

There is an increasingly racist and fascistic character to Trump’s charges, which combine attacks on the media for pushing allegations of sexual abuse with sweeping claims of vote-rigging, particularly in minority neighborhoods. Trump is urging his supporters to turn out en masse to “monitor” the polls, creating the possibility of violence on Election Day.

As always, Trump’s statements are a mixture of half-truths and lies. While there is no doubt that the media establishment has lined up behind Clinton, Trump is using the “rigged election” claim to lay the basis for declaring the election to have been stolen. He is preparing to use the “stolen election” as the rallying cry for the development of an extra-parliamentary, far-right movement after November 8.

This does not, however, lend the slightest credibility to the self-righteous and hypocritical response of the Democratic Party and the political establishment in general. Their indignation over any suggestion that something could be amiss with the pristinely democratic American electoral system is absurd.

Trump’s charges resonate well beyond the relative minority of his supporters who respond to racist agitation because his claims correspond to the bitter experience of broad masses of people with what passes for American democracy. This is, after all, a country that had a stolen election. The US Supreme Court shut down a vote recount in Florida and awarded the 2000 election to George W. Bush, who had lost the popular vote to Democrat Al Gore.

This was followed by the 2004 election, when George W. Bush was reelected based on disputed voting in Ohio and widespread charges of voter suppression.

The question, however, goes far beyond vote-rigging. Even by the standards of other major capitalist countries, the electoral system in the United States is among the least democratic. The two-party system is institutionalized, enforcing a political monopoly of two right-wing parties entirely beholden to the financial aristocracy—this in a vast and diverse country of 320 million people!

State ballot access and election laws impose prohibitive requirements, including the collection of tens of thousands of signatures, making it virtually impossible for “third party” and independent candidates to mount an effective campaign.

This political duopoly is reinforced by the unrestricted role of corporate money in US elections, corrupting the entire process to a degree, and with a brazenness, unmatched by any other major industrialized country. It is estimated that campaign spending by presidential and congressional candidates this year will hit a new record of more than $7.3 billion. For all practical purposes, to win high office in America one must either have billionaire backers or be a multi-millionaire oneself.

The corporate-owned media does its anti-democratic part, depriving coverage to alternative parties. In this election, Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and Jill Stein of the Green Party, who are respectively polling 7 percent and 3 percent nationally, are excluded from the televised presidential debates, not to mention Jerry White, the candidate of the Socialist Equality Party.

The result is a political system that is increasingly unviable because it is unable to address any of the concerns of the vast majority of the population. The fact that barely half of the electorate bothers to vote is a devastating commentary on the US electoral system.

The bitter experience of the Obama administration, brought to power on a wave of popular hatred for Bush and revulsion over his wars and attacks on working class living standards, has further convinced tens of millions of people that neither their needs and concerns, nor their votes, have any impact on the policies pursued by the government. The candidate of “hope” and “change,” mistakenly believed to be an agent of progressive change because of his ethnicity, continued and deepened the policies of war and corporate plunder of his predecessor.

In the current election, the internal rot resulting from decades of economic decay and political reaction, presided over by both parties, has erupted onto the surface, placing a question mark over the survival of the two-party system. One measure of the system’s bankruptcy is the fact that an election cycle in which millions of people cast votes for a candidate who claimed, falsely, to be a socialist and opponent of Wall Street, Bernie Sanders, now presents the people with the “choice” between a billionaire quasi-fascist and a corrupt stooge of Wall Street and the military/intelligence establishment.

The transcripts of Hillary Clinton’s speeches to Goldman Sachs, released by WikiLeaks, show the real relationship that exists between the politicians and Wall Street. They are the paid servants of the financial oligarchs who run the country.

The fundamental and gigantic fraud that dominates the election is the total disconnect between the populist claims of both candidates and the reality of the programs they intend to implement. The real agenda, regardless of which one wins in November, is war, austerity and repression.

Is the election rigged? Of course it is—to produce an outcome acceptable to the ruling class. The entire political system is rigged and fundamentally undemocratic because capitalism is a system of class exploitation in which real political power is concentrated in the hands of a corporate-financial oligarchy.

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This opinion piece was co-signed by 17 members of the European Parliament, from three different political groups.

In reality, the EU-Canada trade deal fosters excessive liberalisation and deregulation: it weakens governments’ rights to regulate in the public interest and the so-called “additional declaration” does not provide legal protection in key areas and does not meet the requirements of our legal traditions.

When the Transatlantic trade negotiations were launched, both European and American leaders failed to understand why they were the target of a wave of scepticism in public opinion. They pledged that this time, it would be different from NAFTA.

The North-American Free Trade Agreement ended up destroying manufacturing jobs, pressuring down wages, weakening standards and consumer protection, and turned Canada, once a small farmers’ nation, into one of the biggest GMO producers.

Now that the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) is completed and public, one can assess whether these official claims are grounded or if they were rather part of the political marketing.

According to the EU Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmström, CETA will “raise standards” and “create jobs”. Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s Trade Minister, goes further when she says that CETA is a “progressive agreement” because it reflects “progressive values”.

In reality, if these negotiations were really about raising the bar while creating equally distributed wealth, it’s fair to wonder why they were led in such an opaque way. Average parliamentarians, both at national and EU level, were not associated with the discussions, and the Council’s negotiating mandate – setting the guidelines for the Commission’s negotiators – was only made public after the agreement was concluded.

If CETA really was a “progressive agreement”, why would its sponsors be afraid of facing democracy? Whereas national and regional parliaments will have to approve CETA, 90% of the agreement (i.e. “EU-only competences”) will enter into force before their vote. And even if one or several parliaments decide to reject CETA, “provisional application” will keep being effective on these EU-only matters.

Contrary to what is officially advocated, no one is able to prove CETA’s ability to generate prosperity and create jobs. The official Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA) forecasts only a 0.03 GDP increase, and other independent studies based on a more realistic UN model anticipate negative economic effects and more than 200,000 EU-wide jobs lost.

Whereas the European Commission says that CETA is primarily a way to help SMEs – 99% of them do not actually export beyond the Atlantic – many actually fear a diversion of their business in the EU due to the competition from big Canadian companies.

The EU-Canada agreement is therefore definitely not about wealth creation. When faced with that contradiction, CETA proponents discovered another line of defence: they argue that their main intention is to create high international trade standards with the help of like-minded partners, such as Canada, against dumping from China.

But here again, the text of the agreement does not objectively reflect that ambition: sanitary standards are not reinforced, because the “precautionary principle” is nowhere mentioned; the EU and Canada did not commit to better protect social rights and labour rights; our climate commitments alongside the COP21 are deeply contradicted by CETA, which is expected to increase greenhouse gas emissions.

Essentially, the EU-Canada trade agreement goes against what Europe, undermined by the rise of inequalities and the decline of public investment and services, really needs. Indeed, CETA fosters liberalisation instead of protection and deregulation instead of re-regulation. It also weakens our legal systems and our states’ ability to pursue public policy objectives. An example: while the EU’s farmers desperately ask for more protections in the EU internal market, CETA opens new duty-free quotas for Canadian beef and pork, representing in total 140,000 tons a year.

Worst of all, when three decades of wild globalisation left the feeling among many citizens that their governments were deprived of any ability to tame it, governments’ public policy decisions will be further challenged by multinational companies, including through legal channels. The new “ICS system” is not fundamentally different from the old “ISDS system”.

Both are unnecessary and dangerous: just as Transcanada sued Obama’s government for putting an end to the Keystone XL project, Canadian companies could legally ask Germany, France or any other European country for compensations if they take measures affecting their “legitimate expectations”.

It is worth noting that the German Association of Judges severely questions the compatibility of that parallel jurisdiction with the EU legal order and urges the Commission, national governments or the Parliament to ask the ECJ for a legal opinion on compatibility with EU law.

Indeed, serious doubts remain regarding the independence and qualification of ICS judges – among other elements, they will be paid on a daily basis – as well as regarding the protection of the states’ right to regulate in public interest.

The European Commission and the member states are well aware of our arguments. The fact that the Commission decided to draft an “interpretative declaration” to further clarify the CETA provisions shows that our claims are well grounded. But that text misses the point.

It is rather a smokescreen that according to experts in international law has neither the legal weight nor the ambition to contradict some of the most problematic aspects of CETA – even the Commission admitted it was rather a communication tool. It cannot counter the services liberalisation mechanism, does not mention the precautionary principle nor climate protection goals etc.

We still believe that CETA is not the kind of agreement Europe needs. While we think CETA is dangerous for our democracy, our economy, our standards and our environment, we also think that there can be good trade regulation, particularly at a multilateral level.

We are strong supporters of multilateral trade agreements contributing to creating tangible benefits for workers and consumers, regulating globalization, integrating the fight against global warming, safeguarding our norms while preserving our democratic models. Any other kind of agreement should be rejected and we will fight to that end.

