Post-9/11 repressive legislation made America more of a police state than earlier.

Obama wants more on top of current freedom-destroying laws, executive orders, national security and homeland security presidential directives, military orders when issued, and extrajudicial diktats at his discretion.

Most disturbing is too few Americans realize or even care about their fundamental constitutional and international law mandated rights disappearing in plain sight.

America never was a democracy – less so now than ever with monied interests controlling everything, rigged elections for top government posts mattering most, ordinary people’s rights and wishes entirely ignored, and repressive laws cracking down hard on nonbelievers.

If that doesn’t define a police state, what does? Proposed new legislation Obama wants passed intends driving another nail in what little remains of a free society.

The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) targets fundamental civil liberties for elimination, including scant privacy protections left.

It’s repressive CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) in new form. The earlier legislation was introduced in 2011, died, resurfaced in 2013 and went nowhere again – because of overwhelming public opposition.

It would have given government and corporate interests unlimited access to personal/privileged information online. It would have permitted transferring private communications to government agencies and let them share it with business on the false claim of protecting cyber security.

Throughout his tenure, Obama waged extrajudicial cyberwar. In response to CISPA 2.0, the ACLU said it would compromise privacy rights.

It would let “companies share sensitive and personal American internet data with the government, including the National Security Agency and other military agencies.”

CISPA does not require companies to make reasonable efforts to protect their customers’ privacy and then allows the government to use that data for undefined ‘national-security’ purposes and without any minimization procedures, which have been in effect in other security statutes for decades.

It would permit destroying civil liberties on the bogus pretext of protecting cyber security. In response to proposed CISA legislation, the ACLU, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Project Censored, the Media Freedom Foundation, the National Whistleblower Center, and dozens of other civil liberties and open government groups wrote members of Congress strongly condemning the proposed legislation.

Saying in part it “threatens to create a gaping loophole in existing privacy law that would permit the government to approach private companies; ask for ‘voluntary’ cooperation in sharing sensitive information, including communications content; and then use that information in various law enforcement investigations, including the investigation and prosecution of government whistleblowers under the Espionage Act.”

Proposed provisions violate core constitutional protections. They circumvent fundamental rights on the pretext of cybersecurity. Separately, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) said CISA provides no funding for security research or training federal government personnel – nor do anything to enhance computer and network security.

Instead, unconstitutional information sharing is proposed, circumventing civil liberties, including privacy concerns.

CISA will “grant companies more power to obtain ‘cyber threat indicators’ “ and share personal information collected with federal government agencies “without a warrant.”

It “requires real time dissemination to military and intelligence agencies, including the NSA.” Online and other privacy rights are entirely ignored.

Information gotten can be used for purposes unrelated to cybersecurity – including “a wide range of crimes involving any level of physical force,” said EFF.

Corporations will be able “to launch countermeasures against potentially innocent users” – with no accountability for potential harm caused. They’ll be immune from lawsuits demanding damages for unjustifiable reasons.

Over 800,000 signatures were collected in response to an anti-CISPA “Stop Cyber Spying Week” campaign. EFF urges everyone “take action today. Stop Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA).”

House members passed the Protecting Cyber Networks Act in late April. Click this link. Email your senators and House representative. Send them the message EFF suggests or your own.

Tens of thousands of concerned Americans got CISPA rejected. “(W)e need your help again,” said EFF. Act now before it’s too late.

Tell your senators and congressional representative to oppose CISA. Help kill this Orwellian freedom destroying measure.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected].

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Another Post 9/11 Police State Law: The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) Targets Fundamental Civil Liberties

Nuclear Disarmament: If Not Now, When?

August 6th, 2015 by Robert C. Koehler

Oh plaintive cry for justice, for change, for the world we must create, welling up from a tiny island nation in the Pacific Ocean. I can only pray: Let there be an authority large enough to hear it.

My first reaction, upon learning that the Republic of the Marshall Islands — former U.S. territory, still ravaged and radioactive, the site of 67 H-bomb tests between 1946 and 1958 — has filed lawsuits against the nine nations that possess nuclear weapons demanding that they eliminate their arsenals, as per the provisions of the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, was cringing disbelief. Are they serious? I couldn’t imagine an action more futile.

But the disbelief was mixed with hope, and the hope remains vibrant as the world marks the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the launching of the geopolitics of M.A.D. (Mutually Assured Destruction). Could hope possibly be more painful?

The anti-nuke lawsuits were filed in April 2014, in both U.S. Federal Court and the International Court of Justice in The Hague. It was no big surprise when the U.S. suit was dismissed some months ago due to being “speculative” and because the Marshall Islands “lacks standing” to bring the suit.

Yeah, an upstart nation of no international significance. All the Marshall Islands did was to serve as an expendable swath of atolls in the middle of nowhere, a site ideal to absorb multiple megatons of nuclear testing over a dozen years. The islands’ inhabitants were, in the racist parlance of the time, simple “savages” whose culture, whose very lives, had far less value than the technological advancements the testing yielded. Cancer, birth defects and other consequences of radiation are the lasting results, but who cares? Three decades ago, the U.S. settled its genocidal debt to the islanders with a payment of $150 million “for all claims, past, present and future.” This pittance — this nuisance settlement — is, of course, long gone. Too bad.

“What many Americans seem to want to forget,” wrote scholar Sandra Crismon, as quoted recently by Robert Alvarez in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, “is that for the Marshallese, nuclear testing is not a historical event, as they continue to deal with the huge environmental and human health costs.”

But their lawsuits in the two courts, with a decision still pending from the ICJ, isn’t seeking additional compensation. The suits merely seek to hold the nuclear-armed nations accountable to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which calls for the dismantling of all nuclear weapons. How did that small provision get overlooked? Five of these nations — the U.S., U.K., France, Russia, and China — are signatories to the agreement. The other four — Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea — though they’ve snubbed the treaty, are nonetheless accountable to international law, the lawsuit maintains.

If nothing else, the tiny island nation is standing eyeball to eyeball with superpower arrogance and crippled morality.

As Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote last week in The Guardian:

“One of the many ironies of history is that non-nuclear-weapon states, like Iran, have actually done far more for the cause of non-proliferation in practice than nuclear-weapon states have done on paper. Iran and other nuclear have-nots have genuinely ‘walked the walk’ in seeking to consolidate the non-proliferation regime. Meanwhile, states actually possessing these destructive weapons have hardly even ‘talked the talk,’ while completely brushing off their disarmament obligations under the non-proliferation treaty.”

History’s conquerors will not be the ones who free humanity from its suicidal vise. This is the paradox. The transition we have to make must emerge beyond the institutions that have trapped us.

Nuclear weaponry is the outcome of 10,000 years of human experimentation with war, outside the circle of life. The institutions we’ve built, the logic we’ve adhered to, lead us nowhere, except to more of the same and worse. Desperate as we are to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons, we devote billions of dollars annually to upgrading our own. There are still nearly 16,000 nuclear weapons on the planet, some 1,800 on Cold War-era hair-trigger alert. We’ve been on the brink of self-annihilation for 70 years. What sanity can we access to save ourselves?

“Everything turned red — the ocean, the fish, the sky and my grandfather’s net. And we were 200 miles away from ground zero. A memory that can never be erased.”

These are the words of Tony DeBrum, minister of foreign affairs for the Republic of the Marshall Islands, who, Alvarez tells us in his Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists essay, addressed the recent Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. DeBrum was 9, out fishing with his grandfather, on March 1, 1954, when the Castle Bravoblast — all 15 megatons of it, the largest U.S. nuclear test ever — was detonated on Bikini Atoll. To its innocent witnesses, it must have foretold the end of the world.

The Marshall Islands lawsuits ask: If not us, who? If not now, when? These are the questions asked by those who have no choice. That means all of us should be asking them.

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Nuclear Disarmament: If Not Now, When?

Originally published at WhoWhatWhy.org

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima —  followed three days later by the bombing of Nagasaki. While the world is now aware of the horrifying aftermath of these events, this wasn’t always the case. This is the first in a three-part series on the US’s decades-long deliberate effort to hide the true extent of the atom bombs’ mass devastation.

In June of 1946, Lt. Daniel McGovern hauled 90,000 feet of color footage to the Pentagon and submitted it to General Orvil Anderson. Locked away and declared top secret, it did not see the light of day for more than thirty years.

The first in a three-part series.

“A Hole in American History”

Dozens of hours of film footage shot in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the fall and winter of 1945-1946 by an elite U.S. military unit was hidden for decades and almost no one could see it.  The raw footage, in striking color, languished in obscurity. As the writer Mary McCarthy observed, the atomic bombing of Japan nearly fell into “a hole in human history.”

As our nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union escalated, all that most Americans saw of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the same black-and-white images: a mushroom cloud, a panorama of emptiness, a battered building topped with the skeleton of a dome—mainly devoid of people.

1111

Once top secret, the shocking images now carry an “unrestricted” label. You have, quite possibly, seen a few seconds of clips on television or in film documentaries. If so, those images may be burned into your mind. Yet no one was allowed to view them when the horror they captured might have prevented more horror by slowing down or even halting the nuclear arms race.

Compounding the cover-up, the American military seized all of the black-and-white footage of the cities shot by the Japanese in the immediate aftermath of the bombings. They hid the film away for many years. It was known in Japan as the maboroshi, or “phantom,” film. It, too, rests in the National Archives today.

“Never again.” At least not with outmoded bombs.

To find out how and why all of this historic footage was suppressed for so long, I tracked down the man who oversaw the handling of both the Japanese and American film. His name is Lt. Col. (Ret.) Daniel A. McGovern. He told me that high officials in the Pentagon “didn’t want those images out because,

“…they showed effects on man, woman and child…. They didn’t want the general public to know what their weapons had done—at a time they were planning on more bomb tests.”

Not incidentally, those planned tests were designed to help the U.S. military build bigger and better nuclear bombs.

McGovern also said, “We didn’t want the material out because…we were sorry for our sins.”

Read the rest here

Greg Mitchell is the author of more than a dozen books, including “Atomic Cover-up.” He is the former editor of Nuclear Times and Editor & Publisher and writes a daily column at The Nation.

Next:  Part II—Coming Soon.

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Hiroshima-Nagasaki: “A Hole in American History”, Atomic Devastation Hidden for Decades

A Dead Lion and a Dead Black Man

August 6th, 2015 by Margaret Kimberley

When word reached the U.S. that Cecil the lion had been shot to death in Zimbabwe, much of white America was reduced to tears. But few of them know or care about Samuel DuBose, a Black man gunned down in Cincinnati by a white security guard. “Many white people have a unique ability to humanize every other living thing except a black person.”

Darren Wilson is now a much wealthier man for having killed Michael Brown.”

Events take place every day which prove that America is a country in a serious and dangerous state of delusion. In the United States, trivialities are treated with great importance and vital issues are ignored or diminished if they threaten the rule of white supremacy.

On July 19, 2015, Samuel DuBose was killed when a private security officer at the University of Cincinnati shot him in the head. As the Malcolm X Grass Roots Movement told the world in 2012, murders like this take place roughly every 28 hours. Not only do law enforcement officers have the right to kill black people at will, but so do private security. In some cases, a civilian vigilante like George Zimmerman is given tacit state permission to kill when in the service of the 21st century slave patrol.

DuBose’s car was missing a license plate, which led to a police stop, which led to a physical confrontation, which led to him being shot. As in the case of Sandra Bland, a traffic citation turned deadly because the target was a black person. These killings are common and now show other familiar and very disturbing patterns.

The killer has been charged with murder but is out on bond, having raised $100,000 in less than 24 hours. DuBose’s family traveled down the all too common but sickening road of first forgiving the killer and then added to their shame by hiring Mark O’Mara to represent them. O’Mara is the attorney who successfully defended George Zimmerman in the murder of Trayvon Martin.

It was all painful to watch. Another police “snuff” video showing a black person’s murder followed by a grieving family who due to their own personal delusion and lack of political sensibility are unable to speak truthfully. If the usual script plays out, the security officer will be acquitted and the Obama Justice Department will refuse to exercise its prosecutorial power.

The anger and the grief caused by the killings of people like Samuel DuBose are still felt most keenly within the black community. Within the white community killer police get sympathy and even raise large sums of money. Darren Wilson is now a much wealthier man for having killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri last year. While black people cry out in anguish over human murder, white people reserve their outrage for the deaths of animals.

Recently a dentist from Minnesota traveled to Zimbabwe in search of a wild animal trophy. Dr. Walter Palmer killed a lion after luring him out of a wildlife sanctuary. Unfortunately for the hunter, the lion was a tourist attraction and had been anthropomorphized with the name of Cecil. Of course lions don’t have names but many white people have a unique ability to humanize every other living thing except a black person.

While DuBose’s murder elicited a shrug of the shoulder in many quarters, Cecil’s killing inspired international outrage fueled with the help of social media. Celebrities like late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel were near tears on camera because of Cecil’s untimely demise. The killer dentist had to close his practice, hire a crisis management firm, and get out of town for a while. Eventually even his public relations person distanced himself. Ray Tensing, Samuel DuBose’s killer, has no such problem. He is walking around free because of moral and financial support. There aren’t any celebrities weeping for DuBose and no one outside of his family and his community is terribly concerned about him.

The disparate reactions to animal and human death should not be surprising. Even predatory animals can be imbued with human characteristics by those who find that fascinating. Real human beings who are black are given no such positive benefit of the doubt. In fact, any assumptions made about them are negative while any assumptions of worthiness are reserved for the people who kill them.

Challenging Tensing’s right to kill DuBose means challenging the system upon which this nation was built. Not only are millions of people more concerned about a wild animal than a human, but some of those grieving for the lion are actually quite happy when black people are hunted down. Questioning whether the killing was justified would result in a level of cognitive dissonance which would be too difficult to contemplate.

Dr. Palmer is now considered to be a villain by millions of people around the world. He didn’t shoot a man in the head, invade another country, torture anyone or give public money to crooked banksters. Any of these acts ought to make him a target of contempt but doing so would require more thought than the average American can muster. He should have found a reason, any reason to kill a black person. Had he done that he would now have no worries at all.

Margaret Kimberley‘s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on A Dead Lion and a Dead Black Man

Yes, I think the election season is a disastrously overlong distraction. If people’s interest in it can be used to get them to ask their heroes to lead on important matters — such as asking Bernie Sanders to rally the Senate for the Iran agreement or against the TPP — then that’s a nice silver lining. If people want to get drunk watching Republicans debate rather than some other poorly conceived tragicomedy on TV, what do I care?

But there’s usually little of moving the beloved leader forward on anything, because supporters take on the role of servants, not masters. Criticism equals endorsement of some other leader. Advice equals endorsement of some other leader. And facts are seen through glasses tinted the shade of one’s preferred public commander.

RootsAction’s petition asking Sanders to talk about the military has nearly 14,000 signatures. It’s produced a number of claims that Bernie in fact does talk about the military, and has a great record on it, etc. Following up on each of these claims thus far has led to virtually nothing new. If you go to Bernie’s website and click on ISSUES and search for foreign policy or war or peace or overall budget priorities (militarism now actually gets 54% now), you’ll be searching forever — unless he adds something. His “issues” page acts as if 199 nations and 54% of the budget just don’t exist.

If Senator Sanders were to add anything about war to his website, judging by his standard response when asked, it would be this:

The military wastes money and its contractors routinely engage in fraud. The Department of Defense should be audited. Some weapons that I won’t name should be eliminated. Some cuts that I won’t even vaguely estimate should be made. All the wars in the Middle East should continue, but Saudi Arabia should lead the way with the U.S. assisting, because Saudi Arabia has plenty of weapons — and if Saudi Arabia has murdered lots of its own citizens and countless little babies in Yemen and has the goal of overthrowing a number of governments and slaughtering people of the wrong sect and dominating the area for the ideology of its fanatical dictatorial regime, who cares, better that than the U.S. funding all the wars, and the idea of actually ending any wars should be effectively brushed aside by changing the subject to how unfair it is for Saudi Arabia not to carry more of the militarized man’s burden. Oh, and veterans, U.S. veterans, are owed the deepest gratitude imaginable for the generous and beneficial service they have performed by killing so many people in the wars I’ve voted against and the ones I’ve voted for alike.

A brilliant and talented friend of mine named Jonathan Tasini is about to publish a book on Sanders’ platform on numerous issues. I asked to read an early copy because I had a huge hope that perhaps Sanders had addressed what he’s silent on in an interview with Tasini. He’s silent on how much he’d cut the military, even within a range of $100 billion. He’s silent on alternatives to war. He’s usually silent on U.S. subservience to Israel. He’s silent on drone murders. He’s silent on militarism and military spending driving the wars, the civil liberties losses, the militarization of local police, the militarization of the borders, the nasty attitudes toward immigrants and minorities, etc. He’s silent on the public support for two, not one, great sources of revenue: taxing the rich (which he’s all over) and cutting the military (which he avoids). I admit that I also had a secret fear that Tasini’s book would not mention foreign policy at all.

Well, the book turns out not to include new interviews but just to collect past speeches and remarks and interviews and legislative records, carefully selected to paint the most progressive picture. So, wars Sanders opposed are mentioned. Wars he supported are not. Critiques of wasteful spending are included. Support for wasteful spending when it’s in Vermont is not. Etc. I do recommend getting the book as soon as it comes out. No similar book could be produced about any other candidate in the two mega parties. But take it all with a grain of salt. You’ll still have no grasp of Sander’s basic budgetary platform or approach to diplomacy or foreign aid or international law or demilitarization or transition to peaceful industries — assuming he develops any approach to some of those things.

And to those who are already telling me that Sanders has to censor his actually wonderful secret desires to move the world from war to peace (and presumably a 12-dimensional chess move by which Saudi Arabia check mates all the warmongers and fossil fuel consumers) — that he has to keep quiet or he’ll have powerful forces against him or he’ll be assassinated or he’ll lose the election — I’m going to say what I said when people told me this about Obama: IT’S NEVER WORKED THAT WAY IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD! WHAT ARE YOU SMOKING? We’re lucky if candidates keep half the promises they make. Getting them to keep promises they never made but we fantasized has never been done.

I also had hopes for the wonderful and admirable Nicole Sandler’s radio show on Thursday. She’d said that Sanders had no reluctance at all to discuss militarism. But of course I didn’t expect him to refuse to talk. I expected him to just muddle through the same old same old. And so he did. He talked about cost overruns and waste, fraud, a DoD audit. He said he’d eliminate some weapons (but didn’t name a single one). He said he’d make cuts but “I can’t tell you exactly how many.” Can you tell us roughly how many? He said he wanted “Muslim countries” to help with fighting the wars. Sandler prompted him with his Saudi Arabia thing, and he went off on that, and the host agreed with him.

So the Socialist wants to turn foreign affairs over to a royal theocratic dictatorship, won’t say what he’d do to the largest item in the budget even though it’s WAR, and he’s bravely come out against fraud and waste without naming any instances of it.

And now I have a choice of being satisfied or an ungrateful perfectionist secretly supporting Hillary, even though her record on militarism is worse than that of almost any human alive and her website lists Iran, ISIS, Russia, and China as enemies to be stood up strong against. Oh, forget it. What time do the Republicans come on? Pass the whiskey.

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on US Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders Talks Militarism But Says Nothing New

In our previous media alert, we described ‘the panic-driven hysterical hate-fest campaign’ being waged against Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn right across the corporate media ‘spectrum’.

This week, Guardian readers’ editor Chris Elliott responded to readers’ complaints:

‘I read or viewed 43 pieces of journalism published between 21 and 30 July… Seventeen of the 43 pieces struck me as neutral… there were 10 pieces that could broadly be described as either being comment pieces in favour of Corbyn or news stories reporting positively about him.’

Elliot would only concede that ‘in the early days of Corbyn’s charge, the readers rightly got a sniff that on occasions we weren’t taking him seriously enough. That has changed…’.

We wrote to Elliott:

‘Hi Chris

‘Hope you’re well. Thanks for your piece: “Analysing the balance of our Jeremy Corbyn coverage.”…

‘Could you let us know, please, which 17 pieces struck you as neutral, and which 10 pieces were in favour of Corbyn, or reporting positively about him?’ (Email, August 4, 2015)

Elliott replied:

‘Dear Mr Edwards,

‘I am sorry but I have set out all that I had time and resource to do. I cannot help you further.

‘Best wishes

‘Chris Elliott’ (Email, August 4, 2015)

We were, of course, grateful for the response.

In his article, Elliott rightly warned that, ‘This is not a scientific piece of research – we don’t have the resources.’

In reality, evaluating Guardian bias on Corbyn does not require scientific method, just simple common sense.

Consider, for example, an article written by arch-Blairite Peter Hain, who is up to his neck in responsibility for Iraq sanctions, invasion and occupation. Hain’s piece was titled:

‘Jeremy Corbyn’s policies may be popular – but they don’t add up to a platform’

The article jumped out at us because it contained rare criticism of two other candidates for the Labour leadership:

‘The two most credible candidates – Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper – have been underwhelming: cautious and austerity-lite.’

This does indeed qualify as mild criticism. But compare it with Hain’s comments on Corbyn:

‘Those inside the Westminster bubble have been transfixed, indeed bewildered, by Jeremy Corbyn’s soaring campaign for Labour leader. The more he is denounced, the better he seems to do.

‘Have Labour members gone mad, party luminaries wonder? Has the Militant Tendency’s 1980s entryism been somehow reincarnated from its current impotence, headlines ask?’

Hain continued:

‘Nobody – least of all him [Corbyn], ironically – imagines he could be prime minister, or even that as opposition leader he could survive the high noon bearpit of Prime Minister’s Questions, or deliver an effective instant response to a George Osborne budget speech.’

And:

‘But the reason I won’t vote for Corbyn is that, underneath his appealing slogans and rousing values, there is no programmatic substance… His economic policy amounts to an unelectable platform of “tax and spend” – an anguished cry of protest, not a serious alternative for a Labour government… He demonstrates little understanding of the immensely arduous challenge of electing, let alone running, a social democratic or democratic socialist government…’.

If this isn’t clear enough, a simple observation should make it clearer: there is more damning personal and political criticism in this single piece on Corbyn than we found in several hundred Guardian articles on Burnham, Cooper and Kendall over the last month combined.

By contrast, the following comment from a Guardian news report indicates the level of criticism that has only rarely been directed at these three candidates:

‘A senior Labour politician… attributed Corbyn’s success so far to the failure of Burnham, Cooper and Kendall to grip the imagination.’

We also managed to find this from Rafael Behr in the Guardian:

‘Kendall has misjudged the balance between delivering hard truths to the party and charmlessly rubbing it up the wrong way, which in turn raises doubts about the tuning of her political antennae.’

A Guardian leader commented:

‘Mr Burnham’s campaign, with its heavy emphasis on emotional reconnection with the party’s core electorate, is steeped in nostalgia.’

Again, minor, low-level criticism; nothing that could be considered a personal and political demolition in the style of Hain.

Comedian Frankie Boyle wrote a piece criticising ‘passive’ Labour. He referred obliquely to ‘leadership candidacy androids’ who lack ‘personality and charm’ in a party that is to the right of John Major. Burnham, Cooper and Kendall were not mentioned by name; their role as New Labour Blairites supporting the Iraq crime and other horrors was not discussed. Seumas Milne, the Guardian’s resident leftist fig-leaf, also referred to the ‘New Labour machine politician’ alternative to Corbyn, supplying rare, substantial criticism of the other candidates for moving ‘sharply to the right’.

The fiercest personal criticism came from John Harris:

‘As Corbyn rises, Andy Burnham is suddenly styling himself as the faux-radical saviour of a party “scared of its own shadow”.’

And yet his campaign began ‘with a speech at the City offices of a corporation associated with huge tax avoidance…’.

Yvette Cooper exhibits ‘that awful modern Labour tendency to boil even the great causes of the age down to borderline inanity and talk to people as if they are stupid’.

Not that Harris is a Corbyn fan: ‘I am less interested in him than what his candidacy, in tandem with Labour’s new voting system, has let loose.’

Vanishingly rare exceptions aside, the other three leaders have been criticised for being charmless, overly nostalgic, dull, hypocritical, inane, and so on. Clearly, none of this compares to the many articles passionately warning readers against the ‘madness‘, the ‘catastrophe‘, of voting for Corbyn when ‘Nobody – least of all him, ironically – imagines he could be prime minister.’

The Worm-Eating Stage – Think Of Your Children!

Anne Perkins was outraged by criticism of the female candidates in a Guardian article titled: ‘How bad must it get before Labour elects a woman?’ Perkins wrote:

‘Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall are cringingly quizzed about their weight, fertility and fashion choices, and the implication from one of the other camps that they might not be tough enough for the five years ahead.’

By ironic contrast, Perkins wrote an impassioned piece titled:

‘Labour party members, please think before you vote for Jeremy Corbyn’

She commented:

‘Jeremy Corbyn as leader would fit tidily into the pattern the Conservative party established in its wilderness years.’

The Corbyn vote is a vote for self-destruction, then. Perkins added:

‘There is room for a party of the emotional spasm in British politics but that is a party of protest, not a party of government.’

Corbyn and his supporters are part of ‘an apocalyptic tendency’. In conclusion, Perkins pleaded with her readers:

‘Think what kind of country you want for you and your children and, even more importantly, think how you might get there. Now think, is Jeremy Corbyn in the middle of that picture? I don’t think so.’

Last week, we noted how senior columnist Polly Toynbee had described support for Corbyn as ‘summer madness’ promoting ‘a 1983 man’, ‘a relic’. This week, Toynbee commented again under the title:

‘Free to dream, I’d be left of Jeremy Corbyn. But we can’t gamble the future on him’

Toynbee wrote:

‘At hustings he shines by offering virtue, while the rest wrestle with the wretched realities of British politics.’

As so often, then, Corbyn was depicted as a fantasist divorced from the real world inhabited by serious politicians. Once again, Toynbee warned voters off:

‘Can Corbyn overcome all with sheer conviction? I wish it were so. But Labour people, motivated by the plight of the needy in a grossly unjust society, shouldn’t gamble the future of the weak on such a slender chance… A Cooper leadership offers an infinitely better hope of success than a Jeremy Corbyn/Tom Watson ticket.’

Tim Bale wrote an article under the title:

‘A Corbyn-inspired split would be a Labour catastrophe’

The Guardian’s Suzanne Moore described Corbyn as a ‘slightly less feral version of Ken Livingstone’. Moore understood why the less enlightened were attracted to Corbyn’s authenticity, ‘but Blair is right, surely, to talk of the challenges of the future’.

Moore thus respectfully cited, and sided with, one of the great neocon war criminals of our time. If Corbyn’s campaign achieves nothing else, it has already exposed the reality that the deaths of one million human beings in Iraq have done nothing to alter the Guardian Blairites’ view of their idol.

Moore bitterly rejected the self-harming lunacy of supporting Corbyn:

‘The Labour party can choose to be part of what is happening or it can further cut itself off. Right now they appear to be in the process known to post-Marxists as the “Nobody loves me. Everybody hates me. I am going down the garden to eat worms” stage.’

Martin Kettle followed his earlier dismissal with a second under the title:

‘Labour can back from the brink. But it seems to lack the will to do so’

Kettle added:

‘His socialism, though, is more a matter of faith than a viable programme… Corbyn’s position is essentially made up of attitudes and slogans…’

The Guardian’s Zoe Williams was amazed that she was even discussing Corbyn:

‘How did this man… get on the ballot in the first place?’

Williams was not suggesting that this is an exciting opportunity to support genuinely progressive policies – her focus was on how to ‘neutralise Corbyn’. Of his enemies, Williams wrote:

‘On a more profound level, though, they’re coming at him with the wrong truncheon. The charge of being unrealistic actually oxygenates rather than smothers the spark Corbyn has created… The most memorable, salient, powerful thing about Blair was that he embodied hope… That’s what made him unstoppable. And that, in the end, is what would neutralise Corbyn: not ever-shriller accusations of the danger he poses but a more forceful articulation of what hopeful Labour would look like, and what its hopes would be.’

The ‘most memorable, salient, powerful thing about Blair’ was that he sold himself to one of the most vicious hard-right US regimes in living memory. And of course no journalist in the Guardian has sought to identify the right ‘truncheon’ to ‘neutralise’ Burnham, Cooper or Kendall. Chris Elliott recommendedthis piece to a reader outraged by the Guardian’s negative coverage.

As one reads through the hundreds of articles mentioning the four Labour candidates, it becomes overwhelmingly clear that serious, much less harsh, criticism of the New Labour triumverate is not on the agenda. It just becomes obvious that there are no forces within the Guardian willing to support such a focus. Burnham, Cooper and Kendall are to be treated as serious, respectable politicians; potential leaders worthy of due deference and respect. Corbyn can be dissed and dismissed, treated any which way – almost literally anything goes.

Thus the Guardian’s Simon Hattenstone, who interviewed Corbyn before his leadership campaign dramatically surged. Imagine any journalist writing anything comparably disrespectful of an Obama or a Cameron before an election; or indeed of a Burnham, Cooper or Kendall:

‘If this were a job interview, Corbyn would have already been shown the door. And not just because of his age – 66. Corbyn is the anti-Blair, in every way. Whereas you cannot be unaware of Blair when he is in the room (he is all charisma), you might well not notice Corbyn arriving or leaving.

‘You would expect Corbyn to have charisma by the bucketload and a leonine ego, but he doesn’t… He still has a touch of Citizen Smith about him (without the laughs) and even his biggest fans admit he can’t open his mouth without expressing the need for peace, justice and solidarity.’

For younger readers, ‘Citizen Smith’ was a reference to a 1970s BBC comedy series that mocked a deluded, preachy, unemployed London leftist who had dreams of leading a Cuban-style revolution from Tooting, with his grandiose dreams always ending in pathetic farce.

Hattenstone reported questions that might have been asked of a child rather than a leadership candidate in a democratic election: ‘How would he feel if he actually won?… Would it scare him?’

The conclusion was as haughtily dismissive: ‘Like the rest of the country, Corbyn doesn’t think he has a chance of winning.’ Elliott also recommended this piece to the reader angered by negative Guardian coverage.

By dramatic contrast, the Guardian’s front-page interview with Yvette Cooper was deferential to the point of cringe-making idolatry.

Or consider this small comment in a Guardian news report:

‘Labour leadership candidate Liz Kendall has said it will be a disaster for the party if polling proves accurate and the leftwinger Jeremy Corbyn wins the contest.’

No comparable news report has warned of the ‘disaster’ – for the climate, for victims of US-UK ‘humanitarian intervention’, for the poor in Britain – if one of the three other candidates is elected.

Corbyn is also alone in having been the butt of Guardian ‘humour’. One article title asked:

‘Can Jeremy Corbyn ever be funny? Only on my joke Twitter feed’

Another:

‘Did you hear the one about Jeremy Corbyn on Twitter?’

The piece mentioned Corbyn’s ‘self-proclaimed “parsimonious MP’s” lack of visible humour’.

Assistant editor Michael White also sniggered beneath the title:

‘Did Jeremy Corbyn used to wear open-toed sandals around Westminster in hot weather? Does he still?’

White added:

‘So Jeremy Corbyn may actually become leader of the Labour party. I struggled to type those words because I still find it hard to believe. Not since it elected the admirable but unworldly pacifist, George Lansbury (1932-35), after the great Ramsay MacDonald split, will it have been so reckless.’

A news piece was titled in all seriousness:

‘Jeremy Corbyn caught looking gloomy on night bus’

A ‘gloomy’ Corbyn was pictured simply looking at the ground, or perhaps talking to someone. This was somehow perceived as material for a negative news story – perhaps the campaign was already too much for the ageing fantasist. Real leaders – the people we are trained to admire and respect – ride in smart, chauffeur-driven cars at high speed. Corbyn rides a bus. We tweeted the journalist responsible, Jessica Elgot:

‘Have you written stories about other politicians looking gloomy/melancholy/pensive? Could you send links?’

We received no reply.

Finally, as this alert was being written, the Guardian published a piece by former Labour Health Secretary and Education Secretary, Alan Johnson. Yet again, the title focused on the insanity:

‘Why Labour should end the madness and elect Yvette Cooper’

Corbyn ‘never had the ambition or the appetite that this job requires’; he has ‘been cheerfully disloyal to every Labour leader he’s ever served under’, and so on.

Conclusion

Chris Elliott’s response mocks his claim to be a genuinely independent readers’ editor. Has the Guardian published favourable comment pieces about Corbyn? Quite obviously, yes. Does that mean the Guardian has been fair, impartial and unbiased in its coverage of Corbyn’s campaign? Absolutely not.

As we have seen, high-profile Guardian journalists and others have been lined up to direct a flood of ‘disaster’ warnings, dismissals, derision, disbelief and mockery at Corbyn, and only Corbyn. Nothing remotely comparable has been directed at Burnham, Cooper or Kendall. This is a spectacular example of bias.

Put simply, like the rest of the ‘mainstream’ media, the Guardian – a major corporation deeply embedded in the ‘centrist’ political and economic establishment – is waging a propaganda war on British democratic choice.

DE

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on The Guardian Whitewashes Biased Coverage of Labour Leadership Candidate Jeremy Corbyn

Does the Greek Bailout Pave the Way for the United States Of Europe?

August 6th, 2015 by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

Illusions are at play in the modern tragedy that is the Greek economic system, particularly when it comes to notions of who benefits most from the latest bailout.

SAINT-JEROME, Quebec –— Modern Greek tragedy is at play, and so are illusions.

The big myth is that Greece overspent and the Greek government was reckless with its budgets, ultimately indebting Athens. It is true that Greek officials tried to gain influence and political support through spending. It’s also true that they signed lucrative contracts with local businesses.

Athens, however, is no exception here; this type of conduct has been displayed by politicians throughout the European Union and around the world.

The fact is that this is not what created the economic crisis in Greece. What is really taking place in Greece and the eurozone is something altogether different. The Greek bailouts appear to be part of a rigid restructuring of the EU that is placing other members under the control of Germany.

Red spray paint covers a French-language Bank of Greece sign to read ‘Bank of Merkel’ in reference to German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Athens, Monday, July 6, 2015.

Banker Bailouts versus National Bailouts

We are not dealing with national bailouts for failing economies, but with banking sector bailouts. Almost all the money that has been given to Greece, Cyprus, Ireland, and Portugal has gone to the banks of the creditor lenders.

In his 2013 documentary “The Secret Bank Bailout,” German investigative journalist Harald Schumann documents how the peoples of Ireland, Cyprus and Spain were not bailed out. The biggest recipients of the Irish bailout that saved Anglo-Irish Bank were British, French and German banks, including Union Investment Privatfonds, Rothschild et Compagnie Gestion, and Deutsche Bank. German and French banks accounted for 50 out of the 80 bondholders. The blogger Guido Fawkes revealed that the Irish government was protecting German investors when he published a list of the bondholders that he had obtained from an insider.

Watch The Secret Bank Bailout:

 

Éric Toussaint, the Belgian spokesperson for the Committee for the Abolition of Third World Debt (CADTM), accurately describes this in an interview with Rosa Moussaoui, explaining that the private banks managed to transfer their debts to the Greek people through the bailout arrangements in 2012.

Think Schumann and Toussaint are alone? Not by far. Even mainstream media and prominent analysts admit this is exactly what happened in Greece.

The bailouts were not “geared to the requirements of the people of Greece but to the needs of the international financial markets, meaning the banks,” economist Christian Rickens candidly reported in a 2012 commentary in Der Spiegel.

The synopsis of Rickens’ commentary reads: “The bailout package about to be agreed by the euro finance ministers will help Greece’s creditors more than the country itself. EU leaders should channel the aid into rebuilding the economy rather than rewarding financial speculators for their high-risk deals.”

Likewise, in analysis for Forbes, Agustino Fontevecchia wrote:

“As it stands right now, the Greek bailout and debt deal agreed by European Finance Ministers is a farce, a program designed to pay Greece’s international creditors and buy time to somehow engineer growth in a completely uncompetitive economic environment.”

A pedestrian passes graffiti referring to the officials from the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, together known as the troika, in Athens, Wednesday, July 29, 2015. Representatives of Greece’s creditors, its European Union partners and the International Monetary Fund, are currently meeting officials in Athens to discuss the terms of the new bailout, designed to provide 85 billion euros over three years. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

 Modern Pillaging

Greece is being pillaged. Following a neoliberal economic formula, Greek publicly owned assets are forcibly being sold to foreign investors to pay the debts of the banks. All the means for the Greek government to generate income have been liquidated to private enterprises.

“[V]aluable Greek assets of [50 billion euros] shall be transferred to an existing external and independent fund like the Institution for Growth in Luxembourg, to be privatized over time and decrease debt. Such fund would be managed by the Greek authorities under the supervision of the relevant European institutions,” eurozone leaders demanded in mid-July.

On July 13, Time magazine reported that a proposal was geared towards “locking up Greek assets in a special fund emerged on Saturday from Germany.”  “The German Finance Ministry even suggested moving the titles to Greek assets to an ‘external fund’ in Luxembourg so that Athens could not renege on their sale,” the magazine reported.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Syriza-led government acquiesced to the demands to privatize more public property and infrastructure. Athens handed control of its public assets to German bankers. These assets, Time reported, will include publicly owned “buildings, possible areas of land, and even islands” that are home to Greek ruins and other archeological national treasures.

The illusions go on. Not even the so-called “troika” that organized the Greek bailout is real. Though it’s composed of the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, the troika is really a duet. While the European Commission is the executive branch of the EU, the European Central Bank is one of the six other institutions of the EU. Athens was really dealing with the EU and IMF.

Why the insistent narrative about a troika? It may be that the European Central Bank is being presented as a separate entity that is beyond the power of the public, thus preventing the public from demanding any oversight.

A woman uses her cell phone next to a poster depicting German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble placed by supporters of the No vote to the referendum in the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki, Friday, July 3, 2015. Greeks will vote Sunday on whether to accept a proposal that creditors had made of specific reforms in exchange for loans. European Union institutions are framing it as a vote for or against the euro. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)

The Greek bailout is for Germany and Western Europe, not Greeks

Not only is it more than likely that German banks and creditors are the benefactors of Greek bailout(s), German corporations are also part of the picture. While the austerity regime that forced the Greek people’s living standards to fall has reduced their wages by hundreds of millions of euros, Greek media reports started mentioning that the Greek Administrative Court of Appeals ruled that the biggest tax evader inside the country was Germany’s biggest construction company, Hochtief Aktiengesellschaft.

In October, the Greek journalist Costas Efimeros reported what happened with Hochtief. The Athens International Airport that Hochtief had managed vis-à-vis Hochtief Airport Capital was ordered to pay over 500 million euros in value-added taxes or general sales taxes and dividend taxes. This was because the airport had been in a stretched out fiscal dispute over tax payments with Athens since 2001. The International Court of Arbitration in London ruled in 2013 that the international airport did not need to pay the taxes “until it makes a return on its initial investment,” according to Efimeros.

This is where the story gets complicated. Although the Greek government owns the 55 percent majority stake in the Athens International Airport, the contract Athens was forced to sign stipulates that Hochtief, with its 40 percent share through Hochtief Airport Capital, selects the management and runs the airport. The German management amplified its losses in the books, and then in 2013 it sold Hochtief’s shares to a Canadian insurance company. Hochtief would eventually merge with the Spanish construction and engineering giant GrupoACS, leaving what the Greek government calls a big “smudge” and cautiously transferring its Greek debt over.

 The Greek government’s strange Kalamatiano

Something is rotten in the Hellenic Republic. Athens has been acting schizophrenically. While Greek officials have threatened to leave the EU, they have solidified Greece’s ties to Brussels. Athens has ignored the results of the national referendum on the bailout and flirted with Moscow. Despite Syriza’s anti-war rhetoric and pro-Palestinian declarations, it has also moved Greece militarily closer with Israel.

Prime Minister Tsipras and his Syriza-led government held a national referendum to decide whether to accept the troika’s demands on July 5. Domestic opponents argued the referendum was unconstitutional, saying that under Article 44 of the Greek Constitution referendums could only concern: (1) significant national matters and (2) important social matters, with the exception  of fiscal matters. Greece’s economic crisis fell under the first clause of Article 44 as an important national issue.

In the referendum, 3,558,450 out of a total of eligible 6,161,140 Greek voters voted against the referendum. The rejection of the troika’s demands won with 61.31 percent of the votes.

After the referendum to reject the bailout terms was won, Tsipras and the Greek government went ahead and approved the bailout. There was internal mutiny in Syriza and many Greeks felt betrayed. It was argued that Athens only called a referendum to gain leverage in negotiations. But can a decision made by the majority of those Greeks who voted in a national plebiscite simply be ignored?

The Greek government has been involved in a strange dance where it has flirted with Russia and its BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) partners. Greece and Russia have even formed some type of agreement for extending the “TurkStream” natural gas pipeline, which is scheduled to take natural gas from Russia to Turkey via the Black Sea. The TurkStream will export Russian natural gas to the Greeks by eventually extending into Greece. Despite the courtship of Russia and the Syriza-led coalition government’s threats to leave the EU and the eurozone, the Greek government’s threats have proved to be mostly bluffs.

With the okay of Prime Minister Tsipras and Syriza, Greek Defense Minister Panagiotis Kammenos has even signed a deal with the Israeli military. Visiting Israel last month, Kammenos signed a status of forces agreement, which essentially means Greece will be hosting Israeli military personnel. What does this mean? The previous Greek government had allowed Israel to conduct long-range flight exercises simulating an attack on Iran. Is Tsipras allowing the Israelis to continue those preparations?

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reads his notes as he prepares to answer opposition questions in Athens, on Friday, July 31, 2015. The third bailout includes a new punishing round of austerity measures heaped on a country reeling from a six-year recession and more than 25 percent unemployment. Tsipras has pledged to back the new cutbacks, while saying that he disagrees with them.

 A United States of Europe?

The Greek tragedy also has a strange twist. Where there is crisis for some, there is opportunity for others.

France has proposed that the 19 EU members in the eurozone form their own federal government complete with a single budget, one treasury department/ministry, and a unified parliament as a means of tackling the economic crisis in Greece. French President François Hollande penned an article in the Journal du Dimanche last month, calling for the formation of what is essentially a “United States of Europe” that would effectively relegate all existing governments in the eurozone into provincial or state-level governments.

Hollande’s proposal signals the consolidation of what appears to be German control over Greece and the other countries of the EU.

This article was originally printed for Mint Press News by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya on August 5, 2015.

Radiation emitted from wireless devices can cause a metabolic imbalance in users, which can lead to various health risks including cancer and neurodegenerative disease, according to a new study.

review article — “Oxidative Mechanisms of Biological Activity of Low-intensity Radiofrequency Radiation” — published this month in Electromagnetic Biology & Medicine collected available, peer-reviewed experimental data on “oxidative effects of low-intensity radiofrequency radiation (RFR) in living cells.”

Such a metabolic imbalance, or oxidative stress, is “an imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and antioxidant defense,” according to co-author Dr. Igor Yakymenko.

Oxidative stress from repeated RFR exposure is linked to cancer and other ailments, the study posited.

“These data are a clear sign of the real risks this kind of radiation poses for human health,” Yakymenko said.

The study, done by American and Ukrainian scientists, “indicates that among 100 currently available peer-reviewed studies dealing with oxidative effects of low-intensity RFR, in general, 93 confirmed that RFR induces oxidative effects in biological systems.”

“Ordinary wireless radiation” could trigger ROS production in cells, the study said.

Yakymenko said that cellphone use for 20 minutes a day for five years can boost the risk of one type of brain tumor by three times, while using a cellphone for an hour a day for four years and increase the risk of certain tumors by three to five times.

The National Cancer Institute in the United States estimated that about 23,400 new cases of primary malignant brain and central nervous system cancers were diagnosed in 2014 across the US.

Yakymenko also cautioned that brain and related cancers can take as many as 30 years to develop.

The “data were obtained on adults who used cell phones mostly up to 10 years as adults,” he said, according to the New York Daily News. “The situation can dramatically differ for children who use cells phone in childhood, when their biology much more sensitive to hazardous factors, and will use it over the life.”

READ MORE: Nearly 200 scientists warn of cellphone health risks 

Skeptics emphasized that the new study is a “meta-study,” or one that is a compilation of many other reviews. The larger study, in turn, inherits any and all inadequacies of those evaluations, including possible inaccuracies in study-participant reporting, recall bias, and changes in technology.

Links between cellphone use and cancer have cropped up over the years, especially as cellphone use has increased. In the United States, for example, use tripled from 2000 to 2010, according to the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association.

Allegations of such links are fueled by cellphones’ emission of non-ionizing radiation via radio waves and the body’s absorption of this kind of energy.

In 2011, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer said cellphone usage is “possibly carcinogenic” following a review of all available scientific evidence on the topic. The 31 IARC scientists that took part in the review said more research was needed to arrive at a more definite conclusion.

Specifically, IARC found an increased risk for glioma, a brain cancer, associated with cellphone use.

After IARC’s report, Cancer Research UK pointed out that there are known “weaknesses” to studies that the likes of IARC took into account. In 2014, Cancer Research UK said “it seems unlikely that using a mobile phone can cause brain tumours, particularly as lab research hasn’t shown a biological way this could happen.”

The organization, though, added that there still “isn’t enough good evidence to say with absolute confidence that no risk exists.”

The National Cancer Institute in the US has also expressed doubts about any cancer-cellphone links.

“Although there have been some concerns that radiofrequency energy from cell phones held closely to the head may affect the brain and other tissues, to date there is no evidence from studies of cells, animals, or humans that radiofrequency energy can cause cancer,” the sub-agency of the National Institutes of Health said in 2013.

“It is generally accepted that damage to DNA is necessary for cancer to develop. However, radiofrequency energy, unlike ionizing radiation, does not cause DNA damage in cells, and it has not been found to cause cancer in animals or to enhance the cancer-causing effects of known chemical carcinogens in animals.”

In May, a group of nearly 200 biological and health scientists from around the world urged the World Health Organization and governments to take precautions that address cellphones’ links to cancer.

“Putting it bluntly they are damaging the living cells in our bodies and killing many of us prematurely,” said Dr. Martin Blank, from the Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics at Columbia University.

“We have created something that is harming us, and it is getting out of control. Before Edison’s light bulb there was very little electromagnetic radiation in our environment. The levels today are very many times higher than natural background levels, and are growing rapidly because of all the new devices that emit this radiation.”

Next month in Berkeley, California, a Right to Know ordinance will go into effect requiring cellphone sales outlets to offer customers a handout or display a sign informing of federal guidelines regarding how much radiation cellphones can emit, as well as safety instructions for safe cellphone use.

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Cellphones, Wireless Devices Connected to Cancer – Study

Turkey has been acting pretty erratic these past couple of weeks, launching a surprise dual offensive in Syria and Iraq, condemning Russia for alleged ‘oppression’ against the Crimean Tatars, and suspending the Balkan Stream pipeline negotiations. All of this is somewhat unexpected – after all, Turkey had thus far refrained from the US’ pleas to launch a conventional attack on Syria; never had any serious issues about Crimea’ reunification before; and had earlier agreed to the Balkan Stream in order to enhance its own geostrategic clout. While each of Turkey’s actions pertaining to these three circumstances can be attributable to their own situational peculiarities, they all share two inseparable components, which are Erdogan’s electioneering efforts prior to the probable snap vote and his pipeline posturing with respect to Balkan Stream gas discounts.

The article begins by briefing the reader about the ‘official story’ behind each of Erdogan’s seemingly erratic actions in the three aforementioned situations. It then segues into a deeper, more focused look at how the two inseparable components clearly explain the real motivation for his decisions. Finally, the piece wraps up by assessing the success of Erdogan’s initiatives as regards his true motives, concluding that while he might succeed in garnering enough nationalist votes for a forthcoming parliamentary majority, he’s clumsily slipped up when it comes to increasing his bargaining position vis-à-vis the Balkan Stream talks.

The Official Narrative

Here’s how Turkey officially spins its behavior in the last three scandals that it’s gotten itself into over the weeks:

The Dual Offensives:

According to the Turkish authorities, the Suruc bombing was carried out by ISIL and proved to be the trigger for Ankara’s supposed attacks against it in northern Syria. At the same time, if those same authorities are to be believed, the Kurds just so happened to reinitiate their insurgency against the Turks for no reason whatsoever, which is why Erdogan is also bombing northern Iraq now, too. The happenstance timing has thus resulted in Turkey waging dual offensives against both Syria and Iraq, heralding in a grandiose return to the Neo-Ottoman policies that were thought to have largely been put on the backburner over the past couple of months.

Crimea Criticism:

In an uncomfortably rambunctious manner, Erdogan recently voiced his rejection of Crimea’s reunification with Russia, rambling on at the ‘Second World Congress of the Crimean Tatars’ in Ankara about how:

Turkey did not and will not recognize Crimea’s annexation. Our priority in the Ukrainian crisis is peace, prosperity and security for Crimean Tatars. We are taking every step and conducting all necessary negotiations in order to overcome pressure and difficulties they are facing. You can be sure that we will continue our support.

In Erdogan’s official understanding, the Crimean Tatars weren’t oppressed by their negligent and totally incompetent former Ukrainian administrators, but are somehow brought to a sudden state of duress by the same Russian authorities that they themselves voted to reunify with.

Balkan Stream Balking:

Turkey’s last majorly ‘erratic’ move has been to temporarily suspend talks on the Balkan Stream project. Media reports indicate that this was because Russia wouldn’t agree to the low-ball discount price that Turkey was proposing for its domestic imports. Officially, however, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said that while there are certain disagreements between both sides (over Syria, recognition of the Armenian Genocide, etc.), the decision to cooperate on Balkan Stream hasn’t been affected by them, and that the real reason for the temporary hold-up is that Turkey still needs to form a coalition government. Russia has gone along with this charade for the time being because it realizes how counterproductive it would be to push back against Turkey’s semi-plausible explanation at this time, despite how obvious it appears that the dispute is over pricing.

The Real Story

President Erdoğan arrives in Baku to discuss energy framework for the region with President Putin, June 2015

President Erdoğan arrives in Baku to discuss energy framework for the region with President Putin, June 2015

Turkey has presented publicized excuses to various degrees of convincingness that seek to explain its behavior in the three examined instances, but this doesn’t take away from the truth that they’re all really predicated on two major considerations – early electioneering and pipeline posturing. Viewed through this prism, Erdogan’s actions become a lot less ‘erratic’ and actually somewhat understandable in terms of what he’s trying to achieve (although this is not in any way to justify or endorse his decisions):

The Dual Offensives:

Early Electioneering

As fully explained in the author’s recent article about this topic, one of the main considerations guiding Erdogan’s military initiative is that he wants to simultaneously attract votes from the conservative Nationalist Movement Party as well as justify the suppression of the People’s Democratic Party. The end goal of this Machiavellian scheme is to ensure that his AKP party receives the parliamentary majority that he’s hoping for so that they can amend the constitution and institutionalize a stronger presidency.

Pipeline Posturing

Although not as significant as the electioneering motivation or the anti-Kurdish American-laid trap he’s fallen into, Erdogan does realize that his moves in Syria could potentially be used as a bargaining chip for negotiating a lower gas price from Russia. Ankara has yet to fully commit to attacking Syria in an all-out conventional offensive as has been feared, choosing only to launch airstrikes and artillery barrages for the time being. This may not be solely ascribable to Erdogan getting ‘cold feet’ at the last minute or playing some type of ‘hard to get’ game with the US, but could be partially due to Ankara’s hope that its delayed offensive could be permanently put off if Moscow suddenly acquiesces to the proposed discount in gas exports to Turkey. Likewise, even if it is initiated (as it’s been threatening), Turkey could call it off or scale it down as part of a more robust, multifaceted deal with Russia.

After all, Lavrov and his affiliates are engaged in a flurry of shuttle diplomacy over the conflict escalation in Syria (that Erdogan himself helped create with his latest offensive), with the Russian Foreign Minister meeting with Kerry in both Doha and Kuala Lumpur, and Russian Special Envoy to the Mideast Mikhail Bogdan meeting with the Syrian and Iranian Foreign Ministers in Tehran. Factor in that Putin has suggested a regional anti-ISIL coalition comprised of Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, as well as Moscow’s recent inroads with Riyadh, and it appears as though the Eurasian giant might be more than willing to cut a pipeline deal with Turkey for the sake of saving Syria. It’s with this in mind that Erdogan has thus far refused to be resolute in his latest military adventure, despite extraordinary pressure from the US to immediately do so, and why he might be willing to reconsider any forthcoming large-scale offensive if Russia can sweeten the deal with something more than a gas price discount (whatever that might happen to be).

Crimea Criticism:

Early Electioneering

Erdogan’s public rabblerousing about this sensitive bilateral issue is overly theatric and indicates a lack of sincerity when it comes to his position. Had he truly felt this way and believed that the issue was such an impediment to relations with Russia, then the characteristically loud-mouthed politician wouldn’t have bit his tongue for over a year and a half until now. What’s more probable, then, is that he’s timed his ‘policy announcement’ for when it would be most effective in rallying his domestic audience, which makes sense when one figures that he’ll likely call early elections to end the political deadlock plaguing his government’s formation.

Pipeline Posturing

Equally important in this case as the early electioneering motivation, Erdogan is betting that he can use his Crimea policy as yet another negotiating chip in his pipeline ploy against Russia. In all truth, Moscow doesn’t really care which countries formally recognize its reunification with Crimea because it’s already a fait accompli as it is, but of course, those that do (whether silently or publicly) are accorded with certain political-economic benefits. In this case, however, Turkey is playing a much more high stakes game than merely bargaining its recognition of Crimea’s reunification for a sizeable gas discount. Erdogan’s previously cited statement indicates that Turkey is “taking every step and conducting all necessary negotiations in order to overcome pressure and difficulties [Crimean Tatars] are facing” in Crimea, which is a loud signal that Ankara might support terrorist activity by its ethnic relations there against Russia just as it does with the Uighurs in Xinjiang against China. It’s not forecast that Ankara would go that far, but it seems as though it’s intimating as such in order to pressure Russia into a more favorable gas deal, no matter how risky and unethical this ‘negotiating tactic’ may be.

Balkan Stream Balking:

1350701NEW-1-34Early Electioneering

Erdogan will never succeed in courting voters from the Republic People’s Party, the main oppositionists staunchly opposed to his rule (and receivers of 24.95% of the popular vote last time around), but he knows that he can have a lot more success in doing so with those affiliated with the Nationalist Movement Party (which scored 16.29% of the tally). Thus, his ‘hard ball’ behavior over the Balkan Stream pipeline makes a lot more sense, since he knows that this will be received quite positively by the nationalist elements in society. Amid other potentially favorable attributes that Erdogan could cultivate before the likely early election (such as his ‘tough on terror’ persona via the dual offensives), this might be the one factor that tips some nationalist voters over the edge into supporting his candidacy. Overall, one mustn’t preclude the lengths that Erdogan will desperately go to in ensuring that his party clinches the parliamentary majority that he so feverishly wants, even if this includes tarnishing his government’s business reputation by behaving in an irresponsible and unprofessional manner towards a major strategic partner.

Pipeline Posturing

Out of the three studied instances, the decision to suspend negotiations on Balkan Stream’s construction is obviously the one most directly related to Turkey’s pipeline considerations. Erdogan is keenly aware of the geostrategic necessity that Russia sees in building Balkan Stream, ergo why he knows that any strategically engineered disruption that he could pull off would garner the immediate attention of the Kremlin and place him in a more advantageous position to dictate his wants to Putin. Turkey is thus exploiting its role as Balkan Stream’s initial transit country in order to squeeze financial benefit from Russia, which sounds like a foolproof and profitable (albeit unethical) plan until one fathoms exactly how far Ankara misstepped in its War on the Kurds and how this egregious miscalculation might directly end whatever advantageous negotiating position Erdogan formerly thought he was in.

No Happy Ending

Much to Erdogan’s dismay, the story of his early electioneering and pipeline posturing gambit doesn’t have an entirely happy ending. On the one hand, it’s increasingly likely that his AKP party will attain their fabled parliamentary majority as a result of Erdogan’s political manipulations, but on the other, the cost of doing so has been to hamper Turkey’s negotiating strength when it comes to Balkan Stream. This is largely credited to the Kurdish attack against the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum (BTE) pipeline, which despite being scheduled to be shut down this month for repairs and thus of negligible impact to Turkey’s energy security (or that of its downstream partners), clearly signals the vulnerability that it and other lines such as TANAP have to militant sabotage. Turkey’s much-hoped-for plan to become the energy crossroads of Eurasia was originally premised on an assumption that the Kurdish-dominated southeast would remain peaceful and secure, but with Erdogan having returned the region to an indefinite wartime environment, such a grand strategic vision is now critically endangered.

Accordingly, this state of affairs makes Balkan Stream even more important than ever for Turkey, since the pipeline’s geographic route immunizes it from the ethnic-secessionist violence that has now been proven capable of negatively affecting the country’s other energy projects. Whereas Erdogan had thought that it was Russia which needed Balkan Stream more than Turkey did, the strategic necessity is steadily moving towards a more equitable balance, since the deteriorating state of security in the country’s southeast could call into question Turkey’s ability to adequately defend the BTE and TANAP lines. It could very well be that the current Kurdish insurgency might end up becoming a prolonged campaign much as its more than 30-year-long forerunner was, which would mean that in an objectively comparative perspective, TANAP would require an incontestably costlier security investment (both in financial and physical terms) than Balkan Stream would. Additionally, there’s more of a practical will for Russia and Europe to continue their decades-established energy partnership (should they be able to weather the US’ destructive intrigues against it) than there is for Europe to bear the destabilizing potential that its Azeri-originated energy imports could fall victim to continued Kurdish sabotage.

The latest explosion on a natural gas pipeline between Iran and Turkey on July 27 2015 was commited by the Kurdistan Workers' Party.

The latest explosion on a natural gas pipeline between Iran and Turkey on July 27 2015 was commited by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party.

All of this comes together to place Erdogan smack dab in the center of a classic dilemma – the longer he continues his War on the Kurds, the more endangered his grand energy transit plans become (and subsequently, the more dependent he is on the creation of Balkan Stream); while any move to cut short his campaign against the Kurds (after having engendered so much supportive nationalism behind it) would be absolutely disastrous for the AKP party’s standing in a forthcoming snap election. Given how obsessed Erdogan has lately become over winning his envisioned parliamentary majority, it’s predicted that he’ll fiendishly continue with his anti-Kurdish offensive no matter what the long-term consequences are, since he sees this as his most surefire way to political godhood. His tunnel vision has shielded him from the wider repercussions of his actions, and he’s oblivious to the fact that his short-sighted electoral strategy has been destructive to Turkey’s eternal geo-energy imperatives. Erdogan is arrogantly wagering that the Kurds would accept a ceasefire of sorts after the probable early elections grant his party the expected parliamentary majority that he craves, but he’s not considering that by then, they might not even want to stop their struggle, let alone without some type of major political-economic compensation that he obviously won’t be willing to provide. The entire cyclical dynamic puts him ‘between two chairs’, as the Russians say, and this completely unenviable position is incredibly all of his own making.

Concluding Thoughts

Erdogan latest behavior regarding Syria, Crimea, and Balkan Stream appears extraordinarily erratic for a man who some deem to be an expert geopolitical strategist. Upon closer examination, however, it’s unmistakable that these three seemingly separate instances are connected via two common threads – Erdogan’s early electioneering campaign and his attempt at pipeline posturing vis-a-vis Russia. The Turkish President thought that he could have it both ways – ensuring his AKP party’s parliamentary majority in a forthcoming snap election and reaching a better negotiating position for gas imports from Russia – but in his crazed pursuit for political power, he remarkably miscalculated the consequences that it would have for his country’s energy interests (even those irrespective of Russia). Erdogan’s War on the Kurds has opened up the real risk that the BTE and TANAP energy infrastructure in the southeast could become a continued target for rebellious militants, thus throwing Turkey’s grand strategic plan to become the energy crossroads of Eurasia into jeopardy. Parallel to that, this threat has correspondingly elevated the significance of Balkan Stream to unheard of heights for the country, since it’s in actuality the only secure and reliable energy route available in the event that the current Kurdish insurgency is indicative of a more robust and prolonged campaign against the government. All said, Erdogan might finally end up with his sought-after parliamentary majority, but the enormous costs that this entails to the country’s unity and perpetual energy interests might leave many Turks wondering whether it was ultimately all worth it.

Andrew Korybko is the political analyst and journalist for Sputnik who currently lives and studies in Moscow, exclusively for ORIENTAL REVIEW.

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Turkey Invades Syria and Iraq: Erdogan’s ‘Erratic’ Behavior

On 1 September 1939 – the date of the beginning of the Second World War – the President of the United States of America, Franklin D. Roosevelt, wrote to «the Governments of France, Germany, Italy, Poland and His Britannic Majesty» saying that 

«The ruthless bombing from the air of civilians in unfortified centres of population during the course of the hostilities which have raged in various quarters of the earth during the past few years, which has resulted in the maiming and in the death of thousands of defenceless men, women, and children, has sickened the hearts of every civilized man and woman, and has profoundly shocked the conscience of humanity».

He was rightly appalled about the aerial slaughter of civilians and desired each country to which he addressed his appeal «to affirm its determination that its armed forces shall in no event, and under no circumstances, undertake the bombardment from the air of civilian populations or of unfortified cities, upon the understanding that these same rules of warfare will be scrupulously observed by all of their opponents».

We are now marking the seventieth anniversary of the explosion of the atomic bombs that destroyed the Japanese cities of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945 and Nagasaki three days later, killing a total of over 100,000 «defenceless men, women, and children,» prompting the nuclear scientist Robert Oppenheimer to quote from the Bhagavad Gita, the Hindu religious and philosophical text, that «Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds».

Development of the atomic bomb began in 1939 but went into high gear as the Manhattan Project three years later. What is intriguing is that President Roosevelt approved the programme on 9 October 1941, a full two months before the Japanese attacked America at Pearl Harbor killing 2,403 people — including civilians. The subsequent declaration of war by the US resulted in concentration on means of war-winning by any means, and resulted in development of the ultimate weapon.

Even before the atomic explosions it was apparent that the major nations involved in the Second World War had no qualms about inflicting devastation. The British considered that their «aim is, therefore, twofold: namely, to produce (i) destruction, and (ii) the fear of death» and to that end mercilessly bombed German cities. The rationale was that it was the Germans who started it and who in 1940-41 subjected London to a non-stop 60 days and nights of aerial bombardment that killed 30,000 people.

In a macabre game of explosive ping-pong the countries at war sought more and deadlier ways to wreak havoc on their opponents, and it would have been difficult to have found a citizen of any of these countries who would have failed to agree with the actions of their government. It was thus that Project Manhattan received its massive impetus, and in an amazing display of technical prowess and organisational proficiency its scientists designed and produced the Atom Bomb.

It was astonishing that President Roosevelt had not told his Vice-President, Harry Truman, one single thing about the bomb project which some well-informed people believed was a potentially catastrophic venture. The first bomb was tested on 16 July 1945 at Alamogordo in New Mexico and caused concern among the scientists who had been involved in its development, 70 of whom sent a letter to President Roosevelt pointing out that use of the atomic bomb would likely presage «an era of devastation on an unimaginable scale» and that «a nation which sets the precedent of using these newly liberated forces of nature for purposes of destruction may have to bear the responsibility of opening the door to an era of devastation on an unimaginable scale».

Hiroshima-truman_2292872bTheir letter wasn’t allowed to reach the President. He never knew of its existence, but in any event was convinced that the A-bomb was essential and had written to Oppenheimer, who had grave doubts about the military’s attitude to nuclear developments, that «whatever the enemy may be planning, American science will be equal to the challenge». The Bomb was going to be used, no matter the consequences, although the president who gave the order to drop the bombs in August 1945 was Harry Truman, who learned of the project’s existence on 13 April 1945, the day after Roosevelt died.

As recorded by Eric Schlosser in his edifying book Command and Control, there had been air attacks on Japan of staggering intensity in the months before the atom bombs were employed. On the night of 9 March 1945, for example, «American planes struck Tokyo with 2,000 tons of bombs containing napalm and jellied gasoline… Within hours the firestorm consumed one quarter of the city. It killed about 100,000 civilians… «Worse was yet to come because Truman icily warned that the Japanese «may expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth».

There were not many large concentrations of Japanese that had not been subjected to firebombing, and choosing the ultimate victims was not easy. Kyoto was removed from the list of four targets because the Secretary of War, Henry Stimson, pointed out that it was a major cultural centre of great importance to Japanese art and history — and Nagasaki was chosen instead. By such decisions are the fates of human beings decided. Countless thousands of Kyoto citizens were spared, but 39,000 in Nagasaki were condemned to death.

First came Hiroshima, where on 6 August «a firestorm engulfed the city» and 66,000 people were killed. Next on the target list was Kokura, and in yet another horrible twist of fate the city was covered in smoke and haze and the plane was diverted to Nagasaki where the second bomb, hideously named Fat Man, was dropped on 9 August.

The war against Japan then ended, but it should be remembered that between the destruction of the two cities there was a Charter was being approved, on 8 August in the German city of Nuremburg, signed by the victorious allies, that included guidelines for the forthcoming trial of German war criminals by the International Military Tribunal. In an alarming example of double standards, the judges were informed that «The following acts, or any of them, are crimes coming within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal for which there shall be individual responsibility… (b) War Crimes: namely, violations of the laws or customs of war. Such violations shall include… wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages». It did not include the words of President Roosevelt, that it was sickening to «undertake the bombardment from the air of civilian populations or of unfortified cities,» but made it clear that such attacks were against the laws of war.

The Nuremburg Charter guided the conviction of German war criminals, and it is hideous coincidence that it was signed at the very time when «Death, the destroyer of worlds» was thundering down on Japan in what Truman called «a rain of ruin from the air».

Which goes to show that justice is reserved for those who win wars.

Really, Sad Nuclear Anniversary.

Brian Cloughley writes about foreign policy and military affairs. He lives in Voutenay sur Cure, France.

Source: Strategic Culture Foundation

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Nuclear Anniversary: The Atom Bomb Was Deemed “Essential”. “A Rain of Ruin, the Likes of which has Never been seen Before”

Scientists and environmentalists are concerned that a new technique for generated “supercharged” genetically modified organisms (GMOs) could be misused and trigger a health emergency or natural disaster.

The “gene drive” technology allows GMOs to spread rapidly in the wild. The fear is that these organisms could fall into the wrong hands or accidentally spark a catastrophe. The technology is being touted as a way to revolutionize medicine and agriculture, and supporters say it could, in theory, halt the spread of mosquito-borne diseases like malaria and yellow fever, and eliminate crop pests and invasive species like rats and can toads. [1]

But many scientists are warning that people with nefarious intentions or fumbling handlers could release the gene-drive technology from the lab and harm the environment and human health. It even has the potential to be used by terrorists as a bio-weapon directed against people or livestock because the genes – which are capable of spreading like a virus – will be cheap and easy to produce. [1]

“Just as gene drives can make mosquitoes unfit for hosting and spreading the malaria parasite, they could conceivably be designed with gene drives carrying cargo for delivering lethal bacterial toxins to humans,” said David Gurwitz, a geneticist at Tel Aviv University in Israel. [1]

Biotech World: 7 Genetically Modified Animals

A group of senior geneticists are calling on the international community to safeguard researchers who want to generate drives by putting security measures in place at laboratories to prevent the genes from escaping accidentally and causing widespread GMO contamination. [1]

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences launched an extensive review last week of gene-drive technology in “non-human” organisms. This week, the journal Science will publish a group of 27 leading geneticists’ call on the scientific community to be open and transparent about the ‘risks and benefits’ of gene drives. The researchers have produced a minimum set of safety rules to guard against laboratory escapes.

Gene-drive technology is similar to a nuclear chain reaction in that it allows GM genes to be amplified within a breeding population of insects and other animals without any more intervention once the trait has been introduced, including a potentially dangerous one. Lab experiments on fruit flies have shown that a GM gene introduced to just one fly can “infect” nearly every other fly within the breeding population in just a few generations, which defies the normal rules of genetics.

Gene drives rely on a “cassette” of genetic elements that allow a GM gene to jump from one chromosome to another within the same individual with means that within a few generations, all of the sperm or eggs of the animal would carry that GM trait, rather than half. Eventually, none of the animal’s offspring would be free of the trait.

Gurwitz believes the specific instructions for creating gene drives should be classified, just like the technology for making nuclear weapons. At least 27 geneticists have objected to this notion, saying that openness and transparency is the best way to protect against the use of gene drives as a bio-weapon, and that classifying the information would prove to be ineffective and politically counterproductive. [1]

[1] The Independent

Follow us: @naturalsociety on Twitter | NaturalSociety on Facebook

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Scientists Warn “Supercharged” GMOs Could be Used as Bio-weapons

Welcome to this week’s installment of the “Daily Shooter,” another episode tailormade for American audiences…

According to authorities, a man armed with a gun, pepper spray and a hatchet, was killed Wednesday afternoon after a fire fight with law enforcement officers in a movie theater outside Nashville, Tennessee.

UPDATE* – Authorities reveal the alleged gunman’s identity –  As 29 year-old Vincente David Montano from Nasville.

The main suspect, was listed as a “51-year-old white local man,” who was shot by police upon leaving the Carmike Hickory 8 Theater in the town of Antioch, while at a screening of Mad Max: Fury Road.

‘Live Drill?’ – A large response for very little injuries or casualties. (Photo washingtonpost)

However, reports now state that the gunman was a 29-year-old white male.

The change in the alleged shooter’s age is a strange twist to an already scripted-like story.

All told, the main suspect was the only person killed in the incident, as three others were treated after being pepper sprayed at the scene.

ABC reports“As he fled out the back, Montano encountered a SWAT team and was shot dead, Aaron said. About two dozen gunshots could be heard in a 10-second period in raw video footage posted online by WKRN TV.”

The whole scene sounds very similar to the heavily staged Canada shooting last year.

‘Shooter or Patsy?’ – older-looking Vincente David Montano. Is Montano really 29 years of age? (Photo abclocal)

The latest Tennessee shooting, comes just two weeks after a suspicious theater shooting in Lafayette and three weeks after a bizarre shooting incident in Chattanooga at a military facility, along with being nearly six weeks after the polarizing shooting at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. All of these shooting events come as jurors in the trial for the Aurora Theater Shooting decide the fate of ‘mentally ill’ lone gunman, James Holmes, who killed 12 and injured 70 others during his alleged shooting spree in 2012. Holmes may face the death penalty.

In recent weeks, we’ve seen how these televised shooting events have become a staple part of our day to day lives, complete with identical gunman profiles, media talking points and staged press conferences – a buffet laid out for America, and always within just minutes or hours of each alleged ‘active shooter’ event.

Operation Overkill

According to reports and Don Aaron, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department:

“The only person shot was the suspect as he emerged out of the rear door,” Aaron said. There were eight people, including the gunman, at the time of the attack, he said.

Police were called to the theater, which was playing “Mad Max: Fury Road,” at around 1:15 p.m. local time (2:15 p.m. ET) and officers arrived “within minutes” Aaron said. The gunman was wearing a backpack worn on the front of his chest and was wearing a surgical mask.”

1-Nashville-Shooting-ATF

DRILL? Dozens of federal agents could be seem festooning around the crisis site for hours after the alleged incident.

So officers just happened to be there at the theater. What a lucky break. And then, as if by magic, over 100 officers and agents from 10 different local and federal law enforcement agencies and EMS units – all appear at the scene. Within minutes, you had the Nashville Metro Police, ATF, SWAT Teams, TBI, FBI, DHS, Fire Department (with 3 fire trucks) EMS (at least 4 ambulances), Highway Patrol, and last but not least – the Bomb Squad. If there was ever a multi-agency ‘active shooter’ or crisis management drill – this certainly was it.

According to CNN

A woman who worked at a Sprint store near the scene told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin that about three hours earlier, a man with two backpacks tried to enter her store through their back door.

With so many ‘theatrical’ shootings occurring back-to-back – you have to wonder if the entire event wasn’t a police drill meant to test both “security and emergency protocols.”

1-Nashville-Shooting-ATF-3

SHOW OF FORCE: CNN and other US news outlets made a concerted effort to train their cameras on heavily-armed officers pacing back and forth in front of the cameras, carrying assault rifles and shotguns. They were shown continuously for hours even after the shooter was allegedly subdued. This particular tough-looking, bearded ‘officer’ (likely a hired contractor) was kept on heavy rotation by CNN for hours, long after the alleged threat had been ‘neutralized’.

Exactly like the recent shootings in Charleston, Chattanooga and Lafayette, the Nashville shooting featured a gunman suffering from “mental illness”. In a CNN report were told Montano had a history of mental illness and had been missing for two days according to police reports:

Vincente David Montano was committed twice in 2004 and twice in 2007, said Aaron, citing officials in Rutherford County. Montano had been arrested Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in 2004 in a case of assault and resisting arrest, police said.

We have no motive for (Wednesday’s attack),” Aaron said.

Montano had an airsoft pistol with him that he aimed and fired at police in the theater, Aaron said. Such a weapon looks like a semiautomatic pistol but fires plastic or BB pellets.

Montano’s mother filed a missing person’s report with Texas Rangers two days ago and they had notified authorities in Tennessee, Aaron said.

In the report, his mother, Denise Pruitt, told authorities that Montano was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 2006.

“Ms. Pruitt advised Vincente has several other health issues and has a hard time taking care of himself,” the report says. It lists his address as “homeless.”

Pruitt, who lives in Florida, last saw her son in Illinois in March 2013.

Montano’s history of mental illness, trouble with the law and overall ‘drifter’ persona, provides the typical backdrop of a law enforcement informant or patsy – someone who could be used during a staged drill.

‘Hickory Hatchet Man’ – Police tape up quite a distance from the theater. (Photo nydailynews)

One of the apparent victims, who has elected to only use his first name, was injured by the hatchet wielding gunman with a backpack. Here is portion of that report below:

The man who was injured by the axe, who only identified himself as Steven, said he has no idea why he and his family were attacked. A 53-year-old woman, and a 17-year-old woman were also treated for pepper spray exposure, officials said.

I would ask anyone to pray for his family, because he obviously has mental problems or something else,” Steven told reporters.”

“I’m very, very grateful that no one else got injured here today other than the person who perpetrated this,” he said, and thanked police for their swift response.

Miraculously, police were nearby at a traffic accident when a group of people ‘ran over’ to alert them that gunman was in the theater.

Authorities will likely ‘shore-up’ the timeline of events very soon explaining the use pepper spray on three apparent victims, and the ‘hoax device’ strapped to the alleged shooter, whose identity they have seemingly withheld to this point.

1-Nashville-Shooting-Fire-Dept

NERVOUS: As the media continued to fire more inane and trivial questions at Fire Chief Haas, he grew more visibly nervous and short tempered. Did Haas know something he wasn’t saying?

Bizarrely, Brian Haas, a public affairs officer for the Nashville Fire Department, remarked that injuries sustained during the incident looked like “bruises.”

If the victim was truly ‘attacked’ with a hatchet), then how on earth did he only sustain a bruise?

In another conflicting report, CNN reported that the victim (Steven) suffered minor cuts: “(Don) Aaron told reporters that one patron at the screening of “Mad Max: Fury Road” suffered a minor cut on a shoulder from a hatchet before officers killed the suspect.”

Was he bruised, or cut?

The Tennessean 
reports the following:


After the incident, police discovered two suspicious backpacks: One on the suspect and one left in the theater. By 4 p.m., they had detonated one of the bags. Police determined the bag strapped to the suspect’s chest contained a hoax explosive device.

A second bag, found inside the theater, had yet to be detonated. A bomb squad is on the scene.

Many critics of these types of events, have long asserted that ‘crisis actors’ are often used during police active-shooter drills and that at any moment those events could go live.

The idea that staged recreations of a shooting scenarios  “improve response times and inter-agency organization” is not much better than ‘hair-trigger’ video game culture we live in. The new‘shoot first’ methodology we see in today’s law enforcement operations –  pushes the public into accepting new “rules of engagement” based on new, fear-based ‘anti-government’ profiling.

Over the next 24 hours, you will see the media, along with those others at the scene, turn this incident into a PR packed event with new mental health proposals and predictable tales for heroism.

Here you can see the drill-like look of the event at Hickory Hallow Mall…


Lights, camera, action – more from RT below…

‘Heavy Response’ – Over 100 police and agents gather, hang out for hours, talking in groups – outside a cinema near Nashville. (Photo newsnet5)

‘Heavy Response’  – Over 100 police and agents gather, hang out for hours, talking in groups – outside a cinema near Nashville. (Photo newsnet5)

RT.com

A SWAT team responded to an active shooter situation at the Carmike Hickory 8 theater in the 900 block of Bell Road in Antioch, a suburb southeast of Nashville, Tennessee. Officials say the attacker had a gun and a hatchet. The movie was reportedly ‘Mad Max’.

It is unclear whether the  suspected shooter was killed by a police officer who helped evacuate the theater, or by the SWAT team that responded to the emergency. His dead body was found inside the theater after the SWAT secured the building.

Three patients have been treated for pepper-spray exposure, while one had “superficial wounds” probably caused by a hatchet, according to Brian Haas, public affairs officer for the Nashville Fire Department. He described the injuries as “bruises” on the person’s shoulder.

More from RT here

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Nashville Theater Shooting: Alleged Gunman with Hatchet, Found Strapped to ‘Hoax Explosive Device’

A couple of weeks ago a group of influential German figures, the members of Willy Brandt Circle, have signed an Open Letter to SPD (German Social-Democrats) Bundestag delegates and cabinet ministers urging them to abandon the confrontational course in relations with Russia. The authors reviewed the degrading EU-Russia ties in the context of Ukraine’s crisis which was the direct result of mutual misunderstandings and controversies. Hereby ORIENTAL REVIEW publishes an exclusive English translation of the Letter in full:

***

Europe is experiencing the worst crisis since the end of the East-West conflict. Not only dealing with Greece and the thousands of refugees heighten tenses across the continent, but also the ceasefire negotiation process in Ukraine remains fragile. As long as the conflict over the future of Ukraine is unsolved, the real danger of escalation is on the table.

A comprehensive peace treaty for Europe, envisioned by the Charter of Paris 1990, is still needed. Europe has no interest in aggravating old controversy between the United States and the USSR, bringing Russia to its knees. There is a difference between the European and the American interests: pan-European problems cannot be solved without Russia or even against Russia. Recent history shows: Russia and the peoples of the Soviet Union contributed more than anyone to the liberation of Europe from fascism and later to the unification of Germany. Therefore, Germany has a special responsibility to win Russia as a negotiating partner in the European peace order.

In 1990 it seemed that the answer to these questions is found once and for all: Russia became a co-architect of the European integration. Russia, alongside with the USA, would naturally become an anchor and an equal partner. Since then Russia’s expectations have been deeply disappointed: EU and, what’s more important, NATO enlargement policy totally excluded the possibility of Russia’s membership. It was too difficult, as the country was too big. Moreover, some Eastern European states claimed that their quick accession to NATO membership was a military precaution against Russia. Having no perspective to join NATO itself, more and more patriotic Russia sees the expansion of the structures of the Western alliance as a threat. NATO expansion nourished Russia’s old fear of being surrounded and it was gradually forced to thinking in geopolitical categories and zones of influence.

The Ukrainian crisis is a reflection of a major conflict between Russia and the Euro-Atlantic structures. It may lead to a catastrophe if the ongoing arms race, military provocations and confrontational rhetoric is not stopped. We strongly appeal to all responsible politicians and peace-loving citizens but first and foremost directly to the SPD:

In this situation bold political initiative is needed comparable to the initiatives that helped to stop the conflict spiral during Berlin Wall and Cuban Missile Crisis. It was German social democracy that paved the way to the new Willy Brandt’s Ostpolitik and the détente. In 2015 we require such courage and political wisdom to counter the threat of renewed confrontation and division of Europe. We call to stop the confrontation and restart our relations with Russia before it is too late for all of us.

  • The Ukraine crisis cannot be solved by political sanctions against Russia. The underlying causes of the Russian-European alienation should be discussed at EU-Russia summit talks. Lasting reconciliation of interests can only be achieved through dialogue and negotiation. The economic sanctions undermine the development of Europe as a common economic area. Cooperation is an engine of confidence building. Energy infrastructure that has already been affected by the current sharpening of contradictions is a vital part of our mutual interests and bilateral trade.
  • The European Union that is partially responsible for the roots of the crisis must contribute to its solution on the basis of consensus. The interaction of Germany, France and Poland with Ukraine and Russia in Minsk II Agreement is an innovative approach. Implementation of Minsk II may bridge the credibility gap. A wider European integration is needed. Germany must throw into the say its position as a future OSCE president and act in the spirit of dialogue.
  • The United States as the most important partner of the new Ukrainian government has also high responsibility to find a solution to the crisis. All available international fora should be used to bring Russia and the US together. In times of crisis we need to maintain close ties in order to communicate effectively. Therefore, G7 should involve Russia and the work of the NATO-Russia Council should continue as soon as possible. Essential ways to negotiate in crisis should not be limited but broadened.
  • The incorporation of the Crimea into Russia is a violation of international agreements. At the same time it is a political reality that cannot be undone against the will of the majority of Crimea’s voters. The status quo must not undermine the constructive cooperation with stakeholders of the common European interest.
  • Ukrainian crisis is also the result of a weak federal structure in a relatively new state. Only through a strong federal system the country can protect itself from ethnic strife and the threat of secession. The experience of other European countries with federal structure should be offered to Ukraine if needed.
  • NATO membership for Ukraine will not enhance Alliance’s security. It will fuel the flame of Russia’s fears about NATO objectives and increase the risks of unwanted military confrontation. The framework of the OSCE and the “Vienna Document” 2011 is vital in times of crisis and should be implemented to bring together political and military bodies of all European states.
  • The Ukraine crisis threatens the European arms control. Arms race, transfer of lethal military equipment and new troop deployments on both sides of the Russian border undermine the existing system of arms control treaties. The participation of German troops in the military training of the “intervention force” can trigger on the Russian side memories of the German invasion and aggravate tension, which is unnecessary. Disengagement of troops, non-proliferation and arms curbs are goals to be achieved as soon as possible.
  • During the Ukraine crisis we saw alarming rise of nuclear intent once again. There is a risk of rearming with medium range nuclear missiles in Europe as it happened in the 1980-es. Nuclear weapons must be finally outlawed. A matter of principle weapons of total annihilation should not be part of employable forces.
  • European peace order is not only an order of states. It is based on strong civil societies and, among other, international cooperation in the field of culture, media, sports and science. Restart of European youth exchange programs with Russia and Ukraine may help to overcome stereotyping and encourage better understanding of each other and, consequently, build better relations.

Europe needs Russia and Russia needs Europe. We stand at a tipping point. Either we enter a more or less Cold war with dim future or pave the way together the new common European peace order.

Now is the time to act!

Berlin, July, 21, 2015

Egon Bahr and Willy Brandt

Egon Bahr and Willy Brandt

Signers:

Prof. Egon Bahr was the creator of the “Ostpolitik” promoted by West German Chancellor Willy Brandt, for whom he served as Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office from 1969 until 1972. Between 1972 and 1990 he was an MP in the Bundestag.

Prof. Dr. Walther Stützle was the Deputy Minister of Defense in 1998-2002.

Dr. Christoph Zöpel is the SPD politician, Foreign Minister in 1999-2002.

Prof. Dr. Ingomar Hauchler, Bundestag MP (SPD) from 1983 to 1998.

Dr. Edelbert Richter is a Member of the European Parliament in 1991-1994, German Bundestag MP in 1994-2002, member of the Federation of German Scientists.

Dr. Hans Misselwitz is a functionary of the SPD and a founding member of the Institute Solidarity modernity.

Prof. Dr. Götz Neuneck is the Deputy Director of the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH) and Director of the Interdisciplinary Research Group Arms Control and Disarmament (IFAR).

Antje Vollmer, is a member of the German Green Party. From 1994 to 2005, she was one of the vice presidents of the Bundestag.

Wolfgang Schmidt is the Hamburg Commissioner to the Federal Government, the European Union and of Foreign Affairs; Member of the Committee of the Regions.

Prof. Dr. Dieter Klein is the Head of the Commission on the Future of the Rosa Luxembourg Foundation and a member of its Board.

Prof. Dr. Gustav Horn is the Professor of Economics at the University of Flensburg, Scientific Director of the Institute of Macroeconomic Research in the Hans Böckler Foundation.

Dr. Rainer Land is the German social scientist and economist.

Axel Schmidt-Gödelitz is the Chairman of the East-West Forum.

Prof. Dr. Rolf Reissig is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Rosa Luxembourg Foundation.

Prof. Dr. Elmar Brähler, was the Professor of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology at the University of Leipzig.

Prof. Dr. Peter Brandt is the German historian and retired Professor for Modern and Contemporary History at the University of Hagen.

Prof. Dr. Michael Schneider is the German political journalist and literary critic.

Prof. Klaus Staeck is a German lawyer and publisher.

Dr. Friedrich Dieckmann is the author of essays, reviews, stories and radio features.

Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Gießmann is the Executive Director of Berghof Foundation.

Prof. Dr. Lutz Götze, Professor Emeritus of the University of Saarland.

Dr. Enrico Heitzer, Researcher of the Brandenburg Memorials Foundation.

Gunter Hofmann is the German journalist working for Die Zeit.

Dr. Irina Mohr is the leader of Forum Berlin of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.

Dr. Friedrich Schorlemmer, is a German Protestant theologian, civil rights activist and member of the SPD.

Volker Braun is the prominent German writer living in Berlin.

Daniela Dahn is the writer, journalist and essayist.

Ingo Schulze is a German writer from Dresden.

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Influential German Figures Call for a New European Approach to EU-Russia Relations and the Crisis in Ukraine

One of my recent articles at several sites, “Jimmy Carter Is Correct That the U.S. Is No Longer a Democracy” generated many reader-comments (such as here) saying things like, “The US has always been a republic. There are no true democracies in the modern world.” This will be my response to all who expressed that view:

You miss the point that Carter made, and that I there documented to be true, which is no semantic issue (“democracy” versus “republic”), but which instead concerns the basic lie about what the United States of America really is now:

Is this a representative democracy, such as its Founders intended and such as it was famous and honored throughout the world for being, until at least around 1980? Or, is it instead a nation that’s ruled by a tiny elite, an aristocracy, which in this country consists of its 500 or so billionaires, who buy the politicians whom ‘we’ ‘elect’?

Is the U.S. now, basically, a fraud? Is it a dictatorship, instead of a democracy? Is it some kind of aristocracy, which controls the government here?

That’s not a semantic issue, at all. America’s first political party was called the “Democratic Republican Party,” but could as well have been called the Democratic Party or the Republican Party, because those two terms are essentially synonymous in any nation that has a large population, in which the public elect representatives to represent them, instead of directly vote on the policies that the government is to pursue — to place into its law, and to enforce by its duly authorized police or otherwise, and to adjudicate by democratically appointed judges and/or juries.

The only democracies that can exist, except for tiny ones, are representative democracies: they are republics. Republics are the only type of democratic nations that exist, practically speaking.

Where, then, does the apparently common misconception that there is a difference between the two terms arise?

I shall here present a theory about that: This widespread misconception arises because the rulers in a dictatorship — i.e., in an elite-controlled or “aristocratic” government, as opposed to in a government that authentically does represent the public — can thereby fool many people into misconceiving what the real issue, the real problem, there is.

The real issue is whether the country is controlled by its aristocracy (a dictatorship), or instead by its public (its residents).

Let’s be frank and honest: an aristocratically controlled government is a dictatorship, regardless of whether that “aristocracy” is in fascist Italy, or in Nazi Germany, or in Communist USSR, or in North Korea, or in the United States of America.

That’s what Jimmy Carter was talking about, and it’s what I was documenting to be true.

To varying and rather extraordinary degrees throughout earlier U.S. history, this nation really was a democracy; that is to say, a republic. But we’re not actually like that any more (as I documented there).

If this problem is not faced — and honestly, not by means of semantic games and misdirections — then surely there will be not even a possibility to restore the democracy, the republic, the democratic republic, or whatever one prefers to call it, which our Founders had intended, and which lasted for around two centuries on these shores, and was widely admired and even (by some) envied throughout the world.

The aristocracy and its many fools might not want this enormous problem to be addressed, but Jimmy Carter clearly does. And so do I.

One of the ways to misdirect about this problem is to obsess about “good residents” (“citizens”) versus “bad residents” (“aliens”), because that nationalistic way of viewing things enables the aristocracy to split the public against itself and thereby to maintain its own grip on power against, actually, that entire public. Nazi Germany did this.

Another way they misdirect it is to buy control over all of the political parties that stand a chance of dominating the government, and so to create basically a ‘democratic’ or ‘republican’ controlled government which, in any case, is actually controlled by that aristocracy, even if, perhaps, by a different faction within it. Even if a different faction within the aristocracy takes control, it’s still the same dictatorship. Because the public is not in control.

There are many ways to deceive the public. There are many ways to rule the public. But all of them are aristocratic; all of them are elite — and typically monied-elite — dictatorships.

In a democracy (or republic) the government does not rule, the government represents. It represents honestly, because it doesn’t need to do so by misdirection, by deceits.

In an aristocracy (or dictatorship) the government does not represent — at least not honestly — because they don’t want the people to see how their sausages are made.

Will a violent revolution be required to overthrow it? If so, then won’t the likelihood be high that it will merely replace one group who rule by force, by a different group who rule by force? For example: isn’t that what happened in the Russian Revolution and its aftermath?

Jimmy Carter challenged America to restore democracy. And he was right to do so. But can it be done? And, if so, then how?

It’s the great issue in 2016. Because if it’s not dealt with then, the dictatorship, the aristocracy that controls it, will become so deeply lodged that it won’t be able to be dislodged without great violence. And the outcome of that would not solve the problem, at all. It would be hell. But avoiding that hell by means of accepting continuance of aristocratic control would also be hell, because aristocracy would then become even more deeply entrenched.

America needs to deal with it, not postpone solving it.

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.

 

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on America: The Deceit About Being a ‘Republic’ versus a ‘Democracy’

Economic relations between China and Latin America are living increasing tensions. As a result of deflation (fall in prices) on a global scale, the South American region is suffering the consequences of concentrating the bulk of its exports to China on commodities. However, the opening of the first yuan financial center in Latin America, in Santiago de Chile, agreed during Prime Minister, Li Keqiang’s visit, is bound to attract a number of technological investments which could drive peripheral industrialization and decrease the dollar’s dominance in Southern Cone countries.

During his visit to Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and Chile, the Prime Minister Keqiang advanced Chinese influence in Latin America by fulfilling 2 fundamental goals: transforming the region’s economic map to underpin Chinese prominence, and driving the yuan’s prominence on South American territory with Santiago de Chile as the launching pad.

The first goal was accomplished with Brazilian and Peruvian Governments by means of an agreement to build more than 5,000 kilometers of railway lines which shall connect the Atlantic and the Pacific with the aim of increasing the size and speed of trade with China[1].

This “Silk Road” thus extended to South America[2] would be an alternative to shipping transit through the Panama Canal (under American control for decades) and, at the same time, would supplement the capabilities of the also planned Nicaragua Canal.

Chinese funding is prominent in both canals’ construction projects, as a result of the country’s interests in the supply of strategic commodities (oil, metals, minerals, etc.), and its privileged trade links with Managua and South American markets, even ahead of the US and Europe.

Nonetheless, the increase in the trade flows between China and the Latin American region, especially since China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, bears no relation at present with the incipient use of the yuan.

While trade with China multiplied by 22 between 2000 and 2014, according to the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)[3], from 2009 onwards ‘swap’ agreements (‘currency swap’) agreements were signed only with Brazil and Argentina in order to promote yuan transactions among enterprises (through central banks). Not even the biggest exporters of oil and minerals of the Asia-Pacific region, such as Venezuela and Peru, managed to build financial cooperation links with Beijing.

This explains the importance of this second agreement reached during Li Keqiang’s tour: Chile, the first South-American country to recognize China in the diplomatic arena 45 years ago and to subscribe a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the country in 2005, will now be the main player in the launch of the yuan’s first financial center in Latin America, thanks to the adoption of 3 key agreements.

Firstly, the Chilean government was qualified by the Chinese authorities to take part in the Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (RQFII) program. As a result, Chilean banks, pension funds, insurance companies, and mutual funds will have the opportunity to invest in the Chinese capital market[4] up to a limit of 50 billion yuan (8.1 billion US dollars).

Secondly, an agreement was reached to open a clearing bank in the “people’s currency” (‘renminbi’) in the Americas, after the first one opened in North America, namely in Canada[5]. With an initial investment of 189 million US dollars and under the supervision of the Chinese Construction Bank (CCB), Chile and the Asian giant expect to decrease the cost of their transaction (credit operations, foreign trade payments, etc.) and it will facilitate currency exchange.

The CCB is a worldwide entity that has made operations outside of China for more than 7 trillion yuan and over 19,000 clients. With several branches already operating in Chile, it plans to extend its financial services to all other South American[6] countries.

And lastly, an agreement was signed between Chile’s Central Bank and the People’s Bank of China to open a foreign-currency credit ‘swap’ line for 22 billion yuan (3.5 billion US dollars) which on one hand should cushion the effects of the dollar’s volatility in trade and investment flows and, on the other hand, should help the Chilean peso and the yuan gain ground in the billing of their bilateral exchanges[7].

“We hope that Chile-China cooperation in the financial arena will drive industrial and investment cooperation between China and the whole of Latin America”, emphasized Li Keqiang during his visit[8]. His statement reflects the increasing concerns among wide sections of left-wing politicians about the kind of relationship led up to now with the Asian dragon: exports and capital inflows focused on products and activities of the extractive industry.

It is a fact that, after the downturn in commodity prices and the dramatic slowdown of emerging markets, China’s muscle does not suffice to trigger an economic revival in Southern Cone countries.

Despite all of this, China’s government has expressed their readiness to further the terms of their economic links with Latin American countries[9]. Quoting poets Pablo Neruda and Xin Qiji, the Chinese Prime Minister argued in ECLAC’s headquarters that “nothing will stop the river of dawn” and that “its waters shall flow towards the Orient”.

To succeed in this commission, he called for the urgent need to increase technological investment to better help the creation of high added value regional chains that, in turn, can transform South America’s growth model.

In this sense, setting up the yuan’s first financial hub in Latin America, namely in in Santiago de Chile, become a de facto laboratory for a huge challenge on the part of Beijing’s officials: on one hand, to finally allow for peripheral industrialization and, on the other hand, to strengthen the yuan’s internationalization with the support of South American governments.

Ariel Noyola Rodríguez is an Autonomous National University of Mexico Economist graduate.

Translation: Ines Condoy Franco.

Notes

[1] «China’s “Silk Road” enriches its influence on South America», by Ariel Noyola Rodríguez, Translation Thania Moore, Russia Today (Russia), Voltaire Network, May 31, 2015.

[2] «The Silk Road Stretches To South America», Andrew Korybko, Oriental Review, May 20, 2015.

[5] «Canada: China’s “Trojan horse”», by Ariel Noyola Rodríguez, Translation Thirza Toes, Russia Today (Russia), Voltaire Network, May 15, 2015.

[6] «CCB Designated as the First RMB Clearing Bank in South America», China Construction Bank, May 26, 2015.

[9] «China Seeks ’Updated Model’ for Latin America Cooperation», Shannon Tiezzi, The Diplomat, May 28, 2015.

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on China-Latin American Relations, Santiago De Chile: The Yuan’s Financial Stronghold

Will the US-Created ISIS Attack Americans on US Soil?

August 6th, 2015 by Joachim Hagopian

Those of us in alternative news media shoulder a growing responsibility of shedding light on the truth where little to none exists anymore either in government and mainstream media. As such, citizens of the world but especially of America need to know that the so called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) like al Qaeda before them are the created, well-paid, well-armed secret mercenary ally of the US Empirein cahoots with Israel, other Western nations, NATO, and US Muslim allies Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other oil-rich Gulf state puppets.

Overwhelming evidence has been amassed to expose this basic fundamental fact. This sobering reality in and of itself proves that key members of the international crime syndicate posing as the US government have violated their sworn oaths to protect and defend America from both foreign and domestic enemies and clearly committed repeated acts of treason. The same neocons responsible for murdering 3000 of their own American citizens on 9/11 have also been the creators of ISIS and they have the blood of five US servicemen on their hands in Chattanooga… not to mention the millions of people in the Middle East and North Africa.

No sooner did Islamic State forces invade Iraq in June 2014, within days a groundswell of relentless warnings ever since have been pumped out of the feds’ echo-chambers, be it Homeland Security, the US intelligence community, law enforcement, Border Patrol and prominent Republican politicians like Senator Lindsey Graham, all insisting sooner than later another 9/11-like attack by ISIS is imminent on US soil. In Graham’s own words:

 

The seeds of 9/11’s are being planted all over Iraq and Syria. They want an Islamic caliphate that runs through Syria and Iraq… and they plan to drive us out of the Mideast by attacking us here at home.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI) warned:

I guarantee you: this is a problem that we will have to face and we’re either going to face it in New York City or we’re going to face it here. These are not monkey bar terrorists out in the desert somewhere planning some very low-level attack. These are sophisticated, command and controlled, seasoned combat veterans who understand the value of terrorism operations external to the region, meaning Europe and the United States. That is about as dangerous a recipe as you can put together.

The Intelligence Committee Chairman in Congress must know that these ISIS fighters as US mercenary allied boots on the ground in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and spreading globally are extremely well financed, trained and armed by his own US coffers. Meanwhile, Army Colonel Kenneth King, a US detention camp commander in Iraq, reminded theDaily Beast last year that when the current ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was let out of his prison in 2009, he promised, “I’ll see you guys in New York.” According to Edward Snowden documents, to top it all off, Baghdadi is reputedly a born and bred Israeli citizen and Mossad agent named Elliot Shimon.

A host of high profile shills from the dirty politics game including former Texas governor (and still GOP presidential wannabe) Rick Perry the same week he was indicted for felony fraud charges last year jumped on the bandwagon chorus raising fears in Americans that there are terrorists sneaking across the US border by way of Obama’s flagrant open door policy. It’s directly out of the old “Red Scare”playbook from the 1950’s that for years had US citizens worried that there’s “a Commie lurking under every American bed.”

Of course politicians are notorious masters of deceit, preying on public fear by constantly planting false information and propaganda to manipulate and shape citizens’ perceptions and opinions for votes and popularity. Since 9/11 the all too familiar national security card has been constantly utilized to arouse fear as a means of controlling Americans while stripping us of our civil liberties and constitutional freedoms, perpetrating mass deception as if enslavement to tyranny is making us any more secure. And since the feds and the terrorists are secretly on the same demonic team together, Islamic State attacks against innocent Americans on domestic soil may actually come to pass, potentially as soon as the next false flag.

Leave it to Fox News to drive home the open border issue with documentarian pundit Dennis Michael Lynch’s emphatic assertion that “ISIS are already here!” In recent years a number of whistleblowing Border Patrol agents have come forth complaining and lamenting that Washington has intentionally tied their hands to prevent them from doing their job to securely protect our border with Mexico. Overriding directives from Obama’s Homeland Security Department have consistently sabotaged border protection. Border Patrol whistleblower Hector Garcia told CNN that the Obama administration is “aiding, abetting and facilitating the smuggling of illegal aliens across the border,” adding that the US border is being “organized and orchestrated” by the Mexican drug cartels. Vice President of the National Border Patrol Council Shawn Moran told Breitbart last October, “We are simply being ordered to stand down and stop tracking and trying to apprehend the criminals, including possible terrorists,” adding that this Obama policy applies to Border Patrol agents across the boards from California to Texas.

In May 2014 Obama declared the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks as a National Monument along a large chunk of the New Mexico-Mexico border (containing 500,000 acres) which restricts Border Patrol mobility since it can neither make arrests nor gain access. With only foot traffic permitted, Obama’s intervention is good only for the Mexican drug cartels, undocumented immigrants, criminal gangs and ISIS. Additionally, the steady flow of humans destroys the natural environment, the very rationale Obama uses to designate land as National Forests, Wildlife Refuges and National Monuments. Enormous sized gaps along the Texas, New Mexico and Arizona borders provide safe haven passageways for thousands of illegals that may well include terrorists to freely enter the United States. More than a third of the near 2,000 mile stretch of the US-Mexico border has been deemed unsecured. Hence, Obama’s open border policy is clearly not in the best interests of either the United States or its citizens.

Of course last summer also marked the humanitarian crisis when 60,000 unsupervised children mostly from Central America converged on our southern border tying up and exhausting Border Patrol personnel and resources, forcing them to become babysitters and social workers. 70% of the Border Patrol agents were assigned to processing the illegals, leaving only 30% of the workforce to patrol and protect our border. It was a free pass not only for the minors but also for drug smugglers, human traffickers and criminal elements including terrorists.

A full year ago and less than a month after ISIS entered Iraq, US intelligence officials were predicting that the Islamic State terrorists intend to mobilize their power far beyond the Middle East. Of course over this last year, the IS jihadists have more than proven this statement true. A photo of a hand holding an ISIS flag in front of the White House was tweeted with the message dated August 9th, 2014, “A message from ISIS to U.S. – We are in your state. We are in your cities. We are in your streets.”

A UN report stated that just from June 2014 to March 2015 alone, the ISIS ranks grew by a whopping 25,000 foreign volunteer recruits signing up to kill infidels, many new members originating from the West spanning most countries on earth. This spike marked a 71% increase in Islamic State terrorists in only nine months. With such a fast growing, menacing force, is it any wonder ISIS is spreading like a cancer around the globe?

Anyone who understands how ISIS came to be should not be surprised by the success of the US created Islamic State expanding its territorial control globally from the Middle East (Iraq, Syria, Yemen) into North Africa (Libya, Tunisia, Algeria) and further south into sub-Saharan Africa partnering with Nigeria’s Boko Harem and Somalia’s al-Shabaab. A couple months ago the Pentagon and Defense Intelligence Agency documents clearly showed that back in 2012 even before ISIS was ISIS that its rapid growth was by Empire design. Several weeks prior to this embarrassing revelation being uncovered, the same Pentagon was caught hiding the Islamic State’s massive expansion. And now the latest movement has ISIS spreading into Ukraine while working feverishly eastward towards the South Caucasus of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan and northeastward into Russia by way of Chechnya and Dagestan.

ISIS’ overt promises to attack Americans on US soil has been reverberated repeatedly by neocon warnings that Islamic State is waging a global war invading and perpetrating jihadist terrorism worldwide. Not by accident, the one nation that seems most immune from any Islamic State violence thus far is none other than Israel. PerhapsNetanyahu’s trips to his Golan Heights hospital cheering up his wounded jihadi terrorists are paying off.

The diabolical symbiotic relationship between the US-Israeli criminal governments and the Islamic State co-depend on each other for sustainable power and influence. Ironically and hypocritically, it was Secretary of State John Kerry who described Syrian President Assad’s relationship with ISIS as “symbiotic.” Between the three globally destructive forces, US Empire, apartheid Israel and ISIS all share the same designed outcomes wherever their killing machines spread, effectively destabilizing and “balkanizing” every violent hotspot in the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe leaving in their wake more ravaged, war torn failed states with the list growing yearly. So far the tag team trio’s batting .1000.

Last October Breitbart news posted an FBI internal documentwarning of homegrown violent extremists (HVE) and radicalized ISIS sympathizers carrying out attacks against law enforcement and government personnel within the US. This FBI bulletin came in response to ISIS social network messages posted by none other than big daddy Baghdadi himself instructing jihadists and domestic wannabes to kill cops and soldiers in both America and abroad.

And then like clockwork just nine months later an ISIS sympathizer allegedly shows up at the two local Chattanooga US military sites three weeks ago and slaughters four Marines and a sailor. Within hours of opening day of the infamous Jade Helm 15 exercises, the July 16th shooting raises a number of questions and suspicions that it too appears to be another false flag, joining the growing list of proven false flag events regularly employing crisis actors from 9/11 to Sandy Hook to the Boston Marathon bombing to this year’s recent Charleston AME church shooting.

Prior to the announcement that Muhammad Youssef Abulazeez was the identified killer, a twitter account claiming to be ISIS was already taking credit just moments after the initial story broke. A sinister federal agenda using its state sponsored domestic terrorism is preying on the fears of Americans in order to justify the $38.2 billion Homeland Security budget at financially strapped taxpayer expense. The feds are even carelessly resorting to hiring the same crisis actors in multiple false flag incidents. Another perhaps most important function that these false flags serve is paving the way for progressively more devastating false flags in the future, priming the US populace into passively fearfully accepting the despicable lies and deceptions of its government’s official narrative.

The Chattanooga shooting last month was not the first supposed ISIS terrorist act in America. Three months ago ISIS claimed responsibility for another false flag event inGarland Texas, the same state designated “hostile” as the Jade Helm hotly debated battlefront. The timing of the US Special Forces announcement of Jade Helm and the firestorm it created in Texas followed so closely by the Charlie Hebdo-like shooting of two radicalized ISIS wannabes in Garland reeked of false flag stench. The would-be terrorists were allegedly shot dead before even entering the building where the cartoon contest lampooning Mohammad was taking place.

The Los Angeles Times as early as September last year began reporting that the government watchdog group called Judicial Watch was claiming that ISIS was present in Ciudad Juarez. The Judicial Watch report stated that ISIS was planning to attack the US with “car bombs or other vehicle borne improvised explosive devices.” Nearby Fort Bliss in El Paso along with Homeland Security and the Defense and Justice Departments were placed on high alert. The Timesarticle went on to quote a former CIA operations officer confirming the chummy relationship between the Mexican drug cartels and al Qaeda and now ISIS. As it turned out no such terrorist attacks near the US border have occurred in the subsequent year that’s followed. But that neither precludes terrorism from being committed on US soil in the future nor does it fail to psychologically condition and prepare Americans for its eventuality. Last year’s heightened hype alert becomes part of the ongoing process that is programming Americans to blame ISIS and Muslims in general (despite the fact that IS hired thugs are not practicing true Islam) instead of the real culprits behind the violence and terror, the crime cabal US government and the globalists controlling and dictating the feds’ policies.