This op-ed is signed by the following MEPs:

  • Marie Arena, S&D (Parti socialiste – Belgium);
  • Guillaume Balas, S&D (Parti socialiste – France);
  • Hugues Bayet, S&D (Parti socialiste – Belgium);
  • Sergio Cofferati, S&D (Italy);
  • Fabio De Masi, GUE/NGL (DIE LINKE – Germany);
  • Yannick Jadot, Greens/EFA (Europe Ecologie – France)
  • Eva Joly, Greens/EFA (Europe Ecologie – France);
  • Stelios Kouloglou, GUE/NGL (ΣΥΡΙΖΑ – Greece);
  • Curzio Maltese, GUE/NGL (Italy);
  • Florent Marcellesi, Greens/EFA (EQUO – Spain);
  • Emmanuel Maurel, S&D (Parti socialiste – France);
  • Anne-Marie Mineur, GUE/NGL (Socialistische Partij – Netherlands);
  • Dimitrios Papadimoulis, GUE/NGL (ΣΥΡΙΖΑ- Greece);
  • Georgi Pirinski, S&D (Bulgarska sotsialisticheska partiya- Bulgaria);
  • Marc Tarabella, S&D (Parti socialiste – Belgium);
  • Ernest Urtasun, Greens/EFA (Iniciativa per Catalunya Verds – Spain);
  • Monika Vana, Greens/EFA (Die Grünen – Austria)
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Hundreds of foreign mercenaries have arrived to the contact line in Donbass, Chief of the Staff of the People’s Militia of the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), Oleg Anaschenko, said, citing reconnaissance units of the republic. Reportedly, the fighters come from such countries as Poland, the Baltic States, Canada and the US.

“According to information received from human intelligence sources in settlements near the line of contact, several hundred mercenaries from the United States, Canada, the Baltic countries and Poland have arrived in the area, armed with small arms and equipment,” the Doni news agency quoted his words.

Anaschenko also noted that the Ukrainian side has created three training camps in the Ukrainian-controlled settlements of Bobrovo and Bobrovskoye, located near Severodonetsk. According to the LPR People’s Militia, Ukrainian soldiers are being trained there in urban combat, as well as in reconnaissance by foreign instructors.

“We have also recorded the presence of training camps in the village of Schastye (on the contact line) where American and Polish instructors teach sharpshooters and sabotage and reconnaissance groups for their further actions on the territory of the LPR,” Anaschenko added.

Anaschenko also said that an arrival of about 150 foreign mercenaries, armed with US-made assault rifles, as well as of off-road vehicles, infantry combat vehicles, armored fighting vehicles has been spotted in the settlement of Polovinkino in Starobelsk. According to Sputnik news agency, LPR intelligence sources reported that foreign mercenaries, armed with NATO-standard light weapons, have also been noticed in Trekhizbenka village in Slavyanoserbsk.

The Chief of the Staff of the LPR People’s Militia stressed that these facts once again confirm that the Ukrainian side is not going to have a peaceful dialogue in order to resolve the situation in Donbass, and rather would use any opportunity to destabilize it, trying to divert attention of Ukrainian people from numerous domestic problems.

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In all disproportion to size and physical heft, WikiLeaks has managed to throw bombs of digital worth into various political processes with marked effect.  While its critics and detractors deny and attempt to dispel its influence, the authorities are still concerned.  So concerned, in fact, that they have attempted, over the years, to curb the reach and access to the website, and its chief publisher, Julian Assange.

Within these asymmetrical power relations between the publishing outfit and state actors lies Assange, assiduously engaged in activities that have already proven historical in value. They, in the main, have taken place without molestation from the Ecuadorean authorities who front as hosts for him in the London compound.

Hardly having the warmest set of relations with Washington, Ecuador has generally kept the issues it might have with Assange at arm’s length.  It was not a state of affairs that would last.  Assange has been particularly hot in the current US presidential campaign, with the release of email exchanges connected with the Democratic National Committee, Hillary Clinton’s own emails and the latest Podesta files.

On Saturday, WikiLeaks released the contents of three speeches made by the Democratic nominee for the White House to Goldman Sachs.  Clinton was handsomely remunerated, a point that should permanently disable any notion about partiality in the context of regulating Wall Street and its more resilient demons.

Ever since the Clinton campaign started springing more leaks than a refugee vessel, its frazzled managers have been attempting to guard the content of those deliveries with fanatical, if misplaced dedication.  Inconsistencies and worries have been flagged, all of these available in email exchanges from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

This week, it became clear that other factors were at play, with Ecuador acknowledging that Assange’s internet access had been restricted.  The Ecuadorean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility found itself having to fend off suggestions that Washington had been breathing heavily down the neck of its officials.  The emphasis was, rather, on untrammelled sovereignty – the country, after all “does not cede to pressures from other countries”.

To that end, “Ecuador, exercising its sovereign right, has temporarily restricted access to part of its communications systems in its UK embassy.”[1]  The stance of not bowing to pressure was less than convincing given the prefacing comments noting how WikiLeaks had “in recent weeks […] published a wealth of documents, impacting the US election campaign.”  Furthermore, the country respected “the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states” including “external electoral processes”.

WikiLeaks itself claimed that “multiple US sources” had informed it that US Secretary of State John Kerry “asked Ecuador to stop Assange from publishing Clinton docs during FARC peace negotiations.”[2]

The digital conflict has also thrown up desperate turns.  Podesta, whose political impotence in this has been near total, decided last week to take a rather vulgar approach against Assange. It came soon after his own Twitter account had been hacked to display a pro-Trump message.  “I bet the lobster risotto,” tweaked Podesta to Assange as he can be seen preparing the dish, “is better than the food at the Ecuadorean embassy.”[3]  The snappy response was immediate.  “Yes, we get it,” went WikiLeaks. “The elite eat better than the peasants they abuse.”

The digital war that has unfolded during the course of this presidential election is one for narrative and reality. The effort from the Clinton campaign to foil access, seek vengeance on the whistleblower, and draw Russia into the debate has reached maniacal proportions. Some on the Right of US politics have even gone so far as to grace WikiLeaks with their blessings, among them Rep. Jeff Duncan, who even thanked the divine for publisher’s work in frustrating the meek efforts of mainstream media.[4]

Another limb in the campaign that has unfolded in the last few days features efforts to remind the humble reader, and possessor, of stolen documents connected with WikiLeaks, how the intrusive arm of the law might well interfere.

Chris Cuomo of CNN got busy claiming with faux paternalism how “it’s illegal to possess these stolen documents. It’s different for the media.  So everything you learn about this, you’re learning from us.” Keeping it mainstream; keeping it tepid; and most importantly, keeping it unreal.

That effort to control access and frame the means which such emails and data can be distributed flies in the face of US jurisprudence.  On several occasions in US legal history, courts have noted that the First Amendment protects both the media and the general public, including instances of distributing illegally obtained material.

In New York Times Co. v Sullivan, 376 U.S., 265-6 (1964), the bench laid heavy emphasis on the “persons who do not themselves have access to publishing facilities” as having equal entitlements to those who did.  In Bartinicki v Vopper, 532 U.S. 514 (2001), privacy gave way to the interest in publishing matters of public importance, notwithstanding that the phone call intercepts in that case were obtained illegally, then distributed.

Even the less legally aware would note the case of New York Times Co. v United States, 403 U.S. 713, which famously disregarded the fact that the documents in question had been stolen by a third party. What mattered was the nature of the stolen documents’ character and consequences of public disclosure.

As the Clinton campaign emphasises the stolen character of the data in a hope of some miraculous rite of purification, WikiLeaks remains committed in refocusing attention on one of the least attractive contenders for the White House in US political history.  Substance does sometimes count more than form, and the messages are there to prove it.

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

Notes

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Iraq’s volunteer forces (Hashd al-Shaabi) complained that the warplanes of the US-led coalition are allowing ISIL military convoys flee Mosul in Iraq’s Nineveh province to Syria without being harmed.

“Much surprised the ISIL convoys that have been escaping from Mosul to Syria have not come under attack by the coalition fighter jets,” a Hashd al-Shaabi source said.

He said that the ISIL is now confused in Mosul as the Iraqi security forces have gained a lot of information about the concentration centers of the terrorist group in Mosul.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi announced early on Monday that the country’s armed forces and popular troops had started large-scale operation to take back the ISIL’s self-proclaimed capital, Mosul.

Prime Minister Al-Abadi appeared on the state TV an hour after midnight to declare that his country’s army, security and mobilized volunteer troops have started the long-awaited offensive to take back the country’s second-largest city.

“The hour has come and the moment of great victory is near,” Al-Abadi said early on Monday in a speech on state TV, flanked by the armed forces’ top commanders.

Al-Abadi vowed that the military troops will take maximum caution to save civilian lives and avoid collateral damage in the city that is believed to still be home to over a million people.

The premier asked the civilian population to raise white flags over their buildings and contact the government troops for any kind of helpful information that they might have about ISIL militants.

“We urge you, the heroic people of Mosul, to cooperate with our security forces to rescue you,” the Prime Minister added.

Mosul in Nineveh province that is ISIL’s last stronghold in Iraq was occupied by the terrorist cult on June 10, 2014 and its liberation marks an era of demise for ISIL in Iraq.

Mosul was the first city taken by the terrorist group and it was there that ISIL Leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi declared his so-called caliphate on June 29, 2014.

ISIL could stretch control over 40 percent of Iraq after it took Mosul over two years ago, but now holds only 10 percent of the country after losing battles in such major cities as Beiji, Tikrit, Fallujah and Ramadi in the last one year.