Back in mid-April this year Judicial Watch was at it again reporting that just eight miles from the US border near El Paso ISIS was busily preparing for war against America at a joint drug cartel training camp. The Judicial Watch sources were a high ranking Mexican field grade officer and a Mexican Federal Police officer. Another ISIS cell is said to be operating further west across the New Mexico border. Apparently a joint operation by the Mexican Army and the Federales allegedly discovered ISIS documents in Arabic language along with Muslim prayer rugs and plans for attacks on Fort Bliss.

The Juarez cartel control the area along the US border and their coyotes are alleged to be moving ISIS fighters through the unsecured open stretches that Obama makes off limits to Border Patrol in New Mexico as well as Texas. ISIS is reported to be engaging in reconnaissance missions scoping out potential US targets that include Fort Bliss, home of the Army’s 1st Armored Division, America’s largest military post the White Sands Missile Range and government facilities in Alamogordo, New Mexico, Holloman Air Force Base, electric power plants and regional universities.

Last October Judicial Watch disclosed that four ISIS terrorists had been caught in a 36-hour period crossing the border into the US. In a separate incident in February this year a Russian operative posing as a military trainer was caught and released by Border Patrol. For every potential terrorist enemy caught, no doubt dozens are entering the US through one of Obama’s safe corridors. The official response of the Obama administration allowing this undeniable threat to American lives to continue unabated is simply to deny, deny, deny.

“No imminent threat is posed by ISIS at the US southern border” according to both Homeland Security and the FBI. The Council on Foreign Relations that dictates US foreign policy released an article in its Foreign Affairs just this last February boasting a title claiming “ISIS is on the run.”

And from the six oligarch owned mainstream media corporations controlling the news, not a peep was heard about terrorists at our border. Perhaps because Obama, the FBI, DHS, the CFR and their presstitute press corps are all working covertly with ISIS to destroy America.

Obviously the FBI and others in government are sending out mixed signals as FBI Director James Comey also in February stated, “We have investigations of people in various stages of radicalizing in all 50 states.” Shortly after the ISIS wannabe killed 5 US military personnel last month, retired General Wesley Clark took to the airwaves calling for the government to lock up disloyal Americans as extremists and enemies of the state. Such an inflammatory totalitarian statement brings us ever closer to the critical mass of FEMA camp roundups and civil war in America.

Homegrown radicalized Islamic State terrorists of course fuel Obama, war criminal General Clark and Homeland Security’s drive to wage war against a much broader segment of the US population, including all dissidents, protestors, constitutionalists, environmentalists, veterans, gun owners, Tea Partiers, right wing groups, anti-abortionists, fundamentalist Christians, home schoolers, or anyone who speaks out against the federal government’s tyranny and oppression. The arbitrary labels of belligerents, enemy combatant sympathizers, and domestic terrorists can then be applied to locking up virtually anyone in a FEMA camp or worse yet be murdered by the militarized police state.

Obama and his fascist regime have long recognized that more Americans are growing angrier each year at the grosstwo-tiered injustice system (one for the privileged elite and the other for the rest of us), the pervasive police state killing of its own citizens (especially African Americans), and the fact that this increasingly armed and dangerous world of global tyranny has only deceptively made us all far less safe. The growing impoverishment resulting from the bankrupt global house of cards debtor system economy on the verge of total collapse has only accelerated the globalists’ doomsday endgame scenario.

After every staged fake ISIS beheading, out come the parade of former CIA propagandists and neocon shills on all the MSM newscasts pontificating how ISIS cells are already operating and multiplying throughout the United States. After all, this charade game’s been going on now long enough that waves of American and Canadian jihadists fresh from the Iraqi and Syrian battlefronts are coming home to plot terror on North American turf. Or the CIA dis-informers will reassure Americans that more of those staged beheadings are on the way in reaction to recent US air strikes that never seem to make any real dent in reducing Islamic State’s ever-growing numbers. Or are they talking about all the US bombskilling off innocent civilians in Iraq and Syria.

Obama’s now bombing Assad’s troops, manipulating what he was determined to do two years ago when the world stopped him as Putin brokered the last minute deal to get Assad to turn in his cache of chemical weapons (despite Obama-backed rebels being guilty of the attack on the Damascussuburb). Obama’s real agenda all along has been to go after Assad, not ISIS. Under the pretense of “rooting out ISIS,” the US and Israeli bombs have attacked Syria’s energyinfrastructure by destroying oil refineries and grain storage silos. Anything but wiping out ISIS… kind of like the so called “misplaced” airdrops of vital food, medical and arms supplies that are supposed to be going to the only real fighting force that has half a chance of defeating ISIS, the Kurds in Iraq. But somehow (accidentally on purpose) who seems to invariably wind up with all those supplies? Of course,Empire’s closet ally ISIS, who else? Bottom line, if US Empire possessed the political will, the most potent killing machine on earth could eliminate ISIS in two or three week tops. But the Empire’s forever war on terror would have to end if ISIS suddenly ceased to exist.

Dozens of those pundits from neocon think tanks and prior administrations have been sounding the MSM alarm promoting the idea that a coalition partnership-in-crime has already been forged between the various drug cartels, the MS13 gang and the Islamic State. They also recirculate the belief that Osama bin Laden delivered nuclear technology to al Qaeda operatives here in the US by way of suitcase nukes and they could easily be in Islamic State’s possession now. In actuality, it’s far more likely that the only suitcase nukesstrategically planted in various US cities are part of Israel and Mossad’s Sampson Option, global blackmail to the world powers in order to ensure that Israel never gets attacked by any other powerful nation or Israel will nuke the whole lot of us. Nonetheless, no doubt there are evil enough nuke or biological/chemical warfare peddlers out there willing to sell WMD’s for the right price to the likes of ISIS. And based on the money flowing into Islamic State hands from a number of sources like the US, the Saudis and other wealthy Gulf statesalong with the IS revenue generated from the black market sales of pirated oil and drugs, anything is possible.

Speaking of nuclear material, a month ago Mexican officials had to admit for the third time in less than a year that a truck containing deadly radioactive Iridium-192 was stolen from an area controlled by a drug cartel, the same one training with ISIS. Though in this latest case the material was later recovered, previously missing nuclear substances and evenmissing nuclear warheads remain unaccounted for. Because a pattern of lost nukes over time persists, it seems inevitable that at some point one or more fall into the wrong hands, particularly when ISIS hands are so well-funded.

In a similar vein, current DHS chief Jeh Johnson in one breath tells 60 Minutes that a number of the returning American IS jihadists from fighting in Syria and Iraq “have been arrested or investigated and we have systems in place to track these individuals.” Then in the very next breath he slips in the small print, “But you can’t know everything.” His last statement is pretty flippantly cavalier, considering it’s his job to keep extremely close tabs on known terrorists operating inside America. Yet in effect he is admitting that it’s not a question of if but when before ISIS kills Americans… oops, it just happened in Chattanooga. Like when the LA earthquake hits, you know the big one, the same holds true for when ISIS strikes America with the big one, instead of five servicemen dying, the big one could take out an entire US city or a few hundred or a few thousand Americans at a time. “Oops, we can’t know everything.” Yet another sobering thought is 5000 Europeans have left home to fight with ISIS and Western Europeans don’t even need visas to enter the US. Oh well, DHS “can’t know everything…” (in)famous last words.

To provide a full backdrop for what’s to come, a brief overview of President Obama’s foreign policy in Latin America will offer insight and understanding of the precarious stage currently being set. Obama’s record south of the border follows suit with his foreign policy everywhere – disastrous except for the globalists pulling his strings. Hilary’s State Department and CIA induced regime change coupousted the Honduran president in 2009 followed by several more coup attempts that failed to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (recall Bush’s multiple failures at ousting Maduro’s defiant predecessor Hugo Chavez who rightly called Bush “the devil”). Obama policies have empowered criminal gangs such as the MS13 along with the all-powerful Latin American drug cartels to rule much of the Southern Hemisphere with absolute impunity, rampantly inflicting increasing lawless violence on both sides of the US border. Obama has been financing weak, corrupt puppet governments in Central America and Mexico owned and controlled by the drug cartels, enabling both the cartels as well as the United States government to continue bilking enormously obscene profit obtained illegally from theinternational drug trade boosted also by bumper crop yields of opium and heroin smuggled in from Afghanistan.

Obama is complicit in causing the crime and murder rates in Central American nations to soar among the highest in the entire world. As an example, Honduras’ murder rate is the highest in the world. In El Salvador the lawlessness and lethal dangers facing citizens struggling to work their jobs every day is now so out of control that their feeble government cannot even protect them. The crime cabal gangs and cartels blatantly responsible for the skyrocketingviolence are demanding that their extortion fees be codified into law by the national government. In the meantime, El Salvador’s murder rate is up by 50% over last year and with the work force unsafe to leave their homes, the nation’s economy seems in its final death throes. With gang turf wars raging, June saw El Salvador’s highest homicide rate since the civil war nearly a quarter century ago.

As a direct result of all this rampant instability and violent chaos, our treasonous president has burdened an over-strained US tax base with a huge influx of foreign nationals pouring into the US particularly from Central America while endangering American lives by permitting not just decent hardworking people desperately seeking a better life here but outright criminal and terrorist elements free access into the United States. Obama has simply done what he’s been told by his puppet master superiors – destroy America both from within and from outside sources by eroding and weakening the US as a sovereign independent nation. The globalists have orchestrated this same disastrous policy in Europe with an overflow of migrant refugees from North Africa and the Middle East. Meanwhile Obama’s failed policies in Latin America have only enabled Russia to gain a strong military foothold within a growing number of South American countries that to a great extent have boldly rejected US imperialism. Six and a half years of Obama’s so called incompetence by NWO design has set the stage for an imminent CIA-neocon planned ISIS invasion of America.

Just as the invented, made-in-the-USA’s new and improved bogey man splashed onto the headlines last year, right on cue ever since the very government insiders who in fact created and have been financing this latest enemy on steroids have been spewing out dire warnings of catastrophic proportions that lay ahead for America, as if to prep and condition Americans into readily swallowing the feds’ cover-up lies following the terrorist acts likely soon to be executed on US soil. The foreign invasion by ISIS, their attacks and murder of Americans, and likely war that will break out under Obama’s martial law in actuality is the globalist fast tracking their eugenics plan by hard kill methods to reduce the US and world population by 90%.

All these unfolding doom and gloom events have been pre-scripted and planned long in advance.

From 9/11 to London’s 7/7 attack to January’s Paris Charlie Hebdo attack, from Sandy Hook to the Boston Marathon bombing to the so called Charleston AME church massacre in June, right up to the most recent Chattanooga shooting last month, every one of these incidents have false flag fingerprints diabolically smudged all over them.

In their totality they concretely underscore how low the US federal government has degenerated, morally, ethically and criminally. All act as precursor events that are part of the sinister apparatus leading us to global governance according to a thinly veiled elitist plan that includes the end of the United States, war on American soil and an ultimate doomsday Armageddon endgame scenario for the world. With their underground cities, bunkers, highway and rail systems well in place, globalists believe they actually have the means and stockpiled reserves to outlast even the worst case scenario of nuclear war above ground. Hence, their grandiose sense of omnipotence is pathologically reflected by their reckless abandon and apparent willful calculation to potentially destroy the earth and all its life forms.

In addition to the old divide and conquer strategy, the Hegelian dialectic has also proven to be a successful formula repeatedly utilized by globalists to further their New World Order agenda. Once pumping incessant propaganda into a dumbed down masses that will believe anything when heard often enough, and the latest created target enemy is firmly etched in the public’s mind, traitors in the international crime cabal government in DC then resort to creating a series of false flag crises blaming the designated enemy that then justifies implementing an identified ready-made solution that most often manifests in the form of waging yet more war and violence. This predictable outcome in turn leads to a proliferation of yet more draconian measures deceitfully using their lame “national security” excuse to gain even more totalitarian control over the masses. This strategy has been their tried and true method of choice and in the coming months of upheaval and turmoil will only continue to be used against the human population for nefarious purposes.

The globalists have heavily invested military application of artificial intelligence (AI) technology for not only ultra-invasive surveillance but tactical military purposes on the battlefield as well. Enter Jade Helm as the beta tester for its PSYOPS andJade Helm 2 AI software. Artificial intelligence through automated mechanization on the modern battlefield will take the human error out of war-making murder and mayhem and efficiently eliminate any human opposition attempting the now obsolete guerilla warfare. The ruling elite has harnessed incredible advances in electronic and weapons technology to exponentially increase its absolute power and control over the global population. The feds’ deployment of human personnel like ISIS is currently being augmented by AI and very soon human soldiers will largely be replaced by armies of militarized killing robots. The most egregious, most horrific science fiction scenarios are already developed and ready for deployment today in the here and now.

With unprecedented levels of war weapons, military vehicles including UN, tanks, and MRAP’s all moving around North America just in time for Jade Helm 15, the largest military operation on domestic soil in US history involving the military’s elite forces along with the DHS, NSA, FBI, CIA, DEA, Border Patrol and local law enforcement in nine states, and the countless contradictions and misrepresentations by inept military propagandists, what seems most apparent is the feds are withholding the truth from the American public. What the government is not disclosing is that it is most likely preparing for a major war on US soil, yet the evidence strongly suggests that is what awaits this nation. And with the false flags unfurling nearly every week this year, a foreign invasion and large scale acts of terrorism by ISIS combined with a cyberattack on the banking infrastructure that Homeland Security has spent years planning and preparing for, reinforced by outgoing DHS head Janet Napolitano’s  farewell warning to America, the recurring pattern of yet another exercise going live seems more than probable in the next month or two. Be it an ISIS invasion from Mexico or possibly one from Cuba after ISIS

The Manchurian candidate president has dutifully carried out his treasonous role as a globalist puppet to systematically undermine and destroy the United States. His fast trackedTrans Pacific Partnership despite a recent snag acts as the ultra-secret blueprint weapon for one world government to take form. Absolute global tyranny under the elite’s New World Order has been rapidly unfolding through disturbing events and developments virtually all year long. With Jade Helm scheduled to end next month and likely going live in response to the staging of yet more created false flag crises, accompanied by Pope Francis’ history-making address before a joint session of Congress on September 24th and the United Nations on the 25th, it appears that the stage has long been set for the fall of America timed with the New World Order’s official launch. The globalists will be in victory celebration in their mansions. Hope and pray for the best, be prepared for the worst.

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 for more than a quarter century. He now concentrates on his writing and has a blog site at http://empireexposed. blogspot. com/. He is also a regular contributor to Global Research.

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Will the US-Created ISIS Attack Americans on US Soil?

In an effort to preserve centuries of the written word from possible pillage by Islamic State militants, the Baghdad National Library is rushing to scan ancient works to create digital archives.

The work undertaken by the microfilm department is truly a hefty task, as a vast proportion of the collection of manuscripts is in bad shape. Over the centuries, several have either been burned or ruined by dampness. Others have even fossilized over time and now look like large rocks.

A man walks between the shelves containing historical documents in Iraq's National library in Baghdad © Mohammed Ameen

A man walks between the shelves containing historical documents in Iraq’s National library in Baghdad
© Mohammed Ameen / Reuters

“Those are the most difficult books to restore,” Fatma Khudair, from the museum restoration department told AP. “We apply steam using a specialized tool to try to loosen and separate the pages.”

Khudair noted that some damage over the years is “irreversible.” Currently the library staff is working to preserve the documents dating back to the Ottoman empire.

 

Preservation process is long and tedious. Specialists first sterilize manuscripts for 48 hours. Then, page by page restorers use Japanese tissue paper to fill in torn edges or to apply an extra layer of protection to make the paper more durable. “Once restoration for some of the older documents from the Ottoman era, 200 to 250 years ago, is completed, we will begin to photograph those onto microfilm,” said Mazin Ibrahim Ismail, the head of the microfilm department. The need to preserve the old books first became apparent in April of 2003, after the US led-invasion of the country, when the National Library and Archives were burned and looted. More than 25 percent of its books and some 60 percent of its archives were lost. Before the destruction, the collection held 417,000 books, 2,618 periodicals dating from the late Ottoman era to modern times, and a collection of 4,412 rare books and manuscripts.

 

During the invasion of Iraq, “we had an alternative site for the most important books and documents at the Department of Tourism,” said Jamal Abdel-Majeed Abdulkareem, acting director of Baghdad libraries and archives. “Then books and the important documents were exposed to water because the American tanks destroyed the water pipes and water leaked onto these important cultural materials.”

However, assessing current threats to the collection, library officials have stressed that the Islamic State’s (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) hardline ideology is by far the biggest contemporary challenge posed to rare manuscripts.

The militants “want history to reflect their own views instead of the way it actually happened,” Abdulkareem said.

One way to combat ISIS is not only to preserve the books but share the knowledge contained inside them with people who have recently suffered from a jihadist occupation. This year the Baghdad library donated some 2,500 books to branches in Iraq’s Diyala province after Iraqi forces took back the territory from Islamic State militants.

“So when an area is liberated, we send them books to replenish whatever was stolen or destroyed, but also, so that Iraqis in this area have access to these materials so they can always feel proud of their rich history,” Abdulkareem said.

Islamic State fighters take pride in publicly destroying artifacts on the territory they control in Syria and Iraq.

Sledgehammering statues stolen from the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra was by far the most talked about cultural tragedy this year. Demolishing a 13th-century tomb near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk also made headlines.

Disregarding all the international pleas to spare the ancient treasures, IS continues to regard antiquities as sacrilegious remnants of the past that deserve to be wiped off the face of the Earth. The destruction drive is always accompanied by propaganda videos and photos, as seen by the wreckage of a museum in Mosul, Iraq, and the destruction of archaeological sites in Nimrud, Hatra and Nineveh, Iraq.

At the start of the year, IS burned down the Mosul public library which had been home to over 8,000 rare books and manuscripts. The UN has called the event “one of the most devastating acts of destruction of library collections in human history.”

The “destruction marks a new phase in the cultural cleansing perpetrated in regions controlled by armed extremists in Iraq. It adds to the systematic destruction of heritage and the persecution of minorities that seeks to wipe out the cultural diversity that is the soul of the Iraqi people,” UNESCO’s Director general Irina Bokova said at the time.

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on ISIS Threat Forces Iraq to Digitize National Library

Shyness and self-restraint aren’t her attributes, along with a whole lot of other dubious qualities.

Revealed email content she sent and received on official State Department business as its head using her private account increasingly is coming back to haunt her – perhaps enough to derail her presidential bid along with much more about her disreputable private and public affairs, repeatedly crossing the line of legality, propriety, ethical standards, common decency and good sense.

It’s hard imagining a worse head of state – a totally unacceptable candidate, a sort of Manchurian one programmed to “assassinate” world peace, stability and security.

Perhaps primary voters will eliminate her from contention. Unfortunately, other candidates are just as reprehensible – not a people’s choice in the bunch from either major party, the usual hacks across the board assuring business as usual.

Political criticism using pejoratives isn’t out of the ordinary – only when what was meant to be private becomes public information.

Hillary’s received and sent email revelations are far more than a sideshow while campaigning for the nation’s highest office. They’re another example of why voters increasingly don’t trust her. She reflects virtually everything ordinary Americans should oppose. There’s nothing redeeming about her. She reflects pure evil.

Pejoratives her confidant Sidney Blumenthal used via emails to her to describe British Prime Minister David Cameron and London Mayor/MP Boris Johnson weren’t what political aspirants want made public.

Cameron is “aristocratic, unsure, inexperienced, oblique and largely uncommitted.” Johnson is a “Tory clown,” said Blumenthal.

Clinton called a 2009 London Guardian article about how Cameron infuriated French, German and Spanish leaders at the time for an attempt to wreck the Lisbon Treaty “so revealing and wacky.”

The subject line of a Blumenthal email to Clinton read “Decline and fall of the British Empire, 2009 edition.” Weeks later, he said a future Cameron government would be “more aristocratic and even narrowly Etonian than any Conservative government in recent memory…”

If elected, “Cameron would be superficially friendly (to the Obama administration) and privately scornful.”

Blumenthal and Clinton discussed via email wanting (unindicted war criminal, hugely unpopular at the end of his prime ministerial tenure) Tony Blair to become EU president.

Blumenthal said otherwise “the position will likely be filled by a third rank nonentity…continuing the feebleness of Europe as a political idea and reality.”

A Downing Street spokeswoman put on a brave face, saying “(t)he special relationship between the UK and the United States is as strong as ever and the president recently acknowledged the importance of the alliance to the US.”

Both nations partner in each other’s crimes. It’s traditional whether Democrats or Republicans run America – Tories or Labour in Britain.

At the same time, Blumenthal warned of a fraying relationship because of “the Obama administration’s denigration of the UK.”

These and other revelation were among the thousands of pages of emails Clinton gave the State Department earlier this year – following the controversy over using her private email system for official business, a hugely indiscreet (perhaps illegal) practice.

She remains the frontrunner for her party’s presidential nomination. Her disturbing baggage could derail her. As first lady, US senator and secretary of state, her deplorable record speaks for itself.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected].

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

 

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Close Confidant’s Emails to Hillary Bash Britain’s Cameron

Image: Source: amrfum

Mahathir bin Mohamad held the post of the Prime Minister for 22 years from 1981 to 2003, making him Malaysia’s longest-serving Prime Minister. As an experienced statesman he knows what he is talking about

This video is excerpt from RT documentary MH17: ‘No one deserves to die that way’ 

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Blames West For Biased MH17 Investigation and Anti-Russian Propaganda

Greek, along with Italian, military forces are soon to train in Israel.

This is the latest indicator of the deepening military alliance being forged between Israel and Greece’s government led by the leftist Syriza party.

Last month, Israeli helicopter pilots completed an unprecedented 11-day combat training exercise near Greece’s Mount Olympus.

In May, the Syriza-led government also signed amilitary accord with Israel, matched only by a similar one between Israel and the US, granting legal immunities to each other’s military personnel while training in the other’s territory.

An image posted by the Israeli air force shows an Israeli pilot embracing a Greek colleague. The Israeli’s face is obscured in the original.

The military deal was signed on behalf of the government by Panagiotis Kammenos, the defense minister from Independent Greeks, Syriza’s rightwing, junior coalition partner. But there is no doubt that Syriza is giving its full backing: in July, the Syriza-nominated Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias traveled to Jerusalem for high-level talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “strengthen bilateral ties between the two countries.”

Earlier this year Israeli warplanes carried out extensive training missions in Greece, experience that will undoubtedly be used to attack the Gaza Strip in future Israeli military assaults.

Israeli helicopters in Greece

According to an Israeli air force press release, “Israeli-Greek cooperation is gaining momentum over the last years and in light of the success of recent deployments, the mutual flights will probably continue in 2016.”

“We understand the great importance of the joint activity with the State of Israel, which contributes to the security of both countries,” Greece’s Colonel Dormitis Stephzanki, the commander of Larissa Airbase where the Israeli helicopters were based during the exercises, is quoted as saying.

“Over the past few days we have been working together in a special way,” Dormitis added. “The common language, the deep friendship and the things we’ve learnt together have contributed to the enhancement of cooperation between the forces.”

Dormitis said he believes that the training in Greece had improved the Israelis’ “capability to deal with flying wherever needed.”

An image posted by the Israeli air force shows Israeli warplanes at the Larissa Airbase in Greece.

“We flew over mountainous areas that do not exist in Israel and practiced long-distance flights from the airbase in Israel to Greece,” Israel’s Lt. Col. Matan, a commander of a squadron of US-built Apache helicopters said. (Israeli forces only supply first names, likely to protect personnel from potential war crimes charges.)

The Apache – named after Native American peoples targeted by genocidal colonial expansion in North America – has been extensively used by Israel to carry out extrajudicial executions of Palestinians.

It was used during massacres of civilians in Gaza last summer.

Col. Y, a commander of an Israeli reconnaissance unit, described Israel’s participation in the exercise as “historic,” adding that “it was the first time the intelligence-gathering aircraft had worked with foreign aircraft in challenging, unknown terrain.”

Supporting war crimes

According to The Jerusalem Post, Greek helicopter pilots will train in Israel in coming months.

Greek fighter jets “will also arrive as part of the multinational Blue Flag exercise, to be held over southern Israel,” the newspaper reports.

report in Haaretz in June reveals that Italian, Greek and US air forces will take part in the exercise.

The military cooperation between Israel, Italy and Greece continues despite the fact that a recently publishedindependent inquiry commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council found massive evidence of war crimes by Israel during its attack on Gaza last summer that killed more than 2,200 Palestinians.

Amnesty International last month published its own inquiry into Israel’s attack on the southern Gaza town of Rafah – again concluding that hundreds of civilians were killed as Israel committed grave war crimes.

“Public statements by Israeli army commanders and soldiers after the conflict provide compelling reasons to conclude that some attacks that killed civilians and destroyed homes and property were intentionally carried out and motivated by a desire for revenge – to teach a lesson to, or punish, the population of Rafah,” Amnesty found.

Inam Ouda Ayed bin Hammad, quoted in the Amnesty report, recalled the shelling and bombing that took place near her home in the al-Tannur neighborhood of Rafah: “The minute I left the house, an Apache … started shooting at us.”

Perhaps some of the same Apaches and their pilots were sharing moments of camaraderie in Greece.

The UN report and Amnesty called for accountability for the war crimes committed in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.

Instead, Greece’s and Italy’s ostensibly left-wing governments, and of course the US administration of President Barack Obama, only offer Israel complicity and rewards.

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Greek Forces to Train in Israel as Syriza-Led Government Deepens Alliance

The Vaccine industry, Big Pharma, and the mainstream media have some advice for vaccine zealots attempting to bully parents questioning the safety or effectiveness of vaccines into changing their minds – Don’t argue the facts! Show scary pictures!

In what can only be described as an instruction manual as to how to shame, bully, and shout a person down who simply has a different take on the best and safest way to raise their children, it is clear that the religion of vaccines and “scientism” now has the hallmark of any faith determined to spread itself – the presence of evangelicals.

The new vaccine evangelical movement is being provided with a script sheet of what to say and what to avoid when attempting to convert others to their belief system. Like most religions, the goal among the leaders and the zealots is a world where differing modes of thought no longer exist and where other opinions no longer force them to question the way they view that world.

Articles like “How To Change An Anti-Vaxxer’s Mind” by Jeffrey Kloger of TIME, are a perfect example of the recent propaganda blitz coming from the mainstream media. Kloger’s article is being quickly copied and rewritten in mainstream media outlets all across the country with the real vitriol being found in the more trendy hipster markets.

The recent propaganda push is being based upon a study by researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It’s not certain exactly how much time and effort was put into the study to discover what most undergraduate marketing students and any remotely successful politician, salesman, or sociopath already knows – that scary pictures are more effective at convincing hordes of people of an idea (true or false) than facts, reasoning, or logic.

In other words, the study and the mainstream media have determined that it is best to go after the emotional vulnerabilities of those who are either under-researched, on the fence, or who have been subjected to bullying and social pressure since hipsters and the cool kids realized it was the “in” thing this year to attack “anti-vaxxers.”

Consider the passage by Jeffrey Kloger of TIME who writes,

That’s a very noble goal, but it’s also one of the things that makes it so bloody hard to change their minds on the topic of vaccines. Public service campaigns don’t work; nor do one-on-one explanations of why the rumors about a vaccine-autism link are wrong. In some cases, there is even a backfire effect: the greater the effort expended to persuade the anti-vaxxers, the more convinced they become that they’re right.

So it’s extremely good news that researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign may at last have come up with a way to cut through the misinformation and get the truth across: Don’t just tell parents to vaccinate their children, show them what happens if they don’t.

In other words: Don’t argue with them! Just show scary pictures! The hope is to catch someone unaware, in a weakened state, or someone who is unfortunately not as well-versed on the subject.

Of course, if you can’t convince someone by providing facts, logic, and reasoning there is always the chance that the person is irrational. But there is also the very real chance that they are quite lucid and that you, in fact, armed with all your talking points, media-induced outrage, and perceived intellectual superiority, are simply wrong.

Kloger does make an important point though. Most “anti-vaxxers” are unconvinced when confronted with the typical pro-vaccine argument. But that is not because they are necessarily rigid of belief, it is mostly because the typical pro-vaccine argument tends to be baseless propaganda, rooted in rhetoric instead of science. As for the social aspect, if “anti-vaxxers” didn’t abandon their beliefs when the first few waves of obnoxious Big-Pharma propaganda came blasting through the airwaves, they are generally not impressed when their friends, family, or even complete strangers take it upon themselves to give them a regurgitation of the talking points they heard about vaccines on NPR, CNN, or read in TIME magazine.

After all, social shaming and bullying – if one’s opinions are strong enough – tend to produce the opposite of the desired effect.

This idea of showing scary pictures, however, is not just a rudimentarily effective propaganda method, it can also be quite dangerous, particularly when the scary pictures are being broadcast over every outlet in the mainstream media.

Take the spate of articles posted in the New York Times, for example. Propaganda narratives like “My Patient Doesn’t ‘Do’ Vaccines,” “The Dangers Of Vaccine Denial,” “A Discredited Vaccine Study’s Continuing Impact On Public Health,” are all aimed at painting the science surrounding the numerous demonstrations of vaccine dangers as pseudo-science and parents who question the safety of vaccines as delusional, obsessive, Luddites. They are designed to produce a false consensus within society that vaccines are safe and effective. Basically, they are designed to create a self-fulfilling prophecy – if enough people read the propaganda and believe it, particularly if they think the majority of others believe it, the victim population will come to believe the propaganda.

Now, apparently, the New York Times and its ilk will be sharing scary pictures to go along with their tripe.

Of course, we all know what happened the last time the New York Times posted scary pictures and emotional words. Maybe one day we will finally leave Iraq….

Image credit: farsight 3 

Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom7 Real ConspiraciesFive Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 andvolume 2, and The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria. Turbeville has published over 500 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV.  He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com. 

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Mainstream Media To Pro-Vaxxers: Don’t Argue The Facts, Show Scary Pictures!

CIA Executive Director: CIA Committed Torture

August 6th, 2015 by Washington's Blog

Former CIA Executive Director Buzzy Krongard told BBC on Monday that the CIA did engage in torture:

[BBC] asked Buzzy Krongard, the CIA’s former executive director, if he thought waterboarding and painful stress positions were torture:

“Well, let’s put it this way, it is meant to make him as uncomfortable as possible. So I assume for, without getting into semantics, that’s torture. I’m comfortable with saying that,” he explained.

Krongard isn’t the first high-level official to admit that what the CIA did was torture.  The following officials also admitted that the CIA tortured:

  • Tom Ridge, head of the Department of Homeland Security
  • Barry McCaffrey, 4-Star General, who was awarded three Purple Hearts, two Distinguished Service Crosses, and two Silver Stars
  • Malcolm Nance, an advisor on terrorism to the US departments of Homeland Security, Special Operations and Intelligence
  • Matthew Alexander, a former top Air Force interrogator who led the team that tracked down Abu Musab al-Zarqawi
  • Ricardo Sanchez, Lieutenant General and the former top coalition commander in Iraq

Why does this matter?

Because top experts say that torture doesn’t work to provide evidence (even in a “ticking time bomb” scenario) … and that it severely harms America’s national security.

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on CIA Executive Director: CIA Committed Torture

Ostensibly independent groups reported to have close ties to a candidate account for 96 percent of total outside fundraising

This explosion of outside money, the vast majority of it not subject to contribution limits, is a consequence of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, says the Brennan Center.(Photo: Alexander Harbich/flickr/cc)

Representing a “fundamental shift in how presidential campaigns are funded in the United States,” so-called shadow campaigns are already dominating the 2016 election cycle, according to a new study issued Tuesday by the Brennan Center for Justice.

The report, Shadow Campaigns: The Shift in Presidential Campaign Funding to Outside Groups, reveals that ostensibly independent groups—many of which in reality enjoy close ties to individual candidates—have raised hundreds of millions of dollars, greatly outpacing the candidates’ own campaign committees.

Furthermore, the study finds, 95 percent of the outside money, or $270 million, has been collected by groups not subject to contribution limits, raising questions “about whether big donors are attempting an end-run around the strict limits on contributions to candidates’ formal campaign committees.”

“The advantage of funds raised through unlimited-contribution groups is obvious,” the report explains. “One wealthy donor can write a check for millions. Campaign committees, on the other hand, are limited to donations of $2,700 for the primary election. In theory, candidates are not permitted to ‘coordinate’ with groups that can raise unlimited funds. But with flawed coordination rules that go almost entirely unenforced, in reality the path is open for candidates to work closely with, and even exert control over, supportive outside groups—even to the point of assigning close advisers to run them.”

This explosion of outside money, the vast majority of it not subject to contribution limits, is a consequence of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, says the Brennan Center.

“In Citizens United, the Supreme Court argued we don’t need to worry about outside spending because it’s independent—it can’t corrupt candidates because they don’t control it,” said Ian Vandewalker, author of the report and counsel in the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program.

“But the biggest money in this election is going to the outside groups that seem to be the least independent, by any common-sense understanding of that word,” he continued. “When candidates fundraise for outside groups, give up former staff to run those groups, or count the groups’ money in their own fundraising announcements, everyone knows what’s going on.”

While the report shows Republicans generally benefiting more than Democrats from shadow campaigns, the candidate who benefited the most from this trend is clearly former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who is running for the Republican nomination. Shadow campaign groups supporting Bush and benefiting from his fundraising efforts—namely the Right to Rise Super PAC—took in $108.5 million, a record-breaking amount that is almost 10 times the $11.4 million raised by his campaign.

What’s more, the report points out, “despite the massive sums reported here, we know that our analysis underestimates the true extent of fundraising by outside groups, including those that are not subject to contribution limits and may have ties to their favored candidate, because ‘dark money’ organizations have not yet been required to report their revenue.”

At least one presidential candidate has shunned help from such shadow campaigns. Over the weekend, Democratic White House hopeful Bernie Sanders called for public funding of elections as a way to “allow people to run for office without having to beg money from the wealthy and the powerful.”

Referring to Citizens United, Sanders said: “We must overturn that decision before it’s too late. We are increasingly living in an oligarchy where big money is buying politicians.”

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Shadow Puppets: Outside Groups Pulling the Strings in 2016 Election

A public school district in Eastern Texas is under fire amid allegations it made up quotes by famous figures in order to promote Christianity to its students, posting them to the walls of the four schools in the district. The Mount Vernon Independent School District is accused of misattributing quotes to George Washington and Ronald Reagan among others and faces demands to remove the false statements from its walls.

It is impossible to govern a nation without God and the Bible,” George Washington said—according to the district. “Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face,” it claims Ronald Reagan opined.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation, a non-profit organization, says these quotes are false. It recently wrote a letter to the school district asking that they correct their misattributions. Staff Attorney Sam Grovercalled the alleged Reagan quote “dubious, and, incidentally, intellectually lazy since that is not a direct quotation.” In a letter to the district, he alleged it, along with other quotes, had been taken out of context to promote Christianity specifically.

“When MIVSD manipulates historical quotes by removing context and isolating lines that promote Christianity and religion in general, it violates the right of conscience of its students,” Grover wrote. He accused the school of misquoting (or using quotes misattributed to) John Adams and Thomas Jefferson (in addition to George Washington and Ronald Reagan).

Image credit: Freedom From Religion Foundation

Grover also objected to the district’s framing of the “golden rule” as directly attributable to Jesus, in spite of the fact that “the Golden Rule existed in both ancient Eastern and Western thought, as well as in world religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, and many others.

However, the FFRF’s problem with MIVSD is not only with the school’s manipulation of quotes. Rather, it is with the promotion of any religion in public school. Grover noted that “it is a fundamental principle of Establishment clause jurisprudence that a public school may not advance, prefer, or promote religion.”

It’s unknown where the schools got the lines from, but after a quick Google search, it’s clear that there are plenty of misattributions of these very same quotes found on internet memes.

While the schools’ misattributions and blatant promotion of one religion over others appear to be undoubtedconstitutional violations, the story highlights an even deeper issue with belief.

It is telling that the quotes on the walls of the schools in the district frequently quote political figures. Whether it be “founding fathers” or the more recent leader, Ronald Reagan, the school district is attempting to use political authority to promote another dogmatic belief. This faith in the United States—so often expressed as nationalistic faith in government institutions themselves—has led to a manipulation of facts similar to what the Texas school district is accused of committing.

While in recent years, the Texas school board moved to change the curriculum to promote Christianity, last year Colorado students walked out of school in protest of proposed changes to their district’s history program. The changes would have downplayed the significance of civil disobedience, among other things. The Advanced Placement (AP) board, a non-government body that offers college-level classes to high school students, recently changed its standards to promote “American exceptionalism” in an attempt to pacify outraged politicians who claimed the prior curriculum insulted the United States. The AP softened its standards on discussions of slavery and American colonialism that decimated the natives’ way of life. It strengthened sections that promote the idea that United States’ military intervention has not only been successful, but necessary.

Whether the religion is Christianity, Islam, Judaism or the State, it remains that dogmatic adherence to any set of beliefs can lead to desperate attempts to protect faith. While not all Christians would endorse the school district’s misleading actions—just as not all Americans favor sugarcoating their country’s history—attachment to collective identities continues to prove a dangerous element in society’s drift from truth.

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Texas Schools Caught Manipulating Quotes to Push Christianity on Students

Image: Protest against the murders of photojournalist Rubén Espinosa and four women [Credit: Eneas de Troya]

Thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets of Mexico City and other major cities in response to the brutal July 31 murder of Rubén Espinosa Becerril, a photographer and investigative reporter, along with four women.

In the capital Sunday, several thousand marched carrying placards bearing the journalist’s photograph and chanting, “It was the state, it was the state.”

Twenty-four hours after family members reported his disappearance, on Friday afternoon police discovered his body with those of the four women in a Mexico City apartment. They had been bound, tortured and each received acoup de grâce to their heads with 9mm bullets.

Image: March in protest of the assassinations of photojournalist Rubén Espinosa and four women [Credit: Eneas de Troya]

This is a clear political execution-style murder of a critic of the repression of the press and of Mexican corruption.

Rubén’s death followed three years of government persecution, intimidation and beatings at the hands of police in the southeastern Mexican state of Veracruz, which he fled because of threats to his life. He is the thirteenth reporter from Veracruz to be murdered since 2011 (the fourth this year). Three others have disappeared and are presumed dead.

Veracruz is a microcosm of a nationwide state terror campaign against reporters, journalists, photographers and other media workers. According to a Mirada Crítica (Rompeviento TV), some 103 journalists have been killed since the year 2000. Another 17 are missing. Others have been detained unlawfully for long periods of time, or kidnapped for ransom.

An entry in Wikipedia confirms those numbers. For Veracruz, Wikipedia lists the following individuals:

Noel López Olguín, Miguel Ángel López Velasco, Misael López Solana, Yolanda Ordaz, Regina Martínez, Guillermo Luna Varela, Gabriel Huge Córdova, Esteban Rodríguez, Victor Manuel Báez Chino, Irasema Becerra, Gregorio Jiménez, Moisés Sánchez Cerezo. Rubén Espinosa.

The three listed as disappeared are Sergio Landa Rosales, Miguel Morales Estrada, and Manuel Gabriel Fonseca Hernández.

In addition there have been scores of unresolved deaths of young people and human rights activists.

No one in Veracruz has been convicted of any of these crimes.

Rubén worked as a photojournalist for various agencies, including the AVC news (covering daily news), the left-leaning Proceso weekly magazine in Mexico City (covering social struggles) and the Cuartoscuro photography journal. In 2007 he settled in Xalapa, Veracruz. He was passionately committed to the struggle against the repression of newspaper reporters by Veracruz state authorities.

He had been the object of death threats by government officials for taking photographs exposing government attacks on students, workers and reporters. Veracruz, like the federal government, is governed by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) of President Enrique Peña Nieto.

An article published in Proceso chronicles Espinosa’s activity while in Veracruz:

In November 2012, during the anniversary of the Méxican Revolution, [Espinosa] covered student protests against governor Javier Duarte [PRI] over the assassination of Proceso’s main correspondent in Veracruz [Regina Martinez], and was prevented from taking photographs of police beating some students. At that point, a State Government official grabbed him and menaced him: “stop taking pictures if you do not want to end up like Regina”.

Following the first series of murders of his fellows, Rubén participated actively in the mobilizations and demonstrations by reporters demanding justice for their comrades and an end to attacks.

On September 14, 2013, while covering the repression of Veracruzana University teachers and students rallying in Lerdo Square in Xalapa, he and other reporters were attacked by State security forces that confiscated their equipment and forced them to erase their photographs. Rubén was beaten. He sued in court over the threats, the beating, and intimidation; the persecution campaign aimed at Rubén by the Veracruz government only accelerated after that.

The campaign of intimidation, torture and executions of journalists continued; by February 2014, following the execution of reporter Gregorio Jimenez, also in Veracruz, the newspaper photographers collective Fotorreporteros rallied in Mexico City demanding governor Duarte’s resignation. Rubén Espinosa was actively involved in the protests.

Back in Veracruz, Duarte ordered the massive purchase of the February 15 2014 issue of Proceso, with his picture on the cover, and an article analyzing Duarte’s regime, to remove the magazine from newsstands. After noticing that in Veracruz he was being constantly followed and photographed by armed men, and fearing for his life, Rubén moved to Mexico City two months ago, but continued denouncing Duarte’s terror regime. It now appears that his executioners followed him to the Mexican capital. His body was found, shot to death together with those of four women:

One of the female victims, Nadia Vera Pérez, 32, originally from Oaxaca State, had also been politically active in Veracruz, as a member of the #Yo soy 132student protest movement that rejected president Enrique Peña Nieto and the ruling PRI. Vera was raped before her execution.

She herself had been among those beaten by members of the Public Security Agency during the November 2012 protest. Nadia had been a member of the Xalapa Student Assembly; was an anthropologist and a promoter of culture; she was executive producer of Cuatro X Cuatro, a contemporary dance company, and coordinated the independent film and video festival OftálmicaIn an interview with Rompeviento TV that took place last November, Nadia Vera declared that if anything happened to her or her fellow activists, the culprits would surely be Governor Duarte and his cabinet.

Vera also spoke of the underground repression (by drug gangs) working in tandem with the official repression (by the government) to exploit, blackmail and repress the population.

A second female victim was identified as Yesenia Quiroz Alfaro, 18, a make-up professional, originally from Mexicali, Baja California.

The other two victims were identified as Alejandra, a domestic employee, and Simone, a Colombian woman.

The war on media workers in Veracruz and other Mexican states goes hand in hand with a general war against the working class and youth. Behind its democratic façade and under the cover of a US-backed war on drugs, the Mexican military together with federal and state police agencies, have taken on the role of occupying force, free to beat, torture, execute, disappear, and detain for as long as it sees fit, anyone that is perceived as a threat to the Mexican ruling class.

On July 30, a day before the killing of Rubén Espinosa, Nadia Vera, and the other three women, Peña Nieto appeared in a ceremony honoring the Mexican Army and Navy for their role in internal security. The president applauded the military for being an example of loyalty and patriotism, despite the involvement of the military in the execution of 21 youth in Tlatlaya, Mexico state, in June 2014 and the disappearance of the 43 normal school students in Iguala, Guerrero State in September 2014.

Today’s regime in México, under Peña Nieto and with the collusion of all the political parties, more and more resembles the Southern Cone fascist-military-fascist dictatorships of the 1970s. Twenty-five years following the end of the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile, the Mexican government terrorizes the population in order to impose the privatization of state-owned enterprises, and the destruction of public education in the interests of the financial aristocracy.

On Sunday, journalists and media workers demonstrated in Mexico City, Xalapa, Oaxaca, Zacatecas, Sinaloa, Puebla, Guadalajara and Washington DC, denouncing Peña Nieto and Duarte and demanding justice for Rubén Espinosa, Nadia Vera and the others.

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Thousands Protest Torture-murder of Mexican Photojournalist and Four Women

Defending the nuclear accord reached last month with Tehran, President Barack Obama said Wednesday that congressional blockage of the deal would rapidly lead to war against Iran.

In a chilling passage of the speech delivered at American University in Washington, DC, Obama declared:

“Congressional rejection of this deal leaves any US administration that is absolutely committed to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon with one option, another war in the Middle East. I say this not to be provocative, I am stating a fact…

“Does anyone really doubt that the same voices now raised against this deal will be demanding that whoever is president bomb those nuclear facilities?… So let’s not mince words. The choice we face is ultimately between diplomacy or some form of war. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not three months from now, but soon.”

These words were the centerpiece of an address aimed at recruiting a sufficient number of Democratic congressmen and senators to sustain a presidential veto against a virtually certain vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate to scuttle the agreement when Congress returns from its summer recess on September 8.

Obama’s speech was an exercise in hypocrisy and deceit. The agreement reached last month between Iran and the so-called P5 + 1 (US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany) provides for the suspension of the most onerous sanctions against Tehran in exchange for sweeping concessions by Iran, including acceptance of an inspection regime over the country’s civilian nuclear program of historically unprecedented intrusiveness. It also includes a so-called “snap back” provision that allows Washington to claim that Iran is in breech of the agreement and quickly reimpose sanctions, including an oil embargo, that have devastated the country’s economy.

Obama framed his response to opponents of the deal, including virtually all Republican members of Congress, a section of Democrats, the Israeli government and influential pro-Israel organizations in the US, and media organizations headed by the Wall Street Journal, as a commitment to diplomacy and the peaceful resolution of international disputes, in opposition to war hawks who demand unilateral US military action. He began by invoking the 1963 speech by President John F. Kennedy delivered at the same university, in which Kennedy called for a nuclear test ban treaty and a policy of peaceful diplomacy with the Soviet Union.

Kennedy’s policy, announced just months after the Cuban missile crisis, proved to be successful, Obama said, because it created “the time and space to win the Cold War without firing a shot at the Soviets.”

The clear implication was that Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran would provide the best conditions for eliminating Iran as an obstacle to US imperialist policy in the Middle East and internationally without entailing the risks and costs of a major war. To bolster his argument, Obama linked the present-day opponents of the Iran nuclear agreement with those who advocated the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which Obama characterized as a strategic disaster.

The president touted his supposed anti-war credentials, citing his opposition to the Iraq invasion, which he used to appeal to anti-war and anti-Bush sentiment in his 2008 election campaign. He did not bother to square this pretense with his record in office—continuing the Iraq bloodbath for another two years after coming to power, massively expanding the war in Afghanistan, organizing the war for regime-change that left Libya in a permanent state of chaos, and orchestrating a catastrophic civil war for regime-change in Syria.

Over the past year, he has launched a new war in Iraq, initiated the bombing of Syria and backed a murderous war by Saudi Arabia in Yemen. Just days before his speech at American University, he backed the carving out of a “buffer zone” in Syria by Turkish forces and sanctioned US air strikes against Syrian government forces in support of US-funded and trained mercenaries operating in the country.

Moreover, he made a point in his speech of reiterating that even with a nuclear agreement, Washington would retain the option of war against Iran. At one point he said:

“[I]f 15 or 20 years from now, Iran tries to build a bomb, this deal ensures that the United States will have better tools to detect it, a stronger basis under international law to respond, and the same options available to stop a weapons program as we have today, including—if necessary—military options.”

At another point he declared:

“The defense budget of the United States is more than $600 billion. To repeat, Iran’s is about $15 billion. Our military remains the ultimate backstop to any security agreement that we make. I have stated that Iran will never be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon. I have done what is necessary to make sure our military options are real. And I have no doubt that any president who follows me will take the same position.”

He all but boasted: “I’ve ordered military action in seven countries,” adding, “There are times when force is necessary, and if Iran does not abide by this deal, it’s possible that we don’t have an alternative.”

There are sharp divisions within the American ruling class and state and with traditional US allies in the region over the Iran agreement and any attempt to line up the Iranian regime behind US imperialism’s drive for hegemony over the entire Eurasian land mass. They are bound up with the mounting crises and contradictions facing the United States as it seeks to offset its relative economic decline by means of military violence, economic and diplomatic bullying and brazen disregard for international law.

A major factor behind Washington’s turn to some sort of accommodation, at least for the present, with Iran is its desire to focus more political and military resources on its drive to isolate and militarily encircle Russia and China.

But Obama’s attempt to cast this policy shift as a commitment to peaceful diplomacy and adherence to international law is a transparent fraud. The basic premise behind his entire speech was the assumption that the United States has the right to pre-emptively attack Iran or any other country it deems an impediment to its striving for domination of the resources, markets and working masses of the entire planet.

For the president to assert categorically that scuttling the agreement with Iran will bring imminent war can only mean that detailed plans for a massive assault have already been drawn up, behind the backs of the American people, and powerful sections of the ruling elite and the military-intelligence establishment are intent on implementing them.

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Obama Speech on Iran: Collapse of Nuclear Deal Will Mean War

Friends of Greece,

On 3 August 2015, Mikis Theodorakis, the Greek world famous music composer and Resistance figure, called upon the Greek people – and the peoples of the world – to respect Democracy – the very Democracy, born in Greece some 2500 years ago and given to the world as a set of values for respect for each other, for humanity – for equal rights and for free expression.

He referred in particular to the Greek referendum in which the Greek people on 5 July 2015 voted with an overwhelming 61% against the continuation of the economic and financial strangulation of Greece by the infamous troika – the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Commission (EC) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Severe austerity imposed during the last 5 years has already caused misery and countless deaths especially among children and elderly, because of deprivation of vital medical services.

Instead of respecting the vote, the Tsipras Government has ignored it, made a U-turn and accepted even harsher austerity measures for an additional € 86 billion debt, of which not one euro would reach the Greek government for the restauration of its vital social services. Mr. Tsipras’ action is anti-constitutional and illegal.

The following text summarizes Mikis Theodorakis’ appeal to stop the Syriza Government from selling out the Greek people’s country and stop the currently – almost in secret – ongoing negotiations with the troika on the modalities of the € 86 billion loan and the details of the new austerity measures – “negotiations” to be concluded by about 20 August 2015.

Mr. Theodorakis and his co-signatories want not only the Greek people to wake up, but the whole world to open their eyes, as the financial sledgehammer waged by the bankster mafia knows no scruples, no limits – and may well hit any other country tomorrow.

Peter Koenig, August 5, 2015

 

A dramatic appeal by Mikis Theodorakis and other known Greek personalities, asking for respecting the No vote of the Greek people and defending Greece and democracy

3 August 2015

In a dramatic appeal to the Greek people (and all the peoples of the world), the music composer Mikis Theodorakis, a world known symbol of Resistance to all oppressors and of struggles for freedom, democracy and independence, top Greek constitutional expert George Kasimatis, journalist and writer Dimitris Konstantakopoulos, Dr. Dimitris Bellantis of the CC of SYRIZA and tens of other known intellectuals, activists and politicians, ask for the respect of the will of the Greek people, directly expressed during the referendum of the 5th of July and for the immediate interruption of the program of “economic assassination” of Greece and its people, applied since 2010.

The direct mandate of the Greek citizens given through a referendum is mandatory, according to the most basic principles of any democratic state, of the Greek constitution and of European Law, it is stated in the appeal. The decision of the referendum cannot be changed by decisions of the government, of the parliament or of European institutions. It can be changed only by another referendum.

The respect of the will of the Greek people is the only way to preserve democracy and civil peace in Greece and democracy in Europe, it is also said in the appeal. It is the only way to save Greece and its people, from a total and unprecedented destruction. The program applied in Greece since 2010 constitutes a huge contravention of the Greek constitution, of the European and of the international law. It has already provoked the biggest, by far, economic and social disaster in Europe after 1945. Its interruption is a question of life or death for the Greek nation and the only way to preserve the most basic moral and material prerequisites for its survival. “It is better to stop this program in agreement with the other countries of the EU, but if this is not possible, we should do it unilaterally”, states the appeal.

The signatories warn that the new agreement signed by the Greek government, under pressure and blackmail and imposed by humiliating and illegal means to Greece, will lead, among other things, to the looting of the public and private property of Greeks, including their first residence, the land of the peasants and the Greek banks and to a new wave of massive emigration of young, well educated Greeks, in a moment the country needs them desperately.

The appeal is criticizing strongly the Greek government because it is acting, after the referendum, as if the Greeks had voted Yes. It is accusing it that, instead of organizing the defense of the country, it is itself disseminating discouragement, fear and even panic to the Greek people, in order to justify its policies.

The appeal reminds that the two governing parties are governing because they promised the interruption of the program applied in Greece. It is accusing them that, during three years and until the very last moment, they did not prepare themselves, the people and the country for the need to resist, in the very probable case that negotiations would fail. It is accusing them also of blindly believing assurances they had from abroad.

The signatories call on the Greek people, in those tragic moments of their history, “not to succumb, not to lose their courage and their capacity of a right judgment”. They call them to remember that their fathers and grand fathers were able to sustain, survive, resist and win under the most terrible conditions of the German occupation of 1941-44 and of the famine of the winter of 1941-42. They express the certainty that the Greek “sense of honor” (“filotimo”) and the patriotism will finally win over fear and the force of the enemy, leading to the victory of Greece, of Democracy and of Democratic Europe.

The appeal calls also the Greek people to organize and do everything possible to help the weakest confront the famine, the illness, the dispossession, to help people safeguard their dignity. It is calling Greek citizens to help sustain the most vital state and social functions, under direct threat from the new agreement imposed by European governments and institutions and to resist, everywhere they can and by whatever means they can, to the imposition of the new anti-popular measures.

The signatories of the appeal call to the Greek people to draw “the painful but necessary conclusions from their own experience and built a serious and credible front of resistance, not trusting again self-described saviors, adventurers and opportunists”.