Mosul is of paramount importance both to Iraq and the ISIL as it is in an oil-rich region close to the borders with Syria and Turkey, while it has been a regional trade hub for the last several centuries. In addition to smuggling crude stolen from the oil wells of Nineveh, ISIL also levied forceful taxes for various reasons from the over 1-million-strong population that is still believed to be living in the city. Loss of Mosul will inflict a major blow to the terrorist cult as it will lose a major source of its revenues.

Iraqi army troops and volunteer forces (Hashd al-Shaabi) had been deployed 15 kilometers from Mosul two days ago.

“The reconnaissance operation in Mosul ended; we are waiting for the operations to kick off,” Hashd al-Shaabi announced in a statement on Saturday.

Iraq’s military forces have been bringing in a large number of troops, weapons, ammunition, armored vehicles, personnel carriers, tanks and other types of military equipment in preparation for the operation for the last several weeks, but many military and state officials and popular forces’ commanders were slamming the US for pressurizing Baghdad to delay the operation for the last several months, a view that was even supported by US presidential candidate Donald Trump.

In his second televised debate with Hillary Clinton, Trump asked why the US has been hindering the operation for such a long time to give ISIL commanders and top brass to escape to Syria.

ISIL has also been preparing for the operation for the last several weeks. The terrorist group has reportedly used thousands of prisoners to dig a complicated network of tunnels and trenches around the city and filled the wide trench dug around the city with oil to put it on fire as it expects the city to go under siege by Iraq’s joint military troops. The terrorist group has opened multiple fronts to confront the government troops.

Meantime, many ISIL top commanders, including Al-Baghdadi himself and his deputies, as well as their family members have left the city for Raqqa, the terrorist cult’s second self-proclaimed capital.

Al-Baghdadi and his top aides left the city last week, while local sources in Nineveh disclosed on Sunday that the families of the ISIL terrorists that had left Mosul just arrived in the town of Merkedeh in Syria’s Hasaka province.

“The ISIL commanders, including al-Baghdadi, are escaping Mosul to Syria,” Iraqi Kurdistan Democrat Party’s media director Saeed Mamouziti said last week.

He said that al-Baghdadi has also ordered his followers to completely destroy Mosul if they are defeated in the war against Iraq’s joint military forces.

Later Mamouziti said that the ISIL militants were fleeing the city since the long-awaited large-scale operation to free Mosul was expected to be launched in the following days.

Meantime, local sources revealed that “ISIL commanders’ families, including over 25 foreign families, escorted by military convoys reached the town of Merkedeh” on Sunday.

Earlier on Sunday, local sources in Nineveh province disclosed that the ISIL has brought to a halt all activities of its security offices in the city of Mosul.

“The ISIL has recently issued a circular in Mosul city according to which all its offices will halt operation until further notice,” a local source said.

The source noted that the ISIL has already evacuated its security offices in several districts of Mosul in recent days, while many ISIL members seem confused to see the rush in their commanders’ actions.

The US has also been pressuring Baghdad to keep the Hashd Al-Shaabi away from the operation, but they are now deployed to the battlefield after Prime Minister al-Abadi, the commander-in-chief of Iraq’s armed forces, personally approved their participation in the Mosul operation last week.

The Iraqi media had earlier reported that the Mosul operations would start from several directions, the most important of which are al-Qayyara axis located 60 kilometers to the South of Mosul and Sahl Nineveh some 20 kilometers to the East of the city.

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Until I viewed the video in the URL below, I had concluded from my time spent with Republicans that the Republican Party was more corrupt than the Democratic Party.  But after watching this 16 minute video report, which seems too much to be faked, the Democratic political establishment—not necessarily the Americans who vote Democrat—seem to be corrupt beyond the meaning of the word.  Make up your own mind.

Published on Oct 17, 2016

“In this explosive new video from Project Veritas Action a Democratic dirty tricks operative unwittingly provides a dark money trail to the DNC and Clinton campaign. The video documents violence at Trump rallies that is traced to the Clinton campaign and the DNC through a process called birddogging.”

This second video report purports to be based on reports by the NBC TV crew that filmed Hillary’s September 7 interview by Matt Lauer.

Lauer departed from the pre-agreed script, and the result was a meltdown by Hillary following the interview.

This 8 minute report confirms Secret Service agent Gary Byrne’s account of Hillary’s explosive, uncontrollable temper in his book Crisis of Character.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/06/28/ex-secret_service_agent_people_need_to_know_the_real_hillary_clinton_and_how_dangerous_she_is.html

If these reports are true, at this time of heightened tensions between Washington and the two other major nuclear powers, it would be extremely dangerous to have in the White House a person susceptible to uncontrollable rage, especially a person who would be staffed with neoconservative warmongers.

A vote for Hillary could be a vote for nuclear war and the end of life on earth.

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A recommendable New York Times piece looks at the mostly hidden way the U.S. is now waging wars. The example is Somalia, where the U.S. has been at war with the people of that country for over 25 years. But, as the authors note, the same modus operandi applies elsewhere.

The Obama administration has intensified a clandestine war in Somalia over the past year, using Special Operations troops, airstrikes, private contractors and African allies in an escalating campaign against Islamist militants in the anarchic Horn of Africa nation.

Would that “anarchic” nation Somalia still be “anarchic” if the U.S. would end its endless fighting there? That is very unlikely. Without outer interference Somalia would have been peaceful again many years ago. But the war continues, run not with regular U.S. forces, but with mercenaries, proxies, drones and a few U.S. Special Forces.

Somalia is an example of the “failed states” the U.S. now creates wherever it goes. A “failed state” then justifies further involvement. The “model” applies around the world:

The Somalia campaign is a blueprint for warfare that President Obama has embraced and will pass along to his successor. It is a model the United States now employs across the Middle East and North Africa — from Syria to Libya — despite the president’s stated aversion to American “boots on the ground” in the world’s war zones. This year alone, the United States has carried out airstrikes in seven countries and conducted Special Operations missions in many more.

Such wars are mostly “off the book”. Congressional oversight does not happen for them as the impact within the U.S. is too small. The media are practically excluded. The money comes out of secret CIA and special forces accounts or is shaken out of some friendly U.S. client state like Saudi Arabia. No one will find out what methods of force or “interrogation” are used and as those prisoners vanish in some local warlord’s dungeon, no one is likely to ever find out:

About 200 to 300 American Special Operations troops work with soldiers from Somalia and other African nations like Kenya and Uganda to carry out more than a half-dozen raids per month, according to senior American military officials. The operations are a combination of ground raids and drone strikes.

The Navy’s classified SEAL Team 6 has been heavily involved in many of these operations.

Once ground operations are complete, American troops working with Somali forces often interrogate prisoners at temporary screening facilities, including one in Puntland, a state in northern Somalia, before the detainees are transferred to more permanent Somali-run prisons, American military officials said.

Force is applied willy-nilly. It doesn’t matter much who gets hit or why. Lack of local knowledge, language and politics are the norm. No one ever gets punished for getting things wrong:

[A]n airstrike last month killed more than a dozen Somali government soldiers, who were American allies against the Shabab.Outraged Somali officials said the Americans had been duped by clan rivals and fed bad intelligence, laying bare the complexities of waging a shadow war in Somalia.

The responsibilities that legally come with warfare are handed off to private parties. The use of mercenaries prevents accountability:

At an old Russian fighter jet base in Baledogle, about 70 miles from the Somali capital, Mogadishu, American Marines and private contractors are working to build up a Somali military unit designed to combat the Shabab throughout the country.Soldiers for the military unit, called Danab, which means lightning in Somali, are recruited by employees of Bancroft Global Development, a Washington-based company that for years has worked with the State Department to train African Union troops and embed with them on military operations inside Somalia.

Michael Stock, the company’s founder, said the Danab recruits received initial training at a facility in Mogadishu before they were sent to Baledogle, where they go through months of training by the Marines. Bancroft advisers then accompany the Somali fighters on missions.

What the piece misses are the media measures – or propaganda – which accompanies all such U.S. campaigns. That is not unwittingly as the NYT is always an integral part of such campaigns. The usual justification is “terrorism” or the “moral” need to eliminate a “brutal regime”. The piece accordingly list a few alleged terrorism incidents with origin in Somalia to justify the massive, decades long uprooting of a whole country.

The scheme visible in Somalia is the same one that is applied in Libya, in Syria and in the Ukraine. The U.S. hires some group willing to wage war for a decent pay, lots of weapons and a chance to – may be – reach a lot of power for itself. It sends some mercenary company to “train” those forces, PR agencies get hired to provide the necessary media background, U.S. military forces are silently involved but only from far away via drones, or in mini special force formation that train and direct the local proxies.

The CIA is usually in the lead with the U.S. military providing firepower as needed. The State Department handles the diplomatic hurdles, pampers the proxies and so called allies and, together with the Treasury, generously applies devastating sanctions to bend the people to its will.

The methods are not dissimilar to those used during the last century mainly in south America. But the wars are now more open with more brute force applied.

The big question for the rest of the world is how such mostly hidden wars can be countered. They are very difficult to win by force on the ground. The U.S. will not change course because a few of its mercenaries get eliminated. The obvious answer is to increase the price the U.S. directly has to pay. The hurt must be painful enough to raise above the public negligence level that usually applies. Terrorism within the U.S. can and has been used. But I expect new, more subtle methods to be a part of the future answer. The cyber realm is ideal for asymmetric forces. A few knowledgeable fighters are sufficient. To counter them is difficult. The U.S. is probable the most sensitive target for cyber mayhem while the nations the U.S. attacks are mostly insensitive to such attacks.

No matter of what new ways of war the U.S. applies. Those attacked will always find ways to hit back.

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The New York Times is so determined to generate hate against Russia that it has lost all journalistic perspective, even portraying Russia’s military decoys – like those used in World War II.

If the dangers weren’t so great – a possible nuclear war that could exterminate life on the planet – The New York Times over-the-top denunciation of all things Russian would be almost funny, like the recent front-page story finding something uniquely sinister about Russia using inflatable decoys of military weapons to confuse adversaries.

The Oct. 13 article, entitled “Decoys in Service of an Inflated Russian Might,” was described as part of a series called “DARK ARTS … How Russia projects power covertly,” suggesting that the nefarious Russians aren’t to be trusted in anything even in the case of “one of Russia’s lesser-known military threats: a growing arsenal of inflatable tanks, jets and missile launchers.”

 Russians are called out for activities far less egregious than what the U.S. government – aided and abetted by the Times – has done.

The bizarre article by Andrew E. Kramer, one of the most prolific producers of this anti-Russian propaganda, then states: “As Russia under President Vladimir V. Putin has muscled its way back onto the geopolitical stage, the Kremlin has employed a range of stealthy tactics. … One of the newer entries to that list is an updating of the Russian military’s longtime interest in operations of deceit and disguise, a repertoire of lethal tricks known as maskirovka, or masking. It is a psychological warfare doctrine that is becoming an increasingly critical element in the country’s geopolitical ambitions.”

What is particularly curious about Kramer’s article is that it takes actions that are typical of all militaries, going back centuries, and presents them as some special kind of evil attributable to the Russians, such as Special Forces units not dressing in official uniforms and instead blending in with the surroundings while creating deniability for political leaders.

American and European Special Forces, for instance, have been deployed on the ground in Libya and Syria without official confirmation, at least initially. Sometimes, their presence is acknowledged only after exposure because of casualties, such as the death of three French soldiers near Benghazi, Libya, in July.

Indeed, one could argue that the United States has excelled at this practice of stealthily entering other countries, usually in violation of international law, to carry out lethal operations, such as drone assassinations and Special Forces’ strikes. However, rather than condemning U.S. officials for their sneakiness, the Times and other mainstream Western publications often extol the secrecy of these acts and sometimes even agree to delay publication of information about the covert attacks so as not to jeopardize the lives of American soldiers.

The U.S. Propaganda Network

The U.S. government also has built extensive propaganda operations around the world that pump out all sorts of half-truths and disinformation to put U.S. adversaries on the defensive, with the American financial hand kept hidden so the public is more likely to trust the claims of supposedly independent voices.

For “Newsweek,” Putin is the “West’s public enemy number one.”

For "Newsweek," Putin is the "West's public enemy number one."

Much of that disinformation is then promoted by the Times, which famously assisted in one major set of lies by publishing a false 2002 front-page story about Iraq reconstituting its nuclear weapons program as a key justification for the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. Yet, the Russians are called out for activities far less egregious than what the U.S. government – aided and abetted by the Times – has done.

You could even view the Times’ article citing inflatable weapons as proof of Moscow’s perfidy as itself an example of another U.S. psychological operation along the lines of the Times’ article accusing Iraq of obtaining aluminum tubes for nuclear centrifuges, when the tubes were actually unsuited for that purpose. In this new case, however, the Times is heating up a war fever against Russia rather than Iraq.

Yet, as in 2002, this current psy-op is not primarily aimed at a foreign adversary as much as it is targeting the American people. The primary difference is that in 2002, the Times was helping instigate war against a relatively small and defenseless nation in Iraq. Now, the Times is whipping up an hysteria against nuclear-armed Russia with the prospect that this manufactured outrage could induce politicians into further steps that could lead to nuclear conflagration.

As German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier wrote in a recent opinion piece, the current tensions between Washington and Moscow are “more dangerous” than during the Cold War.

“It’s a fallacy to think that this is like the Cold War,” Steinmeier wrote. “The current times are different and more dangerous” because there were clear “red lines” during the Cold War where the rival nuclear powers knew not to tread.

Though Steinmeier, as a part of the NATO alliance, puts most of the blame on Moscow, the reality is that Washington has been the prime instigator of the recent tensions, including pressing NATO up to Russia’s borders, supporting an anti-Russian putsch in neighboring Ukraine, and helping to arm rebel groups fighting in Syria alongside Al Qaeda’s affiliate and threatening Russia’s allied Syrian government.

‘Regime Change’ in Moscow?

Russia

Further feeding Russia’s fears, prominent Americans, including at least one financed by the U.S. government, have called for a “regime change” project in Moscow. Yet all Americans hear about is the unproven allegation that Russia was responsible for hacking into Democratic Party emails and exposing information that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has tried to keep secret, such as the content of her speeches to Wall Street investment banks and other special interests.

Vice President Joe Biden has announced Washington will retaliate with some information-warfare strike against Moscow. But the reality is that the U.S. government, working hand-in-glove with the Times and other mainstream American publications, has been waging such an information war against Russia for at least the past several years, including promotion of dubious charges such as the so-called Magnitsky case which was largely debunked by a courageous documentary that has been virtually blacklisted in the supposedly “free” West.

The Times also has embraced the U.S. government’s version of pretty much every dubious claim lodged against Moscow, systematically excluding evidence that points in a different direction. For instance, regarding the shootdown of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, the Times ignored a published Dutch (i.e. NATO) intelligence report stating that the only powerful anti-aircraft missiles in the area capable of hitting MH-17 were under the control of the Ukrainian military.

While it may be understandable that the Times opts to embrace claims by a Ukrainian-dominated investigation that the Russians were responsible – despite that inquiry’s evidentiary and logical shortcomings – it is not journalistically proper to ignore official evidence, such as the Dutch intelligence report, because it doesn’t go in the preferred direction. If the Times were not acting as a propaganda vehicle, it would at least have cited the Dutch intelligence report as one piece of the puzzle.

The Times’ relentless service as the chief conveyor belt for anti-Russian propaganda has drawn at least some objections from readers, although they are rarely acknowledged by the Times.

For instance, Theodore A. Postol, professor emeritus of science, technology, and national security policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, tried to lodge a protest with the Times’ editors about the “inflatable weapons” story.

In the email, a copy of which he forwarded to me, Postol wrote: “This article is a very good example of the misleading foreign policy reporting that has unfortunately become a hallmark of the New York Times. 

“The complete lack of sophistication of this article, coupled with the implication that the use of such decoys is somehow an indication of a Russian cultural bias towards deception is exactly the kind of misleading reporting that cannot possibly be explained as a competent attempt to inform Times readers about real and serious national security issues that we are today facing with Russia.”

Postol attached to his email a series of photographs showing decoys that were used by the Allies during the Battle of Britain and the D-Day invasion. He noted, “There is a vast popular literature about this kind of deception in warfare that is available to even the most unsophisticated nonexperts. It is simply unimaginable to me that such an article could be published in the Times, yet alone on the front page, if the oversight mechanisms at the Times were properly functioning.”

Postol, however, assumes that the editorial system of the Times wishes to provide genuine balance and context to such stories, when the pattern has clearly shown that – as with Iraq in 2002-2003 – the Times’ editors see their role as preparing the American people for war.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. He currently writes for Consortiumnews, where this article first appeared.  You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).

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Last Thursday, after two consecutive missile attacks on the US Navy ship USS Mason, which allegedly were launched by Houthi rebel forces in Yemen, the US entered its latest military engagement in the middle east, when the USS Nitze launched several Tomahawk cruise missiles aimed at radar installations located by the Bab el-Mandab straight, and which enabled the launch of at least three missiles against the U.S. ship.

As Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said, “these limited self-defense strikes were conducted to protect our personnel, our ships and our freedom of navigation,” adding that “these radars were active during previous attacks and attempted attacks on ships in the Red Sea,” including the USS Mason, one of the officials said, adding the targeted radar sites were in remote areas where the risk of civilian casualties was low. That said, as we highlighted, the U.S. said while there growing indications, there was no official proof that Houthi fighters, or forces aligned with them, were responsible for the attempted strikes which targeted US ships. Still, the lack of concrete proof did not bother the US which, cavalier as usual, unleashed the missile assault on Yemeni territory, breaching the country’s sovereignty and potentially killing an unknown number of people.

However, today – four days after the US “counterattack” – the story changes. According to Reuters earlier today the Pentagon declined to say whether the USS Mason destroyer was targeted by multiple inbound missiles fired from Yemen on Saturday, as initially thought, saying a review was underway to determine what happened.

“We are still assessing the situation. There are still some aspects to this that we are trying to clarify for ourselves given the threat — the potential threat — to our people,” Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook told a news briefing.”So this is still a situation that we’re assessing closely.”

And yet, the US had no problem with “clarifying” the source of the threat on Thursday when it fired American cruise missiles at Yemeni targets.