The signatories are calling “all the peoples of the world, to realize that the struggle of the Greek people is also their struggle”. They are calling especially “the Europeans who expressed solidarity with Greeks during the black period of military dictatorship, to stop the coup d’ etat their own governments organize in Greece”, in cooperation with IMF and ECB, under the guidance of the international Finance, in order to impose the dictatorship of the Creditors in Greece today, in all Europe tomorrow”.

“If the forces that have planned and are executing the transformation of a country of the European Union to a sort of Iraq or Libya, through “financial bombing” will win, they will destroy not only Greece but all human kind. In front of the new totalitarianism of the “Markets”, the same if not more dangerous than totalitarianisms of the ‘30s and ‘40s, we don’t have other alternative than to unite and fight. Tomorrow it risks being too late”, concludes the appeal.

The text of the appeal is signed by

Mikis Theodorakis

Venios Angelopoulos, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, Athens National Polytechnic School, member of the Central Committee of SYRIZA

Dr. Yiorgos Vihas, doctor, member of the administration of the Medical Association of Athens, one of the creators of the movement of Social Medicine in Greece

Kleanthis Grivas, psychiatrist and writer

Katerina Thanopoulou, Vice-president of the Regional Administration of Attica (the major agglomeration of the Athens region), responsible for social policy, member of the Central Committee of SYRIZA

Kostas Karaiskos, editor of the newspaper “Antifonitis” in Thrace

George Kasimatis. Professor Emeritus of constitutional law, Athens University, founding member and honorary President of the International Association of Constitutional Law, legal advisor of PM Andreas Papandreou

Father Andreas Kefaloyiannis, from the historic town of Anogeia in Crete (cradle of the Cretan revolutions and of the resistance to the Nazis during the occupation)

Yannis Kimpouropoulos, journalist

Stathis Kouvelakis, Professor of Political Science, King’s College, London, member of the Central Committee of SYRIZA

Nikos Koutsou, MP from Famagusta, one of the two Cypriot deputies resisting to the end the voting of the laws legalizing the financial coup in Cyprus, in 2013

Marios Kritikos, vice president of the General Council of ADEDY (Union of Greek Public Servants)

Dimitris Konstantakopoulos, journalist and writer, coordinator of the “Delphi Initiative”, member of the editorial committee of the international review for self-management, “Utopie Critique”

Lefteris Konstantinides, leading cadre of PAK, one of the main resistance formations during the military dictatorship (1967-74), ex-deputy of PASOK

Spyros Lavdiotis, economist and writer, ex high ranking official of the Central Bank of Canada

Yannis Mavros, member of the National Council for the Claiming of debts of Germany to Greece

Yiorgos Moustakis, film director

Dimitris Bellantis, lawyer, Dr. in Constitutional Law, member of the Central Committee of SYRIZA

Maria Negreponti-Delivanis, Docteur d’Etat ès Sciences Economiques (Sorbonne), three times elected Dean of the University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki

Panagiotis Pantelides, economist-researcher

Dimitris Patelis, Prof. of Philosophy, Polytechnic School of Kriti

James Petras, Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York, ex-advisor of PM Andreas Papandreou, ex-Director of the Institute of Mediterranean Studies in Athens, advisor of various Latin Americans leaders and movements

Eleni Portaliou, Professor of Architecture, National Polytechnic School of Athens, member of the Central Committee of SYRIZA

Stathis (Stathis Stavropoulos), cartoonist

Themos Stoforopoulos, Ambassador

Μihalis Stylianou, journalist, director of the Greek emission of the French state Radio ORTF during the Greek military dictatorship

Yannis Schizas, writer

Fotis Terzakis, writer

Maria Fragiadaki, member of the Central Committee of SYRIZA, ex-member of the direction of GSEE (General Confederation of Workers of Greece)

Stathis Habibis, physicist

The contact mail of the signatories of this appeal is [email protected]

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Greece, “Respect the No Vote”: A Dramatic Appeal by Musician Mikis Theodorakis

$25 million to support megalomaniac ambitions of Israeli Prime Minister

The U.S. Zionist lobby is to spend $25 million in an effort to turn American public opinion against President Obama, their own elected head of state, in a bid to encourage war against Iran and the inevitable deployment of Israeli nuclear weapons.

In a frightening political development, the Zionist lobby in the U.S. is to spend huge sums of money in a television campaign urging Americans to oppose their own president and to torpedo the proposed vital peace agreement with Iran that has been negotiated by the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany.

Apparently under the delusion that he is the U. S. Secretary of State, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has appealed to 10,000 American Zionists to lobby their congressional representatives to vote against the proposed bill in an action, if successful, would inevitably mean another major war in the Middle East with hundreds of thousands of casualties including huge numbers of American soldiers.

All to bolster the dangerous megalomaniac ambitions of an Israeli prime minister, sitting with the keys to his huge nuclear weapons stockpile, desperate to persuade America not to make peace with Iran.

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Rabble-Rouser Netanyahu Encourages Americans to Oppose Obama’s Bill for Peaceful Co-Existence with Iran

On the occasion of 20th anniversary of the end of the civil war on the territory of ex-Yugoslavia (1991−1995) it is necessary to reassess the real causes and cardinal perpetuators of the process of Yugoslavia’s internal and external bloody destruction.

Introduction

In the western scientific literature the “liberal democracy” scholars (as journalists and policymakers) have, for the last 25 years a standard cliché which is that the cause of Yugoslavia’s destruction is the Serbs as a nation[1] and that Yugoslavia’s only destroyer was Slobodan Milosevic – the “Balkans butcher”.[2] However, the same scholars (and journalists and policymakers) paid no attention to other internal or external “destroyers” of the country. In the case of Croatia, the authoritarian and neo-Nazi (Ustashi) regime of Dr. Franjo Tudjman’s Croatian Democratic Union (the HDZ) played a central role.

To illustrate for example, Franjo Tudjman is not included into the anthology of the top-20th century South-East European strongmen, authoritarian rulers and dictators, edited by Bernd J. Fischer, however Slobodan Miloshevic is.[3] This text is to contribute more accurately to the dialogue on the reasons and causers of Yugoslavia’s death in 1991−1995, especially as relating to Franjo Tudjman’s Ustashi regime in Croatia.

The HDZ in Power

The HDZ took power in Croatia with a majority, after the spring parliamentary and presidential elections in 1990. The party (est. in 1989) had an absolute majority in Croatia’s Parliament (Sabor) with Franjo Tudjman as both Croatia’s President and the party leader – a fact which allows the HDZ to establish, in effect, a full scale dictatorship in Croatia for the decade to 2000. A direct consequence of such electoral results in Croatia, inspired also by the electoral results in Bosnia-Herzegovina, was election in Serbia of Slobodan Miloshevic and his Socialist Party of Serbia (the SPS) in December 1990. The election of Miloshevic and his SPS in Serbia was Serbia’s answer to the electoral results in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina – two Yugoslav republics in which the ultra-right political parties won power at the eve of the new civil war.

The majority of the Serbs in ex-Yugoslavia feared the Ustashi regime in Croatia, followed by the Islamic fundamentalist Party of Democratic Action (the SDA) of Alija Izetbegovic in Bosnia-Herzegovina. These were, largely, the driving forces for Serbia’s electorate  voting for its own strongman and nationalist to protect their brethren Serbs in other Yugoslav republics (Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina) fearing a continuation of the WWII Magnum Crimen against the Serbs.[4] For Croatia’s Serbs (the “Survivors” of the WWII Ustashi-led holocaust), especially in the Krajina region, Franjo Tudjman was a new Ante Pavelic (the WWII Nazi Croat leader) with the HDZ mirroring the WWII Nazi Croat Ustashi movement.[5]

HDZ’s authorities using the propaganda of creation of a Greater Serbia, soon succeeded in introducing a state-building at absolute odds with the idea of political liberal democracy and a society of multicultural and multiethnic coexistence. The party’s policy was mainly based on traditional Croatian clerical right-wing nationalism somewhat mirroring the extreme Croat national movement and rhetoric of the 1941−1945 Independent State of Croatia (the NDH). A German Nazi NSDAP salutation was even used in the Parliament in Zagreb by the HDZ’s members during the official parliamentary sessions.[6]

Nevertheless, in the HDZ’s Croatia a new political elite was much less interested in introducing of the Western liberal model of political democracy based on the rights and role of the Parliament in the national political system, free media and speech, than in continuation of the WWII policy of the “Final Solution” of the Serb Question in a Greater post-WWII Croatia with attempts to annex a greater part of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In such political atmosphere the ultra-right and even Nazi ideologies found ground in post-socialist Croatia – a country directly supported by Vatican and Western democracies and primarily by Germany. Among all ex-socialism East European countries, Croatia was the best example of transition from a state socialism to quasi-democracy by brutal nationalism and exclusivism.

Creation of a new ideological foundation is essential in the process of making a new state. In the 1990s war-time Croatia, the new political leadership of the HDZ drawn on extreme nationalistic and ultra-right political-national ideology, broadly based on Serbophobia, in order to gain massive public support for their political goals.

An ideological framework of anti-Serbism was the main ground on which the HDZ’s Government was building a new independent state of Croatia, creating a new army, security forces, institutional framework and promoting a “democratic and pro-European Croatia”. It is of extreme importance to stress that establishing a new order was essential in the chaotic atmosphere of the final collapse of the state socialism system with its own norms and values.  Croatia’s declaration of state independence in June 1991 and the outbreak of the conflict against both the central authorities in Belgrade and Croatia’s Serb population who decisively opposed living in any kind of independent Croatia taking primarily into account their  bloody experience from the time of the WWII NDH.

Furthermore, establishing a new normative order was important to legitimize political actions of the new authorities and to mobilize the ethnic Croats for the state-building process and above all for the “Final Solution” of the Serb Question in Croatia. Thus, the new Government succeeded in directing mass actions of the ethnic Croats in regime-approved ways: a war against the Yugoslav army and Croatia’s Serbs in the mid-1991 and finally the ethnic cleansing of majority of Croatia’s Serbs in the mid-1995. The ultra-right nationalistic ideology provided the biggest part of the content of the new Croatia’s order and values, with profound ethno-political consequences.

The pravashi

The Croat ultra-right nationalism and nationalistic ideologies are mainly based on the 19th century ideology of the Croat “state rights”, favored and maintained by the pravashi (the rightists). They and their groups and political parties espouse the same ethno-political goals as the leader of the 19th century extremist and racist strand of the same Croat national movement and Croatian Party of Rights (the HSP, est. 1861), Ante Starchevic. They appropriated the very essential elements of the HSP national ideology:

  1. A creation of a Greater Croatia with Bosnia-Herzegovina and some other South Slavic territories.
  2. An extermination of all Orthodox Serbs from a Greater Croatia or their Croatization.[7]

Ante Starchevic urged the creation of a Greater Croatia, not recognizing the existence of any other South Slavs except the Croats and Bulgarians.[8] His ideology and the HSP party’s program and narrative were markedly colored by anti-Serb tone. Consequently, both of them became the main ideological framework for the extermination of the Serbs on the territory of the NDH, 1941−1945 and for the ethnic cleansing of the Serbs by Tudjman’s regime in 1995 (the “Flash” and “Storm” military-police operations in May and August). In 1895, the even more radical and nationalistic Pure Party of Rights (the ČSP) was established, headed by Josip Frank whose members and ideological followers took active participations in the pogroms against the Serbs in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina during the WWI.[9]

The post-Yugoslav HSP, as the largest and most influential the extreme Ustashi party, was re-established in February 1990 by domestic and émigré Croat Nazi Ustashi followers. The party  soon became relatively popular with a membership of approximately 100.000 by 1992, when the party received 7 percent of the vote for the national Parliament. However, the HSP became a “favorable opposition party” of the HDZ in the 1990s and as such, in reality, unofficial spokesman of the ruling HDZ. The coalition between these two ultra-right nationalistic parties resulted in the HDZ violating the Croatian electoral law in 1995 in order to permit the HSP to cross the statutory 5 percent threshold (5.1). After 1993 when the party leadership changed, the HSP became a tool of the ruling HDZ in Croatia’s political arena. In February 1996 the HSP was cleansed of all party leadership who opposed HDZ-HSP coalition and cooperation.

Different factional struggles within the pravashi bloc led to the creation of several new ultra-right political parties in Croatia like the HSP-1861, the Croatian Pure Party of Rights, the National Democratic League and the Independent Party of Rights. All of them, including unofficial groups and movements of the Croat extremists, trying to propagate their nationalistic messages through mass media almost totally controlled by the governmental HDZ. In these media efforts only those groups who had been “approved” by the HDZ (firstly the HSP) succeeded in sending their messages to the audience.

A “Herzegovinian lobby”

One of the most important features of Croatia’s political scene in the early 1990s was the fact that the HDZ itself was gradually passing to the hands of a “Herzegovinian lobby” (like Vladimir Sheks, Vice Vukojevic, Gojko Shushak) within the party leadership, which meant that the WWII Ustashi ideology and practice ultimately won against all other options in both the Central Board of the HDZ and the Government of Croatia.[10] However, the crucial point of this HDZ’s course was that  the party and State leadership became crucially dependent on – even governed – by the Croat (Ustashi) émigré groups with whom the HDZ “Herzegovinian lobby” had extremely close relations, especially Gojko Shushak, a Minister of Defense, who was manager and owner of several firms in Canada before returning to Croatia in 1990 to become a member of the Central Board of the HDZ. Franjo Tudjman favored Gojko Shushak exactly for the reason that he was a key figure in maintaining contacts with a Croat diaspora which was giving substantial financial support for the HDZ’s policy.

This “Herzegovinian lobby” succeeded in strengthening it’s own position within the HDZ, primarily by using regional identity as a basis for establishing necessary networks of power, influence, and favors (for instance, with Herzegovinian extremist Ivic Pashalic). The HDZ’s “Herzegovinians” are usually seen as the cardinal factor which firmed Tudjman as a dictatorial strongman in the party and the state.

Tudjman’s sympathy with and support to the “Herzegovinian” extremists is unquestionable, especially in authoritarianism on the domestic front and in dealing with Croatia’s Serbs. He was driven by his personal and his HDZ party’s “historic mission” to bring State independence for (a Greater) Croatia and to finally solve the Serbian Question within her borders. He shared the standpoint of the traditional Croat nationalists, that all aspects of the transition from State socialism to (quasi)liberal democracy and market economy have to be subordinated to the State-building process. Nonetheless, Tudjman was astute enough to project a “democratic” image abroad. This prevented many  foreign observers and politicians from recognising the reality of his ultra-right views and politics, especially in dealing with Croatia’s Serbs.

A Rehabilitation of the WWII NDH

From the point of ideology of the extreme Croat nationalism, the cardinal goal of ultra-right nationalistic parties, groups, ideologists and politicians was to create, for the first time after 1102, an independent, as well as a Greater and finally “Serben-frei” Croatia. In the 1990s it was ultra-right nationalistic ideology that provided the main background for creation of the new order and values in the HDZ’s Croatia.

For all Croat ultra-nationalists, a crucial political reference in regard to the state-building process is the (1941−1945 created) NDH. They finally succeeded – with great support by Tudjman and his HDZ – to rehabilitate the NDH and even to recognize its contribution to the Croat State-building efforts. This was achieved mainly by a brutal falsification of historical facts and self-interpretation of historical events and the role and deeds of the Croat Ustashi personalities. For the HDZ’s Croatia there were at least four reasons for praising the Ustashi WWII state:

  1. The NDH gave a political-historical foundation for the post-Yugoslav Croatia’s statehood.
  2. It annexed majority of  Croat claimed South-East European territories and as such became a kind of historical realization of a Greater Croatia projected by Pavao Ritter Vitezovic in 1700.[11]
  3. The Ustashi regime showed a way of solving the “Serb Question”, thus, in regard to this historical process, became a blueprint for the coming generations of the Croat “patriots”.
  4. The existence of the NDH provided a necessary link of a self-imagined “proof” of the so-called “Thousand-year-old” legal continuity of the Croatian statehood.

All political parties and organizations in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina of the “Croatian rights” openly propagated their direct connections with the NDH and its führer (poglavnik) Ante Pavelic who himself was a member of the “Croatian Rights” party.[12] Here is worth to notice that Franjo Tudjman, during the WWII, fought for several months in the Ustashi uniform – a fact which gave a huge credibility to him in the eyes of any Croat extremist despite his Communist past.

It seems obvious that the ultimate ethno-political goals of both the pre- and WWII Ustashi movement and post-Yugoslav “Croat Rights” are  identical including the concept of “solving” the “Serb Question” in a Greater Croatia. This was largely the case with the re-established HSP in 1990. Originally this party defined its program exclusively in relation to the NDH and the WWII Ustashi movement widely using various NDH symbols and iconography. Nevertheless, an original 1990 HSP’s leader, Dobroslav Paraga, never accepted any fascist or Nazi face of the NDH even claiming that the State was anti-fascist.[13]

For all Croat extremists, including Tudjman himself, the NDH represented democratic wishes of overwhelming majority of ethnic Croats for their own independent state (from Yugoslavia as a “Greater Serbia”) and was legitimate continuation of the independent Kingdom of Croatia which became incorporated into the Kingdom of Hungary in 1102. Furthermore, all of them deny any engagement of the NDH’s regime in any systematic and organized persecutions or genocide committed on the racial, confessional or ethnic grounds. Moreover, the HSP insists that the Ustashi terror against the Serbs in 1941−1945 was provoked by the Serbs themselves, i.e. by the Partisan uprising in July 1941 against the legitimate and internationally recognized NDH[14] neglecting the fact that the Ustashi genocide against the Serbs started three months before the outbreak of the Serb-(Partisan and non-Partisan) revolt in the NDH.

HSP’s political cynicism even indulged absurd claims that many of the massacred Serb civilians had, in fact, been killed by the Serb-Chetniks or Partisans dressed in the Ustashi uniforms. Nevertheless, a common issue among all Croat extremists regarding the “Serb Question” is the WWII practice of creation of an Autocephalous Croatian Orthodox Church as a bridge toward the final Catholization and Croatization of Croatia’s Serbs.

The excuse for Ustashi violence in the NDH is usually followed by the claim that the Nazifascist feature and iconography of the NDH were forced upon the Ustashi authorities by Germany and Italy, that the Ustashi Government did as much as possible to protect the Jews within the NDH, and finally, and of the crucial importance, that the real number of murdered Croatian Serbs is very much overestimated by the pro-Serb Yugoslav authorities after the WWII.

For instance, instead of 700.000 killed people in the death camp of Jasenovac (“Yugoslav Auschwitz”, of whom 500,000 were the Serbs) today official Croatia recognizes just 86.000. In the other words, Jasenovac is a great Serbian falsification and political propaganda: a myth projected by the supporters of an idea of a Greater Serbia.[15] For the Croat extremists, among the victims of Jasenovac the largest number have been the ethnic Croats but not the Serbs.[16] The Croat rightists as apologists for the Ustashi movement claim that the NDH is falsely represented for pure political reasons and therefore the picture of the NDH has to be repainted. However, such repainting or rewriting of the NDH’s history is at odds with historical sources and scientific account of non-partisan historiography. Finally, Dr. Franjo Tudjman himself, as a professional historian, in his most important book (Wastelands of Historical Reality) sought to minimize the crimes of the Ustashi regime in the WWII against both the Serbs and the Jews.[17]

A rehabilitation of the legacy of the NDH and Ustashi ideology with the NDH’s iconography was, however, only a formal problem for Franjo Tudjman and his HDZ who have been officially ambivalent toward it. Tudjman knew very well that any close association with the NDH and Ustashi ideology and iconography will cause many problems for Croatia’s image abroad especially among the cluster of the Jewish communities and political lobbies. However, on the other hand, for Tudjman the NDH was giving the State-building example, as Croatia for the centuries did not have any experience of a real and internationally recognized statehood. For that reason, for the HDZ’s ideologists the NDH became a crucial element for completing the main party’s task – to unify within the umbrella of the HDZ all different strands of Croatness.

In addition, the NDH was giving a link to Vatican as the main supporter of both the Ustashi and the HDZ regimes and ideology.[18] Subsequently, the HDZ’s authorities did not and do not openly endorse the Ustashi movement and the NDH, as it is the case with of “Croat rightists”, but on the other hand both Tudjman and his HDZ had avoided any clear denunciation of the NDH’s Nazi, totalitarian, genocidal and above all Serbocide aspects. Moreover, the HDZ’s Croatia adopted all important symbolic and iconographic aspects of the WWII NDH (like kuna currency, state insignias, etc.) and dedicated streets, squares and monuments in Croatia to the Ustashi WWII officials. Tudjman himself as a President of Croatia nominated, for instance, two ex-WWII Ustashi officials to high state posts: Ivo Rojnic – Ustashi commander in Dubrovnik who became Croatia’s ambassador in Argentina and Vinko Nikolic – an official in the Ministry of Education of the NDH who gained a Parliamentary seat. With the rehabilitation of the Nazi NDH, Tudjman’s Croatia was also rehabilitated as was the WWII Croatian Roman Catholic Church headed by an Archbishop of Alojzije Stepinac who directly collaborated with the Ustashi regime.[19]

A linguistic nationalism or purification of the official standardized Croat language in the public usage, but mainly from the Serb language based lexemes was an agenda of the Croatization of Croatia by Tudjman regime.[20] However, a lexical purification of the Croatian language in Tudjman’s Croatia was executed, basically, according to the NDH’s pattern. One of the first steps in the process of Croatization and purification of the Croat language by the new HDZ’s authorities was to make a clear difference between the Croat and Serb languages from lexical, orthographic and grammatical points of view. This was undertaken in a set of scientific editions by the linguists and philologists who have been at the same time trying to present and a “proper” history of the Croat language. The ultimate aim was to prove that the Croat and the Serb always have been two different ethno-national languages and of the most importance, that the Shtokavian dialect was always the Croat national language, not only the Serb.[21] The final ethno-political consequence of the HDZ’s policy of linguistic nationalism was that the Serb ethnic name was expelled from the official name of the standardized language and its orthography in Croatia and likewise everything in connection with the Serbs in regard to the Croat language.[22]

Nevertheless, as the best means to hide its de facto support for the Ustashi ideology and the WWII NDH’s legacy, Tudjman’s regime officially  supported the “anti-fascist” Josip Broz Tito’s Partisans from the WWII[23] with the political rhetoric of the post-Yugoslav Croatia building her own Statehood, the “anti-fascist” People’s/Socialist Republic of Croatia, post 1945.

However, at the same time, the HDZ created a clear atmosphere in Croatia in which the victims of the Ustashi terror (primarily the Serbs) are regarded as the national enemies. To illustrate, to January 1996 around 3,000 “Partisan” monuments were destroyed or removed in Croatia.[24] Tudjman launched an initiative to transform the memorial centre to the Jasenovac death camp  (on the Sava River on Croatia’s side) from the “victims of fascism” to the “victims of the civil war” – an initiative which also camouflaged association with the NDH, which pleased all Croat extremists.

Even before the beginning of the civil war in Croatia in 1991 the Croat security forces heavily structurally damaged the Jasenovac museum building and a large part of documentation and torture evidence simply disappeared. The monument itself was not destroyed or damaged since it is composed by four Ustashi “U” letter-symbols.

Franjo Tudjman, a Ph.D., in history, ran in to conflict with the Yugoslav Communist authorities in the mid-1960s when he started to refute the official number of murdered ethnic Serbs in Jasenovac as too high, accusing at the same time the Yugoslav Communists for deliberately falsifying the truth on Jasenovac. It cost him dismissal from the post of a head of the Institute for the History of the Workers Movement in Croatia (in Zagreb) but this action marked the beginning of the process of Tudjman’s transformation from a Partisan General, to the Croat nationalist and extremist. Nonetheless, his cosmetic political moves, as removing a prominent Ustashi extremist Tomislav Merchep from the HDZ’s Executive Committee at the Third General Convention of the HDZ in October 1995, could not hide the HDZ’s infatuation with the Ustashi iconography, ideology, legacy and ethno-political goals.

Conclusions

Tudjman’s and HDZ’s preoccupation with Croatia’s state-building and solving the “Serb Question”, rather than establishing liberal-democratic political systems and institutions, meant that the NDH’s legacy continued to play very important role in the HDZ’s strategy and policy of creation of the new order and values. In the other words, the political-ideological mainstream of the HDZ’s Croatia was and is grounded in the NDH’s legacy.

Today, as a result of the HDZ’s policy of extreme ethno-confessional nationalism, Croatia is, since mid-1995, “more ethnically homogeneous than ever was in the historic past”.[25] The Serb population on the present-day territory of Croatia fell from 24 percent in 1940 to 12 percent in 1990 and 4 percent in 1996 with the practice of its everyday assimilation (Croatization) and emigration from Croatia.

Notes:

[1] T. Judah, The Serbs: History, Myth & the Destruction of Yugoslavia, New Haven−London: Yale University Press, 1997.

[2] S. L. Woodward, Balkan Tragedy: Chaos and Dissolution After the Cold War, Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1995.

[3] B. J. Fischer (ed.), Balkan Strongmen: Dictators and Authoritarian Rulers of Southeast Europe, London: C. Hurst & Co. (Publishers) Ltd, 2006. For the matter of clarification, Slobodan Miloshevic was a Montenegrin, probably even born in Montenegro in the village of Ljeva Rijeka. At the wartime of the 1990s, as today as well, Serbian political scene was and is completely occupied by the persons who are either not Serbs, not born in Serbia or by those whose origin is out of Serbia living in Serbia as the first generation of immigrants. Many of them even did not learn properly to speak Serbia’s Serbian language of the Ekavian dialect. On the sociolinguistic aspect of the destruction of ex-Yugoslavia and Serbian national question, see [В. Б. Сотировић, Социолингвистички аспект распада Југославије и српско национално питање, Нови Сад−Србиње: Добрица књига, 2007].

[4] On the holocaust of Serbs (Magnum Crimen) in the Independent State of Croatia, 1941−1945, see [V. Dedijer, The Yugoslav Auschwitz and the Vatican, Prometheus Books, 1992; B. M. Lituchy (ed.), Jasenovac and the Holocaust in Yugoslavia: Analyses and Survivor Testimonies, New York: Jasenovac Research Institute, 2006; V. Novak, Magnum Crimen: Half a Century of Clericalism in Croatia, I−II, Jagodina: Gambit, 2011; E. Paris, L. Perkins, Genocide in Satellite Croatia, 1941−1945: A Record of Racial and Religious Persecutions and Massacres, Literary Licencing, LLC, 2011].

[5] On the WWII Nazi Croatia, see [S. Trifkovic, Ustaša: Croatian Fascism and European Politics, 1929−1945, The Lord Byron Foundation, 2011; R. McCormick, Croatia under Ante Pavelic: America, The Ustaše and Croatian Genocide, London−New York, I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd, 2014].

[6] See the USA documentary movie [Truth is the Victim in Bosnia, 1992 at https://youtu.be/fNqHfIugmaU].

[7] For a more detailed discussion of this issue, see [В. Крестић, Геноцидом до Велике Хрватске. Друго допуњено издање, Јагодина: Гамбит, 2002].

[8] On Croatian national identity, see [A. J. Bellamy, The Formation of Croatian National Identity: A Centuries-Old Dream, Manchester−New York: Manchester University Press, 2003].

[9] On the ideology of the Croatian Party of Rights, see [M. Gross, Povijest pravaške ideologije, Zagreb: Institut za hrvatsku povijest, 1973; M. S. Spalatin, “The Croatian Nationalism of Ante Starčević, 1845−1871”, Journal of Croatian Studies, 15, 1975, 19−146; G. G. Gilbert, “Pravaštvo and the Croatian National Issue”, East European Quarterly, 1, 1978, 57−68; M. Gross. A. Szabo, Prema hrvatskome građanskom društvu. Društveni razvoj u civilnoj Hrvatskoj I Slavoniji šezdesetih I sedamdesetih godina 19. stoljeća, Zagreb: Globus nakladni zavod, 1992, 257−265]. On historical account of the political parties’ ideologies in Croatia, see [Ј. Хорват, Странке код Хрвата и њихова идеологија, Београд: Политика, 1939]. On the pogroms of Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina during the Great War, see [В. Ћоровић, Црна књига: Патње Срба Босне и Херцеговине за време Светског Рата 19141918, Удружење ратних добровољаца, 1996].

[10] The Herzegovinians are traditionally considered as the most belligerent and confrontational mental group within the territory of ex-Yugoslavia. On mental and cultural characteristics of the Yugoslavs, see [В. Дворниковић, Карактерологија Југословена, Београд: Просвета, 2000].

[11] P. R. Vitezović, Croatia rediviva: Regnante Leopoldo Magno Caesare, Zagreb, 1700.

[12] On Pavelic’s biography, see [B. J. Fischer (ed.), Balkan Strongmen: Dictators and Authoritarian Rulers of Southeast Europe, London: C. Hurst & Co. (Publishers) Ltd, 2006, 228−271].

[13] For instance, see, interview with Paraga in [Danas, Zagreb, 1991-03-5].

[14] The NDH was recognized by Germany, Italy, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Japan, Spain, National China, Finland, Denmark and Manchuria. It existed from April 10th, 1941 to May 15th, 1945 [S. Srkulj, J. Lučić, Hrvatska Povijest u dvadeset pet karata. Prošireno i dopunjeno izdanje, Zagreb: Hrvatski informativni centar, 1996, 105].

[15] On Tudjman’s Croatia’s dealing with the population losses in the NDH and the rest of Yugoslavia, see [V. Žerjavić, Population Losses in Yugoslavia 1941−1945, Zagreb: Hrvatski institut za povijest, 1997]. Compare with [С. Аврамов, Геноцид у Југославији у светлости међународног права, Београд, 1992].

[16] See, for instance, Election Declaration of the Croatian Party of Rights in 1992 [Izborna deklaracija Hrvatske stranke prava, Zagreb, 1992, 3].

[17] F. Tudjman, Bespuća povijesne zbiljosti, Zagreb: Matica Hrvatska, 1989.

[18] On direct links between the NDH and Vatican, see [Tajni dokumenti o odnosima između Vatikana i ustaške NDH, Zagreb, 1948; V. Dedijer, Vatikan i Jasenovac. Dokumenti, Beograd, 1987; D. Živojinović, D. Lučić, Varvarstvo u ime Hristovo. Prilozi za Magnum Crimen, Beograd, 1988; M. Bulajić, Misija Vatikana u Nezavisnoj Državi Hrvatskoj, I−II, Beograd, 1992; М. А. Ривели, Бог је с нама: Црква Пија XII саучесника нацифашизма, Никшић: Јасен, 2003; Д. Р. Живојиновић, Ватикан, Католичка црква и југословенска власт 19411958, Београд: Просвета−Терсит, 1994, 11−127].

[19] On Stepinac’s case, see [A. Benigar, Alojzije Stepinac hrvatski kardinal, Rim, 1974; S. Alexander, The Triple Myth. A Life of Archbishop Stepinac, New York, 1987; М. А. Ривели, Надбискуп геноцида: Монсињор Степинац, Ватикан и усташка диктатура у Хрватској 19411945, Никшић−Јасен, 1999].

[20] A linguistic nationalism was a common issue in all former East European countries after 1990 as the language was and still is understood as the main identifier of the (ethno)nation. On the linguistic nationalism in ex-Yugoslavia in the 1990s, see [S. Barbour, C. Carmichael (eds.), Language and Nationalism in Europe, Oxford−New York: Oxford University Press, 2000, 221−239].

[21] On this issue, as examples, see [V. Brodnjak, Razlikovni rječnik srpskog i hrvatskog jezika, Zagreb, 1991; M. Moguš, Povijest hrvatskoga književnoga jezika, Zagreb: Globus nakladni zavod, 1993; M. Kačić, Hrvatski i srpski. Zablude i krivotvorine; Zagreb: Zavod za lingvistiku Filozofskoga fakulteta Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, 1995; M. Lončarić, Hrvatski jezik, Opole: Uniwersytet Opolski – Instytut Filologii Polskiej, 1998]. Compare with [П. Милосављевић, Срби и њихов језик. Хрестоматија, Приштина: Народна и универзитетска библиотека, 1997].

[22] M. Okuka, „O osamostaljivanju hrvatskog književnog jezika“, А. Кюннапа, В. Лефельдта, С. Н. Кузнецова (ред.), Микроязыки, языки, интерязыки. Сборник в честь ординарного профессора Александра Дмитриевича Дуличенко, Тарту, 2006, 231. On the Serbian point on the Croat, Serb and Bosnian languages, see [B. Tošović, A. Wonisch, (eds.), Die serbische Sichtweise des Verhältnisses zwischen dem Serbischen, Kroatischen und Bosniakischen, I/4, Novi Sad: Institut für Slawistik der Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz−Beogradska knjiga, 2012].

[23] For the matter of historical accuracy, the Partisans of Josip Broz Tito (half Slovene and half Croat) during the WWII have not be fighting against the Germans, Italians and Ustashi forces if they are not attacked by them. Moreover, during the whole war the Partisans collaborated primarily with the NDH regime and its armed forces but with the Germans as well. Therefore, the “anti-fascist” aspect of Tito’s Partisans and the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (the KPJ) is falls and invented by the Yugoslav communists themselves. On this issue, see [М. Самарџић, Сарадња партизана са Немцима, усташама и Албанцима, Крагујевац: Погледи, 2006; В. Б. Сотировић, Кривотворине о Јосипу Брозу Титу, Брозовим партизанима и Равногорском покрету, 1941. г.1945. г., Виљнус: Југославологија – Независни истраживачки центар за југословенске студије, 2014]. About Josip Broz Tito, see [В. Адамовић, Три диктатора: Стаљин, Хитлер, Тито. Психопатолошка паралела, Београд: Informatika, 2008, 445−610; П. Симић, З. Деспот, Тито: Строго поверљиво. Архивски документи, Београд−Службени гласник, 2010; П. Симић, Тито: Феномен 20. Века. Треће допуњено издање, Београд: Службени гласник, 2011; J. Pirjevec, Tito in tovariši, Ljubljana: Cankarjeva založba, 2011; V. Dinić, Tito (ni)je Tito. Konačna istina, Beograd: Novmark doo, 2013].

[24] Vreme, Beograd, 1996-01-15.

[25] S. Barbour, C. Carmichael (eds.), Language and Nationalism in Europe, Oxford−New York: Oxford University Press, 2000, 228.

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Extremist Ideological Background of Croatia’s Role in the Destruction of Yugoslavia

Helicopters drop water on the Blue Creek wildfire as it burns near Walla Walla, Washington, July 22, 2015. Officials warn about the potential for even more catastrophe in the months ahead, as drought, heat and climate change leave the landscape ever thirstier. (Ruth Fremson/The New York Times)

We know things are a bit “off” when a rainforest is on fire.

Over 400 acres of the Queets Rainforest, located in Olympic National Park in Washington State, nearby where I live, have burned recently, and it is continuing to burn as I type this. Fires in these rainforests have historically been rare, as the area typically receives in excess of 200 inches of rain annually.

But this is all changing now.

The new normal is that there is no longer any “normal.”

The new normal regarding climate disruption is that, for the planet, today is better than tomorrow.

To see more stories like this, visit “Planet or Profit?”

Another perfect example of this is a crucial recent study led by James Hansen, the former director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The study, authored by Hansen and more than a dozen other scientists and published online, warns that even staying within the internationally agreed goal of keeping the planet within the 2-degree Celsius temperature warming limit has already caused unstoppable melting in the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. The study shows that this will raise global sea levels by as much as 10 feet by the year 2050, inundating numerous major coastal cities with seawater.

The oceans and all marine life will be “irreversibly changed” unless there are immediate and dramatic cuts in carbon dioxide emissions.

As if that’s not enough, Hansen’s study comes on the heels of another study published in Science, which shows that global sea levels could rise by at least 20 feet, even if governments manage to keep global temperature increases to within the agreed upon “safe” limit of 2 degrees Celsius. The study warns that it is quite possible that 75 feet of sea level rise could well already be unstoppable given current carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and recent studies that show how rapidly Greenland and several Antarctic ice sheets are melting.

Disconcertingly, another new “normal” this month comes in the form of huge plumes of wildfire smoke over the Arctic. At the time of this writing, well over 12 million acres of forest and tundra in Canada and Alaska have burned in wildfires, and the smoke covering the Arctic sea ice is yet another anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) amplifying feedback loop that will accelerate melting there. The additional smoke further warms the atmosphere that quickens the melting of the Arctic ice pack.

As if that’s not enough to keep you up at night, a recently published study by a team from Anglia Ruskin University’s Global Sustainability Institute has shown that society will likely collapse within 30 years, due to catastrophic food shortages resulting from the ever-worsening impacts of ACD.

“The results show that based on plausible climate trends, and a total failure to change course, the global food supply system would face catastrophic losses, and an unprecedented epidemic of food riots,” the Institute’s director, Dr. Aled Jones, toldInsurge Intelligence. “In this scenario, global society essentially collapses as food production falls permanently short of consumption.”

Another shocking study, this one published in The Anthropocene Review, shows how humans are causing catastrophic shifts in planetary ecosystems that have been unprecedented for 500 million years. The study outlines how human actions have led to extinctions of plants and animals, and added that while “species extinctions and other changes are far more advanced” already, “[g]lobal warming as a phenomenon is just beginning.”

Bad news from scientific studies flowed abundantly this last month when it comes to the oceans, as well.

Another major report, this one published in Science, warns that the oceans and all marine life will be “irreversibly changed” unless there are immediate and dramatic cuts in carbon dioxide emissions – a scenario from the realm of fantasy, given the current political climate. The report states clearly that even the 2-degree Celsius “maximum allowable temperature” rise from ACD agreed upon by world governments “will not prevent dramatic impacts on global ocean systems.”

As if all this isn’t enough to impress upon you how rapidly ACD is progressing, 2014 was also confirmed as the hottest year ever recorded, both on land and in the oceans. That report was followed by another from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that showed that the first half of 2015 was, by far, the hottest ever recorded on the planet.

As this dispatch dives into greater detail about how the world is being changed dramatically, buckle up. The news does not get any easier to take in.

Earth

The impacts from ACD continue to take dramatic tolls on the earth’s species.

Researchers recently reported that warmer temperatures across both North America and Europe are leading to loss of habitat for bumblebees, which in turn is threatening their very survival.

In the UK, several species of birds are now under threat because temperature shifts are pushing several of the species further north, even all the way to Scandinavia. Once there, the birds encounter habitat they are not adapted to, and likely won’t survive.

Scientists in the United States with the US Geological Survey released a report that shows that polar bears will have a steep decline in their populations in most places in the Arctic as the sea ice melts away. This isn’t news, but the report shows how closely scientists are monitoring the situation, due to the speed at which the melting of the polar ice cap is occurring.

Humans are not immune to the growing impacts of ACD.

Another study published in Science shows that polar bears’ metabolism will not be able to adapt quickly enough to their dramatically changing habitat as the Arctic warms and melts. This, coupled with a dramatic decline in their sources of food, again confirmed that the iconic bears are most likely en route to extinction.

Of course, humans are not immune to the growing impacts of ACD.

report produced by the University College of London’s commission on health and climate change along with the Lancet revealed that ACD threatens to erode five decades of overall progress in global human health.

Professor Anthony Costello, director of the UCL Institute of Global Health and co-chair of the commission, told the Guardian that on our current trajectory of warming, we are going to see “very serious and potentially catastrophic effects for human health and human survival.

“We see that as a medical emergency because the action we need to do to stop that in its tracks and get us back onto a 2C trajectory or less requires action now – and action in the next 10 years – otherwise the game could be over,” he added.

For the earth itself, ACD is even leading to geo-structural changes.

In Greenland, massive earthquakes are resulting from melting glaciers, and icebergs calving from tidal glaciers collapsing into the ocean are causing consistent quakes of magnitude 4-5.2, with most of them closer to 5, according to a recent studypublished in Science. The calving glaciers are also causing tsunamis.

Water

As usual, the impacts of ACD are most dramatic on the waterfront.

recent report revealed that all of the world’s sea turtles are at risk, due to rising sea levels. Higher sea levels mean their rookery sites, where their babies hatch, are becoming submerged.

Equally distressing, the entire pink salmon population in the Pacific Ocean is at risk, as they are being subjected to a double impact: the acidification of their ocean habitats, coupled with the acidification of rivers, slowing their growth and killing them off there as well.

Speaking of salmon, in Oregon, salmon must be trucked north hundreds of miles to a hatchery in Washington State, in a desperate effort to save fish that have been dying off in the tens of thousands due to increasingly warming river waters.

We know there is trouble when we are having to truck fish north in an effort to keep them alive; needless to say, this is not a sustainable activity.

A group of scientists from the Marine Conservation Institute recently announcedthat deep-sea coral reefs off the coast of Australia could be dead within 50 years due to warming temperatures and ocean acidification.

A series of recent studies has recently confirmed that ACD’s impacts on the oceans, including warming temperatures and acidification of the waters, is causing global seafood supplies to diminish drastically.

Plankton, the basis of the entire food chain, are threatened by ocean acidification.

More bad news for the planets’ oceans comes from a recent study that shows that plankton, the basis of the entire food chain, are threatened by ocean acidification. Some species of plankton will die out, while others will flourish, creating an imbalance that the report’s authors say will be “a big problem,” given that plankton produce half the total oxygen supply for the planet.

Pause for a moment before reading further and ponder the implications of that: The source of half the world’s oxygen is in major peril.

Droughts around the planet continue to abound.

Chile is facing its driest year to date, since record keeping began. There has been little to no snow on any of its famous ski slopes, and the lack of rainfall has worsened the already bad pollution problem in the country’s capital city.

In Canada, several counties in the province of Alberta announced in July that they were seriously considering declaring themselves in a state of agricultural disasterdue to severe drought. It’s one of the worst drought’s in Alberta’s history, and one farmer said, “It’s almost get¬ting at the point rain wouldn’t help much.”

In addition to the important report on sea level rise mentioned at the beginning of this article, the Guardian recently posted a video that investigates the question of whether Filipinos will have to abandon Manila due to rising sea levels. Manila has a population of roughly 2 million people.

Needless to say, glaciers and ice sheets around the world continue to melt at breakneck speeds.

The impacts of warmer ocean temperatures “will be felt for centuries to come.”

NASA recently released a report showing that in Turkey, more than half of the ice cover in the mountainous regions has vanished since the 1970s. A map in the NASA report shows five areas in Turkey’s mountains where 100 percent of the glaciers have disappeared, and three areas where 75 percent of them are gone.

Another study released in July revealed another factor that is causing the Arctic to melt at a pace far faster than believed possible: Warm, tropical air masses are speeding up Greenland’s melting by warming Arctic air, as well as causing warmer rains to fall over the ice sheets.

Another NASA study found that the melting of Alaskan glaciers is now estimated to be one of the current largest contributors to global sea level increases. Maps in the study show dramatic changes to Alaska’s glaciers between 1994 and 2013, revealing a precipitous decline in their total mass. NASA estimates that the region lost approximately 75 billion tons of ice per year over that 19-year period, which is equivalent to around 30 percent of the amount of ice lost each year from the Greenland ice sheet.

Lastly, climate scientists affiliated with the US government announced recently that the warming of the oceans due to ACD is now unstoppable, and will continue to bring additional sea level rise, acidification and increasing global temperatures. Their report added that the impacts of the warmer ocean temperatures “will be felt for centuries to come” – even if immediate efforts are made to cut global carbon dioxide emissions.

Fire

In Canada, wildfires that have been described as “unprecedented” have forced more than 13,000 residents of Saskatchewan from their homes (a record evacuation), with wildfire-driven evacuations happening across other provinces as well.

The town of Whistler, Canada, famous for its world-class ski resort, is dealing withhorrible air quality as smoke from wildfires is polluting the air across British Columbia.

NASA recently released disturbing images of smoke from the Alaskan and Canadian wildfires that is blowing out over the Greenland Sea.

Wildfires are ravaging parts of Southern California where the megadrought is cutting deep. The fire season started earlier than “normal” this year, and was helped along by massive numbers of dead trees brought to their demise by the increasing bark beetle infestation. That infestation was fueled by warmer temperatures as well as the drought itself. Hence several runaway feedback loops are feeding off one another.

recently released study shows, again, how ACD has caused wildfire seasons around the globe to begin earlier and last later, shifting what “normal” means in the realm of fire.

Air

Heat records on three continents fell this last month, as brutally hot conditions in early July baked parts of Europe, Asia and South America. Dozens of heat records were broken: Maastricht, the Netherlands, saw 100.8 degrees Fahrenheit, an all-time July heat record for that nation, along with several other heat records throughout the country. London’s Heathrow Airport saw 98.1 degrees Fahrenheit, an all-time heat record for the UK.

In Thailand, Kamalasai saw 105.8 degrees, the hottest temperature ever recorded for that country, while other heat records across the nation were set as well. In Pakistan,morgues literally ran out of space as a heat wave there killed more than 1,000 people.

In South America, Urumita, Colombia, reached 108 degrees Fahrenheit, setting an all-time high for that country.

Heat records across the United States continue to be broken as well, including inSeattle, which has seen several record temperatures this summer, with possibly more to come.

recent study has linked Hurricane Sandy and other extreme weather events around the globe to ACD. The study, published in Nature Climate Change, shows how ACD is ramping up extreme weather events, both in frequency and intensity, to never-before-seen levels.

Denial and Reality

Regarding ACD, news on the denial front never runs dry.

It emerged recently that Exxon was aware of ACD as far back as 1981, but continued to deliberately fund climate change deniers nonetheless … and has gone on to spend millions of dollars since then to continue to do so, to this day.

The US House of Representatives, in another stroke of genius, passed a bill that allows state governors to refuse to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, developed to lower carbon dioxide emissions from currently active power plants.

Elected politicians acting on behalf of Big Oil and Gas are functioning as little more than lobbyists for said industries, despite what’s at stake (the planet and human existence).

On the reality front, to counter these amazing acts of denial, Pope Francis continues to fight the good fight as far as ACD goes. Thousands of religious leaders recentlymarched in Rome in support of his call to world leaders to take a stand and work to mitigate the impacts of ACD.

On that note, more than a dozen Catholic organizations have launched a campaignthat is asking Catholics around the world to change their lives in order to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions and lower their consumption.

A recent study has shown, again, that ACD has made deadly floods and record heat waves over the last month even worse, and will continue to make other extreme weather events more intense, as well as more frequent.

“We need the deniers to get out of the way. They are risking everyone’s future.”

Lastly, an excellent article in Esquire about Dr. Jason Box provides a glimpse into the dilemma climate scientists face in regards to the intensely troubling information their research is producing and the emotions elicited by it, coupled with the pressures they face politically. Box, a world-renowned glaciologist whose focus is the Greenland ice sheet, has not been shy about expressing his opinions, and sometimes emotions, about what he is seeing.

Box has said things like: “If even a small fraction of Arctic sea floor carbon is released to the atmosphere, we’re fucked,” and concluded that a 70-foot rise in sea levels over the next few centuries was probably already “baked into the system.” After these and other similar statements, he has come under intense fire from both the scientific community and – of course – the deniers.

Box, a US citizen, had already taken his family and moved to Denmark, where he works while continuing his cutting-edge studies on the Greenland ice sheet, largely due to the ongoing attacks he withstood from the oil-and-gas-funded deniers in the United States.

“We need the deniers to get out of the way. They are risking everyone’s future,” Box told Esquire. “The Koch brothers are criminals…. They should be charged with criminal activity because they’re putting the profits of their business ahead of the livelihoods of millions of people, and even life on earth.”

Box thinks there is at least a 50 percent probability that the world is already on track to go well over the 2-degree Celsius politically accepted maximum limit of global warming, and agrees with most climate scientists that we are on a trajectory toward more like 4-5-degree Celsius warming in the near to mid-term future.

When asked what amount of warming would throw Greenland into irreversible ice loss, Box answered “between two and three degrees.”

When Greenland goes, that is enough sea level rise to destroy every coastal city on the planet. Speaking of Antarctica, Box said: “Abrupt sea level rise is upon us.”

“The forests are dying, and they will not return,” he told Esquire about his home state of Colorado. “The trees won’t return to a warming climate. We’re going to see megafires even more, that’ll be the new one – megafires until those forests are cleared.”

Meanwhile, he has adjusted his life to minimize his carbon footprint, and continues his work in Greenland, but is worried about his daughter’s future. Box’s view of the disrupted climactic future is scary enough; he is thinking about survival.

“In Denmark, we have the resilience, so I’m not that worried about my daughter’s livelihood going forward,” he said. “But that doesn’t stop me from strategizing about how to safeguard her future – I’ve been looking at property in Greenland. As a possible bug-out scenario.”

Copyright, Truthout. Reprinted with permission.

Dahr Jamail, a Truthout staff reporter, is the author of The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, (Haymarket Books, 2009), and Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches From an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq, (Haymarket Books, 2007). Jamail reported from Iraq for more than a year, as well as from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Turkey over the last ten years, and has won the Martha Gellhorn Award for Investigative Journalism, among other awards.

His third book, The Mass Destruction of Iraq: Why It Is Happening, and Who Is Responsible, co-written with William Rivers Pitt, is available now on Amazon. He lives and works in Washington State.

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on The New Climate “Normal”: Abrupt Sea Level Rise and Predictions of Civilization Collapse

Today’s Most Popular Stories on Global Research

August 5th, 2015 by Global Research News

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Today’s Most Popular Stories on Global Research

Russia has delivered two RD-181 engines to the US Orbital Sciences Corporation for its Antares rocket under a $1bn contract, signed despite several rounds of Western-imposed sanctions and hot debates in Congress over US dependency on Russia for national security space launches.

“On July 16 the first two engines were delivered to the US,” Russian rocket producer Energiya (NPO Energomash) said in a press release on Tuesday, RIA reported.

Energia which has been conducting activities in the rocket-space industry since 1946 did not mention when the next batch of RD-181 will be delivered to its American partners. Under a $1 billion contract with Orbital Sciences Corporation, signed in January, the Russian manufacturer is to eventually deliver 60 RD-181engines for the Antares rockets.

Orbital expects that the first deliveries of the newly built RD-181 engines will be ready to use for next Antares flight in early 2016.

Under the new RD-181 contract Russian crews will also conduct flight training with their American counterparts. The Russians will also be engaged in the installation of the engine on the rocket and engine tests. The RD-181 engine was developed specifically for Antares and it allows more cargo to be brought up to the International Space Station.

The Russian company has cooperated with the US since 1990, delivering RD 180 engines for Atlas rockets.

Meanwhile until recently the US used the AJ-26 engines for Antares, which are based on the Soviet NK-33 modified by American manufacturer Aerojet. The first four Antares launch attempts were successful. During the fifth launch, last October, the rocket powered by AJ-26 engines failed catastrophically, exploding and falling back onto its launch pad at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

READ MORE: Billion-dollar deal: Russia to sell space rocket engines to US company

By December, Orbital announced that they decided to use the RD-181 engines because they offered “the best combination of schedule availability, technical performance and cost parameters as compared to other possible options.”

READ MORE: ‘Why fund Putin’s cronies?’ McCain slams fellow Republicans for lobbying Russian space engines

Russian rocket engines have been a hot topic for US lawmakers, especially for Senator John McCain, who has voiced concerns about US dependency on Russia for space exploration.

The battle over Russian rocket engines continues in Congress. The House version of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act allows all the RD-180 engines needed by United Launch Alliance (ULA) to compete for Air Force launches, but the Senate version allows only nine.

READ MORE: Pentagon insists on extension of Russian rocket engine use till 2022

Under last year’s National Defense Authorization Act of 2015, the Department of Defense is prohibited from signing new or modifying existing contracts for launches using engines designed or manufactured in Russia. The restriction has prevented the Pentagon from acquiring RD-180 engines for the Atlas 5 launch vehicle, artificially creating a new national security launch monopoly for SpaceX, according to the Air Force.

To break away from its dependency on Russia ULA has been developing its all-American Vulcan rocket. ULA, which already has a large batch of RD-180s on order, says it needs 14 more engines until its next generation rocket is ready around 2020.

 

“On July 16 the first two engines were delivered to the US,” Russian rocket producer Energiya (NPO Energomash) said in a press release on Tuesday, RIA reported.

Energia which has been conducting activities in the rocket-space industry since 1946 did not mention when the next batch of RD-181 will be delivered to its American partners. Under a $1 billion contract with Orbital Sciences Corporation, signed in January, the Russian manufacturer is to eventually deliver 60 RD-181engines for the Antares rockets.

Orbital expects that the first deliveries of the newly built RD-181 engines will be ready to use for next Antares flight in early 2016.

The Russian company has cooperated with the US since 1990, delivering RD 180 engines for Atlas rockets.

 

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Behind the Sanctions Regime: US Receives RD-181 Rocket Engines From Russia, Part of a New $1bn Contract

Sanford (Sandy) Weill, the Man Who Put the Serially Charged Citigroup Behemoth Together

Citigroup, the bank that played a central role in bringing America to its knees in 2008; received the largest taxpayer bailout in the history of finance to resuscitate its insolvent carcass; pleaded guilty to a felony count of rigging foreign currency trading in May and was put on a three year probation – is now under a string of criminal and civil investigations.