At this point we refer readers to what we said on Thursday, when we once again put on the cynical hat, and voiced what those who have not been brainwashed by US media thought, to wit:

In retrospect one now wonders if the “cruise missiles” that fell close to the US ships were merely the latest false flag providing the US cover to launch another foreign intervention.To be sure, the Houthis, who are battling the internationally-recognized government of Yemen President Abd Rabbu Mansour al-Hadi, denied any involvement in Sunday’s attempt to strike the USS Mason.

A few days later, we have the closest thing possible to a confirmation that, even as the Pentagon itself admits, the “open and closed” case that Yemeni rebel fighters would, for some unknown reason, provoke the US and fire unperforming cruise missiles at a US ship, has just been significantly weakened. Of course, it if it wasn’t Yemen rebels, the only logical alternative is the adversary of Yemen’s rebels: Saudi Arabia. Although with the Saudis in the press so much as of late, almost exclusively in a negative light, we doubt that the Pentagon’s “assessment” would ever get to the point where it would admit that America’s Saudi allies launched missiles at US ships in a false flag attempt to get the US involved in the Yemen conflict by attacking the Saudi opponents and in the process aiding and abetting the Saudi execution of even more “war crimes.”

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Verdict: Monsanto Guilty Of Crimes Against The Planet And Humanity

October 18th, 2016 by Eradicating Ecocide

Judge Françoise Tulkens: “civil society has to help International Law to develop and include ecocide” (Monsanto Tribunal Day 3, The Hague)

– and indeed civil society is helping. Not only did the Monsanto Tribunal open up the space for testimony to be heard, but it also demonstrated that complex issues, such as significant harm arising from corporate ecocide, can be addressed through the rule of law. Ecocide is not yet a crime, but as Judge Tulkens declared, “civil society has to help International Law to develop and include ecocide.”

And Judge Tulkens is a judge who speaks informedly – her legal background includes professorship specialising in the fields of general criminal law, comparative and European criminal law, juvenile justice and human rights protection systems before and tenureship as a European Court of Human Rights Judge. Tulkens is also the author of many publications in the areas of human rights and criminal law.

Was it a Kangaroo court, as Monsanto claimed? (See Guardian story here) or was it the first steps towards ecological justice? You decide…

Some coverage:

Le Monde: Au Tribunal Monsanto, des militants veulent mettre l’environnement au cœur du droit international

Neue Zürcher Zeitung: Monsanto-Tribunal in Den Haag: Wenig hilfreiches Kesseltreiben

InFranken.de: Zum Tribunal der Monsanto-Gegner

Esquerda.net: Tribunal Monsanto: Semeando novos caminhos

El Argentino: Finaliza hoy en La Haya el proceso contra Monsanto

Diario de Yucatan: Juicio contra Monsanto

RT: Monsanto Mock Tribunal Hague

The Guardian

To read more, just google Monsanto Tribunal and click News – pages and pages of coverage around the world demonstrate the extent of how one event can take a very powerful message out to the world. Whether or not you agree a crime has been committed, what this tribunal demonstrated beyond all reasonable doubt is that there is missing law.

 This has been sent to you by eradicatingecocide.com, the information portal for Ecocide law.

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United States Must Answer For War Crimes In The Middle East

October 18th, 2016 by Alexander Kuznetsov

The West is feverishly seeking someone to blame for the catastrophic situation in the Middle East. Following on from John Kerry, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has announced his intention to request that the International Criminal Court investigate Russian «war crimes» in Syria. Hillary Clinton, a contender for the post of US president, is also known for her attempts to put Russia in the dock. During the second presidential TV debate with Donald Trump on 9 October, she stated she supported efforts to probe «war crimes committed by the Syrians and the Russians and try to hold them accountable.

So do we need to clarify, once again, who is to blame? Let’s try.

America’s ‘Greater Middle East’ strategy, which involves violently redrawing the political map of a vast region, has destroyed the states of Syria, Libya, Iraq and Yemen, and has led to an unprecedented surge in terrorism, a tremendous loss of human life, and a large influx of refugees to Europe.

But America does not want to take the blame for what it has done.

Ahead of the change of administration in America, US legislators have been trying to make Saudi Arabia primarily responsible for the spread of terrorism. On 28 September, the US Senate and the House of Representatives passed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), which entitles the relatives of US citizens killed in the 9/11 attacks to file lawsuits against Saudi Arabia and receive compensation.

Five days later, on 3 October, an article appeared in the Arab language newspaper Rai Al-Youm (published in London), written by its editor-in-chief Abdel Bari Atwan, that sheds light on which way the Arab world is leaning on the issue of who’s to blame.

A few words about the article’s author. Abdel Bari Atwan is the most prominent of today’s Arab journalists. The son of a refugee from Gaza, he was involved in the struggles of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) for a long time and was close to Yasser Arafat until they parted ways in 1993, when he disagreed with the hasty conclusion of peace with Israel. In the 1990s, he opposed UN sanctions against Iraq; not in defence of Saddam Hussein, however, but in defence of the rights and interests of the Iraqi people. In recent years, Atwan has written a great deal on the importance of establishing friendly relations between Sunni Arab states and Shi’ite Iran.

In his article, entitled «US law firms sharpening their knives for Saudi Arabia», Abdel Bari Atwan suggests how the Saudi authorities can oppose American blackmail. Here are his recommendations to Riyadh.

– Stop the senseless and bloody war in Yemen.

– Wind down its support of jihadist organisations in Syria.

– Take steps to normalise relations with Iran and Iraq.

– Seriously address the creation of an Arab lobby in the US (a pressing issue, since the Israel lobby in America is multilayered, works closely with the media and funds major research centres, while the Saudi lobbying effort is limited to banal bribery).

– Withdraw most of Saudi Arabia’s assets and investments from the US as soon as possible.

– Suspend all negotiations with Washington on an oil price agreement.

– Adopt measures allowing oil from the Persian gulf to be quoted in currencies other than US dollars (i.e. euro, yuan and roubles).

– File countersuits against the US through Muslim human rights organisations for war crimes committed in the Middle East between 2003 and the present day.

Abdel Bari Atwan says it is unlikely that the Saudi authorities will listen to him, but it seems as if the initiative has already struck a chord in other Arab countries. A group of Iraqi parliamentarians headed by Najeh al-Mizan has put forward a bill allowing Iraqi citizens to demand compensation from the US government for war crimes committed during the years of occupation (2003-2011) not just by the regular American army, but also contract soldiers from private military companies and ‘death squads’ set up using CIA money.

The outcome of America’s ‘presence’ in Iraq (or rather ‘the American genocide’) is truly horrifying. Even according to official (underestimated) data from the John Hopkins Institute, Americans and their accomplices killed 250,000 people (civilians) in Iraq during the occupation. According to Professor Juan Cole from the University of Michigan, this figure (direct losses) is as much as 450,000 people. Added to the victims of US sanctions in the 1990s, the number of deaths is close to one million. Most of these were children. Nobody can accuse US academic Juan Cole of incompetence or lobbying – he is a world-renowned expert on the modern Middle East and South Asia, a specialist in the history of Iran and Arab countries, and the author of 14 academic monographs.

But that is only the direct losses. There is also the destruction of Iraq’s state institutions and its law enforcement, health and education systems as a result of the American occupation, and the disintegration of relations between ethnicities and faiths.

The repercussions of the ‘Iraqi holocaust’ carried out by the Americans will be felt for many years to come. Here are some figures from the Australian scientist Dr. Gideon Polya. During the years of the crisis, there were 7.7 million refugees in Iraq. Of these, 5 million were internally displaced persons and 2.7 million fled the country. These included the cream of Iraqi society: doctors, teachers, engineers, university professors and businessmen. During the first few years of the occupation, 2,200 doctors and nursers were killed in Iraq. As a consequence of America’s use of bombs with low-enriched uranium, the number of cancer patients in the country increased from 40 per 100,000 people (1990) to 1,500 per 100,000 people (2005). And as a result of the actions of the occupation forces and sectarian fighting, there are currently three million widows and five million orphans in the country. 1.5 million Iraqi children are undernourished.

The world has not forgotten about the war crimes committed by America in the Middle East. Sooner or later, the US will have to answer for these crimes, no matter what Hillary Clinton says.

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The U.K. prides itself on its past commitment to free expression and press freedom, but as we found out last year the targeted surveillance of journalists and calls by Britain’s prime minister, then David Cameron, heavily supported by Home Secretary, now PM Theresa May, to ban secure messaging indicated a clear shift toward a more much restrictive environment for the press.

Then of course we have the famed raid by GCHQ on the offices of The Guardian over the Edward Snowden leaks in 2013. Just last year The Guardian published a piece about how the government are directly spying on British journalists. “GCHQ’s bulk surveillance of electronic communications has scooped up emails to and from journalists working for some of the US and UK’s largest media organisations.”

In the worst scenario possible for press freedom, the British government has classified investigative journalists as terrorists when it comes to surveillance. “New evidence from other UK intelligence documents revealed by Snowden also shows that a GCHQ information security assessment listed “investigative journalists” as a threat alongside terrorists or hackers” – the Guardian article stated.

Today we find out that NatWest bank is to close the accounts of Russia’s state-run broadcaster, RT or Russia Today.

Editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan tweeted: “They’ve closed our accounts in Britain. All our accounts. ‘The decision is not subject to review.’ Praise be to freedom of speech!”