On August 3, Citigroup filed its quarterly report (10Q) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Instead of reporting a pristine slate free of transgressions as one would expect from a felon on probation, Citigroup reported that it had settled allegations of money laundering with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Commissioner of the California Department of Business Oversight involving its Banamex USA unit. The bank was, as typical, able to pay a penalty of $140 million and avoid an admission of guilt.

What Citigroup did not report on its 10Q is that it is also under another criminal money laundering probe by the Justice Department for its Mexican-based Banamex unit, according to a Bloomberg Business report. On July 24, Bloomberg reported the following:

“The U.S. Justice Department is investigating whether Citigroup Inc. let customers move illicit cash through its Mexico unit, setting the bank’s biggest international operation in the path of an expanding money-laundering probe.”

Publicly-traded companies are required to report material information to investors. Citigroup’s 10Q was filed on August 3 while the Bloomberg report was filed 10 days earlier, indicating that subpoenas had been issued to the company. Why Citigroup did not report the new investigation is unknown. Citigroup has a serial history of money laundering allegations, as Wall Street On Parade reported in 2013.

Also during the month of July, Citigroup reached a settlement with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) over charges of bilking its credit card customers. The CFPB charged Citigroup’s commercial bank, Citibank, with a raft of illegal acts, including charging credit card customers for fraud and identity theft services that were never provided, and deceptive marketing practices to bilk customers out of illegal fees. The bank was ordered to return $700 million to 8.8 million customers and pay a penalty of $35 million.

A paltry penalty of $35 million dollars for ripping off 8.8 million customers for a felon bank on probation with a serial history of wrongdoing seems like a serious mismatch of punishment matching the crime.

Read more

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Citigroup’s Unchecked Crime Wave Proves that America Is Headed in the Wrong Direction

Italy is internationally known mainly for three things: its cuisine, its abysmal politics, and its vistas and beaches. In recent months, a series of events has developed that involve those three aspects. Activists, farmers and a government inquiry have shed some light on what could be a potential covert assault by the biotech industry on one of the pillars of Italy’s culture and culinary heritage: olive trees.

The area of Salento, in Puglia, is home to some of the most ancient olive orchards on Earth. The centuries-old trees are not only considered the property of the orchard owners, but also the collective heritage of the Italian people. Their presence has provided a livelihood to thousands of people for millenia. In recent months, however, a phenomenon called CoDiRo, or Rapid Complex Desiccation of Olive Trees, has caused many of the trees to dry out. Among the causes of this condition there could be a bacterium called Xylella fastidiosa, which attacks, among others, the xylem in citrus trees  and grape vines, dries them and their outgrowths, and often prevents the creation of fruits. Before 2014, there was no recorded case of these bacteria infecting olive trees.

Olives

At the beginning of the agriculture crisis, the progression of this condition was being referred to by the regional authorities as the result of a multiplicity of factors and pathogens, hence the word “Complex” in the name. At least four fungal infections, together with a xylem-feeding insect and the Xylella fastidiosa pathogen were considered to be potentially responsible for spreading the infection. This claim was confirmed by an independent investigative team from the European Union. A document issued by the local government in 2014 also admitted that the dessication of olive trees has presented “a rather complex phyto-sanitary issue due to the different factors at play.” The Forest Guard commander in charge of containing the outbreak, Giuseppe Silletti himself, initially stated that simply turning the ground around the olive trees “has been successful in eradicating 90 percent of the population of insects vector of the bacteria.”

4752183682_16e362f377_b

Nevertheless, governmental and biotech lobbies, as well as the big-corporation friendly media, quickly began to shift the blame exclusively on the Xylella fastidiosa bacteria while ignoring other contributing factors such as the depletion of the soil due to the use of herbicides and pesticides and possible selection for certain species of insects. The complexity of the case was therefore drastically simplified, in order to present a threat that might not even have existed. The Italian government decided on a radical solution to confront this seemingly serious problem: the complete annihilation of all trees suspected of being infected and those near them. For months, farmers and activists opposed what would be the death sentence of the centennial olive trees, as well as the destitution of the farmers’ livelihood. The battle for the trees reached its peak in late May 2015, when the local government decided to go ahead with the eradication of the trees, while environmental activists took up positions on some of them to prevent this from happening. To defend its practices, the government of the region of Puglia claimed that it had received orders from the EU to carry out the eradication, a claim that was flatly denied by the concerned European officials.

3030741924_0d9b11a6e3_o

The main question at this point is whether the Xylella bacteria are solely responsible for the CoDiRO. Many Italian agronomists have publicly stated that they believe the primary causes of the condition are associated with excessive agro-chemical usage and other factors, rather than the infamous bacterial agent. Furthermore, they postulate that the local strain of Xylella may be endemic and asymptomatic. Echoing these concerns, the Italian Federation of Organic and Biodynamic Agriculture maintains that there are effective and less destructive methods of fighting the condition. These include the utilization of non-invasive and ancient pest-control methods, such as the use of copper sulphide and calcium hydroxide, insect nets, and organic pesticides, which are also in line with the principles of organic farming. Answers are lacking but, as explained by the laboratory of Dr. Rodrigo Almeida at the University of California, Berkeley:

“In plant pathology, conclusive evidence that a pathogen causes a specific disease requires the fulfillment of Koch’s postulates….. Researchers in Italy are currently working on fulfilling Koch’s postulates for strain CoDiRO and olive.”

In essence, the answer is that we don’t know, and presently there is no scientific evidence to prove this hypothesis. Given the lack of certainty, farmers and environmental activists claim that the measures that the local and national government want to employ are excessively radical, and that they may be a smokescreen for a larger operation. Naturally, the next question arises: is this disease simply a catastrophic natural occurrence precipitated by human behavior, or are there grounds to suspect foul play?

10181465233_32335770a0_k

Let’s go back to 2010, when a network of plant pathologists, named Cost 873, met  in the Italian city of Bari. Among the attendees were scientists from the Mediterranean Institute of Agronomy of Bari who had brought samples of the Xylella pathogen from California “for the purposes of scientific research.” During the meeting, a hypothetical scenario was discussed in which the Xylella bacteria would be released in parts of Europe as part of an effort to determine how the countries would react to a “bio-terrorist attack.” This is a bizarre scenario to imagine in itself, but it doesn’t conclusively prove anything. They claim to have disposed of the pathogen, and that the bacteria  present in Italy are of a different variety than the one they had brought. This could not be known for sure, however, since the lead investigator, the commander of the Forest Guard Giuseppe Silletti, has refused to do a genetic comparison of the allegedly introduced bacteria to those involved in the current infections.

4220756120_e23e708b54_o

Many do not understand the government’s insistence on the measure of eradication, particularly given the lack of concrete evidence and the existence of effective alternative policies. Many have pointed their fingers at the biotech industry. There are good reasons for this: the institution that brought the pathogen into Italy in the first place is funded by biotech companies. Furthermore the biotech giant Monsanto, known for its predatory practices, owns Allelyx, a company entirely devoted to the creation of GMO strains resistant to the bacteria, and the name of which, what an irony, is Xylella spelled backwards. Given these links, which are interesting but not conclusive, and the unwillingness of the government to conduct a thorough investigation, many have alleged that there is collusion between the government and the biotech industry. The popular belief is that this crisis could have been engineered for the purpose of eradicating local olive trees. The reasons for this are still debated, but the dominant hypothesis is to force local cultivators to switch to GMO varieties resistant to the disease. There is only one problem with this notion: there are currently no studies of GMO olive trees available.

During this investigation a Monsanto spokesperson was contacted for comments, as well as the University of Wageningen, and the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania. They all denied being involved in, or knowing about, any research on GMO olives. The only experiments in existence were conducted in Italy starting in the 1970s, and the trees were eradicated in 2012 after the passing of a law that prohibits any field test of GMO crops. This does not prove that there is no nefarious involvement but keeps the investigation open. Furthermore, it is not certain that the answers of the institutions that were contacted were, in fact, honest. The research may be carried on in secret, awaiting the spread of the disease to critical levels before being released.

3721190346_266a23dc78_o

There is a second hypothesis that is wisely considered and seems to have serious grounds of legitimacy. In this scenario the tourism industry, and not the biotech one could be to blame. Indeed, the area most hit is a tourism hotspot. In the past two years, room booking requests have increased by 45 percent, which has prompted the local authorities to enact a ban on the construction of new tourist villages and resorts. This might change if the olive industry is decimated. Whether directly responsible or simply taking advantage of a “good crisis”, tourism businesses are already cashing in on the situation. Properties that have been deemed to be infected by the Xylella bacteria are being sold at extremely low prices, and many of them have already been purchased with the express intention of building nightclubs or hotels. Before this can proceed, the lands have to be reassigned, from being farming lots, to residential and commercial use – a measure that the region will most likely consider should they require increased income to offset the decrease in the olive business.

3368042359_97e331044f_o

Since July 2015, Italian police seems to have pursued this case more aggressively by confiscating hard-drives and files from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Mediterranean Institute of Bari. Meanwhile, the regional administrative tribunal of Lecce and Rome have called for an immediate freeze of the eradication policy (called the Silletti Plan) while an investigation is undertaken. Pursuant to this case are twenty-six organic olive oil brands and numerous farmers. The Italian Minister of Agriculture Maurizio Martina, the major proponent of the eradication plan, has already promised that he will file an appeal should the farmers win the court case.

10247126464_bf52932545_k

If  an answer is found and even if it bears the name Xylella, this should be cause for mourning – over 800,000 trees are poised to be cut down. Meanwhile the question remains: is the biotech industry deliberately attacking Italy’s olive trees? The one thing that is certain is that without the conclusive, transparent, and independently acquired scientific proof, these questions will remain unanswered. If this is the case, thousands of centennial olive trees will be eradicated for no good reason or, even worse, to serve a nefarious covert agenda.

Editor’s Note: Photographs one, seven and eight by Francesco; photograph four and six by Paolo Margari; photograph two by Sean O’ Casaidhe; three by Yellow Cat; five from Light Brigading archive and photograph nine by Steve Rhodes.

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Is the Biotech Industry Behind the Destruction of Italy’s Olive Trees?

Statement of Palestinian groups and individuals in the occupied homeland, refugee camps and the diaspora about the global war on Syria.

We are Palestinians and Palestinian organizations that declare our solidarity with the Syrian people in their historic struggle for survival, now in its fifth year. We are in a unique position to understand and appreciate the challenges facing our Syrian brothers and sisters, because we face the same challenges.
We understand what it means to have our lands and our property taken by foreign usurpers. We understand what it means for millions of our people to be driven out of their homes and to be unable to return. We understand what it means for our interests and our national rights to become the plaything of the most powerful nations on earth. We understand what it means to suffer and die in defense of our sovereignty and human rights.
We do not pretend to tell Syrians what is right for Syria, just as Syria has respected the Palestinian right to liberate Palestine since the time of the Nakba. However, we declare that the enemies of Syria are the enemies of Palestine, and those who bear arms against the Syrian people and the Syrian army – regardless of their names and affiliations – are mere pawns that serve Israel and its project to divide and control the Arab region. The people who abduct, murder and slaughter in Syria are the enemies of the Arab nation, just like Israel, with which they share goals and criminal nature.
We therefore reject violence and murder against the people and state of Syria, which has nothing to do with any just demands; rather it merely seeks to destroy the Syrian state. Any attack on Syria is an attack on the Arab nation, and a true national opposition is one that commits to its country’s principles and flies its flag, and that doesn’t receive orders from abroad.
The Palestinian and Syrian struggles are not religious struggles. We respect a state that guarantees freedom of religion without preference for any faith over any other. Dividing Arab communities into conflicting sects only serves the Israeli regime and allows it to implement its plots for the region.
While Palestinian refugees have suffered and are suffering in many places, Syria has welcomed them and granted them all the rights of Syrians except the right to vote. We are grateful for this policy of brotherhood/sisterhood and can do no less than to reciprocate with our solidarity for Syria in its time of greatest need. It is the least we can do.
The cynical and genocidal policies of NATO and its proxies in the Middle East have as their main policy to destroy the last remaining independent nations and forces that are not compromised by complicity with Zionist and imperialist forces. These nations and forces wish no harm to others, yet their mere existence is intolerable to Zionism and imperialism. It is our duty to stand with Syria and all nations and movements that resist the intruders and seek an independent course and policy for the benefit and interest of our own people and not to become puppets of foreign powers.
We therefore stand with Syria in its efforts to repel the foreign invaders and the countries that are creating, training, financing, arming and supporting the terrorist groups in Syria. We call for the expulsion of these groups back to their own countries, and for their supporters to devote their resources to improving the lives of their own citizens in their own countries rather than destroying the lives of our citizens in our countries. Like the alien and racist Zionist regime, these criminal countries and their leadership must be prosecuted for war crimes and crimes against humanity for waging illegal wars against sovereign states and peoples, including Palestine, Libya, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.
More than 1000 Palestinians and Palestinian organizations from across the world have signed this statement, and we now welcome all persons and organizations to add their names. Just fill in below and submit. Thank you for your support.

Some of the signatories are as follows: Mayor Bassam Shakaa (Abu Nidal); His EminenceTheodosios (Atallah) Hanna, Archbishop, Greek Orthodox Diocese of Sebastia, Jerusalem; People’s Committee for the Defense of Syria in Palestine; People’s Committee for Solidarity with Syria & its Patriotic Leadership, Haifa; Sheikh Hassan Foundation for Culture and Science; Association of Progressive Arab Women Against War on Syria; Cultural Assembly for Democracy in Gaza; Palestine Shoruq Organisation, Gaza; Kifaah Movement, 1948 Palestine; Palestinian Comrades Communist Forum, Occupied Palestine; Palestinian Popular Forum, Yarmouk, Syria; Coalition Forces of the Palestinian Resistance, Syria; Palestinian Youth Organization, Lebanon; Union of Palestinian Communities in Europe; and Palestine Federation of Solidarity Associations, Sweden.

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Statement of Palestinian Groups About the War against the Syrian People

A joint US-European mission to Libya involving soldiers from six countries is being hatched under the pretext of combating Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and with the aim of establishing a pliant pro-Western government and “stabilising” the country.

On August 1, the London Times reported, “Hundreds of British troops are being lined up to go to Libya as part of a major new international mission.” It stated that the UK soldiers would join

“Military personnel from Italy, France, Spain, Germany and the United States…in an operation that looks set to be activated once the rival warring factions inside Libya agree to form a single government of national unity.”

It is part of an expansion of imperialist military interventions in the resource-rich Middle East and North Africa, coming on top of the war in Iraq and Syria, in which Britain and the other powers are pursuing their own geostrategic and commercial interests.

The Times notes that Italy, the former colonial power in Libya, is expected to provide the largest contingent of ground troops. France has colonial and commercial ties with Libya’s neighbours, Tunisia, Mali and Algeria. Spain retains outposts in northern Morocco and the other major power involved, Germany, is once again seeking to gain access to Africa’s resources and markets.

The new mission follows proposals earlier this year to launch a “humanitarian” military operation targeting people traffickers bringing impoverished migrants in unsafe boats from Africa and the Middle East to Europe. Such justifications can now be seen a part of a softening-up process to legitimise yet another criminal and unpopular imperialist venture.

The five European forces will work with US forces, the European Union and the United Nations (UN), under the moniker of “P3+5,” in an operation expected to number several thousand. A UK government source said, “You might see movement towards the end of August.”

The US and European powers are using the UN to broker a peace deal between Libya’s warring factions aimed at establishing a national unity government.

A spokeswoman for the UK’s Ministry of Defence said that Britain,

“along with international partners, is supporting the process to form a recognised Libyan government and we are developing plans to provide support once this is done; it is too early to discuss the exact nature of this.”

Last month, UK Prime Minister David Cameron admitted that he was considering military action in Libya. He said,

“If there is a threat to Britain or to our people or our streets and we can stop it by taking immediate action against that threat, then I as Prime Minister will always want to try to take that action and that’s the case whether that problem is emanating from Libya, from Syria, or anywhere else.”

While UK forces will “train” the army, coast guard and police and provide “counterterrorism” units, alongside Special Forces units from France and the US, it is not expected that the British air force will be involved, as it is already fully extended in Iraq and in Syria.

Following the 2011 NATO-led war to topple the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, government and rule of law collapsed, and the country has descended into complete chaos that has inflicted untold suffering on the Libyan people, and spread to Mali and the Central African Republic in the Sahel.

Rival militias are fighting for control of the country’s oil, estimated at 46.4 billion barrels of proven reserves, the largest in Africa.

The Islamist-backed Libya Dawn regime, made up of the General National Council (GNC) that refused to recognise the outcome of the 2014 elections, took control of the Libyan capital Tripoli in the west. Meanwhile, the internationally recognised government is holed up in Tobruk, a city of about 120,000 people more than 1,000 km away in the east and one of its last toeholds. Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have backed the Tobruk-based authorities, who accuse Qatar, Turkey and Sudan of backing the Islamists in Tripoli.

There are frequent clashes between the various militias in different parts of the country, while fighting continues on an almost daily basis in the eastern city of Benghazi. The country is awash in arms, narcotics, people traffickers and smuggling of all kinds, and kidnappings to extort ransoms are rife.

Libya has also seen the emergence of militias affiliated to ISIS, which have taken control of the city of Sirte—midway between Tripoli and Tobruk—where 21 Coptic Christian workers were beheaded last February. This was just one of a string of atrocities carried out by Islamists trained in Libya, both within the devastated country and in France and Tunisia.

The major powers believe that UN envoy Bernardino Leon is close to reaching an agreement between Tobruk and Tripoli over the formation of a national unity government, whose permission will be necessary if the US-European task force is to have any legal cover.

But success has so far eluded Leon, as Tripoli is demanding a greater role in any such a government and rejects the dominant role given to the so-called Libyan National Army headed by CIA asset, former Libyan General Khalifa Hiftar, allied to Tobruk.

Should an agreement be reached, a UN resolution will be sought to authorise the “P3+5” military intervention, which will include the patrol of Libyan waters by European aircraft and gunships, including Britain’s flagship helicopter carrier HMS Bulwark. This can only lead to further atrocities and the intervention of NATO.

This week, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon also announced that Britain will extend its air campaign in Iraq against ISIS militants by a year, adding that it would use its eight ageing Tornado fighter jets, originally due to be taken out of service last March, to conduct strikes until at least early 2017.

He ruled out any possibility of British ground troops joining the fight against ISIS. This is another lie, as Britain has about 150 military “advisors” training the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Peshmerga forces. Their effectiveness and role is now being undermined by Turkey’s bombing of Kurdish forces in Iraq and Syria.

Despite inflicting death and destruction on the Iraqi people and their homes, the US-led forces have made little headway against the Sunni Islamist forces that have captured huge swathes of Iraq, including its second city Mosul, from which it has been able to generate $40 million a month in oil revenues.

Several commentators have criticised Britain’s policy as incoherent and called for “boots on the ground.” Former Chief of Defence Staff Lord Richards recently argued that the West needed “tens of thousands” of trainers on the ground if it wanted to make a difference. He said that the West’s efforts against ISIS were “woefully insufficient,” and “If you want to get rid of them [ISIS] we need to effectively get on a war footing.”

Britain’s expanded military ventures are going ahead with virtually no public discussion, let alone approval or popular support, and in the case of Syria, in defiance of explicit assurances to the contrary.

Britain only has parliament’s authority to carry out air strikes against ISIS in Iraq, as part of the US-led coalition, but not in Syria. Nevertheless, Prime Minister David Cameron and Defence Secretary Michael Fallon covertlyauthorised the participation of British pilots, embedded with US, French and Canadian forces, in bombing operations against ISIS positions in Syria in defiance of parliamentary votes in 2013 and 2014.

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Imperialist Powers Prepare Another Military Intervention in Libya

On Tuesday evening, the German government fired the chief federal prosecutor, Attorney General Harald Range, for his unprecedented defiance of the government in bringing treason charges against an Internet blog that exposed plans for mass spying by the federal intelligence agencies. Justice Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) consigned Range to retirement on the grounds that his trust in Range’s administration had been “permanently damaged.”

The firing came only hours after Range openly attacked the government, and Maas in particular, at a hastily convened press conference. He spoke of “intolerable interference” by politicians into the independence of the justice system because he had been compelled to drop the investigation of theNetzpolitik.org blog for treason charges.

“To influence an investigation because its possible outcome does not appear politically opportune” is unacceptable, Range said. While the freedom of the press and of expression are of great value, he continued, “these freedoms do not apply without limit on the Internet. It does not exempt journalists from observing the law.” To watch over this was not the task of politicians, but of the justice system, he maintained.

Such an attack by the most senior criminal prosecutor (Range) on the justice minister is unprecedented in the history of post-World War II Germany. The justice minister is the employer of the attorney general and is authorized to issue instructions to him.

The investigation for treason directed against journalists from theNetzpolitik.org blog by the German attorney general has met fierce public opposition. In Berlin on Saturday, 3,000 people demonstrated against this attack on press freedom. In other cities such as Frankfurt, Munich, Cologne and Karlsruhe there were also protests against press intimidation.

Many in the media have also criticized the actions of the secret service and the attorney general and sharp conflicts have broken out inside the state apparatus itself. It is increasingly clear that the intelligence services act as a state within the state, accountable to no one. The situation is reminiscent of the last years of the Weimar Republic in the early 1930s, when the security agencies and Reichswehr (Army) acted largely independently and contributed significantly to helping the semi-dictatorship of Papen and Schleicher to power, which was followed by the Nazis.

From what is known so far, the attack on the Netzpolitik.org journalists was initiated by the president of the Federal Office for Protection of the Constitution (as the secret service is called), Hans-Georg Maassen. He had long complained that the intelligence community was being repeatedly criticized publicly over the neo-Nazi National Socialist Underground (NSU) and spying by the US National Security Agency (NSA).

It is now known that the domestic secret service has been closely involved with the NSU, which is accused of committing 10 racist murders, two terrorist attacks and numerous bank robberies; and that the Foreign Intelligence Service (BND) is working closely with the NSA in spying on politicians, companies and broad sections of the population in Europe and Germany.

To try and put a stop to the revelations and intimidate journalists, Maassen leveled charges in March against Netzpolitik.org for publishing two documents classified by the secret service. The charges were forwarded to the attorney general in Karlsruhe, who had the secret service confirm that the documents published involved “state secrets,” and who then opened a criminal investigation on May 13 on charges of treason against those responsible for the online blog.

As became known last weekend, the government had known about the investigation for some time. According to Spiegel Online, the attorney general had informed the Justice Ministry on May 27 about launching the proceedings.

The Justice Ministry confirmed this information, but claimed that Maas had subsequently made clear at all levels of the attorney general’s office that he considered such an approach to be “too tricky, too explosive and hopeless” (Spiegel Online ).The attorney general’s office reacted promptly and let it be known that there had not been any such clear opposition from the Justice Ministry at any time.

Maassen, who is subordinate to the Interior Ministry and the Chancellery, had already responded to the public criticism with another attack against the media and indirectly the government on Sunday. It had been necessary to proceed legally “against the publication of documents classified as confidential or secret,” he told Bild am Sonntag. It was a matter of ensuring the “viability of his service in the fight against extremism and terrorism.”

The government could have prevented the investigation againstNetzpolitik.org from the outset, he said. But they evidently did not want to do so. They only responded when disclosure of the proceedings met with fierce protests.

At a press conference on Monday, a journalist asked the spokesman for the justice minister why he had not used his authority to issue appropriate instructions if he did not agree with the approach of the attorney general’s office. An instruction from the Justice Ministry would have sufficed to stop the investigation into the journalists.

As long as a state prosecutor was not behaving illegally, there was no room for an instruction, was the curt reply by the spokesman.

The Interior Ministry responded similarly evasively. Its communication, said Minister Thomas de Maiziere (CDU), did not know about the proceedings in advance. Only his State Secretary Emily Haber and the department head involved had been informed by the secret service about the charges againstNetzpolitik.org. However, the talk had been of charges for the betrayal of official secrets and not state secrets.

The Chancellery Office also said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had only learned about the proceedings through the media. However, it was revealed on Friday that in the autumn of last year, Chancellery Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) had complained to the chairman of the NSA Committee of Inquiry, Patrick Sensburg (CDU), that the secret service internal documents before the committee had been leaked and had threatened legal consequences. At that time, Netzpolitik.org had published the content of Altmaier’s letter to Sensburg.

While many media outlets have criticized the attack on Netzpolitik.org, they oppose any weakening of the secret services, let alone their abolition. Rather, they demand that these and the attorney general’s office increasingly focus their attention on the machinations of the US intelligence agencies and more aggressively defend Germany’s national interests.

For example, Heribert Prantl, the lead domestic commentator for theSüddeutsche Zeitung, begins a comment by accusing Range of not having “the independence one expects from an attorney general.” This had been shown in the criminal matters “affecting the German relationship with the US; Range had not dared look into this.”

The Left Party also argues along these lines, demanding the attorney general “take his hat home”—not because of the attack on press freedom, but because of the failure to crack down on the NSA. He has to go, demands Left Party Chairman Bernd Riexinger in Handelsblatt, “before more happened, or rather didn’t happen.”

The attacks by the secret service and the attorney general on the freedom of the press, which is largely being supported by the government, are inextricably linked to Germany’s return to a more aggressive foreign policy. Great power politics and militarism go hand in hand with the establishment of a police state and the suppression of all internal opposition. As always in German history, the secret services and the striving of the security apparatus to become a state within the state play an important role.

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on German Government Fires Prosecutor over Treason Charge against Internet Blog

The MH17 Pilot’s Corpse: More on the Cover-Up

August 5th, 2015 by Eric Zuesse

It might be the decisive piece of evidence proving who and what and how and why the MH17 Malaysian airliner over the conflict zone in Ukraine on 17 July 2014 was shot down, but the pilot’s corpse has been hidden even from the people who have the most right to see it.

The corpse of the pilot of the MH17 Malaysian airliner might contain in it bullets, or bullet-residues, that can prove a Ukrainian military jet intentionally fired into the pilot; or else it might contain only missile-shrapnel, which would be consistent only with the plane’s having been erroneously shot down by a ground-based missile such as the Ukrainian government says it was; but the Malaysian government has prohibited anyone to see it — not even his relatives, who are still trying to find out how and who murdered their loved-one and the 297 other people who were aboard that tragic plane on July 17th of 2014.

Until recently, the Malaysian government itself had had no access to the coroner’s report on the corpse: it was done by a Dutch coroner, in Holland.

The corpse has been hidden from everyone, and the Malaysian Government isn’t even being permitted, by the other four nations on the official investigatory commission, to say anything to anyone outside the commission — not even to the pilot’s family. The coroner’s report on the pilot’s body exists, but has been seen by no one outside of the now 5-nation investigatory commission. (The commission was originally just Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, and Ukraine, but Malaysia was recently added. The Dutch government heads the commission. The Dutch government had helped to install the current Ukrainian government, whose Air Force is a suspect in having possibly shot down the MH17 airliner. Netherlands, along with the U.S., and also along with George Soros’s International Renaissance Foundation, had funded Hromadske TV, which propagandized heavily for forcing the democratically elected Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, to leave his Presidency before the next election would be held, and which then propagandized Ukrainians heavily for the ethnic cleansing operation to get rid of the residents in Ukraine’s Donbass, the only area of Ukraine that had voted 90%+ for Yanukovych. So: the Dutch government had actually helped to install the current Ukrainian government — which might have shot down the MH17, and yet which is a member of the official ‘investigation.’)

This cover-up of what might be the decisive evidence in the MH17 case was revealed when Russian Television sent reporters last month to interview the pilot’s family.

See the brief Russian documentary interviewing the pilot’s wife here:

The pilot’s wife says, at 5:42 on the video, “We were not allowed to open” the coffin. Q: “Not allowed by who?” A: “Not allowed by the [Malaysian] government.” The existing four-nation team had required the Malaysian government to sign onto their secret 8 August 2014 agreement, in order for Malaysia to be allowed to join. This agreement says that Ukraine will have a veto-power over any report that the commission produces — and this veto-power is the reason why the ‘investigation’ continues dragging on. The now-five nation commission can’t yet produce a report that the Ukrainian government will sign onto.

Then, the interviewer in the documentary says that she had taken her camera-crew to the crash site two months after the plane’s downing, and says that they saw there, still in the field of grass, the pilot’s chair. This video at 6:21 shows it — its bare frame, because the padding had blown off. Here is the pilot’s chair:

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 9.38.59 PM

Those 30 mm round holes through it are bullet holes; they’re definitely not shrapnel holes, which are larger and very irregular (not at all round). Furthermore, the bullet-holes through the side-panel of the chair’s backrest are fairly head-on instead of at any steep angle; and, so, might have been from stray bullets among the gunner’s fusillade into the left cockpit-side that was focused around the pilot’s belly-area. This chair backrest is thus yet further evidence suggesting that the pilot’s corpse had bullets, or bullet-residues, in it.

For more background on the pilot’s corpse’s evidentiary importance to solving this crucial mass-murder case, see this. For my reconstruction of the evidence, and of where it points to regarding guilt and motive, see this.

RUSSIA’S GAME ON THIS:

On July 29th, Russia vetoed at the United Nations an attempt by the U.S. and its allies to transfer the MH17 investigation to a rigged UN commission that would be set up in order to enable the guilt for the cover-up to be transferred away from Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, and Ukraine, the four nations that set up the existing official corrupt ‘investigation,’ whose ‘findings,’ at this late stage, would be believed only by outright suckers in the West — and that number of people might not be enough now to protect the actual guilty parties in the case. Russia wants the guilty parties to bear the blame not merely for the mass-murder itself, but for the subsequent and ongoing cover-ups. If the official ‘investigation’ finds Russia and/or the people of Donbass to have perpetrated it, then Russia will presumably make public, evidence, which it has thus far withheld just in case America and its allies turn out to be that brazen. So, Russia might even be eager for that to happen. The official ‘investigation’ has already announced that its conclusions will be made public in October. Until then, the commission is doing everything they can to forestall, if not prevent, a scandal-squared, from resulting. (For example: if anything, Richard Nixon’s Watergate cover-up doomed him even more than the Watergate-crime itself did.)

Here are some of the typical ways the Western press have reported on Russia’s veto:

Russia threatens UN veto on Julie Bishop’s MH17 tribunal

Why Russia Vetoed the MH17 Tribunal

Alternative solution needed for investigating loss of MH17: Russia’s Security Council veto means other means may be used to find those responsible

For some unexplained (though accepted-without-question by the Western press) reason, the Western powers aren’t satisfied for the official ‘investigating’ commission (though itself entirely Western until the recent addition of Malaysia to the commission)  to be blamed for producing the official ‘findings.’ Western leaders had wanted the UN to be blamed instead. Russia voted no on the Western proposal (which was fronted by Malaysia, on behalf of the West); China abstained (perhaps in the hope that the West won’t go after them, too).

The result is heightened fear within the official ‘investigating’ commission. On 3 August 2015, Russian Television headlined “Dutch Safety Board asks for RT’s assistance in MH17 probe after documentary,”and reported that:

The Dutch agency heading the international probe into Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine has contacted RT over the footage used in our recent documentary on the tragedy. RT’s documentary discovered fragments of the plane still in Donetsk.

The RT Documentary film, titled “MH17: A year without truth,” showed fragments of the crashed Boeing and pieces of luggage still scattered in the area at the time of filming. The RTD crew collected the parts of the plane’s exterior they spotted, bringing them to the administration of the nearby town of Petropavlovsk.

“With great interest we watched your documentary, ‘MH17: A year without truth,’” Dutch Safety Board spokesperson Sara Vernooij wrote to RT. “In this film, RT shows parts of the cockpit roof which were found near Petropavlivka. We would like to gather those pieces and bring them over to the Netherlands so the Dutch Safety Board can use them for the investigation and the reconstruction.”

On 17 July 2015, Rupert Murdoch’s Australian Courier-Mail published behind a paywall, and his The Australian republished open on their website, the complete transcript, plus video excerpts, of 17 minutes of video footage that had been taken by the independence fighters in Donbass at the wreckage site while the fires were still aflame on the fateful day, 17 July 2014; and this remarkable footage, never before made public, and published by a lifelong anti-Russian, shows the rebels’ “Commander,” trying to understand what he was seeing, and saying that there are two planes destroyed in the area, one a Malaysian airliner, and the other a Sukhoi fighter-jet, the latter from which had parachuted out five (or else two) people. Someone off-camera in the background is saying, “They decided to do it this way, to look like we have brought down the plane.” In other words: these people speculated immediately that the presence of the downed fighter-jet indicated that the Ukrainian authorities were trying to pin onto the rebels the blame for shooting down the airliner. Here is that link, and the relevant passages in the transcript itself:

http://www.news.com.au/national/full-transcript-russian-backed-rebels-ransack-the-wreckage-of-mh17-in-shocking-17-minute-video/story-e6frfkp9-1227444629703

“Full transcript: Russian-backed rebels ransack the wreckage of MH17 in shocking 17-minute video”

• JULY 17, 2015 12:01AM

• Video [just an excerpt, but the transcript is complete, only excerpts from which are reproduced here:]

Cmdr: Yes, there’s 2 planes taken down. We need the second.

Background: The second one is a civilian too?

Background: The fighter jet brought down this one, and our people brought down the fighter.

Background: They decided to do it this way, to look like we have brought down the plane. …

Cmdr: Let the firefighters extinguish the flames.

(Phone ringing)

Yes Kalyian. I understood you, but we’re already at the crash site. A passenger plane was brought down. They brought down the passenger plane and we brought down the fighter. …

Cmdr: The parachute jumpers are there.

Background: But there are two planes, from my understanding.

Background: And what’s the other one? A Sukhoi?

Cmdr: A Sukhoi.

The Sukhoi brought down the plane and we brought down the Sukhoi. …

I mean … the two pilots landed on parachutes.

(Phone ringing)

Cmdr: Yes, speak. I’m here, I’m in Grabovo. Right at the place. I’m not at the bird site, I’m in the field. I didn’t get there yet.

Cmdr: Five parachutes jumped off this plane. Five people jumped off this plane. … 

Of course, at that chaotic moment, everything was new, and so the assertions by those people (for example, as regards whether there were five parachutists, or only two) were uncertain. One early reader of this article, who looked at that video, made the following insightful observation: “Ironically, the Dutch wanted the piece of cockpit roof of the plane. That piece showed no bullet or shrapnel impacts – which in essence excludes a Buk missile. Buk missiles engage the target from above.” That’s entirely correct. So: Might the Dutch Safety Board actually have been trying to nail down a case so strong against Ukraine, as to now be negotiating with Ukraine Ukraine’s capitulation – the degree of guilt that Ukraine must sign onto in the final report? (Sort of like in a plea-bargain.) How could Obama (whose power stands above all of the nations on the commission) deal with such a situation?

CONCLUSION:

It’s like the way the West handled the 2008 economic crash: extend-and-pretend. While Western leaders transferred their aristocracy’s investment losses onto future taxpayers and pretended that the enormous governmental debts that resulted from these ‘bailouts’ to the aristocracy won’t destroy the economic future for the public, no one can yet say with certainty that they were lying about that. As ridiculous as extend-and-pretend seems to be, no appropriate historical precedent exists to show with any near certainty that no way will be found for it to ‘succeed.’ Russia has apparently placed its bet that it won’t succeed, in regards to the MH17 case.

Russia’s game seems to be: In the short term, we’ll suffer contempt from the West’s suckers while Western leaders keep on doing this; but, the longer the West’s leaders do that, the worse the outcome will be for those leaders.

So: will that game on Russia’s part work? The precedents don’t look favorable:

After George W. Bush kept lying about “Saddam’s WMD,” and became exposed simply by none being found, did his extend-and-pretend on the truth there hurt his Republican Party? They extended the lie so far that even today most Republicans still think that WMD did exist there in 2002 and 2003, and they even think that WMD were subsequently found there — though none of that was at all true. Even in 2015, 51% of Republicans agree with the statement, “American Forces Found an Active Weapons of Mass Destruction Program In Iraq.” (32% of Democrats do. 46% of Independents do.) (40% of Republicans said it was “Definitely not true” or “Probably not true,” but yet even they continued  to label themselves as “Republican,” even after their own Party had deceived them for so long on such a crucial matter, which had produced America’s invasion of Iraq.) Despite such brazen lying, the Republican Party still has as many suckers as before. (And, in the Democratic Party, Barack Obama is still overwhelmingly supported, despite being now exposed, to all open-minded people, to be the best asset the Republican Party has hadwithin recent decades.)

Extend-and-pretend can work for a very long time, indeed. Russia’s game could fail. But it might nonetheless be their best chance to win.

If the West’s game succeeds, then the entire world will fail as a result. If some power-group — here, the West’s aristocrats — can get away with lying, no matter how long they persist in it, they might as well own the entire world: the public are then just their slaves. The public might as well have no minds at all. Anyone who accepts a politician who has lied is either an aristocrat or an idiot. There are only a few thousand aristocrats in the world, but there are, it is clear, plenty of idiots — perhaps the majority of people — so that everyone else, the decent people, suffer constantly the many idiots who believe the few aristocrats. That combination is toxic to democracy.

The MH17 case started before the event itself, as Barack Obama’s desperate attempt to get the EU to agree to hiking the economic sanctions against Russia. It succeeded. Now the world is waiting to see what Obama’s long game is, and whether Putin’s long game (which is the only game he’s got) will beat it. Whatever the outcome, it’ll be interesting.

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.

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on The MH17 Pilot’s Corpse: More on the Cover-Up

The Danish news service TV2 recently aired a bold documentary calling into question the safety of the Gardasil vaccine for cervical cancer. Documenting dozens of cases of serious injury and disability among Danish girls following the three-part vaccination regimen, the video report highlights the Danish Health Authority’s negligence in properly responding to this wave of illness clearly linked to the vaccine, which is also widely promoted in the U.S.

Though the documentary treads somewhat lightly in fully implicating Gardasil as the definitive cause of these girls’ illnesses, it does bring to light how authorities at the highest levels of government routinely try to cover for this deadly vaccine, which SaneVax, Inc. notes has been linked to upwards of 40,000 total adverse events, including death, worldwide.

You can watch the documentary, entitled De vaccinerede piger, in its entirety on YouTube for free (with English subtitles):

https://youtu.be/GO2i-r39hok

 


Thousands of girls all report similar debilitating symptoms following Gardasil vaccine

Almost immediately following the documentary’s original airing back in March, many more injured girls came out of the woodwork to report their own experiences following vaccination with Gardasil, all with nearly the exact same story: They were healthy, vibrant, and athletic prior to the jab, but afterwards fell ill with chronic fatigue, migraine headaches, and are now unable to function as normal.

For Gardasil-injured Danish girls, their government’s Health Authority has thus far refused to help them. It also refuses to admit any problems with Gardasil, even though the symptoms following its administration are nearly universal among those afflicted, and typically occur within days or even hours following the shot.

“I’ve been studying this for 30 years, and I’ve never seen that combination of symptoms,” says Jesper Mehlsen, head of research and chief physician at the Frederiksberg Hospital Syncope Clinic in Denmark, one of the few places where Gardasil-injured girls have been able to find help. “They all tell the same story: That it emerged in close relation to their inoculation,” added Mehlsen, who is also a former Merck & Co. employee who admits to having tested later versions of the Gardasil vaccine.

Stay up to date on Gardasil news at Gardasil.news

Governments routinely cover for vaccine damage, denying evidence of harm

The documentary is replete with many sobering stories of injured girls who, abandoned by their own government health program, are having to seek alternative treatments from physicians like Dr. Damien Downing, who’s been helping girls recover from Gardasil damage with intense detoxification and fortification with vitamins, fats, minerals, and other nutrients that feed mitochondria, the energy centers of cells.

Such treatments, though, aren’t recognized by the government health apparatus as being valid, even though they’re reportedly helping many of the injured girls regain some semblance of normal life rather than be stuck in bed all day, or suffer from chronic fainting and other health problems. A common thread among nearly all the girls, it should be noted, is that they were very athletic and top achievers prior to being jabbed with Gardasil, and now their lives are essentially ruined.

Another Danish doctor who’s been helping Gardasil-injured girls, Louise Brinth, says she’s repeatedly warned the Danish Health Authority about problems associated with Gardasil. But her numerous emails to Henrick G. Jensen at the government unit have gone unanswered, as have multiple inquiries by TV2. It appears as though the Danish government, through the Health Authority, has chosen to cover for Gardasil, which Jensen admitted during an interview will continue to remain on the Danish vaccine schedule even if it’s determined that the vaccine is definitively responsible for harming girls.

Be sure to watch the full documentary here:
https://youtu.be/GO2i-r39hok

Sources:

https://youtu.be/GO2i-r39hok

http://sanevax.org/hpv-vaccines-a-danish-documentary/

http://www.sott.net

http://healthimpactnews.com

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Danish TV Documentary Exposes Gardasil Vaccines for Triggering Wave of Disease Among Young Girls

Anti-water charge campaigners had a major moral victory over government plans to make the people pay for the financial crisis when Eurostat determined that Irish Water had failed the Market Corporation Test. [1] One reason given was that “sales must cover at least 50pc of production costs. “This is further amplified by the high number of households not paying their bills,” Eurostat said.”” [2] It is estimated that “57 percent of the people are refusing to pay the water charges” and that of the 43 percent who did pay, many were intimidated by landlords or solicitors collecting for the state on the sale of a house. [3]  The main irony of this tax is that it was not imposed by the EU:

In 2000, after 10 years of negotiations, the Water Framework Directive was finally agreed by EU member states. It was reported at the time that: “A compromise package on the legislation was agreed giving Ireland a derogation from a requirement to meter water. The directive allows member states to opt out of this obligation if it conflicts with national practice.” [4]

Irish politicians chose to impose this tax and they are not giving up yet. Michael Noonan, Minister of Finance, has already stated that he is going ahead with Government budget plans despite the Eurosat decision. [5] Irish Water’s constant changing of the charges in the face of determined opposition “diminished the prospect of the company being self-sufficient and this is likely to have been a key factor in the Eurostat ruling. [6] According to The Irish Times:

Asked why people should continue to pay for a utility which was financed through central funds, Mr Varadkar [Minister for Health] said it was “incumbent on Government ministers and Irish Water themselves to continue to make the case as to why this is actually a good idea”. [7]

However, now protest itself is to be limited with the passing of the Civil Debt Bill which allows “unpaid water bills to be deducted from wages and welfare payments.” [8] Therefore, there will not be any embarrassing imprisonings in the months before the next election due early next year. Especially as next year, 2016, is the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising, the precursor to the Ireland’s War of Independence and limited freedom from colonialism.

All this government pressure to extract more income from an increasingly unwilling populace is coming at a time when exports reached their highest level in the history of the state. The CSO [Central Statistics Office] showed that in April Ireland exported €9.4 billion worth of goods internationally. [9] The low rate of corporation tax is makes Ireland a popular place for multinationals.  The state broadcaster, RTE, has declared that “Ireland will be the fastest growing economy in the European Union this year, according to the European Commission’s autumn economic forecast. The Irish growth rate is expected to be 4.6%, compared to an EU average of 1.3% and a euro zone average of 0.8%.” [10] According to one website:

Exports remain the primary engine for Ireland’s growth. The country is one of the biggest exporters of pharmaceuticals in the world (28 percent of total exports). Others include: organic chemicals (21 percent), data processing equipment and software (12 percent) and food (8 percent). The European Union accounts for 60 percent of total exports. Main export partners are: United States (23 percent), United Kingdom (16 percent), Belgium (14 percent), Germany (7 percent), France (5 percent) and Switzerland (4 percent). [11]

Despite all this growth, reports earlier in the year showed that state services are coming under increasing pressure for more funds. A&E overcrowding was at a near-record high and that “January was the worst month for emergency department overcrowding since the Government came to power, and the second-worst month ever, according to an analysis of trolley figures by The Irish Times.” [12]

In late January of this year it was also reported that “a record 382,000 people are waiting for a hospital outpatient appointment, according to the latest figures from the Health Service Executive.” [13] There has been a huge increase in homelessness with “some 1,122 children and 2,185 people over the age of 18 were living in emergency accommodation in week up to the end of June 28th.” [14] A recent report shows pressure on rent supplement rates too:

Rents in Dublin have been climbing fast. In the 12 months to March, rents increased by 9 per cent for houses and by 11 per cent for apartments. Renting a house in Dublin now costs, on average, €1,325 a month and an apartment €1,205. As rents have soared, rent supplement rates have remained unchanged. [15]

The water charges boycott harks back to the Irish invention of the boycott in 1880 when tenants refused to cooperate with Captain Charles Boycott after he obtained eviction notices against eleven tenants for failure to pay their rent. According to History Ireland:

Boycott now found himself in a very difficult situation, as he had horses, cattle, sheep and poultry to look after and crops to get in with very few helpers. Three of his staff refused to leave—Johnny Meany, a groom and former jockey, Judy, the cook, and Harriet, a parlour maid—and he had four guests staying at the time, a teenage niece, two teenage nephews and his niece’s fiancé. They carried on as best they could, rising at 4am, with the men being escorted everywhere by armed police, but by night fences and gates were broken, trees and hedges felled and crops stolen or ruined. [16]

Maintaining the boycott of water charges is the key strategy of the Anti Austerity Alliance who state: “The boycott is the key weapon we have now. If the level of the boycott for the second bill increases it will be the final nail in the coffin of the Irish Water and the Fine Gael/Labour government.” [17]

Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin is an Irish artist who has exhibited widely around Ireland. His work consists of paintings based on cityscapes of Dublin, Irish history and geopolitical themes (http://gaelart.net/). His blog of critical writing based on cinema, art and politics along with research on a database of Realist and Social Realist art from around the world can be viewed country by country at http://gaelart.blogspot.ie/.

Notes

[1] http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/eurostat-irish-water-ruling-a-minor-setback-says-varadkar-1.2303275

[2] http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/five-reasons-why-irish-water-failed-a-crucial-eu-test-31410448.html

[3] http://www.peoplebeforeprofit.ie/node/1313

[4] http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/colette-browne/eu-rules-did-not-compel-ireland-to-bring-in-water-charges-our-politicians-chose-to-do-it-31425023.html

[5] http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/five-reasons-why-irish-water-failed-a-crucial-eu-test-31410448.html

[6] http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/irish-water-must-stay-on-state-balance-sheet-eu-says-1.2299128

[7] http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/eurostat-irish-water-ruling-a-minor-setback-says-varadkar-1.2303275

[8] http://www.newstalk.com/Laws-allowing-unpaid-water-bills-to-be-taken-from-wages-and-welfare-payments-passed-by-Seanad

[9] http://www.the42.ie/ireland-exports-stuff-items-goods-value-money-2162809-Jun2015/?r_dir_d=1

[10] http://www.rte.ie/news/business/2014/1104/656805-eu-growth-forecasts/

[11] http://www.tradingeconomics.com/ireland/exports

[12] http://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/a-e-overcrowding-at-near-record-high-data-shows-1.2091199

[13] http://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/hse-figures-show-lengthening-hospital-waiting-lists-1.2083227

[14] http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/dublin-homeless-services-left-18-5-million-short-1.2275569

[15] http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/why-are-there-more-than-1-000-homeless-children-in-dublin-1.2273119

[16] http://www.historyireland.com/18th-19th-century-history/captain-boycott-man-and-myth/

[17] http://antiausterityalliance.ie/2015/07/eurostat-test-a-victory-for-anti-water-charge-campaigners-government-now-in-crisis/

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Ireland and the Privatization of Water: Anti-Water Charge Campaigners’ Victory

In this Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2004 file photo, a man is questioned in the living room of his home during a raid by the 82nd Airborne Division near Fallujah, Iraq.

WASHINGTON — A study released earlier this year revealed the shocking death toll of the United States’s “War on Terror” since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but the true body count could be even higher.

Published in March by Physicians for Social Responsibility, the study, conducted by a team that included some Nobel Prize winners, determined that at least 1.3 million people have died as a result of war since Sept.11, 2001, but the real figure might be as high as two million. The study was an attempt to “close the gaps” in existing research, including studies like the Iraq Body Count,” which puts the number of violent deaths in that country at about 219,000 since 2003, based on media reports of the time period.

Investigative journalist Nafeez Ahmed, writing in April for Middle East Eye, explained some of the ways the previous figures fell short, according to the physicians’ research:

“For instance, although 40,000 corpses had been buried in Najaf since the launch of the war, IBC [Iraq Body Count] recorded only 1,354 deaths in Najaf for the same period. That example shows how wide the gap is between IBC’s Najaf figure and the actual death toll – in this case, by a factor of over 30.

Such gaps are replete throughout IBC’s database. In another instance, IBC recorded just three airstrikes in a period in 2005, when the number of air attacks had in fact increased from 25 to 120 that year. Again, the gap here is by a factor of 40.”

The physicians behind the study also praised a controversial report from the medical journal The Lancet that placed the toll count far higher than that of Iraq Body Count, at closer to one million dead. In addition to the war in Iraq, the PSR study added additional victims from other countries where the United States has waged war:

“To this, the PSR study adds at least 220,000 in Afghanistan and 80,000 in Pakistan, killed as the direct or indirect consequence of US-led war: a ‘conservative’ total of 1.3 million. The real figure could easily be ‘in excess of 2 million’.”

These figures may still be underestimating the real death toll, according to Ahmed. These studies only account for the victims of violent conflict, but not the many more who will die as a result of the damage war brings to crucial infrastructure, from roads to farms to hospitals — not to mention devastating sanctions like those placed on Iraq after the first Gulf War in 1991. He continues:

“Undisputed UN figures show that 1.7 million Iraqi civilians died due to the West’s brutal sanctions regime, half of whom were children.

The mass death was seemingly intended. Among items banned by the UN sanctions were chemicals and equipment essential for Iraq’s national water treatment system. A secret US Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) document discovered by Professor Thomas Nagy of the School of Business at George Washington University amounted, he said, to ‘an early blueprint for genocide against the people of Iraq.’”

Similar figures for Afghanistan, he reports, could bring totals to four million or more.

As Ahmed points out in his article, the majority of those killed in these wars and those suffering most from these wars, statistically speaking, were Muslim — a stark contrast to the common view that radical Muslim terrorists are the deadliest group in the Middle East. Rather, it would seem the American military are the worst killers, and the death toll resembles religious genocide. In 2009, Stephen M. Walt, a professor of international relations at Harvard, wrote in Foreign Policy:

“How many Muslims has the United States killed in the past thirty years, and how many Americans have been killed by Muslims? Coming up with a precise answer to this question is probably impossible, but it is also not necessary, because the rough numbers are so clearly lopsided.”

Or, as Ben Affleck famously quipped to Bill Maher last year: “We’ve killed more Muslims than they’ve killed us by an awful lot.”

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Global War On Terror Has Killed 4 Million Muslims Or More: Do The Math

It is now fifty years since the so-called “G30S” or “Gestapu” (Gerakan September Tigahpuluh) event of September 30, 1965 in Indonesia, when six members of the Indonesian army general staff were brutally murdered. This event was a decisive moment in Indonesian history: it led to the overthrow of President Sukarno, his replacement by an army general, Suharto, and the subsequent massacre of a half million or more Indonesians targeted as communists.1 It is also forty years since I first wrote to suggest that the United States was implicated in this horrendous event,2 and thirty years since I wrote about it again in 1985 in the Canadian journal Pacific Affairs.3

Strikingly, there has been very little follow-up investigating these events inside the United States. A new generation of scholars, notably John Roosa and Bradley Simpson, have documented U.S. involvement in the exploitation of Gestapu to justify the subsequent mass murder, in the massacre project itself, and in the formation of the subsequent capitalist New Order.4 But there has been, I shall try to show, little or no American response to facts I presented then suggesting U.S. involvement in inciting the specific event of September 30 itself.

The Indonesia massacre of 1965

Consider five facts about the U.S. and Indonesia in 1965, facts that (apart from the first) have been little noted or greeted in America with silence.

Fact No. 1) Prior to Gestapu, a number of U.S. academics and policy intellectuals with connections to the CIA and RAND Corporation publicly urged their contacts in the Indonesian Army “to strike, sweep their house clean” (Guy Pauker), while “liquidating the enemy’s political and guerrilla armies” (William Kintner).

Text of my article in Pacific Affairs

In a RAND Corporation book published by Princeton University Press, Pauker, a Rand Corporation analyst and consultant to the National Security Council, urged his contacts in the Indonesian military to assume “full responsibility” for their nation’s leadership, “fulfill a mission,” and hence “to strike, sweep their house clean.”42 [From fn. 43:] William Kintner, a CIA (OPC) senior staff officer from 1950-52, and later Nixon’s ambassador to Thailand, also wrote in favor of “liquidating” the Indonesian Communist Party [PKI] while working at a CIA-subsidized think-tank, the Foreign Policy Research Institute, on the University of Pennsylvania campus.

Documentation in my article for Fact No. 1

Fn. 42. Guy J. Pauker, “The Role of the Military in Indonesia,” in John H. Johnson, ed., The Role of the Military in Underdeveloped Countries (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1962), pp. 222-24. The foreword to the book is by Klaus Knorr, who worked for the CIA while teaching at Princeton. The book was based on papers delivered to a conference at Princeton in 1962 attended by military officers from other third-world countries, including Brazil, whose U.S.-backed army coup in 1964 preceded Indonesia’s by a year.

Fn. 43. William Kintner and Joseph Kornfeder, The New Frontier of War [London: Frederick Muller, 1963], pp. 233, 237-38): “If the PKI is able to maintain its legal existence and Soviet influence continues to grow, it is possible that Indonesia may be the first Southeast Asian country to be taken over by a popularly based, legally elected communist government…. In the meantime, with Western help, free Asian political leaders — together with the military — must not only hold on and manage, but reform and advance while liquidating the enemy’s political and guerrilla armies.”

Reception of Fact No. 1

Googling for “pauker + kintner + indonesia” yields many results. Of the first ten, five are to my work, and five are to works sourcing me. I failed to discover any independent discussion. But this first fact, unlike those following, was relatively widely received, because the quotations from Pauker and Kintner were picked up and reproduced by Noam Chomsky.

Fact No. 2) Gestapu was a false flag operation: it claimed to have acted to defend Sukarno, but the pro-Sukarno generals in the Indonesian Army General Staff were in fact among the first to be assassinated.

Text of my article

According to the Australian scholar Harold Crouch, by 1965 the Indonesian Army General Staff was split into two camps. At the center were the general staff officers appointed with, and loyal to, the army commander General Yani, who in turn was reluctant to challenge President Sukarno’s policy of national unity in alliance with the Indonesian Communist party, or PKI. The second group, including the right-wing generals Nasution and Suharto, comprised those opposed to Yani and his Sukarnoist policies.5 All of these generals were anti-PKI, but by 1965 the divisive issue was Sukarno.

The simple (yet untold) story of Sukarno’s overthrow is that in the fall of 1965 Yani and his inner circle of generals were murdered, paving the way for a seizure of power by right-wing anti-Yani forces allied to Suharto. The key to this was the so-called Gestapu coup attempt which, in the name of supporting Sukarno, in fact targeted very precisely the leading members of the army’s most loyal faction, the Yani group.6 An army unity meeting in January 1965, between “Yani’s inner circle” and those (including Suharto) who “had grievances of one sort or another against Yani,” lined up the victims of September 30 [the Yani faction] against those who came to power after their murder [the anti-Yani faction including Suharto].7 Not one anti-Sukarno general was targeted by Gestapu, with the obvious exception of General Nasution.8 But by 1961 the CIA operatives in Washington had become disillusioned with Nasution as a reliable asset, because of his “consistent record of yielding to Sukarno on several major counts.”9 Relations between Suharto and Nasution were also cool, since Nasution, after investigating Suharto on corruption charges in 1959, had transferred him from his command.10

The duplicitous distortions of reality, first by Lt. Colonel Untung’s statements for Gestapu, and then by Suharto in “putting down” Gestapu, are mutually supporting lies.11

Fn. 5. Harold Crouch, The Army and Politics in Indonesia (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1978), pp. 79-81.

Documentation for Fact No. 2

Fn. 6. In addition, one of the two Gestapu victims in Central Java (Colonel Katamso) was the only non-PKI official of rank to attend the PKI’s nineteenth anniversary celebration in Jogjakarta in May 1964: Mortimer, Indonesian Communism, p. 432.5Ironically, the belated “discovery” of his corpse was used to trigger off the purge of his PKI contacts.

Fn. 7. Four of the six pro-Yani representatives in January were killed along with Yani on October 1. Of the five anti-Yani representatives in January, we shall see that at least three were prominent in “putting down” Gestapu and completing the elimination of the Yani-Sukarno loyalists (the three were Suharto, Basuki Rachmat, and Sudirman of SESKOAD, the Indonesian Army Staff and Command School): Crouch,The Army, p. 81n.

Fn. 8. While Nasution’s daughter and aide were murdered, he was able to escape without serious injury and supported the ensuing purge.

Fn. 9. Indonesia, 22 (October 1976), p. 165 (CIA Memorandum of 22 March 1961 from Richard M. Bissell, Attachment B). By 1965 Washington’s disillusionment with Nasution was heightened by Nasution’s deep opposition to the U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

Reception of Fact No. 2

Not mentioned, as far as I know, in the United States.

Fact No. 3) The Johnson Administration misled members of the 88th US Congress, in order to continue aid to the Indonesian army following a Senate amendment prohibiting it.

Footnote 75 to my article: A Senate amendment in 1964 to cut off all aid to Indonesia unconditionally was quietly killed in conference committee, on the misleading ground that the Foreign Assistance Act “requires the President to report fully and concurrently to both Houses of the Congress on any assistance furnished to Indonesia” (U.S. Cong., Senate, Report No. 88-1925, Foreign Assistance Act of 1964, p. 11). In fact the act’s requirement that the president report “to Congress” applied to eighteen other countries, but in the case of Indonesia he was to report to two Senate Committees and the speaker of the House: Foreign Assistance Act, Section 620(j).

Text of my article: After March 1964, when Sukarno told the U.S., “go to hell with your aid,” it became increasingly difficult to extract any aid from the U.S. congress: those persons not aware of what was developing found it hard to understand why the U.S. should help arm a country which was nationalizing U.S. economic interests, and using immense aid subsidies from the Soviet Union to confront the British in Malaysia.

Thus a public image was created that under Johnson “all United States aid to Indonesia was stopped,” a claim so buttressed by misleading documentation that competent scholars have repeated it.74 In fact, Congress had agreed to treat U.S. funding of the Indonesian military as a covert matter, restricting congressional review of the president’s determinations on Indonesian aid to two Senate committees, and the House Speaker, who were concurrently involved in oversight of the CIA.75

Ambassador Jones’ more candid account admits that “suspension” meant “the U.S. government undertook no new commitments of assistance, although it continued with ongoing programs…. By maintaining our modest assistance to [the Indonesian Army and the police brigade], we fortified them for a virtually inevitable showdown with the burgeoning PKI.”76

Only from recently released documents do we learn that new military aid was en route as late as July 1965, in the form of a secret contract to deliver two hundred Aero-Commanders to the Indonesian Army: these were light aircraft suitable for use in “civic action” or counterinsurgency operations, presumably by the Army Flying Corps whose senior officers were virtually all trained in the U.S.77

Marshall Green, U.S. Ambassador to Jakarta in 1965, said to have approved lists of candidates for the purge

Documentation for Fact No. 3

Fn. 74. The New York Times, August 5, 1965, p. 3; cf. Nishihara, The Japanese, p. 149; Mrázek, vol. II, p. 121.

Fn. 75. A Senate amendment in 1964 to cut off all aid to Indonesia unconditionally was quietly killed in conference committee, on the misleading ground that the Foreign Assistance Act “requires the President to report fully and concurrently to both Houses of the Congress on any assistance furnished to Indonesia” (U.S. Cong., Senate, Report No. 88-1925, Foreign Assistance Act of 1964, p. 11). In fact the act’s requirement that the president report “to Congress” applied to eighteen other countries, but in the case of Indonesia he was to report to two Senate Committees and the speaker of the House: Foreign Assistance Act, Section 620(j).

Fn. 76. Jones, Indonesia: The Possible Dream, p. 324.

Fn. 77. U.S., Congress, Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations, Multinational Corporations and United States Foreign Policy, Hearings (cited hereafter as Church Committee Hearings), 94th Cong., 2nd Sess., 1978, p. 941; Mrázek, The United States, vol. II, p. 22. Mrázek quotes Lt. Col. Juono of the corps as saying that “we are completely dependent on the assistance of the United States.”

Cf. Fn. 43: [A] memo to President Johnson from Secretary of State Rusk, on July 17, 1964, makes it clear that at that time the chief importance of MILTAG was for its contact with anti-Communist elements in the Indonesian Army and its Territorial Organization: “Our aid to Indonesia … we are satisfied … is not helping Indonesia militarily. It is however, permitting us to maintain some contact with key elements in Indonesia which are interested in and capable of resisting Communist takeover. We think this is of vital importance to the entire Free World” (Declassified Documents Quarterly Catalogue, 1982, 001786 [DOS Memo for President of July 17, 1964; italics in original]).

Reception of Fact No, 3

A Google search for “Indonesia + Senate Report No. 88-1925” (the Foreign Assistance Act of 1964) yields seven results, five in English and two in German. All seven are to my 1985 article in Pacific Affairs.

Fact No. 4) In May 1965, months before the September coup, CIA-related Lockheed payments shifted from a Sukarno backer to a Suharto backer.6

Sasakawa Ryoichi: a recipient of CIA-related Lockheed payments, who boasted of his involvement in Indonesia’s regime change

It is now generally accepted that (as Tim Weiner documents in the case of Japan), “Instead of passing suitcases filled with cash in four-star hotels, the CIA used trusted American businessmen as go-betweens to deliver money to benefit its allies. Among these were executives from Lockheed, the company then building the U-2.”7

Text of my article

From as early as May 1965, U.S. military suppliers with CIA connections (principally Lockheed) were negotiating equipment sales with payoffs to middlemen, in such a way as to generate payoffs to backers of the hitherto little-known leader of a new third faction in the army, Major-General Suharto — rather than to those backing Nasution or Yani, the titular leaders of the armed forces. Only in the 1980s was it confirmed that secret funds administered by the U.S. Air Force (possibly on behalf of the CIA) were laundered as “commissions” on sales of Lockheed equipment and services, in order to make political payoffs to the military personnel of foreign countries.85

A 1976 Senate investigation into these payoffs revealed, almost inadvertently, that in May 1965, over the legal objections of Lockheed’s counsel, Lockheed commissions in Indonesia had been redirected to a new contract and company set up by the firm’s long-time local agent or middleman.86 Its internal memos at the time show no reasons for the change, but in a later memo the economic counselor of the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta is reported as saying that there were “some political considerations behind it.”87 If this is true, it would suggest that in May 1965, five months before the coup, Lockheed had redirected its payoffs to a new political eminence, at the risk (as its assistant chief counsel pointed out) of being sued for default on its former contractual obligations.

The Indonesian middleman, August Munir Dasaad [Agus Musin Dassad], was “known to have assisted Sukarno financially since the 1930’s.”88 In 1965, however, Dasaad was building connections with the Suharto forces, via a family relative, General Alamsjah, who had served briefly under Suharto in 1960, after Suharto completed his term at SESKOAD. Via the new contract, Lockheed, Dasaad and Alamsjah were apparently hitching their wagons to Suharto’s rising star:

 

When the coup was made during which Suharto replaced Sukarno, Alamsjah, who controlled certain considerable funds, at once made these available to Suharto, which obviously earned him the gratitude of the new President. In due course he was appointed to a position of trust and confidence and today Alamsjah is, one might say, the second important man after the President.89

 

Thus in 1966 the U.S. Embassy advised Lockheed it should “continue to use” the Dasaad-Alamsjah-Suharto connection.90

Documentation for Fact No. 4

Fn. 85. San Francisco Chronicle, October 24, 1983, p. 22, describes one such USAF-Lockheed operation in Southeast Asia, “code-named ‘Operation Buttercup’ that operated out of Norton Air Force Base in California from 1965 to 1972.” For the CIA’s close involvement in Lockheed payoffs, cf. Anthony Sampson, The Arms Bazaar (New York: Viking, 1977), pp. 137, 227-28, 238.

Fn. 86. Church Committee Hearings, pp. 943-51.

Fn. 87. Ibid., p. 960.

Fn. 88. Nishihara, The Japanese, p. 153.

Fn. 89. Lockheed Aircraft International, memo of Fred C. Meuser to Erle M. Constable, 19 July 1968, in Church Committee Hearings, p. 962.

Fn. 90. Ibid., p. 954; cf. p. 957. In 1968, when Alamsjah suffered a decline in power, Lockheed did away with the middleman and paid its agents’ fees directly to a group of military officers (pp. 342, 977).

Fn. 91. Church Committee Hearings, p. 941; cf. p. 955.

General Ibnu Sutowo, whose army oil company was engaged in selling oil to the U.S., was said by Fortune to have “played a key part in bankrolling” the overthrow of Sukarno

Reception of Fact No. 4

Googling for “Lockheed + August Munir Dasaad” yields 207 results, only one more than if you google for “’Peter Dale Scott’ + ‘August Munir Dasaad.’” All the hits are either directly to my work, in Indonesian, or both. Of the first fifteen results for “Lockheed + Alamsjah,” two are irrelevant and the rest are to my work.

Fact No. 5) The Lockheed payment was paralleled, two months before Gestapu, by a similar payoff to Suharto’s business associate Bob Hasan, on a US military contract involving Rockwell Aero-commanders

Text of my article

In July 1965, at the alleged nadir of U.S.-Indonesian aid relations, Rockwell-Standard had a contractual agreement to deliver two hundred light aircraft (Aero-Commanders) to the Indonesian Army (not the Air Force) in the next two months.91Once again the commission agent on the deal, Bob Hasan, was a political associate (and eventual business partner) of Suharto.92 More specifically, Suharto and Bob Hasan established two shipping companies to be operated by the Central Java army division, Diponegoro. This division, as has long been noticed, supplied the bulk of the personnel on both sides of the Gestapu coup drama — both those staging the coup attempt, and those putting it down. And one of the three leaders in the Central Java Gestapu movement was Lt. Col. Usman Sastrodibroto, chief of the Diponegoro Division’s “section dealing with extramilitary functions.”93

Thus of the two known U.S. military sales contracts from the eve of the Gestapu Putsch, both involved political payoffs to persons who emerged after Gestapu as close Suharto allies.

Documentation for Fact No. 5

Fn. 91. Church Committee Hearings, p. 941; cf. p. 955.

Fn. 92. Southwood and Flanagan, Indonesia: Law, p. 59.

Fn. 93. Crouch, The Army, p. 114.

Reception of Fact No. 5

A Google Books search for “Rockwell + 1965 + ‘Bob Hasan’” yields 201 results, mostly in Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia). Of the first nine, all four of the hits in English, and at least one hit in Indonesian, are to my 1985 article in Pacific Affairs.

Insert picture with caption] Bob Hasan, Suharto’s business associate, who received U.S. payoffs on the eve of Gestapu

Reception in general of these facts, and of my article

To my knowledge, I am not aware that any of the above facts (other than the first, picked up by Noam Chomsky) have been discussed in any American source, or indeed in any countries other than Indonesia, even since 1998.

As for my article, I am aware of two academic references to it in the United States before Suharto’s ouster in 1998. Along with other works by Benedict Anderson, Ruth McVey, and Ralph McGehee, it was cited in a single footnote as part of an article by H. W. Brands, “The Limits of Manipulation: How the United States Didn’t Topple Sukarno,” in the Journal of American History, (December 1989).

Brands did not mention the arguments for U.S. involvement. Instead his claim (that

“In fact, Sukarno’s overthrow had little to do with American machinations”) relied on documents in the LBJ library: “The story they tell,” he assured readers, “does render largely untenable the notion that Sukarno’s demise and the accompanying bloodbath originated in the USA.”8 His method, in short, was to trust what U.S. government documents said on the topic, a naïve method that I fear one finds all too frequently among what I call archival historians. Brands concedes that “Certain communications remain classified [and] some may have been consigned to the shredder” (p. 788). But he writes as if unaware that the CIA is quite capable of falsifying releases of its own internal records, when it serves to protect operational secrecy from outsiders.9

The same naïve method marks the only other response (as far as I know) to my argument, this in a book by the journalist Victor Fic implicating China in Gestapu (and published in India):

Peter Dale Scott is the leading theorist about the alleged American role in this conspiracy…. However CIA and other documents declassified and published by the Government of the United States… render Scott’s theory implausible as the CIA, by its own admission, did not have assets in Indonesia to carry out such a ‘coup’ to depose Sukarno or destroy the PKI.10

Fic’s argument deserves a little more attention, since he also refers to an editorial in support of Gestapu which appeared in the October 2, 1965, issue of the PKI newspaper Harian Rakjat. Once again, if taken at face value, this support for the generals’ murder from a Communist paper would seem to corroborate that Gestapu was, as Fic claimed, a left-wing putsch attempt.

However Fic simply ignored the arguments referred to in my essay that the Harian Rakjat “editorial” was in fact a propaganda forgery, perhaps from the CIA. As I quoted then from Anderson and McVey:

Professors Benedict Anderson and Ruth McVey, who have questioned the authenticity of this issue, have also ruled out the possibility that the newspaper was “an Army falsification,” on the grounds that the army’s “competence … at falsifying party documents has always been abysmally low.”115

The questions raised by Anderson and McVey have not yet been adequately answered. Why did the PKI show no support for the Gestapu coup while it was in progress, then rashly editorialize in support of Gestapu after it had been crushed? Why did the PKI, whose editorial gave support to Gestapu, fail to mobilize its followers to act on Gestapu’s behalf? Why did Suharto, by then in control of Jakarta, close down all newspapers except this one, and one other left-leaning newspaper which also served his propaganda ends?116 Why, in other words, did Suharto on October 2 allow the publication of only two Jakarta newspapers, two which were on the point of being closed down forever?

Fn. 115. Anderson and McVey, A Preliminary Analysis of the October 1, 1965, Coup in Indonesia (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1971)], p. 133.

Fn. 116. Benedict Anderson and Ruth McVey, “What Happened in Indonesia?” New York Review of Books, June 1, 1978, p. 41; personal communication from Anderson. A second newspaper, Suluh Indonesia, told its PNI readers that the PNI did not support Gestapu, and thus served to neutralize potential opposition to Suharto’s seizure of power.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skulls of the victims, along with a surviving relative

How to Explain the Fifty Years of Silence?

It is obvious why American Indonesianists were reluctant to mention my article or to investigate the avenues that it opened up as long as Suharto was in power: their careers depended on the ability to visit the country they wrote about. Professor Benedict Anderson at Cornell, was one of the first scholars to question the official account of Gestapu, in the so-called Cornell Report of 1971.11 Later he was famously turned back in Jakarta airport, even though he had arrived on a valid visa.

Another obvious reason is methodological. Diplomatic historians are accustomed to work with government records, rather than concern themselves (as I did) with released internal documents from companies like Lockheed which, in my analysis, operate as part of the American deep state.12

Recently, in an essay that explicitly noted CIA involvement in the 1958 Permesta rebellion, Anderson acknowledged U.S. support in 1965 for the violent response to Gestapu, but as distinguished from Gestapu itself.13 Bradley Simpson, in a definitive account of that support, says of Gestapu itself only that “American historians in particular [he cites my essay in an endnote] have spilled much ink on the question of Washington’s involvement.”14 Today it has become common to see discussion of U.S. involvement in targeting PKI members after Gestapu, as well as in the general repression that followed Gestapu.15 But one does not yet see much discussion of U.S. involvement in Gestapu itself.

My article’s reception outside the United States has been quite different. Published first in Canada in 1985, it was subsequently translated and/or published in Amsterdam (1985, in Dutch), Paris (1986), West Berlin (1988, in Bahasa Indonesia), Hull, England (1990), and since then, starting in 1998, at least six other times in Bahasa Indonesia, inside Indonesia itself.16

I am in no position to estimate the reception in Indonesia of the article (it was actually published there as a book). A sign that the bootleg 1988 translation from West Berlin was being circulated clandestinely in Indonesia is the fact that the book was officially banned by Suharto’s Bureau of Censorship.17 To this day. to my knowledge, the only newspaper reference anywhere to my hypothesis of U.S. involvement in Gestapu was in the English-language Jakarta Post of July 25, 2013.18

Now that Indonesia itself is becoming more open to discussions of Gestapu and its aftermath, it is high time for a similar change of attitude in the United States. And internationally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ali Murtopo, conspiratorial Indonesian

general in contact with British MI6

Epilogue

My views on Sukarno’s overthrow have evolved since the 1980s. In that era, seeing Sukarno in contrast to the repressive dictator Suharto, I described Sukarno as “an undeniably popular and reasonably constitutional civilian leader.”19 Today I recognize that in the last years of his rule the country was becoming more and more unstable, major economic problems were not being addressed, and Sukarno sought to placate public unrest by an ill-advised military campaign against his neighbor Malaysia.

I also attribute greater importance to the fact that Sukarno thus contributed unwittingly to his own downfall, since the secret army special operations unit OPSUS, created by Suharto to handle a peace initiative towards Malaysia of which Sukarno knew nothing, evolved into part of the apparatus plotting for his removal, perhaps indeed the planning core of it.20

Although my 1985 article mentioned OPSUS only in a footnote, I now suspect it may have supplied the milieu for a second coup-minded plot, piggy-backed within the first. I mean by this that there was at first an OPSUS plot, pushed by Suharto and sanctioned by Yani, to negotiate peace with Malaysia against Sukarno’s wishes; but then some of the people conspiring may have had a second agenda, to purge (by means of the false-flag pretext of Gestapu) the army general staff of Yani and other overall Sukarno loyalists, thus clearing the way for the coup and the massacre. Such a sophisticated two-level plot, like the propaganda forgery of the Harian Rakjat “editorial,” may have been beyond the capabilities of Indonesians acting alone.21

Piggy-backed plots are however are a staple of the CIA, and before them of the British MI6. And in 1965 the British Foreign Office, working with MI6, sent its top propaganda expert, Norman Reddaway, to Singapore. In 1998, shortly before his death, Reddaway went public, to describe how “the overthrow of Sukarno was one of the Foreign Office’s ‘most successful’ coups, which they have kept a secret until now:”

A covert operation and psychological warfare strategy was instigated, based at Phoenix Park, in Singapore, the British headquarters in the region. The MI6 team kept close links with key elements in the Indonesian army through the British Embassy. One of these was Ali Murtopo, later General Suharto’s intelligence chief, and MI6 officers constantly travelled back and forth between Singapore and Jakarta.22

Stephen Dorril’s book MI6 confirms that “In South-East Asia MI6 was working hand in glove with the CIA to ‘liquidate’ Indonesia’s President Sukarno.”23

In the same period Ali Murtopo, the head of OPSUS, also traveled back and forth, not just to negotiate clandestinely with the Malaysian government, but also to smuggle “rubber and other goods” to generate money for OPSUS and accumulate $17 million in banks in Singapore and Malaysia.24 Yani had authorized Murtopo’s clandestine MI6 contacts; he would have no way of knowing if these talks had turned to plans to eliminate Yani himself.

Like his close ally Suharto, Murtopo rose up through the Diponegoro Divisision, the division which played a central role both in staging Gestapu, and also in putting it down.25 As I wrote in 1985:

From the pro-Suharto sources — notably the CIA study of Gestapu published in 1968 — we learn how few troops were involved in the alleged Gestapu rebellion, and, more importantly, that in Jakarta as in Central Java the same battalions that supplied the “rebellious” companies were also used to “put the rebellion down.” Two thirds of one paratroop brigade (which Suharto had inspected the previous day) plus one company and one platoon constituted the whole of Gestapu forces in Jakarta; all but one of these units were commanded by present or former Diponegoro Division officers close to Suharto; and the last was under an officer who obeyed Suharto’s close political ally, Basuki Rachmat.17

Two of these companies, from the 454th and 530th battalions, were elite raiders, and from 1962 these units had been among the main Indonesian recipients of U.S. assistance.18 This fact, which in itself proves nothing, increases our curiosity about the many Gestapu leaders who had been U.S.-trained. The Gestapu leader in Central Java, Saherman, had returned from training at Fort Leavenworth and Okinawa shortly before meeting with Untung and Major Sukirno of the 454th Battalion in mid-August 1965.19 As Ruth McVey has observed, Saherman’s acceptance for training at Fort Leavenworth “would mean that he had passed review by CIA observers.”20

Fn. 17. CIA Study, p. 2; cf. p. 65: “At the height of the coup … the troops of the rebels [in Central Java] were estimated to have the strength of only one battalion; during the next two days, these forces gradually melted away.”

Fn. 18. Rudolf Mrázek, The United States and the Indonesian Military, 1945-1966 (Prague: Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, 1978), vol. II, p. 172. These battalions, comprising the bulk of the 3rd Paratroop Brigade, also supplied the bulk of the troops used to put down Gestapu in Jakarta. The subordination of these two factions in this supposed civil war to a single close command structure under Suharto is cited to explain how Suharto was able to restore order in the city without gunfire. Meanwhile out at the Halim air force base an alleged gun battle between the 454th (Green Beret) and RPKAD (Red Beret) paratroops went off “without the loss of a single man” (CIA Study, p. 60). In Central Java, also, power “changed hands silently and peacefully,” with “an astonishing lack of violence” (CIA Study, p. 66).

Fn. 19. Ibid., p. 60n; Arthur J. Dommen, “The Attempted Coup in Indonesia,” China Quarterly, January-March 1966, p. 147. The first “get-acquainted” meeting of the Gestapu plotters is placed in the Indonesian chronology of events from “sometimes before August 17, 1965”; cf. Nugroho Notosusanto and Ismail Saleh, The Coup Attempt of the “September 30 Movement” in Indonesia (Jakarta: [Pembimbing Masa, 1968], p. 13); in the CIA Study, this meeting is dated September 6 (p. 112). Neither account allows more than a few weeks to plot a coup in the world’s fifth most populous country.

Fn. 20. Mortimer, Indonesian Communism, p. 429.

I would now suspect, admittedly without proof, that if one wanted to research CIA and/or MI6 input into the 1965 Gestapu plot, the MI6/Ali Murtopo connection would be a good place to begin.

In other words, my opinion of Sukarno and his downfall has somewhat changed. However, I continue to view as monstrous the criminal plans made 50 years ago to eliminate both him and the PKI through bloodshed, even if we concede that the actual massacre may have gone way beyond whatever had been planned.

Looking back, we can see the last century as a period when a number of new great powers emerged, and every one of them, not just the United States, have had a lot of innocent blood to account for. To understand U.S. policy in postwar Asia it is essential to determine the exact process by which the criminal decisions surrounding Gestapu were made and to examine them in light of covert interventions elsewhere.

The purpose of investigating the September 1965 event is not to punish its perpetrators, most of whom are now dead. It is to determine what forces capable of such a plot still exist, including in the United States and Indonesia, and to strive to reduce the probabilities of such crimes occurring again in the future.

Peter Dale Scott is a former Canadian diplomat and English Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. His latest book is The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil, and the Attack on U.S. Democracy, published by Rowman & Littlefield. He is also the author ofDrugs Oil and WarThe Road to 9/11The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11, and the Deep Politics of War, and American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection and the Road to Afghanistan. A contributing editor of the Asia-Pacific Journal, his website, which contains a wealth of his writings, is here.

Related articles

• Benedict Anderson, Impunity and Reenactment: Reflections on the 1965 Massacre in Indonesia and its Legacy

• North American Universities and the 1965 Indonesian Massacre: Indonesian Guilt and Western Responsibility

• Geoffrey Gunn, Suharto Beyond the Grave: Indonesia and the World Appraise the Legacy

Notes

1 Death estimates are discussed by Robert Cribb, and compacted into an assessment of “as low as 200,000 or as high as one million.” Robert Cribb, “Unresolved Problems in the Indonesian Killings of 1965–1966,” Asian Survey, July/August 2002, p. 559).

2 Peter Dale Scott, “Exporting Military Economic Development: America and the Overthrow of Sukarno, 1965-67,” in Malcolm Caldwell (ed.), Ten Years’ Military Terror in Indonesia (Nottingham: Spokesman Books, 1975), pp. 209-61.

3 Peter Dale Scott, “Exporting Military-Economic Development,” in Malcolm Caldwell, ed., Ten Years’ Military Terror in Indonesia(Nottingham, England: Spokesman Books, 1975), pp. 227-61; “The United States and the Overthrow of Sukarno, 1965-1967,” Pacific Affairs (Vancouver, B.C.) 58.2 (Summer 1985), pp. 239-64.

4 John Roosa, Pretext for Mass Murder: the September 30th Movement and Suharto’s Coup d’état in Indonesia (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2006); Bradley R. Simpson, Economists with Guns: Authoritarian Development and U.S.-Indonesian Relations, 1960-1968 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2008).

5 For full citations of this and other sources in these footnotes, see the text of my article at Scott, “The United States and the Overthrow of Sukarno, 1965-1967”.

6 This has been partially corroborated by Andrew Feinstein, but without reference to the 1965 shift in middlemen. See Andrew Feinstein,The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade (New York: Picador, 2012), pp. 265-66: “In Indonesia in 1965, Lockheed disbursed bribes of $100,000 per plane. However, soon afterwards the CIA assisted the right-wing General Suharto to overthrow the Sukarno government. Lockheed worried that its agent, Isaak [sic] Dasaad, might not be sufficiently well connected to the new regime to be of use. Illustrating the extent of US government complicity in controversial foreign arms sales, the company’s marketing executive noted that a Lockheed official ‘went to the US embassy in Jakarta and asked them specifically whether Dasaad could continue, under the new regime, to be of value to Lockheed’. The embassy said yes, leading Lockheed to record that ‘apparently Dasaad has made the transition from Sukarno to Suharto in good shape.’” Cf. Wimanjaya K. Liotohe, Prima Dosa: Wimanjaya dan rakyat Indonesia menggugat imperium Suharto (Pasarminggu: Yayasan Eka Fakta Kata, 1993).

7 Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA (New York: Doubleday, 2007), p. 119. Lockheed money in Japan went to Sasakawa Ryoichi, a CIA agent of influence, and his friend Kodama Yoshio. In my 1965 essay I noted that Sasakawa had “boasted that he played a role in the coup that overthrew Sukarno.” The Lockheed funds to Sasakawa in Japan were partly handled by a Japanese American, Shig Katayama, whose ID Corp. in the Cayman Islands did unexplained business with the CIA-related Castle Bank in the Bahamas.

8 H. W. Brands, “The Limits of Manipulation: How the United States Didn’t Topple Sukarno,” Journal of American History, Vol. 76, No. 3 (Dec., 1989), pp. 785-808 (p. 787). Brands sees Johnson’s policy before his election, while still lacking “a personal political mandate,” as a modest mélange between desires to appease Sukarno, and “quiet efforts to encourage action by the army against the PKI” (pp. 791, 793). I believe he understates the importance of these “quiet efforts,” which (as noted above in discussion of Fact No. 3) a memo from Secretary of State Rusk described on July 17, 1964 as “of vital importance to the entire Free World.” And I know of no evidence for or against his claim that Gestapu caught the CIA “by surprise” (p. 787).

9 For an example, see Peter Dale Scott, Oswald, Mexico, and Deep Politics: Revelations from the CIA Records on the Assassination of JFK(New York: Skyhorse, 2013), pp. 28-29.

10 Victor M. Fic, Anatomy of the Jakarta Coup, October 1, 1965: The Collusion with China Which Destroyed the Army Command, President Sukarno and the Communist Party of Indonesia (New Delhi: Abhinav Publications, 2004), p. 3.

11 B. R. O’G. Anderson and Ruth McVeyA Preliminary Analysis of the October, 1965, Coup in Indonesia (Ithaca: Cornell University, 1971).

12 For this relationship see Peter Dale Scott, The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil, and the Threat to U.S. Democracy (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014 (pp.16-17, 22, 127-29.

13 Benedict R. Anderson, “Impunity and Reenactment: Reflections on the 1965 Massacre in Indonesia and its Legacy,” Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, April 15, 2013: “Army leaders, helped by advice and half-concealed support from both the Pentagon and the CIA – then reeling under heavy reverses in Vietnam – had long been looking for a justification for a mass destruction of the Party. Now the September 30th Movement and the murder of the six generals provided the opening they awaited.”

14 Bradley R. Simpson, Economists with Guns: Authoritarian Development and U.S.-Indonesian Relations, 1960-1968 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2008), p.173, 311n6.

15 Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA (New York: Doubleday, 2007), p. 260.

16 (1) Peter Dale Scott, Peranan C.I.A. Dalam Penggulingan Bung Karno. Buku ini dilatang beredar oleh KEJAGUNG RI. (West Berlin: Perhimpunan Indonesia, 1988);

(2) Peranan C.I.A. dalam penggulingan Bung Karno Konspirasi Soeharto-CIA : penggulingan Soekarno, 1965-1967 (Surabaya: Pergerakan Mahasiswa Islam Indonesia: Perkumpulan Kebangsaan Anti Diskriminasi, [1998]); (3) An anthology, Gestapu, matinya para jenderal dan peran CIA (Yogyakarta: Cermin, 1999); (4) Peter Dale Scott, CIA dan penggulingan Sukarno (Yogyakarta: Lembaga Analisis Informasi, 1999); (5) Peter Dale Scott, Amerika Serikat dan penggulingan Sukarno 1965-1967

([S.l. : s.n.], 2000); (6) Peter Dale Scott … et. al. ; editor, Joesoef Isak], 100 tahun Bung Karno : 6 Juni 1901-2001: sebuah liber(Jakarta : Hasta Mitra, 2001), pp. 278-316; (7) Peter Dale Scott, Peran CIA dalam penggulingan Sukarno (Jakarta: Buku Kita, 2007.

17 Jonathon Green, Encyclopedia of Censorship [New York: Facts on File, 2005], p. 278.

18 Zoe Reynolds, “Putu Oka Sukanta and Poetry from Prison,” Jakarta Post, July 25, 2013: “Others, such as Peter Dale Scott, a former Canadian diplomat and a professor at the University of California, claim that a dalang (or puppet master) — maybe the CIA, maybe Soeharto — was manipulating the events that led to … the bloodletting to come.” This breaking of journalistic silence in Indonesia was the more remarkable, in that an army general was still president.

19 Peter Dale Scott, “How I Came to Jakarta,” Agni, No. 31/32 (1990), p. 297.

20 R. Tanter, “The Totalitarian Ambition: Intelligence Organisations in the Indonesian State,” in State and Civil Society in Indonesia, ed. A.K. Budiman, (Monash: Centre of Southeast Asian Studies, 1990), 218: Jusuf Wanandi, Shades of Grey: A Political Memoir of Modern Indonesia, 1965-1998 (Jakarta: Equinox, 2012), p. 68.

21 In similar CIA-backed plots against Allende in Chile (1970-73), a loyalist Army Chief of Staff was also murdered, making way for a right-wing General Pinochet who would subsequently carry out an army coup and massacre. But these were two plots separated in time, not a single piggy-backed plot.

22 Paul Lashmar and James Oliver, “How We Destroyed Sukarno,” Independent (London), December 1, 1998,

23 Stephen Dorril, MI6: Inside the Covert World of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service (New York: Free Press, 2000), 718: “In co-operation with their colleagues from the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS), MI6’s Special Political Action group launched up to six different disruptive actions, including… the recruitment of ‘moderate’ elements within the army.”

24 John Roosa, review of WanandiShades of Grey, Inside Indonesia.

25 Cf. Fact No. 5 above.

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Still Uninvestigated After 50 Years: Did the U.S. Help Incite the 1965 Indonesia Massacre?

It is now fifty years since the so-called “G30S” or “Gestapu” (Gerakan September Tigahpuluh) event of September 30, 1965 in Indonesia, when six members of the Indonesian army general staff were brutally murdered. This event was a decisive moment in Indonesian history: it led to the overthrow of President Sukarno, his replacement by an army general, Suharto, and the subsequent massacre of a half million or more Indonesians targeted as communists.1 It is also forty years since I first wrote to suggest that the United States was implicated in this horrendous event,2 and thirty years since I wrote about it again in 1985 in the Canadian journal Pacific Affairs.3

Strikingly, there has been very little follow-up investigating these events inside the United States. A new generation of scholars, notably John Roosa and Bradley Simpson, have documented U.S. involvement in the exploitation of Gestapu to justify the subsequent mass murder, in the massacre project itself, and in the formation of the subsequent capitalist New Order.4 But there has been, I shall try to show, little or no American response to facts I presented then suggesting U.S. involvement in inciting the specific event of September 30 itself.

The Indonesia massacre of 1965

Consider five facts about the U.S. and Indonesia in 1965, facts that (apart from the first) have been little noted or greeted in America with silence.

Fact No. 1) Prior to Gestapu, a number of U.S. academics and policy intellectuals with connections to the CIA and RAND Corporation publicly urged their contacts in the Indonesian Army “to strike, sweep their house clean” (Guy Pauker), while “liquidating the enemy’s political and guerrilla armies” (William Kintner).

Text of my article in Pacific Affairs

In a RAND Corporation book published by Princeton University Press, Pauker, a Rand Corporation analyst and consultant to the National Security Council, urged his contacts in the Indonesian military to assume “full responsibility” for their nation’s leadership, “fulfill a mission,” and hence “to strike, sweep their house clean.”42 [From fn. 43:] William Kintner, a CIA (OPC) senior staff officer from 1950-52, and later Nixon’s ambassador to Thailand, also wrote in favor of “liquidating” the Indonesian Communist Party [PKI] while working at a CIA-subsidized think-tank, the Foreign Policy Research Institute, on the University of Pennsylvania campus.

Documentation in my article for Fact No. 1

Fn. 42. Guy J. Pauker, “The Role of the Military in Indonesia,” in John H. Johnson, ed., The Role of the Military in Underdeveloped Countries (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1962), pp. 222-24. The foreword to the book is by Klaus Knorr, who worked for the CIA while teaching at Princeton. The book was based on papers delivered to a conference at Princeton in 1962 attended by military officers from other third-world countries, including Brazil, whose U.S.-backed army coup in 1964 preceded Indonesia’s by a year.

Fn. 43. William Kintner and Joseph Kornfeder, The New Frontier of War [London: Frederick Muller, 1963], pp. 233, 237-38): “If the PKI is able to maintain its legal existence and Soviet influence continues to grow, it is possible that Indonesia may be the first Southeast Asian country to be taken over by a popularly based, legally elected communist government…. In the meantime, with Western help, free Asian political leaders — together with the military — must not only hold on and manage, but reform and advance while liquidating the enemy’s political and guerrilla armies.”

Reception of Fact No. 1

Googling for “pauker + kintner + indonesia” yields many results. Of the first ten, five are to my work, and five are to works sourcing me. I failed to discover any independent discussion. But this first fact, unlike those following, was relatively widely received, because the quotations from Pauker and Kintner were picked up and reproduced by Noam Chomsky.

Fact No. 2) Gestapu was a false flag operation: it claimed to have acted to defend Sukarno, but the pro-Sukarno generals in the Indonesian Army General Staff were in fact among the first to be assassinated.

Text of my article

According to the Australian scholar Harold Crouch, by 1965 the Indonesian Army General Staff was split into two camps. At the center were the general staff officers appointed with, and loyal to, the army commander General Yani, who in turn was reluctant to challenge President Sukarno’s policy of national unity in alliance with the Indonesian Communist party, or PKI. The second group, including the right-wing generals Nasution and Suharto, comprised those opposed to Yani and his Sukarnoist policies.5 All of these generals were anti-PKI, but by 1965 the divisive issue was Sukarno.

The simple (yet untold) story of Sukarno’s overthrow is that in the fall of 1965 Yani and his inner circle of generals were murdered, paving the way for a seizure of power by right-wing anti-Yani forces allied to Suharto. The key to this was the so-called Gestapu coup attempt which, in the name of supporting Sukarno, in fact targeted very precisely the leading members of the army’s most loyal faction, the Yani group.6 An army unity meeting in January 1965, between “Yani’s inner circle” and those (including Suharto) who “had grievances of one sort or another against Yani,” lined up the victims of September 30 [the Yani faction] against those who came to power after their murder [the anti-Yani faction including Suharto].7 Not one anti-Sukarno general was targeted by Gestapu, with the obvious exception of General Nasution.8 But by 1961 the CIA operatives in Washington had become disillusioned with Nasution as a reliable asset, because of his “consistent record of yielding to Sukarno on several major counts.”9 Relations between Suharto and Nasution were also cool, since Nasution, after investigating Suharto on corruption charges in 1959, had transferred him from his command.10

The duplicitous distortions of reality, first by Lt. Colonel Untung’s statements for Gestapu, and then by Suharto in “putting down” Gestapu, are mutually supporting lies.11

Fn. 5. Harold Crouch, The Army and Politics in Indonesia (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1978), pp. 79-81.

Documentation for Fact No. 2

Fn. 6. In addition, one of the two Gestapu victims in Central Java (Colonel Katamso) was the only non-PKI official of rank to attend the PKI’s nineteenth anniversary celebration in Jogjakarta in May 1964: Mortimer, Indonesian Communism, p. 432.5Ironically, the belated “discovery” of his corpse was used to trigger off the purge of his PKI contacts.

Fn. 7. Four of the six pro-Yani representatives in January were killed along with Yani on October 1. Of the five anti-Yani representatives in January, we shall see that at least three were prominent in “putting down” Gestapu and completing the elimination of the Yani-Sukarno loyalists (the three were Suharto, Basuki Rachmat, and Sudirman of SESKOAD, the Indonesian Army Staff and Command School): Crouch,The Army, p. 81n.

Fn. 8. While Nasution’s daughter and aide were murdered, he was able to escape without serious injury and supported the ensuing purge.

Fn. 9. Indonesia, 22 (October 1976), p. 165 (CIA Memorandum of 22 March 1961 from Richard M. Bissell, Attachment B). By 1965 Washington’s disillusionment with Nasution was heightened by Nasution’s deep opposition to the U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

Reception of Fact No. 2

Not mentioned, as far as I know, in the United States.

Fact No. 3) The Johnson Administration misled members of the 88th US Congress, in order to continue aid to the Indonesian army following a Senate amendment prohibiting it.

Footnote 75 to my article: A Senate amendment in 1964 to cut off all aid to Indonesia unconditionally was quietly killed in conference committee, on the misleading ground that the Foreign Assistance Act “requires the President to report fully and concurrently to both Houses of the Congress on any assistance furnished to Indonesia” (U.S. Cong., Senate, Report No. 88-1925, Foreign Assistance Act of 1964, p. 11). In fact the act’s requirement that the president report “to Congress” applied to eighteen other countries, but in the case of Indonesia he was to report to two Senate Committees and the speaker of the House: Foreign Assistance Act, Section 620(j).

Text of my article: After March 1964, when Sukarno told the U.S., “go to hell with your aid,” it became increasingly difficult to extract any aid from the U.S. congress: those persons not aware of what was developing found it hard to understand why the U.S. should help arm a country which was nationalizing U.S. economic interests, and using immense aid subsidies from the Soviet Union to confront the British in Malaysia.

Thus a public image was created that under Johnson “all United States aid to Indonesia was stopped,” a claim so buttressed by misleading documentation that competent scholars have repeated it.74 In fact, Congress had agreed to treat U.S. funding of the Indonesian military as a covert matter, restricting congressional review of the president’s determinations on Indonesian aid to two Senate committees, and the House Speaker, who were concurrently involved in oversight of the CIA.75

Ambassador Jones’ more candid account admits that “suspension” meant “the U.S. government undertook no new commitments of assistance, although it continued with ongoing programs…. By maintaining our modest assistance to [the Indonesian Army and the police brigade], we fortified them for a virtually inevitable showdown with the burgeoning PKI.”76

Only from recently released documents do we learn that new military aid was en route as late as July 1965, in the form of a secret contract to deliver two hundred Aero-Commanders to the Indonesian Army: these were light aircraft suitable for use in “civic action” or counterinsurgency operations, presumably by the Army Flying Corps whose senior officers were virtually all trained in the U.S.77

Marshall Green, U.S. Ambassador to Jakarta in 1965, said to have approved lists of candidates for the purge

Documentation for Fact No. 3

Fn. 74. The New York Times, August 5, 1965, p. 3; cf. Nishihara, The Japanese, p. 149; Mrázek, vol. II, p. 121.

Fn. 75. A Senate amendment in 1964 to cut off all aid to Indonesia unconditionally was quietly killed in conference committee, on the misleading ground that the Foreign Assistance Act “requires the President to report fully and concurrently to both Houses of the Congress on any assistance furnished to Indonesia” (U.S. Cong., Senate, Report No. 88-1925, Foreign Assistance Act of 1964, p. 11). In fact the act’s requirement that the president report “to Congress” applied to eighteen other countries, but in the case of Indonesia he was to report to two Senate Committees and the speaker of the House: Foreign Assistance Act, Section 620(j).

Fn. 76. Jones, Indonesia: The Possible Dream, p. 324.

Fn. 77. U.S., Congress, Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations, Multinational Corporations and United States Foreign Policy, Hearings (cited hereafter as Church Committee Hearings), 94th Cong., 2nd Sess., 1978, p. 941; Mrázek, The United States, vol. II, p. 22. Mrázek quotes Lt. Col. Juono of the corps as saying that “we are completely dependent on the assistance of the United States.”

Cf. Fn. 43: [A] memo to President Johnson from Secretary of State Rusk, on July 17, 1964, makes it clear that at that time the chief importance of MILTAG was for its contact with anti-Communist elements in the Indonesian Army and its Territorial Organization: “Our aid to Indonesia … we are satisfied … is not helping Indonesia militarily. It is however, permitting us to maintain some contact with key elements in Indonesia which are interested in and capable of resisting Communist takeover. We think this is of vital importance to the entire Free World” (Declassified Documents Quarterly Catalogue, 1982, 001786 [DOS Memo for President of July 17, 1964; italics in original]).

Reception of Fact No, 3

A Google search for “Indonesia + Senate Report No. 88-1925” (the Foreign Assistance Act of 1964) yields seven results, five in English and two in German. All seven are to my 1985 article in Pacific Affairs.

Fact No. 4) In May 1965, months before the September coup, CIA-related Lockheed payments shifted from a Sukarno backer to a Suharto backer.6

Sasakawa Ryoichi: a recipient of CIA-related Lockheed payments, who boasted of his involvement in Indonesia’s regime change

It is now generally accepted that (as Tim Weiner documents in the case of Japan), “Instead of passing suitcases filled with cash in four-star hotels, the CIA used trusted American businessmen as go-betweens to deliver money to benefit its allies. Among these were executives from Lockheed, the company then building the U-2.”7

Text of my article

From as early as May 1965, U.S. military suppliers with CIA connections (principally Lockheed) were negotiating equipment sales with payoffs to middlemen, in such a way as to generate payoffs to backers of the hitherto little-known leader of a new third faction in the army, Major-General Suharto — rather than to those backing Nasution or Yani, the titular leaders of the armed forces. Only in the 1980s was it confirmed that secret funds administered by the U.S. Air Force (possibly on behalf of the CIA) were laundered as “commissions” on sales of Lockheed equipment and services, in order to make political payoffs to the military personnel of foreign countries.85

A 1976 Senate investigation into these payoffs revealed, almost inadvertently, that in May 1965, over the legal objections of Lockheed’s counsel, Lockheed commissions in Indonesia had been redirected to a new contract and company set up by the firm’s long-time local agent or middleman.86 Its internal memos at the time show no reasons for the change, but in a later memo the economic counselor of the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta is reported as saying that there were “some political considerations behind it.”87 If this is true, it would suggest that in May 1965, five months before the coup, Lockheed had redirected its payoffs to a new political eminence, at the risk (as its assistant chief counsel pointed out) of being sued for default on its former contractual obligations.

The Indonesian middleman, August Munir Dasaad [Agus Musin Dassad], was “known to have assisted Sukarno financially since the 1930’s.”88 In 1965, however, Dasaad was building connections with the Suharto forces, via a family relative, General Alamsjah, who had served briefly under Suharto in 1960, after Suharto completed his term at SESKOAD. Via the new contract, Lockheed, Dasaad and Alamsjah were apparently hitching their wagons to Suharto’s rising star:

 

When the coup was made during which Suharto replaced Sukarno, Alamsjah, who controlled certain considerable funds, at once made these available to Suharto, which obviously earned him the gratitude of the new President. In due course he was appointed to a position of trust and confidence and today Alamsjah is, one might say, the second important man after the President.89

 

Thus in 1966 the U.S. Embassy advised Lockheed it should “continue to use” the Dasaad-Alamsjah-Suharto connection.90

Documentation for Fact No. 4

Fn. 85. San Francisco Chronicle, October 24, 1983, p. 22, describes one such USAF-Lockheed operation in Southeast Asia, “code-named ‘Operation Buttercup’ that operated out of Norton Air Force Base in California from 1965 to 1972.” For the CIA’s close involvement in Lockheed payoffs, cf. Anthony Sampson, The Arms Bazaar (New York: Viking, 1977), pp. 137, 227-28, 238.

Fn. 86. Church Committee Hearings, pp. 943-51.

Fn. 87. Ibid., p. 960.

Fn. 88. Nishihara, The Japanese, p. 153.

Fn. 89. Lockheed Aircraft International, memo of Fred C. Meuser to Erle M. Constable, 19 July 1968, in Church Committee Hearings, p. 962.

Fn. 90. Ibid., p. 954; cf. p. 957. In 1968, when Alamsjah suffered a decline in power, Lockheed did away with the middleman and paid its agents’ fees directly to a group of military officers (pp. 342, 977).

Fn. 91. Church Committee Hearings, p. 941; cf. p. 955.

General Ibnu Sutowo, whose army oil company was engaged in selling oil to the U.S., was said by Fortune to have “played a key part in bankrolling” the overthrow of Sukarno

Reception of Fact No. 4

Googling for “Lockheed + August Munir Dasaad” yields 207 results, only one more than if you google for “’Peter Dale Scott’ + ‘August Munir Dasaad.’” All the hits are either directly to my work, in Indonesian, or both. Of the first fifteen results for “Lockheed + Alamsjah,” two are irrelevant and the rest are to my work.

Fact No. 5) The Lockheed payment was paralleled, two months before Gestapu, by a similar payoff to Suharto’s business associate Bob Hasan, on a US military contract involving Rockwell Aero-commanders

Text of my article

In July 1965, at the alleged nadir of U.S.-Indonesian aid relations, Rockwell-Standard had a contractual agreement to deliver two hundred light aircraft (Aero-Commanders) to the Indonesian Army (not the Air Force) in the next two months.91Once again the commission agent on the deal, Bob Hasan, was a political associate (and eventual business partner) of Suharto.92 More specifically, Suharto and Bob Hasan established two shipping companies to be operated by the Central Java army division, Diponegoro. This division, as has long been noticed, supplied the bulk of the personnel on both sides of the Gestapu coup drama — both those staging the coup attempt, and those putting it down. And one of the three leaders in the Central Java Gestapu movement was Lt. Col. Usman Sastrodibroto, chief of the Diponegoro Division’s “section dealing with extramilitary functions.”93

Thus of the two known U.S. military sales contracts from the eve of the Gestapu Putsch, both involved political payoffs to persons who emerged after Gestapu as close Suharto allies.

Documentation for Fact No. 5

Fn. 91. Church Committee Hearings, p. 941; cf. p. 955.

Fn. 92. Southwood and Flanagan, Indonesia: Law, p. 59.

Fn. 93. Crouch, The Army, p. 114.

Reception of Fact No. 5

A Google Books search for “Rockwell + 1965 + ‘Bob Hasan’” yields 201 results, mostly in Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia). Of the first nine, all four of the hits in English, and at least one hit in Indonesian, are to my 1985 article in Pacific Affairs.

Insert picture with caption] Bob Hasan, Suharto’s business associate, who received U.S. payoffs on the eve of Gestapu

Reception in general of these facts, and of my article

To my knowledge, I am not aware that any of the above facts (other than the first, picked up by Noam Chomsky) have been discussed in any American source, or indeed in any countries other than Indonesia, even since 1998.

As for my article, I am aware of two academic references to it in the United States before Suharto’s ouster in 1998. Along with other works by Benedict Anderson, Ruth McVey, and Ralph McGehee, it was cited in a single footnote as part of an article by H. W. Brands, “The Limits of Manipulation: How the United States Didn’t Topple Sukarno,” in the Journal of American History, (December 1989).

Brands did not mention the arguments for U.S. involvement. Instead his claim (that

“In fact, Sukarno’s overthrow had little to do with American machinations”) relied on documents in the LBJ library: “The story they tell,” he assured readers, “does render largely untenable the notion that Sukarno’s demise and the accompanying bloodbath originated in the USA.”8 His method, in short, was to trust what U.S. government documents said on the topic, a naïve method that I fear one finds all too frequently among what I call archival historians. Brands concedes that “Certain communications remain classified [and] some may have been consigned to the shredder” (p. 788). But he writes as if unaware that the CIA is quite capable of falsifying releases of its own internal records, when it serves to protect operational secrecy from outsiders.9

The same naïve method marks the only other response (as far as I know) to my argument, this in a book by the journalist Victor Fic implicating China in Gestapu (and published in India):

Peter Dale Scott is the leading theorist about the alleged American role in this conspiracy…. However CIA and other documents declassified and published by the Government of the United States… render Scott’s theory implausible as the CIA, by its own admission, did not have assets in Indonesia to carry out such a ‘coup’ to depose Sukarno or destroy the PKI.10

Fic’s argument deserves a little more attention, since he also refers to an editorial in support of Gestapu which appeared in the October 2, 1965, issue of the PKI newspaper Harian Rakjat. Once again, if taken at face value, this support for the generals’ murder from a Communist paper would seem to corroborate that Gestapu was, as Fic claimed, a left-wing putsch attempt.

However Fic simply ignored the arguments referred to in my essay that the Harian Rakjat “editorial” was in fact a propaganda forgery, perhaps from the CIA. As I quoted then from Anderson and McVey:

Professors Benedict Anderson and Ruth McVey, who have questioned the authenticity of this issue, have also ruled out the possibility that the newspaper was “an Army falsification,” on the grounds that the army’s “competence … at falsifying party documents has always been abysmally low.”115

The questions raised by Anderson and McVey have not yet been adequately answered. Why did the PKI show no support for the Gestapu coup while it was in progress, then rashly editorialize in support of Gestapu after it had been crushed? Why did the PKI, whose editorial gave support to Gestapu, fail to mobilize its followers to act on Gestapu’s behalf? Why did Suharto, by then in control of Jakarta, close down all newspapers except this one, and one other left-leaning newspaper which also served his propaganda ends?116 Why, in other words, did Suharto on October 2 allow the publication of only two Jakarta newspapers, two which were on the point of being closed down forever?