The bank, RT said, had insisted its decision was final and it was “not prepared to enter into any discussion.”

The UK Treasury said it does not comment on individual cases, but added that no new sanctions or obligations relating to Russia had been imposed on British banks by the government since February 2015.

A spokeswoman for Prime Minister Theresa May said: “It’s a matter for the bank, and it’s for them to decide who they offer services to based on their own risk appetite.”

truepublica.org.uk

It very much looks with Britain’s anti-Russian rhetoric reaching fever pitch, as fully demonstrated just a few days ago by its highest diplomat Boris Johnson, openly encouraging demonstrations outside the Russian embassy in London, that Theresa May’s government is implicated. This looks like another provocative move that has the smell of a government walking all over its democracy to serve its own agenda. Nat West, part of the disgraced RBS Group is 87% owned by the state.

Anthony Bellanger, General Secretary of the International Federation of Journalists has stated “I do not understand the decision of the bank, which does not detail any reason in its letter. But again, the bank must publicly explain [its decision].”

RBS already in the mire having been bailed out to the tune of almost £50billion eight years ago has lost money every month since to the tune of another £45billion. It can little afford to have bank accounts closed, especially by wealthy customers. No sooner had the announcement been made than wealthy Russians were preparing to remove their money from NatWest as a direct result.

Just a few days ago, RBS Group, regularly branded by the mainstream media in Britain as ‘crooks, thieves and conmen’ was exposed by a Buzzfeed News investigation entitled “The Dash For Cash: Leaked Files Reveal RBS Systematically Crushed British Businesses For Profit” where RBS stand accused of boosting revenues during the financial crisis by draining businesses of cash and stripping their assets. Many lost healthy businesses, many more lost lifetime savings, their homes, marriages and it is even reported that some committed suicide over the practices of this bank. Thousands of jobs were lost along the way. This organisation has no moral compass at all, so closing the bank accounts of news outlets should be of no surprise in the grand scheme of things.

There should be no doubt that press freedom in Britain is under attack. This was echoed by David Anderson, the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, in which he warned in his 2014 review that bringing “journalism and blogging within the range of ‘terrorism’ encourages a ‘chilling effect.”

In a scandal that broke at the same time in October 2014, police admitted they had used the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) to obtain journalists’ phone records, thereby bypassing legislation that protects journalistic sources. Then GCHQ admitted that it disregarded legally privileged information. This means that the UK’s three intelligence agencies have been spying on the communications of those who are taking legal action against them. All of this adds up to a picture that would make the Stazi blush with envy – suppressing a hostile media outlet and blanket surveillance of journalists.

The World Press Freedom Index recently found that most of the movement in the worlds press was indicative of a climate of fear and tension combined with increasing control over newsrooms by governments and private-sector interests, western ones included. And Britain was no exception as it has seen a recorded decline in press freedom for almost decade, but most notably since the Conservatives arrived in power from 2010.

The result is that the UK has year-on-year fallen down the press freedom rankings and as at last year was sitting at 38th place behind countries such as Tonga, Belize, Lithuania, Chile, Samoa, Ghana, Latvia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Slovakia and Jamaica. In the same rankings report, the USA has now fallen to 41st place straddled between Slovenia (40th) and Burkino Fasa (42nd), which says it all!

Just to add a little more fog to the freedom of the press story, Julian Assange’s internet was cut off by the Ecuador embassy in London yesterday, WikiLeaks has said. Reports coming out of Ecuador are now pointing to increased pressure on the Ecuador government to remove Assange’s asylum status, and finally expel him from their embassy, and into UK police custody. That information comes via RT in which it states that Ecuador is being urged to end its asylum of Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange by one of its most prominent diplomats, following the recent leak of Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails and other emerging scandals involving Hillary Clinton.

The United Nations even took a position on this  by stating that: “Mr. Assange had been subjected to different forms of deprivation of liberty – initial detention in Wandsworth Prison in London, followed by house arrest and then confinement at the Ecuadorean Embassy.” The British government have completely ignored UN requests for Assange’s immediate unconditional release and placed armed police outside the embassy building.

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(image) Professor Anthony Hall

The University of Lethbridge, Alberta has suspended Professor Anthony James Hall for allegedly promoting anti-Semitism and denying the Holocaust.

Professor Hall has taught liberal education and globalization studies as a distinguished scholar for some 26 years.

We are now joined by Dr. Hall himself to get his take on this.

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Al-Nusra terrorists carry out public executions of local residents, trying to leave the eastern districts of Aleppo. The Russian General Staff is going to introduce a humanitarian pause in Aleppo on August 20.

The situation in Aleppo remains tense, as terrorists of the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (previously known as the Al-Nusra Front) group have intensified shelling of residential areas, the Russian General Staff said on October 17.

“The situation in Aleppo remains extremely difficult. The militants of the Nusra Front terrorist group, understanding that they are doomed, have intensified shelling of residential areas in western Aleppo,” chief of the Russian General Staff’s Main Operational Directorate, Lieutenant General Sergei Rudskoy, told journalists in Moscow on Monday.

Rudskoy also added that terrorists carry out public executions of residents, who try to leave the eastern districts of Aleppo. He noted that the West ignores reports of civilian casualties in Syria and refuses to react to crimes of terrorists.

alnusra1810

“These facts are ignored by the Western countries. They do not want to either record militants’ crimes, neither react to them,” Rudskoy said.

The Lieutenant General pointed out that shelling of civilian infrastructure by terrorists in Aleppo has killed more than 130 children since the beginning of September.

“Shelling of social objects such as schools, mosques, markets in western Aleppo by militants has become systematic. Thus, seven schoolchildren were killed in mortar shelling in the Sulaymaniyah district, while more than 130 children were killed by militants since the beginning of September,” he stressed.

Rudskoy said that Russia calls on “the terrorists’ leadership to demine routes of approach to the humanitarian corridors and give residents opportunity to leave eastern Aleppo.” He added that although airstrikes against supply routes and weapon convoys of terrorists are carried out by the Russian Aerospace Forces in Aleppo outskirts, the Russian side is ready to stop its airstrikes during a humanitarian pause, which would be introduced around the city from 08:00 am to 16:00 pm local time on August 20.

“Russian combat planes and Syrian government forces will not carry strikes during this period,” Rudskoy stressed.

He noted that two secure corridors could be used by terrorists in order to move from eastern Aleppo to Idlib.

The chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian General Staff also stressed the Russian side is ready to stop airstrikes in Aleppo at any time on request of humanitarian organizations and groups.

“Russia is willing to discuss any initiatives or proposals on resolving the crisis in Aleppo,” Rudskoy stressed.

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Selected Articles: The Danger of Nuclear War between USA and Russia

October 18th, 2016 by Global Research News

Screen Shot 2016-10-18 at 11.12.44

War between US and Russia Could Be Sooner than Later. “The Danger of a Nuclear War”

By Joachim Hagopian, October 18 2016

Barely noticed in a virtual media blackout in the West are at least a half dozen high alert, significant international developments that all strongly indicate the extreme danger of a nuclear war breaking out at any time against Russia and its Eastern alliance.

Clinton Trump

Whether to Go to War Against Russia Is Top Issue in U.S. Presidential Race

By Eric Zuesse, October 18 2016

The United States government has already declared that in regards to what it alleges to be a Russian cyberattack against the U.S. Democratic Party, the U.S. reserves the right to go to war against Russia. NATO has accordingly changed its policy so as to assert that a cyberattack (in this case actually cyber-espionage, such as the U.S. government itself perpetrates against even its own allies such as Angela Merkel by tapping her phone) constitutes an act of war by the alleged cyberattacker, and so requires all NATO member nations to join any cyberattacked NATO nation in war against its alleged (cyber)attacker, if the cyberattacked member declares war against its alleged cyberattacker.

US-and-Canada-flag-puzzleCanada Goes To War. Trudeau Postures For The UN

By Jim Miles, October 17 2016

Stephen Lewis, former socialist NDP leader from Canada’s province of Ontario was asked about PM Justin Trudeau’s letter to the UN asking for a special General Assembly meeting, as reported by the CBC yesterday: The Canadian Mission to the United Nations has submitted a rare request asking the president of the General Assembly for a meeting of all 193 member states to “explore concerted action to apply pressure on the parties of the violence [in Syria],” now in its sixth year. He commented that “war crimes are being committed by Russia” but hopefully that “Russia may at some point be forced to reconsider,” its position.

yemen_map_droneWashington and London Call for Yemen “Ceasefire” amid Escalation Of U.S. Bombings… Dangerous Crossroads in Syria and Iraq

By Abayomi Azikiwe, October 18 2016

A new proposal for the cessation of hostilities in Yemen was announced on October 16 amid an escalation in United States bombing operations against the most impoverished nation in the Middle East. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and United Nations envoy to Yemen, Ould Cheikh Ahmed of Mauritania, issued the call during a break from discussions in London centered on the current situation in Syria.

aleppo

The Real Humanitarian Crisis Is Not Aleppo. The Crisis is Washington Loosing its ISIS Mercenaries

By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, October 18 2016

Why do we hear only of the “humanitarian crisis in Aleppo” and not of the humanitarian crisis everywhere else in Syria where the evil that rules in Washington has unleashed its ISIL mercenaries to slaughter the Syrian people?  Why do we not hear about the humanitarian crisis in Yemen where the US and its Saudi Arabian vassal are slaughtering Yemeni women and children?  Why don’t we hear about the humanitarian crisis in Libya where Washington destroyed a country leaving chaos in its place?  Why don’t we hear about the humanitarian crisis in Iraq, ongoing now for 13 years, or the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan now 15 years old? The answer is that the crisis in Aleppo is the crisis of Washington losing its ISIL mercenaries to the Syrian army and Russian air force.