Fn. 115. Anderson and McVey, A Preliminary Analysis of the October 1, 1965, Coup in Indonesia (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1971)], p. 133.

Fn. 116. Benedict Anderson and Ruth McVey, “What Happened in Indonesia?” New York Review of Books, June 1, 1978, p. 41; personal communication from Anderson. A second newspaper, Suluh Indonesia, told its PNI readers that the PNI did not support Gestapu, and thus served to neutralize potential opposition to Suharto’s seizure of power.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skulls of the victims, along with a surviving relative

How to Explain the Fifty Years of Silence?

It is obvious why American Indonesianists were reluctant to mention my article or to investigate the avenues that it opened up as long as Suharto was in power: their careers depended on the ability to visit the country they wrote about. Professor Benedict Anderson at Cornell, was one of the first scholars to question the official account of Gestapu, in the so-called Cornell Report of 1971.11 Later he was famously turned back in Jakarta airport, even though he had arrived on a valid visa.

Another obvious reason is methodological. Diplomatic historians are accustomed to work with government records, rather than concern themselves (as I did) with released internal documents from companies like Lockheed which, in my analysis, operate as part of the American deep state.12

Recently, in an essay that explicitly noted CIA involvement in the 1958 Permesta rebellion, Anderson acknowledged U.S. support in 1965 for the violent response to Gestapu, but as distinguished from Gestapu itself.13 Bradley Simpson, in a definitive account of that support, says of Gestapu itself only that “American historians in particular [he cites my essay in an endnote] have spilled much ink on the question of Washington’s involvement.”14 Today it has become common to see discussion of U.S. involvement in targeting PKI members after Gestapu, as well as in the general repression that followed Gestapu.15 But one does not yet see much discussion of U.S. involvement in Gestapu itself.

My article’s reception outside the United States has been quite different. Published first in Canada in 1985, it was subsequently translated and/or published in Amsterdam (1985, in Dutch), Paris (1986), West Berlin (1988, in Bahasa Indonesia), Hull, England (1990), and since then, starting in 1998, at least six other times in Bahasa Indonesia, inside Indonesia itself.16

I am in no position to estimate the reception in Indonesia of the article (it was actually published there as a book). A sign that the bootleg 1988 translation from West Berlin was being circulated clandestinely in Indonesia is the fact that the book was officially banned by Suharto’s Bureau of Censorship.17 To this day. to my knowledge, the only newspaper reference anywhere to my hypothesis of U.S. involvement in Gestapu was in the English-language Jakarta Post of July 25, 2013.18

Now that Indonesia itself is becoming more open to discussions of Gestapu and its aftermath, it is high time for a similar change of attitude in the United States. And internationally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ali Murtopo, conspiratorial Indonesian

general in contact with British MI6

Epilogue

My views on Sukarno’s overthrow have evolved since the 1980s. In that era, seeing Sukarno in contrast to the repressive dictator Suharto, I described Sukarno as “an undeniably popular and reasonably constitutional civilian leader.”19 Today I recognize that in the last years of his rule the country was becoming more and more unstable, major economic problems were not being addressed, and Sukarno sought to placate public unrest by an ill-advised military campaign against his neighbor Malaysia.

I also attribute greater importance to the fact that Sukarno thus contributed unwittingly to his own downfall, since the secret army special operations unit OPSUS, created by Suharto to handle a peace initiative towards Malaysia of which Sukarno knew nothing, evolved into part of the apparatus plotting for his removal, perhaps indeed the planning core of it.20

Although my 1985 article mentioned OPSUS only in a footnote, I now suspect it may have supplied the milieu for a second coup-minded plot, piggy-backed within the first. I mean by this that there was at first an OPSUS plot, pushed by Suharto and sanctioned by Yani, to negotiate peace with Malaysia against Sukarno’s wishes; but then some of the people conspiring may have had a second agenda, to purge (by means of the false-flag pretext of Gestapu) the army general staff of Yani and other overall Sukarno loyalists, thus clearing the way for the coup and the massacre. Such a sophisticated two-level plot, like the propaganda forgery of the Harian Rakjat “editorial,” may have been beyond the capabilities of Indonesians acting alone.21

Piggy-backed plots are however are a staple of the CIA, and before them of the British MI6. And in 1965 the British Foreign Office, working with MI6, sent its top propaganda expert, Norman Reddaway, to Singapore. In 1998, shortly before his death, Reddaway went public, to describe how “the overthrow of Sukarno was one of the Foreign Office’s ‘most successful’ coups, which they have kept a secret until now:”

A covert operation and psychological warfare strategy was instigated, based at Phoenix Park, in Singapore, the British headquarters in the region. The MI6 team kept close links with key elements in the Indonesian army through the British Embassy. One of these was Ali Murtopo, later General Suharto’s intelligence chief, and MI6 officers constantly travelled back and forth between Singapore and Jakarta.22

Stephen Dorril’s book MI6 confirms that “In South-East Asia MI6 was working hand in glove with the CIA to ‘liquidate’ Indonesia’s President Sukarno.”23

In the same period Ali Murtopo, the head of OPSUS, also traveled back and forth, not just to negotiate clandestinely with the Malaysian government, but also to smuggle “rubber and other goods” to generate money for OPSUS and accumulate $17 million in banks in Singapore and Malaysia.24 Yani had authorized Murtopo’s clandestine MI6 contacts; he would have no way of knowing if these talks had turned to plans to eliminate Yani himself.

Like his close ally Suharto, Murtopo rose up through the Diponegoro Divisision, the division which played a central role both in staging Gestapu, and also in putting it down.25 As I wrote in 1985:

From the pro-Suharto sources — notably the CIA study of Gestapu published in 1968 — we learn how few troops were involved in the alleged Gestapu rebellion, and, more importantly, that in Jakarta as in Central Java the same battalions that supplied the “rebellious” companies were also used to “put the rebellion down.” Two thirds of one paratroop brigade (which Suharto had inspected the previous day) plus one company and one platoon constituted the whole of Gestapu forces in Jakarta; all but one of these units were commanded by present or former Diponegoro Division officers close to Suharto; and the last was under an officer who obeyed Suharto’s close political ally, Basuki Rachmat.17

Two of these companies, from the 454th and 530th battalions, were elite raiders, and from 1962 these units had been among the main Indonesian recipients of U.S. assistance.18 This fact, which in itself proves nothing, increases our curiosity about the many Gestapu leaders who had been U.S.-trained. The Gestapu leader in Central Java, Saherman, had returned from training at Fort Leavenworth and Okinawa shortly before meeting with Untung and Major Sukirno of the 454th Battalion in mid-August 1965.19 As Ruth McVey has observed, Saherman’s acceptance for training at Fort Leavenworth “would mean that he had passed review by CIA observers.”20

Fn. 17. CIA Study, p. 2; cf. p. 65: “At the height of the coup … the troops of the rebels [in Central Java] were estimated to have the strength of only one battalion; during the next two days, these forces gradually melted away.”

Fn. 18. Rudolf Mrázek, The United States and the Indonesian Military, 1945-1966 (Prague: Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, 1978), vol. II, p. 172. These battalions, comprising the bulk of the 3rd Paratroop Brigade, also supplied the bulk of the troops used to put down Gestapu in Jakarta. The subordination of these two factions in this supposed civil war to a single close command structure under Suharto is cited to explain how Suharto was able to restore order in the city without gunfire. Meanwhile out at the Halim air force base an alleged gun battle between the 454th (Green Beret) and RPKAD (Red Beret) paratroops went off “without the loss of a single man” (CIA Study, p. 60). In Central Java, also, power “changed hands silently and peacefully,” with “an astonishing lack of violence” (CIA Study, p. 66).

Fn. 19. Ibid., p. 60n; Arthur J. Dommen, “The Attempted Coup in Indonesia,” China Quarterly, January-March 1966, p. 147. The first “get-acquainted” meeting of the Gestapu plotters is placed in the Indonesian chronology of events from “sometimes before August 17, 1965”; cf. Nugroho Notosusanto and Ismail Saleh, The Coup Attempt of the “September 30 Movement” in Indonesia (Jakarta: [Pembimbing Masa, 1968], p. 13); in the CIA Study, this meeting is dated September 6 (p. 112). Neither account allows more than a few weeks to plot a coup in the world’s fifth most populous country.

Fn. 20. Mortimer, Indonesian Communism, p. 429.

I would now suspect, admittedly without proof, that if one wanted to research CIA and/or MI6 input into the 1965 Gestapu plot, the MI6/Ali Murtopo connection would be a good place to begin.

In other words, my opinion of Sukarno and his downfall has somewhat changed. However, I continue to view as monstrous the criminal plans made 50 years ago to eliminate both him and the PKI through bloodshed, even if we concede that the actual massacre may have gone way beyond whatever had been planned.

Looking back, we can see the last century as a period when a number of new great powers emerged, and every one of them, not just the United States, have had a lot of innocent blood to account for. To understand U.S. policy in postwar Asia it is essential to determine the exact process by which the criminal decisions surrounding Gestapu were made and to examine them in light of covert interventions elsewhere.

The purpose of investigating the September 1965 event is not to punish its perpetrators, most of whom are now dead. It is to determine what forces capable of such a plot still exist, including in the United States and Indonesia, and to strive to reduce the probabilities of such crimes occurring again in the future.

Peter Dale Scott is a former Canadian diplomat and English Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. His latest book is The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil, and the Attack on U.S. Democracy, published by Rowman & Littlefield. He is also the author ofDrugs Oil and WarThe Road to 9/11The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11, and the Deep Politics of War, and American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection and the Road to Afghanistan. A contributing editor of the Asia-Pacific Journal, his website, which contains a wealth of his writings, is here.

Related articles

• Benedict Anderson, Impunity and Reenactment: Reflections on the 1965 Massacre in Indonesia and its Legacy

• North American Universities and the 1965 Indonesian Massacre: Indonesian Guilt and Western Responsibility

• Geoffrey Gunn, Suharto Beyond the Grave: Indonesia and the World Appraise the Legacy

Notes

1 Death estimates are discussed by Robert Cribb, and compacted into an assessment of “as low as 200,000 or as high as one million.” Robert Cribb, “Unresolved Problems in the Indonesian Killings of 1965–1966,” Asian Survey, July/August 2002, p. 559).

2 Peter Dale Scott, “Exporting Military Economic Development: America and the Overthrow of Sukarno, 1965-67,” in Malcolm Caldwell (ed.), Ten Years’ Military Terror in Indonesia (Nottingham: Spokesman Books, 1975), pp. 209-61.

3 Peter Dale Scott, “Exporting Military-Economic Development,” in Malcolm Caldwell, ed., Ten Years’ Military Terror in Indonesia(Nottingham, England: Spokesman Books, 1975), pp. 227-61; “The United States and the Overthrow of Sukarno, 1965-1967,” Pacific Affairs (Vancouver, B.C.) 58.2 (Summer 1985), pp. 239-64.

4 John Roosa, Pretext for Mass Murder: the September 30th Movement and Suharto’s Coup d’état in Indonesia (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2006); Bradley R. Simpson, Economists with Guns: Authoritarian Development and U.S.-Indonesian Relations, 1960-1968 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2008).

5 For full citations of this and other sources in these footnotes, see the text of my article at Scott, “The United States and the Overthrow of Sukarno, 1965-1967”.

6 This has been partially corroborated by Andrew Feinstein, but without reference to the 1965 shift in middlemen. See Andrew Feinstein,The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade (New York: Picador, 2012), pp. 265-66: “In Indonesia in 1965, Lockheed disbursed bribes of $100,000 per plane. However, soon afterwards the CIA assisted the right-wing General Suharto to overthrow the Sukarno government. Lockheed worried that its agent, Isaak [sic] Dasaad, might not be sufficiently well connected to the new regime to be of use. Illustrating the extent of US government complicity in controversial foreign arms sales, the company’s marketing executive noted that a Lockheed official ‘went to the US embassy in Jakarta and asked them specifically whether Dasaad could continue, under the new regime, to be of value to Lockheed’. The embassy said yes, leading Lockheed to record that ‘apparently Dasaad has made the transition from Sukarno to Suharto in good shape.’” Cf. Wimanjaya K. Liotohe, Prima Dosa: Wimanjaya dan rakyat Indonesia menggugat imperium Suharto (Pasarminggu: Yayasan Eka Fakta Kata, 1993).

7 Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA (New York: Doubleday, 2007), p. 119. Lockheed money in Japan went to Sasakawa Ryoichi, a CIA agent of influence, and his friend Kodama Yoshio. In my 1965 essay I noted that Sasakawa had “boasted that he played a role in the coup that overthrew Sukarno.” The Lockheed funds to Sasakawa in Japan were partly handled by a Japanese American, Shig Katayama, whose ID Corp. in the Cayman Islands did unexplained business with the CIA-related Castle Bank in the Bahamas.

8 H. W. Brands, “The Limits of Manipulation: How the United States Didn’t Topple Sukarno,” Journal of American History, Vol. 76, No. 3 (Dec., 1989), pp. 785-808 (p. 787). Brands sees Johnson’s policy before his election, while still lacking “a personal political mandate,” as a modest mélange between desires to appease Sukarno, and “quiet efforts to encourage action by the army against the PKI” (pp. 791, 793). I believe he understates the importance of these “quiet efforts,” which (as noted above in discussion of Fact No. 3) a memo from Secretary of State Rusk described on July 17, 1964 as “of vital importance to the entire Free World.” And I know of no evidence for or against his claim that Gestapu caught the CIA “by surprise” (p. 787).

9 For an example, see Peter Dale Scott, Oswald, Mexico, and Deep Politics: Revelations from the CIA Records on the Assassination of JFK(New York: Skyhorse, 2013), pp. 28-29.

10 Victor M. Fic, Anatomy of the Jakarta Coup, October 1, 1965: The Collusion with China Which Destroyed the Army Command, President Sukarno and the Communist Party of Indonesia (New Delhi: Abhinav Publications, 2004), p. 3.

11 B. R. O’G. Anderson and Ruth McVeyA Preliminary Analysis of the October, 1965, Coup in Indonesia (Ithaca: Cornell University, 1971).

12 For this relationship see Peter Dale Scott, The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil, and the Threat to U.S. Democracy (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014 (pp.16-17, 22, 127-29.

13 Benedict R. Anderson, “Impunity and Reenactment: Reflections on the 1965 Massacre in Indonesia and its Legacy,” Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, April 15, 2013: “Army leaders, helped by advice and half-concealed support from both the Pentagon and the CIA – then reeling under heavy reverses in Vietnam – had long been looking for a justification for a mass destruction of the Party. Now the September 30th Movement and the murder of the six generals provided the opening they awaited.”

14 Bradley R. Simpson, Economists with Guns: Authoritarian Development and U.S.-Indonesian Relations, 1960-1968 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2008), p.173, 311n6.

15 Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA (New York: Doubleday, 2007), p. 260.

16 (1) Peter Dale Scott, Peranan C.I.A. Dalam Penggulingan Bung Karno. Buku ini dilatang beredar oleh KEJAGUNG RI. (West Berlin: Perhimpunan Indonesia, 1988);

(2) Peranan C.I.A. dalam penggulingan Bung Karno Konspirasi Soeharto-CIA : penggulingan Soekarno, 1965-1967 (Surabaya: Pergerakan Mahasiswa Islam Indonesia: Perkumpulan Kebangsaan Anti Diskriminasi, [1998]); (3) An anthology, Gestapu, matinya para jenderal dan peran CIA (Yogyakarta: Cermin, 1999); (4) Peter Dale Scott, CIA dan penggulingan Sukarno (Yogyakarta: Lembaga Analisis Informasi, 1999); (5) Peter Dale Scott, Amerika Serikat dan penggulingan Sukarno 1965-1967

([S.l. : s.n.], 2000); (6) Peter Dale Scott … et. al. ; editor, Joesoef Isak], 100 tahun Bung Karno : 6 Juni 1901-2001: sebuah liber(Jakarta : Hasta Mitra, 2001), pp. 278-316; (7) Peter Dale Scott, Peran CIA dalam penggulingan Sukarno (Jakarta: Buku Kita, 2007.

17 Jonathon Green, Encyclopedia of Censorship [New York: Facts on File, 2005], p. 278.

18 Zoe Reynolds, “Putu Oka Sukanta and Poetry from Prison,” Jakarta Post, July 25, 2013: “Others, such as Peter Dale Scott, a former Canadian diplomat and a professor at the University of California, claim that a dalang (or puppet master) — maybe the CIA, maybe Soeharto — was manipulating the events that led to … the bloodletting to come.” This breaking of journalistic silence in Indonesia was the more remarkable, in that an army general was still president.

19 Peter Dale Scott, “How I Came to Jakarta,” Agni, No. 31/32 (1990), p. 297.

20 R. Tanter, “The Totalitarian Ambition: Intelligence Organisations in the Indonesian State,” in State and Civil Society in Indonesia, ed. A.K. Budiman, (Monash: Centre of Southeast Asian Studies, 1990), 218: Jusuf Wanandi, Shades of Grey: A Political Memoir of Modern Indonesia, 1965-1998 (Jakarta: Equinox, 2012), p. 68.

21 In similar CIA-backed plots against Allende in Chile (1970-73), a loyalist Army Chief of Staff was also murdered, making way for a right-wing General Pinochet who would subsequently carry out an army coup and massacre. But these were two plots separated in time, not a single piggy-backed plot.

22 Paul Lashmar and James Oliver, “How We Destroyed Sukarno,” Independent (London), December 1, 1998,

23 Stephen Dorril, MI6: Inside the Covert World of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service (New York: Free Press, 2000), 718: “In co-operation with their colleagues from the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS), MI6’s Special Political Action group launched up to six different disruptive actions, including… the recruitment of ‘moderate’ elements within the army.”

24 John Roosa, review of WanandiShades of Grey, Inside Indonesia.

25 Cf. Fact No. 5 above.

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Still Uninvestigated After 50 Years: Did the U.S. Help Incite the 1965 Indonesia Massacre?

Three recent polls show most Americans oppose what they know little about or what’s potentially at stake. More on this below.

The vast majority of Americans know virtually nothing about Iran, its history, culture. They’re the most over-entertained, uninformed people anywhere – despite easy access to online and other ways to understand major issues touching their lives directly, as well as learn how their government at all levels betrays them.

They’re easy marks for relentless propaganda. In the case of Iran, 36 years of unjust demonization. Why?

Because of its sovereign independence. Because Israel wants its main regional rival eliminated. Because Washington wants control of its vast oil and gas reserves, more territory for its empire of bases, millions more people to exploit.

The Iran nuclear deal, if it holds, lessens the chance of greater regional war.

At the same time, America’s odious history of breaching deals means nothing is written in stone. Three weeks after agreement in Vienna, Iran’s ambassador to the IAEA filed a complaint stating Washington already breached it.

He noted comments by White House press secretary Josh Earnest last month, saying:

“The military option would remain on the table, but the fact is, that military option would be enhanced because we’d been spending the intervening number of years gathering significantly more detail about Iran’s nuclear program.”

Tehran’s complaint calls Earnest’s threat a “material breach of the commitments just undertaken.” It explains Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA) terms don’t give Washington a back door way to get intelligence on Iran through the IAEA.

“Recalling the past instances, in which highly confidential information provided by the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Agency inspectors had been leaked, posing a grave threat to the national security of Iran…it is absolutely essential and imperative for the Agency to take immediate and urgent action to reject such flagrant abuses,”

the complaint states.

Ahead of the Iran deal, Obama “reaffirmed (his) ironclad commitment to the security of our Gulf partners,” meaning more weapons for Saudi Arabia and other regional rogue states already heavily armed and dangerous.

More for Israel is planned – increasing the chance for conflict. Former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Eric Edelman urged Senate Armed Services Committee members to increase America’s Middle East military footprint – despite its overwhelming belligerent presence.

Irresponsible anti-Iranian propaganda convinced most Americans to oppose what they should overwhelming support. A new Quinnipiac University poll showed US voters against the nuclear deal almost two to one – 57 – 28%. A similar percentage said it’ll make the world less safe.

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed 35% support, 33% against, another 32% with no opinion. Opposition doubled since June (17% to 32%).

A late July CNN/ORC poll found 52% against to 44% in favor. With weeks to go before Congress votes up or down on the deal, continued intense anti-Iranian propaganda may turn greater numbers of Americans against it.

Whether enough to build a two-thirds negative congressional majority to override a near-certain Obama veto remains to be seen.

On Tuesday, he met with Jewish leaders at the White House to enlist their support for the deal. He outrageously warned of possible US war on Iran if Congress rejects it.

US war plans on the Islamic Republic have been in place for years. Attacking its nuclear facilities means implementing them, assuring a retaliatory response in whatever way Iran feels it best serves its interests.

Threatening war with nonbelligerent Iran after consummating a deal to prevent it shows US policy toward the Islamic Republic remains unchanged – as hostile as ever with regime change still the key objective.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Pro-Israeli Propaganda Works: New Polls Show Most Americans Oppose Iran Nuclear Deal

USA Today, Jul 31, 2015 (emphasis added): … weather in the Pacific Northwest is killing millions of fish

AP, Jul 27, 2015: More than a quarter million sockeye salmon returning from the ocean to spawn are either dead or dying in the Columbia… wiping out at least half of this year’s returning population… [NOAA’s Ritchie Graves] says up to 80 percent of the population could ultimately perish.

Eureka Times Standard, Jul 29, 2015: With recent fish counting surveys on two Klamath River tributaries showing alarmingly low numbers… fisheries experts are growing increasingly concerned… The South Fork Trinity River is also showing a low presence of wild Chinook salmon adults… Fisheries experts are not certain why the tributaries have such a low salmon population

Washington Post, Jul 30, 2015: … Native American tribes are becoming increasingly worried [wild salmonmight disappear… the current threat isworse than anything they have seen… “We’re very worried,” said Kathryn Brigham, chair of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission… An estimated quarter-million salmon, more than half of the spring spawning run up the Columbia River, perished, likelykilled by a disease that thrives in warm water and causes gill rot…  Adults stay in the Pacific Ocean from three to seven years… Some populations “could go extinct,” [Greg McMillan with Oregon’s Deschutes River Alliance] said.


KOIN transcript
, Jul 27, 2015: Half of the sockeye salmon in the Columbia River are dying… Biologists are calling this die-off unprecedented… (Nick Blevins, fisherman:) “The fish are not looking in good condition… Some of them will have lesions… The sockeye already have gilldiseases“… It could be the end for these endangered species. (Blevins:) “For something that’s been here longer than us that’s going to go to extinction, we’re not too far behind then.”

Spokesman Review, Jul 24, 2015: “Never in my entire (29-year) career have I seen anything like this,” [Jeff Korth, fisheries manager] said. “A minimum of 300,000 adult salmon have died… We’re seeing big gaping sores… 15,000 sockeye tried to go up the Okanogan last week… They all died… My goal was to retire before ocean conditions go to hell again.”

Seattle Times, Jul 27, 2015: … the Columbia [has turned] into a kill zone where salmon immune systems are weakened and fish die of infections… Some [are] suffering from abacterial disease. Others have backs covered with a mottled white fungusAll are expected to die… Mary Peters, a microbiologist who works for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [said] “It’s crazy.”… Salmon also face challenges in the ocean… “My guess is that this is going to be one of the poorest years for salmon (ocean) survival” said Bill Peterson, a [NOAA] scientist… “Things do not look good”… Diseased fish with red marks that are signs of a bacterial infection have been found… Some of them actually have red splotches all over

Daily Record, Jul 31, 2015: [Toby Kock,  Columbia River Research Laboratory biologist is] seeing a great many fish suffering from columnaris bacterial infections which shows up as frayed or ragged finsulcerations and fungus-like white patches on skin and gill filaments.

Spokesman Review, Jul 17, 2015: “Catastrophic“ is a word that’s being used as scientists begin to unravel the mystery… [They’re] finding dead fish, both shad and sockeye… the words scientists use to describe what’s going on are freakier than the photos:

  • WA Dept of Fish & Wildlife: “Very bad news… carnage is ugly… conversion rates… 2-5%”
  • Scientist from B.C., Canada: “Catastrophic losses… have begun to occur… It may be advisable for DFO communications to identify “talking points”… very soon to get out in front of events… [in] more than 40 years and cannot remember anything comparable to what were currently seeing unfold on the coast!
  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Fukushima Radiation: Millions of Fish Dead in Pacific Northwest, Destruction of Marine Life, Unprecedented Catastrophe.

The dirty secret about the Obama administration’s “regime change” strategy in Syria is that it amounts to a de facto alliance with Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front which is driving toward a possible victory with direct and indirect aid from Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Israel, as Daniel Lazare explains.

When the U.S. and Turkey announced on July 23 that they were joining forces to establish a “safe zone” in northern Syria, no one could quite figure out what they meant. With the White House denying that the deal required it to send in troops to seal the zone off or warplanes to patrol the skies, Bloomberg’s Josh Rogin wrote that the whole thing was misnomer: “In fact, there is really no ‘zone,’ and there is no plan to keep the area ‘safe.’”

Indeed, Rogin said, three “senior administration officials” had put together a conference call in order to assure reporters that there were no plans “for a safe zone, a no-fly zone, an air-exclusionary zone, a humanitarian buffer zone, or any other protected zone of any kind.” So if that wasn’t the plan, what on earth was it?

President and Mrs. Obama disembark from Air Force One at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on Jan. 27, 2015, for a state visit to Saudi Arabia. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President and Mrs. Obama disembark from Air Force One at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on Jan. 27, 2015, for a state visit to Saudi Arabia. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Now we know. The purpose of the non-zone zone that Turkey and the U.S. may or may not wish to establish is to give the former a free hand to bomb the Kurds and the latter an opportunity to engage in joint operations with Al Qaeda.

The proof? A front-page article in the Aug. 1 New York Times reporting that a U.S.-trained rebel unit, known as Division 30, which had been sent into Syria to combat ISIS, had come “under intense attack on Friday from a different hardline Islamist faction … the Nusra Front, which is affiliated with Al Qaeda.”

This is no big news in itself since the Syrian opposition’s myriad rebel factions, one more hardline than the next, are constantly battling one another for control of arms, territory, resources and personnel. But what was new was the fact that the trainees had been caught off guard.

As The Times’s Anne Bernard and Eric Schmitt reported: “American military trainers … did not anticipate an assault from the Nusra Front. In fact, officials said on Friday, they expected the Nusra Front to welcome Division 30 as an ally in its fight against the Islamic State. ‘This wasn’t supposed to happen like this,’ said one former senior American official.”

In other words, Defense Department officials expected Al Nusra to see Division 30 as friends and were perplexed when it didn’t. The Americans “had no known plans to fight the Nusra Front,” the Times went on, adding that, while “allied with Al Qaeda,” Nusra “is seen by many insurgents in Syria as preferable to the Islamic State, and it sometimes cooperates with other less radical groups against both the Islamic State and Syrian government forces.”

According to the London Independent, a “distraught” Division 30 commander whom it managed to catch up with in Turkey said that he and one of the captured trainees had actually met with an Al Nusra leader ten days earlier to work out a truce. “They said that if even one bullet reached them, they would attack us, but we assured them we were there only to fight Daesh [i.e. ISIS],” he said.

But even though Division 30 had kept its part of the bargain, Al Nusra was now beating the captured trainees and parading them in the hot afternoon sun with their shirts pulled over their heads while Al Nusra fighters accused them of “collaborat[ing] with the crusader coalition.”

So when the New York Times announced that the U.S.-Turkish plan “would create what officials from both countries are calling an Islamic State-free zone controlled by relatively moderate Syrian insurgents,” it’s now clear who those “moderates” are: Al Nusra. The zone would be safe for U.S.-trained forces, which numbered only around 60 fighters prior to last week’s attack, but it would be mainly safe for the much larger and more powerful Syrian branch of Al Qaeda.

Teaming Up with Al Qaeda?

The U.S. teaming up with Al Qaeda – how can this be? Although the press doesn’t like to talk about it, there in fact has hardly been a moment in recent history when the U.S. has not worked hand in glove with the most dangerous fundamentalist forces.

It goes all the way back to President Dwight Eisenhower who, as Ian Johnson noted in his excellent book, A Mosque in Munich (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010), was always eager “to stress the ‘holy war’ aspect” in his talks with Muslims leaders according to an internal White House memo and, when informed that jihad might be directed against Israel, replied that the Saudis had assured him that it would only be used against the Soviets.

More recently, President Jimmy Carter and National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski opted to put the Eisenhower Doctrine to the test by channeling money and arms to Afghan mujahedeen battling a Soviet-backed government in Kabul. The effort, which eventually – under President Ronald Reagan – morphed into a $20-billion-plus joint operation by the Saudis and CIA, no doubt contributed to the collapse of the U.S.S.R., Brzezinski’s top priority.

But it also destroyed Afghan society, paved the way for the Taliban takeover in 1996, gave rise to Al Qaeda, and, of course, led directly to the destruction of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan.

The U.S. may have backed off thereafter, although it continued to maintain close relations with Saudi Arabia, which, according to Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called “twentieth hijacker,” maintained close ties with Osama bin Laden right up to the eve of 9/11. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Secret Saudi Ties to Terrorism.”]

But by 2007, as Seymour Hersh argued not at all implausibly in The New Yorker, the Saudis had succeeded in convincing the Bush administration to concentrate on battling Shi‘ite forces instead. This meant not only lightening up on Al Qaeda, but cooperating with increasing militant Sunni groups in order to pursue the fight against Hezbollah and other such Shi’te forces.

The consequences have grown more and more evident ever since the Arab Spring caught up with the Assad family dictatorship in February 2011. Washington’s pro-Sunni orientation required that it ignore reports that the radical-Sunni Muslim Brotherhood was dominating the protests, which were taking on an ugly and bigoted anti-Shi‘ite and anti-Christian coloration as the Assads – who are of Shi‘ite origin but otherwise non-sectarian – struggled to maintain control.

When fighting broke out, the “re-direction,” as Hersh called it, also required that the U.S. steer money and aid to Sunni rebels and even that it rely on the Muslim Brotherhood, according to theTimes, to determine which groups were deserving and which were not.

In order to rein in the Shi‘ites, the U.S. thus threw its weight behind ultra-Sunni Saudi Arabia and its program of bloody sectarian warfare. As Vice President Joe Biden put it at Harvard’s Kennedy School last October, Saudi Arabia and the gulf states “were so determined to take down Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war, what did they do? They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of military weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad except the people who were being supplied were Al Nusra and Al Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.”

In August 2012, a Defense Intelligence Agency noted that Al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and assorted Salafists were “the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria”; that the Western powers, the gulf states, and the Turks were solidly behind the uprising; that Al Qaeda was seeking to use the revolt to unite all Sunnis in a general anti-Shi‘ite jihad; that the holy warriors were likely to establish “a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria,” and that “this is exactly what the supporting powers want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).”

Although the consequences would be disastrous for Syria’s Christian, Druze and Alawite-Shi‘ite minorities, the U.S. went along and the mainstream press supplied the all-important cover-up.

A Non-Aggression Pact

The non-aggression pact that Defense Department thought it had hammered out with Al Nusra is the latest step in this strategy. While the Obama administration claims to be battling ISIS, its attitude toward the hyper-brutal group is more ambiguous than it lets on. The U.S. only raised the alarm when ISIS invaded Iraq in June 2014 and began threatening the American-backed government in Baghdad.

Before then, the U.S. was content to sit back and watch while ISIS made life miserable for Assad and the Baathists in Damascus. Turkey claims to oppose ISIS as well even though it has allowed Daesh to turn its 550-mile border with Syria into “an open highway for jihadists from around the world.”

After ISIS bombed a left-wing, pro-Kurdish rally in the border town of Suruç, killing 32 people and injuring more than a hundred, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to get tough. But instead of ISIS, he got tough with the Kurds, bombing targets in northern Iraq and southeastern Turkey associated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) even though the PKK, along with its Syrian branch, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) is one of the few effective anti-ISIS forces in the field.

As Reuters observed, “Turkey’s assaults on the PKK have so far been much heavier than its strikes against Islamic State, fueling suspicions that its real agenda is keeping Kurdish political and territorial ambitions in check.”

Indeed, Erdogan’s agenda may be even more convoluted than that since striking out at the PKK may serve to undermine the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), which, after an impressive 13-percent showing in June’s elections, poses a growing danger to his rule.

Further, Turkey and other U.S. allies in the region have packaged their attacks on the most effective anti-ISIS forces as indirect ways to undermine ISIS. Turkey offers the curious belief that the best way to defeat ISIS is by defeating the Kurds.

Similarly, Saudi Arabia claims the best way to defeat ISIS is by toppling Assad since his determination to remain in power is supposedly what fuels Sunni anger, which in turn fuels the growth of ISIS. This rationale holds that even though Assad’s Syrian Arab Army is one of the few bulwarks against an ISIS victory, defeating Assad is suppose to somehow spell doom for ISIS.

Another country that claims to want to see ISIS go down in flames is Israel, except that whenever it intervenes in the Syrian civil war, it ends up bombing Assad’s forces and their Shi’ite allies, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Iranian military advisers.

So, everyone claims to want to defeat ISIS, yet everyone bombs precisely those forces that are working to stop ISIS. Of course, the most convoluted agenda of all is that of the U.S. The Obama administration seems to believe that defeating ISIS is the top goal, except when it says that priority number one is overthrowing Assad.

As the Times blandly puts it with regard to units like Division 30: “The training [of Division 30 to combat ISIS] is often at cross-purposes with a covert C.I.A. training program for fighters battling Syrian security forces. Toppling Mr. Assad was the original goal of the Syrian revolt, before the Islamic State sprang from its most extreme Islamist wing.” (However, the actual history of ISIS is that it emerged from the Sunni resistance to the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, originally calling itself “Al Qaeda in Iraq” before joining the war against Assad and taking the name “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” or simply the “Islamic State.”)

What’s the Priority?

Based on recent developments, one might ask: is toppling Assad yesterday’s top goal superseded by today’s top goal of defeating ISIS – or is it the other way around? Meanwhile, the U.S. policy is to bomb ISIS whenever possible except when it is engaged in battle with Syrian government forces, at which point the U.S. policy is to hold off.

Explained the Times’s Anne Bernard: “In Syria, a new awkwardness arises. Any airstrikes against Islamic State militants in and around Palmyra would probably benefit the forces of President Bashar al-Assad. So far, United States-led airstrikes in Syria have largely focused on areas far outside government control, to avoid the perception of aiding a leader whose ouster President Obama has called for.”

In other words, the U.S. bombs ISIS except when it might help the most potent force fighting ISIS. Washington is also at war with Al Nusra – sometimes. In early July, for instance, a U.S. air strike killed seven Al Nusra members in Idlib Province in northern Syria. But America’s neocons disapprove of such strikes because they may indirectly benefit Assad’s forces.

Neocons were gleeful when a Nusra-led coalition swept through Idlib in April with support from the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army, while the administration remained conspicuously silent about the large numbers of U.S.-made TOW missiles – almost certainly supplied by the Saudis – that provided Al Nusra with a critical edge. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Climbing into Bed with Al-Qaeda.”]

So the U.S. opposes Al Nusra except when it supports it. Indeed, just about every player in the Middle East is busy playing both sides of the fence, which is why ISIS and Al Qaeda are doing so well.

As Karl Sharro, a Lebanese architect turned political satirist, noted: “Obama is an astute strategist. His plan centers on supporting Kurdish factions as he also supports Turkey which is now attacking the Kurds while also supporting Saudi Arabia in its war in Yemen which upsets Iran whom U.S. forces are collaborating with in fighting ISIS in Iraq as he simultaneously yields to pressure from allies to weaken Assad in Syria which complicates things further with Iran which he pacifies by signing the nuclear deal upsetting America’s traditional friend Israel whose anger is absorbed with shipments of advanced weapons escalating the arms race in the region.”

Exactly. It would all be quite funny if the consequences – 220,000 deaths in Syria, millions more displaced, plus widespread destruction in Yemen where nightly Saudi air raids are now in their sixth month – weren’t so tragic.

Daniel Lazare is the author of several books including The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (Harcourt Brace).

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Obama’s “Regime Change” Strategy: How US Allies Aid Al Qaeda in Syria

Asked what legal justification the Obama White House’s decision to strike Syrian government forces was based on, State Department deputy spokesperson Mark Toner said, “I frankly don’t know.”

Earlier this week it was reported that the U.S. would allow airstrikes against Syrian government targets in defense of US-trained rebel militants who have been battling against the Assad regime for the past four years, a de facto declaration of war two years after President Obama supposedly backed down from committing the United States to military action in Syria to topple the Assad government.

When asked by RT’s Gayane Chichakyan what the legal basis was for this decision or whether it could be justified by Congressional backing, the State Department’s Mark Toner was left dumbfounded.

“I frankly don’t know what the legal authority is,” Toner said, arguing that the measure was defensive in nature and would only be used if Assad’s forces attacked US-trained rebels (many of whom have gone on to join Al-Qaeda affiliate groups and ISIS itself).

Toner refused to admit that the decision represented a major change in US policy, arguing, “There’s no change in the legal framework, our main goal is to take the fight against ISIL. Nothing’s changed in that regard.”

The Obama administration has proven in the past that it has little concern for obtaining legal authority or Congressional approval prior to committing US troops overseas.

Obama brazenly undermined the power of Congress by insisting his authority came from the United Nations Security Council prior to the attack on Libya and that Congressional approval was not necessary.

“I don’t even have to get to the Constitutional question,” said Obama, a move that Congressman Walter Jones said constituted, “an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor under article II, section 4 of the Constitution.”

Libya has since been overrun by tribal warlords and Islamic State militants, with the former US-backed rebel commander Abdelhakim Belhadj now leading ISIS forces in Tripoli.

As the video below documents, the announcement that Syrian forces would be targeted amounts to a de facto declaration of war. While ISIS continues its bloodthirsty rampage, killing thousands of Christians and Muslims, the Obama administration and its allies seem more preoccupied with destabilizing the governments of Syria and Iran.

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

Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/paul.j.watson.71

FOLLOW Paul Joseph Watson @ https://twitter.com/PrisonPlanet

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on US State Deptartment “Doesn’t Know” Legal Authority Behind Obama’s Green Light to Attack Syrian Troops

A couple of weeks ago a group of influencial German figures, the members of Willy Brandt Circle, have signed an Open Letter to SPD (German Social-Democrats) Bundestag delegates and cabinet ministers urging them to abandon the confrontational course in relations with Russia. The authors reviewed the degrading EU-Russia ties in the context of Ukraine’s crisis which was the direct result of mutual misunderstandings and controversies. Hereby ORIENTAL REVIEW publishes an exclusive English translation of the Letter in full:

***

Europe is experiencing the worst crisis since the end of the East-West conflict. Not only dealing with Greece and the thousands of refugees heighten tenses across the continent, but also the ceasefire negotiation process in Ukraine remains fragile. As long as the conflict over the future of Ukraine is unsolved, the real danger of escalation is on the table.

A comprehensive peace treaty for Europe, envisioned by the Charter of Paris 1990, is still needed. Europe has no interest in aggravating old controversy between the United States and the USSR, bringing Russia to its knees. There is a difference between the European and the American interests: pan-European problems cannot be solved without Russia or even against Russia. Recent history shows: Russia and the peoples of the Soviet Union contributed more than anyone to the liberation of Europe from fascism and later to the unification of Germany. Therefore, Germany has a special responsibility to win Russia as a negotiating partner in the European peace order.

In 1990 it seemed that the answer to these questions is found once and for all: Russia became a co-architect of the European integration. Russia, alongside with the USA, would naturally become an anchor and an equal partner. Since then Russia’s expectations have been deeply disappointed: EU and, what’s more important, NATO enlargement policy totally excluded the possibility of Russia’s membership. It was too difficult, as the country was too big. Moreover, some Eastern European states claimed that their quick accession to NATO membership was a military precaution against Russia. Having no perspective to join NATO itself, more and more patriotic Russia sees the expansion of the structures of the Western alliance as a threat. NATO expansion nourished Russia’s old fear of being surrounded and it was gradually forced to thinking in geopolitical categories and zones of influence.

The Ukrainian crisis is a reflection of a major conflict between Russia and the Euro-Atlantic structures. It may lead to a catastrophe if the ongoing arms race, military provocations and confrontational rhetoric is not stopped. We strongly appeal to all responsible politicians and peace-loving citizens but first and foremost directly to the SPD:

In this situation bold political initiative is needed comparable to the initiatives that helped to stop the conflict spiral during Berlin Wall and Cuban Missile Crisis. It was German social democracy that paved the way to the new Willy Brandt’s Ostpolitik and the détente. In 2015 we require such courage and political wisdom to counter the threat of renewed confrontation and division of Europe. We call to stop the confrontation and restart our relations with Russia before it is too late for all of us.

  • The Ukraine crisis cannot be solved by political sanctions against Russia. The underlying causes of the Russian-European alienation should be discussed at EU-Russia summit talks. Lasting reconciliation of interests can only be achieved through dialogue and negotiation. The economic sanctions undermine the development of Europe as a common economic area. Cooperation is an engine of confidence building. Energy infrastructure that has already been affected by the current sharpening of contradictions is a vital part of our mutual interests and bilateral trade.
  • The European Union that is partially responsible for the roots of the crisis must contribute to its solution on the basis of consensus. The interaction of Germany, France and Poland with Ukraine and Russia in Minsk II Agreement is an innovative approach. Implementation of Minsk II may bridge the credibility gap. A wider European integration is needed. Germany must throw into the say its position as a future OSCE president and act in the spirit of dialogue.
  • The United States as the most important partner of the new Ukrainian government has also high responsibility to find a solution to the crisis. All available international fora should be used to bring Russia and the US together. In times of crisis we need to maintain close ties in order to communicate effectively. Therefore, G7 should involve Russia and the work of the NATO-Russia Council should continue as soon as possible. Essential ways to negotiate in crisis should not be limited but broadened.
  • The incorporation of the Crimea into Russia is a violation of international agreements. At the same time it is a political reality that cannot be undone against the will of the majority of Crimea’s voters. The status quo must not undermine the constructive cooperation with stakeholders of the common European interest.
  • Ukrainian crisis is also the result of a weak federal structure in a relatively new state. Only through a strong federal system the country can protect itself from ethnic strife and the threat of secession. The experience of other European countries with federal structure should be offered to Ukraine if needed.
  • NATO membership for Ukraine will not enhance Alliance’s security. It will fuel the flame of Russia’s fears about NATO objectives and increase the risks of unwanted military confrontation. The framework of the OSCE and the “Vienna Document” 2011 is vital in times of crisis and should be implemented to bring together political and military bodies of all European states.
  • The Ukraine crisis threatens the European arms control. Arms race, transfer of lethal military equipment and new troop deployments on both sides of the Russian border undermine the existing system of arms control treaties. The participation of German troops in the military training of the “intervention force” can trigger on the Russian side memories of the German invasion and aggravate tension, which is unnecessary. Disengagement of troops, non-proliferation and arms curbs are goals to be achieved as soon as possible.
  • During the Ukraine crisis we saw alarming rise of nuclear intent once again. There is a risk of rearming with medium range nuclear missiles in Europe as it happened in the 1980-es. Nuclear weapons must be finally outlawed. A matter of principle weapons of total annihilation should not be part of employable forces.
  • European peace order is not only an order of states. It is based on strong civil societies and, among other, international cooperation in the field of culture, media, sports and science. Restart of European youth exchange programs with Russia and Ukraine may help to overcome stereotyping and encourage better understanding of each other and, consequently, build better relations.

Europe needs Russia and Russia needs Europe. We stand at a tipping point. Either we enter a more or less Cold war with dim future or pave the way together the new common European peace order.

Now is the time to act!

Berlin, July, 21, 2015

Signers:

Egon Bahr and Willy Brandt

Prof. Egon Bahr was the creator of the “Ostpolitik” promoted by West German Chancellor Willy Brandt, for whom he served as Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office from 1969 until 1972. Between 1972 and 1990 he was an MP in the Bundestag.

Prof. Dr. Walther Stützle was the Deputy Minister of Defense in 1998-2002.

Dr. Christoph Zöpel is the SPD politician, Foreign Minister in 1999-2002.

Prof. Dr. Ingomar Hauchler, Bundestag MP (SPD) from 1983 to 1998.

Antje Vollmer, is a member of the German Green Party. From 1994 to 2005, she was one of the vice presidents of the Bundestag.

Prof. Dr. Dieter Klein is the Head of the Commission on the Future of the Rosa Luxembourg Foundation and a member of its Board.

Prof. Dr. Gustav Horn is the Professor of Economics at the University of Flensburg, Scientific Director of the Institute of Macroeconomic Research in the Hans Böckler Foundation.

Dr. Rainer Land is the German social scientist and economist.

Prof. Dr. Götz Neuneck is the Deputy Director of the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH) and Director of the Interdisciplinary Research Group Arms Control and Disarmament (IFAR).

Prof. Dr. Rolf Reissig is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Rosa Luxembourg Foundation.

Prof. Dr. Elmar Brähler, was the Professor of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology at the University of Leipzig.

Prof. Dr. Peter Brandt is the German historian and retired Professor for Modern and Contemporary History at the University of Hagen.

Prof. Dr. Michael Schneider is the German political journalist and literary critic.

Prof. Klaus Staeck is a German lawyer and publisher.

Dr. Friedrich Dieckmann is the author of essays, reviews, stories and radio features.

Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Gießmann is the Executive Director of Berghof Foundation.

Prof. Dr. Lutz Götze, Professor Emeritus of the University of Saarland.

Dr. Enrico Heitzer, Researcher of the Brandenburg Memorials Foundation.

Gunter Hofmann is the German journalist working for Die Zeit.

Dr. Hans Misselwitz is a functionary of the SPD and a founding member of the Institute Solidarity modernity.

Dr. Irina Mohr is the leader of Forum Berlin of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.

Dr. Edelbert Richter is a Member of the European Parliament in 1991-1994, German Bundestag MP in 1994-2002, member of the Federation of German Scientists.

Dr. Friedrich Schorlemmer, is a German Protestant theologian, civil rights activist and member of the SPD.

Wolfgang Schmidt is the Hamburg Commissioner to the Federal Government, the European Union and of Foreign Affairs; Member of the Committee of the Regions.

Axel Schmidt-Gödelitz is the Chairman of the East-West Forum.

Volker Braun is the prominent German writer living in Berlin.

Daniela Dahn is the writer, journalist and essayist.

Ingo Schulze is a German writer from Dresden.

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on “Europe Needs Russia and Russia Needs Europe”: Influencial German Figures Call for a New European Approach to the Crisis in Ukraine

It was said after the last financial crash that “no one could’ve seen it coming”. This was not so back then and is not so today.

If you were looking for the truth in 2007, the average investor had ample warning from many sources warning of what was to come.

The warnings are now much louder, far easier to hear and coming from some mainstream and even “official sources”. Are you listening?

After the biggest financial and social crash in history occurs, “they” will say you were warned! Who are “they” and how exactly were we warned? For several years and in particular the last 12 months, the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and the BIS (Bank for International Settlements) have been issuing warning after warning. They have truly warned us as I will show you. Do I believe they did this out of the goodness of their hearts? No, I believe it has been in “c.y.a” fashion followed by their laughter because the sheep have and will sleep through it all until it’s too late.

Bank for International Settlements

Thanks to Larry White from www.Lonestarwhitehouse.blogspot.com a full listing of the recent warnings has been compiled and logged. I had seen each one of these over the last year and have even commented on a couple of them but it never really registered with me there were so many.

Normally I try not to “link” articles to death, this one is different because it is important you see how many and just how in depth the warnings have been!

I will asterisk the three most important articles in my opinion, there have been 16 such warnings over the last 12 months!

July 2014 – BIS –BIS Issues Strong Warning on “Asset Bubbles”

July 2014 – IMF –Bloomberg: IMF Warns of Potential Risks to Global Growth

October 2014 – BIS –“No One Could Foresee this Coming”

October 2014 IMF Direct Blog — What Could Make $3.8 Trillion in global bonds go up in smoke?

October 2014 IMF Report –“Heat Wave”-Rising financial risk in the U.S.

***December 2014 – BIS –BIS Issues a new warning on markets

December 2014 – BIS —BIS Warnings on the U.S. Dollar

February 2015 – IMF – Shadow Banking — Another Warning from the IMF – This Time on “Shadow Banking”

March 2015 – Former IMF Peter Doyle – Don’t expect any warning on new crisis -Former IMF Peter Doyle: Don’t Expect any Early Warning from the IMF –

*** April 2015 IMF – Liquidity Shock –IMF Tells Regulators to Brace for Liquidity Shock

May 2015 BIS – Need New “Rules of the Game” –BIS: Time to Think about New Global Rules of the Game?

June 2015 BIS Credit Risk Report –BIS: New Credit Risk Management Report

June 2015 IMF (Jose Vinals)  –IMF’s Vinals Says Central Banks May Have to be Market Makers

***BIS June 2015 (UK Telegraph) –The world is defenceless against the next financial crisis, warns BIS

July 2015 – IMF – Warns US the System is Still Vulnerable (no blog article)IMF warns U.S.: Your financial system is (still) vulnerable

July 2015 – IMF – Warns Pension Funds Could Pose Systemic Risk (no blog article) –IMF warns pension funds could pose systemic risks to the US

And there you have it in black and white! You have been warned!

MANY TIMES in fact…and from the most inside and official of sources!

Yet on a daily basis we hear from our own mainstream press, Washington and Wall Street: don’t worry be happy!

These are very real articles with well thought out and cogent logic. They are not to be ignored!

One piece by the BIS last October talked about the “no one could have seen it coming” meme we heard so often back in 2008-09.

THEY see it coming and have been telling you for over a year!

Please understand this, the BIS is the central bank for central banks. No one knows the inside situation (particularly in derivatives) better than they do.

If you don’t believe me or others who have worked so hard to get the warnings out, listen to what both the BIS and IMF are telling you. They have gotten out in front of this and will only say “we tried to warn you” after the fact.

 

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on The Next Financial Crash. “The Writing is on the Wall”. Don’t Say “You Weren’t Warned”

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) believes Iranians “are evil people. They’re dangerous.”

Imagine a US senator publicly calling the Chinese “evil people.” Imagine a governor saying African leaders are “animals.” Imagine a presidential candidate claiming Latinos are “liars.” In each of these cases, the media would rightfully explode, condemning the politicians for their overt racism.

A notable exception to this, however, exists in the US political system and media establishment: When politicians make ludicrous claims about Iranians, when Republicans deploy orientalist myths about purportedly bloodthirsty Persians in order to sabotage their own government’s attempts at diplomacy, the media largely sit on their hands.

In a July 29 meeting of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) claimed Iranians “are evil people. They’re dangerous.”

The media completely ignored the extreme statement. Google search shows it was mentioned in a Military.com article (7/29/15) and a piece on the little-known Rapid News Network that seems to have been subsequently taken down. That is it. That was the extent of its coverage.

Tillis was not alone. One need only look one state over to see another US senator who spouts anti-Iranian bigotry.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) explained how “everything [he] learned about the Iranians [he] learned in the pool room” of his parents’ restaurant. “I ran the pool room when I was a kid, and I met a lot of liars.” (Screengrab: Washington Examiner)

In an address to the Southern Republican Leadership Conference via video in May, GOP presidential candidate Lindsey Graham (R-SC) declared (BBC,5/22/15): “Everything I learned about Iranians I learned working in the pool room. I ran the pool room when I was a kid, and I met a lot of liars, and I know the Iranians are lying,” the senator said.

The National Iranian American Council (NIAC)“strongly condemned” what they called Senator Graham’s “racist statement” and demanded an apology. Said NIAC President Trita Parsi:

Graham’s racist statement raises concerns about his ability to speak on vital national security matters such as the nuclear negotiations with Iran. Because if you judge an entire people based on your experience running a pool hall-liquor store, do you really have the judgment to keep America safe?

“The senator’s repulsive remarks are racist, period,” Parsi maintained. “This type of discourse should have no place in American politics.”

Yet this kind of chauvinistic discourse remains a part of US politics, and the media fail to draw adequate attention to it.

It is precisely this lack of media pressure that lets other presidential candidates get away with calling the leaders of a country with which their government is negotiating “animals.”

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said Obama’s deal with Iran “will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven,” referencing the Holocaust.

In an interview on Fox News, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee referred to Iranian authorities as “animals” and “terrorists” (Haaretz7/29/15). Host Sean Hannity egged the politician on, claiming the nuclear deal will lead to the bombing of Israel and a second Holocaust.

It is impossible to imagine the reverse situation—politicians calling Israelis “evil,” liars, “animals,” with media figures encouraging them. The same corporate media that largely ignore inflammatory statements about Iranians would explode. The political figures’ careers would be destroyed; they would perpetually be known as anti-Semites. Yet these same racist attitudes are suddenly tolerated when they are directed toward Iranians.

Racism in media

Examples such as Hannity’s goading demonstrate that the US media do not just give a platform from which politicians spread anti-Iranian bigotry; sometimes they themselves dabble in such racism.