911-attacksToxic Mind Control Contaminates The Public Sphere

By Mark Taliano, October 17 2016

We are living in a society where dangerous political ignorance prevails, and truth is subordinated. “Forbidden truths” are concealed beneath the protective cover of a growing array of taboos. The taboos protect the criminal warmongers and the oligarch class, as they corrode peace, equality, freedom, and prosperity.

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Right now the US mainstream media is obsessing over Donald’s alleged womanizing and female groping soap opera as the Clinton’s/MSM’s pruriently entertaining smokescreen, neatly designed to cover up Hillary/Bill’s serial raping and her criminal lead role as enabler/strong armed intimidator of past victims.

Meanwhile, barely noticed in a virtual media blackout in the West are at least a half dozen high alert, significant international developments this last weekend that all strongly indicate the extreme danger of a nuclear war breaking out at any time against Russia and its Eastern alliance. Again, do not pay attention to the US deceivers behind their Oz-like curtain and their frenzied pushing of Western propaganda machine levers as sleight of hand distraction to willfully withhold the fact that many unreported major world events are simultaneously occurring now that foretell the start of World War III potentially just days away.

The current threat level to every human life on this planet even surpasses the October Cuban Missile Crisis of 54 years ago as the earth today is in more peril by manmade destruction than any previous time in human history. Yet the neocon madness of Obama, Hillary and their MSM minions do not want Americans to know this dire truth that the US is rapidly moving to very likely execute a series of false flags that could ignite a global war between US-NATO and the Eastern powers: Russia, China and Iran.

And based on alarming rapid fire events, it could even begin prior to the scheduled November 8th presidential election just three weeks away. Make no mistake – that perfect storm of destabilizing developments triggering WWIII, the global economy crash and possible martial law timed with the US presidential election that many independent journalists like myself have been writing about for months is unfolding right this very moment.

Here are just a few of these disturbing breaking news events and anomalies that are currently unfolding over this last weekend that are conspicuously missing in action from all MSM headlines:

FAA issues no fly zone over parts of Montana

Per the FAA on Saturday a no fly zone went into effect for most of the day from 3PM to midnight over selected parts of the state of Montana.

The FAA claimed that US military rockets were being launched in connection with “space operations” yet the only missiles in Montana are nuclear armed warhead missiles. According to NewsPrepper.com, the missile silos in Montana are armed with Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicles (MIRV’s) and each MIRV contains a 100 kiloton nuclear warhead. Within a half hour after launch, each single rocket is capable of destroying eight cities anywhere on earth.

The real question is what was the government actually up to on Saturday with nuclear missiles in Montana?

Source: Nuclear Archive

Buildup of US military planes and ships on Diego Garcia Island

Last Friday isn this remote US military outpost on Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean (see image below), a US military private contractor who cycles through every nine days working on the island for ongoing maintenance of military hardware reported an enormous, unprecedented buildup of US Air Force bombers – both B-1’s and B-2’s. Some were painted flat black. On a related note, this past week the US Air Force was caught dressing up its warplanes disguised as Russian aircraft that would likely be used in false flag operations to blame Russia for aggression it didn’t commit. The civilian contractor on Diego Garcia stated that far more activity was witnessed than any time prior in the 9 years he’s been on the job there. He reports that under the tightest security the government has blocked off access roads and that so many warplanes have been assembled on the island that aircraft are now being parked on blocked off roads.

A count of over a dozen refueling tankers were sighted and flights were taking off on the average of every 15 minutes. He also observes the tent city that sprang up includes temporary barracks and hangars for both US Air Force and Navy personnel. His ex-Air Force coworker speculated that the ultra-tight security and sudden influx of so much activity is characteristic of top secret nuclear weapons movement. Speaking of which, the eyewitness also noticed that 6-8 US Navy vessels were offshore and the island docks were busily unloading countless pallets of bombs. Obviously sneaky Obama is up to something very big against his targeted cold war enemies potentially including nuclear powered Russia and China.

DEFCON Level 3 warning

Even the Sunday edition of the British rag the Daily Star ran the headline “US nuclear attack warning ‘upgraded to level 3’ as Russian threat goes ‘beyond Cold War.’” Though midway through the article the Star quietly backtracks from its sensational headline claiming the US government has not officially released any public notice that the US is currently on DEFCON level 3, it references its “breaking news” headline based on the “conspiracy theory” website defconwarningsystem.com.

In any event, only three previous times in US history has Washington issued a DEFCON level 3 warning as its official nuclear war alert index, the last time being on 9/11. This particular level on the Chiefs of Staff developed “defense readiness condition” entails a nuclear attack readiness that the US Air Force is prepared to mobilize a nuclear strike within a 15 minute period. Level 3 also calls for the federal plan to take immediate effect that will maintain continuity of government services in response to imminent threat of any national emergency or crisis. Though true to form, the most secretive US president in history – Barack Obama and his neocons – are choosing to not publicly disclose this level 3 grave danger facing the American people, admitting the US is on the brink of nuclear war against Russia. For many years now the powers-that-shouldn’t-be have been secretly preparing for this nuclear showdown moment.

The five-level alert system ranges from level 5 at no threat at all to level 1 which is all-out nuclear war within the hour. Despite Washington’s official non-disclosure, a reasonable chance exists that we could be headed toward level 2, signifying an urgent readiness to deploy an armed attack within six hours in what would most likely amount to a nuclear exchange with one or more adversaries (Russia and China), resulting in mutually assured destruction (MAD) that’s long been an integral part of US national security policy and strategic military doctrine. During the first cold war MAD prevented either side from pushing the nuke button due to the principle of deterrence motivating both parties to not dare engage in such insanely suicidal behavior. However, the puppet masters and their neocon lunatics presently calling the shots are operating from a deluded sense of false security believing that when safely cloistered in their luxurious underground bunkers, they’re capable of surviving a nuclear holocaust at the earth’s surface.

Last Friday Obama met with foreign policy advisors on the Syrian crisis

Obama met last Friday with his top security advisors to assess and weigh all his military and non-military options in Syria and beyond. Clearly with all the unprecedented activity noted just since this meeting, the chronically weak leader who’s been our commander-in-chief the last eight years is racing against election time heavily influenced by his hawkish, “preemptive strike” neocons to rewrite his legacy. Putin. Keep in mind Barack Hussein Obama’s been the Manchurian puppet president who’s dutifully followed his globalist masters’ marching orders to destroy America to the T. So the big question remains is he planning to defy Russian warnings and attack Assad forces like he sneakily did on September 17th and thereby initiate war directly against Russia? By what has been happening over the weekend, it appears he just might.

CIA coordinating cyberattacks on Russia

No doubt also high on Obama’s meeting agenda last Friday is the covert cyber operation against Russia. As part of US retaliation for Putin allegedly hacking into DNC and Clinton emails while trying to change the election outcome in favor of Trump, all unsubstantiated deep state lies, MSM presstitute NBC News just reported that the CIA is coordinating the launching of cyberattacks against Russia. All the major powers engage in hacking and cyber warfare, so really there’s nothing much new here other than efforts to derail Russian intelligence apparatus and economic infrastructure is at its height right now.

This tit for tat game Empire’s playing now is serious risky business. Repercussions may have a boomerang effect manifesting as either a false flag or real cyber security breaches that could wreak havoc with US military and economic infrastructure. One morning we may wake up and not be able to withdraw cash from our local ATM or even pump gas. Or if asymmetrical warfare escalates to EMP attack, we may find ourselves without electricity for months, which within the first year is estimated to result in the death of 90% of the American population. The stakes are only growing higher yet our despots in charge appear to be throwing all caution to the wind. But then if their eugenics plan calls for 90% of us to be dead, it readily explains their reckless, homicidal behavior given both the means and motive.

US at war now in Yemen and signs of escalating violence and conflict at other global hotspots

This week’s aggression in Yemen by US Navy destroyers firing cruise missiles on Yemen soil can easily be construed as yet another clear, premeditated act of war against both Yemen as well as its fellow Shiite ally Iran.

Again without confirming any evidence of truth behind its claim, a highly deceitful US insists that Houthi rebels fired a missile twice during this past week at a Navy destroyer. Hence five missiles were launched by the destroyers at alleged Houthi radar stations.

It’s no accident or random event that the Ukraine conflict is also heating up now. This week a helicopter with NATO military instructors onboard was shot down by Donetsk freedom fighters. With freshly supplied new heavy weapons and even American snipers, the US puppet government in Kiev launched another offensive into the Donetsk People’s Republic with heavy mortar shelling. The US is stepping up its hostilities globally on all hotspot fronts in its apparent launch of this century’s world war.

As yet another further sign of the West’s plan to wage global war against Eastern powers, a Sunday FARS News Agency article is reporting that based on recent WikiLeaks released emails sent to Hillary, Israel has entertained designs in its warming of relations with the House of Saud to use a Saudi airbase from which Israeli air force jets can be deployed for purposes of attacking Iran. The article also mentioned in a related matter that The New York Times in 2010 disclosed that Saudi Arabia was prepared to give its air force stand down orders so that Israeli warplanes could safely pass through Saudi airspace to enable Israel to attack Iran’s nuclear and military facilities.

Multi-modal Information war propaganda

At the same time that NBC discloses the CIA hack-attack plan, messenger boy Biden makes his NBC appearance to further deliver the message to both America and Putin on Meet the Press. These so called countermeasures against fabricated Putin aggression are being carried out in a multitude of ways, just one being through recklessly blunt, sabre rattling threats recently uttered by members of both the State and Defense Departments.

Of course another old oft-used Empire standby is to engage in economic terrorism through such Empire vassal appendages as the UN and EU. The UK represented by warmongering Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and his sniveling US counterpart Kerry just met in London to discuss the latest round of ante upping economic sanctions against both Syria and Russia for their alleged “misconduct in Aleppo.” Again they’re hypocritically hiding behind their worn out phony humanitarian excuses when in fact it’s Putin and Assad who are doing the world the favor of wiping out their US supported terrorists. In perhaps the most provocative development leading to the West’s war against Russia, as the #1 US lackey last week the UK has given its fighter jet pilots in the Royal Air Force the greenlight to fire upon Russian aircraft in Syria.

Meanwhile the criminal cabal in Washington says nothing when those same terrorists they’re backing are shelling and killing civilians daily in western Aleppo. Last Thursday five children were killed in a bombed out school. Nor do they squawk when their terrorists are repeatedly using chemical weapons on Syrian people. Just two months ago in Aleppo five civilians were asphyxiated to death. Remember Obama’s self-righteous faked redline in August 2013 after his terrorists killed all those children in Ghouta? Or when every day Saudi jets are committing horrific war crimes of the century on the innocent civilians of Yemen 10,000 victims later. Instead of acknowledging humanitarian responsibility to protect the innocent in the poorest nation in the Middle East, the US Empire has now directly entered that war with recent missile attacks killing more Yemenis. Empire’s egregious criminality cannot be ignored.

Vice President Biden on NBC’s Meet the Press: Obama is threatening Putin with nuclear war

But the latest smugly delivered message to Putin of the ominous nuclear Armageddon comes out of the mouth of his VP Joe Biden on Sunday’s Meet the Press interview. The last question asked was what is Obama doing about Putin tampering with the US election outcome? A clear US lie without any supporting evidence thus far. Though Biden danced around the issue with a nebulous innuendo reply that career politicians are notorious for, he alluded that Obama is sending Putin an implicit threat. According to highly astute historian and geopolitical writer Eric Zuesse’s deciphered interpretation, that threat is the nuclear war that Putin and the Russians are now taking very seriously.

Hillary has repeatedly made war against both Russia and Iran her top priority imperative.  On the other hand, Trump has made it clear that he would work with Putin as a partner to eradicate the scourge of the terrorists worldwide. And without the terrorists, no more war on terror, no more terrorism, no more reason for making draconian laws in the name of national security that kill what’s left of our mortally wounded Constitution, and as an ally of Putin who dislikes globalism as much as terrorism, no more reason for one world government tyranny. Bearing this in mind, it’s very easy to see why Obama and Hillary are so gung ho and determined to risk all our lives for their NWO cause.

Saturday’s 20 nation meeting over Syria ends without agreement

Syrian talks in Lausanne, Switzerland involving 20 nations ended with zero agreement reached (other than be open to meeting at an undisclosed hypothetical future time). US et al versus Russia et al are deadlocked completely at odds with each other as US Empire is unwilling to pursue diplomatic channels with Russia to prevent the larger war. The US led coalition airstrike on Syrian soldiers last month proved that much in reality. At this point Russia does not trust the West and for good reason.

Russia’s preparedness for nuclear war

In response to the cold war approaching the boiling point in recent weeks, and in total contrast to America, Russia has been busy preparing its citizens for potential nuclear war. Moscow ordered all Russian citizens, diplomats and students traveling, working or studying abroad to immediately return home. Members of Russia’s diplomatic corps were threatened with reprimands and career demotions should they refuse to comply with the Kremlin directive. Additionally 40 million Russian citizens, that’s near one-third of the nation’s total population, just completed an unprecedented massive nuclear war defense drill. Also unlike the US, Moscow has built underground facilities for housing its 12 million residents under the capital city for safe refuge. Again unlike America, Russia is taking the extreme threat of nuclear war with the West very seriously. Even MSM fixture ABC News ran a story how Russians have been preparing for a nuclear winter outcome. In stark contrast, outside of Putin bashing and the election sideshow, neither Washington nor its propaganda whores in the press have alerted Americans that they are currently in grave danger. In fact it’s been an MSM news blackout while Russian media has told its citizens that nuclear war is “imminent.” Meanwhile as another sign that Putin means business, in response to NATO’s nuclear missiles activated in Romania and Poland, Putin has ordered at the ready his nuclear capable missiles in Kaliningrad, the Russian enclave between NATO members Poland and Lithuania.

“The Russians are Coming” Propaganda Ploy: Alleged “Russian Invasion” of US by way of Alaska

Britain’s tabloid the Daily Star (quoted by The Inquisitr) has run an October 16th headline “The Russians Are Coming”, Says Ex-Navy Leader: World War 3 Will Start with Alaska Invasion.”

Inquisitr Headlines (October 15, 2016)

No doubt, the anonymous source to the “Russians Are Coming” story published by the Daily Star is but part of the Clinton-Obama propaganda blitzkrieg falsely blaming Putin for everything gone wrong in this world as yet more propaganda used to justify a US war against Russia. That said, according to the Inquisitr article, the unnamed “high-ranking former US Navy official” warned that an unprotected part of America’s largest state Alaska with its closest point separating America from Russia just 50 miles, has been Putin’s planned designated target where Russian submarines will secure an invasion of our 50th state and proceed southward to the continental US. The former naval officer stated:

Our feeling in the Navy was that Obama had turned Alaska into a defenseless area that will serve as a forward base of operations when World War III begins.

The tabloid propaganda article quoting an unidentified former naval officer as the leaked source also claimed that Russian soldiers disguised in Alaska as “highway road crews” have been literally laying the groundwork for the invasion and will be used to secure bridges and disrupt communications during the invasion. The article goes on to report that other unnamed sources have independently also laid claim that Russians have been moving into the local area and living in abandoned motels and military bases.

Conclusion

The bottom line is the West and their terrorist allies are losing the war in Syria. The battle for Aleppo is being won as the Syrian Arab Army is making headway in the eastern part of Syria’s second largest city. Not only is the legitimate president of Syria – Bashar al-Assad – going to remain in power, but the US wet dream of a no fly zone under US control is not in the cards either. Putin has checkmated the neocon traitors by deploying his advanced S-400 and S-300 anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense systems vowing to shoot down any unidentified airplanes in the skies over Syria. The trained Syrians will be the ones pulling the trigger.

The US is realizing its longtime investment in terrorists and terrorism is being lost as Raqqa will be the final ISIS stronghold to be vanquished once Aleppo is liberated. Another second largest city in a neighboring country, Mosul will also be next, won back by Iraqi forces. The terrorists and their Western and Gulf State backers are going down in defeat. Knowing that US Empire’s run as the unipolar hegemonic kingpin of the world is rapidly fading, DC crazies are now acting out aggressively with wild abandon. Hopefully they’re not so deranged to push the button.

The most fitting metaphor for the current geopolitics chessboard drama being played out in Syria is the neighborhood bully who for years always has had his way browbeating and terrorizing his smaller neighbors into submission.

But one day the bully finally meets his match – a worthy challenger willing to stand up and fight the bully once and for all. Always having bragged about his strength and power over everyone else through his frequent show of force, which he has brutally and repeatedly demonstrated, ultimately the bully is now having second thoughts, having to face reality that his stealth and strength cannot match his false bravado.

The bully realizes that he can’t actually beat his worthy challenger who has been able to outsmart and outfox him. Since the bully knows that the jig is up, he is fast running out of options. Unable to face the public humiliation of being exposed as the weaker, finally dethroned opponent, the bully is becoming increasingly agitated, mentally unstable and desperate.

Before whimpering away in defeat, the bully decides to throw one final but huge tantrum as his last defining moment as the king of the hill, exercising all his power and intimidation, he threatens to kill everyone in the neighborhood. This is what’s going on right now, the world bully – the United States Empire – is finally receiving his comeuppance. But the only problem is the mentally deranged bully possesses WMD’s that can in fact destroy the entire global village.  Since he knows his days as top dog are over and he feels he has nothing left to lose since he’s going down anyway, will the bully follow through on his threat to bring down the entire planet with him? That’s the big question.

Joachim Hagopian is a West Point graduate and former US Army officer. He has written a manuscript based on his unique military experience entitled “Don’t Let The Bastards Getcha Down.” It examines and focuses on US international relations, leadership and national security issues. After the military, Joachim earned a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and worked as a licensed therapist in the mental health field with abused youth and adolescents for more than a quarter century. In recent years he has focused on his writing, becoming an alternative media journalist. His blog site is at: http://empireexposed.blogspot.co

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