And it is not just Fox News that does so. Just a few months ago,Time magazine peddled these very same anti-Iranian prejudices (FAIR,4/8/15), showcasing former Israeli ambassador to the US Michael Oren’s orientalist Middle Eastern “carpet merchant” extended metaphor.

Such orientalist tropes are by no means new. For centuries, colonial powers used racist ideas to try to justify their oppressive imperial rule. Media often obediently echoed their chauvinistic lies.

A racist “White Man’s Burden” cartoon published in the Detroit Journal.

Rudyard Kipling’s infamous poem “The White Man’s Burden” was published in popular newspapers like the New York SunNew York Tribune and San Francisco Examiner (7/5/1899). The day after it was published, Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris, establishing imperial control of the Philippines.

Just as other forms of racism were exploited on behalf of empire in the past, anti-Iranian racism is today deemed permissible when it promotes US interests.

To be clear, there is certainly no dearth of critiques to be made of the Iranian government. It greatly represses progressive activists, labor organizers and women protesting sexist laws. Yet US politicians consistently fail to differentiate between the Iranian people and their government. When Tillis called Iranians “evil,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey interjected, clarifying that “it’s really the regime—not the Iranian people.” Tillis did not make such a distinction.

Double standards

If a pop singer says something even mildly problematic, there is instantly a vast slew of think pieces published in the media, accusing so-and-so of some form of bigotry. Yet when elected officials make even more outrageous remarks about Iranians, they are often ignored.

Some argue this is the inevitable product of the US right-wing constantly making ridiculous statements. At this point, they claim, we should simply expect conservatives to make absurd remarks.

Yet the (ideal) job of the journalist is not to make us accustomed to the status quo; it is to hold authorities to task, to check power, to inform the public when leaders are engaging in problematic behavior.

War-hawk politicians have no problem wielding racism and bigotry when it is in their political interest. And because they are not held responsible for their extreme rhetoric, they have every incentive to keep employing it. As long as the lackadaisical corporate media let them do so, they will continue.

On the other hand, if media do their job and hold the feet of politicians who make such racist comments to the fire, generating rightful outrage, politicians will think twice before calling an entire people “evil,” liars or “animals.” And if politicians are no longer able to lean on racist myths to try to justify their policies—and, who knows, even have to engage with actually existing reality—that can only be good for the rest of us.

Ben Norton is a freelance journalist and writer. His website is BenNorton.com and he tweets @BenjaminNorton.

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on US Politicians’ Racist Anti-Iranian Remarks Don’t Make Headlines

Gaddafi Son Tortured in Prison: Video

August 5th, 2015 by RT

A video apparently showing the torture of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s son during interrogation in prison has been condemned by both HRW, and his legal representative, who told RT that the Gaddafi name alone is enough to guarantee “maximum sentence and maximum mistreatment.”

The undated video, recently released by Arabic Clear News outlet shows a group of men ill-treating several inmates and interrogating a captive who strongly resembles al-Saadi Gaddafi, the third son of the deceased Colonel who ruled the country for almost 40 years.

“It does appear to be Saadi Gaddafi,” Melinda Taylor, an international criminal court defense lawyer for Saadi Gaddafi told RT. “He looks the same in sense [that] his head … [had been] shaved which happened to him last year.”

The footage shows the blindfolded man being forced to listen to the screams of at least two other inmates allegedly being tortured by the guards in the next room. Then he is made to watch them being beaten. No legal team is present during the“questioning.”

It appears to be criminal treatment in the sense of it being severe physical treatment and also psychological in the sense that he is being forced to listen to other people apparently being tortured,” Taylor said. She called the footage evidence of an“international crime, crime of torture and cruel and inhumane treatment.

In the last part of the clip, the interrogator asks Gaddafi to choose between being beaten on his feet or on his buttocks. Gaddafi responds, “What kind of a question is this? My feet.”

The interrogators proceed to beat the soles of his feet, tied to a medal device as the prisoner lies on his back, and causing him to scream from pain.

At one point Gaddafi asks for a rest telling his captors that he will cooperate. “Don’t. I will tell you all the information you want,” the man, who is yet to be verified as being Gaddafi, says in the video. At one point in the video Gaddafi tries to reason with the interrogators to stop the abuse.

Taylor, says that Gaddafi’s torture is the result of the fact that he is being held by militia in a war torn country that has seen a tremendous power vacuum and chaos following the 2011 NATO-led intervention. Al-Hadba prison is currently under the control of militia loyal to former deputy defense minister and the Libya Dawn militia coalition which opposes the internationally recognized Libyan government.

“There is no effective protection for Saadi as long as he remains in the control of the militia which allows this type of torture and mistreatment to occur with impunity,” Taylor told RT.

 

Human Rights Watch (HRW) meanwhile called on Libyan authorities at the al-Hadba facility in Tripoli to “immediately investigate” the apparent ill-treatment of detainees, as it called to suspend the guards involved in the “questioning.” “The graphic video that seems to show prisoners being beaten raises serious concerns about the methods used to interrogate al-Saadi Gaddafi and other detainees at al-Hadba prison,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director. “No exceptional circumstances justify torture or other ill-treatment.” Meanwhile, Libya’s state prosecutor has started an investigation and is seeking to identify the guards in the video.

Saadi Gaddafi is being kept in pretrial detention after extradition from Niger to Libya in March 2014. He is facing charges over the alleged killing of a football player at the time of his heading the Libyan Football Federation, as well as other crimes associated with his paternal links.

After his extradition to Libya, the country’s TV stations aired a series of videos showing 42 year-old Gaddafi confessing to crimes, and apologizing for any “destabilization” he may have caused, including his work against the country’s political system.

The release of the video follows last week’s verdict in the cases of 32 former Gaddafi officials, nine of whom were sentenced to death, including another son of Muammar Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi. The remaining 23 former officials received between five years and life in prison.

“The trial was plagued by persistent, credible allegations of fair trial breaches that warrant independent and impartial judicial review Tripoli’s Court of Assize, including lack of meaningful access to a lawyer and allegations of ill treatment,” Human Rights Watch said.

Taylor who now represents Colonel Gaddafi’s third son said the 42-year-old will likely receive the same verdict as his brother, despite the fact that the International Criminal Court has a mandate over war crimes committed in Libya since February 15, 2011.

The mere fact that Saadi has a Gaddafi name will mean that he will be subjected to the same treatment,” Taylor told RT, calling it a “collective punishment.

“Saadi being in al-Hadba subjects him both to the maximum sentence and to the maximum mistreatment,” the lawyer added.

 

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Gaddafi Son Tortured in Prison: Video

Under-Reporting of War Deaths – or Genocide?

August 5th, 2015 by Global Research News

by Yemen News Today

The estimates of numbers killed in this terrible war have varied from website to website. On the 31stJuly FARS news agency reported the number killed as 5313 people, most of them women and children. Al Jazeera quoted UN statistics on 27th July, stating that 3,640 have died altogether, about half of them civilians deaths. I believe both of these numbers hide the truth, and the number of those who have died is much, much higher.

Systems of recording deaths in Yemen during the war are not straightforward, hence the differences in death counts. Some agencies count deaths that have been reported in the media, but this is a multi-focal war, with both militia activity and air assaults by the coalition happening in all of the areas except Hadramaut, and journalists cannot access all areas where people are being attacked. As the war progresses, deaths in Yemen have become less newsworthy as it has become so commonplace and the Western media have not seriously tried to give the war in Yemen the coverage it deserves.  Furthermore, militias and fighting forces have an interest in under-reporting any of their own fighters killed by the other ‘side’ as militia and military deaths have a propaganda purpose; these deaths can only be estimated.

Another way of collecting information about those killed is from hospitals and medical sources. However, many hospitals have themselves been out of action, either because of destruction caused by war activity, because of loss of personnel due to the conflict, or because they have run out of medical equipment and may have disruption of water and electricity supplies making it impossible to function. Additionally, many who died at the site of an attack will not be included in hospital statistics

Then there is the nature of Yemen itself. In rural mountainous areas Yemeni families bury the deceased in their own villages, and with the ongoing conflict there is no system for these deaths to be immediately recorded. In some areas, especially the north-west, villages are inside conflict zones and not excluded from serious effects of warfare. The lack of fuel also means that moving injured to hospital is a challenge, for example, a recent report from journalist Mathieu Aikins “Yemen’s Hidden War” published by Rollingstone, stated that whilst he was in Yemen injured people were bought into a hospital in Saada from a village – he pointed to the difficulties in getting the casualties to hospital, with little petrol available, and for many the cost prohibits access to petrol. Apart from the blockade by Saudi Arabia, 180 petrol stations have been bombed in Saada area. For those few who manage to get their injured loved ones to hospital, inevitably many others will have failed and the injured may have died from lack of medical care.

Saada has been subject to daily extensive aerial bombardment by Saudi Arabia throughout the war, causing extensive displacement of families

Aikins also points out that in the areas he passed through in the Sana’a and northwest areas almost all bridges have been bombed, making communication and movement extremely difficult. In a radio report on Radio 4 on 27th July, MSF British doctor Natalie Roberts confirmed this and also stated that it is extremely dangerous to drive along roads, because so many cars and trucks – even those with no military use – are regularly targeted.  No-one will use roads for routine issues such as reporting deaths, and with severe electricity shortages there may be no means for some villages to communicate with the outside world.
 

Dr. Natalie Roberts saw food trucks that were recently bombed in Amran district, destroying desperately needed food.

The siege has also made it impossible to obtain medicines and medical equipment. This has particularly affected those with chronic illnesses. At times, medicines have been in very limited supply and even the black market has been unable to provide them. This has meant that those with chronic diseases have been at risk, and many have died. Friends have reported that most people on dialysis have died in Sana’a, and also people who need medicines such as insulin have found it difficult to obtain essential medication. Sometimes this has meant that they have had to lower their dosage or change to an alternative medication, often without access to medical advice. Because of the war, non-emergency medical treatment is restricted in many areas; it is hard to imagine that this has not resulted in deaths. These early deaths would have been recorded as due to natural causes, whereas they were due to unnatural warfare and siege conditions under which most Yemeni people are now forced to live.

Examples include a 24 year old man in Aden I know, previously very healthy, who died of malaria because he was not able to obtain medical supplies. In the Guardian newspaper it was reported that an obstetrician stated that two women had died from complications during childbirth, who would not have died but for the war. Some women will no doubt be giving birth at home because it is impossible to get to hospital, increasing risk to mothers and babies. These deaths are hidden from war statistics.

Sources reporting the humanitarian situation in Yemen point to the precarious water supply. Yemen, already short of water, has now moved into an era of critical water shortage since the beginning of war. On 26th May Oxfam reported that two thirds of people in Yemen no longer had access to clean water, and expected that this would cause deaths fromwater borne diseases. The situation has worsened since then, as some water tanks have suffered bomb damage, and the petrol needed to pump water from deep wells is in even shorter supply.   Another problem is a lack of baby milk. It was reported from Yemen sources recently that only 11.9% of Yemeni women are able to exclusively breast feed, a significant fall since last year. The shortage of water, shortage of food and ongoing stress will make it more difficult for women to produce sufficient milk for their babies. The reduction in breast feeding is life threatening for Yemeni babies, especially when it is combined with low availability of milk powders, unclean water supplies, and shortage of fuel to boil water for sterilisation purposes.

Precarious water supply – benefactors in Yemen have supplied water tankers: people are allowed 5 litres every 3 days each. In some areas the supply is less secure due to lack of diesel for water pumps.

Food is also becoming a severe problem as normally 90% of food is imported into Yemen, and the country is under siege making imports impossible. Humanitarian aid delivery is restricted by a Saudi led blockade. Tariq Riebl of Oxfam pointed out that “People are resorting to extreme measures, principally begging. You’ll see this especially with the 1.5 million displaced people…many that have fled suddenly when airstrikes or ground combat erupted. They are leaving behind all their belongings and having no revenue source or income.” Riebl stated that it is difficult to know how many people are dying from the effects of food deprivation because many parts of the country are not accessible and he continued: “The airstrikes have covered the entire country…so it’s difficult to give you an exact figure. In terms of classification, right now 10 out of 22 governorates are classified as Level 4. Level 5 would be famine. Level 4 is critical emergency level. And the rest of the country is in Level 3, which also would be already considered past the emergency threshold. Yemen is one of the most food insecure countries in the world, if not the most.”

UNICEF: 1.3 million children on verge of severe malnution, 16,000 currently being treated, 30.7.2015

As the blockade has reached its fourth month, the effects of the blockade are now causing severe disruption to the food supply and much suffering, and inevitably deaths.  Humanitarian aid is said to be arriving in Aden but people there are telling me, and many others tweeting, that they have not yet received help.  Food is increasingly expensive in the capital Sana’a, and most residents there are without employment or income, relying on savings.  Those who still draw government salaries are mostly not working, and fear their salary will stop as the Houthi led administration is running out of money due to the blockade.  Food trucks moving in Amran province have been regularly bombed, according to Natalie Roberts of MSF, creating a disastrous food situation there.  The only area which is not under strict blockade is in Hadramaut, where food is entering via Mukalla.  The east has a low population as it is a largely a desert region. Although many internally displaced have moved there, this area is not receiving any humanitarian aid.  Displaced people in Hadramaut are mostly living on limited savings, rents are extremely high, and food is very expensive, so even in the most stable area in Yemen food security is an important issue.

The ongoing Saudi air bombardment is also causing many deaths, most of them civilian.  No area is spared except for Hadramaut in the east, which has had minimal bombing raids so far. For example, in Mocha on the Red Sea coast on 24th July a bombing raid killed between 60-120 civilians, and injured many more, some of whom are seriously ill and with the shortage of medical care it is likely that the death toll will rise.   This was not an area where Houthi militias were found; the persons living there worked in an electricity power plant.

Does this amount to genocide?  According to the UN:

Genocide is defined in Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948) as “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part1; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

The Saudis are particularly targeting the Zaidi population in the northwest of Yemen, destroying homes, schools, petrol stations, hospitals, roads, factories, shops, mosques, historical artefacts, a refugee camp and vehicles. Although it was reported that those in Saada were given notice that their homes were about to be destroyed by leafleting prior to main bombing raids, the people living there had few choices. Some organisations claim that the bomb damage in the northwest amounts to war crimes. The majority of people in targeted areas lost their homes, belongings, sources of employment, and income. The destruction of their homes destroyed shelter for families in a hot desert region in midsummer; in winter, high mountainous areas can also experience cold conditions and night frosts, making life without shelter challenging all year round. With the loss of their homes, families also lost access to water, electricity, and cooking facilities. Whilst some of the displaced have moved to the capital Sana’a and other cities, they would not be able to escape to the more stable area of Hadramaut due to their tribal and religious identity, as that area is controlled by extremist Sunni militias with strong anti-Shia sentiments and a fear of Zaidi spies. A large proportion of the displaced from Saada area have remained in the northwest, finding or building temporary shelter with limited resources. Some have formed camps near to the Saudi border, as many have relatives in Jizan and Najran who might offer them sanctuary, but currently I understand they are denied entry into Saudi Arabia, and a wall prevents them from crossing the border.

IDPs are living in tents and home made shelters, with very little protection from the elements.

Many that remain in the northwest are now trapped, as the severe shortage of petrol, the high cost of travel by bus, and the targeting of vehicles for air attacks on all local roads means that escape is challenging even if living conditions are life threatening. The low numbers of refugees crossing borders only reflects severe travel restrictions, and does not imply that the conditions in Yemen are better than in other war-torn countries such as Syria. The northwest of Yemen is suffering severe problems with food and water supplies, not only because of the Saudi led blockade that is affecting all of west Yemen, but also because of damage to roads, and targeting of food trucks. Despite the extensive damage here, the bombing raids continue and like those living all over Yemen the Zaidis are suffering severe stress as they listen to the warplanes circling overhead on a daily, even hourly, basis.

It is difficult to argue that these conditions are compatible with life, and desperate appeals have been put out by a number of organisations, including Oxfam, UN, and WFP, ensuring that Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners, including US and UK, must be aware of the seriousness of this man-made crisis. Particularly the lives of the very young, the very old, and disabled have been and are seriously at risk.   Additionally, with many hospitals and clinics destroyed, there is little medical input to help the vulnerable overcome these threats, and as the siege proceeds more of the population will become vulnerable.   It is hard to argue that continued military strikes and ongoing siege in the face of this evidence can be anything other than intentional, as described in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948).

There is impelling evidence that members of the Zaidi population have been killed, and most have suffered serious bodily and mental harm by the destruction of their homes and the on-going blockade, and continued bombing attacks. It is hard to understand the purpose of the air attacks unless it was calculated to inflict on the Zaidi conditions of life that would bring about their physical destruction, in whole or in part.  Additionally, the nearest border is the Saudi border, and the desperate and displaced are not allowed to cross it.

There are also many reported civilian deaths at the hands of the various militias, including the Houthis, in areas of conflict. This has resulted in damage to a significant numbers of homes and other buildings, reduced access to fuel, food, water, and medical assistance, and some civilians have been killed by militias, as well as militias killed whilst fighting each other. Also, many families in the southwest are displaced because of militia activity, and found it difficult to escape horrendous living conditions because of the conflict and siege, as to escape they had to pass through dangerous areas where militias were fighting each other. All of these factors have resulted in Yemeni deaths and suffering, particularly in Aden, Lahj and Taiz. Whilst the actions of militias were often inhumane and brutal, it is more difficult to link this to genocidal intent, as all militia fighting on the ground is primarily designed to control through war rather than to eliminate any particular group within the population. Opposing militias were fighting each other, and additionally, these areas were also subject to air attacks by the Saudi coalition and the Saudi led blockade; hence it is far less clear where boundaries for responsibilities lie.

Meanwhile, in UK, the Disasters Emergency Committee has not yet had a charitable appeal to help the severe disaster that has been inflicted on Yemeni men, women and children. Politicians and the media are not telling it how it is. I find this inexplicable.

Copyright Yemen News, 2015

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Under-Reporting of War Deaths – or Genocide?

Ever since settlers in the occupied West Bank burned to death the Palestinian baby Ali Dawabsha last Friday, the Israeli government has put on an ostentatious show of contrition.

For effect, it has included vows from defense ministerMoshe Yaalon to lead an “uncompromising” fight against “Jewish terror.”

Though it still has not found the killers of Ali, it has evenarrested the grandson of Meir Kahane, the founder of the racist and violent anti-Palestinian organization Kach.

All of these gimmicks and the Israeli handwringing over “Jewish terror” are strictly for international consumption – to convince observers that Israel is a responsible state that abhors “terrorism” rather than practices it.

As my colleague Rania Khalek has already noted, however, it is difficult to find a single Israeli cabinet minister who has not himself or herself openly incited or directly participated in racist violence against Palestinians. And of course their state-sanctioned, uniformed violence is always on a far larger scale than the attack on the Dawabsha family home in the village of Duma.

Nuke Tel Aviv

Israel’s sudden discovery of “Jewish terror” in a few “extreme” pockets is designed precisely to deflect attention from the religious fanaticism and violent ideologies that are foundational to the Zionist project.

A case in point is Israeli army reserve Major-General Gershon Hacohen who is sympathetically profiled by The Times of Israel as “one of the most interesting figures to come out of the army in recent years.”

In fact, Hacohen is a religious fanatic with alarming and dangerous views. He urges Israel to conquer every inch of historic Palestine, land “he believes God gave to the Jews.”

That does not distinguish him very much from the rest of Israel’s mainstream political establishment, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

But astonishingly, Hacohen states frankly that he would rather see Tel Aviv destroyed by an Iranian nuclear bomb than see the removal of even 100,000 settlers from the occupied West Bank and the creation of a Palestinian state.

Israel is the only military force in the region that possesses nuclear weapons.

He views the Israeli army as “holy” and describes it as “the most beautiful and most important thing created by the Jewish people in the last one thousand years.”

Hacohen commanded the removal of several thousand Israeli settlers from the occupied Gaza Strip a decade ago, but now believes that the settlers should return to the besieged, overcrowded and devastated territory.

“Beyond mentioning that he prefers an Iranian nuclear bomb on Tel Aviv to a two-state solution,” The Times of Israel states, Hacohen says “he would happily forgo prosperity … in exchange for the perpetuation of the status quo and that, in the future, in the face of pressure, he would be willing to grant all Palestinians the vote.”

But his Jewish supremacist version of a one-state solution would offer a vote without power, for in his religious and messianic zeal Hacohen believes – hopes – that “a rise in anti-Semitism” or a rise in Zionism would bring 3 million Jews from the US to help colonize the country and “save the Jewish majority.”

Arabs “primitive”

In the long and ugly tradition of colonial warlords who view natives as noble savages – to be respected anddisplaced or exterminated – Hacohen says: “When I tell Arabs that I am a God-fearing man and they see that I am, as one might say, primitive, like they are, then they treat me with respect.”

Arabs would have to be very primitive indeed not to see Hacohen and his ideology as anything other than a mortal, existential threat.

Holy warriors

This kind of religious extremism is known to be a growing problem at every level of the Israeli army, from rank and file members who vow to refuse hypothetical orders to evacuate settlements, to senior commanders.

Last summer, Colonel Ofer Winter, commander of the Givati Brigadetold his men as they were about to enter Gaza that they were engaged in a war to “wipe out” an “enemy who defames” God.

It was under the command of the ultranationalist religious Zionist Winter that that the Givati Brigade carried out the massacre of hundreds of civilians in Rafah one year ago.

Hacohen himself praised Winter’s men, saying they “were not just going to war, but coming to their work with God.”

The frightening reality that men like Hacohen, Winter and their equally extreme political superiors are in command of Israel continues to make a mockery of the hasbara – propaganda – campaign to paint the murder of baby Ali as a mere isolated act.

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Israeli General Prefers Iran to Nuke Tel Aviv than to Allow Palestinian State

If your local city or town government spent 54% of its funds on an immoral, disastrous, and unpopular project, and your brave, populist, socialist candidate for mayor virtually never acknowledged its existence, would you think something was wrong? Would his admirable positions on numerous smaller projects, and on sources of revenue, ring a little hollow?

Bernie Sanders was asked a while back about the military budget and was essentially accused of wanting to cut it by 50%. Oh no, he replied, I wouldn’t do that. He ought to have replied that doing that would leave the United States far and away the world’s biggest military spender, and that doing that would take U.S. military spending back to roughly 2001 levels. He ought to have mentioned that the savings of hundreds of billions of dollars could transform the United States and the world for the better, that tens of billions could end starvation and provide clean water worldwide, and end poverty at home, and fund projects like free college, and invest in green energy beyond the wildest dreams of its advocates. He ought to have quoted Eisenhower and pointed out the record of the past 14 years of military spending generating wars rather than preventing them. In other words, he ought to have given the sort of smart response he gives to the questions he’s usually asked on the topics he prefers to deal with.


But this was militarism, and militarism is different. Sanders’ record is better than that of most presidential candidates, but very mixed. He’s gotten into shouting matches with his constituents over his support for Israeli wars fought with billions of dollars of free U.S. weapons. He’s supported incredibly wasteful military spending in his state. He opposes some wars, backs others, and glorifies militarism and the “service” that veterans have supposedly provided. While the public would like to fund useful projects and tax cuts for working people by both taxing the rich and slashing the military, Sanders only ever mentions taxing the rich. If he doesn’t want to cut the largest item in the budget by 50%, how much does he want to cut it by? Or does he want to increase it? Who knows. His speeches — at least most of them — and certainly his campaign website, never acknowledge that wars and militarism exist at all. When people have pressed him during Q&A sections of events, he’s proposed auditing the Department of so-called Defense. But what about cutting it? He’s proposed addressing veteran suicides. What about creating no more veterans?

At RootsAction.org we’ve just launched a petition urging Sanders to speak on war and militarism. Thousands have already signed it here. The vote on the Iran deal could come down to 13 Democratic senators, and I haven’t heard Sanders whipping his colleagues at all. His eloquence and energy are needed now. Having voted the right way will not look like enough when another war has started.

Thousands of eloquent comments can be read at the petition site. Here are a handful:

The president is the nation’s chief foreign policy architect and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. A presidential candidate, to be credible, must enunciate her or his approach to foreign policy and the use of military power with as much clarity and specificity as she or he devotes to domestic policy. A bird with only one wing cannot soar. Neither can a presidential candidate without a foreign policy. —Michael Eisenscher, Oakland, CA

Bernie, Militarism is driven by both the American Empire and the military/industrial complex, the huge corporations you correctly speak against. Include militarism in your critique of capitalism. The U.S. is responsible for up to 78% of foreign arms sales; you must denounce this as you denounce banks, and other corporate power. — Joseph Gainza, VT

Bernie, please speak out for peace.  If you do, I’ll send you $$. —Carol Wolman, CA

I loved your speech and enthusiasm in Madison, and was disappointed you said nothing about foreign policy. — Dick Russo, WI

I am thrilled you are running.  I agree with you on most things, but I would like to hear something about the necessity of ending all these endless wars with oversized military budgets, which are part of the economic problem! — Dorothy Rocklin, MA

You will have to say something eventually. Do it sooner. — Michael Japack, OH

He must comment upon the war on Gaza by Israel, which is connected to not only ‘the madness of militarism’ but also to the racism that the Palestinians and African-Americans face from these two nuclear powers. — Robert Bonazzi, TX

This needs to be made a major issue in the coming campaign, especially given the situation re: the deal with Iran and efforts by warmongers (especially the Israeli lobby) to scuttle it. That’s not the only example that comes to mind, but it’s a hot-button issue and it needs to be addressed, not ignored. — James Kenny, NY

Bernie, You know better, start talking about our endless wars and our ballooning military budget, also take a stand on the Iran deal!  Domestic policy and foreign policy go hand in hand. —Eva Havas, RI

Two wars have been economically disastrous for America. A third war (Iran) could shred the nation’s social fabric, as well. Foreign aid, esp. military aid, to countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Israel, further destabilizes the region and ensures that liberal reforms will never take hold. So, yes, it’s important that you speak up, and in no uncertain terms. —Richard Hovey, MI

The US military is the largest single user of fossil fuels … so continued WAR endangers the planet in more ways than one!  Speak UP! — Frank Lahorgue, CA

Please include a denunciation of Israel’s continued land grab for settlements and unconscionable treatment of Palestinians in Gaza. —Louise Chegwidden, CA

Keep pressing Senator Sanders on these vital issues! —James Bradford, MD

We will!

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Why Won’t “Progressive” US Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders Talk About War?

Image: Meir Ettinger arrest (image by Tazpit)

As Israeli investigators released their findings that a right-wing Jewish terrorist network is gaining power throughout Israel and illegal West Bank settlements, they detained Meir Ettinger, the grandson of the late Meir Kahane, but declined to charge him with the arson attack Thursday night that burned a baby to death and severely wounded his mother, father and 4-year old brother.

Ettinger, 24, smiled and joked as he was taken into custody from a settlement in the northern West Bank, near where the attack on the family took place.

Meir Ettinger is the grandson of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, who was known for his racism and incitement against Arabs, as well as direct involvement in violent racist attacks.

Ettinger’s arrest came five days after the attack, and is the only one so far, despite eyewitness accounts that at least four men were seen running from the village after setting the house on fire with a firebomb and spraypainting it with racist graffiti.

As Meir Ettinger was taken into custody, police investigators told reporters from Ha’aretz newspaper that they suspect the involvement of a right-wing network that is based in Yitzhar settlement, in the northern West Bank, and has planned and carried out dozens of terror attacks against Palestinians.

The group is also suspected of carrying out the arson that burned the Church of the Loaves and Fishes, a holy site for Christians, late last year.

Ettinger is being held for questioning only, and has not been charged with any crime. No one has been charged with Thursday’s firebomb attack on the Palestinian family.

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Palestinian Baby Burnt to Death: Grandson of Meir Kahane Arrested for Role in “Jewish Terrorist Network”

ISIS in Afghanistan: Proxy War against Iran and China

August 5th, 2015 by Eric Draitser

The nature of the war in Afghanistan has shifted dramatically in recent months. While the US and NATO continue to be actively involved in the country – their strategic objectives having changed very little since the Bush administration launched the war nearly a decade and a half ago – the complexion of the battlefield, and the parties actively engaged in the war, has changed significantly.

The emergence of ISIS in Afghanistan, along with the impending withdrawal of US-NATO troops from the country, has driven the Taliban into a marriage of convenience, if not an outright alliance, with Iran. What seemed like an unfathomable scenario just a few years ago, Shia Iran’s support for the hardline Sunni Taliban has become a reality due to the changing circumstances of the war. Though it may be hard to believe, such an alliance is now a critical element of the situation on the ground in Afghanistan. But its significance is far larger than just shifting the balance of power within the country.

Instead, Afghanistan is now in many ways a proxy conflict between the US and its western and Gulf allies on the one hand, and Iran and certain non-western countries, most notably China, on the other. If the contours of the conflict might not be immediately apparent, that is only because the western media, and all the alleged brainiacs of the corporate think tanks, have failed to present the conflict in its true context. The narrative of Afghanistan, to the extent that it’s discussed at all, continues to be about terrorism and stability, nation-building and “support.” But this is a fundamental misunderstanding and mischaracterization of the current war, and the agenda driving it.

ewqewqwe

And what is this new and dangerous agenda? It is about no less than the future of Afghanistan and Central Asia. It is about the US and its allies clinging to the country, a key foothold in the region, and wanting to find any pretext to maintain their presence. It is about Iran and China positioning themselves in the country for the inevitable moment of US withdrawal and the opening up of Afghanistan’s economy. At the most basic level, it is about access and influence. And, as usual in this part of the world, terrorism and extremism are the most potent weapons.

The New Afghan War: Enter ISIS

However, within a few weeks, ISIS militants committed a mass beheading in the strategically vital Ghazni province, an important region of the country that lies on the Kabul-Kandahar highway. This incident officially put ISIS on the map in Afghanistan, and marked a significant sea change in the nature of the conflict there.

While the western media was replete with stories of ISIS and Taliban factions fighting together under the Islamic State’s banner, it has become clear since then that, rather than a collaboration between the groups, there has simply been a steady migration of fighters from the Taliban to ISIS which, if the stories are to be believed, pays much better. In fact, the last few months have demonstrated that, there is in fact competition between the two, and that Taliban and ISIS groups have fought each other in very intense battles. As Abdul Hai Akhondzada, deputy head of the Afghan parliament’s national security commission told Deutsche Welle in June:

Local residents and security officials confirmed that “Islamic State” (IS) fighters killed between 10 and 15 Taliban members in Nangarhar province…The Taliban have been fighting for a long period of time in Afghanistan and they see their position threatened by the emergence of IS. Of course, they won’t give up easily… While IS is fighting to increase its presence in the whole region – not only Afghanistan – the Taliban are fighting to overthrow the Afghan government.

Such skirmishes have now become a regular occurrence, pointing to a growing war between ISIS and Taliban factions. Increasingly, the war is being transformed from one waged by the Taliban against the Kabul government and its US and NATO patrons, into a war with competing groups fighting each other for supremacy on the battlefield and in the political life of the country.

But of course, the true nature of the conflict can only be understood through an examination of the key interests backing each side. And it is here where the shadowy world of terror factions and proxy armies are brought into the light of day.

It is now no secret that ISIS is an asset of western intelligence agencies and governments. The group has been directly sponsored and facilitated and/or allowed to develop unhindered in order to serve a useful purpose in Syria and Iraq. As the now infamous secret 2012 US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) document obtained by Judicial Watch revealed, the US has knowingly promoted the spread of the Islamic State since at least 2012 in order to use it as a weapon against the Assad government. The document noted that, … there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist Principality in eastern Syria…and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).”

Moreover, intelligence agencies such as Turkish intelligence agency (MIT) have been facilitating ISIS militants crossing the border into Syria, as well as supporting an international network of terrorists to as far away as the Xinjiang province of China. Even US Vice President Joe Biden has noted that:

Our allies in the region were our largest problem in Syria. The Turks were great friends… [and] the Saudis, the Emirates, etcetera. What were they doing?…They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad — except that the people who were being supplied, [they] were al-Nusra, and al-Qaeda, and the extremist elements of jihadis who were coming from other parts of the world.

Given all of this information, it is beyond a shadow of a doubt that ISIS is to a large degree an asset of the US and its western allies. As if one needed further confirmation of this point, former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, himself no stranger to the machination of US intelligence, bluntly declared just last month that ISIS could not possibly have expanded into Afghanistan “without a foreign hand, without foreign backing.

In Syria and Iraq, ISIS has essentially done the dirty work for the US and its Gulf and Israeli and Turkish allies. In Libya, ISIS has become a dominant terrorist force led by a documented US asset. In Yemen, ISIS has gained a foothold and carried out terrorist actions in support of the Saudi – and by extension, US – mission against the Shia Houthi rebels and their allies. Taken in total then, ISIS has proven very effective in furthering the US-NATO-GCC-Israel agenda. So too in Afghanistan.

Iran and Taliban Ally to Counter ISIS and Its Patrons

And it is for this reason that the Taliban has turned to Iran for support. Though Tehran has officially denied providing any weapons or financial support to the Taliban, sources in the region have confirmed that indeed such support is given. A senior Afghan government official speaking to the Wall Street Journal explained succinctly that, “At the beginning Iran was supporting [the] Taliban financially. But now they are training and equipping them, too.” Afghan security officials have claimed that Iran is hosting Taliban militants at training camps in the cities of Tehran, Mashhad, and Zahedan, and in the province of Kerman. If true, it means that the level of cooperation between the two has moved to a whole new level.

While one might want to maintain some skepticism about all the claims made by US and Afghan officials regarding Iranian support for the Taliban, the alliance makes good strategic sense for Tehran. As Iran fights against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, so too must it check the spread of this terror group in neighboring Afghanistan.

Moreover, Iran understands that ISIS is, in effect, an arm of the power projection of its regional rivals Turkey and Saudi Arabia, both of whom have been primary instigators of the war in Syria and the attempt to break the alliance of Iran-Iraq-Syria-Hezbollah. Therefore, from the Iranian perspective, the Taliban’s war against ISIS in Afghanistan is essentially a new theater in the larger war against ISIS and its backers.

Additionally, there is still another important political rationale behind Tehran’s overtures to the Taliban: leverage and access. Iran is preparing for the impending departure of US-NATO forces from Afghanistan, and it desperately wants to make sure it has friends in the new government which will likely include some key members of the Taliban in important positions. And the recent moves by the Taliban to engage in peace talks only further this point; Iran wants to be part of a peace deal which could unite the non-ISIS forces in Afghanistan thereby giving Tehran both access and, most importantly, influence over the decision-making apparatus in an independent Afghanistan.

China and the New Afghanistan

Iran certainly has partners in the charm offensive toward the Taliban, most notably China. The last few months have seen a flurry of rumors that China has played host to a Taliban delegation interested in engaging in substantive peace talks with the Kabul government, a move which threatens to fundamentally alter the balance of power in Afghanistan and the region. Assuming the reports are true – by all indications they are – China is positioning itself to become the single most important player in a post-occupation Afghanistan.

Earlier this month in fact, an Afghan delegation from Kabul met with Taliban representatives in Islamabad, Pakistan to begin the dialogue process. It is a virtual certainty that such talks would never have taken place had the Chinese not intervened and opened direct channels of communication with the Taliban earlier this year. In this way, Beijing has become the key intermediary in the peace process in Afghanistan, a development which is likely to cause a fair amount of consternation in Washington. China has a multitude of reasons for pushing so hard for this dialogue process.

First and foremost, China sees in Afghanistan one of the main keys to its entire regional, and indeed global, strategy, from the New Silk Roads to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Sitting in the middle of the strategically critical Central Asia region, Afghanistan represents for China both a bridge to its partner, Pakistan, and the key to the former Soviet Republics of Central Asia. Moreover, it represents a critical node in the potential pipeline networks, as well as trading routes.

Beijing also intends to be a major player in the exploitation of the mineral wealth of Afghanistan. The US Geological Survey has estimated that the mineral wealth of Afghanistan is worth roughly $1 trillion, making it some of the most prized land in the world. Iron, copper, cobalt, gold, lithium, and many other minerals are to be found just underneath the surface of Afghanistan; clearly an enticing prospect for China. Indeed, China has already heavily invested in copper mining concessions among others.

It is in this arena where China and its longtime rival India have come into conflict, as Delhi has also been a major player competing for key mining concessions in Afghanistan, including the vast iron ore deposits. Iran also figures into this question as its port of Chabahar, seen as an important prize for both India and China, is the likely destination for the iron ore extracted from Afghanistan, especially if it is to be shipped to India.

Not to be overlooked of course is the security issue. China’s ongoing struggle against Islamic extremism in Xinjiang has led to fears in Beijing that any economic plans could be jeopardized by terrorism-related instability. Xinjiang has seen a number of deadly terrorist attacks in the last eighteen months, including the heinous drive-by bombings that killed dozens and injured over 100 people in May 2014, the mass stabbings and bombings of November 2014, and the deadly attack by Uighur terrorists on a traffic checkpoint just last month which left 18 people dead.

And it is here where all these issues converge. China needs Iran both for economic and counter-terrorism reasons. Beijing wants to see Iran act as the driving force in the battle against ISIS terrorism in Afghanistan, as well as in the Middle East, in order to destroy the Saudi-backed and Turkey-backed terror networks that support the Uighur extremists. China also wants to be an active player in Afghanistan in order to both buttress its own national security and to instigate itself as the central economic force in the region. The strategic imperatives couldn’t be clearer.

Seen in this way, Afghanistan is at the very heart of both China’s and Iran’s regional plans. And this fact, more than any other, explains exactly the purpose that ISIS serves in Afghanistan. From the perspective of Washington, nothing could serve US imperial ambitions more effectively than a destabilization of Afghanistan both as justification for continued occupation, and to block Chinese penetration.

So, once again, we see ISIS as the convenient tool of western power projection. No doubt strategic planners in Tehran and Beijing see it too. The question is: will they be able to stop it?

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

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on ISIS in Afghanistan: Proxy War against Iran and China

Image: © Yevgeny Kurskov/TASS

Colonel-General Vladimir Shamanov said that help would be rendered should such a decision be made by Russia’s leadership

The Russian Airborne Troops are ready to assist Syria in countering terrorists, if such a task is set by Russia’s leaders, commander of the Airborne Troops Colonel-General Vladimir Shamanov told reporters on Tuesday.

“Of course we will execute the decisions set forth by the country’s leadership, if there is a task at hand,” Shamanov said, in response to a Syrian reporter’s question about the readiness of the Russian Airborne Troops to render assistance to Syria’s government in its battle against terrorism.

Shamanov noted that Russia and Syria have “long-term good relations.” “Many Syrian experts, including military, received education in the Soviet Union and in Russia,” Shamanov added.

 

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Russian Airborne Troops “Ready to Help Syria in Combating [US-NATO Sponsored] Terrorism”

Yemeni children stand outside the Huwaiti home, as the mother of Mohammad and Ahmad mourns. She lost both of her sons, ages 17 and 14, who were selling produce on the side of the road, to a Saudi-led coalition airstrike in Al Joob village. Photo Source: Alex Potter

Five months ago, a Saudi-led coalition of Gulf nations began a bombing campaign in Yemen. Backed by the U.S. government through verbal support and military weapons, the Saudi coalition has recklessly killed civilians, ordered an economic blockade that refuses to allow basic necessities into an already-poor country, and it fails to uphold ceasefire agreements time and again.

As an organization committed to speaking out against reckless US militarism, this aggression against Yemen is a prime example of how the US perpetuates war without having soldiers on the ground or leading the charge. The mainstream media has also continually covered the ongoing violence of ISIS against civilians, ultimately helping the expanding breadth and power of US military involvement in the region. In the case of Yemen, however, US mainstream media is nowhere to be seen despite US involvement, the high civilian death toll and humanitarian crisis now plaguing the country.

Help us stand against this aggression on Yemeni civilians. 

In the past two weeks alone, 202 civilians have been killed in Yemen, bringing the number of civilian Yemeni deaths to 1,895 according to the UN. Many of these deaths are due to the use of US-made cluster munitions, which have been banned by over a hundred countries. The United States, which has yet to sign on to the ban, continues to create, use, and sell cluster munitions despite the overwhelming evidence that they directly harm and increase the civilian death toll [1].

Despite the high civilian death toll due to the bombing campaign, Yemen was an already-poor country with millions of Yemenis who were food insecure. Since the bombing, the UN estimates that the original number has almost doubled, leaving 80 percent of of the population, or 21 million Yemenis, in need of basic assistance [2]. The severe food insecurity is only being escalated by the blockade and bombings by Saudi Arabia and its allies, leaving millions to an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.

Will you join us in stopping the Saudi attack on Yemen? 

This increased lack of regard for human life and an adoption of the rhetoric of the “War on Terror” by the Saudi coalition only serves to upend an already unstable region. As the US now wages proxy wars through support of allies like Saudi Arabia and the mainstream media continues to ignore this impending crisis, it is more important than ever to focus on how the US military industrial complex continues to impact civilians around the world. And we intend to keep up that conversation and pressure and we know you will be with there with us.

In solidarity,

Iram Ali
Associate Director, Operations & Development
Iraq Veterans Against the War

[1] “How US Cluster Bombs Banned by Most Ended Up in Yemen.” Mother Jones, June 9, 2014.

[2] “As Yemenis Starve, Saudi Arabia is Accused of War Crimes in the Country.” Vice, July 28, 2015.

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on Yemen: US-Backed Saudi Coalition Recklessly Killing Civilians, US Mainstream Media Nowhere to Be Seen

U.S. Movies and T.V. Shows Have U.S. Army Ratings

August 4th, 2015 by David Swanson

The U.S. Army and Air Force public relations offices have responded to a Freedom of Information Act request by releasing huge lists of movies and television shows that they have assessed and, at least in many cases, sought to influence. Here’s the Army’s PDF. Here’s the Air Force’s PDF.

The shows and films, foreign and U.S. made, aimed at foreign and U.S. audiences, including documentaries and dramas and talk shows and “reality” TV, cross every genre from those obviously related to war to those with little discernable connection to it.

Films show up in theaters without any notice that they have been influenced by the Army or Air Force or other branch of the military. And they carry ratings like G, PG, PG-13, or R. But the Army’s until-now-secret assessments of films also give them ratings. Every rating is positive and cryptic. They include:

  • Supports Building Resiliency,
  • Supports Restoring Balance,
  • Supports Maintaining our Combat Edge,
  • Supports Adapting Our Institutions,
  • Supports Modernizing Our Force.

Some films have multiple ratings. Truth in advertising, I think, would include these ratings on previews and advertisements for films. I’d like to know what the Army thinks of a film. It would make my decision to avoid it much easier. Go ahead and scroll through the Army document linked above, and chances are you’ll find out what a movie you’re currently interested in or recently saw is rated by the folks who brought you Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, ISIS, Al Qaeda, and top ratings worldwide for the U.S. as the nation considered the greatest threat to peace on earth (Gallup, December 2013).

Here’s a comment from Zaid Jilani at Salon: “The sheer scale of the Army and the Air Force’s involvement in TV shows, particularly reality TV shows, is the most remarkable thing about these files. ‘American Idol,’ ‘The X-Factor,’ ‘Masterchef,’ ‘Cupcake Wars,’ numerous Oprah Winfrey shows, ‘Ice Road Truckers,’ ‘Battlefield Priests,’ ‘America’s Got Talent,’ ‘Hawaii Five-O,’ lots of BBC, History Channel and National Geographic documentaries, ‘War Dogs,’ ‘Big Kitchens’ — the list is almost endless. Alongside these shows are blockbuster movies like GodzillaTransformers,Aloha and Superman: Man of Steel.”

That list is a sampling, nothing more. The full list goes on and on and on. It includes many films about wars or U.S. base construction. There’s an Extreme Makeover Home Edition at Fort Hood. There’s The Price Is Right’s Military Appreciation Episode. There’s a C-Span show called “The Price of Peace” — C-Span is of course often thought of as a neutral fly on the wall. There are, as mentioned above, lots of BBC documentaries — the BBC is of course often thought of as British.

The documents linked above consist mostly of assessments with relatively little explicit discussion of military influence. But further research has produced that. The Mirror reports on the censoring of an Iron Man movie because the military is — not kidding — actually trying to create Iron Man type suits of armor/weaponry: “Directors are being forced to re-write scripts by the United States Department of Defense if the content is deemed inappropriate — and the big screen hits affected include Iron Man, Terminator Salvation, Transformers, King Kong and Superman: Man of Steel. . . . Last year, President Barack Obama appeared to be joking when he said the U.S. military was working on its own Iron Man suit for troops. But the first prototypes of a super-strong exoskeleton being developed for chiefs by universities and technology players were delivered last June.”

Shouldn’t viewers of fantasy cartoonish movies know that the Army has been involved and what it rates those films in terms of their recruitment value?

“To keep Pentagon chiefs happy,” reports the Mirror, “some Hollywood producers have also turned villains into heroes, cut central characters, changed politically sensitive settings — or added military rescue scenes to movies. Having altered scripts to accommodate Pentagon requests, many have in exchange gained inexpensive access to military locations, vehicles and gear they need to make their films.”

Guess who pays for that?

In fact many of the listings in the documents above originated as requests from film makers to the military. Here’s an example:

“Comedy Central – OCPA-LA received a request from Comedy Central to have Jeff Ross, the Roastmaster General, spend 3 to 4 days on an Army post where he will embed himself amongst the Soldiers. This project will be a hybrid of a documentary and a stand up special/comedy roast. Ross, who has gone on several USO tours, wants to participate in various tactical drills and exercises, as well as interview soldiers and officers of all different ranks to get a fuller understanding of what a life in the military is really like, and how extraordinary those who choose to serve truly are. Then on his last day at the base, armed with the personal knowledge he has acquired, Jeff will put on a roast/standup comedy concert for all the people on the base that he has gotten to know during his tenure there. We are working with OCPA to see if this is something that can be supported and, if so, to find the best fit.”

These questions as to whether something can be supported are frequent, but in skimming the documents I notice no negative ratings like

  • Supports Resistance to Mass-Murder
  • Supports Peace, Diplomacy, or Intelligent Foreign Relations
  • Supports Disarmament and Wise Use of Peace Dividend

Apparently all news is good news. Even cancellations get good ratings:

“‘BAMA BELLES’ REALITY TV SHOW (U), The Bama Belles, a reality show based out of Dothan, AL is being cancelled. According to cast member and producer Amie Pollard, TLC will not continue with a second season of “Bama Belles” and is still deciding whether to air the third episode. One of the actors on the show was SGT 80th Training Command (USAR). Assessment: Cancellation of the show is in the best interest of the US Army. Supports Building Resiliency.”

Propaganda aimed at foreign audiences is included right alongside that aimed at potential recruits and voters in the United States:

“(FOUO) STATE DEPARTMENT DOCUMENTARY, AFGHANISTAN (FOUO) (SAPA-CRD), OCPA-LA contacted by production company contracted by U.S. State Dept. Filmmaker requesting to film short scene on FOB in Afghanistan and involving use of five soldiers. The short scene will ‘involve a female interrupter [sic] working for US forces and her family struggles.’ The soldiers will be mostly background and will only have a few lines. Filmmaker requesting to film the scene in the last two weeks of JAN. ISAF/RC-E has expressed willingness to support. OCPA-LA is coordinating with OSD(PA) for approval. ASSESSMENT: Viewership UNK; video product aimed at Afghan national audiences. Supports Adapting Our Institutions.”

Perhaps most disturbing are the advertisements for future war-making. There is, for example, a National Geographic series on “futuristic weapons.” There’s also this video game that seeks to depict a U.S. soldier in the year 2075:

“(FOUO) ACTIVISION/BLIZZARD VIDEO GAME (FOUO) (OCPA-LA), OCPA-LA was contacted by Activision/Blizzard, the largest video game publisher in the world. They are in the initial stages of a new project designed to create a realistic representation of a Soldier in 2075. They are interested in discussing the U.S. Army of the future; equipment, units, tactics, etc. Have scheduled an introductory meeting this week to discuss. While their interests will require an outside paid consultant, our interest is to correctly establish and frame the Army brand within the game while still in development. Update: and met with company president and game developers. Expressed concern that scenario being considered involves future war with China. Game developers looking at other possible conflicts to design the game around, however, developers are seeking a military power with substantial capabilities. ASSESSMENT: Anticipate game release will be very high-profile and comparable to recent ‘Call of Duty’ and ‘Medal of Honor’ releases. Will likely sell in the range of 20-30 million copies. Supports Adapting our Institutions and Maintaining Our Combat Edge.”

The Joint Chiefs of Staff last month published the nonfiction “National Military Strategy of the United States of America — 2015,” which also struggled to identify a frightening enemy. It named four nations as the justification for massive U.S. military spending, while admitting that none of the four wanted war with the United States. So, after U.S. government consultation with Sony and its depiction of the fictional murder of the leader of North Korea, it’s nice to see some hesitation about depicting a 2075 US-China war. But what exactly is a “correct” depiction of the U.S. Army in 2075? Who has credibly suggested that Western “civilization” can survive war and nationalism that long? And where is Hollywood’s investment in depicting an alternative future with greater likelihood of actually being sustainable?

  • Posted in English
  • Comments Off on U.S. Movies and T.V. Shows Have U.S. Army Ratings

L’«antiterrorismo» della Nato

August 4th, 2015 by Manlio Dinucci

«Il terrorismo costituisce una minaccia diretta alla sicurezza dei paesi Nato», ha dichiarato il Consiglio Nord Atlantico, condannando «gli attacchi terroristici contro la Turchia» e impegnandosi a «seguire gli sviluppi alla frontiera sud-orientale della Nato molto da vicino». Nessuno ne dubita. In Turchia la Nato ha oltre venti basi militari, rafforzate da batterie missilistiche statunitensi, tedesche e spagnole, in grado di abbattere velivoli nello spazio aereo siriano. Sempre in Turchia, a Izmir, la Nato ha trasferito il Landcom, il comando delle forze terrestri dei 28 paesi membri, oggi in piena attività.

Come documentano anche inchieste del New York Times e del Guardian, soprattutto nelle province turche di Adana e Hatai e in Giordania la Cia ha aperto da tempo centri di addestramento di militanti islamici provenienti da Afghanistan, Bosnia, Cecenia, Libia e altri paesi, preparandoli e armandoli per azioni terroristiche in Siria. Compresi quelli che in Siria hanno formato l’Isis per rovesciare il governo di Damasco e hanno quindi attaccato l’Iraq nel momento in cui il governo dello sciita al-Maliki prendeva le distanze da Washington, avvicinandosi a Pechino e Mosca. Le armi, provenienti soprattutto via Arabia Saudita e Qatar, entrano in Siria attraverso il confine turco da cui transitano ogni giorno centinaia di tir senza alcun controllo.

Ora, dietro il paravento della «lotta all’Isis» (organizzazione di fatto funzionale alla strategia Usa/Nato), la Turchia attacca i curdi del Pkk, che combattono contro l’Isis. Sostenuta dalla Casa Bianca che, per bocca del portavoce Alistair Baskey, definisce il Pkk «un gruppo terroristico» affermando che «la Turchia ha il diritto di difendersi contro gli attacchi terroristici dei ribelli curdi».

Contemporaneamente Stati uniti e Turchia hanno concordato un piano per la creazione di una «zona sicura», formalmente «libera dall’Isis», lungo una fascia di un centinaio di chilometri in territorio siriano al confine turco. Il piano prevede l’impiego di cacciabombardieri statunitensi dislocati in Turchia e di forze terrestri turche, affiancate in operazioni coperte da forze speciali Usa/Nato.

Tale fascia, su cui viene imposta una «no-fly zone», dovrebbe essere controllata da quelli che il New York Times definisce «insorti siriani relativamente moderati», armati e addestrati dal Pentagono, molti dei quali confluiti poi nell’Isis e nel fronte qaedista al-Nusra.

Autorizzando ora raid aerei per sostenere i «ribelli» addestrati dal Pentagono, «anche se ad attaccarli saranno le forze del presidente Assad», Obama autorizza la guerra aerea Usa/Nato contro le forze governative siriane.

Gruppi «ribelli» vengono sostenuti anche da Israele, come ha dichiarato lo stesso ministro della difesa Ya’alon (v. The Times of Israel, 29 giugno 2015).

La creazione della «zona sicura», formalmente per accogliere i profughi siriani, ufficializza lo smantellamento della Siria, Stato sovrano membro dell’Onu, Stato che ha rinunciato alle armi chimiche, al contrario di Israele che ha anche quelle nucleari.

La Nato va anche «in soccorso» dell’Iraq, minacciato dall’Isis: ha annunciato il 31 luglio che addestrerà in Turchia e Giordania combattenti iracheni (selezionati da Washington ai fini della balcanizzazione dell’Iraq).

Attua così la strategia che mira a ridisegnare la carta del Medioriente cancellando, come è stato fatto in Europa con la Jugoslavia e in Nordafrica con la Libia, gli Stati ritenuti di ostacolo agli interessi dell’Occidente. Provocando milioni di morti e di profughi, mentre la Casa Bianca pubblica la petizione popolare contro l’uccisione del leone Cecil per dimostrare la propria umanità.

Manlio Dinucci

 

  • Posted in Italiano
  • Comments Off on L’«antiterrorismo» della Nato